Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Posted Tuesday May 3

A lone figure hobbled up the grassy slope towards the edge of the lofty cliff. A pathetic sight; thin, hunched and draped in torn, worn grubby clothes. He dragged behind him a near empty wooden cart, inside it all his worldly possessions. He trudged closer and closer to the edge, then stopped just inches from the sheer drop. Hundreds of feet below frothing waves crashed over jagged rocks, beckoning him, tempting him to join them. He tried to gather what thoughts remained.

As he watched the squawking gulls swooping, diving, he wished that he too had the gift of flight and was able to launch his soul skyward and look down on what he had become, to maybe see where it all  went so terribly wrong.


Today, atop the cliff sits a wooden cart wheel. That rotting wheel is all that remains of Arthur. Somebody must have brought it up from the rocks below, perhaps someone who knew him once; once upon a happier time.

This  short piece was inspired by Momtheobscure's photograph at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Sunday Whirl

Posted Sunday May 1

The A-Z Challenge ended yesterday and it’s time to resume normality. Over 1900 of us started out and around 1350 made it to the end.  It was a great experience, and I’ve made many new contacts around the world. During the process, my blog's hit rate increased 5-fold. I can’t wait for April 2017!

This week's given words are:-  grace, join, yearning, silken, any, fire, eggs, moment, skin, cell, light and boundless . I have used all but one.

I didn’t like my name, Grace. So I’m now called Maizie because I’m amazing - amazing Grace, get it? Graces wear silken dresses, have alabaster skin, a coy smile and yearn for a life of boundless opulence and high society. Me? Torn jeans, ruddy cheeks and a wicked grin! I prefer fried eggs to slimy black fish eggs, beer to Bordeaux, and heavy metal to Wolfie Mozart! I’d rather join the Hells Angels than the Women’s Institute and I’ll take whatever life fires at me.

Anyway, I’m going outside for a moment or two to have a ciggie; got a light anyone?


Saturday, April 30, 2016

The final day of the A-Z Challenge 2016

Posted Saturday April 29

I've arranged these 13 dance themed words in chronological order to make life easier!
Zuche  n. a tree stump
Zitella n. a young girl, maiden
Zufolo n. a small flute
Zingaro  v. gypsy
Ziganka n. a Russian country dance
Zappy adj. lively
Zinke n. an old wind instrument similar to a cornet
Zugtrompete n. a trombone
Zamacueca n. a Chilean dance where people weave in and out of each other
Zapateado n South American dance with rhythmic tapping of feet.
Zambra n. a Spanish dance
Zoppetto n. Italian limping hop dance
Zydeco n. Creole dance music.

On a sun-drenched hilltop, a young girl sits upon a zuche.  A butterfly dances in the air, and the zitella starts to dance with it. From somewhere unseen, the sweet sound of a zufolo fills with the air.  In no time, they are joined by skipping rabbits, nodding badgers and leaping toads.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Russia a zingaro devushka wanders into the centre of a town square and starts to perform the ziganka, her gaudy skirt billowing as she spins round and round. Standing close by, her father  plays a zappy tune on his zinke. Suddenly the square fills with dancing men, women, boys and girls.

As the clock strikes twelve the folk of a Chilean township appear on the main street, and to the sound of an echoing zugtrompete, take part in a zamacueca weaving in and out and clapping their hands in time with the jolly music. Across the Latin world, pavements vibrate with the stamping feet of joyful zapatiedo merry-makers.

In the midday sunshine, an endless stream of folk makes its way to  a Mediterranean beach where they dance together the zambra, and hop the zoppetto. Thousands of miles away, the good folk of Louisiana leap around to the zydeco.

Soon all the world is dancing. To the east, south, the north and farthest west. In war-torn countries, they lay down their arms. Sworn enemies dance together. Suddenly the world is a happy place. Suddenly we as one race. We dance together.

My theme for the A-Z Challenge 2017  will be The Village. I'll be telling you about the characters, its pub and shop, the events and whatever else happens in my fictitious rural community. 

Finally, I have recorded a short message for you.

You can check out my past A-Z posts by clicking  on a highlighted letter!

Friday, April 29, 2016

A-Z Challenge Day 25

Posted Friday April 29

I found more Y words than I expected!
Yoicks excl. Expression of surprise
Yeuk v. to itch
Yex v. to hiccup, belch
Yieldless adj. unyielding
Yird v . to bury

I like hot spicy food. No, I love it. So when a friend challenged me to join him at a curry restaurant that's famous for setting people on fire (not literally of course!) I accepted it.

The dish looked scrummy. It smelled amazing. The steam was so zesty it made my eyes water. We held our forks to our chests. One...two...three...go! I shovelled the first load into my mouth. Wow! ‘Yoicks’ I yelled, louder than I intended to, and a restaurant full of red sweaty faces turned in my direction. ‘Sorry’ I croaked. My friend was storming ahead of me. A quick swig of water and I was off again.

I thought I’d died and gone to hell! I started to yeuk, all over. Undaunted I carried on, eating with one hand, scratching with the other. Then I began to yex. Hic, burp, hic, burp. I couldn’t stop, it was yieldless. Yirding my pride, I admitted defeat.

That was yesterday. Last night I tossed and turned, wrapped in my sweat soaked bed sheets, hopping out of  bed every now and again to drink milk or nip to the loo. I still haven’t recovered so I’ve rung in sick to work. Oh no, here we go again. Sorry, must dash to the bathroom..........quick, quick quick.....

You can check out my A-Z posts thus far  by clicking  on a highlighted letter!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

A-Z Challenge Day 24

Posted Thursday April 28

Here are today's X words:-
Xenizating v. travelling as a stranger
Xenodocheionologist n. one who has a love of hotels
Xavier nom. male name meaning owner of a house

I know a chap called Xavier who is a total xenodocheionologistOdd fellow. He spends several months a year xenizating all over the country in a car towing a large trailer. Wherever he stays he gives a false name and address. He says he values his anonymity but I can't help thinking there is another reason. 

You should see his house. There are a couple of bathrooms stocked to the ceiling with pots of shampoo and shower gel, wall mounted hair dryers and beautiful soft towels. As for the three bedrooms, they each have luxurious dressing gowns, slippers, a kettle, heaps of coffee sachets and even a trouser press. One has a mini bar! There are televisions all over the place. If it was mine, I would never want to leave it. It’s as good as any hotel he’s ever stayed in.

You can check out my A-Z posts thus far  by clicking  on a highlighted letter!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A-Z Challenge Day 23

Posted Wednesday April 27

Today's words were not easy to find, and I suspect worse is yet to come as we head into X Y Z territory.
Winsome adj. innocent charming, engaging, appealing.
Watchet adj. palest blue
Wilder  v. to go astray
Wayment n. lamentation, grief
I apologise for the length of this piece. Normally I endeavor to limit my word count to 200 when composing bits for the challenge but this time, I couldn't stop writing! Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

It was a spring day, the sort of day poets write about and artists paint. A little girl was wandering through the woods stopping occasionally to pick a flower to put in her hair, or to watch the scurrying creatures go about their busy lives. The sun scattered dappled spots of light between the unfurling leaves of the trees that formed a canopy of palest green above her head.

What was that? Was it a tiny voice or her imagination playing tricks? 'Wait for me' it seemed to say. She looked around but there was nothing to be seen. She stopped to watch a little bird on a twig as it swayed back and forth in the breeze. 'Please wait for me' called the little voice again.

'Where are you?' the child said. There came no reply. She stood on tipi-toes and looked all around. Nothing. Not a soul in sight. Carrying on she climbed over a wooden gate. Some inquisitive cows looked up as she jumped to the ground, then got back to feeding on the lush green grass.

Then that little voice again. 'Please wait for me'. And then she saw where the voice was coming from. A winsome fairy-child was sitting on a branch of a nearby tree, her translucent wings quivering, tears trickling from her watchet eyes and flowing down her alabaster cheeks. The girl held out her hand. The fairy-child fluttered into the air then landed in her palm. 'Why are you following me?' said the little girl. 'Why are you so sad?'

The fairy-child told her, choking on her wayment, that she had wildered and was lost. She begged the girl to show her the way back to the fairy grotto. It was a secret place known to only children who truly believed in fairies. The little girl knew exactly where to take her.

A few minutes later the tiny fairyling was back with her family. The fairy godmother promised the girl that no matter what happened to her, in good times and sad, there would always be a fairy to watch over her.

So if you ever see that girl, and she looks over her shoulder and smiles, you know that her own little fairy is following just behind her.  

My friend Rosey - I told you about her last Friday - has posted an amusing little vignette. It is called Wobbly Wosey and it's right HERE! 

You can check out my A-Z posts thus far  by clicking  on a highlighted letter!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A-Z Challenge Day 22

Posted Tuesday April 26

Welcome to my 1,300th post! Over the past 10 years, I have received almost 180,000 page views and enjoyed more than 14,000 comments. Thank you for your support.

Just a couple of underused words today:-
Vulpine adj. of, like or pertaining to foxes
Vauntlay n. in hunting, release of a lead set of hounds before a following pack is released

Foreword: The hunting of foxes with hounds was outlawed in the UK in 2004. However, the ban is often ignored and rarely enforced. As recently as last year the government considered repealing the act. The debate is ongoing.

Here in the thicket he feels safer, yet still afraid to breathe;

scared to stir  less he be heard.

The vulpine fox crouches in the gently swaying grass, eyes unblinking.

Ears twitching, searching for sounds.

Awaiting the wail of bugles, the vauntlay of hounds,

the thunderous throbbing of horses hooves.

Watching  for the bloody scarlet of the huntsmen’s gowns.

Should he stay? Should he dash? Should he try to run to ground?

At least for now the covert  protects him, hides him.

Here in the thicket, he feels safer.

For now.

Before you go, here is a word  I think we all can relate to:-
Verbile n. a person whose mental processes are most easily stimulated by words!

You can check out my A-Z posts thus far  by clicking  on a highlighted letter!