On a Footprints Challenge

I am going to be participating in this excellent challenge by Frank, from A Frank Angle. If you love writing, especially short stories, then this is the challenge you will certainly enjoy. If you’re interested, please check it out on Frank’s page, and maybe join too! 🙂

A Frank Angle

It’s challenge time!

Long-time visitors to my little corner of the world know that writing fiction isn’t my thing. With over 1,900 posts, I’ve written one fiction post. Actually two because the original post did turn into a short story challenge that involved me changing my original story.

Not that I’m changing my format in on these pages, but what the heck – let’s try it again!

1. Write a short story based on the image below in the genre of your choice.


2. The story must be 150 words or less.

3. Publish your story after I post mine (Monday, July 10th @ 12:15 am Eastern US) AND link back to the post with my story (not this post).

4. Display the image above your story

5. The story title must be Footprints in the Sand

6. Display the following image after the story.

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Love Letters #28

Sunlight in his eyes.

She was an uninspired girl, and he had sunlight in his eyes. She was quiet and hid in the corners of rooms, shadows fell over her face and people’s eyes passed over her in a crowd.

She faded into the wall behind her, and her voice was like the bubbling of a spring; soft and gentle and mere background noise.

She watched his movements, the way his feet seemed to never touch the ground, but fly over it. The way his body flowed, in synchrony with itself. She found it so hard to synchronise her mind and her body together. Her mind saw one thing, but her body did the opposite. And how did he twist like that, duck so smoothly, double over laughing while balancing a tray in one outstretched hand.

She knew what he was like. He was like those cartoons of dancers, bending over and looping while balancing hundreds of things on all the points of their bodies.

And she was attracted to his bronze muscles. The way his cheekbones glowed under the warm light of the kitchen, and when he opened his mouth wide to let the laughter gush out, his teeth were so pearly and white, their edges so straight.

Sometimes in her room when she was writing she heard him laugh outside, and helplessly she giggled. Her body responded to him. Her brain gravitated towards him, he made her react.

That is what it was. He made her react, at a time when reacting to things was so hard and so much effort.

He teased the smile out of her, he brought the tears to her eyes, he made her heart palpitate, and her hands hot and sticky.

But he didn’t know this, and this fact made her even more withdrawn. Her feet were desperate to dance on the grass like his brown ones did, but they stayed put under her desk, folded neatly together, tapping gently to the rhythm of his.

Damon Ludwig,

She wrote his name on the back of her Biology text.

I think I am in love with you, Damon Ludwig.

She stared out of the window, where she could see her little sister, a tiny wisp of a girl, but like the rays of morning sunshine flooding the shadows of the night, dancing away on the wet wintery grass, and Tristan, huddled on the wall, his golden curls peeping out from under his heavy woollen winter hat. And George, smoking over the fence, and the fire in the centre of the Ludwig’s’ garden next door, and Damon Ludwig, poking the fire with a metal rod, feeding it so it cackled and rose higher, his legs moving back and forth with his motions…

Please 

Notice me.

Her pencil scraped the paper and dug into it so hard it broke through and made a small marked dent in the wood underneath, and Damon glanced up through his shock of jet black hair, right up into her window.

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N.B. This is for my novel. Characterisation, I think. But it’s more like a love story, even though my novel is not a love story. This love story between two of my dearest characters is dear to my heart.

 

February

Imagine an hourglass, filled with jade crystals the size of sand grains, glittering in yellow candle light. Ten crystals or so fall through at haphazard intervals, tinkling against the glass as they tumble over each other, creating a small, gleaming emerald mound.

Those are my seconds, so small and so precious, falling away from me, just as this month fell away from me. It slipped off my shoulders like a delicate, silk wrap, and I only noticed it was gone because my shoulders started to shiver. We are promised some Arctic winds for March, folks.

This month I worked my butt off on an assignment about Wuthering Heights. The essay question asked me to discuss how Emily Bronte’s work overlaps gothic and domestic themes, and I discovered a few satirical themes on femininity and Victorian ideals hidden away in Wuthering Heights. Wasn’t I pleased with myself.

I got my paints out on the 29th of February. Time to get those rusty, cricky fingers working again.

February was alright. I gained some weight this month. I know, right? Took one selfie, in which I wore some makeup and a red and black scarf. I fancied I looked quite alright. Looking at the selfie now, I’m not too sure. Chub chub on my cheeks, hair that doesn’t look quite 21 years old.

I met up with friends several times this month. Went to Birmingham for a day out, too. Goals to be more social? Tick that box please!

I felt like I connected more with my siblings this month. It’s a goal I have been struggling to achieve. We aren’t so touchy feely in this family. It’s nice to open up and hear each other out.

I didn’t call my father this month. I texted him a lot though. I should have called him. I feel horrendously guilty. He’s all alone, working hard abroad and I can’t grace him with a single phone call? Horrible child that I am. I cried myself to sleep because of it last weekend.

My husband and I didn’t do anything together this month. Last year in February we went to Venice. The year before in Feb we went to the Lake District. I dunno, I thought we might do something this year.

It was a combination of being broke and overworked, I think, that stopped us. Also since we barely talk anymore, I feel like we are disconnected. We really need to sort our life out, get our own place. But it’s not possible if he is constantly travelling and working, where is the time to talk?

Hopefully we are going somewhere nice in March. D is going to rummage in the attic to see if he can sell his old playstation or perhaps the old stereo. See, he is resourceful.

We both wanted to go to March in March because we are both born in March. March is a small town in Cambridgeshire, around forty minutes drive from the beautiful city of Cambridge. March doesn’t sound so great in theory, though, so I planned that we pass through March and explore a little before settling for a night in the almost-seaside town of King’s Lynn, which is known to be quite stunning and full of fun things to do.

I said, “We can’t go to March, our funds won’t allow it”

But he said, “We’ll find the money, and we will go.” He had so much conviction, and I believed him because he has never let me down before. He knows how to squeeze the pennies out of dry rags, does my husband.

You see the difference between us? I see obstacles, he sees problems that can be solved. When will I learn, huh?

How was your February?

10:29PM

I

Submitted

My

Assignment

Finally

After

Three

Long

Weeks

of

Brain

Fever.

You would think I would be able to now breathe a lovely sigh of relief and lounge around with a tall glass of lemonade or, given the season, a big mug of thick, delicious melted chocolate.

But no, my loves. I have another assignment due in a week and a half. Luckily this is a creative writing assessment. Still exhausting, given that I don’t have free reign and must comply with textbook standards… but it is definitely (hopefully) easier than analysing female demons in Wuthering Heights!

A Flutter of Nerves

Job interview today. Only got the callback because someone related works there. Trying not to use ‘I’ in these blog posts. Oops, just did.

No nerves reign over today. Which is actually a bad sign, because usually when there are no nerves, performance is abhorrent.

Deep breaths, fill the lungs, wash the face, cream on, primer, a smudge of foundation. Ironed blazer, shined shoes, folder in hand. Wait for Father to drop car off this morning, and drop him back. Drive to the school. Deep breaths. Solid walk. Firm handshake. Deep breaths. Focus. Concentrate on what has been read the night before.

Deep breath.

Might help to be a little nervous beforehand, so it doesn’t all come slamming on one the moment one walks into the interview room and sees those serious faces.

Do any of you ever feel as though a situation is funny purely because it is so solemn?

The other day at the gym everybody was on their machines, faces serious, pumping their legs, pumping their arms, nobody looking at anybody else directly in the eye because quintessentially, they are all a bunch of humans straddling various pieces of metal and moving various limbs about repetitively. It was funny. A private chuckle was had.

A slight worry that the same thing might happen in the portentous interview room prevails.

Maybe those are the nerves?

 

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“A flutter of feminine nerves.” A cup of tea might help, don’t you think? “The Cup of Tea” by Mary Cassatt

Frazzled Writing

I am doing an Advanced Creative Writing module in my Open University course, and I am very apprehensive because it is a level 3 course, which, for any of you who did OU, is pretty tough. It’s like final year at University! (Which is is!) Also the majority of the people on there seem to be such good writers who are seasoned and who know plenty about it all!

They don’t procrastinate, they don’t leave their assignments to the last minute, they read all the things they are supposed to read and catch up on all the online tutorials and contribute beautifully! It has only been five days into the course and I am 200 messages behind. Oh I feel so inadequate. I have to share some of my work but there is nothing worth sharing with them so I have to work extra hard to produce something that could pass roughly as readable.

It is futile to hope that I might capture their interest or create something remotely potent. Aaaaargh!

So I am frazzled and worried and anxious about it all, and am hoping for the best. I will take it one step at a time and write write write and read everything my tutor posts for me and pore religiously over my module book.

I chose that module to learn more about writing, so learn more about writing I shall.

Until then, I bid you adieu!

Welcome, Friday.

I want to draw on what I know today. I woke up like I haven’t woken up in a long time; refreshed and filled with a vibrancy that can only correlate to a night of uninterrupted sleep.

Do you know what uninterrupted sleep feels like, folks? It feels like a mind willing to hear what the world has to say. It feels like birds chiming together, each song separating from the other yet joined in one harmonious melody. It feels like a glass of lemonade after a sweltering hike uphill, or the wonderful view, finally, after a long and tiring struggle, of the earth in it’s multitudes of beauty spread out hundreds of feet below. Sprawling fields, snow caped mountains in the distance, framing glittering pools, a sky in hundreds of shades of blue, forests and deserts, oceans and miles of untouched terrain.

I feel quite awake. My mind is no longer clogged by the clouds of fatigued misery. Welcome, Friday, I hope your time with me is well spent.