Sunday, 26 January 2014

Visual Dare - Scrutiny

Pleased to be getting back into the blog writing - and even more pleased to see one of my favourite fun writing prompts is back too!  I tend to focus at the moment more on non fiction but have always loved the fabulous photo prompts Angela finds.  You come up with whatever it inspires you to write in only 150 words - and I love reading the creative snippets from others.

Angela has a new website which is well worth checking out here - Anonymous Legacy

So, here it is, my first Visual Dare for aaaages - and I hope the first of many! Huge thanks Angela.

Who said that? The dapper old man stopped sharply and looked around. He had definitely heard someone call his name. Around him office workers were hurrying by clock watching. They weren't watching him. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a shadow moving. He turned. It wasn't a shadow. He walked back to the black metal sculpture on its concrete plinth. Don't be silly, he shook his head to himself. It's a statue. He started to walk away. 'You'. He had definitely heard that. He spun around. One of its long arms was now stretching out in his direction. Curiosity overcoming nerves, he crept back in front of the squat body. He stood, hands on hips. The statue folded its arms towards its body in imitation. He was frozen, speechless. 'You have something of ours.' A serpent like arm uncurled, pointing at his umbrella. 'We want it back.'

Just Keep Swimming

In our house of one son, one dog, one cat - there is another living, breathing being. One that doesn't constantly demand attention, food, taxi services, walkies.  It doesn't, that I know of, chew things, make indeterminate smells, or wee in the most hidden of places.  And the reward for being the least demanding creature in the house is that it gets a little ignored and neglected.

Originally our fishy friend belonged to my son. He won him at a fair and we brought him home in one of those awful plastic bags with just enough water to cover him. I thought they'd banned giving fish as prizes like that but obviously not. He was stuck in a bucket overnight as I was convinced he'd only last a day or two. But he was still swimming around the next day. Another trip to the fair resulted in yes another fish 'to keep him company.'

Despite my conviction still that they wouldn't last long, a friend donated a ridiculously large glass fish tank which took pride of place in my son's bedroom. At least for a while. After a year or two, son's room was redecorated and new furniture moved in which meant there was no room for the fish.

The tank was moved to the spare room which also used to be the office. Until the office was moved downstairs. The fish remained in the spare room, with little company, except me remembering to feed them every few days. Son's interest has long waned.

Just to prove how wrong I can be the original fishy friend is still with us - his buddy went to the fish tank in the sky a while ago. But our fishy friend is still going strong - nearly 8 years on. I had no idea they could or would last that long. I have childhood memories of my fishy pets lasting a year or two.

I have to confess to not cleaning the tank out probably as regularly as I should. But I'm sure when it is, he gets a renewed burst of life, which is basically swimming round and doing what fish do (which isn't very much - but is actually quite relaxing to watch. At least for a few minutes).

Anyway he has had his new year treat, he is now in a sparkling clean tank, for a while at least. He doesn't seem to mind being on his own and having few visitors. He doesn't ask for much or need much. He doesn't get much. But he just keeps swimming.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Hello 2014

New Year's Day - not the best time to make resolutions but a good time to take action and do things. So I'm keen to get back to blogging and here I am!
Last year had huge highs, including running my first ever marathon and trekking through mountains in Cuba - and one or two lows, work and writing not quite going as I'd envisaged. More of all that in blog posts to come. (a commitment there, not a resolution!).

Despite saying it's not the best time to make resolutions I do love this time of year for reflecting on the things and also feeling like it's a time you can kind of draw a line in the sand. You get the chance to have another go, however you want to use it, a time to plan things and start things. In my case start finishing off some things and starting others brand new.

So here is a start - just a short one for now but a start all the same - dipping my toe back into the blogging and writing waters.

So I'll end with a pic of how I started this morning's new year off, with my favourite boy and favourite dog on my favourite beach. A very good start! Happy New Year!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Sunday Snippet - piece from Peru

It feels like the proverbial painting of the Forth Bridge - with more stops and starts than a stoppy starty thing! I have drafted, scrapped, re-written, scrapped again and now hopefully have a final draft that will become the final version though in my eyes still needs a lot of editing. At some point I am going to have to stop and say that is it. Anyway, the e-book is progressing... so time for a snippet...!

This was a proper local market, full of bright, big baskets of fruit and vegetables and rainbow piles of wool.  Not a postcard or bit of tourist tat in sight. It was a place to bring, buy, eat, drink, gossip, catch up and socialise. Even the local police officers were standing chatting, hats off, enjoying a beer.  Community policing at its best.  As we were getting back onto the bus the women  started piling up on the back of a Toyota truck, looking like a pyramid of colourful sacks. 
I pointed to them "It looks like they're trying for the world record of how many people can you get onto the back of a truck."
"Ah," said Paco, "The selling part of the market is finishing. That is the only truck or taxi that will take the women home. They have to go now and work in the house. The men stay and drink."   
Some things are the same the world over.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

June-athon went all Wrong-athon

Who stole June? Seriously, time flies and all that but this feels like a whole month didn't just fly but was transported via the Tardis!  It started with good intentions, oh so good and oh so intentional. Just a run and a blog every day - that was all. Then it just all went horribly wrong (you can see the demise as my last desperate attempts were a few words posted by iPhone!).

I won't bore you with detail but suffice to say it involved son going to America by himself (an exciting adventure for him and a slightly traumatic experience for me), and continued with migraines, insomnia, too much coffee and wine (some of these items may be linked!), ten hour days in the office job, and culminated last week in the dog having an op having been poorly.

So - I have still done a bit of running and a bit of writing - nowhere near the amount planned and definitely not daily. But sometimes shit happens. It just happened a lot in these past four weeks.

But dog's fine, son's fine and I'm fine. And so - new month, new challenge.
Tomorrow I start 100K words in 100 days. I'd aimed to have my e-book edited and complete by this weekend but haven't (see above for distractions, excuses, blah blah) so will be aiming to finish this in the next couple of weeks, while starting this challenge.

It is after all *only* 1,000 words a day. What could possibly go wrong...?! (stay tuned.. ;))

Wednesday, 5 June 2013