Flash Fiction – We stand together

Image © J Hardy Carroll

 

My feet crunch on broken glass, tears rising quickly.

‘Why…’ I begin, but the choke in my throat holds back the rest of my words.

Afternoon sunshine streams through the window, the upended tables and chairs brushed bronze, shards of glass glint gold.

The air is heavy with dust. With loss. But underneath there is something else. Love. We fall silently into our roles, a human chain, stronger together, clearing out the rubble. At first I think nothing is salvageable but then I realise there is. Amongst the splinters of wood, the twisted metal, it is there. A tiny kernel of hope.

We stand together.

 

‘We stand together’ was written for Friday Fictioneers. A weekly 100 word story challenge inspired by a photo prompt. This week’s prompt is topical as we all try to make sense of the senseless. My heartfelt condolences for everyone affected by the atrocities in Manchester.

Join in with the challenge over at host Rochelle’s blog here.

50 Happy Things 2016: Bloggers flood the internet with gratitude

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When Dawn Landau invited me to take part in a gratitude blog party last year I didn’t need any encouragement to say yes, and I can’t believe the year has flown by and it’s time to do it again. I’ve kept a gratitude journal for years now and it really has transformed the way I think. It can be hard some days of course to find something to be grateful for – life has a habit of knocking us down – but once we start feeling grateful, it’s like rolling a giant snowball. That warm fuzzy feeling gets bigger and bigger until it becomes part of our automatic thinking. For tips to start your own gratitude journal read this. To join in with the blog party following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

  1. Water – I never cease to feel humbled when I turn the tap on and fresh water runs.
  1. My children – No matter how bad things seem, they always make me smile.
  1. My husband – A great support, I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s stepped up and fed everyone when I wanted to write ‘just one more page.’
  1. Bed – I have a bad back and it’s lovely to sleep in comfort; so many don’t.
  1. Healthcare – Say what you will about the NHS I feel fortunate to have received the healthcare I have.
  1. Clothes – Clothes for luxury, for fashion – how lucky am I?
  1. Food – I do love to eat. I can’t imagine feeling hungry everyday.
  1. Climate – The UK weather is unpredictable but it allows me to grow fruit and vegetables.
  1. Electricity – Making life easier in so many ways.
  1. Books – Whether for learning or pure escapism I always support my local bookstore and library.
  1. Mistakes I’ve made and leant from – there have been many.
  1. Inventors – It blows me away to think how hard life would be without so many of the things we take for granted.
  1. Scientists – Those who work tirelessly to cure diseases and make the world a better place.
  1. Volunteers – It warms me to hear stories of volunteers, whether close to home or abroad.
  1. Kindness – A simple act of kindness really changes my day – I pay it forward when I can.
  2. Sun – As well as sustaining life, doesn’t it make you feel good to see the sunshine?
  1. Friends – Always ready to listen.
  1. Finding a publisher to take a chance on a new author and realising my dream of becoming published.
  1. Mindfulness – Learning this really did change my life. So grateful to my mentor.
  1. A garden – I love to be outside.
  1. Light – Reading by candlelight wouldn’t be fun – I’d probably set light to my book!
  1. A large dining table to seat my family around.
  1. Time – It’s a luxury and I carve out some for myself everyday. 10 minutes at least of doing something just for me.
  1. Car – I’d feel so isolated if I couldn’t drive.
  1. Music – Live gigs, cds, vinyl – I love it all.
  1. Piano – I love to play even though my neighbours probably have their fingers in their ears.
  1. Postal service – I’m just as likely to write a friend a letter rather than an email and receiving one back is warming.
  1. Photos – So lovely to look back on – how did my children grow so quick?
  1. Laughter – An essential part of my day.
  1. Movies – Pure escapism.
  1. Memories – Thinking of something that makes me smile.
  1. Nature – I adore the countryside. The space. The air. The stillness.
  1. My cat – He comes home every 30 minutes for a cuddle before going out again.
  1. Money – I don’t have a lot, but I’m fortunate to get by.
  1. A smile – As well as making others happy it gives a real good feeling to work those facial muscles.
  1. A home – A place to hang my hat.
  1. My dog – My spaniel is ridiculously happy – all the time.
  1. All the incredible book bloggers, reviewers and readers I have met this year, both on-line and off-line and other authors for offering their support.
  1. Education – I’m so grateful for the opportunities we have in the UK, the qualifications my son has gained this year.
  1. My debut novel, The Sister, reaching No.1 both in the UK chart and internationally was incredible!
  1. Medicine – Diseases that would have killed us can now be treated – amazing.
  1. My recently released second novel, The Gift for receiving phenomenal reviews.
  1. Wildlife – I’m animal crazy. Love to feed the birds.
  1. Colour – It just makes you feel, doesn’t it?
  1. A kitchen – A place to cook, to hang out and to nourish.
  1. A hug – Nothing seems quite so bad afterwards.
  1. Shoes – When I think of those trekking for miles barefoot for food and water…
  1. Hope – ‘It’ll be ok in the end, if it isn’t ok, it isn’t the end.’
  1. Doing something I love for a living.
  1. Love – Where would we be without it?

 

If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 15 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2016, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; just write what comes to mind in the time allotted. You may find that if you use numbered mode, and just type what comes to mind, like me you will have enough time for more than 50. When the timer’s done, stop writing. Finish whatever sentence you’re on, but don’t add more. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful!

To join us for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste these instructions into your post) 2) Click here. 3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. (folks have trouble with this, but it’s not that hard. 4)Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List. Please note: the InLinkz will expire on January 3, 2017. After that date, no blogs can be added. Scan to the bottom of this post to find the inlinkz.

50 Happy Things for 2015: Bloggers Unite in Flood of Gratitude

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When Dawn Landau invited me to take part in a gratitude blog party I didn’t need any encouragement to say yes. I’ve kept a gratitude journal for years now and it really has transformed the way I think. It can be hard some days of course to find something to be grateful for – life has a habit of knocking us down – but once we start feeling grateful, it’s like rolling a giant snowball. That warm fuzzy feeling gets bigger and bigger until it becomes part of our automatic thinking. For tips to start your own gratitude journal read this. To join in with the blog party following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

 

  1. Water – I never cease to feel humbled when I turn the tap on and fresh water runs.
  2. My children – No matter how bad things seem, they always make me smile.
  3. My husband – A great support, I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s stepped up and fed everyone when I wanted to write ‘just one more page.’
  4. Bed – I have a bad back and it’s lovely to sleep in comfort; so many don’t.
  5. Healthcare – Say what you will about the NHS I feel fortunate to have received the healthcare I have.
  6. Clothes – Clothes for luxury, for fashion – how lucky am I?
  7. Food – I do love to eat. I can’t imagine feeling hungry everyday.
  8. Climate – The UK weather is unpredictable but it allows me to grow fruit and vegetables.
  9. Electricity – Making life easier in so many ways.
  10. Books – Whether for learning or pure escapism I always support my local bookstore and library.
  11. Mistakes I’ve made and leant from – there have been many.
  12. Inventors – It blows me away to think how hard life would be without so many of the things we take for granted.
  13. Scientists – Those who work tirelessly to cure diseases and make the world a better place.
  14. Volunteers – It warms me to hear stories of volunteers, whether close to home or abroad.
  15. Kindness – A simple act of kindness really changes my day – I pay it forward when I can.
  16. Sun – As well as sustaining life, doesn’t it make you feel good to see the sunshine?
  17. Friends – Always ready to listen.
  18. Emergency services – Where would we be without our emergency response.
  19. Mindfulness – Learning this really did change my life. So grateful to my mentor.
  20. A garden – I love to be outside.
  21. Light – Reading by candlelight wouldn’t be fun – I’d probably set light to my book!
  22. Authors – It takes a crazy amount of time to create a book and I’m grateful to those that do.
  23. Time – It’s a luxury and I carve out some for myself everyday. 10 minutes at least of doing something just for me.
  24. Car – I’d feel so isolated if I couldn’t drive.
  25. Music – Live gigs, cds, vinyl – I love it all.
  26. Piano – I love to play even though my neighbours probably have their fingers in their ears.
  27. Postal service – I’m just as likely to write a friend a letter rather than an email and receiving one back is warming.
  28. Photos – So lovely to look back on – how did my children grow so quick?
  29. Laughter – An essential part of my day.
  30. Movies – Pure escapism.
  31. Memories – Thinking of something that makes me smile.
  32. Nature – I adore the countryside. The space. The air. The stillness.
  33. My cat – He comes home every 30 minutes for a cuddle before going out again.
  34. Money – I don’t have a lot, but I’m fortunate to get by.
  35. A smile – As well as making others happy it gives a real good feeling to work those facial muscles.
  36. A home – A place to hang my hat.
  37. My dog – My spaniel is ridiculously happy – all the time.
  38. Seeds – I can grow flowers, vegetables, I’ve even planted a tree or two.
  39. Education – I’m so grateful for the opportunities we have in the UK, the qualifications my son has gained this year.
  40. Spiritual gurus – The teachings of others have really improved my life.
  41. Medicine – Diseases that would have killed us can now be treated – amazing.
  42. Complementary health – It’s great to have a choice.
  43. Wildlife – I’m animal crazy. Love to feed the birds.
  44. Colour – It just makes you feel, doesn’t it?
  45. A kitchen – A place to cook, to hang out and to nourish.
  46. A hug – Nothing seems quite so bad afterwards.
  47. Shoes – When I think of those trekking for miles barefoot for food and water…
  48. Hope – ‘It’ll be ok in the end, if it isn’t ok, it isn’t the end.’
  49. The blogging community – You guys gave me the confidence to write a novel.
  50. Love – Where would we be without it?

 

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If you’d like to join in, here’s how it works: set a timer for 10 minutes; timing this is critical. Once you start the timer, start your list. The goal is to write 50 things that made you happy in 2015, or 50 thing that you feel grateful for. The idea is to not think too hard; write what comes to mind in the time allotted. When the timer’s done, stop writing. If you haven’t written 50 things, that’s ok. If you have more than 50 things and still have time, keep writing; you can’t feel too happy or too grateful! 

To join the bloggers who have come together for this project: 1) Write your post and publish it (please copy and paste the instructions from this post, into yours) 2) Click here3) That will take you to another window, where you can past the URL to your post. 4) Follow the prompts, and your post will be added to the Blog Party List.

Please note that only blog posts that include a list of 50 (or an attempt to write 50) things that made you feel Happy or 50 things that you are Grateful for, will be included. Please don’t add a link to a post that isn’t part of this exercise.

The Memory Store

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There’s a hidden box inside my mind, I call my memory store,

When days seem dull, I’m feeling blue, I revisit times before,

A kindness I’ve forgotten, an adventure, a good book,

Remind me that life’s full of colour; if you only look.

 

 

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

There’s always tomorrow

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Success. Finally. I can virtually taste it. If it was a tangible thing I could grasp I would press it
against my pounding heart of joy. This moment is the one I’ve been waiting for, striving for and now it’s here. I’m close, so close.

I hold my breath, something’s wrong. Euphoria is washed away by tears of frustration. I shrug off my cloak of failure, take this feeling and stack it neatly with my pile of nearlys, virtuallys and just abouts. My wall of possibilities grows higher and higher.

It almost worked, almost.

There’s always tomorrow.

The Streams of Consciousness prompt today was ‘almost.’ I immediately thought of Thomas Edison’s inspiring quote ‘I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.’ He never gave up trying to invent the lightbulb. Never give up on your dreams.

Flash Fiction – Courage

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At first it was just an idea, a what if, that grew into a maybe.

Practicalities, probabilities, plausibilities, momentarily dampened the spark but the possibilities, oh how they churned and burned inside of her, lighting up her eyes and illuminating her smile until she was glowing with positivity.

Hope sparkled brightly and woke her from her dreams. Moonlight pooled at the foot of her bed as she stared out into the blue black night, furling and unfurling her fists.

‘Could I? Should I?’

She felt her heart pounding against her ribs and placed her hands over it.

‘Yes,’ she decided, ‘I can.’

 

A lighter entry this week, especially for my sister, Karen.

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

What if……..

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‘But you don’t know how,’ taunts doubt.

‘You’re not good enough, strong enough or clever enough,’ whispers negativity.

‘But what if you tried?’ urges hope fluttering its tiny wings, vibrations course through me, propelling me forwards.

It is time to make a choice.

I stand on the precipice of fear, close my eyes and jump.

I fly.

 

Written for Streams of Consciousness Saturday. A post inspired by a prompt, write the first thing you think of and post without editing. Today’s prompt is to use either bat, bet, bit, bot or but.