Today, I arrived at the supermarket at 9am forgetting that it doesn’t open until 10am on a Sunday. I decided to go for a walk in our local country park. After a short walk, I sat down and started writing down the idea for this flash fiction piece. Whilst there, I was intrigued to see two old gents chatting in the park bench just a short distance away from me. I couldn’t resist doing a bit of writer eavesdropping. They were so lovely – one was my dad’s age – and he mentioned it’s his birthday next Saturday! They were talking about the passing of time, their youth, and the like. I enjoyed their company so much, lol, Little did they know!!! I hope I see them again! Anyway, I digress. Perhaps, they will feature in a future flash fiction piece that I will write.
For now, this is the flash I came up with:
March 18, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that takes place a year later. It can be any year. Explore the past year or another significant passing of time to a character. Go where the prompt leads!
The sun shone, bathing my face with a pink glow as I sat in the garden of our new villa.
Portugal. I’ve always loved this beautiful country. Now we’re here for keeps.
My husband played a cheery tune on his guitar. The stress of COVID diminished with each strum and every note. Tears streamed from his eyes. Tears streamed from my eyes. I reached out and touched his hand. No one else could make this happen. No one would brave enough to take such a chance during a pandemic. Only him.
The prompt this week is dreams…. I’m reading a romance at the moment, it’s getting steamy…. Lol.
Lips still tingling
Mouth kissed by sweet dreaming lies
I awake alone
Embracing the pillow’s curves
Longing for your tender touch
Hope you enjoy the tanka!
My new poetry collection is out!!
Lockdown Innit is a poetry collection of eighteen poems about life’s absurdities and frustrations during lockdown. Wherever you live in this world, this is for you. Expect humour, a dollop of banter and ridiculous rants here and there. Amongst other delights, witness the strange antics of a swan posing by a bin and two statuesque horses appearing like arc deco pieces in a field. Check out the violin player on a tightrope, or the cheeky unmentionables wafting in the lockdown breeze!
Buying Links Lockdown Innit Released February 26th
Last year in May my daughters and I went to Montreal and treated ourselves to salon nail gels.
So, we thought as we’re in Lockdown why not do it this at home instead? We clubbed together to buy a gel nail set from Amazon complete with nail gel polish, base, and top coat.
Saturday 4th April we cheered ourselves up, by painting our nails.
It wasn’t quite salon luxury – I donned the necessary hygiene accessories: gloves, disinfectant wipes to clean, a fresh sheet of newspaper for each person, etc, and we were ready to go. (Don’t do this at home if anyone is ill – i.e. has a cough, sore throat or any symptoms of Coronavirus, or if you are at high risk of getting the virus, or have serious underlying health conditions.)
I pretended I was a professional! And we had a good laugh. We even joked with my hubby that he could have a go to but he declined.
When it came to my turn I chose a neon colour, I love jazzy nail shades. Inadvertently, I chose the same brightness of colour I had last year in Montreal, though the shade this time is more pink/red than pink/purple! My eldest daughter went for red and my youngest for a pink, plus she decided to paint one nail on each hand in glitter purple.
They turned out really well and took ages to do, so it’s a great way to spend time!
Poor hubby felt a bit left out. He disappeared in the garden with earphones to listen to music but when he saw our nails he said he thought they were very nice. And, he even said my longer hair, (which I normally get cut every 6 weeks,) suited me.
Later on I skyped mum and dad which really cheered me up too. My dad always says the nicest things – I think he thinks I’m perfect! Lol, so if I ever need a boost to my ego all I need is a five minute chat with him. Mum and dad are both staying fairly cheerful considering everything. Bless them.
A Frightening Dream
Last night I had the most frightening dream. I was on campus somewhere, (a mature student!) and these three young lads terrorised me, (one was only fifteen,) as I walked home one night, They taunted me with sexual innuendos and followed me all the way to my bus stop. Then they sat near me on the bus home. I was terrified that they were planning to get off at the same stop as me. By chance a friend of mine joined me on the bus, and they started chatting to her as if everything was normal. I asked her to move with me to the back of the bus, so I could tell her what happened without them hearing. She seemed a bit surprised by my request but did as I asked. As soon as we were seated I explained what had happened – how they had been suggestive, threatening and lewd. She was shocked to hear that. We were so relieved when they got off the bus before us.
If I was analysing this dream I’d say it shows the depth of my anxiety and uncertainty about life at the moment. We have no idea how long Lockdown will continue, how many people will become infected, or how many will die. It is so unsettling, upsetting and disturbing.
So, it’s even more important to focus on those things that will lift your mood and take your mind off the situation. Whatever makes you happy – whether it is pottering in the garden, drawing and painting, watching TV, reading a book, keeping fit, caring for your house plants, meditating, or painting your nails! Everything that makes you happy is so important right now.
From Richard Dees who is in self isolation in Devon – all his daughters are in the nursing profession – one daughter is a midwife, another one is a nurse in ITU, (her husband is a consultant,) and daughter three is in her third year nursing training. Do pop over to his blog to say hello. He has some books on sale: https:///another-week-has-passed/
Last day of Anne Allen’s promo #booklovers Bargain! The Guernsey Novels Books 1-3 boxset only 99p/99c until 5/4/20 drama/love/mystery on a beautiful island https://books2read.com/TheGuernseyNovels1-3 @AnneAllen21 #guernseynovels
My Tanka for Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge using the synonyms delight for Joy and passion for fury.
I find dreams fascinating. Often we wish we could continue our dream when the alarm rings to wake us up. But, if the dream becomes a nightmare we are only to keen for it to end! Would this dream be a nightmare I wonder…
Here’s the link to join in with Colleen’s weekly poetry challenge:
Today it is my pleasure to welcome Trent to my blog.
Here’s Trent’s take on inspiration. It’s fascinating …. I’m a dreamer too – I expect a lot of writers are – enjoy!
OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a dreamer. Not just any old dreamer, but a daydreamer. More than that, a daydreamer with an insatiable appetite to learn all there is to know about the world around me.
Typically, when we think of a daydream, we imagine someone dreaming about what they’d do if they won the Lotto, or found the perfect person as a mate, or made a great scientific discovery, or got a huge promotion, or… you get the point: people think of daydreams as improbable fantasies about the dreamer’s future.
Not me. (At least not always )
What if this legend is actually true, or if there is a basis in fact for that myth? What if, just beyond that latest scientific discovery that was recently announced, there is a deeper, more disturbing truth? What if I could see what you are thinking?
What if magic is real?
I am constantly on the move. I don’t have a Fitbit because I’m not concerned about the number of steps I do. Walking with people who do 10,000 a day, I know I do far more, at least if I include running.
There is something about walking that makes the creative juices flow. When I was in school and hit an impossible problem, I would just go take a walk and my subconscious would answer it. When I’ve researched some new discovery, or some ancient one that I recently decided to study, a walk makes me think about the topic. Thinking, of course, as I said above, leads to daydreaming.
And I’m a dreamer. A daydreamer.
Do all of my ideas for stories come this way, from a long walk? Of course not. I really enjoy prompts and typically write two flash fiction pieces a week. I think of doing the prompts as exercising my story writing muscles. Beyond the prompts, sometimes a complete storyline just appears in my head out of nowhere. And once I even had the idea for a book from a (real, night) dream (The Halley Branch, which will be the next book I publish). But typically, a longer, more involved work will be written in a series of walks.
A good example of that would be my book The Fireborn. It was born by just the type of daydreaming on a walk described above. I was thinking of history and myth and suddenly something gelled. I had a perfect storyline. As these ideas grew deeper and deeper, I realized I had a book on my hands, not just a short story. Over the next month, before I wrote a single word on “paper” (or electrons), I wrote the entire book in my head. Every time I’d leave the house, I’d pick up on The Fireborn just where I left off. Sure, I changed quite a bit once I started actually dictating it to myself and writing it out, but all of the main ideas were there.
In my opinion, anything and everything can be the source of inspiration for a daydreamer. There is nothing too large or too small. A word, a phrase, a photo or a drawing can often bring out an idea. Sometimes it’s a song, or even just a sound.
I started this blog almost four years ago mostly as a place to promote The Fireborn (I know, it took long enough for me to break down and publish it). Since then I have posted almost 500 works of fiction, from 100-word micro-stories to 8,000-word short stories. I have put up three serialized novels and am working on a fourth. They were all written because I am a dreamer. A daydreamer.
You can catch some of these dreams in my book of short stories Seasons of Imagination. And, of course, there is the longer daydream that I recently put out, The Fireborn.
As some of you will know from my previous blogging posts I’m on a bit of a blogging break so it will be a bit quiet here on Kyrosmagica, but I thought I might just share with you one little all encompassing post this week as I’m missing joining in on various blogging activities so here’s my entries for Ronovan’s Haiku challenge, Colleen’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday, and Ronovan’s Bewow!
To start with I wrote several haiku, the first few are about my blogging break!
The last few haiku are to inspire, encourage, and motivate students studying for exams this autumn.
Haiku’s On my Mind
A blogging break dear?
No, Haiku’s on my mind,
Three line rich story
Haiku Mind Games
The prompt words stump you
Haiku mind games
My final haiku are for all those students currently studying for the mock exams, believe in yourself, you can do it, work hard, reach your starry dreams. My youngest daughter is currently looking at Sixth Forms for next year. Last night we went to an open evening and I was really impressed by a current six former in her final year who delivered a truly inspiring speech, and seemed to speak directly from the heart. This has inspired my daughter to set her goals quite high to go to this particular sixth form of her choice. Undoubtedly this will involve a lot of hard work to reach those all important grades that she needs, so this post is with her in mind and for all the other youngsters, and young people who are currently studying for their exams, or doing course work, at schools, colleges, and universities. It’s a tough time but persevere and remember to make the impossible become the possible. Draw this on a piece of paper, or chalk it on a chalk board somewhere you can see it. Make it your goal.
I’ve housed this all important quote in the following photo that I took of my ceiling when it was all lit up. The photo made quite a spectacular pattern, which turned out all green which was a bit odd but I’d just been to see Wicked at the Apollo Theatre in London so ……. that was quite appropriate!!
My Wickedly Inspiring Quote:
This is your time to shine, believe in yourself, remember to breathe, eat and rest. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be the best you can be, reach those all important goals, and remember all the while to stay positive, focused, happy, and encourage and motivate your friends to do the same. Make the impossible, possible.
Good luck in all the forthcoming exams. I’m casting a spell on you to do well!
My entry for Rachael Ritchey’s Blog Battle this week is returning to a character I have visited in previous blog battles. This is an idea I am developing as a continuation from the first manuscript I have written, Krystallos. I intend the sequel to Krystallos to be darker. I am struggling with where to go with this so this is me flexing my writing muscles. Somehow writing this short story has really helped me solidify some ideas I have so I hope you like it. The focus is on the male character Ryder, and the inspiration this week has come from the Blood Moon!!
This sits very well with my blog theme this month which happens to be Halloween!!
It began with a rocking horse, a child’s toy, its springs were old and needed replacing. Ryder discovered this antique wonder in a quirky street in the lanes in Brighton. He carried it down the colourful street, and joined the queue for the busy student bus back to campus. A couple of ladies stared at his greediness, his decadence, taking up two seats on the bus. Ryder smirked, and patted the rocking horse’s head. The ladies glared. The corner of his mouth twisted, a smile with obvious intent.
When he brought the rocking horse back to his flat, his flatmates exchanged glances, it did much to catalogue Ryder even further into the depths of the oddity section. Only Olivia, his recent conquest gave him the benefit of the doubt. He appreciated that and made a mental note to reward her later. A midnight kiss would be in order.
After he left the warm embrace of slumbering Olivia the moon lay heavy in the sky, its orb red against the blackness. Ryder hung out his bedroom window staring, pleading with the moon to notice him. He dangled precariously, goading the moon to come closer. The pumpkin moon glowed red, blood red, a bleeding heart. The rocking horse began to move slowly absorbing the moon’s vital blood energy. Ryder could hear it behind him, creaking joints jarring to and fro. Then he heard the sound of an ice cream van, its tune winding its way towards him. He hung further out of the window wondering about this strange phenomenon, an ice cream van in the middle of the night. He grabbed his jacket, rushing to catch the van before it disappeared.
Outside he dashed, his senses filled with the promise of a midnight feast of sugary ice-cream. But, no van appeared. He waited. Displeased. Again he heard the jingle of the van teasing him, laughing at his foolish, childlike desires. The music grew louder and louder, he covered his ears and turned away, now desperate to escape. The van came to a screeching halt just as he took his first step. Ryder smiled. The hatch opened, a man peered out. He had a round face, the roundest face that Ryder had ever seen, vanilla white, pock marked, hair as black as the midnight sky.
There were no signs to state what kind of ice cream he sold. Ryder waited for him to speak.
“Well, I haven’t got all night, what do you want?” said the man, as his creamy white face turned a surly red.
“I’m not sure,” replied Ryder, “What ice creams do you sell?”
“Ice creams? What? No ice creams here young man.”
“But you’re riding in an ice cream van, playing the jingle calling hungry kids.”
“That’s true, but that’s not what I do.”
“What do you do?” asked Ryder, frowning.
“Hop aboard, ride the van and you’ll find out,” said the man, his face returning to its original brilliant white.
Ryder hesitated. This was strange, but Ryder thrived on strange, so he agreed. The man opened the back of the van and Ryder climbed in.
Inside the van Ryder could see only darkness. A blackness drifted towards him filling his senses with a bleak sense of loss. The man handed him a tiny torch that gave off brilliant light.
“Come, this way,” he said.
The van was motionless, yet Ryder could swear that he felt movement. They walked and walked further into the darkness.
Suddenly they stopped.
A bright light shone from the torch on to a patch of turf. How curious. This van was playing with Ryder’s senses, revealing a vast land which stretched its tendril like fingers, shadows extending everywhere.
Ryder recognised the land. It was no picnic venue. He sighed.
“Home,” he said.
“Yes,” said the man.
“Why have you brought me here?”
“It’s nearly Halloween lad, when tainted creatures must visit the place of their birth.”
He heard the sound of the fairground, the laughter, candy floss and excitement beckoning, but behind it all he knew there was the ride.
There was no point in pleading with the man, asking him to take him back. He had to accept his fate, whatever that might be.
“Come your ride awaits you,” said the man.
Ryder lifted heavy feet, a ghostly chill settling in his bones.
The man opened the door of the roller coaster and let him in. The rollercoaster groaned. Ryder’s soul cried.
A jingle began to play, a cheerful ditty, but Ryder knew this would be short lived, soon he would hear a tune that would throw him into oblivion, and there was nothing he could do. Nothing at all.
The clamp locked around him. He gripped the sides of his seat, clenched his teeth, and prepared to ride. It started off slowly, a gentle teasing introduction, but soon the ride picked up pace, the jingle attempting to keep up with the speed of the ride.
Ryder’s face and body took a vicious pounding, his flesh almost ripping from him, his heart exploding, sweat dripping from his brow.
Then it stopped. No gentle ending. Just abrupt, no time to think.
Ryder could only see shadows. No light, no moon, no sun, no happiness only the bleakest most appalling darkness. A blanket of despair.
Then he focused.
A figure appeared. Hazy. At first he was uncertain whether it was male or female, but as his eyes grew accustomed to the light he knew who it was.
“Hello mother,” he said.
His mother walked towards him, she unbuckled the clamp, but said nothing. It was not their way, emotion was not tolerated in this land of childlike dreams, and nightmares.
He touched his eye, but knew the answer already, the beautiful crystal had been wrenched, a rip caused by the ride. His eye wept. What price would he pay for its release? Only time would tell.
1000 words max
fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
It seems easy to use, so thanks for the great tip Colleen.
If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don’t remove it I might
be writing in my dreams.
Just love this quote from Terri Guillemets.
Writing whilst dreaming! That would really be something. Can you imagine how wonderful your writing would be! Dreams can be such a wonderful source of inspiration, especially if you have very elaborate, and exciting dreams!
About Terri Guillemets from her website Quotegarden:
Terri Guillemets is a quotation anthologist from Phoenix, Arizona who has collected quotes since age thirteen. Her passion is sharing literary, inspirational, thought-provoking, and humorous quotations with a worldwide audience via her website The Quote Garden at www.quotegarden.com, one of the most long-standing online quotation collections and the first to offer a wide variety of special occasion topics. With a specialty in reviving vintage writings from the 1800s, she shares her love of old books, the art of writing, and the beauty of words with a personal, heartfelt approach — “spreading quotatious joy” as she calls it. A curmudgeonesque optimist whose inner child will never grow up, she also enjoys nature, photography, cloudgazing, and family.
Thanks for joining me for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Hope you dream some wonderful dreams, come share some here if you’d like.
Spices can do strange things to you. There’s no doubt about it. I experienced the weirdest dream. Normally my husband is the one to have those exciting, technicolour dreams, but I reckon for that night I stole his dream. With that in mind, here’s a thought for all you frequent dreamers out there:
Great advice from Hypothyroid Mom – stop stealing dreams it’s a dangerous business.
After having a lovely family dinner at Bollywood Spice in Cambridge I dreamt I was at a holiday camp. I’m not sure if I was with my family. Though, I certainly wasn’t alone. One of my friends was nearby climbing up a trellis. She didn’t seem to want to come down to greet me, and my other friend was making her way towards me on this unfamiliar pathway. She asked me if I wanted to go swimming. I didn’t have my costume with me so I said No. After they left I was angry with myself for saying No. It was too nice a day not to indulge in a lovely swim.Why hadn’t I said, yes? It wouldn’t take me a minute to join them. I can’t remember the exact details of what happened next but I was now standing in my swimming costume.
The quiet pathway was replaced by a long colourful slide. I was kind of hoping that it would be like one of those pretty, colourful slides that you sometimes see at water parks overseas. Gentle. The kind I prefer! Yes, I’m a bit of a wimp, but the good thing about a dream is you can be as brave as you want to be. You can be a hero.
In my dream the water slide looked more like this: EEK!!!!!
There were kids everywhere, screaming, shouting and jostling for position. Reluctantly, I joined the end of the very long queue to take a ride. I hesitated when I reached the front, hovering, unsure what to do next. The children behind me were getting impatient so I had no choice. If I didn’t move I was sure they were going to shove me off the end of the slide. I didn’t fancy that, so, with trepidation, I, reluctant hero in the making, launched myself. I had no idea where the slide would take me, or what further dangers might await me. It’s punishing ride seemed to go on and on forever. I was thrown from side to side, turned upside down, every possible permutation. But at last my trial came to an abrupt end. I fell off and landed on the concrete with one last great whoosh of water. I swallowed a huge gulp, and spent the next five or ten minutes coughing it up. I tried to wipe my eyes but this was almost impossible as I had nothing to dry myself with. I squeezed some of the water out of my hair, and tried to dry my eyes again. This time I was a bit more successful. I was rewarded by the blurry sight of a town. I’m very short-sighted so it was very blurry! An unfamiliar, blurry town! Just as I was about to set off to explore, one of my fellow revellers came off the slide, and engulfed me up to the shins in water again. Before I had a chance to talk to her she wandered off. How unfriendly! So I was alone again. Undaunted I made my way to the local hotel and walked straight into the lobby. I was still dressed in my swimming costume, bare foot, and dripping wet, yet nobody seemed to notice. It was almost as if this was an everyday occurrence. I had no idea where I was or how to get back home. So I approached one of the hotel staff and asked for help. Soon, several members of the hotel team gathered around me in a brainstorming session to discuss how to get me back home safely.
It was as if the hotel had come to a standstill and my plight was the most important thing on the agenda! Finally a decision was made, two of the hotel receptionists would escort me out of the hotel and help me find a taxi home. My two helpers sent me off in the right direction. When we arrived at the taxi rank they presented me with a bulging purse. The buckle of the purse was struggling to contain its overstuffed contents. I opened it. It was full of CASH!!!!
There were notes and coins of every denomination.
I smiled at the generosity and kindness of these strangers.
“Thank you so much for all your help, but this purse is too full, I can’t take this. Surely it won’t cost me this much to get back?” I asked.
One of the receptionists appeared puzzled. I began to wonder if I was so far from home that a purse full of money was the only way that I could ever have a hope of returning. She glanced at her colleague as if she expected her to say something but she gave no answer, and receiving none, she just smiled.
Finally her colleague spoke. “I don’t know where you’re going, or how you came to be here, but you must ride the yellow taxi, so keep the purse, every single penny.”
So, I did as I was told. I accepted the gift of the large purse. It would have been churlish not to. I looked around. This was no ordinary taxi stop. It was more like a bus stop. There were folding down seats for people to sit on, and a shelter with a roof to keep out the rain. A large vehicle appeared, it was bright yellow, and looked just like a bright yellow school bus. Thank goodness I didn’t have to propel it with my own foot power.
This was no ordinary bus, it was my taxi home. It was a bright yellow VINDALOO Taxi bus induced by a curry, with a large CAUTION sign stamped across it’s front.
Those spices really had fizzed and bubbled and caused one heck load of mischief. I never knew what happened to the rest of the dream as I woke up. Of course. Why is it we always wake up before we find out the conclusion to our dreams? Who knows if I rode the Vindaloo taxi home or not? But it does seem as if I had the sense to accept the big wad of money! Interesting………… Wow, those technicolour dreams are fun hope I steal another one soon!
What an extraordinary dream! Do you find that spices make you have crazy dreams too? Do tell.
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