I’ve always enjoyed Westerns!! The prompt this week is to write a story about what happens on the dusty trail and Respond by October 6, 2020.
Excitement is building at Carrot Ranch for TUFF – TUFF stands for The Ultimate Flash Fiction which is every Monday — October 5, 12, 19, and 26.
So here is my Oct 1st Flash Fiction take about how love must have been short and sweet in times of life and death.
The Darnedest Cowboy
The darnedest cowboy walked towards me. His cowboy boots churned up the dusty road. My heartbeat so loudly I swore it was going to giddy up, catch a ride on a wild horse and land on his Western shirt. His eyes twinkled as he dawdled a few feet away. He kicked a stone, spat some cheeky grits into the ground and walked right past, lassoing my heart with his.
I stayed still until I heard the deafening gunshot. Damn. Wild West gals sure don’t remember no dead cowboy long.
I thought I’d write a nonet to celebrate my hubby and I ‘s anniversary. We had a lovely day together yesterday. So this is for us! We’ve stood the test of time and been married for 33 years! Imagine… He isn’t one for social media, so I rarely post photos of him, so instead here is a lovely pic I found on pexels.
The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love …
In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a free-verse poetry memoir.
During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.
Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow.
The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.
What a joy it is to read this gem of a poetry book. Full of beautiful free-verse, a memoir about friends, family, relationships and the love of the nature. This is for you if you enjoy the natural world, (as I do,) if you appreciate poetry that delves into the heart and doesn’t hold back. In many ways it is an intimate and brave expression of the author – Camilla Down’s – thoughts and feelings.
I highly recommend.
I had the pleasure of an engaging author interview with Camilla on my blog:
“Words of Alchemy, a heartfelt new collection by Camilla Downs, lives up to its namesake in numerous ways. Downs spans the broad range of nature, healing, love, and parenting, while making sure we have a little fun along the way. And the bridge she creates from the mindfulness of how we see the world at large to the poetry of everyday life is certainly worth a stroll or two across its borders.” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls, Award-winning author of Painted Oxen
“This poetry collection offers contemplative words, soothing thoughts and peace to the reader.”
“These poems take you on a calm and loving walk through the verses of the author’s thoughts. Alchemy is a perfect word for the title as Camilla Downs understands nature; connecting with its magical, medicinal qualities and beauty which she conveys throughout her poetry.”
“Words of Alchemy is a chronicle of hope. These poems are an encouragement, especially when we are feeling at our lowest, to keep seeking the light that is our way forward, and focus on the real. This collection is a walk through the positive nature of life. Camilla Downs is to be commended.”
– Frank Prem, Author of free-verse memoir Small Town Kid
About Camilla: Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder of MeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.
Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): https://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/
Remember: Senryu poems make the human, not the world around them, the subject of their creative endeavor. Humor and sarcasm are two of the most favorable elements in a Senryu and should deal with the human condition. Think about sexual matters, family relations, religion, politics, and anything that touches on the pain we experience through sorrow, prejudice, oppression, anger, and frustration. Senryu do not deal in sentimentality.
I haven’t written any Senryu before so here goes… I’ve written three…
My Tanka is Valentine inspired today. I’ve used devotion for affection and for character I chose mould.
My hubby and I are both creative souls, he loves music so, so much! And of course, I love writing… We met many moons ago. Two many moons to tell you! We began our lives as tender, teenage sweethearts and are still going strong. Perhaps it is this creativity and passion within us that is our rock. There is room for a huge amount of love in a relationship, for each other and of course for the things that rock our lives – music and writing! Perhaps, one day we will be able to write and play music full-time, now that would be wonderful.
To join in with Colleen’s challenge follow the link:
I’m in the mood for poetry today! Started off writing two Tanka poems for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday and then realised I hadn’t done anything for Valentine’s. To remedy this faux pas I decided to take a gander at Ronovan’s prompt words this week hoping they were a little valentine related and sure enough Eye and Fade were perfect, so I wrote this haiku…
I have really missed joining in with Ronovan’s weekly challenge. Unfortunately I have just been so busy job hunting, editing my manuscript, etc, etc.
Good news – I now have a new job… More about that soon. It’s a bit of a secret. Kyrosmagica likes secrets but all will be revealed soon. But one things for certain I doubt that you will guess what my new job is, as it is quite unusual.
This weeks prompt really caught my attention… Magic and stars. Kyrosmagica is all about the magical moments in life whether it’s simply reading a book, walking and observing the beauty all around us or engaging in creative endeavours. Kyrosmagica also tries to reflect on the deeper aspects of life – you can’t have light without a touch of darkness… But today, I’m feeling lighthearted so let’s celebrate love with Ronovan’s beautiful prompt words magic and stars!
My haiku is inspired by my recent visit to Tavira, in the Portugese Algarve. To find out more about Tavira do visit this excellent website: Tavira Uncovered. In this quaint town there is a bridge dedicated to love! All along the bridge padlocks are attached, with the names of partners, husbands, wives, and lovers!
This particularly bright pink padlock caught my eye. I do hope that Stefan and Claudia are still together!
I’m glad I came across this prompt via Sacha Black for her Flash Writespiration – Burnt Edges, I was looking for a writing stimulus for a competition I’m thinking of entering and burnt edges was it. I read a very sad blog post on Cybele’s blog – In Memory of Her Beloved Brother a very personal and moving tribute which got me reflecting on the preciousness of life, and this developed into a theme for my piece of flash fiction: Suicide. I have heard some shocking stories via family members and in the wider community that really got me thinking.. about the terrible suffering of family and friends of suicide victims.
Sometimes there’s a happy outcome when suicides are prevented but sadly this is not always the case. Sometimes dreadful injuries are sustained by the person attempting suicide which have a long term effect on the person’s future quality of life and/or underlying depression can still remain unchecked waiting to rear its head once again.
If only we could prevent more suicides from happening. Young people are so vulnerable. If only that were possible.
While I’m on this terribly sad topic I thought I’d mention that I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes fairly recently.
Here’s the synopsis:
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Lines can become blurred. Assisted suicide is such an emotive topic – people tend to have very differing, and deeply felt viewpoints both for and against. So my piece of creative writing flash fiction is exploring some of these thoughts in a very concise way – only 200 words, to consider what a person would or wouldn’t do to ease a loved one’s daily pain and suffering, when they are suffering from an incurable disease that has stripped them of all dignity, or perhaps have had a life changing horrendous accident, that has left them with constant pain and no quality of life. What cost would that be to the individual who assists their loved one to die? Guilt would always play a part in that decision.. and guilt can be a bit like a jailer..
Here’s my piece of flash, which I have entitled Suicide Burns. The far reaching effects of suicide are like a fire engulfing all in sadness who come near.
We all have burnt edges in our lives but mine exist as a form of evidence, a folded piece of paper scarred by a torched flame of memories. The suicide note had intentional burnt edges around the colourless paper creating a waving motion, a final goodbye. She’d wanted me to remember those precious smoke filled memories spent together, before her debilitating cruel illness burnt joy to dust. The note cast a warming glow each time I opened it. I smelt the aroma of logs, her sweet perfume rekindling long lost memories of our passionate love making, the embers of the open fire caressing our naked, youthful bodies.
After her suicide, I placed the folded note next to my heart. For days it remained untouched until I unfolded it’s sad, weary edges. How I longed to hear her thoughts, to say one last farewell, but her silent note told of the pills that I’d stockpiled. The note was no longer in my breast pocket. It was evidence of my confession: loving her too much. Her ghost danced alone, a pain free sparkle of brilliant illuminating light. The prison door claimed my guilt, a small price to pay, my sweet dearest love.
Until the next time.. please do feel free to comment…
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx
My fun (totally not serious but nevertheless 90% true,) author bio on Wattpad – Link below.
Marjorie Mallon was born in Lion City: Singapore. She grew up in a mountainous court in Hong Kong. Her crazy parents dragged her spotty soul away from her exotic childhood and her much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. There she mastered Scottish country dancing, haggis bashing, bagpipe playing and a whole new Och Aye lingo.
As a teenager she travelled to many far flung destinations to visit her abacus wielding wayfarer dad. On one such occasion a barracuda swam by. It stopped to view her bikini clad body, longing to take a big bite. With dogs' fangs replacing barracudas' teeth, she returned to her mother's birthplace: Kuching, Cat City. There, Blackie, a black-hearted dog sniffed her frightened butt, whimpered and ran away! Shortly after this extraordinary event an angry female Orang-Utan chased her unfit ass out of the Malaysian jungle believing that she was a threat to her babies! She still monkeys about, would love to own a cat, or a replacement Topsy but refuses to entertain murderous dogs, or over-protective monkeys.
It's rumoured that she lives in the Venice of Cambridge, with her six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and her two enchanted daughters.
After such an upbringing her author's mind has taken total leave of its senses. When she's not writing, she eats exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surfs to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out she practises Tai Chi and Yoga on the crest of a wave. If the mood takes her she goes snorkelling with mermaids, or signs up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.
She is a child of the light and the dark. Her motto is simply this: Do what you love, stay true to your heart's desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if it appears that the odds are stacked like black hearted shadows against you...
What do I love? The answer lies in so many directions that I am almost staggered wondering what to post. I love my family, my hubby, my friends, writing, blogging, books, crying… wait a minute I said crying. What? I mean to say that I love books that stir the emotions, make me cry, get me reflecting….
I just finished one such book, boy did it make me cry, Me Before You By Jojo Moyes.
So I love all sorts of things. But one of my great loves is my old home town of Edinburgh. I just love visiting Edinburgh lapping up all that this great city has to offer.
If you’re a regular visitor to my blog you might have seen my posts about Edinburgh. So surprise surprise my photo this week is something I came across whilst in Edinburgh this half term. I found it in a place that I have many fond memories of. The photo was taken in The Botanic Gardens, right outside an art gallery. Yes, I’m kind of partial to them too…
I don’t know quite what it was about this particular statue that grabbed my attention, but whatever it was it gripped me. It might have been her tummy, I have one of those, I may be skinny but my tummy has always been a bit rounded. Or it might be the way she was twisting her arm behind her back in a yoga stretch. Perhaps that was it. Anyway the fact that I noticed her was saying something as on this trip I was busy spending time with family, oh and eating a lot. That is one of my other loves. I ate lots and lots of Asian food. My mum is a wonderful cook, so we had many tasty meals but as well as this we visited a particularly fine Malaysian restaurant in Glasgow called, Rumours Kopitiam. By the way kopitiam or kopi tiam is the word for a coffee shop in Southeast Asia. The interior of this little restaurant wasn’t exactly flashy but the food was excellent and the lunch menu’s really good value for money. Our waitress had a great sense of humour she asked my daughter if she liked chilli, she said yes, so she made sure that she was more than adequately supplied with lots of them! That’ll teach her….. The Singapore noodles were to die for. So if you are in Glasgow give Kopitiam a go.
On this week away I didn’t really do much in the way of blogging or Instagram. Or visit half of the places I had intended to. Which isn’t like me but all that eating, and chatting to family was taking up all of my time. This statue wasn’t having it she just begged me to photograph her, she pointed her belly at me accusingly and twisted my arm! What astonished me about it all was this. When I came back to Cambridge I did some research and found that she had just been moved back to this particular spot. I came back to Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and so did she…. A pair of kindred spirits. How sweet. She is Reg Butler’s cast bronze sculpture, entitled Girl. She is now to be seen outside Inverleith House, right beside the gallery of modern art.
Hope you like my photo and my tale of my many loves: eating, reading, writing, art, statues, and spending time with family in my favourite Scottish city, Edinburgh. Sorry, Glasgow, I love you too!! Especially your Kopitiam….
I just love Crystals, and they feature in my writing.
Hope and Crystals kind of go hand in hand don’t they?
But perhaps with light there is always a touch of darkness, so with my haiku I am going to focus on the idea of unrequited love.
We all have at some time in our lives experienced differing degrees of unrequited relationships. In my experience I remember one such case when I was very young, it wasn’t love, it was a touch of infatuation. I fancied this young chap, and to be honest I kind of made it pretty obvious that I liked him. We did go out on a date but it was no fun at all, he just dumped me in the middle of the night in Edinburgh not caring how I got home or if I got home. In his eyes I think it was a bit of a prank to play on me, he must have thought I had been chasing him and perhaps he didn’t even fancy me. Anyway it was very upsetting and the memory of it still remains with me to this day. But it did teach me one thing, anyone that behaves in such an uncaring and unpleasant way can’t be worthy of my attention let alone of a relationship with me. So this curly haired young chap did me a favour in a way, his behaviour made me a little more reticent perhaps in chasing after a boy. I never went out with curly haired boys ever again! Instead I chose dark haired guys with straight hair, played it cool, let the boys do the running and the boys seemed to like that! So girls, take a tip from me, keep an aura of mystique and let the guy do the chasing.
Thereafter nobody broke my heart, not that he did, but he dented my pride. I have been lucky in love, and for that I am very blessed, so the haiku at the end of this blog post ends on a positive note.
So with that in mind let’s return back to Ron’s prompt words Crystal and Hope, by introducing you to a photo that I took of a very special crystal grotto, isn’t it spectacular?
I wrote a post way back about this amazing place called Juniper Artland where I photographed this grotto, “The Light That Pours Out Of Me,” by Anya Gallacio, so perhaps if you’ve been following my blog for a long while you will remember it. If not, then here it is, (it’s always worth a multiple visit, so do click on the link):
Juniper Artland is a must see recommendation f you are ever in Scotland, it really is an amazingly inspiring place, here’s some of the other links on my blog in which I feature my response to sculptures at this wonderful Artland (via my photography and poetry) :