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Monday, 2 December 2019

Sally looked up into the doctor’s eyes. Her ears couldn’t transfer the words he was saying to her brain, although his lips were moving silently. His eyes were serious, sad. The light in the consulting room hummed in that way, which could be barely heard but felt though every fibre of her being. She felt the slightly waxy texture of the pile of leaflets under her hand, resting in her lap. She knew why she was there. Routine mammogram they had said. All women over 50 routinely offered it, they had said.
The news lay over her like a haze. She couldn’t remember how she got home, but she must have got into her car, tights sliding on the leather seats, and driven home, the wipers swishing on the windscreen in the grey, late autumn drizzle.
She turned her key in the lock, opened the door, and stepping inside. Hanging her coat on the coat hook, she slipped her shoes off alongside the warm radiator and walked down the hallway in stockinged feet to the kitchen. Her husband sat at the breakfast bar, reading his paper, and the coffee machine let out waves of rich, warm scent.

“How did it go?” he said, folding the paper and resting it on the wooden counter.
“Um, not so well.” The tears welled up in her eyes, and her throat closed. She looked around the room at the pictures of her children and grandchildren, lining the walls. Photos of weddings, and graduations, holidays and Christmases. Sitting heavily in a chair, she sighed, and suddenly she let go, crying each tear as the doctor’s words caught up with her.  “I’m sorry, but your results are not good,” she could hear them echoing through her mind. “You have stage 4 breast cancer with lymph node involvement”. She could hear her voice echoing his words, and her husband still sat at the bar, shocked.
“We will beat this,” he said softly.
“Will we?” she felt irritation rising in her. We? “Is that what we do? Beat it, go back to normal? I might bloody die!” Shock and sadness and rage churned suddenly through her, and she felt as though she would throw up.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I …. I’m going to go and have a bath, it’s been… “She took the pile of leaflets from her bag and put them on the counter and left the room. Her husband watched her go.

She laid in the bath, tracing the curve of the tap with her big toe as it filled her tub with steaming water. She looked down at her chest, her breasts rising and falling with her breath. How could this be? They still looked normal to her, not the high, firm breasts of her youth nor the full, rich milky breasts with which she nourished all her children.  But they were hers, showing the pores that came with age, the skin less elastic, the nipples didn’t quite point up and out anymore, but they were still recognisable as hers. They still gave pleasure when touched.  Would they still? After?

She hadn’t even looked at the leaflets. She had heard the words “surgery” and “chemotherapy.” She turned off the tap with a flick of her foot and sank lower into the water, letting it lap up over her loose belly and soft skin of her breasts. Tomorrow. She’d make the decision tomorrow.

Sunday, 30 June 2019

I think i actually hate dialogue. Why do people have to talk to each other?

Looking up, the foyer was awfully tall. Chlo felt terribly small.  This was going to be very different than high school.
High school wasn't kind to Chloe Stratton. She wasn't a smart kid or a cool kid. She didn't have a particular talent; she wasn't sporty in any way. She was, however, a lonely kid, a side-lined kid. College, she had hoped, was going to be very different.
However, she had that gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach. As she looked around the mall like atrium of her new college, and she feared that she would be lost, too, in this vast place. She could feel her lower lip starting to tremble with nerves. "I must not cry here," she thought to herself. That would never do for a first day.

"Hey." Someone stepped up beside her, and she nearly jumped out of her skin. "You look lost. Are you new?"
"Yes, it's my first day. This place is awfully big".
The newcomer laughed. "You'll get used to it. It's not as big as it looks. I'm Janey. What's your name?"
"Chloe," she said. "But I prefer Chlo."
"Cool name. I like your hair. Looks like candyfloss. My mum'd never let me do that".
Chlo's mum hadn't been too keen either when Chlo had dyed the tub a hot pink in her attempt to put on a cooler face for the next phase of her life. But she had acquiesced. She knew that changes were coming.
 "Yeah, she's pretty cool, sometimes. Hey, can you help me find my class? I have no clue where I'm going."
"Sure, what's your class?"
"Lemme check," she looked down at the timetable she was clutching. "Art first, then English."
"Cool, the art block is this way. Lucky you, I'm heading there too. I'm second year Art history."

Chloe used the walk to get to know Janey a little. Janey was a year older, with long, slightly unruly dark brown hair which she wore in a loose plait with a heavy fringe. She wore round lensed glasses with plastic tortoiseshell frames. She was dressed in a very bohemian way, in browns, greens, and mustard yellows. Her full plump lips were stained with a cherry red lip tint, and she smelled earthy, like bare fields after a sudden summer downpour.
"Patchouli oil. Do you like it?" she replied when Chlo asked about her scent.
"Yes, where'd you get it?"
"A little place in town. I can show you after college if you want?"
"Yeah, I'd like that."
Janey pushed open the door to a much older, shabbier building than the shiny new foyer had been. The interior smelled of drying clay and fresh paint.
"This is us. Art block. I think this is your studio", Janey pointed to a door. "Because the other one is mine. Catch you later?"
"Sure," Chlo replied.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

This one was HARD.

Like, really hard.

Todays exercise was about writing in the second person narrative. Its not something I've ever tried to do before I dont think. I've done first person present tense, which is almost as hard, but I really haven't ever tried 2nd person.

Well here we go. The link to the article for todays exercise is here: Why you should try writing in the second person.  It gave me 15 minutes to write a peice, anything at all, in the second person narrative.

Here goes. It's crap. I warn you.


Your eyes open with a start. You close them again and reopen them. There is little difference between one state and the other. Reaching out, feeling around you, the floor is against your back and you can just feel the leg of your favourite armchair with your outstretched fingertips.  Rolling, you wince as the movement triggers a pulsing pain in your skull and wetness slides down your temple into your eye.

Wiping your eye clear, you reach out and pull yourself to all fours and reach for the coffee table. It feels different and it takes you a moment to realise that it is on its side. What happened here? You search your memories for an explanation.

You remember leaving the club, hailing a cab and paying the driver as he pulled up outside your house. You remember walking unsteadily up the path to your door. Your keys were as usual lost in the depths of your purse, and you fumbled to find them. Swaying, your key clicked into the lock and the door opened. You thumped heavily against the hallway wall as you kicked off your too high heels.

A weight, heavy and pungent pressed you bodily against the woodchip of the wall. An unwashed hand smelling heavily of stale tobacco slid over your mouth and nose as you heard the door being kicked shut. You tried to struggle, but your body betrayed you, lost in panic and confusion.
He dragged you further into your home, into your lounge and shoved you at the couch. You fell, bounced and hit your head off the polished wood of the coffee table and thats it.
Nothing else.


Have a go yourself at some of these exercises. Show me, post a link in the comments and I will have a read. If you dont fancy it, let me know what you think of mine in the comment section.  What bits did you like? What didnt work for you?


Saturday, 16 February 2019

As is normal for me, I didn't do any of these exercises in the right order (You can't tell me what to do!). So here is the article, entitled Your  First Writing Practice 
This was a tough one for me. I really overthought it, which led to me dismissing things i may have put in and running out of time. But here it is. Enjoy! Don't forget to leave me your thoughts in the comments section.

Writing Practice

15 minutes

A young woman/ man stumbles across a body in the woods. What does he/she do?

She always ran at dawn. That thin circle of gold along the horizon always lifted her spirits, contrasting starkly with the black outlines of trees and buildings. Her trainers crunched on the gravel of the poorly packed country road, the sound unnaturally loud in the stillness before the world woke.

She took a sharp right into the treeline, feet sure upon the track she had coursed a hundred times before. It was cold that morning, and she could see her breath misting briefly in front of her before she passed through it briskly. She knew these woods well, and even in the half-light, she could pick her way confidently, around a boulder here, over a tree root there and ….

She roused from darkness, confused. What had happened? Pulling herself to seated, she looked around. Behind her, half on the track and half in the undergrowth was a leg. A naked, soiled human leg. She crawled closer, tentatively reached out, pulled back the foliage and emptied her stomach on the forest floor.

The body was half-clothed, but in a way that would have been more decent had it been left naked. In her mind, it remained an It. It had to, lest she vomits again. Bloodied, bruised, broken, it looked like parts had come unhinged, bones pressing under flesh now cold. She fumbled in her waistbelt for her phone. She always carried it, her family insisted, although it worked better as an exercise tracker than a phone out here. Still, she prayed for phone signal as she tapped in 9-9-9.

Either, Neither, Or and Nor

As promised, here is the first of my writing exercises from The Write Practice. I did this one sat in my car outside college while eating my lunch.  The exercise explains the correct use of Either, Neither, Or and Nor and then suggests a writing practice based on the principles. Fun eh? Have a read of mine and leave me a comment in the comments section below. Maybe even copy and paste, or leave a link to your rendition?

Writing Practice

20 mins

Tell us about a disastrous camping trip. Use either/or or neither/nor to establish how much your main characters would rather be anywhere else.

“ Whose crappy idea was this?”

It had been raining for a full week. We had seen neither sun nor blue skies since we pulled up in front of the club house in our mustard Volvo, laden down with our camping gear on the roof rack like a small mobile mountain. We had faced two choices, we could either turn around and go home, or make the most of it. We chose the latter.

Now, staring at the closed sign on the club house door, we wondered what to do next. Each evening since we arrived, we had huddled together at the bar, with a drink and a plate of chips. We watched the cheesy entertainers vie for giggles and guffaws from the wet, irritated campers. Karaoke, mouse racing (one wondered where they found so many mice), cabaret acts; we had them all. Until tonight. Tonight the windows stood black. All as quiet.

With a collective sigh, we trudged back to the tents to find that one had collapsed, either from the abundance of rain on its roof, or someone kicking out the guy rope in the dark. We couldn't tell which. In any case, neither my husband no I felt like tackling it in the dark, so we huddled into the pup tent with the kids.

“Why did you insist we camp?” hubby said.

“Because I couldn't book either the log cabins or the mobile homes, they were full! We talked about this!”

“Why did we bloody have to come here at all? Neither camping, nor the rain appeals to me at all! Why couldn't we have gone somewhere warm and sunny? Either Spain or Greece would have suited me fine. I could have been basking in the sun and working on my tan.”

“Oh come on babe, you know very well that you like neither flying on a plane nor foreign food. You say it gives you dodgy belly.”

He sighed, and stared blankly through the unzipped tent flap into the cold, wet trees. It was going to be a long cold night. I hoped he would wake in the morning in a better mood.

Remember me?

Hi, Remember me?

Its been a while, and it has been a pretty eventful while, but I'm not ready to talk about my adventures just yet. Things are still too up in the air for me to put anything down in type.

I have, however, been playing around with creative writing recently. I havent written creatively since I left college at 18, other than the odd really crappy poem during my emo angsty early 20s. I still cant read those without wanting to vomit. At that time I chose a business degree (that i didnt finish) over an english degree (that i thought i wouldnt be able to make any money from).  That was a really long time and 4 kids ago (one of whom is now an adult herself!)

I've started small. I am doing the creative writing practice exercises from . One of the things they recommed is to publish, and publish regularly. Which reminded me of my blog here, lonely and unloved, abandonded in the hubub that has been our lives of late. So i decided to revive it, and torture my tiny audience with the word vomit that is my tentative steps back into the hobby of creative writing.

Sorry. You can hit unsubscribe if you like. But id really like it if you would read and let me know what you think. Just be gentle with me.

If you stick with me I will be uploading here my efforts, and with each blog posts, i will link back to to the original article at so if you want to give it a go too, you can!

Are you with me?

Sunday, 25 September 2016


It is still really quite warm here, but the evenings are shorter, ad there is a slight nip in the air.
The days, while pleasant are fresher, less muggy.

I am enjoying the cooler days, still pleasant to be outside without jumper or coat, but not sweaty (that makes me grouchy).

My nana passed away on the equinox. She had been battling lung disease for  long time, and she fought a most courageous fight. She passed peacefully with her family around her, possibly the most beautiful way she could. I am proud of my aunt and my mother for being there for her, right to the end.

Her passing was a poignant reminder that life, like the seasons, has a beginning and an end and that the passing of time changes for no one.

I look to the days ahead, to saying goodbye and celebrating her life with the rest of my family.