Have A Good One

A good day – not because everything is positive but because today you won’t let the negatives win.

A good night – one that turns into a good morning. Crawl into bed while birds are chirping.

A good sleep – one filled with dreams that will make you wake up smiling.

A good breakfast – because it really is the most important meal.

A good dance – even if you can’t dance. Especially if you can’t dance.

A good idea – one that makes you say “woah”, that scares you a little. But go with it, and don’t let anyone stop you.

A good book – one that makes you think, makes you feel. One that takes you to another world. If you can’t find the book, write it.

A good chat – with your mother, lover, the old friend you haven’t seen in years. Make the call, send the text, write the letter because you lost the number. Just have the chat.

A good cry – because sometimes you just need to. So open the wine and throw on The Lion King, because sometimes you just need to.

A good lesson – because big or small, we should all learn something new everyday.

A good life – One you are happy with. That may contain mistakes but look what you have learned from them.

A good soul – Don’t be the reason for someone’s unhappiness. And if you are, say sorry – and mean it.

Today, you can be who you want and make of this day as you wish. Just make it a good one.



  1. Kasey


2. Bailer







3. Casey








4. Bitch



Prick tease

Damp yoke


5. Kasim














The girl won’t delete your texts.

We kept the texts they sent us.

Declaring their love.

Showing off to our friends. Giggling.

Home alone we would read them back. Smiling.

The women before us kept the letters.

Keeping the physical proof for when the spoken words became nothing more than a memory.

Using them to torture ourselves.

To bring ourselves hope.

The power of your words.

The brutality of your indifference.

Rose & Offer

The night was crisp. Her heels click on the wooden deck as she runs. To where, she is not sure. There is no way off. No way out of her predestined life. She reaches the stern, a dead end. But as she looks out over the water she wonders, is it? Grabbing the railing she lifts her dress, as red as her name suggests. She steps up and is on the other side before she even gives herself times to think. Holding on she looks down. The water violently thrashing below. She thinks how easy it would be to just let go.

Looking up into the darkness she thinks of the life she is leaving behind. Her future ahead. She shakes silly thoughts from her mind, slowly turns around. She climbs back over the railing before anyone notices. She walks back to her state room. Finding her mother she tells her that she will no longer be marrying her suitor. That she wants to go to school. Find love. She repeated herself until her mother actually listened. Accepted. The next morning however, her fiance did not take it as well. As he shouted and argued, she sat calmly, listened. When he was finished she thanked him for everything and left. When they docked she followed her plan. Got a job as a secretary. Went to night school. She built a life for herself and her mother. Not as comfortable as they once knew but it was hers. Then she met William. He showered her with love but allowed her the freedom to be herself. They married in Summer, welcoming a baby girl the following Spring. They spent Sundays in the park. Her loves arm wrapped around her as they watched little Emily playing. She smiled at how content her life had become.

Her hands clinging tight she couldn’t move the curls that had now fallen in front of her face. Her body had begun to shake from the night air. She knew neither her mother or fance would ever accept her refusal of marriage. This was beyond her, Mother would say as she reminded the seventeen year old of her duty. She would get them out of the financial strain they found themselves in. Restoring their social status. Erasing the shame. She climbed back over. Tidied her hair. Wiped the tears that marked her face. When she got back to the dinner table she resumed her place between mother and future husband. “You were gone a while.” It was more question than statement. Her fiance looked at her, his black hair combed back. Tuxedo perfectly neat. “I went to splash some water on my face, I don’t feel so well. Perhaps I’ll head to bed.” “Wait, we’ll be finishing up soon. Don’t be rude.” So she sat. Smiled politely as the men made remarks they thought were funny. She buried the feeling. OF dread. OF escape. Convinced herself of how happy they would be once they made it to America. When their new life began. Her rich, comfortable life. Parties where she would only waltz. Dinners where her meals would be chosen. Her life that would not be her own. Even now, is not her own. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath.

The inhale hurt her lungs. She looked down at the waves once more. Her knuckles white from gripping so tight. No way off. No way out. She exhaled slowly, her breath a cloud of relief in front of her. And she let go.

Silence. Nothing but the wild waters beneath.

Minutes later, a young man crossed the deck. His tartan coat, worn, as open revealing his brown braces beneath. He lit a cigarette, brushing his blonde hair from his face.He peered over the railings, watching the trail of waves the ship left behind. He was going home. He flicked the butt overboard and walked back to his third class cabin.


This piece was part of Tales V Tunes and the words I had to use were “rose” and “offer”. The title of this piece is:

What if Jack didn’t offer Rose a hand?

I hope you enjoyed it.







I See Fire

Breath. Fire. Both crucial to man’s survival. Yet one can give life, while the other can take it back. And yes it’s true that fire has been an important step in evolution – Darwin himself said fire and language were the two key ingredients to humanity. There is not a single documented tribe on this planet that doesn’t cook it’s food. I suppose it’s one of the things that separate man from beast.

But just as we use fire for good, we use it for evil – and the contrast is terrifying.Home is the fire crackling on a winter’s night. Fire rushing through forests destroying thousands of homes in minutes. Waves of orange, turning shades of green, to greys and black.

A fireman is a hero but a man with fire is deadly. Sometimes the line between good and bad is blurred. If you google firemen starting fires, there is result after result. Their reasons? Overtime. To show off their skills. Hero complex. I’m sure a percentage are even sociopaths and pyromaniacs. Speaking of which, did you know that of the five impulse-control disorders, pyromania is the only one that involves one of the four natural elements?

Man discovered the control of fire – not fire itself. As much as he’d like us to think. There is evidence of fire over 400 million years ago. Humans, have been around a hell of a lot less than that. This discovery was to improve life. Man used fire to feed his family, bring warmth to his children and light to his community. But like everything else he has abused it. Using it for his own selfish reasons. To create fear and pain.

Just some of the torture techniques that involve fire: Branding, boiling, rat torture, or the brazen bull. This bull was usually made of bronze and hollow. The victim was put inside and a fire lit underneath it. The best part? The bull was built so his screams were amplified. His lasts breaths sounding like a bull bellowing.

Someone. One of us, thought of that. Another famous one. Burning. Man feared woman so used fire to silence her. Man has taken every element and used his twisted mind to find new and fun ways to create pain. Perhaps another thing that separates man from beast.

But mess with fire and fire will fight back. Hard. If you google fires in Ireland the page with the seven most known: Pearse St, Stardust, Noyeks, Cavan Orphanage , Carrickmines, Drumcallagher and Central Hotel Bundoran, total 158 lives lost, about a quarter children. And that is just our tiny little island. We don’t have enough time for me to list the tragedies of the world.

Earth, water, air and fire. The four components of nature. Abuse one or all of them, and she will rise up in all her fury to teach us. Don’t be so arrogant as to think we are in control here. Nature is always in charge.

Why do you think we call her Mother?


This piece was written as part of the Tales V Tunes tour. The words I had to use were “breath” and “fireman”. I hope you enjoyed.







The Scrivener’s Forge 5 – Character and World-building

Interesting tips on character building with an excercise. Check it out!

Neil MacDonald Author


A new writing exercise every month. When you focus on one aspect of writing at a time, you can concentrate on making it the best you can possibly create. That way you can reach a professional level that may be harder with longer works. We’ll explore one aspect of the craft each month.

If you comment on other writers’ efforts, they’ll usually comment on yours. So you get lots of critiques, advice, and encouragement.

Please don’t post your entry in comments here. Create your entry on your own blog, and then click the little blue frog to join the link-up and read other people’s work.

Character and world-building

Building a character is building a world. This may be a world of fantasy, of wizards and dragons. But it doesn’t have to be. When the physical world and the emotional world are overlaid, everyday things become new and vibrant if…

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The Long Journey Home

Below in bold was the intro we had to use for our story, hope you enjoy.

The four children huddled together on the station platform. At their feet were two old fashioned suitcases. The tallest child, a girl, kept looking around her. Her eyes darted back and forth: two ice blue pools in a small white face.

“Stop looking so terrified Paprika! We are going to have a wonderful time.”

My mother shouts at me from across the platform. She’s at the service desk getting our tickets. Her long bead necklace hit off the desk as she bends over to flirt with the attendant. I’m not scared. I’m trying to make sure no one I know sees me.

“Paprika, will our new home have a TV?” Little Finnick looks up at me hopeful. His friend from school had a TV and he had been dreaming of one ever since he saw it.

“No Finnick, Mother says it’s one of the ways they put messages in your head. Sorry.” I replied as I shifted Saffron from one hip to another. His hope fades. Poppy stood close to me but didn’t speak. She never did. We were heading to Donegal. Our last house was in Cork but it wasn’t our home. I’m not sure we ever really had a home. Or ever will. Mother was walking back over to us. Her long floral skirt skimmed the floor. Her wild red hair swayed as she glides. I hate wearing these skirts. Every other fifteen year old girl is wearing a mini skirt or jeans. I can deal with the mocking but I worry about the others. They’re too young to understand all of this. They haven’t had to deal with Mother and her problems for as long as I have.

“Oh Finnick, Poppy. You are going to love our new home! It has a big field for you to play in. We can even get a cow! Live off the land. No more processed foods. No more poisons going into your bodies. The government won’t know how to find us. We will finally have peace.”

It was time to go on board the train. Mother grabbed her cases and disappeared ahead of us. I shifted Saffron one more time and lifted Poppy up to my other hip.

“Ok Finnick, I need you to hold on tight to my coat pocket. Do not let go no matter what.”

We got on board and finally found Mother sitting in the last carraige. She was talking to a Steward, her hand lightly pressing aganst his arm. A couple of minutes later he came back with some juice boxes and sandwhiches. She didn’t give him any money.

“Is daddy going to come visit?” Finnick pipes up. He’s trying to open his juice box. “Oh yes. We will write to him and tell him our new address.” I take Finnick’s juice and pierce the straw through. I hate when she says things like that. Finnick hasn’t seen his daddy in almost two years. Since he got tired of Mother’s dramas. I haven’t seen my own father in almost ten years, for the same reason.

The train starts us on our new journey. Mother says it’s a fresh start. Different this time. But that’s what she said last time.. and the time before that.

A storm is coming

The hard rain soaked through her cardigan, seeping into her skin. She stood on the corner, asking herself what to do next. She cursed herself for not grabbing her phone. “You didn’t have time to grab your coat Maggie, never mind the mobile!” She reasoned. She wondered if he’d be asleep soon. The last whiskey taking affect. Perhaps the surge of adrenaline would keep him up. Waiting.

“You should have just kept a closer eye on the pork!” She muttered under her breath. She thought of going to Jo’s. It was only a thirty minute walk but she couldn’t handle the ‘I told you so’ right now. Jo never said it but she could always tell what her big sister was thinking. Besides, she’d make her stay the night, which brought it’s own problems. Maggie had no uniform for work which meant coming home in the morning. The hangovers were worse than the night before. He hated Jo, and he knew that’s where she would have been. Knew that was the only place she could have gone.

Maggie caught the eye of a woman at the bus stop but quickly looked away. She knew she must have looked mad. The woman wore a pant suit, her giant umbrella shielding her perfectly preened hair. Was she going home to shouting? Maybe she wasn’t married. A woman all about her career. No one to report to each night. Maggie dreamed of that life for almost ten years now. No dinners to be made. No sour taste of whiskey on top of her in the mornings. Being able to stretch out in bed. Suppose she could do that the nights he didn’t come home. Why did she stay? She stopped asking that a long time ago.

The wind had begun to choke her. She could feel the stares from the passing traffic. It was time to go home. She walked back the ten blocks, her shoes squelching. Half way, she passed their local park. It was small, only one set of swings for the children. She smiled to herself as she thought of the many Sunday afternoons they spent here. She would make a nice picnic for them. He would read the paper out loud while his head rested in her lap. She loved listening, running her fingers through his hair. My God he had a beautiful head of hair. Jet black. Once upon a time.

She stood at the park gate, looking at the beginning of the storm’s results. Rubbish was strewn everywhere, the swings going wild. A thick branch, about two feet long, broken clean off a tree had landed by the gate. Bushes were almost pulled up from the root. Chaos. She carried on. No point in delaying the inevitable. She trudged those five blocks, fighting the gale with all her might. Children were pointing from the cars now. She didn’t care. Just get home.

She barely had the door open when she heard the chair drag along the floor. She ran up the stairs. “Where the hell have you been?” The slurring began, rising in volume. “I’m getting my uniform and going to Jo’s. Do not try to stop me.” Her voice trembled from the bedroom. “Oh no you’re not. I don’t want that bitch knowing our business.” The stomping started on the stairs. As his foot reached the last step, she swung the branch as hard as she could. He stumbled for a second, before falling back. Landing awkwardly near the bottom.

“Frank?” She called over the banister. Nothing. He didn’t stir. She stood there, the branch still in her hand, shaking. “I..I told you not to stop me..”

After Eight

She tapped her nails on the table, glancing at her watch. The restaurant began filling quickly. The band was setting up. She put her hand up as the waiter tried to approach her again. He scurried past, dropping the menu like a ninja. A menu. Did he think she was here alone? That she was stood up? Not this time. He promised her he’d be here. That he was finally going to tell his wife. She grabbed her coat and stormed out.

It only took her fifteen minutes to get to his front door. She peered in the kitchen window to see if he was home. That’s when she saw him. Placing the chain around her neck and a kiss on her cheek. She screamed. They both jumped, looking out at her, terrified. He ran to the door but she ran on to the road. Wheels screeched. He held her close, called for help. She smiled as her eyes closed one last time.

She tapped her nails on the table, glancing at her watch.

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