Tag Archives: sunday write-up

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).

these are the days that must happen to you

 

 

 

these are the days that must happen to you

 

 

 

There is a room where I would go to sit

When I don’t want to think about it.

The shelves are high

And they make up my walls

I can pretend they are strong

That they won’t ever fall.

 

The books on my shelves are all my friends

Each one different, with their own little ends.

Some covers are battered

And dog-eared and loved

Huge parts of my room

They push in and shove.

 

The highest shelves need ladders to reach

Rare books – just for me – one read each.

Crisp leather spines

And pretty in their rows

The hardest of stories

But once read, you know.

 

In the middle, just in your eye-line,

Books I can loan, but stay mine.

Some read by many eyes

Others touched by few hands

Because not everyone is good with books

And cause damage that was not planned.

 

I am glad to have this little room,

It is this little space for me.

Where I can sit alone and read my books

And understand what stories can and can’t be.

 

MCJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Write-Up – April 2020

Sunday Write Up HeaderBack with another ‘writing sprint’ this week – feel free to join in, take a week to write your piece (no more than a couple of hours worth of writing effort required 🙂 and then share here in the Comments, or on your own blog and drop us a link here, so that we can come and check it out!)

Posting here on my blog, as well as on Aside from Writing – don’t be bored, give it a go.

This week’s prompts were five words a quote and an image, to use as much or as little as you feel inspired to do:

pretend       friends      different       agent        hands 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t often try poetry, but felt like writing this today, looking at the picture particularly. Title comes directly from the quote and I managed to use all but one word. I’m going to post it as a separate post now, so it doesn’t get too lost on the page…

 

 

Sunday Write-Up – March 2020

Sunday Write Up HeaderBack to help me keep creative during the COVID-19 lockdown, decided to do some little ‘writing sprints’ to pass the time – feel free to join in, take a week to write your piece (no more than a couple of hours worth of writing effort required 🙂 and then share here in the Comments, or on your own blog and drop us a link here, so that we can come and check it out!)

Posting here on my blog, as well as on Aside from Writing – don’t be bored, give it a go.

This week’s five words are:

rosy       wild      other     hindsight      beat

This piece works as a snippet to a book I’ve been playing around with for a few years – not sure if it will go anywhere, but a bit of a different style for me…

 

Saturday 24th March 2007 

Age: Still Twenty-Seven and Nine Months

Life Lesson: Booze and friendship are great, but they do not mend a broken heart

The taxi pulled away as I stumbled, high heels in hand, towards the wobbling outline of the front door. The girls were hanging out the windows shouting goodnight and don’t puke on the gnome, but I didn’t turn around, just waved my arm vaguely in the air. I did not want to be distracted from the epic challenge of finding the door keys inside my small clutch bag. 

I dropped the bag on the floor and was left holding a lip gloss. “Shit.” I glared at Rosy Glow and tried again.

Bending down, I picked up the bag and put the lip gloss back inside. Fumbling through the silky material again, I came up with something round and metal. Victory!

“Shit.” It was a rogue coin, just dumped into the bag loose after I’d bought that round of apple sour shots, because they were a wild green colour. 

Then I dropped the bag again. Sigh. “Shit,” I mumbled, one last time as I bent down and resigned myself to searching at ground level for safety. This was a picture of class if any of the neighbours poked their head out of the window at this time in the morning. A few moments later I came up with the keys. 

Tonight it helped that the door was white, and stood out from the rest of the house: it made finding the key hole easier. On my second attempt, I managed to get the key in the lock and opened the door. 

Even through the fog of booze, I felt the quiet, emptiness of the house wash over me as I stood on the doorstep. I didn’t need to be quiet as I came in, there was no one to wake up. I didn’t need to pretend to walk straight, to prove I wasn’t drunk. No one would tell me off for leaving my shoes in the middle of hallway, when they tripped over them – there was no one to trip over them, except me. 

Stepping inside, I dumped my shoes and bag, and locked the door behind me. A slight wobble from a few too many drinks: I leaned back against the closed door, shutting my eyes and realised in hindsight that mixing cocktails based on them being pretty rainbow colours had not been the best idea I’d ever had. Everything was quiet and I was alone. 

Not quite alone. I heard a squeaky, snuffling noise coming from the kitchen and headed in that direction. 

Opening the door, Millie greeted me, teddy in her mouth and tail wagging. “Hey Mills,” I bent down and fussed her, rubbing her soft black ears until she made her funny, happy-grunty noise. Snarf, she replied before trundling off back to bed with teddy. 

“Yeah, it’s nice to see you too.” I headed towards the sink, pushed stuff around in the cupboard until I found a glass, then filled it with water. I drank the first one in big, full gulps, suddenly realising  how thirsty I was. The rainbow of vodka shots I’d drunk tonight had obviously not been thirst quenching, they’d just filled a gap for a few hours.  

I filled the glass a second time and then meandered tipsily towards Millie’s bed, at the other end of the kitchen. She sat up as I approached and so I slid down the wall, landing in the warm and newly vacated space beside her. Worrying about dog hairs on my dress was the least of my problems right now – I wasn’t going to beat myself up about it.

Millie nudged my arm and dropped teddy into my lap. 

“It’s not fetch time,” I told her, placing the teddy back into her mouth. 

Snarf she said again, before she sighed and plopped her head down on my legs instead. 

I sighed myself and began stroking Millie’s ears absent-mindedly, drifting off into a little drunken haze. 

It had been good to be out of the house, away from the quiet and emptiness. The only problem now was that it felt twice as empty and quiet, as it had before. The house felt hollow, just as I did, and there was no one – and no amount of booze – that could help me with that.

I sighed again and then the tears began to fall, making cold, wet tracks on my face. It didn’t matter now, no one was here to see me and I didn’t have to be brave for anyone, so that they felt better. I cried silently, a slow and steady stream of tears trailing down my cheeks and dripping onto my dress. I didn’t wipe them away or try to stop. 

Who cares? 

“It’s just you and me now puppy,” I told Millie. 

   

Sunday Write-Up – August 2015

Sunday Write Up HeaderIt’s back for the Bank Holiday weekend – the Aside from Writing Sunday write-up event. Today’s five words are:

idea     why     stupid     handsome     hello

Hmmm… now what to do with these…?

 

The cabin was in darkness as I trundled up the bouncing track that led to the front door. In the fast-falling twilight everything was shadows and hiding places for psycho killers.

Why had I thought that a weekend, alone, in a remote lakeside cabin was a good idea?

Oh, I remember. It was going to be a weekend of alone-time, space to get on with some productive writing…I was normally more of a glass-of-wine-with-Game-of-Thrones-box-set kind of girl; safe and sound well away from the grisly north and creepy white walkers, in the comfort of my own home. I was not outdoorsy at all. Sigh.

I turned off the engine, but left the headlights on, so that I could still see the front door of the little building. “How old are you?” I shook my head at myself, but made no move to shut off the lights. I felt a lot like a little girl who wants to keep the landing light on outside her bedroom door, to pretend that she’s not afraid of the dark.

With the keys in my hand, I looked around the shadowy clearing once more then got out of the car. I scurried to the porch and ducked close to the door, fumbling with the keys. A big part of me was wishing that I had some kind of handsome, Jon Snow man-shield with me, just in case there were any rogue monsters hanging around.

When I got the door unlocked, it creaked open – of course it would have to. I patted down most of the wall inside, without having some unseen creature grab my hand and finally found the light switch. ON.

I smiled – and blinked a bit – in the brightness. Whew. Everything looked a lot better now. The inside of the cabin was just as it had been on Trip Advisor: bright red, squashy sofas; lots of wood and walls lined with shelves of books. The wood burner in the corner was already laid, ready to light and as I peeped towards the kitchen area I could make out the ‘welcome box’ of goodies I’d added to my booking. A cup of tea was definitely in order.

Turning back towards the car I was about to head out to grab my bags, when my mobile rang in my pocket. I pulled it out and saw PRIVATE flashing up on the screen. It was probably work – might as well answer it before I get properly into relaxation mode.

Hello?”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Only the light hissing noise of an open connection – no sounds, no voice.

“Hello?” I asked again, pronouncing the word carefully, as if it were possible I had been misunderstood the first time. More silence and then an ominous click.

“Hello. We have made a number of calls to you regarding a non-fault accident you had recently – ”

I punched the red button on my mobile, disconnecting the call. Bloody leeches! Why do I get so many of these stupid calls, anyway?

Sunday Write Up – Weird Acorns


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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.

http://asidefromwriting.com/2015/07/26/sunday-write-up-july-2015/

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 ‘Outlanders’

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Aside From Writing’s Sunday Write up!

http://asidefromwriting.com/2015/06/28/sunday-write-up-june-2015/

Using the words: alone growing slowly life beautiful

(A bit of a cheat this time, I’ve only had chance to write a paragraph, but it does fit in nicely to a scene in a current WIP Outlanders, so that’s why I’m happy to leave it so short!)

 

    I woke early. It was cold and as I opened my eyes to the world around me I could see my breath floating slowly on the chilly air. For a few shorts moments I didn’t move or wake properly. Vaguely, I was aware of heat behind me: Zach in his own sleeping bag. Other than that, I was alone. Like a tired child, I snuggled deeper into my warm cocoon, hoping to hide from the morning for a few more minutes. With sleepy eyes I looked out at the dark carpet of leaves and soil we’d slept on last night, the small circle of trees and bushes disguising our make-shift camp and the silver-green morning light glimmering through the leaves above. It was beautiful, full of life and things moving and growing, right before me it seemed. It felt like you could lie here forever, never moving or speaking again, with life taking over you nonetheless. Nature reclaimed everything: the buildings and ruins of the world I’d spent the last few days walking through…and me. Nature had brought me back, when I thought nothing could. It moved forwards endlessly, just as time did, and showed you that everything could change.