Reminiscing and reaching out – an IWSG blog post #IWSG

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, an awesome blog hop frequented by writers of all kinds; those new to writing, those who are more seasoned, those who do it full time and those who dip in and out. For more details go to the main sign-up page, and why not drop by a few blogs while you’re there. Make sure you’ve got plenty of time though, you could be there longer than you thought …

The question posed for this month’s post is:

Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?

A few years ago I used to take part in a blog hop called the ‘Writer Wednesday Blog Hop’. Each week one of the co-hosts would post a picture and a selection of random words and the aim was to write some flash fiction up to 500 words and post the following week.

I used to really enjoy this challenge, I found the picture and the choice of words would really focus my mind and get me concentrating on my writing.

I’ve just done a little Google search (as you do) and can’t seem to find anything more recent than 2015 for this blog hop, which is a real shame because it was a lot of fun, but I realise it was a long time ago and those bloggers have probably/possibly moved onto other writing adventures now.

Does anyone else remember this blog hop? Do these logos ring any bells?

    wwbh-badge-2

If anyone remembers this blog hop I’d love to hear whether you took part or just enjoyed reading the stories, and if you were one of the co-hosts then do get in touch. It was a lovely bunch of ladies that used to keep this going and it would be great to hear from you again. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Nicole Pyles over at The World of My Imagination is on the IWSG sign-up list … 

A new year, a new … (insert preference here) – an IWSG blog post #IWSG

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, an awesome blog hop frequented by writers of all kinds; those new to writing, those who are more seasoned, those who do it full time and those who dip in and out. For more details go to the main sign-up page, and why not drop by a few blogs while you’re there. Make sure you’ve got plenty of time though, you could be there longer than you thought …

The question posed for this month’s post is:

What started you on your writing journey?

The answer to this is something that I immediately thought was easy to come by, but the more I think about it the more elusive it is.

When I was at primary school, probably aged about 9/10 years old, we were tasked with writing an autobiography of sorts, in which I wrote that I wanted to be an author when I grew up. However, my studies veered away from English towards the sciences, mainly because I thought it would be easier to get a job in that area.

Throughout my teens and early adulthood I didn’t write anything, but my interest was sparked again when I returned to work after having my first daughter. My job changed slightly and I was assigned to work with someone different in a new department. We started talking about non-work related things (as you do) and it turned out that he also had an interest in writing and stories. We would bounce ideas off each other and even made a start on an outline for a joint venture, although it never really materialised into much.

It was definitely thanks to him that I started to put pen to paper, or rather hands to keyboard, and write stories of varying lengths. Now I’m sat here thinking about it, I realise this was actually ten years ago. Where has the time gone?!

Over that time my portfolio has grown very slowly and I’ve got more unfinished drafts than finished ones. Having my second daughter has definitely slowed things down, practically to a halt, but I try and free write for at least 15 minutes each day.

As we start a fresh new year, I’m filled with optimism and enthusiasm to kick-start my writing once again, and where better to start than with an IWSG blog post to ground myself and get my head in the right (write?) space? I’m reluctant to come up with specific New Year’s resolutions, but I would like to up my writing output over the next twelve months and maybe send out my stories to a place or two. Here’s hoping that by the end of the year the number of finished stories will outweigh the number of unfinished ones.

How did you get into writing?

What was your inspiration?

Have you set any goals for 2020?

The Art of Deception – Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story

 

The premise for Mondays Finish the Story is pretty simple – to finish a story using 100-150 words, based upon a given photo and first line. The challenge is hosted by Barbara Beacham, who has all the details including the linkup to share your own and read others contributions.

This week I have been grabbed by the poetry muse again, but with an opening line such as this it was difficult to resist.

 

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

 

The Art of Deception

What a tangled web we weave,

when first we practice to deceive.

To lure someone to do our bidding,

takes knowledge of their skill and willing.

 –

Time is key to set the scene,

to sow the seed and keep them keen.

A simple premise will work best,

to get them hooked and believe the rest.

 –

Your memory has to stay first-rate,

to keep up with your tale to date.

One slip’s enough to stall your travels

and make all your hard work unravel.

 –

So if you choose this path so daring,

to further yourself and remain uncaring,

keep your distance from your subject,

before they influence your judgement.

To keep the tangled web you weave,

from which your aim is to deceive,

you’ll be rewarded in wealth and glory

but your sacrifice is to be forever lonely.

Word count:  125

Starting Over – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers Farm Path

 

Today is Friday, so time for Friday Fictioneers! Using the picture given, and a 100 word allowance, we create something that’s triggered from the image. Not necessarily a direct link to the picture, but something awakened from seeing it.

This week I managed to sneak my story in a touch under the word limit.

 

FF_santoshwriter (1)

 

Starting over

Stepping out into the warmth of the sunshine, dew still lingered on the grass beneath her feet. The sensation felt like it should be familiar, but her brain refused to make any connection. That happened a lot these days.

She couldn’t even miss her life before the accident. How can you miss what you can’t remember?

Today she started her new life, all over again. She could repeat her first experiences, as though it were all brand new. She couldn’t help but wonder if she’d make the same mistakes as in her previous life, but she’d never really know.

 

Word count: 99

The Search – Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story

For Mondays Finish the Story we get a picture prompt, accompanied by the first line of the story. We are then invited to finish the story within a 100-150 word limit.

Lots of ideas came to mind for this weeks installment, but I had to dismiss most of them for being too involved for the word limit. Instead I went for simplicity, and trying to capture the essence of one incident.

 

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

 

The Search

The crew of the Angel Flame received orders to head out. Time was ticking, but they hit the water in record time. The sea was as calm as ever they’d seen it, nothing unusual to report. It didn’t bode well for a successful recovery. 

Behind them a number of civilian boats were heading out, doing what they could to cover the search area. The situation hadn’t yet escalated to panic, but the crew sensed it wouldn’t be long. The family were sitting on the shore, waiting for the tiniest scrap of good news, and the Flame wanted to deliver it.

Everyone was on alert, scouring the horizon for the slightest movement, and finally they found it. Shouts erupted, and they changed direction just as the object disappeared beneath the water. The Flame trugged on, and it seemed to take an eternity.

Word count: 140

One more drop – Friday Fictioneers

FIC

Friday Fictioneers is another little challenge hop making its name out in the blogosphere, and is based at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields blog Addicted to Purple. Every Friday writers are invited to share a story, up to 100 words, based on the photo given as a prompt.

This prompt was actually given out for last weeks post and I missed the linkup deadline, but I really wanted to share with you what I came up with. No matter how I approached it, the tale couldn’t help but come out as poetry, so there was nothing I could do but just go with it. As a poet I’m definitely a novice, and I’m not sure if it falls into the criteria of this challenge, but I’d love to know what you think.

One more drop

Waiting for the next drop, just one more drop, please.

It’s been a while since your last, and it’s brought me to my knees.

The sun is beating down now, and I shade where I can,

but there’s much less litter these days, so I’ve no choice but to tan.

Just one more drop would be enough, to send me on my way,

to be with my brothers. What do you say?

This harmless little fellow, just needing to get home.

I can see that drop emerging now, thank you for giving hope.

Words: 93

 
 

Moving forward – Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story gives us a photo prompt and the first line of the tale, inviting us to finish the story in 100-150 words. Thanks to Babso2you for bringing us this weekly challenge, I hope you like what I’ve done with it this week.

Moving forward

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Arriving at the beach, she reflected on her life. Her thoughts always gravitated towards him, towards the hurt he’d inflicted on her, on her family. When would she be free of the cloud over her head, reminding her of all those bad decisions.

Taking deep breaths, closing her eyes, the wind and the spray washed over her. Taking one step, then another, the water felt cool against her skin. She went further and further, eyes still closed, concentrating on nothing but the elements around her. She felt at peace with herself, ready to face what lay in front of her.

‘Hey! Hey! Stop!’

The voice didn’t register with her, but the strong arms pulling her from the water were harder to ignore. Opening her eyes, they were met by the dark eyes of her rescuer. So, this is what lay in front of her then. Interesting.

Words: 146

Delilah’s No More – Mondays Finish the Story

Mondays Finish the Story

Welcome to a new flash fiction challenge I’m trying out, called Mondays Finish the Story.

Each Monday a new picture is posted by babs02you with the first line of a story, and the challenge is to finish the story using only 100-150 words. I’m used to working with a few more than this, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can come up with in such a small word allowance.

Here is this weeks picture and story:

© 2015, Barbara W. Beacham

Delilah’s No More

After losing her head, she realized that the rest of her body was falling apart!

She missed being at home with Delilah, missed it being just the two of them. She was so gentle, so patient, always making sure she had plenty of tea to drink, however imaginary.

Delilah’s little sister just wasn’t the same. Dolls are not for swinging around, or throwing in the pond, hadn’t anyone explained that to her? She thought at least Delilah might.

But she’s got new things now apparently, no room for dolls anymore. So it all goes to the horror instead. All that can be hoped is that the end comes soon enough, being pulled apart piece by piece is no fun for anyone. Well, except for the one doing the pulling, it seems.

Word count: 116

You never know with some folk – A WWBH post

Hello to everyone! We’re almost at the halfway point for the week and what better way to celebrate than with a little flash fiction fix. I hope you like this one.

This week for the WWBH blog hop we’re using one picture provided by my co-host Tena, accompanied by five random words:

IMG_3599

Dispose, practical, gun, commit, position

As usual, all of these elements need to be incorporated into the story somewhere, and try to keep to the 500 word limit.

You never know with some folk

        ‘I hate working Saturdays,’ moaned Theresa.
        ‘Got something better to do?’ asked Ray. ‘Somewhere more exciting to be?’
        ‘Anywhere is more exciting than here,’ she sighed. ‘And you don’t really need me, do you? You practically run everything yourself anyway, why do you need me?’
        ‘You need money, and there was a position to fill.’
        She couldn’t argue with that. ‘I told you, it wasn’t my fault. The deer stepped out in front of me. Aren’t parents supposed to deal with things like that?’
        ‘Not all parents can afford to pay out for their kids messing about. If he’d known you were taking the car, maybe he’d be more helpful.’
        ‘You sound just like him.’
        Ray beamed. ‘Thanks.’
        ‘That’s not a compliment.’
        ‘When do you get it back?’
        ‘They’re bringing it here after lunch, then I’m picking some stuff up for Dad. He says I’m to drive like it’s a Rolls Royce, and if there’s a single scratch I’m grounded. At 18, I’ll be grounded, can you believe that?’
        Ray shook his head, chuckling, before going back to his newspaper. ‘Look at this. They’ve found someone in the woods.’
        Theresa leant over, looking at the picture. ‘Nice outfit, must have a thing about snakes, eh? Check out the sparkly gold one on her wrist.’
        ‘Nice. It says she had a single gunshot wound, which must have happened somewhere else before being disposed of.’
        ‘What is wrong with people?’
        ‘You never know with some folk, you just never know.’ He looked up as a car pulled up by the window. ‘Hey, Theresa, is that your car?’
        ‘Oh, yeah, thanks,’ she said, rushing to grab her bag and jacket. ‘Listen, I’ll try and get back as soon as I can,’ she winked at him.
        ‘If you’re keeping this job, you’re going to need more commitment you know,’ he called, his words trailing behind her.
        She ran out to meet the courier.
        ‘Just sign here please, miss,’ he said, ‘everything’s in order.’
        ‘Thanks, I’m sure it is,’ she signed straight away, taking his word for it.
She jumped in, turned the key and roared away. With music blaring, she didn’t notice blue lights flashing in her mirrors. She pulled over and the police car followed suit, the officer stepping out and approaching her. She stepped out too.
        ‘Stay where you are please, miss,’ he said. ‘This your car?’
        ‘Er, it’s my dad’s.’
        ‘Mind if I take a look?’ He didn’t wait for a reply. ‘It’s pretty clean.’
        ‘Yeah,’ she said, ‘it’s just come back from the shop. What’s this about?’ Her palms were sweaty.
        He peered in the windows without answering. ‘Could you open the boot please?’
        She leaned in and pulled the lever, and he was there already opening the lid. She came around to join him.
        ‘Now, how do you suppose that got there?’
        She looked in the boot, confusion spreading across her face, and she saw tucked away in the corner a head section of a golden snake, just the right size for a bracelet.

Word count: 505

A knock at the door – A WWBH post

So, we’re stepping tentatively into February now, wondering where January could possibly have gone to already. No? Just me?

Well, the last five weeks have gone in a flash, but I’ve been keeping up with my WWBH entries, and here’s another one to delight (?) you with …

This week for the WWBH blog hop we’re using two pictures provided by my co-host Leanne:

A knock at the door

IMG_20141113_185859Placing her pen down on the paper, Abi cradled her wine between her hands and gazed out the window. The street lamps were starting to come on as the sky darkened, casting shadows along the road. Cars drove by with their headlights on already, some heading out of the village, but most of them coming in.
        She looked at the clock again, and tried to dismiss her disappointment that only ten minutes had passed. He’d be here soon, she knew, she just had to be patient. She put her glass down and reviewed the pages that she’d already filled in her notebook. Her muse had left her for the evening it seemed, and for the last half an hour it’d been an effort to get the words down. She needed a break.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
20150124_170549The rain had started off gently enough as Dean set off up the motorway. As the light of the day faded, it blurred the lights coming from the rest of the traffic and made the road itself glisten as he drove. It reflected his mood perfectly.
        He hated breakups, especially when he was the one doing the breaking. There’s no easy way to say that you don’t love someone anymore, and no easy way to hide that there’s someone else either. He knew she’d ask and he’d never been able to lie to her. The image of her face as she descended into misery would stay with him for a long time.
        But he couldn’t dwell on it, after all he did want to leave. He needed to get across the city now and get to Abi, he needed to see her and know that he’d made the right decision. He didn’t like crushing another persons world, so he had to know it was for the right reasons.
        Concentrating on the road he saw all the red lights in front of him had started congregating, slowing down those still behind until they were all stopped together. Dean let out a sigh as he sat in his car and waited.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Abi placed her notebook on her desk as the doorbell rang. She glanced in the mirror, hands running through her hair as she went to answer it. ‘You don’t have to ring the bell anymore, you know,’ and she smiled as the cold air rushed in.
        ‘He’s not here yet then? Pity,’ said a thin-framed red head, standing on the doorstep. She braced herself against the frame to stop from swaying.
        ‘Moira! What are you … ‘ she glanced past her figure, ‘you didn’t drive here did you?’
        ‘Of course I did,’ she slurred. ‘I needed to get here before him didn’t I? I didn’t want to miss the big reunion. I’ve got something for you both to celebrate.’ She rummaged around in her handbag, and Abi froze as she pulled out a pistol and waved it right in her face. She forced her way in the house, and they both went into the living room to wait for Dean’s arrival.
                                                                                             Word count: 502.