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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The Coffee Shop

There was something a little different about the newest coffee shop in town. Something odd that Mia couldn’t quite put her finger on.

Maybe it was the fact that the front door was permanently locked. A small sign in the marbled-glass window asked patrons to enter via the back door, which could only be accessed by walking down the alley at the end of the shop row.

Maybe it was that.

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Hello, friends!

This is your friendly neighbourhood Urban Spaceman, reporting in after… *checks last post*… nearly 2 years? Gosh, I didn’t think it had been that long! Tales of my demise, yadda yadda.

I recently received an email notification that my domain was up for renewal, and that I should cancel in advance if I didn’t want to fork out money for something I was no longer actively using. So I noted the email then forgot to do anything about it. Now, I’m glad for that.

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Siren [Poem] – #writephoto

The siren swam beneath the sea,
singing her song without a care,
for under wave her life was free—
her life was free, but cold and bare.

Singing her song without a care,
she tempted men with lust and love.
Her life was free, but cold and bare,
and sailors listened from above.

She tempted men with lust and love,
her song did fill their waking dreams,
and sailors listened from above,
the ocean swallowed up their screams.

Her song did fill their waking dreams,
to them she was the perfect bride.
The ocean swallowed up their screams;
their lungs could not the brine abide.

To them she was the perfect bride,
for under wave her life was free.
Their lunges could not the brine abide—
The siren swam beneath the sea.

I wasn’t going to do any writing this week, because my schedule’s super busy with my new job, but I loved this pantoum, written last week by memadtwo, so much that I decided to stretch my legs and try one myself. I used Sue Vincent’s Thursday #writephoto prompt as the inspiration for this one. Please go check out more stories on Sue’s site.

Unity [Flash Fiction]

• Words: 797 • Themes: Speculative fiction, Sci-fi •

“Excuse me, Madam President, but it’s time.”

At Naomi’s whispered prompt, the world’s first female president tucked the well-creased piece of paper bearing her own handwriting into her breast pocket and squared her shoulders. Out there, behind the purple curtain, Earth was waiting. A crowd so large that SolSec had needed to pay for a thousand guards to work overtime.

“How do I look?” Charlotte asked her most trusted aide.

The back-stage lights dazzled off Naomi’s pearly white smile. “Perfect. Try not to be nervous.”

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