SoCS – ‘Keeping it real’

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “real.” Use it with a prefix and/or a suffix, or just as it is. Have fun!

Keeping it Real

As I get older, I like to think I’ve become more real, but what does ‘real’ mean? To me it’s a matter of aligning yourself with what’s important – the activities, people and environments that truly make you tick. It wasn’t always this way though. When I was in my twenties I was desperate to fit in, to do what others wanted and what society expected and as a consequence, I was angst ridden and irritable much of the time. I felt a need to meet someone and get married by the age of 30 with the view to having children before 35, and the years leading up to that age were stressful as I felt an urgency to ‘sort things’ out before it was too late.

Then my dad died. I was immensely sad that he hadn’t lived to see me ‘settled down’ and happy, and I was also frustrated and finding it impossible to focus on one job, as I couldn’t decide what I really wanted to do. Consequently I was teaching, translating and working as a massage therapist, all at the same time. It was crazy. But strangely, after my dad’s death, I started to slowly calm down. Although I still wanted to meet someone, I felt less pressure to do so and ten years on, even less. I’ve let go of the need to have children and accepted what’s come my way. This has made my life so much more enjoyable and real as I’m no longer ‘fighting’ things. There’s a line in the Desiderata;

‘Whether it’s true to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should.’

This is what realness means to me. It’s acceptance of ‘what is,’ rather than how you feel things should be. I’ve finally committed to writing and cut down on work so I can fit it into my day. I have less money, but I’m immensely happier. My life feels real to me now.

This was my post for SoCS

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‘A strange name for a disco’ – FFfAW (58th challenge)

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This week’s photo prompt is provided by Uday, with the blog, Udayology.

The paint was scuffed and the place deserted but the entrance remained as I remembered, with its keyhole-shaped door and bold white letters above. It was years since I’d been there – a relic to my teens. I tried the door; it was locked, but I peered through anyway. A big disco ball was hanging from the ceiling and chairs were stacked up along the side of the room. Little had changed, from what I recalled.

We always wondered why they called it the ‘Photo Centre,’ a strange name for a disco, yet it was memorable. I remembered the day it closed down for good. It had been threatened with closure for a while – underage drinking, then drugs were to blame. I secretly liked the notoriety, but soon even my hippy parents said enough was enough. Just after that came the rape; my best friend, Rosa. She never spoke about it and later moved away, but it entered my list of bad 80s memories, one of those things I would rather forget.

This post was written for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

‘The Jump’ – FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: WEEK #13 – 2016

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The opening sentence for the March 25th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: This week’s’ challenge is an apology for the difficulty of last week’s challenge… Please include the words “a blinding light” somewhere in your flash.

The Jump

I’d only been there for three days when I first attempted the ‘jump.’ They say in Calais that you never forget your first one, but I firmly believed my first would be my last. I figured that the others had just been unlucky, and those who were still there after a few months, very unlucky! I was different though; things had always gone well for me.
So as we set off towards the motorway on that chilly November evening, I felt strangely optimistic. When we began to smell the sea and hear the rumble of traffic after a couple of hours, I laughed and picked up the pace a little, but my friend, Zidane, merely raised his head slightly and said, ‘you won’t make it tonight, you know that don’t you?’
I opened my mouth to reply but decided against it. The poor chap had been there three months already – he was bound to feel defeatist.
A few minutes later the motorway appeared like a blinding light out of the darkness. I felt a rush of excitement as I half walked, half ran towards it.
That was six months ago. They say you never forget your first attempt.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #13 – 2016

 

 

‘A world of glorious technicolour’ – FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTIONER: WK #12 – 2016

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Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Requirements: The opening sentence for the March 18th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant.” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash. Create a flash fiction story using the photo prompt and only 200 words.

It simply appeared one day. No one knew why. It reminded me of the poster for Psycho, yet the woman was smiling, unlike Janet Leigh. I wondered if it was an advert for something, but opposite a deserted park was hardly the ideal location. The paint smelled fresh and was sticky to the touch, and what was weird was that every day a little more was added to the scene; a dark figure, an orange window, a little blue umbrella outside a street cafe…

As the picture took shape I began to imagine life inside it. I dreamed of living in a world of primary colours, where people and things could be painted into existence and one day, when I ventured nearer to check out the addition of a streetlamp, I found myself there, in a world of glorious technicolour akin to that of the Wizard of Oz. I only knew this when I heard a knock and realised I was in the house. I opened the door. A young postman in a bright red uniform was standing there. He handed me something. This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant.

Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: Week #12 – 2016

‘Boiled egg?’

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “egg.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Enjoy!

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Some time ago, Mum came to stay with me in London. My dad had died a few years before that and Mum wasn’t managing well alone so I invited her down for a few days. Of course I loved having her to stay but she brought with her some rather orthodox values. She found it very difficult to accept that I was in a relationship which involved my boyfriend spending the night with me, in my bed.

‘It would never happen in my house,’ she said.
‘But it’s not your house, it’s mine,’ I said. And so it went on.
Anyway, my boyfriend at the time happened to be a drummer and his hours of work tended to be rather anti-social, with him very often not turning up at mine until well after midnight. I told Mum this and mentioned that I wouldn’t be needing tea in the morning as I probably wouldn’t go to bed until late.
She pulled a face and nodded and nothing more was said on the matter.
Adrian appeared at around 3 am and we collapsed into bed.

The next day there was a knock on my bedroom door at 7. I dragged myself up to answer it, only to find Mum standing outside with a stony face and two mugs.
‘Cup of tea?’ she said.
I couldn’t believe it, especially after what I’d said the night before, so I had a go at her and went back to bed.
‘I can’t believe you spoke to your mother like that!’ said Adrian. ‘In Jamaica we have respect for our parents!’
‘Yeah but I told her you were coming over late…’
‘There’s no excuse, you need to apologise.’
I hadn’t been seeing Adrian long and didn’t want to ruin anything so I wandered through to the kitchen to find Mum sitting at the table, looking rather dejected.
‘I find this all very difficult.’
‘What exactly?’
‘Men that you’re not married to staying the night. It’s not done in our family.’
‘Well I’m sorry but this is my flat, Mum.’
‘Yes I realise that and I’ll try to get it used to it but it’s not easy for me,’ she said.
Anyway, I tried to comfort her and eventually when she seemed happier, went back to bed. By this time it was 7.30. I’d just got back to sleep when at 8 am, there was another knock at the door. I got up to find Mum was standing there with two saucers.
‘Boiled egg?’ she said.

This was my post for SoCS    (slightly late this week!)

(If you’d like to join in, here are the rules)
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
8. Have fun!

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AdHoc fiction ‘The Green Parrot’

My entry to this week’s Ad Hoc Fiction competition (a story of around 150 words). It had to contain the word ‘branch.’ You can vote for it or enter yourself here!

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After the argument I wandered through to the living room and glanced outside. Between the interstices of the blinds I spied a green parrot, swooping up to the top branch of the tallest tree and then down to the small bird table in our neighbour’s garden. It paused there for a moment, then repeated the journey twice, landing on the same branch each time.
The branch seemed grateful for its visitor, and stretched upwards into the leaden sky as though out of gratitude.
‘Where did that parrot come from?’ said John. I hadn’t heard him come in and his voice was softer than half an hour before.
‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ I murmured. Its chartreuse feathers were in stark contrast to the gloomy winter surroundings.
‘Mmm,’ said John. ‘Forgiven?’ And he handed me a mug of steaming coffee and pulled me into his arms.