Category Archives: words

Oranges, apples, bananas

I read an interview the other day. It was one of those ‘what do you usually eat?’ features, designed to encourage people to eat more healthily. The guy being interviewed scored a perfect 10. He was some sort of yoga teacher and clearly lived a life he loved – it wasn’t just his diet that was balanced (from what I could gather after reading one interview, that is) but his whole approach to life.

Photo credit: basketman at freedigitalphotos.net

Photo credit: basketman at freedigitalphotos.net

After reading his interview, to which I thought I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention, three words stuck in my head, ‘oranges, apples, bananas.’ It was simply him listing his preferred fruit intake but something about these words really stayed with me. What it the fact that these fruits were childhood staples? Because I liked the way the words sounded together? Or perhaps I was struck at how these simple words could sum up this perfectly balanced life…? I still don’t know. Sometimes words surprise me.

Oranges, apples, bananas…

What do these words mean to you?

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Pigeons and puddles (free write)

This is a free writing exercise, written after a visit to the local park with my son. Not sure what I will do with it, if anything, but thought I’d share this one as it did unlock me a bit and got me going on the novel again. Feedback/thoughts welcome!

Pigeons and puddles

The sun catches the buggy as we enter the park and dips into the puddles around the bandstand, leaving occasional rainbows behind. He pulls at his restraints. “Get out!” He shouts, his legs already obeying his command.

Set free, he lurches forward, running towards the solitary pigeon enjoying a muddy bath in the relative peace of the early afternoon. “Go ‘way!” Shouts the boy, and the startled bird takes flight, stopping just a few metres away, still on the bandstand.

The boy runs up the steps and is joined by a girl in a pink bandana. Together they chase the pigeon around in circles, giggling and flapping their ‘wings’ so hard I wonder that they too, might take flight. They run through a muddy puddle, jumping and shrieking delightedly as the water streaks up their legs.

Their joy bounces off the bandstand and ripples across the park. Some are irritated by it but other feel it, pulling at the child within and they turn towards the children to catch them, heads thrown back in unselfconscious laughter, sunshine making their teeth shine and the innocence of a childhood summer reflected back in their eyes.

100WCGU Week #50 – When it rains, it pours

This week’s prompt was to include the words: the rain turned the road into a river making the word count up to 108 altogether. If you’re interested, I tried to link this entry up to the Free Write Friday piece I wrote yesterday. Here are my 108 words:

Rain
It was raining on the day she left. I had left work early and bought her flowers on the way home. This romantic gesture was long overdue. I don’t know why it took me so long to realise how lucky I was to have her. The note she left was simple,  ‘I just can’t do this anymore. Sorry.’ My gesture was too little, too late. I walked out into the road, tears streaming down my face along with the rain as it grew heavier. I sat down and the rain turned the road into a river, creeping higher and higher until I was submerged. There, I found peace.

If this is your first time here, and you’re wondering what 100 WCGU is all about, click on the image above for more information and to read other interpretations of this week’s prompt.

Happy New Year!

It’s the end of another year already. 2010 seems to have just flown by, and yet so much has happened!

If you have been reading my blog since I started (if you have, do let me know – I’d be impressed and extremely flattered!), you may remember my post ‘End of the Noughties from December 2009. In it I mentioned that instead of writing a long post about the past year, I had been over to Meg Pickard’s blog and taken part in her post about the Mayfly project.

Every year from 2000 to 2009 Meg asked her readers to look back over the previous year, and then sum it up. In 24 words. I looked for Meg’s Mayfly project this year but couldn’t find it (if anyone else has come across it, please let me know so that I can post over there again!) but I loved the idea of summing up the year in 24 words so here goes:

Wedding. Malaysia. Marriage. Completing a poetry collection. Career shift towards writing and coaching. Morning sickness. Baby bump. Learning to drive (finally). Believing. Doing. Being.

As I said, so much has happened for me this year! If you are interested in reading my poetry collection, I will be offering this as a free download from my blog next week so look out for it.

So – How was 2010 for you..? If you think you can sum it up in 24 words, do give it a go! If you find that word count a bit restrictive (it is a good way to focus on what was most important for you but it’s not easy!), please feel free to comment below in as many of as few words as you’d like to use.

Finally, whatever you are doing tonight, I hope that your 2011 is everything you hope for!

It’s on the tip of my tongue…

…except it isn’t though, is it?  There I am chatting away, when I find I have to stop suddenly, to try and recall the word I need to use.  It’s a word I use all the time, a simple word, and I know that I know the word, but it completely escapes me.  I try tapping the tip of my tongue against the roof of my mouth, in case the word is there, and can be transferred upwards to my brain my osmosis, but that doesn’t work.  Then my friend, who has been listening carefully, asks ‘…um, is the word you’re searching for… ‘appointment’ or something similar…?’  Yes.  Yes it is, and I feel like a fool.  It would have come to me eventually, I know this, and yet I find these moments immensely frustrating.

Take yesterday, I was discussing the plot of Inception with someone, and trying to explain why the sedative was necessary (I would do into more detail here, but I’m mindful of including spoilers for those who haven’t seen the film), only I couldn’t remember the word ‘sedative.’  I tried to explain ‘…you know, it’s that thing, the thing makes them stay asleep!’  I tried to explain it a number of different ways, getting more and more frustrated the more I tried.  I gave up in the end, and the word came to me in the middle of the night.  I woke up, said ‘Oh yes, it’s sedative,’ to no-one in particular, and promptly went back to sleep.  Later, I found I had written it down too, but I don’t remember doing that.

I just wanted to share my frustration with this phenomenon, which for me, has always been a fairly regular occurrence, and I am hoping that I’m not the only one!  Do you ever find yourself forgetting simple words when talking or writing, even though you know that you know them…?

Hopscotch

I was talking with a friend recently, about childhood games and words we like.  Well, actually, she was talking about childhood games and I was talking about words I like.  We met somewhere in the middle, over hopscotch.

I couldn’t remember how to play hopscotch, and I’m not sure she could either.  Although she insisted it was easy, ‘You just throw the stone and hop,’ I was sure there was more to it than that, however, she insisted it really was that simple.  I guess if she’s right (I checked, she is*), then hopscotch would make a good metaphor for life – we just throw our stones and hope for the best.  Anyway, I digress.

So, I was talking about the word hopscotch, I like the sound of it.  To me, it kind of sounds just right  for what it describes.  The word itself conjures up images of childish games and carefree summers spent playing on the street with perhaps just some chalk and maybe a skipping rope.  Maybe it’s actually that ‘sk’ sounds that does it – skipping, scooters, skittles, skittish…  See what I mean?  It’s definitely a playful word and that’s what I like about it.

What playful words do you like, and why?

*kind of.  There is a little more to it, but not much…

Word of the Year 2009

Dear Readers,

I’ve taken a bit of a break this month, as you may have noticed, taking some time to catch up with friends over the holiday season because for me, that’s what this time of year is all about. 

This season is about reconnecting with those I love, so when I read that the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year for 2009 was ‘unfriend,’ I was, well, disappointed.  Not by the fact that we have verbed a noun, that’s nothing new (‘google,’ anyone?), and doesn’t offend, but by the fact that 2009’s defining word is one that means cutting ties with friends (albeit online, on facebook, and perhaps only temporarily… but still).

So, I got to thinking about my friends, and what they are to me.  Friendships cannot be measured, and each relationship I have is different, but they are themes that apply to all of my friends.  I had started with a list (yes that’s right, I am a ‘list’ person. I have come to terms with this and you may see more lists here, in future) of what my friendships are not, e.g. My friends are not hateful, selfish, or likely to swim in my tears…  Then I thought, ‘Hold on, I’ve got this all wrong.’  So, here’s a list of what/who my friends are, which is much more rewarding to write:

My People:

Celebrate my successes

Commiserate my failures and continue to love me

Are interesting and interested in me

Are supportive

Have wide shoulders and endless tissues

Strong enough to hold me up when I stumble

Intuitive enough to have their arms out to catch me before I realise I’m about to fall

Know when I need them… And when I need to be alone

Inspire me

Reflect my light and brighten my dark

Love me

And so much more…

 

What’s your response to 2009’s word of the year?