Tag Archives: Weekly Writing Challenge

Weekly writing challenge:

5 Nov

The Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words: This week’s challenge couldn’t be simpler: tell a story based on this picture.

Ergo, presenting my 1000 words worth the picture I saw. I’m pretty sure, the story – sans the title – is a thousand words long.

A thousand *imagined* words

Mom with a camera was always a scary experience. Just for the heck of it, she’d dress us up and then go on clicking… working the shutter and some more clicking. Looking at this picture, you may have thought we were actually off to some place. Trust me it was nothing like that.

So here’s the story. It was actually a hot summer’s day – you wouldn’t have guessed it, right! So it was hot and humid. I still remember that day clearly because that’s one reason I’ve saved this picture. It was a Sunday – a hot sunny Sunday. We were all home. My brother and I were all set to take  plunge in our small kiddie pool. Dad was sweating in the heat to make sure the pool was properly inflated and mom had gone indoors to get our swimming gears. I was running around to get sweatier after convincing my brother to chase me. Very soon, we’ll be enjoying some water sport.

What happened next may give you all a shock… so brace yourself. Mom went in to get us the swimming gears and out she came with a brilliant idea. I couldn’t believe my eyes when she came out with my pink dress. I couldn’t believe my mom would let me swim wearing my favourite dress. I also saw the pink hat. Now, why would she want me to wear a hat for a swim?

She dressed me up and I was tickled pink and I couldn’t wait to get drenched wearing my FAVOURITE dressMy mom went on to dress my brother while I began getting impatient by the second. It was getting hotter, too. The pink dress wasn’t for a hot day, it was my Christmas dress and it was meant for winter. I didn’t object only because she was going to let me get into the pool with the dress.

A few more minutes and lo and behold, my brother was ready, too.

Dad called  mom aside and there they were chatting away. My brother was sweating profusely and so was I. The only thing that was making me hang in there was the thought of taking that pink-dip. I was focusing on the bigger picture. I was focusing on the reward more than the work. It wasn’t the same with my brother – he hated wearing anything formal, let’s just say he didn’t like getting dressed up. He still doesn’t.

Our parents were trying our patience. Dad’s “Can I talk to you for a minute?” had passed beyond the minute and it already seemed like hours. At last, I knew it was time when I saw my dad’s hands going up. Mom had got away with whatever they were discussing. Maybe dad didn’t want us to wear our Sunday best while splashing in the pool and boy was I happy when he finally gave up and gave in.

“Dad’ll be out soon. So just wait a little while, okay…” How lovely those words sounded. She was all smiles.

Just like she had promised, Dad came out. He came out with the kind of clothes he wore for work. Could he be swimming with us? How would he fit in there? If he did come into the pool with us, would there be enough room for all three of us?

Dad called us and held our hands and there we were walking. But why? I wanted to ask until I saw mom coming out with a camera in her hands. She had a little purse, too. All of us walked to the front and then Mom gave me the purse to hold. Now I understood why my brother was so sullen. He had known this was coming. Silly me!!! I was no longer tickled pink. I was beginning to feel blue and hotter by the second.

Mom took out the new film and began loading it into the camera. Dad wanted to help but she stopped him. She said she could do it. There was lot of fumbling going on while the three of us stood still – feeling hot as hell. A lot of tugging and tweaking followed while the three of us were still standing – still feeling hot as hell. I looked over to my brother, he was still sulking. I tried getting his attention but failed. By this time, even Dad was beginning to look like brother – sullen, sulking – like father like son.

I began feeling sweat trickling down my back and I couldn’t wait to avenge this whole episode by drowning in the pool with the dress on. I was still the only one looking happy – because I knew, my patience would be rewarded. The fumbling, tugging and everything seemed to take forever. Now, my mom was on her knees trying to get that thing working. Then I saw her shutting the cover and I knew it was time.

“All right, now there everybody, smile….” She clicked and nothing happened. “Darling, do you mind checking this for me?”

“Finally!!!” Dad spoke without saying. He must  have said so or would have liked to say so.

“Thank you, honey!” Mom said as Dad walked to us. “All right family, get ready.”

Click!

Nothing.

“Honey, wind the film….” Dad intervened.

Krrrrrr came the sound. “Okay, let’s do this… huddle up, smile” Click!

“One more, just one more and we’re all done here… Okay” She was pleading. “Come on, one smile.”

This time we all smiled.

Click!

Nothing!

“Whoops!”

“The film, honey… wind it… please” Dad spoke without opening his mouth – his jaws clenched tight.

“Sorry!” Krrrrrr – wound up. “Smile”

No smiles.

Click!

Result: The Picture above.

Now you know why we aren’t smiling in that picture. Put yourselves in our shoes or rather in our dress, on a scorching hot day. Smiles – only later when Mom actually let us splash with our Sunday best on [result of a whole lot of begging, nagging and pleading].

I wish I were – The A to Z

29 Oct

I wish I were…

A bestselling novelist.

Better at writing.

Committed to my commitments – commitment to write, to be smoke free, to become healthier…..

Daring enough to write all the things I dare not.

Enjoying my vacation in Maldives – post my book signing day.

Fighting writer’s block and winning every time. OR Freshly Pressed [on a second thought].

Glad to be just me [which is not always the case], even as an ever-aspiring writer.

Hilarious enough to write something humorous enough to spread the best medicine there is – laughter.

Invisible, at times when I want to disappear from the face of this earth and then become visible when it’s time.

Jumping and jiving and just writing.

Knowledgeable to the extent of being a witty writer.

Living life to my fullest – right now, I’m living like a quarter of it.

Making lots of money – so that I could do all that I wish I were doing.

Not so critical about myself – I must learn to be a bit more forgiving of myself and sometime a little too strict.

On my way into writing that last page of my first book.

Part Oprah part J K Rowling part ME

Quiet and collected during the most critical phase phases of my life.

Rolling On the Floor Laughing – so carefree and so happy go lucky – errr because I would have just got news that my book’s getting published.

Sure about what I want from me, what I want from my life… I really really wish I were sure about where/who/what I want to be.

Through with my smoking habit.

Unwillingly witnessing the re-writing of Unbearable Lightness of Being, sitting right next to Milan Kundera.

Very creative, so creative that I can create plots for my books in a jiffy.

Where I actually belong – but first I need to find where this place is and I swear I’ll be there.

Xeroxing the manuscript of my unpublished book to be sent to the Publishers – Maybe this is where I belong.

Your favourite blogger, soon-to-be-bestselling-author [HAHAHAHAH]

Zealous and overzealous about living, about writing.

I wish I were writing only ONE post for this week’s writing challenge BUT I’m afraid it may not be the case. I’d love to write some more on the same topic because I have few choices left – to wish or to whine. Well, I’ve made my choice and I’d rather WISH!!!

Weekly Writing Challenge: Plan

9 Oct

Foreword: This is my VERY FIRST attempt at “Fiction”. My biggest challenge is to write the dialogues and for this piece I’ve learnt (taken) quite a lot from this blog here http://anecdotaltales.wordpress.com/. I DO NOT know the intricacies of fiction writing although I’ve ALWAYS been an aspiring novelis – Ironic??

This week’s challenge here wants us to do something completely different. A work of fiction and NO PICTURES. 

So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:

  • If you normally write non-fiction, try fiction.

Hence comes this work of fiction. 

THE PLAN

“…but weren’t you planning to write?” Sharon said scanning the paraphernalia spread out in the room.

“Yep, that’s the plan.” Winston answered.

“In that case, Winny… What’s a grenade doing in your room?”

Winston winced at the patronising tone. He was thinking of whether or not to answer because if he responded, he knew there would be no stopping her asking more questions.

“Where else should a grenade do?” He retorted a little later. The best way to answer/ dodge a question is to ask a question, or so he thought.

“Where did you get it from?”

He didn’t see this coming.

“Where do you think I got it from? I bet you $100 if you get it right.” Throwing her off  track i.e. from talking about the *plan* was now his sole plan.

“OK, I need a clue”.

“World War II”

“That’s not even a clue.” Sharon was getting impatient.

This was quite an easy way to get $100 off from him and she wasn’t letting go. After all, she was a genius at guessing.  Nonetheless, her mind had begun working at a fierce pace. Her face showed no expression of impatience. She put up an impression, the kind one sees in a duck in a pool. It may look calm and serene from the outside but underneath it all, the duck’s webfeet are definitely at work.

World War II: Does he have a friend with a family member who’d fought in the war? She was ransacking everything in her memory, stories/ anecdotes he’d told her about his friends.

“I’m waiting for a clue, come on Winn!”

“If I give you one more clue, you’ll walk away with that $100.”

“Well, get ready to get rid of some greens. Luke gave it to you or you took it from Luke.”

“How the hell did you do it?” But weren’t you asking me for more clues?” He was absolutely dumbfounded. He couldn’t believe she found it out this fast. He was worried now, not just about the money but knowing her she’d soon resume with the questioning about the *plan*.

“$100 please.” She said it out loud and clear. “I am the elephant when it comes to memory, so now hand it over…”

“I don’t have it in cash. Maybe we can go out and I’ll pay you up… and you can treat me to dinner.”

“Me??? Treat??? Sorry but I’ve earned IT ALL. So don’t be sly. You’re not getting anything out of that $100.”

“A cheeseburger at least. Although it’s going to be the most expensive cheeseburger I’d have ever had.”

“No can do, bro.”

“All right. Get your bag and we’re out of here.” He cried as he walked towards the door.

“He was in quite a hurry to get rid of his $100,” she thought.

Out in the open, he was relieved. He had dreaded his sister’s visit. She was always at him about his writing *plan*. He was too busy in his practice and it wasn’t easy to just sit back and write. He had scores of clients who needed his time. Indeed, it was his plan to write – maybe become the next John Grisham.

She was one helluva supportive sister, but at times she didn’t understand that writing doesn’t happen “just like that”. It needs time, a whole lot of time. At times, he wondered how his sister didn’t understand this little part. She was heading a publishing house and must have seen how long it takes for aspiring writers to become GREAT authors. How, then, could she not understand that a great writer needs a lot of time? He didn’t dare ask her the question.

After all, it had taken him a grenade and $100 to stop her from egging him on.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Occupied

26 Sep

I’m very apolitical. I like to be politically correct.

The combination of the above 2 sentences makes me the most hypocritically coward of a human being [aka s1ngal]. I like to be a part of that “world-changing” revolutionary group as long as I can remain an anonymous supporter and no action is required.

You may wonder why? Well, as far my hypocritically coward self is concerned, somebody somewhere always gets hurt. I remember how my mom used to get exasperated when she [always] saw me sympathising with the BAD guys while watching soaps/ movies et al. The answer ~ they are human beings too and I love the underdogs [I may someday explain this theory in another post].

Another incident [you may think it’s wayward, but then again] that made me cower even further. I was sporting my “Whaling Sucks” tee when a Japanese friend spotted it and commented “I know it sucks but many people’s lives depend on whaling. We need FOOD, we don’t kill it for fun…”. She didn’t refer to my tee and I was getting slightly confused until my brain started functioning and I understood.

Thus, then, I began asking my “activist” self, “What makes a right deed and who decides what is right?” Yes, I am throwing down the gauntlet [love this phrase] and so weakly writing for the Weekly Writing Challenge

For me, the enlightening of “Occupy” occupation began when the Egyptian revolution started on Facebook. It justified my “facebook” addiction and, selfish and pathetic it may sound, apart from that the revolution had nothing to do with me. After all, I was safe [far away] from where the action was taking place. Why should I worry? I was using facebook, wasn’t I? I was safe, wasn’t I?

Then the “Occupy Wall Street” – While this protest began salvaging many lives [maybe], there may have been some workers [you know the ones who fall under that 1%] praying to keep eir job [obviously, if it pays SOOOOOOOOO darn well].

Which brings us to the big word “Capitalism” – we go against it until the day we become the Capitalist. Imagine, one of the protesters making it to that privileged 1% [very rare but hypothetically speaking], what then? Would ey still occupy emself with the “occupy” movement? Was there anyone from that 1% who protested or occupied “Wall Street”? I have my doubts.

I rest my case but for what I need to speak out or I might have to forever hold my peace.

“Iraq – Occupied”  ~ I’m not pro-Saddam Hussein nor am I [ever EVER] pro-Bush. Let the pic speak for itself –>

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mailing it in [a little late]

22 Sep

Dear s1ngal,

I know how you are so I’ll drop the pleasantries and get straight to the point.

*read* the sign!!!

Why have you taken up smoking… again? You said it was only for 24 hours almost 240 hours earlier. When I reminded you [to this day] that you’re still smoking, you smile and wave me off. NO. Enough’s enough.

Is this some kind of a relapse? Two years back, you went cold turkey after 9 – N.I.N.E. – years with that thing. Those two of your most-difficult years you were clean. And this is what I get… a relapse??? NOW???

You’re old [read: matured – no need to frown] enough to know what it can do to your health. Look at your skin, it’s beginning to show liver spots. Stressed? Puh-leez, who’re you kidding? If you’re stressed, go chop some wood or mope the house the way you used to when you were stressed.

Also, don’t give me *quitting is easy* BS.  Anyway, enough of but-I’m-so-stressed-I-need-to-smoke excuses. Get over it. I know you can quit this thing because guess what, YOU HAVE ALREADY done it before, especially when no one thought you could, not even me.

Okay, gotta run now. But next time I catch you off guard, I want to catch you off guard without that little cigarette in your hand.

Take care, lotsa love xoxoxo

Weekly Writing challenge: A Few of My Favourite Things

5 Sep

– A Few of My almost-Favourite Things

Yesterday, when I first saw the topic for this week’s writing challenge, I smiled to myself because it made my heart go “Oh, it’s going to be easy…” Then I clicked -Add New Post- and have been staring at the computer ever since [besides it’s staring back at me].

I have so many favourites that I’m shocked at not finding anything that can be included in A Few of My Favourite Things. When did this transition from too-many-to-pick-from to nothing-at-all take place? How did I let this happen? Which/ What and Where are A Few of My Favourite Things???

The more I thought of this topic, the further down I went into my past.  And then I realised when it had all started –> the detachment.

One of My almost Favourite Things I remember as a child was postcards. By 11 I was a proud owner of a little more than a hundred of these sent by people from all over the world to any and all in my family. It didn’t matter to me, whether the messages at the back were meant for me…. they always ended up in my treasure box. One day when I returned home from school, a little bird told me that someone had hideously burned my collection up in flames. Oh, how I cried myself to sleep that night!! Ever since, I haven’t been able to pin *favourite* on things the way it was then, with my postcards.

Over the years, it’s indeed been a bit too difficult for me to point out my favourite things and mean it from the bottom of  my scarred heart. I had and still have many favourite things, in passing, which is why my friends and family can write out  this list at the drop of a hat. But for me, I’ve fought the hurt and tried to label *favourite* in a few things being mentioned here.

1. PERFUMES

one of my FAVOURITE things

Being a person who loves to drool in the past [and daydream into future], I have developed this obsession of associating my memories with fragrance. Every heartbreak, every new job, every new twist and turn in my life have been accompanied with a smell… All my almost-empty bottles from my teenage years till the day I left home were neatly put in a shelf back at my parents’ house. I don’t know if it’s still intact, though. After leaving my family home, I’ve been practically living my life out of a suitcase. These days, if I want to travel back in time I go to a perfume shop and sniff the memory I want to relive and that’s it.

2. DIARIES

a few of my FAVOURITE things

Knowing how much I love to write… diaries, notebooks, writing pads make ideal gifts for everyone to present me. As the scars of yester-years began to fill, these bundles of wonder have become one of my favourite things, too. It’s a must for a loner like me, a single by choice like m and simply-wonderful person LIKE ME.

EARRINGS

too lazy to assemble my pieces & take a pic… not mine

My recent favourite, this one began when I shaved my head in 2010, I began sporting earrings. Up until last year, earrings may rightly be called theee favourite thing. I don’t go out without one, even though the hair’s grown longer. I love the way these danglers dangle in my earlobe-less ears and make me feel like a woman.

4. MINESWEEPER

I had to mention *minesweeper* because it always gets left out. Saying I play this little meaningless computer game a lot is an understatement. I’m obsessed with *minesweeper*. The first application I ever downloaded on my i-touch was *minesweeper* and the same later with my iphone. Just had to get this out –> it’s one of the Few of My Favourite Things, anyway. [Having Gael watch me play minesweeper is an added advantage].

Image Source:

Diary Picture: http://linedjournals.com/lined-leather-journals.html

Earrings:  http://fashiontrendsandcolor.com/2012/06/fashion-jewelry-2012-pictures-and-trends/

A.M.Bradley

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