Saturday, 24 September 2011

Musing on writing.

I have always felt that writing is the one place where i can be myself, am at home and can succeed. I remember when i first acquired a home computer, a loaned one from the Open University for T102-introduction to science, and i sat at the dining table, tenderly touching the keyboard with my splayed fingertips. 'This is my destiny' i thought, but at the time i was unable to take it any further. When, 2 months later, i had to pull out of that course due to time and family commitments i remember feeling bereft as i packaged it away.
  I don't really understand why the computer was such a symbol of my writing need, i could always use a pen and paper, but on reflection i realise it went much deeper than that.
  A few years later i finally managed to get on the computer owning ladder through pleas and arguments with my then husband about how necessary it was for the boys to have access to the net for their schoolwork. I never once told him it was so that i could write. Following our divorce, and the decision to obtain a degree the writing again took a back seat as i told myself that Health and Social Care courses were much more important, more acceptable to others and therefore the right thing to do.
  Years of words flowed by me. Fifteen years and the attainment of a Bsc Hons have not fulfilled the void in my life that i now recognise as the need to write. I still can't understand why people find it so difficult to understand that 'writer' can be just as acceptable a job description as 'nurse,' 'policeman' or 'shop assistant'. Why, when asked what their occupation is, a writer feels obliged to justify their reasons for having the jumped up audacity to call themselves such. Why they are made to feel embarrassed because of their choice of career. I know that what has held me back is the fear of people laughing at my attempts at prose, i couldn't write on paper because someone might find my notebook and read my words, the same for any writing on my computer. The need to protect my fragile inner self esteem from the jeers of those that really can do no better themselves-or are frightened that i may achieve something that secretly, they long to do themselves.
  So what is the change? Myself, i have changed. I am finally allowing myself to write and i am finally allowing others into this inner sanctum that is my writing. The journey is scary, one of the most exhilerating roller coasters i have ever ridden. Every time somebody is reading my work i wait anxiously as the chain slowly bites and drags my cart up to the summit. The stomach lurching point where the reader lifts their head and prepares to give their verdict. I wonder in that heart stopping moment if i will get a mad rush of pleasure or a debilitating crash landing. So far, i have enjoyed the ride.
  Thankyou to those who believe in me.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Weekly writing challenge No 4

I did it!! After missing out last weeks i have completed this weeks challenge so i am definately feeling a halo moment coming on.
  Our task was to write a piece (poetry, prose or fiction) inspired by the photo below. I hope you all like it.

The Perfect Marriage

Pete mooched slowly down the tree lined avenue, the misty rain landing silently on his open umbrella. He was the only person in view and he wondered just what he was doing here.
  Of course, he should have been at work. If this were a normal day he would be sat in his cubicle of an office, computer whirring and screen flashing, his fingers whizzing over the keyboard as if his life depended on it, which it did. His position as a computer analyst was all that mattered. He would leave the house in the early hours after his wife had made him breakfast and make sure he was in his office before anyone else. He loved that solitary time, when he was alone with his freshly brewed coffee and before the telephone started its incessant ringing, peace and quiet in which to organise and plan the day ahead. 
  Then the fun would start, people would gradually drift in, some ready for the day ahead, others still bleary eyed from too much socializing the night before. They would come in with tales of their home lives, how difficult it was to live with their partners, their screaming kids and stroppy teenagers. Pete had always nodded and agreed with them but he knew that he had it cracked. Francesca kept the house and the children immaculately; clean house, willing wife and quiet kids. He certainly knew how to be in control and live life his way.
  At 12.30 he would break for lunch and telephone Fran in order to tell her what he would like for dinner that evening. He would be home at 8pm as always, the children were to be in bed and asleep and his meal waiting for him, perfectly cooked. He would also tell Francesca what he wanted her to be wearing, he couldn’t abide those women who refused to make an effort for their husbands, it was the least they could do.
  He’d done that yesterday and Francesca had answered the phone in the bright and cheery way he loved to hear. He had told her to cook a nice T bone steak (rare), boiled potatoes (just soft but not going to mash) petits pois peas, julienne carrots and asparagus tips. For pudding he fancied some of her homemade chocolate devil cake with hot chocolate sauce and clotted cream. He had asked her to wear that slinky red dress with the plunging neckline and the long split up the side. Her hair was to be up as he enjoyed undoing the clasp and watching it cascade around her shoulders later.  Her laughter had tinkled down the phone as she said she would have it all ready for him.
  The rest of the day had passed without incident. The ringing of the phones, the banter with his colleagues, the cocktail bar after work to relax and while away a couple of hours while Francesca put the children to bed and prepared everything for his arrival. Life was good.
  When he got home last night the curtains were drawn correctly but Pete was surprised to find the door locked. A flash of anger ran through him; Francesca was supposed to open it for him and welcome him in with a loving kiss. She was so disrespectful. After fumbling in his pocket for his keys he eventually managed to get inside, only to find silence. There should have been classical music playing softly in the background and Fran should have been helping him to remove his coat. He had checked his watch, 8pm on the dot, as he always was. She really should know better than this. He had called her name, softly at first so as not to wake those annoying kids and then louder and louder as his anger intensified. There was still no reply as he marched into the kitchen and beheld the scene before him. The kitchen table had been set for one person just as he liked it. The serviette was folded into a precision fan and the candles were ready to light. It was the worktop that caught most of his attention though. Spread out along it were all of the ingredients for tonight’s meal along with a note explaining how to cook each stage. At the bottom of the page Francesca had written ‘Please enjoy your meal.’
  This was preposterous, how dare she not cook his meal, let alone expect him to cook his own. Now incandescent with rage he tore through the house eventually arriving in the bedroom. The red dress was lying on the bed with a pair of scissors lying amongst the tatters that were all that was left of it. Another note lay on the pillow along with her mobile phone.
  Today, as he walked slowly along the avenue in the rain he pulled the missive out of his pocket and read it again.
  “You’ve used me as your punch bag and your whore for the last time. We are history to you now.’
  As Pete crumpled the paper into his fist and let it slowly drift to the floor, he wondered miserably just what he had done so wrong.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

An Interlude

Ok, so i missed the week 3 writing challenge. I was supposed to re write a fairy tale from a different point of view but life as usual got in the way. Therefore, while i am working on week 4 (which is almost done) i have decided to post a poem i wrote a little while ago. On noticing that i mostly wrote dark, angst ridden stuff i decided to try something slightly more upbeat and this was the result. I hope you like.

Hidden Beauty

There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
Come close, I’ll take you to see.
But you must promise to whisper
‘Cos she frightens so easily.

There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
Crouch down, one step at a time.
Mind that twig! The loud noise will scare her,
Follow me, that’s right, you’re fine.

There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
Peek gently through these bushy leaves
And glimpse for the first time the beauty
Of a world in which no-one believes.

There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
Can you see her dance and twirl?
Her shimmering skirt flowing round her
Whilst the ferny grass fronds unfurl.

There’s a fairy at the bottom of my garden.
Just listen, do you hear that?
She’s dancing in time to the music
Of the garden in which we are sat.

There’s a fairy at the bottom of your garden.
Take the time, be quiet and you’ll see,
The beauty of all that surrounds you.
That’s yours. A gift, from me.