#Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

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June 13: Flash Fiction Challenge

June 13, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the work of many hands. Is it a cooperative effort or something else? Go where the prompt leads!

Respond by June 18, 2019. Use the comment section below to share, read, and be social. You may leave a link, pingback, or story in the comments.

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Hands can be gentle, kind, violent, creative

I remember my grandfather’s large hands

Callused from wood cutting

Strong, they made me feel safe

Nothing in this world, or the next

I often thought, could ever get past them

Whereas my grandmothers were small and gentle

Featherlight, often times I could hardly feel her touch

There have been a few hands in my life

I would rather not touch again

The wet, spongy kind.

Then we have the great ones,

Mozart at his piano, surgeons saving lives

Some insured for millions like Liberace

Tiny new-born ones are best of all…

AAAAA

Time to Think Again!

 

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A new week starts, a time when my enthusiasm usually renews itself, but there is a noticeable lack of ‘get up and go’. It was more like, ‘get your arse moving and see what you can muddle through this week!’

Last month’s USB failure, resulting in the loss of three weeks work, has left a sour taste in my soul, leading me to wonder if I should even be doing any of this promotional stuff. I have ended up juggling so many balls; I am in danger of losing sight of the original dream, consumed as I am with the need to find that one magic ingredient that will make it all worthwhile.

It is always possible that I am not destined for greatness, and I am happy to realise that. Relieved, actually, but that will not stop me from trying my best, and improving my work. (At the time of writing, I plan to re-edit my books and update the covers, blurbs and keywords. I have been having a long hard look and not entirely happy with what I see!)

Little by little, I think I am beginning to lose my edge, the ability to juggle everything and still keep my balance. I seem to recall that this has happened to me before, a long time ago. I was in a relationship, and as long as I obeyed the rules and performed as instructed, I was grudgingly allowed to breathe.

Of course, the day eventually came when I needed more than that when I was tired of the constant struggle to be the person that was required. This wasn’t the first time I escaped from tyranny and it wouldn’t be my last, but eventually, I found a better way to live.

My present struggle is beginning to feel the same, and the need to escape is growing again. This presents a problem, for I don’t want to run away from most of it. I have to find a compromise, a way to keep our options open and the dream alive. I have to stop trying everything and anything, looking for the golden goose, who, for all I know, gave up laying eggs a long time ago…

#The Sunday Whirl ~ #Wordle 407

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Is it possible to be born without a soul?

To walk through life backwards

Vulnerable to the talk of careless lips

Whispers like a constant mantra

She will amount to nothing

To struggle with the stories told about her family

Bad seeds, the lot of them.

Life had been messy

Fuelled by the downward thoughts of others

With no exit in sight

Lisa’s life spiralled deeper into the mire

The road ahead paved with dark shadows

Whispering, this way.

Lisa’s damaged mind had no positive thought to lean on

No shoulder to lay her tears

No one to help her find new courage

A dark blue pebble picked from the kerb

Kicked a memory back to mind

Of old magic, healing waters at Glastonbury

Her mother had spoken of before leaving her alone

Lisa returned home with the pebble in her pocket

A seed, hope like a flower growing in her mind…

AAAAA

Words We Carry by D G Kaye For: Streets Ahead Book Promotion Club

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“I have been a great critic of myself for most of my life, and I was darned good at it, deflating my own ego without the help of anyone else.”

What do our shopping habits, high-heeled shoes, and big hair have to do with how we perceive ourselves? Do the slights we endured when we were young affect how we choose our relationships now?
D.G. takes us on a journey, unlocking the hurts of the past by identifying situations that hindered her own self-esteem. Her anecdotes and confessions demonstrate how the hurtful events in our lives linger and set the tone for how we value our own self-worth.
Words We Carry is a raw, personal accounting of how the author overcame the demons of low self-esteem with the determination to learn to love herself.

About the Author

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D.G. Kaye is a Canadian nonfiction/memoir author. She was born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart and women’s issues. At a young age, D.G. began keeping journals to take notes about her turbulent childhood while growing up as an emotionally neglected child. Tormented with guilt, as she grew older, D.G. was conflicted with the question of whether or not she was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, in debt to her narcissistic mother for giving birth to her. Her first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about her journey to seek solace from living with guilt. D.G.’s writing relates to her experiences in life, and shares her lessons and ideas she acquired along the way. Kaye’s second book, Meno-What? A Memoir, was written based on her passage through menopause. In that book, she shares her humor and wisdom on what women can expect at that time, adding some of her helpful hints for relief. D.G.’s newest book, Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues. She talks about how and why the issues evolve, how she recognized her own, and how she overcame her insecurities. Kaye writes for the woman of all ages. Her writing is easily relatable and her insights about the complexities of being a woman are expressed in her writing. Quotes: “Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!” “For every kindness, there should be kindness in return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

 

S. G. Cronin

This book was gifted me by the author without expectation of review or recompense. The views are my own.

Words We Carry is packed with the accumulated knowledge, wisdom, survival tips and strategies from someone who went through difficult and unhappy childhood and teen years.

I think it is fair to say that most of us are less than confident about our body shape, and that is particularly tough when you can no longer use the excuse of puppy fat, and your friends are heading out in slinky black dresses and high-heeled shoes.

Unfortunately, not all mothers are born with the nurturing gene and as soon as you become competition, there is an opportunity to reinforce your lack of self-esteem with carefully chosen and cutting words. I would like to think that the experiences that D.G. Kaye describes were rare, but I am afraid that after counselling women on their health and weight for twenty years, the story is very familiar.

Those harmful words from those who are supposed to love us, are the ones we carry throughout our lifetime, unless we can find a way to dilute their power and replace them with affirmations of a much more positive nature.

D.G. Kaye describes her strategies to claim her own identity, build her self-esteem and evolve from the ugly duckling that she had been made to feel she was, into a swan. This involved a makeover in a number of departments, including wearing high heels at all times and over every terrain, and standing out from the crowd with her now signature titian hair colour. She also developed a healthy, outgoing personality and independence that led her to discover groups of people who accepted and embraced her as a friend.

In the second section of the book Kaye looks at the impact this early negative conditioning had on her relationships, including romances with older men whose different approach to dating and expectations provided a more secure environment. Unfortunately, having entered one serious and long-term relationship, echoes of the verbal abuse that she received as a child and teenager, threatened to undo all the hard work that she had accomplished. Thankfully she went on to find happiness and empowerment with someone who appreciates all that she has become.

Kaye looks at issues such as the difference between Alone vs. Lonely, Negativity and Self-Worth, Forming Healthier Relationships, and importantly Exposing our Personality Through the Internet. All the chapters provide commonsense strategies to overcome a lack of self-confidence, and I do think that women and men in their 50s and 60s, will definitely be able to draw parallels to Kaye’s own experiences.

Whilst I recommend this memoir/self-help book to men and women of my age, I also think that it should be read by all mothers whose daughters are heading into their teens and beyond. It might just remind them of how fragile their child is when about to face the outside world, and that there are enough external challenges to be overcome, without encountering them in the place they should feel safe.

It is also a book for young women who are struggling with weight issues and those who feel that they are not as attractive as their friends, or who feel that they are somehow going through something never experienced before.

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. By reading this they might take strength in knowing that this is an age oldproblem, and that they can change the narrative and write their own story.

 

My First Moment of Madness…

Doing my best to install my new computer with the least amount of hair pulling, I found myself remembering the first time I challenged my brain cells. The post that follows, is five years old and signifies how far I have come since then…

I did something stupid today. In fact it began a few weeks ago, when the tiny germ of an idea slipped into my mind and wouldn’t go away.
It was something someone said about how they wrote and blogged from the comfort of their bed. Often too ill or uncomfortable to get up, but still wanting to do what they love most, which is writing. I have this mental picture of this person, snug and comfy in her pyjamas, ensconced in bed with her trusty laptop, and the idea just took root in my head and began to grow.
Not that I want to write in bed, but with my ever increasing workload, I have to make even more time available to me. Who knew the writing and self publishing world would create this much work, I certainly didn’t in the beginning.

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For a long time now I seem to spend most of my evenings with puzzles and Sudoku while the family watch television. I love most of the programmes and it is good to relax at the end of the day, but find it increasingly hard to see them properly as my distance glasses make me so very giddy and ill I cannot wear them. Consequently I find myself just listening and limit my eyesight to things I can do on my lap as my reading glasses are fine.
I have discovered that I cannot read while the television is on, but can manage other things, like writing notes. You can see where I am going with this, can’t you?
The thought of having a laptop has interested me ever since the family members bought theirs, but always dismissed the idea as pretty stupid as I am basically a technophobe. You know, someone who hates technology with a passion, usually because we are hopelessly unable to grasp the basics, let alone all the clever stuff.
I have struggled to learn how to use a computer, my mind obviously not properly equipped with the necessary bits to understand or implement the information that I do eventually manage to discover.
This is where it has paid dividends to be one of the most stubborn people on the planet. Something I am more than proud of, as because of this, I have achieved much more than I think I would otherwise have done.
Computers are brilliant but confusing, time saving but frustrating, and I am more than sure they lead to insanity, at least in my case.
But… I have mastered my computer, how hard could a laptop be?

I saw one I like the look of, a combined laptop with a tablet which made it very versatile. Just what I needed to make better use of my evenings.
It arrived yesterday. As I unpacked it, the shiny red alien exterior gleamed in front of me. I looked at it and thought, ‘Now what do I do?’
The instructions were sketchy to put it mildly, apparently all the information is on the machine and you learn as you go. (That’s if you get as far as switching it on) I was instantly terrified. What on earth had I done?
I ignored it for over an hour and went about my business, but found myself sneaking looks and wondering if I could possibly…
To cut a long story short, I did finally pluck up the courage to turn it on, and for several hours I blundered about, pressing this and swiping that, until I had a rough idea of what to do. What made it worse for me I think was that it came with Windows 8, where I am used to Windows 7, but having said that, it is a marvellous piece of equipment and I should be able to accomplish a load more work with it.
Once I have ironed out all the wrinkles, both its and mine of course!

See you soon,

Jaye

Jaye’s Journal – Week 22

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After much searching, comparing and pulling my hair out, I finally found a PC that has everything I wanted at a price I could almost afford. I have this problem with shopping online, as I never seem to end up liking what I buy. Never been any good choosing anything and always get it wrong.

It arrived yesterday, and my old friend nagging doubt turned up with it.

Much smaller than I thought it would be, although I believe this is the new trend, and still managed to look pretty scary. Immediately, I found a possible problem. The activation label clearly said Windows 7, even though I thought I ordered Windows 10.

So, I might have done it again and chosen the wrong one.

Because of the Bank Holiday, I had to wait until Tuesday to telephone the company, for there was no way I would start switching over until they reassure me.

Switching over PCs is not something I enjoy or am any good at, as my tech skills are dismal at best, so at this stage I was still asking myself why I had actually volunteered to do this.

One of the reviews stated enthusiastically that all I had to do is take it out of the box, plug in all the cables and then switch it on.

That I just cannot believe.

The way things are going though, I may never get that far to find out.

 

While I waited, it was business as usual on my old less than faithful pc, despite the frequent crashing, freezing and crazy spelling games it plays. But it gave me a nasty moment this morning.

I switched it on, and instead of my pretty screensaver, the screen was plain blue. There was no icons and no wifi. I feared the worst. Had it beaten me to the punch?

That would be ironic, wouldn’t it?

A brand new PC that I don’t want to install and my old one commits Hara Kiri on me!

After a reboot, everything was fine again, at least for the moment…

Moving swiftly on to the designated torture day…

I had been dreading this day for so long, and was one of the reasons I delayed doing anything about it. I heard so many bad reports about Windows 10, and was more than happy with my old faithful Windows 7, but as they say, all good things have to come to an end.

The new computer came with it already installed, so I had no choice but to hunt for my thinking cap, put it on and see what, if anything I could do with it. There was quite a long wait for the new pc to load or whatever it had to do. They said it would take time, but wasn’t expecting three hours of thumb twiddling!

What followed was one of the worst moments of my life. I stared at the alien screen, trying not to feel as sick as a parrot by the sheer enormity of what I had done. (and still had to do!) And what was rapidly turning into what I might not be able to do.

I retired wounded for the day, not having mastered any of it.

I have a book, aptly called Windows 10 for Seniors, so I spent the evening going further into the depths of insanity, reading anything that sounded helpful. But in reality, none of made any sense to me.

The following day, inspired by my refusal to quit, I switched the offending machine back on and played around, pressing everything in sight and seeing what happened. I found help screens that weren’t very, then tried to connect using my Microsoft account password.

You don’t want to know how long that took.

One day on, and I have surprised myself. Things are magically beginning to work!

There have been a pile of things I had to fix, one of them involved the speakers, which for some reason didn’t want to work. The sound, when I found  out how to turn it on, came out of the tower thingy and sounded as though there was an idiot trapped in there.

Basically, and this really hurts to admit, I think I like my new computer and can foresee a bright future. A very poor future, for along with the cost of the thing, I had to cough up for a brand new Microsoft Word too…

Off to start uploading thousands of my images and files, so not going anywhere this weekend.

I hope everyone else has a good one though…

AAA (2)

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Spoken… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

 

Spoken

Chinese whispers

From forked tongues are born

They fly like poison darts

Leaving damage in their wake

Lives destroyed, reputations shattered

Families broken,

Sticks and stones would hurt far less

Than whispered words, hardly spoken

I know these darts I feel their poison

My back a road map

To whispered words hardly spoken…

AAAAA

Space Between… #Poetry

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SPACE BETWEEN

Would you give your life to save me

From the space between the space?

A place where worlds bounce us from place to place.

Punishment for sins long forgotten

Crimes they say we have committed

The guardians do not listen to our pleas

No innocent is ever sent here, they say

They wait for you to be beguiled

By the beauty in some of these worlds

I have passed through ugly worlds

Where people suffer unimaginable torment

Too hideous to be written here

So far, my time here has been uneventful

I hear snatches of conversation

Some hunger for food that never comes

Others try to kill each other

My innocence falls on deaf ears

If I am snatched from one of these worlds

I will be lost forever, with no hope

Of being sent back to my own world

I heard someone say that one day

An innocent will come to rescue those trapped here

Is one enough to explode these worlds apart?

Is there an innocent to come looking for me

One who would be brave enough to step into Purgatory?

©Anita Dawes

#FlashFiction 99 word Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community #Poetry

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May 16, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that goes in search of trees. It can be one particular tree, a grove, woods, or forest. What makes the tree worth seeking? Go where the prompt leads!

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I don’t have to go too far to find a great tree.

It is in my garden, my beautiful gum tree.

Tall and magnificent, a small amount of wind

sets it swaying like a row of flamenco dancers

I can almost hear the roots tapping away

in time with the rhythm above.

Soothing and calming my mind.

I sit there often unburdening the misery

I have accrued over the last few days.

I know it listens, never judging.

The soft sway of its leaves above my head,

A blessing, a benediction.

Gentle giants, they are the air we breathe…

AAAAA