J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

All Fall Down

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn.

Glenn

I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, House of Horrors, an all time favourite of my sister and mine.
I liked the skeletons that grew out of the monsters teeth in Jason and the Argonauts and seemed to always find those plastic skeletons either on a key ring or the like while on seaside holidays.

My sister had some great gothic children’s books, one was a collection of the original Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, with great illustrations. My favourite was the Sea Witch from the little mermaid, she was the stuff of nightmares! The other book my sister had was about dwarfs and giants. The one story I liked my sister to read to me was about a group of dwarfs who kidnap a princess. The scene that will never leave my brain is when the princess complains that the carriage seat is too hard, the dwarf jumps out of the carriage, plucks out his eye, throws it in the air and sees a filed of wheat…poor princess!
From their I discovered the Pan Books of Horror. I loved the covers and the blurb on the back as much as I liked the stories themselves.
The very first horror story I wrote was at school and leant the first rule of horror is you need to build the tension, let the feeling of dread creep in. Of course once you have mastered this then you can experiment every which way.th

Over the next few years I wrote bits and pieces for myself, two of my favourites were a take on a Mills and Boom style story called The Quite Storm, the other was a typical slasher horror. I loved those 1980’s horror films that were based on a holiday or date: Halloween, Friday 13th, Happy Birthday to Me, Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, Mother’s Day! So I wrote mine based on nursery rhymes, a sample of which can me found on here under, All Fall Down.th-1

A couple more years passed and I was looking for a project to learn something new when my husband Keir spotted a creative writing class at Brighton City College. My tutors, Ruth and Maria said, for your first project we don’t want you to write we would like you to draw a rough plan of the street you grew up in, followed by us naming who lived in each house. From there grew my collection of short horror stories called Blanche Street.
Blanche Street, where all the neighbours are a nightmare. My friend Andrew Nimmo Helped me upload my e-book onto Amazon, while my friend Linus created a brilliant webpage advertising the type of synopsise of my ten tales in the style of the ones I admire from PBH.
My late mother-in-law, Hazel Bottrill created some brilliant art work for the stories, The Fall of Derrick Houser, Dead Famous, and the book cover. My other talented friends also contributed some brilliant images to go with the Blanche Street Tales, Angus Stewart: Filth, and publicity photo for back cover, Davey Sutherland: Frank, Sarah Prades and Kristan Akerman and three new pieces from Darren Menezes: Sugar Almonds, The Nightmare and Some Mother’s Son.
Finally, I found online a great editor, Jenny Prince, who through fresh eyes and is at present getting the book in shape for its (self publishing) into paperback.
More information to follow.Book cover copy-25

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Writing Everyday in October: I Love Trish.

Ipswich 143 - Version 2
The taste of blood slid across Howard’s tongue as the Norwich to Ipswich train rattled along the track. For the last half hour he had nervously bitten his nails, all in the pursuit of the latest high. Howard’s best mate, Kes, (everyone called him Kes, because he was always high as a kite) had raved about the mind blowing time he’d had the other night at the Caribbean Club. Some bloke had offered Kes a new kind of high at the club toilet and he said he was off his head all night, “It’s called Trish. Think ecstasy, crossed with a trip and dib-dab of speed.”
Even before Kes had finished yabbering, Howard was hooked. Kes had said he was going to meet up with a guy called Chef and get some Trish for the weekend. That had been a couple of days ago. With no job worries, Kes will still be off his face on Trish, thought Howard.
As the train pulled into Ipswich’s train station, Howard pulled out the crumpled piece of paper from his jeans pocket on which Kes had scrawled.
9 Blanche Street, Ipswich. Ask for Chef. Say, “I love Trish.”

When the train finally pulled in to Ipswich, the seasoned travellers rushed from the platform and grabbed the waiting taxies. With no sign of a bus, Howard began walking towards what he hoped was the town centre. Half way he bumped into a young couple and asked if they knew where Blanche Street was. The woman shrugged her shoulders, as the bloke said, “You sure you want that part of town mate?”
Howard nodded while trying to ignore his growling stomach, all he wanted was to grab his stash of Trish and get back to his bedsit in Norwich.
Recognising the nervousness pouring out of Howard’s body, the man shrugged his shudders and said, “It’s no more than ten minutes away, just off Cemetery Road.”

Having followed the man’s directions, Howard turned into Blanche Street and instantly understood what the man had meant. The street was a row of pre-war dilapidated terraced houses. As he walked down the street, Howard’s stomach tightened; with most of the street lights broken it was difficult to make out the door numbers.

As he crept past one house he heard a man shout, “Madeline, Madeleine!” which caused Howard to quicken his step. Each house he passed seemed to be more decrepit than the last: that was until he reached number seven. The bottom half of the door had been boarded up. Bare wires hung where the doorbell had once been and the upstairs windows were smashed.

Again Howard felt his gut jolt, but there was no way he was going back home empty handed. Taking a deep breath he raised his hand to knock on the door, only for it to suddenly fly open. A dark silhouette of a very, very big man filled the door frame.
“Y,y,y,you Chef? Said Howard?

With no ready response, Howard tried to steady his voice without much success and said, “I,I,I,I,I love Trish.”
The man stepped back and nodded for Howard to enter the gloomy lit front room.

The first thing to hit him was the overwhelming stench of stale cigarette smoke, greasy takeaway food and something else, something rotten. While trying to manoeuvre passed the minefield of beer cans and overflowing ashtrays, Howard knocked a half-eaten takeaway box off the oversized leather armchair: spilling its contents onto the threadbare carpet. Dropping to his hands and knees, Howard went to clear up the partly chewed, greasy chicken bones only for Chef to yell, “Fucking leave it, get your arse in the back.”
Howard jumped to his feet, brushed the grease from his hands on to his jeans and then followed the man through the middle room, into the kitchen.
Hanging from the centre of the kitchen celling was a bare light bulb highlighting the cobwebs that strung from every corner, the floor felt sticky beneath his feet. Howard glanced round the near barren kitchen. The only other furniture was a tatty pine wooden table, either side sat two mismatched chairs and a bar stool. Chef nodded at Howard and grunted, “Sit.”

Like a well trained mongrel, Howard quickly obeyed, pulled out the chair and sat himself down.
Chef flung open the fridge door and said, “Beer?”

Howard stared at the man’s huge hands that gripped the rusting fridge door, his fingernails caked with black grime. A trickle of bile shot from Howard’s empty stomach into his throat causing him to nod as he tried his best to swallow his sick.

Grabbing two cans from the fridge, Chef slammed one can down in front of Howard, cracked open his own and drained the contents before Howard had even opened his.

“Get that down yah, it will stop you from being so fucking jumpy.”

Howard tried his best to stop his hands from shaking as he opened his can, only for the contents to spray all over his face.
Howard slurped at the frothing can as Chef laughed while he grabbed another two beers from the fridge. As he sat down at the table he said, “So, how’d you hear about me, was it London Tony?”

….. Wanna find out what happens to Howard and the other residence of Blanche Street? why not pop over to the homepage www.blanchestreet.co.uk and click on the doors and then hurry yourself over to the Amazon link  to and get stuck into ten terrifying tales: http://www.amazon.com/Blanche-Street-Where-neighbours-nightmare-ebook/dp/B00OWFK1SA

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Writing Everyday in October: The Tenner

Trace the journey of a ten pound note through the lives of five owners. What was exchanged during the transactions? How much (or how little) did the transaction mean to each of the people involved?

Trace the journey of a ten pound note through the lives of five owners. What was exchanged during the transactions? How much (or how little) did the transaction mean to each of the people involved?

Saturday night at the hole in the wall and Jerry takes out an extra tenner, put it in the back of his wallet telling himself that no matter what else he spends tonight the tenner will be marked as taxi money only. There was no way he is going to end up dazed and soiled with his flatmate’s one night stand stepping over him the next day, taking an incriminating shot before leaving the flat and posting it on Facebook.

(click here) Six hours later…200

Pissed and hardly able to say his name, mainly because he had forgotten it, Jerry staggers into the kebab shop and screams as he shields his eyes to the bright fluorescent light. Although he can’t remember his name, he can remember to ask for extra chilli sauce of his shish kebab. Jerry knows that all he needs is some food inside him and then he’ll feel much better. It is only when he reaches for his wallet and finds it gone does he’s world start to tumble down. With no food to fuel his brain, Jerry loses all memories completely, from what club he’d been to, to where he lives. Jerry promises himself (again) that he’ll never, ever drink this much ever, ever, ever.

Meanwhile, outside The Ritzy…

Linda has had a horrible night. First she had a steaming row with her best mate, Gazza over a bloke who looked okay, but as soon as the cold air had hit it quickly transpired he was too pissed to remember his own name, let alone where he lived and had staggered off towards the local kebab shop, not realising that Linda had stayed back. Meanwhile Linda was hanging outside The Ritzy, hoping Gazza would come out too so they could go home and make up over a curry pot-noodle.

Ten minutes later…

After arguing with the bouncer that she was in fact not that drunk and promised she would not end up causing another scene in the club, Linda gave up and decided to go home alone. it was then she saw a wallet on the ground and picked it up to see it belonged to the drunk who had staggered off to the kebab shop. The good part of Linda thought about trying to find him, but when she saw the tenner folded neatly in the back of the wallet, she thought, Oh fuck it, took the tenner, dropped the wallet in the nearest bin and made her way to the taxi rank.

Outside the taxi rank…

Underneath the blanket was huddled Jamie and his dog, Wordsworth. Unbeknown to the ignoring crowds above, Jamie had a lot of interesting tales to tell, but no one had time to stop and listen. If he was lucky, he would get the occasional coin thrown, but what he really needed was a lucky break to get enough money for  and his dog Wordsworth to get the train back home to his mum and dads, but Lady Luck, The Good-fairy Godmother and his Guardian Angel had all been on an extnded holiday for what felt like years. However! Tonight Jamie’s luck changes when he watches a ten pound note fall to the ground as a pissed passer by precariously past him and plonks herself into a cab.

Then the drug dealer appeared…

Growing up, Jamie had been an avid fan of the kids TV show, Jamie and the Magic Torch and had eventually convinced himself he was the real life, Jamie. At first his parents had humoured him when he came home with a dog and said its name was Wordsworth, they even ignored his late night sessions spent under his bed shining his torch at the floor, but when it became apparent he had a serious problem with drugs, so they had kicked him out. Life on the streets was no picnic for Jamie, but his drug dealer was always popping past and doing cheeky deals with Jamie.

Jamie was delighted to have the tenner, but it was far too little for a train ticket home, so Jamie was greatly relived to see the drug dealer who who had the powder that enabled Jamie to travel once agin (Unfortunately without his magic torch as he’d pawned that a long while back) ’d pawned a long time ago) to better, kinder worlds beyond this realm.

With the deal done…

The drug dealer slipped off into the shadows and broke the one cardinal rule of drug dealing, don’t take the stuff yourself. With his newly acquired tenner, the drug dealer got out his bag of the latest street drug, Trish, rolled the tenner up and took a hearty snort of the powder and promptly collapsed. Gradually his fingers unraveled as Trish took hold and pulled him into a nightmare not that dissimilar to a short story called, I love Trish in a book, called, Blanche Street, you dear reader can downloaded from amazon.co.uk.

A gush of wind took the tenner out of the dealer’s hand and something very unusual happened in one of Glenn’s story, a happy ending! You see, the wind caught the tenner, took the rolled tube high into the air and as it unraveled, it floated down, landing in front of Jerry.

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Writing 101, day 13: Found

Day Thirteen: Serially Found

On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.

Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.

Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.

You could pick up the action where you stopped, or jump backward or forward in time. You might write about the same topic, but use a different style, or use the same style to tackle a neighboring topic.

Not sure how to approach continuity? Here’s a time-tested tip: pick a favorite book or two. Read the last page of chapter one, then the first page of chapter two. How did the author choose to connect these two separate-but-connected narrative units?

We’d like to stress, though, that the idea behind today’s assignment isn’t necessarily to write “chapter two” of a neat, predetermined sequence — though you could do that, too, of course — but to think more intently about the idea of continuity and designing long-term writing projects.

 

Okay, so it is a bit of a cheat adding another Blanche Street Tale, but it fits the brief. I’ll get back to new writing tomorrow.

Somebodies Son.

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The moment I walk into the chemist and see her I know she is my mother. I wait and watch her in the security mirror. When she turns the corner I bump into her, knocking her handbag and its contents to the floor. Dropping to my knees I apologise, “I’m really sorry. Are you okay? Here’s your purse.”
She’s so grateful she doesn’t notice me slipping her notebook into my coat pocket. As she wanders off she leaves behind a scent that is unmistakably Mum.
Only when I’m safely back in the side street do I allow myself to look at her little notebook. The cover is black, crinkled like crocodile skin. I run my thumb over the gold lettering, M.a.r.g.a.r.e.t. A tingle ripples up my hand. Over the years I have thought of many names for my mother, but it makes perfect sense that she’s called Margaret. Margaret’s are strong, honest, and reliable… just like that Mrs Thatcher.
On the first page mum has written her name, Margaret J. Lawrence, 11 Blanche Street. Her handwriting is so neat, I wish she had been around to teach me.
She’ll be home soon, if I’m quick I can surprise her. How pleased she’ll be to see me waiting. I catch sight of my scruffy face in a shop window, I can’t remember when I last shaved or washed. Mum will help transform me back into her son. Perhaps we’ll even make it on the front page of the Ipswich Star, “Long Lost Son, Home at Last.”
When I eventually get to Blanche Street my heart sinks. Opposite the row of tatty run down terrace houses is a dirt track where a couple of burnt-out cars and a white van is parked. This was not what I had been expecting. In dreams I saw us together living in a country cottage with roses around the door or perhaps a detached house with a long gravelled driveway. I’m puzzled. What could have happened to my mother for her to end up living in this hellhole of a street.
The front door is locked and the curtains pulled tightly shut, a good sign, you never know who might be skulking around in an area like this.
I think of mum, she looks so much different to what I had imagined. She’s aged more than I expected, but that doesn’t matter as greying hair can easily be dyed back to blonde. When we are together I will help her with her makeup. Her lips will be rose pink for daywear and poppy red for when we go out on the town.
***
Down the road a door flies open and out storms one of those skinhead types. I try not to watch as he bad mouths someone inside his house, then he stomps over to the white van. I hear a woman crying and think I should help, but the last thing I need is a fight, so I scurry towards the side alley.
A high brick wall guards the back of the houses. I get to mum’s backyard only to find the gate locked. With no time to waste I scramble up the wall. My legs flail about as I scrape my gut before falling flat on the bare concrete below.
I lay still, but no one comes out, nobody cares. Picking myself up I nip to the backdoor and cup my hands to the window, inside is a tiny kitchen. The door handle clicks as I push it down, I scold my mum for not keeping it locked. When we’re together I’ll make sure she will always be protected.
Safely inside the kitchen the first thing I spot is her little cup on the draining-board. I carefully lift the rim to my lips and imagine mum’s lips on mine…giving me a good night kiss.
The cupboards are jam packed with loads of outdated tinned stuff and not much else. The fridge is empty, apart from a half bottle of milk and some mouldy cheese. I make a promise on the spot that I will learn to cook. My mum will have tasty meals every day. I’ll give her shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole, liver, bacon and creamy mashed potatoes with really thick onion gravy. On Sundays we’ll always have a roast and none of the vegetables will come from a tin.
I turn to face the door leading to the rest of the house. My stomach tightens. This must be how proper kids feel on Christmas morning. I throw open the door only to be faced with the same old disappointment. The room is dark and drab. Flicking on the light only makes things worse. The room is bare except for an empty birdcage hanging from a stand in the far corner. There is a thick layer of bird shit around the floorboards; for once something smells worse than me.
The front room isn’t much better. There’s a single chair, Mum’s throne and a little side table next to it. I run my hand over the grease spot at the top of her chair and pocket the few hairs I find. The ticking clock on the wall reminds me I have little time to explore. In the table’s side drawer there’s only money off coupons and a stash of useless Green Shield Stamps.
The clock on the wall begins to strike, pushing me on. Back in the middle room I notice the staircase; I take the steps two at a time. I reach the small landing and step into the front bedroom to find It’s empty: ready for me to move in. I quickly step into the back bedroom and admire mum’s single bed. Throwing back the blankets I grab her pillow close to my face, filling my nostrils with her distinctive smell.
Outside I can hear the world outside, reminding me to move on. There will be plenty of time soon to be close to my mum.
The only other furniture in the room is a chest of drawers. I’m about to pull open the top drawer when I hear the front door open; Mum’s back! I frantically empty each drawer on to the bed. The first has nothing but slips, knickers and bras. The second is jammed full of the same grey coloured tights, there must be fifty shades of grey all bundled up. The third is full of neatly folded cardigans. I rummage through her belongings, then stop. I can hear her moving around downstairs.
I tug at the bottom drawer. A stack of used wrapping paper, all ironed, spring out. Under that is a mound of yellowing documents. A quick scan shows they are of little interest to me. Then at the very bottom, I find the treasure I’ve been looking for: our photographs.
I tip the photos out on the floor and spread them out. All the faces seem to follow me, making my head really ache.
I cock my head and listen. I think mum is in the kitchen, my head throbs so much it’s hard to tell. I look down at the photos and just like a puzzle everything falls into place. In front of me is her life. There’s mum on a beach with friends, laughing. Other photos show’s mum in the park, a woman by her side. Another shows mum out for dinner, dressed up to the nines with the same woman. I look closer, trying to see my features. I know for sure that I definitely take after mum. I can’t see any pictures of my dad. I wonder what happened to him: I hope he is dead.
Now as I look down at the photos all I can see is the same two grinning, taunting faces, but what has she done with the pictures of me? I dig deeper into the pile and wonder where all the baby pictures are; what had I done that she would want to get rid of all memories of me? That woman is going to have to work really hard for me to forgive her. I pick up a picture frame with her silly grinning face looking back. I’m beginning to feel differently about my mum, I’m starting to feel really angry and throw the frame down. The glass smashes. I hear a creak on the stairs. I try and clear up the mess before she gets to the top of the stairs. I cut my hand, blood spills all over the pictures. Shit! It wasn’t meant to be like this. I stumble to my feet, smooth down my shirt, now it’s covered in blood. I try and slick my hair into place as I hear her pause on the stair. This at least gives me a moment to pull on my best smile. The top stair creaks, I reach my arms out to welcome my…..shit…a miserable policeman steps into the doorway, slowly shaking his head.
He slaps on some handcuffs, they dig tight around my wrist. He pushes me down the stairs, out of the house and into the back of the police car.
Most of the street has come out to gawp. A policewoman has her arm around Margaret. Now that I look at her properly, I can see she could never have been my mum. My mum is strong, upstanding, reliable…not some sad lonely lesbian.
Eventually everyone goes back indoors, the police get back in the car, the driver looks at me in his rear view mirror and sneers, but I don’t react. We drive away in silence. We turn onto Cemetery Road, I let out a heavy sigh of relief. There! I see my mum, a fine upstanding blonde haired woman, dressed in a red coat, matching shoes and handbag… I wonder where she lives?

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Writing 101: (Day 4) Loss, Part 2.

Loss (part 2)
15 min free writing.

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Things I have lost.

My mother at 18 months old through a divorce, my cat Sooty through either Sooty getting fed up of being dressed up in dolls cloths or he died. Loss of animals, budgies, rabbits, gold fish. Nearly losing the school tortoises who was penned in with the homemade rabbit run (chicken wire and canes, but found a hole and could move at some speed for at tortoise. Losing the fights against a group of bullies at school, which only came to an end when I left school, losing out to jobs and not knowing where to go next. Went back to College to stud catering. Lost my inhibitions on the dance floor when I move Norwich (to study at Norwich Hotel School). Lost my Ipswich accent when I moved to Brighton. Lost any longing to move back to my home town when I realised Brighton was the place I was meant to live. Lost the need to work at The Bedford Hotel when The Grand Hotel reopened after massive refit following the Brighton bombing, lost the need to work at The Grand when I got a job as a steward on the newly revitalised QE2. Lost more inhibitions when I teamed up with my mate Mark on the QE2 and formed a cabaret style show for the crew, which was so successful we were asked to perform regular shows for the passengers too. Lost in time and missed the QE2 in New York, stranded, but got home safely. Lost the number of times I have laughed till it hurts with my mates. Lost the urge to work in catering, started working and retrained with adults with severe learning difficulties. Lost the urge to work with adults with learning difficulties, retrained as a reflexologist. never really lost the urge to give help with reflexology, but moved on to retrain to be a writer.

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Writing 101: (Day 4) Loss, Part 1

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Day Four: Serially Lost

Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.This doesn’t need to be a depressing exercise; you can write about that time you lost the three-legged race at a picnic. What’s important is reflecting on this experience and what it meant for you — how it felt, why it happened, and what changed because of it.

Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.

Our blogs are often made of standalone posts, but using them to take readers on longer journeys is an immersive experience for them — and you. It allows you to think bigger and go deeper into an idea, while using a hook that keeps readers coming back.

 

15 min writing exercise.
Loss.

It is said that children learn about loss through the life cycle of keeping an animal. I have some very clear memories of experiencing loss through these situctions when I was very young. When my mum and dad split, my dad, sister and I moved in with my nana (my dad’s mum). During that time we had several animals. My first memory is very vague about a black cat called, Sooty. My sister and I used to dress him up in her dolls clothes and push him a round in her pram…I think he ran away, but after I recently asked my sister about this, we are now not too sure if the truth was that Sotty had passed away.

One day my dad brought back a load of goldfish, by the next morning all but one of the goldfish had died. We were told that the last goldfish left had killed off all the other fish, so we called him Tarzan! Tarzan lived for years, on one occasion he had jumped out of bowl, but we popped him back in and he carried on living. I think he lived for a good 8 or 10 years.

My Nana also kept budgerigars. One morning (when I was still very young) I came down to find the budgie (I think it was called Kimi, come to think of it, I think all of my nana’s budgies were called Kimi) laying on the bottom of the cage. I ran upstairs and told my nana and sister that the budgie was asleep on the floor of its cage and wouldn’t wake up. That was to be my first clear memory of loss.

A much more gruesome memory of loss come from another memory around the same time. I think my dad had bought two rabbits, one male one female ands built a single hunch for them both. In no time the pair were mating like…rabbits!
Not long after a whole batch of baby rabbits were born. To this day I don’t understand why a hole was in the floor of the hutch my dad had made (lazy dad!) was left with a hole was small enough for one of the baby rabbits to full through, but not bigger enough for its head. Remember that famous bunny boiling moment in the film Fatal Attraction when there’s lots of screaming and dramatic music? That’s how I the scene plays out in my head when I ran down to see my rabbits only to find one of the bunnies hung to death.

My Nana (who had lived through two World Wars and already bought up her two children on her own, wasn’t s fazed by the sight and just dug a hole and told me to bung the dead rabbit in the hole! I’m not sure if my memory has expanded on that situation, but I’m sure that scene happened more then once!

So, that’s my first blog on loss. It’s no wonder my favourite writing genre is horror!

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Writing 101: (Day 3) Write about three favourite songs

Day Three: Commit to a Writing Practice

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?
Nailing Brahms’ Hungarian Dance Number 5 on your alto sax. Making perfect pulled pork tacos. Drawing what you see. Or, writing a novel. Each requires that you make practice a habit.
Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think. Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.
Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

 

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Writing 101
Day 3 write for 15 minutes about a song that means something to you.

Hazel o Connor as been a constant songsters from the first time I saw her on top of teh pops singing D-days in a black bra. my sister’s friend, Lulu had bought the single but didn’t really like it so she gave it to me. My best mate, Gary also liked Hazel O Connor, that song reminds me of how we each had a scrapbook album dedicated to all things Hazel, I wish I still had it, it would be a real time capsule of that time. I can honestly say no other singer/songwriter has been as constant in my life.
Around this time Gary and I went to our firts pop concert to see Haze, she had a support band called Bumble and the Bees, Hazel had just released her third album, Cover Plus, I didn’t really know any of the words but sang a long anyway, there was a girl in front of me who scowled, but I didn’t care. There is a song from that album called Animal Farm which had the film playing in the background. I would later read that book because of that song and really loved it, I also read 1984 and Keep the Aspidistra Flying. Gary and I had a great trip to Norwich and met other Hazelnuts, as us fans are called. Hazel’s mum, Joyce was waiting for all of us, Gary and I had Hazel O’ Connor printed on T-shirts, I remember Joyce saying, “ohh, lovely
T-shirts. I had a badge over the ‘o’ in Connor as I had misspelt it as Conner.
We had a great day going round Norwich Museum. There was to be a bigger Hazelnut’s gathering the next year called “We’re All Grown Up”, i had bought tickets, but ended up cancelling it as I had met a guy called Tim Brown. When we met I had a cup of tea he had a coffee, guess which song I connect with him! He later made up for it by taking me to The Windmill Theatre in London to see Hazel in a play about a couple who end up in the underground after a nuclea bomb. Hazel’s onstage boyfriend was coerced into taking blame for the bomb and his suicide was televised. He had his blood drained from his arm while Hazel sang a song, very grim!
I really liked Hazel’s next Album, Smile but it was during a time when her work was not being promoted by her record company due to legal wrangling, but it’s a great album. There were a good few years between taht time when I though Hazel had stopped making music altogether, but that wasn’t the case. Years later When I was seeing a guy called Wayne he had got me tickets to see Hazel at a hall in Derby. he wasn’t feeling so great so we just sat and listened to the music. it was around this time I found Hazel had made two more albums for the German market, with on elf my favourite songs, My Friend Jack being made into a video.

15 min free writing

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