A Change Is Gonna Come (Friday Fictioneers, July 2013)

Photo from Randy Maize

Great picture at Friday Fictioneers this week from Randy Maize.  I think there’ll be a wide range of takes on this and I’m looking forward to reading them.  I’ve resisted ‘dark’ again, given ‘humour’ a rest and decided to go under the guise of ‘social comment’.  I hope I don’t offend anybody, (politicians excepted).  😉  And please see note below re comments.

She likes me sittin’ beside her, readin’ my bible, reflectin’, rememberin’.  She don’t even mind the goat leaping on the gravestones – sometimes I think she’d more respect for animals than people.

Ma was a proud woman, kept herself locked away inside, the softness buried deep behind a sharp tongue and a suspicious nature.  Didn’t suffer fools gladly.  And politicians not at all.

When we talked about the changes she’d fold thin lips, flash those big brown eyes.

“Only thing gonna change round here son is the colour of them ridin’ the gravy train. And there won’t be seats for us all.”

Sam Cooke:  A Change Is Gonna Come    

Comments:  For some reason, my comments on other peoples’ submissions are not appearing.  Some have been found in spam boxes, where I have also found several comments from those who regularly participate on this site.  Please check your spambox regularly until this problem is resolved.  And don’t be offended if it appears I haven’t commented.  🙂

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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99 Responses to A Change Is Gonna Come (Friday Fictioneers, July 2013)

  1. Gabriella says:

    Excellent! I think I’d love this Ma. I am also looking forward to reading what other Fridayfictioneers will come up with.

    Like

  2. Dear Sandra,

    Wonderful story. Feels very early 1960ish. Love the folksy feel with the punch at the end. I’m hoping we’ve progressed beyond this scenario. Nonetheless, well written with spot on dialogue.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  3. high five and raspberries says:

    Excellent write ! I think “Ma” had the gift of forsight.

    Like

  4. You write this with a strong, authentic voice. I think Ma was pretty wise.

    Like

  5. vbholmes says:

    Successful characterization and mood capture. Well done, Sandra.

    Like

  6. elmowrites says:

    The voice is really powerful here, Sandra, and the story probably a little too true. Nice job this week!

    Like

  7. Joe Owens says:

    Sandra your assessment of the state of affairs in the USA is spot on. We have become a nation of “take care of me.” The government is trying to hand out instead of giving a hand up.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Well our successive governments haven’t done too well on either score, riding the gravy train and solving problems by hand-outs, though the recession appears to have concentrated a few minds.

      Like

  8. H. Ken Abell says:

    Some biting commentary — it would be funny if I hadn’t heard this kind of talk and worse out of the mouths of seemingly sweet old ladies.

    Like

  9. paulmclem says:

    Nice piece. Always feel it’s a slight risk when I start droppin’ letters. Where do you stop? I think you struck a fair balance.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Yes, I got a bit antsy about this but once you’ve started to you can hardly stop, and I suspect it’s overdone in this piece

      Like

      • paulmclem says:

        It’s tricky. As you say once you start when do you stop? You almost feel obliged to keep doing it and the piece can end up looking silly. It’s good to have a bit of critiquing like this. Wish there was more on FF.

        Like

  10. Linda Vernon says:

    Oh my goodness Sandra! You are an amazing writer. Wonderful! ;D

    Like

  11. JKBradley says:

    The margin between fools and politicians…

    Well done, Sandra.

    Like

  12. Great and timeless analysis of the situation. Ma’s a genius, but will stand and see the gravy train leaving the station.

    Like

  13. Dee says:

    I loved Ma and Sam Cooke can do no wrong
    Well done, great story as usual
    Dee

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Dee. Don’t know if you’ve caught the Friday Fictioneers FB page, but your story was ending up in some people’s spambox, including mine.

      Like

      • Dee says:

        Hi Sandra – didn’t know there was an FF Facebook page so thanks for the info. Do I need to do anything?

        Like

        • Sandra says:

          About the spamming issue? Well I’ve contacted WordPress and they’re looking into it. Hopefully whatever (if anything) they do will remedy the situation for all who have been affected. If not, try going on the wordpress support site, post your issue and hopefully someone will eventually take it on from there. Have a nice weekend. 🙂

          Like

          • Dee says:

            Thanks Sandra, you too. Enjoy the sunshine wherever you are 🙂

            Like

            • Sandra says:

              Hi Dee. Just had a comment from Doug who said that he also found your comment in his spambox, along with mine. If this is more than just an isolated instance (for me it’s every comment that I make to a WordPress site – not to others) then you should get onto http://akismet.com/contact to register the problem and have them fix it. I’m finding this very frustrating – it’s been happening since Wednesday.

              Like

            • Dee says:

              Hi Sandra
              Just had a comment about this from Doug also. I’m not sure if it makes a difference but when I’m out and about I comment/reply using the WP app on my phone and when I’m home or in the office I use my pc. This is from my phone.
              I will check my spam to see if its happened to me too

              Like

            • Sandra says:

              I did manage to post a comment on my own page with the Asus tablet without it going to spam. When I tried with the laptop it went to my spam filter first time, and later it went to my page. It’s still not fixed.

              Like

            • Sandra says:

              Hi Dee. I’ve been on the support forum all week on this issue and they’ve posted this morning to say the problem has been fixed. It was apparently only affecting UK customers on Sky and BT broadband. Fingers crossed!

              Like

            • Dee says:

              Hi Sandra, thank you for all your help and for the update, fingers crossed indeed!

              Like

  14. A bold creative statement made. Even though I don’t live in the USA, I can relate with politicians back home. I like the way the story played out. Well done.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Charles – I’ve no real experience of life in the USA either, apart from several visits, so this was largely an observation from my time in SA.

      Like

  15. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa! Sounds like the old switcheroo to me. Marvelous, Sandra! Keep at it! You got the goods for a lot of other stories than dark ones. 🙂

    Like

  16. Helena Hann-Basquiat says:

    You always slip seamlessly into new genres/moods…. you really are a chameleon, darling.

    Like

  17. billgncs says:

    outstanding !

    Like

  18. Way to evoke a mood! Left me wondering about the child’s future and where they ended up! Nice.

    Like

  19. Ma has me scared! I think I’m packing my bags for another reality …

    Like

  20. zookyworld says:

    I like how you describe and build Ma’s character — I’m sure she had a lot more wisdom beyond that gravy train gem.

    Like

  21. Yep, this was good. Social commentary is always welcome, to my mind.

    Like

  22. neenslewy says:

    A good read, I read it a few times and agree with so many of the comments above, including I believe you can write anything!

    Like

  23. Hi Sandra,
    How do you crank these out so fast? Sometimes I'[m quickly inspired, but other times it’s torturous, but you always seem to produce stories of consistent quality with ease. This one has a great voice, created partially by authentic sounding dialect. The seats on the gravy train in the good ole USA are becoming off limits to more and more Americans, just as you describe. Ron

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I’m a bit like you, if the muse strikes it strikes quickly. Otherwise it’s a long and painful process. Thank you for commenting Ron, glad you were here this week.

      Like

  24. That is so powerful. Keep them coming.

    Like

  25. Yes, I see you fell in with the same mood that I had. I am going to write another anyway, now that it is morning here in Athens, where my sick daughter has currently taken me.

    Like

  26. rgayer55 says:

    I love the descriptiveness of your writing – “she’d fold thin lips” The gravy train is getting harder and harder for us taxpayers to pull.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Roger, you probably won’t read this unless you visit your spambox again but over here our gravy train is nicely populated with both ends of the social spectrum. 😦

      Like

  27. EagleAye says:

    I’ve been holding back on political commentary. It doesn’t seem popular, but I rather enjoy seeing it myself. I can relate to Ma a bit. The gravy train ain’t gonna stop any time soon. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    Like

  28. unspywriter says:

    I think Ma got the adage about power and corruption. Well stated, even if I don’t completely agree. 😉

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/judas-goats/

    Like

  29. Erinleary says:

    I enjoyed this – great dialect andpowerful feelings.

    Like

  30. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Your story was a great character piece, full of life, acerbic wit and some very astute observation. This sort of solid writing is what I think all of your readers have come to expect from you, but I want to tell you once more that it is appreciated and enjoyed.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    P.S. Found three comments in my spam file, two from you and one from Dee. Will be checking my spam file daily from now on and bad-mouthing WordPress untill it is fixed.

    Like

  31. Sandra says:

    3rd test comment – not giving up!

    Like

  32. Honie Briggs says:

    Ma’s attitude is very relatable. I liked this very much, Sandra.

    Like

  33. JackieP says:

    I know where Ma is coming from. Great take Sandra.

    Like

  34. You handled that superbly! Well done. I could just see her talking. Great dialogue.
    Scott
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/07/13/friday-fictioneers-71213-a-very-grave-nanny-pg13/

    Like

  35. Penny L Howe says:

    Sandra, I loved your story. truly. Thoughtful and gracefully done, Ma’s wisdom is classic wisdom I believe!

    Like

  36. annisik51 says:

    Another excellent story. And insightful. I agree with Ma! P.S. I don’t think you’re the only one on WP having ‘comments’ problems. Hope it’s not a virus! Ann

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you annisik51. I’d hoped WordPress might have sorted this by this morning, but no. You’ll find my comment on your lovely story in your spam filter. 🙂

      Like

  37. kz says:

    wow, the voice in this piece is really powerful.

    Like

  38. Sarah Ann says:

    Love the description of Ma – ‘the softness buried deep behind a sharp tongue’. Her chacracter is so clear.

    Like

  39. Kalpana says:

    I loved the subtlety of the commentary. Of course Ma’s characterisation is superb – is she wholly imaginary?
    Nice one and you did avoid both darkness and humour as you had set out to do.

    Like

  40. Dearest Sandra ~ my utmost apologies ~ I had not checked the wretched spam for comments and missed yours ~ as this was a first, you will, I hope, excuse me.

    I’ve enjoyed your story very much ~ so many talented writers at Friday Fictioneers. I found 18 comments lurking in that wretched spam and am gradually catching up with everyone (!)

    Peace ~ Polly

    Like

  41. marymtf says:

    Sweet old ladies are not the pits H Ken Abell and Sandra. It’s just that sweet old ladies have seen too much, don’t like what they’ve seen and are resentful of having been stripped of their blinkers. If anything, it’s politicians that are the pits. In Australia there’s going to be an election happening in the next few weeks and most of us loathe both major parties and a couple of minor ones and what they stand for, the weasels. Phew, got that off my system.
    Thanks for the post. 🙂

    Like

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