Revolving – Final Edit

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Longer Shorts, Parenting, Relationships, Revolving 2 Comments »

Hi 🙂

Here it is!  I hope you like it!

The theme of ‘bullying at school’ and the title were given to me by Katie Duncan, a lovely follower on my Facebook page.

 

Revolving In Entirety – PDF

 

 

 

[Pic is from here]

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Hemlock

Mental Health, Other Poetry, Relationships No Comments »

Hello 🙂

 

Ah, Monkey Mind! I’ve been expecting you… *strokes her pen*

I work on something that takes effort and is a little out of my comfort zone, wander about the house thinking of other things (there are many things to think around when your house is as messy as mine) then a poem comes knocking at my brain. 

**Out of pillows to hold (and not, unfortunately, being in bed) I don’t sit up and scream out the words I’ve read, but write them down. 

It is not a love poem, either:

 

Hiding in holistic hideousness

Hectares from happy;

Huffing into handy habits

Health-haltingly hard:hemlock in winter

 

Here.

 

Here lies a human Hemlock

Harbouring hatred,

But hoping for hugs.

 

 

 

**Random Partridge Family song reference.

 

[Pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Revolving – Parts 1 & 2

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Longer Shorts, Mental Health, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships, Revolving No Comments »

Hello!

I’m back with two parts of the new story written, so that we are where we should be at this time on a Tuesday – despite me being lazy and not putting up a post on my birthday 😉

Katie gave me the title of Revolving and the theme of ‘bullying at school’ as my prompts for this week. 

 

So Part 1 goes like this…

 

My pen: loaded.

Ink-spattered bodies

Groaning.

Poisoned by my prose;

Posed

By my artful hand.

 

Trying to escape my truth,

Gasping

As it closes in.

 

A blind corridor

No mercy.

Feel my agony

As it ricochets around.

 

I’m in the Headmaster’s office.  He’s making me a ‘nice cup of tea’ and speaking ridiculously gently.  I’m missing Chemistry for this, so I’m going to try and spin it out as long as I can. 

There’s been a power shift, it’s almost audible in the air around me.  My aura is crackling…or something.  I feel like I could shatter lightbulbs in here!  I’m making him nervous.

I’m beyond proud of myself.  And also scared…

(113 words)

 

And here is my second 20-minute scribble:

 

Boy wth glasses, twirling a penI find, when adults are edgy like this, it is best to just keep quiet and not tip the balance too soon.  I wasn’t expecting the sugar hit from the tea to be quite as intense, but then who doesn’t need a pick-me-up in the afternoon?  I checked out the school trophy cabinet when my specs cleared from the steam.

There’s a knock at the door.

“Ah.” said Mr. McKenna, rising from his seat behind the large desk.  To my surprise, my father was standing in the corridor.  “Glad you could make it at such short notice, Mr…?”

“Graves.”  said Dad.  (I use my Mother’s surname).

“Graves!” said Mr. McKenna, with mock-jovality “Of course! Come in, come in!”

Dad sat in the chair beside me:  “So…what’s this all about…Mr. McKenna, is it…?”

“Yes.  Well, I just thought you’d like to read a poem Russell left on his desk the other day…in English,” said Mr. McKenna.

So that’s where it went.

“A poem…?” said my Dad, looking confused.  “I left work early for a poetry reading…?”

I winced inwardly for Mr McKenna.

“Well, the management team and I thought it was important, given the current climate…” said Mr. McKenna

“The climate” repeated my Dad.

“Yes.”

Dad frowned.  “What climate would that be, exactly?”

“Maybe you should read it” said Mr. McKenna

“Maybe you should answer my question”  said my Dad.

(229 words)

 

Again those pesky tenses have been plaguing me!  However, I am interested in these characters and where they could lead me, so that’s a big plus 😉

I’ll see you tomorrow for more!

 

[Pic is from here]

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

Scary Visions – Final Edit

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Longer Shorts, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships, Scary Visions 2 Comments »

Or, to name this post more accurately, ‘the edit as it will stand until I get the courage to scrap most of what I’ve written and do the show, not tell version…!!’

I have a bit of a story arc, a start and a conclusion, a nod towards what the prompt was.  I have different characters and a background to most of them properly worked out. But…

Anyway, I’ll let you read it and see what you think.  I know what needs changed and why I don’t like it, and that’s the main thing.  There are still over 2,500 words that have been put down within a week on the same topic.  This is awesome practice and a learning experience…and that is why I’m here. 😉

Thanks very much for the prompt, Sandy!!

The link below should take you to the PDF.  See you tomorrow for the beginning of a new story!

Scary Visions in full

 

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Lost And Found In Unexpected Places

Facebook Collaborations, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hi 🙂

Jane emailed me earlier in the week, but I didn’t read it until this evening as I suspected it contained a prompt!

Sure enough:

 

Title: Lost And Found In Unexpected Places

First line:  “I’m afraid I’ve mislaid the baby” said Roger.

Form: Story

 

I love a bit of dialogue, me…

 

“I’m afraid I’ve mislaid the baby” said Roger.

“Again?!”

“Yes.  Can you help me look…?”

I threw my magazine down dramatically, startling the cat.  “Okaaaaay…”

newborn picture

My first port of call was the swing seat in next door’s garden.  (Roger has this arrangement where he’s allowed to roam their grounds while they’re at work).  Not there.

I could hear Roger systematically ransacking the downstairs cupboards upon my return to the house, so I headed upstairs and turned our bedroom upside down instead.  I found the kite Roger had been reminiscing about last week (under the bed) and a pot of jam that had ‘wandered’ from the refrigerator; inexplicably teetering on the edge of the small bath in our en suite.

“Any luck?” Roger panted from the top of the stairs, as I made a futile attempt to locate the lid of the blackcurrant.

“No!” I said “Roger, you are an absolute pillock, really.  I thought you promised you’d take better care…”

“I did!  I put the neon yellow on her, like you suggested, so she’d be easier to spot!”

“You aren’t supposed to lose her though, Roger.  That’s my point.” I sighed.

“I know, but I just get caught up.  I have so many thoughts and deadlines and…”

“I know, I know,” I patted his arm because he was pinching the bridge of his nose again.  “How about we go and have a cup of tea, and maybe you’ll remember where you put her.”

“Yes, ok.” Roger smiled at me “I’ve written over 2000 words today, you know!”

“Wow! That’s impressive, I can’t wait to hear where you’ve taken her!”

 

We were half way through a game of chess when he suddenly remembered.

“She’s in the car, Margaret!  I left her on the passenger seat!”

He ran out, keys in hand, eager to have his manuscript in his hands possession once more.

 

I really enjoyed writing this one 😉 thanks for the inspiration, Jane!!

I have been thinking about a new challenge to set myself on the Facebook page.  I want to eventually get back into writing my novel, so I hope to keep building my muscles for penning longer pieces (302 words today!).  I shall try to have a new Facebook Collaboration post up tonight…

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

 

 

One Moron: To Go

Facebook Collaborations, Random Short Stories, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hiya 🙂

Fittingly, on the last day of my ‘phrase’ challenge, Jane’s line produced the largest amount of words I’ve managed in 20 mins yet! (377, to be exact).  If I maintained that rate a lot, I’d be producing around 1% of a book an hour…not bad, eh?!

Jane’s line became the opener for my piece today:

 

“Life,” he concluded “was an oxymoron.”  His head then went down on the wooden table in front of me, with a theatrical bump.  I imagined cartoon Zs floating above him, before beginning to seriously worry about him vomiting on me.

I caught the Bartender’s attention and whispered my predicament in his ear (after removing my coat and bag from my chair, just in case).  I decided this first real date was over, and therefore I was within my rights to leave – especially now that two strapping gents were hauling Lachlin to his feet.  I didn’t want to see him in any light other than the fanciful rose-tinted one from across the seminar table (or the pub one, about an hour earlier).  I was kicking myself for bringing up his divorce; and for letting him move onto shots a few minutes later…shot glasses and Jack Daniels

I wondered what he’d say to me the next day.  Whether it would be a phonecall or a sheepish text.  Had I just blown all chances of seeing him again?  Was I actually getting a message from the universe here? 

At least I could tell him that his last words before passing out were beautifully paradoxical.  That might save the situation.  Could an oxymoron ever be seen as having a past tense?  Especially life. Had he now become immortal because he had left her?  Or did he just mean that he now felt he could actually breathe, and therefore function with choice and vitality, now she wasn’t disapproving of every muscle he twitched?

The rational side of me started telling me how much of a cliché this story was: that him going on about being a free spirit might seem fresh and exciting now, but actually showed a worrying tendency to run from responsibility.  That tutors weren’t meant to fraternise with their students (remember?)  Yes, even those over 21 and ‘mature’.

I wasn’t acting very mature, was I?

Was he?

There was always two sides to every tale, maybe stability was what she wanted – wasn’t that what I wanted, later in life?  Wasn’t a free spirit getting married the true oxymoron here?!  Shouldn’t I just run now before I was pesky moss to be rolled off, too?

Was that a bit of a mixed metaphor??

I hated waiting for taxis by myself.

 

Puts a new slant on the concept of sleeping with a girl on the first date, doesn’t it?! 

I hope you have all enjoyed my Facebook Fiction forays over the past 12 days – I have definitely loved the challenge of writing them!!   Thank you and BIG hugs to all the lovely ladies who came up with diverse sentences to get my mind ticking, I relish others taking the time to indulge my creative explorations (and play)  😉

Keep an eye on the page tomorrow to see what the next challenge will be, and please do get involved.  Random Word Generators are useful tools, but I’d rather know what directions you lovely lot want to send me in 😉

Until then, I shall go and chill out a bit; it has seemed like a fast weekend and I am feeling the November gloom descending, despite my best efforts.  Remind me why we humans don’t hibernate??

Catch you all tomorrow…

 

[Pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

The Given Gift

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Mental Health, Random Short Stories, Relationships No Comments »

Hiya!

I was busy for most of today, as Hubby was off and took me for a late breakfast, and we had my folks in for a visit after school.

I did get to write a piece with Laura’s phrase of “give the gift” while Hubby popped the pizzas in the oven, however 😉

 

I was overcome by a lot of thoughts at once, crying helplessly while staring at circling autumn leaves.  When would the pain subside?  How would it all be ok again?

My husband took me to a nice little tea shop that day.  One with pretty crockery and whimsical cosies covering the pots.  I tasted grief in the tealeaves I accidentally let swim in my cup.  I rarely venture beyond bags.Carrot cake pic

The pink wallpaper had shapes that reminded me of chandeliers; or huge fancy earrings dangling from invisible ears.  The windows there were only on one wall, and made of mottled glass.  Distorted people walked past a lot.  Some doubled back and came in.  Such is the lure of colourful sugar.

I didn’t eat all of my breakfast pile, but I did plump for carrot cake.  Something about the mix of spices and cheese frosting was reminiscent of shop-bought playdough.  I was taken back to my little desk, in my first real room, where I first experienced missing her; 26 years before the actual…event.

My husband talked of other things, but it all became relevant.  My whole life is relevant.

She was the one to give the gift of my mother to the world, and so all meaning thereafter.  Shaped my life in many ways, bestowed some mannerisms, bad eyesight and lumpy feet upon me; left me some words.

I pulled her bodywarmer closer to me and wished it was her hug.  A faint odour of perfume rose, which I pretended wasn’t mine.

 

249 words this time, not bad again.  Thank you, Laura, for my free reign with your inspiration 😉 I hope you liked the piece.

Hubby informs me that there are two phrases to guide me through the weekend on my sticky post! Hurrah!  Not quite time for a new challenge yet, then.  If you’d like to take me further into next week, feel free to add your sentence (and positioning instructions) to this post and I’ll assign you a day and see what I can conjure for you 🙂

Til tomorrow, lovelies!

 

[Pic is from here]

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

A Statement Of Feeling

Childhood, Facebook Collaborations, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships No Comments »

Boo!

Well, it IS almost Hallowe’en…

I had a frantic write today, wrangling with the ending that Karen specified for me! I went right down to the wire, and it is probably the messiest page-and-a-half I have produced in a loooong time 😉 well played, Karen!

This is what she gave me:

They told us to use “I” statements to express our feelings, but I couldn’t think of one feeling they would have found appropriate.

Technically it is a monologue, not a story, that I ended up with…is that allowed?! I suppose as I made up the rules it must be, haha.  I hope you enjoy it, anyway:

Hello, my name is Anne.  You’ve probably read of my ‘adventures’ with my older brothers and cousin?  Well, I’m in my eighties now, and I can’t believe how much times have changed.  I would be so scared for my grandchildren if they went off on their own and got into even half the scrapes that we did.lady on a walk

I used to like adventures best when they were over, but I still was happy to put myself in silly situations without truly thinking of the dangers.

But it was a different world then.  Of course, it was arguably more violent, with the wars and all the terrible hardships endured in lots of foreign climes because of it; but the adults never really seemed to feel that we would be in significant danger. 

I remember presenting Enid with my diary from our first adventures, and her instantly seeing a bestselling series (instead of children being treated jolly unfairly, sometimes).

I remember being (semi-secretly) very upset that mummy and daddy used to pack us off to Kirrin so much.  My grandchildren see their close family members so much more often, and go to schools that are mixed…and siblings can be together…where they can come home each evening to their parents!  I could have seen my brothers so much more growing up.

Of course, I started that tradition of comprehensive schooling off with my own daughters.  I was interested in them as people – warts and all, so to speak!

When I reminisce about my pre-teen days, I realise that for most of my childhood, when it came to the adults I cared about: they told us to use “I” statements to express our feelings, but I couldn’t think of one feeling they would have found appropriate…

 

You can tell I have had the issues Anne raises bubbling in my head for a while, can’t you…?!

As I was saying the other day, it is cool writing in a kid’s room because it can really help join a few dots in my head. (You know I’m definitely dotty by now, yeah?!) After reading today’s ending to my story, I grabbed Five On A Treasure Island off Eldest’s shelf and looked to see when it was first published (1942).  From there I skimmed the first few pages and learned George was supposed to be eleven, so I knew Anne would have been about nine, so born in the early thirties…and the furious scribbling began!

I cranked out 269 words over and above my given ending!! Boooom!

I am cringing at all the clunky words I want to shave, it must be said, but if I look at it as purely a 20 min writing exercise – I am getting more prolific!  800-odd words an hour wouldn’t be too shabby 😉 I’d have my Stephen King quota in 2.5 hours. 

I’d need a nap afterwards, right enough.  Writer problems…

Karen impressed me by managing to decipher my scrawl in the page pics on Facebook.  I was even going a little crossed-eyed, trying to follow the greeny gabbling I produced 😛 she seemed not to hate my wee scene, so yaaay 😉 Thanks again for making the cog wheels whirr so fast, Karen!

Where would you have gone with this ending?

See you for more dottiness tomorrow!

 

P.S If you would like me to write a ‘Facebook Fiction’ piece using one of your phrases, please submit it according to the rules outlined on this challenge page.  Thanks!

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

She Stroked It Gently

Facebook Collaborations, Random Short Stories, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hi 🙂

Emma provided me with “she stroked it gently”. Interesting choice – I think you’ll agree there are a few possible storylines there!! 😛

Emma didn’t specify where I was to put the phrase, so I decided to make it my closing line, as it is the option I haven’t run with yet:

 

He had always loved her freezing hands.  He said she could calm any insecure thoughts with a simple caress.

Back in her retail days, a man had once commented that she should consider a career making butter, instead of inflicting her icy fingers on unsuspecting customers.  She’d felt like pelting him with the coins she was offering in change.  Greg had frowned at that story, kissed her palm and laid his cheek on it.

He quite often started at her chilly wrists and worked his nibbly way up her arm, across her neck…by the time he moved to elsewhere she was totally in his thrall.couple kiss

Greg had always brought the best out in her, made her braver and able to smile through any misfortune.  She hoped she would always remember to keep as cool as her hands, in his honour.

Though his pain was now over, and her comfort could not be felt through expensive mahogany; the casket still held a piece of her heart.

She stroked it, gently.

 

I could be accused of mixing my tenses a little in the story, but I left it that way because I was thinking that we don’t always speak of the dead in the past tense when they are newly deceased; or when they meant a lot to us and we are in the throes of happy memories.  Plus it throws the reader off a little 😉

I have roped hubby into peeking at my next days’ phrases on the sticky post, but not telling me more than the name of the contributors and whether they have given me ‘positioning’ instructions or not! So I know it is Michelle’s turn to fire up my ‘Facebook Fiction’ tomorrow, but have no idea what she’s asked of me.

I’ve been heading to the comment section of the sticky post and telling the contributor when I’m beginning; then popping up a pic of my scribbles (again in the comments of my sticky post) after I’ve had my 20 min write time.  I usually manage to post the result of my labours on the blog by 10pm (all times GMT, as I am in Scotland).

Come visit the sticky post on Facebook and leave me a wee line to take me into the working week…please??  I’m only sorted up to Sunday and I’m loving the challenge too much to stop so soon!

I think I may have become a creative adrenalin junkie.

There, I said it.

 

[Pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

The Bear Hug

Facebook Collaborations, Mental Health, Parenting, Random Short Stories, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hello!

So! Between Facebook and Twitter (sorry for missing you out yesterday, Alice!) we had six participants in today’s collaboration; along with Emma’s request for a (very) short story.

I usually do a 15 minute write with nine words, so I did ten minutes with six and came up with the below…harder words today, but a great wee creative-mind gym 😉

 

Heroic  Squiggle  Laconic  Tautology  Misguided  Essence

 

He looked at me, obviously sure he’d just performed some heroic act, and I tried not to sigh.  I had grown his baby from a mere egg, to a squiggle of life, to a complex human form…and yet he struggled with doing up a cardigan’s buttons.

IGirly with her father knew my laconic response was full of my figurative tautology (and that nagging is always misguided) but my very life’s essence was leaking out of my feet that morning.

Our toddler chose that moment to amble through and launch herself into her father’s arms:

“Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!”

The tired man smiled all over his stubbled face. 

Suddenly, in one bear hug, his hero status was restored.

 

Thanks to: Hannah, Katie, Jenny, Sarah, Michelle and Alice for the inspiration!

What shall we create tomorrow, dear readers?!

Come and visit my Facebook page, and see what challenge I have stuck to the top of it.  I’m thinking of changing it every week 😛

 

[Pic is from here]

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!