The Brown Eyed Dreamer

'Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.' William Wordsworth


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Writer’s Block

I can see the scenarios in front of me
Like shots from a movie scene,
The anger, the laughter, the tears
All accompanied by only silence-
I can’t hear the words to tell the story,
And this tale is but a blank canvas
I, the artist, without paint.
Images swirl and fall together
In no order, a jumbled kaleidoscope
Of nonsensical stories,
A twisted mirage of bleak nothings.
I see the end, the final kiss,
The last few moments of a perfect scene-
But the main girl, she’s crying
And the boy, he has no words
This wasn’t the ending we all pictured…
If only I could find the words
To change it.

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NaNoWriMo- Day 1

Anyone would’ve looked away at this point- after all, it was only a mundane interaction between boy and girl, waitress and customer. But something stopped me from averting my eyes, and that’s when I saw it. I watched her walk behind the counter to get his coffee, and I watched his eyes as he followed her every move. And in his stare was a look that had gone unnoticed to everyone except me. There in his soft smile and bright eyes stood that tiny flickering flame, that glimmering shred of hope shining in a kaleidoscope of quiet despair. I watched him watch her with such intensity it seemed to pain him, and eventually his eyes dropped back to his book. He shook his head, sighed softly, eyes riveting over the pages but not seeming to take anything in. A few seconds later she was back with his drink and they were both smiling and laughing as friends again- but I’d seen it. I’d recognised that look; it had existed in so many faces that passed through this old café. It was a look that occurred over cups of coffee, in all those hellos and goodbyes and in all those careless wandering words that filled the spaces in between. 
The poor boy was in love, and the girl he looked at with such longing had absolutely no idea.

So this year I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo again as a way of trying to get into writing again. This year I’m writing a collection of short stories all about the many regulars of one café. Above is a small excerpt of what I’ve written so far; it’s been great so far getting back into the feel of writing! Good luck to everyone doing NaNo this year and if I don’t write here again before the end of the month, have a wonderful November everyone!

~thebrowneyeddreamer


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The Red-Haired Storyteller

I saw her today for the first time in a while. She passed me on the street, and before we were close I could see her eyes flicker with recognition she tried to hide, a quick blush falling to her cheeks; she remembered, but she was trying not to show it.

Suddenly, she turned and crossed the road, her steps gaining pace as she put distance between us. I stopped and watched her anxious departing back for a few seconds before turning to move on, and for a while I forgot about her.
It was only when I was sitting absent-mindedly by the duck pond much later that her face flickered before me. While the sun glinted through cracks in the leaves and spilt dappled drops of light across my shirt, I thought of the girl with the bright red hair, the most magnificent storyteller I had ever seen.
She was a girl with a mouth like a crafter’s wheel, spinning enchanting stories laced with gold and wearing them proudly. But when we held these garments to the sunlight they did not glint, but disintegrated in the sun. Nothing more than cheap metal, we watched her tales rust and crumble in our hands.
She was a girl whose stories glided out of her mouth like a midsummer’s breeze, gentle and enticing. They carried the sweet, soft smell of adventure, enticing us with curious eyes that we blindly followed. But they only ever led us to a dead-end path where adventure lay battered and bruised in the soil, an abandoned play-thing from a long finished game.
She was a girl with eyes that glistened when she spoke and danced like fireflies in a sea of midnight every time she opened her mouth. Her stories were like precious gems that she held to her heart like a mother, but when we teased them from her prised fingers, we found they were fakes, only real within her own head.
This girl created extravagant stories like an artist designs their finest piece or a writer fabricates their fantasy world. She painted oceans and starlit skies for us, and for a while so convincingly, until the bulbs began to burst and we realised we were only staring at a faded ceiling. She brought to life a beautiful world that we tried to live in, but we knew this world was a lie even if she didn’t realise it.
I skimmed my shoe across the surface of the water and sighed. The girl had gone too far now; her stories were too impossible, her tongue too powerful. In her constant chase of adventure she’d fallen onto a broken path that was too high to reach even if we’d wanted to. But she was ignorant in her chase, skipping along over cracks and humming a simple melody to herself. And all the while she stared hypnotised at her fake ceiling sky, oblivious to the crumbling path below her. It was only a matter of time before the foundations of her stories caved in, and she drowned in a pit of lies before we ever had a chance of saving her.


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Block.

I miss writing. It used to be that a pencil never left my hand, that ideas always fled into my head. I’d write whenever I could find time, and whenever I didn’t really have time too. Characters, plots, journeys and worlds would flood from my mind and spill onto paper, filling page after page of the cheap notebooks I bought from the store. I loved building a  story until it almost become a world around me, with most nights spent scribbling down everything I could think of until I could get my characters to the end of their adventure. I miss the thrill of new ideas, the hours spent in the corners of libraries and cafés planning and the satisfaction of finishing.

These days, there’s not enough time, not enough energy. School builds walls around my daydreams, reminding me of my responsibility to do well, of the importance of my future, while all the time my mind scurries like a bird trapped in a cage, willing to escape from studying for subjects I care nothing for. And as all this is happening, a greater wall looms above, dark and menacing, blocking any idea from coming to me. I feel trapped, bored, yet too exhausted to make a change.

But I swear, this drift is only temporary, and I will be back. A mind cannot stay trapped forever, and soon the shackles of exams will be broken and I’ll be free to spend hours filling pages with every trace of my thoughts. Soon I can go back to the one thing I love most. And when I get back, maybe the sparks will ignite and ideas will burst back into life, and I can carry on as before; a dreamer.

That’s all I can hope for, for now.


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People Exist.

It’s a weird feeling, the sudden realisation of the people around you. Not the crowds of emotionless faces you see on streets pushing past other emotionless faces, the lines of impatient frowns waiting for their coffees in a crowded café on a Wednesday afternoon- people. It’s strange to come to the realisation that these aren’t just faces and bodies and obstacles and hold-ups and filled space, these are people. And not just any people, people with a story, just like me yet so unlike me.

It’s strange to think that all around me, there are literally a billion stories going on, a billion paths being walked and uncovered. There are people living and experiencing and journeying in this adventure we call life, and it has nothing to do with me. There’s you, for instance. Right now, you’re reading this post, but afterwards, your life story is going to continue and I’m going to have no idea what will happen next. After I post this, my story will continue, but you’ll have no idea what will happen. We exist in the same universe but never acknowledged each other until right this second, and in a few seconds we could forget that again and carry on existing on our own, forgetting everybody else in an instant.

We’re all pinpricks of light floating through a chasm of darkness, so focused on our own trails we forget to focus on the mosaic of light around us and why it’s there. I always knew there were people around me, but I never thought about the fact that these people lived. That man in front of me at the check-out has friends and family, hopes, dreams, allergies, regrets. That girl who was waiting in the car park across from me has a story I have no idea about that she’s still working out for herself. All these faces I see and forget within moments, that form the backdrop to my life story, those faces have names and emotions and their own stories. And me? I’m just someone else’s background to their great story, another fading star in a sea of dark.


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Tuesday’s Inspiration #1- Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s being just around the corner, I thought we’d start Tuesday’s Inspiration with a nice little theme- love. Now I know a lot of people absolutely detest Valentine’s Day, and I can understand that, so this prompt is not just surrounding Valentine’s, simply love in general. This week’s prompt is also inspired by an article I read a few weeks ago, where small children were made to describe what they think love is (you can read the article here).
I loved the sweet simplicity of the children, yet how innovative and deep their ideas were. And so I ask you to answer this question for me-
What is love?
What comes to mind when you think of love.? Write a short story or a poem showing what you believe love is, whereas it’s hope, pain, sorrow or sadness. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend or a room full of scruffy yet adorable stray cats, I think this is a great activity to write about. So much has been written about love, but what’s your take on it? Make it original, make it yours!
Happy writing!


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The Art of Disappearing- Part One.

[Inspired by the writing prompt from Alice Kuiper’s website, here.]

He didn’t want to be a victim; that was the very last thing he wanted. He didn’t want lines of stony faces watching him with cold, emotionless eyes as he slouched along the corridor, head bent in a vain attempt to hide himself. He didn’t want sympathetic pats on the back and pep talks from awkward teachers, and brand-new, supportive ‘friends’. He didn’t want people tip-toeing around him like he was a bomb ready to explode. He didn’t want to come home every day to find his mother sat at the table, concentrating on something in the far difference that only her eyes could see. He didn’t want to walk about in this alien world where everyone pretended everything was fine while everything crumbled around them.

He didn’t want any of this. High School was the only place where he could escape from everything that had happened. All he wanted to was blend, and now he stuck out more than ever. And the scar probably didn’t help.

It was a huge gash running from his top lip up to his cheek bone, bright red as if bursting with blood. He hated the way people stared at him now, never fully being able to meet his eyes when they talked to him. He hated the whispers hardly hidden behind hands as he passed by, the rumours and speculations about what really happened that night. He hated the interrogations, people who’d never passed acknowledgement now wanting to know if he was okay, their eyes begging for a piece of truth, a delicious sliver of revelation on the incident. He always ignored the stares, bowed his head and carried on walking, mumbling a half-hearted reply and shrugging his shoulders as he left.

Today was a day just like any other. His mum barely tore her gaze away from the spot on the kitchen wall to say goodbye to him before he left, and after closing the door he knew already he’d come home six hours later to find her sitting there in the same position, fixated on a memory frozen in her mind. She’d completely changed since everything had fallen apart; she was barely a person anymore, merely a ghost trapped in another night. In his own confusion about everything, he chose to ignore it, making sure she had food and water and always leading her up to her bed at night. He felt more like a carer than a son- but instantly he pushed these thoughts to the back of his head. He didn’t want sympathy. He wasn’t a victim.

Everything could be normal if he could pretend for long enough.

His hood up in the light drizzle, no one could see his face. No one could know who he was, and in that brief, momentous walk to school he was a normal kid, not the boy everyone had heard about. He could walk and passers-by didn’t lift their heads in recognition, cars didn’t slow while drivers stared out of windows, mouths slightly agape. No one could see his scar, and in his head he could imagine his skin free of bruising and scar tissue.

He was so caught up in his daydream of perfect normality he didn’t notice anyone walking alongside him until a voice spoke from beside his right ear. A voice that was warm and quiet and completely unfamiliar, that flowed gently through the air like a fresh breeze on a Summer’s day.

‘Sometimes it’s nice to disappear, isn’t it?’