Monday, 28 January 2013

Writing Prompts

I have spent January enjoying the diverse array of encouragement that Alison Wells has provided for writers in her blog 31 Days:Head Above Water. Alison has provided insight into what it is to write, what stops us and what can bring us closer to our goals. Along the way there have been small challenges to keep us writing.

Visit  Alison's Blog to read her articles. I particulary enjoyed the challenge to include all the following words into a story. The words were

Note, Train, Vineyard, Watch, Matriarch,
Sports car, Beer, Taxi, Regret, Homeless

and this is what I wrote. Read the article and other stories here

A Journey of Hope

It had been the usual hectic week, only now on the train home for the weekend, did I find time to open my post. The week had got away from me, lurching by taxi from one meeting to another, to finalise the launch of my clients’ TV series. The matriarch of the production had flexed her diva muscles, refusing to meet and greet with an influential journalist whom “she didn’t like the look of”. I’d regretted my inexperience and struggled with persuasive reasoning. She finally relinquished her self importance long enough to surrender to my insincere flattery.

My head was still throbbing from the excess of beer and champagne that I had initially shunned and eventually clamoured for as my body relaxed into the launch party last night. My head soon lost control to the giddy relief the free bar had brought. I looked up from the repetitive correspondence and glanced out at the regimented lines of grapevines. The Kent countryside still seemed an unlikely producer of wine, surely wine came from the sunny mysticism of French vineyards.
I glanced at my watch, yearning for my station to be the next stop but realising there was another five to endure. Mindlessly I opened the next envelope, the “Personal” mark top left, obscured by my inattentiveness. The handwriting jumped up and clouted me hard. This note had my absolute attention.

My daughter was alive. She wanted to come home. She was alive.

Two whole years of wondering at an end. I imagined her smile, her soft hair as I hugged her. I started to read through the tears. The prized boyfriend long gone leaving her homeless on the very streets I whizzed along to meetings. I never noticed what lay on the pavements from the comfort of the black cab. She wanted to come home; she wanted to be our daughter again. I could barely breathe as joyous relief escaped from every pore. I would go home, tell Miranda and we would go and collect her together. I almost missed my stop. Suddenly my brain registered my sports car in the spot I had left it on Monday. I got off the train, realising the return train to London was approaching on the opposite platform. I couldn’t wait any longer. I ran over the bridge, puffing hard as I jumped on.

I had to find her now, no time to collect Miranda. The letter was dated Tuesday. She wanted her Dad to collect her. I knew she would still be there waiting for me. I yearned there would be no regret.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

CafeLit: Greek Tragedy

If you are looking for a story to enjoy whilst you sip your coffee, head over to CafeLit. You can find my story "Greek Tragedy" here.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Ice Competition: Wishing for Warmth

Wishing for Warmth
He picked again at layers of ice forming on a thin, blue, nylon sleeping bag, still pungent from its previous owner. His recent acquisition offered his only protection from the beautifully, cruel whiteness of this Christmas Eve. Snowflakes clustered around him. He made his Christmas Wish: a new home.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Flash Flood Friday 12th October, 2012

Flash Flood

A new story every fifteen minutes! Enjoy the ever changing variety.

My story, "Life Changing Tips" was published at 10.30am this morning, you can read it here.

Thanks to all the editors whose constant updating of the page, and tumultous tweeting has kept us all enthralled all day.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Flash Flood Second Issue Friday 12th October, 2012

Just got my email to tell me that my story "Life Changing Tips" will be published at about 10.40am as part of the Flash Flood!!
There's still time to enter, but only a few hours......Details below.

"Welcome to FlashFlood an international flash-fiction journal created by you and edited by a team of volunteer editors on behalf of National Flash-Fiction Day. We're pleased to launch a second issue for your enjoyment, to appear next Friday - 12th October.

The aim is simple, wherever you are in the world, we want your best flash-fictions. The word limit is 500 words, but that's the only rule. Any subject, any genre, any style, any perspective, anything as long as it's flash.

Submissions close at the 23.59, 10th October (BST), so don't delay.

The stories will be posted regularly throughout the day on Friday 12th October, providing you with a constant diet of brand new flash-fictions to fill your day.

Please paste your story into the body of your email and send it to (A maximum of 3 pieces per author, please.)

We can't wait to read your work!"

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Behind the Curtain Flash Fiction Contest: The Director

Source: via Anna on Pinterest

The Director

The wooden door had curiously beckoned me as confused, I sought sanctuary. It was ajar, and yielded to my fragility. Welcome relief washed over me as I had entered this once loved home.

No musky red velvet here, no soft fabric to caress away the nerves, no-one here but me.  Stiff, crumbling wood, no more than splinters clinging together, is keeping out the shadows. Hardness is everywhere, in the crumbling stone beneath my feet, in my heart. The stone shards heighten my pain, almost piercing my soul as they stab at the soles of my ballet shoes. Somehow I feel protected, though unfamiliar creatures agitate my sleep and tiptoe through my mind. The iron grille on the window reminds me of where he should be. But instead it’s me that is confined, punished, isolated, damaged.

He always had the pick of the girls with their flowing legs and attractive arms, their poised facades and harmonized expressions. I yearned for my dissimilar dullness to repel him, but feared my turn would come. His fierce breath had ensnared me and his meandering words had tricked me. The performance over, the public shut out, applause still faintly rumbling beyond the curtain, he had made his move. We were offstage in the wings, usually a comforting haven from my theatrical anxiety. The reassuring smell of the performance still lingered as my most anticipated, yet dreaded encounter began.

They had all told me to close my eyes and dream of my place in the front row; that his sinister intentions would subside and pass to another. But I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t. I could feel the scream coming, first creeping slowly and then rushing out of me, repelling his hands, his wickedness. I ran away propelled by my own noise: away from the swashing velvet and cracked floorboards; away from the heat and repetitive applause; away from all I knew.

The cart I found, and its elderly driver had travelled only 20 miles from the scene of my rebellion. I hoped it was far enough. My silk pumps had carried me a little further down the dirk track until my dilapidated discovery. This was my home today. I did not know how I was going to eat or find clothes that would not give away my secrets. I did know that I felt safer now that I was not behind the curtain.