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The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #42

Prompt: Cake

'Gracious,' said Miss Pettigrew, plucking a tiny spinning-top from her slice of cake. 'That's hardly what one expects to find.'

More unexpected still was that when the top stopped spinning on the table, the Cheltenham tea-room had become an elephant-borne palanquin; the cake a melting mess in the tropical heat.

(Absolutely had to write one which included the word, "palanquin"!)

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #41

Prompt: Troubled

'I can see you're troubled —' She frowned at the cards, willing them to speak. It made no sense. What were they trying to tell her?

'Not anymore,' said the man across the table. He reached out and smoothed the puzzlement from her face, then leaned forward to kiss her.

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #40

Prompt: Seasoned

'A lie seasoned with truth has extra piquancy, I always find.' She twirled her wine glass and regarded her companion with a smile.

'But to claim we know the secrets of both life and death? Darling, don't you think that a step too far?'

'Always, my dear dead sister. Always.'

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #39

Prompt: In the Last Hour

In our doomed city, we dance to the music of silence, then stand at the window, folded together like prayer-hands, and wait for the wall of water to hit. Most have fled, so in the last hour, we regret our collective sins and wait for punishment to drown it all.

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

Splashing Around

It's good to have been back with MoulderingBook over the past few days. I'm splashing around in the middle section, which is fun as it means both my MC and I are finally able to spend time getting to know her new decadent and twisted family. They are as delighted with her as she is with them, and there's so much to explore, both physicallly and psychologically.

For various reasons, I'm only able to make slow progress, but all progress counts. And when I'm not able to sit at the computer typing, or with my notebook on my knee, I'm thinking, thinking, and planning. Painting scenes in my mind, so they're all ready and waiting for me to pin them down like butterflies in cases. Eurgh! Horrid image and even more horrid pastime, but it's nice and appropriate for MoulderingBook.

I'm sure that's all terribly fascinating for anyone reading this (there are still a few of you out there, right?) So by way of recompense, here's a pretty picture:


Amazing, huh? I took it out of my bedroom window on my recent trip to Glastonbury. It was one of several astonishing sunsets I was lucky enough to witness while I was there.

Of Bright Ideas and Best Laid Plans

So, yesterday, I decided to go out. Where? Why, here, of course:


That's right, wonderful Avebury.

I took my notebook and pen, planning to do some writing, which ... er ... didn't happen.

I took a book with me, planning to read for a while, but ... er ... that didn't happen either.

Instead, I had the most lovely day, wandering the stones and the henge, soaking up the sun and the energies, and smiling, smiling, smiling.

I wanted to make a Summer Solstice visit without having to deal with the crowds next weekend, so since the Solstice energies are buzzing for a week either side of the actual Solstice, yesterday it was. And it was perfect. Sunny, relatively quiet, with lovely open, shimmering energies.

The stones were warm in the sun, soft from six thousand years of weathering, rough with lichen.


I wandered the circle, and came upon a group of a dozen or so people engaged in a kind of spontaneous, freeform, slow-mo, movement/dance session. They took it in turns to 'dance', rising as the spirit took them, and were led by an ancient Japanese dude, who was as flexible as a rubber band, and beautiful to watch. So watch I did.

Then I wandered on.

The Cove, a favourite spot of mine, had been turned into a nursery (it fascinates me how the sheep always seem to be drawn to these particular stones):


And these little guys were very interested in me:


Every time I visit, different stones draw me. Yesterday, this was a favourite:


The nettles hugging the base reminded me of the Carolyn Hillyer song, 'Secret Thorn', which includes the words:

"I long for the comfort of briar,
I crave the kiss of thorn.
The nettle sting is my lover,
And the sweet embrace of gorse."

So I sang the song to the stone, and these curious folk showed up to listen to the crazy lady:


Later in the day, after eating my packed lunch in my favourite spot, I spent some time near The Sanctuary, which lies on the line of the Michael Line (a major ley-line, for those of you scratching your head and looking at me askance). I wasn't the only person who chose to spend some quiet time there. Nearby, two young guys were tuning in to the energies. One stood some distance behind the other, tall totem stick in hand, watching over his friend, who sat cross-legged, much like me, meditating. He was lithe and nut-brown, and I have a feeling the pair of them may turn up in a story of mine one day.

I couldn't have had a more perfect day.

Well, aside from the fact that I've come home with a sunburned scalp. (Note to self: wear hat next time!)

Bright Solstice Blessings to all who celebrate.

The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #37

Prompt: Bright Idea

"An idea as bright as a candle-flame," she mused, passing her hand through and through that flame without flinching.

"He told me you would appreciate it."

"Indeed." A smile twitched. "Did he also tell you I would kill you for it, my sweet bright spark?"

"I'm only the messenger." I said.

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

Five Frightful Titles

So here's a piece of Monday silliness. I confess, I pinched the idea from a meme stephanieburgis took part in over on her blog last week, but me being me, I've adapted it a bit. Steph's meme was 'Ten Terrible Titles'. I've made mine 'Five Frightful Titles'. The idea is that you scroll through your current MS and stop at random, plonk your curser/finger down at random, and the sentence/phrase you land on is the new title for your opus. Repeat five times. And no cheating! Or else!

Since both readthisandweep and I have been facing title conumdrums, I thought it would be fun to play along. Turns out the five bits I landed on offer a fair flavour of MoulderingBook, so I may end up using one of them as a title yet *grin*.

So, without further ado:

Five Frightful Titles

1. The Way Father Stares at Me

2. My Long-due Recompense

3. Green as Sharp as Glass

4. I Wish I Could Slap Her

5. For You May Be The Next To Die

I'm particularly partial to the last two. How about you?

Anyone else want to play along? The more the merrier, as they say.


The 50-Word Vignette Challenge

50-Word Vignette #36

Prompt: How I Met My ...

You want to know how I met my ... Of course you do. I'd tell you, but she would have my tongue for it, and where would I be without my tongue to trade in secrets and watch empires fall as a result, just as my beloved spy master taught me?

Anybody else like to join in and write their own? Just post it in the comments. All welcome.

Virgin Territory

Yes, it's true. This week, I have finally broken into virgin territory with MoulderingBook. I've written a thousand new words. It's everso-terribly exciting. I'm now at more-or-less the midpoint of the story, and revelations abound. My beleaguered MC, who has been increasingly frustrated by all the secrets she senses whispering around her has finally been rewarded with an explanation of some of them. In part, at least. Of course, she still doesn't know who she can trust, and whether what she's been told is actual truth, truth born of a fantasist, or just yet more game-playing. I do love to mess with my characters' heads. Especially so in MoulderingBook, it seems.

Fun, fun, fun.