Category Archives: Writing

Granny’s Doll

In the chair at the foot of Granny’s bed the doll sat as it always had. As a small child she’d occasionally picked it up to play with “but gently” as her Granny always reminded her.

And now, Granny was no longer there but the doll was and as she picked it up with reverence she thought of the trials that had befallen her grandmother in her long life. How she and grandfather had lost everything during the Great Depression, then a son lost in the Great War, but somehow through it Granny and her doll had survived unharmed, together.

 This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single prompt. This week’s word is REVERENCE

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Trusting Family

Recently I discovered Five Sentence Fiction  and decided to try my hand at writing a story in only five sentences.
This week’s word is FAMILY.

The soldiers burst into the school, yelling, shouting orders and firing rifles.  The children, scared, huddled together under their desks trying to hide from the angry men.  But they were soon discovered and brought out of hiding with the girls being separated from the boys who were locked into the school hall with the staff.

Then the terrified girls were herded onto buses and quickly driven away from the school.

Only then, when the firing had ceased and the yelling had stopped and it was possible to think, did the petrified child think of her family and knew they would find her and take her home again.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

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Remembering Mother

Today I discovered Five Sentence Fiction when reading this blog and decided to try my hand at writing only five sentences.

A moment of clarity in the land of the confused brought on a rush of memories both to her and to those of us visiting her.  This once vibrant, strong woman had been reduced to a pale shadow of herself under the strong grip of Alzheimer’s. Disease.  Suddenly she was once again our mother, even if only for a very short time, when she knew our names and recognised each of us. The joy and happiness was unbounded and in that short time many happy moments and happenings were remembered.  But all too soon, the veil of the Disease dropped down and once again she retreated to the confused old lady she had recently become.

Lillie McFerrin Writes

A Weekend Away

Imagine a group of friends, all well into their senior years enjoying themselves in a rare weekend away together.

Not for them the quiet talk around the fireside but instead a joyous celebration of life culminating in their opening the doors onto the deck on a cold winter’s night and all joining in dancing and singing to Cole Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave”.

Every one of us felt invigorated to be in the company of our peers, each of whom has decided that ‘age’ is a frame of mind and there is still time to sing and dance.

Those memories will remain.

This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single prompt. This week’s word is MISBEHAVE

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The Family Wit

My grandmother was the undisputed wit of the family.

As young girls we tried to compete with her. Before every visit we would try to impress each other with how witty we could be. Grandma listened to our attempts but she always outdid us.

Hers was a gentle wit; no sarcasm was ever allowed and so we grew to appreciate the clever use of words and the ability to write and say things that were clever and usually funny too.

Mother didn’t inherit this talent from her mother, but I like to think that one of us did.

This post is in response to the 100 word writing challenge from Velvet Verbosity where we are asked to write 100 words inspired by a single prompt. This week’s word is WITTY.

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A Helping Hand…

It was a vicious attack on an old man. He had been walking his dog in the local park when he was approached by a couple of lads. They looked alright and didn’t appear to pose any threat. They were chatting and laughing as they approached him.

“Good afternoon sir” said the younger one and suddenly he knocked the old man down. Laughing he kicked him in the ribs and then just as suddenly walked away chatting to his friends.

This attack was witnessed by a number of people but only one, another older man came to the victim’s aid.

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The challenge is to write a story in 100 words having been given a word.  This week’s word is Vicious.

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Note – this is based on a real life happening.  My father was out walking when he was approached by a gang o youths.  they were chased away by another elderly man while the younger folk looked on.

The Concrete Wall

NOTE: The WordPress weekly photo prompt for March 13, 2015, is wall: This week, consider the walls you’ve erected and decorated, the halls you walk down each day, or the exteriors you’ve ignored or neglected. What do these walls reveal about a place, people, or you?

OK so this is the first time I have used a photo prompt.  If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know that my photography is simply point and shoot, usually with my iPhone or i Pad.  But today I read What Happened to that Fantastic Wallpaper”.  and I decided to give it a try.

Concrete block wall with Virginia Creeper

Concrete block wall with Virginia Creeper

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Growing up the car port

This obviously a concrete block wall surrounding our house.  The house was recently completed and the bare, stark walls were in need of softening.  So six Virginia Creeper plants were ordered, delivered and planted some 2 months ago.  Look at how vigorous they are – they are already creeping into the car port and at one point ready to leap over the wall and drop down on the other side.

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The strong young plants are thriving in our corner of Paradise,  Come over and see for yourself.  The coffee pot is on.

Coffee and cake

PS     WordPress still playing up – the photos are all the same size but alas when I publish the post they are different sizes.

Writing 101: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

This was the challenge for October 8th and it’s now the 12th.  But after this I have only one more to catch up.  So –

On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

I want you to let it all hang out. So does writer Anne Lamott. At the risk of turning The Daily Post into an Anne Lamott fangirl blog, no one motivates me the way she does. Every time you sit down to write and think your idea is too stupid, too uninteresting, too random, or too unoriginal to be committed to the page, let Anne give you a gentle but firm nudge.

Four-hundred words. One at a time. Go.

Rain on leavesThe sun is shining and summer most certainly is on its way. But each day this week I have thought that only to have the day “ turn to custard”. Large black clouds suddenly appear in this fantastic blue sky. I scurry out to retrieve the washing before it rains. And then, having got it all in the sun reappears and I could hang it out again if I wanted to. I choose not to and pop it into the dryer for a final dry off.

Lunch can be eaten outside. There is no wind and the sun is really warm on my face. I consider going inside for some sun cream but decide that as I am only going to be sitting for about 30 minutes I can just relax and enjoy the sun on my face.

Lunch is eaten and the daily newspaper beckons. I turn to the World news and see there is more mayhem, killing and abuse around the world. But what’s this? The new Mrs Clooney wants to help the Greeks bring home the Elgin Marbles. The Marbles have resided in the British Museum for many many years. It seems to me that they have always been there but I know this not to be the case.

Each time I go to London I head to the Museum and one of my first stops is the Marbles. I marvel at the intricate work of those long ago carvers. All now moved into the bounds of history.

My next port of call is always the Rosetta Stone. What another marvel this is. I stand among the crown just looking at it. Around me there is a cacophony of voices in so many languages and I wonder what they are all saying. Are they as mesmerised as I am at this ancient piece of writing on a stone?

I turn to the crossword section of the newspaper. This is where I relax. So with pen in hand I start, but true to form of the last few days, the sun goes behind a black cloud, the wind suddenly picks up and the first spots of rain appear. So that’s the end of lunch and as I pick up the newspaper and pack up the lunch things I muse that this will no doubt be the way of the weather for the next few weeks. We are not into summer yet.

Writing 101 – Point of View

Still playing catch up.  Hopefully tomorrow I shall be caught up.

Day 9 and the challenge is:

A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Today’s twist: write the scene from three different points of view: from the perspective of the man, then the woman, and finally the old woman.

The man suddenly stopped. He looked at the old woman knitting her red sweater and broke into loud sobs. “Hush dear. It is alright” said the woman who was walking with him.

“But what if he doesn’t respond.” said the man. “What if he is a vegetable for ever?” “What if we hadn’t persevered and insisted that he have the operation. He was a happy little boy, now who knows what will happen to him.”

Taking his hand in hers and gently wiping away his tears the woman said “But we had to give him the chance to live life as any other normal little boy. Without this operation he would never have run around chasing a ball, never have played cricket or rugby and would have always been sitting on the sidelines watching life go by. I am sure that we have done the right thing.” And with a smile she turned him back towards the hospital where their young son lay recovering from an operation.

The woman is much more pragmatic than the man, although she too is very concerned about the condition of their son. She has had many conversations with herself, their married daughter and their medical advisers before and since reaching the decision to go ahead with the operation.

The sick child has been born many years after their only daughter, who has since married and moved away. She and her mother are in close contact and since the decision was made to have the operation, they have been in contact daily.

While she is conciliatory towards her husband, helping him in this terrible time, she also wishes he would ‘buck up’ and perhaps support her more. Hard times are easier if there is somebody to share them with.

The old woman is knitting the red sweater for her grandson. She doesn’t know whether it will ever reach him. He is living in Algeria with his mother and his father, who is a doctor.  She is greatly worried about them.  However, she continues to send parcels to the family regularly but does not know if or when they receive them as contact with them is difficult if not impossible.

So she knits and sends presents as a way to keep some connection with her family during this scary time.

Dead Heat

I have talked before about one of my favourite authors, Bronwyn Parry.  Bronwyn  romantic suspense novels set in Australia’s wild places. She lives on 100 acres of  Australian bushland, and travels extensively through rural and outback areas of the country for background research for the novels.

I read Bronwyn’s  first novel, “As Darkness Falls” a few years ago and then discovered that in 2007 it won the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award for best romantic suspense manuscript in 2007.  In 2008 it was a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award.

Then I read her  second novel, “Dark Country”and found that it was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America RITA Awards and the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2010.  It also  won the Australian Romance Readers Award for Favourite Romantic Suspense novel of 2009.

And then sad news.  Bronwyn could not attend the RITA Awards in 2010 as she was awaiting brain surgery.  Fortunately, she seems to have made a complete recovery and last year her third novel “Dead Heat” was released.  This is another great read, set in the Australian outback – a romantic suspense novel indeed.

Dead Heat

Then a few days ago I received an email with the exciting news that “Dead Heat” is a finalist in the romantic suspense category of the Romance Writers of America RITA awards.  This is great news for Bronwyn, her very supportive partner/soul mate and her readers and this time Bronwyn is well enough to travel to the USA for the awards.  How exciting for her and how pleased those of us who follow her are.  This time hopefully, there will not be a dead heat and her novel will win the award.

For those of you who don’t know. Bronwyn says “The RITA awards are often described as the ‘Oscars’ for the romance genre – the winners are announced at the gala awards night at the end of the Romance Writers of America conference, which this year will be in Atlanta, Georgia, from July 17-20th.”

I wish I could be there to cheer her on.

Clapping hands

“There are three rules for writing a novel.
Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham