Cup o’ Sunshine

A few weeks ago, this image was posted as a prompt for one of the contests within my writing group. Although I am not participating in the contest, the picture intrigued me and I wanted to write a story to go with it. It took me a few weeks, but I finally figured out my story.

So here’s my version of “Cup o’ Sunshine”. What is your story?

sunshine

Every cup of tea, every reading she did was a different story, a different look at a life lived. She never knew what would appear in the cup when she poured the hot water. Even though she used the same leaves every time, she wouldn’t get the same result. Each customer, each person, deserved a different response. So she boiled the water over the open flame, whispering the prayers to her Goddess, before carefully pouring it into the simple white cup.

The petitioner was instructed to stir the water then, just three times, making sure to disturb all the tea leaves. Then the person tipped the cup towards her as they wrapped their hands around it and she peered inside.

This time she was startled to see a light emitting from the cup even before the young girl tipped it towards her. As the cup tilted her way, the practitioner could see clouds wafting from the brim. She had assumed the fluffy, white trails wreathing the edge of the cup were steam or froth added when the tea was stirred, but now she could see it was actual clouds. Clouds and mist that surrounded a small sun settled in the center of the cup.

“What does it mean?” the girl asked in a tentative voice as she also peered into the cup.

The practitioner breathed a sigh of relief now that she’d seen into the cup. She hadn’t wanted to give this child bad news, but this could be nothing but good. “You are a cheerful person,” she said, continuing to peer into the cup as she spoke. “Happy and content. You will have a peaceful and long life.”

The girl smiled in response, her demeanor showing that the woman had been correct. “Thank you, Grandmother,” she answered, bouncing to her feet. She practically skipped out of the shop.

The old woman shuffled over to the sink and poured the cup of sunshine down the drain; setting the cup on the countertop to dry until her next customer.

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Music of Our Lives

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about music and writing (THE MUSIC OF WRITING which was essentially the idea of using music as a soundtrack to a novel or short story. Or using it to listen to while writing (I pointed out that I get distracted while writing so I tend not to listen to it.)

In that post, I mentioned using a song as a basis for a story and brought up one of my own stories (Drunken Scotsman) which is one of two stories I’ve written that is based on a song. (Yes, I do have a point to this… I’m not just rambling today.)

Writers, novelists, authors, whatever you want to call yourselves, get their story ideas from the world around us. (Wow, okay that was just bad grammar… sorry.) The point being that music is a great place to get ideas and use as a jumping off point.

Which brings me to my actual point, on my wonderful, fabulous writing site, there is now a contest, which is based on MUSIC! Specifically CDs. (I’m adding a link to it here, but unfortunately you must be a registered user of the site to actually access it) Musicology Antholgy takes a CD of the author’s choice and that author then creates short stories (no more than 1500 words) around the songs and lyrics in the CD. Authors have almost two months to work on this and depending on the CD chosen that would average about 20,000 words.

The idea behind this, to use the CD as a jumping off point for the story (or stories in this case), is fantastic. Music is such a basis in many lives, causing memories when we hear a certain song or bringing that urge to break into dance moves or actual singing that having a story that goes along with a song can only bring that music more to life.

So join the site and check out the contest. I promise you won’t be disappointed!