Monday, 31 May 2010

As you sow, so shall you reap

Lee is three years old

ear stud for his birthday gift

but smile kept inside.

He’s knows to be a brave little

soldier. He ain’t a sissy.


Lee is twenty-one,

a bullet wound drains away

the smile kept inside -

a touch the first and last

he wanted for his birthday.


Random Word: Delivery

Saturday, 29 May 2010

My Six Word Saturday # 11

Describing your life (or something)  onat the moment of writing on a Saturday in a phrase using just six words.


Hmm, adapt Celtic myth for radio?**

**I have a book of Celtic stories that the cover describes as …accessible…masterful storytelling…entertaining style. Well I don’t know what book they read but it’s full of phrases like…grim visagesmiled sneeringly or dialogue like… is that not a proud warrior who cross the plain. It reads like respectable elderly  Victorian gentleman trying to loosen the bowtie and get down with the naughty nineties crowd. As bad as your dad trying to say that rap has a beat like his old glam rock bands. I’m critical from two perspectives. One is that I do live story-telling and it lacks this mediums energy and immediacy. The other is that it lacks filmic quality in the writing, in that it creates images in the readers mind through sensory hooks and vivid characterisation. So I’m playing with the idea of taking the well known story The Sons of Tuirenn and using the visual possibilities of radio to retell the story. My initial idea is to have narrator commenting and reacting to the formal story that dissolve back to the “real” events he experienced . The challenge is to give this ‘current time’ story its own dramatic arc. I was thinking of  a bardic competition  to the King where they compete to tell the story that puts him in a good light. The narrator who stares at you from the above picture is at the top table remembering the “real”events.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Fresh is best

Baby Lunch


‘We can’t afford a baby.’

‘Oh, so the breadwinner has spoken.’

But he loved her so backed off saying, ‘Let’s try, after all they taste good.’


Random Word: Atrabilious


Third date blues

Think you can write a 55 word story? Then visit   

Waiting‘Thanks, black, no sugar’. Once the  kitchen door shut, Joe stripped and placed the hidden camera on the shelf. The voyeur tapes sold well. Kate was hot but tonight was business not love. Sitting down, he hesitated, wasn’t it?

Pouring the coffee over the tranquilliser, Kate thought great body, his liver alone should yield 5k.

Random Word: Caffeine

Note this has become the seed of a much longer story called Warm heart,cold hand

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Mountain Mama Tours

Mix up

Looking at the picture, Granny Sue knew the business was in trouble. What she wouldn’t give to be freeclimbing, with some dirt under her fingers and the sweat just rising. Instead, she was stuck here with her dozy grandson. ‘Right, make the rope packing instructions work, or clear your desk.’


 Random Word: Explicit

Ah Chuy Kak’s Children

Cave grave

A ship furled sails.They waited. Their palaces long dust. At the cave a voice boomed, ’Look gol—’  The screams reached the ship too late.

Random Word:Progeny

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Showcase Wednesday #4

This is a microstory that caught my eye in Twitterland this week. Click on the heading if you want to visit the author’s Twitter Site. Or the post timestamp to go direct to the story.



I loved him but he couldn’t look past the scars. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. I hold his eyes now. He can’t stop looking at me.

Technorati Tags: ,

Doc Death to get the Chair



Maybe it was because he was bored. Prof Bailey tried to explain it to the committee of enquiry but they were lynch-mob angry. That first amber glass had been so cool. They’d be alive now if he had stopped. But he hadn’t and the wrong red button gave death freedom.



Random Word: Colour

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Vaudeville Heist



Robin peered over his shades, ‘Look I’m just a street juggler how can we rob a bank?’ 

Laura, a unicyclist dressed in gold skimpies, said,’ I don't know yet but Harry the statue, Windy Flame and Dumbbell Nan are in. We need money to stop them ripping the town apart.’


Random Word: I wonder

Perfection sought






He tried photos but what he saw wasn’t him.  Nor the portrait. In despair, he sliced his face splashing blood. For that moment, it was him.


Random Word: Catholicon


Monday, 24 May 2010

The Year of Loss

Ugky fairy



Fairies have eyes of gold with wings that sing with low voices. So what am I with gold hair and tattered wings, thought Rani-Lily, a misbreed, a muddy low human.The oak whispered as wise reassurance ,’ You can be the first,’ but was heard as a call to war.



Random Word: I hate

Saturday, 22 May 2010

My Six Word Saturday # 10

Describing your life (or something)  onat the moment of writing on a Saturday in a phrase using just six words.
New Government, new cuts, no job**
** Legal and policy basis for my job disappeared overnight with the new Con-Dem government, which announces 6 billion pounds cuts on Monday as a step towards a 160-180 billion cut in government expenditure. The deficit is largely down to the bail out of the banks and the need to keep the economy afloat as credit disappeared from the system.  The overall UK budget is around 520 billion of which 100 billion is for health and will not be cut.. Politics suggest that all the cuts and/or tax rises are done in the first 3 to 4 years to allow for the government to regain popularity for what is going to be a very bumpy few years. Put into context, the cuts suggested are the most drastic needed since the UK moved from a war  to a peace economy after the 2nd world war.  Worse is that if the economy noses dives then the tax yield goes down and the deficit continues to climb. Especially as the single biggest area of expenditure is around welfare support(pensions, social security etc). Think riots, mass demonstrations and political disruptions at some time in the next 12 months. This will be sharpen by the fact that the majority of the population voted for parties who would have softened the cuts with tax rises to protect services. And the growing feeling of betrayal of the Liberals working with the Conservatives, their bitter political enemies of the past 200 years! The governor of the Bank of England has said that the party who balances the books will be out of office for a generation. The gamble that this Government is taking is that the contraction in public services is off-set by a growth in the private economy and in community services. The reality of all these big sounding political economic issues is that my service's funding may well be cut on Monday so I ‘m out of work by September. And most of the agencies I worked with to create more integrated local services will be gone by March. The one positive note is that I have worked in the community sector for most of my working life so may yet be able to step from the sinking State liner to a passing community rowing boat as long as it’s not women, children, and bosses first – it’s the enterprise culture now.

Friday, 21 May 2010

History is written by the victor

Horse rider


In time, the sketches sold for millions but Joe said fame had stopped him drawing when really the artist had died from the AIDS he gave her.



Random Word: Epigone

The Chicago Caper

Think you can write a 55 word story? Then visit


‘Jesus,’ he was flying away with a cool million. The saps had fallen for worthless bonds leaving Bugsy to take the rap. As the biplane levelled, he looked down - the gun blast his last memory.

Below, Johnny two-guns was hitting first but above in the plane, removing his goggles, Bugsy just said, ‘Got yar.’


Thursday, 20 May 2010

So what did you fight for today?

Votes for Women



Vera stared at him and shouted ‘Votes for Woman.‘ She rattled her chains and defied him to ruffle her unmentionables and remove her. He did.

Random word: Sacred Cow


Technorati Tags: ,

The earth gives and it takes


Woman stoned

 Random Word: Stones

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

When men were men

Man on phone


‘Isn't it super,the bags are packed…what darling, I can’t hear. Reggie? Yes he’s coming as well. I thought we could…of course he’ll not play gooseberry, it’s our holiday…oh alright, bye darling.’

‘Reggie old sport,  do you mind, Val a bit scratchy—’

‘Do you think she suspects, sweet-pea?’



Random Word: I love it

Showcase Wednesday #3

This is a  microstory that caught my eye in Twitterland this week. Click on the heading if you want to visit the author’s Twitter Site.

She left because apparently everything she did ended up in my damn stories. What a great plot twist, I thought.

8:49 PM May 13th via Seesmic

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bathing is the new rock and roll



‘It is not right to hide away. What is wrong in bathing with friends the old way?’

Aiko sighed, it was just like papa to refuse a home tub.


Random Word: Misoneism


On a road ending nowhere

Making roads


As the men cracked and crushed stone, the man watched. He had seen and built the roads of Rome, laid the tracks of Norman kings, stood in civil war and wept as Scotland died but now as turnpikes rose, once again he would see roads pour over hill and plain.

Random Word: Macadam


Technorati Tags: ,,

Monday, 17 May 2010

Nothing changes

stone age bankers‘I give you cattle and wives and you said new cow and wife each moon.’

‘No, give cow and wife at the turning of seasons - gods are frowning and more sacrifices needed.’

‘But tribe elders gave word that you help.’

‘We all suffer  – me down to hundred wife.’

Random Word: Banking


Technorati Tags: ,,

Saturday, 15 May 2010

My Six Word Saturday # 9

Describing your life (or something)  onat the moment of writing on a Saturday in a phrase using just six words.

mature student

Last writing assignment done and sent**


**I’ve just completed an university Diploma in Literature and Creative Writing which gives me a Dip LCW. So the business card now reads for my graduate and post-graduate qualifications as

John XXX-XXXX  Msc(Economic &Social Studies); BA(Hons); CQSW; PGCE(FE); Dip LCW

Not bad for a kid who left school with no qualifications at 16 in 1970!

Friday, 14 May 2010

A Surfer’s Revenge

Think you can write a 55 word story? Then visit


Severn Bore

‘What can we do miss?’ The little boy shivered as he heard the head of water sweeping down.

‘A lot,’ the abandoned plank was her way out. Roberta grabbed the boy and steadied herself to surf as she had never surfed before. She was going to live and get the bastards who had done this.


Random Word: Wahine Girl?

Technorati Tags: ,,

Give me the child and I have the man

angry child


That the child screamed silently through his eyes was good. Crying ended at last. Soon his pain would became the suffering of his subjects.


Random Word: Indurate the child

Thursday, 13 May 2010

You want my babies?

Secon Life

‘I can’t, it kinda durty.’ Mary-Sue, pulled her dress and knees together.

Rob just stood not understanding. He wanted a baby. ‘But yar promised me and all you have to do is tou—’

Her dad’s first punch broke Rob’s neck so now Mary-Sue plays Second Life with the door locked.

Random Word: Babies


Technorati Tags: ,,

Take three times a day…

eye of newt


‘Eye of newt, and toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog, Adder's fork, and blind…’

Phew, this better be good for a cough, thought Hal.



Random Word: Linctus

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

If was the promise

She waited as her table is swaddled in linen
a rough white smoothed by china cups
filled with tea of misty hills,
the angel cake cut into slices for
rouge lips that smother reputations,
gently with only a hint of malice.

Once, in secret she had waited beneath a clock
cold and wet for his eyes of water,
a coat held tight over a silk stocking promise.
He had made her warm with a touch that woke
the splash of a green-blue sea under a white sun.
He wears now the mask of the smiling god.
wooing the lost, the silent, and the tearful
who want a scrape goat to take on sins.

She is a swept floor, a neat bed,
a closing door with polite pecks
who watches a flickered screen for love
knowing the white lies and black promises.
The whisper of the room filling
snuffs out her thoughts and she turns
eyes blind to show others the light.

Random Word: If

Technorati Tags: ,,

Show Case Wednesday#2

This is a  microstory that caught my eye in Twitterland this week. Click on the heading next to the picture if you want to visit the author’s Twitter Site.

"If you had a superpower, what would it be?" she asked. "Christ, not again," he said. Her Alzheimer's is getting worse, Superman thought.

less than a minute ago via thaumatrope

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Election Promises



that taxes

will be lighter.

Yes folks, lower then

those scoundrels in power.

Your hospitals and schools safe

from cuts and free to those that need.

And we will keep out the immigrants

and sing of the land that is good and free.


We’ll whisper


the truth.


Random Word: Promises

Social Suicide




Louise smiled as she looked across at the happy couple but her eyes said gold digger. Their days at the Berwick country club were at an end.

Random Word: Morganatic



Monday, 10 May 2010

I won't die when you wave goodbye

The future


The smiling Nazi pressed the button - the war was won.

Holding up hands as a circle, each child of the future cheered the light that birthed them.

As the gas stole the air of the innocent, they died but their souls gave a dying world hope. The war was won.


Random Word: A Happy Day


Saturday, 8 May 2010

My Six Word Saturday # 8

Describing your life (or something)  on     at the moment of writing on a Saturday in a phrase using just six words.

Election result

The Left won’t play together so...**

The UK general election has resulted in no overall parliamentary majority but the left and centre parties are not thinking of joining forces so allowing the Tories in to slash and burn public services.

Friday, 7 May 2010


Think you can write a 55 word story? Then visit

The lights dim,

music, a soft late-night jazz.

By the bed, glasses wait for cold wine,

and an anniversary silk dress covers

what soon could be unwrapped,

when a car crunches gravel,

and doors open and slam,

with footsteps near to a door.

Only he won’t come.

He never came.

But you wait in memories.


Random Word? Perfect Weekend

I love what I see or see what I love?





She looked down and said yes. He was her knight in shining armour. It only after the honeymoon that she noticed the rust under the surface.

Random Word: Alembic




Thursday, 6 May 2010

Before your birth

Baby Falling‘It is a most irregular request,’  said the custodian.

‘Why? Isn’t it written that our Lord choose his mother?  Women pick the egg or the sperm now so why not us the mother?’ The unborn waited for a reply.

The custodian, smiled and let him fall, thinking, he’ll be trouble.

Random Word: Mother

Speeches we wanted to miss

Bad Speech



‘We stand on the boat of life as it flies into the future where not even the birds of trouble will be roasted.’

‘Hmm, that’s working for me.’


Random Word: Catachresis


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Show Case Wednesday#1

This is a  microstory that caught my eye in Twitterland this week. Click on the heading next to the picture if you want to visit the author’s Twitter Site.


The comforting sound of a scream in the kitchen followed by the noise of the blender, let me know I'd soon be fed. No one cooks like Mother.

Published: 2:31 AM May 1st via

Technorati Tags: ,

In the arms of love.

Man sneaking out


‘Go on tell me again why you love me,’ said Kate, giving Edward a hug and a kiss. Blushing, he said, ‘Because you’re soft and true, with eyes that drown, and a touch that…’

Kate smiled.  Behind his back, she saw Bob, her lover, creep backwards out the open door.


Random Word: 10 Reasons Why

Because books make a difference

Dad and Son Reading

BlogHer and BookRenter, a company that rents textbooks to college students, have joined forces to make a difference through books during May 3-28, by generating new books for children who need them most -- via the nonprofit organization First Book. Go to BlogHer and help to get two books donated.



Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Never Again

Students riotingThe students had stood their ground and shouted for Liberty from Tyranny. An intemperate few called for barricades but the others argued that Freedom of Assembly was a right you demonstrated. They were killed first.

Lord Horace was shocked.  It was an outrage on the day of Queen Victoria’s anointment.

Random Word: 4th May

Dying for Democracy

Body Discovered



The leg was the breakthrough – the rest of the body long gnawed and rotted but stuck in a sand patch was a swimmer’s leg.They had found her.


 Random Word:  natatorial swimmer's

Monday, 3 May 2010

When books did make a difference.

Janet and John

An early memory is standing at the teachers desk reading Janet and John*, which dates me as a 50’s child.  I somehow learned to read overnight despite having no books at home or any bedtime reading. It cost me my roots but gave me freedom. A price spared my son.


*Americans knew them as Alice and Jerry who sound far more exciting.

Random Word:Books Make a Difference 

Saturday, 1 May 2010

My Six Word Saturday # 7

Describing your life (or something)  on     at the moment of writing on a Saturday in a phrase using just six words.


Learning too much ‘ing’ is bad! **


**The overuse of participle phrase( the adding of ing  to words: fidgeting, considering, flopping ) is best avoided by turning the phrases into their own sentences. As when overused they create a clickety-clack rhythm to your prose. This is a bad thing unless you want the effect when it becomes a good thing. Do you know how many can creep into a 5000 word story? Just give thanks that you don’t. Now only ten more pages to go and then it’s a review of each individual sentence construction for its punch and cadence.  Editing, so much fun that it’s a secret.