• .Is There Room for Two? by Jane Bradshaw.Look beneath the façade.Do you really see me?Or do you see brushstrokes?An unfinished masterpiece..The splashes and flashes.Cutting across the misery.Colours spattered […]

    • Hi Jane – I confess to having to look up ekphrastic, although I guessed from your qualifier that the poem was about the pic. It’s a lovely device, and you have interpreted what you see so beautifully. See you in 2021 – wishing you a safe festive season x

      • Hi Deryn, yes I only just learnt about them myself:) They are rather fun. But I learnt about them more in the broad sense of just choosing a picture you like and writing about it. Not having to be a well known artist etc. Thank you for reading and I am glad you enjoyed it:) Merry Christmas to you and your family too:)

    • Hi Jane
      You have written a thought provoking poem. True, sometimes the arbitrary brushstrokes of a mysterious fate obscures the painting of our life hiding our emotions. Yet they remain there waiting for sharp sights to see them. I loved your last two lines: “Is there space in your heart? / For a perfectly flawed artwork.” Well done and thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Nissan, thank you for reading and your feedback:) I edited the last few lines of this poem many times. I am glad you liked what I ended up with:)

    • Dear Jane
      I thoroughly enjoyed your poem. I love how you employed art words to great effect and how this have strength to your poem. Well done!

    • I had to look up Ekphrastic and I think it’s amazing how you bring the painting to life to create a person and a love poem.

      • Hi Pam, I only recently learnt about them myself in a Professional Development course I did via Zoom over two separate 1.5 hour time slots:) It was called Poetry in my Suitcase and was about bringing poetry into the classroom. I loved it. I really like the name of Ekphrastic poems – how awesome is it:) Almost a poem in itself.
        So I had to have a go at writing one:) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hello Jane, This is really great – I love the images you have drawn together from the original picture. You have linked the ‘unfinished masterpiece’ to a wistful feeling – ‘Is there space in your heart?’ very skilfully.

      By the way who is / was the original artist of the picture? I’d love to know. With best wishes for the festive season and I look forward to reading more of your poetry in 2021.

      • Hi Christian, thank you for reading and your very kind comments. I have to admit the picture was just on a PowerPoint presentation during my professional development sessions. I chose this picture to write a quick five minute poem about as it drew me in.
        Later I reworked that poem, adding and taking away and hopefully improving it:) I did this by looking at the picture many times.
        Your question made me search up who the actual artist was. The name of this painting is beautiful – It is called – Mysterious Rain Princess and the artist is Leonid Afremov. A link to this painting for sale (which I believe might be a reproduction) is here: https://afremov.com/mysterious-rain-princess-clone–2.html

    • Jane! You finished with a pow! This may be the best you have ever written.

      I saw an unfinished piece crying out to be completed, hoping it still inspires the artist.

      IDK if I guessed it correctly, but your poem this month is going to be a tough act to follow.

      Touching and moving, I have to say amazing work.

      • Hi Maria, thank you so much for reading and your lovely feedback. I am so glad you enjoyed this poem. It is very much open to interpretation. But I gazed at the painting and just kind of let my senses drink it in. I tried to imagine what it would feel like to be there on that wet pavement and what the lady might be going through etc. It was great to try something different too:)

    • A poetic masterpiece! Well done with your first attempt of this new form, you have drawn out a poignant imagery through this piece of art. Wishing you love and light for this Christmas and see you soon in 2021.🥰💐

    • I love poetry based on art or other literature; it is life-affirming to see how others derive meaning from the work of others. Good job!

      • Hi Joan, thank you for reading. And yes it is a nice form of poetry, agree with you wholeheartedly:) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hi Jane. I’ve learned a new poetry form – Ekphrastic Poetry. I had never heard of this. So, thank you for that. Your poem is beautiful and have to agree that it is one of your best. There is such longing and vulnerability throughout. Well done and thank you for sharing.

      • Hi June, thank you for reading:) I have learned quite a few new ones from the Professional development I did. So much fun:) I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • What a wonderful interpretation of this image. Ekphrastic at its best, this poem stands strong without its image. You open whole worlds in and between your lines. What’s lovely way to end the poeting year.

      • Hi Nina, thank you for reading and your very kind comments:) I am glad you enjoyed it. I am rather taken with it myself:) Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas:)

    • Hi Jane,
      “a perfectly flawed artwork“ – isn‘t that a wonderful way to see ourselves. And so caring, too. This artwork inspired you to a really great poem! And the dichotomy of the artist and the person in the art is one that works for poetry, too! Thanks for sharing.

    • I love the contemplative tone of one hoping to become two. A universal concern! I loved your alliteration and consonance here: “The splashes and flashes./Cutting across the misery./Colours spattered carelessly.” Thank you for sharing!

    • Beautiful just like strokes of brushes. Loved how you took the flawed artwork and made it come alive . Another thing that stood out in the artwork is the distorted mirror image caused by the puddle of waters.

      • Hi Shae, thank you for reading. It is a rather beautiful painting I think, it encourages contemplation:)

        • more ideas for inspiration. i would have never thought about that. Merry Christmas and see you in 2021.

    • Jane, this is by far beautiful and so poetic. It gives me an idea to write a poem from a photo or piece of artwork. Well done!

      • Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your very kind comments:) I hope you get to write one they are quite soothing:)

    • Hi Jane, the theme of dissonance that you explore throughout – “perfectly flawed”, masterpiece vs misspent life – I find that intriguing. In a poem like this, is the narrator the artist of the original piece? Or the subject matter of the painting? Who is the one trying to make sense of the perfectly flawed artwork? I get a sense that the narrator is the girl beneath the umbrella, and perhaps an extension of the poet? All of these things to think about as I read it again. You picked a beautiful piece to write about – who is the artist? I love the style, and I really appreciate your interpretation of it.

      • Hi Hanri, thank you for reading:) I think that is the beauty of it all, it can have many different meanings. But my mind was going more for how the girl in the painting might feel:) Thanks for your feedback.

      • Hi Hanri, I forgot to answer your question about who the artist is:) The name of this painting is beautiful – It is called – Mysterious Rain Princess and the artist is Leonid Afremov. A link to this painting for sale (which I believe might be a reproduction) is here: https://afremov.com/mysterious-rain-princess-clone–2.html

    • Oh, I love ekphrastic poems. This is so sad and beautiful! Love it. I hope there is space in every heart for some perfectly flawed artwork.

    • That lonely figure in the painting expressed with brilliant flashes of color juxtaposed against your words somehow filled me with melancholy, a quiet cry of compassion for something untouchable in my own heart. Your middle stanza moved me so. And the last two lines are a perfect, rhetorical closure. So well done Jane. For a first attempt at an Ekphrastic poem, I say a resounding Bravo.

      • Hi Elizabeth, thank you for reading:) It is such a beautiful painting, it spoke to me:) I am glad you enjoyed my poem:)

    • Jane a great poem
      DId you have the picture as inspiration?

      The sadness of the picture comes through in your words.

      • Hi Mark, yes I did:) I was looking at the picture as I wrote:) Thank you for reading and glad you enjoyed it.

  • Jane and Profile picture of SeyiSeyi are now friends 1 month, 3 weeks ago

  • The Gift – Part 5 by Jane Bradshaw#This wasn’t what I expected at all. He was smirking at me, his eyes like ice.But then it got worse.“Well Amari, it’s past time we called the police. I don’t understand why they […]

    • Hi Jane. I probably need to read the entire story from the beginning again before commenting on your ending. I do want to say, though, how much I’ve looked forward to each instalment every month. One thing that does strike me is that, of course, this is a first draft and you will probably go back over it several times to fine tune it. When you do, it might be a good idea to mention John earlier on in the story and bring in small hints of their friendship. Well done on your perseverance with this. What’s next?

      • Hi June, thank you so much for reading and your very kind comments. This was not an easy story for me to write. Outside anything I have written before, so I am very glad that you enjoyed it. If I have time in the holidays I might try putting it all together and doing a little more editing and perhaps mentioning John a bit earlier:)

    • Hi Jane,
      This was a really good piece of work. Having read all the episodes, it was fascinating to see within this work loose ends being tied up. I do have some comments which might make this even better. Some of us humble mortals may not know what a ‘ute’ is. I myself had to look this up. It is not a term in common usage in the UK as far as I am aware. I would also query whether the genre should have been fiction. Yes it is a story, but I would have thought it to be to more science fiction in content.
      I do appreciate that a 1200 word limit was probably not enough to deal with the back story more fully. The ending seemed a bit rushed and was more tell than show. It would have helped to have the alien speak.
      Having said that, I thought it was a magnificent idea and a wonderful read. Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Maria, thank you so much for reading all the parts of my story:) I appreciate it. Thank you for letting me know about the word “ute” – Marilyn also mentioned it and I had no idea it was not a common word around the world. I have edited it to be pickup truck:) Hopefully that is more easily understood.
        Perhaps you are right and science fiction is more of the genre:) I like the idea that I am a science fiction writer now… might change it to that in all my parts.
        I did try to round it off and answer some questions while throwing in a bit of a surprise, as to who she really was and where she came from (in fact that even surprised me).
        I am working on trying to get better at showing…. it is a work in progress. Thank you.

    • Hi Jane,
      Excellent end to your story. I agree with others that it was a bit rushed, probably too much going on in this chapter. Extending this another month and bringing the story lines together would be nice. As you fine tune this story, there will be plenty of opportunities to weave the personalities, providing hints to how John will react when he hears the news, and then to give more clues about where she comes from.

      I enjoyed all the chapters; a good story, well told.

      • Hi Randy, appreciate you taking the time to read my story and your feedback. I had decided it was time to let Amari go, and I felt the end of the year was a fitting send off.
        I must admit I had no idea where this part was taking me till half way through. She kind of told her own story and I just typed it:) Sorry if it seemed a bit rushed.
        Maybe she will come back in a future prompt to give a little more information about her race and planet:) Time will tell.

    • I really relished the intrigue of this episode.
      I will have to go back and re-read the earlier chapters to refresh my memory.
      I, too, was confused by the term ‘ute’ and when I looked it up, it referred to a tribe of Indians?
      Also; however, the sport coupe, which, obviously, was the meaning you meant?
      This chapter tied up a lot of loose ends, explaining things very well.
      Is this the end? Or is Amari going to reappear as another being in another universe?
      I, too, would almost want to classify this as sci-fi, but why quibble over details?
      The writing was concise and very enjoyable to read.
      I hope there is more to this interesting character!
      Good work!!!

      • Hi Marilyn, thank you to you and Maria for bringing my attention to the word “ute”. I didn’t even think of it not being recognisable overseas. We use it everywhere in Australia. I did a google search and I think the closest thing would be a pickup truck. So I have edited it to say this as most readers here are in fact overseas:) I did try to answer some more questions in this instalment.
        My plan was for it to be the final one. I felt like I had taken Amari as far as I could.
        However, never say never, she may come back depending on a prompt and word count in the future:) I appreciate you reading all the parts and your support:0
        Thank you.

    • A sad ending to your saga, and sadder still that the gift could not have been extended to another (non-human) creature. One small error — telekinesis is the ability to move objects through though alone, I think the word you wanted is telepathy, the ability to transmit thoughts.

      • HI Teresa, thanks for reading and your feedback. Oh yes you are right. Thank you. I will edit that:)

    • WOW! So, I guess that is it.

      Absidion or bust.

      I enjoyed this tale throughout the year. I must say the characters have almost become friends of mine lol.

      It’s a sad ending to a long journey. I remember doing the same to Demetrius in my series two years ago. I had him throw himself into the fire.

      Great work, June. You have grown as a writer this year. I look forward to reading your work in 2021.

      Happy holidays and New Year. Stay safe.

      • Hi Maria, Thank you for following my story, I appreciate it:) I take it as a great compliment that you think my writing is improving. I have found it a struggle at times, but the prompts and word limits are great at challenging oneself and it certainly keeps the mind active. All the constructive feedback really helps as well. Hope you have a wonderful New Year and Christmas as well:) Thank you.

    • Hi Jane,
      I’ve been enjoying the chapters of your story. John’s suspicious and hostile reaction was unexpected for Amari and for the reader. Perhaps a breadcrumb earlier that would get the reader to suspect John before his reaction to Amari’s knowledge would be an angle to consider. This sentence was a little awkward, “ I searched for the light source and found that it was coming from a shadow at the end of my bed.”
      Perhaps the light source came from behind the shadow? It was hard to picture a light coming from a shadow.
      You’ve put in a lesson for us about how Earthlings don’t deserve to take in those of a pure, kind species, yet.
      I thought the last line worked very very well.
      Great read!

      • Hi Sudha, thank you so much for following my series and your great suggestions. I have tried to change that line – hopefully it reads a little better now. If I do rework the story (as a whole) I will try to put something in a little earlier about John. Also possibly introducing into the story a little earlier as someone else suggested:)

    • Hi Jane,

      Wow. This has been quite a ride, hasn’t it? I’ve enjoyed it immensely. The storyline is so unique and the twist in the end …. albeit a little sad (I mean Earth failed! How sad is that?) seems like just the ending this story deserved. I agree with Maria that I’d have loved the “Being” deliver some of the dialogue than just gloss over their conversation, but as I always say, you know the best way to tell your story. 🙂

      I’m excited to see what new adventure you take us on in the new year.

      Wish you a peaceful and healthy holiday season.


      Anne. xo

      • Hi Anne, Thank you for reading and your kind feedback. I guess I ran out of words and I don’t like long dialogues, probably as I am not overly confident with them yet:) So I take the cheats way out sometimes:) Thank you for the kind wishes, hopefully I can continue to keep writing next year:)

    • What a fabulous story, Jane. I loved the premise of it and think you could easily develop this into a novella or even a full length novel if you were so inclined. From Amari’s discovery of her powers, to the impact it had on her friendships and to those around her, to John’s suspicions, and finally, to the revelation of where she came from and why. How sad, that Earth didn’t deserve her. I hope she has a beautiful life on Absidion. I so enjoyed this gift you’ve given us, and can’t wait to see what you come up with next year! Well done!

      • Hi Peggy, How many words does a Novella have to be? Maybe that could be a challenge for next year sometime:) Thank you so much for reading and your support. I am so pleased you enjoyed this story. When I wrote “The Gift” I intended it to be a stand alone. It was the members of this group that encouraged me to take it further – and so I made it to five parts:) By the way I loved GrammaLou:)

        • I understand a novella can be anywhere between 10,000 – 40,000 words, typically 20k. A novellete is 7,500 words, so that may be an option to challenge yourself with. Good luck!

        • I understand a novella can be anywhere between 10,000 – 40,000 words, typically 20k. A novellete is 7,500 words, so that may be an option to challenge yourself with. Good luck and happy writing!

    • Hi Jane,
      I’ve loved following Amari’s story from the start until this finale which I found poignant and nostalgic. It gives us on planet earth a lot to think about, doesn’t it? I can tell you’ve put a lot of thought into the why’s, when’s, how’s etc. and I do think it could turn into a fascinating longer piece. Well done and thank you for tying up Amari’s story for us.

      • PS: I also wanted to say I really like the name you created for her planet: Absidion.

        • Hi Nicole, thank you so much for following Amari’s story and your very kind feedback:) Yes I was trying to think of a planet name that sounded mysterious and different. I hope to get back to Amari and put all the parts together and round it out a bit more at some stage. On my to do list:)
          PS I loved your story. Just read it.

    • Howdy Jane, I think you did a terrific job bringing your story to conclusion. I feel that if you choose to expand your story – the messenger from Absidion can be given more space to speak. I know you had a tight word count but as it stands now – the being’s revelations come across rushed – like we are hearing a quick summary before barrelling towards the finale. Good job overall though.👍

      • Hi Charles, thanks for reading and for your feedback:) Hopefully I will get to work on it at a later date and add a bit more detail in:)

    • First of all I want to say that I’m disappointed and sad, that this story has ended. I really enjoyed reading it and was already making up all kinds of possibilities in my head regarding where the story was going. To have it ended so soon is really a let down. I want more.. 😖 I was thinking about the struggle she’s going to face after the betrayal. Wondered how she’ll escape, and stuff like that. I know all good things must come to an end, but still…

      That said, this was a marvelous ending. it felt a little rushed, but awesome nevertheless. You tied up all loose ends. I particularly loved the part where they decided Earth doesn’t deserve their gift. Too many stories focuses on how the human race is a special breed and every other species in the universe works for our sake, and I’m just tired of it. This was really refreshing. A bit dark and depressing, but also a wake up call.

      I didn’t anticipate the alien origin. That was good. I was thinking in the lines of ancient magical beings or gods given her magical abilities.

      All in all, this was a wonderful read. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to your next piece.

      P. S : Before reading, I planned to ask you in the comments if you’ll be continuing this for next year. That was how much I was looking forward to this, and why I’m so sad. But ending it at the end of the year seems so fitting, doesn’t it. Sigh…

      • Hi Kaiser. Thank you so much for reading and your lovely detailed feedback. What a lovely compliment. I am so glad you enjoyed the series. I am hoping to go back to it – put all the parts together and and maybe add a little more. Hopefully getting it to the stage of a novella or novelette – who knows:) On my list:)

    • Hi Jane,
      That was a fitting finale to such an intriguing series! I really liked the revelations one after another. The transformation in John, the missing evidence of the accident and finally the big reveal, where Amari learns about her existence – it all fit! I loved the flow of your story and the way you have sequenced the whole story. 🙂
      Just one small suggestion. Where you describe Amari’s car being parked where it’s supposed to be, I wonder if you could have left it at, “…keys in the ignition.” And done away with this line – “Things were getting weirder by the minute.” I feel the surprise hits more when you do not state the obvious. But it is your call really.
      The end…well, I would have to say I am a little disappointed that your series is ending here. I think this has scope to be something bigger and a very intriguing preimise. Well-written! Thank you for sharing! Have a great yearend and happy holidays to you! Be safe. 🙂

      • Hi Amrita, thank you for finding the time to read my stories and your kind and positive feedback. I do agree with your suggestion. I will take that line out:) I am hoping to work on this as a whole over the school holidays. Put it all together and then start adding bits here and there. I would love to try to publish it as a Novella. I even had a thought that I could combine two stories to make a Novella. I would love to do the same to Dashed Illusions – the story I was writing through the Keep Writing Challenge earlier in the year. Both of them are quite special to me:) Hopefully I can manage it at some stage.
        Merry Christmas to you and your family:)

    • Hi Jane,

      I am so glad that you decided to continue with this story
      and also sad that it’s over. The ending in itself, how she disappears is quite
      tragic – I am left hoping that all of the little critters she saved would still
      be around and would be left with an understanding or realisation that they have
      been given a second chance.

      It is also sad that Earth didn’t pass the test. But not
      surprising I guess – given the amount of damage we are doing, to the Earth, our
      Mother. And to each other.

      I was intrigued by their homeworld and their mission of
      sending “ambassadors” to other planets!

      And now she has gone back to her real home.

      I like the lesson that you’ve worked in here – that things
      can’t go on the way they are. It made think of something I heard recently: we
      don’t need one person to do a lot to change and save the world, we need
      everyone to so something small.

      If 2020 leaves us with anything, may it be The Gift of
      knowing that each one of has has the power to do something.

      Thank you for this Jane, and thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Jan, thank you for following my stories and your encouragement and feedback:) I really appreciate it. I do hope you are right about the world pausing, breathing, reflecting and looking for some change. I hope that is the silver lining that can come out of this “unprecedented” event. 2020 will be taught in schools as part of our world history in years to come.

    • Is it over? I’ve enjoyed this series very much and it is great to have a final reveal of what is going on here. I am so very disappointed with John but that is a typical life experience – you trust someone and they turn out to be unworthy. It is such a satisfying conclusion although to be honest I hoped for more drama and for people to know who she truly is. Thank you for sharing this final episode. Enjoyed it.

      • Hi Stevie, thank you so much for reading and for your feedback. Glad you enjoyed the story:) Yes it could have gone on a bit longer I guess with some more drama. I just didn’t want her ending up in a laboratory being tested etc. like a lab rat:) So this seemed the best way to finish it:) Thanks for your support.

    • Hey Jane and how goes it? It was fun, finding out Amari’s powers with her and the source of those powers is suitably out of left field that my various guesses were way wrong. Your story construct is solid and all my queries were explained. I also like the underlying lesson about Earth and its people being found wanting (very apt at this point in time). I do agree though that this conclusion may have been better stretched out over one more (or two) submissions. The explanations being delivered by the disembodied voice seem like an exposition and though I am not sure how you could have ‘shown’ this history, it felt like you were telling it. Perhaps Amari could have been ‘reborn’ in another world, and she would have a brief moment of awareness as she was being readied for her new experience, where she realized (deja vu style) that she had gone through this on our Earth and as the memories faded, she would share them with us? Sorry if that is weak, that’s all I can think of at the moment. This is a cool storyline, which I enjoyed following. I hoe the suggestions help. Very best regards for the year end and for 2021. Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, thank you for reading and your comments and suggestions. I think the reason I didn’t go down this vein is for what you have come across near the bottom of your comments. It was hard to think of a good way to do it:) But who knows, maybe my brain will kick into gear and she may return:) Looking forward to reading more of your stories in 2021:)

    • Hi Jane, I found myself longing to find out more about Absidion (great name by the way, just as is Amari). It sounds like such a idyllic place and I was intrigued by the fact that similar ‘gifts’ had been sent to other planets around the universe. It made me wonder about the other races and whether they had proved more deserving than us…
      Also I kept hoping that Amari’s time on Earth would have hopefully have shown her enough (although not from John obviously) for her to plead to give us a second chance once back on Absidion…
      Reading some of the comments, it looks like many of us don’t want the story to end…52 scenes perhaps? 😉 xx

      • Hi Ben, thank you for reading and your kind comments and suggestions:) Yes I have had quite a few sad that it has ended. Maybe she will have to resurface next year. You do bring up some good ideas for areas yet to be explored. Never say never I say:)

    • A good concept you’ve got going here, Jane, I’ve said it all along. You’ve packed a lot into this last instalment – one would’ve wanted a bit more scope for the resolution, but hey, this need not be the end, it can be the beginning of a flesh out in your second draft, which you can do at leisure without the 12SS limits imposed. Keep at it!

      • Hi Hanri, Thank you for reading and your feedback:) I do hope I might have time to go back and add some more and edit a bit. Fingers crossed.

    • What an ending! Sad to see it is over and hoping for some kind of reprieve for earth next year, perhaps? Thanks for sharing your words and creativity!

      • Hi Christy, thanks for reading and your kind feedback:) I am not sure. I had planned on this being the end but never say never I guess:)

    • A great ending Jane and as the other comments have said this is worth keeping and fleshing out some more.
      Have a look at this “A wave of dizziness hit me, as I sat down on the kitchen bench.”

      Would you not sit down at the kitchen bench? if you did want her to sit on the bench then it would be better to say sat on.

      Well done

      • Hi Mark:) Yes I hope to get back to this story and put it all together:) Might even add to it – who knows. Thank you for reading and your feedback. Mmmm made me think there, perhaps sitting down at might be better:) Thanks.

    • Congratulations Jane on completing your series. How satisfying that must be! I’ll admit I don’t think I’ve read all the episodes, but this stands alone very well, as I immediately felt roped in. I love the names ‘Amari’ and ‘Absidion’ – it’s not easy coming up with original names and you seem to have a knack for it. An intriguing story – well done!

      • Hi Becky, thank you for reading and your kind feedback. It is fun trying to thing of names that are a bit unusual:)

    • That was a good little series, Jane. The end is a really good twist that I didn’t expect, but really enjoyed. For a horrible second there, I thought Earth’s failure meant the destruction of the planet to keep the secret, but you didn’t go that far, happily!
      Happy New Year to you and yours, I’m looking forward to another year of stories in 2021

      • Jane replied 4 weeks ago

        Hi John, yes the ending surprised me too. I didn’t know what I was going to do till I was writing Part 5:) This story surprised me the whole way along as I only intended it to be a standalone….. I am also considering one more part after the comments from people who wanted a bit more. We will see. Thank you for reading and your support. Wishing you a Happy New Year:) And look forward to reading your stories next year.

  • Acrostic Twofold by Jane Bradshaw


    A    A special gift bestowed to me

    L      Last in line, as blessed with three

    Y     You give all a chance, never judging

    S     Sophisticated beyond your years

    S    […]

    • Jane, this is thrilling. Such a mothers high, then followed by the depths of despair. Do we all feel these things for our children?! Beautifully written. Thank you.

    • Hi Jane
      This is thought provoking. How often does extreme polarity occur in one child or in two? What could be the parents’ proper stand facing it? I liked the line “Sophisticated beyond your years”. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jane
      This is thought provoking. How often does extreme polarity occur in two children or in one at different times of his/her life? What could be the parents’ proper stand facing it?
      I liked the line “Sophisticated beyond your years”.
      Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Jane. Beautifully done. I have a daughter named Alyssa and this acrostic fits her to a T! Except she was second born. 🙂 Both sides fit her because she was raised by an abusive mother. 🙁 This poem brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Ismael, thank you for reading and your kind comments. Wow, we have a daughter with the same name:) Mine is 17 and has just finished her final year of school today:) Auspicious moment for sure.

        • Aw, what a great age. Lots ahead of her. Mine is 34, so is very much set in her ways. 😀 Have a wonderful day.

    • If this is your daughter Jane, then the greatest gift is for her to embrace both her strengths and perceived weaknesses – not as a weakness but just needing time to figure it all out, to come into her own. And never destined to be unfulfilled….some of us take longer than others…god, if I remember how meek and painfully shy I was as a teenager and now…. 🙄.

      Love this – but remember…your fear for your daughter is not her reality. sending ❤

      • Hi Kim, thank you for reading. And for you insightful comments:) Yes, she is only 17.5 so a lot of growing up to do and self-realisation 🙂

    • Hi Jane,
      I like your idea of doing a double acrostic. It enables you to move from the specific to the more philosophic, from daughter to mother. It gives your poem the ability to transform and I really like that! I especially like your last line “Destined to remain unfulfilled” – I actually think that’s quite beautiful for it always leaves room for creativity!

      • Hi Susanne, thanks for stopping by:) I appreciate your feedback and I like your interpretation of that last line, it puts a positive spin on it:) Will come back to read yours later when it is posted:)

    • While your first acrostic is a touching tribute from a proud mother, I found your second a vivid portrait of a woman trodden down by life. (It need not be a woman, but it reads that way.) I can picture her and feel her cringe.

      • Hi Cathy, thank you for reading and your insightful comments. The second poem was a little related to my daughter but more to the word and what it symbolizes for people who are trapped.

    • I love the two sides you portray. I think we’ve all been there, some of us more than once. I get the feeling that the first one is about how you see her and the second is how she sees herself. Lovely poem. X

    • Lovely tribute to your daughter and chilling comment on a life barely lived. I wished there’d been a third between the two contrasting portraits. That said, you did well with a challenging form.

      • Hi Nina, thank you for reading and your feedback:) To be honest when I wrote the second Acrostic it was not only for my daughter but more for all of us – linked to the word Afraid and how being afraid stilts our creativity and possibility:)

    • Enjoyed reading your poem. I have two daughters that are as different as night and day. I t would have been fun to write about each one. Thanks for the thought provoking poetry. Well done.

      • Hi Sharon, thank you for reading and your comments:) Maybe that is something you can do one day – even if just for yourself:)

    • Hello Jane,
      What a beautiful acrostic. I sense it as a tribute of sorts. I enjoyed reading how you display the characteristics of Alyssa so well. One of my favorite lines is Destined to Remain Unfilled…Lovely work, as always.

      • Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your kind comments. I guess a coming of age with my youngest child (and only daughter) having just finished her last year of school:)

    • Hi Jane,
      The difference between the first acrostic and its counterpart is stark and effective. I wasn’t sure if you were comparing the change in Alyssa’s character between childhood and adult or between two different people. Either way it’s / they are very interesting acrostics and give the mind much to chew on.

      • Hi Christian, thanks for reading and your lovely feedback:) I like to think that poetry is whatever the readers take from it.

    • Hello Jane

      Such a lovely juxtaposition of a daughter’s qualities, then the fear we all share. It’s like the flip side of the coin, or the inevitable night that comes after the day.

      The way you formatted the poem is also so neat! 🙂

    • Hi Jane. A very well structured acrostic poem you created. Beautifully written. Well done . Lourens

    • I thought of my third-born son as I read this. Same qualities, and yes, he is the one of my three who struggles with anxiety, so some of the second half made my heart hold him as I read. But we know our children are brilliant : ) and they do overcome. As always, Jane, it is a pleasure to read your work. Thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Elizabeth, yes my gorgeous girl has anxiety which developed into depression as well this year, tough year to be doing Year 12 with all the Covid crap:) Thank you for your lovely comments:)

    • I interpret this as the first how a mother sees her daughter, and the second how the daughter sees herself. I wish there were a third, a meeting in the middle. This was deeply profound, it draws a beautiful picture of a beloved daughter, and a somber view of the fear of an insecure child.

      • Hi Peggy, thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely feedback. I appreciate it.

      • Oh wow! It’s not my poem, but I really like the feedback that you have given here. 🙂 Didn’t think of it this way

    • The contrast between the two poems is the highlight of the post. It is beautiful, sad, hopeful, and loving.

    • This is a poem was written by an observer of life and people. So simply eloquent. I love it! The contrasts are deep and profound. Isn’t that reality though, we emphasise our shortcomings while people see our strengths. Thanks for sharing. You have inspired me to attempt something about my own daughter

      • Hi Stevie, thank you for reading, and your lovely feedback:) I am so pleased it has inspired you to write about your daughter, I hope to read it one day:) Cheers.

    • Great poems Jane. I could feel the love and admiration in the first one and the second is so on the money. Absolutely love the picture you chose and for me it represents AFRAID excellently with that huge expanse of water and the boats/vessels only being little dots.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • What a contrast! Alyssa sounds amazing 💖💖.
      The second acrostic is a mirror to what life is when it is bounded by other people’s expectations. Afraid. Afraid of keeping up with those expectations, afraid of letting those wings fly, afraid of even putting your thoughts across. Just afraid.
      Love your work always

      • Jane replied 2 months ago

        Hi Naina, thank you for reading and your kind feedback. You totally got my AFRAID poem:) Thank you.

  • The Gift – Part 4 by Jane Bradshaw#Someone was bashing on the door. Making a huge, relentless racket.Giving up, I struggled out of bed, threw on my dressing gown, and dragged myself to the front door.John stood […]

    • Hi Jane,

      An interesting story. It’s good you didn’t rely too much on the previous submission as each short story must stand on its own. I liked the scant summary allowing the reader to imagine the details.

      I do think the story can be tightened a little.

      Lines such as “John was standing there” could be “John stood there”, which seems more forceful, immediate and saves a few words.

      The dialogue can be truncated in places, where speech would naturally truncate. Such as
      “you are beginning to” replaced with “you’re beginning to”.

      The above are just a few thoughts to tighten up.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Keep writing.

    • Hi Jane! I like where this is going. No telling what John has in mind. I hate him already. 🙂
      I agree with Paul that some places can be tightened up, especially phrases like, ‘but then’, ‘I tried to’, ‘it seemed like’, etc. Unless this is part of a dialogue, I’m sure they can be omitted.
      Can’t wait to read more of your story. Keep it up! 😀

      • Hi Ismael, yes I hadn’t really intended for him to be like that, but it is where the story took me. Thanks for reading and your feedback:) Like Paul’s, it is always very useful:)

      • Jane, I have to applaud how you have managed to continue this fun storyline. This episode was a fun read that recaps what we have read before. The story flowed well and I liked how you incorporated the prompt into it. Good job.👍👍

    • By the first half it seemed like the series could end with this installment when John became aware of her powers and they lived happily ever after while helping everyone around them whenever and wherever they can. And then you twisted it. Very well done. It’s getting more and more interesting. Thank you for sharing. Loved it.

      • Hi Kaiser, thanks for reading and your feedback:) Yes I have to admit this story surprised me. It is not what I had first intended. I have no idea where Part 5 is going to take me yet.

    • Hello Jane,
      Gosh you upped the angst in this part of your series. I wonder why he didn’t believe her? And, of course, the inevitable question – what happens next? Thanks for an intriguing read.

      • Hi Maria. Thanks for reading and your feedback. Yes he has thrown a bit of a curve ball in here, not quite sure where it came from:)

    • Oh no! What’s going on in John’s mind? I suspected his motives for wanting this conversation, but still I thought he was a friend. I like this twist, as it opens a pathway for something completely different!

      • Hi Peggy, thank you for reading and your comments. Yes this surprised me, originally I thought ‘love interest’ but somehow this happened…..

    • I am so disappointed in John. I thought he was going to be an ally and I am still holding on to a tiny shred of hope that he will change his mind * sigh. Loved this instalment. Definitely made the future more intriguing. Thanks for sharing

      • Hi Stevie:) Thank you for stopping by and your kind comments. Have no idea what next month will bring.

    • Hi Jane,
      Nice continuation of your story. Sounds like John has issues with change. I agree with others that you could tighten up a bit, but I think you did a great job overall. (Suggest looking at vague prepositions and qualifiers. A lot could be chopped out without losing story or feel i.e. ‘up his nose’, ‘it got worse’, ‘any longer’, ‘at all’, etc. If they go to characterization, leave them.)

      Good job. Thanks for letting us read.


    • WHY are people so afraid of anyone who is different. Especially, if they known them, even a little bit for years.

      Nice touch, look forward to the next installment.


      • Hi Jeff, thank you for reading and your comments. Yes difference scares the sh** out of a lot of people doesn’t it:)

    • Hi Jane,

      An interesting take on the prompt. As I haven’t read your other stories in this series, I may have ended up a little lost. I am very unclear as to why she would confide all that to him when it was never implied that she felt she could trust him with something so huge.

      Your dialogue is stilted in places.

      With such a small word limit you might want to be a tad more succinct with your description. ‘Deep emerald green eyes’ is a little too much.

      I liked that the story didn’t go where we thought it would.
      Well done.
      Melanie 🙂

      • Hi Melanie, thanks for reading and your suggestions. As this is such a short story I can imagine it doesn’t really explain things that well for a first time reader. The other three stories would give more background and insight. In my mind this is the first person she has told. I believe she felt she could trust him and that she owed him the truth. And maybe deep down inside she really wanted to share the burden of this special gift.

    • Not the ending I’d expected… sounds like the “friend” isn’t really acting like one after all… One comment on the writing. The line It is quite a story and will not be easy for you to believe?” reads to me like a statement not a question. Nice way to work the prompt into your ongoing story!

      • Hi Teresa, thank you for reading and your feedback. I agree with you, not quite sure how the extra question mark slipped in:) I have fixed it. Thank you.

    • Yes! Every good heroine needs a good villain to challenge her! Great when this comes from an unexpected quarter. Slap it on as thick as you can, Jane – the bigger the conflict, the more we commit to her, and not to him. Don’t you just love it when your characters have a mind of their own – no matter what you might have planned for them, they end up where they want to end up…

      • Hi Hanri, thank you for reading and your support:) This story has been hard for me, I just hope I can do it justice next month. Hoping to wrap it up. But we will see:)

    • Hi Jane,
      I was reading and thought – o good, she is getting a confidant and can finally stop carrying this burden alone, and then wow this terrible surprise!
      And now another month to see where this will go! I agree with Hanri, every superhero needs a villain and I suppose we have just met him.
      I like how you start the story with a couple of sentences to set the scene and remind us what happened before.
      And I like how you are developing this! Please continue 🙂
      Thank you for sharing and take care,

      • Hi Jan, thank you for stopping by. I appreciate you following my story and your kind feedback. Yes I had him pegged for a love interest but somehow this installment just took me somewhere else….. Loved your dog story. Now that I have a one-year-old puppy that kind of stories really get me:)

    • Hi Jane,
      I finally got around to finding some time to read this month’s submissions. 😛
      I can’t thank you enough for the recap you placed in the beginning. It’s a great way to jog your readers’ memories after a month gap between each installment. This one had such a twist! I was having an “Et tu John” moment at the end. I’m with Ismael. I hate him already. 😀
      Thanks for sharing, my friend.

      • Hi Anne, yes I do like the 500-word stories. I find it easier to have time to read more of them:) Thank you for stopping by and for your kind feedback. The worm has turned – as they say:) I wonder what I will write next month, I have no idea at the moment.

    • Hi Jane,
      I like that your story has taken an evil, conspiratorial twist. i’ve been follwing along with the series, but I have to admit, I don’t remember whether you were previously positioning John as a possible love interest. In the scene of the big “reveal” I think we need a little more emotional conflict. I kept saying “Oh NO!” when I read that Amari feels that John deserves to know the truth. I wasn’t sure that it was clear why he needs to know what happened. It’s ok if Amari has super powers but is too trusting-but still it would be good to know why she felt it was safe to make her reveal.
      As others have said, you have some opportunities to tighten the writing and get back some word count. If you joined the sentences before and after deleting the following words, “even though I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry. Anything to avoid talking to, or looking at him.
      After eating at a painfully slow pace, I ”
      and fixed the verbs, you would be able to convey the restlessness by just showing and get back a lot of word count.
      I’ve been very absorbed in this series and I look forward to the next installment. You definitely have a flair and talent for story telling.

      • Hi Sudha, thank you for reading and your detailed response. I really appreciate you making the effort to provide me some suggestions for improvement. I am learning so much from being part of this group:) I am glad you are enjoying it:)

    • I love how this story is panning out. Can’t wait for the next episode.

    • Hi Jane,
      I think this is developing into a fine series…this has a sci-fi plus paranormal kind of a vibe. I like the taut dialogue-exchange between the two characters. This installment also roused a lot of curiosity about John and his agenda. The expressions of the characters are spot on. Just noted a couple of things:
      In these lines, “John, are you…freak me out.” I think there is an extra space between the opening inverted commas and ‘John’.

      “John lifted his head and smiled at me. It wasn’t a particularly nice smile either.” I was wondering if the word ‘either’ was needed here. Perhaps, it would sounded better on the lines of, “John lifted his head and smiled at me, not a particularly nice smile.” But it’s your call really.

      “So, what you’re trying to tell me, is that you have some kind of weird-ass superpowers. Did you escape from Area 52 or 51? They could be out there searching for you right now.” Here, I feel that the last line could be more impactful if it ended with a question mark.

      Your storytelling is engrossing and you are onto something really good with this series. Looking forward to the next installment. Brilliant writing! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Amrita, thank you for stopping by and for your detailed and helpful feedback:) I really appreciate it. I need to take a bit of time to rework this part and try to fine tune it a little. I am glad you are enjoying this series:)

    • Wow, Jane. I’m glad that I’ve caught myself up on all parts of “The Gift” because it makes your conclusion of Part 4 all the more powerful and surprising. What an unexpected and unpleasant twist for our MC and heroine! I can’t believe John, and after Amari saved him from those burns in Part 2. I’m fuming. An intriguing story so far, I’m curious to see where it will take you. Thank you for sharing and looking forward to the next instalment.

      • Hi Nicole, thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to backtrack and read all the other parts – no mean feat:) I am glad you are enjoying the series. I haven’t got to Part 5 yet, need to try to start that soon:)

    • Uh oh… John is turning out to be not so good. Can’t wait to see what you do next with this story.

      • Hi Srivalli, thank you for reading:) I don’t know where it is going yet, hopefully, the muse will come to me soon:)

    • Hi Jane, that was an interesting story which I was able to pick up easily, even though I haven’t read the previous one(s). It seems that John is not one of the good guys and I wonder what happens next. Maybe the MC has the power to make him forget what she just told him? Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Athina, thank you for stopping by and your kind comments:) I have been toying with that idea:) We will see.

    • Hey Jane and how goes it? Technical problems and some crazy competing priorities means I am very late to reading this month. You have received a lot of awesome feedback already and I am unsure if I can add much to this. I will mention taht I really like your changing things up with John’s influence on the story. I was pretty sure he was being lined up to be the love interest (and he may still be), but this just made him way more interesting (and way more evil 😀). I also like the body language you used to show Amari’s nervousness (I played with my coffee cup, nudging it back and forth). Already looking forward to the next submission, I really hope you keep this story going. Well done and very best regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, thank you so much for stopping by:) It has been hectic over this way too:) Such a busy week ahead with my daughter having her graduation and Year 12 Formal. Thank you for reading and your lovely feedback. I really appreciate it. Hoping I can do the next part justice. Thanks:)

    • Hi Jane, I confess I don’t remember reading the previous installments.
      I liked this episode. I sensed something was up with John from the get go. Looking forward to seeing how he gets his come-uppance, but it also works well as a stand-alone story, leaving the reading asking, “Oooh what happens next?”

      • Hi Elaine, thank you so much for reading and your kind comments:) I didn’t think it would stand up all that well on its own, so that is lovely feedback:) Thanks.

    • Jane,
      This was very well done. These short word counts are always a challenge to communicate anything, but you delineated the characters and the action well. I have not read the previous installments, but did not feel at a loss. The one suggestion I would make is that early in the story, you mention them moving to “an outdoor setting”. That seemed artificial to me a threw me off for a second. I would recommend using a specific setting to bring more life and detail…”Walking towards the patio” or “walking out on the deck”. Well done.

      • Hi Doug, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and provide feedback:) I like your point and I changed my copy to – walking out on the deck:) Thank you.

    • JAne a great addition to the story. I agree with most of the comments.
      You could tighten up getting rid of a few adverbs (surprised JP didn’t say anything) e.g After eating at a painfully slow pace could be replaced with After nibbling through her croissant

      Still great twist in the story and John doesn’t have to be liked. Well done

      • Hi Mark, LOL. I did try to get rid of some adverbs but felt I needed some:) However, I do like your suggestion, I might update that on my copy:) Thank you for reading and your feedback, I appreciate it.

    • Hi Jane,
      I haven’t yet read the other parts of the story either but I was quickly drawn into this latest instalment and really enjoyed it. Love that John isn’t as trustworthy as the MC thought. I’m intrigued now so I’ll need to go back and read the previous instalments. I look forward to seeing what happens to Amari next… 🙂

      • Jane replied 2 months ago

        Hi Ben, thank you so much for reading and your kind comments:) I am glad you enjoyed it. The other parts will fill in a lot more detail if you get the chance to read them:) Thank you.

    • Hi Jane
      Sorry its taken me so long to read this instalment – slowly, I’m getting up to date.
      I enjoyed this instalment and how the overall story is taking shape, it’s coming along nicely. Very much better control of your tenses helped the story flow well, especially for a short 500 word story, you want to avoid confusion or difficulty with the reading – well done on achieving that

      • Jane replied 1 month ago

        Hi John, thank you for making your way here. I know things have not been easy for you of late so I very much appreciate it:) I have written Part 5 – which I had intended to be the final one. But who knows we will see:) Appreciate your support and feedback. Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.

  • If I Must Rhyme by Jane Bradshaw


    R     Remember when you used to care.

    H    Held my gaze with your loving stare.

    Y     You held my heart securely gloved.

    M   Made me feel protected and loved.

    E     Even […]

    • Clever use of acrostic style. In only six lines you told the whole story.

      • Hi Pam, yes I cheated a little, wanted a short poem – so I didn’t have to rhyme as much. Thanks for reading.

    • Ha you have jumped the gun for next month’s prompt – how could you have known!!??? Nicely done…and now you need to do it all again!

      • Oh dear Deryn, I had no idea. Oh well, another acrostic it will be – but this one will not have to rhyme unless I choose it….
        Thanks for reading:)

    • This is so true… I think this is the case for many… Lovely acrostic rhyme Jane!

    • Hi Jane
      It seems none of us guessed what the prompt of next month will be.
      Heartbreaking, but very nice and well done.

      • Hi Nissan, yes we are very clever aren’t we, but now we have to write another one:) Thanks for reading and your kind feedback.

    • If you MUST rhyme? You SHOULD rhyme! This is sad but also so good.

    • Hi Jane. This is such a sad poem. I love this line – ‘You held my heart securely gloved’. Could you, perhaps, find a better rhyming word than ‘stare’ in line two? Staring, for me, doesn’t sound very loving. Leaving out the ‘and’ in your M line, and replacing it with a comma would help the rhythm of the piece too. Well done and thank you for sharing.

      • Hi June, thanks for reading and your suggestions:) I couldn’t think of anything at the time and I tried (wasn’t overly happy with stare either. But you made me think and look again –
        What do you think of – Held my gaze with a love so rare – as the second line. And I like the idea of the comma instead of the and too, thank you:))
        I will edit a bit later.

    • It’s always worthwhile trying something different. And with an acrostic restriction thrown in for good measure. Well done.

      • Hi Cathy, and now I have to do it again next month, LOL. Thanks for reading and commenting:)

        • Yes, I’m looking at that and finding it a challenge. With a brain that’s turning to pea soup with every passing year, I must find words that fit without the help of a rhyming dictionary, or even a thesaurus.

    • Heartbreak, gotta love it. I like what you did with the prompt letters, clever move.

      Hopefully, this soul will find their peace and look back at this with affection instead of anger.

      Great job with the prompt.

    • You got a jump on next month’s prompt with this acrostic! I like the idea of holding one’s love’s heart securely in a gloved hand.

      • Hi Joan, yes it seems I have:) And now I have to write another – LOL. Thank you for reading .

    • Wow, Jane, did Mia tip you off about next month’s prompt. Your acrostic is really skilled in that it sounds like a poem and not like words forced to fit the first letter of each line. I hate rhyming too, but yours flows excellently.

    • This poem intrigues with its veiled message, with its clever amalgam of acrostic and rhyming, and by your carefully chosen words.

    • Very well written, Jane. No reason to be confused with this. It is crystal clear and concise. Thanks for sharing, Sharon

    • A great poem filled with hope and disappointment. A reflection of life

      • Hi Mark, a very short and succinct reflection of life:) Thanks for reading and your feedback:)

    • Nice one! You cleverly used the acrostic style to pack so much information in one piece. The title is not as weighty as the poem is…well done

      • Hi Stevie, thank you for stopping by:) Tried to keep this one short, I do not like to rhyme:)

    • Hi June,
      Oh those sites are great:) Thank you.
      What about – Had me dancing with such flair (as the second line).
      This is why I hate to rhyme ……

      • I’m sure if you put it to one side and give yourself a bit of time away from it, when you pick it up again you’ll be able to find just the right line.

    • A sad tale told in succinct fashion. Nicely done, and oh dear, now you must write another acrostic. Great double-take on the prompt. 💕

      • Hi Elizabeth, yes I do:((( Never mind, at least I quite enjoy them. And this time it will not have to rhyme at least. Thank you for reading.

    • Well done. Love you held my heart securely gloved. And though the rhyme created a cheery rhythm,your opening forewarned us. Kudos, Jane.

    • A rhyming acrostic, well done. And though your opening forewarned us, the rhythm was nonetheless cheery and strong. Love you held my heart securely gloved.

    • Short and poignant, Jane. More in less.
      That’s an effective acrostic rhyme. 🙂

    • Hello Jane,
      What a heartfelt ode to love. I like how you used the Acrostic method (next month’s prompt too) 😉 This was fun and also a bit sad. My favorite line is You held my heart securely gloved. Nicely done.

    • WOW, a rhyme and an acrostic! You over achiever, you. Nice job of telling a sad tale in a few short lines.

      • Hi Christy:) Thank you for reading, LOL. For me it was the easiest way to do a rhyming poem, short and sweet.

    • Six small lines tell such a sad, emotional story, and you’ve done it while rhyming! Well done, Jane!

    • Snap! Well done!

    • Love the acrostic Jane. You tell the story of a common occurrence and how easily people walk away instead of fight.

      The rhythm and rhyme was great and you created images I could fall into.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 3 months ago

        Hi Debbie, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:)

    • Hi Jane, this reads like a sweet nursery rhyme until the terrible twist in the last lines. It enhances the shock factor! Well done!

    • Hi Jane, your rhyming effort works well and tells a sad yet powerful story….well done and your work for next month is already accomplished.

      • Hi Glen, thanks for reading:) Yes it was kind of funny that I chose to do an Acrostic and low and behold that is the next prompt:)

  • The Gift – Part 3 by Jane Bradshaw#I didn’t see the car that crossed over into my lane until it was too late. Slamming on the brakes made no difference. The sound of scraping metal filled my entire being, as the i […]

    • Dear Jane Thank you for your comment on my poem Teacher’.This story is gripping to the smallest details, the cuts,the blood,the feelings,the pain.Your descriptive skills are amazing.Read to the last word in one go. Great work.

      • Hi Anjum, you are welcome. I enjoyed your poem:) I have been sick in bed all day today and just managed to get up a couple of hours ago and post my story. Now I am starting to feel a bit more human so am back. Thank you for reading and your kind feedback.

    • Hi Jane, well that explains Amari’s gift, then! The description of the cars after the accident as well as the mangled bodies of the occupants was very vivid and Amari will have a hard time explaining how they all came out alive, let alone unscathed!
      I know you were trying to vary the sentence length here and there, but in some places it didn’t work for me like the last sentence of the first paragraph and the concertina car, the sentences could just have run on and had the same effect.
      This is a gripping series, tho, I enjoyed it.

      • Hi Deryn, thanks for reading and your kind feedback. I totally get your comment about the sentences and that is how I originally had them. But the Hemingway editor does not like long sentences and keeps saying they are hard to read. I think I will have to ignore that in future. I have updated two of my sentences at the beginning that I originally had as one and made into two because Hemingway:(( Thanks for your support.

    • Jane, I loved this. It was so descriptive. I think this series that you have written is inspired. From the ending, it looks as though it might have come to an end. Or is there more?🤨 Thank you for a great read.

      • Hi Maria, I think there might be more to come:) Thank you for following my story and your kind feedback.

    • Hi Jane. I think your descriptions of the crash and seeing the bodies, smelling the blood, the light show, etc are very vivid. I’m left wondering, however, if Amari would have just left the scene of such an horrendous accident without waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive – even though there were no longer any serious injuries. I’m not sure whether you have now ended this story, or if you will be adding more to it, but do feel that your ending from when she wakes up on the side of the road to John’s concerned voice was a bit rushed and unsatisfactory. The sentences are very stilted. Also not sure what is being referred to here: ‘What I wish I said, lay heavy on my mind.’ (Or was that you just trying to include the prompt?) I love the essence of this instalment, Jane, but I just think it needs a bit more work. Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi June, thanks for reading and your detailed feedback. I guess I took a bit of poetic licence here, and didn’t follow the rules exactly. She didn’t want to deal with police and all the questions etc. at that stage. And as she knew the other two were in no danger she just wanted out. Not sure if I will bring the police into the next part or not. As for the what I wish I said lay heavy on my mind, that is meant to be how she feels at the end of her dream.. it has bought up those feelings in her.
        I don’t use speech that much and it is a bit of a struggle for me. I have managed to write the last two parts with no speech but felt I needed to add some this time. I guess it is an area I still need some work on:) Thank you again for taking the time to give this critique.

    • Jane,
      Excellent story. The description made the scene easy to visualize, from her out-of-body experience, to the next day with John. If I had any suggestion, it would be to continue to tighten the wording. I look forward to more of your chapters to this story. I think you have a great tale going here.

      • Hi Randy, thank you for reading and your feedback. I was trying to really capture what it would all look like etc. So I am glad that came across. Hoping to do at least a Part 4, will have to see from there.

    • I’m hooked on your continuing saga and I love it to no end. I can’t wait to hear of their chat!

    • Hi Jane
      You certainly answered all the questions you left me with last month. Again, I so enjoyed this and I can’t wait for the next one! xxx

      • Hi Chantel, thank you for reading. I am glad you enjoyed this instalment:) Hopefully I can write Part 4:)

    • This was another fine episode. I think you did a great job continuing the storyline. I think this new chapter flowed better than the first one. So good job! Now let’s see if you can continue the Gift in next months prompt?!

      • Hi Charles, thank you for reading and your feedback:) Glad you liked this one. I have been trying to take all the comments and suggestions on board. Not quite sure how to bring Area 52 into next month LOL.

    • Hey Jane and howzit? As mentioned already, you apply some great descriptions, and good to get the backstory of Amari’s gift. The line ‘there was so much blood, I could smell it in the air,’ may need a bit of explanation as to how her astral self could still process smells though. And I did wonder how she could hit on the term ‘soul essence,’ as it made her sound like a practitioner of whatever was going on. It may have been more effective for a less definitive term (‘sparked and zapped’ was naive, and effective later on) to be used since she was still very much confused by what was happening to her. It sounds like she will take John into her confidence about her dream. Hoping that ends well, I can’t wait for next part of this story. I hope my comments help, and best regards. Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, thanks for reading and your great feedback and comments. I must admit I did think about that with the process smells. But I liked to think that her powers are so great that she can actually process smells and tastes etc. through her astral self. I struggled to find a way to describ her and so could only come up with ‘soul essence’. I do get your point though as this is the first time and she would be naïve about it all. Do you have any suggestions as I drew a blank:) Thank you for your support as always.

        • Hey again Jane and I am glad the comments helped. Perhaps (word count permitting), ‘Or the part of me that was still alive, was not’ OR ‘Or the part of me that was still me, was not’? With regard to the smell, perhaps you could try and play on a different way senses might be perceived by her astral self? I thought of ‘..there was so much blood, its harsh, copper-colored aura lingered over everything’? (or something like that?) All the best with this, it’s an interesting storyline and a great way to muse about our existence. Regards Seyi

          • Thank you Seyi, you have been a wonderful help and resource:) I have just spent 20 minutes playing again to fix those two areas up and then to have to fix my word count. Cut a little here – add a little there:) LOL. But it is done and back to 1500 words. Thank you again.

    • This story was amazing…..the descriptions were stellar! The accident, the blood, the injuries, the flashback to her birth, the magic of her aura…all blended beautifully. I could foresee a series of stories based on her ‘gift’.

      • Hi Marilyn, thank you so much for reading and your very kind feedback. I am so glad you are enjoying this story. I am learning so much as I go along.

    • Hi Jane,
      Wow! That was intense! I think your imagery of pain and the car wreck was really graphic and one could almost stand there and see it all happening. I loved the line about the ‘harsh, copper coloured blood’. It would have been great if someone really possessed such powers for real. Wonder how they would have used them?
      I was a little confused about one thing though. So, Amari’s soul or essence flew out of her body after the accident and saw the massacre. Then her aura healed her companions. So, the aura wasn’t the essence, they are two different entities? Just curious.
      The meteor crashing into the Earth towards the end – I think that part was creative and was a masterstroke. Amazing writing! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Amrita, Thank you for reading and your lovely feedback. The lovely Seyi helped with that line. I had that she could smell it in the air. He pointed out that it would be difficult to smell as an essence and gave me the suggestion for the replacement line (which I loved).
        In regards to her soul healing the people or her essence – she actually saw everything like this but then went back into her body:) See below.
        What was I supposed to do? I had no substance. My body was lying broken a few metres away. How could I help these people?
        A mixture of despair and grief rocked my very core as my essence travelled back to my body. Hovering above my physical being, I felt the strangest sensation wash over me. Like I was being called home.
        The only way to explain it was as if an explosion of light had reverberated through my psyche. Synergising with my physical being.
        The magical beams penetrated through the pain senses, filling them with warmth and radiance. Power and light permeated my being, and peace imbued my soul.
        If anyone had happened past at this point, they would have seen the brilliant iridescent light illuminating the inside of my car. A sight to beholden, for sure.
        Within a short space of time, my entire body healed. And somehow, I was no longer trapped inside my sardined car. But standing next to the broken body of the girl in the culvert.

        The reference back to the meteor shower was giving a bit more explanation as to her powers (as people had asked for this in Parts one and two). So I went back to the story of her birth to give more background.
        Hope this helps:)
        Thank you again for supporting my writing. I appreciate it:)

    • Wow, Jane, this gets better and better! What a wonderful story concept. I must agree with Deryn’s point. Your editor program leaves a bit to be desired. Seyi’s suggestions were excellent and made a world of difference. I only have two nits to pick. I believe (blown-out tyres deployed airbag,) is missing a comma after tyres. And, (A sight to beholden, for sure.) might be better if it was ‘A sight to behold..’.
      Beyond that, Wow, I cannardly wait for the next installment. And you will write the next one!! 😀

      • Hi Ismael, thanks for reading and your feedback. I think that comma got dropped when I adjusted sentences (as per Deryn). I put it back in – thank you. And I also prefer behold, so I have updated that too. Thank you for that, appreciate it.

    • Hi Jane, sounds like this is not yet the end, but how do you top that? It will be hard for her powers to continue and yet remain a secret! There’s a writing challenge for you! One minor point of fact, after an accident the airbag immediately defeats after you slam into it. I know this, unfortunately, from personal experience. It also makes a frightening smell that makes you think the car is about to go up in flames. Just in case you want to work it in. Cheers!

      • Hi Teresa, thanks for reading and for your feedback. I didn’t actually know that they immediately deflate. But I think that what I have written – being the deployed airbag – still could fit as you would be able to see that it had deployed as it would be deflated on the floor of the car. Sorry that you have had that experience, I imagine it would be very scary and painful.

    • This was a gripping read, Jane. I loved how you continued the story while providing more information about her powers. The imagery is vivid and felt like watching a movie.

    • Hi Jane,
      Have I told you that I absolutely adore your ability to describe a scene so perfectly that I can visualize it all in my mind’s eye? You, my friend, are truly GIFTED in this area. 😉
      As for the story, I’m enjoying the way you’re unfolding it piece by piece and I truly hope you’ll continue this story. Thank you so much for sharing.

      • Hi Anne, thanks for reading and your very kind comment:) Made me blush. Thank you:) I am so glad you have been enjoying this series.

    • Well done, Jane! I felt myself thoroughly engaged and pulled into the scene as if I was watching the events unfold through my own astral self. Your descriptions are fantastic, I could clearly see and feel the events and the emotions as they played out.

      The one part that I find issue with was already called out – I get that Amari may not be up to dealing with the police, but it didn’t seem right that she would just leave the scene of the accident.

      At any rate, I was riveted to my seat and couldn’t read the story fast enough. I do hope you continue the story with Area 52, I’d love to hear the chat with John.

      Well done!

      • Hi Peggy, thanks for reading and your great comments and feedback. Maybe I might be able to try to address that in Part 4, will have to see if I can manage it. Trying to plan the conversation a bit in my brain:)

    • Why do I get the feeling that John knows something? I enjoyed reading this part 3 and cannot wait for part 4 to hear more about her adventures. I am still surprised that she has managed to keep the secret for this long without telling others. Thanks for sharing

      • Hi Stevie, thanks for reading and your kind comments. Yeah I think she is a shy introvert who manages to fly under the radar, at least thus far she has. Not sure if she will get away with it this time with John:)

    • Hi Jane,

      Congratulations on keeping your series going.

      A few thoughts to ponder.

      I am not a big fan of “got” nor its derivatives and suggest an alternative … “Floating higher provided a much clearer view of my car” or some such alternative. “or gave…”

      Perhaps a little too much telling with “..blown-out tyres, deployed airbag..” No doubt the word count came into play. In comparison, the beetle explanation is more of what you should do. This is good.

      “He didn’t look too good at all” read like the author creeping in and summarising the scene. Drop this type of line in favour of more descriptions allowing the reader to draw the overall conclusions.

      Not sure you need “residing there” after “cobwebs”. It’s fine without the last 2 words.

      Some inclusions don’t work for me. Such as “Of course, that baby was me”. Trust in the reader. If necessary give your reader more clues that it is you, but hold back on stating the obvious. Let them figure it out. The reader will enjoy your story all the more if they can figure out the little puzzles.

      You have a good series going. Let’s see what the next few prompts allow you to do. I feel November is right up your street.

      Thank you for sharing.
      Keep writing.


      • Hi Paul, thank you for reading. I appreciate you putting so much time in to offer ideas and thoughts. I like your suggestion for replacing got:) And yes I need to work on the showing more – getting there slowly:) Have no real ideas for next month yet. Will have to sit down and start that soon. Thanks again:)

        • Have done quite a few small edits:) Hopefully improved. Thanks again.

          • Hi Jane,

            I once edited an entry after submission and was given hell by another writer as they could not marry up previous comments etc. I suggest you hold back on these edits for an external – master copy. You are doing fine. Keep it up.


    • Hi Jane,
      Wow! The descriptions of Amari’s out of body experience are amazing and very captivating! I loved your short sentences here and found them very engaging.
      We are learning more and more of her powers (and I am starting to guess at her purpose / its purpose) and I look forward to the rest. You are building this story up nicely.
      There was one part that confused me a bit – when I read the first part I thought that it happened at night (I imagined it like that with all the lights and her floating above herself) but then further down we learn that it happened during the morning which surprised me (but this is just me and I missed a detail somewhere)
      Thank you for sharing the latest gripping instalment of your series – I am very much looking forward to the next part!

      • Hi Jan, not sure if you read Part 2 – but at the end of that part this is what it says:
        I didn’t drive to work very often preferring to walk or ride my bike. But there was a huge storm brewing this morning. Jumping into my little Suzuki Swift I put my favourite song on. The sky was dense with dark foreboding clouds. I loved storms, the power they unleashed, and their dark mysterious beauty. Halfway to work, the heavens opened, cascading rain pelting my windscreen.
        I didn’t see the car that crossed over into my lane until it was too late. Slamming on the brakes made no difference. The sound of scraping metal filled my entire being, as the intense pain shocked my body.
        My car rotated 360® as I slammed into the steering wheel, losing consciousness.

        So that explains when the accident happened:) Also that it had been rainy and dark etc.
        Thank you for reading and your encouragement, I appreciate it – as always:) Cheers.

        • Jan replied 3 months ago

          Hi Jane, thank you for the explanation and my apologies for missing this detail 🙂 Looking forward to reading the next instalment soon.
          Take care and kind regards,

          • Jane replied 3 months ago

            Hi Jan:) Mmmm next instalment a bit bland I feel – 500 words did not allow much more.

    • Hi Jane,
      So now we are shown the full scale of the powers that Amari has. The description of the aura that is almost sentient and the meteor shower is fascinating. I did stumble a little on “sizzling” as description of light, but I decided that perhaps this light makes a little sound. The revelation of the powers is exciting and difficult to totally grasp-which I imagine is how the Amari feels as well. This is an elaborate build up to the decisions that Amari needs to make about how to move further with this new knowledge. And will she let John in on her secret? Excited to see how this will turn out!

      • Hi Sudha, thank you for stopping by and your lovely feedback. I did intend to start writing Part 4 today, but have not got there yet. I am not sure where it is going to go yet, till I sit down and start:) It has been like that with all the parts so far. Good point about the sizzled, but I have zapped too. I am imagining it almost as a living entity – doing its magical work – with some sound affects:)

    • Oh my, I do love this. You seem to have researched the mystical well, Jane – I don’t know much about out-of-body experiences and all, but it all seems to fit so perfectly together. The whole piece crackled with foreboding. Looking forward to the next instalment.

      • Jane replied 3 months ago

        Hi Hanri, thank you for reading and your kind feedback. The next instalment is nowhere near as exciting I am afraid. 500 words did not allow it. Still need to double check it and edit again:)

    • Hi Jane
      I have to say this story is growing on me! I want to know about her power, and where it comes from…

      The main criticisms I would offer would be to concentrate on your tenses – you do slip from one to the other and back again, which makes your stories a little difficult to read at times.
      I would also say you need to work on eliminating the sentence fragments in your writing. Two examples:
       ‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt. Legs crushed behind the steering wheel and centre console.’ 
      If this is going to be two sentences, you still need to identify the owner of the legs in sentence 2 to form a complete sentence:
      ‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt. My legs crushed, behind the steering wheel and centre console’
      Or, as one sentence: ‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt, my legs crushed behind the steering wheel and centre console.’

      And ‘What used to be a white Ute was teetering on its roof. Reminding me of a Christmas beetle, left defenceless and buzzing on its back. Unable to right itself.’ – I would cut this to two sentences: ‘What used to be a white Ute was teetering on its roof. It reminded (stay in tense!) me of a Christmas beetle left defenceless and buzzing on its back, unable to right itself.’

      These are technical issues, but I believe if you can nail some of these, this story is only going to get better. I’m looking forward to the next chapter

      • Jane replied 3 months ago

        Hi John, thank you for reading and your detailed and helpful input. I think the Hemingway editor stuffs some of my sentences. I had that as one sentence and it said it was hard to read so I broke it into two. I think I will have to ignore some of those suggestions. The tense thing is all me though. Something to be worked on for sure. Thank you:))

        • As a general rule, I take what programmes like Hemingway and Grammerly and similar say with a healthy grain of salt. I have no faith in Grammerly for example, and have not really used Hemingway to have a proper opinion of it. The suggestion to break the long sentence into two wasn’t a bad one, just the construction of the two individual sentences let you down.
          As for tenses, yes, that is something I’ve noticed with your story writing. I had an editor who had the mantra to stay in tense, religiously, throughout. If you start in past tense, stay in past tense, and change the story to suit the tense if you need to. I struggled with it too, but it did pay off and made a big difference to the final draft of I Will

        • Have you read Wishin’ ‘n’ a Hopin’ by Jeff L Mauser? You should read it even if you’ve read it before, and pay particular attention to his use of tense which is really good. It is set at a 40 year class reunion (tonight) and talks about events from the past.

          One sentence in particular caught my eye:

          “Stepping inside he’s surprised at how similar it is to the last time he was here.”

          Surprised is bad because it is in the past tense, and doesn’t work with the “Stepping” and “Is”. The sentence starts in present tense, goes to past tense, then back to present again. Would change “Surprised” into something present tense, which means we may have to change the “He’s” that come before it so it flows.
          SO, for example:
          “Stepping inside, it surprises him how similar it is”
          “Stepping inside, he’s surprised by how little has changed” allows you to keep the past tense. I would opt for example 1 though.

          The final “was” in the sentence is correct because he is recollecting an event from the past, and is not part of “today’s” activity.

          I hope that all that makes sense! 🙂 When you read stories, look for the ones that flow and study the use of tenses – you’ll find that the best stories are the ones that stick to a tense religiously. What is it about the good writers on this group you enjoy?
          What is is about the way they write that makes you enjoy them?
          What can I learn from these people, stories, and how can I apply it to my writing?
          My Jan 2018 story was inspired by a type of story that Elaine Dodge is fantastic at, and my attempt to replicate it. This year long story attempt was inspired my Mia and Annalie – I’m still learning every time I get on this site too

          • Hi John, thanks:) Definitely so much to learn still and a challenge for sure:) Onwards and upwards I guess like Thomas the Tank Engine, I think I can I think I can…… and not to give up.

    • Jane some great descriptions in this episode. I agree with Deryn on the sentence length.Well done

  • So Many Questions by Jane Bradshaw#*The little one gazed upwardsWith eyes huge and roundHer tiny rosebud lipsPursed in contemplation*Why are rainbows only in the sky?Why can’t I touch them?And why do they l […]

    • Beautiful and reminds me of when I was a little child asking all the questions why… Yet it was never answered as beautifully as you have… Sweet poem Jane!

    • this is so tender Jane.❤
      loved this – think it should be included in a book of children’s stories at the end , beautiful

      • Hi Kim, on my bucket list is to one day write something that is published, poems or stories – or both:) One day. Thanks for reading:)

    • Thank you Jane. The complexity and severity of our world is forgotten if not for a child’s sweet reminder. Beautiful, loving poetry from you.

    • What beautiful answers to a child’s questions. I love this!

    • Hi Jane, this is such a magical poem. I love the storytelling a lot! I was hooked from the very beginning. <3 Thank you! 🙂

    • Loved it…. “With waves of forever love” ….. for the lucky…… peace d

      • Hi Dixieray, thank you for reading:) I can’t find your poem, did you write one this month?

    • You have a wonderful “way with words!” I love the image of borrowed rainbows.

    • Nice poem, Jane. Very imaginative, the way you have answered the million questions that arouse the curiosity of the innocent little ones.

    • My little one still asks me why a lot–I’ve learned to anticipate and offer the answer. This is a lovely poem–I especially liked how you structured the stanzas. Nicely done!

      • Hi Lauren, mine have grown up and do not ask much anymore. But I work with little ones at school – so the questions keep coming:) Innocent and pure:)

    • love, love, loved it.
      So beautifully done.
      I just remembered in grade 2 how we were taught how water evaporates from a laike to form a cloud and when its full, it bursts and comes down as rain.

      • Hi Shae, thank you for reading:) I find it amazing that the amount of water we have is it. No more to come. It just gets recycled all over the world. So we could have rain falling on our heads that is thousands and thousands of years old:) Glad you enjoyed my poem.

    • The first time I read the prompt, “Why,” I thought of the littlest ones’ inquisitiveness. You nailed it beautifully. As always, well done.

    • Hi Jane, Your poem paints a very vivid picture of this sweet child and your wonderful responses to her questions. I have a picture in my mind of a Lucie Mabel Atkins little girl. Well done for ‘painting’ such a delightful set of images, for your answers are full of pictures too.

    • Ahhhh! This is so beautiful Jane. You paint gorgeous images with your words and I love the answers you give to these gorgeous questions.

      This is a delight to read and flows well and leaves me smiling and warm and fuzzy inside. Oh the wonder of children.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Debbie, thank you for reading and your lovely comments. I was hoping for warm and fuzzy and treasured memories:) So I am so glad that you felt this way while reading it:)

    • So sweet! And lacking the impatience of having to answer too many why questions. The poet is clearly the one responding. I liked this poem

    • Hi
      This poem is like a lyric night time story that you have let your readers eavesdrop upon. Delightful!

    • Hi Jane

      This is as beautiful in its brevity as its content. It would’ve been so easy to keep going and because you didn’t, it adds to the joy, wonder and innocence.

      What a lovely piece.


      • Hi Martin, thank you for reading and your comments. I take that as a lovely compliment, as knowing when to stop on a poem can be quite hard. Thank you:)

    • Children look at the world differently, don’t they? A charming reminder for those of us whose children are long grown

    • Hi Jane. Generations of children have asked these questions, and received answers. Your answers are a beautiful reminder of the spirit of our time – living on borrowed happiness and returning what is our life-giving force to the future generation we’re borrowing it from. Very well done.

      • Hi Hanri, thanks for reading and your feedback. You have delved further than I had even thought with my poem. That is a lovely thought indeed:) Thank you.

    • This is very beautiful!!!

      • Hi, thanks for reading, glad you liked it:) I can’t find yours for this month – did you not post one??

    • This is so so sweet. All those neverending questions kids tend to ask. Your answers are beautiful and create such sweet imagery in the poem. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Hello Jane,
      I love the image your daughter drew. Your poem has the exact voice of a child and I enjoyed reading the question/answer form. The ending is perfect, and I read it as if the parent tucks the little one in bed. How sweet and delightful to read during these times! Thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 4 months ago

        Hi Marcena, thank you so much for reading and your kind feedback:) I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Really well done Jane. You drew me back to the days of early parenthood and the wonderful innocence of young children….not to mention the quick-thinking parent to be able to come with the answers….not nearly as beautiful as yours.Good stuff.

      • Jane replied 4 months ago

        Hi Glen thanks for reading and your kind comments. The rhyming poem next month is the challenge for me, don’t really like writing rhyming poetry:)

    • What a sweet, beautiful poem. The little girl probably had magical dreams that night.

    • What a sweet poem, Jane. I love the difference by using a different font for the girl’s questions – lovely touch, with such a strong visual impact. Thank you for sharing such a good poem

      • Hi John, thanks for reading. Glad you liked my poem. This months is nowhere near as good – rhyme is not my thing:)) LOL.

        • Just because the prompt is rhyme, doesn’t mean it has to rhyme, it can be about rhyme, or the lack thereof – just saying’…

    • The curious mind of the little ones. I’m a mother of a 7 and a 4. The whys never seem to end. Your poem is beautiful and absolutely adorable.

      • Hi Naina, oh yes those ages are full of questions:) I work with children that age and am constantly fielding questions. Enjoy them while they are little – they do grow so fast:) Glad you enjoyed my poem.

    • This is lovely and captures the wonder and why’s of childhood nicely. thanks for sharing

    • My daughter used to do this as I tucked her in at night. One time I said, “Remember all those questions and I’ll answer them tomorrow.” The next day I asked her if she remembered the questions and she repeated them. I asked if she’d like me to answer them and she said, “Not now, Mom, I’m busy.” Yup, true story.

  • The Gift – Part 2 by Jane Bradshaw#On my eighteenth birthday, I had a small group of friends around for an outdoor party. Laughter and chatter filled the air, as John flipped burgers on the barbecue.I was telling […]

    • Fantastic story, Jane. I enjoyed it so much. I can’t wait to hear what is next. Our family has long held ‘healing hands’ and this made me feel all rosy inside.

      • Hi Cheryl, I have just finished reading your story then backtracking to Part 1 to get the whole story:) Really enjoyed them. Not sure if you have read my Part 1 but if you get time it does fill in quite a few of the blanks:) I am glad you enjoyed this one. They have taken me so long to write and a lot of editing. I am not used to carrying stories on – a good challenge for me:)

    • Ooooh, Jane. I can’t wait for the next instalment! This is a well told story and the tension build up is excellent. Please hurry up and write the rest. Well done and thank you for sharing.

      • Hi June, thank you for reading:) I am pretty sure you read part 1. I tried to answer a couple of the questions from Part 1. I wonder what the next prompt is and whether I can do another instalment for you:)

    • Excellent story. I think it could be expanded out to multiple chapters/scenes, diving into some of the events that were almost synopsis in this telling. The pacing was good, and you moved us toward the next segment well. I look forward to reading more of this story.

      • Hi Randy, did you read part 1 of my story. A bit more detail was given in that one:) I did make it very brief in this one as I didn’t want to repeat myself:) I am hoping there might be one more story in this one. I am not used to carrying them over (except for the keep writing challenge). Thanks for reading and your feedback:)

    • Good job on your Story, Jane. And I am glad you chose to carry the storyline over from last month.

      Your tale flowed nicely and provided us readers with some evocative imagery.

      Just two things stood out for me –

      Are the first letters of names of animals supposed to be capitalized? Like shouldn’t wombat be spelled Wombat? Or perigrine be Perigrine?

      Also the explanation of your MC’s mysterious abilities to heal seems a little weak when you say the meteors may have had some sort of “magical” powers. I would have chosen to omit that as it comes across as gratuitous explanation.

      I enjoyed the cliffhanger ending and I hope we get a chance to read Gift #3 next month.

      • Hi Charles, thanks for reading and your feedback. You bring up a good point with the capitalisation. I believe as a general rule the answer is no, unless the plant or animal is named after someone famous, or it is the name of a pet. I have always been told that when you say I went to the doctor or dentist it is lower case but if you are saying Dr. Jones it is not. Here is something I found on google for you:
        The name of your pet would be capitalized, just as the name of a human would be: Fido, Snowball, or Rover. However, the category of animal generally would not be capitalized, like dog, cat, or horse. Those are always written in lower case, because they are a variety of species within that category of noun.
        The other point you make is a good one. I will think about that one.
        Hopefully I can write Part 3 – can’t believe it is 1500 words, sigh.

    • Hi Jane,

      That was quite an intriguing follow up to the story you started last month. I like the meta-human kind of abilities that you have conferred upon your MC. The meteor and her gaining of powers from it reminded me of Superman. I can sense an ongoing story here with your MC trying to control and develop her powers more. But somehow I didn’t understand how the ‘jealous of’ theme is playing out here. Sorry if I missed something. The end came as a shock. Did she die! I sure hope not. Waiting for more. Thank you for sharing! Be safe.

      • Hi Amrita, thanks for reading and your lovely feedback. I am glad you are enjoying my story. And we will have to wait for Part 3 to see what becomes of her – if I write part 3:)
        The prompt came into my story here:
        I must admit to feeling quite jealous of my friends. – And went on to explain how they could plan their lives and futures while she was trying to work out her powers and how to control (understand) them better:) Hope that helps with your question.

        • Hi Jane,
          Thank you for explaining. That definitely puts things into perspective. 🙂

        • Aaaaah I see about the ‘jealous of’…. to be honest I was too absorbed with the story to think about the prompt….:) Thanks for explaining

    • Hi Jane
      I’m thrilled that you’re continuing this story, and I’m very excited to see where you take it. I am thoroughly invested and I so enjoy what you’ve created here. It’s so captivating, and so enjoyable to read. Well done, and thank you xxx

      • Hi Chantel, thank you for reading and your very kind feedback:) I am so glad you are enjoying this story. I am hoping I can find the strength to continue it – 1500 words – eeek!!

    • Wow, somehow I missed reading part 1 – I’ll have to go back and find it. Riveting! It made me want to read faster and faster. Presumably there will be a sequel since she knows she lost consciousness… can’t wait to see what happens when she wakes!

      • Hi Teresa, hope you mange to read Part 1, it does fill in a bit of the blanks. Thank you so much for your lovely feedback. I am glad you enjoyed this part so much. I am hoping to continue next month:)

    • Jane
      Well constructed tale. I did though have a sense of impending doom so the ending was not as sharp a twist as I would have liked.
      If you decide to continue it, and you don’t have to as you could leave us wondering, I will look forward to giving it a read

      • Hi Mark:) Thanks for reading. Ha ha thanks for your feedback, about as sharp as I could muster I am afraid.

    • Hi Jane, I enjoyed this continuation. I find first person account quite difficult to write but you seem to manage it with consummate ease. I also like the subject matter and the way you have given yourself space for a further episode. Thank you for a delightful read.

      • Hi Maria, thanks for reading and your kind feedback. I did find your story for this month and enjoyed it a lot:)

    • Hi Jane,

      I am so happy that you decided to continue with this story! And I loved all the new details (where her powers come from) and our MC’s development (the pain diminishing and her powers growing – she can affect things at a distance now)

      The ending is quite a chiffhanger and I have no idea what could happen now, but there are millions of things going through my mind – and now we have to wait a whole month for the next installment!

      There was only one spot were I think the verb should be in the past tense : “I need a better understanding of the rare phenomena that had resulted in my healing abilities.”
      Beautiful writing and thank you for sharing! I look forward the next month 🙂

      • Hi Jan, thank you for reading and your very kind feedback:) I have made it to 12 stories posted this month. Can you believe it? I have nearly quit on a few occasions….
        I have made that one edit from need to needed:) I think it sounds better too, thank you.

    • Hey again, Jane. Great to be able to follow your narrator, as she figures out how she got her powers and how to manage them. The incident at her 18th birthday seems to have been a huge step up though. Reversing time, and healing her friends is not trivial. Gives me hope she will be able to survive the accident at the end of this piece. Well done with this and regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, Thank you for reading and your kind comments. Yes it gives me a bit of hope too…… We will have to see next month.

    • Hi Jane,
      That was a very intense story. I liked the ending-whenever a character has a superpower you want to know what the limits of that power are so it was very helpful that you addressed the nature of the gift along the way and how it changed over time. At the end-we don’t know whether the character will have the power to heal themselves. Certainly they don’t seem to have the power to prevent themselves from getting hurt. I liked the description of the meteors and that they were metallic in nature. I remember that you said that the mc was named Amari – so perhaps that was part of the miraculous part of her birthday. You have put in so many details along the way and they are often infused with great feeling-it gives a rich experience to the reader. This is becoming a very absorbing series!

      • Hi Sudha, thank you for reading. Yes Amari has a few meanings but I chose it for the meaning – Miracle of God. So yes that kind of fits in with her powers as she is truly a miracle:) I appreciate your comments and support:)

    • Hi Jane,

      Oh please please please tell me you’ll continue this? This story demands to be written more. Thank you for the refresher from Part 1 in the beginning. That’s a great idea. I should do that with mine too if the word count permits from now on. 😉
      As for the story, you already know I love your writing and this one was no exception. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Hi Anne, I am finding it hard to continue the story I must say:) You are very good at this as yours has been going for ages. And I just read your latest part and it is awesome – as usual. But I promise I will do my best to add on Part 3 next month. Thank you for your kind comments and support:)

      • Oh Anne, I forgot to say that I included that bit from last months story in italics and above my title as I did not include it in the word count. I just felt as I started this month with an And (a bit naughty I know) I needed that tiny bit to bring it into context. I hoped that Mia would let me do it – and she did:)

        • Hi Jane,

          Oh! That’s still a brilliant way to make sure your readers aren’t lost since the stories are coming monthly now instead of daily like with KWC.
          You are too kind, my friend. I admit my story wrote itself for the most part. I honestly had no idea which plot twist would jump up at me next. 😛

    • Hi Jane – I also enjoyed this continuation of last month’s prompt and can’t add anything to all the comments already posted here!

    • Since this is titled part 2, I went back to read the first part. And boy am I glad I did. You write so good. And the story is wonderful. I love the concept of the changes in her abilities as she grows. That was a nice touch. This is so good. One definite thing I’m so impressed is that you’re essentially describing the same thing over and over again, yet none of it was boring or felt repetitive. That speaks a lot of your mastery of the language and the vastness of your vocabulary. Can’t wait for the next installment. Thanks for sharing. Loved it.

      • Hi Kaiser, thank you so much for reading – and for backtracking to Part 1:) I must say it was a bit of a challenge to keep trying to explain without it sounding exactly the same. So thank you for your kind comments:) I appreciate it.

    • Ooooh there is a part 3 coming! Cannot wait to check it out. I am so intrigued by it all, and quite surprised that she hasn’t told anyone about it yet, but you did spend a bit of writing explaining her solitary existence so it makes sense. I also like how you are showing snippets of instances where it happened with enough description to set the scene and background of where she is. As she is telling the story we assume she survived the accident. This is so interesting, I can’t wait for the next instalment

      • Hi Stevie, thank you for taking the time to read my story, and to backtrack to Part 1. I appreciate your kind feedback and am glad you enjoyed them both. I am hoping I can find the necessary imagination to do Part 3 justice:)

    • Oh no, Jane!!!! How can you leave us hanging for a month with your MC unconscious in a car accident! I’m going to worry about her all the time! Looking forward to the next instalment

      • Hi Hanri, thank you for reading and your feedback:) I am glad you are enjoying the story and worried about our poor Amari:) I will have to try to start writing Part 3 soon….

    • Oh, this is so so good. I read both parts together, and loved them. Can’t wait to see what happens next. I hope her healing powers stay with her. Looks like she’s been a good person, always saving animals. 🙂

      • Hi Srivalli, thank you for reading both parts of my story – The Gift. I am glad you enjoyed them:)

    • Hello Jane,
      I love the direction this story is taking. I’m here for it! I like how you prefaced this one with the ending of part 1; that’s truly helpful. As always, your descriptions and details are great. I also enjoy your unique takes on the prompts. I hope the character is well on her way to feeling less pain and finding out more about her awesome abilities. Nicely done!

      • Jane replied 4 months ago

        Hi Marcena, thank you for reading:) I am so glad you enjoyed the two stories. Hoping I can do Part 3 justice:)

    • Well done on the continuing saga of the girl with the gift! I don’t think you used her name in this installment, was it Amari? After the opening incident, she seems to have come to grips with her gift, finding it less painful when it comes, and learning to gain control of it. Just think what she can do as a vet! The ending is quite the cliffhanger, I hope that means you will continue the story? I want more!!!

      My only critique is that I want to experience more of her feelings. We know she was able to come to peace with her gifts, after having done her research. We know she was jealous of her friends for being able to lead a normal life. But what does she feel after she’s used her gift? is she elated, or excited, or proud? Did she start out feeling bewildered or dumbfounded by her abilities, and later transforms into elation as she gains control? If you can find more ways to showcase her feelings your story will be elevated that much more higher. (Some time ago I found “The Emotion Thesaurus – a writers guide to character expression” on Amazon. I bought the kindle version and I find myself referring to it often. IMHO, I feel it’s made a huge improvement in my writing)

      I saw in one of your comments that this is your 12th story here! Well done, and congratulations for that huge achievement!!! Keep writing, Jane – you tell wonderful stories!

      • Jane replied 4 months ago

        Hi Peggy. Wow thank you for reading both parts of my story and for all your valuable insight and suggestions:) I will try very hard to take this on board and do my best to include some of this in Part 3. Thank you for taking the time to write all of these ideas and thoughts:)

    • Hi Jane

      I have to say I preferred Part 2 to Part 1 a lot, mostly because the story began with action, the early magic reveal, and then the journey to make sense of it all. You don’t need a whole chunk of backstory to fill out longer word counts, and I think this story shows that.

      Watch your sentence fragments. There were quite a few I found, like this one:

      ‘Dr. Steve Wakanda. The author of a detailed research paper on the celestial event that occurred on the night of my birth.’ Change the full stop to a comma and you have one complete sentence with a subject and a verb, as opposed to two random chunks of text.

      ‘Dr. Steve Wakanda, the author of a detailed research paper on the celestial event that occurred on the night of my birth.’

      Would love to know what the celestial event was? Well done on a god story, and leaving me wanting to know more.

      • Hi John, thanks for reading and your great feedback. Not sure how that happened, I am sure I intended it to be a comma. I will fix it up. The celestial even was the meteor shower – but an odd one as it all landed in one place and very close to the car where she was born…..Thanks for your support:) I have just started Part 3.

  • Love Eternal by Jane Bradshaw
    Things are changing for you
    And you must be so scared
    Thoughts becoming tangled
    And words just out of reach
    Unable to read your books
    Do the word puzzles you love
    See the colours […]

    • Oh Jane this touched my heart. My poem is on the same theme from a completely different perspective. I am so sad, and in a small bit of conviction because I am human, ashamed that I have no strength to care for the person I wrote about. It’s been a long, long battle. But this poem truly brought my heart to focus. Losing someone to memory loss is a heart wrenching journey. I love your tender words, and the ending quatrain is perfect.

      I need to share with youSomething fierce and powerfulInsurmountable and foreverMy love for you mumSo, so lovely.

      • Hi Elizabeth. I have just read your poem. It is amazing, so raw and real. I will write more on your page. Thank you for reading and your kind comments on my poem. I feel my situation is very different to yours. Thank you:)

    • Losing someone bit by bit… It’s more painful when you have to watch them losing themselves. (My mum had just begun that journey when she was taken by a different cause.) Well described and shared.

      • Hi Cathy, sometimes the other cause can be a blessing in disguise, this happened to my grandfather (pneumonia). Thank you for reading and your kind comments.

    • Touching and heartbreaking. It caused me think of the next prompt: Why? (I lost my mum to cancer). When the feeling is so strong, rhythm and rhyme and all that become a nuisance. But your lines stream gently.
      Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Nissan, thank you for reading and your feedback. I am sorry for the loss of your mum. Cancer sucks bit time too and takes way too many – way too soon.

    • I really enjoyed your poem… it has to be heartbreaking to watch this happening to your mother

      • Hi Dixieray. It is like a very slow, drawn out and painful loss of the someone you admire and love very much. A cruel and tortuous disease.

    • Thank you for sharing Jane, and for so eloquently putting your heart into your words on the page

      • Hi Anna, yes poetry is my vessel to ‘just let it all out’. Thank you for reading and your kind comments:)

    • Your poem touched my heart. I, too, am slowly losing my mother to dementia. There are no words, but you found some to at least suggest a description of the heartache. I am glad I read your offering in this month’s assignment.

      • Hi Joan, so sorry to hear you are going through the same thing. It is not something I would wish on anyone. Take care and thank you for reading and your kind feedback.

    • Hi Jane So touching and heartfelt. I hope you read this out loud to her and that she knows how profound your love is for her.

      • Hi Deryn, it was in fact her birthday present. As she is in hospital and has limited eyesight, there was no point buying her anything. So I thought a poem might be a nice gift. I read it out to her, which was quite hard to do. And I have to admit to getting a little teary on the last verse. Thank you for reading and your kind comments:)

    • Hi Jane
      Your free verse is very powerful, with heightened emotions, full of vulnerability. To me, your words read like a conversation, possibly similar to the sadly one-sided talk you have with you mum. Keep writing!

      • Hi Alexis, thank you for reading and your kind comments. Poetry is where I really let myself be me.

    • I’m blown away. Very touching, especially the last stanza. I have a family member who is going through a rough time with her mother amidst dementia–she doesn’t have current touches and smiles or warm past memories/connection to help her cope, so I’m glad you have them and cherish them, and understand the anger isn’t directed at you (at least not intentionally)

      • Hi Becky, thank you so much for reading and your kind feedback. I have always been very close to my mother, so I am lucky that I have so much to be thankful for and so much I owe her. It helps me to have more patience and love now as changes before my eyes.

    • Hello Jane,
      What a lovely and beautiful tribute to your mom. It is very emotional and heartfelt. I love the entire first stanza and how it sets the tone as a tribute, putting your mom first. Bless her heart and yours as a caregiver. I always love your work you share. Well done.

      • Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your kind feedback. I have tried to find your poem for this month? Did you post one?

        • Yes I did one, but posted late. It’s called “Freedom’s Colors”. Hope you can find it.

    • Jane. Your poem should be in the rule book of how one can choose to behave and think during such heart wrenching loss. A support poem. This is such a peaceful and wise way to look down the road that you and your mom walk. It struck chords in me – Losing my parents to illness brought me to my knees and heaven only knows that my mothers time in the palliative care wing stripped me of all my grace, yet here you seem to convey and remind us that the beautiful, loving soul that she is and will always be, regardless of her mechanical letdown, lends itself to your ability to share these feelings. Well done and thank you.

      • Hi Limor, thank you for reading and your very kind comments. It is very hard, and I have my own personal demons to deal with along the way, that is for sure. But I am trying hard to make memories while I still and to show my mum how much she means to me:)

    • Hello Jane,

      This very powerful tribute to your mum is beautifully and compassionately written. It was brave of you to share such personal thoughts and to recognise the loss of your mother’s freedom to dementia.

      • Hi Christian, thank you for reading my poem and your kind feedback:) Yes poetry is definitely very personal for me.

    • Beautiful poem Jane and written to take my heart and squish it in your hand. So heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time that you can send your love energy no matter what.

      I believe that some people need to check out mentally from this world for them to continue their journey, but it is very hard on those who love them. I wish you much strength.

      The words flow well and straight from the heart which can be felt. I love that you finish with such a powerful message of great love.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • What a perfect birthday gift. Your love for your mother pours out of every line. I do hope that she was able to comprehend what you were reading to her. If not, she must have felt the emotion behind it. I am sure that is comforting to her. All the best for the journey that lies ahead of you both.

      • Hi Susanne, thank you for reading. She did understand what I was reading and was very touched by it:) I appreciate your kind comments.

    • Hi Jane

      the love behind your words shine through, and I do believe your Mom recognised and felt all your love.💗

      so many on our group are going through this suffering with their parents and there is no way but through it – every anguish and terrible moment.
      I have been through it and am grateful it is over now – it changes you in ways that will forever define you – sending much love and courage to you in these final days.


      • Hi Kim, I am sorry to hear you have been through a similar experience and yes even in our writing group there appear to many affected by this awful disease. It seems to more prevalent than ever. I wonder if it is because people are living longer than they used to. Unfortunately (which it sounds terrible to say) mum might be around a lot longer with this disease. That is part of the suffering that goes with it. Thank you for reading and your kind comments. Appreciate them.

    • What a wise, kind way to accompany your mum on this path. Both of you must be amazing people. This gesture will touch the hearts of all who cross paths with your poem. What struck me about your poem is how something so deeply, intensely personal can strike such a universal chord among your readers. There’s real power of abstraction there. And that, dear Jane, is why we write and read, isn’t it? To make sense of the world, and to find that our attempts resonate in those of others.

      • Hi Hanri, thank you for reading and your very kind comments. From such an amazing writer that is high praise indeed:) I appreciate it.

    • Thank you for sharing an intensely sad and personal piece. I think tying freedom to loss of personality and the enfeeblement that comes along with it is spot on. Difficult to read without remembering those in my life who have lost life’s “freedom” only to keep on living. Beautifully done…

      • Jane replied 5 months ago

        Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes living without any real freedom is not much of a life at all.

    • This is heartbreaking, Jane. Your love for your mum and your pain reach me through every word.
      Birthday wishes to your mum. Hope you’ve had a good time together.

      • Jane replied 5 months ago

        Hi Srivalli, thank you for for reading my poem and for your very kind feedback:) I am thinking after reading your poem I might have to try my hand at a Cinquain for next months prompt:)

    • I love this straightforward, straight-from-the-heart piece. It’s true pain to watch someone you love lose themselves like this, and not be able to do a thing about it. Thank you for sharing this with us xxx

      • Jane replied 5 months ago

        Hi Chantel, thank you for stopping by:) Sad to watch someone leave you slowly while their body remains. Thank you for your kind comments:)

    • I love the raw emotion that flows through all your “Mother” poems. This piece is no different. When I first read your title, I thought it might be a vampire poem – so glad I was wrong about that! Well done

      • Jane replied 4 months ago

        Hi John, LOL. Definitely not a vampire one. Thank you for reading and your kind feedback:)

  • The Gift by Jane Bradshaw.The GiftA blinding bolt of pain reverberated through my skull. Causing me to come to an abrupt halt on my bicycle. Struggling to stand and balance my bike at the same time I shut my eyes […]

    • Interesting and intriguing. Is this the start of a longer piece? I think this would really intense written in the present tense. A fun exercise to try maybe. Nice work. Thank you for posting.

      • Hi Thia, thank you for reading my story and your feedback:) I do find present tense a lot more challenging and this story was hard enough to pull out of my befuddled brain. But hopefully I will get to present tense again at some stage soon. By the way I can’t seem to locate your story – have you posted one for this prompt?

    • I love this idea. I love the supernatural in the natural world, especially when it has to do with animals. I love the voice of the narrator and the rural setting, but I was about to say exactly what Thia below said, about writing the story in present tense. I think it would increase the tension.

      • Hi Megan, thank you for reading and your feedback. I appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed my slightly mystical story.

    • Hi Jane, you’ve got the makings of a different type of Dr. Doolittle-kinda story to tell. I would definitely love to see where your weaving might take your MC. You certainly have a wonderful knack for the fantastical! Looking forward to reading some more. Astrid

      • Hi Astrid, I could definitely say the same about your story this month – loved it. Thank you for reading and your kind feedback.

    • I love reading your work, and you have a great amount of skill, so I’ll start with the areas which I feel crept past you.

      Typo… An apple to much on.

      …hit my head and imagine it all. Should that be another question mark?

      Typo… the majestic trees (there are 2 spaces after trees).

      A tiny thing to consider… I’d replace ‘could have nodded off’ with ‘might have nodded off’. You have ‘could’ following in the next sentence and it reads a little nicer.

      A few more months passed. Do you need the word ‘more’?

      Another tiny thing to consider… Clearing a fence like an experienced pole vaulter. Does she have a pole/large stick? Would ‘hurdler’ work better?

      But things started to change up. Do you need the word ‘up’?

      Another tiny thing to consider… Only time would tell… Only time will tell… Not sure which sounds better.

      I loved the story. Kind of Snow White of the modern age, and a super hero discovering her ability for the first time. Certainly very different. There’s a lot more story to tell here, if you wish to pursue it further, or leave it as a very neat standalone short. It works well. It was a quick and enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.

      • Hi James, thank you for reading and for taking the time to provide such detailed feedback. I have just gone through my story and made some edits:) I appreciate it very much. I have to say this one was hard to write, it didn’t come easily and took a while to begin to flow. Not sure if I will take it any further or not.

    • Hey Jane and wonderfully built up story, and I really like how you relayed your narrator’s life in phases. Tough to carry this off without any dialogue at all, but I feel you pulled it off. You’ve gotten some pretty detailed input from James, which includes some points I may have made, so I won’t repeat those. I would suggest you include a hint of an explanation for your narrator’s powers, though. Perhaps using her elder brother, and his early exit from the story? I join Thia’s comment about this possibly leading to a longer piece or more stories as your narrator gets control, and a consistent use for her powers. Nice work, and very best regards. Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, thank you for reading. 1800 words is a lot:) Thanks for the feedback. I guess if I decide to take this story any further I would try to put a bit more explanation in about the powers. At this stage I like them being a little mysterious – like she is. Thanks:)

    • Hi Jane,

      I like this, a slow realisation of a skill that at first confused and then grew over time with a bit of wonder at the ability and some guesswork as to how far she could take it. I di feel that there is more to come from this story.

      I echo James’ minor edits, but otherwise, just keep at it, it’s spellbinding.

    • Hi Jane – ever since your Beauty & The Beast series (!) I have loved your descriptive writing, and there are some lovely passages here. It just felt it was a little benign for the strange skill she finds she has and so possibly the present tense suggestion might help bring some tension. Aside from James’ observations, I would just add that I felt there were a lot of moving on phrases – As time progressed/I woke later/A few months later/waking up later/A few more months/Over the next year – although I get you wanted to include the progression of the gift over time and show different events where she healed an animal, it would have been tighter on tow or three incidents only, go more into the intensity of the headaches, the recovery etc, but overall I loved the premise of the story and the execution.

      • Hi Deryn, thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback and observations. I did try to remove a couple of the moving on phrases – but found I couldn’t say what I needed to without keeping some of them. This story was hard to write and I must admit the Muse was being very elusive. Hopefully I do not find next month quite as difficult. I was a little disappointed to see it is 1250 words – I was hoping for a much shorter word limit. Reading these 1800 word stories is taking me ages…….

        • I know, hey? It will take the entire month to read all our favourites and try and add in some new names!

          • Agreed LOL, hard when there are so many good writers in the group – and you just don’t want to miss what they have written.

    • Hi Jane. Loved this story! I also find how the story is written interesting — I love how you told a story that spans years of the MC’s life and made it all flow together so well. It’s a way of writing that I’d never thought I’d be any good at, and therefore never really tried. Very nicely done — thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Joel, thanks for reading and your positive comments. Glad you enjoyed the story. I really enjoyed yours – just finished it.

    • I found it to be enlightening and it carried me. I would love to read more of this story.

    • Hi Jane. I love the uniqueness of this story. I do agree with one of the comments made here by Seyi. A little bit of a hint regarding the origin of the powers, making use of the family background. Otherwise that backstory about the parents and the brother seems superfluous to the rest of the story. I know you say you don’t think you’ll expand any further on this, but as a children’s story it could have many lives. Just saying …

      • Hi June, Thanks for reading and your feedback. If I decide to continue on with this story next month I will try to put in a bit of that background you and Seyi have mentioned:)

    • Hi Jane
      Even as you lead your reader by the hand, through the years of your character’s life, your choice of present tense keeps the tone fresh and filled with wonder.

    • Captivating story. I think it will be well conveyed by a third-person narrative while through her actions and emotions you can delve into her feelings and be more present. This is just my view.

    • Hi Jane,
      What an impressive story. It gripped me from the start and was enthralling. As someone else said – a modern fairy tale. In a way I feel it was much more than that, with her very unique special powers developing. It would be interesting to see how the story could be developed, but I do feel it stands on its own. Thank you for an enchanting read.

    • Hi Jane,
      I enjoyed this story. It’s nice to see the development of superpowers coming with consequences. It might help to tighten the camera a bit. I don’t think first person is the answer, but a tight, deep third, exploring the MC’s emotions at having this happen would be good and might draw the reader in further.

      I would read further. The story left us wanting to know the implications of these powers, what caused them, and where they will take her. Is it a human mutation, a drug side-effect, or is she just unique. There are a lot of possibilities for where you can go from here.

      Nice job.

      • Hi Randy, thank you for reading and your feedback. I have to admit I am a bit like you in the fact that I am a pantser. Had no idea what to write about this month and this story just happened. So haven’t thought as far as where the power actually comes from:)

    • Hi Jane,

      This is in fact interesting subject matter. Your protagonist seems haunted by her fate.

      Your idea has an modern flare on it from stories I read like it in the past.

      I’m not going to repeat anyone else’s critique, although I will say I do agree with James and Seyi’s critiques.

      My problem with this story is it’s long winded. It goes on and on through the protagonist’s life without a twist to keep your reading in the game. You may have wasted a lot of precious words telling the reader the same thing over and over.

      Perhaps a simple rewrite to add drama and dialogue could pull this piece into something incredible.

      Always a fan,

      • Hi Maria, thank you for reading and your honest feedback:) I appreciate your suggestions and will take them on board.

    • Great story Jane! I love the concept. I came across a small typo “apple too much on, and”, “to munch” maybe? Other than that, great read. Captivating.

      • Hi Angelique, LOL. I had ‘to munch on’. The computer and grammarly kept trying to make me change it to ‘too’ but I didn’t then when I posted someone else picked me up on it and said it should be ‘too’ – so I thought. Well I must be wrong, better change it. Now I am very confused and unsure……. Thanks for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hi Jane,
      What an interesting story and so effortlessly told. I’d love to see where this goes.

      • Hi Trace, thank you so much for reading and your lovely feedback. I am glad you enjoyed it. I will see if I can continue this one on next month taking some of the feedback into account that I have received…… we will see.

        • Hi Jane,

          I enjoyed reading your magical, and mysterious story. You give your story the title: The Gift…it seems to me that this is the story of both the gift of this girl’s life to her parents who seemed not able to have more children after the birth of their son twelve years earlier.

          This girl has a special gift to be able to heal. The parents call the child’s birth a miracle and she works miracles. By experiencing the pain of the creatures in pain she is able to heal and save them and in the case of the squirrel even bring it back to life,

          You do not give the girl a name. I know in farming communities (which you indicate that this is) when an animal is not given a name it can be slaughtered easily as in some sense it lacks identity.

          You may have your reasons for not giving her a name but a name might be helpful. What also stood out for me is the silent dinner with her parents…you might want to consider writing the dinner scene where it is not silent.

          A young person reading the story might also appreciate seeing how she is with her peers at the birthday party.

          What age group do you see this story written for? And, what message do you want to leave them with? These would be my questions.

          Regarding my own experience…while the pain she experienced was of concern….I loved that she was able to heal the sufferings of these creatures. I see this story as an animated movie…what would you name her if you were to name her?

          I hope a few of these comments are helpful. Uplifting story.

          • Hi MaryAnne, thank you so much for reading my story and for providing such detailed feedback. You did make me think a bit – to be honest it was not a conscious decision not to name her. I guess it just didn’t come up.However, now you have drawn my attention to it, I decided she must have a name:) I have researched and found a beautiful name, which I think suits her and her gift. She is now named Amari, which means – miracle of God. I have also edited my story slightly to give her the name on the first page:)
            By the way I cannot find a story from you to read – do you have one that I have just missed somehow??

            • Glad comment was helpful for you. I like your characters new name. So good to read uplifting material…esp. for the young.

              I think my story Is on board but not sure. This one wrote with the author…Elliott Lesser. and the title was just Misunderstood. As I go thru the stories I see the importance of giving a story a title rather than just the prompt title. Although, I tend to think the title Misunderstood is an excellent title I think in this arena…it is not.

              Best wishes to you,

              • Hi MaryAnne, thanks for letting me know about your story being penned under Elliott Lesser, I managed to find it and have just read it:)

    • Hi Jane
      I absolutely love the premise of this piece. This is definitely a world I can get fully immersed into. I feel so wrong giving any criticism to anyone this month, because I feel like all the mistakes are in my own story, haha. Also, James has said it all, pretty much. But I thoroughly enjoyed this. Well done, and thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Chantel, thank you for reading and your kind feedback:) I have already made quite a few edits to my story:) All the ones that James suggested and I have now given my MC a name:)) Love that we can edit, even once our story is live.

    • I enjoyed your story, Jane, I was pulled into the story from the start and you never lost me. Given there is no dialog, that surprises me just a little.

      The pacing was great and your MC’s gradual perception of her gift felt natural.

      The small editorial points have already been mentioned so I will simply say, well done!

      • Hi Carolyn, thank you so much for reading and your kind feedback. I have made some edits already:) Hopefully they have improved the story. I have also given her a name:)

    • Hi Jane, how’s it going? Loved such a unique take on the prompt. It’s very rare to find a superhero who doesn’t figure out his strength all at once. Yes it could have used a round of editing, but still great narration.

      • Hi Zainab, thank you so much for reading and your feedback:) I have made many edits to this story on peoples advice:) It is now the updated and edited copy.

    • Hi Jane,

      The beginning for some reason gave me a Stranger Things feel. 😀

      I’m late to the party so everything has already been said about this story. So I’ll just add that I loved the flow of the events. The seamless way you narrated your MC’s life is something I truly loved. Another thing I have to mention is the descriptive writing. You aced it, my friend. Thank you for sharing this fantastic (Hehe, see what I did there? 😉 ) story with us. It’s always great to read you. 🙂

      • Hi Anne, thank you for reading. High praise indeed – about the descriptive writing – thank you. As I absolutely love all of your writing. Just finished your story – and it was so good:) Thank you for your support and I am glad you enjoyed my story.
        PS I loved Stranger things.

    • Hey Jane! I enjoyed this story. And I applaud your efforts in maintaining a present tense in each scenario of your MC. Reading it – I think you did a good job keeping the balls in the air in regards to maintaining the immediacy. And for that you should get a solid two thumbs up! I have no major criticism other than I wish some of the episodes had smoother transitions.

      • Hi Charles, thank you so much for stopping by. I know how exhausting it is to read 1800 word stories. I have only just managed to catch up with my reciprocal reads and now there are at least 5 or more that I need to read – of authors I try to read every month. I was so hopeful of a short word count next month – alas it is not to be. Glad you enjoyed my story. Thanks for the feedback:)

    • Hi Jane,

      I love this great gift of your MC and how she is a guardian for the voiceless animals! And that over time she has learnt more of it and is now able to manage it better.
      I see that James and Deryn have given you a lot to work with and I also think that the present tense could amplify the energy here.
      As contructive critique I can only offer two points –

      1 – in the opening paragraph when she says “what now” it sounds like something is happening to her that she doesn’t appreciate, but reading further on I don’t get the idea that she hates her “gift”. This was slightly confusing.

      2 – I would also recommend adding in some detail as to why she has these powers, and what is she going to do with it, e.g. I can see a scene playing out at the vet’s office, a family brings in their dog that has been run over, the prognosis is grim but after she puts her hands on the poor animal we have tails wagging and happy tears everywhere. When they walk out with their doggo the doggo looks back once at her; tongue hanging out and she feels happy. There is a poster on the wall saying “All dogs go to heaven” and she says “Not today mate”.

      I got carried away there, apologies. But I love this story and your MC. Please continue!
      Beautiful story and thank you for sharing 🙂


      • Hi Jan, thank you for reading and providing so much useful feedback:) I happen to agree with your point in the first paragraph. I think that is because when I started this story I really didn’t know where it was going to go. So by the end – as it had twisted and turned away with a life of its own – I perhaps should have gone back and changed that. I will think on it now and see what I might change it to – to fit a bit better with where the rest of the story went. I love your point two, it is mighty cute and made me smile. Maybe if i do Part 2 next month I can use your awesome idea:)) And if I write Part 2, I also intend to try to bring in a bit more information about the powers:) It is starting to bubble away in my mind a bit now…… Thank you for always being a supportive reader, I appreciate it:)

    • Hi Jane
      A feel good story I think.
      You have received good critiques.
      Wrt to extending this,it def has the legs to become a longer piece but if you decide to leave it as a short,then you need to relook your ending, you need some sort of resolution to what you began at the start: a girl discovering she has magical healing abilities- so what is your resolution to that hook?
      June is right,you could take out the bit about her brother ,folks etc, that backstory does not seem relevant here.
      Also,reassess your work and take out all the passive verbs: could/would/should/had – and others I’ve missed- that’ll def help place your writing more firmly in the present and introduce an element of tension in your piece, which is currently missing.
      All school fees,my friend.

      Nice one.

      • Hi Kim, thanks for reading and your honest critique:) I have spent a bit of time re writing today – taking out a few things and putting in a few things:) Hopefully it has improved. I appreciate your input.
        Thank you:)

    • Hi Jane,
      Nice work here on a coming of age piece. The character is on a journey toward finding herself. Nice work on describing and the details of how the pain would enter her and then leave. I could feel it each time I read it. Great work as always!

    • HI Jane
      This was an absorbing piece. You managed to find lots of different ways to talk about the pain that the MC experienced. I was confused about the beginning of the story, where she is on a bike and the end of the story where she is at a bbq at her own party. I thought that the end of the story would tie back to the beginning so that we would find out where she was going on her bike or what would happen after she got off her bike.
      The story about healing animals was done very naturally and flowed well. There are a couple of places where you “tell” a little such as this one: “Had a couple of friends and did the things most kids do. “
      You don’t need a sentence like this because the following sentences illustrate it so well.
      Here is another example: “ I had a gift that enabled me to heal animals or bring them back to life.”
      You could eliminate that sentence and the reader would still pick up on the fact that you have written.
      These are small issues.
      The overall impression is that this is a strong voice of a narrator who is embracing everything about her, her gift, her talents, her interests in poetry. It is a very interesting story with unpredictable twists.
      Very well written!

      • Hi SM, than you so much for taking the time to read my story and for providing such detailed feedback. I have edited this story so much it is not funny:) But I have had so many great comments and ideas from other writers that have helped me to improve it. The beginning was meant to just be a prelude to hook readers. And I changed the ending to allude to a new power that she was now getting (as an adult – hence 18th birthday). I hope to continue this story next month if my brain can cope.
        Anyway I have taken on board your suggestion for removing those two sentences. I added a line to the prelude, and a couple of lines at the end and a bit before the end. Hopefully makes things a little clearer:) Thank you again, I appreciate your feedback.

    • I think we see in this story what we see a lot from you on the longer word count stories – long, detailed backstories. By the time you told us “Nothing out of the ordinary had happened…yet.” you have no idea how desperate I was for something to happen!
      I do think the next challenge in your development as a short story writer is to stop being “OMG, 1800/2500 words etc”, to thinking, “right, I have 1800 words to tell my story.
      You jumped around on your tenses a bit, but I do like the suggestion others have made about writing the story in present tense – would be fun to experiment with!
      All in all, I enjoyed it, a fun read, well done

      • Hi John, Oh dear maybe I edited this one too much – and that might have caused the tense hopping. I don’t think I have ever edited a story as much as this one. Hard I guess, when one gets so much feedback…. some of it contradicting.
        Always room for improvement though:) And I do find the longer word counts hard, that is for sure:) Thanks for reading and your honest feedback. I appreciate it.

    • Hi Jane, now I know a 14YO that would love to see this turn into a book. I suspect the burger-flipping scene at the end is taking it into a different kind of direction – not youth fiction. Would be interesting to see how you develop this, and what audience you eventually write for. Keep us posted!

      • Hi Hanri, yes I have a thought of her powers becoming stronger. I don’t think I planned it for an audience. Perhaps that is my problem. No real planning, just writing where it takes me. Although with this particular story I edited it about 6 or 7 times, taking a lot of the feedback given on this page into consideration:) So it has grown and evolved quite a lot over the last week. I appreciate you reading my story and your kind feedback:) Thank you.

    • Hi Jane,

      I can already see so much useful feedback here, as well as rave reviews for your story! This was a sweet and yet a very intriguing story! I really liked your episodic slicing of the plot that captures your MC’s experiences as she grows up. I did feel this must be a part of a longer story and has scope for further development. The end was shocking and I am hoping your protagonist made it out alive from the carnage. Very well-penned! Thank you for sharing! Be safe. ❤️

      • Jane replied 5 months ago

        Hi Amrita, thank you so much for reading and your kind feedback. I will try to continue this story on for the next prompt. Hope I can manage it:) Thank you.

    • Ahh! Thank you for suggesting I read the first part of the story to fill in the blanks, although I felt your Part two was complete, this does add to the story and, as a continuation, makes it fuller. I’m trapped in your world. I do hope you continue the story!

    • So descriptive without being plodding. I like how you have built the background…I came to this story because I saw your September one was part 2. A nice easy read. Thank you for sharing – can’t wait for the drama which I am sure is coming in part 2!

    • Hi Jane, somehow I missed this story last month, so when I went to read your September prompt and realized it was part 2, I decided I should read part 1 first, and here I am. I love the premise of this story, I love the character and think her gift is awesome! I love that you have continued the story in part 2, and am looking forward to seeing where you take it. I have just a few thoughts that you might consider, if you were ever inclined to flesh this story out:

      Start the story in the middle of an episode, perhaps the first one she ever experienced. Find words to help the reader feel the pain, to feel the MC’s fear or shock or uncertainty of what is going on. Take us through that episode and then go back and fill in the backstory. Is the gift the important part of the story, or is her reaction to it more important? If it’s the gift, then highlight the gift, and if it’s her reaction then show us that. I want to see how the gift changes the MC over time.

      You have a lovely, descriptive writing style. I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner – it’s a great coming of age story with a lot of potential. Now I’m off to read part 2, can’t wait to see what happens next. This is really great work, Jane! Well done.

      • Hi Peggy. I read this comment when you made it but forgot to comment:) Thank you for reading and your wonderful advice:) I hope I used a bit of it in Part 3, I definitely took it on board. Thank you:)

    • Hi Jane, I read part 2 first, and see part three is now up so I’ve circled back and so glad I did. This is great and I like the segues into part 2 at the end.

      • Hi Teresa, thank you for backtracking and reading Part 1. I hope you enjoyed Parts 2 and 3 as well:)

  • Escape the Gilded Cage by Jane Bradshaw
    Through scorching summer heat or winter chill,
    The stormy wind lifts you ever so high,
    The shrinking world below your steadfast bill,
    A dreaming bird in a dark midnight […]

    • Hi Jane this is gorgeous – I would love to be an eagle, soaring high just as you describe it. Isn’t it amazing how 10 syllables look so very different per line – you would swear your ‘new feathers’ line is longer and so the balance is just lovely. Well done and thanks for sharing!

      • Hi Deryn, Yes it sure does:) In fact I had two lines with 11 syllables yesterday which had somehow slipped by me. But when I used the checker Mia posted I found them. Had to reword yesterday to get them back to 10:) Oh the joys. Thanks for reading, glad you liked it:)

    • What a lovely picture and an even better poem. I would so love to be that eagle. And I think the subject-matter is very appropriate because everyone can feel the urge to get out at the moment! Lovely sonnet, thanks for sharing.

      • Hi Susanne, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:) Took a while to find a picture that I thought suited the poem.

    • We artistic writer types dream of flight, feel it in our imaginations, and seek to share it through our words! Good job!

      • Hi Joan, thanks for reading and your comment. Yes I think we do – we are an odd breed aren’t we:) But the world would be dull without us.

    • hey Jane

      you definitely worked this sonnet hard – and kept the reigns tight on this.
      Bravo for nailing the requirements of the hard taskmaster that is the Sonnet!

      my favourite line : A dreaming bird in a dark midnight sky, – I absolutely love the surreal quality of this line , my favourite!
      I thought your closing couplet was a perfect closing – capturing the essence of an eagles existance ( I imagine 🙂)

      very well done!

      (ps and before you ask – no, I do not have a true sonnet , nor correct syllables etc – I know its going to come up😁 )

      • Hi Kim, thanks for reading and your great feedback:) Have just read yours – and loved it.

    • Your sonnet is so symptomatic of our solitary time, as well as emblematic of the loneliness, the isolation felt by innumerable folk — beautiful!

      • Hi Alexis, thanks for reading and your lovely comments:) I have just finished your poem and I notice you have used some lovely descriptive words in my feedback as well. Very poetic.

    • A wonderful poem about experiencing the amazing sense of freedom after being caged and in isolation for a long time. It uplifts your soul and encourages you to never give up on hope.

    • It’s a great sonnet Jane with memorable lines. I particularly like: ‘The shrinking world below your steadfast bill’. You licked the form good and proper.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Christian, thank you for reading and your lovely comments:) Licked it good and proper – LOL.

    • Thanks for taking me on this fanciful flight, giving me a taste of longed for freedom. I’m so impressed with your creativity and wordsmithing skills, to create such elegant and exquisite imagery within the tight structure of the sonnet is enviable. Brava!

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Peggy, thanks for reading and your lovely feedback. It was indeed a challenge but I felt after I piked on the Villanelle challenge that I needed to do this one:)

    • Beautiful! I loved the soaring imagery. Nicely done!

    • Loved your poem …. Thanks for sharing…. d

    • Jane, you never stop amazing me. This piece is well structured and engaging. Kevin and I always go to see the eagles when they come to Annville circle every season. To free and majestic.

      On another note freedom, itself is prominent in this piece. A lot of us are feeling restrained with the virus still creeping around.

      I got so many different emotions reading this piece. Which could mean only one thing? You have done your job as a writer.

      Great piece.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Maria, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:) I am so glad you liked it. I have read yours – and it is amazing:)

    • Beautiful sonnet Jane. I can feel the freedom in your words and I get the idea of a new start away from a cage – not necessarily literal, but restrictions. I like the hopefulness in the piece with new growth after being stunted in a small space.

      The words flow well and the images make me want to float on a thermal looking down at the world and start again.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Debbie, thanks for reading and your kind feedback:) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Beautifully written, Jane. The writing is analogous to life, and I assume the double-meaning is intentional. A very inspirational write. Thank you for sharing. And bravo for staying true to the form as well!

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Elizabeth, thank you for reading and your kind feedback:) Yes meant to be a bit of double meaning going on. I did try hard to stick to form, after piking out on the Villanelle I felt I better do this one:)

    • Well done you! Great sonnet with such vivid and lush imagery. Oh to be a bird escaped from a gilded cage. It works well as a portrait of an escapist bird and as a metaphor for escaping our own bindings.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Christy, thank you so much for stopping by and your kind feedback:) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Nina replied 6 months ago

      A lovely sonnet. I could feel The wings in flight. I especially liked these two lines:
      Sweep forth and do not let emptiness win,
      Ignore reminders of that gilded cage,
      A comforting lilting cadence.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Nina, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:) Glad you liked it.

    • Hi Jane,
      What a lovely sonnet. I enjoy your work so much. One of my favorite lines is “soaring above crimson sand and blue ice”. Just wow! The ending brings it all home, with an essence of hope. Thanks for sharing!

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your very kind comments:) I appreciate your feedback and am glad you enjoyed my poem:)

    • this leaves me inspired. beautiful.

    • Hi Jane, for something you say was so hard, your sonnet flows so easily, like an eagle flying rhythmically over the sand and ice………so hats off to you for creating a real winner.
      While your eagle was soaring, i felt i could even put a freedom-seeking human being up their un-leashing its chains and escaping the cages……really well done.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Glen, thank you for reading and your very kind feedback:) Glad you enjoyed my sonnet:)

    • Kat replied 6 months ago

      I loved the freedom this sonnet evoked – and how we earth-bound, country-bound, state-bound, house-bound humans might wish for that freedom currently. A beautiful read, thank you for sharing.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Katharine, thanks for reading:) I am so glad you enjoyed it:)

    • Oh Jane, this poem was like my conscience whispering to me of the metaphoric flight of the eagle – the true self, that should not allow itself to become attached to the guilded cage. You nailed it, here, you did – perfect form, rhyme scheme, everything. Great work. I dare say this is my favourite piece from you. I’m sure you count this as among your best.

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Hanri, thank you for reading:) I hadn’t really thought about the poem being one of my best, but after reading your very kind thoughts on it maybe I should:) Thank you.

    • HI Jane
      You say you found this a hard challenge, yet there is no evidence of that difficulty in your sonnet. I love the imagery and the freedom of the soaring eagle – wonderful.
      I think this is an excellent sonnet – well done

      • Hi John, thanks for reading and your positive comments:) I am glad you enjoyed it. It was definitely hard to write:)) LOL

    • Well-penned metaphor. Befitting the times we’re in today. Brava! 💐🤗

    • Fantastic! This is wonderful. How I would like to “sweep forth and not let emptiness win”. Thank you for sharing.

  • Never Too Old .The bathroom mirror steams up as I use the corner of my towel to clear it. And there she is, a gorgeous fifty plus woman. Deep green eyes stare back at me, they glimmer full of mischief, framed by […]

    • Great writing, Jane. You have a very interesting scene and character. The pace and use of words are spot on, and the ending lines are perfect. Very enjoyable.

      I’d consider putting the line after the word ‘cancer’, as it feels more in place there, and the next line has moved on, away from her husband. He has been gone over two years now.

      Thanks for sharing another great piece of flash fiction.

      Oh, and the picture is awesome. The detail is so close up it almost looks like bloody teeth. 🙂

      • Hi James, thanks so much for reading and your feedback. I read it back and what you said made total sense. I slightly changed those two paragraphs and moved that sentence about hubby up. Flows a lot better now:) Yeah was trying to find a picture that wouldn’t be too cliched. Looking forward to reading yours when I find some time tomorrow – hopefully:)

    • Hi Jane,

      This is great! I can’t imagine my life without Kevin in it. Unfortunately, if he should go to his maker before me I have no choice.

      I too look in the mirror at this 50 something lady and remember the girl from long ago. I too am proud of the woman I have become.

      Great job with the prompt!

      • Hi Maria, thank you for reading. Yes this was me imagining what it might be like in my next decade of life and if I was ‘suddenly single’. Glad you enjoyed:)

    • Hi Jane,
      Loved the story. Wonderfully descriptive. I could see her preparing herself for her date. Thanks for a great read.

      • Hi Maria, glad you enjoyed it:) Thanks for reading.

        • Howdy Jane, I have missed your stories and comments since KWC (still reminds of Kentucky Fried Chicken! ) ended.

          This was another good one of yours. I enjoyed the infectious enthusiasm of your MC as she got ready for her “date.”

          Your use of the prompt was well done. Kudos! 👍

    • Hi Jane,

      This is a lovely story of how this woman who lost her husband to a horrible disease tries and moves on with her life. A new chapter with this new man. Lipstick can help and i can only hope that she does find happiness. We all deserve it.

      • Hi Claire, Thanks for reading. Yes definitely entering a new chapter of her life:) Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Hi Jane – this so resonated! Whether we lose husbands through death or divorce, entering the dating game at a certain age is very daunting…but can be fun, and with the confidence of age (a red dress and matching lipstick!) it can be done! Well done on tackling this subject so well!! (and if the online dating doesn’t work there’s wonderful romantic escapism fiction like your KWC series!!!)

      • Hi Deryn, Thanks for reading and your lovely feedback. I have a few friends who have found themselves back in the dating game at an older age. Not easy, but a mature lady still has a lot to offer:)

    • Hello Jane,
      Your story has made me smile. It was so fun to read this. I love the details and imagery you project, from her getting ready to what she should wear. Great job on the prompt and I hope she enjoys her date. Well done!

      • Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:) I am so glad you enjoyed it. I think she is going to have a marvellous time.

    • Hi Jane,
      I love love LOVE the message you conveyed with this story. With life treating us poorly, we need to learn to love ourselves at times like these. I loved the way you portrayed the changes in her and how she learned to love herself overlooking those changes. I agree with Marcena. This one made me smile. 🙂
      Thanks for sharing.. It’s so good to read you again. :*

      • Hi Anne, how goes it? Hope things have settled a bit in your life since the KWC. I loved all your stories in there. Glad you enjoyed this. I was really trying to write about body and mind positivity and loving yourself just the way you are:) I believe that is one of the sexiest things for men:) Thanks for reading.

        • Hi Jane,
          I’m good. Thank you. Well, life is never stagnant when you’re working in a lab filled with multiple gas tanks that have to be chained down in case they explode and take half the building with them, I’ll tell you that. Lol.
          Thank you so much for your kind words. I miss KWC and all our interactions a lot.
          Oh I absolutely agree with your outlook. If we can’t love ourselves, how can we ever expect someone else to love us for who we are, right?
          Hope you’re doing well, my friend.

          • Oh Wow Anne, your job does sound quite scary. Definitely have to keep your wits about you at all times:) Yes working on self-love is the most important thing I think. Unfortunately, it seems to take us quite a while to grasp this fact. I am going pretty well thanks. About to head back to teaching after a three-week mid-year break:) Not sure I am ready to go back….. Take Care.

            • Oh please be careful out there! *Hugs* I have to teach a few sections of a lab course this coming fall too. I’m still trying to figure out how to teach my students to prepare injections while maintaining social distance. :/

    • Hi Jane

      Yes, I enjoyed this story. You pack s huge amount in such a small word count, from the character’s self examination at the beginning, through the tiny amount of backstory and the husband’s cancer, to her positivity and enthusiasm with moving on. Very well done.
      I loved her recognition of the power of her brain and her sense of self – one regret is that I would have loved to discover if this was an evolution from how she felt in her younger years, but with 300 words only, you can’t have everything I suppose!

      • Hi John, thanks for reading and your feedback:) Yes the evolution bit would have been great – but definitely would have needed more words.

    • Hi Jane
      This is a lovely story; a picture that talks not of one becoming old, but rather one simply ‘changing’ – where there is still so much newness to look forward too. I have a friend ho believes in lipstick for rejuvenation, and confidence, and to make a bad day better. This made me think of her in a way. Well done xxx

      • Hi Chantel, thanks for reading and your lovely feedback:) I have to agree with your friend. I find dressing up in a nice dress and putting on a sparkly lippy can instantly make me feel better.

    • Hey Jane and well done (again). I couldn’t agree more with the very positive comments you’ve received. I really like the descriptions of your narrator’s self-exam, as well as the evidence of an awesome mental space. Tough to find sometimes and even tougher to retain, so great to enjoy it. Even her user name on the dating app proclaims her confidence and sense of humor. Really well done. Best regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, Yes, I really tried to go with a strong and powerful woman who sees the beauty within, no matter the age, etc. Glad you enjoyed:) Thanks for reading.

    • Hi Jane, you take the reader right into her world as well as into her head….well done. You’ve created a mature woman full of zest and a new-found joie de vivre…..i hope Dennis is up for the night that lays ahead…..good stuff.

      • Hi Glen, thank you so much for reading and your lovely feedback. I think Dennis will not know what hits him when he meets her……

    • Hi Jane,
      There is something so incredibly beautiful here about this character being so “bien dans sa peau” – and that she has turned over a new leaf and ready for the adventure of love again. Like a fine wine only getting betting with age – Vintage Val is indeed an appropriate name!
      There was one thing that jumped at me – using “gorgeous” twice, for herself and for her late husband, which slowed the rhythm a bit. To give more insight into the nature of her husband, perhaps consider using; brave (for the battle with cancer, devoted, handsome.
      Beautiful story which made me smile! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Hi Jan, Thanks for reading, I am glad you enjoyed it. Great pick up. I will change a word there, appreciate your feedback:)

    • Hi Jane,
      I think I’m more afraid of the Vintage Vals out there than I ever was of the younger girls I dated as a young man. Vintage Vals know things about men that younger gals are still naive about. Dennis is in for a big surprise. 🙂
      Love your writing, as usual. Until next time!

      • Hi Ismael, Thanks for reading and your comments. You definitely made me laugh. I do agree that women can become more liberated and powerful as they mature. They don’t sweat the ‘small stuff’ as much:) Glad you enjoyed it.

      • 🤣🤣

    • Val sounds utterly fabulous! You did so well in inserting the line from Lizzo’s song . I, too, sing it to myself while I’m getting ready from time to time, and it complimented the scene so well, as if I was watching this in a film . Fun, lovely read – Go Vintage Val!

      • Hi Nicole, thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments. I so love that song. Even while in the car I find it hard not to toss my head and look at my nails – LOL. Glad you like it too.

    • Hi Jane, I loved the bit “wrinkles scatter across my forehead, a part of my own unique road map”

      • Hi Teresa, thanks for reading. I am glad you enjoyed it:) I just read your story – very enjoyable.

    • Jane a well constructed story.
      Loved the references to age and what her body has been through
      Great work. Arent you glad you started on the stories? Look at the following you have

    • I have to echo Mark’s comment – when you started ss you had maybe 5 comments – look at you now Vinttage Val!

      great characterisation – and-oh-so-relatable!
      a small note for you to pick up: your pov in this line : And there she is, a gorgeous fifty plus woman – UNLESS you intended it as internal commentary to herself, then I would put it in italics.
      and you could tighten up some writing, lose some filler words eg : Deep green eyes stare (are staring) back at me – just makes it punchier, more direct.
      I loved the scene where she dances around flinging her hair over – great visual that!

      good job!

      • Hi Kim, thanks for reading:) I appreciate your feedback and hints for improvement. I have made a couple of quick edits:) As I said to Mark, I think I get a lot of reads – as I read an awful lot. There are so many amazing stories on this site and so much to learn. Glad you enjoyed my Vintage Val – I am kind of fond of her.

    • I love the way you introduced us to this beautiful, self confident woman, you’ve created, showing her getting ready to move beyond widowhood and into the dating game. I hope Dennis is enough for Vintage Val! Nice work, Jane.

    • Great piece and that is a catchy song! I like the juxtaposition of ‘Vintage Val’ wearing a lace dress. Nicely done.

      • Hi Marta, thanks for reading – one of my very favourite songs:) A power anthem for sure.

    • Hi Jane,
      This was a fun read! As women, we are always reminded what should we do, what rules to follow…what not to do. It’s so refreshing to see your MC who is such a free spirit. Her confidence, her journey has been captured beautifully through these lines – “Deep green eyes stare back at me, they glimmer full of mischief, framed by a map of tiny lines. A few wrinkles scatter across my forehead, a part of my own unique road map.” Her face floated before my eyes as I read those lines. Your analogies were so subtle and yet so effective. By the way, I love the name Vintage Val. Remarkable story! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Amrita, thank you so much for reading and your lovely detailed feedback:). I am so glad you enjoyed my story.

    • Hi Jane, I was totally absorbed in the wonderful descriptions of your MC and loved her accepting her every wrinkle and grey hair. You weaved in her subtle excitement as she dressed up for her date. I hope for her that she finds a matching beau. Love it! Astrid

      • Hi Astrid, lovely to see your name here:) Hope all is going well for you. Thank you for reading my story and your lovely feedback.

    • Love it–presenting a fifties woman as a sexual, sensual being, instead of old, washed, invisible.

      • Hi Alexis, thank you for reading. Your comment is awesome, you have just summarised exactly what I was trying to get across with this spunky lady.

    • Hi Jane, I remember Vintage Val from TKWC, in part because of the great song choice but mostly because I had really enjoyed the story so I am thrilled that you’ve decided to develop it further and give us more of Val’s background and brilliant attitude. This is awesome – I love Val for her ownership of her body and mind and her lust for life. I wish there were more female main characters of her age, experience, and inspiring zest out there and I truly hope you’ll bring her back again soon… 😊

      • Hi Ben, yes when I saw the prompt “Red Lipstick” she just jumped out at me. And I ended up editing it so many times that it got reworded quite a bit – and of course, more words added:) I am very fond of her myself. She may come back if there is a shorter word count later on, 1800 is going to be a killer. Thanks for reading and I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • Oh, I really enjoyed the descriptive tone that went from bittersweet musing to gaining confidence with each para. Hope she had a great date with Dennis. 😉

      • Hi Srivalli, thanks for reading. I am glad you enjoyed my story. I am pretty sure the date would have gone well:)

    • Hi Jane
      A lovely piece describing a woman finding a new lease on her life and beginning to explore the dating world again. You clearly describe your MC that it creates the image of her in the reader’s mind.
      I did find in your first paragraph you mention a map of lines and then the next sentence about her lines forming a road map. You could use just the second one as that roadmap creates a lovely image.
      A nice tale delving into the MCs mind and her bolstering herself up. Well Done.

      • Hi Wesley, thanks for reading and your great feedback. Not sure how I missed having map twice:) I have changed the first map to sprinkle:) Thanks for the heads up – appreciate it:) Glad you enjoyed my story.

        • Glad I could offer some constructive advice. Honestly, if I didn’t use ProWriting Aid to check my stories I would miss so much. I have had the one phrase repeated 8 times in a longer piece

    • Such spunk. Loved that she wears a red lace dress with matching red lipstick. And the self-acceptance, the pride, she has in her body and brain. All accentuated by the rhythm of the prose. An inspiring story.

    • Hi Jane,
      That was a fun story!
      So often when a female character appears to be confident, beautiful, and energetic, the story is about how they are actually cold and cruel on the inside or somehow broken and overcompensating. I don’t see that many stories in writing or film that are about women who are just as they seem-this mc, she is confident, she is enthusiastic and she is bringing it. That’s all. I really enjoyed how the words flowed with the MC’s energy but that you managed to add the fact that she has known pain and sadness from the loss of her husband but is ready to turn the page. Very compelling read.

      • Hi Sudha, thank you so much for reading and your lovely feedback. I really appreciate it, especially from such an amazing writer. I am glad you enjoyed my story:) Yours was amazing.

    • That was a great story, Jane, so positive and uplifting. I hope the date lived up to her expectations.

    • Oh Jane, I loved your story, and I can see from the other comments, that it resonated with many of us. The red lipstick is the final touch to Vintage Val’s drop-dead-gorgeous outfit. Her confidence oozed throughout and I’m sure Dennis didn’t stand a chance! haaa well done!

      • Jane replied 6 months ago

        Hi Becky, thanks for reading and your lovely feedback:) I must admit I am rather fond of Val:)) This month has thrown me though – don’t feel like I have enough time or headspace to come up with 1800 words – sigh.

  • *Blank Slate No More by Jane Bradshaw* Coming without warning,Bringing its own intensityDropping, pure and freshCleansing our Earth*Blocking everything outA cacophony of  soundUntamed beauty aboundingCreating a c […]

    • This poem paints this vivid picture and inspires me to remember the anticipation and exhilaration of a natural event. The rewards of nature experienced in our everyday lives cause us to shutter the world and just take moments to inhale the beauty, the silence and allow our whole bodies to just feel. Your take on the prompt is exceptional. The before and after states depicted, that in-between, where nothing exists then a torrent ensues and all is different.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Neta, thank you for reading and your very kind comments. I wrote the draft for this poem while sitting inside our school library watching and hearing the rain pelting down outside:)

    • Hi Jane this is lovely – here in Johannesburg we have the most tremendous afternoon summer storms, crashing thunder and lightening and lashing rain…then peace settles and it’s glorious. You took me right there! (conversely the winters are dry and cold and it’s very brrrrrr here at the moment!)

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Deryn, thanks for reading and your kind feedback. We have some amazing storms here, and most of the time I love them (just not if I have to drive in them). Hope it warms up for you soon:)

    • Anna replied 7 months ago

      Hi, jane. A great description of the suddenness of storms and yet the peace that comes when the rainbow appears. Thank you for the reminder!

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Anna, thank you so much for stopping by:) Storms are definitely cleansing and leave a sense of having washed away the dirt and filth for a little while:)

    • Hi Jane. Your poem is a perfect description of a storm before the lull. Hopefully, the lull brings lasting peace. I was so reminded, as Deryn was, of the Highveld storms in Johannesburg where I lived for most of my life. Loud, wet and refreshing. Well done and thank you for sharing.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi June, thanks for reading and your comments:) I am glad it bought back some pleasant storm memories.

      • Kim replied 7 months ago

        aahhh you were in Joburg ! – do you miss the place at all ??

        • Kim, I miss Jo’burg every single day. I still think of it as home although I haven’t lived there for nearly fourteen years.

    • hi Jane,
      I love how your words come together to express how hope springs after a storm. 🙂 Your poem expresses a refreshing optimism esp. during a precarious time. Thanks for this.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Amana, thank you for taking the time to read and you very kind feedback:) I am glad you found it positive.

    • I never really thought about how nature can change your surroundings. Thanks for sharing…. Best d

    • A lovely moment in time. Nicely done!

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Lauren, thanks for stopping by and your kind comment:)

    • Beautiful and relatable to anyone who has experienced a noisy thunderstorm that comes out of the blue, and then afterwards, the clarity and the beauty of the rainbow. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hello Jane,
      This is so pretty. 😉 I enjoyed your language and word choices here. After the rain or storm, it’s always a beauty to witness the rainbow in the end. Excellent work.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback:)

    • I remember a time there was nothing better than coming home from work on a stinking hot afternoon, and cooling down by standing in the afternoon storm. This took me straight there again.
      I was a little confused with ‘The blank slate is erased’. Wouldn’t this be a marked slate, washed clean/blank by the rain? Working on the assumption that it is a twist on “To wipe the slate clean” – maybe I’m way wrong!
      Overall, I love the first stanza, and the image of cleansing the Earth. As usual, your imagery is wonderful and positive, and to finish with ‘Shimmering miracle of hope’ is wonderful, and ties your whole poem together. Well done

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi John, thanks for reading and your comments and feedback. It is a good point you make. But in my mind I had meant it more along the lines of the sky was a washed blank slate after the storm that then got divided by the rainbow. Perhaps what you mention makes more sense:)

    • It’s a very timely reminder of the hope for better things which a rainbow gives – every house in my neighbourhood is decorated with rainbows as a sign of hope for life after the pandemic (and also a thank you to the keyworkers, of course). Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Christian, Thanks for reading and your comments. I have a rainbow coloured in and placed on my window, I also have a teddy bear hanging from my porch light:) They had the ‘Going on a bear hunt’ thing here for a while – to encourage kids to walk with their parents and find bears and at the same time they encouraged rainbows as a sing of optimism etc.

    • Nice poem, Jane. So well you have expressed that after every storm subsides it leaves behind the hope of fresh beginnings and better times.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Jyoti, thank you for reading my poem, I am glad you enjoyed it:)

    • Really nice poem Jane……you bring me in with the ‘untamed beauty’ even in the wildness of the storm ….indeed a lovely thing to watch (from the safety of being inside) and then you close so beautifully with the double rainbow. Well done.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Glen, thank you for reading and your very kind feedback, just read your poem and I loved it:)

    • Beautiful storm Jane. I love the positive ending with hope after the dark time and so may it be with the world.

      The words flow well and describe the feel of this weather well and the cleansing it brings, calming all the dust and the irritation, washing away the grime.

      I don’t love storms because of the lightening and thunder we experience here, but my husband is happy to sit in the porch watching it all. For him it is a peaceful place taking in the noise and calming.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Debbie, I must admit I do not enjoy howling wind or loud thunder, but I love a good storm otherwise:) And they are definitely pretty to watch and have so much beauty and power to absorb. Thanks for reading:)

    • Kat replied 7 months ago

      This evokes a good storm so well! I love the cleansing that it brings, and your poem captures it beautifully. The smell after rain is divine…

    • There’s nothing like a good storm or a good cry to clear the air! Thank you, Jane!

    • Kim replied 7 months ago

      Hi Jane

      wonderful imagery in your poem.
      for me your 1st and 2nd stanza are strongest – agree with John tho’ : The blank slate is erased / A double rainbow divides the sky- didn’t convey perhaps what you had intended. Maybe if you said something along the lines of : the blank slate split /a double rainbow gift – or some such , would need some change to the rhymes to make it fit ! 🤷‍♂️

      Good work Jane!

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Kim, thanks for reading and your great feedback. I appreciate you and John immensely:) Consistently helping me to grow as a writer and a poet:) I will see if I can tweak it a little on my copy.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Edit done Kim:)

    • I read it twice before I realized this is a thunderstorm. Great piece! I adore the three verses; sight, sound, and feeling.

      Smell, would have been great to add. How the ozone smells after a great thunderstorm.

      I enjoyed this piece. And I may have gotten some ideas.

      • Hi Maria, thank you for reading and your lovely feedback. I must admit I never actually thought of it like that – might try to add another verse on my copy:)

    • It’s thundering as I read this. Here in Minnesota, when it thunderstorms, the temperature cools down and the weather breaks. When I lived in Florida, it was hard to understand that the rain just made it more humid. I love a good thunderstorm. Good feeling in this poem.

    • Hi Jane

      Wonderful imagery and simplicity with perception too. I loved the colours you portray – even some you don’t mention light up the thoughts in my mindseye. Beautiful.


    • Hi Martin, thanks for reading. I am really glad you enjoyed my poem:) Trying to work on my sonnet now, sigh.

    • A double rainbow is sure a miracle of hope. A very beautiful poem with such beautiful imagery.

    • 💙 Brava!

  • Dashed IllusionsSunlight flickered through the pale pink gossamer curtains as they swirled in the breeze. Princess Mareetha yawned and stretched her elegant arms above her head. She looked happy and a faint smile […]

    • I really enjoyed that – it had been a while since I read anything akin to a fairytale and your skillful descriptions transported me into this fantasy. I like how at first you make us believe that Harquim was the villain of the piece and I do hope they both get their happy-ever-after! Well done!

      • Hi Becky, thank you for taking the time to read and your lovely feedback:) I will definitely read and comment on yours soon, just a bit flat out at the moment. Almost forgot to post my story:)

    • JAne a great journey you took us on there.
      Loved the twist at the end.

      • Hi Mark,
        Thank you so much for stopping by and reading:) I will definitely get to yours soon:)

    • I enjoyed reading this all put together.
      While I had followed along during the KWC, reading it now, it’s very exciting.
      Do we have a “happily ever after” in store for them?

      • Hi Marilyn, thank you so much for reading. I am hoping to catch up on some reading over the weekend. I think I will leave this story here:) Readers can take it where they would like. But I like to believe they have a happy life together.

    • Hi Jane,
      It’s been such a delight to see how your beautiful story unfolded since it hatched out of its shell during the keep writing. I felt I was living everything Mareetha did and felt every bit of emotion she did. Reaching the end I was devastated when it seemed that the happy ending wasn’t to be but thank goodness, you decide to give us and your characters a happy ending.
      You mastered this storyline and pulled it together after chucking some parts. You’re a wonderful story weaver, Jane! Astrid

      • Hi Astrid, I really appreciate you reading and your lovely thoughtful comments. It was so difficult to do this, I had to cut and cut and cut again. Then reword and rework. Glad it didn’t lose all of its character during this process. I will definitely get to yours soon. Hoping to do some reading tonight or over the weekend:) Hugs

    • Hi Jane,
      I haven’t been part of the KWC , but to me, it felt a little like a more dramatic and modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The story moved with a great pace and built up curiosity and tension. I particularly liked the scene in the cabin where jolts of electricity travel through her body and she transformed into a powerful being. This was a gripping tale and you created a great sense of drama. A really good story.

      • Hello, yes it did have a bit of a fairytale feel to it and that is one of my favourite tales:) So I think you are right that it had undertones of Beauty and the Beast. Thank you for reading and taking the time to provide feedback. I will definitely read yours soon.

    • Hi Jane, I’m glad I got to read the full story you started in KWC and I loved the satisfying conclusion.. You edited this story extremely well – making this Fantasy a fun read. Well done, my Friend. Two thumbs up!

      • Hi Charles, thank you so much for reading and I appreciate your comments:) It was so hard to cut 1800 odd words and rewrite bits and of course, add the ending. So I am glad it still makes sense. I will get to some reading today and tomorrow I hope and will definitely get to yours:)

    • Hi Jane,
      I love a good fairytale and this was one of them. I saw in your Warning that this was originally one of the tales from KWC. I didn’t feel this was a continuation. I think you must have elaborated and rewritten it?
      Coming back to the story, it was intriguing from the word go. I was engrossed from the start to the end. I loved your imagination, the plot and the amalgamation of traditional fairy tales and the modern fantasy lores (werewolf, princess with supernatural powers). There was just one thing that crossed my mind while reading this. Was a screwdriver invented in those days? Of course, I have no idea which period this story is set in. But that’s really nitpicking. That did not effect the flow of the story in any manner. The ending reminded me of Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel… that’s where the traditional charm works. Splendid work! Thank you for sharing!

      • Hi Amrita, as you said it was a blend of modern and past:) So there was a jeep and a digital watch and a screwdriver:) I took liberty with my imagination and just let it go where it wanted to. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and for your lovely feedback and comments. I now have to do some serious reading. Have been very busy this week but hope to read some tonight and some tomorrow:)

    • Hi Jane – a skillful re write and synthesis of all the KWC parts and here’s hoping that the magic powers bestowed on Mareetha have saved Harquim and they get to live happily ever after…you know I was always advocating for that!! Really well done – this could definitely be a novella or long short story with all the edited out bits re inserted – it’s a great story.

      • Hi Deryn, thank you so much for reading and your feedback. I am so pleased you feel that I synthesized it well. It was so much more challenging than I thought it would be. I would cut, check word count, cut, check, and cut again. But eventually, I got there and right on 1800 as well – I always challenge myself to get the exact word count. The great thing about this story was it evolved night to night and some of the feedback I got each day gave me ideas. I have to say I am a sucker for a happy ending:)

    • Hi Jane,
      It seems fairy tales are your thing and I see you have delved into the KWC threads. Nice one.

      I had no intentions of looking at adverbs then it just suddenly hit me.
      I make it around 2 dozen, a tad high for this word count.
      Believe me, they detract from an otherwise great story.
      Perhaps another round of editing to rework them and have a look at a few “was” phrases such as “She sat looking at the sky, which was bathed in the…”
      This could be “She sat looking at the sky, bathed in the…” It reads just as well with a few words removed.

      As has been said, you can do something with this. And why not? I encourage you.
      I can see an ebook novella. What do you see?

      Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Paul, thank you for reading and your feedback:) I have to admit I did not check my adverbs – and it seems I definitely should have. I think another edit is due. I am not sure if I could ever imagine writing a novella or having anything published as an ebook. But who knows:) This group is certainly teaching me a lot. I will go back and check my use of ‘was’ later too. Thank you, I really appreciate your constructive criticism:)

    • hi Jane

      agree with Sudha – definitely you channeled Beauty & the Beast – with a modern twist. while I missed this on your KWC pieces, to me it felt complete except for the bit where the princess starts showing off HER power – where/how did that come about? if you ever decide to rework this, maybe expand on that to round out your story arc. and yes , a few loose adverbs running amok, nothing another fresh look wont sort out.
      great entertainment value -I enjoyed this!

    • Hi Kim, thanks for reading and your feedback. The power only came to her in the cabin when she was in great danger. Originally I was going to have it being Harquim’s power that came to save her, but decided I liked the idea of it coming from her. Stemmed from the Hex bowl:) But it could be padded out a bit more if I extended the story and put all the cut out bits back in from the KWC challenge:)

    • Thank you for posting this. I was ‘taken’ away as I read this. The descriptions were vivid but mostly I was entrained by the emotions. Really nice! WOW.

      • Hi Rebecca, thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments. I am glad it allowed you to ‘escape’ for a little while:)

    • I enjoyed your take on a classic fairy tale Jane. It has all the elements you expect to find in a classic fairy tale, and I love that your princess is a good 21st Century girl, able to do things to help herself, rather than having to wait for Prince Charming to do everything.

      My main issue is the same as Paul’s. You need to work on your language, because it could be a lot tighter, which will make your writing even better. The line I had the most issue with was this one: “But then just as suddenly the smile vanished.”

      As suddenly as that? Nothing prior to that sentence happen suddenly for her smile to vanish as suddenly as.
      The phrase, “just as suddenly” does nothing but weaken the entire line. Just adds nothing to the story, all it does is eat into your word count. Suddenly makes no sense in this context because it is the first time anything sudden happens.
      Punctuation wise, you also need commas. “But then, just as suddenly, the smile vanished.’ When you read it out loud, there is a natural pause before just, snd after suddenly, which means when you write it, you need punctuation. As a rule with commas in this sort of scenario, you could read the sentence with or without the comma’d part, and it says the same thing. “But then, the smile vanished.” Version 2 is more direct, succinct. Version 1 has 3 redundant words, which could go to great use elsewhere. I think that is your next challenge as a story teller – I look forward to the results! Thanks for sharing

      • Hi John, thanks for reading and your comments. I appreciate the feedback and suggestions for improvement. Still a long way to go and more to learn. I will read yours soon, it is on my list.

    • Thanks Jane, for an enjoyable read. I won’t repeat what has been written above, that is relevant and solid input.
      I’m all for happily ever after, so thanks for the morning smile.

      • Hi Karin, thank you for reading and commenting. I am glad my little fairytale gave you a smile:) I will read yours as soon as I can get to it:)

    • Hi All, thank you for your suggestions. I have edited my story and hopefully it reads a lot better and is a bit tighter now:) The only thing I have not been able to add (because of word count) is the explanation of her powers.

    • Hey Jane and how goes it? I am glad you used this month’s relatively large word-count to rework this saga. I’m also glad you made Mareetha Harquim’s savior rather than the usual other way around. You’ve had a lot of technical input already which I won’t re-hash but must mention I liked the powers you gave Mareetha. The contrast between these extreme powers and her described small frame and sheltered ways is great. You are right though in that you need to give your readers permission to believe these powers and this lies in a well-built explanation. You have plenty of material out there; Harquim, and his curse, his family, her family, and possibly a similar curse or condition, their wedding night, and the feelings it triggered….you could go anywhere. All the best and enjoy it as you figure it out. Very best regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, yes I feel this story is not over yet:) I have edited the version you have read (did it 2 hours ago) and fixed up all the adverbs, and rewritten some sentences that were not all that clear. I am a lot happier with it now. I think I may go back and add in a lot of the story I cut out from the KWC and add in more about how she got her powers:) And maybe make a short novella, etc. as suggested above:) Who knows. Thanks for reading and your kind input – and suggestions:)

    • What a great story, Jane! I love this modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and loved the courage and powers you gave Mareetha, allowing her to be the heroine of the story. You did a great job showing us the events of the story, rather than telling, which really helps pull the reader into the story. I enjoyed this very much, and think you could easily develop this into a longer novella. Well done!

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Peggy, thank you so much for reading and your kind feedback:) I am so pleased you felt I was doing more showing than telling – as this is something I really sucked at when I first started in this group. I am hopeful that maybe I can make it longer and turn it into a short novella:) Thank you again.

    • Jan replied 7 months ago

      Hi Jane,
      I loved what you have done here and these fairy tales universes you create that sweep us up! I honestly did not know what was really happening until he turned on their wedding night (of which the suggestions were very well done!) I was surprised by her powers though and would love to know more of this. It also sounds like her in-laws don’t care a lot for her, if they let the guards do with her what they wish – so she is definitely better of getting out.
      Loved the twist at the end!
      Well done and thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Jan, thank you so much for reading and your lovely feedback:) Yes I don’t think it would be worth hanging around to get to know the in-laws better:))

    • Hi Jane,

      This story opened with so much prettiness and floweriness that I wondered if I could take 1800 words of it, but then you flipped it into something completely enthralling and unpredictable. That’s not to say that I didn’t like the opening. In fact, the sudden change from the pretty wedding to the violent cabin is well done. Same goes for the bits of modern that pop up. I think you weave it all together very well.

      The only bit that I struggled with (and it could absolutely just be me) was when she woke from the dream. I had assumed she’d remember the dream, so why then think of him as cold and heartless when he was obviously the good guy. If she didn’t remember the dream then I’d highlight that for the reader. Though I would then ask, what was the point of the message if she wasn’t going to remember it? Or it could be that I’ve completely missed something?

      Unfortunately, I didn’t get to read any of the KWC stories so I can’t compare, but the stories that you’ve reworked always feel fresh to me. There’s no jarring change of voice where I can see what was the old story and what’s part of the new. No matter what stories you write, I just always want to know more!

      Thanks for sharing <3

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Hi Susan, I actually laughed at your opening sentence. I love your honesty:) And I am so glad I didn’t disappoint you by filling my story with too much floweriness. I kind of swing between wanting to have lots of descriptive words and then wanting a bit of action too:) And a bit of suspense and surprise. Thank you so much for reading and I am glad you enjoyed my modern fairytale:) I tried to find your story to read but I cannot find one.

      • Jane replied 7 months ago

        Sorry Susan I forgot to answer your question. She could remember the dream but she was disillusioned by him just saying goodbye, as though it was an easy thing to let her go. And at that point, she decided to just leave and be done with him and all the pain.

    • Oh, a modern-day fairytale with all the elements it needs. I was so curious to see how and what you’d do with the storyline and at each stage, you gave it an expected twist. It was fun to read and try to guess your next move. The ending, of course, HEA, my favorite kind. Enjoyed this one, Jane. 🙂

      • Hi Srivalli, thank you so much for reading my fairytale:) I did toy with an unhappy ending, but just couldn’t do it. A romantic at heart. Glad you enjoyed it:)

  • *Dashed Illusions Part 15 Curling up in a ball like a small child, Mareetha tried to block out the image before her of the guard flinging his clothes every which way with frenzied abandon.He threw himself on top […]

    • Hi Jane,
      What have you started?
      Do we have a wolf?
      She certainly socked it to the man.
      I spotted a few placed that may need some comma attention.
      I’m not sure what “foundational glue” refers to but I’m sure it’s necessary.
      Thank you for sharing.

      • Hi Paul, thanks for reading – can you let me know where you think I need comma attention please:) Would appreciate it. And yes hard to get the glue in without ruining the story – this would the best I could do LOL.

        • I was looking for a comma after “child” in the opening line.
          Either I missed it, or it was added later, but all good now.
          Congratulations for completing the challenge.

    • uh oh, she definitely started something, or broke something, by defending herself against an attack. Hm. Disappointing I won’t get the rest of this! Unless it goes into your ‘it didn’t work’ story. Thanks 🙂

      • Hi Beth, Thank you for reading and your feedback. I haven’t decided if I will continue this story on or not. Will have to see if the mood takes me next month:)

    • Hi Jane,
      An impressive episode. I shall have to look out for you on the SS Challenge. I have very much enjoyed this series. Thank you.

    • Wowza! You do need commas After some phrases. In the first sentence between child and Mareetha, in the third paragraph between muster and Mareetha, and in the fifth paragraph between lips and the(red).
      Wonderful dramatic ending to the daily prompt challenge.

      • Hi Nina, thank you for reading:) I have fixed those sentences. Thank you – was in too much of a rush to get this done and posted before my Zumba class last night:) Appreciate your support and kind feedback throughout this KWC series:)

    • She’s breaking the hex! Way to go. Will you continue this now that KWC is over? Your readers want to know.

      • Hi Christy, thanks for reading and your great support for this story:) I will have to see if I think I can continue it in the SS writing forum at some stage:)

    • Hi Jane,
      I’m guessing that it isn’t over yet, right? I like the idea of breaking the hex with her newly found inner strength. Now it’s time to see where this will lead and how she helps Harquim out of his spell. I do hope you continue this storyline because it’s really good. Well done! Astrid

      • Hi Astrid, thank you for reading and your positive feedback. I appreciate it. I am not sure yet if I will continue or not:) Will have to see how I feel in June.

    • A terrific cliffhanger ending. I hope you continue it in the future. Two Thumbs up! 👍👍

      • Hi Charles, thanks for reading and your encouragement throughout this challenge. I am so glad you didn’t kill my favourite Bob off:)) LOL

    • Wow! Talk about cliffhangers…you have certainly set one in place!
      What is happening and where does this end up?
      I hope there will be more!

      • Hi Marilyn, thank you for reading and your kind comments. Hopefully, I will find the momentum to continue this story next month or another time in Short Stories. I hope you do too with your ladies:))

    • Hi Jane,
      What an excellent job you have done on this story. It’s amazing how the prompts have worked in your favor! 😉 I didn’t comment on the last two, but I did read them. I love the story progression, details and descriptions. Keep this going and let’s find a way for us to keep reading this if you plan to continue. Nicely done.

      • Hi Marcena, thank you for reading and your support. I am glad you have enjoyed this story:) I am hopeful I will be able to continue it later in Short stories:)

    • To all you fabulous writers, thank you for your treats of creativity over the past 70 days and for the time you took to comment on my own submissions.
      It was a heck of ride and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to be involved with such a cohesive and dynamic writing community positioned in so many corners of the world.
      May you all write on and on and on……peace from Canada….Glen

    • Hi Jane – I’m pinning my hopes in a reversal of the spell on Price Haquim!!! Well done on the KWC, and on this series, and look forward to seeing you on 12SS and Poetry! Take care!

      • Hi Deryn, Hoping I can get my mojo going next month and see if I can continue. Or if not with another prompt later on for 12SS. Or I may just finish it for myself:) Thank you for reading, your support and your suggestions along the way. Definitely see you in 12SS and poetry.

  • *Dashed Illusions Part 14 She didn’t want to show any weakness in front of these thugs. The glinting yellow eyes of the Doberman were fixed on her from the front seat, as he bared his teeth. Another reason that e […]

    • Hi Jane,
      I hardly bear to think about what will happen next😮There appears no way out. But I have a feeling you have a cunning plan. Great writing. Thank you.

      • Hi Maria, thank you for reading and for following Princess Mareetha. Not sure if I am happy with the last instalment, but it is done:)

    • She’s in a pickle for sure, but I’m hoping the dog bowl will give her some inspiration for an escape in the very last episode. You did an excellent job of Mai gaining the tension in this installment and your thugs are heinous!

      • Hi Christy, thanks for reading and yes I did make them rather vulgar and awful didn’t I. Hopefully they get their comeuppance tonight:)

    • Good Grief! Worse and worse. Really good writing – you have me in the edge of my seat, Jane.

      • Hi Charles, Yes poor girl – wouldn’t like to be in her shoes:) Thanks for reading and your encouragement:)

    • I’m totally wowed by this amazing thriller! Is there any way Harquim could be summoned to her help and have that hex free him of his spell?
      Thank you, Jane, for such a gripping and well-written piece 🙂
      Waiting for tomorrow’s episode! Astrid

    • Hey Jane, you’ve kept us at the edge of our seats. The stakes could not be higher. Mareetha could only escape into her mind and even then, not for long. Hanging on for the next one. Regards, Seyi

      • Hi Seyi, thanks for reading and your kind feedback. The last one locked and loaded. Hope it doesn’t disappoint.

    • Jane, you sure know how to end a story on a cliffhanger! I’ve gulped up several of the installments that I’ve missed in order to catch up. You are a great storyteller! I’m utterly captivated and can’t wait to see what tomorrow will have in store! – Rachel

      • Hi Rachel, thank you for reading. That is very high praise indeed as I love your stories. I am so pleased you have enjoyed this one. Not sure if I have done the last installment justice….

    • Hi Jane,
      Looks like she’ in twubble now.
      How do you get her out of a cliffhanger in the 1 remaining scene?

    • Hi Jane – will be racing across to Glue shortly. I have loved this story.

      • Hi Deryn, thank you. I appreciate you reading and commenting and helping me with suggestions along the way:) Hope you like the final instalment:)

  • *Dashed Illusions Part 13 “I don’t think so.” The same guard smirked at her with a lascivious wink. “The King warned us something like this might happen. He has given us the autonomy to deal with it ourselv […]

    • What special powers?

      I think that there’s trouble ahead!

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Michael, I think Mareetha is in a lot of trouble. Nasty King and nasty guards. Thanks for reading.

        • Jane replied 8 months ago

          Hi Michael, I just realised it sounded like they had magical powers. Not what I intended. Thank you for picking it up. I have edited my word choice slightly:)

    • Hi Jane,
      Oh dear, things don’t look good. But I’m sure there’s a twist somewhere in all of this. Nice read. Thank you.

    • A subtle cliffhanger – me likes! And yikes. Now , then, if they have special powers, could they be somehow linked with Harquim? Nicely done, Jane. I’m really enjoying your story and still have high hopes for a romantic happy ending 🙂 Astrid

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Astrid. I realised I made a mistake with that wording. I didn’t actually mean special powers (as in magical) I meant the authority. So thank you to you and Michael for picking that up for me. I have edited the words slightly to make it more clear:) Two more prompts – can we do it Astrid.

    • Not a good turn of events, for sure.
      What waits ahead for Mareetha now?

      • Good Grief! The Princess goes from the frying pan into the fire. I look forward to reading your next installment, Jane.

        • Jane replied 8 months ago

          Hi Charles, she certainly has I think she needs Bob Treewanker and the missus to get her out of trouble…..

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Marilyn, thanks for reading. I am not quite sure still…..

    • Oh no! Princess in trouble! She’s plunged into a whole mess. Another great installment. One day I’d love to read this start to finish. I bet it just rocks.,

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Christy, thanks for continuing to follow. Yes when it is finished I want to go back through it and make sure it all flows – maybe add a few words and take a few away and see if I have a story:)

    • Nina replied 8 months ago

      Oh dear, poor Mareetha appears to be headed for more trouble than she can handle. Despite her brief attempt at sassy hauteur.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Nina, yes I think she is in a lot of trouble now. Thanks for reading.

    • Hi Jane how did Mareetha think that anyone she encountered in the course of her escape would be on her side…waiting for the conclusion…!

      • Hi Deryn, good question. I see her as quite naive – never having to deal with nasty people like this before in her cosseted and protected upbringing. Thanks for reading:)

  • *

    Dashed Illusions Part 12

    She quietly dropped her case over the windowsill to the garden below, following behind. Discarding the linen rope Mareetha ducked for cover amongst the weeping willow trees.

    Checking […]

    • Nice use of the prompt – that one didn’t even flash past my brain as I tried to think of how to use it.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Michael, yeah I was struggling to think how I could put it into this chapter. Was going to use the light of a mobile phone and then thought – dang, she can’t have one she has been a prisoner and if she did have one she would have called her family for help ages ago.

    • Hi Jane,
      Lovely episode and excellent use of the prompt. You’ve got me wondering what happens next (again! Sigh) Thank you for sharing this.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Maria, LOL yes we are both in the same boat with our stories, not sure how much control we have over them……

    • Nina replied 8 months ago

      Love the faint buttery light. And her bravado, as well as her obvious courage, born of desperation perhaps but still. Nice scene.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Nina, thanks for reading and your kind comments. Yes she has found courage she didn’t know she had and has never needed being part of a royal family. I also loved your use of butter in your story – similar to mine:)

    • Hi Jane,
      Buttery faint light – just delicious! And there I was thinking she had made out. Maybe she will find some bravado and do something to get away and help her lovey duck.
      When I wrote mine, I thought of using buttery instead of spiced but since I used a hot drink that contains butter, I just couldn’t give it away that easily 😇😈
      Thanks for sharing another lovely instalment. Hope you’ll be able to wrap it up with the coming prompts.~ AStrid

      • Another fine installment. I do hope she can get out of this mess before KWC ends Monday. 👍

        • Jane replied 8 months ago

          Hi Charles, Thanks for reading, gosh I hope she can too…… we will see.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Astrid. I was going to let her make it out too, I started writing, got stuck. I took the dog for a walk and came back to finish it. During that walk, I changed my mind LOL. Thanks for reading and your encouraging feedback. I hope I can complete it too:) Hard when I don’t know how many words I have to play with.

        • So it’s the pooch’s fault that Mareetha got caught, again… 😀
          Any idea if on Monday we will get a last prompt? I hope we get two more, maybe it’ll give us a chance to wrap our stories up.

          • Jane replied 8 months ago

            Hi Astrid, yes we need to blame my puppy Mochi, all his fault:)
            I thought Mia said it finished on the 1st of June so I assumed we get one more prompt on Monday and then it is over – for now at least. I could be wrong though.

    • Loved the reference to the faint buttery light, as did many of your readers.
      I hope her honest bravado works in her favor.
      Where does it go from here, I wonder….

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Marilyn, thanks for reading:) I am looking forward to continuing on tonight…

    • Hello Jane,
      Clever take on the prompt. It’s late here and I skipped over it twice so that means it was subtle. 😉 Nicely done as always. I am enjoying the progression of your story. It is keeping me on the edge in a good way.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Marcena, 2.43pm here. The time differences are pretty large. Sleep well and thanks for reading my story and your kind feedback:)

        • Wow, that is a huge time difference; it’s 10:44 pm here…have a good night and chat tomorrow or later today.

    • Hi Jane,
      I like the use of the prompt giving the illusion of a caramel light.
      What now after her false bravado?
      Thank you for continuing with the series. Cheers, Paul

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Paul, I have posted Part 13, just waiting for it to be live:) Gets a bit more interesting tonight:) Thanks for reading.

    • Seyi replied 8 months ago

      Hey Jane and I echo the compliments for your getting the word prompt in so well. I also like the cliffhanger ending and wonder how she will get out f this fix. I’d suggest you have a look at your first sentence, though. The ending two words ‘..following behind’ make it seem a little unwieldy I think. All the best and well done with carrying this story through all those prompts. I know I could not have done it. Best regards, Seyi

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Seyi, thanks for reading and your feedback. I am not quite sure how to fix it. Trying to cut out some repetitive pronouns so just kept it simple – trying to show she jumped down after the suitcase. Did you have a suggestion? I can’t think of one:)

        • Seyi replied 8 months ago

          Yeah, it’s not an easy fix for me but how about, ‘She threw her case and then herself, over the windowsill into the garden below.’? Not the best, I know. If I can think up anything else, I’ll let you know…

    • Hi Jane – why did the digital watch throw me…and the vehicle…I think I was all about the fairy tale (perhaps that’s why the Louis Vuitton luggage also struck me yesterday) That’s just the tone of the piece I guess, so these elements seemed like anachronisms, somehow…but don’t detract from the great pace…

      • Hi Deryn, yes I think what I have tried to do is have a fairytale but with the modern twist of being set now with our modern cons. Didn’t want it to be a carbon copy of Beauty and the Beast:) Thank you for reading and your thought-provoking comments. I appreciate them:)

    • This was an ingenious use of the prompt. So our beloved princess is back in the soup! Well, well, well. I’m waiting for tomorrow and wondering if you’ll wrapping this up during the challenge or keep it going …

      • Hi Christy, I am honestly not sure. It depends on the prompt and the word count. I will have to see if it is possible to wrap it up or not. Thanks for reading and your positive feedback:)

  • *Was it a terrible nightmare or could it be true? Mareetha was torn and confused. How could she leave Harquim to this life of torment and misery? He was a humble and kind man. Killing anything at all was not […]

    • Hi Jane,
      What a lovely instalment to this story. Mareetha is captivating and I’m interested to know what happens next. Thanks for a great read.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Maria, thanks for reading:) I am still not sure what is going to happen next…..

      • Hi Jane! I was happy to read your new installment. You are moving your storyline ahead quite nicely. So keep going. My only quibble is using the adjective “beautiful” before screwdriver. It just seems unnecessary.

        • Jane replied 8 months ago

          Hi Charles, thanks for reading. And yes you make a very good point. I guess I didn’t want to call it dainty again as that is what I called it when it arrived. And it is special as it is engraved and from Harquim….. will have to think on a different adjective. Thanks for your input:)

    • Hi Jane,
      My heart flushed with Mareetha’s beautiful emotions and soul. I also liked how you weaved that prompt into the story, giving us a peek at their wedding. As a hopeless romantic fool that I am, I am hoping that they’ll find a way to be together and that she’ll choose to help him anyway. Thank you for such a lovely episode.~ Astrid

      • Oh, I was getting so mushy 😂 that I forgot a little thing: that phrase “bare necessities” had me humming Baloo’s song 🙂

        • Jane replied 8 months ago

          Hi Astrid, oh you made me laugh. I also had forgotten that song:) But now I am humming it too. Thank you for reading and your lovely feedback. Will have to see what the prompt tonight affords them….

    • Seyi replied 8 months ago

      Hey Jane, so Harquim does end up as a ‘good guy’ (as good as possible under his circumstances). Initially, I missed dialogue and/or a different POV but the message from Harquim provides a key pivot. I like the way you are tieing together all the clues you’ve salted the story with these past few chapters. Looking forward to the next. Best regards, Seyi

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Seyi, yes hard to slip dialogue in when it is just her here and no dream sequence:) I appreciate your feedback. Hopefully I can tied this story up soon. I think we have 4 more prompts:)

    • Ah, so poignant and sad. A nice sure of the prompt. I’d hoped she’d find a way to rid him of his curse, but perhaps there’s still an opportunity for that. Hmmm. Love this story in snapshots, BTW.

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Christy, thanks for reading and your kind comments. I will have to check tonight’s prompt:)

    • Hi Jane,
      Clearly Mareetha is besotted with Harquim.
      Dainty or delicate? Why either. Its a screwdriver, nothing else.
      If you were to confirm it is a Philips head or a flat head, now your talking.
      Thank you for sharing. Cheers, Paul

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Paul, thanks for reading:) LOL that is such a male comment. Hubby would make a similar one:) But this is a special screwdriver and I needed one more word:))

    • Hi Jane,
      I am keeping up with your story although I am have not written the last two prompts (65 & 66). Great work here as we discover together this path, curse, and adventure the couple is on. Nicely done!

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Marcena, thank you for continuing to read. I am hopeful I can finish the story off with the three remaining prompts. But it is tricky not knowing how many words I will have to play with:)

        • Yes I am sure that can be tricky. Just have a possible ending or three in mind 😉 and even if there’s more to say after our final prompts here, keep writing it if need be.

          • Jane replied 8 months ago

            For sure:) I have just posted Episode 13, now only two prompts to go:)

    • Hi Jane – Paul made me laugh with his screwdriver comment! I think the Louis Vuitton luggage reference was a little gratuitous and distracting the same as Bare Necessities!!! Maybe she should just gather up her belongings (meagre belongings?) but either way, we are all learning Finnish and having our hearts broken!!!

      • Jane replied 8 months ago

        Hi Deryn, thanks for reading:) Yes I needed some words and she is a rich Princess so she would have had lovely luggage and heaps of wonderful clothes and things etc. Glad you are enjoying:)

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