Another Harebrained Scheme – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Flash Fiction for for Aspiring Writers is a writing challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. It asks us to write a piece of fiction from the photo prompt provided in around 100-150 words – give or take 25 words. It encourages us to comment, constructively, on other entries, so supporting each other’s writing. If you’d like to join in with this challenge, follow the above link to see what to do. The challenge runs from Tuesday to Tuesday every week.

It’s a while since I was on my blog, let alone participate in a flash fiction challenge, but  I thought I’d  have a rest from my own writing today.

This is the prompt, kindly provided by Priceless Joy. Image courtesy of Pixabay . . .


. . . and this is my story:

Another Harebrained Scheme

‘Just what do you intend to do with this old thing?’

Bert’s head surfaced from beneath the bonnet of the old pickup and he turned indignant eyes on his wife. After forty years he’d hoped she’d understand his love of old cars.

‘Well,’ he said, wiping oily hands on a piece of rag, ‘you know Ted’s old barn along Rookery Lane?’ Connie nodded. ‘I bought it with the money I made from selling our old tractor. Ted wasn’t asking much . . . been thinking of pulling it down anyway. And Jim down in Aldford let me have the pickup cheap.’

Connie gestured to the many farm buildings. ‘Haven’t we got enough barns here?’

‘Aye, reckon we have. But this one’s right close to town, where folks’ll have no bother finding it.’

‘What folks?’

‘Folks who like museums, love. I’m opening a museum for old automobiles.’

Connie rolled her eyes. ‘Another of your harebrained schemes! Who’s going to pay for more exhibits?’

Bert shrugged. ‘I’ll let you know when I’ve had another think.’


Word Count: 175

If you’d like to read other entries, or add a story yourself, click on the little blue frog:

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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85 Responses to Another Harebrained Scheme – Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

  1. Lina says:

    Really cool read! Loved the read…Filled with sarcasm and humour, more of my type of read…lovely post!!!!

  2. Lina says:

    Btw it’s been a long time since I have seen a post from you! Really busy is it? Hope everything is fine!

    • milliethom says:

      Yes, I’m well, thanks Lina, but I haven’t been on my blog for three weeks. I’m trying to concentrate on my third book now and determined to get it finished later this year. It’s a complex story so I need to avoid other distractions. I’m putting another short post up later, too, just to say that Book 1 will be free on Amazon tomorrow (Thursday). 🙂

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    Great characters – you have me rooting for Bert to be able to pursue his hobby, and paint a clear picture of the unhappy wife who resents her husband spending his time and their money on something else.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi, Joy. Thank you for liking Bert. 🙂 It’s been a while since I wrote a post, but decided I’d give my book a rest today and write something completely different. I’m really missing flash fiction. The prompts are always thought provoking. Hope your editing’s going well. Lou’s still doing hers. 🙂

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Thanks for asking — my book is unfortunately just getting longer and longer, which is the wrong direction altogether! I keep adding important (I think) things, but it means even more cutting will be necessary down the line. I hope all this time you’re spending on your book is paying off! 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        I know how you feel! My first book, Shadow of the Raven, was like that. I ended up bringing it to an end a lot sooner than I’d fisrt imagined, and used the 150 pages I’d lopped off as the beginning of Book 2. But I had a lot of changes to make with both the end of Book 1 and beginning of Book 2, in order to make it work. My original Book 1 was a marathon! You’ll get there in the end, Joy. It just takes tome – and patience.
        My book is coming on quite well now. I’m determined to get it onto Amazon later this year, all polished and edited etc. Like you, I’ve just got to get on with it. 🙂

      • Joy Pixley says:

        I’m determined to finish this story in one book and no more, but I’m surprised at how many people suggest “just” turning it into a trilogy if it’s running long. As though that would be *easier*! I’m sure you’d agree that it’s not. Good luck to both of us on our revisions!

      • milliethom says:

        A trilogy is not easy at all, Joy, and i’ve regretted many times writing one as a first-time writer. I’m feeling so pressured right now to finish my book, simply because people are waiting for it. If I was simply writing another book – nothing to do with the other two – I wouldn’t feel the same pressure. My advice would be to keep to a one-off, first time round. You know best what you want your book to be, so stick to your guns. All will come clear as you carry on with your edits. I have a whole file of ‘deleted sections’ on my laptop – almost a book’s worth! They might come in handy, one day. Lol. I’m not sure what bfor, though.

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Just what I thought you’d say. Okay, back to work writing! 🙂

  4. Hilarious!
    So nice seeing you write again!

  5. Hahaha! It may seem like a harebrained scheme now but I have a feeling it might just be quite successful! I would love to go to a museum of old cars. 🙂 Wonderful story, Millie, as always! So happy you were able to participate in the challenge this week. I have missed you!

    • milliethom says:

      Hello again, PJ. It’s really good to be writing a piece of flash again. I really miss it! As for motor museums, there are a few I’d like to go to, so perhaps I will do, later this year. Who knows?
      Hope you are keeping well. I’m missing so many blogging friends while I write my book. Thank you for the kind words about my story. 🙂

      • I didn’t realize you were busy writing a book. That’s wonderful! I’m glad you took a break from it to participate in the challenge. I really enjoyed your story! It is great! It’s so good to “see” you on the blogs again. 🙂

      • milliethom says:

        I’m only having an odd day off my writing, unfortunately, PJ. The book I’m writing is the third one in my trilogy and I just want to get it done now. The only way I can do it is by not spending so much time on my blog. I’m looking forward to becoming a ‘regular’ blogger again later this year.

      • I certainly can understand you wanting to finish your book. I think it is wonderful! To think it is the last one in your trilogy! I look forward to when you have finished and can come back to the blogs. 🙂

  6. thatssojacob says:

    Millie! Come over to my blog when you can and play the Terrible Hallmark Valentine’s Day Movie generator game and Overly Dramatic Memoir game.

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Jacob. Thanks for visiting my post. It’s the first one I’ve written for a few weeks. I’m having a blogging break so I can get on with my book. Today, I just felt like a bit of a change. I’ll try to take a look at the game later on.

  7. I like this harebrained scheme. 🙂

  8. leggypeggy says:

    Everyone needs a harebrained scheme to keep them occupied. Glad to see you popping in and good luck on the book manuscript. I’d wondered where you were.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks Peggy. I’ve been ‘off’ my blog for over three weeks now, and just popped on my blog today for a break from writing my book. I’ll try to get over to read some posts before I get back to the grind. Thanks for reading my harebrained story! 🙂

  9. Enjoyed reading this! I know you are busy with your third book, but it was great seeing a post from you, Millie:)

  10. Fun, I love this story Millie! Hope your writing is going well!

  11. Millie! It is so nice to see you pop up in my reader!!! I hope your book is going well. I really enjoyed this piece here… I can absolutely here this old married couple going back and forth about the pick up, barn, and plans for a museum. She’s probably wishing Bert had never retired!

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for the nice words about being on my blog again, and for liking my story. My husband likes tinkering with all things mechanical but thankfully, hasn’t yet come up with ideas about opening any museums! We just visit lots of them. 🙂
      I’ve missed my blog and reading people’s posts, but my absence won’t be for ever! Thank you for visiting, Jean. It’s nice to ‘see’ you again!

  12. Ellespeth says:

    This one has me grinning, Millie 🙂 Great dialogue, as usual, and such a realistic scene between a married couple.
    I’m so glad to read that you’re busy on your novel! But… a break from the routine might refresh your spirits.

  13. draliman says:

    The long-suffering wife! I think inside she likes seeing hubbie enjoy his hobby and maybe they’ll make some money out of their museum 🙂

  14. Antonia says:

    Great read! Bert reminds me of my dad 🙂

  15. Susan Langer says:

    Enjoyed your story about the hairbrained scheme…ha-ha. I’ve missed seeing your flash. 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Susan. I’ve missed writing flash fiction, too. I haven’t written any blog posts al all for the last few weeks. I’m having a blogging break, so I can get on with my book. I really miss my blog, though, so I’m having a couple of days back on it. I enjoyed writing something different! 🙂

  16. nowathome says:

    I share my love for old cars with him!! Hope he finds a plan!

  17. mandibelle16 says:

    A fun new scheme. I hope it works out for him. But maybe he needs to think it through a bit more too. Great story.

  18. Millie, I love this flash fiction idea, although I’ve never participated. You do it well! Also, good advice on not starting a series (trilogy). It does tend to put pressure on you. I’m writing my mystery with the idea it might turn out to be a series, but I’m not committing to anything. I just want to get the first one done. Best of luck with your new book. Clare

    • milliethom says:

      At least with a series, each book stands on its own and can even be read out of sequence. With a trilogy, the books (and storyline) follow on from each other. I have to write them so they do stand alone, but the second and third books are much richer/complete if the reader knows what happens previously. So I do feel pressured into getting the third one done asap! I’d planned to have it done by Christmas, so I’m running very late.
      As for flash fiction, I love doing it, and will participate again more regularly once my book is done. I’m sure you’d be great at it – but it is time consuming.

      • Millie, I decided early on to just concentrate on blogging, writing and marketing A Berkshire Tale. With everything else around here, that’s all I can do and still stay sane.

      • milliethom says:

        You’re very wise. I find it hard just keeping up with blogging while I write. People say Twitter is a good platform for an author, so I’ll see how it goes for a while.

      • Millie, I’ve had little luck with Twitter and still haven’t really figured it out. I follow some followers from blogs and I retweet, but I don’t think it’s made a lot of difference. Lots of other stuff gets in and it’s really a bother to have to read through it all to find something of interest. I have lists, but seldom use them. Twitter followers are added on to the blog-follower count, I think, but I haven’t seen anybody there interested in my posts. Same with Facebook. I have to admit, I haven’t really tried to increase my following and the people who have come on to my blog have been due to other bloggers. And I really like conversations with the people I’ve come to know well. I’m afraid if I have too many followers, I could lose that due to time constraints. And you can empathize with that!

  19. Like another commenter I thought immediately of the long suffering wife of a classic car fanatic! You really have a talent for writing this quick, engaging short stories.Well done, Millie.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Amanda. The prompt gave me something I could do quickly for a ‘return’ post. It’s amazing how you get out of the blogging habit – even after only three weeks. I really enjoy writing FF and I imagine you’d be very good at it, too – if you had the time. I know you already have a full quota of weekly posts.

      • No, I don’t think I could stick to the rigid word limit! And I think I am better at non-fiction! The good ideas for fiction don’t seem to come to me! But thank you for saying so! May your work on your book be productive. ( I loved the one I read so can’t wait to read another)

      • milliethom says:

        I know what you mean about the genre you feel most comfortable with. You just need to focus on what you could write, Amanda. I’m sure you could do some kind of travel book, for a start. You have been to so many places and I bet you have lots of photos you could use to illustrate.
        Thank you for reading my book – and even more for liking it! I imagine it was Book 1 (Shadow of the Raven)? I’m writing Book 3 at the moment and have several people, who’ve read both books so far, waiting for it. So I desperately need to get on with it! I really wish I hadn’t started with trilogy, but it’s too late to moan now.

      • I don’t know Millie, I have so many other projects on the go and I am busy at work. I also feel that by the time I give up work, my brain won’t be able to cope with writing so well. I look back at things I wrote when younger and think… I could never do that now! I have now added fabric design to my list of projects, and am quite excited to have sold quite a few designs already! Thanks for your encouragement, and I do hope to read the second book soon. But I will have to review the first one before that.

      • milliethom says:

        Yes, I realise that art is your main thing, Amanda, and I wish you lots of luck with the fabric design. Thank you again for reading ‘Shadow’ – and even more so for intending to review it. Reviews really are the icing on the cake for all authors. 🙂

      • The pleasure is mine, Millie!

      • milliethom says:

        I can only say, ‘thank you’ again. 🙂

  20. Not a very happy pair are they?
    Missed seeing you around here, but I know it’s a much needed break.
    Be safe. xx

    • milliethom says:

      You’re right. I think the lady in my story was a bit of an old grouch! I think the poor man needs a rest from her moaning. 🙂 As for my break from blogging, I’ve been intending to have one for months. It’s the only way I can do my own writing. I just get carried away on my blog, and spend hours on it! I have another 3 Quotess Challenge to do now, so I’ll do that and disappear again for a while. Believe me, I do miss my blog, and talking to lovely people liike you. I’ll be having a think about what to write in that ‘Families’ post, too. I know which aspects you’d like me to focus on. You take care, too.

  21. Ha ha! I sympathise with Bert, as I’d love to open my own knitting needle museum.

  22. milliethom says:

    Now that’s a good idea. But I think you’d have to have a few other hings beside the needles to constitute a museum. You could include knitting patterns, and even knitting machines – or even take it further back in the production line abd have spinning wheels and weaving looms. Oh, the possibilities are endless. Then your husband would probably be more than exasperated. 🙂

  23. inesephoto says:

    We have so many pubs around the town – I wouldn’t mind a museum 😉
    Thank you for this hilarious story!

  24. Nirodaigh says:

    So nicely written, I could instantly imagine the scene, the characters, the mood, the history between them. Thanks a lot!

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