Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The envelope

*Rough Draft* For my creative writing class, we were given 5 words (Green, Envelope, Drawer, waited and curious) and asked to construct a story within 15 minutes... this was my attempt.

The Envelope

Standing beside the stage door of the Olympia Theatre, Louise shivered wearing her Husbands black jacket, woolly green hat and matching gloves. The weather forecast that morning has said it would be cold and they weren't wrong. The matinee had ended ten minutes ago and she stood alone by the doorway which was lit up by an exit only fluorescent sign. It was coming up to 5pm and already quite dark but having made the journey up from Portlaoise that morning, she was going to wait by the door until it opened. 

The doorknob rattled and Louise stood back waiting for the door to open out but no-one did. She peered behind her, seeing the main road street lights cast shadows down the alley and took a closer look at the graffiti tag on the wall beside her which made absolute no sense, but the same could be said about impulsive journey up to Dublin today.

Louise pulled an envelope from her pocket, smoothing out any new wrinkles; looking intently at the already opened envelope, focusing on the words 'For my Daughter' which were clearly marked in black ink and signed off with a dot just like her Mam always did. The envelope had been found in her Mam's bedroom, in the bottom drawer of her wardrobe when cleaning out her belongings two weeks ago after the funeral. 

A raindrop on the envelope makes Louise look up, bringing her back to reality; A raindrop evolving into a drizzle of rain prompting her to move closer to the stage door, taking a step up to try get some shelter under the no-exit sign, her jacket and hat no longer a defence when the rain becomes a sudden downpour. The envelope she holds becomes damp and the words in ink begins to double up becoming an indecipherable mess. The now crumpled letter is stuffed into her pocket and she pleads silently that the doorway opens soon so she can give this letter to its intended owner.

When she had found the envelope bearing the words "For my Daughter"; She had assumed the letter it contained was for her and would possibly be a heartfelt letter from the grave with perhaps instructions for her belongings or even a declaration of motherly love but the letter was not intended for her, it was for her older sister; a sister she was unaware up to then even existed. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Turning 40

Creative Writing Class: "Woman"

I've been instructed to write whatever came to mind with one word given: 'Woman'

I may not look it, but I recently turned 40; it’s a birthday that over the last few months that has made me ponder and reflect and I'm not really sure why. 

I'm a 40 year old Woman.... and even just saying these words out loud just makes me pause a second or two. I'm 40 years of age... bloody hell. 

When I think of someone celebrating their 40th, I instantly remember my own Mam's birthday when I was 13 years old. She celebrated it at home in our not so very big sitting room. I had sat awkwardly in the corner most of the night cradling my dog Nikki, a nervous Bichon Frise we'd found wandering in the phoenix park; she was half blind, limped with arthritis and clung to me like a limpet never leaving my side. She had never seen our sitting room so full, and with me, watched the hordes of family members and friends through a mountain of cigarette smoke in our sitting room quickly getting drunk by the Vodka and Gin which was being passed around each family member like a new-born addition to the family.  

My Aunt Anne repeating to any new person who would listen to her, "Jaysus, you wouldn’t get these measures in a pub". I sat bemused watching the evening unfold, Nikki fast asleep in my lap although occasionally getting woken when a drunken Aunt or Uncle approached me "Ah there's our little Susie Woosie" and patting not only Nikki's head but mine too.

A while later, I sat comfortably not wanting to move in fear of losing my seat or wake a sleeping Nikki when the lights suddenly dim and a knowing quiet eruption of oohs and aahs begin to fill the room when from the Kitchen, a glow of lights appear with my Dad carrying a large cream covered birthday cake with enough candles to warrant a fire safety drill approaches my Mam. She is now sitting opposite me in the sitting room and stands up all embarrassed; Everyone's cheering, all singing different parts of the Happy Birthday song and Mam going ever so red waiting for the song to finish, well one of the versions at least. 

The room then descends into silence and she peers down at the candles, closes her eyes as if making a wish, her face lit up a yellowy colour, takes a breath and puffs out her cheeks to blow out all her candles in one go. 

The room suddenly erupts into more cheers and Mam looks around the room smiling, taking in the adoration. She catches my eyes, smiles at me and with her index finger, ushers me to come over. 

I shift from my seat, taking Nikki from my lap and lay her down on the couch as I go stand beside my Mam. My Brother who had been upstairs with my older cousins begrudgingly walks towards us and with our Dad standing behind us, we're engulfed in flashes of flashbulb lights from various cameras throughout the room. We’re then told to "hold on" as Uncle John replaces the film in his camera, I squirm with embarrassment and Mam just takes my hand and squeezes it reassuring me. One more solitary flash of light from Tom's camera blinds us when Mam kisses me on my forehead and looks towards Nikki who’s looking at me and almost pleading for me to come back and tells me to 'go on' knowing that Nikki would have a heart attack soon if I didn’t go back to her. 

I walk back towards my corner seat, lift Nikki up and sit back down with her on my lap and I peer at the going on, everyone looking so joyous and happy and I stare at Mam for what seems an age. She looks so happy and pretty, standing in her pink floral dress, a new perm hairdo and just a touch of make-up which was unusual for her as she never really wore make up. 

Gazing at the surrounding scene, I was 13 years of age and never thought for a moment that I too would one day be 40.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New thoughts and new thinking requires a new blog

I've recently joined a new creative writing class in the hope that it'll inspire and encourage me to do some more writing. 

I've countless bits of papers, notes and copybooks filled up with one liners, character ideas, endings of a climatic storyline and sometimes just words that I've thought of that I think would make me sound smart if I was to incorporate into a story line.

This was previously a very naive poker blog from me, a complete beginner who really had no idea what I was doing. 

Like all things, i need a bit of a push and i figured I'd resurrect this blogpage and have somewhere to write down whatever comes to me.