‘Thoughts of a Sidelined Sister’

In the end, it was never about her, but me. Nobody stopped me from dancing – but she danced so well, all eyes drawn to her swaying hips and joyous expression, I gradually began to sit down more and just watch. I felt as though I was doing the right thing in joining others in their adoration, and ignored the small niggle saying otherwise, dismissing it as selfishness. The microphone always passed to me as well on the family karaoke nights, but she sang so well, with time I thought it best to just pass the mic along so that everyone could take pleasure in her voice for that much longer. That high school summer when we both qualified for the temp job in the library, I backed out of the interview so she could claim it, and told myself it was fine – she needed the experience. Continue reading

‘First Heartbreak’

When I read your words on the monitor, insultingly written in shorthand, for a split second my lungs seem to stop working and I’m drowning, gasping for air – and then the tears come, unbidden, unwanted, but they come all the same. I slide down the door onto my bedroom floor and my body becomes a barrier to others, for the moment, until the storm in my mind settles to a gentle, steady rain. Then I will accept the embrace of those who mean well and will assist in soothing the dull ache you have left in my bones. Continue reading

Poem draft: ‘Revenge’

So in the whirlwind of travelling I am neglecting this blog – not good! I promised I wouldn’t, but the days slip by so fast, and then suddenly I realise I’ve not posted in over a MONTH?! Many, many apologies…

Unforgivable.

Here’s a poem to disperse the tumbleweed.

Loving words roll off a lilting tongue,

Slipping him sweetly into her waiting arms.

He is floating, feeling forgiven, and is

Entirely oblivious

To her waiting gun.

I hope after this one in turn to post a sequel from mum’s point of view to this and then one of those awesome 50 word stories I keep seeing cropping up here and there. At least a post a week. There, I’ve committed now! I will try super hard to stick to the plan!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Suggestions / comments on this one especially welcome as still in draft form. At some point (e.g. a year after commencing blog, like an anniversary thing) will accumulate draft poems and do a post of improved versions 🙂

Ro x

Poetry draft: ‘A Witch’s Visit’

I’m back!!! WordPress was banned in China but now in Hong Kong…see sidebar for the travel blog, there’s an update 🙂

Here’s a poem draft to kick things off! See what you reckon…I made up ‘Rivenbrook’ (or so I thought…I made it up using common bits of English village/town names) and a quick Google reveals it’s an electronics store somewhere, lol.

This is the first time in years I’m attempting to use rhyming verse to tell a story (last time was at school!), I’d like to get better at this, as I think it’s a really fun type of poetry!

A Witch’s Visit

On one fine golden autumn day,
When leaves turn red and brown,
A young witch did visit Rivenbrook,
’Til then a prosp’rous town.

Seeking to join the harvest feast,
She came not to trick or con,
But witches are of ill repute,
And the people wished her gone.

“You’re not welcome!” came the cry,
Not one man wished her there,
And they refused to hear her speak,
As she walked towards the square.

Her heart then filled with fury
At this unjust discourse,                                                        
And cursing all of Rivenbrook,
She left with no remorse.                                        

That eve a spark of fire,
Strayed too far and set alight
First one thatch, then another,
And soon the town burned bright.

The night was filled with terror,
And with dawn tolled the bell,
Survivors spoke in hushed voices,
Of the witch’s “wicked spell”.

No-one remembered their spite,
Or the witch’s affronted look,
And witches are still unwelcome,
In the remains of Rivenbrook.

My partner particularly didn’t quite think one verse flowed that well (he liked the concept/rest of it!), but I thought I’d put the whole thing out there as a draft and see what you guys think! The title is a working one also.

I am SO GLAD to be back and will be reading all of what I’ve missed soon on my favourite blogs 🙂 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Ro x

Writing Prompt Exercise: ‘Home’

So, I got the prompt from Jess’s blog followthevoid, which you guys should check out if you haven’t already. She runs writing workshops and her posts are always an interesting read.

She spoke about writer’s block in the particular post with this prompt…those days where you just can’t seem to put anything that seems of note onto paper…I think we all have them!

Anyway, I didn’t set myself any rules for this one, it’s ended up about 500 words and was untimed. I’m not sure where the ideas came from, this isn’t part of a bigger story or anything at present, but I feel perhaps this short piece could turn into something bigger? See what you think!

When she thought of home, she thought not of her mother’s beautiful suburban mansion or her father’s cluttered apartment, where her younger brother still lived. Nor did Harriet think of her own tiny studio flat, from where she was desperately trying to carve out a living from selling her artwork.

She thought, instead, of the tumbledown cottage in the countryside where all four of them had been happy. Despite her mother’s claim that she hadn’t ‘been happy in a long time’, when she was trying to justify her stupid affair, Harriet did not think this was true, unless ‘long time’ meant ‘a few months’. Her mother wasn’t a good enough actress to fake joy for years. That was why she had been found out only weeks after starting the affair.

At least the divorce had been an amicable one. This was, Harriet knew, due to her father’s impossibly calm personality. Normally, she admired this quality, but was very annoyed when it led to his offer of moving out, because she knew what would happen shortly afterwards – and it did. Her mother sold the cottage, which fetched a pretty price thanks to its location.

Harriet was heartbroken when she saw the ‘sold’ sign, when she realised she would never again be able to call the cottage home, and still felt as though she was grieving for a lost family member four weeks on. She had been refusing to answer all calls from her mother since. She loved her mother dearly, but she couldn’t forgive her mistakes just yet. Harriet’s father, of course, understood this feeling completely but encouraged her to let go of her anger, as he had done. Her brother, at sixteen, didn’t entirely understand but had kindly provided her a shoulder to cry on.

Home is supposed to be where the heart is, and she knew it was silly to have been so attached to the cottage, but she couldn’t help it. It held so many memories; she had helped her brother learn to walk in that living room, painted her first watercolour on an easel in that kitchen (it had the best light), been tucked into bed by each of her parents countless times in her bedroom…her mother didn’t think the same way. To her, there was a profit to be had and a new purchase to be made, and that was it.

On a day during the fifth week after seeing the ‘sold’ sign, after a notable absence of calls from her mother (she had been calling daily up until three days prior), Harriet decided to take her father’s advice and ring her. She had not been a bad mother by any means, and the fact that her marriage had failed and that she thought quite differently to her daughter about the cottage didn’t mean that all bridges needed to be set alight. It was time for Harriet to hear her mother’s side of the story, and maybe start on a path to reconciliation.

All constructive/polite feedback welcome, as always 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Ro x

Poem: ‘Glittering Blue’

Away over the glittering blue

Her gaze sweeps unseen.

Tears trace salty tracks

Even as the brine-infused breeze

Dries them before journey’s end.

She sighs, saddened, wishes for

The surity of his calloused hands

But they are frozen deep

Within that glittering blue.

Inspired by the cliffs on the Jogasaki coastline, which is in fact very beautiful and pleasant to walk along 🙂 Next travel blog post will be up before the end of the week, promise!

Ro x

Poem: ‘Her Heart’

Sweetly scented and late to bloom,

Petals unfurling shyly, blushing,

Cautious of not emerging too soon,

Her heart.

Playing around, not brilliant but wanted to get back into writing again whilst out here and had to start somewhere! Inspired by, weirdly, some of the early blooming cherry blossoms out here.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Ro x

P.S. First post on travel blog is up, link is on the side 🙂

Writing Exercise: Feeling Hopeful

Writing exercise time! This time my friend and I decided not on prompts but an idea – a scene where the character is doing something but also experiencing an emotion or feeling. For me, it was somebody ‘taking a walk’ whilst feeling ‘hopeful’. I am still categorising under ‘writing prompt exercise’ for now as believe it belongs there nonetheless.

No minimum word count, but not longer than 500 words.

As Ana opens the impossibly clear glass door and step outside into the quiet, tree-lined street, she breathes a big sigh of relief. The country’s famously indecisive sky has turned an ominous mix of grey and orange, with a light rain beginning to fall. This doesn’t bother her – the air smells fresher now, and Ana hums a little as she opens her pocket umbrella, ready to head to the hotel to meet her mother.

She still can’t believe how easy that was. For the best part of three months she has been worrying endlessly about this interview, practising with anybody willing, and – she thinks of her brother – sometimes unwilling. All the worry was needless. The twenty minutes she just spent earnestly discussing her passions with two strangers in this foreign land (in her second language!) seemed to go more easily than some of the conversations she’s had with her own mother.

It ended well, too. Everyone told her to expect the firm handshake and an ‘I’ll be in touch’, that it didn’t mean anything, but surely the clearly impressed look that passed between her interviewers, and the warmth of their smiles counted for something greater than politeness?

As Ana is about to emerge onto the main road, she pauses, turning to look at the university building once more, impressive against the strange, bright clouds. The dreams she has had since childhood are finally starting to feel real.

She knows she should be realistic but as she turns and joins the throngs of people surging down the main road, looking every bit the local with her elegant grey coat and her dark umbrella overhead, she can’t help but smile. 

Erm, okay, so I am unsure if this really followed the brief haha, but it was fun to write 🙂

All (polite) feedback welcome, specifically please let me know if the present tense works or not.

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Ro x