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’.
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!
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?’
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Madison’s 100 word flash fiction challenge this week is this lovely shell photo, which she credits to Susan Wenzel. This is my entry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Madison has posted a challenging photo prompt this week and this is my contribution. If you would like to visit her to read the other entries go to http://madison-woods.com/photo-prompt-for-the-fridayfictioneers-5/
‘There you go my dear, now all you have to do is turn on the tap and you can have running water whenever you want.’
‘Turn it on whenever I want? That’s lovely.’
‘Now how do you manage about baths? You’d qualify for a council grant at your age.’
‘Oh I just fill the copper up in July, that’s my birthday I’ll be ninety two you know, and it doesn’t take long to fill my hip bath. Now lad I’m going down the garden to get some water from the well, so I’ll show you out at the same time.’
We have one hundred words plus these four the line was drawn … for Julia’s challenge over at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week51/ why not give it a go? The prompt is announced every Monday. Here is my attempt for the week, it seems to have turned into one of those poemy things.
Between those that have
and those that have not
between those that can
and those that cannot
winners and losers
the line was drawn.
Between day and night
earth and sky
desert and ocean
between dark and light
the line was drawn.
Between leisured or laboured
able or challenged
between freedom and imprisonment
the line was drawn.
Between childhood and cronedom
innocence and guilt
lost and found
joy and sorrow
between crowd or solitude
the line was drawn.
Between having a voice
or condemned to silence
between discord and harmony
pleasure and pain
between ignorance and knowledge
the line was drawn.