Posts Tagged ‘DPchallenge’

Daily Post Photo Challenge – Boundaries

October 2, 2015 25 comments

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is all about boundaries – of any description.

The path is clearly marked. Do not cross this boundary! (Godrevy, Cornwall.)



The boundary between Earth and the infinite beyond. (Out the front of my house, Cornwall.)



Safety and… well, falling off a cliff :-(. (St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall.)

St Michael's Mount

A Quick Bite

September 20, 2013 10 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Dialogue – Begin a post with a scene that includes dialogue.

“No way, I get first bite!” snapped the blond-haired vampire, his fangs glistening in the glow of the alley’s single working street light. He crossed his arms and glared at his brown-haired accomplice, a girl who looked no older than twenty but in reality had grown up dancing the Charleston.

“Like, OMG, no way! Greedy much?” she replied. Regardless of her upbringing before she had been “turned”, she had become the eternal student . A college campus was an ideal hunting ground and she had an unfortunate tendency to use the vernacular of her class mates.

“Must you talk like that, Charlotte-Ann?” asked the other vampire, resignation in his voice.

“Like yeah, Samson. And it’s Charlie.”

All the while the girl sat huddled against a dumpster. She was in her mid-twenties, had deep red hair from a bottle and was dressed for the clubs. She clutched her purse to her chest and trembled as she watched the pair arguing. Mascara stained her face as the tears fell.

“Charlotte-Ann, Charlie, whatever, I saw her first!”

“Come on Samson! Man, you got first bite last time. OMG, how unfair is this? You totally suck!”

“Yes,” replied Samson, showing his fangs. “Yes I do.”

“Not suck, suck. Like totally. OMG man, like totally.”

“Sometimes,” said Samson, “you make no sense whatsoever. I so preferred you in the sixties.”

Meanwhile back at the dumpster, the girl’s eyes had opened wide as she watched the strange argument. She had no idea what was happening but this strange pair no longer seemed to be paying any attention to her. Slowly, carefully, she began to edge towards the end of the alley where she could see cars passing by.

“Oh yeah, the sixties!” said Charlie, her eyes unfocusing as she cast her mind back. “Sex, drugs, rock and roll, more sex…”

“So easy to get blood in those days. With all the LSD nobody knew what they were seeing,” remembered Samson. “But, back to the issue at hand. It’s my turn to go first.”

“It so isn’t! You so said it would be my turn this time!”

“Fine,” said Samson, sighing. “We’ll go together. Let’s eat!”

They turned to the dumpster.

“Um,” said Charlie, “like, where’d she go?”

“Idiot!” snarled Samson.

“Moron!” snapped Charlie.

Categories: Fiction Tags: ,

Laughter Lost

August 21, 2013 12 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words (or more or less!) –  write a post based on this image.


Picture courtesy of Michelle Weber

For a while she watches the children playing on the merry-go-round. They laugh as they spin around, over and over, faster and faster. She feels a little pang of fear as every so often one jumps off, but they always land safely. The others laugh as they watch their friend stagger around, dizzy and giggling.

After a while the children leave, heading back to their homes for dinner. Although still a child herself, she doesn’t feel one of them. She no longer joins in their games, no longer laughs with the others. It has been so long since she has laughed.

Read more…

Categories: Fiction Tags:

Please Let Me Go Home

August 6, 2013 16 comments

Weekly Writing ChallengeYour earliest memory. Capture every detail. Document the quality of the memory — is it as sharp as HDTV or hazy and ethereal, enveloped in fog? Write for 10 minutes. Go.

I must have been around four years old. We were living at the first house I ever lived in and we left when I was five so that sounds about right.

Mum left my little brother and I with a good friend of hers to play, as she occasionally did. I’m sure we’d been there before, though everything from so long ago is pretty hazy.

I don’t remember anything about that visit apart from the very end – that is etched into my memory as if carved in stone.

My memory tells me that Mum’s friend held a cup of tea – it could have been coffee but I think it was tea – out to each of us. She said “Drink this or you can’t go home.” I was terrified. I wanted to go home to Mum.

I drank the tea. It was foul. I was only a toddler. Toddlers don’t drink tea. Toddlers drink juice or milk (I never drank milk and still don’t – it makes me sick).

We never went back to that house. Not ever.

Cup Of Tea Little Boy?

“Cup of tea, little boy?” by DraliDoodles
It’s a witch’s hat, OK? Shut Up. I don’t do hats.

Is this how it really happened? Probably not. This woman was a kind woman, a friend of the family. More than likely she said “Have some tea to drink before you go home.” I misconstrued.

Only now, as I write this, do I feel terribly guilty for the poor woman. Imagine inadvertently scaring a toddler so much that they refused to see you ever again?

Memories are tricky things. Although I am convinced that “I heard what I heard”, I have been similarly convinced that a film ended this way, or a book ended that way only to watch or read it decades later and discover that my mind has altered the ending. In my mind it ended the way I always wanted it to – now that I’ve rediscovered it I find that the ending is completely different. Disappointingly different.

My mind very probably twisted this innocent encounter into something sinister.

What can we trust if not our own minds?

Stop the clock…
Time to write: 8 minutes.
Proof-reading/editing: 4 minutes.
Draw/scan/format/upload doodle: 5 minutes.
Confession: I didn’t let this sit for a day as per the instructions. I didn’t want to spoil the thoughtless spontaneity.

Yo Dude, Milord

July 17, 2013 10 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the GapEmails – Where do you stand on the grand salutation question?

Dear Sir/Madam. Hey man! Hi Frank!

Which to use and when? A knotty question. In the age of email, does it even matter? This isn’t a letter, after all.

However, emails are used as a faster form of letter. Standard post has been dubbed “snail mail” as it’s slower, but faster delivery should not necessarily mean one may be lax during composition.

Here is my handy guide. I find it’s often easiest to learn by example, so let’s look at some scenarios.

An email of complaint

In this scenario, we have bought defective goods. Maybe we should write a letter, but who has the time? Such an email needs to be fairly formal – “Hi Mr Managing Director” will not do. Take a look at a model example below.

email of complaint

Notice the formal wording and the polite salutation. However, this email contains an error. The sign-off should read “Yours sincerely”, as you have used the recipient’s name! Shocking. This one’s going straight into the digital trash. Be more careful!

An email to a friend

Of course, not all emails need to be quite so formal. You could be composing an invitation to a good friend, inviting them round to your abode for tea and biscuits, or some other healthy pursuit. For example:

email to a friend

As you can see, the content of this email is much less formal than in our previous example. As it is written to a close acquaintance it is still perfectly acceptable, of course!

An email to your boss

Often-times you may find yourself needing to write an email to your boss. Some formality is required here, of course – your career may be at stake. However, the chances are you know your boss quite well, so it need not be as formal as our “complaint” example. It also couldn’t hurt to pay said boss some compliments – maybe it could help win you that promotion!

email to the bossNote that the author is not afraid to blow his own trumpet, and has signed off in such a way as to show all due respect – that promotion is in the bag!


I hope you have seen, through the examples presented here, the different and various ways one may compose one’s email depending on the situation. Please feel free to use any of these examples as a template for your own use.

Happy emailing!

Categories: Just Silly Tags: , ,

The Best Medicine – Never Happy

July 10, 2013 18 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: The Best Medicine – This week, write about whatever topic you’d like, but go for laughs.

Write about whatever I want? I can do that! No bother. Not a problem.

Wait a sec though – “go for laughs”? Well, there’s the rub. Humour is so subjective, and I’m not the funniest fella at the best of times. Tell you what, I’ll shoot for “mildly witty” and we’ll see where we end up.

The title of this post – “Never Happy” – is perhaps not a promising start. I don’t know about you, but to me that doesn’t scream “side-splittingly riotously hilarious” (try saying that three times fast). It sounds more like I’m going to have a rant, or maybe I’m going to wax lyrical about something that’s really getting me down.

So what, I hear you ask, am I going to complain about? I’ll give you a clue – I’m British.

That’s right! It’s the weather. That’s not what you guessed? Pretend you did! I’ll never know.

I’ve complained about the weather before (British, remember?). It’s too cold. It’s icy. It’s too windy. It won’t stop raining. Here’s a new one for you – it’s too hot!

Never Happy

“Never Happy” by DraliDoodles (TM)

Let’s take a quick Haiku-break.

Hostile sun blazing fire
Melting roads and hearts and minds
Air con broken

Hope you enjoyed it.

As I drove home this evening the thermometer informed me that it was 26 degrees C. I’ve just used the marvel which is Google and it informs me that this equals 78.8 Fahrenheit! I know what some of you are thinking. “That’s not very hot!” Well, it is to me. It appears that “too hot” is as subjective as humour.

My office is eco-friendly. We don’t have that planet-destroying toxic chemical-fuelled air con. Oh no! We have some sort of “comfort cooling” air recycling system. Today it managed to get the temperature to a not-so-comfortable 28 degrees C. Way to go, eco-friendly comfort cooling air con.

I didn’t wear shorts, but I did break out my trousers with the detachable legs. Detachable legs! What’ll they think of next? I was going to post a picture of me wearing the trousers with one leg removed so you could see the flexibility, but I thought that some of you might be reading this while eating dinner. I worried that the sight of my pasty-white leg might cause a case of the “tummy upsets”. So, no picture.

I also looked in my drawers for a light-weight T-shirt. It’s been so long since I’ve needed a light-weight T-shirt that it had mould on it from sitting in the drawer for years.


And to add very serious insult to injury, it was my Red Dwarf T-shirt!

Mouldy T-Shirt

My poor mouldy T-shirt – please be OK!

I do hope the washing machine can work its magic.

It looks like I’m Never Happy.

Very sad.

Facebook – Friend or Foe?

July 2, 2013 30 comments

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap – Facebook – to poke or to puke?

So this Facebook thing – a force for good, or an insidious evil? A social network – some may say the social network – in a world in which the inhabitants are increasingly obsessed with sharing every detail of their lives and of course with revelling in the thrills and mishaps of others.

Let’s break it down.

Responsibility – at the end of the day, what I post is down to me

Make no mistake, whether I intend the whole world to read what I write or it’s only intended for “friends”, what I post on any social network, including Facebook, is my responsibility. No-one else’s.

In the heat of the moment it’s easy to post something I may later regret. I rarely post to Facebook using my phone (which is always nearby) – my big clumsy fingers are not phone-friendly. I often find that by the time I’ve fired up the laptop I’ve gone off the boil. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to post that after all?

How many people have found themselves in trouble for posting something “inappropriate”?

Read more…