Tuesday, 24 January 2012


 Do objects have a memory? Does a rocking chair hold the essence of the snuggles it has witnessed? Does a pottery mug remember the comforting warmth it offered a struggling soul?
The dictionary defines personification as “the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.”
Now it’s your turn to tell a piece of your story from the point of view of an object who bore witness in 400 words or less.  Please follow this link to see how others handled the prompt


I have been with my Beloved since the beginning, when Her Daddy bought me – a soft stuffed replica of dolphin Flipper complete with gentle squeak – just before she was born in 1964. She sucked on my outsize lips and my fins to ease the pain of teething, and my squeaks could almost always make Her smile, even during tantrums.

I shared Her seatbelt on a PanAm jumbo when the Family crossed the world to Australia in 1970. I visited the Buddhas of Bangkok and was nearly left in the lobby of the Oriental Hotel. And I absorbed the countless tears that flowed when She was bullied in those new schools. No wonder my once-plush skin is now patchy and worn! When we crossed the world again, She was eleven: I lost my window seat and made the trip in a suitcase.

I stayed on Her bed through the Washington years, but the move to Hawaii saw me relegated to a box where I remained for more than a decade. In that darkness, my eyes faded and my squeak disappeared forever.

So when She picked me up, large with child Herself, aged nearly thirty, I could only force my patched lips into a smile. I was. In Her arms. Again.

“Flipper!” She crowed, child-like again. “My favourite toy! We must take him for our son...”

Once again I crossed the world. Now I live in a land of scorching dust and olive trees, quite near the sea. I have raised four more Children, exalted in their teething, been washed by their tears, rejoiced in their growing, applauded – in my silent way – each milestone. Today I sit on Her Daughter's shelf (I'd prefer the bed, but the shelf beats a box and is certainly better than the bin to which I thought I was headed a year ago); my place in this Family secure. I heard Her say just the other day, when Her adored eyes settled on my now-sagging form: 'I'm so glad we didn't get rid of Flipper in the clean-out...'

The smell of cigarette smoke wafting through Her Daughter's open French windows saddens me, and I prefer the Classical music of my Beloved's childhood to Her Son's heavy metal – I'm glad, sometimes, that I don't hear as well as I used to.

I look forward to grandchildren... But please, Great Spirit of the Sea, not too soon?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Desert Epiphany

Red Riding Hood: Salt Water 
“The cure for anything is salt water….sweat, tears or the sea.”
~ Isak Dinesen, pseudonym of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke
For your Creative Non-Fiction tell us about the last time that one of these three things “cured” you. If you are going with Fiction, have your character resolve a problem using one of the three (or all three!!!). There are so many ways you can use this prompt so be creative with it, don’t take us where we think you’ll go.

The word count was 300 -- which I exceeded.  Please follow the link and see how other writers handled the prompt.


I first saw the Sinai on an hiking safari in August 1985. For five mornings the other tourists and I scrambled through the basalt mountains, then rested during the afternoons on the coast where the azure water laps the barren shores.

I only paddled my toes in the shallows, afraid to snorkel like the others. Until one of the guides, a mountain of a man with wild hair and beard caught my hand ignoring my protests. “I can't let you leave without seeing this,” he said, fitting a mask to my face and handing me a some fins. Two metres from the shore, the coral dropped off sheer. “You can swim, can’t you?” he asked, pulling me over the edge.

My breathing rate skyrocketed as I took in the colourful fish that circled the corals, the brilliant sapphire blue of the water,  the blackness below the drop. Ami pointed to a moray in its hole, mouth open, beady eyes alert; to brilliant blue Friedman fish and striped sergeant majors; then he gestured for silence so that I could hear the blue-green parrot fish munching on hard coral. Schools of goldfish flickered in the sunshine of the shallows.

In that half-hour, life changed: I decided to move to the Sinai and to learn to dive.

It was my home for several years and I loved it: the black mountains and the red ones, and how the light changed their colours throughout the day; the way a spring could nourish an orchard of dates and roses; the dignity and friendliness of the Bedouins and the fluid expressiveness of their hands; lying in my sleeping bag at night and looking up into a river of stars.

I learned to dive: it became my job and my life;  and I never forgot my first glimpse of the magic world below the water's glittering surface.