The View from my Writing Desk…

 

 

 

Although we live in a town, it isn’t an inner-city town. Tucked behind the South Downs in Hampshire, we are just 19 miles from the sea.

An ordinary town really, rows of streets spreading out from the town centre with all manner of shops and businesses. The local council keep it tidy and provide us with well-kept trees, bushes and green areas.

Sometimes, if you know where to look, you can find something special here, something that doesn’t quite belong. Hidden among the sprawling streets, small treasures can be found. Little rivers emerge unexpectedly, creating a magical atmosphere. ( I have recently found another such treasure. Post to follow…)

We have such an oddity in our back garden.

We all have trees and bushes in our gardens, but we have a giant gum tree. Far taller than our house, it dwarfs every tree for miles around.

It seems so much supple than other trees and maybe this has something to do with it being a gum tree. The leaves smell faintly of eucalyptus and it has such a graceful way of moving with the wind.

I watch this tree most mornings as I wait for my brain to warm up, but this morning we had the aftermath of Storm Eric.  The wind was fierce, so the view from my window was dramatic. Strong gusts tried to break the tree, viciously pushing and shoving until I thought one would give way. But the branches were so supple they simply danced away, ducking and weaving like a Whirling Dervish until the wind abated.

We could learn a lot from trees. Most of them have been here longer than we have and will remain long after we have gone. They survive, I think because they simply do what they were born to do and they do it well. They take what comes in their stride (so to speak) patiently waiting for the seasons to change or the wind to stop blowing.

A lesson for us all there, I think…

#Throwback Thursday~#Out of Time… with poem by Anita #MysteryThriller

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Out of Time

Kate’s life, her mind, is out of time

A savage wind took all

But the brush from her hand.

Her thoughts crash like a wild storm.

She no longer has the will to speak

One last blow to strike

A fake wedding planned by Detective Snow

To trap the beast that waits without.

Will Jack be snared or run again?

The snowman, as Kate calls him,

Will stay with her until the end…

©Anita Dawes

Excerpt from Out of Time…

Kate sat at the table in the Vestry with her head in her hands. She couldn’t believe Jack had found her again, in spite of all the Snowman’s security. She kept seeing the ivory roses, blood dripping from the petals, laid on the altar like an offering. Only Jack could have thought of something that macabre.

The blood reminded her of what had happened to her beloved Dylan, her silver tabby. Jack had ripped him apart in her kitchen, strewing blood and fur all over the floor for her to find. At least this time, she wouldn’t have to clean up the mess.

Why had Michael gone outside?

She knew he was having trouble coming to terms with the fact that their relationship was over. After all this time it must have been a bitter pill to swallow. But going against David Snow’s specific orders was foolish and irresponsible. Maybe his depression had grown bad enough to warrant taking such a risk. Or had he wanted to die?

The voice disapproved. ‘I did ask you to try and be kind to him, Kate. Even though you couldn’t love him, you, of all people, should have treated him better than that…’

It was true; she could remember feeling that bad. Jack had that effect on most people. Just knowing he was out there somewhere had made her suicidal in the past, and the feeling wasn’t too far away at the moment.

The Snowman should have let her see Michael, her imagination couldn’t be worse than the real thing. Right then, it didn’t seem real, and she kept expecting to see him come through the door at any minute. She wished with all her heart that she had run away the first time she suspected Jack was back on the scene. Michael’s sudden reappearance had reawakened all her old desires and dreams, rendering her incapable of thinking straight.

Fate was too cruel. Why had it conspired to bring Jack back into her life at that particular time? If he hadn’t arrived when he did, her brother would not have died and the chain of destruction would have broken.

She wanted to run away but suspected there was no point. Jack would find her wherever she went. The knowledge sunk in that none of them were safe anymore, if they ever were. What would it take to be rid of Jack for good?

Kate heard the door open but realised the noise had come from the wrong side of the room. As she raised her head to investigate, a damp, sweet-smelling cloth covered her face. She struggled against it, but he was too strong.

The room went dark and then faded away…

 

He’s still there… #Poetry

 

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

He’s still there…

I found him, way up above the stars

Was I dreaming when he spoke to me?

You have searched long and hard

To find the old wizard on your earthly plain

Now you see me in my true form

I come to you in dreaming

For one day you will work with me again

As it was meant to be

I will leave a ring for your small finger

Turn the stone once widdershins

I will be at your side

Your search was never in vain…

©anitadawes 2020

 

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#Keepitalive #Whatdoyousee #Poetry

What do you see # 23 – 30th March, 2020

 

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Another very topical prompt from Sadje this week…

 

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Photo credit: Leah Kelly on Pexels 

( For visually challenged reader, the picture shows a girl holding a book which is hiding her face. The title of the book is not clear.)

 

Run Free

You can run but you can’t hide

There are only a certain amount of words

Sooner or later, you will reach the end

How many books can you read?

Before you want to shred the pages

Open the window, let the pieces

Be caught by the wind

Watch them fly free

Counting down the days

Until you catch them, like a lost balloon

Free from the four walls

that held you in lockdown…

©anitadawes 2020

5* Review for Life’s Rich Tapestry ~ Woven in Words by Sally Cronin #shortstories @sgc58

Sally’s book would be perfect for everyone in lockdown, as every story and illustration will make you glad to be alive!

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Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, micro fiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word micro fiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of a generous and inspiring blogging community, where writing challenges encourage us to explore new styles and genres.

 

Our Thoughts

There is such wonderful variety in Life’s Rich Tapestry by Sally Cronin.

A really lovely collection of poems and short stories, all delightfully illustrated.

Always a fan of Sally’s storytelling, I really enjoyed reading this book.

Originally bought as an eBook, I will be purchasing a paperback copy for my bookshelf, so it will always be there to read again (and again!)

 

#FlashFiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch Literary Community…

March 26: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

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99 words, no more, no less. It’s a simple constraint, an easy-to-master literary art form, and a powerful writing tool for creatives and entrepreneurs. Writers calibrate the usefulness and beauty of 99-words through weekly flash fiction challenges.

March 26, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story in which a character takes charge. Who is this character, and what situation calls for their action? It can be playful or serious, fantastical, or realistic. Go where the prompt leads…

Trapped Time

Time trapped in a rain drop.

The watchmaker said it was beyond price.

More precious than silver, gold, diamonds?

It has been here from the beginning

His wish was to take charge of it.

He did all he could, his experiments

to outsiders looked daft, a waste of time

The watchmaker replied, time trapped there

In one drop could unleash a mind full of magic

Unknown to this world.

Imagine who bathed in it, what could they tell?

Water has a memory

I need to find out how to unlock it

Find the wisdom that hides inside…

©anitadawes 2020

To be warm again… #Poetry

 

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Image from Pixabay.com

 

To be warm again…

A lone traveller with companion comes

Beneath sunsets blaze

Stories he must tell for food and shelter

Will curl your toes

Churchyard graves where death never sleeps

Church bells ring, candles lit

Cannot keep these souls at bay

They seek the warmth of living things

This storyteller moved on fast

Not wishing to stay where

Sun’s warmth never touches skin

His story be true or no

The cold he felt moved him on

Their stone white faces in memory stayed

As he ventured to pastures new

Where more stories await their telling…

©anitadawes 2020

#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Scarlet Ribbon by Anita Dawes #SupernaturalRomance

 

When a dirty blue car mows Maggie down outside her local supermarket, she becomes trapped in the nightmare world of a coma patient.
In this very different world, she manages to rescue an abused and neglected child. But when it looks as though she will finally wake up, she cannot bear the thought of leaving the child behind.
But is this other world real, or was she just dreaming? And if it is real, can she help this child?

“Maggie is a likeable character who is easy to engage with and I found myself willing her to find the courage to embrace happiness. If you like a story that is more than just your average romance then I thoroughly recommend this one…” Amazon Reviewer

“Excellent reading, excellent writing with several unexpected twists that lead to…well, that is for others to find out too. A heart wrenching and gripping story. Well done, Anita Dawes!” Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt from The Scarlet Ribbon

“As I lay on the cold, ceramic tiled floor, I remember thinking, I’ve seen this film. The heroine wakes up in a clean hospital bed, her make-up hardly smudged and hair still neatly in place. There will be a handsome hero by the bedside, holding her hand and gazing adoringly into her eyes.

But it wasn’t a film star lying on that shop floor, it was me, and my Jack was holding me, his hands shaking, telling me that everything was going to be all right. I couldn’t tell him that I’d seen the film and knew they lived happily ever after, because just then someone turned out all the lights, leaving me in total darkness. Everything vanished, the blinding strips of fluorescent lighting, the chilly, rain spattered floor-tiles, and mercifully, all the pain.

The faces that had been looking down at me had gone, but I could still hear Jack’s voice, a long way off, saying my name over and over again.

Someone else was talking now. A man was telling Jack that it was all right, ‘We’ll take care of her now, mate. Stand back and let us do our job.’

I felt my body being lifted and the pain returned in a blinding rush, tearing its way through my body. I screamed, and the darkness dragged me away, where there were no thoughts or memories, just a warm feeling of peace. In the darkness, time ceased to exist and I was in no hurry to find a way out, back to the pain.”

 

 

 

 

 

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