FFfAW : The girl who wept herself away

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Maria with Doodles and Scribbles. Thank you Maria!


By the burn she’d sit day after weeping day, shawl pulled tight over bun and bonnet.

The old women – sooty jackdaws on pin legs – took turns to scold her. ‘D’ya think you’re the first? D’ya think y’all be the last? Life is naught but strife.’

Mother came, arms crossed tight as barrel hoops. ‘I could drench the moors o’er my losses,’ she said. ‘Pull up your boots or you’ll settle where you sit and wither to a stump.’

Brother came with hands of bark to haul and maul the lass away home, but still she wept, snatching at the foamy water for the face gone on before.

Then the frosts fell, the burn turned bristly with ice, salting her lashes, cracking on her lips.

When the thaw came she melted too. They found her shawl, the bonnie bonnet now paled, silk orange blossom twisted in the band.

A bloom for love eternal, faded.


Written for Priceless Joy’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. See here to join in and to read the other stories.


The Big 5 – 0 – 0

Gold star on red and blue background

Image : Pixabay


Well, my dears I’ve been looking at my stats and noticed something pretty big has happened.

A few posts ago I passed the big 500 mark here on WordPress.

In my twenty two months of blogging I have written, proofed and posted just over 500 posts, much of it nonsense rambling – a bit like this post actually – the rest fiction.

I’ve explored words, explored worlds, from fantasy to sci-fi, to historical and domestic with a bit of creepy horror, blood and guts thrown in.

It’s a bit of a landmark, whichever way you look at it.

It means – at a very rough estimate – I’ve written around 150,000 words on here. Both a good, lovely thing and some might think a bad thing, as if I’d used the same time writing novels, I would have stopped prevaricating and finished the current book by now.

Still, I wanted to take time out to say Ta Muchly, because without people to read my writing, to be positive and encouraging, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have posted so much and so often.

Thanks all and you never know, maybe one day I’ll be here celebrating my thousandth post.




WordPress annual reports: useful or a waste of good pixels?


Image: Pixabay


A New Year is traditionally a time for taking stock, for looking past the glittery tunnel of Christmas, seeing the good and the bad of the last 12 months, of what went right and what wrong. And for planning for the year ahead, of course.

I don’t do resolutions as such, being as I am, easily depressed by my own failure. Life throws up plenty of opportunities to do this every year, week, day, without me giving it ammunition by promising to give up things I love to do, eat or drink. No hair shirt for me, please.

I had one of those WordPress annual report thingies for 2015, as I’m sure you all did, comparing my traffic to the contents of subway trains – a concept inspired to transform the blank abstract stats into something recognisably human.

My blog carried about 4 subway train’s worth, apparently – and not a single passenger wiped their feet, dirty devils.

Most of my visitors were from the US: I downloaded over 200 photos: the post with the most comments was the snappily titled Nothing says Christmas like Rubber Eyeballs : the most viewed, This is a Happy House, illustrated by my alter ego, Na the Slayer, above. Gorgeous, ain’t I?

The question I want to ask you, my fellow wanderers around the highways and byways of the blogging community is:

did you read your report? And if so, did you find it useful? In what possible way can or will it influence your future blogging?

You see, much as I liked seeing what I’ve achieved over my first year, I don’t actually know what I can do with all of this info.

Answers on a postcard, please.

Alernatively, do post your views below. I’m intrigued to hear what you think.

Dear Deirdre: Twitter Virgin seeks advice on whether to stray

Other small, chirpy blue bired are available Image: Pixabay

Other small, chirpily irritating blue birds are available
Image: Pixabay

Dear Deirdre,

I don’t usually write to Agony Aunts – their trite, condescending, outmoded and ill-conceived advice usually has me ranting in a very special ‘Mummy’s about to have a coronary’ sort of way I usually reserve for politicians and anything linked to Rupert Murdoch no offence. But I’m in a quandry and I really need your help.

First let me explain.

Blogging was my first social media love. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into the relationship – regular posts, commenting on other blogs, trying to do whatever I can to keep my stats healthy – and its repaid me with introductions to other bloggers and writers and to worlds and experiences I might never have known. Blogging has broadened my horizons and I adore it for that.

I just want to make it clear, I love my Blog and would never dream of leaving it for other social media.

In the beginning it was lovely, each new ‘like’ and ‘follower’ was wonderful and I didn’t look for anything else. But even though I was happy, something inside me craved more. I soon began to wander.

The truth is, I’ve been flirting with Facebook for some time. It’s just a casual thing really. Okay, so I get a lot of love from it, considering the little effort I put into the relationship – I send it posts, but they’re all links passed on from my blog, sloppy seconds if you will. It’s not that I’m ungrateful to Facebook, but there’s only so many photos of other people’s kids in fairy costumes you can see before you start to get a little jaded. I guess Facebook just shows me that I don’t have much of a life and who wants to be reminded of that everyday?

I want to keep Facebook, but I want to stray further, to something a bit more risky – something dangerous.

I’ve been thinking of it for some while, but the idea scares me. What if I get in too deep? What if I attract the kind of attention that’s cruel and cutting and wants me to do things I’m unprepared for? Yet still, the thought is exilharating and I wasn’t sure I could resist much longer. Then the other day, I finally did it.

I joined Twitter.

The idea of being amongst all of those people, of being exposed, of being a little out of control – of doing something so out of my comfort zone – is exciting and terrifying at the same time. So far, I’ve only signed up, but already, Twitter is bombarding me with emails – why haven’t I Tweeted yet? Do I even know how?

I thought being on Twitter would spice up my Blogging relationship, but I’m worried it’ll just leave me feeling dirty and used. 

Deirdre, please help me. I don’t know which way to turn.


Virgin Tweeter.

P.S. If I decide to indulge in full blown Tweeting, will I need a Safe Word? 

Well, Deirdre’s been useless.

In her reply, she kept going on about contraception and respecting yourself when what I really wanted to know was as a writer/blogger, is Twitter a useful way to connect with potential readers?

Is there an online course a la WordPress’s Blogging 101 I can go on? The instructions I’ve read in the Twitter ‘Help’ section read like stereo instructions translated from Mandarin into English, then into Korean and back into English- indecipherable.

And is putting up with the inevitable river of hate and bile worth it?

Tell me what you think.