Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Bucket of Frogs

Some days staring at the TV is all I am capable of. Other days there are moments when deep questions tickle the grey matter. Like today; when you plug your phone or ipod into your stereo or car audio system and ask that system to shuffle the music, is it the stereo or your phone that controls the shuffle? The music on my way to work was particularly good you see and I wondered which machine to afford the credit to because some days are bad  music days when every other song needs to be skipped as it is just not fitting for the moment. Sorry I digress. Or other bigger 'life, the universe and everything' type questions like; why are we here?

Now I have no idea what the answer to this question is...what? I am no Stephen Hawking am I? I ask questions about shuffling ipods for goodness sake! However in my pondering I did come to a realisation; does it matter? One thing is certain, the thing that makes it all worth while and the thing that has seen me survive has been my connections with other people.

The last couple of months have been hard personally for me, for no particular reason other than circumstances weighing me down. Now, in the grand scheme of things I have a roof over my head, I can afford to feed my family and we are all healthy. These are the times where you think to yourself get a grip, your life is peachy. But it is what it is and downward my mood has spiraled. Through it all there they have been, my little shining stars. The lights that brighten my day and keep my head up and a smile on my face no matter what I face.

Those people that can throw chocolate (and other goodies) a really, really long way and time it's arrival so perfectly it made me smile, cry and laugh all at the same time. Then chat online with you for hours about anything.

The little messages that pop up and say I'm thinking of you, how are you doing? bringing a smile with them, even though things are not rosy for them.

Oh and the laughter. The geeking out, the inuendo, the insider jokes and the down right did I just walk into that  moments that have kept me sane at work. With old friends and new; discovering those things that we are on the same wavelength about or other things that we have in common when we thought we were the only one. If I didn't eat as much chocolate the amount I have laughed recently at work I could have shed a few pounds at least.

Connections...lead to smiles...leads to laughter...leads to a lighter heart...leads to inspiration...

I had always thought in the past that my inspiration came from a couple of very limited sources. I am starting to see that it is there in everything, it is connected to everything I just need a lighter and more open heart (and probably mind) in order to accept it. That's probably why music unlocks things for me and walks in the open. I finally see my awesome friends not only keep me sane and make smile, they inspire me too.

You gotta have friends! They keep you sane!!
view original here on Pinterest.

So thank you my friends, thank you for being there for me, whether you were aware or not you helped (are helping) to keep me sane. Though sometimes I wonder if, "we are all mad here." As mad as a bucket of frogs.

Just a little Stereophonics to end with today. When you are struggling what drags you out of it to face another day?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Slipping Away

Writing Prompt

Prompt pinned from here

"Do we really need to keep this?"

"Yes, it's from Charlie's first week of school."

"What about this?"

"Yes, our first holiday on abroad."

"Seriously we can't need all of these cards and pictures! Can we?"

Liv rolled her eyes. Why was Ian so intent on taking away all of her connections to the past? Their memories, their moments.

She got up, grabbed her cup of tea and walked out into the garden for some fresh air. She would have to let go of some things at some point. Mara would be off to high school soon and there was no more room for 'stuff' in the house, just like there was no more room in her brain.

Cradling the warm china in both hands, inhaling the honeyed vanilla sent Liv closed her eyes and sank into the bench and her memory. 

The fresh clean air in her lungs, the smell of the damp wet grass under her boots and the chatting about nothing as they walked.The blue sky and the birds calling, stopping while he tried to tell her which bird was which. Then the feel of his hand slipping around hers. The warmth and the pressure of his fingers made her feel safe. But then the unspoken hung heavy in the air, the next step that would never be. Neither wanting to let go knowing they would never get this moment again. The memory would be the only thing they would get to keep.

Now Liv worried that her memory would fail her, eventually she would forget this too along with everything else. She had nothing to connect it to.

What ever you take, what ever you throw away. Please let me keep this memory.

After much deliberation it here is a little Stone Sour acoustic to go with today's post. 

What memory would you not want to let go of? What do you keep playing over and over in your mind like a movie on repeat, just so you won't forget any little detail?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


Today's writing prompt....I know, I know don't all faint at once I'm actually writing it today! 

As well as the picture above, a product of Sabrina's Etsy shopping I believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) Caitlyn added the rest of the quote (oh and head over to her blog she has a giveaway!)

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost." 
— J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))

I wander, and I get lost. But often I do it on purpose. I've just had a quick look and I can't believe I haven't written about this before!

I find cities are the best for this, I remember a particularly fruitful adventure in Newcastle. I had time to kill and nothing special to do so I set off in one direction and walked. I found the most amazing shop stocked with local handmade crafts and another that sold delicious whoopie pies.

The secret to getting lost is to allow yourself time. Never be pushed for time or you will panic. Always have an escape plan, smart phones are great for this (though I try not to fall back on mine if I can). Talking to people is unheard of these days I know, but seriously how do you think folks managed before we had our noses super-glued to a screen. Speaking of which, your best friends when getting lost are your eyes. Look around you, aside from seeing some of the most amazing things you will pick up the landmarks you will need to find your way back.

After saying all that I only managed to get lost once on my recent trip to London and I only had an hour to make it out. This particular occasion I didn't do it on purpose so I felt no guilt using said smart phone to navigate my way to Big Ben, however fate would have the last say doing so killed my battery! That little excursion did take me on an unexpected trip past St James' park which was pretty so I wasn't disappointed!

Where I did allow my wandering side free reign was in the galleries and museums I visited, even on a trip into St Pancras station. My eyes looked up and found art not just framed and on the wall but on the ceiling too.

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This was one of my favourite pieces of ceiling art at The Courtland Institute Gallery.

I continued to look around and I found amazing architecture, not just the exhibits I had come to see.

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One of my many favourite parts of the Victoria & Albert museum (hastily snapped as it is in the entrance hall and it was really busy that day!). Try to let the sculpture fade away and look around it, the building is just as beautiful...and massive. If there is ever a building to get lost in in London the V&A is the place to do it, so many places to hide in awe and wonder.

Finally, for you at least because this is only a whistle stop tour of my wanderings, St Pancras Station. The place that wasn't on my plan, the place we nipped into on a whim. The place of any wanderers dreams...The one that steals your heart. I will visit again, I may even eat in the booking office restaurant and truly soak up the atmosphere. If I am really lucky I might one day get to stay in the St Pancras Hotel (that one really is the thing of dreams). For now I will leave you with my snaps of St Pancras.

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'Not all who wander are lost' but some of us get lost to discover something and maybe ourselves along the way. Don't forget to look to the clouds every now and again, you never now what you might see.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Some Days!

Nina punched in the code and legged it to the door. She pulled it to with a thud and turned the key. Pushing her ear buds in she cranked the volume on the drumbeat and guitar riff and let the weight of the last ten hours start to drift off with a deep breath in then out. 

Wrapping her skull scarf around three times, trapping her braid, she stepped onto the darkening street to the beat and headed for the station. Today had been a long day, ok in reality time had moved no differently to any other day, but some days the books ceased to be wonderful other realities, they were just stacks and stacks of lead weights all to be moved and scanned. Sometimes the kids ceased to be wondrous little beings discovering the world around them and were just brats throwing crayons all over the floor. Every now and then that 'book with the blue cover' is not a 'nice little challenge' it's a 'you have to be kidding me' kind of feeling. 

Today had been a 'some day'. The one day when she really didn't want to have to handle the creepy dude! Nina knew what was coming as soon as the sentence, "it's something about shades of grey" was out of his lips. Sat there with the creepy ass look on his face. She was polite and went through the motions of, "yes, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James" and oh joy we have a copy in. She nearly gagged when he was stood so close in the fiction section whispering at her, "I bet you're into this kind of thing, aren't you."

A louder more diverting song came on and Nina cranked up the volume another notch as she checked the road for cars before crossing, something or rather someone caught her eye up the street she had just walked down. Nah it won't be. She shook her head and carried on, speeding up a little to the beat and to match her pace to the adrenaline in her veins.

A few more bars and her heart was pounding almost as loud as the bass, she had to look back. Crap It was the creepy dude. Nina quickened her steps but she had no idea why even if she got to the station is wasn't manned at this time of night. Where could she stop? Where could she go?

Another look. He wasn't there. She turned to get a proper look. No definitely not there. Nina sighed, maybe he was just walking in this direction. She slowed her pace and turned to look where she was heading.

"Hello Nina."

view original here

Wow, Friday's writing prompt took me a while to work out in my head. I must say this is purely fictional and in no way based on any real life events! Leah and Sabrina of course finished their's ages ago...and you must go check out their awesomeness!!

Saturday, 20 September 2014


Yesterday's picture prompt was been posted courtesy of Leah who is already off the mark with her response as is Deb over at Kicking Corners, go check out their magic, but not until you marvelled at my merger efforts which eventually comes to you after I fell asleep yesterday mid-writing.

"Mother, mother. Look just like you said my wing is mended." Sang the thrush, swooping from branch to branch to show off  his new found mobility.

"So it is little one, rest it for one more day and you should be ready for full flight." At this the thrush broke into full chorus rejoicing her presence and power.

There went my peaceful walk Gaia thought. She tried to focus on the warm grass beneath her bare feet, the bottom of her white cheesecloth skirt catching as she walked. Twisting tiny plaits in her hair as the last vestiges of summer warmed her skin. Until the chattering and squeaking around her became too much.

"Ok, ok my darlings" Gaia sighed. "Your babies are all so beautiful. Yes, yes, my blessings on them all. Come and see me at the Oak this evening Master Rabbit and I will look at your ear then. Go now and be merry in the sun, summer is nearly over and the harsh winter will soon begin."

With that she turned to move through the creatures around her, leaving the voles and foxes and mice and all manner of other tiny creatures in her wake. She needed time to recharge.

As she cleared the gathering the tree tunnel came under a peaceful quiet once more, quiet enough for Hart to step out from his hiding place. Only he could bring a smile to Gaia's face during this season.

"Hello old friend." She greeted him, sliding her hand down the fur on his neck. As she stepped past him the beautiful stag rose up onto his hind legs and shifted into the form of a human man. His antlers becoming thick locks of brown hair. But his eyes they were the same, over these many years all the many times Gaia had changed him for her own selfish reasons she had always kept his eyes. Those deep and fathomless brown eyes.

"Hello Gaia" her name rolled deep from his throat and settled her fraying nerves.

"Oh Hart, these summers are getting harder and harder to bear."

"How so?"

"The constant activity, the constant chatter, oh just the constant....I find myself wanting to set forth winter earlier and earlier every year."

"There is an option Gaia" Hart replied with his usual knowing sideways look, with just a sprinkling of wicked.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Dance with me

Today's writing prompt. Now anyone that has read my blog before knows that I am not averse to getting my inspiration from music. However I don't think I have ever used a song with no lyrics purely as inspiration for my writing before. Lets see how it all turns out.

Leo walked over to the record player, his bare feet muffled on the soft sprung floor. There was a scratch and a crackle as the needle picked up the ridge and started to pull out the first notes from the piano.

He moved silently to where Jess was sat, having just taken a drink from her water bottle, and held his had out to her. Not saying a word they began to move in the choreographed routine, right around the room they moved. Bodies close and intertwined. The touch of hand to hand, skin to skin. Leo's guiding hand in the small of Jess's back or the feel of her breath as she tucked in against his shoulder. Jess leaping into the air with grace and trust that Leo would be there to catch her, bringing her down so close to the ground her blond braid swept along the floor.

The music would stop with them embracing 'center stage' neither one could keep their eyes from the other, their lips almost touching. Then Leo would break away, reset the needle and the dance would start all over again. 

Until, that is, one or the other or both indeed could no longer stand the tension. When the temptation to close the gap was too much, they would collect their things silently and leave to repeat the same routine again the next day.

Unfulfilled passion. The critics saw the connection of course, praised their astounding chemistry. The tabloids spread rumours of them being seen together. The dancers simply never confirmed nor denied any of it, they refused all interviews and would only dance.

That is what would make them the most captivating of dancers to watch. As their bodies moved, in ways only an intimate couple should know each other, that night on stage everyone was enthralled. And the audience couldn't help but hold their collective breath as the curtain fell on their final embrace.

For more prompt loveliness head over to Deb for dimples, Leah and Sabrina for some beautiful poetry.

Three posts from me today catching up on prompts....think I am going to go crash and burn somewhere now ;-) But it has been one fantastic ride, why not try it sometime? Give it a go if you are stuck in a writing rut, power through some writing prompts. Pinterest is a great place to find them, but generally anything will work and set yourself a time limit to write. Go over, write off on a tangent it doesn't really matter JUST WRITE!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

"And They Lived Happily Ever After. The End"


Cole ducked just in time to see the crystal decanter shatter on the wall beside him. His Balcones Fifth Anniversary bourbon trickling down the wall mirroring the tears on her cheeks, the ones he put there. God, I'm an idiot!

Heaven screamed. It was the most unearthly sound Cole had ever heard; rage mixed with her heart breaking and it could only escape through that noise and a volley of possessions smashing around him

"I can't believe you took her there, to our restaurant." Heaven shouted breathlessly. "Were we just a lie, all along. 'Happily Ever Afters' just for the movies after all." She continued adding air quotes to the happily ever after.

"No...Crap...I don't know. I love you, I'm an idiot Heaven...please."

Heaven just shook her head and turned to walk away. Oh please no, fight me. don't give up.

"If I could undo it all I would. If I could trade everything I have for just one more day of what we had I'd do it in a heartbeat Heaven. I've never been happier than the day we got married."

Heaven turned to face him but the look on her face was no longer filled with rage and the tears had stopped. Cole's breath caught in his chest, in that moment she scared him. His beautiful angel looked downright vengeful.

She slinked over to Cole, standing nose to nose with him she traced her finger down the side of his face. "Do you really mean that Baby? All of your wealth, all of your tomorrows for just one yesterday?"

"Yes." Cole answered definitely, even though this whole thing confused the hell out of him. One minute she was throwing things at him the next she was close enough to kiss. But he had to show her what she meant to him.

Then she screamed again but this time there was a blinding light that filled the room and everything started spinning. Cole dropped to his knees, he could no longer see Heaven and he couldn't even reach out for her. When everything came to a stop she was there in front of him dressed in a white trouser suite, when had she had time to change?

"Cole get up!"

He staggered to his feet rather ungracefully and then he had the chance to take her in in all her glory. Yes that was the word, beautiful white angel wings and glory.

"Cole close your mouth. Here's the deal, I'm going to give you what you want. You can have one more day of loving me, our Happily Ever After."

"Thank you, I love you. We will be great together this time...." Cole started to move towards her but she held up a hand to stop him.

"Cole you don't get it, there is no this time. Do you know what Cole? Just enjoy today." With that Heaven turned to walk away leaving the images of Cole's wedding day to come together around her. Muttering as she left. "I'll enjoy it more when I take it all from you."

Yesterday's writing prompt was to write something that starts with "And They Lived Happily Ever After. The End". It kind of starts that whole debate over if there are any 'happily ever afters' and just how hard you have to work on them once the credits come up! But I guess that is a whole other post. For now Sabrina, Leah and Deb have posted their responses to this prompt onto their blogs...go check them out!

What would your happily ever after look like? Have you found it already? Is it as plain sailing as you expected?


So this was a prompt from a couple of days ago and I promise I did the writing...just in a very traditional pencil and paper kind of way. I am just now getting time to post here. Jump over to my lovely friends who were far more on the ball than me and see what they are up to.... Leah's is here and Sabrina posted here

Dark House, The Enchanted Wood
photo-manipulation via lynn
view original here (look to the bottom left window!)

She stood at the window. She stood at the window every day since he left.

The threads that tied them were still strong. He still loved her and so he would return to her. Then they could rest.

Her body had withered long ago, her bones turned to dust. The houses around theirs had crumbled and gone, the residents forced out by her initial rage. She'd moved the landscape up around their house, it reflected her mood now...her need to be alone and wait.

She kept their house the same, untouched by the ravages of time. The same so that he would recognise it when he returned. Not that it mattered, all he need do was feel along the thread. He knew it was there, he'd plucked at it more than once tugging at the hope where her heart once beat.

So she stood at the window and she waited for him to return. She would wait forever and they would never rest.

Just a little song to go with this post ;-)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

St Pancras

Yesterday's daily prompt from my fabulous writing group resulted from an impromptu visit me and the other half took into St Pancras station one evening whilst in London this week. A quick diversion on the way back to our apartment, only to discover the most fantastic things accompanied by beautiful notes tinkled from the ivories.

So here's the prompt and my ten minutes (plus interruptions)

"I have to go."

"I know."

"I just..." He sighed into her neck.

"I know." She repeated, her arms around his neck.

They'd been over this conversation a thousand times already and now the clock above them ticked off their last moments in each other's arms for who knows how long he felt the need to tell her all over again. Why wasn't she enough? She should be enough but he craved home and the wide open spaces so badly. He needed to be out of this city before it crushed him.

Stood together. Foreheads touching. Eyes closed. Their lips meet in one last caress. Slowly they move apart, he wasn't sure any more if he could do this.

Then she was standing alone under that god forsaken clock as he turned and walked toward his platform. Towards his train. Towards home and an emptiness he'd never fill.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Your Shadow

View original here

Looking at photos of me as a baby, seeing photos of you mixed in. Just your shadow remains. The spectre of who you were, of what we did together, of what we could have done. 

But even that is fading now, I really know so little about you. My connections to you are slipping away, like the sun sliding behind the hills. One day will I find my self not remembering you? One day will even your shadow be gone? For now I will keep shining the flood lights on your life and throwing your shadow across mine.

Will my life cast a shadow as far reaching as yours?

Just a quick one today while I'm exploring London. Thanks for these awesome prompts Leah!

Out of the mirror

Today's ten minute daily. Check out what Leah has been up to today, so much more deep and meaningful that what I got from the image below!

view original here

"Margaret. Margaret." Henry whispered patting his wife on the arm. "I think we are in the wrong place."

"And what makes you say that Henry." She replied smoothing down her blouse, still transfixed by the girl sat in the grass in front of them. Margaret found it fascinating how the girl had managed to tuck all of her body and arms behind the mirror that appeared to be showing the scene behind her. Just her head and legs were visible.

"Really darling I don't think this is the usual style for the Serpentine Gallery, do you?"

"Oh? How would you know darling? When was the last time you stepped away from the Tate and your beloved Turner?"


"Just be quiet please and stop complaining. Be open to something other than your buttoned shirt and knotted tied, loosen up a little."

"Now you are starting to sound like Henrietta."

"Maybe you should listen to your daughter from time to time, it might do you some good."

"Was it her that suggested we come here?" Henry spat incredulously at his wife. He knew what he liked, why did he need this new fangled drivel forcing down his throat?

Before Margaret could respond their argument, that had been getting progressively louder, was interrupted by a white rabbit leaping out of the mirror the girl was holding. It hopped across the grass and right between the couple. Margaret looked up at her husband.

"Shall we get a taxi back dear?"

Monday, 8 September 2014

One eye open

"Seriously Shake what were you thinking? You can't just go gooey eyed or what ever that was at the Cap'n, not even if he were that last pirate on board."

"I know John but you've seen how he looks at me I can't ignore him forever."

"You can damn well try, hide in the crow's nest forever if you have to. It's a better than Elise getting her hands on ya scrawny neck!"

That evening Shake was just climbing down the rigging, she'd swapped shifts with Jim-Lad in the crow's nest  and pulled a double (although no-one quite knew why they still called him Jim-Lad given he was the oldest pirate on board at 60) when she turned straight into Tobias. Captain Tobias Black Heart, the sexiest captain on the seven seas. With his shirt half unbuttoned and his belt slung on his hip, cutlass and musket tucked in it always at the ready and his long hair pulled back with that leather tie. And those eyes, blue as the oceans they sailed.

"You've been avoiding me." He said pinning her against the mast.

"Um me, no. Just...um...up the nest...um sir." Shake kept trying to keep calm, avoid eye contact. Anything to avoid her wrath. Then she heard it the rhythmic thunk....thunk....thunk....thunk of Elise's heeled boots on the decking. Tobias had heard it too, his Captain's mask appeared, not the playful face he wore when trying to catch her but the one he wore around Elise. He straightened his posture to one of authority and backed away.

"My sweet Elise, don't you look positively ravishing tonight"

Elise stood there, hands on her smooth hips; wearing tight leggings that disappeared into her knee high boots and white over sized shirt stylishly spilling out of the tailored waistcoat, complete with pocket watch. Her hair a mass of sumptuous curls framed the perfect heart shaped face, red lips and signature eye patch. No one knew if the legends were true, if she only had one eye or if she simply wore the patch to constantly keep one eye acclimatised to the dark so that going into the bowels of the ship could be done so quicker and with ease. One thing was known...she slept with one eye open

Here stood the Captains gorgeous mistress, who arguably had more sway than on this ship than the Captain, she was the mad jealous type and Shake had just been caught with in spitting distance of her lover.

Shake was in trouble, maybe learning to sleep with one eye open wasn't such a bad idea.

Today's daily prompt hot from Leah and the writer's group:

Writing Prompt for September 8: Write about a girl named Shake.

I was also a little inspired by this song. Make of it what you will ;-)

I hope everyone else if having some fun writing, if not daily prompting.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Wake the Zombie.

view original here

"Mmmmmmmm" Gabby murmmered. 

"Urgh" She grumble as the cold morning air rushed into the tent, the smell of pine needles and earth flooding in with it. Burying back down into her sleeping back searching out the warmth and breathing in the sweet warm smell. But the outside smells were creeping in, tickling her senses waking her when all she wanted to do was remain in her cosy cacoon.

The remenants of sulpher wafted in to assault her nostrils. Getting back to sleep was out of the question now, Alex was intent on rousing this morning zombie. Yep, there it is the tickle of burning wood.

"I'm still not moving" Gabby shouted. Alex just laughed.

A few more moments of warmth and then the bitter aroma of coffee came creeping in.

"You're not playing fair!"

A couple of clangs later and the torture was more than Gabby could stand. She unzipped her sleeping bag, pulled on her hoody and boots then stuck her head out of the tent.

"Bacon?! Are you trying to torture me?"

"How else was I supposed to wake the zombie?"

Not much of an effort for today's prompt based on the above picture and purely the sense of smell. I hope my bloggerly friends have had more luck

Once more with a sense of feeling.

I love breaking rules. If I'm not bending the number of people to nominate on a blog challenge I'm writing for an extra few minutes of the daily prompts issued  by my writerly buddy Leah. Today I thought I'd just take the prompt and change it.

Out of the bag today we got:

Write a scene from the point of view of a rescue dog.

But no matter what I do this little brain of mine is coming up with this and nothing else, sorry Leah....At least the juices are flowing.

Sniff...Sweet, milky, cocoa...Chocolate!

Sniff...Metallic, urgh and that antiseptic smell like that horrid place where they give you shots...jewelry probably.

Sniff...Fresh, slightly floral...freshly washed clothes.

If I have to do this for much longer I'm going to have no sense of smell left. 

Sniff...oil. "Woof" That's right, this suitcase. Pretty sure I picked the right one again, for what the 500th time, Thor thought as he bounced in front of his handler indicating he had identified the case with the plastic c-4 inside.

"Good boy Thor." Grace praised, "Right again. One more field assessment and we'll be ready to join the Avengers." 

Thor laid down on the floor at the sound of the ridiculous name for the dog squad at airport security and put his paws over his eyes.

Grace giggled ruffling his ears, "I know, I know. And I'm not called Thor. Would it make it better if I changed my name to Loki?"

Thor jumped up and leaped at Grace, who being crouched down fell backwards with the force of his leap. He loved her smell, it was so subtle not over powering like some of the smells they tested them on here. Urgh the perfume was the worst. Her smell was small but colourful, it was soap and grass and treats and maple syrup all rolled into one. Except in the mornings when there was a little hint of mint too.

By the end of tomorrow they would be all that stood between the humans and the strange ones blowing them up in the sky....one more practice

view original here

*   *   *

I have actually managed to get away a couple of times this summer with my beautiful family and the break gave me time to think. In particular about my writing. The thing people say to me a lot is that my writing is very visual. This is all well and good but I realised, with my toes curled into the cool and slightly damp grass that there are four other senses and why, especially when advised to as writers, am I not utilising them to my full potential. 

The way I figure is I need to start focusing on my other senses and make this come across in my writing. So while Leah is posting prompts I will try to focus on each of the senses in turn to work that muscle and see what happens. Today I tried smell but as it is my weakest sense in terms of writing I may try this one a second time. By all means join me on this challenge and see where your strengths and weaknesses are too.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The morning after the night before.

Today's writing prompt, from Leah via Caitlyn see here  on Pinterest. I'll try to stick to the ten minutes seeing as I have a date tonight!

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Frankie was hot, sweat was trickling down her back as Alistair lead her from the dance floor. They had drunk some, watched the burlesque dancers that followed the singer. Frankie had been mesmerised by the poi flame throwers who entertained them after that. It was like they needed no fuel at all, like the flames came to their hands and mouths as if by mere thought, playing in to fantastical shapes to the rhythm of a deep bass. That bass line continued into the morning as they all danced and thrashed on the dance floor, giving themselves over to the beat.

Now he was taking her away from it, he was making her leave. She wasn't ready.

"You look cute when you pout you know" Alistair mocked.

"Hmph" Frankie replied as the hostess placed her shrug on her shoulders, she squirmed uncomfortably. It was too hot for that.

"Come on, you've had enough for one visit." Alistair said taking her hand and dragging her to the ornate arch that she hadn't noticed earlier. Rubies and garnets set into the crystal carved setting, Frankie had an inkling it was for more than just show.

The shimmering started as soon as they passed under the arch, world tilting movement and lingering alcohol in her system were not a good mix. Please don't let me throw up, please don't let me throw up, she thought.

Frankie knew the moment they were on the right side of the club's portal as soon as the cold morning air hit her. She sobered up in a split second and realised it was dawn, the first rays were starting to break through and dissipate the morning mist through the forest branches...


"Alistair, where are we?" Silence, "Alistair?" She turned but he had his phone to his ear. Frankie caught a snippet of his conversation.

"...I don't know Jones it's never spit me out here but then I stayed longer than usual last night. Just triangulate our position and collect us as soon as you can...Yes contact me as soon as you know an ETA." He clicked his phone off and returned it to his pocket, turning to smile at Frankie.

For Deb....excuse the chatting half way through, worth it though!

The Hellfire Club

"Eeeecckkkk" the raven screeched across the dusk from the dead tree he was perched on. The landscape was desolate and Frankie was beginning to wonder if Alistair had her chasing some kind of urban myth. Thankfully there was a nicely worn path along the cliff face, she wouldn't want to be walking on the scree that spread out down the slope in these heels.

Alistair stopped, cupping her face in his hands. "Are you sure about this? You will never be the same again, there is no going back from this."

"You make it sound like I'm signing a contract with the devil." Frankie laughed.

"Try not to." Alistair smiled.

With that he took out a curved knife about six inches long from the small of his back. It had strange markings etched into the steel that Frankie had never seen before. Then in one quick slice he drew the knife over his palm. Returning the knife to its holder he took Frankie's hand before she had a chance to run and placed the bleeding hand on the rock face.

Everything around Frankie shimmered and she felt like the earth had given way underneath her feet. Just as she thought the contents of their early evening dinner would re-visit her she felt Alistair's cool hand on her arm and the world had stopped spinning.

"The first time is always the hardest, you'll get used to it" he whispered in her ear.

Frankie looked up and they were in a club like she had never seen before. Alistair was slipping her shrug off her shoulders but she barely noticed. The ambiance was dark and opulent,  it took her a moment to adjust from the light levels outside. The decor was a black...no wait deep reds, all different shades of red in fact some so deep they looked black and chandeliers hung every everywhere. Except, was that real flame in the wall sconces? Frankie took a moment to take it all in, trying to remind herself to pull her chin up and not gape!

"Welcome to The Hellfire Club, Fais ce que tu voudras." The hostess said to Frankie. "And welcome back Alistair, your usual table?" 

"Please Trixie."

It was only then that Frankie's brain caught up and as they started to walk away arm in arm she whispered, "What did she say?"

"Do what thou will. It's the club's motto, a place where anything goes" and his frivolous and wicked grin spread across his face, the one that won her over ever time.

As they walked deeper into the club the sultry voice of a 1920's singer drifted around, various gambling tables came into view off to the right and the bar to the left, stage dead center with numerous tables dotted around and some private booths. Alistair lead her to a booth letting Frankie slide in and get the view she wanted of the stage.

In just a moment a waitress was at the table with a bottle of champagne. Dressed in a black corset with red trim, ruffled panties, stockings and fishnet gloves. She had fantastic red ringlets, Frankie admired them for a more than a fleeting moment, no matter what she did with her fine hair curls would not hold. Then realisation dawned, the lighting was dim but Frankie was sure she had red skin. And were they scales, and horns, small ones but horns? A quick glance to Alistair and he wasn't reacting, maybe this was a costume for venue staff. Frankie popped her head above the booth seat and took a good look around, yep other waitresses were the same. Some green, some purple but similar, and the odd tail. But wait, a customer, there...a blue customer. Frankie studied the waitress a little more who luckily was talking to Alistair. This didn't look fake, no patchy face paint.

"First time honey?"

"Excuse me?" Frankie replied.

"First time at Hellfire?" The waitress asked again.

Frankie couldn't speak, her accent was even off. European but not, so she just nodded her reply.

"Touch the tail if you like, it's all real." She said flicking a pointed red tail round to reach out to Frankie's hand.

"Abbey, let her have a drink at least."  Alistair mockingly chastised the waitress.

"OK." she giggled, "offer's there if she lasts." She said with a wink. Frankie watched her tail flick as she chasséed to the next table.

Frankie downed her glass of champagne and a second. Nope that was not going to cut it. Calmly she got up and walked away from the booth, she could hear Alistair shout her name once but kept on walking. They had talked about the club of myth and legend where the wealthy go the 'let their hair down' where the devil walked among them, if you believed such things. When he said he could take her she never for one minute thought it existed and not like this. 

Reaching the bar she perched on a red velvet stool and didn't even wait for the bar tender to ask.

"Tequila, straight. Slice on the side"

"Rough day?" he asked dead pan. Stood there in his bowler hat, stripped waistcoat with reptilian eyes like it was the most normal thing in the world.

She knocked back the shot, slammed the glass upside down on the bar and after sucking the lemon a second said, "Again!"

Five shots later Frankie thanked the bar tender and walked back to the booth. She slid in next to Alistair.

"OK, so what's first?" she giggled wickedly.

*   *   *

So this was my response to a friend of mine trying to kick my writing behind into gear! Thanks Leah! Who's response to the writing prompt below can be found here. And my awesome blogging bestie has also taken up the challenge too and written something here. They are both super talented writers so you should definitely go check them out, if only to see how we all cam up with completely different things for the same prompt.

September 2, 2014

Ok, confession time mine was helped a little by this song which inspired me a little today off Imelda May's new album. I imagine her voice in the club and some of her other songs drifting around there from previous albums. So that combined with Leah's prompt has me writing again. Whether it's good or not I don't care words on the page was name of the game and I have achieved that, oh and I broke the 10 minute rule too....sorry not sorry!

So what is everyone up to? Have you missed me? Because I've missed you! Fill me in and I'll do you a deal, next post will bring you back up to date.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Batten down the hatches!

I'm feeling a little like Eeyore

original sourced here

I was so enjoying the sunshine. The warm glow on my skin. The smell of sun cream and cut grass on the light breeze. The fun and games punctuated by laughter and screams. And the colour it brought to my life. I enjoyed having it all in my life again, it was nice while it lasted.

Now the storm is on the horizon again. The pressure is building, starting to feel truly oppressive.  I knew it wouldn't be long, I knew I couldn't out run it and there it is creeping closer. Stormy grey clouds looming and starting to block out the light. This time I don't think there is any dodging the eye of this storm. Soon the first cracks of thunder will rumble out. Then the light show will begin, few may even be struck by bolts of lightening.

Truly awesome
find original here

It's interesting to see how people prepare for a storm:

1. The Ostrich - stick their head in the sand and make believe nothing will touch them.
2. The Leopard - watch them take off and attempt to out run the storms path.
3. The Beaver - build, re-build, shore-up, all in an attempt to minimise the effects of the storm.
4. The Humming Bird - known for their fantastic rate of flapping.

Storms, in general, don't scare me. I love our little British efforts (most of the time they're a flash in the pan with no damage); the anticipation, the show and then the relief of the rain. I get the feeling though, it's going to be quite some time before we will get to dance in the rain with this storm. And that is what worries me, that is what sends me through all of the above character types (not an exhaustive list sourced from anywhere other than my brain). With only the leopard removed from the equation, I won't run again, I wonder which I will settle on.

Yet I can't help but think this storm we're facing is just a baby compared to the ones our Grandfather's and their Father's before them faced. Who are we to fear when they faced World Wars and Depression?

Do you know which character type you are? Is it listed? Or do you behave completely differently when a storm is on its way?

Friday, 13 June 2014

Just a chip

A Lesson in Smashing Plates
view original here

You have probably seen on the wider tinternet the meme or short conversation that can be view in full at the above link...the general gist is; if you smash a plate, then say sorry, will that fix it?

Now I've worked with the public since leaving university so I have developed somewhat of a thick skin. Don't get me wrong, once upon a time peoples comments did cut through me like a samurai sword through butter, leaving me shredded and  lifeless. I came to realise after a while that most people were venting about their own situations and not being purposefully mean or hurtful. Slowly their comments and sideways glances started to wash over me until I stopped noticing them at all.

Few people still have the power to wound me with one comment; take me down like a plate from a shelf and shatter me. Sometimes if I'm lucky they just chip a corner and leave me functional; whole but damaged.

Mostly these aren't people who intentionally want to break me...but does that make it any less hurtful? An analogy I know Tangled Lou will appreciate (because I know she hoards mugs), is it any less upsetting when you accidentally drop and smash your favourite mug?

The only problem is, attempted breakages from strangers at work (in the past mostly) or from "friends" when I was younger where ten-a-penny. Even when they had an effect on me picking myself up from those was easy. But how do you pick yourself up from the surprise attack that cuts deep? The one you didn't see coming, the one that's left you doubting and questioning yourself for the first time in a long time. I'm not sure I know that answer to this one!

Be careful which plates you chose to smash, it may be someones hard earned confidence!

One of my favourite songs in a new found acoustic version :-)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

I Wish....

We've all read one of those books that's really stayed with us. Ones that give you a stonking book-hangover? ...Yeah, I've just finished one of those. In fact all three books in the series have been a bit like that, but this last book has been the worst by far.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. The final part (kind of) of an epic love story between Karou and Akiva amidst impending apocalypse. Parts of this story have been coming to mind ever since I finished it, for example whilst watching my daughters football team win a match at a recent tournament 10-0 I found it comparable to the angels massacre of Loramendi (at least in my head it was). I now find myself yet again remembering another part of this fantastic story.

At the beginning of the series we see  wishes being traded, usually for teeth, and they come in various denominations a little like money. There is a scene in Dreams of Gods and Monsters where Karou's best friend Zuz and here boyfriend Mik end up with a violin case full of wishes. They spend some considerable time debating the right or wrong way to spend the gavriel's, which are worth more in terms of wish granting capacity. However they eventually decide to try not to spend these wishes and save them, becoming the self titled 'Wish Police'.

I tell you all this because this song became available to download today on iTunes, which I did as soon as I knew. It got me to thinking though and you know how that can be a bad thing with me! Have a listen while I tell you all about it.

I must have listened to this song at least twenty times today, I just love his voice. But not only that, this song in particular throws up visions of dancing in my head. A sensual, foot to foot Argentinian Tango. Two bodies moving in perfect synchronicity and fluidity. Eyes meeting with intense passion, heat and flame dancing between the pair as they share the beat of the music and the meeting of souls. It makes me wish with a passion so deep that I had never given up dancing, that I had a partner to share a song like this with in its entirety. That I could play a track like this and get lost in the movement and the beat with only another body to ground me.

Lovely mystery couple.
image found here

Would that be a waste of a wish? Would Zuz and Mik be on my tail? And what would I wish for anyway?...the chance to dance or the willing/able partner to dance with? If I had a gavriel would I frivolously spend it on regrets or spend it more wisely on sensible things. I guess it depends if this track was playing!!!

What would you wish for given the chance? And no world peace or generic happiness please, those are too big for simple wishes to handle.

Friday, 30 May 2014

A Hard Lesson to Learn

The response from my eldest munchkin. "Mum I hate it, it doesn't suit you!"

The response from my youngest munchkin. "Wow Mum, you have mermaid hair!"

And the best response from a stranger in the street - "Did you have a fight with a Slush Puppie machine?"

With a million other comments in between. Who would have thought striking another thing off my buckets list would elicit such wonderful conversations with such a wide variety of people.

When I was younger I spent a good proportion of my time conflicted between trying to express myself and trying to fit in. Eventually fitting in won out, growing up seemed more important somehow than frivolous things like dying my hair a strange colour or an extra ear piercing.

Now I'm a little older and a lot more confident (though that isn't hard and I'm still not all that confident) I have come to realise there is becoming an adult, that part is inevitable, but one does not ever have to grow up! Why shouldn't I dye my hair, no matter how old I am? Call it a mid-life crisis if you like, though I personally am saving that until I'm 40 and then I can go riding a motorbike. No it wasn't for a bet. I just want to live my life with no regrets.

I've had a few conversations where people have told me, 'I wish I had your guts.' My reply to them is just go for it, it's worth it. However the best conversation my wild hair do has sparked has been with my eldest munchkin. It has been a great way to tackle the whole concept of acceptance with her. She may not like what I have done, but then she doesn't have to...I did it for me and no one else. At nine she has barely started to push the boundaries with us as parents. My mother thinks she is beyond shocking but in truth I haven't ever pushed that hard either. But I explained to my little munchkin, who I am steadfastly denying will be hitting a decade in this world next month, that at some point she will want to express herself. And when that time comes I will support her in anyway I can....within reason (hey I'm not completely stupid as a parent!)

If there is one thing that comes from this item being crossed off my bucket list, I hope it is that my kids confidently chose to be themselves in whatever they do as they get older...but never grow up completely!

(If you can't beat 'em join 'em heh?)

The only question remaining, what colour next?

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

People Should Smile More

The shy smile.
The nervous smile.
The 'you have to be kidding me' smile.
The 'I'm so glad you walked into the room' smile.
The sexy smile.
The great big toothy grin.
The 'it's threatening to turn into a belly laugh' smile.
The 'I'm up to something' smile.
The 'I'm so proud of you' smile.

There are so many more smiles than this in the world, all with their own unique magic. Even the polite 'please go away' smile is nice in it's own way. At least someone is trying to be nice  to another instead of just telling them to '*$%~ off'

We all love those little rays of sunshine that even on the greyest day brighten your life. But I can't help feeling that bacteria could learn a something from the little ol' smile. It is the most contagious thing I have ever observed, one smile and a couple of seconds later it spreads to the next person and the next and the next. It's one thing I never mind catching though!

But if there isn't one around to catch and you haven't got a reason to smile, try faking it for a while...you never know, it might turn into a real smile and start a epidemic.

My munchkins...two of the best smilers in the world (of course I am completely biased) and they infect me every day. Who have you infected lately? When was the last time you smiled at a passer by or a cashier and brightened their day? May be we should start smiling more?