I still remember when you held me in your arms, both of us illuminated by a full, bright moon determined to show us the best possible versions of ourselves. I was at once the most powerful and the most vulnerable creature in this world. Sometimes I still visit the tiny island where I felt your lips on my neck for the first time, and I can feel them still, a faint ghostly tingling as I turn my face towards the night sky, hoping, praying, that my home did not claim your life as my family insists. That I will see you, an unexpected surprise on the sand, mooring a boat with your head tossed back in careless laughter. But I have not seen you for almost twelve full cycles of that moon, now, and whenever I hear the waves crash against the rocks on particularly stormy nights, hope slips a little further out of reach from my heart. Continue reading

Impulsive piece: ‘Just a small clearing…’

The next piece was written very freely. I did not follow a prompt. I just started with a clearing in the woods, very typical sort of setting used in many stories, and then went where my mind took me. I tried, once I realised where it was taking me, to simply get inside her head, to go with the flow of her thoughts.

It’s just a small clearing in the woods behind the ruined house that was once home, but it is everything.

I come here to rest, to dream, and to plan a life I may never know. I don’t know how the soldiers do not know of this place and I do not care because as soon as I start to wonder about how the soldiers operate I get angry. When I am angry I cannot rest, dream, and plan. Continue reading

Writing Prompt Exercise: ‘He sighed, and looked towards the sky…’

Hello! I’ve started a new job since returning from my travels and have been settling into a new apartment. Hence, there has been another long gap in posts. However, I recently started discussing writing exercises with a friend again and so here is a new post, hopefully to kick of a new era in which I post more regularly on here once more, as I did back when I started the blog – for real, this time.

This was supposed to be 500 words but to conclude it satisfactorily, I went quite a bit over. There was no time limit.

He sighed, and looked towards the sky. There was still no hint of any cloud, and the endless blinding blue stretched almost mockingly to meet the scorching earth at a slightly shimmering horizon. His head swam, both from the heat, and from ever growing fear. Continue reading

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

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