Latest story for my #futurelearn course

The next story for my futurelearn course:

Katie had just locked her car when the fox surprised her. As it flashed past her she caught her breath, watching him leap over fences as he ran through the front gardens of the houses in her street.

He then dissapeared up an alleyway half way down the road. Breathing again, she felt a flush of joy having seen the animal.

Moving to the city had been so much harder than she expected. Her job was great, how could she fault being artist in residence at the largest library and community centre for miles around.

But the concrete jungle was getting her down. It had only been six months since she had moved from the wide open spaces of the East. 

There she could stand in the noisey silence of the early morning, the dome of the sky above her and the resident sparrows in nearby trees would swing from branches and chatter to one another. 

Now all she had was a little slice if sky from her dorma window and the constant rumble of humanity en mass.

Later in the day she met Lucy for coffee and recounted her meeting with the fox. Lucy paused, pushing back her 1980’s peroxide fringe and sitting back in her chair. She studied Katie for a moment, taking in her classic talored trousers and crew neck top. She noticed that in spite of an expensive bob hair cut and perfect natural makeup, she looked soul-tired.

“You know, there is more nature in the city than you might imagine. I think it’s time you but your artist sensibilities to it”.

Katie put her coffee down “what do you mean?”

“Well, if I were a photography student and I only took photos of what you have described the city to be, what would you say to me?”

“I’d tell you to change your perspective, to look big, look small, look sideways…”

“Well then my friend, time to go do that”.

So she did. Suddenly a new world opened up to Katie. From tiny flowers pushing the vaement aside, ferns and lichen reclaiming walls, silly pigeons making eyes at one another on rooftops and clouds of starlings in the evening, there was more life in the city than she could have imagined.

And of course, there was the fox in her street – home had come to her.

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#Futurelearn course in #creativewriting

So I have started a future learn course in creative writing. I’m enjoying it so far (which to be fair, isn’t very far yet). We have been asked to write a first draft of the beginning of our story, in 500 words. So here is mine… remember, it really IS first draft…

The tap was dripping again. It had been dripping on and off for a week or more. Piles of dishes and plates layered with cutlery were stacked on the small draining board threatening to avalanche the dying plants on the windowsill.

Clothes were piled up near the washer dryer, acting as a causeway from the kitchenette part of the bed sit to the sofa come sleeping area. In the half light of closed curtains, not much of the midday sun was getting in but a pioneering ray of light had made its way to Hazel’s face. She pushed her pillow over her head and tried to block out the day. An hour later, Kenny, her neighbour below had decided it was late enough to turn up his music and the muffled sound of drum and bass reverberated through the floor. The beat finally drove Hazel to get up. Reaching for the nearest clothes and pulling on a pair of slouchy jeans she found a mostly clean maroon t-shirt along with her favourite midnight blue sweat top. Shoving feet into already tied trainers she wrenched the tap shut again and scraped her dark tangled hair back with the elastic band she found in her pocket.

The kettle and instant coffee found, she was now drinking a brew from a stained mug found under the desk.  She rested her head on her knees as she sat on the now folded up sofa bed.

A bedraggled hare, its blue grey fur flea bitten and a chunk missing out of its right ear, sat next to her, its whole body drooping. It raised its head tiredly towards her and spoke.

The intervention had come in 2030. Humanity became, overnight, part of the sentient collective as earth was flooded with microscopic DNA advancers, turning everyone from homo sapiens to homo-novis. The change in DNA had caused an unexpected shift in that part of a human which was not physical: the soul and mind.

Ancient cultures and modern writers had hinted at it, but now every human could see and converse with their own souls. Other people’s souls could be seen as a blur of coloured light, but to the individual they looked like an animal. Likewise, other people heard another soul’s words as faint chirping or the scuff of leaves along the pavement. But for each person, the conversations we used to have in our heads, now happened both there and out loud with the other that was also us.

You know we cant go on like this” the hare said.

Hazel shifted a little so she could look at her. Once soft and thick fur was now thin and bald. Itchy patches could be seen down the hare’s spine and a listlessness to the eyes had appeared. It really was time to choose. Either she had to get help, or they would die.

100 Themes Challenge Writing Prompts

Life is very busy at the moment, certainly as far as head space goes anyway, so sadly I wont be attempting nanowrimo this year.

But I still want to write.

So I am setting myself a little challenge of my own, to write creatively each day through November. This list of prompts seems like a good place to prepare…

Scribbling on the Computer

A list of prompts has been floating around on the internet – I was told it originated on DeviantART – and after having successfully used the prompts, I share them with you.  You pick a list (I have two right here) and write something for each theme.  Poems, drabbles, short stories, journal entries, anything. A group of us from Holy Worlds are using the list to outline an entire novel to be written for NaNoWriMo. I just finished my outline today. 😀 You would be shocked to find how easy it is to create an entire, round, detailed plot just by using each theme to create a scene.

The Original List
1. Introduction
2. Complicated
3. Making History
4. Rivalry
5. Unbreakable
6. Obsession
7. Eternity
8. Gateway
9. Death
10. Opportunities
11. 33%
12. Dead Wrong
13. Running Away
14. Judgment
15. Seeking Solace
16. Excuses
17. Vengeance
18…

View original post 448 more words

#nanowrimo or not

You know you are sunk when you get to 28,000 words and realise you just don’t want to be writing the story you are. So although practically I could finish nanowrimo this year, I won’t.

Life is too short to be writing stuff you are not interested in. However I will keep on writing.

I have been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird  and she talks about writing because you want to write, not because you want to get published. That, is a very liberating thing, because it means you can write what you feel drawn to, not what you feel you “should” be.

And nobody likes shoulds.

So today I will write… Something. And when it isn’t an awful first draft, I shall post it ❤

#nanowrimo here we go again

Even though I have no time, even though I’m not at all prepared:

image

Even though life is pressing, or perhaps because it is, I am attempting nanowrimo again this year.
It means I probably won’t write much here until it’s all over, but creating is very important to me.
I think there is nothing like making room for imagination, it builds a deeper stronger person and balances out the rest of life.

Beautiful & interesting things from around the net

It has been a busy week, so a number of cool and interesting things have been sitting on my phone ready to read or watch. I finally caught up with them all today and these are the best:

From TED, the most lovely visual performance from Miwa Matreyek described as:

 “a gorgeous, meditative piece about inner and outer discovery

And a thought provoking piece about motivation and apathy from Dave Meslin identifying seven barriers to motivation.

Elsewhere I came across Faith Street which has articles from people of all sorts of faiths, including a lot of christian writers including:
Philip Yancy
Shane Claibourne
Tony Campolo
Rick Warren

In the Guardian, Katie Carter explains why she loves running so much… I wish I loved it enough to be this motivated!

And back on TED there is a whole list of videos just waiting to inspire us all to better writing. Enjoy 😀