Writing 101 : Death of adverbs

Come with us

to this place

private to you

public to them

a room of many continents.


Most were seated, staring at their computer screen with their fingers on keyboard. Numerous cubicles, ten or more per row and there were just so many rows across the whole room maybe at least more than one hundred feet long.

It was not a busy evening so you could see some reading books or munching away chippies or chocolate bars. Yet no clique or chatters.  A big team of diligent workers.  Looking top down, you could see blonde, red, black, brown or even tints of colourful heads, all wearing headphones. The skin tones in this room were a complete mix of black, brown and white.  English was the spoken language but it was amazing that you not only heard local Kiwi or neigbouring Aussie.  You might have thought you were calling America , Phillipines , India , South East Asia or maybe one of the Pacific islands of Tonga or Samoa.  The room was a true diversification of all nationalities made up of people of all colours, shapes and sizes. Some tall and lanky, others of average built and many plus sizes.

The wall was decorated with many posters, flatscreen televisions and colorful slogan “Come with Us”.  No one said “hello” over their mouthpieces but walking around the room, you could see words of “hello” in different languages displayed in many colors.  I would have thought “hello” is a word to be spoken not written.

“Come with us.”

I know I did not kill all the adverbs.  Please help me reword and kill them all.





via Writing 101: Death to adverbs

Go to a local café, park, or public place and report on what you see.  Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.

Long or short sentences, it’s still the same home

Killing two birds with one stone.

The home I lived in when I was twelve.

Shared that before.

Be it a sentence or more, long or short.

The story and the home is still the same.



via Writing 101: Size Matters
Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.


Going back in time many many years ago, a ten year old little girl looked out the window from her bedroom on the first floor of a wooden double-storey house.

She saw a big tree and further across the field was an attap house with little flower pots (some broken) of plants and flowers sitting on wooden plank shelves outside that attap dwelling. The little house across the field was perhaps home to the servants of her family who lived in that big family home before she was born. The house compound was very big, several acres, an open field, overgrown in some parts and a stream separated that big house and the small attap house. Access was through a few pieces of timber nailed together, placed across the narrow stream as a walkway, sometimes submerged in water during high tide. The whole property had endured floods during the monsoon…

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Give and Take – Which is better, single or couple?

“I love being single.  My breakup from that dickhead was the best thing that happened to me !”

I was sitting in a cafe, next table to two women. The talker was colorfully dressed, eyes with shades of blue, holding a cup of coffee showing off finger nails painted in bright red.  The listener was dressed simply with an oversized coat of dull grey, scarf around her neck, no makeup.

The colorful lady was doing all the talking, trying to paint a picture what her life was like before and after the breakup. I was supposedly reading a book but very much drawn to listen into the conversation and was eavesdropping if you wish to call me that.

“When we were together, I had no life.  He didn’t want to do the things I liked and I had to almost always gave in to what he wanted to do and I lived my life like that for the last ten years.  What was the point, to live with someone and not being able to be myself.  I was living for him and I must have lost my personality.”

The other lady nodded in agreement and before she could reply, the colorful lady continued.

“When that dickhead left me, I cried my eyes out.  I didn’t know what I did wrong. You won’t believe how I pleaded with him to stay but he just didn’t give me a chance.  I was too shocked to tell you or anyone.”

She paused for a moment, had a sip of coffee.

“It took me one whole year feeling sorry for myself and then one morning, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, I still look pretty cool, except for that sad eyes so I decided to polish my image, changed my wardrobe, made new friends and no longer wanted to hang around the same group of friends we had as a couple.  Those people reminded me of him and all they did was to feel sorry for me.  That made me felt even more victimized and needy.”

Her cellphone rang, “I am finally letting her know ……….. see you at Zumba later.”

“And you know what?  When we were together, I had to sit through every rugby match. Our dinner was steak and bbq almost every day. He just won’t try any other cuisine. Today, I have tasted and tried all sorts of cuisine more than I ever did in the last ten years.”

The lady in the oversized coat finally got a chance to speak.

“You sounded very mature and mellow ……. and look lovely, Mabel.  Mum would be very proud of you. I could still remembered how worried she was when you packed your bag and went to live with Harry refusing to listen to any of us. I cannot believed you kept this from all of us till now.  You are stronger than we know.”

“I was totally lost and withdrawn in that whole year but I did not want anyone to feel sorry for me.  I guess I eventually realized I am an individual and I must learn to love myself even though he did not.  When dickhead was with me, I spent all my life loving him and neglected myself.  Being single, I can do what I want to do, turn on whichever channel on TV and dress and eat what I fancy.  The list is endless, I just didn’t realized there are just so many cool things to do, Sis.  I’ve got to run now, I’m keeping fit with Zumba.”

That was quite a pleasant conversation, a kind of reality check.  I, too had been alone now for three years and couldn’t help but agreed with her on the independence being a single.  In fact I was thinking perhaps I should start looking again but after overhearing this conversation, I may stay single for a little while longer.

I smiled and went on to read my book.





via Writing 101 : Give and Take

Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue.

Never judge a book by its cover

Today, you’ll write about the most interesting person you’ve met in 2014.  In your twist, develop and shape your portrait further in a character study

via Writing 101: A Character-Building Experience.


How easy or hard is it to share your house with a stranger?

This stranger responded to our “flatmate wanted” ad.  We were looking for a “working professional, dog lover” to share with two others and a family dog in a four bedroom home.   He came to view, along with his wife who just got a job overseas hence he was looking to flat temporarily till he knows his future plans.

Both in their mid thirties, and sure enough fitted the “working professional” description.  They were tanned, Indian and very pleasant couple.  He was of average height and built.  My dog barked crazily but he was not scared.  That did not necessarily mean he is a “dog lover” but enough to show me that he doesn’t mind dogs.

He moved in within a week.  That dog took a week to accept him.  I would have thought my house would smell of Indian kitchen in no time but I was totally wrong.  My wine rack was almost full with wine of all sorts and he asked me where he could store his.  I have an appreciation of wine with food.  I thought he was a “wine connoisseur” like me.  Again I was wrong.

Surprisingly he told me he was going to go on a diet to loose some weight.  Unbelievable as I honestly did and still do not see any extra pounds that needed to be shed off.  He had been staying with us now for the last couple of months.  He had never once cooked any Indian meal and I have not seen him with a glass of wine, not even once.  Instead he dines on Jenny Craig, the weight management program.

I guess he is preparing himself to “feel like new, feel like you” (Jenny Craig’s slogan).  Trim and fit to move abroad to join his wife soon.

Introducing Dee, our flatmate, the fittest and most disciplined man in our house.  He is no typical Indian though was tempted once when I had Beef Saagwala cooking on the stove and he asked for a taste !


Do you mind sharing your house with a stranger?  This is one interesting character I don’t really mind.





Writing 101 – Be Brief

You stumble upon a random letter on the path.  You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed.  Write a story about this encounter.


A piece of pink writing paper, smudged, a three lined message.


Please forgive me

Didn’t know you were behind

R.I.P. You’re hurt no more.


As I walked a couple more steps up this country road, I saw a wooden cross, a bunch of fresh flowers and a little teddy bear.





via the Daily Post : Writing 101 – Be brief