F – for the fortnightly ABC For 2018 blog challenge


Ready to Fire up your imagination? Use the Fuel of your dreams?

Choose a headline for your post to this challenge, in which the First word starts with ‘F’.

Anything – Fury, Friendship, Fun, Funky, Frenzy-making, Freebies, Fur-Babies, Feathered Friends, Fast movers, Fist Fights, Fiji, France, Frankenstein, Frankfurters, your First {whatever}, your Finest {whatever}…

All I’d like is [ Like] on this post, and a Ping-back when you post your response, please.

And to all who’re taking part, a big “Fanks”

Employers’ Notices

cover_Coles Funny Picture Book 1“The following are [according to Cole’s Funny Picture Book No. One, page 202, published in 1879, and sold world-wide] actual notices to potential employees of the various establishments’ equivalent of the current Smoke-Free Policies in the Workplace.”
A four-page section was included in that year’s issue –
– Boy Smoking – Narcotics and Intoxicants – Pipes of the world

Multitudes of Employers, both in England and America, will not employ Boy Smokers, and publicly announce the same. The following statements show some of the large establishments that are closed against cigarette smokers in America:—

Swift & Co. (Packing House, Chicago), and other Chicago business houses, employing hundreds of boys, have issued this announcement, or similar ones—“So impressed with the danger of Cigarette using that we do not employ a Cigarette user.”

Marshall Field, the Mammoth Universal Provider, gave similar notice.

Montgomery, Ward and Co., the universal providers, say, “We will not employ cigarette users.”

Morgan and Wright Tyre company, large employers, announce, “No cigarettes can be smoked by our employees.”

At John Wanamakers — the application blank to be filled out by boys applying for a position reads: “‘Do you use tobacco or cigarettes?’ A negative answer is expected, and is favourable to their acceptance as employees.”

Heath and Milligan, Chicago, bar cigarette users.

Carson, Pirie and Scott, Chicago, bar cigarette smokers as employees.

Ayer’s Sarsparilla Company, Lovell, employs hundreds of boys. —”March 1, 1902—Believing that the smoking of cigarettes is injurious to both mind and body, thereby unfitting young men for their best work—therefore after this date we will not employ any young man under twenty-one years of age who smokes cigarettes.”

“I’ve got a boy for you, sir.”
“Glad of it; who is he?” asked the master workman of a large establishment. The man told the boy’s name and where he lived.
“Don’t want him,” said the master workman, “he has got a bad mark.”
“A bad mark, sir; what?”
“I meet him every day with a cigar in his mouth; I don’t want smokers!”

“The Lehigh Valley Railroad bars cigarette smokers.”

“The Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad bars cigarette smoking.”

“The New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad bars employees who smoke cigarettes.”

“The Central Railroad, Georgia, forbids cigarette smoking.”

“The Union Pacific Railroad forbids cigarette smoking.”

The following is a public notice: “The Western Union Telegraph Company will discharge from their messenger service boys who persist in smoking cigarettes.”

A Telephone Company. —Order: “You are directed to serve notice that the use of cigarettes after August 1 will be prohibited; and you are further instructed to, in the future, refuse to employ anyone who is addicted to the habit.” —Leland Hume, Assistant General Manager of the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company.

In the United States Weather Bureau. —’Chief of United States Weather Bureau, Willis M. Moore, has placed the ban on cigarettes in this department of Government service’.”

Written And Compiled By E.W. Cole (1832-1918)
First Published 1879 By Cole Publications, Melbourne, Australia.
73rd Edition Totalling 920,000 copies.

Facsimile (.pdf) available at Gutenberg Press
The Online edition includes the original artwork, as originally published in print

Response to the ABC for 2018 fortnightly blog challenge prompt…

E – is for the ABC for 2018 Challenge

E-alphabet-EAre you joining me in this fortnightly (two-weekly – sort of) challenge for tour blog too?

Ideas to start you off? Think about… Eggs, Elevator pitch, Elementary school, Eternity (woah, that could be deep), Expressions, Effort, Epiphany … you get the idea.

The letter starter should have been posted  much earlier, and due two weeks later.
But, as you know by now, I’ve not kept to my own schedule, so there’s not a fortnight in which to do this ‘E ‘ challenge.
So, all I ask is, write a post – a poem, a short story, an opinion piece – on any topic that comes to you to match the letter of the moment, and have it “live” by April 3rd (ten days away; I have to catch up to my original schedule).

Please leave a comment, a rating, or when you’ve posted your response, a ping-back


My very first doll I ever selected for myself, was … in today’s perspective … very un-PC. I was five or younger when I chose it. From our dairy farm in Whangarata, in the Waikato, the family went on a day trip to Auckland. It may have coincided with a visit to my mother aunt, Aunty Raynee – I’m not sure. But it coincided with a visit to Farmers, then known as Farmers Trading Store, in the main street of the big city. Farmers was known for its size (multi-storey) and the vast range of products. More importantly to us children, it was known for its extravagant children’s department, which had an entire floor for kids, including a playground.

More significant to us that day was the toy department. So many aisles of toy shelves! And…dolls! They were not the adult reach height of modern stores. All were only the height of a child’s eyes, and the top shelf sloped in layers stepping up higher towards the rear, allowing the dolls to sit each one behind the other, clearly visible to any child. Each different model of doll had its own section, clearly demarked from its neighbours, and overhead was the sign naming the type of doll.  We two children strolled back and forth along the aisle in front of the dolls, until we’d chosen the dill we wanted.

My choice was a little baby doll, dressed in a

"Nigger" doll as sold in the 50s
My choice was not dressed as this is. Image found via Google search

 blue-and-white domed fastened shirt, and a pair of blue overalls. His head was black and tightly curled, his skin was brown, and his lips were pink. On arriving home with my new doll, Mum (Dad?) asked me what I was going to name him. A redundant question to me – the store had his name well displayed, and no new name was needed, I thought. “He’s got a name. Nigger.” I remember saying it in a very determined voice.

No one suggested that was not appropriate, so Nigger he remained – for thirty years. I knitted him (garter stitch) a pink tee-shaped pullover, a pair of knickers, and a cap. I kept him with me when at age eighteen I left home to attend teachers’ college. He came with me when I married, and when my new family moved to Huntly (NZ’s then new power station town) he came too. He’d aged in colour, but still sat on the top shelf of my wardrobe. Between 1980 and 1986 he had to go for repairs – his rubber bands in the joints had given up. Sadly, the woman who replaced the rubber bands used too tight a band, and the tension was too much. The body part cracked at the neck joint. When it came back from that repair she’d not been able match the colour of his skin, and eventually he broke again, this time beyond repair. Putting Nigger into the garbage was heart-breaking!

Many years later, Mum took up doll making. Hers were china dolls, for which she sewed and stuffed the body, affixing the head, arms and legs. Being one who’d sewed, knitted, stitched smocking and tatted lace for baby clothes, she clothed each doll herself. No store-bought ready-made clothes for these babies. Each was displayed in her lounge, and on the guest beds or dressing tables.

One we had was her very first china doll, which she had over-glazed. Another was one she made for our daughter, and dressed in a beautiful long frock to match a dress-up frock one she’d made for my daughter from a bridesmaid’s dress we’d found in the gutter outside our house while on a walk together. I so wish I had a photograph of the two girls together!

Composed for the self-imposed ABC for 2018 challenge, the ‘D’ prompt

D – ABC for 2018 Challenge Call

Again …. late in posting. d-image
But, here it is…

Suggestions? a “D’uh!” moment, Dialogue, a Day in the life of …, Doubt, Deluge, Drums (rock with that), Drama, Dogs … you get the idea.

The letter starter should have been posted on February 12th, and due by February 25th. But, as you know by now, I’ve not kept to my own schedule.
So, all I ask is, write a post – a poem, a short story, an opinion piece – on any topic that comes to you to match the letter of the moment, and have it “live” by March 19th (a fortnight away.)

Comments and ping-backs to your own post are welcome. have fun

Conjuring Up Ideas…

ConjurerAKA – using imagination to find inspiration; is that not a feeble link between the Daily Prompt and my own self-set blogging challenge?

Where do my writing ideas pop out from? They’re conjured up from my imagination, or a memory, or an attempt to recall a vivid dream,.

It’s not a matter of, like the traditional image of a modern conjuror, waving a black stick with a white tip over an upturned collapsible top hat (until Penn & Teller do their thing – revealing the ‘secret’). Nor is it the steaming black iron kettle, billowing clouds of vapours from the weird ingredients in the stew/broth, with wizened women circling it while chanting mystical words.

It’s… points noted, a process of sifting and sorting words, phrases, sentences, conversations, scenes, action… Anything which I can put together to build a story filled with realistically lively and memorable characters and moments.

Moments – they’re all I’m ready for yet. Oh, I’ve tried to get a book-length work or two finished. I’ve done the NaNoWriMo thing – many times. Never finished a novel length piece yet.

There’s always “something” wrong, or at least, “not right” as it develops: Things missing, overworked, unrealistic, mismatched, POV failed… What’s missing may be a link between scenes, a character trait, “showing”, a plot point, a character motive… Overworked dialogue, or description, or backstory… Unrealistic dialogue from an established character, or the setting’s “off” for the tale’s period, the setting doesn’t suit the genre… Mismatched tenses, dialogue, character names to characteristics… POV fails as I mind hop, as I change from third person to omniscient, or selecting first person,– the most innocently challenging POV I’ve come up against – then realising he can’t know everything.

Conjuring up writing ideas is the easy part. Writing a work to completion is, for me, the tough part. Which is why I’m glad I have people who willingly critique foe me – no holds barred.

This post is to fulfill my self-imposed challenge, and that of a WordPress Daily Prompt.

ABC for 2018 – C (late)

Hoh, boy, am I late…C-images
But then again,  it’s never too late, and it’s better late than never, right?
If I’d kept to my own schedule, this challenge I’m setting for myself (and anyone who wants to take it up) would have been posted wa-a-a-ay back on January 16th!

Take the letter of the challenge, and write a post based on your own word starting with it, and have it “live” in two weeks’ time.

Comments and pingbacks welcome!

(Shoulda been by January 29! Sorry)