About trishsplace

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

Friday Fictioneers – I wonder

#fridayfictioneers #100 words #flashfiction

Photo by Ted Strutz

And I wonder, how he ended

Abandoned in the street

Alone at the end

And I wonder, was he loved

Are his memories kind

As he wheezes one last breath

And I hope

That tender hearts prevail

Trustworthy for the trusting

And I hope

There is a heaven

Tranquil and transcendent

To harbour and hold, even metallic souls

And I wonder, can I use

Any of his parts

 Are they useful to me

 Avariciousness blinding

And I wonder when I became

An actual Ass

All about me. All about me.

Aspiration eradicated [92 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.

Simply 6 Minutes – Give it to me, Doc

Simply 6 Minutes 11Aug21

I finally decided to give up the smokes.

Doc’s been telling me, Buddy, do it for the family.

“What family,” I said. “The missus ran off with that gorilla, Brian. My girlfriend wants to move to Cleveland. I told her, she’s on her own.

“The kids are monkeys. I can’t get any sense out of them. “

Do it for yourself, he said.

“Well, mate. I’ll try.

“I’ve never felt so tired. My back hurts, the hair’s thinned out (used to be so luxurious) and I’ve greyed up so much. I used to be a rad orange! I’m just all washed out.

“Look at the wrinkles, man!”

I can put you onto a support group, give you a script for patches, the doc said.

“Well, heck,” I told him. “I can only try. Don’t know if my heart’s in it. Don’t know what I’ll replace my friend cigarillo with. But, I’ll give it my best shot, doc.”

I look around myself now, at the verdant jungle I live in. Full of life. And think, oh to be young again. [6 minutes, 179 words]

https://christinebialczak.com/

  • 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.

Do I lack the passion to be a Writer?

Sunday night, 11th July I submitted a 1st draft manuscript as part of the 12 month Write your Novel course I joined in October 2020, with Australian Writers Centre. Other students in the class and my tutor will read this draft and feedback to me.

It was a requirement to have a manuscript of 10,000 to 20,000 words, and be seeking a process to get yourself moving toward a finished manuscript.

This week, I feel free. Vulnerable and nervous that my readers will tell me it is a crock of sh*#, but relieved.

I wasn’t looking for how to write lessons. I was happy for writing to remain a natural, calm, almost stream of consciousness activity that I undertake, because I enjoy stories.

I’ve always dreamed of being an author. As 60 inexorably approaches it seemed a good time to seriously pursue that goal.

Sixty years old. It doesn’t seem possible that I’m coming up on old age. At what point do we cling to the froth of 40 is the new 30, 50 the new 40, etc? All I know is that generally I feel about 26, which probably also goes for level of maturity [LOL]. I’m supposed to be in an amazing place in my life where I know myself, have confidence in my strengths and abilities. Funny that.

My background is secretarial and I believe that things would fall apart if you didn’t have hardworking administrators. But have you heard of the Golgafrinchans? Their story resonated with me from the get go, particularly on the many days that I’m down on myself.

If you’ve read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series of books, you would know about the Golgafrinchans. On their planet, I would fall into the class of ‘middle-men’  – people like hairdressers, consultants, marketers, insurance salespeople, telephone sanitisers. In other words, the people the world can do without.

The remaining two-thirds of Golgafrinchans were considered the thinkers and the doers and they fooled the middle men into departing the planet for places unknown with various ruses. The planet would soon crash into the sun, a swarm of 12 foot high killer bees was about to attack, or the planet was soon to be eaten by some sort of mutant goat. This two-thirds promised, we’ll be right behind you, and of course, the idiots departed.

It might sound harsh that I include myself in a fictional group of people described as the worthless ones, but often I feel it describes me. Lost, at a time of life when I’m supposed to have come into my own. 

What I looked for in a 12 month WYN course was feedback and deadlines. Because at work, I’m a robot slave but in my downtime, I’m a sloth. I work well to a deadline. Busy beaver, busy bee, take your pick. A course that says ‘here, and here, and here you will delver 5,000 words and at this point, a final draft’ worked for me.

However, for most the last few months I wrote to deadlines, and not a word more. Since October I’ve barely participated in the writing prompts I like to follow, the flash fiction. These great creative challenges hone your ability to say quite a lot, with few words. I missed it. But as queen procrastinator I didn’t allow myself that treat, because if I’m writing it should be on the blasted manuscript. 

For most of those months, I was barely writing.

With regard to this blog, somehow this last couple of years of COVID and Trump-related angst discouraged me from writing opinion. I’ve felt paralysed, as if what has been going on is too big. Add in the social media world of fake news, and I seem to have lost the ability to offer my naive thoughts.

If you want to be considered a writer, you need to write. Thinking about writing, dreaming about it doesn’t qualify you. I don’t have that many strings to my bow, but like to think of myself as a writer. But am I?

When I’m in the flow of participating in flash fiction, I write and enjoy it. I like to read (55 to 65 books a year). I’ve always wanted to be a writer, as in published author. 

But I’m not passionate, about anything. I’m not very emotional. There has never been a muse in my life. My characters don’t talk to me or follow me around looking for attention. Doesn’t a writer, any kind of creative actually, need to be passionate; emotional. 

I’m just practical, pragmatic, pedantic, process driven – workmanlike. 

Good news. I completed the draft and met the deadline. Good news. There is another MS with more words that called to me while working on the other. 

Bad news. I want to write fresh, alive stories – so flash fiction calls. I don’t want to rewrite and rewrite until the words turn into something the publisher wants. That part is boring. And I only have so many more years to waste.

BTW the exiled Golgafrinchans landed on planet earth and after eliminating the existing humanoid species, became our ancestors. Those who remained on Golgafrinchan enjoyed their lives without the middle men, until the day they all died of a disease contracted from dirty telephones. Irony upon irony.

Friday Fictioneers – Storm before the Calm

Photo prompt by Dale Rogerson

We hold on tight, bodies taut with fright
The world around us shakes
Buildings scream, while wrecking wind walls rupture
Trees spear windows, glass detonates
The world shakes
The storm, it blasts and pounds, and rages, destroys
Homes are lost, cars crushed, detritus piles high
People crawl and hunker in basements, calling for mothers
The world erupts
Heavenly banks burst, demons let loose, hysterical fear abounds
Never-ending terror, noise.
We cover eyes and ears.
Who will stand at the end? Who will survive?
The world calms. Quiet returns.
We lift our eyes. And wait. (94 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.

Three Things Challenge #476

To join this writing challenge, check out pensitivity101 for the “rules”: https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/three-things-challenge-476/

Your three things today are:

MISTRESS
EXPECTATION
ANYWHERE

My wildest dreams could not compete.
For such promise to come anywhere near bespectacled, bow-legged, book nerds such as myself, impossible.
I found her in a book. At least, I found the spell, temptation.
When I began to gather ingredients, it wasn’t serious.
Preparing the room was a laugh. Expectations were non-existent.
But there must have been a seed of hope. Otherwise, why did I take such care. Reading and reading again the words. Setting everything up, just right.
Candles fluttered, and curtains flapped in jerky, convulsive shudders.
Then, centre of the pentagram, there she was. Resplendent! Magnificent!
I squealed like a girl, danced on the spot, spinning, and spinning, hands to my face.
The spell promised a friend, confidante, love, and wealth. In one fair bundle.
A glimpse in the mirror as I spun past and I stopped.
Reflected back was not that  beautiful, statuesque woman, straight out of Vogue.
This was a withered hag, thin and grey, straggly hair, and toothless face, grinning at me.
Mistress,” she croaked, a spider crawling from her mouth.

#3tc; #TTC; #pensitivity101

Take Seven – 8th January

Take Seven 8 January 2021 by Pensitivity101

Words: Add All Basic Being Bit Determined Hidden Knew Lean Lurking Measured More Show Sneer Started There Tin Tired Treat Wobble Work

My effort below

I’m tired of feeling rejected.

The lurking depression, basically hidden but measured by how easily I feel hurt.

It all adds up. No matter how determined I am to show strength, I wobble.

I’m not alone. Many of us feel this desperation; if people only knew.

They say, it is not about you. We don’t treat you any differently.

You look at me, at my cushy world and sneer.

You don’t understand how much energy it takes to overcome the negative self-talk.

At work all you can see is how unreasonable I’m being because I’m tough. My expectations are high, of us all. Not just you.

Bit by bit I need to prove there is more to me than the lean offering I share.

I wear the tin badge of self-appointed sheriff, started so long ago; first line of defence.

Friday Fictioneers – wasted

Friday fictioneers stuff

Photo prompt @ Jan Wayne Fields

Every time I glimpse the stuff it pains me.
I quiver with resignation of the writing dream.
Tucked away in a corner, dreams put aside. Hopes doused.
Mountains of ‘how to write’ books.
Stashes of notebooks. Such cute covers, always another one.
The many quality pens presented to ‘the author’ as hopeful gifts. Perhaps this would be the golden pen, the one that writes the bestseller.
The detritus of dreams. Corkboard, thumb tacks, paperclips. The laminator!!!
Collecting all this and not doing the work.
Reality bites. No matter how much stationery I collect, the words won’t write themselves. (98 words)

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a story in response to a photo prompt – in 100 words or less. You can find other stories here.

Three things challenge #470 – Friendship

Three Things Challenge #470. Today’s three things are:

LURKING, STARTED, THERE

***

I saw you lurking there, every day as I passed the tube station entrance.

At first, I was nervous. Were you a danger, I wondered?

I became curious and would glance your way a little more each time.

My curiosity gained strength. I made excuses to pass your way.

I’d Benny out for a walk. He was an excellent judge of character.

He loved you immediately. You loved each other. It made me smile.

We began to nod in recognition. Smiling at the friendship.

One day I stopped and said hello.

You shook my hand and I asked, “Do you need anything?”

“A little food, now and then. Friendship.”

Friendship was easy and food was plentiful.

We started a kerbside family, with hotpot from home, occasionally fish and chips from the chipper down the street.

You brought me out of myself, away from my own small worries. You gave me purpose other than work, bills, weight to lose.

Then one day, you had gone. Nobody knew where. I never found out.

Friendship found, then lost. Loneliness threatened.

But I looked up at the sky underneath we shared so many happy times and knew that I would be okay. I could be as lonely or as involved as I chose.

Benny and I had learned awareness and now looked outside ourselves for happiness. (222 words)

***

#3tc; #TTC; #pensitivity101https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/57168971/posts/63039

Simply 6 Minutes – the Rascal

Simply 6 Minutes 5Jan21

I thought it was love.

He thought I was dinner.

I’d been nurturing a friendship with the little beastie for several weeks. Leaving food out, little tidbits of apple, pear and sometimes banana. Chestnuts if they were available, sometimes walnuts or brazils.

Gradually we began to move closer together until the day that I sat in the forest and he took from my hand. We kept this up for two weeks.

I would generally bring my lunch down and my sketchbook.  I’d eat and draw, and he’d sneak closer and grab whatever I’d left down. This would happen several times over a couple of hours.

The day came when he climbed into my lap and then the day that after eating out of my hand, in my lap he stayed for a nap. We were buddies. We were pals.

Then I thought this was going so well, I’d try offering from my own mouth. He wasn’t too sure about that one. He wasn’t confident about being on his hind legs reaching up to my face. He’d try but get shy about it and wander off.

But he kept looking over his shoulder and circling. He was clearly pondering the problem.

At last, he made a decision and climbed into a tree, hanging on to a low branch. He screeched until I came over to see what he wanted. I stood there talking and trying to calm him. He kept at it, until I came closer still. I kind of got what he wanted (I thought) and put the nut between my teeth.

He quietened. Then reached slowly forward, getting closer to the nut, being held in my teeth.

Then he jumped onto my face and began biting and scratching and screeching. He held onto my nose with his tough little teeth.

I was screaming like an animal in a trap, which effectively I was. Running around and screaming and pulling the little ratfink away from my face, but he just held on. Then I grabbed a boulder.

Guess the rest! Yes, squashed little buddy and yours truly with a broken nose and bleeding face.

And I will never again trust a cute and cuddly woods creature. (6 minutes)

  1. Set up a timer or sit near a clock so you can keep track of the six minutes you will be writing.
  2. You can either use one of the prompts (photo or written) or you can free-write.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Three Things Challenge #461

The three things today are:

BRING, GAVE and CONTRIBUTION

*** *** ***

Bring home the bacon. There’s a designation of duty well established.

I gave, and I gave, and I gave … designation of another sort. Remarked and reflected upon.

With many a maligned partner asking, “what has your contribution been to this relationship?”

If I’m honest, my generational biases could come into play if I were the reader, and not the writer. At first glance. Before further analysis.

I might assume that …

The husband is the bacon bringer

His unappreciated wife, the giver; and that

Either of them could be the whining and unhappy partner. The supplier of the ingredient, or the one cooking said pork.

Whichever is the provider.

I reflect on how easy it is to disenfranchise and discriminate by pigeonholing people, stumbling into an abyss by misuse of language, by interpretation.

Filtered by perception, generation, gender, colour, circumstance. Country of birth.

Through eyes of the child.

Words should bring clarity. They often bewilder. Obfuscate.

Even with the best of intention.

Three Things Challenge