Tag Archives: Decisions

FF – Preparations

Sorry for my absence last week; I hope not to make a habit of it! This week’s story, inspired by The Reclining Gentleman‘s photo, could almost be a prequel to one I wrote months ago, but hopefully also stands alone. I’d love to read your thoughts.



“You’re doing the right thing,” Irene smiled gently at her friend.

“Am I? Every time I think I’m choosing the tunnel with light at the other end it turns out to be headlights on an oncoming train.” Sandy brushed away the tears. “What if I leave him and it’s just worse?”

Irene didn’t say anything.

“It could be worse though,” Sandy insisted. “He never hurts the kids.”

“Hitler never hit his dog.” Irene picked up the bag and slung it over her shoulder. “Next time, bring me stuff for them and then you’re ready. I’m going to miss you, babe.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – Decisions

Something very much out of the blue for me today, thanks to Erin Leary’s curious photo.  I normally keep my personal life out of my writing, but we’re deep in the throes of a difficult decision and this story (story? It’s more of a rant!) burst forth from that. I’ve tweaked it into fiction, so if you know me, don’t read too deeply into it as though it’s pure fact, but still, I can’t deny the grain of truth inside the pearl of fiction.

Your feedback is always welcome.



The thing about life is, it thrives. Everywhere. In the deepest depths of the ocean, without light or air, 4,000 species of foraminifera make their home. Put damp shit in a dark cupboard, and bingo! Mushrooms in spring. Ice floes, deserts, oceans … name a place; something calls it home.

So I sit here, with spreadsheets and binders, pros and cons, glossy brochures and coffee-stained print-outs, all weighing in on the dilemma of where to live, and I think “pretend you’re a foraminifera. Wherever you go, you can thrive”, but really, I have a suspicion I’m more like a mushroom.




Filed under British Expat in Canada, Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – The Crossroads of Evans and Chicago

Having opened the vein, I can’t stop the bleeding – my latest story for FF is another romance. I hope you enjoy it, but let me know either way. If you want to read more stories from the same picture, head over the Rochelle’s page and particular thanks to Renee Heath for this week’s prompt. I hope I’ve read the street names correctly; if not, this is an even more obscure reference to the prompt!


The Crossroads of Evans and Chicago (Genre: Romance)

“What’s to decide?”

“The ballet, Ma,” Mary whispered.

“Rhodri Evans’ Da’s the richest man in the valley. You’d never have to worry again.”

“Does he love you?” Her father knocked his pipe on the table.

“I think so,” said Mary. “Yes.”

“Then take the ballet.”

Ma’s face flushed red. “Are you mad? Do you want our daughter to be miserable for the rest of her life?”

“But it’s two years, Da. In Chicago.”

“If he loves you, he’ll wait. If he doesn’t, he’s not worth marrying. And no, I don’t want her to be miserable. I want her to soar.”


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

Friday Fiction – Choices

After 50 posts to the Friday Fictioneers, I did wonder if I should find a new writing challenge, move on. But I’ve come to enjoy my weekly forays into the FF world, I value the friendships and feedback of the group and I enjoy reading the stories – so why mess with a winning formula? Besides, Sebastian is providing me with plenty of new challenges right now, so an old challenge makes a welcome change!

Life is settling into a new kind of normal with my little boy up front and centre in the new world order, but I’m hoping he allows me to continue the writing commitments I’ve enjoyed so much over the last few years. Right now, my muse seems to be suffering a bit under the weight of insufficient sleep and lots of distractions, so please be gentle with this week’s piece, but as ever I welcome your feedback, good and bad.

Here’s the photo, courtesy of Joyce Johnson. You can see the other responses linked from Rochelle’s page.


It wasn’t at all like she’d expected. There was no bright light, no beckoning figures; just two doors and apparently a free decision which to enter.

Each door was marked with a bronze face. One was serene and placid: its features unmarked by emotion. The other was twisted into a laugh or a grimace; she couldn’t tell which.  Either way, it was ugly. The other was more … angelic.

But her eyes kept coming back to the twisted visage. Even if it was a grimace, was that really worse than a world without emotion?

She paused, then pushed the door.


Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

The Real Piccolo

Last Friday I wrote an extract from the story I want to write next – currently known as Piccolo’s Tale. The Friday Fictioneers are always kind and supportive, but this time I was really overwhelmed by how everyone rallied around the little lost cat, and by how many fellow cat lovers I have connected with through this group.

I’m not a crazy cat lady, but I am a cat lover through and through – I’ve wanted one since I was a little girl (actually, I thought I was one when I was a little girl) and finally fulfilled that dream two years ago when Pepsi and Max arrived in my life. It’s fair to say that I’m completely besotted with these two and very happy to have brought them into my family. However, it was a close call at the time, and the reason, is the real Piccolo. I’m glad I’ve begun to write a fictional story fit for him to live in now – but here is the true story of Piccolo.

When we arrived in Canada, it was always my husband’s and my intention to get a cat. In fact, it was the closest thing I made to a condition on moving out here or, indeed, marrying him in the first place! We lived at first in a small apartment in the centre of Toronto, and the move took a lot of getting used to for me. I’d gone from being a successful, highly paid lawyer, surrounded by friends and colleagues I knew and loved, to being a housewife in a strange country, with nothing to structure or focus my days. I was going stir crazy in that apartment, and we were both savvy enough to recognise it.

We were looking for houses to move to, and I was researching job options as well as starting to find people who would become my new friends, but we decided that it might make me feel better to start looking for our new kitten too. So we began to go around the city, visiting the homes of people who, for whatever reason, had kittens available.

They say you should let the cat choose you. Although we saw many adorable kittens, none of them chose us until one morning we went to see a family who had one tiny grey and white boy looking for a home. He snuggled up to me OK, but when he got on my husband’s lap he was clearly in his element – eventually falling into a purring sleep.

That afternoon, we visited another cat family. These were three siblings who had been rescued, along with their mother, from a drain by the lady who was now taking care of them. One was long-haired, something we’d agreed we didn’t want. But the other two weren’t – they were a boy and a girl, mirror twins in black and white tuxedo. The boy was playful and friendly; the girl was terrified of everyone and spent the whole time hiding, together with their mother.

We came away thinking that the decision – while hard – was made. The grey cat had clearly bonded instantly with us, and since we weren’t looking for two, the twins really weren’t right for us. After a long drawn-out discussion, we called the grey kitten’s family and agreed to take him. We’d call him Piccolo.

Now, I should mention that I am a big fan of decisions. Uncertainty is not something I deal well with, and I generally feel much better when a decision has been made. However, in the interests of full disclosure, I should also say that when faced with an impossible decision, I will toss a coin then see how the decision feels before I act on it. In this case though, we had already acted – we had called the grey kitten and once I’ve acted on a decision, I don’t go back on it. It’s just not in my nature.

But I spent that whole night in tears. I couldn’t sleep, I felt terrible, and in the morning there was really only one thing to do. I called Piccolo’s family and tearfully apologised that I couldn’t take him. I called the lady looking after the twins and we agreed to take both. The boy was already named Max by his foster carer, we named the girl Pepsi.

Piccolo was a beautiful, tiny kitten, and I know that he will have found a wonderful family to love him, but sometimes I still think of him and wonder how he’s doing. I don’t regret our final decision, but I am delighted if I can now finally share some time with Piccolo and give him both love and adventures on the page.


Filed under British Expat in Canada, Friday Fiction, Writing