becsatherton (joined over 10 years ago)
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I have always loved art and drawing has been an important part of my life ever since I can remember. Having creative parents provided me with the right genes and also meant that my naive dabblings were given plenty of encouragement. Growing up, our kitchen walls were lined with huge pinboards which displayed my work. I guess you could say that this was my first exhibition, my audience consisting of family and friends. To date – apart from school and university, where there was always a termly show – it remains the only one. Life interfered with other priorities and stole away my earlier confidence.
Since graduating, I have been a web designer, a graphic designer, a magazine editor, an art director, a copy writer, a literary consultant, a poet, an aspiring novelist, and many other less inspiring things. I have also founded a literary arts magazine called Inside Out, which published two issues before the recession hit.
For the last year, I have been hard at work writing and drawing and would now call myself a writer, poet, artist and illustrator. I use these mediums as ways to better understand myself and find them helpful in exploring and resolving personal problems. This was the focus of Inside Out, which promoted creativity for personal development and emotional well-being. One day I hope to qualify as a creative therapist, offering workshops and retreats and teaching this valuable skill to other individuals.


Write as you please, in six minutes, like a breeze.

They make it sound so easy, like it is as easy as taking a bath or brushing your hair. Omitting the fact that it is actually quite challenging, a formidable task, failing to mention the fire details.

Then again, I guess, to an elderly person or someone who is physically impaired, bathing and brushing might be considered challenging too.

So I am sitting here, in this large, airy room, surrounded by other nervous candidates, trying to recall everything that I have learned over the past six moths, endeavouring to capture...

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"Travel light, but take everything with you. No cases full of cuddly toys. No toys, in fact."

These were the terse instructions from my mother as I prepared to pack the contents of my life into one tiny, child-size suitcase, a suitcase barely big enough to accommodate a change of clothes, let alone anything sentimental, useful or practical. What on earth had possessed her to choose such a ridiculous object for such a momentous adventure? I couldn't even begin to think. It was completely unsuitable and my mother was usually such a meticulous woman. Nothing escaped her notice. The house...

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There's somebody standing in the corner of my room. I have no idea who they are. I don't recognise the outline, the shape. I think the figure is a woman. She, if she is a she, is tall and slim, almost skeletal, like a witch. This thought scares me. I don't want to be visited by a witch, especially not the ghost of a dead witch. Which is worse? A live witch, with a wand and a broom? Or a ghost witch, with neither because she is no longer a physical substance? Would the live witch or the ghost witch...

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"Even in a finite universe, a rock doesn't keep being a rock. Things are always disintegrating and becoming other things." Our Tragic Universe, Scarlett Thomas

There was once a rock, a very old rock, a rock which had laid low for a very long time. It couldn't remember how long that long time actually was but somehow knew without needing to remember that that long time was long enough. It was a rock that took great pride in its appearance, habitually watering its neat lawn of grass, combing its thick coat of moss, trimming it at least once a week....

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Travel light, but take everything with you. Everything that you might need. The bare essentials. Nothing that might be termed as excess. Nothing that might weigh you down, nothing that might, at the other end, end up in a cupboard or a loft, forever after forgotten and stored away.

That's the problem with belongings. You accumulate so many unnecessary things over the years, things that once meant something to you, perhaps even a lot, but that, over an indeterminate period of time, lost that once owned meaning and became, instead worthless, meaningless. The Valentine's Day card from an old lover,...

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She was confused. Usually there was a title, a prompt, a line, a place to start from. Today it simply said "Write as you please, in six minutes, like a breeze".

Breeze, now there's a word she was familiar with. There was always a breeze, always a cruel wind. It hunched her shoulders and tightened her neck and made it a necessity to always be wound around in a scarf, tightly constricted.

Breeze is a soft sounding word, reminiscent of the ocean, the sea, sail boats and people swimming. It makes one think of a Coastal town, of Europe, of...

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In hindsight, the solution was obvious. But then solutions always are when viewed backwards, from the end of the equation. It would be like saying I really oughtn't to have had that extra slice of cake, in hindsight I know that. But at the time, in the moment, faced with that cake all covered in icing and topped with cherries and accompanied with cream, the thick and runny kind, not having it wasn't an option. And then there was peer pressure and all of that complex mess to wade through. It had been the same at school, when she had...

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She was the most delicate girl in town - pale skin stretched tight over a skeletal face, hair the colour of fresh milk, body tall and angular. Her eyes were of the softest blue, her cheeks flushed pastel pink, her lips like an English rose. Fragile, barely there, more ghost than anything real: that's what people said about her, that's what they thought when they passed her in the street. But as delicate as she was, as insubstantial, there was something very real and present in the way that she held herself and in the manner of her walk. One...

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The weather today has lifted. The sky is blue. The sun is shining. It is supposed to be 21 degrees. It feels like it. After days of rain, days of cold and grey, this is more than just a slight relief. My mood has lifted. My spirits are soaring. I feel lighter, almost as if I could float away on the breeze. Extending my arms, I test them out. Can I fly? No. Shame. It would have been nice. Different. Exciting. An adventure. Still, I have just returned from one, and that did necessitate flight, albeit in an airplane.


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She felt like she was drowning. All around her there was water. Freezing. Churning. Flowing. Pulling her and dragging her in multiple directions. She tried to fight against it. Tried hard to kick out with her legs, pull the surface towards her with her arms. But no matter how hard she tried she didn't move, not in the direction that she wanted. It was like the water was a womb and she was trapped inside, a helpless foetus, attached.

As the oxygen in her lungs ran out, and her chest tightened so that she felt like her torso was close...

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