My Weekly Writing Challenge

Here are my new challenges for you:

OPTION ONE: Write a six-word story with the word DISASTER in it somewhere.

OPTION TWO: Write a poem or limerick on the theme of WORK.

OPTION THREE: Your word is FREEDOM. What meaning does this hold for you? You can write anything on it, be it a poem, story, non-fiction piece; anything goes.

Last week, your option one was to write a 10 word story starting with the words ‘Oh no!’ It looks like you had some fun with this one:

Jason Moody didn’t go for quite as many entries as last week, but these are every bit as entertaining:

“Oh no,” I gasped. “I’ve spilt Mum’s prosecco!”

I’m grounded.

“Dad, you know I love you.”

“Oh no,” he said.

Britain leaves Europe. Borders tightened. Bieber gig cancelled. Oh no!

Oh no, Britain! No more Bieber I’m afraid. Ah well.

ByIndiaBlue joined in this this week with a good one:

Oh no, she’s in trouble now, she didn’t ask permission.

Hugh Roberts sent in an hilarious story:

Oh no! The X-Factor starts next month. Must be Christmas. 🎅🏻

EDC Writing always comes up with a good short story:

“Oh no!” he shouts “scales are broke not my promises!”

Pat Garcia created a clever story:

 “Oh no!”


 “Oh no!”


 “Unbelievable! They’re coming.”

Bindu sent in two amusing stories:

A sea of bored, tired young eyes exclaimed,”Oh no!”

I couldn’t have gone back again, another year! Oh no!

Rajiv Chopra went for a topical subject:

“Oh No! It’s Brexit Number Two! After 1947, it’s 2016!”

Sarah‘s is hilarious:

Oh no! I’ve gone and farted out loud again, darn!:)

The second option was to write a poem or limerick on the theme of glory.

Here are Jason Moody‘s topical limericks:

There once was a Euro referendum
Off to the polls we did send ’em
They’ve got their little glory
And change this lands story
Too late for the others to mend ’em.

Immigration wasn’t the issue
I’m sad, please pass me a tissue
It’s Farage you’re pleasin’
Votes for the wrong reason
All the best, begrudgingly I wish you.

And on other subjects:

I once played New Zealand Story
I was on the verge of great glory
Then a power cut struck
What shitty luck
I fell feint. Gutted. I’m poorly!

Here’s a very entertaining limerick from Bindu:

“Oh good glory,
Is that a cooked up story?”
Asked the teacher with a frown,
As she gave me a dressing- down.
But I, the culprit didn’t feel sorry.

Finally, option three asked you what the word dream meant to you. You could write any piece of writing you wanted on the theme. 

Bindu sent in a passionate poem:

Dreams I nurture…
I dream of a beautiful life,
Wherein there is no strife,
Amidst people- big or small.

No worries if they are rich or poor.
With no care for caste or colour,
Should this even be something to consider?

No struggle between nations
Fighting over petty rations
When things more valuable lay waste!

A gossamer dream of camaraderie,
Of friendship and joyous revelry
Togetherness and firm bonds of love.

I dream of this attainable goal,
Which ambition hath from us stole,
Is mine a distant, far- fetched hope?

Rajiv Chopra wrote a wonderful piece on dreams and dreaming:

“Dreams have held different meanings for me over the years. When I was a teenager, reading about the occult and the Dark Arts, I felt that dreams held the keys to my subconscious. There were three dreams that I had had as a child in Nainital. These were recurring dreams. The first had me standing on a tall cliff, which fell away, leaving me alone on a narrow tower. The world was small and far away from the height at which I stood. I stood there alone, afraid, scared. In the second dream I was again alone on that tower, but now I was reaching my arms up to the sky, feeling the power of Nature coursing through my body, with my arms as the conduit for this power.

In the third dream, I am alone and standing at the edge of a cliff. I have a beard and shoulder length hair. I am at the end of my life, watching the world far away, and looking over at the life that I have lived. I am alone as I prepare to take the last step of my life, and my first step into the unknown. This is the last great, unsolved mystery of mankind. There is a sense of melancholy in me, and the realisation grows that I must take this last step alone. There is no fear in me, but I feel a twinge of sadness as I leave those behind me, while I prepare to take this last step.

Later in life, when I was in China, I recalled the immortal line of Martin Luther King – “I have a dream”, and I realised the power of dreams to move Heaven and Earth. In Beijing, where I was staying alone for a while, I would switch off the lights in my service apartment, and listen to Vikor Frankl’s audio book – “Man’s Search For Meaning”.

Martin and Viktor have danced in my subconscious for many years, and they have danced a beautiful tango together.

When I sat, looking at the Trishul Mountains in June 2013, Martin and Viktor came together for me. That’s when I knew that if Martin and Viktor can come together for you, it is a blessed thing indeed. While I have often strayed from the path I set out on then, I always try and find my way back.

If they come together for you then, from that moment on, you need the courage of conviction to pursue your path, your dreams. No matter how long and hard the path may see; there is gold indeed to be found at the end of the rainbow. And, like the hoopoe showed the birds, the gold may very well be inside you.”

Pat Garcia sent in a highly atmospheric piece:


A hue,

A faint shimmer,

A pale shadow,

A lingering presence.

Swiftly, it moves,

Away from me.

Taking flight,

Hiding in the recesses of my mind,

As I awake.

Last, but certainly not least, comes Geoff Le Pard with something quite extraordinary. I love this:

Stranger than fiction

Professor Nodrog El Drap, Emeritus Chair of Narco-Selfimaging at Oxford removed the simple headskin. He felt tired and had the beginnings of a migraine, a not unusual occurrence for a dream analyst and especially so, given the subject’s dreams he was reviewing. Adnil Senoj, the first serial killer to murder entirely using light and thought had had her dreams withdrawn as a preliminary to her trial. Nodrog’s task, and one only a handful of people were trained to survive, was to enter the dreams and catalogue them, extracting both meaning and intention from the coded interfaces that underlay repose-rewinding. However, the intensity of the emotions he had to experience meant he needed to compartmentalise his own subconscious to ensure he didn’t acquire assimilated aspirations which a less strong minded analyst might experience. Everyone undertaking the sort of work on which Nodrog was engaged had to have a coping mechanism, a way of distracting himself as he allowed the third party’s dreams to suffuse his conscious mind. Trial and error had proved that being bored, reducing the emotional cortex to a sub-catatonic state was best. Nodrog had found Adnil’s dreams stretching his usual tools of inducing mind numbness. He needed something stronger so headed for the library to seek out a more extreme unstimulus. The librarian pointed to a shelf with locked wire doors on the front. Solemnly he took a key and freed the strong chains. At the end of the row, he pulled out a slim volume, averting his eyes as he did so.

‘Try this professor. Careful though. It’s thought any more than 10 pages at a sitting and you may never wake.’

Nodrog held the book lightly as if he wanted to touch it as little as possible. He had heard about this work, of which there were only three copies, all held precisely for the purposes of such criminal analysis. Slowly he lifted his eyes to the title and read it:

Jeremy Corbyn: My role in Brexit.

Nodrog shuddered. This was going to be rough.



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49 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Jocelyn Barker says:

    Hi, Esther!

    Option 1:

    Farage, Boris, Gove. Referendum result – disaster!

    Not very original, I’m sure, but what immediately sprang to mind. 😞

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Jason Moody says:

    Freedom means not being sorry for who you are.
    Freedom means not being afraid to speak out.
    Freedom means the joy of experiencing the world and all it has.
    Freedom means exploration.
    Freedom means Learning.
    Freedom, sadly, in this day and age, has to be earned by some.
    Don’t take freedom for granted, for there are those out there who would rob you of it.

  3. Jason Moody says:

    Boris Johnson has done what? Disaster!

  4. Jason Moody says:

    I crept. Fell over. Swore. Disaster!

  5. Jason Moody says:

    Spilt tea. Favourite blouse. Bloody disaster!

  6. Jason Moody says:

    Date disaster. Kissed Him. Bad breath.

  7. Jason Moody says:

    I go to this place every day
    It’s not bad, it’s not great, it’s OK
    Devoid of all perks
    That’s why it’s called work
    I only do this for the pay

  8. Jason Moody says:

    Do I like it? I can’t say I do
    But enough about me, what of you?
    What do you do for work?
    A lawyer, a clerk?
    And do you have post-it notes, blue?

  9. Sacha Black says:

    New carpet. Red wine. Total disaster.

  10. Underarm disaster. Hairspray instead of deodorant!

  11. Nest Madden says:

    Boris stabbed by Gove is disaster?

  12. Nest Madden says:

    The Somme. We will remember them

  13. EDC Writing says:

    My first thought a disaster too!

    Boris disaster back stabbed by friends

    Misshaped bald head his follicular disaster

    “I love you” too soon … disaster

  14. Jason Moody says:

    No internet! Talking? To you? Disaster!

  15. Bindu says:

    A slip and much revealed. Disaster!

  16. Bindu says:

    If work to you is a way of life,
    There ain’t a struggle, ain’t any strife.
    But if work doth become a burden,
    Prepare to experience mood swings, sudden.
    Seek lasting joy? Marry work- that’s my unsolicited advice.

  17. Bindu says:

    Freedom of thought, freedom of speech
    Is good, if another’s needs you meet.
    Freedom to smile, freedom to laugh aloud,
    Sounds great if no one’s feelings you pound!
    Freedom to walk, to saunter jump or run,
    Or stroll at mid day under a hot blazing sun.
    Is yours for the keeping, we needn’t object!
    Hey watch out -hope the toes that you tread are yours,
    For if those of the others it’s difficult to endure!

  18. TanGental says:


    ‘Take off your clothes, put them in that box. Jewellery too, if you have any. And then put on the underwear and uniform and knock when you’re done.’
    Anne-Marie, the prison guard, checked the prisoner one final time. This one must be sick or a loony. Why was she so happy? For a moment Anne-Marie wondered if she might be a suicide risk but there was nothing she could use to hurt herself. Shrugging she went outside and joined Bethany. ‘What do you think? Nutter?’
    ‘Seemed sane enough when she was filling in the forms.’ Bethany glanced at the clipboard. ‘Nothing here suggesting any sort of mental health issues. No medication. Shit, when you read what happened to her, you wonder she’s here at all. You hear what the bastard did?’
    Anne-Marie sat heavily and checked her screen. ‘I heard she exaggerated. And she made a right mess of him. Him a pillar of the community and all.’ She looked up. ‘Two sides to every story, hey? Though it don’t explain why she’s so cheerful.’
    In the changing room, Nancy struggled not to smile remembering her barrister’s surprise when she said she wasn’t planning on appealing. She didn’t have the heart to say she wouldn’t seek probation either, whenever she was due. Maybe, at the right time, she’d punch a warden or something. That made her laugh, a full of gusto guffaw. No one understood. For fifteen years her family and his had tied her down, kept her under, their skivvy and plaything and because they were so respected, no one listened. She could barely breathe, let alone move. Killing him – sure he deserved it – and getting put away was like the first day of her life. Freedom. They had a library, other people – though some may be a bit weird, proper food, the chance to sleep for a decent period, washing facilities. Real freedom at last.

    • esthernewton says:

      Wow! What a great interpretation of the theme ‘freedom’. Love this story. Thank you, Geoff.

      • TanGental says:

        Thanks Esther. In retrospect I think it would be more powerful if the protagonist was relieved more than happy but glad you approved

      • esthernewton says:

        I’m not so sure – I think it worked as it was; it highlighted how bad things had been and a look to the future. I think there was some relief in there too and it came across. A really good one!

  19. Sarah says:

    Oh! I’ve burned the cake, disaster! 🙂

  20. Steve says:

    For option one: They kissed, he belched; absolute disaster.

  21. Steve says:

    Hummm…hope ‘brilliant’ isn’t a euphemism for ‘smart aleck’. Thank you; glad you like it. 😉

  22. Rajiv says:

    Hi Esther… You have to suffer through three of mine!

    The 6 word: I cannot help but make one more swipe at the Brits. this time, for the loss to Iceland:

    “Disaster! Football Brexit! Ice, Ice, Baby!”


    I thought of writing this as verse, but no. Prose seemed a better form for me. Many years ago, when I heard Janis Joplin sing, ‘Freedom’s just another word / For nothing left to lose’, the phrase stuck to me. The lines, more correctly, stuck to me. Steve McDonald writes, in the prose that accompanies the song, “Freedom” that freedom lies within us ;and only when people can live with dignity, and without fear of oppression, can they truly be free.

    On the other hand, despite the name and fame of the rock band, ‘Nirvana’ does mean complete freedom from desire and attachments. It is then that the soul can be free. It is a state of realising one’s own inner God.

    I can imagine myself sitting on a mountainside, smelling the flowers, feeling the breeze on my face. The skies are blue, or grey. It does not matter. The air is clean and refreshing. Everything around me is still, calm, content within itself.

    There is no rush, no concept of time. The calm, the peace, is constant. It is like an ocean that envelopes me, but does not suffocate. Time dissolves at that moment. Everything is still. My mind is still.

    No worries. No words. No joy. No fear. No anxiety. No greed.

    Just an acceptance of that moment. Being in that moment. Letting go, and yet being there.

    I am me. I an Nature. Nature is me.

    There is oneness with the vast infinity of the universe, and eternal time is felt in that moment. Everything is still, and pure.

    In that moment, I die.

    In that moment, I am reborn.

    In that moment, I am free. I experience freedom.

    And, a savage poem on ‘Work’. Kind of inspired by much of the exploitation I see around me.

    Work, work, you little shit – work; Work on and on, and do not shirk. You need to work to make me rich, Don’t argue either, you little bitch.

    I am your Lord, you are my Slave; From your benefits, I will always shave. To be inspired, learn from ants; And know it’s I who wears the pants.

    Hear my words, my honeyed speeches; Then go off and pull up your breeches. Work, you minions, meet your goals – Stay neath the ground, like obedient moles.

    You need to work, so I can fly; With lots of money, and things to buy. I’ll train you well, you little crap; To smile and jump, at my finger’s snap.

    You need to work, to make me rich. And, don’t complain, you little snitch. The government’s mine, you little dork; So, work and work, little sap, work.

    • esthernewton says:

      Wow! What varied pieces. Your six word story made me laugh out loud. Brilliant! The freedom piece is beautiful and what a contrast your work poem is! Super pieces. Thank you.

  23. Love the quotes you put on your posts. Been meaning to tell you for a while. When I read this one, it reminded me that I really need to start writing behind the sofa.

  24. Le Fragi says:

    ‘Poem Vs Limerick: Work’

    There is a thing I have to do: that’s ‘work’
    Some days it’s good; others, berserk!
    It buys the beers
    For forty years
    But, your savings you should never shirk.

    A Limerick upon the theme of work
    But, not funny.
    No, not funny at all.
    You wrote it too quickly
    But, it takes time
    To write a decent rhyme
    And your effort is lacking and soulless.

    A poet who writes and criticises
    Doesn’t know what the meaning of wise is
    He says I’m not funny
    At best I’m slightly Punny
    And can’t pen a decent rhyme if the occasion arises.

    He sees he is wrong
    Where there needs brevity he is much too long
    And his humour is puerile and lame
    I make such suggestion of style
    As to aid his digestion, and while
    I would cry with elation
    If he could hone his creation
    With some kind of subtlety
    I think that his talent isn’t poetry.

    There once was a man who upset me
    With his moaning and groans he beset me
    But, I am a man of such worth
    I could flatten his girth
    And with such a squashing…
    He wouldn’t forget me!

    Oh, Limericist of such good great fame
    I didn’t mean to slander your name
    You are better indeed
    The more I do read
    Of your words, excuse me, my self was to blame.

    Well, that is alright, gentle poet
    I am a great Limericist, you just didn’t know it
    And my rhymes are not crimes
    They are
    As are you
    A mirror of the days
    And the ways
    That is literary types
    To live
    And ply our trades
    And tirades.


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