Trisha’s Guide to Business Travel

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise. This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of Rich Voza. Thank you, Rich!

The airplane landing at sunset (or is it sunrise?) made me think of the long days and nights that I spent flying to our corporate office on business. Despite the long work hours, I always tried to make time to visit a gallery or a new restaurant, even if I never got to do any proper sightseeing. I don’t think I could have tolerated the travel without those small personal treats.

But I wondered what it might be like for others. For example, I met Irv when we worked on a special project together. Irv was Controller of one of our subsidiaries. He’d been coming to the west coast for monthly meetings for ten years, but always had dinner in his hotel. He had never seen any other part of the city. For ten years!!!  So…I “forcefully persuaded” him to go out to some wonderful ethnic restaurants and see/hear/taste things he had never seen/heard/tasted before.

Trisha, my protagonist, is much younger and prettier than Irv, but suffers from the same lackluster syndrome.

airplane rich voza

Photo Copyright: Rich Voza


Trisha’s Guide to Business Travel

by Jan Brown

Trisha hated Los Angeles. 

Mostly, she hated business travel. The long flights to Los Angeles were obnoxious, the meetings even more so.

This trip, she resolved to enjoy herself–not just sit in her hotel with piles of work and room service. She found a new favorite restaurant on the beach. The owner looked like a rock star, his long hair held back with a colorful bandana. He was always smiling! Trisha wondered if she would ever be that happy.

One night, he brought dinner to her table and sat down. They talked till closing, and beyond. Way beyond.

Trisha loves Los Angeles.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link below.

For more information or to post your own story, please visit our lovely leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

Love Will Always Win

It’s been a month since I posted my last story. Where is my muse? Nothing creative is emanating from my mouth, my fingers, my brain.

she tries in vain to sing
nothing but darkness emerges
her voice silenced by despair
when will her muse return

Perhaps this poem that I wrote on Twitter awhile back is more appropriate for this sad, unholy week, when we are mourning the loss of 49 souls and wondering what evils lie ahead.

Purple Angel

Poem Copyright: Janet L. Brown, Image Copyright: Kerri

Many have said that it’s no longer enough to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. They say it’s time for action. We can see it in the blocks-long winding line of people who volunteered to give blood in Orlando. And we can hear it in the public discourse about gun control legislation (or lack thereof).

In his  June 12th statement to the press, President Obama once again asked the country to do some “soul-searching” about the ease with which people can get assault weapons in the U.S.

We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.

– President Barack Obama

I wonder if we can finally agree on legislation that would ban or reduce the sale of these weapons, or at least build a database to ensure that access is limited.

A California pastor’s sermon went viral over the weekend, as you already may know, because he blamed the victims for their own deaths.

The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die. I’m kind of upset he didn’t finish the job.

– Pastor Roger Jimenez, Verity Baptist Church

This is the worst kind of hate speech–words that are delivered by a pastor, who we are supposed to be able to trust! Fortunately, no one seems to agree with him. Love is stronger than hate. Love will overcome the devastation wrought by any man. Even if he has an AR-15. Even if he has a pulpit from which to spew hate. Love will always win.

Love, Accompanied

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers, where every story is a surprise.

This week’s photo is courtesy of C. E. Ayr. Thank you, C. E., for a fascinating photo! It prompted me to imagine a concert hall in a vibrant city on the water, where amazing concerts are given every night by the world’s most talented performers. My story explores what happens when two of those performers fall in love.

For more information on Friday Fictioneers, or to post your own story, please visit our lovely leader’s website, author Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Addicted to Purple.

concert hall ceayr

Photo copyright: C.E. Ayr


Love, Accompanied

by Jan Brown

It happened the first time she heard him play. 

That’s how musicians fall in love. They listen. Not to the frailty and false promise of words, but to the heartfelt passion of music that cannot be feigned.

He became her accompanist, a move that boosted both their careers. The sizzling electricity that passed between them was exhilarating! 

They never acted on the sexual tension, not wanting to risk their partnership. But now, in the autumn of her singing career, she could not imagine being apart. She looked at the pair of gold bands in the jeweler’s box, and hoped he would feel the same.


To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:


NaPoWrMo Day 24:  This draws inspiration from the prompt posted by @MadQueenStorm, “if we were symphonies.” 


if we were symphonies

I would play mine

and send it through the air

resonating through the trees

warbling from the throats of birds

echoing through the streets

bouncing off buildings

all the way to your house

when you hear it

would you think of me?


if we were symphonies

I would play yours

to keep me company

in the solitary dark

I would dance with your allegro

drink wine with your adagio

peal laughter to your scherzo

hug you to the rondo

would it resonate loudly

or fade into the space between us?



NaPoWriMo 21: So…this is a day late! It was inspired by prompts posted on Twitter by @FieryVerse and @WrittenRiver. The prompts were “lonely orchid” and “how strange.” I originally tweeted a haiku; this is an expansion of the story.



lonely orchid

on her night stand

blooms bowed in resignation

all that’s left

of their weekend tryst



her emotions swept under

a weak facade

how strange the weight of reality

that crushes her

infuses the air 



she breathes in hard

against the heaviness

and opens her eyes

to another impossible Monday



Cupid Failed


Romantic love is a mental illness.

–          Fran Liebowitz


Miley Cyrus twerks to express her ecstasy

or more likely to seek attention

She grinds on Robin Thicke to simulate the sexual abandon

that she would like to experience in real life

So would I

Am I less loved because I am too fat?

Too ugly?

Too poor?

Yes, yes and yes.

Is Kim Kardashian more loved because she is so shapely?

So attractive?

So rich?

Yes, yes, and oh, who cares, she is only loved by a raving lunatic.

Cupid, you have been derelict in your duty

Your arrow has not hit the mark

Have you not been keeping up with your lessons

at the shooting range? WTF???

It’s so easy to get laid, but what’s the point?

Where’s the love in that?

When will “Love, Actually” be a film of our own lives?

When will I walk into that Wisconsin dive bar

and fall, happy drunk, for the first British guy there?

Why is that even an option?

In this age,

At this age,

what is the question: Is it love vs. sex?

Or life vs. death?

Is it Viagra that we need?

Or Xanax?

Or maybe some as-yet-to-be invented pill

that keeps us from forgetting where we put our keys

or where we put our Viagra?

When I dream

I no longer see the vivid love-making of youth

I see an explosion of beauty

or an explosion of fear

that has nothing to do with the physical

that has only to do with the spiritual

Cupid is asleep

and I don’t mind

I only hope the arrow that strikes me now

will strike quickly

and will show me all the beauty

that I missed

while pursuing the shallow end

of life


Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem containing a line that we are afraid to write. I decided to write a New York School poem, which it turns out contains a number of lines that I have been afraid to write. I hope that some of it resonates with you.






Twelve Months

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is inspired by T.S. Eliot’s words from Wasteland: “April is the cruelest month.” We are asked to write about the month we hate the most!

But as I go through the months, particularly as they transpired in my life last year, I find that the most challenging months also have some endearing qualities. Not being able to pick a least favorite, or even a most favorite, I decided to write about all of them.


creamy white snow smothers
my colorful Christmas comforts

savoring winter solitude
but am I anyone’s Valentine?

spring begins amidst the snow
but it’s hard to tell

nature’s nascent growth
means wicked allergies

school ends and children play
with raucous abandon

Summer Solstice
declares victory

such irony, dammit
homebound on Independence Day

the happiest, sunniest month
spews the most miserable allergies

family birthdays
time to be thankful

precious great-niece arrives
God’s most amazing gift

friends remind me
I am not alone

God blessed us with a Savior
time to celebrate His love


Welcome to National Poetry Writing Month, Day 2! Today we are challenged to “write” a family portrait, in any form of poetry. I chose to write several senryu and tell a story with words and pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

Mother Daddy Rita and Me

cotton and chiffon
church suits
say cheese

Rita and Rob Red Sweaters

look ahead
three decades
joy that God has wrought

Jan Rob HB at wedding

a strong, gentle man
a smart, beautiful bride
a happy aunt!

Rob HB Avery at the beach

tiny blessing
huge delight
love beyond words

3 generations

three generations
love, loving, loved
a world full of joy

Lunar Cycle

April is National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo). I will be participating by writing 30 poems in 30 days. Daily prompts are provided by, a website run by poet and professor Maureen Thorson. Many thanks, Maureen, for all your hard work!

Today’s challenge is to write a lune, a poetry form originally invented by Robert Kelly, an American poet and currently the poet laureate of Duchess County, New York. Its only requirement is the number of syllables in each three line stanza: 5/3/5. 

Because of the longer first and third lines, the right edge of the stanza sometimes has the shape of a crescent moon. Thus, Kelly called the form “lune.” To honor the name, this lune is about the moon…and things that take place beneath it.


Lunar Cycle

by Jan Brown

as we pierce the night
the moon weeps
and we intertwine

our raucous loving
slices through
the cool evening air

our spent energy, like
incense smoke,
permeates the night

soft raindrops patter
the moon smiles
as blissful we sleep