Tag Archives: creative writing challenge

Writing Sprint ‘Absolute Reality’

I pull the car into empty space at the side of the road. There’s no crunch of tyres, no engine idling, none of the stereotypes of this action that books and films would use to tell me I had stopped driving. All is quiet and empty. Quiet and empty in the world outside as much as it is silent inside my head.

So now, I sit and I wait. Waiting for nothing. Waiting for everything. Wait for myself to catch up, restart maybe. But I’m still blank right now. I’m not here, not really. And I’m not really sure where here is either.

I stare ahead without looking. I don’t see detail or focus on anything in particular. There is simply a general impression of the world around me, greys and blacks, dark and not-quite-so dark. And space. The space gives me some form of peacefulness: there is no artillery barrage of words, no pressure to speak or do or be something other than the nothing that I want to be right now.

Where did things go wrong?

It wasn’t one single point of failure, just a gradual drift away from everything that you had ever wanted and thought might happen. It was the loss of possibility and perhaps, the loss of easy and relaxed… Knowing that life could take me anywhere and there were no limits with you was part of what made us, and then that all went in a single moment, and I could see nothing but limits and compromise and lost choices. That was what killed me, I think. Closing doors on things that could have been, that is the hardest part.

It is time to let go of this. There is no blame and I have not run here to get away – I think I am here to come back. I have been absent for a long time and losing yourself is the worst kind of loss. You grieve but don’t really, because you’re gone but still there, and you cannot really grieve for yourself, can you? No you can’t. But, you can erase yourself, let yourself disappear inside another you, one not quite so complete or whole, but the you that is present enough to convince everyone with eyes that you exist.

I’m coming back, I can feel it: a reboot is happening, full system reset and switching back on. I can breathe now, and something new begins to fill me up, flushing out the voids inside: refresh, refresh, refresh.

The empty spaces outside me begin to fill now and I can see the details, re-energised eyes opening up again and seeing things anew as they focus once more. The trees to the side, dark but highlighted white where snow has blown onto them across the open ribbon of my road; a sky overhead, not dark but not light, grey streaked with ripples of clouds undulating above me for as far as I can see but not see, beyond the end of the road. And moonlight, here: cool and calming washing over my brave new world.

The button clicks as I switch the engine on. It hums to life, a soft rumble vibrating through the pedals and into my feet. It is time to leave, wherever it is that I am. The road looks soft and grey and open, it is wide with possibility and perhaps. The sky ripples overhead, easy and relaxed. Pulling back onto the road, the tyres crunch across the unfinished surface before they find smooth tarmac again.


(Author Note: not sure if this is going to fit somewhere into the episodic book I’ve posted other ‘sprints’ on or not, but it feels like it might fit with an earlier part of the story).

Sunday Write Up – Weird Acorns


Aside From Writing’s Sunday Write up is back – and I just noticed that I’ve not blogged anything else in the last month, since I last wrote a piece in June. Hmmm. Well, my best excuse is that, along with fellow author Tony Talbot, we’ve both been busy putting together the posts and things for the Indie Author Event taking place over at Aside From Writing this month. It might not sound like much, but it takes a while pulling out all the right bits of information from everyone’s emails and loading it onto the blog, re-formatting bits and sending comms back to everyone. Anyway, enough of that – it’s time to get on with some Sunday writing – if you want to join in, check out the link.


Using the words: forget weird acorn come need



Life can be strange – it gets a bit weird,

If only some formula for success could be bioengineered…

People go and people come, but they usually only hang around while it’s fun.

Sometimes those you love forget what you need, like a hug or a call, or to be let go and freed.

Whatever comes next, you might guess but no one knows – this is the only time you’ve got – so sow the acorn and see what grows.



You know, I’m not too sure on poetry and don’t normally go for it, but you know I’ve written it now and so I’m sticking with it as my effort for this month. I’m very easily distracted and when I was bashing this out got more interested in making the lines a little longer as I went along, so I hope that appears the same on the blog post – if nothing else, it looked pretty on the page when I wrote it! 🙂

Sunday Write-Up – ‘The Interview’

Sunday Write Up HeaderThis is the first month Aside from Writing’s ‘Sunday Write-Up’ feature has run, and as it was my idea I should really take part 🙂 It’s a monthly creative writing challenge, just a bit of fun to get you doing something different once a month and share what you produce with the other followers of the blog. Click on the image above to go to the blog and find out more about this month’s challenge.

In the meantime, here is my effort…

The Prompts: follow, bird, delivery, eye, missed

My Piece: ‘The Interview’ A snapshot scene, featuring a young woman on her way to a job interview.

     You know that sensation you get when you’re on your own, but you feel like someone’s there with you? I usually get it when I’ve stayed up too late watching rubbish on TV and I’m in the bathroom washing my face. I expect to open a soapy eye and find someone standing next to me… There never is, but somehow, even though I know it’s a stupid idea, I still feel like someone was there for a split-second. And I just missed them.

The day I went for my interview, I felt exactly like that. But, it wasn’t late at night and I wasn’t on my own. I was in the middle of a busy city centre, heading for the train station that would take me to my six o’clock appointment.

There were people all around me, some chatting and laughing with friends; others chirruping into mobile phones, like their lives depended on the conversation they were having. He said, she said, I-don’t- believe-it crap.

The end-of-day workers stood out the most. The people around me who were pretending they were all alone…that they weren’t being jostled from side to side in a throng of hundreds of people. They looked like they had taken all the human interaction they could manage for one day. Perhaps an unsolicited hello, or unwelcome nudge could push them over the edge into white-collar meltdown.

Why was I going for this interview?

Surely, I didn’t want to end up like these people… Worrying at the end of the day about the delivery of some presentation or another, whether that email had been actioned in time, whether a bonus was going to pay off the credit card bills that had already been racked up…

I sighed. It was already too late for me to break away. I’d left uni, degree in hand, bright eyed and bushy-tailed like the rest of my debt-ridden pals. Done the weird and wonderful graduate interview panels, with group games and personality profiles, and found myself ideally suited to a career in financial management.

The doors of the train slid open at my stop and I slithered through the other passengers to break out onto the platform. It was quick walk from the station to Elizabethan House, where my interview was and so I merged into the stream of people flowing up the stairs to the street above.

I didn’t expect the odd feeling of being watched to follow me off the train, but it did. Trying not to be obvious, I glanced behind me, to see if there were any familiar faces in the crowd coming from the platform. In the multi-hued sea of skin, there was no one I recognised, so I turned back to the stairs beneath my feet and trundled upwards with everyone else.

Free of the station and stuffy air of the underground train I headed up Market Street, avoiding the dead bird that had been flattened into the kerb as I crossed the road.

However this interview went, at least I was in a better position than the squished bird.