So a quick recap for anyone joining me today… I am attempting the A to Z April Challenge with the added complication of writing to random prompts provided by Rory’s Story Cubes (a wonderful little invention my brother discovered some years ago and shared with me.)
Today’s prompt for the letter I is:
When the shouting started she would go there. To the quiet space in her head. Where the words couldn’t hurt and anything was possible. Gran had said she was a day dreamer but really it was a safety valve a protective mechanism. In her mind she had slipped away and was scrambling among rock pools near a once visited seaside searching for anenomes and tiny crabs.
It had started at home on the bad days but now she increasingly found her imagination taking over. The brown paper bag of potatoes in the pantry was really a wriggling undulating sack of kittens stolen from every back yard from here to the supermarket and if she could undo the stitching they would get out and engulf her in furriness. If she looked at anything for enough it lost its meaning and became something new. The fluffy clouds rushing past the kitchen window resolved themselves into a bowl of steaming rice and a swan as she stared out at them. The broken tile in the shower was really the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle that, once solved, would complete the human genome, repairing the flaws that caused disabilities. Her thoughts took her into so many places she didn’t need to stay in the one place she didn’t feel safe, her home.
Tonight it was harder to focus. It was like all the noise was locking out the doors to her imagination. She stared at toilet bowl from where she was curled up inside the bath and thought of a quest to find something marvellous, magical..the Holy Grail. She was a knight on Crusade…she was…
The crashing sound outside the bathroom door was followed by a screech. The shadow of a baseball bat raised and swung. She turned the tap open fully to drown the sounds and slipped her head under the water. That was better. The sound of the sea waves in her ears and the shell and fish transfers on the tub helped. She was in a yellow submarine floating along at the bottom of the ocean. She let her imagination take her as the water crashed above her head and she held her breath. The air bubbles floated to the surface as her problems disappeared.
So, in an attempt to get back on track I am publishing my prompts and will edit as I go on. G is now complete.
The Storycubes for ‘G’ gave me:
A pill + a snake + cactus + dinosaur head + axe + Viking helmet + angry face + sun/throwing star/sheriff badge + necklace/scarab.
The shelf was weighed down with the mementos of his travels. Each peculiar item a bookmark for a chapter in his life. He had begun training as a circus performer shortly after he flunked his first year engineering exams and in time it had led him into stunt work.
The Shuriken was the first trophy, a prop from his time as third ninja on the left in the brawl scene in his first proper movie. The throwing star was blunt but polished to look deadly and it caught the light from the low-laying winter sun. A plastic cactus, comical in its proportions, was from a low-budget Mexican crime romp where he had doubled for the Disney Club graduate who was trying to be relaunched as an adult actor.
The Viking helmet had one horn broken, not as a result of the stunt he had performed but the after party in a country pub somewhere in Ireland. Beside it stood a stone axe authentically hewn from real rock and tied to a sturdy branch. It was covered in dried mud and fake blood and the wooden shelf sagged from its weight.
The dried up rattle from a rattle snake was almost totally obscured by the model dinosaur bone, the relative size of the two reptiles they represented clearly displayed. One had been a gift from a make-up artist he had dated on location, the other he had misappropriated from the props truck on his final day of filming. Mary lifted the final item carefully, a costume amulet he had worn on his last film, “The Curse of the Pharaoh” and dusted around it.
She slowly righted everything to its proper place and turned to bed behind her. For a while she had blocked out the sound of the ventilator as she remembered her strong and vibrant boy. The fearless acrobat who could fight and run and crash and fall. So different from the shell of a man now locked comatose in his room.
She picked up her book and started to read aloud from the chapter she had paused at.
B is for that brilliant bonkers basic process that kickstarts any writing project. A brainstorm session to throw ideas in the air and see where they all settle. An I Ching for writers.
Continuing my theme for the #AtoZChallenge of using Rory’s Story Cubes (original set) as a kick off point I threw the dice and got this…
Nine pictograms that can be taken literally or to represent something larger. Depending on how you read them they can take you in so many directions. So this is what I see :
Parachute + Bee + Turtle + Learner plate + Arrow + Eye + Apple + Key + Phone.
A simple interpretation could be:
The bee was young and wasn’t good at flying yet. In the beginning his wings hadn’t opened properly and his mother had made him wear a parachute to keep his safe. He had to wear ‘L’ plates every time he took off but practice was key to getting better. He blinked at a flashing light in the corner. It was his friend tortoise phoning him to ask if he want to come over for tea. There would be apple pie after and perhaps ice cream. So he forgot his nerves and flew straight as an arrow to his friend’s place.
Starting slowly on the AtoZChallenge, over the next few days I will keep throwing the dice and stretching the imagination muscle. What do you think and where would these pictograms lead you???
If you want to visit some other blogs taking the challenge you can find them here
Thanks for visiting.
Hold your fingers to the light
Trace the pattern round the skin
With a ragged nail
Spirals and whorls…
By dark rich ink
Mirrored letters dancing
Where fingers rested too long.
Ink stains blight and blot my hands
A testament to hours spent scribbling
Scratching. Tracing scripts
On parchment. Bold black
On a creamy canvas.
Converted by fluid,
Moved by water.
I haven’t blogged in some time. Not because I have nothing to say but in reality I had no time to blog when I knew what to say and no energy to blog or remember what to blog when I had time to write. A mental mismatch where mind and moment refused to meet.
So now, why?
Because the sun is shining and spirits raise and ideas whirl and dance like dandelion seeds in the blue bright air? Because someone uncorked the bottle, poured me a shot of fiction and reminded that I love word craft? Because my world is full of pressures and pulleys and hooks and harnesses, tardy white rabbits and final demand letters in screaming red capitals?
It has been a long time since I sat cocooned in my own bubble, listening to old familiar music with the sun drifting in and out of trees tickling my eyes as my bus wheels its way home.
Too much of life is about being there, doing for, catching up, holding on, carrying and helping. For this one hour it is just me, music and memories and a dream of being and doing just for myself. My spirit soars with the guitar chords and a vast peace spreads from me.
At first glance all looks calm, almost eerily still as if someone had pressed the freeze-frame button. Nothing is stirring in the yard. But then you notice that the panoply of flags that bedeck the edges of the courtyard are snapping into a dervish dance before dropping just as suddenly to rest on their poles. There’s a big wind abroad and it is coming in angry, pouty gusts.
The widows rattle in their sashes ..is Cathy outside??? Then the stillness settles again, this time more reluctantly. For once it is comforting to be at your desk as the weather breaks against your office windows.
A loud clatter smashes the uneasy silence. You rush to the window and see…nothing. The empty space where a flag pole had stood proudly waving its colours. The wind has taken umbrage and torn down its conceited display.