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Archive for February, 2018

Sharing Creative Writing – Poetry Edition

If you read my last post, you’ll have seen I shared my first piece of writing probably since I was still in education. Well I’ve shared a short story, and now I’m doing the only thing harder: sharing my poetry. My insecurity around this is super really high so if you aren’t into poetry that is still very raw then I’m really sorry for this tangent of content. But this is important to me, as is mental health awareness and outreach, as is talking about science, and gender, and feminism. This blog might be a bit of a jack of all trades but that’s probably a good summary of who I am!

So here’s three that I had typed up from my writing book. Enjoy and please let me know what you think (if you’re gentle!)

 

Storm A’Coming

Weather alert, flooding warning
Thunder and lightning, weather storming
Sky outside bitter & grey
It must end soon. We pray
Rumble above and a flash of light
Clouds rolling faster, gods shout and fight
It darkens further, yet it’s early day
Animals restless to go out and play
I make my way slowly outside:
I dance in the storm
Cry in the rain
Lose myself
I refuse to hide.

Process

Cold blank nothing
Glaring whiteness
Cursor beating like a cursed heart
Write write write

On it blinks like a mockery
Hours wasted on “research”? Please
Social media, nothing nothing
Writers block, head in hands

Type type type
Write write write

Beats of a drum
Demanding, do it now
Work time now
Complete me

Life

Is there life in a graveyard?
I’m not trying to be funny, or witty
But why else erect stones and monuments
If not to draw out the living?

Some columns have fresh flowers
Cards and pictures lined up too
If nothing else they brighten up this space
Until they collapse and are washed away

In a graveyard of course there are trees
And grass and birds and insects
These lives don’t understand the rules and expected behaviours
Ivy pulling on stones, cracked, lying broken

Is this life surrounded by death?
I’d suggest rather the opposite
Though we will pass and what we know will pass
Life, whatever it is, will find a way

© Kathy Hadfield 2017-2018

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Sharing My Creative Writing For The First Time!

So I have done something that I find pretty scary: I shared my creative writing! Now I have to admit that I have been to a writing group but sharing within a small group of writing enthusiasts but with people I didn’t know is something I just find so excruciatingly difficult. I’m scared I come across as cliché, immature, or just plain bad. However,van amazing LGBTQIA+ writing group called The Wilde Ones started up where I live and I just had to give it a shot as I wanted to be part of a community again.

Now in this vein of trying to be ‘confident’ I thought I’d try some of my short stories and poetry on this blog as I like this space. I’m going to post my short story The Necklace (below) as it came 3rd in The Wilde Ones’ first ever writing contest and thought I’d take the plunge.

Let me know what you think! Can you recognise what I drew from in terms of inspiration? Can you guess what I’d been reading at the time of writing this? Ask whatever you like, but please be as kind and constructive as you can.

The Necklace

She told her to never put on the necklace.

It didn’t hit her immediately when she arrived home from work, though when looking back at this moment, memory has added a sense of dread and unease that was scarce felt at the time. After putting down her bag and coat, she headed straight for the kitchen and put on the kettle, as per her regular Monday to Friday routine. The only out of the ordinary thing was the large bouquet of flowers she’d picked up. Although they were to celebrate their one year anniversary at the weekend, the actual date was today, so she had picked up her favourite flowers, tulips, on the way home from work. The shock of violet was vibrant against the monochrome tissue paper wrapped around them.

“Olivia, want tea? Coffee? Livs?”

There was no response. She looked at her watch, thinking that it was unlike Livs to not be home by the time she arrived. It was at this moment she saw a mug of tea sat on the kitchen table. It was lukewarm to the touch. A running joke between the couple was about how she frequently forgot about her hot drinks, but Olivia? Never. She loved her drinks burning hot, and would refuse to drink it if it was even remotely cool. That was when she started to feel the first tingling of concern. She was often prone to overreaction but with the time, and the drink, no message…she was feeling rattled.

She started to head upstairs, flowers still in hand. Who’s to say she didn’t feel well, maybe she went for a lie down and fell asleep? As she reached the top of the stairs, she looked down the landing and stopped dead. Her own family portrait, in its antique frame was hanging at an angle.

Oh Olivia, no. I told you about this because I thought you could handle it! Thoughts continued to race but eventually the pounding at her temple downed them out completely.

With nervous sweat starting to gather at her hairline, heart in her throat, she strode towards the painting and looked behind it. Sam steeled herself against what she knew she would see, and opened the family safe. Empty.

The flowers dropped to the floor, never to be given.

She got out her phone as she walked towards the bedroom she shared with Olivia. Had shared. Walked, not ran, because she knew what she was about to find. Speed would do nothing to help, not now. She called an ambulance, gave the address, and said they might want to send the police, and hung up. Then, she selected her father’s number, who answered on the third ring.

“Hey Sam, everything OK? Your Mum and I are just sitting down to-“

“Dad. She found it.”

Olivia was lying crumpled on the floor of the bedroom. Her once beautiful, twinkling eyes were dull and wide open in terror. Raw and angry welts at her neck were clear even from the doorway. They were clearly fingernail gouges, desperation obvious despite Sam not being able to see the skin underneath her own nails. Sam knew the drill. The distress was clear on her Olivia’s face and the clawing would seem to indicate something stuck around the neck, though her throat lay bare. Again, Sam was unsurprised, though the repetition of events did nothing to ease the broken feeling in her heart. The necklace that Olivia, her Livs had found, ignored the warning, had tried on in front of the mirror, that damn necklace, Sam knew it would be back in the safe by morning. As if nothing had ever happened.

“Olivia found it Dad. I really thought she’d make it, that we’d make it. It’s our anniversary today, she should’ve been safe by now!”

“Not necessarily, love. When was the date, the time even, of the night when you kissed and decided to be together?”

Sam looked at her watch – that her early anniversary gift from Olivia, was still ticking, still alive when she was gone started to bring grief-induced rage until she saw the time. Rage retreated to be replaced by a growing numbness. 17:56

“6pm Dad. If she’d ignored it’s call just 5, 10 minutes  longer…” Her voice fades. The unspoken words clear as day.

“I’m so sorry sweetheart. There’s always next time, I’m sure that time they’ll pass.”

“Yes Dad. Of course. There’s always next time.”

She’d told her to never put on the necklace. She’d always told them.

 

© Kathy Hadfield 2017

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