Tag Archives: Writing 101

Writing 101: Give and Take

Day 7 and today’s challenge is:

Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. and

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call!

I really struggled with this challenge and am not sure if I understood what the challenger was getting at but here is my attempt.

tantrum

“I will not go” she said tearfully, as she stamped her little foot.

“But you must” said her mother. “You have already promised and Suzy will be so disappointed if you don’t go.”

No response; so in her most conciliatory tone her mother offered “Tell you what, I’ll pick you up afterwards and we’ll go to Tony’s for dinner and you can choose anything off the grown up menu”

Suddenly the child was all smiles and in her most beguiling voice she said “Really? Then I’ll have oysters and an enormous hamburger, fries, ice cream and a large glass of chilled champagne to go with it”.

Huh, sometimes we are hoisted by our own petard or maybe just second guessed by a three year old child.

I wrote something along these lines in a Trifecta Challenge some time ago.  You might be interested to read it

Post script – Thanks to those who commented and mentioned that the words were a little out of the usual vocabulary for many three year olds.  I accept this constructive criticism.  I was trying to show that the little girl was copying her mother in choosing what to eat (but perhaps not the hamburger and fries).  I would have been more believable had she said something like “and a large glass of that bubbly drink that you like so much”.

Writing 101: Be Brief

Friday came and went as did Saturday so now late afternoon on Sunday I am completing the Day 5 Challenge – and the challenge is: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter. Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

Well, I wrote about a message on the pavement in an earlier post.  The message read:

I could write you a letter or sing you a song or I could just tell you
that I think of you all the time,

you are the air that I breathe and I love you.
I would have said yes if you had asked me.”

For many days following that I looked to see if there had been an answer to this poignant plea and then one day I came across this:

“I really do love you.  I will love you forever”and under that in a different hand was written
“I love you too.  If you marry me I will love you forever and ever until I die”.
And then as a further postscript in the first hand was written “YES! YES! YES!”

So whether our lovers are young, mature, gay or heterosexual I am glad that they found each other, and trust that they are still enjoying a loving relationship.

proposal

161 words that must surely qualify as a brief post as mine usually run into hundreds of words.

Writing 101: Serially Lost

Day 4 and the challenge is – Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. and Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

I have tried writing a serial before.  It was about two women and their hats and their adventures.  I really enjoyed that.  But now we are asked to write about a loss and then to make this the first in a three-post series,

So what to write about?  Apart from the great loss in my life, the next loss was that of my darling companion Miss Lotte. It was a beautiful summer day; I had just had lunch and was sitting down to a cup of tea and a new magazine when I heard this horrendous sound of someone in great pain.  I looked around and found my darling little Tibetan spaniel writhing on the ground.  She had been lying in the sun and once before she had been affected by the heat.  At that time the vet told me to pick her up and speak to her quietly so she would know all was well.  I did that but I could see we were in great trouble.  So I wrapped her in her blanket and drove to my vet.  Apparently, she was very near death – he didn’t know if she had eaten anything poisonous, unlikely as she was confined to our garden, or whether she had suffered a heart attack.

I left Miss Lotte at the vets and spent a miserable afternoon without my loving companion.  But I was allowed to pick her up some hours later.  She was to be kept quiet, no walks just rest and hopefully, all would be well.

Lotte sleeping after her trip to the vets.

Unfortunately, there was no happy ending for Lotte and me.  She had to be put to sleep a few days later,  She suffered another major heart attack one evening and I had to take her to the emergency vet, where I was told that the best thing I could do for my darling was to let her go.  How sad that was.  But although she had a very short life it had been a happy and full life with me, my friends and grandsons who all loved her.

So I said goodbye to my friend.  And farewelled her with the words I used when my husband died – “Soar high; Fly free; Breathe easy”.

LotteLotte Baxter,
Loving friend, faithful companion
2006-2013  RIP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing 101 : A Room with a View (or Just a View)

 

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

So here goes.  The place to which I shall refer is the very small, rather strange apartment I occupied when I was in Florence last year.  I have told you how I sold the house, packed my belongings, said goodbye to family and friends and embarked on an adventure to the other side of the world.  To a city, I didn’t know, where I knew nobody and nor did I know the language.  Well as Mother used to say “God looks after fools.”

I arrived in Florence on a Sunday night when all the taxi drivers were taking the night off.  Well, that’s how it seemed to me for after finding the well-hidden taxi stand I had to wait in line for about 20 minutes for a cab to appear.

Having shown the taxi driver the address of the apartment we started on a long journey seemingly from one side of the city to the other.  I had been told that the fare should be around 20 Euros and it was 21 so I was happy.  So now I am outside the apartment building with not a soul in sight as the taxi driver takes his cab off into the night.  It was a very quiet area, no tourists, no bars or cafes and the door at which the cab driver had deposited me was not the right one.  So checking that I was in the right street, I quickly found the right apartment building.

I was met by Ornella the mother of the apartment owner.  Unfortunately, she spoke little or no English but with my little or no Italian we managed to make ourselves understood to each other.  She showed me around the apartment and then gave me a very quick tour of the neighbourhood and after introducing me to Guiliano my next door neighbour she took off carrying the basket containing her two chihuahuas,  I was left to my own devices in a strange country and I was all alone.

The apartment was on the ground floor of a five storey building.  There was no elevator and I could hear people running up and down the stairs, speaking and laughing and I just knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  I couldn’t even have coffee because there was no electric jug to boil the water and the lighter for the gas stove had run out of gas.  So after a glass of water, some grapes and a tomato I went to bed.

London and Florence 062

After a good nights sleep, I investigated the apartment.  It was quite small and at the front of the building.  The bedroom window was on the footpath and secured with shutters.  Unfortunately, it didn’t obscure the noise from the busy street outside.  The city had decided that this was the day to start repairing/resurfacing the road outside my bedroom window.

Florence Day 3 2013 001

As well as the rather large bedroom (perhaps Christiane the owner has parties or dances there) there is a living room with kitchen and dining facilities, a bathroom with shower hand basin loo and bidet.  Then in the corner of the living room, there is a staircase leading up to a mezzanine floor where there is a bed.  But one would have to crawl on one’s knees to get to the bed – there certainly is no standing room unless one were a hobbit. The French doors opened onto a rather neglected courtyard.  This was a suntrap and could have been a lovely place to sit and write my posts each day but..nowhere to sit.

I never did manage to use the washing machine nor did I have much success with cooking and most times the shower ran only tepid water, but I enjoyed the 3 weeks I spent in this quaint apartment.  It was unlike any other that I had been in and added greatly to the experience of an elderly lady, living alone in a suburb in Florence where everybody spoke Italian and very few had a few words of English.  But what an adventure.

I went back to the apartment in June with my partner.

Guilianno and family 1

Guiliano and family

With the girls at the pasticerria

We caught up with Guiliano and his family and with the girls at the patisserie where I had breakfast each day during my sojourn in Florence.  My neighbour was overcome with joy at seeing me again and the girls in the patisserie remembered me too.  So that was a great afternoon.

And while this was a very pleasant place to stay, now that I have been back I shall keep it in my memory store and bring it out from time to time over the coming years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..