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Thursday, August 18, 2011

My vignette lightly tweaked..2nd draft :)

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Thanks guys..I have taken on your comments and changed it up a little. Most of it is the same though, not a total rewrite. I Hope it has improved all the same xx

The silent, invisible, bitter winter air enveloped Jane's body, gnawing away at her already chewed up, tobacco stained fingers. She exhaled slowly and watched her breath transform to frost before it slowly dissipated back into the night air. She drew in another breath and let it out hard and sharp, moving her jaw around trying to make a love heart shape. It didn't work. Perhaps a shot of whisky would keep her warm until her next hit? If Willie was in a sharing mood that was. She needed a shot of something anyway, the musty stench of hot dogs mingled with mulled wine coming from the Christmas market was sending nauseating convulsions through her stomach. It was all she could do not to gag. This was her third, and by far the harshest winter in the cardboard haven of street living. Death dodging. 'Deck the halls' came screeching out of the nearest shop and the street was a bustle of Christmas shoppers carrying wrapping paper and tinsel. But they didn't see her. She couldn't think, feel, see them, not really, not outside her wafer-wooden safe haven. But she did see him. Her frozen breath was stuck in her throat and frozen tears lingered stubbornly behind her grey-blue eyes. Why was he walking past without a care? He looked right at her but didn't see. Couldn't see through her snail shell home and emaciated frame. Maybe he'd forgotten all about her. His only daughter. She tried to speak, call out, reach. Nothing worked. She was frozen. Inanimate like the snowman at the park across the road. He saw the snowman though, he didn't see her. Too late, he was gone. She felt her heartbeat run away from her and shrank back into her cocoon like a dormant caterpillar. Words had escaped her. she'd forgotten how to talk, just like he'd forgotten her. All you ever needed to say in her little bubble of a world was 'any spare change?' She'd even stopped saying that a long time ago. She had sat with a vacant face for months now, with the words etched on cardboard by a thrown away bookie's pen. One day she would turn over that leaf anew and mutate from caterpillar to butterfly. Reawaken. Not today though. Today it was too cold to change.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Writing Challenge Week 2 cont...

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

First day of a new school term here in Edinburgh and I'm much relieved at having some normality back in my life :)

Well here goes - my first ever rough, raw attempt at a vignette ('we meet again' as a prompt). I don't even know if it qualifies as such..

The silent, invisible, bitter winter air enveloped Jane's body, gnawing away at her already chewed up, tobacco stained fingers. She exhaled slowly and watched her breath transform to frost before it slowly dissipated back into the night air. She drew in another breath and let it out hard and sharp, moving her jaw around trying to make a love heart shape. It didn't work. Perhaps a shot of whisky would keep her warm until her next hit? If Willie was in a sharing mood that was. This was her third, and by far the harshest winter in the cardboard haven of street living. Death dodging. 'Deck the halls' came screeching out of the nearest shop and the street was a bustle of Christmas shoppers carrying wrapping paper and tinsel. But they didn't see her. She couldn't think, feel, see them, not really, not outside her cardboard bubble. Safe haven. But she did see him. Her frozen breath was stuck in her throat and frozen tears were stuck behind her grey-blue eyes. Why was he walking past without a care? He looked right at her but didn't see. Couldn't see through her cardboard shell and emaciated frame. Maybe he'd forgotten all about her. His only daughter. She tried to speak, call out, reach. Nothing worked, she was frozen, inanimate like the snowman at the park across the road. He saw the snowman though, he didn't see her. Too late, he was gone. Words had escaped her. she'd forgotten how to talk, just like he'd forgotten her. All you ever needed to say in her cardboard world was 'any spare change?' She'd even stopped saying that a long time ago. She just sat with a vacant face for months now, with the words etched on cardboard by a thrown away bookie's pen.

Help!!! Is it a vignette?? I don't do prose :( Aaargghh. Be kind but constructive..I need all the help I can get. haha.

Laters bloggers, T xx

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Writing Challenge Week 2

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Well it's that time of week again - Tuesday :) which means a new pre-term challenge for A215.

This week's task: 'Write a vignette with "we meet again as your prompt", this may be interpreted however you wish. There is no minimum or maximum word count'.

Pah!! I was lured into a total false sense of security with last week's poetry task, I didn't even contemplate that we might be asked to write prose at somepoint - silly girl. Now I'm extremely worried and hope I can do it justice. If not I shall put it down to a learning curve :)

First and foremost I didn't even know what a vignette was an hour ago, and unlike my usual child in a sweet shop excitment over learning a new word, I found myself filled with absolute consternation.

A little visit to my best friend google, pointed me in the direction of another dear friend, wiki who informs me that in its original meaning, a vignette is 'something that may be written on a vine leaf'. Still not much of a clue then..it's literary meaning however, is 'short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into a character, idea or setting. Nope, sorry, I still don't get it. haha. But it is necessary for me to leave my poetic comfort zone and venture into new territory, and I relish a challenge so it will be done..tomorrow (or the next day)!!!

Well it is late and a fresh head always best for a task I say. Night followers, T xx

Death by hot chocolate

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Well its been almost a week!!! I have been terribly neglecting my new blog, tut tut..

In my defence I have had a lot on - Had a short visit to hospital due this horrible spd pregnancy thing..suffice to say I was in excruciating pain and literally couldn't walk for two days :( Try that with the added pressure of three live wires of boys on school holidays to contend with. Not as easy task. baby is fine though but still breech with 9weeks to go!!

On top of that it was the third anniversary of my daughter's death on Saturday, a sad occasion indeed.

And my third excuse is: it's the start of a new school term tomorrow here in Edinburgh, yay for all the long suffering mums!!! So...there has been a mad flurry of trips to shops, buying of uniform, school bags, gym kits and stationary, as well as negotiating with pre-teen huffs of  'I'm not wearing that', and 'Can you buy me this'..Aargh, enough to drive anyone mad I tell you.

So I have been stressed, sad and exhausted, so exhausted I couldn't even entertain the idea of going online and keeping up with the worldly webby goings on. On top of all that, with everything going on, I have managed to completely miss the first few days of the Edinburgh book festival, a wonderful annual event. Check it out here http://www.edbookfest.co.uk/

Just thought I'd share a little anecdote about something that happened to me today..don't laugh!! The kids and I had a trip to Ikea this afternoon and after an hour trailing round the shop to not find what I was looking for, we stopped in at the cafe for some food. Now as you might know Ikea cafes have play areas. So, after lunch the kids go off to play for a bit and reaching into my bag I realise to my horror that I didn't bring my kindle and certainly didn't want to sit and stare at the ceiling for half an hour. So I thought I'd diffuse my boredom by browsing the facebook homepage on my phone and see what everyone was ranting about today that they hadn't already said every other day for the last however many months. BIG MISTAKE!!!!! Next thing I knew my phone had slipped out my hand and slam dunked straight into my cup of hot chocolate (much to the amusement of the woman sitting at the table next us). So now my phone is broken, I have no contact with the outside world, if I go into 9wk premature labour tonight (hardly likely, drama queen lol) it is a 5minute walk to the nearest phone box..but worst of all I have no alarm to wake me up tomorrow, so we will probably all be late on the first day of term. Not good!!! And all because I forgot my kindle..there's no way that would have ever fitted into the cup. So the moral of the story is...BE PREPARED.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Writing Challenge Week 1 - cont..

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Here's my effort inspired from the word 'brutality'


The Genocide

I am a girl of seven,
At least I think I am,
I may have had a birthday
since the days rolled into one.

I used to have a daddy,
Used to have a mummy too,
They shot my daddy straight down dead,
I knew not what to do.

My mummy clung around his neck,
Just like a forlorn swan,
But then they dragged her from him,
And ripped off all her clothes.

I don't quite know what happened next -
They lay her on the floor,
I was far too scared to look,
I heard her scream 'no more'.

They stopped what they were doing
Long enough to shoot her too,
My baby brother was crying for her milk
I knew not what to do.

I took him in my arms and ran,
I've ran and ran for days,
I don't know where we're going
Or why we've had to go away.



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Writing Challenge Week 1

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

I am approaching the 3rd year of my Literature degree with the OU, Next module A215 (Creative Writing) starts Octber - 2weeks before my due date!!!! Wonder how that one will pan out? So a fellow A215er, Paula has set a pre-module weekly challenge, via our facebook support group, to get our creative juices flowing and get us used to writing on demand and writing to a deadline...Thanks Paula :) You can follow her blog here http://paulaklewis.blogspot.com/.

Tonight's challenge..to be completed by next Tues 16th Aug, for those of us who wish to accept the mission, is to write a poem 40 lines or less around the theme of brutality. WOW!!! I'm used to being asked to write about 'safe' or 'nice' things like love or the seasons or hope etc, this one feels kinda unnerving, but in a good way..I'm looking forward to this challenge.



Well it's certainly got me thinking and my brain has exploded onto a million different tangents..as soon as I saw the word all I could think about first and foremost was the domestic violence and abuse of which I suffered almost 10yrs before leaving..hard hitting stuff, excuse the pun. Then I think in other areas of my life where brutal situations come to mind, like losing my mum when I was only 16 and supposed to be sitting exams..so I left school with no qualifications. Brutal! And losing the daughter I'd always wanted..she only got to see 19 days in this life, this world. Brutal! The word brutality goes hand in hand or cuff in cuff with the police, with police brutality being a much coined phrase these days and a many repeated event..so brutality goes with power and control..or lack of it. Thinking of police brutality forces to mind, by association, quite the opposite, brutality of the average joe such as we are experiencing in Britain at the moment. We are in the midst of anarchy with full scale riots and looting spreading like the plague throughout the country. Scary stuff!!! The biggest thing this word has conjured up for me is a haunting image in my mind's eye of a pair of dying swans, necks intertwined. Elegant, graceful, poignant, yet disturbing in equal measures. I'm not sure where this image is coming from as I don't readily connect swans with brutality..I shall have to peruse and ponder a while - overnight at least and see what I can come up with in the way of poetry. I'm not procrastinating, honest :)

Sweet dreams followers..I'll be back before you know it. T  xx

Tuesday's blog is full of grace..x

And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Much fun was to be had by all today at the festival, we watched 2 fantastic shows, enjoyed an hour of street theatre and then had some tea before playing at Princes Street garden's park til nearly bedtime :) well the kids played and I took some pictures and read my beloved kindle. It is invigorating to see Edinburgh in carnival mode, also going to the festival each year has formed some of my earliest memories, as I have been to shows and street theatre every year since I've been born!! I feel very lucky and grateful to live in such a cosmopolitan and cultured city, and it is also fab the abundance of parks and green areas dotted all over the city. The facilities for children and families are second to none. I can truly say I'm proud to be an Edinburger.

Much to my surprise, I learned a new word..in the Metro of all places, on the way home on the bus: Peripatetic..sounds brilliant eh. I must admit I am a bit of a word geek, a trait that has followed me from childhood. You can find the definition here http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/peripatetic I love this site Dictionary.com, haha how nerdy is that!!

Thinking of words and wordplay has got me thinking today about the recent fuss surrounding 3 word poetry. I'm sorry but 3 words hardly make a sentence, never mind a poem. I totally don't buy into it at all..all of a sudden 'what's for tea' or 'pass the salt' or 'nice weather today' constitutes a poem, pffft!!! How ridiculous. I think some people are 'chewing the fat' or 'taking the p*ss'. One form however that does appeal to me is 3 line poetry. Give me the delectable haiku any day of the week - simple, strict, succinct - Perfect. In true Blue Peter style, here are a couple I prepared earlier (the first, kinda self explanatory just for fun, written 13/10/2010, and the second, written 29/10/2010 about a leitmotif in my life, the peacock) :-

To A Haiku
Haiku, what are you
Seventeen times syllables
Seldom, yet wise words.

Peacock
Mayurakshi jade
Hera's enthroned hundred watch
Guarding Lokrum's gates.

Back to my housework. As the brothers Warner would say..That's all folks.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Welcome to my blog

..And the all seeing eye keeps watching..

Well here it is!!! :) Welcome to my brand new blog. I am totally new to all this so bear with me folks while I get the hang of it..hopefully will take me 3 days to feel comfortable in here and not 3 months, which is how long it took me to set up my kindle!!!!

I'm Tansy (The Peacock Queen from fields Evergreen) and I named this blog Peacock Tales after my large obsession/fascination since early childhood with this beautiful yet obnoxious creature..its watches on with its hundred eyes of Argus, guarding Lokrum's gates..There is another reason behind Peacock Tales..It is the name of one of my first books, although it has yet to be written the seeds have been sown and the ideas haven taken flight. Don't expect it any time soon though, as good things only come to those who wait and I've yet to finish my degree...

Creativity and festivity is high in the air at the moment as Edinburgh is in festival season..i'm taking the boys to their first Fringe show of the year tomorrow, always an exciting time. If all else fails at festival time whether penniless or homeless, you can't help but soak up the atmosphere even without going to a single show. The street performers are out in force with a vast array of comedy, music, magic acts, jugllers, artists and the like. It really is a wonderful time to be in the Capital, spirits are high and even the weather is good - from time to time..