Walking Away

Walking Away

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

So Honoured.... Thanks Flash Friday :)

So excited when I read this on Flash Friday on September 5th 2014 http://t.co/NNaYJBv5fI

***BONUS optional challenge: totally optional, not required, nor do you net extra points except in our unabashed respect: in honor of faithful and enthusiastic dragon stellakateT, who cannot write with us today: name a major character Stella.

Judge Craig Anderson (you should see the post-battle mess of his poor brain!) says: Who knew that a simple stone shack on a deserted island could house so many wonderful stories? It has been fantastic to see the community grow these last few weeks as more and more people have joined the fun. It positively warms my heart to see our little flash family flourish. Try saying that five times really fast!
The toughest part of being a judge (apart from the judging obviously) is not being able to read all the wonderful comments on everyone’s stories, which are often just as much fun to read as the stories themselves. These all get stripped, along with your names, for the sacred judging scroll, which is hand written in unicorn tears before being delivered by tiny fire-breathing owls. No expense is spared in the name of fair and equitable judgery-ish-ness. On a totally unrelated note, don’t tell tiny fire-breathing owls how cute they are if you like your eyebrows.
One or two of you took on the optional ‘Stella challenge’ this week, leading to a cavalcade of Stellas. Some were hunters, some were prey, some were young and some were old, some were human, some were not and one of them was quite literally a pregnant planet! More than one was a dragon, just like our very own stellakateT. I hope that ‘our’ Stella enjoyed the surprise when she popped by to check out this week’s stories :)
Anyway, enough of my ramblings; on to the important business of the results…

This story by David Hartley didn't win but it was one of my favourites http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/flash-friday-vol-2-39/#comment-14147

Every Friday evening I get home from work and go to @FridayflashFic on twitter to see the picture prompt and write 140 to 160 words hoping to win. There are so many good writers producing great little tales that I'd be so amazed if I ever won. so if you ever have time on your hands go read these flashes of gold.

Here is the winning story 

Vol 2 – 39John Murray Lewis


Margaret did as she was told, carried her baby across the moor to St. Kilda’s Barrow. She’d named him Ian, after his father.
She had to be brave, like Ian’s father, brave Father Macquaig. How he had trembled when she brought the baby to his rectory door, when she told him the child was his, when they prayed together; when he told her, then, of the baobhan sith and how it could only be sated by the blood of the chosen child—this very child!—sacrificed in the barrow of St. Kilda.
The barrow was close now, an island in the mist…
Something was not right. Father Macquaig had instructed her to remove the entrance stone, but the stone was already gone.
Inside the barrow, Margaret found another village girl, Agnes, cradling a bloody bundle.
“The chosen child,” she cooed. “His own daughter…”
“Brave Father Macquaig’s!” Agnes said, weeping reverently.
Beneath Margaret’s cloak, Ian laughed for the first time.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Postcards From Earth

Okay, it wasn’t the usual way to arrive on earth; we’d been doing it for millions of years without mishap. Didn’t the holiday brochures say ‘Have fun wherever you land, diverse climate, exotic food, challenging terrain’


It was Cousin Harvey that had suggested I went sight-seeing aboard the Gemini V. I played about with the re-entry system Georgia USSR sounded more interesting than Georgia USA, anyway I’d been to America twice before. The guys were great company so resisted the fresh meat and ate the flight pre-pack meals instead.


Hitting the water I nearly died of fright, didn’t my mother always say it was the Devil’s playground. Those frogmen did a great job saving us all, still a bit miffed about Gordon altering the destination, costing me more now to get back home. My holiday pics are sensational; if you look carefully you can see me bobbing about to the right of the good looking frogman. He looks tasty.    

I wrote this from a picture prompt of the Gemini V astronauts being picked up from their pod in the ocean.   http://t.co/lrmW763C5Q for Flash Friday Fiction.

Friday, 22 August 2014

My Writing Blog Tour

I was really amazed and thrilled to be tagged by Avalina Kreska and Imagine Ronin  in their 'My Writing Process Blogs' Up to now I've felt a bit uneasy about contributing. I've had Flash fiction published in several anthologies and had many encouraging comments on my short tales but I still don't really think of myself as a writer.

What I am working on
I have this grand idea that one day I will write a successful best selling novel, make loads of money and become famous :) The problem with this is I love writing Flash fiction, anything longer than 500 words terrifies me. Think its because I dart from one idea to another and easily gets bored with my own writing. I love reading other peoples novels more. I love writing from prompts so at the moment am contributing to The Angry Hourglass and Flash Friday both on Twitter. So on a Friday and Sunday I'm busy writing and submitting with fingers crossed that my tale will be chosen. I need to persuade myself that a novel is a lot of flashes joined together :)

How does my work differ from others of its genre
I'll let the Judge of last week's Angry Hourglass sum it up thanks David
"I read the tale through and knew it was a Stella classic. Loved the disarming first line. Laughed out loud at Mammy’s take on Dad’s gas. The emotions of the final paragraph were all the stronger for the light-hearted opening. Our narrator, I fear, did not have to wait too long before he’d be called to serve again. Stella’s strength is characterisation. We’ve been given memorable, familiar characters here – deftly wrought in a few pen strokes. The WW1 setting was also timely and I felt this was a fitting part of the centenary – like the best bits of a BBC drama condensed to their raw essence.

Why do I write what I write
Really have no idea why I write what I write, I don't plan it out it just arrives on the page. I've never thought of a beginning a middle and an end all at one time. I just have an idea that expends on the page as I'm writing.

How does my writing process work
Most of my time is spent at work or asleep :) so in the evenings I'll switch on my laptop which literally does sit on my lap and multi-task by watching TV and going from Twitter to Facebook to Twitter and if my eye is caught by a prompt I'll write. I'm hoping when I retire I'll have a plan to write in a more structured way.

Introduction to 3 other writers

Jackie Donnellan The other week I was Judge for The Angry Hourglass and the story that stood out for me was by Jackie. Her story 'I serve'  had a great first line, the story got straight to the point, the ending was funny and left me feeling satisfied. Lots of flashes leave me thinking what's all that about but Jackie's never do, read her story at http://t.co/czuSBcIxB6  See her page on Facebook at https://t.co/zAgVblzfLW

Imagine Ronin's  story last week on the Angry Hourglass was excellent, as much as I wanted mine to win, his story was miles better. Read it here http://t.co/zdd4WnpQ1n . I always look forward to scrolling down the numerous entries at Flash Friday to find his take on this week's prompt and then think why didn't I write that :) Read his blog at http://t.co/Tw8KfkJPeM

Sal Page has won Calderdale 2011 & Greenacre 2013 and been published on lots of online sites and won The Angry Hourglass with Sir Prance-a-lot, read it here http://t.co/lxoJyS1U87  She is a very good friend of mine and I've been very privileged to be asked to read the drafts of her two novels, both I enjoyed very much. Her stories are either moving, humorous or both. I'm always amazed where she gets her ideas from. Sal's blog is at http://t.co/vCz55Sdlca

These three writers have always been so supportive and encouraging not only to me but to other writers in the twitter community. We share each other successes and rejections with good heart. Long may we all put pen to paper. Can't remember the last time I've written anything longer than a shopping list by hand. I'm still in awe of cut and paste :) 
Thanks again Avalina and Imagine Ronin for choosing me as one of your 3 writers. Writer, Writer, Writer if I keep saying it I might get used to the idea that I'm a WRITER..... :)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


Most nights I'm woken by the whirling of the helicopter blades. A powerful light searches the gardens like a giant torch. Never sure what the Police are looking for. We've never had any drug dealers or burglars in Portslade Old Village. Our drug dealer is the local doctor who gives out Viagra and Prozac like sweeties. A nice young man in a dark suit who thinks we geriatrics should be happy and at it like rabbits. We sell them on to the middle aged; they are the ones that need happiness in their stale, barren lives. No final salary pensions for them to look forward to.

Doris, sleeps like the dead, her thigh warm to my touch, I can't hear her breathing I'm deaf. Sometimes that's a blessing. We've been together for 5 years. My wife upped and died and Doris started helping out and never went home. Not sure what nationality she is and what language she speaks but she smiles a lot. Sometimes I wonder if the light is searching for her. Where would they send her? Who would make my meals, scratch my back and sing me to sleep? I've come full circle like the rotating blades that fly overhead.

I wrote this last year for the Geo-Writing site. We were given a prompt about an area in Brighton. I have only spent 4 days in Brighton and that was to celebrate last years big birthday. Great city, vibrant and fun. Looking forward to this year's prompts. Wonder what ideas it will give me :)


Sunday, 17 August 2014

War, Conflict & Resolution

My story 'May Day' was published in the anthology War, Conflict and Resolution on August 15th 2014, a collection for all the soldiers, families and friends who were effected by World War 1. One hundred years on we still remember. Edited by Ryan Thacker & Alex Gallagher. I'm so pleased to be part of this very worthy cause as all profits will go to the Royal British Region. http://t.co/KJjNLo8HRu

I'm in WW1 mode at the moment as I submitted a story to The Angry Hourglass its about a young lad at the end of the war to end all wars based on a picture prompt of an old bike with the back wheel missing. Here is the link if anyone wants to read all the fantastic entries submitted this week.   http://t.co/BIN89XHQn4

This is also the beginning of the 3rd week that I'm trying to practise Mindfulness, to live in the moment not the past or the future. It struck a cord when I read that a good part of life is spent on auto pilot. So I'm following meditations and reading http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-peace-frantic-ebook/dp/B004XCFJ3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1408297766&sr=1-1&keywords=mindfulness . Its an eight week course so in 6 weeks time I'll be reporting back :)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Has the World Gone Mad?

What a week, first of all it was National Flash Fiction Day on Saturday 21/6/14 and I submitted a story to The Write-In and it was published. Great examples of good flash fiction all day long on the Flash Flood http://t.co/47LM3jCUGm This one was by my good friend Sal Page http://t.co/m50LlNRanu

 Nose Clips by Stella Turner

The legs spun around without a ripple of water let alone a splash. Kitty and her friend Madge were always a bit weird with their big noses. Think it was because of those nose clips they wore. Dad always warned me that I was too forthright with the personal comments.
    “You’ll never get a lassie” he’d joke over the kitchen table. His accent still strong after all these years living down south. I’d been born a Sassenach. Something he’d never quite forgiven fate for. He’d come for work and when I was old enough took me down the pit with him. I loved swimming, the clear fresh water vying the black cloying coal dust. Water won every time.
     My mates and I spent every Saturday morning at the council swimming baths. For most of us it was the nearest we got to seeing the girls in their bathing suits and to have an innocent chat. If we ever got too near the life guard would blow his whistle and point of the sign on the wall. No running, no pushing, no ducking, no diving, no smoking, no petting.  
     Handing her a small bunch of flowers, she looked up at me, eyes expectant, all said and done she was used to this. After each of our four sons was born I’d hear my Dad’s words ringing in my ears. “You’ll never get a lassie”
     “Will she do?”
    “Aye Madge, she will”
     Breathing out a sigh of relief my daughter had perfect symmetrical features. I’d teach her to swim and to dive, no synchronised swimming. No one was going to say my girl had a big nose. 


Then I heard I'd won this one

The Angry Hourglass  http://t.co/MtOYLlmzA3
Stella’s story takes a less-is-more approach, told in understatement and vivid details. Relatives gather at a  funeral, and confusion ensues. Even the eulogy could be for someone else. Poor Auntie Sheila!
                                       Your Round 25 FLASH MASTER is…
with The Final Resting Place
Stella wins for saying so much in so few words.  This story is less than 300 words! The narrator’s perspective, the vivid detail and family dynamic is just perfect.  The power of things unsaid. In a way, this is a classic take on the photo–the marker on a hill–a life, a funeral, the awful relatives,  etc.  but there is so much more!  The flowers are even more poignant. This hill on the moor is not Auntie Sheila’s  final resting place–or is this where her true spirit lingers?

                                                                     *          *         *

And I've tried very hard to get a mention on this American site. Each Friday they have lots of stories submitted 

FLASH FRIDAY  http://t.co/yADTszgdBJ


StellakateT, “The Jewel.” This twisted Cinderella tale gave me no small amount of satisfaction at the end, when the writer reveals that the “homely” sister is the jewel of the family. I don’t know if she’s happy with her lot, but I felt as though she at least had some measure of retribution with the match.

I honestly thought in both Flash Friday and The Angry Hourglass there were better stories but its all subjective. A good job we all don't like the same thing as it would be a boring world for writers :) truly the World has gone mad, I'm beginning to think I might now be able to write Flash Fiction

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Dead Ants Everywhere

Just posted on FINISH THAT THOUGHT theme this week is Dead Ants everywhere :) I shouldn't say it but I really like this little story.

On The March 

Dead ants were everywhere but I was more perturbed by the living ones. I’d stopped swatting them off the kitchen counter, the ones that dared to transfer themselves on to my body were squashed with a scream, mine not theirs. It was an invasion, the march of a conquering army.  

I looked everywhere to find what was attracting them. No spilt sweet substances. They were coming from underneath the back door and heading straight up the kitchen cabinets and the live ones were disappearing into the corner of the internal wall. 
What was making them die on the journey? Where were they going? What was the purpose? Mum had always said I had a scientific brain and asked too many questions. Remembering the time I did a school project on Did Mothers always know best? My conclusion was no.

Where was Jake when you needed him? Out with his mates, drinks after work, I was an independent woman I’d solve this mystery without him. He wasn’t the best flatmate, when that huge tarantula ran across the floor he was standing on the sofa with me, screaming too.
Standing with the sledge hammer firmly in my left hand I began to hit the corner of the wall. I’d often wondered why Jake kept a hammer like this under the stairs. He’s such a puny little guy. My muscles are more honed than his. 

It didn’t take much strength to shatter the plaster board but it took all my strength not to pass out. The sunken eyes beseeched me, the bones of the skeleton rattled me, the ants were feasting on the remains of its flesh.

“So you’ve met Jolene?” 

I jumped at the sound of Jake’s gentle voice behind me. 

“I knew one day you’d get to meet her”


Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Cartwheels to Heaven

I wrote this last weekend to submit to The Angry Hourglass, its a great writing exercise to a picture prompt. In their words "you all have 36 hours to create your best work of up to 360 words (exclusive of title)" http://t.co/r2t8RcteoK It didn't win, mainly because the other entries were brilliant :)

Cartwheels to Heaven 

I can hear her running up and down the corridor singing those pop songs with really lewd lyrics that I’m hoping she doesn’t yet know what they mean. Sam, my husband wants me to go out and read her the riot act. He didn’t fight in the war to have to listen to all this noise. I want to say “no, you fought for her freedom” but the grumpy old sod wouldn’t appreciate that and I don’t want to hear any more of his complaints about the younger generation. 

I love to hear her. I love the way she cartwheels. I remember doing that years ago my dress falling over my face exposing my school knickers. Not realising our neighbour Mr Pickering was taking photos of me with his old Brownie. In his dark room he’d produce images to dispatch all over the county in plain brown envelopes. My Mammy nearly killed him when some distant cousin in County Kildare wrote her to ask if it was me. Mr Pickering walked with a limp for ages and I found his camera in tiny bits at the end of our garden by the composting bin. Shame really I would have liked to have taken photos of my own, the Fairies at the bottom of the garden, Bridie’s rabbit with all its babies, Sister Mary Evangeline’s beard. The last one makes me laugh out loud. Sam looks at me like I’ve gone mad, maybe I have. How can you be eighty years of age but still know how it feels to be a ten year old?  

I open the flat door and yell “Darcy” 

What a pretentious name to christen a child from this estate, although I’m sure she’s never had holy water anywhere near her.

“Yes Mrs Higgins” 

I hand her a fifty pence piece.  

“Mr Higgins wants you to have this, he loves hearing your singing” 

She smiles the smile of an angel. That’s what Sam fought for in the war to end all wars. 

Here are the kind words by the Judge about my story:

Stella offers a wonderful chance to re-evaluate the freedoms of childhood that should be enjoyed while they can. The examples of the bits of childhood the elderly character still wishes to have captured are sweet and vivid.

Realised its about the First World War again.  

Monday, 26 May 2014


I wrote this for the Writing on The Wall competition to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War, the theme was The Front Line. I chose to write about another conflict, the story was based on a guy I  knew in the late 1970's. The three winning entries were excellent. Amazing amount of creative talent out there. We need to learn from the past to stop repeating our mistakes. In my perfect world I'd be a teacher of History :)

He dropped to the floor like a stone; we were all used to it, any sudden loud noise or a car back firing made him do this. Sheepishly he’d get to his feet and carry on with his life. We all knew he was frightened of snipers. Fortunately for us living in this sleepy market town the last one was Little John when he drew his longbow and shot another peasant in error whilst out hunting.

He’s in a wheelchair now. A degenerative illness of the immune system, anyone can get it says the Doctors. I think it was caused by the stress of walking the divided streets. He doesn’t talk about The Troubles I don’t pry. It’s in the past.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Portugal Revisited

Spent last week in Albufeira, nice hotel, excellent food and it was so hot, had to stay in the shade for the last two days :)  Mr T was playing golf with his mates and I tried to relax and read. Went back to work on Tuesday and felt so down, I feel like a hamster running circles on its cage wheel. Then tonight I read that Stephen Sutton aged 19 died today. He raised more than £3 million for charity and his words were inspirational.

"From someone who wants more time in this world, please don't waste yours, you'd be amazed what you can achieve if you try"

So Stella get a grip I've had 40 more years on this earth than Stephen so tomorrow I WILL SEIZE THE DAY.......

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Quelle Surprise

Fantastic surprise today my friend Sal Page told me my story 'Friends' had been included in Flash Gumbo Issue 1 http://t.co/b5gLnG0Ngi. She'd received an e-mail to say her two marvellous stories had been chosen. I was so pleased for her she writes great flash  read‘Teach me the Ukulele...’ and ‘Wilfred’s Glasses’ here   http://t.co/b8geZY0UTq As usual I liked my story but we never seem to be in the same anthology or published at the same time. We've broken the mould at last :)

Good news on the home front my Mum has decided to have my Dad home from respite care with additional support. I can't wait to tell him the news he'll cry buckets of joy. The social worker has been a tower of strength for me over the last six weeks. Their job is so hard, working within financial restraints and trying to do the best for all parties. My parents will have been married 66 years on the 31st July so it was sad at this stage in their lives they were living apart. Old Age can be very cruel and unforgiving.

I took my left foot to see the Surgical Appliance team on Wednesday. He agreed with me that the foot was turning inwards as I walked and I had muscle wastage on the calf. That's because I've been dragging it behind me for the last five months! Fractured feet are a pain :) I'm having insoles made as I type, well not now but during working hours.

Encouraging my mum to take one day at a time and ignore the what ifs. It's what I've been attempting to do and being fairly successful :)   

Sunday, 23 March 2014

I can cope :)

This last month has again been full of lows and highs. My Mum who is my Dad's carer was taken ill and my Dad had to go into emergency respite care. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last November and then my Mum was taken into hospital. She's now at  home but has carers twice a day to enable her to return to how she was before she was taken ill. My parents are both 88 and have been together for 66 years. My Doctor has given me some very sound advice "do not think about the what if's" I was getting so stressed out and what with my slow healing fractured left foot I was beginning to think I can't cope. But I can. I've reduced my hours at work for the time being until decisions are made and my foot has healed.

On the writing front I've had some amazing highs I won Flash rounds 8 and 11 on The Angry Hourglass. Interior Decorating  http://t.co/KZEw7ALR9k and The Weight  http://t.co/2wtCJBoan7 . also on 101 Fiction Alcohol was chosen  http://t.co/32TY5zc66a

I'm trying to take each day as it comes and live in the present. Not easy but I'm practising :)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Highs and Lows

Sad times, my beautiful, loving sister died on January 24th 2014 after being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour 4 years ago. She lived life to the full and never said Why me? I will miss her so much, my big sister looked after me in so many ways. The funeral was Wednesday, one of the worst days for weather, winds and heavy rain. Standing at her graveside we all smiled saying it was Hurricane Celia doing it her way.

Then I heard my stories, 'Friends' was shortlisted for January 99fiction competition http://t.co/wor8BPT057 and 'Feathers and Beads' was runner up in The Angry Hourglass Flash Frenzy Round 6 http://t.co/gTb5TBhdOs   Highs and lows of life.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

99 words

Just found out my 99 word story have been placed as a reserve winner in December's  99words competition http://99fiction.net/page/reserve-12 The winner was amazing I liked it very much and could see why it won.

Have just written and sent another story for round 3 of Flash Frenzy. Really enjoy writing stories from picture prompts, this one was piles of coins on a table. My imagination raced to 30 pieces of silver and I had a Grandma dying in suspicious circumstances. You can read the entries for this round and the previous rounds at  http://t.co/HRNHZChRkX

On the March Fracture front :) have seen a Foot Consultant last Wednesday and after an X-Ray showing the fracture was at last healing was told to stop wearing the Beckham Boot and to get back to walking. Think my foot has got used to being at rest and when I walk on it, it continues to hurt. So next week I'll be walking more each day to raise my tolerance levels ready to return to work in 9 days time. Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Not a winner ......

'My Soda Keep' by Karl A Russell was the worthy winner of round 1. My little tale received good feedback from the judge and I look forward to round 2.  Read all the stories and the feedback here  http://t.co/BJVh42NvX6 Hope the next photo prompt gives my imagination scope to run wild. I'm sure it will :)

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Flash Fiction Competition

Decided I've had enough of feeling sorry for myself and yesterday submitted to a site that is holding rounds of story telling. My story 'Dolly' you can read here  http://t.co/BJVh42NvX6  I wrote it from the picture prompt. I respond well  to a picture prompt and wrote this in about 20 minutes, edited it for 5 minutes and sent it off. Yes one of my biggest faults is I do not edit enough. I think what I've written is good, send it off, then re-read it and think "Oh No!!" I have been much better lately and write something, leave it for a while and then re-visit it.  This competition has a 36 hour window so I had to write a bit quicker :) At the moment there is only 4 entries and I'm hoping there will be a lot more.

Let you know how I get on :)

New Year

Appointment at The Fracture Clinic on New Year's Eve. The consultant was really nice as usual and smiled as he told me to be patient. March Fractures take a long time to heal. One thing I'm not is patient well it has been over 10 weeks now. He gave me an option of rest or an operation. I've taken the rest one :) He's given me four weeks off work and referred me to a Foot consultant. I'm hoping by the time I see the Foot expert I'll be healed and walking.

I'm not sure if this is karma because I've never had much patience with people with sticks unless they are very old and then I'm in awe at their persistence to be mobile. I've been blessed with exceedingly good health over the last 60 years with only my tonsils extracted. I'm leaning compassion at my own expense but not readily as I'm berating my foot each morning when I wake up and it continues to hurt. Maybe that's the problem I should relax and let my body heal itself. I truly count my blessings as my sister has a terminal illness and each day she faces it with fortitude.

My friend says use these four weeks to start a novel. I'll probably write a few flash fictions.

Saturday I went to my Auntie Molly's funeral. She died on Christmas Day morning aged 89. I have such good memories of her and her sense of humour. My sister and I stayed with her when I was six and my mum was sent to a hospital in the countryside when they thought she had TB, fortunately she had the lesser of two evils pneumonia and recovered. My dad has newly diagnosed Alzheimer's and after his sister's funeral he kept saying I didn't recognise anyone. My mum sobbed through the hymn 'the Rugged Cross' because it reminded her of her step-mother Gertie who sang it all the time.  My mum at that point was grieving for Gertie. I adored my step grandmother she was one of the nicest people I've ever known, my mum said she didn't have a bad bone in her body. I love my family :)
Treasure yours


Things I like

  • Writing
  • Wit
  • Voltaire's Candide
  • Theatre
  • Shoes
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Laughter
  • Coleslaw
  • Cheese