I am one today!

1yearoldtoday

Ok, maybe not me personally, but my blog and if that isn’t a good excuse for a cake I don’t know what is.

365 days ago I sat, with my finger hovering over the publish button, beads of sweat pooling on my brow. I wanted to try to write fiction but really, could I do it? Could I write? Would I ever feel creative enough, brave enough?

To date I have posted 67 flash fiction stories, numerous posts and have written an 80,000 word novel but I couldn’t have done it without the support of the wordpress community. I have learned so much, not only through the constructive feedback left on my posts which has helped my technique to improve week by week, but also by reading your blogs. I am inspired on a daily basis.

A big thank you to everyone who writes, reads, comments and sets up challenges. I look forward to the next year.

Flash Fiction – The Secret (Part II)

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook

 

Rage pours off my pen and spews onto the page, as I think of last night. The congratulations bestowed upon my little sister. They thought her so pure, so deserving as they toasted her success. I knew better.

Twenty years ago I watched as she buried her stillborn daughter, the result of an unknown teenage pregnancy.

I vowed never to tell, but as I sit in my flea ridden bedsit I think why shouldn’t I share her good fortune? She can afford to buy my silence.

I slip the letter under her door, go home and wait for my ship to come in.

 

If you want to know the reaction to the letter, read The Secret (Part I).

Written for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entries here

Flash Fiction – The Secret

frost-on-a-stump-sandra-crook

 

‘I know what you did.’

The words spring out from the page, my legs instantly weaken.

‘I want £10,000.’

I sit heavily, winded. Black dots dance before my eyes. I grip the letter so tightly my knuckles turn bone white. Shivering, despite the radiators blasting out heat, I wrap my cardigan around myself and close my eyes.

I can see the colourless clearing, smell the fern, hear the sound of the shovel penetrating the earth.

‘How can you live with yourself?’

I can’t. I stumble up wooden stairs and pull sleeping tablets from the bathroom cabinet.

I am sorry.

 

To find out who wrote the letter read The Secret (Part II).

Written for Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word story inspired by a photo prompt. Read the other entries here

Go, while you can

I want to travel the world,

I want to live by the sea,

In another place, I would become,

The person I was meant to be.

I want to go far away,

I want to leave that boy,

The one who broke my heart,

The one who stamped on my joy.

I unfurl my battered map,

Smooth creases with my hand,

Now where should I go?

Where is the promised land?

I squint through blackened eyes,

I dream of sand and sun,

I jump when the front door bangs,

I tremble when I see his gun.

I’ve never travelled far,

And now I never will,

A bang, a scream, a pain,

And then everything is still.

Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Write the first thing that comes to mind following a prompt and post. No editing allowed. This weeks prompt is go.



Man’s best friend

IMG_4758

 

This weeks streams of consciousness prompt, the word friend, immediately conjured up an image of my old boxer dog, Bailey. Man’s best friend, my best friend. The biggest character, the warmest heart.

IMG_4495

Right from when we brought him home, an eight week old puppy, skidding across our never before seen wooden floors on bambi legs, we knew he would never fail to make us laugh.

 

It wasn’t long until Bailey weighed almost as much as I did but that didn’t stop him being scared of puddles. When he was smaller I could carry him over them, when he was fully grown, we had to navigate our way around the tiniest pool of water, his ears flattened, visibly shaking at the thought of wet paws.

 

IMG_4757

 

Bailey’s size belied his gentle nature. When the boys dressed up as policeman and ‘arrested’ him, he sat patiently, legs handcuffed together long after the boys had wandered off to play something else, until they remembered to go back and release him.

Bailey had a myriad medical problems. His body produced steroids, making him grow to giant like proportions, and his too short eight year old life was spent in and out of surgery. Nevertheless the vets remained one of his favourite places to be. We would walk through the front door and Bailey would jump up and down with joy, often catching his paws on the mesh door mat. He frequently ripped his claws off doing this, blood would spurt up the walls as he spun around in happy circles while the other patients looked on in horror. It wasn’t long before we were ushered quietly in through the back door and allocated our own waiting room.

Bailey loved everyone, but his family most of all, he never strayed far from our side. Once my son left the back gate open and it was a while before we realised that Bailey was missing. We flung on coats and shoes and opened the front door ready to scour the neighbourhood. Bailey was sat on the front door mat, head hung, rain dripping from ears. He sighed, shook his head and padded past us to his bed.

Our house was emptier, quieter, without him and not a single day goes past when I don’t miss him.

IMG_4760

 

 

Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday – prompt – friend. Write the first thing that comes to mind, no editing allowed.

Grief – such a small word

Bertram_Mackennal_-_Grief

 

Grief is not the opposite to love. It is love. Love turned inside out, upside down and back to front.

Grief is such a small, tiny word. It doesn’t encapsulate the feeling that your heart has been ripped in two; the piece that can feel joy and happiness, knows how to laugh and smile now missing, what remains is the half that feels sorrow and pain, longing and guilt.

It doesn’t express the lurching fear that washes over you each and every time you contemplate the world, your new world, now missing one vital person.

Grief doesn’t explain why your insides feel rigid, your stomach leaden. Why you can no longer eat, sleep, create. Why if you try to smile your skin feels taut, unnaturally stretched over your skeleton.

Grief does not help you to comprehend how incredulous it seems that the sun still rises, that people continue to love, laugh, hope.

Grief does not cover astonishment that the human body continues to function, lungs inflate, hearts beat but you cannot remember the simplest of tasks, making toast is unfathomable.

It doesn’t begin to prepare you for the oceans you will cry. For the times you will wake with cheeks wet, pillow sodden. For the inherent sadness, now as much a part of you as your bones.

The main thing, the most important thing, that grief knows is how deeply you must have loved to be experiencing such pain. The gratitude you feel for having your life enriched by one special someone. The privilege it has been to have known them, to have loved them, to have been loved in return. Grief can be a million happy memories. A comforting presence of a life that once was.

 

Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. Word prompt – opposite.

 

IMG_0183

Captivating Chapters

20131016-boring-me

 

I was so excited to sit down and write today. I was halfway through Chapter 20 and I couldn’t wait to get to Chapter 21. It was going to be a great one, emotionally harrowing with a twist that even I hadn’t seen coming and I’m writing it.

Impatience got the better of me, I wanted to write Chapter 21 and I wanted to write it now. Abandoning Chapter 20 I started on my new idea. About five minutes in I stopped.

‘What was wrong with Chapter 20?’ I thought. ‘How had I been able to put it down so easily?’

I reread it and it was a bit, well, boring. And if I felt bored writing it, how could I realistically expect anyone to enjoy reading it? I may be a novice writer but even I could tell that something was wrong. I wanted to feel the same passion for all my chapters, to not treat any of them as something to ‘get through’ to get to the next one.

Chapter 20 I realised was a bridge to get to Chapter 21 and it wasn’t constructed out of the most stimulating material. Taking a lesson from the three little pigs I huffed, and I puffed until it blew down and I started building it again. It is now a chapter to be proud of and I have learned that if I am not loving the writing it’s more than likely the content and something I can fix.

Chapter 22 though, that’s another story……..

 

Smitten Kitten

I have had a break from writing for ten days while I have been on holiday. I have really missed my novel and my characters and had diarised today to get back to them.

I hadn’t envisaged on what a distraction this little fella would be though. Eight week Salami joined our household on Tuesday and doesn’t yet seem to understand ‘Let me write 1000 words and then I will play with you.’

IMG_0007

 

IMG_0005

 

Maybe I’ll write tomorrow.

Share your World – week 38

IMG_2700

 

Each week bloggers are invited to answer four questions set by Cee’s Photography. Let’s get to know each other a little better.

 

If you could be a tree or plant, what would you be?

I would be a sunflower because they are bright and happy and make people smile. My favourite flower, I had a hand tied bunch instead of a bridal bouquet.

 

If you could have a servant come to your house every day for one hour, what would you have them do?

I would have them put their feet up and take a break. A terribly hard job, they deserve a cup of tea and a biscuit.

 

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get?

Tricky. Probably pineapple. Or some crisps. You can’t go wrong with a good quality crisp.

 

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I started work at fourteen in a care home for the elderly. A ridiculously young age to provide personal care. It’s only now that I’m older that I really appreciate how undignified that must have been for them.

 

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for my lovely husband, keeping calm in stupidly busy week. I am looking forward to a few days off next week.