Monthly Archives: October 2015

FF – The Lake

I am not a poet and if you read on you may see why, but this is what came when I saw Dale Rogerson’s picture as todays FF prompt. Also, please forgive the extra 5 words today – I’m normally a perfectionist on word count, but I can’t see anywhere to cut without wrecking either the rhyming or the scanning. You comments on that or any other element are very welcome.


The Lake

At the bottom of the lake lies a snake.
With a bellyful of everything it ate.
And further bits it swallowed, inhabiting its hollow.
If you venture there in daylight you’ll see –
Just underneath the flotsam and debris –
Something writhing in the dimness, a studded line of slimness

And if you go later, in the eveningtime,
There’ll be writhing nearby, of a different kind
And more serpent-things discarded into that lake of garbage

For our snake that thrashed and thrusted in its day
No more lived than sprouted legs to run away
And the serpents, fish and tweeters are long-gone, to places sweeter.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

FF – What Goes On Tour (rerun)

Rochelle has gifted us a re-run this week, to celebrate her anniversary leading us. I’m happy to take her up on it, so here’s the link to my story from October 2012.

She’s also challenged us to share some opinions about the group, so here are my two pet bugbears. Rider – they are just my opinions and are not intended to imply a criticism of anyone, least of all Rochelle, who does an incredible job of leading us.

1.  I joined the Fictioneers a few years earlier, when Madison Woods led the charge and the group was much smaller. One of the things I liked most about it was the availability of honest and constructive critique among the members. It was a small group back then; many people read all the stories but Madison’s suggestion was to read at least five, and leave comments. Back then, I did that, and sometimes more, and made a point of giving detailed critique where I could. I got the same back.

Over the years, the group has grown, diversified and changed. One thing that’s changed is the nature of the comments I receive. Now they are mostly short, positive and story-focused (as opposed to writing-focused). If I’m honest, I vastly preferred getting better-thought-out critique, even if that meant fewer comments. I struggle to get out to in-person writing groups these days, so that feedback and education is hard for me to get elsewhere.

2.  I  agree wholeheartedly with Rochelle about serialised stories. To me, the point of the challenge is to create a new story each week and the deal you strike with the group revolves around it being a 100 word commitment from your reader. Asking them to go back and read (or remember) previous installments makes that much harder.

Having said that, I know I often write lengthy introductions and sometimes my stories are part of a series. To me, that’s different. In both cases, readers are very welcome to skip straight to the exactly 100 words of story and ignore the rest. The stories stand alone, and if they don’t, it’s because they have failed, not because I’m expecting readers to hunt for clues elsewhere.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

FF – Freedom

Rochelle’s own picture for our prompt today, and while I’m here CONGRATULATIONS to our great leader who recently retired from the job, ready to focus on the career!

There is a beautiful cacophony as I type – Dominic is grumbling at his jungle, which is singing back to him. About five of Sebastian’s toys are also singing / talking, an he is giving a running commentary on the game he’s playing with them. I cannot hear myself think, so this story is influenced by that, together with the fact it’s written in five word bursts in between dealing with one or other of them! The story stands alone, or as part of the series here and here.



Whenever a black sedan pulled into the lot below, Sandy felt sick. And in the rainy dusk, every sedan shone black. She turned back into the dinghy motel room.

He won’t come, she told herself. He doesn’t know where I am.

And if he did, he wouldn’t be in his own car; more likely he’d fly like she had, and rent one.

He could be driving anything.

She turned on the radio. Music drowned out the rain, the tires splashing into the parking lot, even the sex nextdoor, but it didn’t stop the voice in her head.

I’ll find you.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

FF – Carousel

Take it as you will, here’s my contribution to Friday Fiction this week. Our photo is from Ted Strutz and reminds me of an old prompt, but I can’t find it now, so maybe I dreamt it…



“I always liked the carousel,” said Jo, as they stood waving, at regular intervals, to their passing sons.

“But all it does is go round and round,” Lucy sighed. “It doesn’t go anywhere.” Much like life, she almost added. “It’s the most boring ride at the whole fair.”

“Even the ones that seem to go somewhere finish near the start,” Jo smiled. “The trick is to enjoy the view.”

The boys passed by again, hands in the air, smiles on their faces. The whole world spread out below, like they could reach out and grab it as they flew.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing