#writespiration – 52 Words in 52 Weeks – Toast

Sacha Black has set a nice little writing challenge – 52 Words in 52 Weeks. Each week, she gives us a prompt, and we have exactly 52 words, no more, no less, in which to respond. This week’s prompt is Toast, and here is my response:

Last night he had toasted her, declaring her the most beautiful woman in the room.

This morning she sat alone by blue water, hot tears falling. Toast crusts were scattered across the tiles, next to her shattered plate.

Their first fight as a married couple. She doubted it would be their last.


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

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day Twenty – Supermarket

img_1205It’s day twenty of the Thirty Day Writing Challenge, and today’s prompt is: Supermarket.

I was going to write a little piece about how I have to go to the supermarket tomorrow, and how at this time of year it’s heaving with people pushing overloaded trolleys and looking perplexed, as though they’ve never been in a supermarket before. But then it dawned on me that I may also be one of those people tomorrow…

So instead I’ve decided to set a timer again and see what happens. Twelve minutes. Here we go:

‘Christ,’ I mutter under my breath, as I see the last packet of carrots being scooped up. ‘Bastard.’ I shoot daggers with my eyes at the broad back ahead of me, pushing my trolley faster, the wobbly wheel screeching in protest.

‘Sorry, sorry!’ I smile, although it’s more like baring my teeth as I manoeuver past two old ladies, trying to resist the urge to shove their trolleys out of the way with mine. But there is no way I’m letting him get the last packet of Extra Fine Baking Potatoes. I need those potatoes. He’s already got the damn carrots.

Victory! I screech to a rattling halt, breathing hard as I grasp the corner of the packet with my outstretched hand, managing to flick it into my trolley. ‘That’ll teach him,’ I thought, as I glimpsed a cable-knit jumper clad arm reaching around me. ‘Too late, haha!’

Not very Christmassy, I know. But really, it’s every man (and woman) for themselves in the supermarket at this time of year. The chocolate aisle looks as though it’s been attacked by locusts, the few sad roasts remaining puckered in their plastic wraps, as though they’ve been prodded by many hands.

And I only have one thing left on my list to get. Executing a skillful manoeuver, I manage to dodge around two trolleys, then bypass a third, sliding through a gap between two young men and a pile of boxes to emerge in the baking aisle. There they were.

Eggs. There weren’t many left, and those that were left were the eye-wateringly expensive organic free range kind, but I don’t care. Six eggs are all that stand between me and victory. I surge forward, reaching out, when a hand comes down, claiming a box. A hand at the end of a cable knit jumper clad arm.

‘Dammit!’ I may have shouted that out loud. Heads may have turned. But I was so close! Then I heard laughter, felt arms come around my waist, a trolley bumping gently against mine.

‘Too bad, darling. Looks like you’re paying this week. And so close to Christmas, as well. Well-played, though.’ He laughed again, but a nice kind of laugh, as he came around to survey the jumbled mess of groceries in my trolley.

‘Well, I don’t care,’ I said. ‘And, did I tell you how nice you look in that jumper?’

‘Flattery,’ he said, ‘will get you nowhere.’

‘Just wait till next week’s shop’, I thought.

Well, there you have it. Twelve minutes done. Not sure what to think of it, though.


If you enjoyed this post, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Three Quote Challenge, Day 1

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The lovely Eilis Niamh has nominated me for the three quote challenge, the rules of which are as follows:

First, you thank the person who’s nominated you.
Then, you post a quote you love.
Finally, on each of the three days you post a different quote, you choose another blogger to carry on. (ooh, not sure about that last one – however, we shall see)

Thank you Eilis! Okay, here is my first quote:

‘Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of the lute are alone, though they quiver with the same music.’ Kahlil Gibran

I found my copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet in a charity shop – it’s a 1972 edition, still with $2 marked in pencil on the inside cover. I was already familiar with some of his quotes, the above one in particular, as it was part of a reading I had at my wedding. It’s pretty popular for weddings, I guess, but I believe that’s because it speaks a truth all couples can heed.

In a world where we are constantly sold a happy ending based on the idea that, once you find your soulmate you’re set for life, never to part, Gibran offers an alternate viewpoint. That, while we should love each other, we should also love enough to let our significant other be alone. To let them grow as a person, just as we grow too. That, while we may share a life, we don’t have to share everything. Though our strings may quiver to the same music, we don’t necessarily have to play together all the time. Whether together or apart, it makes no difference, for you do not depend on anyone else to make you complete – you are a complete person already.

I love the first metaphor – ‘a moving sea between the shores of your souls’. It’s just so poetic and romantic. That’s what love feels like to me. Water flowing endlessly, tides waxing and waning under a silver moon, a force of nature you can only follow along with, not control.

So that’s my first quote, two more to go. I would like to nominate Stephen Baird, if he doesn’t mind (though it’s up to you whether or not you wish to take on the challenge, Stephen!)