“Me” Time

I’m absolutely thrilled! The Drabble has accepted my story “‘Me’ time”. This is my first publication by a third party.
A big thank you to The Drabble!

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By Penny Gadd

Jane treasured this time away from her daily routine.

She climbed the path briskly, skidding on pebbles left by the rain running through the scrub. The wind, and the bleakness, and the loneliness, scoured away the mask she’d worn during the day. Her face relaxed into a half-smile. She thought with tenderness of her children, without the distraction of needing to deal immediately with their problems.
It was her “me” time. She could be herself.

She reached the summit, glanced at her watch and sighed. It was time to go home. Time to go back to being “George” and “Daddy.”

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One Year Old!

I’ve just realised that it is exactly one year since I created this blog, Autumn Leaves!

Thank you to everybody who has read it, commented on posts, and followed me.  I’d particularly like to thank Rochelle, Joshua and Karen for providing prompts for the flash fiction challenges ‘Friday Fictioneers’ and ‘What Pegman Saw’.

Autumn Leaves first birthday 171107

During the last twelve months, I have blogged 166 posts, which have received over 6,500 views, with 173 people following the blog. It’s been read by people from 63 different countries, something I find almost unbelievable!

To celebrate, here are links to three of my favourite posts

‘Me’ time, a 100 word piece of flash fiction with a twist that surprised everybody. https://pennygadd51.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/friday-fictioneers-me-time/

Persistence of Vision, a poem celebrating my wife after 42 years of happy marriage.

https://pennygadd51.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/poem-persistence-of-vision/

A heavy bag, which is an allegory in the form of a short story

https://pennygadd51.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/a-heavy-bag/

Next year

So, what shall I do in the next twelve months?

I plan to spend three hours every day working on my novel.

I intend to take a creative writing course.

I shall continue to participate in at least one flash fiction challenge – they’ve been very helpful for improving my writing skills.

Finally

Thank you all so very much for supporting my efforts to become a better writer; and thank you for the friendship that has been shared so freely!

 

Autumn Leaves – a short break

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Dear fellow bloggers, especially those kind folk who follow my blog,

I must apologise for taking little (if any) part in Friday Fictioneers and Pegman this week. I’ve had a cataract operation and, as I’m pretty presbyopic, although my distance vision is good, I don’t yet have any spectacles for close vision. So I can’t read the standard screen, and I am only able to type by touch. Hopefully, I shall have some adequate specs by Friday, but I can’t be sure.

So, please excuse me not reading and commenting (I shall try to write something – I can’t bear not to write!)

Thank you for your forbearance!

Penny

 

I Awaken

Jerry, The Backyard Poet, writes about daily life. He writes about laughter, tears, falling leaves, and above all the wonderful mystery of enduring human love. He writes about those everyday matters that we can so easily undervalue; those everyday matters that are, ultimately, the most important things in the world. “I awaken” is a short, lyrical poem that shows his work at its simplest and loveliest.

Jerry Brotherton

To a summer sun rising into the dawn

To warm my soul with its fiery blaze

To an autumn wind plucking jewel colored leaves

And floating them through the morning haze

To a winter’s chill that pushes you close

My arm falls across your lilting breast

To spring’s flowery scent that lifts my heart

To remind me how my life is blessed

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Business As Usual

I think this is a beautiful poem, and a brave one too. Its subject is a nameless woman, a single mother who has to live as a sex worker in order to feed her child. It brings her joys, her sadness at what she has to do, her resignation in the face of brutality, vividly to life. I was very moved by it. I hope you are too.

V i a k a t

smudged lipstick

(Image Source: Pinterest)

You stand in front of the mirror,
The pressure cooker hisses
Today you boiled rice and potatoes with some ghee.
Guddu loves ghee.
He sleeps on the bed,
His thumb between his milk teeth
Two of those broken.
You want to kiss his lips.
Those feel like sunshine and bird feathers,
And everything that is pure.
Instead, you look at the mirror,
You sigh.
You put on a bindi
And the sindoor on the parting between your hair.
The sindoor has been there since Guddu was born.
Long, long after Guddu’s father was gone.

And yet, this imaginary husband
Makes you feel safer than he ever could.
You put on the lipstick.
Bright pink. Lakmé.
The man last night had gifted.
He works as a salesman in a cosmetics shop.
Some of them gave gifts,
Some left scars.
You dab some powder on your face,
More…

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Mother love

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story with a beginning, middle and end in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. This story complements the one I published last Wednesday

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Photoprompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Mother love

“I’m worried about Deborah. I want to visit her today.” Jennifer tugged the silken peignoir tighter around her bony shoulders.

Charles sighed.

“She has to grow up sometime, darling.”

“You know she doesn’t always eat properly.”

It was only a fifty mile drive.

The lift was broken, so they had four flights of stairs to climb. Jennifer wrinkled her nose at the smell outside her daughter’s flat.

Deborah, stick-thin, in crumpled clothes and with matted hair, opened the door and peered out. She had a look of exaltation, which swiftly faded.

“Mum! You know I don’t like you coming here!”

Holiday – blogging schedule

Well, it’s time for some guaranteed hot sunshine day after day, so tomorrow I fly out to Greece. I shall be staying in a small, beautiful old city called Nauplio (pronounced Nafplio) and making day trips to Mycenae, Epidauros (for a performance at the ancient theatre), Nemea, Argos, and doubtless other places. I shall also be drinking ouzo, and enjoying Greek food.dsc00433

If anybody wants me, I’ll be under the plane tree in the photograph!

I shall post the final instalment of “At first sight” on Saturday 15th July, for those loyal readers who have been following the serial!

All my other blog posts are likely to be related to my holiday. They’ll mostly be written for my own pleasure, as a record.

I may do “Friday Fictioneers” (well, it’s addictive, isn’t it?)

I shall be back to my usual schedule by Tuesday 1st August! 

 

Intrusive Thoughts

My guest post today is a piece of humorous flash fiction titled “Intrusive thoughts”. The writer’s name “Flash 365” comes from a challenge he set himself to publish a piece of fiction every day for a year. I like his writing because it shows a wry sense of humour, a keen eye for the everyday absurd, and a beautiful ear for dialogue and its associated subtext. Plus, it makes me laugh!

Flash-365

thoughts

I reach for a cigarette, almost burning myself on my already lit cigarette. I am bored. With murderous frustration, I snuff out the lit one and stand up.

“I’m going to get a coffee!” I call to N.

“You just got back from getting a coffee,” he reminds me.

I pretend not to hear him. The shop isn’t far. I smoke half a cigarette on the way. The sun is bitchy today. I forgot my sunglasses. The shop is small. A woman–no, girl–is the only one in line. I wait. The barista chats away to her as she swirls cappuccino foam artfully atop a bit of harsh coffee.

I scratch one finger with another.

Finally, the coffee is placed in front of the not-woman. She says thank you. I open my mouth in preparation. Only to find, they are still chatting. The not-woman is opening a packet of sugar with…

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I protest #InternationalChildrensDay

On Thursday, we in the UK have a chance to vote for a more compassionate society. Do please read the pledges of the various parties with a view to greater compassion and justice, both in this country and abroad. And then vote for the party that you think most likely to try to bring about change.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I protest.

I protest against the poverty and hunger in which so many children are forced to live by failing societies where greed is an economic norm. In the UK, alone, one in four children officially live in poverty… yet it is relative poverty. In many countries, poverty is the norm and means utter deprivation of even the most basic necessities. Every ten seconds, a child dies from hunger and its consequences. Almost nine hundred children die every day because they have no access to clean water.

I protest against the denial of medical care to any child. Every year, over 13 million children less than 5 years die from illnesses which could have been avoided or treated.

I protest against eager minds denied education in a world where so many have access to so much. Over a hundred million children, the adults of our own future, are growing…

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New Poem: ‘I Think’

Joe Solo (for those who don’t know) is a musician and poet with a burning commitment to social justice, and a great deal of compassion. If you have the chance to go to one of his gigs, do go – he’s good!

Joe Solo

Hope Not Hate
I think of the mother
Whose baby has gone
I think of the father
Who’s trying to be strong
I think of the surgeon
Who toiled through the night
And the nurse holding tears back
Til the moment was right
I think of the door
Opened wide to the world
Of the stranger whose words
Calmed a scared little girl
I think of the taxi cab
Waiving the fares
To reunite families
In a city that cares
I think of the kettle
That worked overtime
For emergency services
On the front line
I think of the Vigil
Every race, colour, creed
Of how shrapnel is colourblind
How it’s Red we all bleed
I think of the candles
They lit in the square
Of the queues at the blood bank
And the lives saved in there
I think of one homeless man’s
Ocean of calm
As he cradled a woman
Who…

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