Writing Challenge #7

The Unfortunate Case of Eliza Fenning

I have been researching for hours trying to decide which historic crime would be my focal point for this challenge. And let me tell you, there are too many to count, but out of all the terrible things I read there was one story that stuck with me. In 1815 Eliza Fenning, a cook for the Turner family, was accused of attempted murder and was hanged for her crime. However there was very little supporting evidence, supposedly she had put arsenic in the dumplings she served the family for dinner, which she herself ate. Those who ate the dumplings were all horrendously ill, yet recovered. One of the family members tested the bowl the dumplings were made in, which showed positive for arsenic. Eliza had shown no contempt towards the Turner family in the previous weeks leading up to the incident and thus had no motive. There were many people who held the opinion that she was innocent and wrongly accused. If you would like to read the archived documents and letters then you can right here.

So following from that information here is my challenge, enjoy.

Her Unhappy Case

I am unfortunate young female,

Read the confessions,

See in my own hand-writing

Price: one shilling.

Decide your judgement

But I have already

Suffered the sentence of the law.

I swung for the crime

My fingers never partook

My mind never fathomed,

An ugly seed,

Flat, black, and heavy,

Spread poison

But never claimed

A soul – but mine.

Let me haunt,

Hear my plea:

“I am innocent,

Indeed I am.”

For I pay for the crime

Of another man.

That took quite a while to get all the facts, props to authors that base their books off of historic crimes, I did just a snippet of the research they have to do!

And with that I leave you,

TTFN

-HB

Writing Challenge #6

Tea Time

Evening all, it is Friday once again, I swear it comes around faster each week. I’ve been a tad under the weather this week which has stopped me from my usual gym sessions and so I’ve been cooped up on the sofa, blanket wrapped and full of tea, working away on my laptop.

And though many would see this as favourable, I get a tad restless and have been going a bit stir crazy these past few days. Also, I somehow managed to forget about this blog post, so I apologise about it being a tad rushed.

Before we begin I recommend you put the kettle on, and make yourself a cuppa.

All Time Favourite

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the 4th annual Superior Beverage Ball, I want to thank you all for coming and please enjoy the night!” the Earl declared, he stood proud, his shoulders pulled back to push his chest out, like a mating bird. He’d been liberal with the bergamot tonight, it’s floral notes lingered around him in a 5 foot radius. He’d hoped the sweet scent would entice the Lady Grey, so probably applied more than was necessary.
The Earl scoped the room, it was abuzz, everyone had made an appearance for appearances sake, of course. Many of the guests detested each other, the blend, overall, was disgusting, and yet they still attended mainly so that they could be in for a chance of winning the title of All Time Favourite. The night bubbled on and chatter swirled the room on taffeta skirts and silk suits. All were dressed decadently to highlight their most attractive features, Gyokuro wore a floor length jade kimono that dipped at the back to reveal the pattern in white paint on her pale skin; Narcissus was decked out in a sooty grey suit which complemented the rich tones in his sun-kissed skin; and though there were many rare and beautiful candidates for the award there was one who was a shoe in: Camellia.
Camellia dressed the same each year, a knee length black dress, her black hair tied in a conservative bun, complementing her milky skin. She was beautiful in the conventional way, she was subtle, never overpowering and was liked by all. The Earl liked to label her as unoffensive, which was accurate in everyone’s opinion.
The clock struck 8, time for the big reveal. The Earl cleared his throat, “May I have your attention please,” the room settled and a simmer of excitement arose. “It is time for the main event, in this envelope I have the name of Britain’s All Time Favourite, though all of you were fantastic candidates the winner is…” The Earl paused for dramatic effect as he opened the envelope, “Camellia.” A slow clap flooded the room, Camellia gave a small smile to the crowd and shook The Earls hand. “Congratulations Camellia, again, four years in a row, that’s really something.” The Earl had hoped that this would be his year but somewhere inside him he had always known that the masses would choose Camellia over him any day, he took his defeat with a pinch of sugar and told himself that next year he would try again.

I’m all tea’d out now! I hope you like my unusual take on a tea themed tale. If any of you are wondering who Camellia is then let me tell you:  Camellia sinensis  is the shrub that black tea leaves grow on. So I named our unoffensive dame Camellia. I’m more of an Earl Grey girl myself but the masses tend to agree that black tea is best. Ah well.

Now then, at that I’m going to go to bed.

TTFN

-HB

It’s all about Tea

Something’s Brewing …

Lately I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with tea, the different leaves, where the different types originate from and how specific blends create such soothing elixirs. In Britain there isn’t much that can’t be solved by putting the kettle on and sitting down to a cup of tea, and though we are famed for our love of it, we’re not particularly adventurous in our flavours. Herbal teas are usual deemed too fancy or flowery and so many will stick to their builders brew. Frankly, this is a massive shame, tea leaves are incredibly versatile and specific blends can aid your health in various ways. My love of tea grew during my time in Japan, all the convenience stores stocked shelves upon shelves of various teas, iced, hot and tea bags. Granted, some were much better than others but the sheer choice was a luxury, if you go into a corner shop in Britain there are very few teas available.

I’m currently interested in blending my own tea and experimenting with flavours, and all this talk of tea inspired my weekly challenge. This week I will be writing a short piece of fiction with tea as the main theme.

I’m going to go make a cuppa whilst I brew over some ideas.

TTFN

-HB

Writing Challenge #5

Escaping my Universe

Currently I feel as though I am trapped in a vortex that is on a never ending repeat. I’m not sure where I feel most comfortable and then I feel guilty for wanting to be somewhere else. It’s a never ending cycle, of feeling uprooted and aimless. I need to set my feet on soil that will keep me sane, and I’m not sure if that’s where I am currently. My past has been speckled with issues due to my mental health and the minute I feel like I’m in a good place it dips again. This time I have currently, that I needed to focus on myself, has been stolen away, I wanted to put everything I had into my future job prospects and now I feel as though I’m in a snow-globe, every time I try to catch a snowflake someone shakes it. I have always had a project, volunteer work or a job, I’m not used to this sensation of having all the passion but no opportunity, it makes my muscles twitch. All I want right now is to go back in time to the place where I was the happiest, but we all know that won’t happen unless someone is willing to build me a time machine. So I will escape my universe through words, bury myself beneath them until the storm clears and it’s safe again.

Rant over, I apologise, moving on to this weeks challenge!

I have completed the Shadorma and must say I really enjoy forms that have specific syllabic rules, the method of counting things out seems to soothe me (which was greatly needed this week) So here it is:

Universe on my Nails

Ten digits
pale pebbles ready
for a change.
The abyss:
Neptune notes in inky blue,
the first to arrive.

I brought smooth
midnight seashells to
my peach lips,
ready now,
for a sprinkling of pearly
white constellations.

At least I can have the universe on my nails when I feel lost and in pain, a chance to escape and stare at the stars.

TTFN

-HB

 

A Sudden Influx

Getting back on track

Last week was a whirlwind of emotions and various challenges, and unfortunately not of the written variety. However I am now inundated with work, applications and of course writing. I have a couple of deadlines to meet and various forms to fill out but I am thrilled to have projects which I can set my mind on, I finally feel as though I am getting back on track with my goals after a small hiccup. And, on top of all of this, I have been setting myself goals to apply for various writing competitions, so far I’ve applied to 3, but hope to apply to many more. I’ll keep you updated on what becomes of this endeavour.

I am also, once again. sticking to my blogging schedule, and today I will reveal this week’s challenge! I wanted to do a poem this week, as they are my favourite and I am in need of some comfort writing. Anyway, the poetic form I will be tackling is the Shadorma, it apparently has Spanish origin and sticks to a strict syllabic form, in a similar way to a haiku. Each stanza consists of 6 lines and follows the pattern of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables. I chose the Shadorma as it’s not a form I’m familiar with and I love the chance to experiment.

So that’s all for now, check back in on Friday to read my Shadorma.

TTFN

-HB

Writing Challenge #4

My 1 day challenge!

My, my that was a rush and a half! But fear not, I have managed to complete something. It’s a bit odd and rough around the edges (a little like myself) but it is what it is! Unfortunately it doesn’t have a title, so any ideas would be much appreciated!

Enjoy:

Zaphod stared at him as if he expected a cuckoo to leap out of his forehead on a small spring.

“I just think we should give them some sort of faith,” Ajax reasoned.

“Faith will give them a purpose and comfort! I preferred our original plan, keep them guessing!” Zaphod replied, clearly against his brother’s last minute changes. The boys sat either side of their creation.

“You would just prefer that they stumble around in eternal confusion at their own existence!” Ajax raised his eyebrows and smirked at Zaphod.

Zaphod laughed, “I thought that was what we both wanted! You have to agree it is the perfect torture.” Ajax considered this for a while. The past worlds they had created were always pleasant, the beings prospered and, although that was somewhat satisfying for a while, it had always been relatively boring. This was their 5,976,269th box world, and they’d decided at the beginning that it was going to be different this time.

“You do present a valid point. But I do fear it’ll get tedious for us, as omnipresent voyeurs. Constantly watching them flit around aimlessly, it’ll be more pitiful than the time we created those Borfgulls, do you remember?”

Zaphod’s nose crinkled, “Ugh, to this time they still make me disgusted and yet remorseful at once.”

“Exactly, I mean what were we thinking? No eyes, one functioning limb and the desire to transcend into immortal spirits yet without a functioning brain. Really, we should have seen that one failing from the get go!” Ajax pulled down another clear box from above his head. This one had a large red cross on it, he was about to open it when Zaphod put his hand out in protest.

“You don’t have to prove your point, I get it, just don’t subject me to viewing our past failures!”

Zaphod paused for a while, his head down, Ajax wondered if he was swallowing his own vomit at the idea of the Borfgulls, they always managed to provoke such a physical revulsion in him. “Okay, let me hear your proposition.”

Ajax grinned, silently celebrating this small victory over his brother, “So if we just plant the idea at first, that someone is watching, you know create a bit of paranoia in a few. Then as time progresses we slip thoughts into their heads of opposing almighty beings that dictates their lives. They choose which they want to believe in and then, because of their involuntary violent nature they will become resentful towards those who chose the opposing deity. From that point on I assure you, they will terrorise each other in a far superior way than we ever could.” Ajax beamed.

Zaphod nodded slowly, he stared into the open box in front of them. The plan seemed feasible in just a few small adjustments, and he did enjoy it when the beings they created tormented each other. He still felt as though something were missing from the equation though.

“I’ll accept the changes if we can add natural disasters and non-believers into the mix.” Zaphod stated. Ajax considered this and in quick agreement nodded. They shook hands and Ajax plucked a seed from his own mouth and Zaphod did the same. They dropped the seeds into the box.

“Well that’s the final element added, would you like to do the honours?” Ajax asked.

“With pleasure!” Zaphod answered. He closed the box and proceeded to shake it violently until a small explosion could be heard and a kaleidoscope of colours shone from within the box.

 

Again, apologies for the lack of updates this week, two in one day is probably more than you signed up for but I’m sure you’re delighted non the less. Well until next time!

TTFN

-HB

A little late…

Life gets in the way

This week I haven’t kept to my blogging plan. It seems life (and a cold) caused a bit of disruption to my schedule this week. But what can we do? I’ve been working on a children’s story, which is approximately 1/2 written and barely illustrated. I’ve been doing lots of research for various projects, and saw the most recent Thor film (which was definitely a welcome break). To top off a busy week, I’ve come down with a cold (cue the self-pity and sniffling) which, although many assume is not the end of the world, seems to have rendered my brain practically useless. Alas I prosper on.

Therefore, today I am going to do a special weekly challenge!

I actually found the inspiration for this challenge on Pinterest which led me to Spinning Jenni. The idea of this weeks challenge is to go to page 51 of the closest book to you and use the first line as the opening of your scene.

This immediately appealed to me as the closest book to me is “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” by Douglas Adams. You can imagine my excitement. I picked up my browning second hand copy and as I flicked through the pages that old book smell managed to waft up to my blocked nose (which is extremely impressive). When I reached page 51 I was not disappointed, the first line of the page is:

“Zaphod stared at him as if he expected a cuckoo to leap out of his forehead on a small spring.” 

And so, today I will attempt to write a short excerpt with the above as the opening line. I’m giving myself until 10pm.

Wish me luck!

TTFN

-HB