Dinner: a 100-word drabble.


As part of my writing goals this year, I’m writing more creatively. Dinner is one of (hopefully) many drabbles (100 word stories) that I will publish. Image is from unsplash.com.

There’s a moment. Every night, a moment: the table is set — plate, fork, knife. A wine glass, a water glass. Two settings. The window is open and the smell of pasta sauce lingers in the air.

It’s late. I know it’s late. But I’m always late. This night isn’t any different. Only, it is.

I sit down at my setting and look at the food on the plate. Cold. The wine, red; bottle open, half-empty. The setting across from me has no food, only red stains and pasta streaks. The glass used to have wine in it.

I sigh, knowing.

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On life, writing and typical days.

Each Friday I like to collect up five links that have resonated with me throughout the week and share them on my blog. I never pick a theme for the week, but like to share the things I’ve thought about after I closed the page. But! All blog posts need a title, so this week is: on life, writing and typical days.

ONEA translation of an email to a writer. Writers do not work for free. While I do understand the struggles of a creative writing start-up (oh, boy do I…), you do have to offer something in return. (Note to self: write blog post on this in the future.)

TWO. I’ve been inspired by a bunch of ‘things I wish I told my younger self’ article this week. Two of them in particular: “10 Things I would go back and tell my 20-something-year-old self if I could” by Rachel Del Grosso and “30 Life Things I Always Try To Remember” by Emma Gannon.

THREE. Leo of Zen Habits is always inspiring. I’ve been reading his blog for many many years, so there are things that I often skim because I feel like I’ve read it before. But the reminder is nice. This post, however, I had not read before. He talks about his typical day, and how he is lazy, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get things done.

FOUR. A bit of advertising fun: a creative graphic designer asks What if Apple made milk? And this is how the packaging would look. My personal favourite is “Nike Fruit (just eat it)”.

FIVE. I’m not a vegetarian, but I do like Matt’s articles about running at No Meat Athlete. As a wannabe runner and an owner of a disused fitbit flex, this article on Running for Steps (rather than time or distance) makes me want to experiment.

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The Midnight Zoo: styled cover.

The Midnight Zoo: sequel to The Night Circus

A long time ago, I had planned to start a series of blog posts with my friend Andrew of SparklyPrettyBriiiight. As I was not blogging much, nor had any inclination to do so, I only published one post. However, as I’m determined to blog more, it’s time to bring the series back.

The idea: take a book (sometimes I’ll own it, sometimes I won’t) and tell the story of the book based solely on the cover. It was inspired by the Huff Post article where a 6-year-old girl tells the story of classic novels. Of course, after I’ve told you my version of the story, the actual blurb is revealed.

Previous book: An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green. Today’s book: The Midnight Zoo, by Sonya Hartnett.

The fictional blurb

After the acclaimed debut novel The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, her publishers obviously wanted a sequel. In true Night Circus fashion, the sequel had been delivered and published a year earlier: The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett. The zoo comes at midnight — it’s not there, and then suddenly it is. A sea of black and white: all animals are black or white, the food is black and white, the maps and souvenirs are black and white. The visitors are not allowed in the park without wearing black and white clothing, as not to disturb the silent zoo. What the visitors don’t know and only the truly dedicated guess at is that this zoo, accompanied by the old man dressed in white with a matching white beard and the young girl in a black dress, that this is a competition between the oldest magics: and everyone belongs to a side.

The actual blurb

Her muzzle wrinkled, and Andrej saw a glimpse of teeth and pale tongue. ‘They smell the same,’ the lioness murmured. ‘My cubs smelt as she does. Like pollen.’ She breathed deeply again, and Andrej saw the missing cubs returning to her on the wings of the baby’s perfume. ‘All young ones must come from the same place,’ she said; then sat down on her haunches, seemingly satisfied.

Under cover of darkness, two brothers cross a war-ravaged countryside carrying a secret bundle. One night they stumble across a deserted town reduced to smouldering ruins. But at the end of a blackened street they find a small green miracle: a zoo filled with animals in need of hope.

A moving and ageless fable about war and freedom.

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Lake. (4/52)

I love water. I love swimming. I like being around water, I like being in water, I like smelling water. (Yes, really: smelling it.) It wasn’t always like this though.

Apparently, I was scared of water. Mum took me to my first swimming lesson, and I wouldn’t get in. Wouldn’t go near it. Well, that would not do. Especially for someone growing up in Queensland where beaches are our backyards. So that afternoon, an above-ground pool was installed in our actual backyard.

(Please remember, I was three.)

The next afternoon, you couldn’t get me out of the pool. I was a fish from that moment on.

I still love swimming — I don’t do it as often as I would like — but I do like living near large bodies of water. There’s something really freeing about it. As if the water encourages you to think, dream and believe.

Photo taken on my HTC One smartphone.

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Friday Five: a mixed bag of interviews, illustrations and graphic design.

ONE. People who can make a living out of writing make me simultaneously happy and jealous. This girl sounds like someone I could be friends with: interview with Mallory Ortberg..

TWO. A Periodic Table of Typefaces. I’m secretly (not-so-secretly) passionate about graphic design, type and all things magazines. I love quirky items like these.

THREE. The greatest authors and the age they were when they published their greatest book. It’s good news for me!

FOUR. Travelling in your home town can be exciting! I might even do some of these this year.

FIVE. I’m a big West Wing fan. I started rewatching season one this week (during my new sleeping hours — aka the daytime — thanks Summer of Tennis night matches), and it’s still brilliant. I know Sorkin has his quirks (oh, gosh, so many quirks), but it’s still a beautiful piece of television and ensemble casting. A beautiful illustrated look at the episode: Seventeen People.

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Cricket. (3/52)


Last week’s photo is a little late. I went to the cricket with the husband last Wednesday to watch the Prime Minister’s Eleven. I thoroughly enjoyed the cricket. In fact, I tend to like watching any sport live. Or any sport, anytime.

Photo taken on HTC One smartphone, via Instagram app. Using a forgotten filter. Cropped on my MacBook Pro.

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The tattoo began to grow. The ink wasn’t bleeding, as is usual of a tattoo. Something green seeped up and out of the black lines. It spread and it grew until she couldn’t ignore it anymore. This shouldn’t be happening. It was the middle of the night. She had been sleeping. The dark emerald substance clawed its way around her left shoulder, across her back, capturing her waist and neck. She watched it take her over in the mirror across the room and thought about screaming for her father. But she couldn’t. Not yet. When the wings appeared, she did.

As part of my writing goals this year, I’m writing more creatively. This is the first of many drabbles (100 word stories) I will publish.

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Rain. (2/52)

Rain. That’s how it’s been here in Canberra over the last couple of days. This is the summer version of the winter blanket day: I even pulled out my hoodie and wore some long pants for the first time in months. The husband and I bunked down with the (summer of) sport — there’s no sport in winter, unless you count the midnight Tour de France sessions — to enjoy the indoor day.

Of course, as I write this, the sky is blue and the sun has reappeared.

Photo taken on Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT4 Blue. View from the study in our apartment.

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