Carved in blood – Iain Kelly #writephoto

They carried him over their heads, then strapped him down to the ceremonial rock they had spent the last six months carving out of the rocks and boulders.

The sun broke through the dark storm sky, a fiery red glow lit the scene, reflecting their anger.

Obafemi raised his chisel over the simpering man. He was no longer struggling to be set free, but lay exhausted and fearful.

‘Now all will know what you are and how you made your wealth. You will see how it is to be branded for life.’

Continue reading at Iain Kelly

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Carved – Willow #writephoto

The stones stood in a ring an ancient ring, older than time. The stone in the middle was called the cauldron, it had this name not only for its shape but because of it’s history.

The cauldron was where the witches of old would mix their magic, a magic made stronger by their numbers and their beliefs.

Rachel and Lisa approached the cauldron carrying the herbs and potions Lisa had gathered up on Rachel’s return to the castle.

Continue reading at willowdot21

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The Magical Roundabout – Steve Tanham

I remember the moment, a few years ago, when Stuart – one of my co-directors of the Silent Eye – said to me: “And that’s it, vanished in an instant: all that work about to be packed up, filed away and forgotten…”

He was referring to the hour at the end of our annual workshop during which we tear down the props, pack the period (or futuristic) costumes and collect up any spare workbooks, each one the better part of two hundred pages of lovingly crafted mystical theatre…

Around us is a scattering of people who don’t want to go home… Old friends, returned for their yearly round of camaraderie, fun and some deeply moving psychodrama, are standing in the residual warmth of a living thing which, like a vessel, has held and nurtured us all for the weekend. New friends, wondering what just happened…

Continue reading at The Silent Eye

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Thirty years. He had counted the days on the wall of his cell. Thirty years since he had seen the dawn break on the hills of home. A lifetime since he had last breathed the night air.  Only his mind had soared above his solitude.

They would never set him free.

It had been an accident, a by-product of his experiments. He had tossed the glittering nugget to a blind beggar outside the tavern. The baker had told of how the beggar had used it to buy bread and the tale had spread like wildfire.  The story of the alchemist who could turn lead into gold reached the ears of the king… and tyranny feeds on wealth.

At least the gold had fed the beggar.

The king had given him everything he needed to fill the royal coffers in exchange for his life. He was treated well enough, if compulsion can ever be more than slavery. Yet always he had dreamed,  continuing his quest for spiritual transmutation. That was the true alchemy. They did not understand and chained his soul to earth through their greed.  And every night, the king came to collect the gold.

The wide-eyed serving boy had told him… of war, rape and oppression. Evil that ran like wildfire across the land… all funded with alchemical gold.

No, they would never set him free.

The alchemist turned the final Tarot card and gazed upon the grim face of Death.

A wasted life? Perhaps.

Beyond the heavy oaken door, he could hear the footsteps of the king approaching. The alchemist tended the athanor and, as the door closed behind the king, threw a glowing flask into the furnace.

Flames spread like wildfire and the alchemist smiled.

It would not be a wasted death.

For the Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition.

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Five lessons learned as a Speaker/Guest Author at a Lit Festival… by Sherry Carroll

Reblogged from The Story Reading Ape:

All learned the very hard way, so you don’t

By Sherry Carroll, AKA the Shiny Happy Sherry


Remember, it can always get worse…


If they offer you a chair, take it…

If they don’t offer you a chair, don’t forget to ask for one.

This was my first public speaking event (as a writer) and the first time EVER doing a reading of one of my books, Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales: the Flight of the Sherry Fairy,with a QA and a book signing after; and standing up on stage all that time, without being able to move around much, because you are nervously trying to juggle a book in order to read it out loud to a room full of people, is not as easy as it sounds, especially in high (ish) heels.

My knees/legs were so sore the next day I could barely walk.

These things can be exhausting, so remember to sit down whenever you get the opportunity, because there won’t be many.

And don’t wear heels.

Not even low ones.

Continue reading at The Story Reading Ape

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Thursday photo prompt – Carved #writephoto

First in this week 🙂


Sue’s image this week made me think of doughnuts and soup bowls!

It was a different venue this year as the new Chairman had found the perfect place for the championship which would show no bias or favouritism to any of the participants. Thus it would all come down to skill as each course was unique, finishing with its own natural ‘pot’ carved in the rock. It was going to be quite a showing.
The Giants were getting ready to play and took the game very seriously.
Alf was defending his title, and he and Sid were hoping to take the doubles crown this year. They had been practising for months and now the moment of truth had come to see if it had all paid off.

Sid appeared in the doorway looking extremely anxious and perplexed.
‘Whatever is the matter?’ Alf asked.
‘I’ve lost them’.
‘What do you…

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Thursday photo prompt – Carved #writephoto


Every Thursday at noon GMT, I publish one of my photos as a writing prompt.  If you know where the photo was taken, please keep it to yourself until the challenge is closed. I usually share something about the place during the round-up.

Throughout the week I will feature as many of the responses here on the Daily Echo as space allows. Every week, a full round-up of posts will be published linking back to the original posts of contributors.

You can find all last week’s entries in the weekly round-up. Please visit and read the stories and poems and explore the sites of their writers. I feature as many contributions as I can on the blog during the week, but given the volume of contributions that will seldom  be all of them!

The best way to ensure your post is featured is to send it well before the deadline but all posts will be included in a round up on Thursday 29th March

Use the image below as inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 28th March and link back to this post with a pingback. There is no word limit and no style requirements, except to keep it fairly family friendly.

If you are unsure of how to create a pingback, Hugh has an excellent tutorial here.

Pingbacks need to be manually approved, so either check back to make sure that the pingback has appeared or simply copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

 Feel free to use #writephoto logo or include the prompt photo in your post if you wish or you can replace it with one of your own to illustrate your work. Don’t forget to use the #writephoto hashtag in your title so your posts can be found.

Have fun!

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