Good morning Flamefolk,
I have week three's submissions for the Utopia project.
Alethessa led the voting last week, skyllairae the week before. The stories have been so good this far it's really anybody's game. We have two additional players in the JFF category this week. I'm excited to see what everyone submitted so let's get to it.

This list is made up of submissions written for the prompt - Utopia: Tradition & Ritual.

Title: Unexpected Song
Author: alethessa
Word Count: ~600
Warnings: none

Title: Traditions
Author: [personal profile] ayumidah
Word Count: 420
Warnings: none

Title: Happy New Year
Author: skyllairae
Word Count: 1,617
Warnings: some profanity

Title: The Dessert Fork Klutz
Author: missflyer
Word Count: 983
Warnings: none

Our just for fun entries -

Title: Burns Night 1941
Author: [personal profile] fawatson
Word Count: 473
Warnings: none
Genre: Historical fiction (fan-fic based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer, set in WWII)

Title: The God of Small Things
Author: urb-banal
Word Count: 900
Warnings: none
Genre: Fiction

The voting will not be open all week, so get your reading done early and cast your votes by 11:45pm on Thursday. Still no eliminations this week.
Don't forget to drop a note to your fellow writers to let them know they are appreciated. If it's an offsite blog and you have trouble with commenting, feel free to share your comments here and we'll pass them along. In fact, I encourage you to share some public thoughts below with the community. Let's talk about what we read, together.

We love it when our Embers write, but we also need the community to come together and read what's being submitted. Even if you didn't have time to write this week, please take a few minutes to read and encourage your friends to read as well. Share our fire! #govoteflames

Let me preface my first Chatter on DW by apologizing for lateness. I completely forgot we were here now. BRING ON THE CHATTER.

Hello and good morning, everyone. Was the weekend well? I spent mine getting paid too much to do almost nothing. Let's use this to form metaphor about going back in time the only way we know how.

In early 2013, I got my first job since moving back to Arizona in late 2012. I was a cashier for a network of Downtown parking garages. It was boring, sedentary, and sometimes discouraging, and there were times I feared I'd be stuck in that booth for far too long. ACE Parking is a company that promises to promote from within, so I figured all I had to do was shine and wait for my chance. Being that I shine naturally (no egotism), it was the waiting part to which I needed to adapt. It was difficult for a long time, and then I got wind that a position was open in our operation at the airport. That was late 2013. I interview well, especially since I did competitive interview in high school. That was the first time I interviewed for something I did not get. But, we had just acquired a new location downtown, I was getting a .75 raise for taking Head Attendant, and I wasn't exactly starving, so I got over it. I and my two other main attendants formed a close-knit fraternity that thrives to this day, even though I've moved on. In April of 2014, the same position re-opened. I got the job.

I've now been working behind my own desk, making more money, and working 40 consistent hours a week since two days after I turned 27 on April 26th, and I am stabilized. I am comfortable enough to get miffy with my supervisor at the best of times and I loathe the girl I work with, but I can afford to support myself and I am now in prime position to move up to a City position with benefits, stability, and the promise of what could be a dignified retirement someday. I celebrate two years with ACE Parking next week. I think I made good time.

So, I'm out of the garages nine months and my old boss sends his Parking Mafia up to the airport to recruit part-time cashiers from our facilities out to the Downtown locations to fill around-the-clock shifts for the week leading up to Super Bowl. They were offering your regular wage plus a dollar differential for days and two for nights. I jumped on board, took a 0600-1400 for yesterday and a 2200-0600 for this coming Friday, which means I'd get home from my own job at 1800 and go back to the other side of town for another shift a couple hours later. Because I'm a forty-hour employee, all of that is time and a half AND the differential. I made bank yesterday to monitor vehicles as they entered a parking garage. I read on my Kindle and listened to music for eight hours. For $127.50.

I tell you this to tell you that my supervisor and co-worker, aforementioned, both had something to say (the latter more than the former) about my eagerness to volunteer to go back to an old environment, even for a sparse sixteen hours. My co-worker, especially, openly looked down upon my sleazy decision to lend my time to the serfs at my old job, like they were a bleak part of my past I should have been thrilled to shake off. I had a good day yesterday. I made too much to do too little, I saw old friends, and I was greeted happily and warmly by former coworkers and even my old boss. I'm not sure I understand where the losing part is, but apparently I am to see it as a stigma to go back, even for two days.

I suppose, in another situation, the scrutiny might be appropriate. Say, perhaps, if I were going back to a bad ex for a night, or revisiting an abandoned addiction or dangerous hobby. Maybe, to some, my enthusiasm to go back to a previous chapter for both nostalgia and money is akin to slinking back to a bad neighborhood just to feel cheap and reckless again. There is something to be said about how deeply insecure you have to be to look sideways at another human beings odd choices, isn't there?

I was raised to respect the path that brought me to my current bout in life, for better or for worse. On the subject of going back to roots, is there any shame in spending a little time in the past, even once you've moved on?

REMINDERS: Week Four has launched; how will you bring closure to the concept of paradise with Utopia: Search for Meaning? Unless I'm much mistaken, a wonderful workshop is still burning the oils, and don't forget to keep your eyes peeled for Week Three's reading list and poll!

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