Please Connect

I had a vivid dream the other night. I’d entered a competition to perform in a show, which (to cut a long story short) resulted in me becoming a stagehand. My subconscious is cruel; it wasn’t the role I was aiming for!

Anyway, as I stood at the side of the stage, I watched the two lead characters performing a dramatic scene. The actress arranged her face so that it looked Continue reading

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When She Wrote on a Whim…

Mon 23rd Oct: My MA Forum Moderator posted about an opportunity for young people: Electric Read’s Young Writers’ Fiction Anthology 2017. They feature twenty-five of ‘the best young writers in Britain’. I saw that it was a free, email-entry competition, and within five minutes I had submitted a story – the final assignment of my degree Creative Writing module.

I told no one; not even Mum, who I would normally consult and call on for editing advice! I’d only entered one short story competition previously, and didn’t get anywhere – the judge’s comments showed that they weren’t interested in realist fiction. I had no expectations this time.

Tue 14th Nov: I was Continue reading

Flying for the First Time

Monday 4.9.17

The aeroplane has just taken off. I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to love it or hate it – I can understand why people are divided about flying. I’ve decided that I love it. My ears hurt a little though, unsurprisingly; this is the girl who can’t do jumping jacks without her ears trying to explode.

I’m chewing a mint, which Rach gave me, to help with the air pressure. She’s already snoring next to me. My ears are crackling, and I’m slightly peeved that a man stole my Continue reading

Community Café

I sometimes have an irrational feeling of anxiety when I walk into a café, not knowing how busy it will be or how I’ll be received. I went to my local café a few days ago, having not been for months, and never regularly.

I had barely stepped inside today when the lady behind the counter smiled and said, ‘Latte?’

‘Oh, umm…Yes, thank you!’

The café was empty, apart from three older people, and I took the sofa seat by the window. The sun had returned.

The café lady caught my eye and said, ‘Scrambled egg?’ Continue reading

Surfing the Nerves: My Day at Surf Snowdonia

You love the idea of this and it’s going to be great, I told myself. You’ve always wanted to give it a go.

Somehow it’s easier to tell yourself that when you’re curled up at home with a cup of tea, dreaming of the waves, than when you’re shivering with a surf board at the start of your first lesson. It didn’t seem the right time to tell the instructor that I can’t skate, or rollerblade, and can barely carry a tray across a room!

I edged into the water, and the other five learners and our instructor were soon on their bellies, paddling their boards towards the starting point. I fell behind. Great, so this is how it’s going to be… I could barely balance lying down and it seemed to require every muscle in my body to keep moving – I fell off, twisting my lower back. What on earth am I doing? I couldn’t even look up to see if I was receiving pitying looks, as I was firmly in survival mode. I caught up, just in time, and was only halfway through a sigh of relief when I fell in again. I surfaced, cleared the water from my nose, and looked behind me. The massive wave was approaching. My heart flipped. Continue reading

Am I a Proper Writer?

It’s my English Language O-Level exam. As always, I spend a few moments looking around at my fellow candidates while the papers are being handed out. There’s the girl with a ghostly-white face, sitting so far forward that she looks like she might slip off her seat. There’s the boy who is so relaxed that he ought to be on a recliner, and doesn’t seem remotely concerned – he either knows he can pass easily, or has already accepted a fail. There’s the blank-faced gazer. There’s the personification of calm readiness. There’s the shaker, hanging on to her bottle of water. Dry mouth, no doubt.

I could go on, but I now have my paper and am focused on spelling my own name, not quite trusting myself to be automatic today. I take extra care with my neat handwriting, which is different every time I write. Perhaps one day I’ll find my style. Continue reading