Writing Challenge… Yes you!

“I challenge you to write using only action.” This is the challenge I set for myself and for you today. That means you cannot say how a character feels or thinks, or what they say, but only what can be seen. Here is my attemp. It is difficult to do! Feel free to pull it to pieces!

GOING SOMEWHERE?

She pulls at the leather strap of her high heel, fastening the buckle. She unfolds her body and stands unsteadily for a moment. Smoothing her skirt her jaw tenses and her hands grab at the loose material around her thighs. She puffs out her chest and moves toward the full length mirror.

There she stands, eyes downcast. Her eyelids flicker open as she scans the reflection. The crease in her brow softens, her left cheek twitches in a half smile. Her clenched hands now relax, hanging loosely at her sides.

She takes a step closer to the mirror. She runs her fingers lightly over her face, over and under her eyes, slightly smudging the lines of dark makeup. Her eyes crinkle, her teeth peek out from her lips. 

Closing her eyes she ruffles the front of her hair, letting the strands fall between her fingers.

Turning abruptly from the mirror, she straightens her shoulders and struts from the room.

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Reading, pingbacks and sarcasm

So the latest Blogging 101 assignment was to write a post about a post that you have recently commented on.
I commented on two posts about very similar things. They were about writing for your dream reader and how the reader they really want to write for is themselves.
Check out

https://brittabottle.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/dear-blogging-101-the-i-dont-have-a-dream-reader-love-britta/

https://sophiethomasblogs.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/a-message-to-you/

 

I am still unsure of how to do ping backs, so still learning and I hope you can see their posts from here.

 

I agreed with both of these lovely ladies.  I primarily write for myself.  If others read it that’s great, and I cannot hide the excitement I feel when I get a comment or a like on my page, knowing that someone has read what I have written.  But like I said to one, I also write to better understand myself.  Some days I do.  I mean some days I understand myself better.  Other days I share a part of myself that I wasn’t there before I sat down to write.  A simple spilling of my mind to discover another aspect of who I am.  So my initial sarcastic post about my dream reader, at least the introduction of it, seems childish now.  By the way, sarcasm is very difficult to write.  Do you agree?

After re-reading my dream blogger post I thought I probably sound conceited.  I did not mean to.  Similarly I wrote on my about page that I like long walks on the beach.  I do, but I was being cliche and sarcastic.  I realised that this may not be recognised as such when it was commented on in an honest way.

 

So Yes thank you Sophie and Brittabottle?  for inspiring me to write this post.  Keep writing, reading, inspiring and laughing. (no sarcastic intention present there).

Sarah

 

 

 

new skin

New Skin

I like my skin. I like who I am. But given the chance to be another version of myself, in another time or place…

A younger version of myself stands at the open fridge, looking past the olives that nobody remembers buying (in fact the rumour is that they were there before any of us moved in), looking for the block of chocolate I’m sure I hid from view. Living in a share house has its advantages. Privacy and ownership of foods are not them. Freedom to come and go. Freedom to think and nurture those thoughts. They are high on the list.
I shrug and close the fridge, settling for a glass of tap water and some dry biscuits care of someone else. I secretly hope it was the person that took my chocolate. It is ten am and time to head off to uni. I have two lectures today and a tutorial. I’m looking forward to them. The festival is on and the streets are alive. I am alive. Last night I saw two shows and talked crap for hours with a few of the cast members that came to couch surf at our place. I precariously walk over them as I head out the door.
My screenwriting course is first up and I can’t wait to start. I had some brilliant ideas last night during my conversations. Of course as I look at my scrawled writing, it occurs to me that the ideas might have been drunken dreams.
I sit enthralled in the lecture about character. Fleshing our backstories and listening to their voices beyond the text. I am so inspired I spend the hour between lectures at the cafe writing manically so my ideas don’t leak out and are forgotten before I can solidify them.
My performance lecture, followed by a practical tutorial is physically and emotionally draining. There are moments that I am locked in the scene and I forget that I exist. Those are the moments I love the most. The moments I am truly someone else.
I join some friends for a drink. The pub has a beer garden and there are some music students playing some tunes. I flip off my shoes and feel the soft grass on my feet and the sun on my face as I drink the one beer I can afford. I relax into casual conversation and laugh lots. This is where I want to be. This is who I am.

Far away in another land a nearly forty year old woman writes after a family day with her husband and three children. This is where I want to be. This is who I am. But maybe for a day, a week, a month…..

Asking the obvious…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Key Takeaway.”

You would think after a year of blogging I might know a few things… I know nothing. I write, that is all. I have very few followers and very few readers. I’m okay with that, but I would like to know a bit more. I learn by playing around with things, but if you have any ideas of where I can find information that might help me establish a better looking blog, one with organised pages, images, etc please feel free to send me there.
Is it confusing for followers if your writing is as random and disorganised as mine? Or do you tend to only read judging by titles and images?

Can’t wait to get there…

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All Grown Up.”

Behind the solid wooden door she could hear the laughter of her parents, their friends, the clinking of glasses as they accidentally knocked each other on the small round card table. She had vowed to stay awake, although with her eyes feeling heavy, she could hardly remember why.
They had been shuffled down to this end of the house much earlier in the night. She had tucked her little brother into bed, read him a story (or rather told him a story as she was tired of reading the same books), and pretended to sleep. When she was sure her brother and sister were sleeping, she had clutched her blanket around her and snuck into her parents bedroom. The wall of their room was shared with the living area, the area that was so full of life right now. The area that was full of the mysteries of being all grown up.

That was something she had dreamt of being. A grown up. At only eleven she was tall for her age. Often mistaken for fifteen. She was proud to be seen, and sometimes not seen as she turned invisible during adult conversations. She was trusted with grown up duties. She felt superior among her siblings.
As she sat there with her ear pressed up against the wall, she could not wait to be just like her parents. She could not wait to be “All Grown up”.

On the other side of the wall her parents made eye contact as the last drop was squeezed from the last bottle. Through the laughter, they silently shared a look. A look that hung for a moment.
This would be the last drink that they could afford for the month. The bills were due, their youngest needed shoes, the car was in a desperate need of new tyres and a service. She would take extra shifts, two more nights. He would work longer hours. They would get past this. It was only temporary. Things would improve.
He shuffled the cards while she let out a hearty laugh at something her friend had said.

Her eyes got heavier as she pulled her blanket closer and dreamt of being older…

Hindsight

I looked at my first post and decided it was not worth rewriting. I may reconsider this in hindsight…

Hindsight…
What an appropriate prompt to begin with.
To see how things could have been different if only…
If only…
If only…
I suppose it really only leaves the ugliness of regret. Not a word I like, but a feeling I have felt all too often this past year.

One such instance.

She spoke in riddles that could only be deciphered in her own head. She spoke in judgemental inflections that led me to believe she was weighing the content of my words and actions with precision.
In hindsight, I should have…
Many “should haves” have run through my mind. Sworn, shouted, told her to stay out of my life…
In the end I did what was right. I think. I let things slide. A allowed her to believe that she had won, whilst inside I was seething, fighting the desire to explode. In the end, she continues to live in ignorance and I have kept the peace, but in hindsight…
She won. She won, because I allowed her to get to me. I allowed her judgment to affect my own sense of worth.

I think it was the double standards that have annoyed me the most.
Male versus female.
We live in a society, I would like to believe, where equality can exist in a marriage, and certainly in my own. However…
Comments speckled otherwise normal conversation, just enough for my hackles to raise, but not enough that I couldn’t contain myself.
I do not like to be told what I “have to do” or “should do” because I am a wife.
Or how “lucky” I am.
Or how “these are the best days of your life” and I “should” enjoy them.
It may sound petty, but the fact is the iceberg runs deep and cold.
After a year of slight put downs and negative comments dressed up as make believe compliments I wanted to strangle some one.
In hindsight, it was best I didn’t
In hindsight, I realise I’m not the one with the problem.
In hindsight, my decision of inaction was the best decision.
Hindsight doesn’t change desire …

the daily post – Weekly writing Challenge- My funny Valentines? – not so funny

Valentines day

The sun beat down on me opening every pore to possibility. I smiled. Even through the cloud of dread I could feel myself anticipate the sweetness of tomorrow. I stood another moment at the door.

The day had been fairly typical. Uni, public transport, inane chatter with students in my class I often try to avoid eye contact with. Today I looked at them. Today we discussed theatre and politics. Not very well, but we were young. I arrived at the beach front just before five. The crystal blue tempting me, I swam and floated. I tilted my head in mild flirtation at the boys that called me over, praising the shape of my behind, but I kept moving, I had a job to do.

I had made the decision a while ago, but today I was going to execute it. He would help me do it.

I stood at the front door, hand poised to knock. I could hear the TV choking out a repeat of the Simpsons. Like a lolloping puppy he answered the door wearing boxer shorts and a telling grin.

When a girl says she doesn’t want anything for Valentine’s day, don’t believe her. If she says it’s just a contrite holiday created to make money, don’t believe her. Every girl wants to be appreciated. More than that, every girl wants to tell her girlfriends how much she is appreciated.

I’m not sure what I expected. In hindsight I am glad it wasn’t much.

I entered the darkened room, TV on, chip packets scattered haphazardly on the floor next to a used ashtray. I thought he had given up again. He was excited to see me. Probably the only real person he had spoken to all day. The spark of the afternoon drained out of me. The bounce in my step sank. We shared niceties, what we did today etc. He had written a song, or part of one and it was going to be just brilliant as soon as he learnt to play the guitar.

Two and a half years ago I was caught up in his enthusiasm. I believed his dreams. I still believe he has them, but whether he will ever try to reach them is questionable.

I said it first, “Happy Valentines day”.
“Oh yeah, you too”, and from somewhere he produced a bunch of sorry flowers that looked like they had come from the servo.

“We need to talk”, my words hung in the air like his smoke.
I went on, finding courage in his silence. I told him I couldn’t keep doing this, that I had to go. He was lost, confused, totally unaware of what had hit him.
“Today? Valentines day?”

Leaving through the front door I could see the last whispers of the day. I breathed in the morsels of tomorrow, knowing that love should be celebrated, not kept in a smoky darkened room. Truth was the gift I gave myself and the one I gave him, and it didn’t cost me a cent.