Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021 – Update

An update on my Camp NaNoWriMo Project, accompanied by random yet soothing photos…

Not surprisingly, given my easily distracted mind at present, I haven’t written a poem and piece of flash fiction every day of July so far for my Camp NaNo challenge. I have however, already smashed my writing goal and have a combined total of 15 new poems and pieces of flash fiction.

My goal was 3100 words in total. I’m currently at 3510. Yay. My aim at the moment is to take the pressure off, to not make myself write on this project if I don’t feel like it. I have been writing other things (I’ve being planning a couple of novels and writing chapters for a handful of WIPs), and I do feel this is enough, which is new for me.

Photo by Avery Nielsen-Webb on

Usually, I’m determined to push myself, to ramp up the pressure, until I have completed such-an-such a thing, for the simple reason I said I would do it, and if I didn’t, I would feel the failure considerably for not having done so.

So, am I going to have 31 poems and 31 pieces of flash fictions written by the 31st? No. But that’s ok.

Perhaps I would feel differently if I hadn’t hit the word goal? May be. But it doesn’t matter. Along with accepting that I am not going to complete this challenge in the given the timeframe, I’ve decided to turn this into a longer term project. This collection will have a combined total of 62 poems and mini stories at some point in the future, I just don’t know when.

And I’m content with that.

Photo by Nejc Kou0161ir on

Witch! Witch! Witch!

Photo by Adonyi Gu00e1bor on

A night of terror. Of voices in the dark, asking questions she cannot answer, demanding truth instead of lies in the face of accusation.

Dawn finds her tethered to a post. Bound and blindfolded, her heart races with fear, anger, frustrated by small minds and superstitions.

She isn’t dangerous, only different.

By the time they realise, it will be too late.

She smells smoke, hears crackling, knows the fire has taken hold. The heat intensifies.

It won’t be long now…

Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #216 – Tether | Word count: 80 words

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2021

It was a last minute decision but I’ve decided to join in with this month’s Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s been a few years since I’ve participated officially (I have participated unofficially a few times, setting my own targets), so it will be fun to give it another go.

What I like about Camp is that you can set your own goals so there is no pressure. My project this month is simple: write a poem and a story a day, every day in July. I’ve no chosen theme or style, allowing myself to write whatever I feel moved to write each day, and how much I want to write. That means I’ve set the word goal very low, at 3,100 words. So, if I’ve only got a haiku and a three sentence story in me on one of the days – or on all of those days! – that’s fine.

Is anyone else joining in with Camp NaNoWriMo this month? If you are, what are you working on? I would love to know.

What does your heart say?

Photo by James Wheeler on

Skye stood at the crossroads.

“I don’t know which turn to take. I’m lost and can’t remember where I’m going,” she whispered to herself, tears threatening.

“Everything is unknown until we know it, the future, the way forward. Everything,” a voice said, but there was no-one else there with her.

“But which way is the right way?”

“Does it matter? What does your heart say?”

Written for: Weekend Writing Prompt #214 – Unknown | Word Count: 65

Submissions Call: Haiku on Healing

For those interested, Whispers and Echoes is currently open to submissions of haiku on the theme of healing…

Whispers and Echoes

Whispers and Echoes is currently open to submissions for our latest themed call: Haiku on Healing.

Submission Guidelines:

  • The theme is Healing. Keywords: wellness, growth, change, transformation, mending, recovery, revival, health, survival, spiritual / emotional / physical / mental healing. This is not an exhaustive list so be as creative as your inspiration guides you, and as always, interpret the theme as you will. If you want to write a haiku about healing a broken bowl, cup or computer, go for it!
  • The format is: Haiku using the 5-7-5 syllable structure.
    • Please, no other forms and styles of poetry, and no flash fiction for this call.
  • Our usual submission guidelines apply, except that we are only accepting haiku length poetry for this particular theme (as stated above). The full guidelines can be found here. Please read them before submitting.
  • Please state the following in the subject line: Haiku…

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Up, Up, Up… (Crimson’s Creative Challenge #128)

Up, up, up…the steps narrowly cut into the hillside were never ending. Higher and higher we climbed, my breaths coming in ever deeper gasps. From the bottom, the hill looked like any other. So why hadn’t we reached the top yet?

‘Aren’t we there yet, master?’ I uttered, pausing a moment to catch my breath.

I hated how childlike I had sounded, but I needed to ask because I couldn’t grasp what was taking us so long. I was expected at the hilltop temple for my final test before I could ascend to the next level of my training. Being late would give the impression I didn’t care. It wouldn’t look good at all.

Before my master could answer, I carefully turned about so I could see how far we had come. I scratched my head. How…?

We had been climbing for an hour, of that I was sure. But we were only ten steps from where we had started.

‘I don’t understand…’ I mumbled.

‘The lesson is a simple one,’ my master said quietly behind me.

I turned to face him. He was ancient, with a long grey beard, braided down to his waist. I noticed, feeling terribly annoyed, that there wasn’t a single bead of sweat on his forehead and his breath was as steady as if he had just woken from sleep.

I took a few deep breaths and closed my eyes, clearing my mind as I had been taught to do. It didn’t take more than a few heartbeats for realisation to dawn.

‘This is the test,’ I said aloud.

‘Good. Now tell me what the lesson is.’

‘Rushing won’t get me to the top of the hill. I will get there only when I am ready. When I have understood the lesson.’

‘And the lesson is…?’ My master prompted.


‘Good,’ he said again. ‘Now shall we see how you have faired?’ He turned about and began climbing the hill once more.

With a lighter heart and even lighter tread, I followed.

Written for: Crimson’s Creative Challenge #128 from 21 April 2021. At 320 words I’m quite a way over the 150 word limit, so apologies for that…

Glory (Found Poetry)

Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on

This wind of promise 1

Gives me a foretaste 2

(Of a) Heaven shower(ing) down blessings 3

Poem 5 of a series of 5

Notes: Found poetry using snippets of text from “Letter I” of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Page numbers refer to my paperback copy of the book, a Penguin Classics edition from 2003.

These snippets are from pages 1, 3 & 4 of Letter 1. Words in brackets my own addition | Title from page 3 lines 21 | 1 from page 1 line 11 | 2 from page 1 lines 10 & 11 | 3 from page 4 lines 10 & 11