“Mr. Jones next door just bought a Bentley,” Keith told his wife.

“That’s nice, dear,” she said.

Keith went out and bought an Aston Martin.

“Mr. Jones has bought the most adorable Afghan puppy,” Keith told his wife.

She sighed. “It’s not a contest, darling.”

Keith went to the puppy breeder and bought two.

“Mr. Jones is taking his wife on a week-long cruise to the Fjords,” Keith told his wife.

He immediately booked a two-week cruise to the Bahamas.

“Great news, honey!” Keith said. “Mrs. Jones is pregnant with twins!”

But his wife was nowhere to be found.

Today is the second week of my immensely popular* “12 Months of Writing” challenge. Still on the subject of wealth, the challenge this week is to produce a drabble (up to 100 words). If you’d like to join in the fun of the challenge, post your own drabble on your blog and link back to this post. Or simply drop the URL in the comments below! I look forward to reading your contributions.

Check back next week for wealth-related POETRY!


*may or may not be a lie


Storm – #writephoto

Storm winds come, storm winds go
He slumbers in the earth below
Close your mind, close your eyes
In the darkness he will rise

Fallen King who dwelt in stone
Sleeping still in soil-clad bone
Risen soon from earthen bed
To place a crown upon his head

Ancient foes, beware, beware
Flesh and blood and bone laid bare
Sharpened steel, lightning-forged
The Fallen King picks up his sword

In the darkness he will rise
Close your mind, close your eyes
He slumbers in the earth below
Storm winds come, storm winds go

Today I made a poem. I hope you like it! This poem was written for Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto prompt. A somewhat sombre and moody photo prompt this week, which moved me to poetry rather than continuing the Tales from the Dome. Please check out Sue’s site for more storm-related stories and poetry.

Magpies and humans
collecting shiny baubles
crow over their wealth

Today is the first official day of 12 Months of Writing! This haiku came about when I was walking home from work one day last week and spotted a bit of silver on the pavement. Immediately I thought “ooh, what is that shiny?” It turned out to be half a button popper that must’ve fallen off somebody’s coat or bag, and for a brief moment I felt like a magpie swooping down on some valuable treasure. I like to think I’m someone who measures wealth in terms of happiness, but when it comes right down to it, I’m just as intrigued by a sparkly bit of shiny as the next hoarder of worthless trinkets.

Leave your haiku/senryu link in the comments below, or via pingback.

Sanjay grumbled to himself as he followed the path of the stream. The water echoed him in solidarity, a soft grumble of water churning stones against bedrock. Each river spoke with its own voice, and this little stream’s voice was as annoyed as Sanjay.

Every day it was the same. Sanjay, go here. Sanjay, go there. Fix this sewer outlet. Mend that drain pipe. Shore up that bank. Run the same water quality test five hundred times because the folks in the lab accidentially contaminated one of the vials.

Sometimes he felt like quitting, but what else could he do? As Tom had so often reminded him, he had no artistic flair, which meant working in Climate was out. He wasn’t qualified enough to be a Teacher, and jobs in Family Planning came up once or twice in a lifetime. Literally.

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Tom fiddled with the small dial labelled ‘red’, tweaking it millimetre by millimetre until the sky’s hue was a more pleasing shade of deep pink. Everyone thought Atmospheric Controller was a purely technical job. ‘Boring’, most deemed it. Kids didn’t even glance twice at his stall on Careers Day. They just didn’t appreciate the artistry. The vision. Left to them, the sky would stay the same boring blue every day. They probably wouldn’t even bother with the stars at night.

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Welcome to 12 Months of Writing!

As described in my last post, I’m setting myself (and inviting others to join) a writing challenge designed to stretch unused writing muscles and limber up the creativity. Each month a new topic will be set, and each Friday we’ll write something based around that subject.

Without further ado, it’s time to announce the first subject which will be covered throughout February. And that subject is…


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It feels good.

As the six or so of you who regularly read my rambles know, I’ve recently returned to this crazy, addictive sport that we the athletically challenged call “blogging”.

During my interweb absence, I’ve done a lot of outdoorsey stuff (avoiding unnecessary athleticism, of course), mostly with my dogs. I’ve gotten involved in various dog sports and activities. I’ve done walking. A lot of walking. So much so that I bought one of those smart watches that monitors your distance covered, steps taken, heart rate, sleep quality and subconscious thoughts, just so I can show people and brag “hey, look how athletic I am!” (said people then look at the general shape of my body and are rarely fooled by this claim).

But I’ve done little writing, and less reading. Now, I need to remedy that.

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Gulls cried raucously above as they journeyed to their nesting place. Below, field mice scurried amongst autumn’s detritus. And perched atop the bare limestone cliff between above and below, was she – the embodiment of patience.

The small pond near the base of the cliff drew myriad creatures, and she dismissed them with regal indifference. The family of tiny squeakers; much too small. The antlered four-leg and his harem of females; too strong and too many. The tree-climbing squeaker-hunter; a tasteless morsel she was not yet desperate enough to stoop to.

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Memories of Childhood

Adventurous summer holidays,
a time of make-believe,
when every hidey-hole was a fort
and monsters lived in trees.

Imaginations running wild,
we made up our own fun.
Roaming fields and woods together,
playing in the sun.

Exploring all the world around us,
poking holes in every place,
curiously searching for something new,
somewhere to call our space.

Winter’s bite brought snowball fights,
building snowmen was the best.
Waking early on Saturdays
to watch a VHS.

No real concept of the future,
we lived for every day.
Concerns of war and strife were distant,
just actors in life’s play.

The future, now, is hard upon me,
I live to pay the bills.
War and strife are ever-present,
our politicians’ will.

Winter’s bite brings stalling car,
a house that doesn’t heat.
Counting pennies from day to day,
do I have enough to eat?

Exploring now feels tiresome,
I’ve seen it all before.
I won’t go out, I’ll stay at home,
and remember to lock the door.

Imagination running wild,
I make up my own fun,
roaming better worlds inside my head,
avoiding carcinogenic sun.

The fields, now paved, offer no adventure,
the trees no monsters hold.
The time of make-believe is over,
now that I’ve grown old.


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Cloaked in darkness, I stared out through the window of the ancient tower. The years had not been kind to this place; nor to me. The weather of time had eaten away at the stone and mortar of my soul, and the tower slowly crumbled in unison.

The window was small; small enough for a child to squeeze through. A brave and possibly stupid child who risked cracking their skull in a fifty-foot fall to find out why, on the nights of no moon, orange lights could be seen dancing within the rooms of the castle’s mirror image standing lonely upon Gallows Hill.

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