Free writing challenge

I’m a sucker for a writing challenge and Sue Vincent has tagged me for this one. Part of it is not to read the challenge until you are ready to go and I nearly fell foul of breaking that rule when Hugh of Hugh’s News responded to Sue. I’d barely started looking at his post when it occurred he would be giving away the prompt so I backed off. Therefore I will only tell you what the prompt was after you’ve read my stream of consciousness. It is all over the place, rather like me and most of my conversations.

The mechanics are simple. I’ve set them out below. It will take a max of ten minutes writing time and then another twenty of so to construct the post.

I have to nominate at least five fellow bloggers. Ok: Sacha Black, Sherri Matthews, Ula, Deb Foy and Esther Newton. Fine wordsmiths all. Don’t feel under any pressure to do anything. I’m well aware these things can seem to be a chore and an imposition on blogging time.

Ok so the prompt was:

If you could visit, for just one day, in any era and location, past, present or future, where would you go and why?

And this is what emerged over ten minutes. The alarm scared the beegeebers out of Dog btw and he’s been and gone rather mental for the last twenty minutes barking at cupboards opening, the sound of the radio and the toilet flush.

To be able to go to any place any time is like too much chocolate it rather befuddles the brain and leaves me dangling in mid time. Time itself is elastic and just today I was told about imaginary time on a vertical axis as opposed to horizontal time which is what we experience. So, I’d probably want to go back to a sporting moment because sport looms large. And while I’m an utter English nut when it comes to sport to see the late great Sir Donald Bradman bat would be a privilege.

He wasn’t the most elegant of batsmen apparently, more functional that frilly. He rarely lifted the ball off the ground to risk being caught. But he was punishing and had quick feet and sharp eyes.

I suppose he was at his best pre WW2 and he lost so many years in his prime it is bog-mindling to think what he might have achieved had six playing years not been eaten. So let’s take 1934 and the Aussi tour of England. Not an easy place to be, 1934. Turmoil in Europe as Germany began to rearm and send jitters through France and Russia. We were less concerned I suppose – voting about then to not fight at the Oxford Union. On that tour Bradman made a stack of runs but he always started the tour in Worcester and he always scored a century.

Somehow he managed to end with an international average of 99.94 for every innings he played and he played form the mid 1920s to the late 1940s so covered many years. The next equivalent batsmen have averages in the 60s. Which tells you all you need to know about genius.

I’m not sure there’s much else that drags me back to the mid 1930s. Some of the dancing and films. Not the food. After all the damage of the depression is still being felt through Europe and America.

I’d like to think, back then I could have travelled around by train to see some of the grand cities, black and sooty though they would have been. I love trains and there is a romance at the idea of steam. That said as a boy steam was just fading out and I have recollections of the grime and chocking smoke that all that coal generated. It is easy to hold up a rose tint to history but the overall cleanliness and health and safety of today’s world has never before existed. We live in easy times by comparison with those who went before and who will follow.

Of course maybe 1934 has something to teach us in terms of the pace with which we do things. Writing a book for instance would be a laborious task with just a manual typewriter as a tool or handwriting for those who did not have access to such

475 words. Whew.

I don’t really want to know what you think because I’m pretty sure it’s errant bollocks. Still if you’ve read this far then you may want to carry on. And with this as the bench mark you can only go up. Ok, then the rules are:

1. Open an blank Document
2. Set a stop watch or your mobile phone timer to 5 or 10 minutes, whichever challenge you prefer.
3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!
4. Once you start writing do not stop until the alarm sounds!
5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write with correct spelling and grammar.)
6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals.
7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” to give an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers)

Ready? Ok, the prompt is ….

Everyone is inspired by someone at some point (this has to exclude your parents or your children – more distance rellies do count) – a teacher, a colleague, a fellow student, even, heaven forfend a politician or a personality. Who has inspired you, why and what followed?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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18 Responses to Free writing challenge

  1. Well, considering you never read all of my post and therefore did not know what Sue’s question was, I think you rather smashed it Mr Le Pard. I see you have taken a trip back, rather than forward, which is good to hear as that is what I did with the challenge.

    I’m not sure about joining you watching cricket as I don’t really understand the game, but I would have certainly liked to have joined you on that train. First class of course, so we could have been fed and watered before disembarking.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great response Geoff I have done this challenge this week and it is amazing what your mind fixes on in that moment of unveiling.. A worthy subject and a cricketing icon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Those are some dancing digit you have there sir, and I noticed no typos. Wonderful revelation-on-the-spot. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Autism Mom says:

    I love how the timer component really brings out what is most important to us. Completely fascinating and well-written, as usual! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Norah says:

    Well done Geoff. Stream of consciousness on a set topic. It reminds me a little of something I had to do at school – speak for x minutes on a topic which wouldn’t be revealed until the talk was to commence. Not really knowing what could be said in the given amount of time, the main response was rushed to ensure the main points were all covered. After that random points with some semblance of connection were added to fill up the rest of the time. Your piece reads a little like that but I am in no way implying that it becomes less interesting further through. I think you have done a great job and touched on a number of interesting topics. I’m sure with further practice you would get to pace yourself better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yvonne says:

    This is an interesting exercise. I’ve done similar several times, though I’m not sure I’d ever publish the scribblings that resulted. Well done you for something so coherent.
    I can’t say I’m a cricket fan so had never heard of Sir Donald Bradman. I do like lots about the 1930s though – the clothes and the architecture and design in general, since it was the Art Deco era.

    Liked by 1 person

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