Posted in Blog, Creative Journal, Fragment, Freewrite, Ideas Book, Inspiration, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Gloomy Looking Things WRITING EXERCISE

Free stock photo of flowers, marguerites, destroyed, deadSo the other day I started to go through my old files to find some prompts and ideas for writing exercises.

I found one I copied from a book I had years ago that was full of creative writing ideas and prompts.

  1. Bracken in winter
  2. A bus or train station after midnight
  3. A deserted factory
  4. A British Rail sandwich
  5. Dead flowers left at the roadside after an accident

Write your own list of gloomy-looking things

Write an explanation for each one

Use at least one as the starting point for the short piece of prose or a poem

  1. The waste ground where my flat used to be
  2. Dead grass
  3. Flowers left to rot
  4. The hill near my house on a dark morning
  5. The park across from my house early in the morning

The flat where I lived six years ago was pulled down, supposedly to build housing for athletes during the Commonwealth Games. This never happened and nothing has been done with the piece of ground where the flats once stood. The space sticks out like a sore thumb and clashes with the flats around it because it’s obvious something is missing.

I hate the look of dead grass, or specifically, I hate to see bare patches of grass in someone’s front garden that’s clearly been neglected. It just looks so forlorn. If the house is in a state as well it looks awful but it’s somehow worse if the house looks in good condition and they’ve let their grass become a state. There’s a house a few streets from where my parents live and the grass is dry, dead and yellow. The house is a state as well, a broken window is tape together, there’s never a light on and the house has no curtains. I shudder every time I see it.

Flowers are beautiful and I hate to see them left to rot and decay, especially when this is somewhere anyone can see them. Flowers don’t last very long and as soon as they start to wilt I throw them out. There’s nothing worse than seeing flowers that been left in a vase, dead and brown with dead petals scattered around.

I live at the top of a high hill that can take a lot of effort and wheezing to get up. When it is dark, especially when I’m going to work in the morning or coming home on the late shift, it looks like a mountain I’ll never get to the top of. There’s a lot of traffic going up and down the hill but no street lighting.

There’s a park directly opposite my house. When I first moved in I thought it would be great, a good place to go for a walk. It never quite worked out like that. The park isn’t open at my end of the street and I’d need to walk quite a distance to the front gate. There are gates at my side of the street but they always chained and padlocked. There’s hardly ever a soul in the park so it can be a bit creepy.

I chose ‘flowers left to rot’ as the kick-off point for a story called A Good Neighbour about someone who makes a gruesome discovery when he becomes concerned about the dead flowers rotting on the porch of an elderly neighbour. 

Posted in Blog, Editing, Fiction, Final Version, Fragment, Short Story, Writing Journal, Writing Notebook, Writing Stuff

Knock Knock, Runaway

wrath-finalI edited my story Knock Knock, Runaway.

This is another Wrath story from my sequence inspired by the seven deadly sins.

A group of kids enjoy making fun of a grouchy old man who lives at the end of their street. They knock on his door and run off, watching and laughing when he comes to the door, yelling and shouting. One day they set a bag of shit on fire planning to dump it on his porch. The boy is dumping the bag when the old man opens the door and yanks him into the house. The boy wakes up in the basement. The old man is going to kill him and there are jars on the wall with body parts in them.

The story is split into a lot of different scenes. I decided to make each scene a separate section and number each one (ie. 1,2,3 etc).

I corrected spelling and typing errors.

I added some detail and description.

Posted in Blog, Fiction, Fragment, Inspiration, Short Story

Why I’m Obsessed With Sin

Seven is one of my favourite movies. It’s leagues above most other crime / serial killer movies.

Years ago I had this idea of writing a seven short stories that drew on the seven deadly sins as inspiration. This was after I’d seen the movie for the first time. I didn’t plan for the stories to be linked in any way. I just wanted to write seven stories about sin.

Some of the stories were written and some never saw the light of day.

About a year and a half ago I saw the movie again for the first time in ages. I remembered how much I loved the movie. I also remembered the vague idea I had of writing fiction about the seven deadly sins. I decided to have another shot.

I had pages and pages of notes for a collection of seventy fragments which drew on the seven deadly sins as inspiration. I envisioned ten fragments for each sin. I set myself a limit of no more than 600 words per fragment. I thought this was manageable.

This didn’t work out either. I realised the project was much bigger than I realised. The stories refused to behave and stay within the 600 word limit. They were coming out at least 1000 words long.

I wasn’t ready to take on a bigger project so I set the stories I’d already written and my notes aside. I felt ready to tackle the project again this year. Because the stories are 1000 words or more I’ve decided to write seven separate story collections, one for each sin. The overall title will be The Sinner’s Song.

It’s a challenge but I’m enjoying it. I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of sin and the often extreme reactions to it. Some religions and cultures think everything is a sin. While other people think only really serious actions should be considered a sin.

It’s funny how one of my favourite songs, Original Sin by Meatloaf has sprung to mind:

It’s not enough to make the nightmares go away
It’s not enough to make the tears run dry
It’s not enough to live a little better every day
Everything that they taught us, was nothing but lies
Everything that they brought us, was nothing but bribes
But the lies are over now
All I wanted was a piece of the night
I never got an equal share
When the stars are out of sight
And the moon is down
The natives are so restless tonight!…

I’ve been looking for an original sin
One with a twist and a bit of a spin
And since I’ve done all the old ones ’till they’ve all been done in
Now I’m just looking, then I’m gone with the wind
Endlessly searching for an original sin

You can lose yourself in pleasure ’till your body’s going numb
But will it ever be enough?
You know that it’ll never be enough

I personally believe everyone is capable of sin. We’re humans after all and can be flawed sometimes. There is no such thing as a perfect person who does nothing wrong. Such a creature doesn’t and can’t exist. It would be against nature.

I’ve tried to cover all the bases of sin when working on The Sinner’s Song. There are stories about what I would consider ‘extreme sins’. I’ve written about murderers and child abusers. I’ve also written stories about people who simply made a poor choice.

I’m really enjoying working on this project. It’s stretching my writer’s brain.

Posted in Competitions, Fiction, Fragment, Samples Of Published Work

The Gift

This fragment was a book mark winner in the Reader’s Free Entry Bookmark Competition, run by Carillon Magazine in September 2008.

images (1).jpg

THE GIFT
PAMELA SCOTT

Angie’s coming back from a board meeting when she sees the basket of flowers on her desk. They’re Purple Orchids, her favourite.

‘Did you see who brought the flowers?’ Angie asks her secretary Joan.

‘It was just a delivery guy from Interflora. Paul signed for them’.

‘Did they say who they were from?’

’No’.

Angie dumps her folder and notepad on her desk and bends to sniff the flowers. They smell gorgeous. She sees a small white envelope tucked in between the flowers and pulls it out. It’s addressed to her in spiral handwriting. She opens the envelope and reads the letter.

‘Son of a bitch’ Angie says.

‘Is everything okay? Joan says.

‘Mike’s solicitors have sent me a letter. He’s filing for divorce and wants to go for custody of the kids’.

‘That’s awful’.

Angie picks up the phone and calls Mike’s office.

‘You bastard’ Angie says.

‘You got my gift then I take it?

‘Screw you’.

‘My solicitors will arrange a meeting within the next month. We’ll probably split our assets down the middle. I want custody of the kids. I told them about the drinking and the pills and how you can’t look after them. I doubt any Judge will choose you over me. I’ll get them. You can visit them of course, under supervision’.

‘You can’t do that’.

‘I just did’.

Mike puts the phone down on her and the line goes dead. Angie curses and hurls the phone at the wall.

THE END

Copyright © 2008 by Pamela Scott

(250 words)

Posted in Fiction, Fragment, Magazines & Ezines, Samples Of Published Work

Sewing Season

This fragment was published in Carillon Magazine in July 2008.

download (2)SEWING SEASON
PAMELA SCOTT

How do you make a scarecrow?

You start with his head. You slice open his skull, remove his spongy brain, pluck his eyes from both sockets and stuff his skull cavity with bundles of straw.

You work on his torso next. You carve art with your hands. You tear out his insides a little at a time. You pluck his heart out, cut away his liver, remove kidneys, dispose of his large and small intestines, burst his appendix and rip out his muscles and tissue. It all needs to go. You stuff his ribcage with bundles of straw, pack them nice and tight.

You chop off both his hands and feet and replace them with tight packed bundles of straw.

You replace his spine with a wooden pole.

You mount old pumpkin head in the corner of a cornfield. The smell of blood keeps the crows away.

THE END

Copyright © 2008 by Pamela Scott