I’m a blogging failure, will you forgive me?

I want to share with you a little of what’s been happening in my life recently. It’s been quite stressful for some time and all to do with work. I joined my organisation on a year’s fixed term contract in August 2010 after leaping from a job I hated. My contract was renewed a year later, for a further six months, and then three more renewals that took me up to yesterday. A couple of months ago I had to apply for the job I’ve been doing all this time, and I didn’t get it! I was invited to re-apply when it was advertised again and this time around, just in the nick of time I was successful. So here I am with a permanent contract, you wouldn’t believe the relief this has brought me. I’m single, have to support myself and despite paying tax and national insurance for forty years the state would have only given me around £72 per week to exist on if I joined the ranks of the unemployed. Even working I am still poor but my needs are few and my blessings are many, so this isn’t a sob story.

It is a tale of my failure though. My writing has suffered. I’m behind with my blogging. I’m behind with replying to comments. I’m hoping that you won’t all give up on me because I haven’t been present, you’re such lovely, and supportive people that I feel it will be okay. I can never catch up, it would take a week of solid work, so I’m just going to apologise and now that this huge anxiety has lifted I will refocus. I hope I haven’t totally lost my writing mojo because I begin a new writing course soon and need to be able to pull stories out of the bag. Talking of stories, I’ve failed with Madison Woods Friday Fictioneers challenges, missing the last two. Julia’s 100 word challenge for grown ups I might just manage because we have two weeks this time. I’m most sad because I really wanted to support Maggie Elizabeth, with her brand new weekly prompt Maybe some of you will join in with that one; you are all such good writers.

I have a lot of followers, many of you I haven’t said hi to – how rude am I? I can’t stand rudeness and I am ashamed of myself. I wish I could follow you all as well but at present I’m only just managing to visit everyone I do follow.

For the last few weeks a great contest has been going around, Travel Supermarket’s Capture the Colour and I have been invited to join by Blueberrie, and Elisa, and the closing date was yesterday. Guess what I missed it. Actually, time wise I could probably have made this one but after sending an hour trying and failing to choose the photos I gave up. Sorry girls and I really loved your entries.

Anyway, enough of what I haven’t done, enough beating myself up. How do all of you manage to find time to be a polite blogger, thank your followers and reply to the terrific comments as well as posting, working and living your lives? I LOVE to visit you, I’ve learnt so much and had real peoples views of so many wonderful places and insights into lives so different from mine. I get cross and feel I’ve missed out if I don’t visit. What’s your secret? Please share your time management skills!

Last of all, a big THANK YOU – I hope you’re still here 🙂

Friday Fictioneers: Hollow Debt

I couldn’t get anywhere when I looked at Madison’s photo prompt for the fictioneers and was going to give it a miss. One more look tonight and suddenly I’d done in in ten minutes. What do you make of the photo? there’s still time to enter, http://madisonwoods.com/index-of-stories/081712-2/ photo by Lura Helmstree

Twenty years since I last saw it and I still clean jumped out of my skin. It had decayed and sunk into the hollow, looking for all the world like some strange mystic fungus. I could still picture how it was back then, each week the flesh got blacker and the rancid stench warned me I was close. He was supposed to be a devil worshipper, so I always wore a cross, and carried garlic when I went to pay the debt for mom. Then one time mom, Aunt May and Aunt Wilma went together and he was never seen again.

Friday Fictioneers: Twin Shells

Madison’s 100 word flash fiction challenge this week is this lovely shell photo, which she credits to Susan Wenzel. This is my entry.


Shells Divided 

Ibiza 2002, they met at a club of course, it had a huge scene back then. They chatted, danced, and then strolled to Matthew’s hotel. A few hours later they caught the sunrise on Es Cavellet, hand in hand.

Gatwick 2012, he headed for departures, tummy fluttering. Ten years ago they’d vowed to bring their shells back to the island. How he had longed for tonight, 10pm outside El Chiringuito.

Mumbai 2012, Rahul pulled a small white shell from a drawer, turned it over in his hands, and dropped it into the bin.

Whatever happened to that funny English guy?

 Check out http://madison-woods.com/photo-prompt-for-the-fridayfictioneers-6/ to join the challenge and read the other entries.

Friday Fictioneers

Madison has posted a challenging photo prompt this week and this is my contribution. If you would like to visit her to read the other entries go to http://madison-woods.com/photo-prompt-for-the-fridayfictioneers-5/

Running Water

‘There you go my dear, now all you have to do is turn on the tap and you can have running water whenever you want.’

‘Turn it on whenever I want? That’s lovely.’

‘Now how do you manage about baths? You’d qualify for a council grant at your age.’

‘Oh I just fill the copper up in July, that’s my birthday I’ll be ninety two you know, and it doesn’t take long to fill my hip bath. Now lad I’m going down the garden to get some water from the well, so I’ll show you out at the same time.’

Friday Fictioneers: Grapevine

I’ve missed Madison’s 100 word Friday photo prompt                                      http://madison-woods.com/2012/07/18/ for a couple of weeks but this time I’ve made it. This maybe a little dark, so I’m sorry, I don’t wish to offend. The photo seems innocent enough, but look closely, see how the tendrils can wrap around and strangle.



The vine, its naked now, stripped of its treasures, its small Riesling bullets. The master likes to watch while we crush them in the old way; it’s his tradition to make something special for himself. And as he watches, he finishes last year’s reserve.

It started off well, he was in good humour, but as always, it turned to bad. I thought I would die last night; drown on crushed grapes, I prayed to the Lord to take me. Grapes filled my nose, ears, eyes and mouth, while he filled me.

He doesn’t know where I emptied his night water today.

Friday Fictioneers, On the Nose

Madison’s  challenge has this photo today http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/pathways/ joining in is fun, lots of great flash fiction to read. Here is mine.


On the Nose

‘She has the scent already,’ the sow pulled Emil sharply right, nearly pulling him over.

‘Ouch, why can’t you stay on the path in the light?’Jean-Francois followed laughing, as the pig thrust her snout into the leaf mould, her tail corkscrewing frantically.

‘I can’t smell a thing, but I can see something black down there.’  The boys rummaged in beside her and didn’t hear the footsteps back on the path, but a resounding snort registered. They turned and faced the biggest wild boar ever.

‘It’s old Napoleon, he thinks these are his truffles . . . run for your life.’

Friday Fictioneers, Beautiful and Grey

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/ has a weekly challenge with a photo this time,

This is my 100 words, maybe you would like to pop across and join in?

‘Look, there’s a lovely green butterfly and an ugly grey moth’ Beth tugged on her grandmother’s sleeve and led her along the path.

‘I can’t see no ugly moth honey, only a pretty butterfly and a beautiful moth.’

‘It’s dull Grandma’

‘Look real close; see the lovely patterns and different shades of grey?’

‘Uh huh,’ Beth screwed up her eyes.

‘See honey, God made lots of creatures that are beautiful in different ways, green, red,  grey, in all shapes and sizes.’

‘Grandma, your hair is all sorts of pretty grey,’ she reached to feel a curl, ‘did God make it?’



#Friday Fictioneers

I know it isn’t Friday now, I’ve been away so I’m late.

But, Madison’s  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/photo-prompt-for-100-word-flash-fridayfictioneers-30/  photo kept popping into my head so I wrote this.

Going home is copacetic but the journey from my daughter lacks the joy of the one towards. In the bus someone plays a line from the carnival is over on a tinny echoing phone.

I recline and check the double deck view, a twin chakra of rainbows, moments from the M27 with its pylons and industrial units, on a bench that feels like bone on bone to my spine. Hawthorn next and cemetery birds in a corridor called Wellow.

Disgorge at Salisbury, grateful for a wait uninterrupted by a questioning Mancunian, grasping for minutiae from a trapped, hungover, hen party goer.

# Friday Fictioneers – Lunacy

This is my first Friday Fictioneers 100 word post. The photo below is the prompt for this week.


Here is the link if you would like to join in. http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/photo-prompt-for-100-word-flash-fridayfictioneers-29/ and my story.


‘Daughter, at last it is favourable. Yesterday’s rains have made the earth soft, and moist. Now, the moon is shining her benevolence.’

‘This is a good time mummy? What makes it so?’

‘She is waning and her energy draws into the soil, she makes roots grow strong, it is time to sow our yam seed.’ They bent to dig and plant the seed together.

‘Wife what is this crazy woman talk you put in the child’s head? Plants need sun and water, not this lunacy. Tell me when you’ve finished and I will slaughter the goat and sprinkle its blood.’