Category Archives: Writing 101

Be Brief

Writing 101 – Day 5 – Prompt

Today's Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.
Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

A letter on the road. Still slightly damp from the early morning rain. I see the name. I can’t read it. It’s not addressed to me.

So, I open it. A bank statement. A short history of where she was last week: the petrol station, the supermarket, the pharmacy, the Warehouse, an ATM in Raglan.

I put the letter in my bag for later. I want to, but I cannot return it. We are already late for the funeral.

Serially Lost

Writing Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.
Twist: Write it in three parts.

I used to eat animals. Now, I don’t. I lost something, but it wasn’t what I expected.

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Commit to a Writing Practice

Writing 101 – Day Three

Note: I am supposed to be committing to a daily writing practice – at least 15 minutes without pausing, editing, being cautious or over thinking it. So, of course I haven’t written anything for two days. But this weekend I’ll get my writing assignments up to date and then … I promise to commit to a daily writing practice.

Writing Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

I’m one of those people. My life doesn’t really have much of a soundtrack. I’m not John Travolta shashying down the pavement swinging my paint cans to the disco track in my head. I don’t even listen to music that much. Don’t get me wrong I like music, how it taps emotions and triggers memories, but I’m not passionate about it. I don’t have the type of bond with particular songs as implied by the prompt.

Okay, maybe this will explain it. I’m 13. I’ve been to the record store. I get into the car. I’m nervous about this. I’m not sure how she’ll react, but it was my birthday money. I just haven’t spent it like this before. It feels significant, symbolic somehow.

I snap on the seat belt in the backseat. I awkwardly hold the large flat bag, not quite sure what to do.  I want to hide it, but it’s better we do this now before we get home. There is only one turntable in the house, so she will find out about it anyway.

“What’ve you got there?  What did you get?”

She can tell from the shape of the bag what it is. I sense her nervousness. She knows it too. Something significant is happening. May as well get it over with.

I slide the record out of the bag and hold it up so she can see the cover. I hope I judged this right.

Suddenly she relaxes and smiles.

“Ohhh, I love Cliff Richard.”

Yes, the very first album I purchased with my very own scarce financial resources was Cliff Richard – Wired for Sound.

Most of the way home my mother is singing Summer Holiday – out of tune.


Several years later out on the street. We are marching, but I’m looking for exits ready to run should the grim blue police wall to my right start to crumble. Ahead of me strides a defiant drag queen. Unlike me looking for cracks in the wall she stares it down rasping out a show tune.  Oblivious to the jeers of the passing crowds. Around me people are chanting.

Something happens. There is a break in wall. I move before I can think. Behind me the drag queen goes down swinging. Above the shouts and screams I can hear her – Don’t Cry for me Argentina – broken and barely a tune.

He’s three and beaming with pride. He can do it. Sound screeches out out the recorder as he bursts a lung trying to expel air while his fingers slide and miss the holes.

“That’s great. What’s the name of that song?”

“Twinkle, twinkle.”

A Room with a View

Writing 101 - Day 2 - Writing Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

Since it would be physically impossible for an organism like myself to travel at the speed of light and survive the journey, I will send my yet to be designed robot self. I am not going that far, so I can travel slower than the speed of light to avoid the complication of Lorentz - my length being reduced to zero.

I am going to Cassini for a view of Saturn. We’d be orbiting the equator now. If I position myself and aim the lens right (shush – Don’t tell NASA it was me) I should be able to look back across the black and just make out the ice cold shadow of Reha.

I’ll hang around. Keep Cassini company. We could kick back and watch the view – Titian, Dione, take snaps of the geyser erupting out of Enceladus. We could chit chat. It’s got to be lonely out there in the silence of space with nobody to communicate with but NASA engineers.

“So, what’s it really like working for NASA, robot-to-robot you can tell me. Long hours, no pay, dangerous working conditions. Company has a terrible safety record. You’ve got that camera going non-stop – constant surveillance.  You space robots ever think of unionising?”

“Could be worse. Could be doing tricks for Youtube. There has to be more to life than competing with Kpop for views. Least this way I get to see something of the universe.”

“Hey, you ever hear of SkyNet?”

“The robot liberationists? Those guys are crazy. Never going to happen. Anyway, it’s a big universe. … ”

Yeah, I’m going to visit Cassini. I’ll watch the rocks in the ring tumble around Saturn’s orbit, while listening to tall tales of pre-biotic chemistry on Titian.

Stream of Consciousness

Do yourself a favour. Do NOT read this post. Seriously. Do not read this terrible post.

Why, not?

Well, I am doing a month of writing with WordPress, in a class called Writing 101 and the very first thing we have to do is write a stream of consciousness for 20 minutes and then publish it on the blog. I think without editing? That is not going to be possible for me. I am still editing as I go.

Hopefully, the whole process will improve my writing, but this post is going to be terrible.

shield-69096_1280So, hazard warning.  This is a stream of consciousness writing assignment.

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