Tag Archives: creative writing

The Offie

This morning I read a prompt from Oloriel at ‘We Drink Because We’re Poets’. It’s about remembering a place from your past and she said
‘This week I would like you to share with me a poem about a place – a place that was dear to you, but is no longer there. It can be a bar, a museum, a library, bookstore, your old school – anything. I invite you to tell me what changed, what got replaced and how did it make you feel. Form, length, rhyme, all is optional.’
Me, being me, read the prompt entirely wrong. Why I would read a prompt on a poetry blog and not catch on that I was supposed to write a poem I don’t now, but I’ve only just caught on. I’m posting anyway because the little memories were special for me.

The Offie

Sparkling white art deco instead of grubby cream. Now the future homes of well-heeled, aspiring middle class, first time buyers. Curved windows that will forever be a problem to curtain well, high ceilings that will keep the fuel bills high. I used to peep through those windows to see who was sitting on the curved seats inside them, all the time wondering what it would be like to sit there. By the time I was old enough to sit there, it was the last place I wanted to sit, not trendy enough for me, filled with old men and Laners have a night in the posh one instead of the Flying Horse. Me, I preferred the club scene, even if a Babycham was twice the price.
I wonder what happened to Ross, Mr Whitaker. He always had a soft spot for me and watched me grow from a toddler to an eighteen year old, who thought she was sophisticated. In the beginning it was Spangles, Maltesers or if I got lucky a big bar of Dairy Milk. Crisps were Smiths, and the salt came in a little blue paper twist, that you had to reach to the bottom of the bag to find. It was never enough to make the whole packet salty! I loved the salted peanuts as well, until a connection was made between eating them, and waking up an hour after bedtime with vomit in my hair.
The entrance was on the side, in, turn left, no dawdling to see what was up the corridor – barrels, boxes and a pay phone and then a choice of two doors side by side. I was only allowed in the first, the second was for adults. It was years before I was tall enough to lean on the tiny counter to ask for my own sweeties or bottle of fizzy pop. At weekends it was rowdy and when I stopped being a little girl, I’d get yelled at by the blokes who could see me from the other side, the dark side.
Years later I learnt that Ross and his wife had moved back to London. I felt sorry for him, she was a miserable old boot. I rarely went that way and when I did it had deteriorated badly, windows and doors boarded up and generally going to wrack and ruin. Rumours were that it was going to be demolished. Then last year, I was stuck in traffic at the bottom of the road, craning my neck I saw the dazzling white paint. The St Loyes had been converted into apartments. I wonder if there is any trace of the art deco left inside. I wonder if the beery, cidery, smoky smell has ever left the pub and if the Off Licence is someone’s bedroom.
If you’d like to check out the prompt and use it properly, it’s here.

http://wedrinkbecausewerepoets.com/2014/03/17/poetry-prompt-2-the-places-we-are/

No Small Stones

For the last two Januarys I have chosen to write a small stone for each day of the month. This year it came upon me suddenly – who knew that January was on its way? Late on New Years Day I thought about joining in and decided against it. I also looked at the idea of joining the WordPress  ‘Zero to Hero’, month but again it didn’t quite fit with my goals.

Do I even have a goal for blogging? should I have one? Blogging is addictive, I absolutely love it, the never ending surprises when I open my reader, but most of all, the connections with you my dear followers.

So, rather than commit to posting every day for a month, I’ll commit to continuing, hopefully improving my posts to Lucid Gypsy this year. I love photography, but this blog didn’t set out to be about photos, I would like to write more instead. That may be my simple poetry, it will never be poetry that takes hours to write. It will never be fiction that is honed to perfection, but I hope there will sometimes be stories, perhaps flash fiction that will make you smile, or irritate you or just feel.

I will keep looking at the world around me with  writer’s eyes because these eyes see some crazy sights, and I’ll try my best to show you what I see with or without my camera.

Thank you for sharing your time with me, every comment, like or whatever is a note in my gratitude jar.

Love and light, from Gypsy.

Crossing genres

A writing friend of mine, Rebecca Alexandra has penned the Myslexia Blog this month. It’s an excellent read in which she talks about genre and breaking a few rules. Rebecca’s first novel will be published in two months and I can’t wait to read it, click the link to find out more about Myslexia, the writing competition that helped Rebecca achieve her dream and her novel ‘The Secrets of Life and Death’.

Crossing genres.

January Small Stone# Seven

I’ve been preoccupied with writing an assignment for my creative writing course for a while. It’s been a tough one and I have been getting increasingly tense for the last week as the deadline crept closer. When I started this particular story I enjoyed it, it amused me, but as time went on I was drawn deeper into the character, to the point where I was unable to be objective. I’ve been working on it for too long, the season meant that I had extra time and I’ve used it badly. I’ve read lots of short stories – as I’m supposed to, and that’s been great, but the story has been stop-start. As a result, now that I have finally submitted the blinking thing, I am thoroughly bored by it.

Goodbye assignment two. Hello new section and new writing – I welcome you!

CPW’s Picture prompt

Last week I went for a lunchtime walk with Crazy Polish Woman who complained that my blog is full of photos and not much writing these days. I explained that I have to keep my best writing for the course I’m studying, and to build up a body of work, but I do try to do the 100 word challenge most weeks, because flash fiction isn’t too trying.

Back at my desk she emailed me this picture, with the question ‘What is happening here?’

Desktop

The picture, by Charles Sims is called ‘and the fairies ran away with their clothes’ . But this is what I think is happening, what do you think?

Small Saboteurs

Now my love I want you to listen carefully.

You see these pretty little creatures at my feet? Well they are my small saboteurs and they lived with me for a long time. In the beginning they smiled and told me I was a silly little girl. But gradually they started to change. They said I was stupid, a hopeless case and that I would never get anywhere in life, and I believed them and became just that, hopeless.

Next they said I was ugly, and that I was getting fat. And so I never smiled, I screwed my face into a frown, turned my mouth down and ate and ate until I thought I would burst.

Worst of all, was when they told me that no one would ever love me. So I made sure that no one would, I behaved very badly.

Still my small saboteurs told me how bad I was, they all shouted at once and gave me such a headache that I shouted back, ‘Stop it, shut up and go away,’ I was very angry. They fell silent and huddled together, so I quickly put them in my hat and locked it in my drawer.

I felt a little better right away, and the very next day I met a handsome man, who said that I had a pretty smile. I smiled at myself in the mirror, turning from side to side, and saw that I had a tiny bit of prettiness, so I smiled wider!

The handsome man was always kind to me, and before I knew it, he said that he loved me and wanted me to be his wife. I was so happy that I forgot all about the small saboteurs, and then along you came.

So I want you to know that if ever a saboteur speaks to you, they speak untruths, and you must never believe them. I’ve taken these creatures out of the drawer and I’m going to drop them in the old well one by one, never to be seen or heard again.

 

 

 

 

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups Week# 59

Julia has chosen this picture for her challenge this week. A photo I have seen before and wondered, whatever would make someone walk to the edge, never mind sit there? How would you get back up again?

So I think it would have to be a very desperate reason.

Long Drop

That morning he’d found her cowering in the barn, her face turned eggplant purple, and an ugly gash to the back of her head. His brother-in-law had stirred when Ray took the gun from his belt, and pulled a blade, as he used the hay bales to push himself up. He crumpled instantly, blood sprayed from his mouth, it took just one of his own bullets, shot from Ray’s steady hand.

He listened until he had heard both a heavy thud and an empty metallic clatter. That’s taken care of it. I’ve covered my tracks and she’ll come to no harm again. 

We Go Out After Dark

I’m finally having a go at Maggie Elizabeth’ prompt, this week she said it could be  a photo, art, writing or a song. 

So I’m using a photo you may have seen before  and have just scrawled this to go with it. You may need to live in Britain to get it, I don’t know?

We go out after dark

Freshness of face hidden

Under identical masks

Displaying our individuality

Our dress sense unique

Only five thousand made

For a top shops 440 branches

Glittered American nails

Rhinestoned sweep of lashes

Scaffolding to access

Gold heeled sparkling platforms

Break our legs on Jagerbombs

When we go out after dark

Very rare huntresses

Maggie would be thrilled to see you if you would like to join in!

Friday Fictioneers: Twin Shells

Madison’s 100 word flash fiction challenge this week is this lovely shell photo, which she credits to Susan Wenzel. This is my entry.

shells

Shells Divided 

Ibiza 2002, they met at a club of course, it had a huge scene back then. They chatted, danced, and then strolled to Matthew’s hotel. A few hours later they caught the sunrise on Es Cavellet, hand in hand.

Gatwick 2012, he headed for departures, tummy fluttering. Ten years ago they’d vowed to bring their shells back to the island. How he had longed for tonight, 10pm outside El Chiringuito.

Mumbai 2012, Rahul pulled a small white shell from a drawer, turned it over in his hands, and dropped it into the bin.

Whatever happened to that funny English guy?

 Check out http://madison-woods.com/photo-prompt-for-the-fridayfictioneers-6/ to join the challenge and read the other entries.

100 Word Challenge For Grown Ups Week# 52

Julia seems to think that the challenge she has set this week is easy, maybe you would like to try it out, it certainly wasn’t easy for me. I couldn’t find words to go before together the flames and I think i have cheated because altogether can only be one word? Anyway here goes.

Flames

On the day before I became a widow, I caught the London train for a weekend with the girls. Oh how we laughed that evening, fuelled with cocktails, sharing the events of the last year. New jobs, new grandchildren, and Stella’s new romance with Paul from Woodleigh comprehensive, he wouldn’t get away this time. Paul’s ex-wife had moved to my village, she could be the one I see walking the schnauzer.

Over breakfast we saw the BBC Devon news.

‘The bodies of a man and woman were found in the bedroom of the middle cottage; all together the flames destroyed three homes.’

Link back to Julia’s Place.to see the other entries.

Five Things They Don’t tell You about Getting Older

When you’re young, skirts and trousers with elasticated waistbands are just ‘old lady clothes’ and you take it for granted that they need the comfort, while knowing that it will never happen to you. Wrong. Elasticated waistbands are manufacturer’s way of making some money from older ladies who are not catered for by designers. They fail to cash in on the silver pound, sticking instead to the young, slim or even emaciated because they make their clothes look better. What they fail to take into account is that even really slim women change body shape with age. You can be small but still have a bug tummy, no waist, no bottom and that hip spring – the difference between waist and hip measurement – decreases from about twelve inches when you are twenty five and a size twelve or fourteen to about six inches when you are fifty even if you still have thirty eight inch hips! So your choice is  whether to  buy skirts or trousers that fit your waist and balloon out like a parachute around your hips, never, ever do your top buttons up, or . . . elastic and crimplene.

Your eyelashes start to disappear, what happens is that they grow inwards. They creep down through some special internal follicles until they reach your upper lip and chin where they multiply like cell division and burst out forming a lush growth to warm your face in winter.

Old ladies can’t wear pretty brassieres. Pretty ones are aimed at young women whose breasts have not yet become matronly. Matronly bosoms appear around your late forties. Oh yes they do, even if you always wore a 34A you will suddenly need a 36F, and the wide straps that go with bras in those kind of sizes. Woe betide those of you who successfully seek out The Thin Strap, because you will have deep chasms in your shoulders. Nope, to contain your new found pitta breads you will require inch wide straps and side scaffolding.

Now, we expect to gain some lines on our faces don’t we? They are lines of wisdom and character of course, and a way of keeping the beauty industry going with our futile attempts to stay young. But what is this crepe like thing happening to my forearms? No one told me about that. And why don’t the magazines recommend that you wear gloves twenty four seven, to stop your hands looking like some haggard witch’s? Because they get paid to advertise hand cream!

Granny shoes. How could they wear such ugly things? This generation didn’t invent ridiculous – oops I mean delicious – heels, platforms and wedges that you need a mounting block to climb into. No, I had them too and could walk miles, dance all night and then walk home again in them. I didn’t live in them, I loved flip flops too. They were never as lovely as the ones around now. I have some gorgeous jewelled and sequined ones, in fact several pairs; I keep buying them in the hope that some will be comfortable enough to walk miles in. If I try that, the impact of every step I take resounds its painful way up through my calves and knees, leaving me hobbling slowly the next day. So, it’s nice comfy cushiony soles for me, little heels on occasion, but even then they would have to be Footgloves. What’s happens to our feet? Well apparently we lose subcutaneous fat from our soles as we get older, who knew that? What I do know is where mine went. Around my middle.

If anyone can warn me of any other little surprises I have to look forward to I would be deeply thrilled to know. Meanwhile, where is my foot spa, my feet are killing me.