Archive for the 'Writing' Category

Week of KitKats: Tuesday – Unknown

Posted by on Jul 01 2008 | General Ramblings, Writing

Today’s featured KitKat is the second of the mini KitKats from La Fuji Mama.

This had me totally stumped. There’s a golden coloured powder on the wrapper – Cinnamon? Ginger?

Again, looking inside didn’t help.

The Taste Test: Hmmm. Tastes like KitKat. In the interests of research and accurate reporting I ate both, but it didn’t help. I just couldn’t figure out the flavor. They were tasty though. Malt perhaps? Could be.

Verdict: 7/10. Tasty, very nice indeed, but I was unable to establish what differentiated this from a regular KitKat. Maybe it was one.

3 comments for now

Flickr Fiction: The Beach

Posted by on Jul 02 2007 | Writing

Yesterday started out the same as every other day. I got up, made a pot of coffee, and settled down with my laptop to catch up on the news and emails, munching on a piece of toast with marmite. I don’t start work until 11, so mornings are when I get to relax.

As I closed my laptop Max appeared, right on queue, lead in his mouth, wagging his tail so hard his whole body wiggled from side to side. Max is my labrador, the one good thing to come out of my relationship with John. Max was John’s puppy, but John’s new girlfriend hated dogs, so when John left me he left Max too. Five years ago that was, and it couldn’t have worked out better.

We walk by the beach every morning. Rain or shine, summer or winter, Max and I are there, same time every day. If the tide’s in we’re up on the greensward, Max sniffing out rabbits while I greet my fellow walkers, dishing out dog treats to Max’s friends, and comments about the weather to the owners. Max likes it best when the tide’s out, and I do too. He gets to charge about on the sand, in and out of the water, chasing seagulls. I get to stroll along slowly, watching worm casts appear in the wet sand, turning over rocks in the rock pools, feeling the sea breeze on my face.

The tide was heading out yesterday morning, still just covering the rocks that mark the edge of the beach before the sand begins. Max ran straight down to the beach, barking, which isn’t like him, so I hurried to catch up, worried that something was wrong. And, well, it wasn’t wrong, per se, just, well, odd. Down on the beach, left by the tide, was a huge ball of ice. Just sitting there.

Max was right up next to it, barking at it, unsure of what to do. I ruffled his neck and told him it was ok and, reassured, he ran off to chase a seagull that had ventured close. The ice ball was big, almost as big as me, and perfectly spherical. I placed my palm flat on it, and it was cold and wet to the touch, which wasn’t really surprising. I looked around, but there was nobody else on the beach, and no signs of anything out to sea that might explain it. As I looked back into the sphere I caught the reflection of two people, but when I turned they were gone.

A shiver went down my spine, but I couldn’t help but look back into the ice. The figures were close now, I could see them walking hand in hand along the beach. A couple it was, with a black lab almost identical to Max, and a golden retriever too. She had dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, pretty much like mine, and was wearing shorts and wellies with a black rain jacket. I looked down at what I was wearing, and a sharp chill ran through my body. The man had tousled blonde hair, and was also wearing the beach-in-autumn outfit of shorts, wellies and a rainjacket. That was too much for me. It was too strange and I needed to get to work, so I called Max and headed for home.

We were back on the beach later for our evening walk, but the ice-sphere was gone, carried away by the sea or melted by the salt. Neither the old couple with two spaniels nor the widower with the retired greyhound knew anything about it, and looked at me a little strangely when I asked, so I let it go and didn’t mention it to any of the other evening walkers. Funny thing though. There was a new guy walking on the beach in the evening. Blonde, tousled hair. Golden retriever.

I’m looking forward to this morning’s walk.

Inspired by Beach Treasure taken by Seaside Shooter from Flickr.

Written for Flickr Fiction, now renamed Ficktion and living over here where you can read other pieces too.

It’s been about six months since I joined in, so it might take a while to get warmed up again – bear with me!

3 comments for now

Flickr Fiction: Escape from the ordinary

Posted by on Mar 24 2007 | Writing

There are two types of running: Running to, and running from.

I was running from.

The weight of mediocrity was chasing me, and no matter how fast, or how far I ran I could feel its heavy breath on the wind behind me, feel the weight of its footsteps on the ground. Everywhere I turned, everywhere I ran it was there, just behind, ready to catch and consume me.

It was there when I flew through the cornfield, eyes wide in terror like so many before. Is there an original way to run through a field of corn? If you’re running to it’s leisurely, relaxed, gleeful, sensual. If you’re running from it’s dark and grey and cold and hurried.

Sometimes I caught a glimpse of the exceptional, and as I darted towards it I was running to, not from. Others darted too though, and the run turned into a stampede, with normality and convention right at the heart.

I kept running, through many fields: Golden fields of wheat and green meadows with sprinklings of spring flowers. I fled through cities: Bright, tall, glass cities, and old, worn, battered ones, bustling with people but empty of soul. In all I was indifferent, pedestrian, middling, undistinguished.

Everywhere I ran, and in everything I did, mediocrity was right there behind me.

Eventually I slowed – you can’t run forever – and mediocrity caught me, permeated my existence and turned me into yet another cookie cutter person in this cookie cutter world.

I’m biding my time though. Building up my resources. Preparing. Waiting. Until the time is right. And then I’ll run again.

This short return to Flickr Fiction was inspired by This picture taken by tomdebiec from Flickr.

Written for Flickr Fiction Friday. Other Flickr Fictioneers who may have written about the same picture are: Donal,Elimare, Tadamack, Aquafortis, Chris, Valsha, Neil, and Mari.

Apologies to everyone for my absence from this for the last month or so.

7 comments for now

Flickr fiction

Posted by on Mar 02 2007 | General Ramblings, Writing

There’s not going to be any flickr fiction again this week.

While I like the pictures, and do want to write something based on some of them (which is partly why I haven’t read or commented on the pieces written by the rest of the group – Donal,Elimare, Tadamack, Aquafortis, Chris, Valsha, and Neil.), I just haven’t felt like focussing on one thing for very long this week. Last week I was lost in the lace knitting and a good book.

I probably won’t be writing anything based on this week’s picture, but I will tell you why I selected it (I don’t usually pick the pictures, but I did choose this one).

I was browsing through the “Last 7 Days Interesting” sets on Flickr, and found one that had fire in it, but didn’t grab me. The fire did though, to a perhaps slightly worrying extent, so I took myself off to the creative commons licensed section of Flickr, and had a bit of a browse for fire related shots, and this one was exactly what was in my head.

Mt Victoria Fire by Phobo from Flickr.

I really like the way the fire seems to be exploding out of the trees – it gives the impression that something has either landed from the sky or is flying up. It made me think of children setting off fireworks, of meteors zooming out of the sky and crashing into the trees, of the moment when a small fire gets out of control and takes over, of the beginning of destruction, or the beginning of life.

When I clicked on the picture to see it properly I read that it was taken on Mount Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand, and was a bonfire as part of a Guy Fawkes display. I lived in Wellington for almost a year, seven years ago, but I arrived in Wellington just after Nov 5th, and left just before, so didn’t see any displays.

Knowing the background to the picture made it both easier and harder to write about – on the one hand, I could put together a tale set in Wellington pretty accurately (ohhh, maybe there’d be an earthquake), on the other hand, it’d be harder (but not difficult, lets face it) to forget what I know about the setting.

Anyway, hopefully this weekend my inspiration will return, and I’ll start writing again. I think it’s hiding in a chocolate bar. I just need to find the right one.

2 comments for now


Posted by on Feb 20 2007 | Writing

Every bloody afternoon he’d be sat there, talking to the tree stump. It was just so embarrassing. I hated walking home from school through the park, just because of him. It’s not like I wanted to have anything to do with him, it wasn’t my fault that our mums were best friends. So, our families took holidays together. I didn’t have a choice in that. It didn’t stop everyone slagging me for it though. Tree hugger Terence, they called him. We’d walk past him, the group of us, and I knew it’d start.
“Hey Laura, there’s your boyfriend talking to the tree again. Why don’t you stay and join him? We don’t mind if you leave us”
I tried everything to get them to shut up – I ignored them, I got angry with them and stormed off, I laughed at Terence with them, but none of it made any difference.
Every day, we’d walk through the park. My stomach would knot and I’d get more and more tense as we got closer to the stump. If Terence hadn’t got there yet, or had been and gone I could relax. Otherwise it’d start up again. Most times he was there though. If the weather was ok enough for us to be walking home, it was ok enough for Terence to sit and talk to himself in front of the tree.

He didn’t used to be so lame. Terence, I mean. He was pretty cool for a while, and I was happy to be seen with him, and for people to think we were friends. Then his clothes just got a bit too odd, and he started liking shouty and moany music instead of the stuff that everyone else liked. And then he started talking to the tree.

I’d never admit it to my friends, but on holidays we still hung out. We’d always known each other, and he was like my brother, except a brother that didn’t get on my nerves at home, and didn’t try to blame me when he did something wrong. On holidays he was the same smart and funny Terence that he’d always been. He didn’t talk to plants on holidays.

I never mentioned the tree stuff to him when we were alone. I wanted to. I wanted to scream at him that he was making an idiot of himself and didn’t he care?, but something stopped me. I’d seen the look on his face when I’d joined in laughing at him with the others, and I didn’t want to see it again.

After a while he started bunking off school. I didn’t blame him, really. The slagging started up there as well, but really, he brought it on himself. He could have stopped it if he’d just started acting normal. Stopped talking to the tree stump. Instead he spent more and more time there. Mum started asking me questions about him at school – had I seen him that day, asking me to pass messages to his mum through him. I covered for him for a while – I bunked off too sometimes so I could pass on any messages without my friends seeing me.

Then one day I got home from school – it was pouring rain, so I’d got the bus – and his mum was there, sat at the kitchen table with my mum, both of them holding big mugs of tea steaming in the cold air.
“We need to have a chat with you Laura. About Terence.”

The school had rung. They knew he hadn’t been going. They knew about the tree. Terence had told his mum all about how the tree spoke to him, and how he felt comfortable talking to it.
“We’ve found a nice safe place for him to stay for a while. Somewhere he can get some help.”


This beginning was inspired by This picture taken by Right Index from Flickr.

Written for Flickr Fiction Friday. Other Flickr Fictioneers who may have written about the same picture are: Donal,Elimare, Tadamack, Aquafortis, Chris, Valsha, and Neil.

6 comments for now

Next »