Ups and Downs and Strawberry Fool

Recently I entered a writing comp on Morgen Bailey’s blog – the premise is to write something that is exactly 100 words, based upon the prompt for the month. I entered the April comp, and the prompt was ‘Fool.’

Here is my entry:

Strawberry Fool

She sliced the strawberries, red juices staining her fingers and the wooden chopping board, ruby drops on her blade.

A bowl of whipped cream waited to receive them, peaks like the breasts of another woman, pointing skywards. She lifted the chopping board, using the knife to push the strawberries into the cream. They fell with heavy plops, staining the pure whiteness as she folded them through. From the room beyond she could hear laughter. Her husband’s. And the other woman.

Strawberry fool. Well, she thought, sprinkling sweet sugary cyanide over the bowl, let’s see who the fool is, after all.

And, I’m happy to report, I managed to get a ‘Highly Commended,’ which came with a small prize πŸ™‚ Nothing like a little win to keep a writer going.

Because I also, today, received a not-so-great review for one of my books. Basically, the reader didn’t like the story, and felt it wasn’t for them. I can’t deny it hurt a bit, but at the same time I can’t get mad about it. We all have different tastes, and something I love might not be another person’s cup of tea at all. So the key, I think, is to let it go and move on (unless of course you get reviewers pointing out the same thing over and over – then you might want to revisit your story).

So, ups and downs, highs and lows, light and dark – it’s all part of being a writer, and something we can bring into our writing too.

Plus, it’s almost Friday.


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,Β  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

28 thoughts on “Ups and Downs and Strawberry Fool

  1. Love the strawberry storyβ€”especially the twist at the end!
    I commiserate with you about the bad reviews. I’m not looking forward to them! Some authors don’t read their reviews but I imagine that would be very hard! Every author gets them, don’t they, even the greats! You can’t please everybody! xx

    • Thanks, Louise πŸ™‚
      Yes, everyone gets bad reviews, it is just such a subjective game. As I just said to Ali thought, it’s funny how we find it hard to accept the good reviews, but take the bad ones to heart. Or maybe that’s just me. However, today received another review, five stars! All part of the writer’s life. As long as the good reviews outweigh the bad, that’s what’s important – I don’t think you’ll have any trouble with that, either πŸ™‚

  2. It only hurts so much because you’re not used to them, and that’s because your writing is EXCELLENT, and most people love your books! Can’t win em all, though, I guess. You are right, let it go. Being happy is a choice. Read the good reviews to remind yourself how many people enjoyed your books and don’t get hung up on one bad one. And go for a walk somewhere beautiful, and be inspired! Fab story btw! Xxx

    • Aw, thanks Ali, that’s so very nice of you to say πŸ™‚ And just to show how subjective this all is, today I received a lovely five star review – for the same book! I do wonder though why it is we find it hard to believe the positives, yet so readily accept the negatives. Something I need to work on, I guess. And thanks again, high praise coming from a lovely writer like you xx

  3. That strawberry story is perfect. It takes a Brit to think of “Fool” in terms of food. πŸ™‚ The double meaning, the nasty little twist at the end – just great.

    As for the review, I hear you. They sting. We want everyone who picks up our books to become an instant fan… I console myself with the fact that I knew ahead of time that my work wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, that there are people who’ll find it boring – and when I get reviews to that effect, I just tell myself that I knew that would happen, and (try to) move on. As long as I never get one that says it’s poorly written or badly edited, though…

    • Thank you, so glad you liked the little story πŸ™‚ And I agree about the reviews – if people said my books were written badly or poorly formatted or whatever, I’d be upset. But if they don’t like the story I can’t help that, nor can I take it personally. And today I got a 5 star review on the same book! So it just goes to show how subjective these things are.

      • Exactly. There is also the fact that we need the lower-star reviews – they prove that the reviews are genuine. If all someone has is glowing five-stars, I tend to suspect the reviewers are all friends and family, and not believe them. The odd “I didn’t like this” shows that the reviewers are objective.

      • Yes, I must say I feel the same way about people who have only good reviews. Everyone gets poor reviews once in a while, that’s just the way of things. πŸ™‚

  4. Great story. πŸ™‚ I really like that flash. Sorry about the review but, I must say, it’s the best negative review you could hope for. Didn’t like the story? Cool. Didn’t like the writing? That would sting.

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