Don’t Say You Love Me

Eventually, they ban the word “love”.

It’s harmful, they claim. Causes too much hurt. But people find other ways to say “I love you”. They say “Let me know when you’re home, I don’t want you to go, are you cold, how was your day?” Everyone gets used to it, and then comes the same hurt. The same disappointment.

So they ban speech entirely.

They give up when they realise people can be left just as devastated when all that came before was a blown kiss, or a hand held over the heart.

When they realise people can hurt each other no matter what.

 

by Molly Duffield

(prompts: 10/02, censored)

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100-Word Challenge

In our latest workshop we gave our writers a 100-word excerpt and task them with finishing the scene in just 100 words themselves.

Here is the excerpt they were given:

Silvo groaned and opened his eyes slowly. The three monstrous dragons were amassing from every side, their huge shadows enveloping him. The blow he had been dealt had not only knocked him out long enough for the dastardly warlock to summon the dragons but had also severed our brave knight from his trusty sword. Warm droplets of blood trickled down Silvo’s forehead. The dragon to his right was red and winged, the dragon to his left was green and horned. The dragon behind him cast the largest shadow of all and its warm breath was encroaching upon Silvo’s neck. Suddenly….

 

 And here is what they came up with:


 

SUPER DRAGON HAZE

The vapes were charged and ready. Silvio preferred old-fashioned cigars, the fat phallic stumps of carbon; but he was being hospitable to his candy-crush dragons, whose penchant for vapes could be traced back to the saturated valleys of their infancy. Silvio matched flavours with the colours of each dragon: pastoral apples for the green one, cherry-cola haze for the red one. Together they smoked, each warm breath mingling delightfully in the air. Logos for corporate sports brands flashed like religious symbols in the darkness and suddenly the lights of the mall flicked on, drowning among dead muzak.

/ DJ Misty

[word count: 100]

 


 

PEE-EW!

Silvo turned around and shouted at the dragon behind him.

“Woah man, you need some tic-tacs or something ‘cause your breath stinks!”

The dragon, looking dejected sat back on his haunches and huffed a mighty puff. “You think so?” he asked glumly “I’ve been trying to eat healthier you know?”

The other two dragons had come put their wings around the largest’s shoulders.

“It’s okay dude,” said Silvo. “Here, try this.” Silvo ripped off a branch of a nearby mint bush and gave it to the dragon who ate it and instantly perked up.

He smiled toothily, “Wow, cheers man.”

 

/Tricky Dicky

[word count: 100]


 

LET’S GET IT ON

…the green dragon transformed into a bottle of champagne, the red one into a rose, and the large shadow cast behind Silvo fell as a blanket at his feet. From a cloud of smoke appeared an Adonis-like man with long flowing locks. His rippling bare chest was exposed and Silvo suddenly felt the strength of his ‘sword’ return to him.

“My name is Fabio and you are my hidden desire,” breathed the sexy sexy man.

Silvo tossed his armor aside and Fabio popped the champagne and then they lay down on the black silk blanket and had hot passionate sex.

 

/MC Bubble

[word count: 100]

The Life and Times of Fabio

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You might see this picture floating around GU Creative Writing Society today. Its the prompt today for Flash Fiction February and the banner for our Romance & Erotica Workshop. This is of course because today is Valentine’s Day, a celebration of love and romance and this picture oozes sensuality. However this picture is far more than an ode to wine, good hair and adorable kittens, the man in this photo has played an integral role in Creative Writing Society’s special celebration of February the 14th for the last 4 years.

This is Fabio. Often dubbed ‘the original male model’, Fabio came to fame at the age of just 14 when two photographers approached him in a gym and told him he should become a model. Oozing with natural charisma and rippling good looks (not to mention his galloping abs) Fabio set a new standard for the ideal man. It was not long before he was approached by author’s of erotica fiction to feature on the covers of their novels.

That is why Fabio is so important to us, he is the face that launched a thousand fictions. The statuesque prowess and heroic demeanour inspired writers to mould their characters to  fit Fabio’s ample dimensions. This man is an idol, the living embodiment of the narrative muse in action. Without Fabio great epics of romance, fantasy and love would never have come to be. And without Fabio Creative Writing Society would not have such a glittering icon upon which to centre its best-loved workshop.

So if you like good hair and wine (lots and lots of wine) then come along to our Romance & Erotica Workshop but if you like Fabio, then please let him inspire you as he has inspired so many others and write us a story for Fabio. (Send us your work here.)

 

 

Source: Fabio in his own words.

 

 

Images of Fabio on the cover of Erotica Novels:

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The Shadow Remedy

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She stopped at the crossing, pointlessly; the lights not turning, the still point of the evening inside her, even as deep as the scarlet pulp of her heart. On reflection, it had been quite a mistake to venture along so late at night, so far out into the dark avenue of tall trees and parked cars, silent as resting predators. The lamps here could hardly be called lamps at all, they were so dimly lit.

Still, the danger somewhat thrilled her. How easy it would be, for a stranger to slip out from behind that velvet curtain of black shadow! To come down on her from some awful place hidden within the trees, to reach out a cold hand round her ankles, her knees.

At first, she had left home on a mission. Her flatmate was ill, writhing on the sofa with spasms of nausea, a sickness that glowered in the greenish pallor of his face. He needed chamomile tea, some kind of medicine, a sheet full of special pills. It was three in the morning and her only hope was the giant Tesco’s over in Maryhill, which was 24 hours. Some part of her knew deep down that he could die if she didn’t pull through. All the while she walked, she could still hear his groaning.

Yet it no longer felt like being on a mission. She had given up the sense of direction; no longer cared whether she even made it to the strip-light temple of the superstore. All she wanted was to fade into the night, whatever that meant.

It was something about the darkness, the sense of disappearing.

Her mobile started ringing. Its bright blue flashing screen seemed obscene in the desolate silence.

“Hello?” The number was unknown, she did not want to give away her own name.

“Let me tell you a story,” came a rasping voice through the broken speakers (only last week, she had dropped her phone on the concrete).

“Who is this?” She stopped in her tracks, staring up and down the road, which now felt as long and wide as an infinite boulevard.

“There was once a girl who got lost in the night,” the voice continued, “who craved the full flesh of shadow, who let the spirits come to her, creep inside her skin.”

“Oh shut up,” she hissed, thinking it was a prank call; thinking perhaps it was her brother, turning a trick at her expense.

An ambulance passed, its shrieking music throwing her into blue and red disarray. Even when it was gone, she could still see the siren colours bleeding on the pavement.

“I need to go to Tesco,” she croaked, feeling the structure of her chest fall away into a tangle of limp muscle. “I need to get the medicine.”

“The girl went mad,” the voice said, “she was as thin and transparent as the air itself, all her thoughts just molecules, dancing and sick.” At this, she hung up the phone with a click. She dragged her limbs into action, starting to run, her feet clumping on the concrete, leaping over potholes and litter. She was not running towards Tesco; she had no idea where she was at all. Somehow it did not feel like her own body; she was dragging along some other corpse, its sinew shaking and spilling to the rhythm of an abstracted, pumping heart.

On the side of the road, Kelvingrove rose like the hypnotic turrets of Disneyland, its sandstone glowing blue and bloody pink. She was nothing but a smallness, running through the darkness, indistinct and misty as a smudge upon the glasses of a giant. Soon, the world would wipe her from existence.

She would be that tiny, writhing thing, her face green with sickness, her prom queen smile stretched out to a sinister grin.

The night would close upon her.

“I need to get the medicine,” she whispered, her voice merely a crackle on the other side of a phone line.

–Maria Sledmere

(Flash fiction February prompt: erase)

A Whisper of Wonder

So these are the two sonnets Maura, Maria, James and Heather came up with. The prompts were ‘wonderful’, ‘hurt’, ‘whispers’ & ‘a tragic love story’. Since we were talking about Yeats earlier in the seminar, we went with the theme of fairies. When it’s finished it’ll be a wee sonnet cycle on the subject of a grove of fairies in the woods, and a young man who, tempted by the sweet music made by the small creatures, finds himself fatally enraptured by one of them. They work sooo much better when read aloud in unison, by the way. Kind of uncanny.

Sonnet I

On the top of the hill the fairies play
Around the flowers they frolic and dance
And beckoning you close, they whisper “stay.”
Unwary travellers may take a chance
Follow the fairies wherever they go
Along the beauty of some ancient tune,
With glittering notes the stars start to glow.
While the sprites soak up the light of the moon
The Seelie Queen sits in her flowered shrine;
Her gentle smile, her sweet benevolence
Her beauty, her love and her kindness shine.
You slowly move forward with hesitance.
What you thought you saw was purer than gold,
But deep in the shadows are stories untold.

Sonnet II

A tale passed down from each father to son,
A warning to all seduced by the call
Who blindly pursue what cannot be won–
The hearts of fairies in love will not fall.
One moonlit night a boy strays from the trail,
Drawn into the trees by enchanting sounds
He walks through and pulls back the willow veil.
Driven by desire he enters their bounds.
The fairest creature of alluring face
Came forth from darkness and ensnared his soul:
The maiden moves and sways with serene grace–
Stunning to see but her heart is a hole.
And now he will dance till the day he dies,
While fairies laugh as their song fills the skies.

Sonnet III

In the deepest, darkest depths of the wood
There is a place to which the fallen go
When their footsteps no longer walk the earth:
A sad and ancient place misunderstood.
Some say it bears the most famous of graves,
A shrine to the fallen sprung up among trees;
A holy space for errant knights and knaves—
Those who met love’s cruel fate among the leaves.
In winter sprites will lay down white roses
As they sing out the sorrows of snowdrops,
Wishing for spring when lovers bring posies
And lovely the sound of all those blood clots:
For what mortal male would stand but a chance
With fairies who spin in such fatal dance?

Sonnet IV

Across the sweeping valleys, fields, and hills
Where children imagine, run, and play
Mothers warned, play out in fields if you will
But never in the faerie woods do stray.
And though they knew to heed their mother’s word
When dancing lights glittered in the darkness
And sweet strains played as they had never heard
The children ran to the shadows’ caress.
Merrily they skipped in time to the charm
There was not one boy or girl left behind
And their parents searched for them in alarm
Though nought but small footprints were there to find.
So never in the faerie woods do stray
For they will happily snatch you away.

Notes from Inspiration Week

Hi guys! Hope the revision is going well :)

As you may remember, we had an Inspiration Week a while ago and here are the things people shared – thought I’d upload it so it’s all nice and uploaded for archiving and future inspiration :)

Nina Lindmark Lie

So I’ve had a week of some inspiration-hunting, since I couldn’t exactly pinpoint any particular sources of inspiration I normally have. Basically what I found can be summarised to ‘new impressions’ (a bit dull, but still). My week has consisted of visiting a lot of museums and exhibitions (like the uni’s Ingenious Impressions, The Hunterian and very modern Design exhibit in Edinburgh) the Botanics, and a fair amount of creepy people watching. Especially travelling and visiting busy places like museum I find rather inspiring. Mainly cuz they’re full of creative stuff, and doing new things helps me find ideas, or offers a slightly different scenery from my everyday life. Fingers crossed for some sunny days and more walks around Glasgow.

New favourite film?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xmweTUqjkA

Hayley Rutherford

Eva Ibbotson is one of my inspirations. Her books remind me of my childhood and I think helped shape my current writing style. They are a little creepy and a lot quirky

https://scontent-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11091588_1574754492766429_1417689944488394954_n.jpg?oh=8c370c842a39b9c307a6799aa39dfa73&oe=55A343E0

Maria Sledmere

My (somewhat random) inspirations…

Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber (1979)
My favourite story from Carter’s collection is probably ‘The Lady of the House of Love’. All her tales play with darkness and sexuality and appetite, questioning the boundaries between human and animal. I love the way she plays with fairy stories and animal characters, and she taught me that it’s perfectly okay to use intensely ornate, coruscating prose, if it serves a purpose.

Legend of Zelda, Majora’s Mask (2000)
https://www.youtube.com/watch…
This game is so creepy and grotesque and wonderful. The graphics seem a little blotchy now, but it adds to a kind of cardboard, fairytale aesthetic. The whole set-up of the game is basically to do with a moon that’s going to fall and crush a town within three days; three days you have to solve a lot of puzzles and defeat the uncanny mask dude that runs about. Everything is very anthropomorphic and strange, and the dissonant music adds to this. The play between surface, colour and texture is interesting because people often seem oddly flat, and the town feels really claustrophobic. I think it’s inspiring for its aesthetic and narrative, and just the whole weird ambience it creates.

Tom McCarthy, Remainder (2005)
This is a very strange novel. The narrator does not seem so much human as a human reciting what it is to deal with emotion and trauma, in a very machinic sense. It plays with all sorts of conventions and disturbs expectations, and in a way is very Ballardian. It taught me that novels don’t have to be extravagantly ‘postmodern’ to challenge conventions of realism, and also how to play with notions of traditional ‘character’.

Muse, Origin of Symmetry (2001)
Old-school Muse are truly mind-boggling. They still are, but I feel like they have become a little bit kitsch in recent years, with their extravagant symphonies and so on. This album has some crazy lyrics, like:

And my plug in baby
Crucifies my enemies
When I’m tired of giving
Wooah

Yeah, I think you probably have to be on mushrooms to understand that one. There’s a whole kind of shivery vividness to all the guitar on this, especially when it is at its most searing (Hyper Music) or delicate, and also Matt Bellamy’s voice, achingly beautiful on the cover of Feeling Good, dark and melancholy on Citizen Erased and Screenager, and a bit mental on Plug in Baby. I guess I listen to this album when I want something to fire an electric shock in my mind and clear away the excess. I also wish I could enter the weird space that the music creates, or find some way to do that with writing. The video for Plug in Baby is also very unsettling, with lots of tentacles floating about and women being plugged into machines and things. Stuff being turned inside out; abjection.

Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle (1948)
You know those books you read when you are about eleven and you can’t stop re-reading them? This was one of them for me. It’s a beautifully written bildungsroman about a young girl in a somewhat dysfunctional family trying to make do in a crumbling castle, while her father descends into alcoholism and her sister marries the wrong man. It’s about falling in love and growing up and appreciating the little things, and being loyal and good to people. I admire it mostly for the emotional eloquence and the way Smith captures the narrator’s voice so well, but also just love how she evokes the whole world of the castle and the family with such poetic detail.

Sylvia Plath, Collected Poems. 
I didn’t really ‘get’ poetry until I read Sylvia Plath. I know it’s a cliche to admit, but it was the first poetry that really spoke to me in some dark and never-understandable way. Sometimes I get bored of it now, but other times I read it again and the freshness of some of her images really strikes me. Read ‘Berck – Plage’ and ‘Sheep in Fog’. I guess its her imagery that I like best, but also she has a way with concision that I could probably learn from.

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads. (1798)
I love these two because basically they can teach you all you need to know about nature and imagination. Well, sort of. I have a nostalgic relationship with them because it reminds me of first year and trying to sort out how the hell to read and write about poetry. Wordsworth basically invented the way we see and write poetry today; not as an imitation of an ideal form but a crafted ‘expression’ of individual thought and perception. It also makes me appreciate little bits of nature, though in a different way from how Emily Bronte makes me want to go to the countryside and run breathless through fields in the rain.

Louise McCue

This entire film inspired most of my recent writing but especially this opening scene:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI6GWeWUMxc

Katalina Watt

‘Alice: Madness Returns’ is a video game based on Lewis Carroll’s work. Wonderland is surreal and disturbing, and the game’s soundtrack and artwork are stunning. WARNING: the clip I’ve linked has some violence and gore (albeit animated).
https://youtu.be/RwyoaSA-0wg

Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’ is a gorgeous collection of short re-imaginings of fairytales with plenty of horror, sexual content and awesome feminism.

‘Nothing Much to Do’ is modern vlog adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ created by a team of pre-dominantly New Zealand young artists.
It’s hilarious and heart-breaking, and I love re-inventions of old narratives using new mediums.
https://youtu.be/iakDRoQg-sM

Ailsa Williamson

I use dictionaries, both online and offline.

Check out behindthename.com and also ideagenerator.com. both are pretty cool.

Offline- I own the dictionary of mythology, dictionary of phrase and fable and a dictionary of quotations. All pretty cool just for browsing.

Tauras Šalna

Here we go then.

The idea of writing for children about science came to me rather recently.
“The Pleasure of Finding Things Out” by Richard Feynman.
It’s a biography about an amazing 20th century physicist. There was a chapter where he talked about his childhood, when his father used to explain all sorts of things through telling stories. That was the moment when I thought “well, if it worked for one person and he ended up getting a Nobel prize in Physics, maybe I could many other people in a similar way?”. 

Terry Pratchett’s series about Tiffany Aching (4 books) showed me the importance of dialogue. His fantasy world also provoked quite a lot of thoughts and ideas. That’s what books do to you – you start living in an imaginary world of Nac Mac Feegles, witches and other sorts of creatures.

There is this Lithuanian author Vytautas V. Landsbergis. He wrote a book called “Rudnosiukio istorijos” (direct translation: Brown Noses’s Stories). The book is about a creature called Rudnosiukas which lives in an imaginary world. In a sense the world represented the social, economical and political situation of Lithuania. It’s hard to explain, but when reading I actually saw a lot of cultural cues which in a sense showed how everything changed during 25 years of independence. It’s full of optimism, funny and absurd situations, pure foolishness (the main character was always represented as foolish [in a good way]), irony, satire and so on. The writing style was rather similar to mine, but a lot better. And you know when there are books you wished to have written first? This is definitely that one for me.

Other times I find inspiration through studying physics, watching science related videos, taking a walk and just asking question “why”. It’s an amazing feeling when you ask, what it seems, an easy questions, but in the end it’s really complicated and you have to spend some time to find the answer.

And I’ll end this with a video, food for thought.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36GT2zI8lVA

Release of Fantasy Novel

Dear all,
We have just received an email from Alex Jackson regarding the exciting release of his new fantasy novel, Malkonar. Since I know many of you have a penchant for dragons and fantasy, I have attached his plot synopsis and link to Amazon for anyone that’s interested. Alex has kindly offered to come in to speak to us about the writing and publishing process, which I think would be a great opportunity. Hopefully we will be able to arrange something for the end of May after exams or perhaps in September in the new term. Anyway, here you go:
Set in Northumberland, Malkonar provides a traditional fantasy story with a modern, dark twist.
Synopsis:
Peter Vaughan’s first mistake was to answer the phone and let a malicious voice known only as Malkonar demand he return a seemingly harmless stone to its former home.

His second mistake was to turn him down.

Before he knows it Peter is in a race to uncover Malkonar’s true identity as his pursuit of the stone descends into violence. The truth is worse than anything he could imagine: Malkonar is not a person, but a species. Dragon-like creatures with the power to possess and even consume the minds of others. His only hope of survival hinges on the knowledge of Septimus, a young malkonar he rescued from certain death, but there’s one small problem: he can’t speak English.

More information can be found here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UGB2WKE?*Version*=1&*entries*=0