My Monday Message – 11/06/18

Welcome to another of my Monday Message posts! Our quote this week comes from Oscar Wilde’s The Critic as Artist. Honestly, if you are ever in need of a quote that is both insightful and inspirational, Oscar Wilde is most certainly the way to go.

“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” –  Oscar Wilde, “The Critic as Artist”.

My Monday Message 3There are many reasons why we should all stop and appreciate this quote; for one, it gives us yet another reason (as if it was needed) to adore Oscar Wilde. For another, it reveals the importance of the imagination. Wilde is suggesting that, because he uses his imagination, and because he looks beyond the literal, he is able to find his way through the dark. Yet there is another side to this quote, too; by saying that seeing the “dawn” first is his “punishment”, Wilde suggests that there aren’t really any downsides to curiosity.

We may sometimes fear learning, whether it is through intellect or imagination, but, according to Wilde, this is pointless. Learning is a part of human existence and although, through it, you can sometimes feel isolated, it is enlightening. So, that is your message for the week. Even if you feel as though curiosity is a bad thing, remember that it can also help you to learn. By exploring more of the world, you can improve your own life and learn to see, even through the darkness.

Advertisements

Running Away

People talk about leaving all the time. They imagine themselves in the countryside somewhere, where the trees seem to shelter them from the real world. They’ve abandoned those office jobs and responsibilities, and they’re finally free.

Looking out across the evening waters now, though, trees on every side and a complete sense of isolation beginning to overwhelm me, I realise the cold, hard truth of the matter.

It’s a lovely idea, and perhaps it’s natural to want to escape from the stresses of a busy life, but, when it comes to it, it’s not so simple a thing – running away.

Credit: Roger Bultot

Word Count: 100

I know I haven’t taken part in this particular competition in a fair while now, but I often find that I want to fully engage with the photos that I use as prompts, and that’s not always possible to do with every photo.

Regardless, thank you so much for reading what is my latest attempt at Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge! I hope that you enjoyed this story; if you did, please feel free to like, comment, share, et cetera… et cetera… et cetera. Thanks again for stopping by, and please remember to click on the blue froggy to view more takes on this prompt. 

Sunday Scrawl #8

Dear readers,

I want to thank everyone who has taken part in the Sunday Scrawl so far! It’s been a pleasure to read your wonderful takes on my pictures and a privilege to host a challenge that helped inspire fellow writers.

However, due to a steady decrease in participation, I’ve decided to pause the Sunday Scrawl for the time being. I will definitely start it up again sometime, but for now, with university work on the horizon once more, and my desire to spend more time on the other prompt challenges that I take part in, this is going to be the last Sunday Scrawl for a few months. So, thanks for taking part, and here’s the final challenge:

Sunday Scrawl Logo

  1. Below, you will find this week’s photo prompt!
  2. Responses to the prompt can vary from prose/poetry writing to more photographs – there are no limits and no word counts.
  3. There are no tangible prizes for this challenge, but I will be reblogging the top entries!
  4. Feel free to use the photo below or the “Sunday Scrawl” icon to illustrate your responses (although I’d love to see some of your own illustrations, too)!
  5. Please remember to include a pingback to this post in your response.
  6. To enter, click on the “Mister Linky” icon at the bottom of this page!

19624544_1569965789743986_2574075210181378048_n

I’ll be posting my own story later today!

Sunday Scrawl #7

It’s Sunday again, which means that it’s time for the next Sunday Scrawl! This is a writing prompt competition that I have been running for a few weeks now; here are the rules:

Sunday Scrawl Logo

  1. Below, you will find this week’s photo prompt!
  2. Responses to the prompt can vary from prose/poetry writing to more photographs – there are no limits and no word counts.
  3. There are no tangible prizes for this challenge, but I will be reblogging the top entries!
  4. Feel free to use the photo below or the “Sunday Scrawl” icon to illustrate your responses (although I’d love to see some of your own illustrations, too)!
  5. Please remember to include a pingback to this post in your response.
  6. To enter, click on the “Mister Linky” icon at the bottom of this page!

Church 3.jpg

You can view my take here.

Guarded #2 – The Conflict

This story is part of a serial; to read part one, click here. Thanks for reading!


Amata’s memory seemed somewhat stunted from the night of Jesse’s Verdict. She could remember him reaching up and plucking the fiery orb from the air, and even him floating eerily above the masked Guardians like kind of a perverse doll. After that, though, her mind went blank.

She knew the facts, of course: five people had been chosen that night – two boys, one married couple, and a girl, younger even than Amata. Another two had been executed for breaking rank after the Verdict; they had been the owners of the frightful screams that Amata had heard, and the parents of that little girl. Amata supposed that it would be worse for the girl, now that she had no family left in the village. She would have no reason to stay alive, not that her chances of doing so were ever going to be particularly high.

CastleAs for Jesse… Amata’s heart seemed to numb as she thought of her brother once more. She hated not seeing him on guard duty as she stepped out of the house, and missed those dashing grins that he’d sneak her as she collected her daily rations from him. More than anything else, though, she hated not knowing that he was there, safe from the wrath of their captors.

No one had ever survived the Verdict; Amata knew that. She remembered, from a time when she knew only rumours of the Guardians, asking her father about them. She hadn’t needed to know. No one’s life had depended on it, but she’d asked, and she’d never gotten an answer. Since then, of course, Amata knew everything there was to know about the Verdict. Attendance at the Ceremony was compulsory for all villagers, which meant that Amata would have to watch her brother die.

Her various packages of flour and crockery seemed much heavier that day as she trudged down cobbled alley after cobbled alley towards the kitchens. Usually, she enjoyed the distraction of work, but she was far too preoccupied to concentrate. A pot would fall to the ground, Amata would stop to pick it up and several more would fall. When she had collected all her burdens once more, she would take only a couple of steps before she had to repeat the process.

All she wanted to do was see Jesse, but she knew that she couldn’t. She hadn’t been able to see him when he was just another villager, let alone when he had become one of the Chosen. The likelihood was that they would never see each other again, but Amata just didn’t seem capable of coming to terms with that fact. It was, after all, her fault that her brother had been chosen. If she hadn’t reached for his hand, or let out that pathetic sob that had made him turn to her, she felt sure that the Guardians never would have chosen him.

Now, all was lost.

The same thoughts were milling about Amata’s over-filled mind as she reached the kitchens and slipped through the back door. She placed her packages neatly at her workstation and then hurried to where the aprons were kept. She realised that she was horrifically late, what with her frequent stops along the journey, but couldn’t face the thought of being reprimanded. Not that day. It was too much.

Back at her station, she frantically began chopping and cutting, trying to stop the guilt she felt from making it onto her face. The Guardians themselves rarely came to the kitchens; they were far too busy patrolling the village perimeters and strengthening the walls of what had become the villagers’ prison. Yet Amata could still be punished for bad behaviour, the cooks knowing that they, along with their families, would be put in jeopardy if they did not deal out the Guardians’ punishments for them.

BasilNala’s workstation was right beside Amata’s, and Amata could see her friend trying to catch her eye as they worked. She knew what she was going to ask. She was going to ask if everything was okay. Amata couldn’t stand lying to her only friend, so she decided to ignore her, instead.

Her first dish complete, Amata placed it on the end of the queue behind them, her head hung low as she desperately tried to avoid Nala. Two years her senior, though, Nala was far too assertive to allow Amata to escape. Just as Amata turned back to her station, Nala left hers, causing them to collide halfway between the food queue and their workstations.

“Stop it, they’ll see!” Amata hissed furiously as she picked herself back up and straightened her apron. She picked up her knife again and tried to hide behind her curtain of long hair, but there were voices from behind them now, and Amata had a horrible feeling that Nala wasn’t working. She was going to get into trouble. Amata was sick of trouble.

“What are you doing, girl?” a harsh voice asked from behind the food queue. “Don’t just stand there! Get on with it!” Every inch of Amata’s body was begging her to turn, to grab her friend and yell at her to do something, but she didn’t move, and neither did Nala.

There was the sound of heavy footsteps and Nala screamed as a fist made contact with her face.

Amata knew that there were tears welling in two sets of eyes now.

The cook’s punches were the most painful. He didn’t just want to save himself. He wanted to hurt them just as much as the Guardians did.

“Get up!” he yelled at Nala, his voice quaking with the rage that he was yet to release. “What’s your name?” he demanded, a mock tone of calm taking over his voice. That was when he was at his most dangerous because it meant that he wanted to cause more than physical pain. Nala was going to be reported.

When Nala didn’t answer, there was another squeal as he punched her again.

Amata sighed, regretting her decision even before she opened her mouth.


Click here to read part three!

A Sparkle in the Night

Here’s my take on this week’s Friday Fictioneers challenge, which poses the challenge of answering a photo prompt using only 100 words or less!


Jan Wayne Fields

Credit: Jan Wayne Fields

The rain had been heavy. It had poured down on us as though some god had sought to spite us somehow.

I can remember how we’d slipped through the mud, tears intermingled with the rain as we sloped towards the campsite. It had been the worst day of my life.

I hadn’t counted on Jamie, though.

Despite the rain, he’d lit little candles and fairy lights all around the tent, so that, from inside, everything seemed to sparkle.

Then, he’d dropped to his knee and made the worst day of my life, the best.


Word Count: 94
Click the blue froggy for more stories!

If you’re looking for more prompt challenges, check out my Sunday Scrawl.

Sunday Scrawl #6

It’s Sunday again, which means that it’s time for the next Sunday Scrawl! This is a writing prompt competition that I have been running for a few weeks now; here are the rules:

Sunday Scrawl Logo

  1. Below, you will find this week’s photo prompt!
  2. Responses to the prompt can vary from prose/poetry writing to more photographs – there are no limits and no word counts.
  3. There are no tangible prizes for this challenge, but I will be reblogging the top entries!
  4. Feel free to use the photo below or the “Sunday Scrawl” icon to illustrate your responses (although I’d love to see some of your own illustrations, too)!
  5. Please remember to include a pingback to this post in your response.
  6. To enter, click on the “Mister Linky” icon at the bottom of this page!

11208463_1427889580862312_890937044_n

You can view my take here.