Contest Results

I set a quick contest a couple of days ago to guess the munger of US sitcoms from the 80s and 90s in a piece of flash I wrote. The answer is twenty. I attach a link to my original post, where I’ve bolded all the sitcom names, so you can see them.

The Memory Chest

The person with the closest guess is Terri, Reclaiming Hope Congratulations, Terri! I look forward to sharing a piece of your writing.



Before I move onto the poem I’ve written today, I want to remind you all of my post from yesterday. There is a contest running (which I will extend until 5pm EST today. Yesterday, I wrote a piece of flash fiction that was packed full with titles of US sitcoms from the 80s and 90s. I asked you to guess how many titles I included. The winner will get a poem or piece of prose featured on my blog. At the moment, there’s just one entry. That’s such a shame. I would love to see some more before the contest closes today.

For now, though, here is my poem, entitled ‘She.’




She passed by today,
didn’t notice me standing there,
it’s like all those years as
best friends
mean nothing.
I guess she doesn’t need me now,
like she did when we were young—
all her hangers-on
mean more;
they have the right look,
the perfect bodies,
the ability to grovel and
say whatever is required to make her
feel good about
What they don’t realise, those
falsifiers and fakeries,
is she is fragile,
she’s a little girl in a
grown-up body,
acting tough,
playing dirty.

I saw her today; her
mother sent me tickets
to attend her show and
after party.
The invitation was
Three years since words we last
my world still the same; hers
set in another galaxy.
As I listened to my
one-time best friend
sing, I closed my eyes and, in that moment,
I was a teenager,
listening to Rick Astley in
Stacey’s room,
and she sang along, with her voice so
and untainted,
but tonight is different.
I saw her crew of yes-people, all cooing and
pouring praise over her,
watching, as she ingested the poison
she could no longer resist.

She passed by me today,
didn’t even notice me,
all alone in her suffering,
with matted hair, she was shuffling,
her clothes hung from her
and her eyes sank deep
inside her skull,
I called her name,
and she turned and, in that moment,
she finally saw me,
and she blinked,
and just kept walking.

Impromptu Contest

My prompt for today was to write a piece of flash fiction containing as many names of US sitcoms from the 80s and 90s as possible. Quite a task! Very enjoyable. So, I’m going to share with you my writing. It occurred to me I could make a little contest out of this.

The contest is to read it and reply to this post with how many titles you think I’ve included.

You have until midday GMT tomorrow (so, 24 hours from now), and the person who guesses right (or nearest to right) gets to feature a poem or piece of their writing on my blog. How does that sound?

If lots of people guess correctly, I’ll feature all of you. It will be wonderful to be able to share some of the talented people I’ve met through blogging.

So. Here is my story:

The Memory Chest



Emptying my mother’s house is harder than I anticipated. This intricate little box incites butterflies to float and dance in my stomach. The box, which is shaped like a pirate’s chest, is a deep plum purple and decorated with tiny green rhinestones and cut-out silver spoons. Mum was obsessed with spoons. I have already taken five complete sets to charity shops. I kept her favourite for myself. On top of the chest, Mum has written “Small Wonder”, her nickname given to me following my miraculous, if somewhat arduous, fifteen hour birth. It is a perfect title for the snippets of life I find inside. I lift the lid to a plethora of old photographs, newspaper cuttings, and letters.

The photographs are bound together with a length of purple lace so dark it reminds me of aubergines. I smile without trying when I see the first picture. It is taken at our old house, 227, Benson Road. Three girls, as yet untainted by the traumas of adulthood, smile awkwardly at the camera. On the reverse, Mum has written “Roseanne, Kate & Allie”, 1989. My smile falters when I look at the background scene. I see the looming figure of Mr Belvedere, our creepy next door neighbour. I could never understand how he made a living out of driving a taxi. He smelt of mildew and feet and was always watching us from his garden. One time, I ran straight into him when I was late for the school bus. I got to see his (not so) lazy eye study me carefully. It was too close for comfort. I was happy when we moved to our new house on Alf Tyler Street. Our new neighbours, The Jeffersons, were much less intimidating and, as far as I know, they never once smelled of feet.

I dig deeper into the chest and find my mother has lovingly documented every stage of my growing pains; all my happy days. There is a newspaper cutting, which evokes the fondest feelings inside of me. The picture is of my two friends and me. This time, we are smiling with all the confidence our new-found adulthood and sexuality has brought. The heading reads, “Three’s Company For This Homegrown All Girl Group” and underneath, the article continues, “The Golden Girls of Tucson land their first top ten hit.” Not just our first, but our only hit. I read the whole article, which gushes huge helpings of praise onto Saved By The Bell, a decidedly average song which, somehow, made it to Number 6 on the Billboard Chart. Mum almost burst from her pride in me. It was a magical time, a different world to the one I inhabit now.

Today, I am married … with children. Three children, they are my world and I am a full time mother to them. My life is still full of cheers. My full house of loved ones is more rewarding than all the bright lights and fame in the world.

Even so, I think I’ll keep this treasure trove of memories. When they are old enough, I will show it to my children. Maybe I’ll create my own box and fill it with my new beautiful family ties.