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Paul Mansfield
lover, photographer, revolutionary, writer, bon vivant, polymath, wizard- a man for all seasons - except winter. Magic springs from the telling of tales.

Weekly Prompt

Make it up as you go along

An open dictionary on top of a map of England
An open dictionary on top of a map of England
Photo by Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

Welcome to the fifth and final weekly challenge for July, where the theme is Expand Your Vocabulary.

Last week, we looked at words starting with lonely consonants, and before that words created by other authors, from other languages, and words from Olde English.

German has given us wonderfully expressive words to describe what English fails miserably to do. We have “Schadenfreude”, “Torschlusspanik”, “Backpfeifengesicht”, “Fremdschämen”, and “Handschuhschneeballwerfer”, to name but a few.

This week, we’re going to become our own dictionary, and mashup languages to create the word that we need. …

Don’t miss out.

Since July is a magical month, with 5 Fridays, we will publish our fifth prompt of the month this Friday at noon.

This will be the 5th…

An official Microcosm image created by Zane Dickens

I’m sure that you’ll be seeing story after story after story ad nauseam about The Medium Writers Challenge in the upcoming days and weeks, but I’m here to jump the gun.

The prime points of the contest seem to be:

  • 50,000 USD grand prize
  • 10,000 USD prize per theme
  • 100 prizes of 100 USD (thanks to Smillew Rahcuef for reading the rules better than I did)
  • 500 word minimum
  • write an essay with the supplied themes
    * reentry
    * death
    * work
    * space
  • tag them appropriately
    * MWC reentry
    * MWC death
    * MWC work
    * MWC space
  • publish…


Broken glass, broken dreams

Photo by Kous9 on Unsplash

Being in your bare feet is no fun when you drop a whiskey bottle on the floor. I tiptoe gingerly around the broken bottle, as I have no desire to have a tetanus shot. Needles freak me out. Maybe that’s why I’m a drunk, and not a junkie. I guess that’s the silver lining from my multitude of issues. Being a drunk, not a junkie. Yeah! Go team!

At least I killed that soldier. Drained her dry. As empty as my soul. …

Peace comes from the top

Image public domain, modified from original.

President Harris, a former Space Marine and the first person with confirmed kills in “The War”, is still Space Marine fit, and Space Marine strong, long after her active duty ended. Standing 6'2" in her early forties, her imposing physicality and military demeanor make her the obvious leader in a room of gray, balding, paunchy bureaucrats, all in at least their fifties.

“They offer peace,” Senior Advisor Pent, one of the balding, pudgy bureaucrats, states.

“Why would they? They’ve kicked our asses clear across two galaxies for twenty years. Peace? Why stop now? And at what price? Get me answers…


Your Favorite Food(s) in “five words”

A cup of coffee
A cup of coffee
A Cup of Joe, © Paul Mansfield on FLICKR

I took the photo for this article on the kitchen island/bedroom wall for my open concept 200 square foot Parkdale bachelor apartment. I loved that apartment, despite its minuscule size (and minuscule rent — $550/month), but life has dealt me some blows that require me to live elsewhere. You grieve the loss, but you move on. I only used the overhead fluorescent light for illumination, so there are shadows I hate, but I love the picture, anyway. I love it almost as much as I loved that cup of coffee. …


The town meeting

A rustic village
A rustic village
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
The Ignominy Saga
Chapter 1: Kidnapped!
Chapter 2: Preparing for War
Chapter 3: Earning Their Respect (to come)

Going to Town

Harr’ug crawls out of the rotting log, “I must get to the town meeting. Tell them about poor Muglug. Avenge his taking!”

He looks down to where he last saw his dear old friend and spies Muglug’s still smoldering pipe. He reaches down and grabs the smoking pipe. “I must return this to him when we rescue him.”

With a deft pinch of his thumb and forefinger, he douses the smoke and slips the pipe into his bag. “I must hurry, off…

Weekly Prompt

And the rest of the alphabet

Scrabble tiles
Scrabble tiles
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Welcome to the fourth weekly challenge for July, where the theme is Expand Your Vocabulary.

Last week, we looked at words created by other authors, and before that words from other languages, and words from Olde English.

This week, we’re going to look to the alphabet to be our inspiration.

There are letters that get more love than others. It isn’t fair, so let’s change it.

Challenge Requirements

Your story must:

  1. Be exactly 50 words long, excluding the title, subtitle, and any post-story bio/links. (We use Medium’s own word count feature.)
  2. Be fictional, even if it includes factual information or concerns.

Don’t miss out.

Our fourth prompt of the month will be published this Friday at noon. The example story, since it is only fifty words long, will be embedded in…

Paul Mansfield

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