Prized; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 20

Day 20 – Tell us the story of your most-prized possession. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you. Through your writing, breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value. This is to be in a ‘longform’ narrative.

My most prized possession was and is still being given to me by my husband. It is not a tangible item. You can not touch, taste, smell, see or hear it; but I can feel it. I’m sure if you know me, you’ll be surprised. After all, it is because of this ‘possession’ that I am the person I am today, and not the person I was in the past.

To understand why it is my most prized possession you’ll have to take a journey with me. Back to my childhood.

In a word, I was shy. Completely, utterly and, yes even painfully, shy. Inside my own family, I’d had to learn how to combat my shyness and had become, well, normal…mostly. Outside my family was a different story. You know that old adage that stipulates that children should be seen and not heard? That was me. I didn’t talk unless asked a direct question, and even then I relied on a secret to get me by. You see, my sister has never been shy, at least not in the way I was. If I stayed quiet long enough, she would answer for me. My mother did the same thing too. People would then be happy with that and walk away. Leaving me alone.

Most of my disappointments in childhood were because I didn’t speak up. Because I didn’t speak up, my family and others around me assumed I didn’t want to be involved or wasn’t interested. I was too shy to refute their assumption, so I was left out of things I really wanted.Read More »


Through a child’s eyes; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 18

Day 18 – The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years. Write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.

“Can’t you do that somewhere else?”
With a sigh I looked up at the ceiling waiting for Mum to remind Mrs Malone that I had to practice.
“Can you play outside Munchkin? Just until your dad comes home?”
Gripping my flute I snatched the music off the stand and stormed outside. I couldn’t even slam the back door. It had a tricky catch. It wouldn’t shut if you slammed it.
I used to like Mrs Malone. But that was before she moved in with us. After that she didn’t seem so nice. After that she stopped being the nice old lady from downstairs. After that she became the mean old lady who took over my bedroom.
I didn’t care that Dad had been in the army with three of her sons. I liked her better when she used to come around for Christmas only and baked cakes and bikkies for the Jordans, the Ropers, the Wiskers and me.
I sat on the concrete ‘nowhere’ stairs. It was like that song in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ where the main guy sung about stairs going nowhere just for show. The stairs lead to a brick wall. But from here you could see the main courtyard between the apartments and the street too.
Hearing the wizz of wheels I looked up as Jak jumped off his board with a little hop.
“Hey. The bat lady send you out again?”
I held up my flute as proof.
Jak sat on the same step with the board across his lap. “Did you hear the Wiskers’ are moving.”
“Really? Why?”
“Mr Wisker got a job in Sydney.”
“I wish my Dad would get a job in Sydney. That way Mrs Malone can have our house and I’ll get to go to the Arts Centre every other day.”
“You can’t do that. Who would I talk to?”
“You’ll have to actually find friends.”
I rolled my eyes. Jak liked using big words. Some of them I think he made up, but I couldn’t say for sure.
Suddenly Jak leaned over his lap. “Who are they here for?”
I followed his pointed finger.
“Maybe Mike Hutchens is growing dope again.”
“Nah, he hasn’t got out of jail yet.”
“Maybe Sissy Richards’ boyfriend stole some stuff like last time.”
“Maybe, instead of pontificating, we should just watch which apartment they go to.”
“I’m nowhere near a pond.”
Jak sighed and pushed his glass back up his nose. “We should stop talking like we know what’s going on and just watch.”
“Well why didn’t you say that?”
“I did.”
I smiled at Jak’s tone. He was so easy to ruffle.
We both watched in silence as the cops got out of the car and waited on the footpath.
After a few moments a fat man in a brown suit lead them down the pathway toward us.Read More »

A ‘Raven’ Fear; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 17

Day 17 – We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. Write this post in a distinct style from your own.

This one was difficult for me. Over time I have written in several different styles and it was hard to find something I hadn’t done before. Then it hit me. I don’t write poetry. So without much further ado…and sincerest apologies to Mr Edger Allan Poe…here is my post for Day 17.

Once upon a challenge writing, while I pondered what was frightening,
And trying to decide which style I’d never tried to write before
As I looked for work inspiring, being different I’m desiring,
Fresh idea I am aspiring, of the one who’s gone in yore,
I’ll try poetry, I muttered, of the one who’s gone in yore,
Never done this thing for sure

So poetry is decided, and my style is ‘Poe’ provided,
Now I need to find some substance for my post on fear to start.
In the phobias assorted, (and my sanity is thwarted),Read More »

Confessions of a Cereal Killer 3; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 16

 Day 16 – On day four, you wrote about losing something. On day thirteen, you then wrote about finding something. Continue our serial challenge, and reflect on the theme of “lost and found” more generally in this post.


I’m sorry. I did it again. I killed another plant.

I didn’t mean to, but I suppose that doesn’t wash anymore. I never ‘mean’ to kill a plant. Yet it happens.

This time it was the basil. I thought I was doing so well. It grew. It was green. It was edible. It even had little flowers growing. When suddenly it fell over – dead.

It was devastating. I had done so well until then.

I have a friend. I think she has a magic garden. Or least she has the envious talent of green thumbs. Things grow for her, and she has a beautiful garden. I love walking through it but I’m always wary that my black thumb is contagious. She hasn’t caught it yet. Thank God.

So, over coffee, I told my green thumbed friend my bitter tale of woe. She told me something astounding.

The basil had gone to seed. It was supposed to die. If I kept caring for the plant I would have little tiny off shoots. The off shoots would become new basil plants.

The clunk you heard…that was my jaw hitting the table. At least I didn’t spill the coffee.

Me, The Black Thumb, had created new seeds? New seeds for new plants?

From the death of one plant, so many more would be given life.

Maybe dead isn’t dead after all. And perhaps I’m not such a Cereal Killer.

Would you like to read the other parts in this series?

Confessions of a Cereal Killer 1
Confessions of a Cereal Killer 2


The Show Must Go On; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 15

Day 15 – You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. Hone that voice of yours!

I’m kind of a gypsy when it comes to events. I don’t have one I attend ‘every year’. If I’m interested, I’ll go. If not, I won’t.

Until it comes to theatre. I love live performances. It can be a simple busker strumming his guitar on the street, all the way through to a full on bells and whistles Broadway performance. It doesn’t even have to be a musical. Straight theatre is just as good.

I couldn’t imagining anyone cancelling live theatre, but I suppose it could be possible. If people can ban dancing as a form of hedonism, then the same could also be for theatre. Theatre is a platform for nearly everything under the sun. Every story lived by a human is condensed, transformed, trimmed and performed.

Life with all the boring bits taken out.

Like a breath puffed through an opening hand of glitter; theatre sparkles with truth, isolation, anger, pain, phoenix risings, injustices, politics, laws, evil, good, death, life, hope, growth and hidden things revealed.  You take that away and life becomes robotic. Automatons marching through the motions. Why bother fighting? Why bother dreaming? Why bother living? You may as well lie down and sleep yourself to death.

“It can be done in a movie too, you know. Better and bigger.”

True. However, movies are edited, re-shot, pick ups added, actors re-voiced, and incorrect shots smoothed out. Mistakes are removed. Sure you can watch the bloopers, but it’s not the same as watching a live performance when the tension of failure is paramount, and yet still draws you into the story.Read More »

Dear Respect; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 14

Day 14 – Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration. Write the post in the form of a letter. (FYI the book is “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn)

Dear Respect,

I’ve missed you since you moved away. It would have been nice if you’d actually told me you’d planned on leaving. Perhaps I could have taken photos to supplement my fast fading memory of what you were like. There is no hint of you left anymore. No scent in the air, no echo of a sound, no sight of things you left behind.

The thing I remember most is the fact that you always put others first. You never rushed to be ahead. You never fought to be the first. You never put others down to make yourself look big. You always asked what you could do for others. It was the little things. Opening doors. Standing on a crowded train. Giving others first choice. If you were doing for you, you’d always do for someone else too. I can never remember a time when you were inconsiderate, unthoughtful or inattentive.

It saddens me when I see the memory of you slipping from every day conscience. I don’t want to forget. I dread to think of a world where you do not live. A world where the individual is more important than the collective. A world where selfishness, self-centeredness and the value of ‘mine’ reign supreme. A world where politeness, courtesy and deference are no more than words used once, long ago.Read More »

Confessions of a Cereal Killer 2; Writing 101 Challenge – Day 13

Day 13 – On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today, write about finding something. You wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

So now I’ve confessed to being the The Black Thumb, what would you like to know?

My ‘modus operandi’?

That’s a tricky one. I’ve killed so many plants in very many ways, it’s hard to pinpoint one mode of operation.

I’ve killed:-

  • Herbs
  • Flowers
  • Bulbs
  • Vegetables
  • Grape vines
  • A very lonely lemon tree
  • Passion fruit vines
  • Ferns
  • Cacti
  • Aloe vera
  • Mushrooms
  • A rock garden.

Read More »