FLASH FACTOR

FLASH FACTOR

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Writing without a Sat-Nav


Whilst writing is something that I do and would love to be doing more of, it is much more than that to me.

Writing is not just a thing to occupy, to achieve and to work towards. It's not just something that allows me to win writing competitions and become published.  I think if it was,  the pleasure I get from it wouldn't be half as intoxicating. 

That's because writing to me is a Destination. It is somewhere that I visit. And if you were to ask me 
'Do you know where you're going to?' in most cases,  I would have to say, that I didn't.  And perhaps that is part of the attraction. It is an escapism. Particularly when I don't like the things life is showing me and it doesn't bring me the things I'm hoping for.

For instance, I decided to sit down and write my blog - resurrect it from the ashes yet again. I knew that I wanted to talk about what writing is to me and how I view it as a destination - however it was only when I considered, that many times I don't know where the destination is - that I was reminded of the song above and it's lyrics - those lyrics changing the course of this blog entry.

I had not intended, or considered, contemplating my life and what it brings, my destination or my hopes. The lyrics  brought about this.

To conclude then, I now realise that writing is not only a destination for me - but a journey too and when I am writing without a sat-nav - well those journeys are the best of all.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

My Exploration of the Drabble

For the Love of Creativity


Sally slouched into her chair. She tried to force creative thoughts from her mind - tried not to follow sparks of enthusiasm down paths of discovery.  She sat up, sat on her hands, pursed her lips, shook her head side to side and scrunched her eyes. If she gave into her passions her now tidy home would soon resemble a refuse site. She scolded herself but it was no use.  She could not be bored. It was physically impossible. Unable to stand the grey and beige any longer she replaced order with chaos in a gallery of the saved and savoured.  

Drabbles and Dribbles

Drabbles and Dribbles has such a ring to it, don't you think.  I am pleased at the discovery and really rather excited. As you all know (I like to imagine there is still someone reading and believing in me) I do love to flash. And have been very successful at it. Most of those successes have been over at Write Invite, but today I have discovered there is more to this brevity of words. More challenges, more creativity, more reasons to pick up my pen and that is in the writing of Drabbles. These are tiny offerings of fiction - the word limit being 100.  And so with my childlike enthusiasm I am known for, I am going to occupy my quiet moments with the creation of drabbles and perhaps I may also dribble (50 word stories).  Worry not - I shall wear a bib - for those unpleasant spillages, borne of too much enthusiasm and little experience. Hiccup. x

Passwords

The password volcano has erupted and I am drowning in a flow of confusion. So many passwords - so many usernames - so many e-mail addresses. I have no map - I have no compass. I just rely on this memory of mine to recall all important information. But it has its own ideas about what is important. It chooses randomly and we disagree often. I don't need to remember the price of cheese or what time the postman calls or that conversation I had with the cat last night, however pleasant it was. My memory is full of unimportant junk - a waste land of randomness. And in the meantime my fingers are still, my creativity stifled and my blog - DULL and neglected. Shhh don't shout so loud. This time I promise to try harder. After all - you don't log in to read a list of empty promises. Even if the excuses become more inventive. Of course you don't. So I am going to make a concerted effort to write my password down and squirrel it somewhere, where I hope to remember. But just in case I forget - my password is..............Ah you didn't think I'd lost the plot completely did you?

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

NYC Flash Fiction Competition 2015

I really must pay more attention to my blog. It's not that I am not eager to keep it updated but I always seem to lose my password or login details. I promise to try harder.

I post today - my entry to Challenge #1 in the NYC Flash Fiction Competition.

The prompts were as follows

Genre - Adventure/Action
Location - Underwater Cave
Item - Dumbbell

This was really tough. Those who know my writing - will realise that the genre is completely out of my comfort zone. I can only say that my response is - Random.. So here goes. Your feedback would be appreciated.

Synopsis

Josh seeks Sarah, his childhood friend, who has disappeared without trace. But will the psychic’s ramblings lead him to what he wishes to find?


                                                               Seeking Adventure


Josh seeks Sarah, his childhood friend, who has disappeared without trace. But will the psychic’s ramblings lead him to what he wishes to find?


  ‘Your lady, she seeks adventure,’ the psychic whispered to Josh as her untamed eyes peered into the depths of her crystal ball. 

‘Adventure?’  That didn’t sound like Sarah, Josh thought, as he shifted in his seat, impatient now to continue his quest.

He was wasting time for what did he expect to gain from listening to the ramblings of this crazy woman? But he knew – it was desperation. That’s what had brought him here. For it had been a week since his childhood friend, Sarah, had disappeared.  

‘Trust the dumb…’ The woman’s pupils zig zagged and she grabbed his wrist.  Her fingers burned into his skin and he snatched his arm back, before lurching out of his seat. In his hurry he tripped head first through the coin curtains, which kept the psychic’s den, private.

Cold air punched him hard in the face as he stared around the fairground.  What had she said? Trust the dumbbell?  The dumbbell?  She really was raving he thought, berating himself for losing focus.
He weaved through the crowds. And as he weaved, his neck itched and his heart tangled.He could hear the tap, tap of hurried footsteps, matching his own and he had the distinct impression he was being followed.  He glanced over his shoulder to see a wall of candyfloss – faces buried in the sticky pink mess.  Dread churned his stomach as he tried to run faster – his legs the consistency of blancmange.  

Staggering breathless he came to a halt.  Before him stood a giant man, cut into the rock. His legs astride what appeared to be the entrance of a cave.  Josh raised his eyes, following the rise of the stone warrior… higher and higher to where his raised hands stretched a dumbbell across the cloud flecked sky.  The bell at each end - a globe – a spinning atlas - and the words emblazoned on the shaft, read ‘WELCOME TO THE UNDERWORLD’.  

‘Listen to the dumbbell,’ Josh whispered as the psychics words came back to him now.  Was this what she had meant? But he didn’t have time to contemplate the meaning for the owner of the tip tapping heels, pushed through the throng of candyfloss, and bustled him in amongst her skirts, clacking her castanets in his ears. 

‘Hey, what’re doing,’ Josh yelled as net and lace swallowed him up and he felt himself being pushed towards the gaping mouth of the cave - the skirts only spitting him out once the cave door had groaned shut.

‘Shush, you must follow me.’

‘I’m not following you, he spat as he looked around. The walls were slimy wet. The smell like stagnant water, reminding him of the water he and Sarah had kept tadpoles in, as children.

The woman clicked her castanets and shimmied her hips around him. ‘Come, Mister, I can lead you where you need to go.’   The woman giggled, her mouth drooping like an elongated music quaver. Was she drunk? Josh wondered

She led him around the warrior’s legs and towards the sound of bubbling water.   The pit steamed and the water gurgled.   ‘In here look Mister, you must jump in here.’ She tried to wink her lazy eye and Josh backed away, aghast. He watched her jump - her scarlet skirts rising like a giant Portuguese man of war, before she sank.

She must be drunk, Josh thought, or plain dumb…..dumb?  Dumbelle?  ‘Trust the dumb belle.’  Is that what the crazy woman had meant?

As Josh jumped into the steaming water he only briefly wondered which one of them was dumb. For no sooner had his head disappeared beneath the surface he felt himself being sucked into an underwater world. The woman’s flowing skirts drawing him like a vacuum, through the water.
He strained his eyes trying to look through the whirl of bubbles. He gashed his arm against the wall of the cave and saw his blood spill. It weaved upward, up through the warrior’s narrow leg.   He too, weaved upwards, the walls growing wider, the spinning slower, until he felt his body lurch over a rock, and he found himself in a theatre like cave.

The water was rancid and he realised they were in the warrior’s stomach, sloshing about, in water, the colour of bile.  He fought not to gag and he wondered how long he would be able to hold his breath.
The woman beckoned him on. Pointing to what looked like a library of ribs before beginning to climb. His own feet slipped, but he managed to lodge them against the barnacles that had stuck fast. The waters grew still, as if the warrior too, held his breath, but too soon came the belch that thrust them both into one of the warrior’s muscular arms.  Now they swam with ease. The depth of water beneath them pushed them higher until they were raised out through the spout of the warrior’s fingers and into the shaft of the dumbbell.

Josh gasped for breath and looked around for the dumb belle. But as he slithered like an eel across the shaft, he realised she had gone. He shook his head and cleared his ears, hearing now, the grunt and grind of an army and the groan of a treadwheel turning. Still unable to stand he pushed his way towards the deafening noise, his feet slipping across the rubbery surface until he skidded into the spinning globe.

‘Josh, you found me,’ Sarah shrieked with excitement as she spun towards him.

‘Sarah, what on earth are you doing up here?’ He made to grab her but the incessant turning made him giddy.

‘Seeing the world, of course.’ She flung her arms wide as if offering him the globe.

‘But…’

‘But nothing Josh, when the fair moves on, I’ll be going with it.’

‘You’re running away?’

‘Well, isn’t that what one does, with the fair?’












Friday, 8 February 2013

The Burden Of Paper


This piece of Flash came first in a Flash Fiction Competition over at Write Invite. 





The Burden Of Paper

‘ I've brought you a present.’ Laura said, as the poet turned from his work - his pinstripe trousers tied with rope - his white shirt worn to reveal a library of ribs. 

‘It’s a journal and pen. I thought you...’ 

She watched him take it from her, flicking through the smooth pages with rough fingers.

 ‘I gave up paperwork a long time ago,’ he said, shielding his eyes from the sun’s dazzle on the sea.

‘But your poems?’ 

‘Paper’s a burden.’

Laura scanned his latest work. ‘It seems so futile.’

‘Not futile.  This way my words won’t trouble anyone.’

‘But how will you remember?’

‘That’s why I like to write on the sand.’

 ‘I don’t understand.’ Laura said, watching the waves coil and tumble towards the sweep and whittle of his words.

‘I write to forget, Laura.  The sea edits my memories and each tide brings me a new beginning.’

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

This came runner up in the Write Invite Live Flash Fiction Competition last week (7th July 2012)

Fairground Attraction

You spin me. Kaleidoscope. Colours whizz and whirl. Are they in my head? My eyes forced shut. Pressure. Speed. Your arm brushes past me. Leather, soap and fags. My senses reel. Is this for real? 

Fame - your aim. The rungs on the ladder snap. But you keep climbing. This circus rung - waltzes on. My roller-coaster ride to heartache.

I try to share - be part of your aim. But the baby sleeps.  The mobile will have stopped now. i sense his whimpers in sleep. Guilt burns but I don't return.

And as the bar digs into my waist - you suck me in. 

But your eyes miss nothing - opportunity is out there. Believe me - you say. Just the Start and Dare to dream. Clich├ęs slip syrupy from your lips. I want to lick, taste them, believe in them. But my purse is empty and the telephone line is dead.

Robert de Niro, Tom Cruise, John Travolta. You adopt the swagger. Say its in your veins. Comb back - rock back, And the girls smile. I see. I know. I hear. Ego rides high on your fun, fair fame.

So you smile. You react. Give them what they want. Music crashes on each upswing. Drum beat on the curves.

Candy floss sticks to my face., Just a girl really. But not girly. Not pink, Not stilettoed. You laugh. At me.

My tears are in the next car. With the yellow dress. Your Waltzing Matilda. That's where your eyes set. Sun set. Radiate affection.

I'm cold. Out cold. The stars dim.

And you just my fairground attraction.