Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Wedding Photo (Storypraxis prompt)

It was an odd day - odd but good. Everything had come together, despite her new in-laws' misgivings. It was a D-I-Y wedding. She'd made her own dress and those of her three bridesmaids. Her mother had made her own outfit and her new son-in-law's shirt and suit; and she'd also been responsible for making the cake, something that had worried her for weeks. Now that it was done and on the table she had a distinctly smug air, as if to say "I always said it'd be fine!" The catering was being taken care of by the church members and the immediate family. The sandwich-making production line had been in full swing the night before, and even her step-gran had got in on the act. One of her brothers-in-law to be was filming the ceremony, and the photography was the responsibility of her aunt.

It was cold outside the Church on the lawn, but the photos had to be taken, and at least the sun was shining. She wished that she'd made her bridesmaids' dresses out of something thicker than summer cotton, as she saw her best friends shivering while they waited to be called for their portraits. The list was gradually ticked off, and eventually it was the turn of the happy couple with the bride's parents. It was a standing portrait, the couple in the centre, flanked by her mum and dad. Shots were reeled off, the next set of people were called forward, and the photographs were all but forgotten.

A week or so after their return from honeymoon, her aunt called them to let them know that the pictures were ready to be viewed, so they arranged a time, and were soon avidly re-living the day. They eventually got to the photos taken with her parents. Somehow, they had managed, un-noticed, to pose looking not just ot of the picture, but in opposite directions to each other, as if scanning far horizons for enemy ships. They could never do anything straightforward or ordinary, those two.

Mary Parker, houswife, daughter; fondly remembering departed parents.

For daily prompts for short (10 minutes' writing!) stories, visit and join in!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Storypraxis prompt attempt 3: Take Care of your Shoes

A week ago, I saw a pair of men's shoes on the Churchyard's low wall, standing as if ready to take a step forward or a daring jump backwards to the ground below. They were in reasonable condition, recently polished, one heel was a little more worn than the other, but otherwise they looked as if someone would come and reclaim them (perhaps having removed them to walk on hallowed ground), and continue their journey to work. These weren't your usual trainers chucked over the fence as a prank. This was organised, tidy. It almost had the feel of someone having set their shoes aside as they'd walked into a new life, a Reggie Perrin moment? Or perhaps it was the start of a pilgrimage. It was their very tidiness that begged these questions, set side by side, polished and ready, on a wall outside a historic Church building on a relatively busy but leafy suburban road.

The next day they were gone. This almost made it worse - now I was wondering if he'd come back for them, or if someone had just taken them, having passed them so often and been tempted beyond their capacity to resist. Did his wife find them and take them home to challenge him on where he'd been the previous night? Or had the church simply taken them in as unclaimed, ready for the next jumble sale? I wonder how many other people actually noticed them and wondered if they were the result of a wonder, or assumed that they were the result of an assumption, or had they simply passed them by on the other side and refused to acknowledge their own curiosity?

For daily prompts for short (10 minutes' writing!) stories, visit and join in!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Storypraxis prompt attempt 2: Four Hours

Watching the clouds, she waited for the phone to ring. She had a feeling that the call would come just as the next heavy shower arrived, but whenever it happened she'd just have to drop everything and go. Sitting by the phone table, she spotted a job she'd neglected to do.. she sat a while and wondered if she dared go to the kitchen for the polish. Another 15 minutes passed. The annoyance at the layer of dust on the bannisters got the better of her, and she moved quickly, leaving all of the doors open so as to be able to get back in a hurry.

She dusted. She polished. She even hoovered, keeping close just in case. After a while she'd got so involved in the chores, relishing the relief from the stress that doing mundane things had given her, that the call left her mind completely. She remembered a job that needed doing in the spare room and went upstairs.

It was one o'clock when the first message arrived. She suddenly remembered, horrified, at five, having put a room in order and sorted out countless papers that had lain untouched for months. She played them back, knowing now that it was far too late and that her chance had gone. She just had to figure out how on earth the undo the damage, and cursed her conscience for concentrating on the small things....

For daily prompts for short (10 minutes' writing!) stories, visit and join in!

Storypraxis prompt attempt 1: How The Shower Cap Was Lost

"Ok - so I'm out here, miles from anywhere. Where am I supposed to get a shower? You're kidding me - that's it?? Two buckets and a well. The things I have to do for these people..."

Four hours from civilisation and all she seemed to care about was personal hygiene, a panic that one hair may just get out of place - in all honesty, no-one bar the livestock was going to notice. Still, she had to maintain her pride... There was that mirror in the shack that kept telling her she was in desperate need of a facial, never mind her straighteners. After five minutes of cursing her employers, bad luck, the sunshine, and the probability that even now, there were storm clouds closing in on her location to break the three year drought specifically with the aim of ruining what was left of her coiffure - after that solid five minutes of anger, she gave in.

Setting her collection of beauty products on the wall of the well, she started to wind the handle down for the first bucket of water. She gritted her teeth. A couple of bucketfuls later, feeling like a drowned rat, she reached for the shampoo. Unfortunately, she hit it rather than grasping it. Having already loosened the lid, the sinking feeling that she felt as she heard it bounce off the walls on the way down increased proportionally as she realised that she would be drinking diluted hair care product for the rest of her stay...

For daily prompts for short (10 minutes' writing!) stories, visit and join in!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

A view from a bench in Scotland

A rain-assisted memory from a peaceful place. The bench has been placed on a grazing moor, facing the Cairngorms, on a small hillock under a Scots Pine, and has a quote from Scottish poet Norman MacCaig on a plaque on the back rest:

"Landscape and I get on together well.
Though I'm the talkative one, still he can tell
His symptoms of being to me, the way a shell
Murmurs of the ocean"

from 'Landscape and I', 1974

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Psychedelic me

Filter fiddling on Photoshop again :D

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Top Path(Longton Park)

Print planning - I'm hoping to eventually start a bit of proper printmaking again (I have a piece of lino waiting for me). I fancy maybe using this view, but having put this photo from my phone through Photoshop, I'm actually quite happy with this as an image in its own right, so here it is.