Image courtesy of Sandra Crook
‘Writing’s a dead end job.’ The careers advisor had said. Even now, I remember the heavy feeling in my stomach as my hopes sank.
I straighten the stack of paperbacks on the table. Check there’s a spare pen.
‘There’s no money in books.’ She had said and I wish she could see me now, sitting under the ‘Bestsellers’ sign.
Outside, the queue snakes around the corner. It’s nearly time.
‘Lisa, have you finished?’ My manager snaps. ‘The author will be here in a minute.’
I scuttle back to my place behind the till, wishing again I hadn’t given up so easily.
My careers advisor told me writing wasn’t a viable career and sadly I listened to her and for 25 years I pushed my dreams to one side. Thankfully, in my 40’s I decided to try and write a novel and am still stunned that my first two books, The Sister and The Gift, have both been International No.1 Bestsellers, selling over 750,000 copies. It’s never too late!
‘One Day’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge, inspired by a photo prompt. You can join in over at Rochelle’s blog, here.
Image courtesy of Liz Young.
‘I’m dying.’ Panic builds.
‘Shh. You’re not. I won’t let you.’ He tightens his grip on my hand and I remember the first time he laced his fingers through mine. We had picnicked under the sunflower sun, the smell of cut grass drifting through the breeze. Now it’s the stench of hospitals that sticks in my throat. Dettol and decay.
‘I want to die.’ I can’t bear the pain anymore.
‘You said that last time you gave birth but it was worth it afterwards when you held our baby, remember? Midwife says not long now. Relax.’
‘Relax?’ Bastard. I hate you.’
I missed last week’s Friday Fictioneers. I was trying to juggle the school holidays with finishing the first draft of book 3, but the end is in sight! I also took part in a local library incentive which made me cry, which you can read about here.
I’ve tried to keep this week’s story lighthearted. I’m sure from the prompt there will be many entries bringing a lump to the throat. ‘Unbearable’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge, hosted by Rochelle, inspired by a photo prompt.
Image courtesy of Jellico’s Stationhouse
The back door creaked open. I shouldn’t go. But the thought of Jake waiting for me at the park pulled me. I shivered and it wasn’t the middle-of -the-night-chill but the anticipation of Jake’s hands heating me.
I wheeled my bike down the side of the house. Paused as the latch on the gate squeaked open. It wasn’t too late. I could go back to bed but my feet carried me forward. I pedalled as fast as I could. I pedalled so fast my dad’s warning words couldn’t catch me ‘there’s a killer out there.’
I didn’t care.
I was in love.
A super busy week with a deadline looming and the school on their Easter holiday but when I saw the prompt it fitted perfectly with a paragraph I’ve just written for book 3 soI couldn’t resist using this excerpt.
Friday Fictioneers is a weekly 100 word challenge inspired by a photo prompt and hosted by the fabulous Rochelle.
Image courtesy of Jennifer Pendergast
You loved playing dress up, twirling in my far-too-large wedding dress until your heel caught in the lace and you tumbled onto the dried grass.
‘Mummy.’ Your lip trembled and I plucked a buttercup, shining gold in the sun, telling you it was a magic flower. All was well in your small world once more.
I blink. Somehow time has slipped passed. Weeks, months, years.
You rush towards me. This time it’s a gown and mortar board that swamps your still-small frame.
‘Mum!’ You’re nervous. I push a buttercup into your hand.
‘Collect your degree, darling.’
Your world is larger now, but I’m still here. Always.
‘Buttercups’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle.
Image courtesy of Shaktiki Sharma
‘Dan said ‘I’m going to give Stella the sack.’ Hilda relayed.
Stella’s throat burned hot. How could he? Today? It’s 30 years since she started here. Not that anyone remembered. She’d helped his wife arrange a birthday party for him too.
Stella fired off an email telling her boss everyone called him fish breath behind his back. She pressed send and gathered her belongings and her dignity, and stood.
‘Not going anywhere, Stella?’ Dan carried in a cake. Thirty candles flickering. ‘I said this morning I’m going to get you back for the party and surprise you!’
‘Sorry,’ mouthed Hilda. ‘Misheard.’
This week my sister asked for a more lighthearted story and as it’s International Women’s Day and she’s the strongest woman I know I had to step outside my comfort zone and give it a go.
Big thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed and recommended The Sister. Yesterday my publisher rang to congratulate me on half a million sales. You can read the first thought that popped into my head here. World Book Day was another step outside my comfort zone. An introverted writer giving a talk to 250 kids. What could possibly go wrong? I blogged about that here.
‘Act in haste’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt and organised by Rochelle.
Image © Rochelle Wisoff-Field
Elsa dabbed the cotton wool against Edward’s leg. It came away crimson.
‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered. ‘It doesn’t look good.’ She reached into her case and pulled out a bandage.
‘Elsa! Why aren’t you eating your chips and why has Teddy got ketchup over his leg?’ Elsa’s mum swiped the bear and began to sponge his fur.
‘He ranned out in front of a car, Mummy, just like me.’
‘Let’s get you both cleaned up.’ Elsa’s mum’s knuckles bleached white as she gripped the handles of Elsa’s wheelchair and pushed her out of the kitchen.
She wouldn’t cry again. She’d run out of tears.
Yesterday I wrote a post on the 15 stages we go through when writing a first draft – no wonder writers are often exhausted! You can read the post here.
‘Can’t you kiss it better?’ Was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. Hop over to Rochelle’s blog for instructions on how to join in.
Image courtesy of Sarah Potter
When I was 6, Papa gave me a snow globe and I longed to be the princess inside, adored by my forever prince.
Be careful what you wish for Mama used to say.
From the outside looking in my life is perfect but I’m lost. Alone. Afraid. I rest my bruised face against the window, wondering what mood my husband will be in tonight, wondering where it all went wrong. What I did wrong.
I could leave. Be free. But where would I go?
Be careful what you wish for.
Instead, I paint a smile onto my lips.
I can’t believe it has been a year since I signed my book deal! I wrote a post you can read here on whether the reality has lived up to the dream.
‘Be careful what you wish for,’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. You can read the other entries, or join in, over at host Rochelle’s blog here.