Wednesday Write-in #5


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

This is the new feature on the blog which we’ll be running every week from now on to allow all of us writers to practise our skills, and get chatting to each other about our work.

Prompts

stretched  ::  tooth  ::  pullover  ::  tracks  ::  treehouse

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein and comment with a link so we can read it. You can write as many stories as you like.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.

Featured Story

We’ll feature our favourite story on the blog with a review of it and links to the author’s blog/twitter/facebook if relevant.

Posts will generally go up at 9am(ish) on Wednesday – stories are due by 10am Thursday (UK) to be considered for the featured story. You can keep posting your work after this, it just won’t be featured.

Rewards

We’ll keep track of who takes part in the write-ins, and you earn points for different things.

  • Take part in a write-in = 1 point.
  • Comment on other people’s stories = 1 point.
  • Share/reblog this post = 1 point.

When you reach ten points the editing team will give detailed feedback on a story of your choice. This only counts for separate sessions—so if you write five stories for one write-in, that counts as one, and if you share on both facebook and twitter, that’s one. We might give an extra point if you comment on everyone’s stories, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Please look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Don’t forget to read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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49 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #5

  1. This story was written by Tea Stranger, I’m just posting on her behalf, so please feel free to contact her on her blog, or Facebook.

    Winter

    When they cleared her dad’s workshop they found a half made display case under a pile of d.i.y magazines. He either hand’t had time to finish it or had chosen not to keep the dead fox. If she had been given the choice she would have left the fox under the tree. Although dead, it looked young and full of life, just still. Her dad loved collecting dead things. The farmhouse was full of stuffed animals. The fox was now on his list of things to do. She followed his tracks as he loaded it onto the trailer then put it in the freezer. He spent hours on the internet before finding a taxidermist in Ireland willing, at a reasonable price, to stuff the fox. It was Winter. She sat by the fire trying to keep warm. Their dog snuggled next to her. She didn’t like dead things. Or anything to do with death. Finally a deal was struck with the Irish texidermist. She helped him wrap the dead fox in newspaper and bubblewrap and went with him when se sent it special delivery. The next day it was the first day of the postal strike. The fox now was very much alive in their minds. Had it melted? Was it rotting somewhere in the Post Office? Could they be sued for sending dead things in the post? It turned out o.k. The fox went to Ireland then came back again. Except it wasn’t the same. The lustre of its coat had dimmed. Her dad never finished the display case. She found the fox in a large suitcase. And she didn’t die.

    • I really enjoyed the story about her dad and the fox and him liking dead things. Sounds eccentric. I really could imagine it and the postal service strike made me think, “Oh god, the fox is going to defrost and its going to stink out the place!!!” That was quite amusing to imagine. I was happy it turned out fine.

      A couple of things which stumped me though. They are cleaning out the dad’s workshop so it made me think he had died. But then I questioned that when I read “The fox was now on his list of things to do”. The ‘now’ made me think my assumption was wrong.

      Plus it could be just my simpleness, but I didn’t quite get the end ‘She didn’t die’. I think I’ve missed something but I’m not sure what. Like I said, its probably my simpleness. I’ve read it a couple of times but I’m not certain. Has something happened to her and his sudden lack of interest in the fox is because of it?

      • I too thought the build up was great – the possibility of that postal strike ruining the fox was interesting. What I understood from this – was that the taxidermist sent the stuffed fox back and the display case was not finished and she feels the loss of her dad over again. If that is not right, I apologize. I think the short sentences and jerkiness work well to convey her sadness etc. but it may not hurt to make the situation clearer.

      • Thanks for your feedback. I think my jumping around with time has confused things. The fox on his list of things to do was what he added after he’d found it. And she didn’t die was just that, she didn’t die (she’d had cancer but I didn’t state that as I thought people would get she’d been seriously ill, my mistake, I need to make things clearer.) Thanks again for all your comments, they really help. That was the second short story I’ve written, I might just make it to a third.

    • What a lovely story…I’m not sure if it’s what you were going for, but I got the feeling of a wee girl helping her Dad out with something he loved, simply because she loved him and loved spending time with him. It reminded me of all the times I’ve said to my daughter “It won’t kill you!”. It was quite touching. My only suggestion would be that I think the structure of it was a little confusing, I had to read it quite a few times to understand how it all fit together.

  2. Deliverance

    Earth as hard as iron, water like a stone. Sun with no strength, pale, washed out orb ready to extinguish, melt on the horizon. She pushed on through deep snow following Land Rover tracks across moorland. Blue, everything was blue; save for the orb. Salvation lay ahead. Ahead was release. All was still. Silent. No sound except the steady crunch beneath her feet. And her breathing. Rhythmic, alive. She was breathing. A sheep stared, stayed stock still, she passed by. If she reached out the spell would be broken. She walked on. Ahead was sanctuary. Earth as hard as iron, water like a stone.

    • I really like how much is unsaid in this. I love the sinister edge to it; the hint of release in particular makes it feel like she’s trudging on to her doom!

      Or could just be the pub of course. 😀 Love it!

    • This felt lyrical like a poem and as everyone said : full of tension wrought by simple statements like ‘she was breathing’ – the repeated references to her breathing imply that she escaped something, and is lucky to be alive.Sarah your hypothesis is funny- the pub awaits!

    • I really like the subversion of lyrics from ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’. I think this lends this piece an almost sinister air (I can hear a creepy children’s choir in the background when I read this for the second time). I would like to know where she’s going. What, or who, is in the car she’s tracing.

      • Wow! Thanks for the feedback. Yesterday, when I wrote the piece I was rather sad as my father died recently and it would have been his birthday. So it is a bit about myself I suppose. The cold reflected my state of mind, it was a kind of protection against hurt. I felt if I just kept trudging, just kept going, one day the sun would feel warm again, I would get through. Following the tracks was about survival, one foot in front of the other. The lyrics just sprang to mind. Grieving is hard like the earth in winters. Hope it makes sense.

      • Completely understand – thank you for sharing such a personal piece.

        Sorry to hear about your father. I just want to send you condolences, and empathy, for what must be an incredibly hard time.

        All the very best to you, hope you stay protected and are looking after yourself x

    • I ‘tracked’ my way back to issue 3 and read ‘More Human’ – brilliant. ‘Closure’ works as a stand alone piece because you deal with real life misery of break ups and the quirkiness of the departed metallic robot adds depth and interest. But when put in context with the ‘More Human’ universe it feels like a smooth continuation of that story — are you planning on keeping it going? I’d love to read more.

      • Thank you 🙂 Yes I was hoping those ‘robotic’ elements would work as a standalone, maybe revealing something about Chloe’s personality … then of course you realise why!

        I’m actually hoping to write a novel about them for Nano, if I have time to do it. Watch this space 😀

    • I was so confused and intrigued by this until I read ‘More Human’. I was absolutely compelled by the description of smell lingering and the sense of everything staying the same when in one way, your world has ended with the ending of a relationship. Beautiful writing and so powerful.

    • Having read both ‘More Human’ and ‘Closure’ and trying to forget the former in order to consider the latter on its own, I do think it works as a stand alone piece. I’m intrigued by the tooth – how it was lost. Whether it’s a canine, a molar, a milk tooth.

      I think your idea of using Nano to flesh out (no pun intended) your robot world is a brilliant one. I’m looking forward to reading the upcoming pieces 🙂

      • There’s a twisted love story in there somewhere I think!

        I do understand though; I thought I had mileage in a Nano last year, I got to about 30,000 words and thought “Hmmm, this isn’t really going anywhere”. Getting to the 50K mark after this realisation was a real slog!

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    • I enjoyed this – I agree there is a lot of potential for a longer story. Loc’s pov was interesting. Caught a small typo if it helps : somewhere it says ‘through his scent’ – that should probably be thought about his scent? OR maybe I read too fast and then, ignore me! Liked the name Banaris – sounds like Benares. Even though it can blossom into a long piece I believe you ended at the right point, with the situation resolved.

    • This had a real ‘cool’ factor to it and really appealed to me. I could imagine this so clearly and actually felt my eyebrows raise when he said the pit was for them, thinking “Oh no!” I felt an inexplicably strong connection to these characters, so well done, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

    • I really liked this, I think you got an awful lot across about the world and the characters’ lives and relationships in a small amount of words.

      There were a couple of points I wondered about. Loc seems to be a very experienced tracker/hunter so I was surprised he was so reckless, not thinking to cover his scent, it seemed surprising unless there was another factor that had thrown him more off balance. The other thing was Banaris’ surprise in the last paragraph, seeming to suggest he was surprised by who the mystery man was? But then it’s not revealed, or mentioned that they do know him, so I was a bit confused. I don’t know what you’re imagining but maybe the two things could tie together – perhaps Loc already knows who they’re tracking and that’s why he’s off-colour. Just some thoughts!

      I’d really like to see more of this 😀

      • It sounds like I didn’t manage to get across quite what I had in my head (or, rather, that I was filling in bits of stuff in my head that didn’t actually make it to the page, so to speak). Thanks for the feedback, I’ll have a ponder about where I could tweak it to clear those points up.

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    • I just love your style, it is so original! I really felt for this poor wee girl and just wanted to protect her. This was my favourite part of the piece: “While they all laughed she couldn’t even remember the saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, names will never hurt me, surrounded by twigs.” It made me laugh, even though my brain told me it was inappropriate to do so. I am struck by your descriptions of moments, suspended in time and described in beautiful detail while time still moves on before and afterwards. I look forward to reading more of your writing.

      • Thank you so much, that’s such a compliment! I’m glad you laughed, I’m finding one of the things I like doing is putting humour in where it is unexpected. Haven’t written prose this much before, so the things that are coming out are new to me. Good to see your new piece…

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