Is it me, or can I hear bells ringing?

Being in the process of writing a book, I'm always looking for ways to help me develop my writing skills.

Recently on twitter I stumbled upon a great little writing project called 100 word Challenge for Grown Ups.  The idea is simple, there's a prompt/inspiration each week and you write 100 words about whatever that prompt inspires you to! 

This week the prompt was "Is it me, or are there bells ringing?" and you'll see below what I created from that.  It's my first time attempt and I'm quite pleased with it, mainly because it's gotten me writing and thinking about the whole writing process.  

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it :)  

 

Is it me, or can I hear bells ringing?

She’d have asked the question out loud, if someone was with her.  However, having managed to snag the cosiest arm chair in the old quaint cafe, she was savouring her cinnamon soy hot chocolate in peace.

As she sipped the warm liquid love, she gazed out at the twinkly sparkly Christmas lights with which the retailers had adorned their shops.  They were full of purpose, of light, celebrating the season of joy, giving, and goodwill to all men.  They were enticing people in to buy their shiny things; gifts for friends, family, nearest and dearest. 

 

They were pretty, and they made her smile from deep inside. As she smiled this simple joy she thought, there should be bells ringing, after all it was Christmas.  

 

I've done quite a bit of editing with it, and despite it being over 100 words, I like the feel of it. 

I'd love to hear your feedback on it, if you have time, please leave a comment for me.   
I'm particularly interested in the following:

Which bits did you enjoy?  

Which bits didn't you enjoy?  

What kind of feelings/thoughts did it provoke for you?  

Did it remind you of anything?  

Could you picture yourself in that cafe?  

Could you see what it looked like?  

Could you sense the way she might have been feeling?  

 

Write a comment

Comments: 14
  • #1

    Gareth (Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:24)

    Very, very descriptive words used but (in my head) I found that I got a little bit tongue tied so I had to read it over a few times before I managed to create a full picture in my mind. When I take out some of the words that say the same thing, for me, it reads a lot easier and I then get it straight away. But very good and I love the 100-words-a-day challenge too !!

  • #2

    Natalie (Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:28)

    Great work Claire!!!

    I love how you described the cafe so detailed, without adding too much to the word count. Cosiest armchair, quaint cafe...its great. I could totally picture myself there.

    Also your way of describing "the perfect Christmas" with the twinkling things, gifts and smiling on the inside is awesome.

  • #3

    Claire Boyles LifeMatters (Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:35)

    Yay!! Thanks guys, that for me is a success!

    Gareth, thanks for that feedback, it's interesting as it comes from the way I speak- when I get excited about things I tend to use more words than necessary "twinkly, sparkly light".. as just one example.

    I will bear this in mind for writing, as usually less is more.. :)

    Thanks Natalie :)

    Delighted you enjoyed it, as a writer it's really difficult to imagine what it is like to read it for the first time. So glad to see that I was able to convey what I wanted :)

    thank you both for taking the time to read & give me feedback, it's really appreciated.

  • #4

    barbara strong (Wednesday, 21 December 2011 15:45)

    that was really lovely and evoked a very christmassy feel. ahhhhh nice one claire

  • #5

    Julia Skinner (Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:25)

    This was a really super piece of writing! I will link it for you & tweet out as well. I do hope you join us as a regular. I was there in the seat drinking the 'liquid love!! Brill!

  • #6

    Claire Boyles LifeMatters (Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:39)

    thank you so much Barbara & Julia :)

    I'm so delighted to see that you've enjoyed reading it, I really enjoyed writing it.

    I've learned a lot from doing this piece- I have probably spent at least 2 hours on it in all- for only 125 words!!!

  • #7

    Sally-Jayne (Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:41)

    I loved it. I could picture myself snuggled in that cosy chair and I could taste the hot chocolate. Hope you join us for this 100 word challenge again - we've got a really fun one with week!

  • #8

    Neil Povey (Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:47)

    Hi Claire,
    I enjoyed it! The opening was lovely - bittersweet - setting up that she was alone. I agree with you about 'less is more' with the adjectives. Like you I tend to write as I speak, then need to edit. This week's 50 words took me over m hour!

  • #9

    Midlife Singlemum (Thursday, 22 December 2011 03:47)

    I also loved 'the liquid of love'. There's no doubt you are a good writer but the challenge is to do it in 100 words. If you were to tighten it up by about 20 words (the prompt words aren't counted) you would make Gareth happy too. I hope you continue to join us - it's a lot of fun every week.

  • #10

    Neil Povey (Thursday, 22 December 2011)

    Damn phone screen - inaccurate touch sensitivity - I was trying to correct 'am' to 'an' and hit send!

  • #11

    Claire Boyles LifeMatters (Thursday, 22 December 2011 04:12)

    ok, so following feedback (Thank you so much), I've done some more editing, and have come up with this, what do you think?



    She’d have asked the question out loud, if someone was with her.
    Having managed to snag the cosiest arm chair in the quaint cafe, she was savouring her cinnamon soy hot chocolate in peace.
    As she sipped the warm liquid love, she gazed out at the twinkly Christmas lights with which the retailers had adorned their shops. They were full of purpose, of light, celebrating the season of joy, and goodwill to all men; enticing people in to buy their shiny things; gifts of love for their nearest and dearest.

    Twinkly things made her smile from deep inside. As she smiled this simple joy she thought, there should be bells ringing, after all it was Christmas.

  • #12

    Firefly Phil (Friday, 23 December 2011 12:11)

    Loved this - especially as it's your first time here. Hope you keep joining in!

  • #13

    Ken Armstrong (Saturday, 24 December 2011 02:38)

    It's a lovely warm sentiment and I want that coffee NOW (which is a good thing). It could bear a little more editing, I think, but I also think this is a great way of sparking creative writing. I often use Tweets which grab me in much the same way.

    Happy Christmas and well done.

  • #14

    Claire Boyles (Saturday, 24 December 2011 03:56)

    thanks so much Phil :) I was very pleased with it myself, especially as the first time I've done this! I did something similar about 15 years ago, but would really benefit from doing it more regularly, so I do hope to continue to join in on the 100 word challenge for grown ups! It's fun :)

    Thank you Ken! It's been an amazing learning experience for me in the craft of creative writing. I've spent at least 2 hours on this so far! Probably a lot more in "thinking time".

    I started with 174 words, and it's now down to 114..

    Less is definitely more, I guess I'll get quicker at writing in this way, because I'm learning techniques- how to convey what I want to. It's a difficult thing, as one requires feedback to refine ones' craft. Thanks for helping me out with that!

    Merry Twinkly, Sparkly Christmas to you all :)