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Ask A Question Thursday

June 27, 2019
mandyevebarnett


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As writers we are also avid readers, not only for pleasure but for research for our story line, be it historical, geographical or even the specifics of a particular genre.

What books do you keep for sentimental reasons? Is it a childhood story book, your first writing craft textbook or something else.

I’m not talking about our burgeoning bookcase horde but particular books that you love for the memories they evoke.

I have several older books (although some were lost when I immigrated to Canada unfortunately). Grey Rabbit as you can see from the impression dates was first published in 1948. The Hiawatha book was a prize for a national art competition, my first grand prize. And the last book is about my birth place.

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Why not share your oldest and most loved books in the comments?

 

 

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

September 5, 2018
mandyevebarnett


prompt

I am sharing the word prompt we enjoyed at my writer’s meeting last night.

Use these words in a short story or poem: tower, rotten, bribe, diamond.

Here is my 15 minute response.

“Rotten Tommy, he’s stolen my potatoes again! I’ll get him back, you see if I don’t.”

Lucy nodded, turning her mouth downward to show Rodney, she was sympathic. In reality she knew Rodney had probably lost all the sacks of potatoes in a game of poker and was covering up.

“We’ll have to grow more. We have time this season, Rod.”

“There you go being all positive again, Lucy.”

She turned away at Rodney’s unkind words. She would go as hungry as him without money for food. The door slammed behind her.

“Good riddance!” She mumbled under her breath. Outside the window she saw the imposing towers of the castle. She daydreamed of one day being carried off by the Prince and showered with diamonds away from Rodney and the hovel they called home. He was supposed to look after her, his younger sister but she always seemed to be the one to solve the problems.

“Psst!”

Lucy turned quickly at the sound. Freddy was crouched under the window.

“What are you doing there?”

“I have some potatoes for you.”

“And where did they come from, Freddy?”

“Best not know but for a quick kiss, I will let you have the whole sack.”

“Oh will you? Maybe I’ll tell Rodney your plan and he can beat it out of you.”

“Oh, come on, Lucy, one little kiss for a sack of potatoes isn’t much of a bribe is it?”

“Did you steal them from Rodney or Tommy?”

“Does it matter?”

“I suppose not. Come here then and put the sack under this bench then you shall have your one kiss and no more.”

Freddy smiled, threw the sack over his shoulder and hurried in the door. Lucy poised her cheek outward for his kiss and as quickly pulled away.

“I could get you more food for more than a kiss, Lucy.”

“I think that’s enough, Freddy, now off with you.”

Freddy’s shoulders slumped but he left knowing Lucy might be beautiful but also very strong willed.

“Another day, Lucy.”

“Take care, Freddy, if Tommy finds out he’ll be less than pleased to lose a whole sack of potatoes.”

Once Freddy left Lucy pushed the sack further back under the bench with her feet to make sure it was well hidden. Now they would be able to eat for a week or two.

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Why don’t you have a go at this prompt. Share your response in the comments.

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

August 29, 2018
mandyevebarnett


Hello All,

I’m back from vacation and getting back into the swing of things gradually. For today’s prompt please use this image.

humphrey

This is my response – enjoy!

There was Humphrey, big, bold and yellow. Weren’t shadows supposed to be black or at least grey? Martin only knew the brightness of the object before him from as long as his memory allowed. As a small child, Martin played for hours with his yellow playmate, making his parents happy that he could entertain himself so well at such an early age. They boasted about his ability until that fateful day.

“Your first day at school, Martin. Are you excited?”

“Yes, very. Humphrey and me will have such fun there.”

“Now, Martin, that’s enough of this Humphrey nonsense. Big boys don’t have invisible playmates, we’ve told you that before.”

“Yes, son you have to be a big boy at school. You want to fit in with all the other children don’t you?”

Martin looked from mother to father to Humphrey in bewilderment. Why wasn’t Humphrey allowed to go to school with him? When Martin protested that Humphrey was real, his parents got mad and forbid him from mentioning his invisible friend again. Tears flowing down his cheeks, Martin ran to his room shouting back as he went that Humphrey wasn’t invisible at all. In fact he was bright yellow and his parents must be blind if they couldn’t see him. Martin didn’t get supper that evening.

Now Martin sat on a park bench unable to steady his emotions. He had needed to walk away from Cheryl and Tommy for a few moments. Humphrey had been his dark secret for decades. A constant companion through school and college but never shared with anyone not even Cheryl. They had courted and married without Cheryl ever knowing she was part of a trio.

“Daddy, are you alright? Did I do something bad?”

Tommy’s little face shone up at Martin, an innocent five year old, who saw the world as a fascinating place.

“No, Tommy, you didn’t do anything bad. It’s just that no one else has ever seen Humphrey. I was shocked when you asked him to play with us.”

A shadow fell over father and son. Martin looked up at Cheryl unsure how she would react. He sighed with relief when he saw her smiling.

“Now your secret is out maybe you can be a more relaxed person, Martin. What do you think?”

“I love you both more than ever before. Come on Humphrey we need to make sandcastles.”

Have fun.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

August 22, 2018
mandyevebarnett


path

Today’s writing prompt is a view of a pathway. What story or poem does it inspire in you?

I wrote this response for it. I hope you enjoy it.

“What’s down there, Mummy?”

“I don’t know, sweetheart. Shall we go and look?”

“Yeh, an adventure – follow me into the jungle. I’ll protect you.”

 The irregular shaped stepping stones draw us into the unknown depths of his imagination. With a stick for a sword, he leads the way. He is a Commander and fearless leader of an army, searching out the enemy.

It feels pleasant to be under the shade of the tree’s canopy, out of the hot sun. As I watch Sebastian dart back and forth taking cover behind tree trucks, my heart warms. He is the miracle I never thought would be mine. So many years of trying to get pregnant and then the indignity of numerous medical tests had made life so difficult. Gerald tried so hard to comfort me, and accompanied me to all my appointments and endured tests of his own. It was only when I caught him unawares on that fateful evening, that I knew I would have to stop pressuring him to carry on. The total despair in his voice; as he had spoken to his mother; had chilled me to the bone. He was blaming himself and truly believing I would leave him or worse. I had crept away unnoticed and walked for hours along this very path, deciding our future. My decision made, I  surprised Gerald with a candle lit dinner the very next evening and announced.

“I cannot struggle any more, Gerald, let’s enjoy life again. Put all this behind us.”

“Are you sure, Claudia? You have so wanted a child.”

“Yes, I’m very sure. It’s obviously not meant to be.”

I had to ‘eat my words’ three months later, when my stomach upset was identified as ‘morning sickness.’ Our specialist was not surprised. He told us it was quite common for women to conceive once the stress was absent.

“Mummy, come on. Keep up.”

“I’m coming, Commander. Have you found the enemy yet?”

Please leave your response in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday

July 11, 2018
mandyevebarnett


This week’s prompt is ‘revenge’. Write a poem or short story of getting back at someone. I wrote this story some time ago but still like it. The story began with a picture of a beach veranda, I have no idea why it went in this direction but that’s the joy of writing.

beach

Britney

Warmth was carried through the windows by the salty sea air as I pulled the voile aside to look at the gentle waves break on the golden sand. The cream painted deck was just wide enough for a chair and a small table and as I set down my book and glass of wine I raised my face up toward the sun. I can feel the stress releasing from my neck and shoulders, no more 10 hour days, no more frantic rush to be first in the morning and working later than everyone else. I’d thought my hard work and commitment would ensure a promotion but buxom, blonde bimbo, Britney, waltzed in on Friday sporting a smug Cheshire cat smile and announced her new position; CEO’s personal secretary. I knew she hadn’t got the job for her secretary skills! My rage exploded as my scream vibrated around the open plan office, I knew I had to get out of there. Grabbing my bag I stomped my way to the elevator and slammed my hand on the button. I could faintly hear giggles and whispering behind me but my heart beat was much louder, the roar in my ears blocking out their petty comments.

As I made my way home my rage seethed, I’d get my own back on Britney, she couldn’t have ‘my’ job. At home Smudge twisted around my legs mewing for his dinner, I picked him up for a cuddle and relished in his softness. After feeding Smudge, I sat at my computer looking for ideas to get my own back on Britney. Ah yes as expected Britney had posted her good news on her MSN account and was inviting everyone to ‘Crime’ the newest club in town for a celebration. Now what could I do to ensure Britney didn’t come into work on Monday or Tuesday or the whole week? A plan came to mind, so after making several phone calls, I got dressed up in my most daring outfit and drove to ‘Crime’.

The music was so loud it was almost unbearable but everyone in the club seemed to be having a great time, dancing and shouting to be heard. This really wasn’t my sort of place at all but needs must. As I pushed my way through the crowd I spotted Britney and her pals at a table on the raised platform above the dance floor. I knew in this outfit & wig no one in her group would recognize me so I moved closer to try and hear the conversation. It wasn’t as hard as I expected as they were shouting across the table and Britney was telling her captive audience of her seduction of Greg Lessner. I clinched my fists in anger but knew I would need to stay calm if my plan was going to succeed. My cell beeped at that moment, a message from my ‘surprise’ for Britney. Callum had returned my call and was ready to meet Britney as I had arranged, he looked like the ‘perfect’ man, all muscles and dark brooding looks as well as expensive clothes and a designer watch, all of which Britney would notice, the little social climber. Britney would not be able to resist a dance, a few drinks & an evening of love! I’d paid for the fancy hotel suite and asked the concierge to place champagne in the room, Britney would be beside herself, fancying her luck at catching a rich handsome man, her dream come true.

I pointed out Britney to Callum and as he approached Britney’s table I held my breath but as soon as she saw him she turned on the bimbo act, all fluttering eyelashes and heaving of barely covered chest; disgusting. I watched Callum & Britney ‘fused’ together, gyrating on the dance floor to the rhythmic beat. It didn’t take long for Britney to dump her friends in favor of her new found lover and after a while I saw them exit into the darkness. Following behind at a safe distance I drove behind their taxi and parked across the street as they walked into the fancy hotel lobby. Opening my lap top I linked up with the camera’s I had set up in their suite and waited for them to arrive. Greg Lessner had fallen for Britney’s interest in him and believed her love was real – what an idiot-she had tricked him like a little kid watching a magician. Once he saw ‘his’ Britney with Callum he was sure to sack her and I would make sure I was indispensable as his assistant by the time Britney’s week of passion was over. I hadn’t had enough money for a longer ‘date’ with the male escort but it would be time enough. Now I could relax all Sunday at the beach knowing I had my perfect job waiting for me on Monday.

I would love to read your response – leave it in the comments.

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