Wednesday 1 April 2020

#WEP/IWSG April Challenge for 2020 - ANTIQUE VASE "Never lose Hope."

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite the darkness." Desmond Tutu

   Hello all! Yolanda here, your host for the month of April!

The coronavirus has touched all our lives, and we understand and appreciate the seriousness of this threat. Our first thoughts are for you and your families, and our HOPE is that you and yours are safe.

   But here at the WEP, we want to throw a monkey wrench into this new 'world order.'

   Many writers are already taking advantage of the order to shelter in place and are tackling new writing projects or are putting more time in on their WIP.
Except, of course, those on the front lines - our heroes. Our doctors, nurses, lab, and other health care workers - all first responders. We give a shout out to them and offer our prayers for their continued good health as we pray for our own.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." –Proverbs 31:8-9

   Most of us need a distraction from reality right now. I know that for myself, anxiety is high. I've been using meditation, and yes, my writing to distract myself.
   So here we are again, with a new challenge. One a little light-hearted - well, if that's how you wish to interpret it - Antique Vase.
But before we get to the challenge for this month. We want to celebrate 2 more writers who've been with us these past 10 years.

I for one still can't believe it's been 10 YEARS! Congratulations!
Sally and Donna!

Hi everyone, Sally here:

What an honour to be included in WEP’s 10th anniversary blog post.  Where has the time gone?  I started tentatively submitting stories as RFW, there was a prompt, usually a photo as a stimulus and a chosen viewpoint of a character with a few helpful ideas for settings.
From there it evolved over the years from two co-hosts to the wonderful team we have now, along with our founder, the wonderful Denise Covey (thank you for all your encouragement Denise). 
During my life I’ve had so many thoughts and ideas wondering around in my brain, they flitted in and out, life, work, family etc meant it wasn’t until later in life that I was able to indulge my writing. 
Many of my family thought I was ‘strange.’  Sally is a bit weird, she ‘writes poetry’ – they told me that they didn’t like/read poetry.  My response to that is always, what do you think the lyrics of a song are if not a form of poetry? 
My parents would say ‘that’s nice, Sally.’ 
Then there came a day when I asked mum if there was anything she would like for her birthday and she asked for a copy of all my poetry.  That’s when I felt a success.
WEP has enabled me to grow in confidence as a writer, has given me encouragement and allowed me to have unbiased opinions from strangers, people from all walks of life who have taken the time to say something, which is so appreciated by myself.  I’ve also been able to partake in various other blog hops but to be honest WEP is and will always be my favourite. xxx
The encouragement, help and valuable comments are what make this community of writers so very special.
Below is one of the earliest poems I wrote (not for WEP) which explains my feelings.  By the way, I am ten years older now than the poem suggests.

When you were at school
Did you sometimes feel a fool?
Physics and maths weren’t my thing
Nor the choir ‘cos I can't sing.

Now history was interesting
But not kings and queens and their bling
The ordinary folk such as you and I
Who toiled the land and watched the sky
Gave me more to think about and learn
Not good times to be born.

Give me a book and I would lose time
Transported to other worlds, romance or crime
Thrillers and sci-fi and then the classic writers
People who are long dead with words that survive
With a heritage to revere and characters that come alive.

So, head out of the clouds and prepare for a career
Typing and shorthand were part of my future
To stand me in good stead for the next of life’s adventure
Loving the English language opened new frontiers.

So now I’m in my fifties and am able to indulge
This passion of mine that started at a young age
Some praise from family although they are biased
But I’ll take it and try not to be pious.

An opportunity has opened which I will embrace
Hoping I won’t get egg on my face.
My brain is in gear
Stamping down on my fear.

With encouragement and love
I’m going forward, onwards and above
To get it all out before it’s too late
Before all my brain cells dissipate.

Thanks, Sally! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

Now here we hear from Donna Hole, (Dolorah) the first WEP co-host.

My photo
Thanks for hosting me Denise and the WEP crew.

WEP, and RFW before that, has been one of the best experiences of my writing life. If you know me, you know I can be verbose. Writing to a word limit has taught me – mostly – to be concise. Telling a complete story in flash is not easy, as I am sure you know.

Not only has WEP taught me to write concisely, it also taught me to pay close attention to story line, concept development, and more importantly, to check and double check my work before hitting that ‘publish’ button. Nothing ruins the perfect story faster than a bunch of typos, poor word choices, or mis-placed punctuation. This has been an awesome environment to experiment.

I have loved writing to prompts, and getting the encouragement to take chances outside my writing comfort zone. WEP has helped me develop as a strong character driven story teller, and I credit my short story publication successes to the lessons I learned with RFW and WEP.

Good luck to all WEP participants and Admin in your continuing writing adventures.

Thanks, Donna! Please accept this badge made especially for you by our master badge-maker, Olga Godim.

So without further discussion - here's the challenge for April. This is the put-your-thinking-cap-on post ONLY. Sign up post goes live April 15, EST and will remain open for 3 days. Be ready to pounce! Be ready for 3 days of reading/commenting.

We at the WEP know how important the A to Z Challenge is to many of our participants and we hope you will be able to create a post that will coincide with your theme! In years past we've seen some amazing creativity that wowed all of us.


I was so inspired by this challenge I wrote 2 stories. Each very different from the other, but such a great writing exercise! 
What does this Antique Vase inspire in you?
Will Aunt Martha's antique vase be found in the attic and change her family's lives forever?

Or will your Sammy topple a priceless one and shatter it only to expose the family secret hidden for generations?

Maybe the one Neil finds at a flea market will turn out to be a portal to another universe?

What will your antique vase hold - flowers, coins, memories, fantasies, or just a bunch of withered old leaves? Because an antique vase can contain a lot of things, sweet-smelling and not-so-sweet!

Don't forget. You can always access ideas for each challenge from the CHALLENGES 2020 page.


This month we have a CRITIQUE prize for the WINNER. Author Christine Rains, is offering the winner a 10,000 word (about a 3-chapter) critique.

 Thank you, Christine!

 Christine's latest release is Of Gods and Sorrow
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s playing games with friends or going on an adventure in the woods. She’s a proud member of S.C.I.F.I. and Untethered Realms. She has four novels and several novellas and short stories published.


For those of you who like to write ahead of time, the next challenge is: 

We'd love if you'd Tweet Tweet Tweet some/all of these:

WEP Spring 2020 writing prompt Antique Vase @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim Sign up April 15! #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF #poetry #nonfiction

Get-your-thinking-caps-on for Antique Vase @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Join WEP @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim  for the first challenge of the year Antique Vase Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction

Begin Spring by joining @DeniseCCovey @YolandaRenee @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim  for the latest challenge Antique Vase Sign up April 15! #WEPFF #amwriting #flashfiction #poetry #nonfiction



  1. An we're off and running! Here we go for April! Let's rock this Antique Vase challenge one and all!

  2. I know I need the distraction from reality right now! :) A-Z and WEP together is always a bonanza.

    1. While our minds are creating stories, they're not creating worse-case scenarios for this virus. Roll on WEP.

    2. And you, Nila, do it better than anyone!

  3. I am so very glad that I descovered the WEP team and challenges. You have all of you enriched my world, and taken me/prodded me in directions I had thought impossible. Many thanks.

    1. We are so pleased you discovered us, Sue. You have enriched our lives to with your caring and sharing and willingness to think outside the box.

    2. You're posts are some of our favorites! We love your support, your participation, and your loyalty to the posts each and every prompt!

  4. Thank You for the post.
    Looking forward to more excitements during middle of the month.

    1. I think it'll be a great one! They get better and better each prompt!

  5. Sounds good! I definitely use my writing to avoid this world. Yikes!

  6. I like "Never Lose Hope." We do need that incitement now so much.

    1. Lovely to hear from you Deborah! Hope all's well with you and yours.

    2. Hi, Deborah. It is important now. The whole world is holding its breath. We pray for the safety of all!

  7. I'm locked into the next chapter of Sparkle's case, but struggling to focus during a weird lockdown. At least, I have the opening lines...

    1. And I'm sure the rest will come, thanks Roland. We all look forward to Sparkle's next case!

    2. Finished the .next chapter' today and scheduled it. My mind is now playing with my research for 'Urban Nightmare' - and beyond.

    3. Urban Nightmare is a complete mystery to me, but one I know I'll solve.

    4. I'm taking the 'evasive' approach - circa 1989 ;-)

  8. Thanks for the reminder post! My brain has been occupied elsewhere and I forgot!!! Time to find the thinking cap!

    1. Your tour went beautifully, Jemi. Congratulations! An Antique Vase, what better prompt for the moment?

  9. Readers use books to escape from the real world. I guess us writers can use writing books to create our own escape from the real world.

    1. Hi, Ken! And what better time than now. Escape into your book can only make it better.

  10. This challenge will definitely make for a welcome distraction from the world. I can't wait to read everyone's entries!

  11. Love the Desmund Tutu quote - apt for the current world crisis.

    Thanks for hosting me! I miss Sally when she doesn't post. Such great memories of the last 10 years. Wow. I have a tentative idea for this prompt, but not sure if the Vase will play a heavy enough role. We will see, if I have time to write it.

    Stay safe all.

    1. Thanks, Donna. We're thrilled you're posting. I'm sure you'll work it in, if only to knock it off the shelf. LOL And Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary. I don't know about you but that went way too fast!

  12. Thanks Denise and Yolanda for hosting the WEP challenge for Antique Vase this month. Beautiful quote from Desmond Tutu. And the hope aspect nicely fits in with my contribution, a story I wrote back beginning of March. Take care, stay safe and looking forward to reading you all next week.

    1. How wonderful. I love when that happens. I'm glad you're participating, and I hope more folks will be inspired by current events, and the challenge itself to write.

  13. Special message for Nila. Thank you for your comprehensive history of the vase in human civilizations. Unable to leave a comment on the post, no link.
    Sorry to hear of your news. Take care, my heart and poetry go out to you in these difficult times.

  14. Have now commented on all 25 entries. Such a varied, fun and sometimes eerie batch. Well done everyone. Comment for Nila above. Pat Garcia directly on Facebook. For some reason their websites would not accept my comments. Thank you Denise for another challenging WEP.


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