how many ways can you say good job?



Scared of sending work into publications, dreaming of life like a bowl of cherries, this is my writing commnet life in the last few months at

Comments made on over the last few months. Random phrasology.


Try “The Road” or “No Country for Old Men”, great novels.

this is lovely, there is always one ahead of the game for couponing and the like. I wish I was. Me, I used to try and rush the shopping and get out as quick as possible, now, I dawdle in the longest line, catching snippets of conversation, looking in baskets and trollies and imagining, lots of imaginings…


thank you, I am living in Ireland but a total blow-in


Thanks Marianne, I like your writing too further up the page, lovely descriptions


I loved this story, it is the way the music interweaves as a protagonist, whilst the woman goes thru great drama in her life. The prose has a musical rhythm.


i love the rhythm of your writing Tara, a lovely story.


great story, disturbing how the beautiful day belies the violence


thanks, I enjoyed writing it


Thank you Oddznns, I pondered on that “peaks and troughs” for a long time, actually it was “peaks” only to begin with. It seemed like I was calling routine anything but mundane, but then I thought no matter how ordinary a life is there are peaks and troughs in a spousal relationship.


Really like this tale, love the phrase “you know, pretending normal. “


thank you for your kind comment, I was trying to find a way to look at the annoyances found in a marriage, the silly little things that we build up into mountains, in a different way. Yes, they are annoying, but to not have them means you don’t have the person either. I think of my Grandmother, how she would always straighten my clothes for me, but who is there now who cares enough to straighten them. It is that emotion I tried to get across.


I love stories that make you think, and this is one of them. Thank you Oddznns for sharing this poignant tale


sweet, bittersweet, and sweet. A lovely tale of romance, of non-romance. I think of the father, a man for whom romantic displays were not common and therefore all the more powerful when demonstrated, a show of deep love. When bees were first mentioned I got an inkling of how the story would go. Lovely to see the flowers interwoven with Spring and the tale. Lovely.


Themagicviolinist, what a delightful tale, well done.


thanks Dave, much appreciated, I loved writing this, not because I wanted to imagine my husband dying, but he was and is so annoying in the little things, but they don’t matter in the scheme of life, do they!!!


Thank you Daron, for your very kind comment


You are welcome Kathryn, thank you for your comment.

thank you Eileen for your lovely comment.


thank you Gabrielle, yes, hold your husband. I have discovered that it has kept us through the bad stuff for 25 years!


He is risen! happy Easter to all. Whoever cleaves to him will not perish but will have eternal life. Look to the great Creator, for life in creativity!


Nora, this is lovely, the barrenness of the woman finding redemption in pruning. Great story

An awakening, whether it be a car hitting you are something less violent is good, I really like your prose, it is gentle and readable. It resonates of ‘the unrest cure’ by Saki, not the same just resonates.


Donna may you and Brett be blessed with many more Springs together


thanks Snowy, glad you liked it


sounds horrible for you, at least you found love in all the betrayal


Beck, what a great way to tell the story of Eloi, thank you


Christy, well done on taking the plunge, well worth it, lovely story


Dominic, loved it, the rhythm was awesome


I think she was going to be Jim’s latest conquest, didn’t get to flesh her out properly. The two women set her up in the diner.


thanks Marianne, finished too quick but if I had completed it would’ve gone over the 15 mins!!


Thanks Marianne, no matter how irritating, I chose him 25 years ago and consider this piece an homage to creatively dealing with the annoyances and remembering the love. It is fiction though, he isn’t this bad, honest!


Princess Tiggywinkle Tippletoes the Terrible died in a vehicular accident 2 months ago, she was a rescue kitten and came too soon, she would latch onto my jumpers and suckle the thread. She became pregnant her first season and was a dreadful momma, as soon as she heard me she left her babies to suckle my jumper. Her kittens were killed by a fox. I decided not to get her sterilised because I thought she deserved another chance at motherhood, she didn’t have another season for a whole year. Two months ago I noticed the local “Tom” around and sure enough there was Tig (the shortened name) acting like a wee ne’er-do-well showing off for Tom. Later that day all the cats and my dog were rushing down the drive to boreen and there was Tig, flattened by whatever vehicle had been there. I still miss her, she was a very special cat amongst many…


Hi Heather, thank you for your comment, it is not my story though, one of my characters.


Thank you Nora, I am in a time of hope, so like to think of how to move people from hopeless to hopeful.


Nora this is a lovely sweet little vignette, well written, well done


Congratulations to everyone, winners, runners up, honourable mentions and everyone else. I loved reading all of them. Well done Dominic.


this is beautiful, I read it whilst listening to your audio track. I was mesmerised. You have a gift my friend, blessings


thank you, I hope as they develop on paper as they are in my head they will become more real

Maplesyrup is my favourite, her mother misheard a conersation in “the” place to do lunch and thought it was the next ‘big’ celeb name, turns out that the customer was about to say the name but was offering to pass the maplesyrup at the same time so it went something like, “You’ll not believe what I heard Woody was going to call the child, ‘Maplesyrup?’ Satchel. Can you imagine?”

Sukey, chose her own name, she was supposed to be a ‘Jill’ but her father on the way to register the birth dropped in to a pub on the way, many whiskeys later, had the name forgotten and asked the barmaid her name, “Susan” was the reply and the baby girl was thus named. Three years later she was playing with her best friend Polly and Polly’s father started reciting the nursery rhyme “Polly put the kettle on” and from then on she was known as Sukey to her friends and changed it by deedpoll at 18.


Saw the Gibb thing, NCIS is my weekly watch. Our pastor was doing a sermon a few weeks ago and said “proby”, although others may watch NCIS they wouldn’t know he did. Because of it I was able to share with a couple of friends and one came with me to church last week. God id good.

I like Ginger as a name, we don’t have that here, only as a nickname for a red head.


Yvette love your names


computer games have great names, both created by and names of characters. For example Dizzy by the Oliver Twins could become Dizzy and Rada Oliver, the fearsome b-iat-ch twins that ruled Cedar Falls High.

Old poets and writers names, characters in poems.

I imagine the mother or father naming the baby, I like to know everything about my characters from their conception just in case it is relevant: it may not be but it might trigger something else down the road.


Mags is right, cos of magnus magnusson, isn’t it that way for naming in Iceland? 
I love Myrtle, at piano practice of Vanessa Jayne, my friend, I still remember her practicing Myrtle the Turtle, we must have been about eight!


Positive: funny twist at the end
Negative: don’t have one – sorry Joe


Please be as critical as you wish, I grow through the criticism of others. :-))


good story, JB, liked it


loved it, well done Dominic


thanks Beth, it was heading off planet but ended up in the desert on earth.


Marianne, have rattled around many many of these old house, you need damp rainy weather with plenty of wind to get the house to talk. Wonder if that is why thunderstorms in horror movies as they reach “The House” !!!!


oh and the mould and funghi – welcome to my bathroom and kitchen. Do you have damp in US?


Steph, joining you in the “bummer” thing, except I took the theme “dissent” and promptly forgot till I got this email!!!! 
My blonde week moves on. 
Almost forgot to bring a pen with me on vacation – severe blondism


Sincere apologies to Jennifer Luitwieler, I piggy backed onto yours because disqus was playing a game that I didn’t know the rules to. I have it sorted now I think and hopefully will continue to sort.
Our stories are opposites – yours is a girl on the wrong side and mine is a man on the wrong side – meeting their opposites. Disqus is playing up again I can’t see what I am writing. Apolo



Continuing – apologies if my spelling is out of kilter with humanity. Your story ends with hope of love, mine ends with a hope of change.


wd Larry, you sent me off on a lyrical journey 2. Nt much 4 txtin!


From the Oxford Dictionary:

The merging of all and right to form the one-word spelling alright is not recorded until the end of the 19th century (unlike other similar merged spellings such as altogether and already, which date from much earlier). There is no logical reason for insisting on all right as two words, when other single-word forms such as altogether have long been accepted. Nevertheless it is still considered by many people to be unacceptable in formal writing.
Spelling help
Although all right can also be spelled alright, you should use all right in formal writing.

And I guess therefore alrighty is a no no!!!


thanks Diane. no idea of his age, one of those ageless drifters, wrinkled because of the sun or because of age, who knows. the ones that sit at bars and have no notion of time, making them timeless,


As you can see I have no problem with verbosity, I just need a topic, or a word or an image. However the quality is unseasoned, raw and (how do you say dire, politely) …….

I see my writing as BK or McD’s – copious amounts of fatty, flabby, unhealthy fare.


projection of angsts onto characters – I am all for that!


thanks Marianne, no one ever told me my lump of meat was a positive. It is what I say to one of the boys each night – get a lump out of the freezer – never know what it is till defrosted!!! Human, animal,vegetable


JustB – a nice simple tale with a simple truth – lovely


Came back today to read other people’s reread and edit – cos it said so – 
“And if you share, please keep the com­mu­nity vibrant by com­ment­ing on a few pieces by other writers.”

Why no one else reworked??? Is there something going on that is way over my head (like most things)?

Please advise, I mean I don’t mind practicing alone but it would be nice to have the odd person practicing too.


Marianne – love the dialogue and then the description at the end. Keep writing

Hey Marianne, sorry to hear about your back. Every weekend is a bad weekend for accidents on our roads.

I have read everyone’s rejection slip stories. Never been rejected – but then I have never submitted anything. I have been getting the Glimmertrain email this year but still haven’t summoned up the courage to send anything in.

You are all so talented and courageous!!!


thanks Steph, wasn’t sure how to get the vintage in without saying 194# and then also how to incorporate her son’s death into it. I was focusing on two things – the inanimate nature of her husband when not out of bed and the “Brits making the best of it” during the second world war.


I grew up in a working class Northern town/village where we all had colds constantly, clear candles dripping , or being licked, or being wiped onto sleeves. The posh kids had hankies – proper cotton or linen ones, we were given them for birthdays but lost them within days of climbing trees and playing war. 
I wanted Doris to lose all sense of decorum for those few seconds, I wanted her to feel like a child who had lost the game unfairly, and in that moment, for those few vital seconds just pout and do what she wanted before getting a grip and continuing on, “doing the right thing”


Casey, thank you for your comments, I understand totally what you mean. I write off the cuff and see where it goes. I didn’t place it in time until using the telegram. Up to then I had handwritten copperplate text on cream vellum. Once I had the telegram I knew it was WWII, that meant the car had to go for Mr Boyson as petrol was rationed but a motorbike might be ok. The kids names had to change from Marietta and St.John (I love St.John as a 1st name), to make them more of the time. Doris bless her, was originally a Stephanie. 
The leaves were originally rich auburn autumn leaves – but you can over do it with descriptions can’t you.


The first paragraph is just so evocative of storms brewing suddenly. Beautiful description. Mags has been here before? The list of characters?


love the dead vines like a scar – gorgeous.
Velvet clouds, skeletal maples – so beautifully descriptive.
Lovely lovely piece


I had a date with my husband after leading worship this morning. We walked in the park holding hands, drinking tea and laughing together for 8 km. It is good to spend time together.


Last night watched American pseudo-drama Hart of Dixie – they used the weather in the same way!


thanks JB, it is in the tying of the knots the whole story holds together.


that really is all I can say to you regarding grammar. 
I don’t do sick and I don’t do grammar.
I try really hard not to vomit – I really hate it.
I try really hard to allow words form and cling together naturally without considering how many sentences are in a paragraph, whether a paragraph is appropriate, if I use a ; instead or a , or lots of choppy wee sentences. Samuel Beckett used my kind of grammar. I tend to glance at grammar articles rather than read them – my bad. I think sometimes I do the fifteen mins, but mostly I cast aside or do 15 mins of something else – rebel!
I love to spell correctly – I know I get it wrong – MS spellchecker tells me, but when I get the green wiggly with fragment consider revising – bah humbug MS!!!


Hey Heather
what a lovely comment – thank you
not sure there is more to the story – might use Doris again 😉


I do and then I write.
I spent 54 minutes with an old lady today (I counted them – they were slow minutes) every three minutes she commented on the weather, the same comment, the same weather.
I have a friend who drinks too much and picks up random old guys in bars and always has a tale to tell and many have been fictionalised by me.
I don’t want to be either of these people.
I don’t want to sit in a chair flapping away flies until one day I can no longer be bothered to lift my hand to swat it away.
I want to live
I want to be alive

and I am

thanks be to the Lord who changed my life dramatically and continues to do so.


nuances and layers – love it!


ml – your life is blessed with your writing, you are living, truly living in the moment and capturing it – well done – you


saw yr mess. I t’d, fb’d ,g+’d


JB, I like this. There might be tense issues or I might have picked it up wrong. But sweet lovely tale.


Melissa, a sweet tale of first kisses. Nicely done.


thanks JB


neither did I Tom
off the cuff writers pah!!!


Jason, I love romantic reminiscing, wish I had more to reminisce about, maybe you have to be in the States to have a wee love, puppy love, a sweetheart. We had back streets and rain.


love this – garden variety wandering serial murderer
well done


Keith is genius, have already replied via rootnotes.

But just had to say

Keith is genius, and just like I did

Joe you went on and added to it, wd


It is the romantic reminiscing I have trouble with, and yes it is the nostalgia of times faded like old snapshots. I guess I just imagine school in America to be just a little bit Danny and Sandy with a hint of Rizzo.


thanks, this is the story though, there is no more.

I am composing vignettes of different characters, attached to different characters and scenarios.

I can’t settle to write a “story”


Hey thanks Yvette
Rebel Suzie to the fore!!!


I replied direct to the email, have to admit it was my first. I emailed Keith to ask how to do it. Felt such a dummy when he said reply !!!!

I miss keitharsis but new paths, new aids, anything to keep us churning, hey


powerful Tom


wd Shane, good story




Ml, you will find harmony, at the moment your life might feel like dissonance, even cognitively depending on your beliefs. In time as your life changes either apart or reconciled that discordant note you have been hearing will dissipate and harmony will be restored.

I have been up to the point of “I am done” this year which has most definitely been seen and felt in my writing but as a result of intervention in some amazing Godincidences I can truly say I am married.

I am not saying your wife will change her mind, nor am I trying to foist my belief system onto you. Whilst in this turmoil and tension your best writing may be written.

John Cooper Clarke (Brit poet) said in reply to someone who said “I can only write when I am depressed” – “Well I hope you can never write” Wellness of person tensions with mood writing.

I write in opposite, so when I was in my dark “I can’t be married” I wrote of love, of that comfortable, slippers and pipe love. Now I am back to not writing about love at all, not couple love.

I have been bedridden for three (extremely long days and longer nights) it has caused tension. I have all the time in the world to write but can’t think of a thing to express! Today I am hoping to try and make it out of the house and breathe some fresh air, meet in fellowship with humans, not children or husbands and really hopefully shop because supplies are running low.

Finally (rambly) embrace the tension, harness the emotions, capture the nuance of atmosphere (from all points of view – in laws, children, wife, you, neighbours, shared friends, unshared friends) Detach the writer in you and gather the wonderful material that is being presented to you.

And praying for you


Do you not still play?
I have a megadrive, SNES, dreamcast, nes, amiga and atari linked up ready to play.
Secret of Mana at the moment.
on PC HOMM3 and spellforce

Dizzy is my all time favourite for a none saving game. My husband and I took it in turns – mega memory

Game played by all my family – bomberman, dr robotniks mean dream machine and HOMM3

Me a game nerd – how very dare you?

Yes I am 


Marthasville was totally random as the post was suggesting, I was more intrigued by the first hit I got was from a Christian company (we don’t have many of those) It was Trelaor I found. Question: Does anyone live there? Are those house and shops empty? Do people without homes squat in them? The only town in Ireland uninhabited is under a man made lake.

I had Talenkynic in a town in Penn and then discovered that it was too north, so I stuck a pin in google maps and then went looking for a small town that could have only one diner.

There are no such thing as coincidences only Godincidences. I think this is why. You, Tom, will appreciate this:

I am like a kid with a present I can’t wait. I am jumping up and down, and smiling and can’t sit still. Tomorrow evening a guy is going to play music to one of my worship songs. I am so excited. I was supposed to be somewhere else and I was so impatient but then I figured if God wants me there he will find a way and then this afternoon the preacher asked me to be there and lead worship. I can’t believe one of my songs is going to be sung by someone else and not just in my head. I am so blessed to have found someone so talented. I am so thank FULL.


I like this John made me think, I like that


thanks JB, yes she is or was in this piece – usually she is more hard, less emotional, more manipulative.


I like this, I like that it can’t be in the time of knights because there is a butchers shop with a window. I like how it is in “our” time but not in our time, like a misplaced person, and he is a displaced person. Want to read more!


Unisse, lovely telling of pain on the inside, the heartbreak at losing a parent


Talenkynic is a survivor of the Wars of Concavity on Zylmor, capital city Dromdrevc.

I have not had her keep her own name or identity before. We’ll see where this takes her

Thanks for the comment, Steph


thanks John for your kind comment


like this, Steph, wd


yeah she’s my crazy chick. She was retired a few months ago. But she has a story to tell so has come out of retirement.

Thanks for the comment, Mh


love this Mh, the pain isn’t told, isn’t shown yet we can see it as clearly as 3D MiB!


all in favour of publishing, wd PJ


Is that like the daddy that say’s this is gonna hurt me more than you when about to thrash child?


well said Yvette!


love this RD, very real


I love the sentences:
Tears flooded out of my eyes until no more could come out; and still I cried. I cried in great shuddering sobs for about half an hour before my breathing steadied.

Well done.


Marianne, your character has a strong sense of smell, food and drink is important to him, things should be a certain way. I like that in an older man.

Well done, lovely vignette


rainybrook this is nice writing, waxy yellow is very descriptive on the way skin hangs on a wasted body.


Well done Beth, lovely writing, harsh subject.


Tom, powerful writing as always, WD


Mary/Morrigan is girl who has been a character of mine for a number of years but the scenario is new, the self-harm and the stepfather are new


Marla, I really like this, I like the decision, I like the non-decision. Good writing. WD


Alison, I love this. What I like most is the idea that a child thinks that far ahead, I know they exist – my friend was a battered, bruised, abused lonely girl and is now a prof of Eng at uni, (and she would tut at my abbr!) – I just wasn’t one of them, I was the gifted kid at the back trying to be cool – too geeky to be cool but not geeky enough to stick my head in the books or “Usually he sits, bent over his desk and pencil dancing across the page”


Sophie this is brilliant, well done


Marianne, I like this, there is a slow steady build up to the decision and then –

you leave us hanging…. does he die? does he crash? does he get a DUI? does he crash into the police? does he kill the police? does he get home safely? does he stop drinking? does he do rehab?


Is it real and genuine, like is Jabu real, does he work for a NGO or something. Or is it something more seedy?
Great writing – well done zo-zo. I like the characters, Senzo and Nkosi, wary of Jabu.
Love the telling of the tale.


lovely sara


Missaralee, love this little tale, I love the sisters love most of all


Because, the petal is the most beautiful part of the flower – very sweet tender story. Well done


great ending Lynna, I love tales that start around food, morning food, aromas and that homeliness.


So good I read it twice and then I read it backwards. Well done Katie


Unisse, well drawn characters, lovely, bitterweet.


love the description of Mrs Bircher. WD Robert


I have friends who lived in Zimbabwe and had to leave. Some were white. Some were black. They all had to leave. They left at different times. I have whiney friends who bemoan losing land, pensions, businesses. I have “real” friends who don’t moan but flinch at being touched and don’t trust easily.

The sequel of this zo-zo (cos it is pixar so there has to be a sequel!) could have El Presidento working the fields because no one else knows how to do it and there is no food.

And the third in the franchise could be son of President coming of age, having compassion etc etc

Did I mention I like it, I think where you feel you stumbled were because you wanted your tale to fit into Pixar rather than bending your tale to fit. But it did work, so you didn’t stumble, just felt it.


Katie, it is great when something in reality stirs our imagination to create something from nothing .
Well done, nice writing, good tale, perhaps you could finish it for us???


Find the thing you love and pursue it! This is a tale that could be told to teenagers agonising over which exams to take, which subjects to choose, which direction to take. Some follow the money. Some follow the love.

I know none of us should expect happiness but which are the happier, the rich or the lovers


Apols Christy
You writing is really good, a lovely tale, would love to see you keep with it and tighten it up in places and expand in others. Like how was he a pyromaniac – only in the mind or did he set fires and stuff – it could turn into a redemptive story arsonist to fire breather!!


Office Space – lol. I was working for Aetna and it was mind numbing. One of my rebel colleagues got this and we all got to watch it over a number of months. It was like a documentary to us – the office set up, the boss etc. I put five years down paying claims, their expectation of how many claims a day we could pay was so low I spent a fortune on books to read for the rest of the day.


Mike this is really col, I can imagine the Disney voice over from the 60’s talking about water precipitation. Like it very much.

I was three when I set fire to the first house…..
I don’t do that anymore


love decisions that allow redemption


Angelo, love your decision, we wait and wait until it is too late and then we jump up and go.


Hey stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I need to write so I can become a better person – what is that about?

How can you become a better person? by doing anything?

To fit in with the overall feel of this year’s comp – i.e. that will be published – your story must fit. 

Now I may be the world’s worst critic and fellow “loser” but – Your story resonated with me. I know (you will have to check when I read it) there was a mom at home busy, a girl supposedly minding her brother and a dad on the phone – arguing if I remember about a car break down and no holiday. Whilst this conversation goes on the boy goes missing (I am thinking Jamie Bolger but hoping not) Lots of people looking for him. Eventually found and what is done to him isn’t described – but my imagination is already there (urghhh I hate children and what they do to each other) 

Now ask me if I can remember the tale I wove for the comp? There wouldn’t be anything like the detail, her name and the fact she could project onto the ceiling while asleep and she found a mom substitute.

So Tom Wideman, your story didn’t fit. But it was brilliant, so get over ypuself, you prideful person !!!!! Humility!!!!!

All said with tongue in cheek – – – – -but keep writing. I and one who you follow have confidence in your writing ability.


Well done to all contestants regardless of winning or not. It takes a lot to put yourself out there to receive critique/acclaim.

Well done to the winner, Kristi and all the runners-up and highly commended, you all did a great job


I don’t like that the marketing world thinks we can’t come up with something original that will engage with people.

So we have sequels and prequels of old books.

We have sequels and prequels of movies.

At the end of the movie we no longer are satisfied it seems, we can see the hook for the next even if there is no known sequel in process e.g. Prometheus.

We have franchises and we have branding and nothing seems to be original anymore.

Then I come here, read wee vignettes that people write as practice and there is more imagination in one of those than the whole of the bestseller list or Hollywood.

All these talented writers, all this talent. Some in the style of great authors from the past. Some in a new style, not yet defined. Some a mixture of the two. All honest to goodness imaginative talent


thanks zo-zo


thanks Marianne


Thanks Heather – you in blighty?


thanks RE – what is an Aspie? someone from Aspen?


A hair party! I like that. Like the sentiment in your piece, evocative of mourning.


zo-zo I like the atmosphere in this, the what is not said, both are freezing like the weather. Well done


RE, I like the premise of this, that each character has a clearly defined issue that is unrelated and yet united by the place/ journey/ trip. Well done. Flesh it out a bit for us! 😉


give me a topic and I will write.

give me the name of a publisher and I will forget

I am just too darn scared to see my work in print to send it anywhere

I was scared of people hearing my music – but they have heard it now
I was scared of having regular readers of my blog locally – but I have them now
I was scared of preaching – oh yeah still scared of that but doing it
I was scared of leading worship- ditto above

Now am being called in a totally different direction and it is scaring the inside of me out….

the writing – I love to write and having you all reading it is enough for now.


Yea Marianne! Great post. Must think of this later. BUT
just for now 



thanks zo-zo


thanks Marianne – I waited till it came to me rather than force it – then Joe today writes about relaxing. There is mojo going around!


thanks John


Zo-zo – the atmosphere between them is resonated by the empty restaurant, the empty streets and the cold snow. 
If I was Mo I would’ve taken back the steak!!!


I love the bits you didn’t say.  I loved the bits you did show. Well done.


John I like this, it is very emotional for a piece with two men in it. I had to read the first three paragraphs a few times to work out what was happening. This is how my mind worked:
1st time – Denny is coming in to a family tragedy – allwaiting for bad news
2nd time- Denny is the doctor
3rd time – Denny is getting a lift but who is Greenwood

the demented mind of a mountain woman!


I was seven when I read my first Orwell essay, about working in a bookshop so maybe it seeped in. I spent my childhood in the essays of Orwell and Isherwood and other people you won’t of heard of. 
My teenage years in Orwell’s and likes fiction feeding my paranoia of the world ending, nuclear bombs, cold war etc. I remember I read Fay Weldon’s back catalogue over a few weeks in my twenties (before her separation and change in style) Her first writing job out of college was greeting card singy-songy rhymes and I always felt I heard that in her writing. When I tried to write at that time I was very rhythmic and singsong. It felt like I was copying.

What I find really hard writing now is tapping into the pain of a child force educated beyond her years in every area when I am so full of (am I allowed to say freaking) joy that I bounce around on little pillows of air. But who wants to hear about my joy. Pain is what people know and what they feel and what they want to read.

(Bonus 15 min post!!! 😉


I met my friend today, “I’ve decluttered” she says. “Now you need to do it again” I say. No it really is done she continued. 
“What about your clothes”
“Well…I must go, lots to do”
A big fat huge wodge of denial – I poured it into this as she is just Miss D. Niall.
I love her to bits but can’t help her. 


No way – I couldn’t do that to the temple of my Lord. I write about (I admit) anorexia with jealousy and over eating with relief! I then imagine what would it be like how dehumanising would it be. Vivid imagination!!!


thanks ever so much JB. I learned vicariously this year and have been itching to use it


because as writers we have to note everything, like having a shadow or a film crew with us. So we have to look inside ourselves (why did I feel x when y happened) We have to understand motivation in order to give our characters motivation. It isn’t narcissism exactly because we are a warts and all bunch of people, it is more true reflection than Snow White’s mirror on the wall


big cheesy grin at you Tom. love it and as I read the last sentence the smile just got broader and broader. Well done


I like this John, the allusion to meetings, it goes back in time to happy times and forward to present happy times and there is a whole pile from the middle that e are left to fill!!!


Its working title is ‘the deconstruction of a missile’   and the man is an engineer, a joe soap, who is just a tad too curious  ooh and he runs


Missaralee, love this, so dramatic and the lime kiln. We have a lime kiln on our land we use it for barbecues so I love to see them in stories. Good job


Hey Kathryn, really like this, there is oodles of empathy without being saccharin sweet sympathy. Well done, good post, and welcome


Young people today don’t know how good they got it.  They’re soft.  
I pray to God they’ll never know.  No one should ever know.

Really like the last sentence it is like gluing the rest together. Well done Shelley and welcome


John, excellent, really got into the feelings of the man, loving it


working title: the only temperance bar in ireland
three threads:1.temperance (history/ recipes/ shop)2.Denise (H user winds up dead with 3 other users – amateur investigation into deaths)
3. the blossoming of the INTP female protagonist from wishy washy wallflower doormat to investigator

Various characters whom a short story could be built around – 
main story too involved to make into a short story but fragments of it like Blind Pete the day he sold his sax for a fix.


It’s the finishing isn’t it Katie. The rest, the what happens to the piece after that is all secondary to the relief/ pride/ thankfulness that it is complete AND you finished it!!!


Melissa, I like the alluding to the person of America with a personality and characteristics like a real person. Good job.



“The military is an evil mistress.  She‘ll dress up pretty for your husband and lure him into the claws we will call a contract.  And once she is sure her beautiful eyes and curvaceous figure have your man.  She’ll unleash her wrath on you. “
Love this image, a beautifully bitter piece, good job Casey.


First one to make me cry. 
We have to live our lives to the glory of God, giving generously, in secret. I just love this story. A teenager ( mine just threatened to burn my house down) who does not do the norm, goes against the grain and shares joy. Well done Steph, beautiful tale


Brian, great bitter nuanced speech. Good job


Jane I like the way you mixed up historic letters and texts/ emails. Good job.


Katie, a lovely story as usual, well done


Madison, your protag might only be 19 but she is wise, well done. It is not an American thing, I am looking back too trying to find the optimum time to be, it is not nostalgia, bad stuff happened then too.

But there was a earthiness to people. Well done. The prose was good and the ideas profound


I didn’t manage to let my baby go this month!!!


ok so at first when I saw this comment I went haha, as if. But then I paused and thought of all the work I had done this week. My main protag is fully ready to go but the other players I hadn’t given then much thought so I have written and continue to write wee vignettes of their life stories, the fragments I spoke about above. Also the research that was going so badly due to being stuck in Ireland and needing to be in the Livesey Collection, somewhere in the States is being addressed to. So things are actually happening.

Myers Briggs INTP – what is INXP or dare I ask


I did, in honour of July 4th and this contest resurrect and finish a short story which I wrote sometime ago. 
It links the two Lazarus s of the bible with Mary Lazarus and I think originally it was going in a supernatural heretical way which I had to change because I became Christian.
It is a tale, but wishy washy, not worthy of these mighty contenders. You can see it at… but it is dire


it was dire Joe,…


Stanford University next March hopefully if everything falls into place. However I have found lots more material available online in the last month than for the last four years. So am making an effort instead of procrastinating


Never used a logline (didn’t know they existed) but had completed a one sentence synopsis:

A shy temperance bar owner has to overcome many obstacles
with the police and community when she decides to investigate heroin addict
friend’s suspicious death.


I will be doing British spelling in an Irish accent! 

Good question, hopefully it will get translated to American English, but the practice will be as I always have done, a bit of this and a bit of that.


Thanks Daniela, have a go.


A few years ago someone told me “Don’t ever stop writing, Suzie” I laughed it off. Truth is I can’t stop writing, some of it is dire, some passable, hopefully one day it will be more than that. Practice, practice, practice.


Well done Laura, for a beautiful “wing”.


Good job Beck, it a perfect word for a child’s temperament. 


Alisha, well done, peevish is excellent for rants.


Alison, you could develop this further, it is very well written


thanks Tracy, give it a lash yourself?


Margie, you made me grin and no they won’t long bookie wookie words.


great Rachel


good job Doogie

After sleeping in the back of this for the weekend, gigging in West Cork, leading worship in Killarney, attending weddings and more services and being the “sound guy” meant I have not read your comments. I will do this evening.


Steph this is lovely, what a beautiful emotional moment captured. Well done


Yalí, haven’t we all been in that position of not trying lest we fail and then afterwards giving a little kick because what the worst that could happen. Good writing


Hey Trish good writing, well done. The frustration of parenting teenagers perfect.


Totally agree Neal, we need to store up the feelings for a later date. If I wrote when I was angry there’d be no keys left on the keyboard I would’ve banged them so hard.


zo-zo as always lovely writing, well done.


Juliana, a lovely piece of very emotional writing, well done


Katie, break the rules – when the writing is this good!


Marla, this is a lovely tale that unfolds like a map, as the journey is taken, each building and crossroads a memory. My fave has to be the birthday cake one. From someone who moved more times than years for ten years – it is good to have roots.


Rd, good writing, well done


love the humour in your writing Marianne


Marla, this is fabulous, love the colours attaching themselves to emotions, the use of sedate (obviously) but this is poignantly beautiful, though I would mess with the ending – I like the brown, I like the lonely but maybe she needs a colour for how she feels post-Harlan? Absolutely love her name, inspired.


Very good JB, like the the last paragraph. Do we all have a Mr Hyde inside? 


Mirel, good use of all definitions and nice little tale to boot. Well done on your first ever practice, good job


Brilliant Missaralee, struck a chord with me


Good job Puffy


humorous as always Tom, well done


great vignette Beck


Trish, good writing, well done


I have a letter to write this weekend – I am married for 25 years on Sunday!




Marianne, thank you, thank you for sharing this story with us, thank you for sharing an encounter with God and thank you for the forgiveness. Have to say two things:
Who is Anna Lee? she suddenly appears as the mother of the babe but that was Mary wasn’t it? Am I missing something?

To Mary – when God forgave you, he really did, not just for that second or moment. And the really brilliant thing is he forgives and forgets. So the slate is wiped clean. Forgiven, made new, sin forgotten.


Weird – even my husband noticed them!


thanks Marianne


thanks Oddz, I write about violence a lot, not for the shock value but because it is so prevalent in all societies, cultures, social classes


I was going to write in American, and call it middle school but realised your cisterns probably never were six feet or more in the air. Vodka and ciggies though – universal for those type of girls!!!


Hey Shelley, great memory very funny, well done


Yvette popped over to your site, looking good, girl. Well done. So organised, and neat.   Must think about being that organised,


Bonnie very dramatic, good use of sedate, weeping willows mirroring limp  and crying – I like this


Ha good one Mirel, …. finish it please


R, like the writing, well done


Jason, really liking this, uncluttered, smooth, good stuff


that book was on our booklist for school. The movie did not portray in graphic detail like the book did. I got kicked out of a boyfriend’s house watching that.  I listened to the track out side M&M world in Las Vegas.
This book follows me round. 

No one notices that I (female) made someone else pregnant, maybe mt first person needs work! Maybe I need work – to come across more feminine or gamine or something


aon fhadhb Marianne níl a fhios agam aon fhocal amháin an Ghaeilge ach úsáid a bhaint as google aistritheoir – gáire


which means no problem Marianne I have no word of Irish and use google translator – lol


Yea, an Irish coleen!!! Well done on finishing a marathon and all the other achievements in this. Nice writing too, Jeanne


Rob Bell – on my desk to read


Yeah ’bout that transparency. I made it up. I have this thing about “What would happen if……?”

In a totally different situation this got me into trouble ——

2011 a week of prayer, on committee, steward for four hours a day (the crowds – no just to open the church), first day I made some toast and wrote some lyrics. Second day made some toast and wrote a meditation, third day made some toast and wrote all the names for God I could find or think I had at one time or other heard (from Elohim to pilot – it was a long list). Fourth day, sat in the quiet of the main church with the sun shining on my legs, I knelt and a story came to me. I wrote it, as with everything else, I wrote it in the paper provided and left it there.

Next day, big commotion when I arrived, some poor woman had been in the day before and had found comfort and was coming back again Sunday to the service. Great – this is why the doors of the church were open.

Sunday – before the service we pull the prayer rooms apart to put them back together as normal. I take all the paper away because I am told to make a scrapbook (never ask me to make something – I gave them a 3foot by 2 foot scrapbook – hehe!!!)

My minister shouted to me that he wanted something from the papers, he went searching and found what he was looking for and life continued.

During the service the minister said some words about the prayer week and told about the woman who had come in, and began to read what she had written – only it wasn’t some random person off the street  – it was my story.

I didn’t know what to do, to let him continue would mean he was lying unbeknown to him, or to stop him would make a show of me.  So a show of me it was and I had to face a lot of angry people.

Fiction, faction, non-fiction – tough call. 

Am I a liar or a writer?


Sarah, this is great, well done


Well done Claudia, lovely use of verb.


Very suspenseful. What happens next?


John I like the sentiment behind this, it kinda reminds me of the whole practice thing. Practicing regularly keeps us writing, keeps the block away and hones our skill. Good job.


Shelley I like your story. Good job. Will you continue it?


I get what you mean Bronson, it is alien to me to repeat a word in a paragraph so it is freeing.
In your comment you used it twice – how many times did you use it in your practice?


Zoe this is great, well done. 

Margie great practice, well done


Marla, I love this, it is beautiful. I absolutely love it. The repeating ‘ee’, the lilting tone,  the smooth sashay of text.


I am laughing at you, your dad and Joe, on a train with two people facing me thinking I am mad!
Very funny.
Is that why I don’t send my stories off because I can’t handle rejection?
Will have to think some more on this.


Marla I love the drawling voice to this piece, the imagery of the funeral parlour and the insights to the inside of homes on the hill.


Mariaanne I really like this, there is a natural way you have moved from the present to the past. Interesting how the tidy make an untidy make a tidy make an untidy child/adult. A bit like if you have a parent who is always late you become early and vice versa.


thanks Katie, Dodie is the key


Thanks Beck, it was weird how it developed and I had to go back and change bits for it all to make more sense. Although it may need more work cos I don’t think any of ye have the mystery worked out. It is all there!!


Hey Marla thanks, I wish I could drawl like y’all can. I practice what a character in “Hart of Dixie” would say but I reckon I slip in too many English words or a wee bit of brogue.


All you need to solve the mystery has been given. Can you work it out?

Psst. Dodie is key


exackerly Mrs Fizzarkerly
(my fave saying at the minute means exactly)


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