About trishsplace

Australian wife and mother, born in Dublin, Ireland. Aspiring author (that is, I don't work at it enough!). Light and conversational tone. All thoughts my own.

Simply 6 Minutes – Leave me Alone

Head and shoulders of baby, lying on white blanket, holding a teddy. The baby is looking quizzically at the camera.

What are you looking at?

I’m feeling vulnerable here, and you old women are always staring at me.

Hey, leave the hair alone! I’m not a plaything.

And why does your food smell better than mine?

All I get is that sweet stuff out of mummy and tasteless, odourless wet stuff she puts into my mouth.

Nothing that smells as good as what you lot are eating.

And when will someone clean out my pants?

I tell you, the service around here lacks a certain je ne sais quoi!

If you leave the poop against my tender butt for too long I get one of those nasty, painful rashes, and I’m always getting them, which means you are the worst mother!

Neglect is what it is. Bad food, ignore the full nappy, and too many over perfumed, noisy old gasbags staring at me all the darn long day.

Woah, this is exhausting. Me and Pepi need to sleep. It’s a hard life, lying around and dealing with you lot.

Please, leave me alone. We need peace and quiet.

After you clean out the nappy, and you give me a mouthful of that sweet liquid, and I guess some of that sludge green stuff will have to do.

Then I’m gonna sleep and dream of quiet, fluffy clouds, where me and Pepi can gambol like puppies, smelling sweet, and eating good grub. [231 words, 6 minutes]


Thanks to Christine for this weekly challenge.

Simply 6 Minutes Challenge Note

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

Pirate Tuesday

Vector illustration cartoon of kids pirates on the ship at the sea

Illustration cartoon of kids pirates on the ship at the sea

It was pirate Tuesday at the local preschool and as I rushed to catch the bus, it was heartwarming to hear jubilant chatter and calls of excited children. Imagination piqued, they ran down footpaths in cheap costumes, waving plastic swords, an assortment of paper parrots perched on shoulders. There were almost equal numbers of Tinkerbell running the streets.

I volunteer at a women’s refuge once a month and knew some of these children. It required tact as strong as steel not to acknowledge those I recognised, even as some swayed in my direction, to confess some pirate secret, or some new heartbreak.

I was saved by the bus as it arrived, and abruptly swamped as it braked through a large puddle. My sapphire silk shirt now clung in the wrong places as I climbed the steps dripping and cursing, to see the driver hand held dramatically to his forehead, laughing. HIs face showed shame, mixed with concern.

‘So sorry, darling,’ he said. ‘My colleague distracted me with some story about his nephew being one of these crazed preschoolers, and the adventures they’d had kitting him out. I nearly missed the stop.’

‘It’s fine,’ I said. ‘I’ve a spare blouse at work. I’ve enjoyed watching the kids while I waited, so it was worth his effort.’

‘Where are you headed, love,’ the driver asked. Probably glad I wasn’t one of those cranky passengers.

‘Green Street, near the Pavilion,’ I said.

‘We’ll get you there, and you’ll be happy to know there’ll be no crocodiles, lost boys, or nasty hooked pirates. It’s the real world from now on,’ he said cheerily, and the door hissed shut as I took a seat.

‘I wouldn’t mind an adventure with a man with a hook,’ I whispered to myself, and watched the children stream into the schoolyard as we pulled away.


Written for Wordle #288 run by Lisa. Words to incorporate are:

pirate, forehead, imagine, footpath, abrupt, volunteer, colleague, sway, sapphire, pavilion, confess and tact.

Palestinian Harvests & Jewish Identity | Rabbi Yehiel Grenimann

I really enjoyed this informative and human story. It illustrates that the best understanding comes from participation, not observation. And that we can all be human together, regardless of school of faith, if we can put aside our assumptions.

Just, give it to me

Ferrero flavoured gelato

Gorgeous, rich Ferrero flavoured gelato from Topolino Gelateria in Wodonga, Victoria.


I so wanted to renege on the promise I’d made myself not to eat that 500ml tub of gorgeous, rich, Ferrero gelato. And I’m so proud that I held out.

I did eat the 1L tub of Mango/Lemon Meringue, which made me so happy and yet, really shit too!


49 words written for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Renege

Reached a low point

I cannot find a place in myself that has the energy and motivation to do anything. I’m doing only the bare essentials, dragging my feet on anything else.

If I have a full workload, I can make myself do it. The sheer pressure of the expectation and remnants of a sense of pride in a job done well pull me through. 

But I’m not busy at the moment. There is not pressure to perform. And my default has become streaming TV and grazing on crap. I lost 32kg in 2019 and I’ve gained 10kg. I don’t know why I eat, it’s not like I enjoy it. It’s like filling holes, trying to fill myself up. 

My self talk has never been particularly healthy, but has gone downhill in a hurry. 

If I’m not working, I’m on the couch. I’m not writing. I’m not moving.

I can’t face a routine. I fight it. 

I’m afraid of how few years I have left, and instead of somehow making the best of what I’ve got or challenging myself to really embrace these next few years, I’ve already stopped. Like, what’s the point?

Every night, as I fall asleep, I wonder if this is the night I’ll die of a heart attack, which I guess is one of the better ways to go. Dying in your sleep.

I’m browsing online articles / studies on middle-aged women (late-middle aged women) and a couple of the phrases that connect are ‘frustrated goal attainment‘ ‘depressed mood, negative appraisal of aging changes‘. 

One of the more positive articles expresses ‘Healthy aging is happy aging‘ and that’s where I need to find myself. My husband is four years younger than me and a professional working man, who loves his job. So, he gets ongoing enjoyment and positive feedback in his life. It would be easy for him to ‘get over me and my negative attitude’. I wouldn’t blame him, but that adds another fear to my list.

(The top part of this post has been sitting in drafts since July. It is now September, and not a lot has changed!).

I am not a friend to myself. I’m now grasping at the positives, while wallowing in quiet misery. I hesitate to post this, because I don’t want to be all negative. It is not a cry for help, just me talking out loud about my reality. 

Some positives are:

  • In August I attended a writer’s conference in Perth, which has ‘inspired’ (such an overused word) me to put one of my manuscripts into a competition. The first 10,000 words and then if I’m lucky to progress to the the second round, the full WIP. 
  • In 2022, I’ve entered quite a few short story competitions, in particular with #nycmidnight and #furiousfiction. I’ll also enter something into RWA Australia’s Sweet Treats anthology competition. Maybe I’ll put one into the Spicy Bites, although I’ve just read the 2022 anthology – and WOW there are some quite graphic (to my eyes) stories, with excellent writing. If I enter something, I’ll be writing sensual not raunchy.
  • I auditioned for The Chase, Australia last week. That was fun! I applied online on the Wednesday, they called me Thursday and while I sat at a pavement café in the rain (the other diners had all run away) they quizzed me. Then set up a Zoom meeting ‘in 45 minutes’ at which time they went through my application, finishing with a ‘fast minute’ quiz and small multiple choice. 
    The very first question these types of comps ask is ‘tell me a crazy/exciting/funny thing that has happened to you’, and when the chap asked me, I said ‘I knew that the one thing that could stop me being accepted is that I’m a quiet personality who doesn’t do spontaneous anecdotes.’ However, we then spent 40 minutes or so going through the application and chatting and laughing, so hopefully I’ve sold myself and I’ll get a call up.
    If successful, it will be this year, and I should get two to three weeks notice – to record in Sydney.
  • I’ve been able to get to Perth twice this year (May and August) and so have seen our grown children. Who tried their best to fit me into their busy lives 😁
  • Eric and I are going to Singapore in November, and will see Phantom of the Opera in Melbourne on the way home. Phantom in Melbourne was our honeymoon show back in 1991. 
  • AND BONUS, our cat didn’t die in surgery on Friday!

 

 

Rebound

When you realise that you’re really over your boyfriend


‘Everyone met Holly? Babe, you know everyone, right?’

Such an arse, I thought. Tony, my dickhead, soon to be ex-boyfriend and his obnoxious artificial bonhomie.

He’d been so angry when I rocked up in girly blouse, mini skirt, sandals for a bush walk. My quiet rebellion.

Two hours of hiking this coastal bushland before this lazy introduction.

‘Hiya, I’m Sarah,’ said a pretty brunette. She held out her hand. ‘Sorry. Old habits.’

I smiled. She seemed nice. Genuine. Quite the surprise in Tony’s world. She looked comfortable, good walking shoes. The other women looked hungover, their men much the same. Although, ripped, athletic, tattooed. Delicious.

‘Nice to meet you, Sarah. Enjoy hiking?’

‘Love it,’ she said. ‘These aren’t my kind of peeps, but Johnny,’ she pointed to a dreamboat, ‘he’s working something with Tony.’

‘Part of the deal. I know how that works.’

Sarah raised an eyebrow.

‘Do I look like a hiker? I’m paid to attend.’

‘You’re a hooker?’ Sarah asked. I laughed.

‘There are similarities. Look, last night we attended the Aria Awards.’

Sarah cooed her delight.

‘You’d think so, right?’ No. Posers. But new dress, shoes, dripping in diamonds that I can keep. A tidy stash, and I’ve earned it.’

‘You don’t like him,’ she said.

‘I hate him, arrogant prick. But he has opened doors I would never have walked through. Some I wish I hadn’t. You ever tried bondage?’

‘No!’

‘His version of the Red Room. No safe word. Free to his mates. He sweetened the deal, but I paid with body and soul. I’m set up and cashing in.’

‘You’re leaving,’ said Sarah.

‘This afternoon. Chalk and cheese this life and where I come from. Time to go home.’

Tony dropped his sweaty arm across my shoulders.

‘Time to hit the peak, Hols. Let’s give those sandals a real workout,’ he said. Smiling, with cold eyes.

‘You don’t want to talk a little more business?’

‘Nah, bunch of losers. No offense, S.’

Sarah looked livid, about to strike back.

‘Some alone time, darling,’ I quickly said. ‘And, better views.’

‘Instagram worthy,’ said Sarah. I’d rescued her and Johnny from disaster.

Treacherous walk, feet slipping in sandals, wind up my skirt, hat threatening to blow away. I reached the top, gasping for air. The vista took what was left.

‘Drop your knickers,’ he said, abruptly.

‘What?!’

‘You heard. Drop em.’

The bastard being true to himself.

Suddenly, my hat flew over the cliff.

‘Stupid bitch,’ Tony yelled as he reached for it.

It was the fork in the road.

In seconds, I was at his back. With desperate power, I pushed. He fell.

His broken body far below. My eyes watered from salt air. I dropped and began to scream.

‘Help me!’ [457 words]


Written for Furious Fiction March 2022 – non-winner (nor shortlisted, longlisted …)

Story prompts: 500 Words. A character who commits a crime. Some kind of door being opened. Words to include: Chalk, talk, fork (or derivatives thereof)

Words describing the Furious Fiction flash fiction challenge, with an image of pencils wrapped in a detonator timer

Furious Fiction flash fiction challenge

Six sentence story – Love on the Line


The whole of her; heart, mind, body and soul were guarded, her standard state of being and today was no different. You’d think she was facing down lions or gladiators in the colosseum, rather than the one who held her heart, who promised to shelter, support and love her for what was left of their lives. But time had taken from her and left shredded skin and tattered soul and what light used to be at the end of the tunnel had become a barely discernible pinprick of light. Hope hurt, wonder teased, and it always seemed that joy was just out of reach. Shelley didn’t know if she could let her love behind the walls she had spent so long building, into the earthy temple, the humble retreat that kept her safe. But, oh how she wanted to welcome her lover, deeper than physical satiation, exalted above all other, to promise, to hold, to cherish; to guard.


Prompt provided by GirlieOnTheEdge

Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Link up at Wednesday’s post. Link goes live at 6:00 pm through Saturday late…
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers 😀

PROMPT WORD:  GUARD

Friday Fictioneers – Open Heart


You opened your heart

exposing vulnerability

laid bare hopes, dreams, fear.

You welcomed unreservedly

risked hurt

your light shone bright.

You stood tall, strong yet fragile

You sought communion, connection

You called to life

Your day in the sun too short

Your view of the future curtailed.

As the sun moves away

As light leaves the day

So too, you retreat.

Slave to a seasonal beat. [67 words]


Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for continuing to set this 100 word or less challenge. It is certainly a commitment appreciated by many. Other 100 word stories can be read here.

Author note: I cheated this week and used something I’d already written – to this flower! Hope you enjoy it. Trish

Simply 6 Minutes – Returned

Countryside, by water, with the ruins of a church

A Drowning Church: Shettihalli

Things are so changed

I’m out of place

I do not recognise this space.

I try to touch

Bare stone

Grey grass.

My hand through everything does pass.

It seems that I have been away

The years have gone

And left decay.

While I have lingered

Wasted time

Moved on while I lay sleeping.

Now what has woken up my soul

Returned me to this world?

If once I left this mortal coil

Then why am I reborn?

A call, a cry, birds circle high

A human calls in pain.

I flit and float and find the ground

Upon which wastes a babe.

Oh, what has happened here, sweet child?

Oh, why are you abandoned?

This must be why I’m called to earth

To save you is the challenge.

I sit beside you, desperate child

My presence holds off vultures.

All I can do to is sit and wait

And hope somebody finds us.

Thank God, here comes a curious man

Intrigued by nature’s hawkers

And now, he’s found you baby, so

I’m free to leave you, daughter.


Thanks to Christine for this weekly challenge.

Simply 6 Minutes Challenge Note

  • Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  • You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  • Get ready and write for 6 minutes, that is it! Can you write a complete story? Can you think of a new Sonnet? Can you write 400 words? 400? 500? There are no restrictions on what kind of writing you do, but you should try to be actively writing for six minutes.
  • After you are done writing, include your word count and then post back to this page #Simply6Minutes or include your link in the comments section. Pingbacks are enabled.

City Girl

When lost and lonely, at last there’s home


View of the Melbourne CBD skyline, from Port MelbourneEver since I arrived in the city I have been afraid.

Childhood memories of family and love in my country home bounce off concrete and glass. Bootsteps echo off pavement, sometimes sharp, sometimes blunted they pace out my trembling emotions.

Six months ago my mother died after a battle with cancer, and with her went my family and the last good reason to stick around our dying hometown.

As was typical of many small town communities, the young left for the city lights as soon as possible, while everything else aged and withered. Businesses closed, reasons to remain removed.

Although I was delighted at the cash injection the sale of our home gave me, I felt some guilt. The treechange purchasers were delighted at the acreage, white fencing, trees and livestock and the heritage touches throughout the house. In a town where everybody else was running away, had these lovely people blindly stumbled into a dream, or a nightmare? I sincerely hoped they had a plan, but their excitement equalled my freedom. I thanked them every day, while I hoped for their continued happiness.

I have been alone and lonely in this culturally rich yet anonymous space. Lucky to find a cadetship at a premier newspaper, I was a very small fish that knew by heart my colleagues coffee orders. Timid in the face of abundant confidence, I listened, watched and learned while scribbling ideas and stories into my ever present notebook.

Two weeks ago a hello popped up on my Instagram. Nick was four years older and far above me on the school social scale, a sports hero and heartthrob for all the senior girls. And kindness itself to the wide eyed, wannabe reporter on the sidelines of every school and community event. He was always ready with a word bite and a smile for my camera. Many of those photos landed on my bedroom wall.

The feather in my cap was when he pulled me up onto the stage his last year of school, captain of our home footy team, when they won the premiership.

‘Our special mascot, local writer, Annabelle Corey. We couldn’t have done it without her,’ he announced to the crowd.

I could have died with embarrassment and hurrahed with delight. His arm was over my shoulder, he was sweaty and on the nose, but he knew me and cared. The highlight of my high school years – one hundred percent!

He’d left a trail of broken hearts when he accepted an offer to play AFL in Melbourne, but it was a glorious gift for him. To have a paying sports career while he studied engineering, his future was golden.

And this god had reached out to me.

‘Hey, Belle. Jungle drums have beat the news that you’re on my patch. Have dinner with me. My shout. It’ll be great to meet the grown-up Annabelle. You look gorgeous on Insta and I see you’re at The Age. Dreams do come true! Love, Nick.’

Love, Nick.

So here I was at the door of a too trendy-for-words inner city restaurant, staring at my reflection. Vibrant chestnut hair, pink flushed cheeks, nibbling my bottom lip, procrastinating. What would I say? Would he like what he saw? Would we find common ground? Would he like me?

The door opened and there he was. AFL fit, bronzed, with short, blonde and tousled hair and his beautiful warm eyes lasered onto me.

‘There you are,’ he said. The sun blazed across his face, his smile embraced me. ‘You took your time, sweetheart. Welcome home.’ [593 words]


RWA Aspiring Authors (friendly) September flash fiction challenge. 

Max 1,000 words

Story needs to start and end with a four-letter word and include the words, feathers, trail, boots and echo.