Winter Editorial – There’s Magic in the Moonlight

Hey Inkblotters!

It always comes as a surprise when the end of the year draws near. We’re starting to pop on our woolly knits and embrace the cold air over a warm cup of tea, coffee or even mulled wine. And of course there’s Christmas to start thinking about. The rush of shoppers as they take to the high street and plow through their savings is more than just a little bit bonkers. Think Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which will clearly be many times worse since the 5p bag charge was brought in for the UK.

With all that said though, it’s still the most magical time of the year. Tonight it’s Bonfire Night, so get out your sparklers and your rockets, or go watch a beautiful display disperse in the dark sky. And afterwards, it’s time to start thinking of a white Christmas.

Inkblotters may have noticed we’ve changed our format for the end of 2015. Inkblots will be moving into seasonal issues, given the closure of our lovely little writing forum. But that’s not to say the magazine will be closing its doors – in fact we’re looking to rebrand ourselves entirely for 2016 with a new logo and look. There will be more information on all of the above in the New Year Editorial.

For our Winter issue, it’s all about magic in the moonlight. So we’ve got some cracking poetry from Dizzy Dazzle in a new Short Poetry Spotlight on November 25th, alongside short fantasy fiction from Dice on December 5th and, later, Doishy on the 10th. Our content will conclude with an absolutely beautiful tribute poem from Ashcloud on the Inkwell writing forum’s closure – a must-read on December 20th.

Of course, we’re still continuing with our Half Hour Challenge themes. November’s theme is Magic in the Moonlight, while December’s theme comes under Farewell. Both of which are beautifully fitting for the time of year, as well as the closure of The Inkwell.

Before I forget, for any of those participating in NaNoWriMo, that’s National Novel Writing Month, I must wish you the very best of luck. Yet again, I cannot dedicate the time to take part in it, though I envy those who can! I say it every year, and I’ll say it again, but one year I shall definitely take the time out and participate.

For now though, it’s time for me to say a fond farewell to our lovely readers in 2015 and I’ll be back with the New Year Editorial in January. How time flies, eh? Make sure you have a wonderful Christmas.

Colette, Inkblots Editor

Featured Image CC // Annie Fischinger

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Snowflake

Written by Silver

It wasn’t the first time Skyla had seen snow, but it was the most she’d seen in a long time. Her father had been outside for the past hour shovelling it from their drive, working up a sweat in his new winter jacket and dusty work boots. As she sat by the window, Skyla watched her father with disinterest, occasionally adjusting her body warmer and the sleeves on her white Christmas jumper. She was fidgeting more than usual, her fingers twitching. Really, the snow would have been just fine, perhaps even amusing, if her dad wasn’t planning on a trip to Disneyland this weekend. With Skyla turning 12, it was meant to be a surprise for her birthday. But instead of sheer delight, she found the tang of bitterness. It was all around her, in the air, in her bones, in the stupid biscuit jar that she could never reach. And particularly after her mother had left only a couple of weeks ago.

Leanne had told Skyla she was leaving back in October. Ever since the accident, her mother had always blamed herself. Skyla supposed it was due to the fact she was driving at the time. But it was never her mother’s fault, it was the idiotic driver in the white van who wasn’t paying attention. Though Skyla had never voiced her opinions on the accident, Leanne always seemed to know the hidden truth. Skyla had pushed those thoughts far down inside of her. There was always hope that she would be able to walk again; a tiny spark that just needed to be ignited and tended to in the right way.

Her father was still shovelling snow. She desperately wanted to be outside, crunching her feet on the freshly laid powder. Maybe she would be able to one day, but paralysis was something that was very difficult to overcome. Skyla thought about the robotic legs the government was currently testing on paralysis patients; she hoped one day that could be her.

Snapped out of her daydream, Skyla’s father called to her – rather he mouthed her name through the window – and she wheeled over to the front door, skirting around the armchair.

“I’ve been calling you for ages, Sky.” Stephen said, shivering slightly.

“Oh, sorry.” Skyla cast her eyes to the ground.

Stephen scuffed his boots together and crouched to his daughter’s level. Taking off his gloves, he took his large, scraped hands and clasped hers, kissing them.

“Sky, I know it’s hard. And this damn weather is just frustrating as hell. But I’m going to make the most of this time with you.”

She looked up at this point, meeting his eyes. His face flushed, his nose a deep pink from the cold, but his eyes glistened. And there on his eyelash was the tiniest snowflake she’d ever seen.

“Dad, don’t move. Don’t flicker your eyelashes. Just give me a minute.”

The snowflake held its form for less than a second. But before it melted into her skin, Skyla saw the intricate pattern.

“I’ve just realised something, Dad,” she said as Stephen raised his eyebrows and fingered her blonde curls. “No snowflake is the same. They’re all different but eventually they come together to make a bigger picture. I think I’m a snowflake, Dad. My body’s now just a different pattern that’s all. Maybe I’ll get my old pattern back one day, or find a new pattern in electronic limbs. But the thing is, I still have a pattern just like that snowflake. And that’s what matters.”

Stephen smiled, “Well of course, honey, you’re named after the very sky snowflakes are born from.”

As part of the HHC for last month under the theme ‘Spark’, Silver’s short story is a special piece full of hope and determination. As a teenager, she feared she would be paralysed from the waist down following two horrible accidents. But luck was with her and recovered the feeling in her legs. However, not everyone is as lucky as that, with Skyla as a prime example. A heart-warming piece ready in time for Christmas. If you enjoyed Silver’s work, make sure you check out her poem ‘Spirit‘ and short story ‘Fraction‘. 

Featured Image // Julie Falk

Monthly Editorial – The 12 Days of Yule and December’s Content

Hey Inkblotters!

As we welcome in the final month of 2014, we also say hello to the festive season once again. Though Christmas films seem to be on all year round these days, the season doesn’t quite start until December for me – and I expect it’s the same for most of you. But before this turns into another one of my regular tangents on why Christmas cards are stocked in retail stores from August, or why there’s always one kind of person who puts up their decorations in the middle of October – sad, but true – here’s exactly what we have planned for December’s content.

Given it’s the last month, we wanted to end on a positive note. It’s been a great year for our literary magazine and we wanted to share that with content surrounding the theme ‘hope’. Jumping straight in, then, we have Rae-Chan’s short HHC entry ‘Ignite’ for publication on the 5th, with poetry from Blue-Eyed Devil on the 10th and a gorgeous poem from Ashcloud entitled ‘A Star is Born’ for Christmas Eve. There’s also short fiction incoming from Ricardo and, hopefully, some interesting HHC entries on the 30th too.

This brings me swiftly onto the fabulous Half Hour Challenge theme we’ve got for December. As per tradition, The Inkwell admins run something a little special for members during the festive season. In previous years we’ve had some great entries, so for this year we’re hosting the ’12 days of Yule’. With 12 themes available – all which correlate to Yule or Yuletide – forum members may pick a theme and write their entry, submitting them before the end of the month. For non-members of our forum, feel free to view the themes, here, and choose one of your liking to submit in an email to us – you can find all rules for submissions here.

So that about wraps my little editorial up for this month. Have a wonderful Christmas, and I’ll be back for the new year with lots of sparkly new content to share. Again, to all our readers, followers – whether you’re a new follower or old – and to all our superb contributors thanks for the awesome 2014. 🙂

– Colette (aka Silver), Inkblots Editor

Featured Image // Caitlin Childs

Inkblots Christmas Special – Festive Fiction (Part 1)

holly_bannerHey Inkblotters,

Welcome to our Christmas Special post for all our wonderful readers and followers. This year we’re posting a few festive tales to get you into a sparkling mood from our 24 Door Advent Calendar – exclusive to members of our forum. Below are the first two short stories and more are on the way! So put your feet up, grab a mince pie, mulled wine (or a glass of sherry) and read on…

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

mince_pies

Let’s kick off with a short story with our favourite sweet pastry treat.
Image Courtesy of Splenda at reveal.co.uk

Door 23 – Mince Pies

Written by Rob

Thwak Ng jerked from his reverie, and picked up the ringing phone on his desk.

“Tok Long Viet Kong Education Centre, Major Ng speaking,” he said.

“Ah Ng, good morning, Colonel Bhadi here. Did you get my little gift OK yesterday?”

“Good morning colonel. Yes, the problem has been dealt with in the usual way.”

Colonel Bhadi is puzzled: “Problem? What problem?”

Ng is puzzled by Bhadi’s puzzlement: “We carried out the executions at dawn.”

Colonel Bhadi shouts “who on earth have you executed?”

Ng is worried. “The two men you sent.”

“You’ve shot two innocent batmen?”

“I thought that was what you wanted.”

“Why? In God’s name why? They were just bringing you mince pies.”

“That’s right: we always shoot Minh Spies.”

Continue reading →

Monthly Editorial: December’s Content and a Christmas Eve Inkblots Special

Christmas decoration. vintage background with space for text or image.

If only we had some mulled wine to go with the sparkles – Merry Christmas!

Hey Inkblotters,

‘Tis the season to be jolly fa la la la la, la la la la – I honestly hope that’s the correct amount of la’s! So, as we all know it’s the beginning of December and if you’re not happily tucking into an Advent Calendar, then you’ll surely be getting into the Christmas spirit with Cyber Monday. Generally deemed as the busiest day in the online shopping year – yes, even busier than Black Friday – Cyber Monday is all the joys of hectic Christmas shopping without the frustration of standing in heaving queues. Although, I’m pretty sure surfing the Amazon page for “deals you’ve missed” is just as heavy on the heart – good job Amazon, we love you for that. But I digress, I’m sure you’re here to see exactly what we’ve got planned for this month’s content.

Kicking off content for December is Rob’s Half Hour Challenge entry “Angela’s Touch” from last month’s Book of Secrets theme. There’s a great twist in there, so we can’t give all the details away, but certainly look out for it on the 5th. We’ve also got two short poems from newcomer Avantgardian on the 8th, then later on the 20th Lost in a Dream has written a sequel (of sorts) to her highly regarded poem Rewind, which you can read on her blog here. Plus we’ve worked a few surprises in there too.

But with Christmas only coming but once a year, we’ve got an extra special post to upload on Christmas Eve in order to celebrate the fantastic theme this month. Exclusively for our forum members, the editorial team has hand-picked and compiled a 24 Door Advent Calendar with a separate theme and incredibly cheesy rhyme residing inside. So, just for you – our readers – we’re publishing three of the best entries, so be sure to check them out on Christmas Eve.

Last but not least, myself and the editorial team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Thanks for reading/following, and we’ll see you in 2014!

– Silver, Inkblots Editor

The Most Magical Night of the Year

Written by Sparky

Even Mickey Mouse knows to be in bed before Santa comes.

“‘Twas the night before Christmas,

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring,

Not even a mouse.”

I remember my parents telling me that story every year on Christmas Eve, ‘The Night Before Christmas’. My copy of that now lies on my child’s bookcase, ready to pass the tale onto a new generation.

I always wondered though, why a mouse?  What makes that specific creature more suited to not stirring than any other? Everyone tells me it was because it rhymed with house and didn’t break the rhythm of the poem. I never liked that though, I was always a dreamer, looking for a greater meaning. Some meaning that raised mice above the station of simply household rodent and pest and gave them purpose.

Everyone always laughed at me; they never understood why I chose to believe that. No matter many times I tried to explain that I wanted to think mice were cooler than they were. I gave up a few years back, they stopped mentioning it and I stopped fighting the corner. It wasn’t so bad I guess, a childish fancy, the endless wondering of the bored mind. Continue reading →

Merry Christmas!

D’awwwh, we want him for Christmas, pwetty pwease?
Image Courtesy of postersguide.com

As it’s Christmas Eve, all of us at Inkblots would like to wish everyone – writers, followers, likers and readers – a very Merry Christmas!

Thanks for reading all our posts from our hard-working writers, who have lives of their own, with many either in school, college or university. We’ve had an incredible last third of 2012 and we want to keep going strong in 2013 – whoever said it was an unlucky year? PSHHH! So, here’s to a wonderful 2013!

And as it’s Christmas, we want to leave you with something special.

– The Inkblots Team – Silver, Lilith and Sparky.
Continue reading →