20/05/2020

WATER MUSIC - a story in 100 words


WATER MUSIC

On holiday in Tenerife, who could resist a free concert?
It didn’t take them long to get ready – the Spanish waiter told them bikinis and sarongs were the norm. They started on the vodka in their hotel, mixed generous slugs into bottles of Coke, and went to the beach.
It was heaving, the music loud, the atmosphere electric.

They danced on sand that radiated the day’s heat, and watched the lights sparkle on the sea. It looked different at night – mysterious – and they dropped their sarongs to slip into its silken coolness.

Beach cleaners found their sarongs at dawn.
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There were many beach concerts when I lived in Tenerife, though I chickened out of going to one - I have more respect for my hearing! The sand needed sifting afterwards, despite the banning of glasses or bottles, but how could police control a jam-packed crowd of holiday-makers? Swimming at night, when drunk, is not a good idea either.
Thanks to Rochelle for running our group of flash writers, and to CE Ayr for his photograph she used as a prompt on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/  If you'd like to join our happy throng, click on the froggy on there which will take you to the link page.

I hope you are all well, staying safe, washing your hands, and ignoring idiotic advice to inject houshold substances or take unprescribed medicine!
Yes, I'm talking like a mum, but today I'm allowed to - it's my son's birthday, and he's of an age that reminds me how ancient I am :(

14/05/2020

HATS - a rant for these times.

I could rant about many things at the moment, including the overuse of words such as 'unprecedented', 'challenging' and 'iconic', but enough people are doing that already, and I don't like talking politics online.
Jan Wayned Fields' photo which Rochelle posted on her blog  https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/05/13/15-may-2020/hats/  for Friday Fictioneers this week didn't excite my fiction-writing head at all, possibly because it's already full of the book I am in the throes of editing.
So instead you've got this rant, which I know resonates with many of my friends in a similar situation. If you're young and free, enjoy it!  .............................................................

HATS

I have worn many different hats in my lifetime.
Daughter, then student, followed by years as a bank clerk, in the days when we counted banknotes by hand, computers filled a room, and deposit ledgers weighed a ton.
Happily I donned the various hats of a mother – cook, chauffeuse, nurse, gardener, teacher, decorator and seamstress until, eventually, I was a grandmother and retired.

But now they want to force me into another hat, with the words writ large – ELDERLY, VULNERABLE, PRISONER.

That hat won’t fit.

29/04/2020

THE MATRIARCH - a story in 100 words


THE  MATRIARCH

Guiseppe surveyed the empty tables with a heavy heart. “If we can’t open again soon we’re finished! What will we pass down to our children?”
Maria sniffed. “What children? You are never at home to make any.”
As she flounced off, Guiseppe admired her beautifully rounded behind, the swing of her heavy black hair, and long-neglected need surged through his body. Perhaps lockdown wasn’t all bad, he thought, following her upstairs.

Weeks later Guiseppe set some of his tables out on the pavement, and Maria welcomed their returning customers with the contented smile of a matriarch.
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I am pleased I managed to write a positive story today! 
This has been a week of ups and downs - a granddaughter celebrating her birthday in lockdown in the Middle East, several days of wonderful warm sunshine followed by a day of pouring rain, family members feeling the strain while I am unable to help.
But I have also managed to put in a lot of time on my next book, the final one in my fantasy series - probably! I still have the idea for a follow-up simmering on a back burner, but Book 4 brings threads from the first three books together in a shattering climax. WATCH THIS SPACE!
If you haven't yet read the first three, now would be a good time to order them from Amazon, either in print or ebook format. A Volcanic Race, Wolf Pack and Landslide, by Liz Young.
Go on - make my day - buy them, read them, post a review! Please!

23/04/2020

PRINTEMPS - a 100 word story

PRINTEMPS

Paris! City of romance and glamour, where even schoolgirls are effortlessly chic.
The smell of wet tarmac each morning as bouches de lavage clean the streets.
An enticing aroma of fresh baguettes, croissants, cafe and cognac.
Metro stations redolent of Gauloises and garlic, loud with fluid French accents.
Secret geranium-scented courtyards bathed in sunlight.

And malodorous pickpockets targetting careless tourists.  Stale-breath’d beggars slumped on Montmartre steps. Putrid bins crammed into ruelles teeming with thin cats.

But this spring the city is odourless, every cobbled square deserted.
Paris consigned to the rubbish heap by a bat - or possibly one dropped petri dish.



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My first visit to Paris was in 1967 on honeymoon, so I saw it through rose-tinted glasses. I still have one tiny cognac glass as a memento of those cafe-cognac breakfasts - so bohemian we felt! Ten years later we saw a different side of the life that teemed there, in the company of a French teenager and her boyfriend. All cities are two-faced though, and now I find the crowds claustrophobic - I do not envy those poor souls on lockdown in those empty streets. We live in a small town in the country, where my daily walks are full of spring colour and life.
Stay safe, everyone - we have a long way to go before this is over.

16/04/2020

PIGEONS - a little hundred word story for Lockdown!.



PIGEONS

I bought this apartment for the view, which now is all I have – I watch neighbours I have never met, enjoying the illusion of company and talking to pigeons.
Overweight Guy is bronzed and fit after weeks of exercise.
I heard Barbecue Couple’s champagne cork pop and raised my own glass to them.

Last week food deliveries stopped. I ventured out briefly and scuttled home, but I brought back more than food. Even in this unpolluted air I cannot catch my breath.

I wonder if there will be any flesh left when they find me – pigeons will eat anything.

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I met a neighbour today who was feeling so depressed about his isolation that I had to write this story - sorry if it's not the cheery story you were anticipating. :)  I hope you are all survivng the pandemic as well as you can, and making the most of your enforced imprisonment to finish that novel?

In truth this image reminds me of the view from a friend's apartment in Tenerife, where the rooftop terraces were used for lines of washing, barbecues and even chicken coops.

Thanks to Rochelle for hostingFriday Fictioneers on her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/  and to Roger Bultot for the photograph.

PS - Only a day since the prompt yet already I am WAY down the link page - no wonder I only get a few comments!

08/04/2020

WALKING WITH CHILDREN


This virus lockdown has made us relish our one permitted walk each day, and given us time to dawdle – to stand and stare.
Because I am keeping a two-metre distance from my little granddaughter, she walks in front and sets the pace. She stops time and again to admire a pretty stone, a bug on a leaf, a strange door-knocker, crayoned rainbows in a multitude of windows – things we would miss if we were hurrying. So Jeff Arnold’s photo of a rainbow is most appropriate.

Here’s a little poem.

Walking with Children

Rainbows spread their ephemeral beauty
Overhead, or further away over
Yonder, the fabled pots of
Gold at their damp
Bases always just out of reach.
Instead, children enjoy their
Vibrant colours simply because.



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THANKS as ever to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers. After you've left a (kind) comment on my blog, you can read other writers' interpretations of this image by following the frog link from her blog   https://rochellewisoff.com/

I trust you are all keeping safe and well, and finding refuge from boredom in reading and writing. See you next week, DV.

01/04/2020

TWEET - a story in less than a hundred words


TWEET

“Mum! Come quick!”
“What is it, dear?”
“I’ve just seen one – you said there weren’t any left!”
“Well, I haven’t seen one outside for so long I thought something had killed them all. Don’t stand so close to the window, dear, it might not be safe.”
“But it’s only looking at me, Mum.”
“That’s as maybe, but we’ve got better things to do. There are still some berries left on that bush – nobody picked them this year. Come on, let's fly!”

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Only 80 words this week in my story written in response to the image taken by Douglas MacIlroy and posted on Rochelle's blog.  https://rochellewisoff.com/

I hope you are all finding ways of surviving the lockdown, if you live in a country that has imposed it. We are keeping our distance from anyone we see while food shopping or visiting the medical centre, but exchanging many a cheery 'hello' with total strangers as well as friends. My village has set up a volunteer help group of which I am part, so we hope nobody in our community falls through the net of care.

Meanwhile I have started work on the fourth, and probably final, book in my Living Rock series, so if you haven't already read the first three, Covid-19 LockDown would be a good time to order them from Amazon.The links to all three are here:-
A Volcanic Race: a novel: Volume 1 (Living Rock): Amazon.co.uk: Liz Young: 9781979086578: Books
WOLF PACK (LIVING ROCK): Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9781790375080: Books
LANDSLIDE: a LIVING ROCK book: Amazon.co.uk: LIZ YOUNG: 9798618061049: Books

Stay home, stay safe, stay well, everyone!