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Tempted by Life part 1 edited

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Many of you started following my blog when I first started writing Tempted. Since then my life has been very full and I have had much less time to write. I am now half way through my third year at university and my work load has tripled. Although writing is my main ambition, I enjoy learning and university has been an incredible experience. I spend a lot of time with my partner Helen who was diagnosed with NMO this year (look it up), its quite rare and causes a host of problems, so we have has to re-adjust our life and concentrate our efforts on us. In addition to studying, I work for the Red Cross, its a good little job that supports a great cause.  So life (for us) is full. I haven’t really written anything apart from essays in such a long time. Spent a few months promoting ‘Loved Settled and Understood’ which sold over 300 copies in the first eight weeks. I hope to keep any royalties aside so we might get married in the next couple of years. Anyhow, I’m rambling.  I decided I would put some of my education to the test and re write Tempted (or Tempted by Life) as I have re named it, to demonstrate some of the ways that my degree has helped me with structure and words. I hope you enjoy it. I can not guarantee I will write every day because sometimes life gets in the way, but I will try to write as often as I can. Please feel free to comment or just say hello.

Tempted by Life part 1

My name is Shai, pronounced shy for those of you who are unfamiliar with the name. Ironically I have never been shy in my life. Something strange is happening to me. I am normally an extrovert, loud, funny and a bit naughty, yet lately I have become such a loner. I find unexpected pleasure in crawling inside my own brain and indulging in my thoughts. This all began last month when a new computer engineer visited my workplace. Instead of the ignorant little man in his brown overall who usually looks down his nose at us, we got Tanya. She breezed into the office full of confidence, intelligence and an abundance of good humour. I was mesmerized by this girl. At the time I could not quite pin point the reason why my eyes followed her around the room. Perhaps I was struck by the confidence that she delivered in her stride or her self-assured posture that became an exhibition when she stopped in the center of the room. I could not put my finger on it, yet I was aware of the smile that was lurking just far enough below the surface of her exquisite face as not to look suspicious. She caught me looking. Alarmed as I may have been, I stared at her mouth which unchained her hidden smile and it beamed into every corner of the room. Our eyes locked  and my mouth gaped open. I must have looked a sight. My heart pounded in my chest and my mouth dried up and it was only the feeling of  cold coffee dripping onto my lap that aroused me from the trance I had fallen in to. I swung my chair around and frantically rubbed my leg with a used tissue. My face burned. Then just as I was picking loose pieces of curled up brown tissue from my skirt,  she leaned over the back of my chair to adjust my computer screen. I froze and I struggled to breath. I dropped the remaining tissue on the floor and adjusted my skirt and swear I heard her chuckle. I stared at my screen but I could see her reflection and her eyes were following mine. Diverting my attention, I found myself caressing the rim of my brown and orange retro mug. When that became unbearable, I tidied my desk using the small perimeter of space available to me where I could freely move without touching or looking at her.  Yet I was consumed. Her presence surrounded me. From the fragment of her hair that brushed over my left arm, to the feel of her breath on my neck, she had me. Her smell was intoxicating, it was hot and sweet and fruity and it swirled around my head like a daydream before whipping my heart into a frenzy. I felt dazed and weak so I excused myself in order to go the water fountain. I avoided her eyes by looking intently at the navy and white speckled carpet and the cream and white walls that suddenly seemed wider and further than I had ever noticed. I felt exposed and awkward as I staggered across the room and stepped out into the hallway. I took a long slow drink which gave me a chance to calm down, cool down and look at this woman from a distance. She was taller than me but only by inches. Her dark hair fell over her soft oval face in which her deep blue eyes were set. They sparkled and danced when the light caught them. She was thin and slender yet curved and sensual, and from every angle she looked sublime. She caught me looking at her and a cheeky grin tugged at the corner of her lip and curled it upward. I looked away from her as a lightening bolt shot through my body and my insides trembled sending an unfamiliar rush of adrenalin from my toes to the tips of my hair.  I drank some more water then walked slowly back to my desk. She had moved on to another computer  but I could see her looking back. I kept my head down and tried to concentrate on my work. I flicked through my diary, closed it, picked up the phone, put it down but I could not function because my heart was pounding so hard. I could still smell her all around my desk and I tried to devour it yet I could hardly breathe. I became light-headed and disoriented so I asked if I could take my lunch break. I almost ran to the staff room were I splashed cold water on my face. What was it about this girl who unsettled me so much? I sat on the sofa with my face in my hands and closed my eyes. There she was, imprinted in my eyelids with that warm toothy grin, and deep sparkling eyes. I went back to the sink for more cold water when she entered the staff room. I heard the door open and I turned around. She walked toward me and I stood with my back pressed hard against the work top. Her eyes never left mine as she advanced toward me. My heart pounded through my blouse as her body almost touched mine. I could feel the heat from her skin and the coolness of her breath and I melted into her eyes. My lips fell apart as I caught the tip of her tongue brush her bottom lip. I stopped breathing as her hand reached out…………………….

To be continued

If you like my writing, you may like my first novel ‘Loved Settled and Understood,’ available on Kindle and paperback from Amazon and paperback from Lulu.com.

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The Boatmen’s Song

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I wrote this poem for a creative writing class at university. The poems inspiration came from a painting which unfortunately I do not have the image available. I wanted to create a feel of unanimity amongst the boatmen and familiar repetition. In addition, I want to demonstrate how nature creates and recreates humanity and the way in which we are all linked and how that echoes over time.

The Boatmen’s Song by Kirsty Grant

Dawn breaks with a whip of fire across the ocean.

The boatmen rise and fall upon the waves as morning takes its first breath,

and the boatmen sing.

The song is everywhere, echoing through the morning wind, diving into

The tumbling waves then spat out as salty spray that rises in a vapour

towards the sky.

Clouds fall into the ocean and the afternoon melody becomes enclosed

within a circle of grey and white hazy mountains. A theatre of fog.

The song escapes.

Caught amongst the flapping wings of the sea birds, the music takes flight

And it circles and hovers amongst the stickmen, floating on a

Streak of mist, facing heaven’s door.

The boatmen weep and wave goodbye and the song becomes a hymn,

And the shrinking sun dips peacefully upon the sorry sea,

As the day dies and the boatmen sleep.

A Love Letter to Scotland

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13th May 2015

Dear S,

Forgive me for writing this note in secret and therefore excluding your magnificent name. Tis a name that even in my most intimate thoughts, fills my heart with fire. You are and always have been the very core of my world. I fear that admittance to my undeniable love for you may be the to the disparagement of your neighbour with whom, as you may be aware, assumes our relationship somewhat strange.

This very morning, I walked quite freely along the banks of the river. The air was clean and still and the warm breeze was filled with the drone of bees and wasps and the birds chirruped so keenly in my ears. The trees have grown so proud and strong and they swayed toward me with vibrant green and orange leaves. As I felt my heart beat in response to the pulse of life all around me, I stopped for a moment, you on my mind all the while. I cupped the bud of a purple and green thistle in my palm and although the thorns pricked my skin, its symbol made me feel awash with pride. The river is so clean and as I stood on the bank and drank from my hands I observed it ripple and twist and spin in torrents where the water poured over silver and green rocks. The sky is so large, so broad and everlasting, like my love for you. I looked at my reflection in the water, and I wonder if I deserve the belief that you have in me, for our love is most certainly mutual. I am but a mere peasant writer whereas you are so mighty and proud, and I hope, I hope that your love for me never dies.

I know I am always in your heart and even though it is a love that you share with so many others, I will continue to feel that we are a part of the same, our lives are intertwined and shall be for eternity. You have a most sincere and kind heart and a determined soul and for those with whom you have blessed with your beauty and rugged shape and touched with your passion, they will serve you for eternity. As companions we may not all agree on the same things, yet we all wish to put our future in your hands. Let us be united once more on equal terms, let us walk together hand in hand and be free.

I love you for eternity

K

Orange Heat

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I was looking through my little writer’s block for some creative inspiration and the first page said, ‘Describe you’re first brush with danger.’ I ponder over this for a minute or two before deciding to write this little short story from the perspective of a filed mouse. Please let me know what you think of it and any improvements that you would suggest.

ORANGE HEAT by Kirsty Grant

Everything is dark. I wonder if the orange heat has burned my eyes out. Some of my whiskers have fallen off because I keep banging against the dark without warning. The night has grown walls all around me. I am normally free when the sun goes to sleep. Dark is the time when we own the world, when we can stretch our legs and run and play with hardly any fear.  You see, before the orange heat, we could see quite finely when the day turned black. I need a diddle but I keep banging into darkness and there is no room.  I want my Mumsy.

          I thought we were together, all seven of us, and Mumsy. I guess I was wrong. Everything had felt confusing, with all the orange heat mixed up with the night blackness, which turned into poisoned air, and made  seeing and breathing ever so hard.

My tail is all cramped and curled up and it stings from top to bottom. I cannot sweep it out for relief and I have to sit on it which makes it feel burny and sore . Everything is as dark as shut-eye and I feel confused because I cannot even see a thing. My fur is itchy and sticky. I want to ask Mumsy what to do. I am afraid. There is a little stripe of light in a part where the dark isn’t mixed up. I press my nose really close to it but the tip of my nose nips so I shuffle onto my side and stretch my paw out and scrape. Everything smells wrong. There is a scratchy smell and it bites my throat. I push one claw into the light stripe and it gets stuck. I think maybe the world has shrunk.

I think my foot is broken. It won’t move and it feels like it is facing the wrong way. There is a sharp stretchy feeling wrapped all around it. When I try to press it on the floor I feel my head go all wishy-washy and I nearly get sick. You see, I think it broke because I was looking at the light stripe and I nearly pushed my paw right into it but then everything started to move. My body flew  upwards but the night has grown a roof and I was crashed back down hard onto the floor and it kept happening over and over. I tried to get my paw out of the light stripe but it stayed stuck and I tried to shout out but I choked. I think my head is still moving up and down. I’m really too hot and I need something to drink. I think I diddled on the floor, it smells really horrible and it’s in my fur.

Everything is noisy. I can hear my heart beating really loud like it’s outside of me. As well, there is a loud squealing sound that I think is in my brain but its outside of my brain too, squeezing me tighter and tighter, and I have to breathe proper fast to stop it crushing me. I don’t understand where I am. Is this the world? I’m scared and I can’t run because there is no forward or backward, just a solid end in the darkness. I think my breath is the only air around me and I have to keep sucking it back in just in case it goes away and I can’t breathe anymore.

I wish Mumsy was here, or my brothers. Callum is the oldest, he is three and even though he bites my tail sometimes he is still big and strong and could easily push hard into the light stripe. I think the light stripe is where the world used to be and I am stuck outside of it. I know I’m trapped or stuck or something. Billy is the same age as me; he can chew his way through everything. He once chewed a whole white shiny bag that flew into our nest and got stuck. Only instead of spitting out the shiny stuff he ate it and was proper sick then pooped out really slimy white curly snakes; it was rotten. I bet he could chew a hole through this outside world and let me back in to the proper one. Philip, Lawrence, Salvador and Russell are all my age and we cuddle lots. We had only just got our brown fur when the high sun came last week. It’s nice to nuzzle your nose into your brothers soft warm belly. Mumsy has the best fur though. It’s long and white and smells like grass and corn and sunshine, even in the night. It’s always night here but it’s not freedom. This night blinds me, it is a prison with walls and a roof and no day, except the light stripe. Perhaps the sun has been folded up and the dark has squeezed it so tight it can only peep through the edges of night.

I don’t know how I got here. We were playing just outside the nest. Mumsy was having a snooze, and the daytime was nearly packed-up. The field was all soft and swaying. The corn was making lovely long grey shadows on the ground which were shaking and shivering, and we were trying to catch them. The field was swishing and whistling and Mumsy was snoring in the nest. Then all at once we stopped. There was a new sound. It was like a hissing and crackling and we could hear screaming and laughing from the people folk that pass by outside of our field.

“Stay away from the people folks” Mumsy always warned us with squinted eyes which meant ‘no joking’.

“They can never catch us Mumsy, we are too fast,” Callum said with some reassurance.

“Keep away,” she just kept saying, “Them people folks don’t like us mice.”

So we were standing listening to the crackle and hissing and snapping when the air started to get terribly hot. Through the grass and corn, the air looked thicker as if it was not clear and see-through anymore and it made my eyes water. We ran to tell Mumsy, her nose was already twitchy because the air smelled like blackness. She woke up just as we were about to shake her and her eyes were the biggest fear balls I ever saw.

“Fire!” she shouted. “Run.”

None of us knew what to do except trust in those big round fear eyes and follow her. I looked behind me and saw the orange heat. I think that’s what fire is. It was big and fast and chasing us. It swayed and stretched higher than the corn and spat little pieces of orange heat up into the sky, then angrily grabbed them back down again. It whipped and waved at the sky and grabbed the corn and grass into its belly which just made it bigger and angrier.

We were fast but the orange heat was faster. I ran and ran. I couldn’t see my family anymore because we were running in black air. It wasn’t just the dark, the dark was our friend, it was the night, the night had come down too quick and it got mixed up with the orange heat. It made my breathing hurt. It’s hard to run with your tail off the floor but the night had attached to my tail and the orange heat was nipping it. I ran faster and faster until I was up on a hill outside of the field. I felt like my eyes were going to pop right out of my face. I stopped to look at where our little nest was but everything was orange. I was about to carry on running when I started to fly. It was like my tail was pulling my up to the sky. I wriggled and shook my body and closed my eyes tight to stop my brains falling out of my ears. Then I felt floor. The orange heat was gone and the world had gotten so small that I couldn’t move.

I think I am outside of the world. I think I flew into a pocket of the mixed up night by accident and I got stuck. If I go to sleep, maybe when the day comes the light stripe will grow and melt the night away and I can find my family. I miss my family. I diddled again and my paws are dipped in it. I feel really hot but I can’t stop shivering. I will try to sleep, if only I could stop shaking.

It’s still dark but I cannot see like I normally can. The light stripe is fading away and I think perhaps the weird darkness has stolen me and I am sinking deeper and deeper into it. The squealing isn’t so loud anymore but my heart has moved from my belly to my ears and I can feel it just as loud as I can hear it beating. If I push my face right up to where the light stripe is fading, I can smell something new. It smells like turnip or cow droppings or both mixed up and made worse by the warmth. It isn’t a good smell but it feels cooler that this dark pocket which smells of diddle and orange night and rotten skin. My paw is still very sore but I can move it so maybe when you’re lost you can’t be broken because you don’t really exist in the world. I wish it would make the pain less though. I want to sleep again but my tongue is stuck to my teeth and I need to hold it inside my mouth to make a little wetness, otherwise it might fall off. Besides, if it hits the floor it might taste diddle and then I might die.

I feel like I am moving but I haven’t even sat up. I might be dreaming. But the light stripe is bright again and I think I can smell the world, the real world.

I’m falling………

I felt  like I was falling forever but I have landed exactly where I was.  It hurt, my bones are shaking and I can hardly stand up. It is still night and I am still almost blind. I bundle myself tight into a ball and cry. I want my Mumsy so bad.

Just when I thought I was lost forever, the day came again. I was sucked back out of the mixed up night with my tail, and I seemed to hover in the air upside down for such a long time. I squeezed my eyes shut but when I didn’t move, I opened one of them just a little and saw a giant eye with long wiry eye-lashes blinking at me. It was huge and green with a giant black circle in the middle that grew and grew. I twisted and shook and screamed so hard because I had never seen anything so awful in my life.

I am falling to the ground, like in slow motion. The grass is warm but ever so short and I can’t even hide. My eyes sting and my legs are shaking but I manage to run a little.  I have to keep going forward and never stopping for fear of the orange heat and tangled darkness catching me again. Maybe if I can stay in the light long enough Mumsy will find me and take me home. I wonder if I have a home.

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Author of Loved Settled and Understood. Available from Amazon

My World in a Ring

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 For Helen

It was not mine when it caught my eye,

I had never seen treasure like this before;

An opal stone set firmly in gold

Had lured me into the antique store.

 

Now it sat in a box amongst breakfast and tea,

Eight slices of toast with a message in cheese;

Toast perfectly buttered and words written neat,

Marry me?

 

Such a mighty feast adorned my table

That my brain was not quite comprehending,

The offer of marriage in edible love

And the unanswered question still pending.

 

My eyes filled with tears and the word “yes” escaped

And the ring flashed like sun and like fire,

She tenderly slipped the ring onto my finger,

For my love, I just could not deny her.

 

I mused over the jewel that now circled my finger;

Of its journey, its life and it’s past,

Who wore it before me, and who gave it up?

Was it a symbol of love that still lasts?

 

Was it owned by a lady who travelled the world,

Who read Shakespeare and Milton and Pope?

Did she write words with new inspiration?

Did the ring give her courage and hope?

 

Did she sit in a café and hold hands with her love?

Did they fill life with lobster and wine?

Did they explore foreign lands, discover by chance

The opal amongst darkened mines?

 

My ring holds the secret to questions I pose

Locked tight in six claws of rich gold,

The oval shaped opal like a world filled with fire,

And serpents and magic and wonder untold.

 

The magic consumed me as I strolled to the light,

The stone changed from fire into ocean,

Its sky filled with morning, with sunbeams

And clouds and a light show of pleasure and motion.

 

 

My gem is unique in this world, like no other,

It’s a rainbow enclosed in a stone,

Revealed to the world through endurance and skill,

It’s a lifetime of pleasure I own.

 

I wear it with pride on my left hand, fourth finger,

I imagine the gem’s sweet voice sing,

“You are unique, you are precious and have

fire in your soul, and your world will live on in this ring.”

My World in a Ring

Happy 1st of Febuary

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Good morning/afternoon/evening to my awesome and delightful followers,

How the hell is everyone today? I thought I would drop in and let you know what I am up to. Well, its Sunday and it should by rights be a down day and I suppose for part of the day it will be. I have university work looming and growling at me from the corner of the room. I have a stack of dishes in the kitchen that need washed, a carpet that needs hoovered as my dog has shed at least a coat since I last hoovered. I haven’t eaten yet and i am really hungry. There is a washing in the machine that needs re washed and hung up and yet here I am, talking to you whoever you may be.

University has been great this semester. I am now studying creative writing which is the sole reason I chose to go to Stirling uni. I have a module about decedent desires which is interesting and a module on children’s literature. It is such a good semester.

I have found that since uni started getting a bit more intense my own creative writing has taken a back seat. I hope that it will be worth it so that when I finally get back into blog sphere I can write some wonderful pieces that you enjoy.

My book ‘Loved Settled and Understood’ is doing fairly well. I haven’t made my fortune but I never expected to. It is wonderful getting good feedback. Many of my readers have been asking when I will be releasing a new book but I think that will be on hold while I concentrate on my degree. This may be a good thing for my writing career or it might put some of my fans off. I hope it is not the latter as I am doing this to become a much better writer.

Did I tell everyone that we got a dog? Her name is Misty and she is a short hair Collie. She is seven years old and really bloody cute.

I am afraid I will have to go and sort out breakfast because it is almost lunchtime and my tummy is growling at me. So I bid you all farewell and I hope to catch up soon.

Please drop me a wee comment. Let me know how you are and what Sunday holds for you wherever you may be in the world.

Kirsty

Poem ‘Davie’

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kirstywirsty:

I would love someone to illustrate this for me. It is close to my heart.

Originally posted on Kirsty Grant:

DAVIE

 

Propped up on the garden shed,

wellies on his feet,

digging worms and maggots

good enough to eat,

 

trousers tucked in willies,

muck around his chin,

boogers hanging from his nose

but on his face a grin.

 

He’s chopped the worms up into two,

he’s squeezing out their gut,

he’s sucking out the tasty juice

and spitting on the hut.

 

His fathers out with wet wipes,

he’s grabbed him by the ear,

throwing all the worms away

and all his digging gear.

 

H,e hauls him right up to the house

and plonks him in the shower

but Davie’s got a maggot

to give him super powers,

 

he waits til dad is out of sight

and cuts the thing in half,

eats the part that tastes the best

and gives the rest a bath.

k

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Poem ‘I can see the wind’.

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kirstywirsty:

Because it is a windy evening and it reinforces my hatred for the wind

Originally posted on Kirsty Grant:

I can see the wind

 

 

I can see the wind.

 

You can see the airborne leaves

scooped up from the ground,

You can see the wavering branches

 on tired trees

 

but I see the wind

 

Not the inside out umbrellas

or the skirts around red faced ladies,

or even the cigarette packet

flying through the air

 

I can see it.

 

It’s not invisible!

Its long and its night coloured

and shaped like a snake and

it slithers and swishes through my hair

playing invisible.

 

 I can see the wind.

 

I see it laughing

when it reaches in our chest

and sucks our breath

then whips our words into a whisper.

 

 I’m not fooled

by its malice

when it asks the rain

to join in.

 

 

I can see the wind

and it’s ugly

 

K

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