Story Starter November 2016 – Gretel Boose

Our November Story Starter features a beautiful work by Gretel Boose.

To enter, write a short piece (100 words maximum) inspired by the art featured below. It can be any form of writing (poetry, prose, dialogue, haiku, etc.) as long as it is original. Submit your entry in the comment section below. Check the full entry rules and format here.

Introducing our November inspiration piece:


About The Artist:

I was born and raised in Germany. My curiosity about the human body, mind and spirit brought me to study Naturopathic Medicine and Yoga. At the same time I joined local artists’ groups, and was greatly inspired by painting side by side with artist friends, and learning about many different approaches.

In 1995 I immigrated to British Columbia, where I discovered my love for three-dimensional works and started developing my wood carving skills. gretel-boose-2016

 I relocated to the Durham area, Ontario in 2000 and found my new home in the Uxbridge area, where I quickly connected to its vibrant arts community and have been a involved in the “Uxbridge Celebration of the Arts” and The Uxbridge Studio ever since.  Captured by the immediate responsiveness of clay and its infinite malleability, my focus shifted toward three-dimensional work in ceramic and multi media in 2004.

 Over the years I have participated in Studio Tours as guest artist in Uxbridge, Lake Scugog and Pickering, and also was accepted into Juried Art shows in Uxbridge, Whitby and Oshawa.  My work was shown in various galleries, including Art Gallery of Bancroft, Aurora Cultural Centre, Station Gallery in Whitby, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Propeller Gallery in Toronto, McKay Art Centre, Unionville, Charlotte Hale & Associates Gallery, Toronto. 


My sculptural work is an attempt to communicate my fascination with human expressions, and the secrets behind the mind and spirit. The stories told by the ‘Spiritual Beings’ often bring to light the question: “Who are you? And through you, who am I?”

Exploring the endless possibilities that are offered to me, discovering the unknown, being surprised by the unexpected – that is what inspires me, and it allows me to work with no expectations, with no sense of inadequacy or limitation.

Want to check out past contest entries? Click here.

Feeling inspired? Paste in your 100-word entry below!

  • Since being fired from the Tower of London, Henry had found it hard to get a job. It seemed that, like all the young people in the country, ravens were pretty much unemployable. He didn’t have much of a resumé, and although he’d taken a few voice lessons, he never could manage to sound anything but alarming. All he had was his hat and the broken watch that his old boss had thrown at him in anger. And so it was that Henry now sat on a low pillar near the fountain, hoping for a few coins from tourists.

  • Life can be stressful at times because it just doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day. So when you have a minute take a second to slow down, pull out a cog or two from the everlong clutches of time to enjoy life. After all, how can one ever take time if one never makes time? Then again what do I know about relieving stress, I’m just a travelling snowbird.

  • Regret of the Raven

    Oh enigma of my mind
    moving forward, losing time
    Top hat perched upon my head
    success strong, my soul is dead

    Strange to think of better days
    I was younger counting ways
    to climb the mountain steep and tall
    I sold my soul, risked it all

    Bodies broken far below,
    yet there is no where to go
    How was I the last to know
    Stars are seen best from below

  • The Crow

    “Pots – fine wares –” the peddler called.
    Bone-weary, Eliza wiped her brow. “May as well look – won’t hurt,” she said to the empty kitchen.
    “Wait –”
    The peddler paused, bobbing his head and croaked, “What’d you fancy, miss?”
    Bird-like, she thought. How odd.
    “Ooh, this it lovely,” Eliza lifted a velvet ribbon with a watch strung upon it.
    “Royal colours, ma’am – maybe magical.”
    “Really?” she draped it around her neck.
    “See for yourself.” He held up a rusty hand mirror.
    “Why – I never.” Staring into the mirror, she saw herself sprouting feathers and wings, and launching into flight.
    — THE END
    Liz McAdams

  • Around and around here we go, where it will stop no ones knows. The clock struck six. The mouse run down clock. And the big fat black Cat was sitting eating his dinner behind the clock. Tic -tuck- tic- tuck silence in the house. The mouse is holding the clock in his mouth. The Cat looked down the mouse looked up and vanished into tin air again. Tic- tuck-tic-tuck the mouse woke up in “Mouse World” with the clock in his mouth. Off he went to look around, while thousands of little mouses cheered to welcomed him back in town.

  • Fruit Loops. Yes whenever he saw a toucan bird he thought of Fruit Loops cereal. It was a forbidden pleasure. Rarely if ever purchased by his mother. No!!! She had seven children to feed and Fruit Loops was “too dear” when compared to porridge. No, Fruit Loops was forbidden. It was far too much sugar and low nutritional value. No mother would never allow it. It was a forbidden pleasure. Only when he ended up ‘doing time’ in “KP” did he get Fruit Loops regularly.

  • A top the Tower of Babel, under my hat, I keep all the excuses, all the denials. There are reasons why we should keep the cogs of industry going, going. Like a perfect parrot, I’ve cawed out the adages until my mouth ran dry and my tongue clacked stupidly on beak, and they all shouted, ENOUGH!. We’ve heard enough.
    I will get my spit together and open my mouth again. And all reason will tumble down.


    He’s a raven, picking at my brain
    Driving me insane
    Even as I grow older
    He perches on my shoulder
    And has me frantically chasing the wind;
    Reaching for that elusive pie in the sky
    I run around from day to day
    But he still gets in my way
    He never allows me to get everything done
    Time slips away before we can fulfill our dreams
    I yearn to break free from his manipulative hands
    And his chimes and constant whines
    I’ll set a trap for that raven and keep him confined
    If only I had the … time

  • Golden Daze

    Enter the waterless wasteland
    The depraved Dali-esque desert
    It’s barren beyond belief
    Except for a single petrified tree

    I continue to drift along the drought-stricken land
    Passing a perched decrepit crow with no intention to interact
    It raises its wings and flies off into the scorching sun
    I am left alone again with my parched mind

    Hours pass, and then days
    I’m caught in a decaying haze
    I begin to fade away into the gasping landscape
    How it’s grasping at my gale-beaten body!

    Finally I stumble onto the sight of another life form
    A stout canine lazily lying in the golden rays before me
    The face depicts disinterest and disconnection
    This sight portrays non-existence

    I ask him where I am!
    I ask him how I got here!
    The response spears me through my brittle rib cage!

    I am GOD.

  • Well, I may not be a magpie, but I can collect pretty things too! Do you like my hat, for example? I absolutely adore it. I got it from an annoying white rabbit. And just look at this magnificent watch! It’s very delicate. I shall display it proudly! It was also given to me, by that same rabbit. He had an epiphany: he decided he didn’t want to worry about time anymore! Poor fella was always worried about being late! How awful… He was very anxious; it was very off-putting. I don’t know how he made it through his day.

  • Reginald’s Rant

    It’s time my friends to put an end to negative thoughts
    Their like empty pots, taking up space, so out of place
    Mind games, hurtful names
    Who needs them?

    Don’t throw in the towel
    Celebrate the now
    Change gears, squash fears
    Create, relate – to each other

    Everyone dreams, it’s not as hard as it seems
    To see the good – even in the hood
    Where crimes a bitch and people aren’t rich
    But love is real

    It’s your role to take back control
    Leave the rat race, set a new pace
    Choose to be kind

    It’s about time!

  • Thank you very much, Sue! I really appreciate your comment.


  • Where is Hansel, Gretel?
    Could this really be a witch hunt, or am I focussing too much on the shadows on the wall? Toucan tango without donning a red hat. Just remember that beauty is in the eye of the pot holder. At my retirement I want a fancy gold clock on a purple silky piece from fabricated land. Is this work really human expression? In my book I am looking more for the presentation of naked sculpted breasts. Now that is off my chest, I’m going to sip some real Booze.

  • The raven is a thief. He’s even proud of his title. Sitting on his corkscrew throne grasping the eviscerated parts of a stolen watch. The hands now stilled no longer give testament to passing time. Nor does he notice his throne slowly revolving into the ground where he will writhe in the twisted ruin of his own making.

  • The Raven’s message is clear. The years have circled and circled an now time is askew. The feathers like like seconds have fluttered away the minutes. Who can fix this? Who is willing? Ramona had a plan but would it work?


    “A crow, right?”

    “No, it’s a raven,” you say, in that know-it-all way that is so f@@king annoying.

    “No, you’re a raven!”

    “What’s that supposed to mean,” you snarl, but out of habit more than anything. It’s how we talk to each other now.

    “Ravens are pompous,” I say. “Ergo…”

    Your eyebrow lifts.

    “Well they are!” I point. “That one, with its hat and watch. It looks like a jerk.”

    “That raven looks like a jerk?”

    “Yeah, that one, a jerk!”

    “That raven right there, the one that’s not a crow, right?” you say smugly.

    “F@!k you.”

  • Caw, caw, caw! Trinity held her breath as the bird dangled her life by its beak. Bastard. As if her life was a mere bauble. Certainly, though, it was in bauble-like form at the moment. Delicate balances of nerve and neuron were shaped as winches and gears, and the throb of sanguine fluid was transformed into the thick tick-tock of a clock. Don’t stop, she willed the clock, silently. Out loud, she called out, “Don’t drop it. You have my word.” The great bird paused atop its grandiose perch, and cocked its bedecked head. Then, it winked.

  • Mr. Jack

    Trapped in a whimsical orbit of magic
    In the future,past and present
    Nothing but an adventure he seeks
    Through a time warp of his pleasure
    This journey with our blue feathered friend
    A top hat that knows no better
    Looks from the highest spot of his perched
    How bold he can see
    Picking out the mystics
    With the longest beak they’ve ever seen
    He takes us through his enchanting path
    Into a never ending mind bending hunt
    For what is one mans junk
    Is others mans treasure they say
    So he loves to go on about his enchanting tales

  • Sol pumped up his client’s chair to eye level and spun him around. “OK, let’s get started … whoa, what happened to you?”

    Sam stared back icily.

    “The grey feathers, the wrinkles … I must say Father Time has caught up with you.”

    Sam’s eyes blazed crimson. As his rage boiled the chair corkscrewed, catapulting the toucan towards the hapless makeup man. Sam’s bill tore at Sol’s pocket, crushing the man’s cherished antique watch. The smug toucan grasped the watch face, springs and wheels as they clung to a swath of blue, a perfect Froot Loop cherry on top.

  • sitting alone in, the tower, the god of time holds power,

    but each time the clock stops a raven pops off

    and gathers souls to repower

    the clock of time..

    and each time it’s repowered

    it swings backward and reflowers

    to produce more souls and create more time.

    until the clock strikes nine…

    • sitting alone in, the tower, the god of time holds power,

      but each time the clock stops a raven pops off

      and gathers souls to re-power

      and each time it’s re-powered

      the clock swings backward an hour

      to produce more souls for, time.

      until the clock strikes nine… and the raven dies

      there for no souls would be procured for the clock of time.

  • Rejoinder remembered inviting Marshall Tuggins to their wedding. Marshall declined but promised a gift. “Be it practical or whimsical?” He asked.
    “Practical,” Rejoinder said.
    “Whimsy,” the fiancee said.
    Smiling, Marshall dismissed us, wishing us happiness — “It’ll certainly be interesting,” he said.
    When Marshall’s gift appeared, we opened it together; she with curiosity, me with trepidation.
    “How do I describe that?” she asked, pulling pieces from the box.
    Then she found a note: This is a Hattable Ravin’ Toucan. Set it on the pedestal to spin out yarns. Careful not to get your watch too close as it destroys time.

  • I see You, Doubt. You’ve taken the molded form of a black bird with a watch.

    That hypnotic stare further tries to intimidate me to accept the negatives when chasing dreams.

    You! Doubt have flatten me to the ground.

    Doubt from those who believe in me? I call out, nothing.

    With determination, I fight you Doubt. I continue and “123 Go”.

    I’m blind to your intimidation, you know. “Can’t be done, no talent, too old, too late”.

    Tick Tock.

    You Doubt!

    I take a deep breath. Cause breathe I can.

    And I continue.

  • Somebody is watching me. Is it a camel or a raven? I will never know. i just hope that he will never tell anyone what I am doing. i am not really doing much, just trying to get some inspiration from this. Is it 100 words yet?

  • Christine dela Cruz November 30, 2016 at 8:18 am

    A beady-eyed bird stole my Time and broke it. I wander up, down, left, right, in rings. The straight line escapes me.
    Today is vivid with years ago, Yesterday is swallowed into a void, Tomorrow plays hide and seek, slipping in and out of grasp.
    I no longer notice, ask, nor wonder, why today I’m young yet yesterday I was old, why I’m here when I thought I was there, why today is Friday when yesterday was Sunday.
    The clock’s broken, ticking slower, softer. Can you hear it?
    The clock’s stopped.
    The bird’s laughing.
    It doesn’t matter.
    Nothing matters now.

  • The mad-hatter raven perches on his tea-cup stand,
    Wearing his winter top-hat.
    Beady eye fixed on his fancy wainscoting,
    Dangling his Rube Goldberg watch from his over-long beak.

    The tea does not flow, all is barren and parched.
    Sad-clownish, twisted in tiny shadows.
    The raven wishes to shake off the snow and fly,
    But the watch is broken; Time is broken.

    Raven wonders: if Time can be broken, can it be reversed?
    Put back together, made to flow whichever way he wishes.
    Make the wheels turn both directions, erasing all the nevermores,
    And return fair Lenore with summer’s warmth.

  • Unimpressive tricks had been silently and sullenly performed by a pale magician, who seemed oblivious to the handful of huddled spectators in the dim carnival tent. He held out his hat to his assistant, a malformed bird with an incongruously jaunty red hat atop its grotesque head. Slowly, it pulled out a red ball with trinkets – and a clock – dangling below. Only loud ticking was heard for a minute, as the bewildered group stared. Then, the ticking stopped and – simultaneously – a young woman collapsed. The crow cocked its head, almost in a nod. And the blank-faced magician finally smiled.

  • I am you and you are me.
    I am nothing without you, but you are nothing without me.
    I live deep inside you, nestled in every fibre of your being.
    I alone know the very essence of you.
    I am your guardian who never sleeps, even when you do.
    I am your protector, from others and even from yourself.
    For everything you forget, I will remember.
    I am the keeper of the key, but you can learn how to use it.
    With it, you can unlock all of your mysteries, but only when you are ready.

    Thanks and good luck to all who entered. A longlist of the finalists will be announced Spring of 2017.

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