Emotional Media Coordinator

(Fictional piece and commentary)

The Setting: An executive office of an International News (muti-media) Channel! Two executives having a private conversation.

“What do you think?”

“I think it’s brilliant. Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?”

“You know how ideas are, they’re just suddenly there!”

“So, have you found the person to fill this new position yet?”

“No, I have a few excellent prospects though. But I need to be extremely careful in the selection of this person. He or she will have a lot of control!”

“Well, I can understand that. You’ve settled on the name “Emotional Media Coordinator” then?”

“Yes, has a nice sound to it, don’t you think? This person will single-handedly train the first group of EMC’s Emotional Media Coordinators, whose sole task will be to follow our daily ratings and inform our media centers when they need to change the emotional mix of news being presented.

When the ratings are up they’ll send the message to include some “upbeat and fun” happenings in the news, or perhaps some “new goings on in the science/art etc world. When the ratings begin to drop the Coordinators will send the message to play up the ‘negative news’ . You know, political happenings, disasters, scary things happening, ha, ha, lots of that out there! In the final analysis we will have our thumb on the emotional pulse of our viewers manipulatung their feelings so they’ll want to ‘stay tuned’, as it were!”

“I know we’ve already been doing that, generally speaking, but having a specific group to review, analyse and determine what we broadcast, and when, based on the numbers will really be a boost to our ratings.”

“Yes I’m sure it will. It’ll allow our “people” to “know” the type of content to show as well as how to emotionally present it to the public! This is just excellent.” The future is looking better and better – at least from my view of things – ha, ha, ha, get it … view of things … ha, ha, ha!”


This was a piece of fiction. Anyone surmising that this might actually be going on is … well happily entitled to their own opinions! They are your own opinions aren’t they? Well of course they are, Right? And just so you know I’m not biased, News reporters are people too!

~ Thanks for dropping by,



The Written Word!




I – the written word

To many I am transient,

evanescent vapor.

In the moment, well thought of,

but just as quickly put aside.

my creative purpose, too frequently, surpassed,

seemingly for a better one.

And I in the midst of presentation

of poignant knowledge,

for your acquisition and enlightenment,

am left behind.

My sole passion to create your passion,

shaded subtleties and secrets

I would share for those who dare to read and learn.

Not just partake as in a feast,

feeding temporary hunger and then moving on.

Do I illuminate most vividly or is your viewing superficial?

My value and meaning dependent entirely on you.

And I – the written word – await the outcome!

~ Penny L Howe, 2013


Thank you, have a great day!

~ Penny


The Blacksmith’s Bell – Līgo Haībun Challenge

There are two topics to chose from this week in the  Līgo Haībun Challenge, Many thanks to hostess Nightlake for presenting this opportunity for writers to improve their writing skills. For more information click on the link. At the close of each challenge several of the entrees are chosen to receive “special mention”. A pleasant added goal to strive for. To all who enter the challenge, I wish you good writing. The topics are:



“Strike while the iron is hot” – Chaucer




My offering: The Blacksmith’s Bell

The sound reverberated as his hammer struck metal again, and again, and yet again. His strokes, a rhythm of harmony in motion, striking precise spots in smoothing repetition. This was a critical stage; the shaping and molding of white hot metal. The fires from the forge flamed high, giving off much needed heat.

It was an honor to be chosen. He would not fail. No casting for this bell. It was being crafted from his hands to last forever and would ring with clarity, a pure rich song of vibration never heard before. He would insure this.

The slow uniform succession of strokes tolled as his bell would toll. His purpose, his design, his creation. Sweat pored freely down greatly reddened face and body as the fires flamed his desire to create. A transmuted configuration produced by him and only him. A work of art – the blacksmith’s bell.

pure essence of need

the crafting of creation

man’s driven desire


Thank you,



Alastairs Photo Fiction: The Writer’s Box of Inspiration

This weeks prompt for Alastair’s Photo Fiction presents many opportunities for interpretation and variety in the pursuit of crafting creative words. If you enjoy writing, do give Alastair’s writing challenge a try. Just click on the link to participate. With his photo prompt for this week, it seemed a natural thing to write about writers.

We are an interesting group of people aren’t we? The creative desire, no it’s stronger than that, the “need” to express ourselves through the use of the written word. But where does that muse come from anyway?



Photo by Alastair Forbes © copyright 2013


The box had arrived by mail from the law firm of Charles’ deceased great great grandfather. A hugely successful writer, his grandfather was known to have had an amazing gift with the written word. The accompanying letter said the box was to be passed on to the next true writer in the family.

“Ha,” Charles laughed. “Yeah, right”. He held the box in his hands. It seemed to vibrate. Well he did have quite a vivid imagination. Too bad his imagination wasn’t helping with his story. He laid his manuscript in the box and closed the lid. Perhaps he’d try again in a few days.

Meanwhile in another dimension and time,

“Look, look, more sheets with symbols have arrived in the box today, Gatto,” his assistant cried out.

Gatto peered into the sacred box of knowledge, located in the place of honor within the temple for longer than anyone knew. His job to care for, if not understand its purpose.

He pulled the sheets of paper out of the box and stared at the strange symbols that lay upon them. He knew there must be much meaning here.

He shook his head as to the mysteries of life. Time to deliver this magic to the elders. They would be very excited. It had been a long time since they had communicated with the Gods.

 ~ * ~

Yes, I did exceed 150 words. But the story line was so much fun to explore, I just couldn’t help myself here. Hoping you still enjoyed a slightly longer flash fiction! And thank you Alastair for providing such an excellent photo to work with this week. Okay so time to put my latest offerings into my own box of inspiration (my pc connecting me to other amazing bloggers)!

Have a great day today!

~ Penny


Pearls of Wisdom ~

There are so many quotes on wisdom, and although the words vary, the themes tend to stay the same. Here then are encapsulated versions of thousands of quotes on wisdom – their core meanings and essence!


pearls of wisdom


Wise people continue to doubt themselves (and that’s part of what makes them wise).


Knowledge is one thing, wisdom quite another.


Wisdom happens more from mistakes and failures than success.


Wisdom is a function of time and experience.


Wise people are humble. There is no such thing as someone
who is both arrogant and wise.


Wisdom and it’s quest breed kindness and compassion.


Wisdom is mutually incompatible to fear. In fact
it’s what enables a person to overcome fear.


Wisdom is positively related to happiness.


And there you have it! A summation of “quoted words of wisdom” that “the many” have said in their own unique way over these many years, Hope you enjoyed!

~ Penny


Muse, Muse thy destiny is calling … where for art thou?


Oh what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to … write something that is publishable!

This is me after many hours of slaving over a hot personal computer, for days without end – okay a slight exaggeration, but my PC is telling me to give it a rest, so warm to the touch is he (yes my pc is a he, okay?) My eyes look a little glazed over, don’t you think!

And I, lost amidst the variable vowels and controversial consonants tempting to temper my volume of voluminous words into a most practical piece of literature (see … you can tell I’ve been writing a smidgen too much here!)

So I ponder on the whole “writing experience” Why do we write? Why do we blog, I mean really? Right now as it turns out creatively writing “posts” a few hundred words on different subjects is mind diverting and gives me the needed break from the book I’m working madly to complete (passed the deadlines already, twice!) Why you ask do I not just devote all my writing towards the book? Well simply because …

… my muse won’t let me. Won’t cooperate at all, going hither and thither, even yon … just won’t settle anywhere that I want it to. Actually I’m close to done, the tightening up on key elements is what’s straining my muse. To include or not to include seems to be the question.

And so it goes. Hopefully will finish up directly and off will go the requested submission for (shuddering here, but still anticipatious – yes I know that’s not a real word) review and editing!

Thanks for being there you guys, I really appreciate your support,

~ Penny


Friday Fictioneers – Twin Monuments

Have fun, take the writing challenge this week. Flash Fiction (100 words or less from a photo prompt). Rochelle will guide your way.

Friday Fictioneers

Just click on the link above.

Photo prompt this week by Sarah Ann Hall, copyright 2013





“Oh, I like the single edifice you’ve added, darling!”

He looked at Amy, the spitting image of Debra.

The twin Amy had secretly helped him bury days before.

She smiled at him, squeezing his hand, “a perfect monument to a miscalculation.”

“What do you mean Amy?”

“John, you two were so transparent. I switched the poisoned glass. Its Amy buried down there, my love. I keep what’s mine, and now … there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Her laughter burning his soul, he stared at Debra in horror while mentally making arrangements for a second edifice to be delivered.


(100 words – yes I actually can do it!)


Thanks for stopping by, have a great day and better tomorrow!

~ Penny


On a lighter note for Tuesday …

Sneak preview – Children of the Orbs Series: 5 years ago floating “Orbs” the size of a grapefruit had shown up everywhere on the planet Earth, one per person. For years humanity struggled to understand the purpose of the glowing globes, hovering nearby. Orbs that followed them everywhere. Orbs that could not be disposed of. Orbs that bonded with some and rejected others.


Wars were fought as men and women struggled to comprehend what was inconceivable. Children understood. They were the future of the Universe. The Orbs communicated their need. They had come to show human children the way. The future of the Universe depended on the Children of the Orbs.

… Suddenly awake, sixteen year old Paige kept her eyes closed, her basic survival training lessons taking over.

First … listen. Nothing. Smell the air. Nothing. What, then? Motion? Yes, the entire “floating house” was swaying slightly.

She opened her eyes just enough to see. Her Orb floating slightly above her, softly glowing a crimson color – a danger warning.

Moonlight filled the small room she had been sleeping in. The room, one of a grouping of others in the single story house, currently moored one hundred meters up in the air, over a medium size lake.

The room seemed empty except for herself and Dal, still asleep in the bed next to hers.

Paige’s hand slide to the edge of the bed and down the side of the air inflated mattress. Her fingers made contact with the weapon she had learned to depend on. The always ready gun – it wasn’t really a gun as it didn’t fire bullets and it couldn’t seriously injure anyone, but it could freeze them in their tracks; stopping any physical movement from a few seconds to a few hours depending on the setting.

This would give Paige enough time, with the Orb’s assistance to come up with a solution to the situation. Dal (Dalgor) wasn’t trained yet, he wouldn’t be of much value to her. She’d come to rescue him from this planet, his life was in danger. Now, both their lives were in danger.

Again, the floating house moved, a small movement but she was aware. Someone was climbing up one of the mooring cables. In one fluid movement, Paige was out of bed, crouched on the floor in a position ready to fight if necessary…

© Copyright 2013 by Penny L Howe
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright conventions


Stay tuned, more sneak previews coming up soon!

~ Penny

Penny L Howe


Alastairs Photo Fiction: The silver lining of life

There are days when heavy overcast clouds become so depressing, a blue sky can be difficult to imagine, the want of  comforting sun so envelops our need. Yet within the those thick clouds a ray of sun can break through, the edges glowing with hues of gold and a silvery cast.

And in that moment, you take heart that perhaps the clouds will soon disperse bringing a new and bright shiny day! I find that some days Nature simulates human life.

Alastair’s photo prompt for this week illustrates the point well! My offering for Alastairs Photo Fiction Challenge:


The silver lining of life


He stood transfixed by the sight of the clouds, as grey and dark as his heart. He was poised on the edge of emptiness, Searching for a way to ease the unrelenting pain in his soul, something, anything to give him a reason to go on. His wife had died so suddenly and he was lost, hopelessly lost without her.

Why, why should he go on? Nothing mattered anymore! No reason without her. Abruptly, dropping to his knees he let his head fall into his hands, sobbing in sorrow. Ironic how the weather was matching his mood. Tears seared his face as he waited for the rain to fall – companionable compliance this gloomy day.

Instead … there was a break in the clouds, a ray of sun touched his face at the same time he felt a small hand brush away the tears from his eyes.

Although the sun’s warming ray couldn’t reach his heart, the soft sweet voice could, “Don’t cry daddy,” she said. Her tiny arms encircling him as best she could, “I’m still here, you still have me to love.”


“Even on the darkest day there is always a reason to keep going,
we must open our hearts so we can see the silver lining when the sun begins to shine through.” 


Thanks for stopping by, for more information and to be a part of Alastair’s Photo Fiction writing challenge, click on the link above.

~ Penny


Friday Fictioneers – A gathering of writers

It looks like Spring is finally making it’s way everywhere, oh happy day. Speaking of which, time for another happy day of Friday Fictioneers. To be specific, it’s flash fiction time where writers have a ‘once a week’ opportunity to sharpen their writing skills using 100 words or less. The theme is based on a photo prompt. Thanks as always to gracious hostess, Rochelle. For more information and to join in the fun just click on the link.

This week’s photo courtesy of Ted Strutz:



Icon Grill, copyright Ted Strutz, 2013


The Barmaid leaned against her bar sighing. The pub, almost empty, revealed a quiet serenity in the moment. The calm before the storm. Another Friday night. She sighed again, her face a mask of strain just thinking about tonight; the gathering of writers. And not just any writers, those Friday Fictioneer writers! Oh lordy!

The good news, it’d be busy, always was. Time would pass by quickly, although now that she thought about it, time seemed suspended on these evenings – weird that!

But she did enjoy the feelings of fun and creativity emanating from the writers, free flowing like an open beer tap.

It was just … when they spoke of editing … those opinionated opinions that each opined.

“Oh! That was a good one”, she thought. Maybe she’d join the group tonight! That’s the thing! Drink with the drinkers, be at one with all. On a much more cheerful note she began wiping down the counter thinking on the story she’d have ready to share!


Yes – I know, more than 100 words, but I was having too much fun to stop! Besides its a good promo (apart from the word count) for the Friday Fictioneers – don’cha think? 🙂

Thanks for the visit, hope you enjoyed yourself,

~ Penny

penny l howe