Marian Keyes Writing Prompt 2

The writing prompt that Marian gave her participants on the 15th of January was: “He got to his feet and his shadow moved over her, while drops of cool water fell from his body onto her hot skin”. The idea behind these prompts is that Marian would like people to write 500 words inspired by the prompt. Marian does not want people to overthink it, but, would like people to get in touch with their subconscious and write whatever comes to mind. I am not attempting them in order given, but in the order of inspiration. This is my attempt for this prompt.

Tilly had been travelling around Asia alone for the last couple of months, as she had finally made the time to do something interesting, other than watching a film on a Saturday night with a takeaway. Tilly had been to some of the countries in this region, which had given her a taste for more, so here she was, on a rare day off from day trips to here, there and everywhere. It was a typical day in Asia for this time of year, hot, humid, and blue skies as far as the eye can see.

Tilly was lying on her stomach, reading a book, listening to music, and enjoying an icy cold drink, it was a truly wonderful day. Her brain was distilling all the information that she had been given over the last few weeks as well as all the wonderful sites she had seen.

It was not unusual for people to look at her when they realised that she was travelling alone and seemed to be having a great time without a travel companion. The number of times Tilly had been asked the questions, are you on your own? Why are you on your own? Is it safe for a lone female to travel on her own? It bored her to tears to have to answer these questions. However, she was amused when people were taken aback by her response ‘because I want to’.

However, just because Tilly travelled alone, did not mean that she wasn’t careful and hyper aware of her surroundings. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a man from the far end of the pool, perfectly dive into the water, with barely a splash, it appeared to her that he swam the length of the pool underwater. Eventually, he got to Tilly’s end of the pool, pulled himself out of the pool, got to feet, his shadow moved over her, but, Tilly thought he was going to pass her and make his way to the bar, however, the drops of cool water feel from his body onto to hot skin and he wasn’t moving away. Tilly turned around to ask the man what was he doing, standing over her and watching her like that, as she did, she was surprised to see the familiar, sparkling eyes and easy smile of an old friend. JAMES! she excitedly squealed, what are you doing here?!

Tilly sat up to make space for her friend to sit on her sun lounger, James sat beside her and started talking.

Marian Keyes Writing Prompt 1

The writing prompt that Marian gave her participants on the 13th of January was: “Like everyone else, he had heard about the events in the rowing boat.” The idea behind these prompts is that Marian would like people to write 500 words inspired by the prompt. Marian does not want to overthink it, get in touch with your subconscious and write whatever comes to mind. I am not attempting them in order given, but in the order of inspiration. This is my attempt for this prompt.

Tabitha & The Rowing Boat

Like everyone else, he had heard about the events in the rowing boat, the question was, how did he address the matter with her? 

Sitting in his car, outside of the gates to Tabitha’s new house, Felix knew that he was the only one that Tabitha might listen too. Maybe. Hopefully. One thing was certain, he thought to himself, life was never boring with Tabitha as her fun, independent and impulsive streak made her both interesting and a little bit dangerous. He couldn’t recall how many times, he had heard her say ‘That sounds like fun, let’s do it!’. However, this time things had got a lot out of hand. This time, she had needed to be rescued, by the RNLI! 

Felix had known Tabitha since they had met through mutual friends years before and had clicked immediately. Tabitha’s life had recently lurched dramatically in a direction that deeply unsettled and upset her, and Felix knew that what had happened with the rowing boat was a reaction to that. Felix understood her, he thought, but, she needed to calm down before things went stupidly wrong for her, she had been lucky this time.

As a reaction to the recent unfortunate events in her life, Tabitha had recently moved to a lovely house on the coast, which she adored, as she really enjoyed water based activities, including sailing, diving and canoeing. From the front of her house you could see a small offshore island, Tabitha was fascinated by this Island, she told him that it reminded her of Swallows and Amazons, a book that she had read in childhood. She would tell Felix these amazing tales of adventures she planned to have, and it seems that this day, she tried to fulfil one of them. Tabitha had walked across the road from her house, to the picturesque tiny harbour and got into her new rowing boat, reportedly, she had rowed out into the open water and then experienced two things simultaneously, the first was the treacherous undercurrents, the second thing was that a storm whipped up giant, violent waves. Tabitha thought the tide might bring her back in to shore. It didn’t. In a matter of moments, she lost her oars and then her boat flipped over. “This is not good!”, Tabitha thought, as she hung on to her upturned boat and floated in the freezing cold channel of water between the Island and the mainland, noticing that both were becoming further and further away. Thankfully some people who had been watching Tabitha’s journey from the pier in the harbour had called the emergency services who sent out a boat to rescue her. When they got back to shore, an embarrassed Tabitha thanked them all for risking their lives for her, and went home as soon as possible to her cat, who she was sure would not tell her she was an idiot. Even if she knew she was.

Looking up at her house, he could see Tabitha silhouetted against the window in her office.  Suffering from a rare moment of indecision, Felix decided to test the water before he called to the door, so he pulled out his phone, opened WhatsApp and tapped out a quick message “Hey Tabs! Whatcha doing?, I might go to the cinema later, you in?”, he read it back, decided in sounded friendly enough and hit send. Felix checked her window again, he saw her pick up her phone, it matched with when the little tick appeared beside his message. Normally Tabitha would instantly reply, but, Felix sat, drumming his fingers on his steering wheel waiting for a reply. It didn’t appear. When Felix looked up again, Tabitha was gone. Dammit! Where did she go?, he thought. 

Felix was concentrating so much on a follow up message to send that would sound equally as friendly as the first, that he didn’t notice a figure approaching his car. He jumped when he heard the sharp rapping on his passenger side window, but, was equally relieved and pleased to see his friends face looking back at him, her face was streaked with tears, but, as of yet, he could not tell if there were from laughter or sadness. Felix lent over and opened the door for her.

– THE END – 

youknowwhenyou.com/2021/01/17/marian-keyes-novel-writing-class/

Marian Keyes Novel Writing Class

The Author Marian Keyes is holding a four week, online Novel writing class, at the moment (January 2021). If you miss the live sessions (which I have) you can catch up with it on her YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/himselfkeyes/featured.

I have only just discovered her course at the end week one. However, Marian is posting a writing prompt every day, where she wants to help participants get in touch with their subconscious, and does not want people to think too much about the 500 words she suggests they write. You can check her Twitter account, https://twitter.com/MarianKeyes, to see what they are.

As it has been a while since I tried a writing prompt challenge, I’m looking forward to trying Marian’s prompts. My gratitude goes to Marian who has taken the time to host this class and give prompts for us to try. My attempt at each prompt will have a post of its own, following this one.

I am excited to follow along with the rest of Marian’s classes and to seeing what scrambled mess may spill from my brain.

Thank you Marian.

https://youknowwhenyou.com/2021/01/17/marian-keyes-writing-prompt-1/

Daily Writing Challenge

I found another writing challenge to take part in, I am late to this challenge, but I have been assured that it is ok to join in now. The link is below, should you wish to try it, it comes from a blog called Johawkthewriter. The idea behind this is to write every day and the next day you post your word count on the JoHawkerTheWriter post. I think that this will be fun. It is also recommended on the site that you start with short stories, just to get you into the habit of writing.

30 Day Writing Challenge #1

Alex despised being late, she really did, it was nearly a pathological loathing. This is why, if she had her way, she would always be anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour early for things, as she would much rather sit in a cafe or her car down the road from where she needed to be, rather than rushing around, stressed out and inevitably making mistakes and forgetting things, all because she was late. She had friends that were the exact opposite of her and only arrived at a meeting place an hour or more after the arranged time, which drove Alex crazy.

However, today was one of those rare days when she was running late or at least her version of being late, that is to say, Alex may arrive at the train station on time and not early, which was utterly unacceptable. The reason for this panic was that she had to get the last train home, and if she missed it because it left on time or early, she would have to stay where she was overnight. Alex lived in Dublin but had taken the train to Kerry for the day, and she really did not want to miss that train. As she ran up the road towards the train station with her camera bag hitting her back, she wondered why did it seem like a good idea to stop and take photos of the stunning view. Alex wished she did not have to rush as it was a beautiful summers evening, but, she had to get home. She must have startled some of the other travellers as she finally burst through the train station doors, huffing and puffing, because, they all turned to look at the red-faced apparition crashing into the station house. Rummaging for her ticket and muttering to herself, Alex went through onto the platform to see the welcome sight of the last train waiting to load its passengers. Alex got into the queue boarding the train with her fellow passengers and eventually sat down, thankful that she had got to the train on time.

The train pulled out of the station on the way to Limerick Junction, before the connecting train brought people back to Dublin, Alex had enjoyed her day in Kerry and promised to visit again, as Kerry was an amazing place.

30 Day Writing Challenge

I am looking forward to trying this challenge for the first time. The Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge is over, so I thought that I might try the 30 Day Writing Challenge from Raggie, this involves 30 days of different types of writing prompts, we shall see how I do with this. If you wish to join in I will leave a link to the page below. Thanks, Raggie for putting this challenge together.

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/157018935/posts/22

Three Things Challenge – February Story

MAUD Maud loved Summer, and she really loved when the weather was pleasant enough for the BBQ to come out from its dusty hiding place in the shed. She also enjoyed days like today where she was being super productive all day. However, her enthusiasm was waning as the gadget she had bought that was meant to make getting your BBQ Summer ready was a lot less helpful than she thought and it took far more time than the usual system of cleaning it. Her mind wandered to her most recent trip to Asia, where when she was wandering through the grim exhibits in this little museum, far from home her attention was drawn to a small card in a glass case. It read: “These dominoes are made from the bones of the victims of a campaign of mass murder.” Every item in this museum was connected to the death of innocent people, who were just trying to live their lives in the surrounding jungle. Power and greed had a lot to answer for in this world. Then Mauds mind clicked into a stream of memories from her time in Japan and Australia.

Maud’s Japenese friend, Kaori tried to educate her about Japanese culture. This culminated in an incredibly clumsy and ungraceful attempt in learning some traditional dance moves by the group of friends, the upside was that Kaori and Aya found it hilarious.

As Maud sat on deck waiting for her turn to dive back into the sea to join the other scuba divers, a tentacle of memories brought her back to almost the very same location five years earlier. Things had changed a lot since then, it was almost like thinking about someone else’s story. Her daydream was broken when she heard her name called and she slid backwards into the cool waves of the salty water. Maud realised that the salt water she could taste on her lips was in fact, not the sea, but her own tears. Then she remembered that dramatic and disappointing evening.

Maud was hiding in her car in the furthest corner of the carpark, thankful that it was getting dark, as it meant no one would see her there, on her own, in her car, with the lights off, trying and failing not to cry. They had a massive argument a couple of hours ago, the relationship ending type of an argument. The reason was simple and stupidly cliche, Maud discovered that Billy had been having an affair with her lifelong best friend. Maud had been at her best friends house, singing her now ex-boyfriends praises when she saw his silver-bullet necklace peeping out from under the duvet on her friend’s bed. When her friend saw what Maud was looking at, she said that Billy had been there helping her by chasing a mouse, his necklace must have fallen off without him noticing. Maud pretended to believe her now former friend, kept calm, left and went home to talk to Billy. When Maud asked Billy about the necklace, he lost his temper and accused her of many awful things, including suggesting that she was accusing him and her friend of having an affair and called her all sorts of insulting names. Maud stood watching this stranger before her who up until that moment she thought she knew, and asked a simple question: is it true? Billy paused, went purple, picked up a glass and smashed it against the wall. As Billy pulled himself up to his full height and snorting like a bull, Maud, quietly asked him to go out for a few hours, so that she could pack up her stuff and move out. Billy swallowed, snatched his phone, wallet and keys off the table and marched out of the house, throwing some more insults over his shoulder at Maud as his left. As the door slammed shut, Maud was on her knees picking up the shattered shards of the destroyed glass, thinking to herself that she would now need to pick up the shards of her own life, which like the glass was now irretrievably changed. The apartment was one that Billy had rented before they moved in together, so she knew she would be the one to leave. Maud tried not to think about what Billy and her former friend may have been doing there when she was away on business trips. Her mind kept flashing back to how well Billy and ‘HER’ used to get on, the in-jokes, the hugs, all of it. Maud, at the time, had thought that she was incredibly lucky that her bff and her boyfriend had gotten on so well, as it would make life easier for all concerned if there was no animosity between Billy and ‘HER’. Maud couldn’t even think her former friends’ name at the moment. The betrayal was washing over in tsunami like waves of heartbreak. Thankfully, Maud managed to get her belongings packed and into her car quickly. Maud knew what had happened was a fact, but, she still wanted to believe that she was wrong, that Billy and ‘HER’ had not hurt her like that, that is why she was hiding and watching the door of the building. As she had expected, Billy and ‘HER’ arrived back to the building Maud had so recently moved out of, hand in hand and laughing. Maud knew she needed to see this, she needed more proof that she was a fool. This was the confirmation that Maud didn’t want, but knew she needed. When the door closed behind the two traitors, Maud put her car in gear, peered through boxes of her belongings that were reflected in her rearview mirror, and drove away from the two people outside of her family who meant the most to her in the world. Maud wondered would she be able to reapply for the job transfer that she turned down, and more pressingly, where would she go to now? Normally, she would have gone to her friend’s house, this was no longer ever going to be an option again. As she considered her next step, she deleted all contact details of Billy and ‘HER’ from her phone. If they were not on the phone, they did not exist.

A.B. Sitting in the canteen at work, the waves of different languages and use of language crashed across A.B’s turbulent mind. Though A.B. was pleased to work in a large multinational company as she was able to work with and make friends with people from all over the world and the options for travel were a bonus too. Today, however, she was finding the noise barely tolerable, as she was obsessing about how many times her boyfriend Billy kept accidently calling her by his ex-girlfriends name Maud. Maud and A.B. had not spoken since the day A.B. and Billy had moved in together, which also happened to be the day that Maud had moved out of Billy’s apartment. A.B. didn’t really see what the problem was with Maud, other than the manner in which Maud had found out about Billy and A.B., but, A.b. thought these things happen. Maud was just been overly dramatic, as usual.

MABEL Mabel held on to the laundry line feeling incredibly shaky and ill, her heart was racing and her brain felt woolly. It was at times like this she wished she was someone’s mother or nana, as she wanted someone to call out to, someone to look after her, someone to worry about her, or as the case may be, someone to miss her. Sadly, there would be no one to reminisce about the lovely, silly, crazy things that Mabel did for them. Mabel had no siblings or children, she came close to marriage once, but in the end, she got cold feet and didn’t go through with it. Mabel sometimes saw her former fiance on tv, he was quite famous these days, he was called the peoples Grandad. Mabel knew that the best she could hope for was that the neighbour might become curious as to her lack of activities and might call emergency services. The reality was that her body probably wouldn’t be found for weeks.

As the birds soared and swooped in the sky calling to each other, Mabel slid to the ground, looking up to the sky, thankful that at least her final moments were sunny and warm as opposed to her arrival on earth during the worst storm for years.

MAY May had been enjoying rocking in her rocking chair, as she waited for her roast beef to cook. She just wished that the view was more Sylvian and less traffic and roundabout. Oh well, you can’t have everything. May glanced at the clock on the wall and suddenly realised that she was about to be late, so May started rushing around and ran out of her house, this is how she slipped on the black ice falling forwards putting her hands out to try and protect herself. As May picked herself up from the ground, she noticed that her spectacles had fallen down a drain and that her hands were bloody from the impact with the frozen ground. Oh great, thought May, now I will be even more late for Court.

MAUD, BILLY, A.B. Two friends, Maud and Billy shuffling around together on the platform of the local station were waiting for another person, A.B to join them, A.B was late, as always and there had been no text message or phone call to say sorry and no excuse had been given. After a long while, the two friends wandered off together, muttering and grumbling about their missing companion, A.B.

CANDY Candy thought if only she had been as efficient in everything else in life as she was at drinking Gin, maybe she would not be sitting by herself beside the river, wondering did anybody remember her.

The Haunted Wordsmith

The Haunted Wordsmith has been providing the Three Things Challenge for at least this year, it may be longer, but, I only discovered it this year. This has been a lot of fun for me to take part in in it. Today the Haunted Wordsmith stopped the Three Things Challenge, as they have other things that they need to focus on, which is completely understandable. I would like to thank the Haunted Wordsmith for their time and effort in creating this challenge for us. Wishing you all the best, thanks to The Haunted Wordsmith.

Three Things Challenge #42

Today’s word prompts from Haunted Wordsmith are BBQ, gadget, summer.

Maud loved Summer, and she really loved when the weather was pleasant enough for the BBQ to come out from its dusty hiding place in the shed. She also loved days like today where she was being super productive all day. However, her enthusiasm was waning as the gadget she had bought that was meant to make getting your BBQ Summer ready was a lot less helpful and took far more time, than the usual system of cleaning it.

Three Things Challenge #41

Today’s word prompt from haunted wordsmith are dominoes, bones, death.

Wandering through the grim exhibits in this little museum, far from home her attention was drawn to a small card in a glass case. It read: “These dominoes are made from the bones of the victims of a campaign of mass murder.” Every item in this museum was connected to the death of innocent people, who were just trying to live their lives in the surrounding jungle. Power and greed had a lot to answer for in this world.