This week’s 99-word flash fiction challenge on Charli’s Carrot Ranch, will be presented to Sue Vincent as part of a celebration event for Sue and her writing.
Sue is a much-loved member of the blogging and writing community. At the moment she is facing a battle with her health and all the writers at Carrot Ranch are coming together to support Sue through their stories. You can read about Sue HERE!
The prompt for this flash is; In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness.
Through the Rough
As a young girl, under the watchful eyes of my father, I paddled with the minnow in the shallow part of Dundragon River. The safe part, where the water flowed gently across a million pebbles.
As years passed, I ventured further up the river. Deeper, muddier waters, where I learned to trust my own judgement in the absence of my protector. Tread carefully or be swallowed.
Keep my head above the water and prepare for the inevitable ripples. When the dam breaks, keep swimming, knowing that those watchful eyes will guide me across the rough, to gentle waters again.
Time is precious. I think we value it more as we get older. When I was young I lived for the present and could only see what was happening in the ‘here and now’. I wanted to stay in bed late at the weekends, especially if I’d been out the night before. I can’t do that now. Those early morning hours are my favourite time of the day.
Some might say it’s a good thing; live in the present, be mindful, don’t worry about the past and let the future take care of itself. But like everything, it’s getting the balance right.
Time is so easily lost. We don’t always realise until later that we wasted our time on things that were of no benefit to us or those around us. Sometimes we waste time on people who don’t appreciate us. We often let people steal our time too. Sometimes we regret not having spent enough time with those we love, especially those who love and respect us back. It’s with experience and wisdom that we learn to recognise the difference.
Rose opened the shabby old shoebox. ‘All my favourite things,’ she said softly with her hand on her heart. ‘You kept them.’ She rummaged through the box and lifted out a brown rubber watch. Laughing she said, ‘Matt gave me this when we were eight.’ Nancy dabbed her eyes with her hanky. ‘I’m so sorry Rose…and ashamed. I’ve missed so much.’ ‘We all have Mam. I’m sorry too, for staying away.’ The doorbell rang. ‘Are you ready?’ Rose asked. Nancy nodded. Yes, she was at last ready to welcome her son-in-law Matt, and to finally meet her twenty-eight-year-old grandson.
If you you like creative writing but don’t have much spare time, these flash fiction challenges are fun to do. They exercise your mind – and your writing muscles. It’s quite therapeutic too. Check it out over onCarrot Ranch.Thank you for reading!
It’s all about the Covid-19 these days, isn’t it? Oh…and the US elections, but I’m saying nothing about that.
I decided at the beginning of the pandemic that I didn’t want to blog about it, because it was everywhere. All over social media, on television, newspapers, so there was no point in me adding to the assemblage.
I contracted the virus in April, and I didn’t write about that either. I hadn’t the energy or the motivation to write very much at all. It took me months to get back into a proper writing routine. My summer was quiet, like everyone else’s. My mood was low and my energy levels were up and down like a yoyo.
However, I wasn’t the worst off, thank God. It’s been very difficult for a lot of people everywhere. People’s mental health is suffering now more than ever, for so many reasons. Financial worry and uncertainty for the future is a huge factor. Domestic abuse is another. And loneliness. It really is a terrible time for so many. How long will it take to fix the carnage? All we can do for now is our best. Make the best of what we have.
Lessons are being learned too. People have become more appreciative of their time and their families. During the first lockdown I realised the true value of school. My child missed the social aspect of the school environment, and I missed the routine and the discipline that school teaches them when it comes to doing their work. Home schooling began as a novelty, but I got frustrated with the maths. Was never my strong point! And I have to admit, I missed not having those few hours all to myself because it’s the best part of the day for me when it comes to writing. I need quiet and zero distractions.
I was glad when the schools re-opened in September. Although Little Miss Nine didn’t settle back in as easily as I expected her to, she’s okay now. My novel is once again the prime focus of my day. That’s my joy you see. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and often the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. It gives me meaning and pleasure. I’m hopelessly in love with the art of creative writing.
What do you do every day that brings you joy? Even amidst all the upset and stress, you need to find something that will bring you joy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be walking, cycling, painting, reading, listening and dancing to music…the list is endless!
Someone once said to me. ‘Find your joy and joy will find you.’ I had a good week with my joy. Last week was a frustrating one because I spent all of it on research – just for one scene. It was worth it though. I’m satisfied that I got this one scene finished and the plot is where I need it to be. I’m satisfied that I gave enough of my time to my family – face to face or by phone – who are of course all a joy to me too. And I’m sure you’ll say the same thing. But don’t be afraid to find a different kind of joy. That one thing that’s for you and no one else. Something that your mental health and well-being will benefit from at all times. And even if your joy might bring you frustration now and then, that’s okay. Your joy may be some sort of a challenge, and we know how challenges can frustrate us sometimes. And look at how good you feel when you complete a challenge.
Part of my writing routine involves a simple challenge that Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch Blog sets every Thursday. She gives a prompt that we have to use it in a 99 word story. You can find out more about that HERE.
I usually post my flash fiction over on my other blog. Tasheenga Writes Here (Yes, she’s Indian and she’s my alter ego)
I’m not sure any of us can say that we fully understand life and death. We all have our own beliefs and that’s okay, but that’s all they are – beliefs. What is life all about, and where do we really go when we die? I don’t let myself think about it too much because it’s confusing and sometimes scary. I take comfort in my beliefs and it keeps me from freaking out.
All my life I preferred to avoid people who have just lost a loved one. Not always, but many times. I’d tell myself things like: I’m not to bother them. I’ll make them sad if I mention their loss. I don’t need to go to the wake because they have enough people there, and we’re not even related. I won’t go to the funeral because I hate funerals, they make me cry. (You could say that’s selfish.) I’ll send a sympathy card instead. (And then forget to send it.) I always thought if I lost someone close, I wouldn’t want to see lots of people. I wouldn’t want them to say anything, or I wouldn’t care if they went to the funeral or not.
Well…my eyes have been opened! How wrong I was about death and funerals; how wrong I was to think all those things.
Walking Lightly is Noeleen Watson’s first book of poems. On a journey of self-discovery, Noeleen realises her true potential as she finds she has a gift of putting words on paper that create something special.