Wednesday Write-in #13


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

CAKE.shortandsweet runs a write-in every week to writers to practise their skills, and get chatting to each other about their work. Everyone is welcome to join in, and the more people you tell, the more everyone will get out of it.

 

Prompts

shatter  ::  wasp  ::  fresh bread  ::  sorry  ::  singed

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.

The winner will also be eligible to publish on our special CAKE.shortandsweet genre through Ether Books.

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.

 

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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53 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #13

  1. Pingback: Story :: Knead « a slice of imagination

    • Oooh I just loved this! I could really feel the misery of this poor guy just loving his girlfriend and wanting her to stay the same. I could also relate to the woman going on a crusade to change herself and admired her self discipline! As always, I love your imagery, particularly the way he wrapped himself in ‘her’.

      • Thank you, Krystal. I don’t know that he wants her to stay the same, I think he just accepts her however much she changes herself. But I think crusade suits what she’s doing very well – long and epic and pretty misguided.

      • Thank you, I’m glad it worked. Pretty much everything about their relationship – particularly the issues with it – revolve around the idea of a woman’s body.

  2. Pingback: Dzinski – Coffee « Craig Towsley

  3. #wednesdaywritein

    The Cheat

    “God, she is beautiful,” Susan thought as she looked at Amy’s face, plump with sleep. Susan sat in the armchair that was positioned by the bed. This was from where she read her stepdaughter bedtime stories. She continued to watch over Amy until her own eyes drew a close to the day.
    Chris’ morning noises were half apparent somewhere beyond her but it was the pricking sensation in her arm when she shifted that brought her into dull reality. She rubbed at the pins and needles with her eyes still closed. She could hear her own heart palpitating loudly in her ears- partly, as a result of the wine she had drunk and, partly, at the realisation she had not made it to bed. Chris would see all this as antagonistic and she really could not face another argument – sex with him would have been a brighter prospect. She hadn’t realised how trying for a baby could make sex so tedious especially when you were not the one trying.
    Chris was preparing romantic meals, stocking up on vitamins, making charts and Susan was just making it up.
    She faked it with Chris: she played at playful kissing; she giggled; she allowed him to believe her physical responses to his touch. When all the time, lying there, she deadened her senses to the irritation so as to avoid swatting him like an insect. She hadn’t been able to tell him she really didn’t want a baby. How could she explain that she loved Amy, another woman’s child, but she did not want a child of her own? The only genuine thing she had done was to try to love him again for Amy’s sake.
    Guilt’s heavy grey bulk lay in her stomach for the full stretch of most days. This morning, she would remain in this seat with her eyes shut refusing its dawn for as long as possible.
    However, Chris made the first move. He entered the room quietly but, aware of him, she straightened up. “Sorry,” Guilt made her say.
    “No, I’m sorry,” Chris said approaching her on tip toe. “I am putting too much pressure on,” he whispered. That won’t help. Have you slept here ALL night?”
    “Yeah, Amy was restless and, then, I guess, I must’ve fallen asleep.” At least, half of that was true. She felt relieved the argument had been averted.
    Feeling sorry for him, she stood up and embraced him. Amy wrestled to a sitting position and said groggily, “Is it wake up time?”
    “Yip, it is, Sleepyhead,” Chris replied as he ruffled her already messy hair. “Let’s get some breakfast out.”
    He winked at Susan. Everything was resolved in his world.

    • This is so sad! It’s also frustrating because you want her to figure out how to be genuine, and it ends without that happening. You feel sad for Chris, and for Susan, and for Amy. It feels like a very closely observed piece. Could easily read more of it.

    • I liked how she knew not going to bed would have been antagonistic but then the issue was sort of side-stepped and swept away, Because that happens sometime in life.

      That first paragraph seems a bit bloated to me, though, “this was from where” felt like a was jumping hurdles.

      • Thanks. Trying not to finish the sentence on a preposition but, I’ll be looking again at it.

    • Interesting piece. You’ve taken a (presumably) common theme of wanting a baby and turned it on its head. I can only assume that it’s usually a woman who wants a baby and not the man. It’s sad that he feels determined to have another baby, when she doesn’t want one. Maybe being honest would be the answer, or maybe then she would lose both of them (and the loss of Amy would be greater?). This short piece raises a lot of questions. Well done!

      • Thanks. I was trying to convey that the loss of the step daughter would be her greatest loss and that she felt responsibility for her step daughter, too.

      • I am really pleased you think it could be the beginning of a novel as these are characters I have been thinking about for a wee while. Thanks for reading.

      • Thanks for that really encouraging comment. I would like to write more about these characters.

  4. Pingback: WWIn: Wasps and Jam | beccaaudra

  5. Pingback: I fell in love with a wasp « Rebecca Dudley – Collected Stories

    • I thought this was a very sweet love story and I had no idea where it was going until the end. I love how you manage to make things so frivolous and yet so relative to everyday life. Keep going with it, I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    • I know I’m being a bit cheeky, but I actually prefer this shorter version! It’s beautiful and succinct, and if you read into it enough could convey that idea of the abuse in the background. It would only take a couple of words to weave that into this. Hmmm. Interesting how that happens sometimes, how meaning comes out when you start cutting things!

      • That’s a really interesting thought! Maybe I could make it a super short piece. Thanks for the suggestion, it’s not something I would’ve thought of myself! 🙂

    • Oh, I might have to agree with Sarah here, that short sentence says so much. But then again, I just read the whole piece and maybe I<m forcing things into it. Either way,it's a good story.

      • Thanks for your comments, Craig. As I said to Sarah, I would never have thought it could be so short, but maybe I could make it into micro fiction. It’s hard to know (and that’s why it’s sometimes hard to edit) whether the whole meaning is there because you know it’s there!

      • It’s just let me into your longer piece. I never knew computers could be fickle! Although I enjoyed the long piece I felt it needed a bit more work on it. I guessed the ending and was not sure about the line where she says ‘she never knew before but does now’. why would she say this, what had her sister done or said to make her think that? Still love your single sentence. If you make it into a much longer piece you will have all the time to explore the cauldron of emotions which probably in this family situation both before and after his death.

  6. OOps! Tried to hyperlink it to my blog, but couldn’t. Here it is…

    Shattered Memories

    I was only a child when I realised that my father, a large and silent man, loved my elder sister more. She was beautiful, with blonder hair than mine, and with darker eyes the colour of melting chocolate. I couldn’t blame him.

    He travelled a lot for work and when he was away my sister spent a lot of time with me. We played with dolls and had teddy bear’s picnics in the garden, but sometimes she retreated into her room and wouldn’t do anything but read, losing herself in someone else’s world.

    At his funeral, when we were both grown up with little girls of our own, she spat on the coffin as it was being lowered into the ground. I quickly pulled her away from the small crowd who were all looking at her aghast.
    “Izzie,” I said, “what are you doing?”
    “Good riddance!”
    “What?”
    “You know,” she said, looking over my shoulder at the countless graves behind me, “I never knew, not for sure, but now I do.”
    “Know what?”
    “That he never touched you the way he touched me.”
    “I…I’m sorry.”
    “Don’t be. I’m glad you didn’t know. That was the whole point.”

    I lay a hand on her shoulder, but her dark eyes remained dry. She’d already shed all the tears she possibly could over her childhood spent pretending and protecting. All the memories of my childhood lay shattered at my feet.
    L. Besley

    • Oh my gosh. This was so powerful. Even though I had an idea what was coming it still tugged on my heart strings nonetheless. I felt so much for both of the girls/women in this story. My favourite line was this the very last, where everything was perfectly and poignantly summed up.

    • This is powerful and succinct. I like the very last image; it conveys so much. I think the sisters’ relationship is very tender. Well done.

      • Thank you, Elaine. I certainly meant for it to be a tender relationship between the two sisters, so I’m pleased that worked!

  7. No shade of black will ever be deep enough to express the grief that I feel. My whole body is in grief. It aches. Sam was thinking to himself asthe man standing at the edge of the throng in the main room approached him.
    “Sorry for your loss.” He smiled apologetically.
    Sam was still processing the vivid images the intensely shiny black of the hearse, the clear grain of the wood and the globular drops of rain on the car.
    Each detail was telling his shocked mind- This is happening now, this is real.
    “Thank you.”
    A conversational hubbub bounced and swirled around their heads, causing the mourners to speak even louder to be heard. Sam waited for a sound to tumble through the house. Her laugh would normally pierce through such din and be heard above it, careless and hearty at the same time.
    “I’m Joe Shatter.”
    Sam didn’t hear his name above the noise but he didn’t wish to appear rude.
    “Pleased to meet you.”
    Sam realised what it was that he would miss the most about his Granny, the sound of her voice. He longed for it to transcend the murmur of the crowded room. Over the past two days, Sam had noticed that in the familiar sentences and sounds and rivalries there existed a huge hole.
    Her death was such a shock. She was never sick. Whenever she’d hear about anyone being sick she’d say “God I don’t know what’s wrong with ye at all. Ye are always sick.” She rang her daughter Elizabeth the night before she died, to say that she wouldn’t make it to the birthday party. “A chest infection.” she had said. “I’m only killed with all this coughing.”
    The doctor came to see her around twelve and she was fine. Elizabeth left her daughter’s birthday party and arrived in her mother’s to find her dead at three.

    “I was great friends with your mother.” Despite the intrusive clatter the man maintains a level of utterance suitable for conversation in a quiet room.
    “What?” Sam struggled to look interested despite the fact that he couldn’t care less.
    “I went to school with your mother.”
    “I’m Sam the eldest grandchild.” he repeated the sentence like a robot to any of the condolence wishers who wanted to introduce themselves. They normally stopped asking questions at that point but this guy was still hovering around trying to drag a conversation out of Sam.
    “You must be nearly twenty now?”
    “Yea nearly, I’m eighteen.”
    “It’s all so long ago now.” His voice trailed off.
    Sam didn’t have what it took to end or prolong the conversation so instead he reached for a sandwich from the table behind him. He took a bite and nodded at the man in front of him despite the fact that he couldn’t hear a word he was saying.
    He thought about hugging his Granny which he would never get a chance to do again. All he wanted was the smell of her embrace the soft powdery tenderness of it. The man in front of Sam was still mumbling like a bulldog chewing on a wasp. Spit it out he wanted to shout at him. This was time for him to think about his granny and remember being close to her while the memories were still fresh. He didn’t have time for small talk with strangers.
    The fresh bread of the remainder of the sandwich in his hand had started to turn back to dough he was squeezing it so tight in his fist. There was so much he never got to say to her. So many questions were left unanswered. He wanted to ask his Granny more about his birth mother Caroline. He wanted to ask her about the fight with her father that he read about in the diary he found in the attic. She was the only one who would talk about that kind of stuff Elizabeth, his Mam never would. She missed her sister Caroline too much.
    “So what are you going to do when you leave school Sam?”
    Sam told the man all about his interest in science; about the prizes he won at the Young Scientist Competition and about his plans to study at Trinity. The man listened intently, watching him closely with small pupils and soft pouches under his eyes.
    Suddenly Elizabeth appeared.
    “Sam I need you to give me a hand for a few minutes.” She gave the man Sam had been talking to a quick side glance that was so hostile that it singed the air around them. The man stood back ignoring Elizabeth’s presence.
    “It was a pleasure to meet you Sam.”
    Sam didn’t understand why his Mam Elizabeth was so rude. Manners were everything. He put it down to grief.
    That is until the next day it occurred to him. The man whose name he didn’t catch introduced himself as a friend of his mother. Sam had presumed he meant his adoptive mother, aunt Elizabeth his Mam. Now it was obvious he had been friends with Caroline his birth mother. He knew exactly who Sam was but Sam didn’t even know his name. How was he ever going to find him?

  8. Wednesday Write-in #13 for CAKE.shortandsweet

    Here’s my little piece. It’s my first time posting something.

    Prompts: shatter :: wasp :: fresh bread :: sorry :: singed

    Angela cringed from the sound of her mother’s glass swan statue shattering across the floor.
    “Sorry!” yelled Yita as she stormed through the kitchen.
    Next, the bread box with the fresh bread that Angela had just finished baking, joined the tiny fragments of glass on the ground. As the box landed, it opened, releasing a faint smell of the lightly singed pieces that had just been sliced moments ago.
    “Angi, I’m really sorry! I promise I’ll clean up!”
    Many other things shattered and peppered onto the floor for the next half an hour. Then, finally, Yita reached over the sink and closed the window. She took a deep breath and turned to look at her roommate. “Don’t look at me. It was the wasp!”
    All the colour had drained from Angela’s face and she stood, rooted to her spot, staring at her roommate.

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