Thursday, 27 January 2011

January 27th ~ A small stone

 International Small Stones Writing Month
written for a river of stones ~ go here to find out more
Saint Cuthbert's tomb, Durham Cathedral

In this vast cavernous holy place
where people flock to from all over the world....  yet .....
In your presence, dear Saint, you have given me healing, peace and reassurance.
I came to you again today, lit a candle ..... whispered a prayer.
Thank you for your intercession
and the gift of your peace.

Saint Cuthbert

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

January 26th ~ A small stone

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to find out more

stock photograph from the internet

My heart felt heavy.  
I thought my mood was set for the day
....... until a flighty wren bobbed into view. 
I love you little wren.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

January 23rd ~ A small stone

International Small Stones Writing Month
Written for a river of stones ~ Go here to find out more

I walked and walked and walked......

The sky was dark and cloudy - I could see no moon nor stars,

but I could hear my thoughts, and they made sense......

instead of a jumbled blurry mass

when contained within the claustrophic four walls......

So, I went out and walked and walked and walked.

For free clipart, go here

Friday, 21 January 2011

Magpie Tales #49

Magpie #49

This little story was written for Magpie Tales

I took the photograph from its envelope for about the umpteenth time since it had arrived in the mail this morning.  It was a photograph of my three sisters.  The one on the left is Catherine, a gifted pianist and the one with the sweetest nature.  In the middle is Ella, the eldest, dependable and competent; she knew what she wanted from life and how to get it.  Pansy, to the right, is the youngest, stubborn as a mule with the temper of a wildcat.  I loved all three and soon they would be with me, setting sail from England to join me in New York.  They had all remained spinsters and I had persuaded them to leave England to help me set up a new family business.  It was selfish of me really - I wanted them with me and, hopefully, it would make them forget about that damned suffragette movement they had become involved in.  It was January now and I could hardly believe that in just three months time, we would all be reunited. 

I don't know what happened at that point..... perhaps I fell asleep for a while...... I felt lightheaded and everything seemed hazy.  The photograph had fallen on to my lap.  I held it up once more and couldn't make sense of what I saw.  The photograph seemed to have aged.  It was faded and dog-eared at the corners...... but the worst thing of all was that the outlines of my sisters were blurred..... and their faces..... I couldn't see their faces...... they seemed to be disappearing.  I felt a dreadful feeling of foreboding but could not think why.

"So what did you do Archie?" Mary asked.  "What happened then?"

"I ordered them all to tear up their tickets, the ones for their passage on Titanic, which they did.... they always took notice of their big brother," the old man replied.  "I went back to England instead and joined them there..... it didn't stop their carry-ons in that blasted women's movement, but at least they didn't end up on the ocean floor.  I saved their lives, you see."  

Archie smiled with satisfaction knowing that he held their attention completely.  They had all heard the story before, everyone.... residents in the home and carers alike, that story and more besides.  Old Archie had never had three sisters - he had no family left and got no visitors.  He was unaffected by this.  What he liked to do was cut out photographs from newspapers and magazines and make up stories about them.  He was one heck of a storyteller.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

January 19th ~ A small stone

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to join in

Our Bob ~ aged 15 3/4

Frost-kissed fields and frozen skies,
a bracing biting breeze.
Bob begs to backtrack.....
home! :D

Monday, 17 January 2011

Microfiction Monday #66

written for Microfiction Monday, hosted by Susan at Stony River

I told you the last time, if you put your big fat butt on one more Iris, I'll swing for you!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

January 16th ~ A small stone

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ to find out how to join in, go here.

Waverley Paddle Steamer

Shrieking seagulls and lone piper seranade Waverley as she paddle steams her way alongside the pier - holiday doon the water - chips in newspaper, freshly baked bread and knickerbocker glories!

Dunoon ~ Scotland

Saturday, 15 January 2011

The Challenge of Editing

At the moment I'm editing a novel I wrote and finished just before Christmas.  Writing a little every day, it took me just five weeks to get my story out ..... but I'm wondering just how long the editing is going to go on for!  I've still got bits to add in, additions to the storyline that had occurred to me once I'd 'finished'.  I know I have that to do and I'm prepared for it.... even looking forward to it, but with each reading I spot something to change, delete or add to, which I think will improve it.  I wonder how many sessions it will take for me to be satisfied with the 'still-to-be-finished' article!  

Does anyone have any advice on editing or would like to share personal experience? 

Friday, 14 January 2011

January 14th ~ A small stone

 International Small Stones Writing Month

go here to find out more and join in


It's a brand new day.
One whole day - all 24 hours of it - stretches before me, and I can choose to do whatever I want. 
Oh, the luxury of choice and the blessing of waking up to a new day!

Monday, 10 January 2011

January 10th ~ It's raining stones.....

 International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to find out more 

I love it, heavy rainfall..... thrashing against the windows, bouncing off the pavements and making puddles in my lawn..... hurrying home, soaking wet, raindrops running down my neck.......ahhhh, the comfort of a warm, fluffy towel....

Sunday, 9 January 2011

January 9th ~ A polished stone

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to join in

church bells ringing out
birds atop the hawthorn tree
await the sermon

Birds are a great inspiration to me.  My paternal grandmother was called Adalina Stork and my maternal grandmother was Isabella Dove.... my mother is Jemima (puddleduck?) - could this be the reason? :O)

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Old Woman

Now a very old woman, she spent her days sitting in a chair, her head lolling on her breast.  Once, she had been vibrant, the life and soul of the party.  She had loved to dance and she had loved to sing and people were drawn to her.  Everyone liked her and she gave people's spirits a lift by her kind words and hospitality.  She never spoke a harsh word to anyone...... except to her husband and daughter.  She couldn't remember why she had married him all those years ago, especially as he had never provided for the family as much as she would have liked.  He wasn't a 'white-collar worker' like her friend's husband.  As for her daughter.... well, she was a girl.  Enough said.  

She disliked girls and thought bitterly of all the boys she had lost.  Her firstborn son was stillborn and also her daughter's twin, a boy.  She resented the fact that the boy had died and not the girl.  She did have another son, though he was lost to cancer in his forties, but then there were her grandsons whom she thought the world of. 

And now she was very old, sitting in her chair, hearing only what she wanted to hear, waiting for death to take her.  Everyone was now gone, everyone except for her husband and daughter.  They would be with her, right to the very end..... though she would never thank them for it.   

January 8th ~ A Polished Stone

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to find out more about polished stones

Artwork by Glen Loates of Free Spirit Art ~ go here to see more wonderful wildlife art

 Hedgerow of Sparrows
Lots of chitter-chattering
in the Winter sun

Artwork by Mary Ellen Robinson ~ go here to see more artwork and a beautiful blog

Thursday, 6 January 2011

January 6th ~ My polished stones

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones
 to join in ~ go here 

Old Bob and I amble out  ~ a gentle flurry of snow.  I look round at him and smile.  He looks as though he's dusted with icing powder.


Marching in front of the mirror in time to the music..... remember to breathe now, lift those feet....that's it, swing those arms...nice ~ who remembers Mr. Motivator?  Hey, no slackin'!  Smile......SMILE!  I feel good!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

January 5th ~ My Polished Stones

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones ~ go here to find out about collecting and polishing your own literary stones

Cupboard turned out, Christmas decorations pushed to the back  All neat and tidy and in order - time for an Earl Grey, smiles with satisfaction. :D

I was about to scold..... until I remembered how I'd hurried you off to the vet not so long ago.  You're old and I thought you might die.  Not so - you came home to leave more pawprints on my heart.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January 4th ~ My Polished Stones

International Small Stones Writing Month

written for a river of stones
To find out how you can join in, go here.

Dogs don't stand on ceremony.  I smiled at the concentration with which he sniffed my trouser leg, revelling in the scent of my own canine companions.  Reaching down, I caressed a silken ear.

I love riding in buses.  There are lots of people usually, each is different to the next.  I pretend to look out of the window but really I'm  people-watching.

Magpie Tales ~ Mag 47

Mag 47


Whenever our birthdays came around, we carried out the same ritual.  We had made a promise to each other.  Today it was mine and Amelia's - we were twins.  Edmund's birthday is in June.  The year we'd bought those little sculptures, one for each of us, was very traumatic, for me anyway.  Amelia was leaving for Africa.  She's a nurse and she was joining a missionary hospital.  Edmund, a computer programmer, had secured a top notch job in America.  Everything happened at once.  They were leaving me all alone in the U.K.  It was bad enough to be parted from my older brother, but an absolute wrench to be separated from my twin sister.  So when we saw the sculptures in the store, we made a pact then that we'd each get one and, on our birthdays, we would put them in a prominent place, knowing that each of us was thinking deeply of the others.

The last time we'd all been together was six years ago.  Edmund and Amelia had managed to get time off and they flew over that June to spend Edmund's birthday with me in England.  It had been wonderful!

I brought the cardboard box down from upstairs and unwrapped my sculpture.  Just as I was placing it on the mantelpiece, the telephone rang.  It could either be Edmund or Amelia, but it was too early - they always telephoned late in the evening, however I was mistaken and delighted to hear Edmund's voice.

"Hi little sis.  I hope you're not busy," he said, "because if you open your door, there are two visitors on your front porch."

I flew to the door just as he was putting his mobile 'phone back in his pocket, and standing next to him was Amelia. The three of us began whooping and jumping up and down like children from the nursery...... and soon there were three identical sculptures on the mantelpiece.   

This little piece was written for Magpie Tales, which you will find here.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Microfiction Monday # 64

I don't care how much you smile at me sir, I hope there's no palm oil in it!

Visit Stony River for Microfiction Monday

January 3rd ~ My Polished Stones

International Small Stones Writing Month

Visit a river of stones to find out how to catch your own small stones and polish them

Power walking through the busy town streets, cars speeding past, children on bikes, mothers hurriedly pushing prams with wailing babies inside, Christmas lights still flashing on and off ~ something caused me to glance upwards and there was a blinking star that I had always seen and probably always will ~ the eternal universe cushioning and enveloping our busy little earth.

Walk faster and faster and faster, I tell myself ..... and the thought struck me, isn't it strange how I have to keep walking very fast to lower my blood pressure!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Visit

I needed to visit again to know. It was two years since I had left and now I was here, standing before the great oak door. I waited for someone to respond to my knocking and, after a short while, a woman appeared.

“You've come to view the house,” she said in a brusk manner. 

I had never seen this woman before today and she introduced herself as the wife of the caretaker. I waited for her to invite me in as she stood looking, not at me but beyond me – as if she wasn't seeing me at all, through eyes that were looking on another dimension. She was distant, yet perturbed also. I noted that her clothing was very much out of fashion. She wore a full crinoline skirt in an older style, whereas slimmer garments were now the vogue. It struck me as strange for someone who, though not young, was not yet middle-aged either.

By now, we were in the drawing-room - I, seated on the sofa and she standing by the door. Even in the dimness of the room, I could see that her skin had a strange pallor – she was ghostly white. She retreated to the kitchen to make us tea - so she said - but it seemed that she had disappeared, for I waited for some time and she did not return. How rude..... unless..... I made up my mind that I would not stay a moment longer in that house and so I left and hurried down the pathway towards the gates.

“Well, what did you find out? Any good?” Harry asked as he approached from behind a tree.

“Not worth the bother Harry, “ I said. “The house is empty. There's only the caretaker and his wife.... boring as hell and too easily scared.  I wasn't there five minutes and she scarpered. I want some fun, a big family with lots of kiddies. I'd sooner watch the grass grow as haunt a pair of dimwits.”

Harry laughed and pulled me towards him for a kiss. I put my arms round his neck. The marks the noose had made were still visible. I know I should really be keeping company other than the bloke that bashed my head in with a candlestick, but he had been my husband and I always thought it better to stick with the devil you know as the one you don't.

“Come on girl,” he said fondly, “let's go find us a big family to scare the living daylights out of.”

January 2nd ~ My Polished Stones

International Small Stones Writing Month

Go to a river of stones to find out more about polished stones

Looking out of the window, some pigeons from the allotments were flying freely in circles.  It was lovely to watch them as they wheeled effortlessly and orderly in the sky ..... do they ever get dizzy, I wonder?

Gertrude Jekyll's boots by William Nicolson

Grubby hands scratched by bramble prunings, soil under the fingernails - mucky boots that feel like they're weighed down with lead and need to be scraped clean.  How I love gardening!

Beginning ~ haiku


prompt # 24

For every new day

we are offered the choice

of a new beginning

The middle line is 1 syllable short.  Can anyone come up with a different 7 syllable line?

This haiku was written for Haiku Heights

Saturday, 1 January 2011

January 1st ~ My polished stones

 These are my first entries for 
International Small Stones Writing Month.
To find out how you can participate, follow the link at the end of my post. 

Today I watched a wren bobbing about in the hedgerow.  Dear little wren, I'm glad you chose my garden.

 One perfectly formed tiny nest, built from sheep's wool to keep the Springborn hatchlings cosy and warm.
(double click to see in closer detail)

Discover how to find your own little stones and polish them by going to river of stones.