100 WCGU Week 52

The first night at her first camp, Gina was tired. She’d helped dig the latrines she was sure she could never use. Too gross. She was sharing a tent with her friend Gwen. Now it was time for everyone to gather at the campfire. The trees were dark beyond the fence. Could there really be wolves? Or was Gwen teasing? She’d seen foxes, but she knew nothing about wolves beyond Red Riding Hood. They sat crosslegged in a circle together. The flames caught, lighting the laughing faces. Smiling, Rosie passed her a marshmallow. Gina felt happiness engulf her. Camp was fun.

To read more about Julia’s 100wcgu click here.


Art Changing Lives

I listened to Ken Robinson and others talking this afternoon. Thanks to BBC iplayer I was able to hear a Radio 4 programme that had gone out this morning, In His Element. It was about his role in helping to develop Derry City (stroke city as it is often called, not because of the high incidence of cerebral haemorrhages, but because depending one which side of the political divide you stand it is Derry or Londonderry.
If you’ve not heard of Ken Robinson before, I should tell you he is an educator, an inspiring speaker, ex Professor of Education at Warwick and Ted Wragg’s natural successor. If you’ve not heard of Ted Wragg, you have some wonderful catching up to do. He was a splendid man; warm, witty, fantastically intelligent. When he died several years ago, I cried and felt I had lost a friend.
But I didn’t mean to talk about death. I meant to talk about creativity and where it lies in our lives.
Ken Robinson definitely believes in the power of creativity. There’s a very famous TED talk by him, that I urge you all to listen to. Go on, it’ll improve your lives. I’ll put a link at the end of this, or even insert the video. See how I spoil you. He’s not talking about sticking sequins on a piece of card, which is al too often how creativity seems to be defined these days. It has a far wider scope. A scope that the good people of Derry and the South Bank both understand.
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Art Changing Lives

At the South Bank you can see art improving people’s lives. It is accessible, thought-provoking, fun. All around people are smiling. Whether because they are being given opportunities to learn something new:

Learning to Juggle

And don’t you just love a man who carries a toy rabbit around in his pocket? Continue reading

In the Woods

She does not recognise the path. “Are you sure this is the right way darling?”
“Trust me,” Mark replies, “I know these woods like the back of my hand. I spent my childhood here.”

That was forty years ago she thinks but does not say. Her fingers clasp the reassuring phone in her pocket.

His confident walk changes subtly. He looks about him.

“Hmmmn,” he mutters, “Something not quite right here.” He looks up, but the tree canopy above them makes a barrier to the sky. No pointers from the sun here.

In a moment she’ll offer him the GPS.

This is the first time I have joined the Friday Fictioneers. Maybe you would like to join in too. The prompt is here.

The Night

I am using the prompt from Julia’s page, but again not linking my piece back there. If you want to know more about it, look here.

An owl hooted softly in the dark. Something rustled in the hedgerow. James sat on the old swing, moving it gently back and forth with his feet. A bat flew so close he felt the air disturbed by its wings on his face. He leant back, inhaling the smells of his parents’ garden.
The back door opened quietly and someone stepped outside.
James heard the rasp of match. Andrew’s face was illuminated as the flame flickered before he extinguished it. The glowing end of the cigarette moved across the garden.
“The doctor’s given her morphine. She’s peaceful. It won’t be long now.”

What to Wear?

It seems like an age since I wrote anything creative, so I had a quick look over at Julia’s page and the current 100wcgu for a bit of inspiration.
As so many people join in now, and I probably am not going to have the time to read many of the stories, for the moment I am not linking my piece back to her page. Just writing something was therapeutic. Thanks Julia!

So, here goes:

Rosalind held the dress up against her.
“What do you think?”
“Ghastly, said her brother. “You look like an extra from The Empire Strikes Back.”
He pointed his chin at the enormous fruit bowl on the table, “Are they just for show, or can I eat one?”
“Help yourself.”
Rosalind gazed critically in the mirror. She sighed. “You’re right. It’s too yellow. What can I wear?”
Dan took a bite from the apple and chewed for a moment.
“That dark dress you wore last week, sort of William Morris design? It looked good. Classy.”
“The Liberty print? You reckon? OK, let’s give it a go.”

Philosophical Rabbit Hole

Alice wondered why she had thought an option in philosophy would be a good idea. So far, she had been alternately bored and mystified by the discussions in seminars. Other students made comments she found pedantic or obvious, yet these comments were greeted with knowing smiles, and further comments that made her feel she was on the outside of an impenetrable practical joke.

The lecturer put up a picture of a white rabbit consulting a large pocket watch. She recognised the Tenniel drawing and fought a losing battle with her concentration.
“What was the rabbit late for,” wondered Alice, and closing her eyes, she fell asleep.

To see the prompt for this post visit Julia’s Place

100wcgu: The Red Box

She was there before him. She sat on a bench facing the river, her coat pulled tightly around her. He waved, feeling happiness flood through him at the sight of her.
She looked tired, her face a little pinched. Shadows dusted her cheek. She didn’t wave back, but stood at his approach. He wanted to kiss her, but,
“I have to tell you,” she blurted, face flushed. “I’ve met someone else. It’s over.” Turning, she walked rapidly away. Tears stung his eyes. From his pocket, he drew the diamond solitaire in its red box, and flung it, with his dreams, into the water.

This story is for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups, set by the indefatigable Julia Skinner.

A word from Julia:
“For this week’s prompt, I have gone to topical and it is:
…the red box…

For our non-UK writers, this week sees the budget being announced and much is made of the Red Box that the Chancellor carries the budget in to the Houses of Parliament to make the announcement.

You can use any genre and must use the three words of the prompt although your piece does not have to be about finance! Obviously you can only add a further 100 words. Please also make sure that you have a link back here so that folks can find the others to read. If you have found you way here by accident please read ‘What is 100WCGU? and hopefully it will make a little more sense!

The link will close at midnight on 26th March”

100WCGU: Romance and All that Jazz

The message from Julia:
Following last week’s topical slant and as it is a Leap year, this week the prompt is:

…Take a Leap of Faith….

Like last week, you don’t have to include those words in the piece. If you get to write it before midnight on Feb 29th, you may like to put a reminder for yourself to post it on Feb.29th .net as well. It is set to be the biggest blogging event of the year so don’t miss out on getting involved! You can only post on that day – 29th Feb though!

This link will close at midnight on 5th March. If you are completely confused by all this but would like to find out what it is all about, read ‘What is 100WCGU?’ which should make things a little clearer!


My Story

“She’s booked a table at that new place, Wednesday,” said Roger. He was smiling.
“And?” Bobby stretched out his legs and crossed them at the ankles. He wondered if the loafers had been a good idea. He had liked the tassles in the shop, but now they looked a bit naff. Maybe he should have got them in black. He could keep them for weekends; they’d be ok with chinos.
He looked up. Roger was watching him, one eyebrow raised.
“Ah come on! It’s leap year, right? Wednesday’s the 29th. She’s going to propose. You can be chief bridesmaid. Pink suits you.”

100WCGU The Coat

My second offering. To find out more go to Julia’s page http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-30/

Dear Tim,
Poor you. What a horrible accident. Traction is not fun, and six months in bed is a long time by anyone’s reckoning.
Catching your coat in the escalator must have been so frightening. It certainly looked very dramatic, and I must say you seemed to have the strength of ten trying to free it. It might have been better simply to take it off, but perhaps you weren’t thinking entirely rationally. Or maybe you were embarrassed at half the Northern Line watching you. You’re on YouTube!
I know you blame me, but it wasn’t my fault.
I’m sorry I laughed.
Friends again?

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups: Wednesday

From Julia’s page

“So the prompt for this week is: ….WEDNESDAY….

As usual you have 100 words and you should include the word Wednesday. If you are new here, please look at ‘What is 100WCGU?’ (I have amended the instructions thanks to a comment from last week!)”



Waking in morning sunshine, Nuala stretched luxuriously.

Eight good hours of sleep aboard The Peaseblossom.

Ducks gathered as she made breakfast and she threw them some bread.

Nine o’clock, and the marina was suddenly busy with people keen to make the most of the fine  day.

Engines spluttered into life, gunwhales were swabbed, food was stowed away.

Shipshape and Bristol fashion.

Drinking coffee in the forecabin, Nuala watched, sketchbook beside her.

Afterwards, when most of the boats had gone, and she was alone once more, she sat crosslegged on the bow, and drew. 

Yesterday and work seemed a lifetime ago.