FFfAW – windows or mirrors

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Written for Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer

Thank you Priceless Joy for hosting this lovely challenge and thank you Mike Vore for our photo prompt this week

Thomas gets in the old red truck and opens his journal. I am in the driver’s seat gripping the wheel, but I am not going anywhere.

“Mama I just read a book and it’s making me think, are we more windows or mirrors?” and I look into the honest blue eyes of a little boy carrying the weight of a seldom present mother.

“What’s the title?” I ask and he shows me the book – Paper Towns by John Green.

“We need both don’t we Mama? The mirror to look behind at what we are leaving and the windows to look at what’s coming.”

I’d read that book too –before – and thought of escaping to a paper town but I am still here in this one. “Always two ways to it Thomas and people choose to be that which they can best help others.”

“I like that Mama, you always get it right, I am going to write down what you said.”

I give him a hug, I have to make an effort, for him.

(175 words)

Been reading Paper Towns and loved the mention of mirrors and windows almost towards the end of the book, you really have to be patient with Green as he takes you on a merry ride through the Troll Hole and finally get to the point. Using it and the stationary truck as my inspiration for this week’s prompt.

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38 thoughts on “FFfAW – windows or mirrors

    1. thanks! My daughter got his titles from a book fair and this one sounded cool so I started and enjoyed the way he wrote serious in a humorous way. thank you for reading and your generous comments!

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  1. So true about being patient to appreciate Green’s stories, and any story, really. I like the “quiet” feel of your piece. I like how she’s gripping the wheel, trying to take back control, but she’a still struggling with the feeling of not moving forward effectively. Even still, she’s trying, for Thomas’ sake. Great job!

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    1. thank you Izzy – love this name BTW! IZZY! you got it right – she’s trying to exert some control over things she has let overtake her – and Thomas is her inspiration! Thank you for connecting with the story and yes I found Green very interesting to read – he made me think and that’s important to me – i don’t want to just know things – i want to feel and ask. Have you read most of his books? If so , which is your favourite?

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      1. Thanks! And yes, I couldn’t agree more that “making me think and feel” is one of the most important elements of a good book. For Green, I liked (and this isn’t in any order) Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars, and An Abundance of Katherines. Have you read more of Green’s books, or do you plan to? Which ones?

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      2. Hi!My daughter got all his titles as you have mentioned above and also another one called Looking For Alaska. I would read them all except – the Fault in our stars – I found too many faults and fallacies in it – and stopped mid way! I work with cancer patients specifically young adults and its nothing like that at all! I like snow though i know it has nothing much to do with snow still like the word Alaska there and the imagery it conjours – so next would be Looking for Alaska. Am really enjoying Paper Towns – his characters keep me connected with the story – though the story line tends to wander a little – he gives them so much background I don’t want to stop until their story is told. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, glad we can share common feelings in the lovely books!

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      3. Let me know what you think of Looking for Alaska when you’re done. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book. For Paper Towns, it really was his secondary characters who won me over. The Fault in Our Stars had a good number of inaccuracies and aspects of wish-fulfillment (you’re so right), but for me, it was still able to capture enough to push me to the end. Plus, I kept thinking how Green was inspired by his grief. STILL, I also understand why you set it down. More accuracy would’ve made the book and the movie even better (at least I’d like to imagine so).

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      4. Haha! I had to go read a review on Looking for Alaska after your mysterious comment. But I usually make up my own mind and seldom swayed by popular views. He uses grief really well and displays the awareness that comes with it -an enlightenment of sorts. I saw the movie half way too -ah I am terrible at this – if something doesn’t hold me I don’t really bother seeing it to the end. But you are absolutely right more accuracy would have made it a stronger movie – something like the “Book Thief” achieved. I am enjoying our little conversation on this book here. Thank you for your honest comments.

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      5. Ha! I like how you don’t force yourself to finish something that isn’t working for you. Time is precious, after all. As for the “Book Thief,” that’s another one I enjoyed! Spot on. This conversation is great! Lol

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      6. I think i get bored too fast and something has to be cripplingly good or so absurd I have to finish it. Glad we can discuss the books we like as well as maybe don’t agree upon. Have a lovely day Izzy – grabs – life!

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      7. I understand that completely. It’s a good yet sometimes frustrating thing. But at least you acknowledge it and keep moving forward. ^_^ Thanks for the discussion, and I also hope your day is fantastic and/or eye-opening, Singledust (aka Gina!).

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    1. Thanks Joy! In the book I read John Green describes it different – I just borrowed the idea he put forth and gave it my own meaning what it represented to me. It makes me happy to know it could be something useful to you – my mission accomplished today – I have given a friend a gift of words. Have a lovely day once you are home!

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    1. Thank you PJ, so right on that – apparently I have been inspiring my elder son to write his short stories for college. So had to sneak him in a bit there. We had a small chat before I wrote this and we were discussing Paper Towns.

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      1. I think it depends on what you think of the past. Some folks see only the good and others only the bad. My personal opinion is that we need a balance, but that’s surprisingly difficult to achieve.

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      2. Thank you James and thank you thinkinkadia. For seeing that we need to have balance of both in our lives. It’s certainly hard to achieve. The past can be many things to a person both good and bad but it should mainly be an admonition not to repeat the same mistakes. Appreciate your wonderful comments and thoughts on this.

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    1. Thanks Jade! I like John Green for what I have read so far – not an author I would choose off a shelf – so I was pleasantly surprised that I liked his style. YA authors tend to talk down to readers but then I realised after reading him he wasn’t one of those – not even sure if he should be classified as a YA author.He has a lot hidden meaning in his use of simple words like I feel I too like to hide things in door jams! So I borrowed the words mirrors and windows from the book, I imagined it a reflection of our journey in life! We were actually talking about my son’s story writing for a college assignment and the book came up so it tied it really well. Paper Towns as a title caught my attention but my daughter asked me to read Fault in our stars first and I found I was struggling with the technicalities surrounding a cancer patient’s life (I work with them daily and did not really want to have a bus man’s holiday hahah) so I moved on to Paper Towns. Because we have a phrase in our family calling someone a paper tiger when they try their best to be brave. so the title really called out! Which was your favourite? I still have a few more on the shelf. Thank you for taking the time to read the story Jade and commenting , its always heart warming to hear from you – read on the news weather conditions have been bad – praying for you my friend that you are safe – sushi rolled up safe!

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      1. I know exactly what you mean about John Green’s style being different from typical YA writers, which is why I love him so much. The Fault in Our Stars made me cry so much that when I closed the book, it was like saying goodbye to a dear friend, and Paper Towns made me see the city I live in and the world, in a whole new light. Looking for Alaska contains some of my favorite quotes and scenes <3. So in conclusion, it's nearly impossible for me to choose a favorite lol. I'm glad you're enjoying his work 🙂

        As for the weather, we just survived a snowstorm, woohoo! I am definitely bundled up like a sushi roll and thinking of you, my friend, across the world.

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      2. That intersection he mentions in the book got me thinking – I have yo get there and I need Jade to be there too! We won’t be paper girls – like people want us to be – but free -feathers and wings – Green inspires – me to be who I strain not to be. I write the lines I like in a book and read it over and for this book I filled like 4 pages! I am going on to Alaska next. Glad we are inspired by writing – another topic to talk about when we finally have that coffee/tea/whatever! Talking to you makes sense of things – hard to explain but it does. Happy weekend my friend!

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      3. Aww, my dear friend, no explanation is needed. Talking to you is comforting to me as well. I wonder if you and I were friends in a past life.

        I hope you enjoy Looking for Alaska! John Green has this amazing ability to inspire and write scenes that really do stay with his readers.

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  2. michael1148humphris

    I use the mirror to try ensure that what I leave behind me is at least no worse than I found when I first arrived. I enjoyed the story and will put Paper Town on a viewing list.

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