Tag: writing

The Novelist: On Writing

The Novelist lived in a part of the world that was noisier than she would have liked. She made sure the inside of her house was quieter and she lived shrouded in words. They were other people’s words of course, but she borrowed them and put them on shelves that stretched wall-to-wall and ceiling-to-ceiling. Occasionally she would dip in and out of these words and think about how much she liked them, how much she wished she had been the one to pluck those words from the air and put them on that piece of paper in that exact order. How nice it would be, she thought, to be so regularly visited by Inspiration.

The Novelist rarely invited new people round, she preferred the company of her books and selected loved ones, but in the evenings a Stranger would come knocking on her door and every evening she would answer. She hadn’t the heart to ignore the Stranger because they looked so familiar, like a family member who was slightly out of focus.

“Hello,” the Stranger would say. “My name is George Liebenstein. I am a detective, about to solve the case of a man who was murdered locked inside his own panic room. If you invite me in, perhaps you can write about it?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist would reply. “I am far too busy just now, I have a dinner to make.”

The Stranger would nod sadly and walk off in to the night, his crime still unsolved. The Novelist would go back to the kitchen and finish dinner, which she would eat with her family before settling down with them to watch a television show she didn’t much care for. She thought she could probably write a better one if only Inspiration would come.

The next evening, the Stranger would come again.

“Hello,” she said, because this time the Stranger was a she. “My name is Annabelle Cavendish. I disappeared a long time ago on Christmas Eve and I’ve been lost ever since. Wont you write about me?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist would reply. “I am far too busy just now, I have to take my cat to the vet.”

The Stranger nodded sadly and walked off in to the growing darkness, never to be seen again. The Novelist took her cat to the vet and spent the rest of the evening scrolling through Twitter but writing few Tweets of her own.

The next evening the Stranger came again and this time there were two of them.

“Hello,” they said in perfect unison. “We are a brother and sister from a future you will never live to see, but we have seen such strange and terrible things. If we tell you, won’t you write about us?”

“Perhaps some other time,” the Novelist replied. “It’s Sunday and that’s my day off from work, I am far too tired to write anything now.”

The Strangers turned away sadly and started their long walk back to a future nobody might ever hear of.

“Wait a moment!” the Novelist called and they turned. “Why is it that so many strangers with such strange stories will not leave me alone?”

“You are The Novelist, are you not?” asked the boy.


“We are your characters,” said the girl. “We hear you calling out for Inspiration and we try to answer you. But you won’t listen to us in return.”

The Novelist made them a cup of tea and sat down with a pen. Their story poured through her and she never had to call for Inspiration again.


They met for a drink in a rooftop bar. He wore red and she wore blue and the night moved faster than usual.

She invited for dinner the following Tuesday to her flat with the midnight blue door. They sat in a kitchen she’d painted to look like the sky and for desert she served blueberry shortcake.

The next week she knocked on his crimson door and he returned the favour. He made bolognese, they drank Merlot and made plans for their next date.

A year later she moved in to his house and they painted the front door purple.

via Daily Prompt: Purple


A bead of sweat rolled down his neck and made his spine tingle.He had been concentrating for so long his brain felt numb. The radio crackled to life.


Not yet.

“Sir. Rebels are closing in. Requesting status report. Over.”

Not yet.

Gunfire raged overhead and the numbers and letters on the screen remained nonsensical. If he cracked this code he could crack the whole bloody war. At the start of all of this he had used the promise of fame and public recognition of his heroism to keep him motivated, but now… now he just wanted it to be over. He wanted to sit at home with a nice cup of tea and not have to worry about the state and safety of his country resting on the only message they had managed to intercept.

His tired, sweat hands diligently punched another set of options through the system. It lit up. There were a series of satisfying ‘pings’. He had done it. He nearly cried. He picked up the radio. “Commander. Rebel message has been decoded. Over.”

“Excellent work. What does it say? Over.”

“One, large, margarehita… Fuck. It’s a takeaway order. It’s fucking meaningless.

The war raged on.

via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

What the Minimalist Kept

Her grandfather was a simple man, a minimalist.

Minimal furniture meant minimal places to sit, which meant minimal guests. Minimal guests meant minimal noise and mess. He kept what was functional and said what was necessary. His books came from the library so they could be returned and didn’t take up space.

When he died, she cleared out his house and found the only thing the minimalist had kept. A small, red box hidden inside the hollowed-out seat of his chair contained a photograph of her young grandfather standing in a colourful, cluttered room next to a beautifully messy woman.

via Daily Prompt: Minimal


Everything was spotless and white. The light, cream carpet on the floor was immaculate and the white table surfaces didn’t have so much as a crumb or a ring of condensation from drinks without coasters. The walls were white and blank- no pictures, no photographs, no art. It could have been a show home.

Annaliese had been surprised to be invited for dinner, Jane was not known for mixing with anyone from the office outside of work. Jane was even more surprised by the invite, it had slipped out of her mouth during a coffee break. She had wanted to take it back, but the invite had been spoken and accepted and now here they were- standing in her bright, white hallway.

Annaliese had seen the kitchen, the livingroom, the bathroom and even the bedroom. All of them were white and empty of anything that wasn’t purely functional. The only room she hadn’t seen was the one hidden behind a door marked ‘Life’. Before Jane could stop her, she had opened it. The room was cluttered with many boxes of different shapes and sizes, all stacked up against one another.

She had two boxes of about equal size labelled ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’. ‘Family’ was wooden and solid. Jane found this one easy to organise- her mum, dad, siblings, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles all fitted well inside this this box.

A box labelled ‘Friend’ was pretty sturdy too, but sometimes things would fade from it and others would appear unexpectedly.

There was another box labelled ‘Colleague’, Annaliese saw herself in there and noticed with a smile that she was beginning to spill out in to it’s neighbouring box- ‘Friend.’

There was a box labelled ‘Lover’ that was almost in tatters. Jane knew it couldn’t hold anything for more than a few weeks.

In the corner was a large, closed box that was bursting  at the seams. It was dusty and covered in a few cobwebs. At some point, someone had moved it in here, labelled it ‘Jane?’ and ignored it. Annaliese walked over to it and dusted it off. Jane watched apprehensively as she began to unbox things. She handled everything inside with such care that in just one evening Annaliese took up space in the ‘Colleague’, the ‘Friend’ and the ‘Lover’ box. The boxes broke. Became one.

When she was done she took a pair of scissors and cut Jane’s name from the front of the box that had been ignored for so long. She took it and stuck it over the word ‘Life’ on the door. The door stayed open. Colour and comfort and warmth spread in to the house.

They sat back to drink tea without coasters and Jane wondered if one day she and Annaliese could start a ‘Family’ box of their own.

via Daily Prompt: Label

Conquered Jungles

Nature sends storms and man builds shelter. At first he uses Nature to build and then, over time,  creates his own materials. Concrete Jungles conquer the real ones and Man harnesses Nature. He takes the animal features he most desires and paves over wilderness. He creates light when Nature is dark and travels further than he can walk.

Things begin to die. Nature waits. She is playing a long game and watches Mankind tear themselves apart. When they are gone Nature’s green fingers grow through cracks in the concrete.

She cannot be harnessed, tamed or conquered. And she will endure.

via Daily Prompt: Conquer


Lights flash in the dark. There is a deep, thunderous rumble. Insults rain down. The media storm has hit.

She covers her face and hurries to the cab. The driver hits some of paparazzi with the door as he opens it for her. He speeds away before she has fastened her seat belt. He is used to this, this is LA.

He sees her trying not to cry and feels a twist of sympathy. It’s easy for a person to get lost inside controversy.

He wonders if the man she slept with is getting the same treatment. He doubts it.


via Daily Prompt: Controversy

Luck in Love

Luck turned to Fate and said, “What should I do?”

“Whatever you want,” Fate smiled because she knew already. Luck took Fate’s hand and a man missed his train. He cursed them both and sat to wait for the next one. Luck smiled at Fate and a gust of wind blew a ticket from a woman’s lap. It came to rest under the bench of a man who’d missed his train.

He retrieved it, she thanked him. Her train pulled in to the station and he was glad he’d missed his. Fate kissed Luck and they boarded the train together.

via Daily Prompt: Luck


A spider drops down from the rafters above my bunk. It is tiny and brown and spinning a web. I am so big to it, so massive that it does not notice I exist until I move. It freezes mid-air.

Does it know what I am?

Does it know it’s on a ship? Does it matter?

It is a small spider spinning from a thread on a big boat, but the boat is only big to the spider. The boat is cramped to me and tiny to the ocean. The ocean is small to the world and the world itself is not all that big. It is a tiny thing, spinning through space and time.

I am travelling from England to New York and I will spin myself a new life there. The spider will do the same, but it will never know.

via Daily Prompt: Massive