Happy New Writing Year!

new year

After a frenetic December, which all but disappeared in a blur, I am happy to be back and to wish you all the very best for 2015.  I hope you had a lovely festive season and have lots of plans for the new year.

What are your writing / reading ambitions?  Mine are to try to get a bit more structure in my writing life (and to that end it is fantastic that I can now finally see my desk again having just cleared it of wrapping paper, sellotape, cards, pens, lists, labels, and other festive remains – yesterday was my twins’ 7th birthday so we go right through!!)  I also aim to submit more work to magazines and to enter writing competitions, particularly in the writing for children field, where I feel I have a bit of momentum behind me at present.  Fingers crossed 2015 turns out to be a good one!…..

As far as reading is concerned, my only problem seems to be that there are so many great books out there that I would love to read that I am spoilt for choice!  One book that I received as a Christmas present was Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’, which I had asked for after hearing good things about it.  If you haven’t already read it, then I would recommend it as a no-nonsense, straight-talking insight into how a successful writer approaches the craft, with a bit of biography thrown in for good measure.

In regards to this blog, if you recall Jane Dougherty won the last mini writing competition of 2014 and so I will be asking her to set the first writing prompt for 2015, and will get back to you shortly.

Hope you have a fruitful coming year and look forward to catching up! 🙂

 

new year clock

‘Scorton Spectre’ by lassfromlancashire

silver gown

Please welcome lassfromlancashire with the first entry into this month’s mini competition. She said that she wasn’t sure whether it counted as ‘spooky’, however I think it definitely qualifies!  Why not pop over and see what you think?………

© Esme

‘The Day of The Storm’ by Jan Strickland

river 

Please welcome back Jan with her entry for this month’s writing prompt of ‘The Day of The Storm’, which I hope you will enjoy.  I don’t know about you, but I kind of want to know what happens next as it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger (literally) and against all odds I would like a happy ending, even though it doesn’t look good…

There is still just under a week to get your entries in for this month – do you fancy having a go?….. 🙂

The Day of the Storm

It had to be raining, of course it did! It matched her mood. Why couldn’t she run away when the sun was shining; when it was warm, and she could wear her bright summer clothes? But no, the rain wasn’t taking it’s time to come down, ‘coming down in stair rods’ her mother would have said.

Her mother.

Suddenly she was overcome by emotion. Her dear, sweet mother. Gone now, her place being taken by that harridan, her father’s new wife. Genevieve was her name, but ‘Bitch’ worked just as well.

As though to match her mood, lightening flashed across the sky. Her instinct was to dive for cover, but she remembered her mother’s words, “never stand under trees in a storm”.  So she walked on, drenched through, lonely; her hair hanging lank and smooth against her head; her clothes in soaked folds clinging to her legs, which grew heavier with every step she took.

Should she return? Return to the misery, the work, the lack of love? Or should she soldier on? Perhaps to the town? Perhaps find a job?

The rain was relentless. The sky darkened. The river was fast flowing….

She felt herself fall, nothing to clutch hold of….

“Mother help me”, she cried, her words lost in the wind.

© Jan Strickland

‘The Day of The Storm’ by lassfromlancashire

newborn baby 

I’m pleased to bring you the first entry into this month’s mini competition, courtesy of lassfromlancashire, with her very atmospheric poem.  I think the linking of the physical storm and the storm of giving birth works really well and I hope you also enjoy the piece.

The Day of the Storm

Morning, but the sky is darkening
Heavy clouds pregnant with rain.
I start at the sound of distant thunder
Blink as lightening flashes across the window.
Storm coming.
The first contraction hits with the first drops of rain,
Large heavy blobs of water,
Then a sudden gush as the waters break
And a desperate dash to the hospital
Dripping and panting,
Trailing muddy water along aseptic corridors
Contractions coming at ever closer intervals
Trying to recall the breathing techniques I learnt.
Midwife leans in to reassure me.
Thunder crashes, lightening flashes
“Can I push?”
“Not yet, dear.”
I gasp and groan
The lights go out.
Thunder crashes, lightening flashes
Have I been struck blind?
The emergency lights come on.
And you are born into a surreal world
Of dim lights and sudden flashes.
And we name you Thora
After the thunder god.

© Esme

Have you voted?…..

voting donkey

There’s still a day and a half left to vote – have you had the chance to vote for your favourite yet? All I can say is I’m glad it’s not up to me! 🙂