Writespiration : The Non-Binary Prom

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I’m taking part in Sacha Black’s Writespiration writing prompt. https://sachablack.co.uk/2016/07/27/writespiration-93-underwater-ballroom/

Here’s what Sacha asked us to do this week:

Your challenge this week is to set a piece of flash fiction under water. Write a story in less than 200 words. Paste in the comments or use a pingback and submit before 7th August.

I couldn’t wait to write this, the prompt was just so perfect. I love the idea of setting the flash under water… What could I do with this? I decided to play with the prompt  a bit placing the main character’s emotion under water rather than actually setting the flash fiction under water.

I won’t say anymore about this until the end of the flash other than to say this is not a subject that I’ve ever written about on my blog before. Or even thought that about much until recently….

So I am a bit nervous sharing this piece of flash:

The Non-Binary Prom

I’m underwater, or I might as well be. The sun’s shining but I can’t feel it on my back. All I can hear is everyone whispering, a waterfall of gushing laughter presses against me.  Ed swims through and signs my tee-shirt. Nobody else comes near. I have my back to him but it doesn’t stop me from imagining his face creasing into a confident surfer I know who I am smile. He scribbles something, and his mates laugh. I tear my tee-shirt off, exposing my ripped body, and tiny almost bikini top. He’s written girl and then crossed it out and written boy with this ugly question mark.

‘What you wearing to prom, Les?’ he asks. He’s laughing, because he knows that I can’t make up my mind whether to wear a suit and tie, or a fucking dress.

Non-binary. That’s me. I’m not on the prissy Prom committee but if I was I’d plan an underwater ball with us all swimming, skinny dipping, no clothes, no fancy ball gowns, nowhere to write mean things. Just floating, tattooed skin, splashing I’m human. That’s who we really are. What’s inside counts but Ed can’t see that.  He’s drowning in binary.

© Marjorie Mallon 2016 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.

 

The idea for The Non-Binary Prom piece of flash came from several recent events.

Firstly, my daughter’s T-shirt signing, (last day at secondary school,) and the big event of the year – her prom. She absolutely loved dressing up, wearing the fancy dress, high heels, getting her make up done….. and it was lovely. But …. a person who identifies as non-binary would have a different experience. (Any non-binary people reading this do comment below.. I would be interested in hearing your opinion on events such as Prom.)

Also,  we’ve been talking about gender issues at home – a friend of my eldest daughter is non-binary. I have to say when my daughter first told me about her friend I found this really hard to comprehend. How can someone not identify as either male or a female? OK, I can see why someone might think of themselves as male but be in a female body and vice versa, but non-binary is much more fluid and its very fluidity makes it much more difficult to understand. So that gave me the idea to link it with being underwater pushing against a tide of same aged pupils who are secure in their birth gender and don’t understand you.

Then, quite by chance I came across a Vegan blog entitled Cooking on A Boot Strap – Self Love Stew written by Mx. Jack Monroe who is non-binary. As an aside the Self Love Stew recipe looked delicious, so I decided to check out Jack’s blog some more. Curious, (writers always are!) I read through Jack’s account.. I Have Something To Tell You

Jack’s account is so well written that I began to understand a little more about what it means to be non-binary. I’ve always considered myself to be a very open minded caring sort of person so that got me thinking… and that got me attempting to write from the point of view of a non-binary individual for the above piece of flash. Not sure I did it justice… Let me know what you think.

Hope my piece of flash got you thinking too… Are you, or do you know someone who is non-binary?

Do comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on gender issues.

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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...

 

My Links: 

Wattpad

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

 

Prom 2016: Churchill College

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It’s been a few weeks since the prom – 1st of July – time to let the dust settle and reflect on the event of the year! I know my daughter loved every single minute of her prom, and judging by the above photo it certainly looks like her friends were excited by the prospect too!

Better not leave the guys out!!

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There had been various discussions about how to get to prom with suggestions ranging from overpriced limos, to a Scooby Doo van, but in the end Georgina went in her boyfriend – Joseph English aunt’s car (photo courtesy of Joseph’s mum – Giovanno.)

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It must have been quite a moment, walking up the red carpet and that backwards glance from my daughter, Georgina tells quite a story. (photos courtesy of Giovanna.)

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I fell in love with the dress! We found it on an outing to Ely, at a Prom Dress, Ball gown, Cruise Wear and Cocktail Dress shop called you guessed it: Something Special. 

It was hanging on the rack by the changing room. I suggested that Georgina tried it on, and that was it, all the other dresses paled into insignificance.  It was the one. EEK the price was frightening…. but I figured perhaps in the future she might wear it again… Anyway to soften the blow she kindly offered to pay half with money she’d saved up from her Saturday job. I wrote about our day out in Ely and a whole bunch of other things on this blog post: Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Faces

Here’s a photo of the dress detailing its full length, and little train. (Photo courtesy of Giovanno.)

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Such a wide variety of beautiful dresses, and glamorous young ladies!

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I’d like to give a shout out to Gina’s tutor at her secondary school – Stephen Creamer who took some wonderful professional photos of the prom. Whilst I can’t share his photos on this post without permission I’d like to mention his website : Steven Creamer Photography

We had a very special visitor at prom – my mother in law. It was wonderful that she was able to share in the occasion. She is now nearly ninety. She is such a remarkable woman – still able to travel all the way from Edinburgh to Cambridge on her own at her age. The next big family occasion will be her 90th birthday in September. Here she was smiling happily – the ‘wee woman with the big zest for life,’ so pleased to be here to share this occasion with her two granddaughters, Georgina and Natasha.

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After the prom was over I jokingly said to my daughter, ‘Now it’s time for old clothes and porridge!’

Not sure how impressed she was by that suggestion…

Porridge might not exactly be the best form of food at the moment.The poor wee lamb has had a touch of either belly ache or heat stroke or perhaps both. Oh… this turned out to be a nasty tummy bug that afflicted me too.. Better now.. So don’t forget to wash your salad, avoid swallowing dirty water while kayaking, take care in the sun, drink lots of water, rub in that sun cream folks. Oh, my!  I’m beginning to sound like my mother!!

Bye for now. My bitmoji has had a wardrobe change – it’s just too hot for long sleeves!

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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...

 

My Links: 

Goodreads

Instagram

Twitter

Wattpad

Facebook

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Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge Week 10 Faces

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When I saw Hugh’s Photo Challenge this week I knew that I had to join in the fun.

I had just the photo in mind, and here he is, Mr Frowning Tree.

Isn’t he extraordinary?

I photographed him some time ago when I was working as a Christmas temp at John Lewis. I was on my way to work one morning, and there he was greeting me with that wretched face. I had to stop and photograph him, I couldn’t walk pass without doing so. I have to admit that on that particular morning I just wasn’t in the mood for work. He knew it. I knew it. I just wanted  to spend time blogging or writing!! Anyway, I saw his sad face and his monumental frown had me in stitches.  He knew what I was thinking: There is nothing as fulfilling as spending time being creative. So that sad tree kind of frowned in sympathy, cheeky so and so….

Today, I was with my daughter in Ely. We were prom dress shopping. We went to a charming shop called Something Special and we found just the right one. The amazing thing was it wasn’t one she had picked. I spotted it! C’est Moi, the Fashionista! It had no price tag on. Eek, but she tried it on anyway, and I prayed it wouldn’t be too expensive. It fitted her like a glove. This in itself was a big bonus as she is so petite that finding a dress is no easy feat. This is the moment when she transformed from a very pretty sixteen year old into classy, and beautiful. The dress is simple, elegant, with just the right amount of detail for her to look like a total knock out.

She just loved it. Of course this midnight blue gown was way over my intended budget. I tried to make her see sense but as we left the shop, she kind of worked her magic on me. Of course she convinced me!! We only walked a few yards down the road, and then we were heading our way back to the shop much to the shop assistant’s amusement and the rest is history. Anyway, that sad tree has a lot to answer for, he’s probably chuckling now, cracking his bark, with splinters of spontaneous laughter. My poor wee bank account…..

So how did my daughter manage to work her magic on me?

Easy.

We mothers just can’t resist their daughters when they look so beautiful. But, as an insurance policy she promised to get A’s and B’s in her GCSE’s and to help with the price tag…. Clever lass. So I can’t complain.  Perhaps this will spur her on to do extraordinary things….

This is when my day out with my daughter turned into an extraordinary day.

We had such a lovely day in Ely, it was such fun. The sun shone. We walked down to the waterfront and took loads of photographs. This is a common interest as we are both photography mad. I banished the thought of my money blues by suggesting that we visit a free event at the Babylon Gallery. Yes free, can you imagine? The Gallery is right on the waterfront. There is a very interesting exhibition at the moment called Time and Time Again, by Helena g Anderson from 20-31 January. Today is the last day, so hurry if you want to go see it.  It totally took my mind off the state of my bank balance. In fact it was such a wonderful idea to go, as my daughter is doing GCSE Textiles and is a keen photographer and this exhibition really inspired her.  The main theme of the exhibition is “an opportunity to look at the changing nature of time on the human condition, where one sees the body deteriorate but the soul remain omnipresent. Women and girls were photographed in 10-year increments, ranging from 0 to 100 years old.”

Startlingly we recognised one of the photographed faces, a friend of my daughters. Isn’t that quite amazing? It can only happen in Ely you know, you must visit!

More about Babylon Gallery here:  http://www.babylonarts.org.uk/gallery/view,time-and-time-again-helena-g-anderson-2031-january_1906.htm

My photos of Ely will shortly be on my Instagram account so if you’d like to see them please follow the link: https://www.instagram.com/kyrosmagica/

I just love Ely. It is a must see place to visit, with its beautiful cathedral, lovely places to eat, riverside restaurants, and independent bookshops.  Moreover, I just love spending time with my daughters, even when they cost me a fortune.  I even found a dress for the Bloggers Bash too. It was in the same shop, fortunately the price wasn’t in the same frowning price tag league!!! But it was really pretty. So two dresses bought in one day, ouch…. what a day!!

Yes, I’m intending on going to the Bash again this year. I went last year and it was such fun. A day not to miss….

More about the Bloggers Bash this year via Sacha Black’s blog. The date is 11th of June, so do put it in your calendar. By all accounts it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome event. I just can’t wait.

http://sachablack.co.uk/2015/10/01/the-bash-is-back-the-second-annual-bloggersbash-2016/

And my account of last year’s event:

https://mjmallon.com/2015/08/02/the-bloggers-bash-oh-what-a-day/

Want to meet the organisers and attendees from last year? :

https://mjmallon.com/2015/08/05/meet-the-bloggers-who-attended-the-first-annual-bloggersbash-held-in-london-on-august-1st-2015/

 

bloggers bash 2016

 

Here’s the link to Hugh’s blog if you’d like to join in his photography challenge:

http://hughsviewsandnews.com/2016/01/26/hughs-weekly-photo-challenge-week-10-faces/

Here’s Hugh’s advice on what to do if you want to join in:

This week take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face. Rather than taking photos of the faces of people or animals try and capture an object that looks like it has a face.

Want to join the fun? Here’s what you need to do.
1. Take a photo of an object that looks like it has a face.
2. Create a new post on your blog entitled “Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 10 – Faces.”
3. Add the photo(s) you have taken to the post and tell us a little about what you are showing.
4. Create a pingback to this post or leave a link to your post in the comments section below so that other participants can view your post.

 

Bye for now,

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Marje @ Kyrosmagica XX