Writing 101 – Compose a Series of Vignettes/Play with Word Count


He was sitting on the bench as he did every afternoon in autumn enjoying the sun and the quiet of the park. Today, as it did every Wednesday, the air smelled of freshly cut grass. A flash of bright red caught his eye. A young boy was chasing his ball, his face lit up with a smile. His grandson would be about the boy’s age now. He wondered what he looked like after all this time. The last time he saw him he was still an infant huddled in his mother’s arms as they said their goodbyes at the airport.

The boy ran across her path with the single-mindedness of the very young. She heard someone shout to him to be careful and she smiled faintly. She wondered if she was having a boy. Neither of them had wanted to know the sex of their baby at the last doctor’s appointment saying they wanted it to be a surprise. Telling Jack that she desperately wanted a little girl didn’t seem like the right thing to do. She had never told him about the little girl she had given up for adoption all those years ago and she never intended to.

He tried to catch his breath as he rushed back to work after the surprisingly productive lunch meeting. Thank god they had come around to seeing the situation his way. If not it would have meant another two week delay and thousands of dollars. The sound of childish laughter made him turn his head. A little boy was triumphantly holding a ball above his head, his cheeks flushed red. He made a mental note to call his ex-wife that evening and let her know he’d have to skip this weekend. Birthday or not he had details to finalize before Monday.

She did well most days. She could put the thought out of her mind and go on with her day not giving it a second thought. Other times it would only take a picture posted on Facebook by a distant acquaintance to bring her world crashing down once again. The happy announcement, the congratulations pouring in, the grainy sonogram picture proudly posted. Today it was the sight of a little boy, eagerly sprinting after his ball across the grass. The unfairness of it all surrounded her like a sodden blanket, at times making it hard to even catch her breath.

She cursed under her breath as she waited for Max to show up. He knew she hated waiting and sometimes wondered if he was late on purpose. Neither of them could afford to miss class again. She happened to glance at the little boy playing just meters away and thoughts of Max vanished from her mind. He was the spitting image of her brother minus the black hair. The years since his death had mellowed the pain enough for her to just enjoy the delight with which this other little boy played in the park on a sunny fall day.

(I decided to combine two prompts from Writing 101 for today’s post. Five different vignettes with a common element but keeping each one at 100 words.)

Writing 101 – Writing and Not Writing

I’m not a writer. I marvel at writing. I am sometimes absolutely astounded when I read something and I think how in the world did that man or that woman sit down at a typewriter, a computer or a pen and an ink well, and seemingly have nothing come between their heart and that pen.
— Kevin Spacey

When I’m not writing I’m doing boring stuff around the house. Clothes don’t launder themselves and dust doesn’t obediently vanish into some other dimension.

When I’m not writing I’m trying to keep on track with my new eat better, move more plan.

When I’m not writing I’m thinking about what I would do if (or indeed when) the zombie apocalypse finally hits. What weapons to procure, where to hole up, do I go it alone or am I more of a group person?

When I’m not writing I’m watching some kind of documentary. I’ve been on a Mafia kick lately as I find that whole world and the players in it fascinating though I hope that doesn’t point to some kind of personality deficiency on my part.

When I’m not writing I’m losing untold hours browsing about on the internet. While I may start off my day searching for the best chocolate cake recipe I somehow end up, hours later, reading up on the mating habits of the Argentine lake duck.

When I’m not writing I’m gaming and losing myself in a whole other world where I can be the assassin, the gunslinger, the gangster, or the vigilante.

When I’m not writing I’m reading although I don’t seem to make enough time for it.

When I’m not writing I’m making mental notes of what I at some point may write about.

Writing 101 – Reinvent the Letter Format

My dearest,

I can’t remember a time in my life when you weren’t a part of it. It may have started off innocently enough but it’s come to the point where I can’t leave your side without feeling a sense of panic. I need you there constantly. What was once good has turned into a kind of obsession. There have been so many times when I tried to push you out of my life yet I keep wanting you back. You soothe me so.

Even now I want to reach for you. Uncap your tube and glide you over my lips. You’ll forever be my addiction, my craving, my lip balm.

Yours forever,

Writing 101 – Day 6 – A Space to Write


Sitting at the dining room table, my laptop in front of me, I can look out the window into the backyard. The magpies are usually wandering about the yard looking for something to nibble on. The young ‘uns no longer flail their wings at their parents as they did earlier in the year, beaks open, ready to be fed. It’s quiet and it’s perfect for getting my thoughts down. Wrestling with sentence structure and flow requires peace, no interruptions and a certain amount of coffee. At least for me it does.

While I do most of my writing on my laptop I’m also a fan of notebooks. They’re more portable for one thing. And there’s just something about having pages to rifle through, reading old ideas jotted down late at night, snippets of thoughts hurriedly scribbled, jumbles of words seemingly randomly scattered across a page. It’s fun to try and coax an idea out from that jumble and also add to the mess, curled up on the couch, coffee at hand and pen at the ready.


Writing 101 – Day 4 – A Story in a Single Image


She sat by the window as she had been doing the last hour waiting for her parents to come home. Her brother was in his favourite part of the attic, the little nook where they had built a fort out of the forgotten and discarded things that had made their way up here over the years. It had always been a little bit stuffy up here, full of dark corners where spiders would make their home but she and her brother enjoyed the gloomy space. It seemed to hold endless possibilities for adventure.

She smiled as she remembered the detailed pirate adventure her brother had made up just this morning. They had spent what seemed like hours running about yelling “Yarr!” and “Shiver me timbers!”, laughing and giggling. His imagination was extraordinary for a child so young. She remembered his cheeks flushed from the exertion, his eyes twinkling with delight, happy to just be playing with his older sister.

She turned to look at him and the smile faded. “It was an accident.” she said, practicing for when her parents finally came home.

“It was an accident.”