Fifty Word Inspiration

Fifty Word Inspiration

This is from a writing challenge when I had to pick from a number of choices and write a story in 50 words.  I chose….

Decade is a period of ten years.
Century is a period of one hundred years.
Millennium is a period of one thousand years.
“Together forever” lasts a fortnight.

That is, statistically.
That is, in about 90% of cases.

That is also why romantic mathematicians are so hard to come by!

(“On the Importance of Not Being Literal” by Standing Ovation, Seated)

***

A mathematician once said that “together forever” lasts a fortnight and after a passionate two week fling Tess had to agree.  Visions of bridal gowns and corsages danced across her mind.  She could get a job here and give up her boring office existence for sun, sand and sangria.  Life could be a beach….couldn’t it?

“Ladies and gentlemen we have completed our pre-flight checks…” intoned the nasal air steward.  Tess rubbed the sand between her toes and smiled ruefully.  Her “forever” had finished.

(It’s not 50 words, but it’s close!)

Blog Your Block

Revisiting Old Inspiration

I thought that it might be interesting to re-read some of my old writing challenges that I did via The Daily Post, which was a great source of inspiration to kick start your writing.  So there are a handful of posts which I did put on my old blog which are worth re-visiting.    In everyone’s words – we should always read through our work and re-visit things….they might be inspiration for something new.  Who knows??  One of my very tiny short stories which I wrote while I was sitting on a jetty in Venice has become the inspiration to my first children’s book which I will be attempting to kick into shape on here.  Please see my post on “Sea Monsters and Angel Lights” for the story behind the story.
 
First up is “Blog Your Block”….This is what came to mind on a pretty bleak, rainy walk along the beach where I live.  Written for The Daily Post writing challenge called “Blog Your Block”:  http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/blog-your-block
 
***

The grey pebbles turned and twisted under her sturdy shoes. It wasn’t a pretty beach, she thought. Although, there was a kind of pre-historic peace to the place.  It seemed as if it couldn’t be bothered with day trippers looking to build sandcastles. Only a few fishermen and foolhardy sea gulls clung to the shores of the channel trying to catch a bite for dinner.  The coastguard was watching like an ever present guardian angel.  A few local inhabitants always had their kitchen windows focused on the waterfront.

Strange plants grew which had developed around this harsh, salty, barren landscape. Nothing else grew but scrub plants. There were no trees so the wily, quick witted birds built their nests in the stones and the scrub to avoid the footsteps of people and foxes.

When the wind blew, people walked at a 45 degree angle and when the sun shone they lay flat out on the uncomfortable stones in bathing suits which were quite inappropriate for the area – more suited to a Caribbean island somewhere.

The rain was penetrating every layer of clothing and she kept her eyes fixed on the pebbles.  Occasionally a crushed shell came into view; a strand of mangled seaweed; discarded ropes; broken lobster pots – the plethora of driftwood which came ashore after a storm.   The tides changed with every minute bringing a new wave of stones and shingle but the landscape never changed.  Time to go home. 

***

I think this story was as short as the walk that inspired it!  Cut off in its’ prime.   Brevity has always been my problem ​even in writing essays at school.  Writing a whole novel is going to be a bit of a challenge!  What are your challenges and obstacles?  Some pictures of my block are here:

White horses on the beach

White horses on the beach

Old Inspiration - cloudy sky

Old Inspiration – cloudy sky

Old Inspiration - Stormy Beach

Old Inspiration – Stormy Beach

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Mildred

A Short Story About Fairies

Another story from my Venice days was created on a night out with my friend Tara who is the most talented artist.  We went to the wine shop in the square to fill up our plastic bottle with some very reasonably priced (1 or 2 euro) white wine, and sat on the water’s edge being silly and coming up with all sorts of short story ideas (as you do!).  Tara was sketching the back of my house, which later turned into a beautiful painting now on my living room wall.   And I wrote a short story about a fairy with exceptionally large feet called Mildred.  She had red hair as an homage to Tara who has lovely red hair, and of course to Anne of Green Gables as well!  She also has a bit of a temper (of course – after Anne not Tara).  

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Inspiration

The Inspiration for my First Children’s Book

I spent a year living in Venice in my twenties and had an awesome time living right in the city centre.  I had an apartment looking out over a canal.  The ever lovely Campo Santa Margherita was just round the corner from our house and there were so many canals to sit on and watch the world go by. 
 
My best friend and her husband came to visit me with their small baby – Joseph.  After they left I sat by the water’s edge near a statue of a mermaid, on a sunny evening and wrote a very short story about a boy name Joe.  Writing something for him was the inspiration for my first book.  I didn’t know it at the time but this story has so many things that can be developed into a story – great ideas for characters, great location.  We’ll have to see how that goes…
 
The canal was flashing with a thousand sparkles underneath the water.  I called them “angel lights”.  In the spirit of having balance in a story it seemed fitting that a beautiful thing should also have a dark side.  Surrounded by all the mythology of a sea-faring city I added the “sea monsters”.  
 
I want this short story to become the inspiration to my first novel which is going to be about a little girl who witnesses a horrible crime, gets washed up on a beach and befriended by a little boy called Joe and a salty old sea captain.  In this case the “sea monsters”  are very much human though!  Stay tuned for excerpts coming up. 

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Short Stories or Epic Novel?

Short Stories or Epic Novel?
Is it easier to be long-winded or short winded?  Do short stories fill you with terror?  Do the words epic novel leave you trembling in fear? When I sit down to write it’s very difficult to decide what kind of format to write.  I always thought that I had a novel inside me – epic or not.  Continue reading