Writer’s prompt
First sentence ~ Last sentence
Ask a friend to write down two sentences. The sentences should be seemingly unrelated.

Two sentences from Margaret which must begin and end the story. Either one first or last.

(1) Mary arrived at the station just as the last train of the day was leaving.

(2) There was a clap of thunder and flash of lightning just before the lights went out.




by John Yeo 

    There was a clap of thunder and flash of lightning just before the lights went out.
    “Not another bloody power cut! I will have to remember where I put the candles Sooty!”
  Mary cursed as she tripped over a pair of red high heeled shoes she had kicked off in the hall earlier. “I was fortunate there, wasn’t I Sooty?”

  Mary had developed the habit of talking to her feline friend over the years.
When her best friend Sue remarked on this habit over afternoon tea one day. Mary responded with the reply; “She often answers with purrs, mews and a friendly rub on my legs.”
   Sadly on this occasion Sooty was invisible as her black fur had made her melt into the background.
  Mary was able to locate candles and even a torch with live batteries, which was a surprise as she hadn’t used it for months.
  Another crash of thunder shook the very foundations of the house and with a loud squeal, Sooty jumped on her lap.
    A flash of lightning lit up the room and the sound of heavy rain on the windows heralded another crash of thunder.
     “Not really a night for going out Sooty; but I will have to go and check on Mum in Walford, 20 miles away. She is on her own and probably scared to death. I can’t get a signal for my IPhone, due to this weather. I will have to take the car.”
Ten minutes later, found Mary desperately trying to start her car without any success.
   “Damn it Sooty! I will have to take a taxi, it will be expensive, but at least I will be able to get a train home. I will have to brave the weather and walk down to the taxi rank. A good fifteen minute walk away: Now where did I put the umbrella?”
  Luckily there was a taxi on the rank and an hour later Mary was knocking loudly on her Mothers front door. There was no response and she was getting quite worried; when Mrs. Harvey a neighbour appeared and said,
  “She was fine earlier, I have a spare key, I can let you in if you like, Mary.”

     “Yes please Mrs. Harvey.”

     A shocking sight greeted their eyes as they entered the hall, Mary’s mother was lying unconscious in the hall.
  Mary quickly called an ambulance from her mother’s line and two paramedics arrived.
‘Good job there is a connection here she thought’
   With a sigh of relief Mary saw her Mother revived and there wasn’t anything seriously wrong. The ambulance took her to hospital for a few checks and she was kept in overnight.
  Mary realised she had made no arrangements for transport to get her back to her home. A friendly paramedic offered to drop her off at the railway station.

  Mary arrived at the station just as the last train of the day was leaving.

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.



Gressenhall Goat

Image © John and Margaret

18th SEPTEMBER 2015 ~ WRITING 101 ~


  It’s a simple idea, but offers a bit more structure to your post — and is a lot more fun. So today, write an update post in the form of a virtual coffee date.

If this post isn’t fitting for your blog, or just not your style, here’s your alternative: use a coffee shop as your inspiration.

Set your poem or short story in a cafe.
Go to your neighbourhood spot with your laptop or notebook and free-write for 20 minutes, prompted by what you observe.
Love or hate coffee? Tell us why.


by John Yeo

  I was taking tea with Margaret, who was having coffee with me. We were seated in a third-floor restaurant in the city on two comfortable easy chairs overlooking a very busy main road. This comfortable, quite busy restaurant was above one of our favourite stores. There is a row of six comfortable leather settees with cushions and tables with easy chairs to match, arranged along the windows .The main seating area has simple wooden furniture and we were lucky to have secured our chairs with a view.
We had just completed our shopping and we were relaxing, watching the world go by, both inside and outside this busy eatery. It was just prior to the midday lunchtime and the clientele, mainly made up of retired people and mothers with young children were socialising and conversing while they enjoyed a selection of beverages and food.
There is a free public internet connection here and although it is somewhat unreliable and sporadic I was able to gain access.
I logged onto my social media page to find the following series of comments on a Writing 101 post I had posted earlier…..

(1) ~ MY FRIEND~”Here’s some advice. Write about something that frightens you to your core. Write about something that makes you so sad you feel suicidal. Write about something so optimistic that even conceiving of it makes you look ridiculous. Write about people you love in a way that’s honest. Be painfully honest. Write about something that you think will bore other people, but that absorbs you completely. Write about sex with a loved one. Write about your jealousy, or your enviousness. Write about your cowardice. Write about people you hate. Write the stories of other people. Steal them. A good writer is a loving, heart-feeling, lying, unscrupulous conniving scheming, retiring bastard.”
(2) ~MY FRIEND ~ “I think that these courses are parlour games. They don’t teach writing to an adult. What they teach, and how they teach it, is for semi-illiterate teenagers.”
(3) ~MY FRIEND ~ “But that’s just my view, John.”


My response to this is as follows …..

  MY FRIEND, If I were having coffee with you I would have to thank you very much for your advice, some of which I find very good and very appealing. The first and most interesting section of your comment reveals much about you as a writer? and a person. The first three sentences although worded in an extreme sensationalist way are really quite appealing. I am aware that to hold the interest of a reader in some cases sensationalism is a must, I do feel however that one should strike a balance and allow for the calm ordinary placid side of life to intrude.

  MY FRIEND, If I were having coffee with you, I would avoid confrontation and I would have to point out that my writing is honest when it refers to my personal relationships without the need to publicise our sex life to the reading general public.
I find the last few sentences incredible and I have known you for a number of years through the medium of the social media, I do read your frequent posts and I have yet to detect some of these aspects in your writing.

  MY FRIEND, If I were having coffee with you, I would have to take issue with your second comment and confess in a purely non-confrontational way that I find the implication behind this remark really rather insulting. These are not exactly courses in the accepted sense but a very good way of engaging with other people and indulging in some writing practice. I have yet to meet anyone who is semi-illiterate taking part in this or any other writing medium that I have enjoyed taking part in.

  MY FRIEND, If I were having coffee with you, I would have to shake hands with you and point out that I admire a person who doesn’t just hold a view but is not ashamed to spill it out even if, and I quote you here……

“A good writer is a loving, heart-feeling, lying, unscrupulous conniving scheming, retiring bastard.”

  But that’s just my view, MY FRIEND ~

Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.

A smile in a cup of coffee

Image from the Net

Writing 101