Prompt number 6 from the 30 Day Writing Challenge
Start a piece with “I am standing at my kitchen window…”
You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quiet? I’ve not been on FaceBook, I’m behind in replying to comments, e mails and reading blogs. I guess it was appropriate then, that at the end of a week where I’ve not been feeling too good, I should have a Mini Writing Retreat
Welcome to my 2nd instalment of the 30 Day Writing Challenge
Day 2 – Open a book – pick a sentence and use that as the first line in a piece.
Ok, so I picked a book from my shelf, copied out a sentence in my notebook and put the book back. Do you think I can blooming remember which book it was? LMAO!
“The gateman didn’t ask him about the drowsy man with the dark sunglasses who was half asleep on the passenger seat.”
So he drove straight through and into the large enclosed courtyard.
“Good evening Sir.” Yates approached the car and opened the drivers door.
“Good evening Yates. I’m afraid Mr Ramsey is slightly worse for wear.”
Yates peered across at the slouched figure of Ramsey. “Oh dear Sir, did Mr Ramsey consume too much champagne in London?”
Edward Mandrell pulled at the sports cars hand brake, turned off the ignition and released his seat belt. He climbed out of his seat as Yates held the door.
“Ah, you know him well Yates!” Edward slapped the butler on the back as he made his way up the stone steps to the front door, taking two at a time. At the open door he paused and turned. “Is my wife at home Yates?”
“Yes sir, she’s in the library.”
Without even a thank you Edward entered the imposing Victoria mansion.
Edward was born in India to a family who considered themselves Aristocracy. Truth be told, it was only his great grandfather who had made the family’s fortune, prior to that the Mandrells had been farmers in Somerset. But thanks to an unfortunate sinking of a cargo ship and great grandfather George’s opportunistic nature the family estate in Bath now included thousands of acres and a stately home that rivalled Buckingham Palace. Edward was sure he had only ever been in a 3rd of the rooms the house contained. As a small boy he’d become lost in the East Wing, which put an end to his exploring.
He made his way purposefully to the library. It had been several days since he’d seen his wife Daphne and there was much to discuss. He threw open the double oak doors.
“Darling!” He expected to see Daphne sitting in her favourite chair, book in hand, her glasses perched on the tip of her nose, but her chair was empty.
His eyes searched the room for some clue to her location. A lit cigarette in the ashtray or a hot cup of tea on the table beside her chair would indicate she’d just left the room, but neither of these things were present.
But as he entered, the doors creaked as they swayed closed behind him, revealing one of his wife’s navy shoes, sticking out from behind the overstuffed chaise lounge. And then, he noticed the blood…..
I wrote this one morning in the main lounge at Swanwick, inspired by the photos adorning the walls of what the house looked like in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s.
Ok, this will probably end up languishing in my notebook, and before you ask, no, I don’t know who Ramsey is, what they were doing in London, or what’s happened to poor Daphne *sniggers*
Be interested to hear your ideas and thoughts
Today’s prompt is:
Post either a setting or character profile from your latest fiction project, a chapter summary of your non-fiction book, or a discussion of the theme or object inspiring a poem, article, or other writing project.
Hmmmmmm *thinks* Well, I’ve shared the character profiles of my first novel (Still) but I’m afraid the characters in Tangled and Sorrento Sunrise are somewhere, within the pages of my 41 notebooks (and at this stage I’m thinking I really should have some kind of indexing system!). So rather than try to trawl through all my notebooks I’ll give you a new one
Last night I wrote the beginnings of yet another story (prompted by something in Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind). Ms Goldberg suggested making a list…
A Colour Blue (the sky over London on a September morning)
A City London
A Street Charlotte Street (where I meet the Faber gang and the location of my story)
A Fruit Mango (what my character finds in his lunch box lol)
A Month September
A Job Newsagent (newspaper seller)
And then to write a piece containing all of them…. So this character profile is from the story I came up with last night.
Bill Taylor is 62 years old. Born and bred in East London he is proud of his roots and his first job at 14 was on a market stall in Petticoat Lane, selling “bits and bobs” to local housewives.
Short and stocky, he is now balding, what little hair he has left is white but he still has the cheeky blue eyes and dimpled chin that made him so popular in the 1960′s.
Married to Marjorie since the 1970′s they have 2 sons who both live overseas, and 2 grand daughters they rarely see. On his left arm he has Marjorie’s name tattooed and on his right arm, the names of his sons.
Bill runs a newsagents in London selling to the commuters as they make their way to the tube station. Business has taken a dip these past couple of years due to the digital age (everyone getting the news on their phones) so Marjorie is trying to persuade him to retire and buy a little flat by the sea. Bill couldn’t think of anything worse! Since his heart attack last year, Marjorie has been filling his lunch box with what he terms as “rabbit food” and insists that he stick to the diet recommended by the doctor.
A very proud man, he is a traditionalist with high morals and strong views of what is right and wrong. A Royalist, his proudest moment was meeting Princess Diana when she stopped at his shop to buy a bottle of water and a pack of sweets for Wills and Harry.
In his spare time (what little there is as he has to be at the shop for 4.30 every morning) he enjoys football (but sadly doesn’t go to the matches anymore…he used to take his sons) and likes to keep up to date with current affairs. He often says “what’s the point of selling newspapers if you don’t know what’s going on in the world” and can often be found reading the papers behind his counter when the shop is empty.
He drives a small old white van that’s constantly breaking down and although he owns his shop (he inherited it from an uncle back in the 1980′s) which is prime London real estate, he has no intention of selling and is adamant that they will have to “cart him out in a box” which causes tension and arguments with Marjorie.
I think that’s it I don’t know what’s going to happen to old Bill, I haven’t got that far in the story yet lol, but, you know me, Bill will probably end up getting his wish of being carted out in a box
if you try Ms Goldberg’s list idea, do let me know, I’d be interested to hear what you come up with.
Day eights prompt is:
Post about your writing routines / rituals / habits or quirks – or – your writing origins story
Well, I’ve told the story of my writing origins, so I guess today I’ll be revealing my routines
I start every single day with a cup of tea, 3 sugars (I’ve cut down, it used to be 4 lol) and a cigarette. I’m the kind of person who is usually fully awake from the moment my eyes open. Yep, I’m one of those annoying people who jumps out of bed at 7am and is raring to go before I’ve even uttered my first word lol. So it makes sense that my most productive writing time is in the mornings.
Whilst drinking my tea I check my e mails, log into FaceBook and generally have a mooch around online (whilst trying to entertain Albie by multitasking with one hand on the iPad, the other on ‘teddy’).
I always start any writing session by writing in my journal, doing a prompt in my notebook, or, as recently, doing my morning pages. I prefer to write by hand than use a keyboard so doing something with pen and paper first makes me feel more connected, gets the creative juices flowing if that makes sense.
I went through a phase where I used to light a smelly candle as I sat down at my desk, but I don’t do that so much anymore, especially now that I’m back at the dining room table (Albies not allowed upstairs just yet). I also like to make sure I have a good selection of pens before I start. Different colours and nib widths, so that my notebooks are visually interesting.
And that’s it really If I get really involved in a session I like to have a Nescafé Cappucino in a Starbucks mug by my side, or if I’m out and about, a skinny latte
Do you have any writing routines/rituals?
Today’s prompt is:
Show off 3 of your best blog posts (with links!)
Oooo, this is hard, how do I know which were my best? Ok, shall I go on views? Comments?
Ok, well the most views I had to a post was this one:
What I Learnt From 9 Hours of The Lord of The Rings
I guess it was all those Tolkien fans
The most comments on a post goes to this one:
Insecure Writers July 2012
Not sure why lol
But one of my favourite posts was:
I really enjoyed writing that post because coming up with titles is probably one of my favourite parts of writing. I have pages and pages of them in my notebooks lol
Wow, ok, so it wasn’t as hard as I thought. Hope you enjoyed the blast from the past, I did
Happy for you to share your best posts in the comments below, just leave a link so I can go see
Well here in the UK summer has finally arrived, and as we’re all sweating our nuts off, being typical Brits it won’t be long until we’re all moaning about it *snigger*
Sticking to my To Do List this week has been difficult…who wants to follow a stupid old list of stuff to do when you can sit in the garden and read? Plus, Albie’s arrival has kinda turned my world upside down and I smell of “dog”
So last week this is what I was supposed to do…
1. Finish reading/critiquing Faber work for meet. Did that and had a lovely evening catching up
2. Decluttering/sort out hallway. Done, I had to, for Albie.
3. Take Tangled to the post office. *sighs* It’s still sitting in its envelope at the bottom of my bed…but…I’m going TODAY!
4. Clear up desk and writing stuff. Nooooo, fraid not, it was too nice outside to sit at my desk in the corner of my stuffy bedroom
I started doing The Artists Way at the weekend. Spent all day Saturday having a major catch up session so I can take part in the FaceBook group I’ve been invited to join. This will be my 3rd time of doing it now and I’ve gone back to Morning Pages. Just gotta make sure it’s not a 3 page rant every morning lol
So this weeks list looks like this, but I also have some Artist Way stuff to do…
Standing in the grounds of the hotel as there’s nowhere to sit. Everything is covered in a fine layer of rain. The air smells clean, earthy, like a box of button mushrooms and the only sound is the wind rustling the leaves on the trees. Even the birds are fed up with the incessant wetness. They sit huddled on branches and dry stone walls, their feathers puffed up.
Is this really summer? The only animals that seem to like this weather are the Llamas in the field next to the hotel. They lay down on the wet grass and click their tongues at each other. I guess if I had a thick wooly coat like that I wouldn’t mind it so much either!
The Lake District…a place loved by writers, poets. An inspiration to artists so they keep telling me. But is that because it just seems so miserable? A place that suits a tortured soul? Perhaps I’m just not depressed enough to appreciate it. I just want to go home now, back to my concrete town where everyone shops at Icelands and where the Llamas would be well advised to wear a bullet proof vest over that warm wooly coat.
No seriously, it’s a beautiful place but I didn’t find it as inspiring as I thought I would, or was told I would. Perhaps it was just too cold and wet? It got me thinking, what place would I find inspiring? And it has to be the beach, no doubt about it
What kind of place do you find inspiring?