Wednesday, 30 November 2011

100 words for grown ups week 21

I have finally got round to this week's effort. Have still not come up with a great idea for the other competition, but loving the idea of randomly choosing a prompt. Is on my "to do" list.

I would welcome any constructive criticism on my 100 word pieces. If you like it/hate it/feel ambivalent please let me know! I very much enjoy the weekly challenge set by Julia (find it at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-21/ ) 
 I hope to develop my writing; as a teacher I am constantly providing my class with (what I hope to be ) stimulating writing opportunities with follow up to improve work. I'd be very interested to have feedback to help me improve my writing.

The other entries can be found by clicking here- http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=117959&type=basic

I'm going to take  look now.
In the meantime, here is mine for this week. The prompt was a photo showing a view through a wooden window. I took this to be the shed in the garden that Kit had been back to in previous posts of mine (http://mrshalford.blogspot.com/2011/09/100-words-for-grown-ups-week-10.html )

SECRETS IN THE GARDEN

“You’ve got a nerve, turnin’ up after all these years!”
Kit spun round at the familiar voice, “I... was just...”
“Stickin’ your nose in. It’s been too long. Just turn round and this time, never come back.” With a dismissive sniff she turned sharply and headed towards the garden gate.
“Wait! Please. I can explain.” Kit’s voice was barely a whisper. “Mum!”
The older woman stopped as though frozen, quickly regained her composure and walked slowly back, her face set. “Don’t ever call me that again, d’you hear me? You’re no daughter of mine, not after what happened.”
Kit pulled the letter from her pocket.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Ramblings on writing...

I haven't (yet) written this week's 100WCGU...have been pretty busy with one thing and another. Is on my to do list for tomorrow.  One of the reasons I haven't written it yet is because a friend thrust a magazine at me last week saying,  "Read this and have a go!" I dutifully obliged. It was the details of a 100 word writing competition. "Ah-ha!" thought I, "No problem, I've been doing these each week for the last few months, sure I can think something up."
And that is where I am at. The weekly 100WCGUs set by the wonderful Julia over at Julia's place http://jfb57.wordpress.com/ have been great fun and I find myself eagerly looking forward to the next one. Some have been harder than others, but I have managed to put something together each week.
The difference with the competition is that there is no prompt. Nothing. Not even a clue. Write 100 words (exactly- no more, no less or instant disqualification) about ANYTHING fictional.
That is the problem...where on earth to start! Having a prompt, whether that be a picture, a phrase even a few words, helps get the mind going in a direction. Having  no prompt has been a bit of a wall for me.
I have a notebook with LOTS of ideas in it some of which may be worth continuing, some of which may not be. Time will tell. It has made me stop and think.
I enjoy reading the entries to the 100WCGU each week and leaving comments on them. But I can see the point raised by http://www.hermelness.com/ who has disabled comments on her blog. At first I thought, "Surely that is the whole point of a blog, to see what other people think!" After spending some time reflecting on that thought I could see beyond that. It is lovely to get positive comments on my blog, BUT getting those comments doesn't necessarily mean that what I am writing is as great as I would like it to be. I started my blog as a reflective space. Now that I am part time I do spend more time reflecting on my practise, and a blog is a great place to put ideas down...I hope that it will help me organise some of my thoughts for career progression and development. The writing side of it I hope will help to improve my writing. 
So, do I disable comments or not? The whole idea of the 100words is to share and feedback to each other. I love getting the positive feedback, but would also welcome constructive criticism from people- if I have written something that could be improved (and what piece of writing can't be improved somehow?) I'd be happy to hear suggestions. 
I am a very novice writer and have lots to learn. I read avidly and get impatient with books which don't hook me with great characters/storylines . Hopefully blogging can help me improve as a writer. I think that people worry about leaving anything other than praise as they don't want to offend. As a teacher it's my job to help the children I teach improve through a combination of praise and next steps...praise sandwich. 
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pleased with feedback I have had on my pieces for the 100WCGU, but this competition has made me realise how much support you get from a prompt. I for one would welcome some constructive criticism on my next pieces.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 20

100wcgu-73This week's 100 word challenge was straightforward. Julia Skinner's prompt was to include or be inspired by one or all of the following: 

the powers that be/the apple of his eye/the writing on the wall

You can find further details for this weekly writing challenge at  http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-20/

and a link to the others at 

I used to begin by reading all the others; but this was putting me into a state of panic so now I have a go at mine first and read the others at my leisure over the coming week. There are some fabulous writers out there and I always enjoy the diversity of their writing. I am trying to encourage the children in my class to take part in the childrens' one but not having as much success with that as I'd like. Am loving working part-time (went to the gym, had my hair done, caught up with a friend today and did this!) but am realising that it is almost impossible to have the same impact on the children when you aren't there all the week. Early days yet- not even been a full term so I am sure that it will continue to evolve and develop. In the meantime, here is my effort for this week's 100 words for grown ups. 


She's the one that I want.

She was the icing on the cake, the apple of his eye; yes she was THE ONE.

Fred had been waiting for this moment since he’d been knee-high to a grasshopper. Fate, destiny or luck? She would be his forever. He wouldn’t let the powers that be stand in his way any longer, the writing was on the wall. Now there’d be no turning back.

He fastened his helmet and kick started the antiquated Harley. There was plenty of life in the old dog yet. With a final backward glance he sedately rode out of the hospital grounds on a journey of a lifetime. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

100 word for grown ups week 19

This week's challenge was to use the prompt, "are you sure it should be that colour" in dialogue. So here goes. Qute different to what I would normally do. Well done Julia, you've come up trumps again with a fab idea. You can find the prompt at 

I am going to take a look at the other entries which can be found here http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=116550&type=basic

Here's mine.



“O... M... G...!” gasped Shaz as her Mum came downstairs.
“And a good morning to you too. If you open your mouth any wider you’ll dislocate your jaw.”
“But, I mean, Mum, Um?”
“What are you gibbering about?”
“Have you actually looked in the mirror this morning?”
“Yes of course . Why?”
“You have? Hello? Earth calling Mum.”
“Shaz, I’m starting to lose patience with this.”
“Just go and look in the mirror OK, and I mean really look in the mirror.”
“Fine.”
Mum walks to her room and returns with mirror in hand. “And?”
 “Mum, you’re scaring me now, I mean, how come you’re not like really freaking out?”
“Freaking out? Why on earth would I do that?”
“But Mum, your face!”
“Oh that, well I told you I was having that treatment, you know the one : nomorelines’r’us.
“Yes, but are you sure it should be that colour?”
“Only for a day or so...”

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 18

This week's challenge was the prompt...lest we forget.

I was lucky to go to see War Horse during the summer holiday.http://warhorselondon.nationaltheatre.org.uk/
It was one of the most moving theatre productions I have ever seen. Stunning performances, breathtaking puppetry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7u6N-cSWtY

My Grandfathers fought in the second World War. My admiration for the courage shown by men and women who have represented , and  continue to represent our country is immeasurable.
 I listened to Jeremy Vine's show yesterday, the songs my son loved, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b016vx7v   and was moved to tears by the strength and courage shown by the family of the young man who died in Afghanistan.

My entry this week is my tribute to the soldiers.



Sons, husbands, friends, lovers,
Grandsons, partners, nephews ,brothers,
Cousins, uncles, mates, strangers.
For our future put themselves in mortal danger.
***
 11.11.18
“What do we do sir?” croaked George as he lay wounded. Blood and mud mingled, the putrid stench of death filled the air. 
His officer stared silently. All around men lay dead or dying. 
 “Sir?” How old was the lad? 17?  He was one of the lucky ones.
“We go home, lad. We go home.”
***
16 million men, 1 million horses.
Died for us, for the lives we lead now.
11.11.11.
Wear a poppy with pride...lest we forget.


Read the others at http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-18/

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

100 word challenge for grown ups week 17

This week's challenge from Julia  http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week-17/ is based on the seasonal chant:
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
The challenge this week is to write something with the same rhythm using only 21 words that include ‘ …in winter we shiver…‘ 

Well, I have tried and tried to use 21 words AND keep the rhythm AND make some sort of sense! I have just about managed the second two but can't get down to 21 words without losing sense. I have whittled it down to 24 words... hope that Julia will forgive me the extra 3 :)  
Go on, if you are reading this and have not yet had a go, why not make this the first week you do so? I haven't read the other entries yet this week; thought I would do mine first. You can find all the entries on Julia's blog on the above link. 
Here we go...

In winter we shiver,  noses a'quiver
Bracing ourselves 'gainst the cold.
Wind, hail and rain, it's Christmas again
Thoughts of frankincense, myrrh and gold.