Tag Archives: fiction

what I’m writing – week twenty-one

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week twenty-one of ‘What I’m Writing’. Twenty-one! We’re all grown-up! We had another great week over at Muddled Manuscript last Tuesday with a great batch of posts. Thanks to everyone who joined in.

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through.

We take turns to write a monthly roundup of posts. My December Round-up should give you a flavour of what we’ve all been up to recently if you want to catch up!

We’ve also just set up a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). As it’s a ‘secret group’ it’s hidden until I send an invititation but I have sent them to all linkers – or at least I’ve meant to! We’ve had a few issues with people’s invitations going AWOL though (think they’re being eaten by the big mail cruncher in the sky) so if you’d like to join and haven’t received one just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions (‘rules’ feels too strong a word) for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – please link up below! I look forward to reading your posts (I’ll be linking up too of course)!

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what I’m writing – week nineteen

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week nineteen of ‘What I’m Writing’. We had another great week over at Muddled Manuscript last Tuesday with a great batch of posts. Thanks to everyone who joined in!

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is my co-host Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through.

We take turns to write a monthly roundup of posts. My December Round-up should give you a flavour of what we’ve all been up to recently if you want to catch up!

We also (as of yesterday!) have a private group on Facebook that all linkers are welcome to join. It’s somewhere we can share work and have a chat about all things writerly (and whatever else we fancy really). If you want to join (I tried to send invites to all #WhatImWriting linkers but I did it in a very disorganised way so it’s entirely possible I may have missed people out) just leave me a comment – thanks!

We welcome linkers old and new and if you’d like to join in there are just a few suggestions (‘rules’ feels too strong a word) for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – please link up below! I look forward to reading your posts (I’ll be linking up too of course)!

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writing, blogging and holding back – #WhatImWriting

Thanks for all your fab #WhatImWriting posts last week – we had the most linkers we’ve ever had! Chrissie is hosting this week so if you’d like to link up please head over to Muddled Manuscript.

In terms of my creative writing, this blog has been invaluable to me over the last year-and-a-bit. When I began it I had very little confidence in my own writing ability. Although I’d been writing on and off for years (and had been dedicating more time to writing while on maternity leave for the previous year) basically my work amounted to a few scribblings and a big, fat demon of self-doubt.cropped-friendly-pencils4.jpg

Starting the blog was a kind of leap of faith. I had a vague notion of ‘charting my writing journey’ and ‘finding a community’ but I didn’t really know how it was going to pan out. Turns out it was a great leap to take as over the past sixteen months I’ve found a wonderful writing community and have certainly used the blog as somewhere to write about my writing, set myself challenges, and build my confidence.

I’ve also published a lot of my own work here. I’ve just had a quick check and last year I posted fifteen short stories/pieces of flash fiction), twenty-five poems and over thirty limericks. With the occasional exception they were all written within days (or hours) of hitting ‘publish’ so that’s over seventy original creative pieces in less than a year. That’s a fair bit of my work that’s ‘out there’.

I don’t think it’s what I imagined doing when I set out. I think I intended to write about what I was writing rather than actually show people. I certainly remember the fear I felt when I hit the ‘publish’ button on my first poem. I was cringing as I waited to see if anyone would even comment and I wondered what on earth they might say. But the feedback was good (more because people were kind than because of the poem’s quality I suspect) so I published more. And the more I published the more confident I felt. I realised it didn’t matter if it wasn’t perfect and that the world wouldn’t end if people read what I’d written.

And now a year later I’m not scared to publish my work here. I also have the confidence to submit work and accept rejection. But I’ve also realised that I can’t keep putting so much work on my blog. I wanted to submit to a competition last week. I had a poem and a short story in mind that, with a bit of extra work, I would have been happy to send off. Only I couldn’t because I’d posted them here and that counts as ‘pre-published’ work which this particular press (and pretty much all others) won’t accept. Fair enough. But frustrating. And yes, I could have written something else but inspiration wasn’t flowing and I was concentrating on writing other things anyway. It felt like a missed opportunity.

So I’ve made a decision to publish less of my work on my blog. I’ll still be posting limericks and I suspect the odd story or poem but not at the rate I was before. I need to start holding work back. I want to start writing for competitions and in response to submission requests. Yes, it will mean more rejection but I feel more resilient now. I’m more up for the challenge. And this blog will still be here for me to cry and rant onto when the rejections get too much.

Oh and I’d love to know about other writers’ creative output and blogging- how much work do you publish on your blog? Do you hold a lot back for other submissions? Any advice?

Muddled Manuscript

writing picture books

I’m currently in the process of writing some picture books. I started writing them at different times and they’re at different stages of completion but this last week I’ve been working on all three of them at once. It’s been making me reflect on my creative process because although all three books are in rhyme and are a roughly similar length, writing each of them has been a very different experience.

frosted tree

The first book came at me out of nowhere. I wanted to write something for #ThePrompt over at MumTurnedMom and the theme that week was ‘Books’. When I sat down to write, the whole story appeared in a couple of hours. It just flowed and without any real effort I had a story about a girl who wouldn’t read. Of course, I’ve spent masses of time since editing it, re-editing it and editing it again but the entire story and structure basically happened in that first couple of hours of inspiration.

Book two actually came off the back of book one. There were a few lines (now edited out) where the girl read “Her latest book about a magic biscuit cook, whose fresh, enchanted custard creams were sure to give her sweetest dreams.” The lines didn’t make the cut but I rather liked the idea of a magic biscuit cook and decided to write a story about one.

This time round I had a reasonable idea of what the story would be before I started writing it. I also made a deliberate decision about the meter of the rhyme as I wanted it to be different from my first book. The story and the characters came into focus as I wrote it, but getting the first draft down was a lot harder work. I had to think about it and work it out and once I’d finished it I had several versions which were quite different in terms of length and story complexity. I’m currently trying to work out which version I prefer.

Book three is a whole different beast all together. The inspiration for this was my son responding to a question with “I’ve absolutely no idea”. For some reason this triggered in my head  the line “He’d absolutely no idea if aliens can even hear.” which in turn made me think ‘I know, I’ll write a book about a boy who meets some aliens!’ Of course the idea is hardly earth-shattering in originality so I then had a big think about what sort of book it would be (humorous but thoughtful) and what precisely would happen during the story in terms of key events and character development. At this point a few rhyming couplets popped into my head which gave the story its rhythm.

That was about two months ago and I’ve been writing it on and off ever since. It’s still nowhere near complete. It’s a very slow process (given the length that the finished piece will be) and I’m finding it really tricky. I’ve found myself wondering if it would be better in prose rather than verse… but then I’ve got little stretches of it that I love because of the rhythm and the pace the rhyme gives them. I have a funny feeling that if I can get this one right it will be the best of the three but I have no idea if I can pull it off at all.

So there you have it: three little stories with three very different creative processes.

Do you find your process differs between projects? What brings about the changes? Do you have a preferred way of working?

I’m sharing this with Friday Fiction as it’s the closest I’ll get to sharing extracts from any of these books! Also linking to the Wonderful World of Writing at Virtually All sorts.

Nikki Young Writes

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what I’m writing – week seventeen

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week seventeen of ‘What I’m Writing’. We had a great start to the new year over at Chrissie’s blog last week with more linkers than ever before! It was great to catch up with our regular linkers on what their plans for the new year were and we were also pleased to see new faces too. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this year takes you all – the only way is up, yes?

So, If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. September’s and October’s round-up posts (we take turns to write them every month) give you a flavour of the sorts of things we chat about. I posted December’s Round-up last week.

We’d love you to join in and there are just a few suggestions (‘rules’ feels too strong a word) for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – please link up below! I look forward to reading your posts (I’ll be linking up too of course)!

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what I’m writing – week fifteen

typewriter butterflies badgeWelcome to week fifteen of ‘What I’m Writing’- the last of the year! Chrissie and I are taking a couple of weeks off over the festive period but #WhatImWriting will be back on 6th January 2015 ready to hear all about your new year’s resolutions!

Since it’s the last of the year I just want to say – on behalf of Chrissie and myself – a huge thank you to each and every one of you who has linked up and/or commented on the posts in our little linky. When we launched it in September this year we had no idea how it would go and we really have been totally thrilled to see people sharing such a range of fabulous posts every week. You’ve been inspiring and supportive and honest and funny and lovely and it’s been wonderful to get to know you all. Truly. Thank you.

So, enough of the mushy stuff (though I’m a huge softy at heart so don’t be surprised if I write more of that sort of thing in my post to link up this week) – to business! (ie the bit where I cut and paste… ).

If you’re new here you might be wondering what #WhatImWriting is all about. You can find all the details here but the short version is Chrissie and I are both writers who love blogging about our writing processes and reading about those of others. Our linky is for all you fellow writers, poets, bloggers etc. out there to share posts about what you’re writing (and all your hopes and fears, triumphs and tears) with a group of people who understand what you’re going through. September’s and October’s round-up posts (we take turns to write them every month) give you a flavour of the sorts of things we chat about.

We’d love you to join in and there are just a few suggestions (‘rules’ feels too strong a word) for taking part:

  • Link up any post (old or new) that is to do with writing/blogging etc. 
  • Please either use our badge on the post (copy and paste the HTML code below) or link to whichever one of our blogs is hosting that week. We will share your post on Twitter in return.
  • Read and comment on as many other posts in the linky as you can. What I’m Writing has developed a lovely, supportive community and we’d love you to join in :)
  • If you’d like to tweet your post feel free to use the hashtag #WhatImWriting. If you tweet us a link to your post @writingbubble or @rantybeast then we will RT.

Over to you – please link up below! I look forward to reading your posts (I’ll be linking up too of course)!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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friendship

dappled forest cropWhen I saw that ‘The Prompt’ over at Mum turned Mom this week was ‘Friendship’ I remembered a short story I wrote on the subject a while back. Actually I must have written it a couple of years ago which is quite a long time in terms of how my writing has developed, and it’s also a bit unusual for me as it’s written in the first person. But I thought, rather than leave it to gather dust on my hard-drive, I’d share it.

To Last a Lifetime

I was a bit of a loner as a child. Not an unhappy loner, not lonely; it was just that I mostly liked to be on my own. I was – am – an only child, born late to parents who’d struggled for years to have me, and maybe this was one of the reasons for my self-reliance. With no brothers or sisters to play games with me, fight with me, drag me off on their adventures or follow me on mine, I learned to do things for myself and by myself. My parents supported this: desperately wanted and hugely loved though I was, they still allowed me my freedom. Perhaps they were aware of how easy it would have been to go the other way: to mollycoddle their shrimpy little daughter with the sticky-outy ears. Perhaps this pushed them to allow me to develop at my own pace and in my own way. Whatever the reason, from an early age I was something of an independent explorer.

We lived in a little house in the middle of the countryside, and this suited me. The expanse of fields, woodland and open sky surrounding our home were perfect for a young girl with an urge for adventure and as soon as I was old enough, my parents let me go exploring in the fields and woods beyond the house. I could happily while away hours climbing trees, damming streams and building dens in the undergrowth.

Despite being happy on my own, I think on the day I met Max I was ready to make a friend. It was one summer at the start of the school holidays and I was in the process of constructing a rather intricate dam on a little stream going through the woods next to our house. There had been a heavy rainfall the previous night and – not convinced that mere rocks and pebbles would be able to hold back the faster-flowing water – I was attempting a woven barrier of twigs which I intended to stuff with moss and plant in the stream bed.

The plan was not going well: the twigs kept snapping, I couldn’t seem to gather enough and a full two hours went by with very little progress made. Tired, I was sitting back on my haunches wondering whether to abandon the whole plan when, with a ‘plop’, a little stick landed next to me. I looked to my right and there was Max. For a moment we just stared at each other. He was about my height with a slightly impish look in his brown eyes, and his scruffy hair looked very similar to how I imagine mine must have done. My perfect adventuring companion. I looked down at the stick and realised it was really a very good size for my weaving project. “Thanks,” I said, picking it up and readdressing my task, then casting back over my shoulder, “You can help me do this if you like.”

And that was that. We worked side by side, Max bringing me sticks and me painstakingly constructing the dam. When it was complete it was pretty impressive – to our young minds at least – with an ever-deepening pool poised temptingly behind a surprisingly robust wood-and-moss barrier. A cursory inspection of our work complete, we both leapt into the water and played around happily, shattering the peace with our excited splashing.

When the time came to go in for tea I tried to persuade Max to come with me. “Come on! My mum’s a great cook and I’m sure she won’t mind me bringing you along.” But he wouldn’t, instead turning and walking off further into the wood. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” I called at his retreating back. He didn’t respond, but I had a hunch I’d see him again.

The next few days it rained so heavily that even I – who normally couldn’t bear to stay indoors – wasn’t tempted to go out. Instead, I wrapped myself in a blanket on the window sill and gazed out at the rain-lashed scene. I told my parents about Max and asked if they knew where he lived. My mum knew that the farm over the ridge had been for sale and speculated that it now had new owners… perhaps we could go over together and meet the whole family sometime? I nodded, although I wasn’t particularly interested in that; I just wanted to see my friend again.

When the sun finally came out the following day, I rushed off outside and headed in the direction of the river. I was hoping I’d meet Max on the way, or at least spot him in the distance, but the wood was silent. Wandering the well worn tracks, I tried calling his name. There was no response. I was just pondering heading up to the farm to see if he was there when a rustling, cracking sound behind me alerted me to a presence. I turned to greet him with a huge smile.

We played together all that day and all the next and, as the summer days rolled on, we became inseparable. He started having tea at our house most days (he showed a healthy appreciation for my mum’s cooking, so he was always a welcome guest) and even slept over some nights.

In Max I had found my ideal ally. He understood me like no one else could and, through his friendship, I learnt about companionship, trust and loyalty. With him, nothing was complicated: he seemed to have a gut feeling about what was important, and he stuck to that. I respected and trusted him. With Max, I felt safe.

Summer gradually stuttered to a close and autumn brought a return to school, whereupon Max and I were separated. I missed him, but school gave me plenty of distractions. I found I felt more confident than I had done before the holidays and I started to form more friendships. I suppose my summer with Max had encouraged me to seek out companionship in other places and I began to want something more than my previous solitary pursuits. Anyway, there was still plenty of time during weekends and holidays for me to seek out my friend from across the fields.

This pattern continued as the months – and then gradually years – went by. School, friendships I formed there, and life outside of my home in general became increasingly important, but I always had time for Max too. Whenever I introduced him to friends they always got on – Max had a way with people – but no one ever took my place in his affections, just as no one ever took his place in mine.

Years rolled on. Our friendship lasted through the gangly, tormented adolescent phase and into adulthood. Things changed as we got older, of course. As time progressed there was less damming of rivers and racing through fields, and more time sitting around eating, drinking and contemplating life. Yes, I had become more sociable as I grew older, but I never lost my love of peace and quiet, of nature and of losing myself in thought. Max understood all that instinctively, and with the passing of the years came a contentment on both our parts to just spend time together. There was no need to actively do anything like we used to, we could just be.

Then one autumn, returning home from college, I met Max outside our house, just as we met at the end of every term. But this time something was different: he looked tired and ill, and his brown eyes seemed sad. Of course, I ushered him inside immediately, and once he was sitting down I gave him something to drink. We all wondered if he was alright and if we should call someone, but as he settled down to one of my mum’s famous shepherd’s pies he seemed much brighter. We all began to joke together as we used to; it was a happy homecoming.

After my parents had gone to bed that night, Max and I settled in front of the fire together. As the crackling flames sent dancing shadows across the wall, I looked at him and felt utter contentment. I thought about my happy childhood here in this house, of the summer I’d met Max and the years I’d spent with him by my side. I thought of what I’d learned from him and how my life had changed.

But as I looked I felt a sadness creep in too; I’d known when I’d seen him today that he’d have to leave me soon. His youthful exuberance had well and truly gone. As I’d grown up, he’d grown old. Yet I was determined to make whatever time he had left as good as it could be. I’d stay by his side until the end. I bent down from my chair to stroke his fur and scratch him behind his ears, “I love you Maxy-boy.” Stretched out on the hearth rug, Max opened his eyes to look at me and gave a huge sigh of contentment.

 

mumturnedmom

 

Nikki Young Writes

ghost story

forestneg2

A Christmas Ghost Story

The Tradition – Part One

It was late one Christmas eve. The little girl lay in bed listening to the old house sighing and groaning against the chill wind that buffeted it from all sides. Outside, the storm was whipping flurries of snow higher and higher, encasing the house and its inhabitants in a frosty fortress. Shivering, she nestled further down into her blankets and waited.

Downstairs she heard the grandfather clock strike the hour; slow sonorous chimes… nine, ten, eleven… it was time. As her feet hovered over icy wooden boards, she groped in the darkness for dressing gown and slippers, her fingers meeting them with relief. Encased in their soft fibres she moved silently across the room and out into the hallway.

Her brother’s door was ajar and, peeking round it, she saw his bed was empty. She knew he must already be downstairs and hurried to catch up with him. The hall was bitingly cold and at the top of the stairs a chill wind whipped up from under the front door below sending icy fingers skittering up her spine. The huge christmas tree, wreathed in darkness, loomed up at her as she hurried onwards and downwards. She paused only when she reached the threshold of the closed kitchen door. There excitement and trepidation made her tremble. What if he wasn’t here?

She could bear it no longer and, raising her hand to the door, entered the room. And there they were: her father and her brother sitting by the fire. They were both facing the flames, holding out long forks on which they were toasting bread. The scent – combined with the fir of the tree behind her – was as familiar as it was intoxicating. They looked up to greet her and her father, placing his fork on the hearth, welcomed her with a warm smile and open arms. She rushed over to him, leaping delightedly onto his lap.

This was their time. She loved her father deeply but his work kept him away from home for long hours, and often for weeks on end. He even worked on Christmas Eve and missed all the frantic preparations, the final dressing of the tree and the ritual placing of brightly-wrapped presents under its branches. But he always made it home an hour before midnight and they never failed to meet by the fireside like this, the three of them enjoying their special, festive tradition while her mother slept upstairs unawares.

And so the minutes passed happily. Her icy hands and feet were soon warmed by the fire and their father told them tales of his travels as they snuggled on his knee, their eyes shining bright in the firelight. These were perfect moments. It was her favourite hour of the year.

Then the hall clock chimed midnight and as its final note faded, the kitchen door flew open with a blast of cold air. The fire guttered in the grate sending a shower of sparks onto the hearth. Before them stood a vision in white, with long hair flying in disarray around a pale face and a night gown that flowed to the floor. Terror suddenly filled the little girl’s heart. Of course: now it must happen. She always forgot this point in the night and yet, year after year, it unfolded the same way. And she was always helpless. As her mother swept towards them, she trembled to her core.

To be continued…

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO

Prose for Thought
mumturnedmom

 

Nikki Young Writes

character development

typewriter characterOne of the (many) things I’ve loved so far about our #WhatImWriting linky has been finding out about the ways other writers develop their work. Two recent posts by Sadie and Nicola described an interesting process where they had taken characters from their books and put them into different situations to see how they’d react. The idea with this is that you can learn more about your characters than you could just keeping them within the confines of your book. And the more you learn about them, the more real they seem in your writing which is a very good thing for the reader.

I’ve been struggling with my book recently so I thought I’d have a go at this exercise to see if it got me past the block. I decided to explore a scene in my main character’s past. Eighteen years into her past to be precise! It’s not an extract from my book but writing it has revealed things about my characters that I wasn’t aware of. Here’s what I wrote:

“Is it time? Do you want me to call them?” Sam’s anxious face was close to her own, his breath hot in her ear.

Irritably she swiped him away. “Just… wait.” She said through gritted teeth “It’s nearly… ” She exhaled and slowly stood upright again, rubbing the small of her back with both hands in a steady circular motion. “Right,” she looked at him, “how long was that between contractions?”

“Oh, um, I’m not sure, I lost count.”

“Sam!” She snapped “You had one job!”

He dragged a hand through his tousled blond hair and gave her a weak smile. “I know, I’m sorry. I’m not much good at this.”

Staring into his worried, brown eyes Ruth felt a flash of sympathy for him; she knew he felt out of his depth. He was normally so organised and together. ‘Sam the man with the plan’ was what she had teasingly called him in the early days of their relationship – he always knew exactly what was happening in his life and when. His marriage proposal was organised down to the tiniest detail: even the sun had come out on cue. But this was one area where his plans didn’t seem to count for much.

Of course they had a birth plan, just as they had done with Tilly eighteen months earlier. Ruth had painstakingly created it herself based on that experience – all natural if possible, no drugs, overanxious relatives to be kept at bay – and Sam had crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s before she’d placed it in her maternity notes. But, well, anyone would think this baby didn’t know about the plan, because here they were on day three of the painful, exhausting, stop-start ‘is it actually going anywhere this time?’ contractions and she was already thinking fondly of diamorphine.

“Now!” she barked more harshly than she intended and gripped the doorframe as she felt another contraction building.

“What? Now? Oh.” And he peered at his watch as though his life depended on it.

Ruth breathed her way through it. They were getting strong now, maybe this time it was going somewhere. As her muscles relaxed again she looked up at Sam questioningly.

“Forty-five seconds that time… and five minutes since the last contraction I think. Do you want me to call the midwife now?” He stroked her back tenderly and she leaned into him.

“Yes. Good idea.” She said wearily. She wanted to add an apology for snapping at him but the words wouldn’t come. They were tangled up with the heaviness of her limbs and the ache in her back. She had no energy for explanations, besides which, Sam would know she was sorry and he’d understand. Ruth smiled at him weakly as she watched him on the phone across the room. He was a good man, just perhaps not the best in an emergency situation.

She groaned and leaned forwards as the vice round her insides started to squeeze again. Then there was a sudden rush of hot liquid down her trembling legs. Dammit. “Sam!” she said urgently “Tell them to get here now!”

I wrote this in an hour or so yesterday and I’ve not edited it much so it’s still a bit clunky. Writing it was an interesting process though. I knew Sam was the highly organised sort and that he had an anxious streak but I didn’t think he’d react quite like this. I actually like him more now than I did before.

What do you think? How do you develop your characters?

Nikki Young Writes

summer

sky

It was a beautiful summer’s day. The deep azure sky was flecked with only the fluffiest of clouds and the birch trees shimmered and shuffled their leaves in a gentle breeze. Alice sat on the edge of the lawn with her bare legs stretched out in front of her. Before her, the grass was a deep green and the sweetly-scented geraniums that swept across the flowerbeds around her drenched the scene with vibrant pink.

The sun was warm on her back as she watched her younger brothers and sister running around the garden. They were spraying each other with water and the air was filled with laughter. Alice tilted her face to the sun and felt contentment wash over her.

But a sudden chill wind disturbed her reverie. It swept across her, carrying away the shouts of her siblings and washing colour from the trees, the grass and the sky. In moments, summer had dissolved.

Alice blinked. From her bed she could see the ward door swinging shut sending another draft of cold air over her. Her frail hands clutched at the blankets as she gently eased herself further under them. She didn’t want to be here. Not in this hospital. Not old and ill and alone.

And yet there was comfort for, even seventy years on, her memories remained as clear cut as the day they were formed. Nested under her covers once more, Alice closed her eyes and smiled. It was a beautiful summer’s day.

Written in response to #ThePrompt over at Mumturnedmom. This week it was “Memories of Summer.”

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