On If

If – from the Old English gif

If – mainly a conjunction; sometimes a noun

If – an introduction to a conditional clause

If – a statement around a condition; a presumption, supposition, provision, precondition, proviso, requirement, specification, stipulation, or restriction

If – an assumption leading to an event or outcome

If – delivering a possibility, request, or opinion

If – an implied reservation

If – as in although, yet, despite being, even though, or but – many times serving as an excuse

If – noun as uncertainty, doubt

If – a function in programing to make a decision

If – a 1910 poem by Rudyard Kipling

If – a 1968 movie starring Malcolm McDowell

If – a BBC drama-documentary series

“If” – a 2010 episode of Desperate Housewives

If – a magazine subtitled “Worlds of Science Fiction”

If – a political comic strip appearing The Guardian (a UK newspaper)

If (band), 1970s British progressive jazz-rock band, and the name of their album

If – songs by Bananarama, Bread, Janet Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, Perry Como, Destiny’s Child, Rivermaya, Davido, and more.

If – what if I had answered my own challenge with in a way other than my own.

NOTE: I encourage readers to follow the pingback links in the Comments to other posts about If that answer the If Challenge.

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On the Floor: Reprise and Challenge

The story below is the revised version of my first attempt at fiction. I issued a challenge to develop a new ending: a) after “The music ends” and b) in 75 words or less.

New endings will either be posted as comments on this post or as the whole story with the new ending the reader’s blog with links to this post. See the Challenge page for more information as long as it remains published.

I  encourage others to read all the endings. Do you have a favorite ending? Thanks for participating.

aFaShortStoryChallengeThe music starts – its tempo and rhythms define the dance. He approaches her table, and extends an inviting hand. She accepts. They take to the floor. He offers a hand and a frame. Again, she accepts, but looks away while in hold as if to say, “I’ll dance – but I’m not interested.”

They move to the music’s sharp, fiery rhythms that are intertwined with sensuality. Their eyes continue gazing in opposite directions to avoid a visual connection – yet, their bodies touch.

They dance – they move – sometimes slow – sometimes fast – but always sharp and to rhythm.

He rolls her out – they flick in unison. He tugs to roll her back into his arms. She shrugs him off by returning to hold with her head turned away. Their steps continue.

He steps back – a lunge – a corté. She steps forward and raises her leg against his, and slowly moves it downward as a caress. He notices – she’s got his attention. As he returns her to upright, their eyes connect through a glimpse – yet each looks away.

The pace seeming hastens. The musical beat remains steady. Their moves remain sharp. Their eyes are starting to communicate to the other through glances.

She leans her body into him and her head is no longer facing away. They lock their eyes for the first time, and her eyes and face speak to him when. She places her head on his chest.

The normally sharp fans are now slow and smooth – yet still to the music’s rhythm. As she turns, his right hand slides naturally along her sleek frame. He notices the curvature of her hips. His head is not as high as he looks toward her with hopes of connecting again.

To him, her face displays desire. Her eyes are closed, but only she knows why. They are now in another place. To him, they are in the midst of passion. To her, she is the seductress who has succumbed to his fantasy.

He responds to the music’s fire with 8 fast steps down the floor. He rolls out as before, but on her return, she is close – and her right hand slowly caresses his face. The music ends.

They pause – each smiles to the other. She says, “Great dance”. He responds, “Absolutely” as they high-five.

Sounds of the different tempo and rhythms of the next song now filling the hall as they walk off the floor without knowing the thoughts of the other. One looks at the other saying, “Now that’s a tango.”

On a Challenge

Regulars recall my first venture into fiction (here). The comments provided many helpful suggestions (which I’m incorporating in the rewrite) and various concerns with the ending. From this, I’m issuing a challenge to any and all participants to develop a new ending. See the information below.

Challenge Overview

  • Rewrite the story’s ending
  • Start after “The music ends.”
  • Your ending must be 75 words or less
  • A dance video or song doesn’t have to be included

aFaShortStoryChallengeOption A (by commenting)

  • At the designated date and time, I will repost the story (actually the revised version)
  • Readers can enter their ending as a comment
  • Take the badge to the right for your collection

Option B (by posting)

  • Copy/Paste the story (thus my permission)
  • Wait until I post the revised version on Challenge Day
  • Post the entire story on your blog with your ending
  • Embed the badge at the beginning of the story
  • Link to my revised post
  • Encourage others to participate
  • Extra Information below important

Extra Information

  • Posting date is Sunday, July 12th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US)
  • These instructions are also posted on the Challenge page
  • For Option B challengers, I will include the revised version (for copy/paste) on the Challenge page around July 5th

A Surprise for My Effort
The image below shocked me in multiple ways. 1) A reader took the time to do this … (I’m graciously honored) and then 2) I realized he based it on my words. I wanted to share this with you while publicly thanking Calvin for his time, efforts, and generosity.

post cards from a reader_v2

On a New Challenge

Earlier this week I did my version of the April’s A-to-Z Challenge. Overall, readers liked my approach, and a few even read and commented on the linked posts of their choice. Meanwhile, Viveka, my favorite Swede and frequent visitor here, made a great suggestion that I’ve decide to implement her idea … It’s the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge.

Rules and Guidelines

  • Bloggers choose to accept the challenge, so no nominations
  • Encouraging readers to meet the challenge
  • The challenge involves one post that includes the letters A-to-Z
  • AFAa2zBadgeEach letter designates something about yourself with an appropriate link to one of your past posts
  • Display the challenge badge on the post
  • Link back to this post

I like this comment from Debra on the original post: This was a way to reintroduce yourself. Well said.

With that in mind, planning my post wasn’t as time-consuming as some think. Planning is key, so start by keeping a few notes. The time-consuming part pulling the links together.

I would like to see many of the readers here meet the challenge and promote it to others.  No time limit, so I hope you promote it. Then again, the idea may fall flat. Here’s the link to the prototype.