Monthly Archives: January 2013

Taking Stock – January



The end of January is here and I have been in a flux of real/ paid work, some O.T which paid for the treat I booked last weekend, packing and de-junking (well let’s be honest de-hoarding!) Bills, paperwork, new challenges, dreams and desires. In the past 24hrs I have managed to fit in work, a fab new haircut, a much awaited trip to the cinema to see ‘The Hobbit’, research & writing.

I want to apologise to ALL my JANUARY born friends and family… although I sent electronic birthday wishes Text messages, phonecalls and social media, I was unable to get birthday cards sent in time! Must try harder (although to be fair I can’t quite believe that I am managing to spin the plates I already have in the air!) Just to let you all know, I thought about you all on your birthdays and also considered how I should have sorted the cards! I will try to better this epic fail in February, especially as it is my little brother’s birthday and my partners too!

Not buying and posting birthday cards gave me spare time, in which I worked hard to guarantee the last submission of the month was in the post on time. I also compiled February agenda in the Writer Diary, on the family calendar and in my journal notebook! No missing opportunities this time. (Including birthdays.) Two A4 pages to get stuck into this weekend!

I have already started on four of my February submissions and have the skeletal frame of a few other pieces that have evolved from the writing encountered this month. I also spent an hour Wednesday morning writing the first draft of the DP Photo story challenge. I am half way through and have a list of 3 things I need to research before I can complete the challenge (this is my first weekly challenge and it takes more effort than the daily posts – which are generally free-writes!) I am tempted to read other submissions, but want to create my story first as an uninfluenced, personal response to the photograph!

I am feeling hopeful as we move forward into February. I have taken stock and created these 7 aims:

1)      Submit more writing than I did in January.

2)      Allow plenty of editing time.

3)      Cross-reference writing projects, make sure I am on track.

4)      Keep on top of emails, especially those connected to freelancing.

5)      Allocate specific time slots to the AWF Blog, in order to complete some real writing (controversial) and to keep my posts fresh and alive and more than – ‘I am still trying to do what I was meant to do yesterday!’

6)       Write at least 5 days a week.

7)      Keep reading (I managed 6 books in January)!

And the balance;

1)      Remember to send birthday cards to loved ones.

2)      Keep saying YES to new opportunities.

3)      Keep filling my jar – stones, pebbles, sand and water.
Have a fabulous last writing day – January 2013.

That was it folks


The Last Day – January


I had typed posts to drop into my blog today, I sat at the desk ready to upload, they are NOT on my stick, they are on my laptop’s hard-drive! I was going to check this morning and actually said to myself ‘Don’t be silly of course you saved them!’ Grrrrrrrr

Tech = 1 Me = 0

I will have to post end of month and statistics tomorrow.

Thanks for all of you who are Followers of these waters, I hope you enjoy splashing around in the Fountain.
Technically we are not a month old yet as I started my NYE resolutions on the 4th January – after a small recovery period (ahem!) not bad for 27 days!


True for me and probably true for you too.



All twisted up like the hinges on the door I slammed
Or the spirals on this notebook that I can’t seem to find the right words for
A difficult transition but reaching the same destination
The straight path is narrow and it requires a lot of patience

Everything has its own direction
Nobody really knows where they’re going

Copyright 2013 Ta’Mesha Smith

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Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words, Take Two


I’m going to give this ago offline and then post my effort later this week. Go have some fun, follow the link and get writing!
Love a challenge!


I have finished my edit and here it is. Have struggled with formatting – copied from Word doc.

Black Mark

             Cianna tried to move away, Paulo held her firmly.
“Don’t do it,” he pleaded into her hair, “please not today!” Cianna forced him to loosen his grip so she could see him,
“Come on Paulo, you know I have to…” she couldn’t bring herself to hold his stare, his eyes told her everything he was not willing to say. He was too scared he would lose her, appear too vulnerable, yet she had to understand he did not condone her actions. He would rather live in a smaller apartment without the threat of eviction; he’d live in a basement room if it meant he could live with her. He couldn’t help himself, she knew how he felt anyway.

A primal whine escaped his lungs and in an attempt to mask his feelings he pulled her back towards him, inhaling the smell of her peach shampoo and Versace perfume. Cianna could feel Paolo’s heart beating through his thin t-shirt, her head against his chest. She had to go, get out of here, and get into the city before it was too late. Confusion surrounded how she felt about Paolo, she was definitely attracted to him, the butterflies dancing inside her told her that, this was never meant to be. It was a mistake, he would never understand.
Paolo knew once he was back in their empty apartment he’d stand in the bathroom just to smell her scent again, he was obsessed. He was intrigued and equally disappointed by Cianna’s willpower. He liked a woman to feel she needed him. With Cianna, once her stubborn head was fixed on an idea, there was no stopping her. For better or worse.

Reluctantly he let her go, watching her as she made her way down the hill to the tram stop into the city. She skipped along happily in her flip-flops, another part of her disguise. Sensing he would still be watching her, she turned to wave and smile at Paolo. Poor boy, he was addicted to her, her every move, she hadn’t meant that to happen. She knew she was in too deep this time. Since the incident Cianna had wanted the security and protection of a man. She hadn’t considered the complications, could she still walk away? Probably, after all he had started life as just another mark.

Paolo stood still as a bustling group of tourists sang and puffed their way up the hill behind him, calves burning, cameras swinging and excited chatter shielding them all in ignorance. Ignorance of how harsh this city can be to its citizens, great as a destination, not as good as a living space. Especially not here, in the small tram infested streets. Tourists always. He wished Cianna wouldn’t but he knew he was powerless; she’d never change, even when she got caught. He waved and grinned as she turned to wave at him, replaying the passion shared that morning as she caught him with her smile. Lured in.
Paolo turned and made his way up the shallow steps of the hill, back to their apartment. Letting himself back into their tiny home, he slipped off his flip-flops and stood on the cooling ceramic floor. He inhaled. He didn’t need to reach the bathroom to smell her, her perfume lingered in the hall, through the living room and onto the kitchen.

Cianna stared through the people sitting opposite into the moving walls of the city, her Zen like trance a protective act to prevent her from interaction with anyone, especially a tourist. She must remain faceless, just another olive skinned, petite, longhaired nymph flittering through the bright city streets. Her large Chanel shades hid her eyes. Sparkling diamantes helping her blend perfectly into the backdrop of young twenty-something city folk. She slowly closed her eyes and leant her head back against the cold window, desperately trying to block out the chitter chatter, the motion of the tram, the bustling noise, the tramlines connecting, herself. Preparing for a days work.
Walking anonymously, a living ghost Cianna slipped through the streets to the square, where she settled herself at a table of her favourite café. She ordered a Frappe and pushed her Chanel sunglasses back up the small bridge of her nose. Leaning back into the mesh seat she smiled to herself. Sometimes people watching was the best bit. Before they open their mouths, talk to her or become real. From her seat in the café she played God and felt like she was in charge. If only we were given such opportunities.

The bench was empty. Cianna thought back to the man she had met on the bench last time. Scouring the centre pages of the local paper, looking for a place to go. He had been an easy choice. Cianna admired the clockwork organisation. She could sit here and order her first coffee of the day, on any day of the week and see the same things happen, the same people, all the population it seemed had somewhere to be. Occasionally she would wonder if she was missing out. The doubt was only ever fleeting and had usually gone before she reached the bottom of the coffee cup. Glazed and watching on autopilot, Cianna saw the same people turn up for work, go in and not come out! That confirmed her true feelings. She was glad she didn’t have to answer to anybody else, and equally happy that she still had her conscience.
Cianna ordered a second Frappe, biding her time until the tourists started to pour in off the trams.

2nd Submission of the Month – Done!


I feel I have worked hard on many different writing projects this month. I have only had two pieces for submission. Today I posted my 2nd submission of the month. (Although the deadline isn’t until February – as it had to be posted I didn’t want to leave it too late.)
This was a very short fictional scene that I completed on the 17th and have left it in my head since – after several drafts I was happy with it, the challenge was to edit and keep the word count.
I made just a few changes today before printing the final version.
Now it is in the lap of the Gods, it is a competition entry – sure to be lots of competition. Plus it became quite harrowing and I’m not sure that is what they are after.
The second challenge was a very brief brief!

The Write Way


I had 2 hours to write this morning, I checked my notebook (over the weekend I realised I had missed a writing/ publishing opportunity and I am trying to get more organised as a result) it felt awful, especially as it was my main field – poetry.

I edited the final draft of my next submission ready for printing and spent some time with the ever dustier manuscript, I really need to shift my focus onto the main project in February. February will see some new and exciting self-made opportunities as I am travelling! Hooray!

I have started to compile the synopsis & statistics for January – Write Year post at the end of the month and I have fallen down the rabbit hole of my blog being easier to write than any of my other current submissions or projects! (Something else I need to shift the balance on come February – which is less than a week away!)
I have been a bit hard on myself this week as it has been the busiest working week so far this month and added to the time spent writing and researching has been longer than a full-time working week, although still 10-30hrs shy of what I used to consider a full working week when I was in full-time employment.
This week my tiredness & lack of energy has resulted in most of the writing feeling like work too! Well, it is a job – one which rather like motherhood or playing the piano is badly underestimated.

‘I CAN’T’ isn’t going to feature!
I will REPRINT might feature highly though!
1st I forgot to title my work
Then I had to reprint to get the address to format properly.
Then I did two more final, final edits and a spell check!

Daily Prompt: Ready, Set Go


Daily Prompt: Ready, Set Go.

The recent prompts have not inspired me – I know that’s part of the challenge and the whole point of the daily prompt.
I didn’t feel right writing my own eulogy, so close to losing a friend. The music in my life is also a hard subject.

Freewriting I am happy with, have journals full of it.
I have just spent a few more hours researching, I know I will feel better if I go to bed having written something.

So here it goes, 10mins….

Real-time moments captured forever in black and white footage weaved into some late night documentary. The types of
programmes I never used to watch, before I met him. I have found out so much more about people in popular culture this way. Found out things I would never have otherwise known. You talk about your dreams as the music fills the room. We have been close to the edge of your dream, with the help of smoke-screens and magic.
I always admire band documentaries that trace the success and pitfalls, it helps me realise that there is a whole story behind every ‘Gold’ award and album. Just like Abraham Lincoln they have had to pursue their desires until they came true. It is the same for me and you, the secret is to keep on striving forwards, making sure that you don’t let a setback throw you off track. Friendly. Commercial. Wanted. How does it sound to you own mind when you read it? You may not have to sell out. You may just have to be patient.

A waiting game. A game of survival. Dress yourself in an armour of self-belief and propel yourself forward. Ideas may not grow on trees, they do exist in the real world though, go out and find them. Create your own opportunities, breathe life into your dreams.

Finish Lines


I am currently completing some language research for a current submission I hope to have ready by the end of the weekend. I have finished my final draft and edit, however I might make some amendments after a quick surf of some websites tonight.
I booked a February trip last night and although it is paid for is a treat I can barely afford whilst trying to complete the other projects this Winter. I got a call earlier for more work next week – that has paid for the flight!

I had some Indoor Fireworks for Christmas, we have just set most of them off. Pretty hard to capture in a picture… delightful experience though. Happiness on fire.

I have also managed some time reading blogs, I added lots last night, for some reason I have woken up to be a follower of a load of sports blogs, I have no idea how that happened. The sites were running slowly last night.
I picked up on GOOD READS and have managed to join via Facebook. I was ill last year and managed to read 40 books, I have gone for 42, as it beats last year and is also the meaning of life, the universe and everything!
I just don’t know how to add the side bar gif that tracks my reads and reviews & allows you to link to the Goodreads site too – if any of you know please can you leave me technical advise? I think it is to do with the frames of the theme I have chosen that don’t support sidebar columns, I love this theme though, it suits the fountain and I don’t want to change it.

I am on my 6th book, the chapter headings have quotations from other books, I thought it might be fun to read those too this year. I read 100 pages or so this morning. I love weekends!
I hope you’re all having a great weekend too.


This is from Bottledwonder’s blog, some of these steps are fairly commonplace in Writing Tips books, some you may already know them, if not – it’s a great place to start.
Point 1 & 5 particularly!
Read & apply.


I’ve been thinking about how to become a more productive writer. Here’s six ways I came up with that could get the creative juices flowing:

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