Writing

Unfinished

Oh there are so many unfinished pieces of writing drifting like ghosts around the computer hard drive. Unfinished stories, unfinished poems, unfinished novels. I will start with great gusto; allocate an hour or two each day and get lots done. Then like a steam train out of coal I begin to slow. Then work or something else gets on the track, blocks the way and that is it. I can find the unfinished piece months, maybe years later, wallowing in my creative writing folder, sitting there unloved, and unfinished!!

 

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via Daily Prompt: Unfinished

The blast of a trumpet

Inspired by Erica’s post on Collecting Words and Sentences where she praises the virtues of collecting words and quotes into your own personal “bible”, I went searching my bookshelves for one such bible I kept many years ago. I found it. There are two dates in it – May 1992 and 2000, so I reckon it must be in and around twenty years old. It is not full but there are some great quotes in it. I am pretty sure I have another one that I started as a teen and it may still be in a box somewhere so I will keep my eyes open for it.

Reading through the quotes, poems and even at the back of the notebook, song lyrics, I realised that the sentiments expressed by the words then, still resonate with me today. Perhaps suggesting that my values and beliefs have not changed all that much over time. This is perhaps not so surprising. At the same time, in those twenty years, I have changed. For one I am now the mother to two young children.

In fact, the first quote in the notebook, which is from Robert Fulghum’s book “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”, seems even more relevant to me now being the mother of two kids.
kindergarten quote
How often have I said any of the above to my two kids?
The next poem by Joe Miller is about imagining the earth as being only a few feet in diameter and how it would be marveled. A google search showed me that the poem is available as a children’s book. The world has moved on since I wrote the words of the poem in my book and today you can listen to a youtube clip of it being read!
There are short quotes too like:
Don’t compromise yourself, you are all you’ve got.” Janis Joplin
What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.” Emerson.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller
So having “re-found” my “bible”, and as there is plenty of space for more words of wisdom, I will start writing down again those words of inspiration that are out there for us all.

 

Luxury item

Today the Daily prompt asks us to think about the one luxury item we wish we could afford. For me that would be more writing time. Imagine, three hours of uninterrupted writing time; no work emails to respond to, no reports to finish, and child-free time – just to write. Time to try out each days daily prompt; time to complete all those half finished manuscripts; time to do that final edit on that story; time to find that ideal publisher to submit that finally finished piece. Imagine and keep imagining because it is not going to happen! Bills got to be paid, kids got to be parented so you just got to make the most of what you’ve got!

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Stories in my head

I have more stories in my head than I have on paper, and endless rewrites of those that have made their was onto my computer hard-disk. There are also the scribbled notes in notebooks, ideas for stories, the first page of a story, a few lines of verse.

I find it hard to call myself a writer and when I read Suddenly Jamie’s article on “writing is my real job“, (which I read thanks to Discover) it got me thinking. If someone asks me what I do I immediately tell them what my part time job is. And it is nothing to do with writing, but it is what I spend 18 hours a week doing and it is what pays for some of the bills! But I am also a mother of two young children – a 24 hour a day job. In my spare time I write and take photographs. In the small amount of quiet time I have, I think about writing or write stories in my head.

I like the stories in my head. They often help me get to sleep at night. I can try out different scenarios to find a way to move a story forward, but how much am I loosing by not writing things down? If I could get the stories from my head onto paper would I be a better writer?

Earlier in the year I said I would give myself a year to get something published. The year is nearly up – and I am not sure one short story in a local newspaper counts. So what do I do now? Do I just let the stories in my head continue to entertain me – though the fact that they are sending me to sleep is possibly not a good sign(!), or do I thrown in the towel. Being realistic I probably need to admit to myself that throwing in the towel is not an option. I need to engage the creative side of my brain in order get through what at times can be the humdrum of daily life. As a child I enjoyed the fantasy of stories. As an adult, as the grey days of winter try and drag me under, I need an escape from reality too. If that is to the stories in my head, then so be it.

The Wanderer

Paolo was lost and the one place he wanted to see more than anywhere else in the world was his home. He had been searching for his home so long that it was only in his dreams that it now came back to him.

There was the large chair that sat by the fire. It was an old chair, with holes in the upholstery where the stuffing peeked out. You could feel the springs if you didn’t sit right back into it. But Paola was small and he could squeeze himself back into it. He remembered falling asleep in that chair.

There was the old oak tree. It grew on the crest of the hill that rose out the back of his home. He would climb that tree, snuggling himself into the trunk and surveying the world around him. In the winter and spring he could see so far but in the summer and autumn the leaves would block the view, though he did not mind. He would watch the squirrels instead, as they scampered though the branches, playing or gathering the acorns.

There was the orchard that lay at the bottom of the hill. In spring, it would be white with blossom. And all summer long he would watch the fruit grow bigger, until finally things started to ripen. First the pears, sweet yet firm. Later the apples, three, four different varieties. His mouth watered as he remembered the tastes.

And finally there was the apiary where his father kept the bees. He remembered walking there, the sound of the buzzing. He remembered watching the bees come and go to the orchard and the fields beyond, returning to their hives with their pollen baskets laden with pollen, white, cream and yellow. And the taste of the honey, a small piece of heaven.

But he was far from heaven now and his bones were weary. Another day gone by, another night to rest on foreign soil, far away from all the places he wanted to be.

Posted in response to the daily prompt – The Wanderer

Always have the key

Everyone was outside, making the most of a late summer evening that was dry and not blowing a gale. The kids were playing on their bikes. Mum and Dad were painting the garden gate, a rich shade of chocolate brown. Before anyone knew it, it was bedtime.

bike

Four year old Belle did not want to go to bed.

“I’m not going to bed, it’s too early. I’m having too much fun!” She stamped her foot on the ground.

There was no reasoning with her. She ran back to the house in a huff. As Mum followed after her Belle banged the front door closed. Looking out the glass window of the door she looked at her mother approach and then locked the door. So there they were – Belle on the inside; her Mum, Dad and brother on the outside!

“Let us in Belle.”

There was pleading, threats to remove treats, gentle coaxing. Everyone tried. But no amount of persuading would get Belle to change her mind. All downstairs doors and windows were checked but everything was sealed and there was no way of getting in.

Belle, ignoring all pleas from outside, went upstairs and refused to come back down. There was no point shouting – she couldn’t hear, or at the very least would not listen. Mum and Dad pretended to walk away down the road, sneaking back along the garden fence; they tried ringing the house phone. But nothing would bring Belle back downstairs.

Eventually after half an hour Belle appeared at the front door again. Through the window they could see her tear stained face. She unlocked the door. Everyone let out a sigh of relief. She was contrite. She knew she had done wrong. She promised not to do it again!

That night, when the kids were safely tucked in bed,  her parents laughed at her cheek, even though they had been a bit scared at the time. It would be one of those family stories that would be told again and again – “do you remember the time Belle locked us out of the……”

 

(Inspired by a true incident and the Daily Prompt – retrospectively funny)