Six Sentence Stories – The joys of reading & writing

Editor’s note: Dear Six Sentence Story-ers*, I am super late for this week’s SSS (“Link party ends in 10 9 8 7 6 hours” according to the latest entry point). The prompt word is Distraction … having just worked 35 hours over three days at work, I’m struggling to catch up with not only this Six but my writing (and reading) in general.

*for Clark πŸ™‚

So before the main event (which I haven’t even written yet at this stage of the editorial) … I would like to discuss the, ah, joys of reading and writing: are they not just about the discovery of creativity and universes in which to become lost? But about joys, too, as simple as collecting books for their covers, having a nice pen, attending a conference or festival celebrating your favourite author, or receiving random literary-related gifts?

My editorial today is indeed about random literary-related gifts, and here I present a trio of wonderful items which recently came into my possession.

First up is a dedicated message by the author Jonathan Coe in my copy of Middle England. A couple of weeks ago Jonathan gave a lecture in Marseille, France, about his career and influences as a writer. I was unable to attend due to my work, but my wife and youngest son went, and when they met Jonathan at the signing later, they asked him if he would sign my book.

Jonathan Coe, a Birmingham-born writer (the same as me 😊) was only too happy to sign my copy: “To Ford, Best wishes to a fellow Brummie…”

Thank you, Mr Coe! How pleased am I with that πŸ™‚ Such a pity I couldn’t go as I would have loved to have met you and have a quick Midlands,Β musical and Peaky Blinders chat with you. By order!

Another gift came this morning as I was returning from the shops on my day off… a black feather… likely from a crow… laying there on the pavement across the road from where I live. Sometimes I perceive single feathers like this to be messages from the fairies and the angels, sometimes a feather is just a feather, and sometimes you need a feather! In this case I needed a feather for not only this post today, but for a poem I’ll be posting here later.

Another gift came a few days ago in the form of a surprise parcel from my good friend and artistic collaborator Spira aka Nick aka Wizard. He thought of me at the same time of taking stock of some Writer’s Tears whiskey, and he sent me the flask afterwards.

As I mentioned to Spira in my thank you mail to him, Writer’s Tears is such a cool name. It has a romantic, mysterious mood, and nicely captures the spirit of someone in perhaps a moment of literary contemplation or inspiration.

My friend, Spira, thank you for thinking of me πŸ™‚

As you can see, the found feather and the flask have married together perfectly. You can see their work in the header photo at the top of the post – a quote from a previous Six.

If you’ve made it this far in reading, then well done! And here is my contribution for this week’s Six Sentence Story (still not written yet at this stage of post composition lol).

Distract me if you can.

Distract me if you can, I DARE YOU to wrestle me from my creativity and endeavours to read and write.

You TV and video games, you concerts and YouTube, you relentless Twitter and breaking news about the world a-burning and a-flooding, and its corrupt politicians laughing all the way to the bank.

I DARE YOU my day job to distract me with protocols, with death and Covid, with the absence of staff burnt-out and depleted, with the exhaustion I feel on days off and on, off and on, on and off, it never ends.

I DARE YOU my lovers and brothers and sisters, to caress my agonies into a thousand butterflies to replenish the Earth in magnificent twirls and swirls and whirls of pollination.

Distract me, I DARE YOU if you can, with infrequent fine French food and wine when I dine often on scraps accompanied by the tune of hunger gnawing at my belly (for I am working class, and have sometimes seen days when there was nay a single pot to piss a good piss in).

Distract me if you can, I DARE YOU life… life with all your tragedies and strife and agonies sent to crush like insects underfoot; ha, ha, how little do you realise, understand, that your distractions are my muse, that life is my eye candy ideas and rocket fuel to the moon, for pens which never run dry of ink.

Jings! The author has even found time to include a new avatar! Look how young I am on my profile pic! (photo was taken only last year, but you know how time flies and takes it toll).

By crikey! The author has even found time to add a video…

I dare you… (to play fkn loud!)

Bauhaus – Double Dare (with lyrics)

Final thoughts: no time for a proof read, nor the distilling of the words I write; to perform that noble art of the edit. What you read is what you get. Or, to quote a good friend and wizard: “But I will not back down – one take, whatever happens.”

Thank you, dear readers, for reading along πŸ™‚

Ford, Atomic Mage, July 31, 2021. PACA, France.


  1. Aw NUTS! I was gonna shout Squirrel! Actually I wasn’t but it sounded I was going to ask if the exploits of the French (and UK) athletes/participants at the Olympics had distracted you but the work shift you describe suggests you haven’t had time!
    And that flask is such a beautiful object, so elegantly simple and effective at drawing your eye. Anyhoo, hope you’re doing well and I’ll let you get back to your scribing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Acorn believe how you thought about SQUIRREL too, FT 😁
      No, haven’t had time to watch any Olympics, but a not a big fan anyway. Yes, the flask is very elegant as you say, and looks pretty dandy with that feather I found.
      Hope you’re good too, my friend! Thanks for stopping by 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Na-ah, you’re fashionably late V, s’all πŸ˜‰
    Hopefully, you are navigating the aftershocks of exhaustion and catching up on writing and reading. How totally awesome your wife and youngest son got your book signed by Mr. Coe!
    Very cool name for Irish whiskey, β€œWriter’s Tears”. I love the inkwell shape of the flask. hm…Feather and Flask. You know there’s a story there.

    Now to your Six! Who needs edits. Polish unnecessary, V. Your piece, raw in its beauty is more than sufficient. My favorites: sentences 4 and 6. #4 is simply beyond poetry.

    regarde-toi, monsieur cool 😎

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks dear D πŸ™‚ Can you believe last night after posting my Six I was ‘distracted’ by an aggressive mosquito… finally fell asleep on sofa itching like crazy bout 3am. Woken up 6.30 by same mosquito and fresh bites πŸ‘ΏπŸ˜  Still can’t find it lol πŸ˜€ (#@!!Β§#! mosquitoes!!)
      Yeah, I’m well chuffed with the flask, and signed book! The ‘Feather and Flask’ cool, could be the name of a charming pub to hang out and read!
      Et merci, et toi aussi, madame cool 😎

      Liked by 2 people

  3. this here post here is the highest form of, (I used to know the club-members-only word for this kind of), blogging

    as oft I’ve indulged in the fantasy of a world, where keys boards and monitors are, once properly, (and safely!), dissolved, reveal the perfect night-bistro-gathering-place where diverse people gather and share both stories and the stories of stories

    the non-carcinogenic smoke and incense colors the air in everyone’s favorite backdrop, making flaws non-seeable and strengths confident, notes on embossed squares of napkins and the stage is always empty when the muse whispers promise of fulfillment in our ears.

    …oh, yeah,….. Good Six!


    Liked by 3 people

    • Well said, Clark. The Six Sentence Stories platform is indeed like a night-bistro, where we gather under the prompts of Denise and each share our tales. All and their muse are invited. A more perfect place may be hard to find.


  4. The unfiltered, unedited power of a sequence of letters into words, into sentences, into an ink stained fingers Six that can very well be the welcome sign at the bistro (by order of Clark’s description) Feather & Flask!! πŸ‘

    And yes D, there is indeed a story there!!

    One more thing Ford; sometimes our words radiate deeper when they are reflected back to us… so it is with : β€œBut I will not back down – one take, whatever happens.” TY

    May your ink never dries or spills( but if it happens, you know the remedy😎).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep, Clark and D got it bullseye with the night-bistro and Feather & Flask!
      Thank you again for the gift and inspiration.
      And oh yes I ended up spilling some ink on your letter in the end, haha, (it had to happen!).

      Liked by 2 people

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