#Blog Battle @RachaelRitchey

 

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This is it! Blog Battle’s Glorious Return

We’ve all heard how writing is a lonely business. Well, I think we’ve all heard it. And if not, now we have. But in the world of the internet, writing doesn’t have to be nearly so isolated a pursuit!

Blog Battle isn’t your typical writing prompt. At our core, we want to create relationships, build life-long writer friendships, and encourage each other to become better writers than we were yesterday.

Admittedly, this means a little extra work. BUT! It is worth it. People are worth it. The value we gain from connecting with other writers who are on the same journey we are cannot be measured by analytics or the next best thing in social media marketing.

That brings us here, to Blog Battle. When you take up the monthly prompt, write your short fiction, and then share it with us, you are entering into a community. Don’t think of this as a “post and pray someone reads my stuff” writing prompt. That is all well and good (Truly it is. We all want to be read.), but the idea is to go out and read your fellow writers, share their work, share each other’s work, comment, connect, make friends, encourage, help and learn something new along the way.

So, what d’ ya say? Ready to join the battle against the writing machine? Ready to become part of our legion of writers?

 

Here is our comtribution for this month!

 

Finding Light

When the earth covers the sun,

leaving us with old age magic

As thought so many years ago

Today, I see it as the earth claiming

her full crown rather than a tiara

The Corona, Earth’s full glory

A light so bright we dare not look without protection

Reminding me of the beautiful colours

that surround the pupils of our eyes

A corona of sorts.

Eyes have long fascinated me

Many and varied, some with the most exciting patterns

They say more than the sound of the voice

I listen to both.

My neighbour’s window, first thing in the morning

When the sun hits it, there is a corona of light

A perfect circle reflected on the old flint wall

opposite my living room window

My eye on the world

The Sun plays tricks with the light

Even though Mercury is said to be the trickster

The halo around the head of a saint

Shows me his head is in the way of the light

His personal corona

We all have a light around us

Kirlian photography can show this

As beautiful as any made by Earth or Moon

Yet late at night when the clouds are just right

The amazing coloured halo around the Moon

Is by far the best corona

Search for the light, after all it is magic

The first thing called into being…

AAAAA

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#BlogBattle: Airtight

May 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:

Airtight

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to have your story shared here and on social media.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

 

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Airtight

 

A new neighbour moving in is always an interesting event. This time it was a smartly dressed man in his forties.

Within a week, he had alienated half of the neighbours on his side of the street with his constant complaints about the bins not being taken in quickly enough after being emptied.

Thank God I lived opposite. He was a real sweetheart.

Dave, in his seventies, lived next door to him with his Jack Russell terrier. He lost his wife last year, so a few of us take the time to care for Dave. Today, I could see Mr Jenkins, the new neighbour, standing inside Dave’s front garden.  His name was all he allowed anyone to know about him.

Today, having lost his cool, his voice loud enough to hear on my side of the street. ‘If you don’t stop that dog yapping, I will!’

Two days later, Dave was seen putting up posters. His dog, Mickey had gone missing. It didn’t take me two minutes to know who was responsible, after seeing Mr Jenkins digging a new patch in his front garden.

I went to the police station and found out he had been questioned and had an airtight alibi. I asked why they had questioned him, and they said one of our neighbours had reported him bullying his neighbour. I walked home thinking that nothing was airtight. I would find his mistake and put some air into his so- called alibi.

I decided later that night that I would dig up his new patch, so sure I would find Mickey. I was about to turn away from my window when I noticed a young man holding Mickey in his arms. I watched him knock on Dave’s door and saw the joy on his face. His beloved companion was back.

How wrong can one person be?

His alibi was airtight after all…

AAAAA

#BlogBattle: Shift

April 2019 Blog Battle

Rachael’s word this month is:

Shift

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month to have your story shared here and on social media.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, HERE and Rachael will add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

RULES

  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!
Any photos included with the prompt are only for your benefit as a pinch of inspiration. They don’t need to dictate your theme or story genre. Only the Word of the Month counts! Photos are thanks to various photographers from Unsplash.com

 

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Our Entry for this months #BlogBattle

 

Shift

I am stuck, pinned to my bed.

I cannot move, cannot wake from the nightmare

The shift between time zones

Lifetimes I know myself with changing faces

I have travelled through the First World War

Been shot at. Caught in the tide of my ever-changing world

I watch the change in fashion

New technology, old newsreels play out

The king dies a new queen is crowned

I watch the nightmare killings of Jack the Ripper

The smell of blood lingers, the metal taste stuck to my lips

Is there no sunshine in this nightmare?

I have seen the dark face of a world gone by

Travelled through the ancient world

They too have horrors. Their wars, starving people on their streets

Have we managed to change so little?

To die now would leave me stuck

in one of these worlds, I was never meant to visit

Where is my wife, my children to wake me?

Jumping on the bed. Breakfast dad,

Get up, the morning eulogy

God, please let them wake me in my own world

Let the time be seven thirty, the year 2019

May all yesterdays remain where they belong

I hear their feet running and feel the shift as they jump on the bed

My eyes open, I am safe, back in my own world…

AAAAA

#BlogBattle: Dusk

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Image by Pixabay.com

 

That purple glow of evening where

the light of day holds on with an iron grip

Before dying into twilight

where it is neither day or night.

That moment when the world holds its breath

Where lovers wait to kiss under moonlight

For others, it is the dying of the light

Alone, the night too long.

Wishing, hoping, they will find someone to kiss

To hold through the dark hours.

Dusk, that romantic moment

when you leap without thinking

propose to the wrong girl.

That purple glow like the full moon

can addle the mind.

It also holds great moments of magic

where you feel life was meant for you alone

You could leap tall buildings, tackle

Einstein’s equations, fly like Icarus.

If you fall under the spell of that purple hue

hold on to it…

AAAAA

This months #BlogBattle…

 

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Here are the instructions for anyone who wants to take part…

February 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:

Loss

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the end of the month to be included!

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

RULES

  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!

#Blog Battle: Flower #Poetry

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Our BlogBattle Entry

Nature

Flowers, Nature’s smile

Not everyone loves them

Especially when they grow

 In all the wrong places.

On walls, cracks in pavements

Mostly considered weeds

Not put there by the hand of man

Trying to put Nature in a box.

They cling to the tiniest piece of dust

They survive, no matter the tidy minds

Who try to suppress them.

I have a small bouquet

Of pink and white daisies

Growing on my front door mat.

As I place my key in the front door

I enter with a smile.

I cannot tell you how many

People have said get rid

For they spread like wildfire

I cannot do that.

As I sit drinking coffee

I wonder if that small bouquet

Of happiness might have been left

After a fairy wedding

However they came to be there

I am grateful.

I believe it is best to live and let live

Who can determine another’s true path?

I wonder if placing your opinion on others

Changes their course of destiny…

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January 2019 Blog Battle

Our word this month is:

Flower

You can start writing at any time, but make sure you post your story by the 30th of the month.

Once you’ve posted your story to your blog, put a link to it in the comments section, and we’ll add your story to the Battle Stories Line-up post.

Make sure to check back and read some of the stories of your fellow battlers. Leave comments to encourage these writers, and share each other’s stories!

The battler who is chosen in a given month will have the opportunity to be interviewed!

Basic Rules:

The Prompt Word will be given the First Tuesday of Every Month.

Post your story by the 30th of the Same Month.

RULES

  1. 1000 words max (give or take a few)
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. Any genre that fits within PG-13 (or less) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the randomly chosen word(s) and/or be centered around the word meaning in a way that shows it is clearly related.
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. Put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section
  7. Please tweet and otherwise share your battler buddies’ stories across social media.
    1. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting all the stories so we can cross-share.
  8. Have fun!

#Blog Battle: Heart #Fiction

 

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Stone

Mama read me this story when I was no bigger than a bean sprout. About a dragon who believed his heart was turning to stone.

It all happened a long time ago before he learned how to control his flame throwing abilities.

He burnt a village to the ground sp one of the village elders put a curse on the dragon, saying that within a year his heart would turn to stone.

A village girl felt sorry for the young dragon, telling herself that one day she would bring the dragon, who she named Blue, a new heart.

She searched high and low across lands that she had never been to before with no luck. Telling herself it was a stupid idea, she made her way home.

Tired and hungry, she sat down beside a slow running brook. That is where Mary from a nearby village found her. Mary had brought her washing basket and lunch and could see that the child was clearly upset and possibly hungry.

Gently she spoke, ‘Come now, nothing can be that bad…’

Alice told her story.

‘Your blue dragon sounds very beautiful. Dry your tears, you are making your sandwich wet. There is something you can do for your young dragon. Find him a safe place to live, are there any caves where you come from? Dragons love caves.’

Alice nodded her head. ‘I can find one near the top of the ridge. There is fresh water there too.’

‘Good,’ said Mary. ‘Do you think you are brave enough to try talking to your dragon, seeing as how he is a young’un, he will need help finding food. If you can do this, it seems to me the only thing he needs is your friendly heart to break the spell…’

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Thank You So Much!

 

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When Jaye called me into the office to see Sue’s new word and picture for the #writephoto challenge, my first thought was, no thanks, I’ll give that one a miss.

What could I say about the word Stark?

I wrote a poem called Hope, that seemed to sum up the meaning of Stark to me.

This morning, Jaye called out each comment to me as I sat in the living room. I was feeling low, so each comment blew me away.

I can’t tell you how much this means to me.  I had just finished the #BlogBattle challenge, called Education, all about how hard learning had been for me when I was at school. All your lovely comments were music to my ears.

I wanted to jump on my time machine to tell all my old teachers about it.

Daft I know, I should be over it by now. Being made to feel a fool all those years ago must have left a strange mark on my psyche.

Most of the time, it is quite well buried, so today I need to thank each and every one of you who took the time to say how my poem Hope, made you feel.

The word Hope laced each of you together in the one big hug that I felt this morning.

 

12 thoughts on “#Writephoto: Stark/Hope #Poetry”

  1. Pingback: Hope ~ Anita Dawes #writephoto | Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Thank you All…

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November 2018 #Blog Battle: Educate

 

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School

I was born in 1946 and school was not the best place for me.

All those teachers filling my head with a bunch of stuff I didn’t really need to know about.

Most of the time my mind wandered. I knew they were there to help me learn but they had no time for slow learners. Me being one of them.

It was my own fault, I stopped listening.

I stopped respecting my elders when they made me feel so small after getting something wrong.

There was no political correctness in my day. Messing around in class got me sent outside, where I would make faces at them through the window.

This would get me sent to the Heads office and Sister Joseph and her cohort, Sister Agatha.  I would be expected to hold out my hand so this six-foot sister of God could give me six of the best. How could they call it that?

I let it happen once and swore never to let these creatures use the cane on my hands again. Especially after teaching us religious education, that God loves us, forgives out sins and shows mercy to everyone. How could those black clad beasts teach without an example?

I refused to hold out my hand. The shorter one, Sister Agatha held me by my elbow, trying to stretch out my arm, where afterward I could go home with red welts on my hand.

Remembering the pain from last time, I wouldn’t let her budge me. I didn’t think my crime deserved this kind of punishment. I pushed Sister Agatha aside and ended up biting her hand so she would let go of me. Not good I know, but I wanted her to feel the pain.

Most of the teachers liked to whip out the cane in class too, embarrassing you by making you stand in front of your friends when they did it. I never learned not to question the lessons of the day, but they did get things wrong. After pointing this out, I was expected to stand in front of the class and let her whack my hand with the cane.

Not on your nelly. I walked out and then ran home. My mother wasn’t helpful. She said I must do as I was told.

I couldn’t answer her back for she was never wrong. I couldn’t expect sympathy about the cane either, for mother liked to use the belt when I became too much to handle. I spent a lot of my time between a rock and a hard place.

Don’t feel sorry for me, I didn’t turn out so bad. I found a way to educate myself thanks to the one good thing Sister Agatha did. She called on one of the old retired teachers to help me and others to read. So once I had it in my head that words are not always spelled as they sound, I read my way through the school library. Spelling, however, slipped past my brain. I still don’t get it right. Jaye helps me with the stuff I write, so all’s right with my world.

School education, you can stick it, but I made sure my kids did their homework.

My one big thing was about hitting my kids and this was not going to happen, nor would I let anyone else do it. I managed to get into more trouble over this and ended up in the Heads office again. He had the cheek to ask why I told my kids never to let the teachers use the cane on them. “You walk out,” I told them. “Come straight home. I will take care of it.”

My answer was that I was their mother. That they had no real feeling for my kids and wouldn’t pull back when lashing out with the cane.

I remember the bruising on my brother’s hands. I couldn’t let someone who was meant to teach lay their hands on my kids this way. I remembered my mother going mad at my brother’s teacher when he did it. I was there, loving every moment. She made him feel so bad in front of his class.

She did no more, she pulled out the cane from the desk and broke it in half. The next day, I did the same. While the rest of the class were out playing, I went into each class and broke the canes, leaving them on top of their desks. No mean feat at eleven years old. The look on my teacher’s face was a picture I still treasure to this day. I know things are better now. They cannot lash out and smack your children. What I do know, is that not all teachers are saints.

Some of them know how to make a child feel small, using words in ways that hurt while trying to teach young minds not to fight, not to call each other names or make fun because someone wears glasses.

In my opinion, kids are much the same as they were years ago. Some good and some not so good. I see them outside my window on their way to school, pushing and pulling each other about, shoving each other into the bushes outside my house. Good fun for some, maybe not for the one trying to extricate himself from the bush.

At least the cane has been abolished. I think people of a similar age will know how I felt back then. At least I hope so…

I do have some sweet memories that often filter through my mind, of the spoonful of malt every morning before class and being milk monitor, handing out the small bottles of milk. I think they were trying to take care of our health more than our minds…

#BlogBattle: Cave…

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Dreaming

I was dreaming about a cave in Cornwall. If you are lucky enough to find it, you will meet your future self, or so the legend goes. I am here in a beautiful sunlit cave that goes through to the other side and surprised to find an old woman sitting on a ledge. She was wizened and thin with grey hair.  I wondered how anyone this old could have climbed down this cliff to the cave. She must be ninety at least. When she turned to face me, I could see she had my eyes, black like coal my father used to say. Could this really be me in years to come?

“I lived a long life and hoped it was a good one.” She spoke in a tone of voice that I hear every day. “And that is why I am here to tell you. Don’t come any closer, to be in the same space would not be good for you. If we touch I could swap places with you and live all over again.”

I am nearing thirty and haven’t done much with my life. My childbearing days are slipping away. Maybe a swap wouldn’t be so bad. I could do so many things differently. I wanted to ask so many questions but they became jumbled in my head. She seemed to notice this. “There is nothing much I can tell you, we were not meant to meet this way.”

I could see she was sad. Had her life been lonely? My life, I should have said.

Her body was stooped with age. Is this what becomes of me? Old, sad and alone, I could see no ring on her finger, she had never married. Before I knew what I was doing, I flew at her, hoping it was true, that we would swap. I would be able to start my life again.

Her voice echoed around the walls. “You foolish thing, now you will have to find this cave in Cornwall to get your life back. My life was good. Yours has now changed. You may not like what you become.”

I awoke feeling the same as before, nothing had changed. Yet I wondered about the dream. I read a story like this when I was a child. Just a legend, I told myself. I wouldn’t have to go looking for a cave in Cornwall, would I?

A dream can’t change anything, I told myself. But as I passed the mirror, I split the air with a scream so loud I thought the mirror would break.

There she stood, my ninety-year-old self. Words whispered from the glass, “Come and find me…”

©Anita Dawes