Thursday, 30 August 2012

WRAP UP - ROMANTIC PICNIC and new challenge guidelines, I Should Have Kissed You.

Ah, what a great turn-out for The Romantic Picnic. Thanks Andy for all your promo efforts  *high-fives*

Welcome to several new followers - Cluelessincairo, Elen Lackner, T Roger Thomas, A J Locke, and Anne @Writers Space. Welcome new contributors Sulekha Rawat, Nilanjana Bose, Anne, Elen Lackner, Michael DiGesu, Suzy Que; and to JL who has been gone awhile.  Glad you all could join us.  And a big thank you to all our returning contributors, you know you rock!

I always marvel at how a simple theme can have so many wonderful interpretations.  Few of us – myself included – actually incorporated the picnic as more than the setting, and I was surprised there were not more children and families depicted.  Even more interesting: only one person included the Ants.  Picnics must be fun to write, cuz many excerpts were over word count!  I was impressed with the awesome landscapes - beaches, mountains, and gardens - and a variety of rich cultures to fascinate us.  My weekend reading was filled with wine and potato salad . .

Francine: used the picnic throughout her writing.  The setting and picnic spread were romantic, the Marques and The Lady unchaperoned, and a matter of social etiquette to discuss.
Sally:  had a special invite, a beautiful day, and a bad childhood memory on the horizon to spoil the lover’s time together.  Except; this beau knew how to get to a picnic with the hood down, and holding hands, and an unexpected proposal to rival the shining sun.
Sulekha: wrote of a mid-day, Valentine’s Day getaway with a busy corporate husband.  As a good wife, our pov lover fulfills her duty, as unsatisfying as it is, all the while thinking her husband has no time or caring for her.  Until the moment he proves he listens to every word she speaks.
Madeleine: treated us to a lesson in perspectives; writing out the same scenario from differing POV.  Interesting; all the different ways to ask a person on a picnic, and all the emotions and possibilities from just a subtle change.
Anna: continued her story of Paul, Jenny and Priscilla, this time adding in the responses of the kids to the return of their mother.  She leaves us hanging with the possibility that the picnic reunion may not be as happy as hoped, or may not happen at all.
Adura:  took us on a sensual journey into the botanicals with a long time crush on a competent co-worker.  The picnic seemed the perfect setting to take a plutonic relationship to its next level.
Nancy: set us atop the Grand Canyon, with the wind blowing in our hair, a child who wants to learn to cook, and the love of a dad for the helpful neighbor.  Seven years is a long time for a love to grow.
Roland: gave us the gift of “finger” foods for a midnight picnic in the cemetery; complete with the insanity of long dead spirits to cheer the happy couple through their long night of running.
Denise: took us back to the islands to wait with Inya for his tourist attraction to return to him.  Trusting the endurance of the fling, Inya returns to the place of their first meeting; papaya, wild ginger, wine and a trusting heart exposed to the sea, and fates.
Linda: offered a cultural feast, complete with a rebellious teen, a forbidden love affair, and a risky chance at an alternate life.  She left us all with aspirations for the mysterious future.
Andy: deviously allowed the female lover to stew in her own cooking as he purposefully arrived late, then sweet talked her into a white limousine .  Within was a romantic picnic complete with pink champagne, roses, and a pink diamond to ensure a long, full night.
Nilanjana: filled the night with stars, wine, and fine poetry to lift our mood and leave us breathless in the moonlit air.  A feast for the soul.
Anne: wrapped us in a memory of the perfect day, overlapping the picnic of past and present to build a dream world where the spirits of loved one dine on remembrance.
Suzy: tricked her lover into revealing her perfect date, then flew us off to a romantic location, all perfectly set up with music, fine cutlery, and all the alone time anyone could wish with such an adventurous, handsome man.
Crystal:  watched our lovers play with the family at the park; a family and a love that was rejected for more immediate concerns, now looked upon with regret and a taste of jealousy.  We were left with the consequences of choice, an ache for things that could have been.
Radwa: walked the shoreline, taking note of all stages of love from new romance, to comfortable passion, to sharing of family and growth.  We fed on the waves, and the salty air, and drank in the soothing wonders of life in its unguarded moments.
Elen: reunited us with a long lost love; recapturing a moment in time as if it had never escaped loving arms, sensual kisses and silvering moon lighting the way to wild abandon.
Joy: lingered on the rebound; a heart breaking dilemma of doubt and mistrust where the past over shadows the present, the future a turned back walking into the horizon without a glance back, leaving only the ants and crumbs to share the loss.
Michael: swept us away in a gusty moment of passion; the wind and fingers in the lovers hair stirring breathless kisses and waves of desire with a wet “I love you.”
Donna: undressed our lovers for an afternoon delight; surfing the years of togetherness as well as the enduring waves change.

As you can see, we met our challenge goal of 20 entrants, gathered some new friends, and fed our passion for Romance in a variety of flavors.  What we didn't obtain is a clear winner for the People's Choice award.  Part of the reasoning could be the technical errors Denise had in getting the poll up, and then the inability of mobile apps to view the sidebar; or perhaps it is just that our writers are so awesome it is difficult to pick only one winner.  I think I'll go with that one.

Thank you all for joining us for The Romantic Picnic.
* * *
Our next challenge I SHOULD HAVE KISSED YOU, is eligible for the Featured Writer and Runner Up awards, so you may want to start creating/polishing your 600 word (or less) prose or prosetry excerpts now.  Challenge #44 was inspired by Glorianna’s song I Should Have Kissed You.

What we are looking for is the hesitation, the uncertainty, and the (however temporary or permanent) consequences of the missed opportunity TO KISS.  We want our lips to feel it, our tongues to taste it, our bodies and minds to be so involved in the anticipation that we have to kiss our hand (or our uninterested significant other) just to be fulfilled . .

Read the full details by clicking on the Challenges page up top. All upcoming challenges have been posted, so check out the guidelines on the page. 

You do not need to be a member or follower to sign up on the linky and post your vision of the Challenge Theme, but you DO have to be a MEMBER to be considered for FW/RU, so if you haven’t yet joined, now is a good time.

Challenge Schedule:
Challenge #44 -  Sept 7 -    I Should Have Kissed You   FW/RU
Challenge #45 -  Sept 21 -  Oh How I Hate My Beautiful Friend
Challenge #46 -  Oct 5   -    Birthday Madness 
Challenge #47 -  Oct 19 -    Halloween – House of Horrors.  FW/RU

Thursday, 23 August 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Linky Sign Up for Challenge No 43- THE ROMANTIC PICNIC

get the InLinkz code

Monday, 20 August 2012

RFW Members - Share Your Writing News - Madeleine Maddocks, Kiru Taye and J L Campbell

Now that I've got your attention with my scary koala pic, we launch another post on RFW members' writing successes. I sent out a list of questions to members and these three authors have gone out on a limb and shared with us. First we have author Madeleine Maddocks, followed by Kiru Taye and J L Campbell.


I spent much of my childhood alone, in my own make-believe world with an imaginary friend for company. I am a writer by nature and have spent hours writing stories and making my own books. Now I enjoy blogging @ ( on the topic of creative writing and express my creativity in textile crafts, magazine editing and website design as well. I live in Devon, England with my husband and two cats and am a qualified Speech & Language Therapist with a Psychology degree. You can check me out here:


I’ve had flash fiction, haiku and the opening 250 words of a story accepted for competitions by magazines/online groups for publication, as well as 16 non-fiction articles published in International & National magazines.


Ultimate Sacrifice
is my first eBook short story/novella (just under 7,000 words), for which I have launched a blog tour with reviews, interviews and promotion posts. Others are tweeting and ‘Facebooking’ for me, which all takes up huge amounts of time.

I am hosting a Bombshell launch party, too:
Ultimate Sacrifice is available here:
 at   Amazon. UK  Amazon FR     Amazon de

Since there's more than one bombshell in this novel, I am organising a Bombshell Launch Party to celebrate the forthcoming release of my eBook Ultimate Sacrifice on 1st August. Come dressed to kill, ready to drop that bombshell on someone you have always admired, longed to meet, wish to get even with or just simply envy. It’s the chance to say what you’ve been keeping repressed (real or imagined). Just have a blast! If you have a blog and you'd like to take part, all you need to do is post a picture or description of your chosen person
along with the bombshell you’d like to drop.

I have also created a book trailer, but need to add the audio clips before I can launch it…


I am toying with 2 further eBook novella ideas: One entitled Forsaking All Others (chick lit/realistic fiction/romance); the other Embroidering the Truth would be set in 1800s in a lunatic asylum, as a suspense thriller.
My realistic fiction/ suspense story is a WIP that I intend to send to agents, rather than self publish.


To be a successfully published real book author.


For a few years I’ve submitted pieces of work to magazines mainly. Years ago I sent off a romance novel to a large specialist publishing house and got a feedback letter after 6 months, which was a real boost as apparently you only get a standard rejection letter after 6 weeks if they really don’t like it.


Not yet


Yes, check out Neil Gaiman’s speech:

Kiru Taye

Kiru Taye is the award-winning author of His Treasure.
She writes historical, contemporary and paranormal romances. Her stories are sensual and steamy, her characters passionate and sassy and her settings atmospheric and exotic.
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, hanging out with family/friends or travelling. Born in Nigeria, she currently lives in the UK with husband and two children.
You reach her via her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest
Follow her blog for latest news and giveaways:

Read book excerpts on her website:

I’ve had 6 stories published so far.

You can buy my books via
And other online bookshops.


My last book to be published is His Treasure. It is the 3rd book in the historical romance Men of Valor series set in pre-colonial West Africa. Here is the blurb:

With the weight of a kingdom on his shoulders and his honour at stake, can a Prince truly love a slave?
Ezinne is dismayed when her mistress presents her to Prince Emeka as a concubine to cater for his every need for a few weeks. She’s a slave whose previous encounters with men make her fear their brutality.
Yet the more she gets to know the powerful yet honourable prince, the easier he breaks down the walls around her heart.  She soon comes to want him more than she wants anything else, even freedom.
But Emeka is the heir to the throne and Ezinne is a woman with secrets that threaten not just their budding relationship but a kingdom.
For marketing this book, I organised a book launch event and invited friends and followers on facebook. It was also included in the recent Sizzling Summer event hosted by The Romance Reviews. My publisher also set up a book tour as well which is currently ongoing.
Later this month, it’ll also be part of the Beach Book Blast Summer Release party.

I’m currently in a writing dry spell. But what I should be doing is revising a manuscript I wrote last year. A publisher is interested but they want some revisions. But I’ve hit a block I can’t seem to shift.

My ultimate writing goal is to have one (or more) of my books in the NY Times Bestseller list.

I started writing my first book in January 2010 but didn’t complete it until December 2010 when I made my first ever submission to a publisher.

I write romance so the publishers I’m interested in are romance publishers. My publisher Breathless Press is a small and good but growing. I read good things about Decadent Publishing, Evernight Publishing and Entangled Publishing amongst others.

I love this quote by Philip Roth “The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.”
Lesson: Finish writing that book!


 J.L. Campbell is a proud Jamaican author who’s always on the lookout for story making material. She loves company and can usually be found lollygagging on her blog at


My novels and short stories include Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don’t Get Mad…Get Even, Giving up the Dream and Hardware (pen name Jayda McTyson).


My latest novel Distraction was published in June.  It’s women’s fiction and features three female friends who break social and moral rules with dire consequences. I haven’t done a ton of marketing, but I have been doing a bit of research to find out what tools work best. I am organizing a book tour, that will kick off on August 15.


I’m currently working on the standalone sequel of my latest release. The title of that one is Retribution.


My biggest ambition is to write stories that touch people in some way. I’d also like to become a household name in Jamaica.


I was lucky, in that I sold the first article I wrote in 2004 that same year. It took me another year to find a publisher for Contraband.


Wild Child Publishing put out my novel Hardware in 2011. The editor was a pleasure to work with and the publisher is very good about helping writers understand the world of publishing.


I believe that unswerving perseverance is the key to success. I also think it’s important to learn the craft of writing before seeking publication and that writers should never stop learning. People are amazed when I tell them I wrote Contraband in a few months, but that it took me nearly five years before I was satisfied with it. I also strive to make each story I write my best one. 

Thank you ladies for answering my questions. Keep writing those novels! May you all reach the bestseller lists someday! I'm sure we've all learned so much from you today.

Blog Post Dividers courtesy of Shabby Blogs.

UPCOMING RFW CHALLENGES: C'mon, have a go! New entries welcome!

Challenge #43 - Aug 24 -   The Romantic Picnic
Challenge #44 -  Sept 7 -    I Should Have Kissed You   FW/RU
Challenge #45 -  Sept 21 -  Oh How I Hate My Beautiful Friend
Challenge #46 -  Oct 5   -    Birthday Madness 
Challenge #47 -  Oct 19 -    Halloween – House of Horrors FW/RU

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wednesday Wrap Up Post - I Need a Challenge, Romantic Picnic.

Welcome members and friends. A special hello to those new members who have signed up recently - Kavita Nair and Jaszy. Welcome to all new followers. Hopefully Donna and myself will find the time to pop by and say hello. Please feel confident to join in the fun here at RFW. We are a very supportive writing community.

Now to the wrap up for I Need a Change.This prompt brought forth mystery and hope. Great work everybody!

In the order I read and took notes:

NANCY: Welcome back to one of our earliest members who's had so much turmoil in her private life she hasn't been able to post for some time. This challenge brought her back with a vengeance with her story of a loveless marriage, putting up with it for the kids' sake. The humour was sustained throughout which made a painful story easy to read with a chuckle or two. I loved the allusions to old things - Old Spice - the things she likes. This story is about change - and second chances.

MADELEINE: Madeleine delivered a perfectly structured flash fiction prose piece which was lovely and romantic. I loved the comparisons of the delightful customer to coffee - 'Those delicious coffee mocha eyes". Obviously getting rid of the old boyfriend was part of the change. Something is definitely brewing.

CRYSTAL: Young love on fire. An eternal theme. However, like most young love, the fire had burnt itself out and she needs a change. But memories never die, they refuse to. First love never lets us go, no matter what the future holds. I found this a tender, life affirming story.

DONNA: Such an hilarious piece. I love Donna's dry humour which was there in her descriptions. It rang true, a bit like the Aussie stereotype of the slobby male in the lounge chair sucking beer watching the footy (definitely NEVER The Simpsons). Maybe that's why I found it so funny. The routine of the 9pm shower, despite the wife reclining in her revealing negligee, is about to be shattered. Is she off to greener pastures? Surely she won't miss him! Chilling ending...

ANNA: How we've all enjoyed Anna's ongoing saga of Paul, Jenny and Priscilla. Now we have Priscilla's POV in diary form. Anna has been very creative both with her story and with her delivery using different genres. This love triangle is no one's fault and there will be no easy answers. Hopefully, this story will be crafted into a novel. We'll all be queuing up to read it Anna.

HEATHER: Now Heather flummoxed us all with questions. Who is offering who a free cruise? Is it legit? Would we accept/reject? Heather didn't give much away so we let our imaginations run away with ourselves. I think it'd be a great opening to a thriller. Can see murder and intrigue on the boat already.

ROLAND: The familiar character of Samuel McCord narrates the story of Christmas in August, as Sam waits for DayStar to arrive and kill him. Sam is not alone - the strains of the Moonlight Sonata are playing in the background and Victor Standish pushes open the saloon doors. This is going to be a change for DayStar as he is about to experience his second worst Christmas Eve ever!

SALLY: Ah, this is what I pictured when I set the prompt - a romantic idyll in paradise. This girl needs a change and is she about to get one? The mysterious stranger called Charles Darwin wants a date. Is his name significant? Does this mean she's a survivor? I could imagine Sally's ballad being sung to strumming guitars as she reclines in her hammock. A hopeful story.

LINDA: Marta Braun's secret. She's finally going to change, going to take control of her life. She's turning the tables on her ungrateful son. She's disappeared. Finally he's trying to ring her, but clever mum has disconnected her phone. This story evokes sadness, yet there is a hopeful, optimistic spirit about it. I do feel sorry for the son though. Kids are often thoughtless which can be cruel.

REK: Ah, the mystery. What's in the envelope? You can't stop asking this question after reading Rek's story. There is a lovely voice throughout, then it ends with such impact. Is her hubby a scoundrel? Why didn't he take her to Goa? What's he up to? It's shattering really. Rek, you need to write on here...

ADURA: A very mysterious piece. Adura's character puts pen to paper as she considers her 'options'. As I told Adura in the comments, I was confused at times, and I think Adura meant us to be. The writer herself is confused. She's been derailed by seeing someone, given a jolt, which has sent her reeling to pick up pen and paper. Yet for all the confusion there is self affirmation.

ANDY: Andy departs from his ode to womanhood to take on the role of farewelling a lover who's been less than honest. I like his 'Final Scene' as in a movie. No looking back once this is over. This could have been sad, but I was uplifted that this man is nobody's fool. He could have hung about and been unhappy, but why? Move on. There'll be someone with 'honest tears' for him.

ECLIPSE: It's been awhile since Eclipse has posted and I was overjoyed to see her again. She is an amazing poet. She posted a perfectly-shaped poem, starting with 'I Need a Blank Page' and ending with 'I Need a Blank Mind.' The message was to forget the hurtful past, the 'harsh words' the 'heavy weights' and move on, change, to hope and 'cheerful dreams.'

DENISE: Mine was light and breezy and tempered by my island hopping in Fiji. Not hard to imagine scenarios such as this taking place on these gorgeous islands. But there's always pain involved in holiday romances, so not all light, breezy and romantic after all. I was pleased with the image I used. One of my pics from Mana Island I edited to look like a painting. Cool.

Thanks one and all. Now to our next prompt. Let the romance flow - The Romantic Picnic.


The "Romantic Picnic."  

- Who initiates the picnic; is this a first date or dedication to the continuing relationship? 

- Is there an agenda to the picnic: marriage proposal, pregnancy announcement, promotion or new job assignment? 

 - is the picnic all about the continuing romantic relationship: one lover affirming their devotion to the other, or a mutually shared, opportune moment of togetherness?  

***Any genre, any POV; just remember to include a romantic element and a picnic, in 400 words or less.***

This should be fun! 

Now we're hoping to make this challenge a real blast. Invite your friends, invite other writers or poets you know online. Let's aim for 20 entries. Let's go for our own record! Andy has offered to be our PR person and will take on Facebook via Events and Twitter to spread the word.

And don't forget to return on Monday 20 August to read about the writing successes of some of our RFWers members.

Friday, 10 August 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 42- I NEED A CHANGE!

get the InLinkz code

Thursday, 9 August 2012

#RomanticFridayWriters - Challenge No 42- I NEED A CHANGE!

Sorry RFWers; I seriously botched this post.  I lost the fabulous write up Denise scheduled, and you are stuck with this one.  But, there is a linky.  

Try to make it a first person challenge. 
Check out the Challenges Page for more suggestions on the prompt. 
If you're posting for the first time, check out the Submissions Page for Guidelines.


400 words of prose or poetry. Must contain a romantic element of some sort.
Linky will close August 12 at 10pm AEST.


WRITE your story or poem
POST it on your blog between Thursday and Sunday
COPY the direct code 
LINK UP with your direct code in the Linky at the RFW site
LEAVE a comment after posting
READ as many entries as you can, leaving a comment. Consider following their blog if you like what you see. Can't wait to read your story/poem.

Any problems linking? Just missed the deadline? 
Email Denise at

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Hello RFWers!  Please give a warm welcome to guest author India Drummond, who will be talking about integrating racial/social barriers for the romantic couple to overcome.

Take it away India . . .

Universal Romance – India Drummond
Most of my story ideas come from what I consider to be the most important question in the world: What if? This probably explains why I have always loved the fantasy genre. In every fantasy novel I’ve ever written, however, I can’t seem to get away from including a romantic subplot.
I’m not an avid romance reader and I’ve rarely focused on romance as the primary element of a book. So why include it at all? Because sex and romance are universal. It’s a part of nearly every adult’s life. We have careers, family and friends and those things are important, but it’s fair to say that sex, attraction, and relationships are a primal, driving force in our lives. I’m more surprised when authors exclude this central theme from a story, regardless of the genre. 
What readers may not guess is that much of the conflict and struggles in my books come from my own experience.  No, I haven’t fallen in love with a faerie (although I have to admit AZURI FAE’s Prince Griogair gives me a bit of a shiver from time to time.) But my husband and I are from different countries. We’re also fifteen years apart in age, and we observe different religions. Because of this, I was able to bring some personal insight into Eilidh and Munro’s relationship. Perhaps not with the specifics, but believe me, we have had equally awkward misunderstandings based on cultural differences. 
In many ways, conquering those differences and learning how to compromise on the small things has bonded us together in a very powerful way as we find common ground.
My experiences have proved useful in understanding my characters’ struggles. It also helps because a character’s behaviour in a romantic relationship can define them in a way little else can. How do we treat the people we love? What we do when we’re angry, ashamed, afraid? How do we react to betrayal? All of these things can happen in a relationship. 
In the first novel in my Caledonia Fae series, BLOOD FAERIE, I used the attraction between a human and a faerie to reveal their values and culture, and to draw the reader into their worlds and experiences.
When the faerie, Eilidh, first goes to Quinton Munro’s home, she admits it’s the first time she’s been inside a human dwelling. She’s fascinated by the gadgets and even simple things like the indoor plumbing. She’s delighted with the idea of an indoor shower, saying it’s like having rain inside the house. When she strips in front of Munro (faeries don’t think anything of nudity), he is flustered at first, but after a little hesitation, he moves in for a kiss. She rejects him, and he’s crushed and mortified.
It was actually a tough scene to write, because it starts out so sweet and delightful, but ends with embarrassment for both of them. It was important, though, because her culture taught her that humans are less than the fae, and the idea of being sexually involved with a human is a foreign concept to her. She’s struggling with all the new things she’s coming to understand about humans and how contrary the reality is to what she’d learned as a child. Breaking down those barriers takes a lot of time and patience.
I was able to use their story to illustrate different parts of fae culture throughout the series. In Book 2, AZURI FAE, Eilidh is asked by the Azuri conclave to make a political marriage, which is just about the only type of marriage a faerie makes. They (conclave) scheme to raise her as an outcast queen, and hope that by marrying her to someone of royal blood, she will be more widely accepted by the fae kingdoms. As anyone can imagine, this caused inner struggle for both Eilidh and Munro, and either way she decides to go, it will change their relationship forever.
Book 3, ENEMY OF THE FAE, takes place mostly in the Otherworld, and I took them into a new phase of their relationship. I don’t want to spoil the outcome for those who haven’t read it, but it really is the romantic subplot that ties all three books together. The mysteries, the murders and adventure… those elements stand alone with each novel, but the relationship grows and changes.
Could I have accomplished all the character growth and reader engagement without the love story? Maybe, but I don’t think it would have been as effective.
After three books, I was able to bring Munro and Eilidh’s relationship to a satisfactory point. They’ll still be minor characters in later books, but I’ve decided that in Books 4 – 6, I’m going to shift focus and write about a new pairing.  In DRUID LORDS, Huck, a fire druid, will meet Demi, the first female druid discovered in a very long time. Although they are also from different countries, at least they’re both human! But don’t think they’re going to have an easy time of it at all. In fact, them becoming a couple is much less certain.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going finish hammering out Huck and Demi’s story by deciding where and how they meet and also understanding the things that will initially keep them apart. In the beginning, Demi has a secret she keeps from everyone, and gaining her trust takes quite a bit of effort on Huck’s part. Eventually though, a tragic event means she has to make a decision: either trust him completely or run as far and as fast as she can.
Once I outline the book’s plot, I will begin writing DRUID LORDS. At this point, even I am not certain how their relationship is going to progress. Will they? Won’t they? I’m not sure. Regardless of how it turns out, I will certainly be using the pair to ramp up the tension, weave in the broader themes, and touch on those universal needs and emotions we all experience.
* * *
Thanks India for sharing your insights into the cultural differences between humans and fae, and how you utilized your own experiences to bring the story concept into focus for readers.
About India:  I'm a lot of other things, but mostly I'm a writer. I like books with fast action, scary killers, fantasy worlds, and a dash of romance. Maybe even all four at once. 
You can visit India at her website here, where you will find links to all her urban fantasy novels.

Be sure to visit our Guest Post page for submission guidelines.  RFW looks forward to  your guest post on any of the suggested topics, or a unique subject of your own choosing.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wednesday Wrap Up Post - Three Things You Could Have Done Better

Members and Friends, thanks for writing for us for our latest challenge. A warm welcome to our new followers and members. Please feel confident to write for us - we're not at all scary - we're all learning to improve our writing! We'd value your comments even if at this time you don't feel ready to submit.

The broad nature of the prompt meant that there were no similar entries. The entries were all so different, unique and overall enjoyable, but the theme was 'regret', whether poetry or prose.

An apology from me before the wrap up...I was a bit slow commenting as I had a deadline to meet, writing a romantic ghost story with a July 29 deadline. Just made the deadline! Now I just hope they like it!

RAHUL - New member Rahul wrote a poem of heartfelt regret, using hindsight to look back on past mistakes. We can relate to this sentiment. Most of us picked up the sad vibe - 'seeped in sadness' as one commenter said.

ANNA - Anna continued her heart-wrenching saga of Jenny (female Robinson Crusoe) who was shipwrecked for 4 years. She returns only to find her loving husband Paul, is about to move on from their marriage. Anna will be wrapping up her story next prompt. Jenny's regrets were notated via a newspaper article.

FRANCINE: Francine found the perfect extract from her book, Scandalous Whispers, in the form of a letter full of heartbreaking angst. The letter truly revealed Men are from Mars - Women are from Venus. Those of us who've read the book know that there are good things ahead and not a lot of regrets.

DONNA - It's good to see Donna getting her novel out there too - Not Her Mother's Fate. The extract was difficult for Donna, as she compacted 15 pages into 400 words. The extract highlighted the adventures of Amy and Robert - Amy, a very conflicted mc and her love interest, Robert, who appears very laid back. There was plenty of miscommunication, but the reader hopes these two get their relationship sorted. We know there'll be plenty of regrets along the way.

ROLAND - Roland managed to fit the prompt into 1857 Mumbai (well that'd probably be Bombay then) India where the irrepressible Samuel McCord sets out to save the lovely innocent child Lucy Wentworth. Her vulnerability in the face of certain death makes for powerful reading.

HEATHER - Good use of theme and extremely heartfelt and real. I'm sure many a husband or wife who's been left behind wonders what they could have done better, maybe they could have circumvented this happening if only...Heather evoked powerful emotions, some regrets, finally coming to acceptance.

ADURA - Some readers were hoodwinked by Adura's poem thinking it was lighthearted, but there was a lot of trauma lurking beneath the surface. Adura used her real life experience to show just how tricky life can be - how things change in an instant - 'Laughing one minute - then a jab in the ribs.' The ending - 'pain-loss-gain' packed a powerful punch. There are always regrets.

SALLY - Sally's Harriet was a little masterpiece, replete with images to tell a story of a wonderful relationship between grandmother and grandaughter and a lasting romance. Love was all over this poem and your comments showed how much it clicked with you.

MADELEINE - Madeleine took a character from her upcoming novel, Ultimate Sacrifice, and built on her for this challenge. We have Lyndsay regretting not doing enough to get Colin's attention. We feel sorry for her and wonder if she'll get a second chance. Every good wish for your Book Launch Maddy! It's finally here!

RADWA - Radwa stole the show for many readers this week with her wonderful poem of affirmation. It was so emotional and touching and jolly hard hitting. "It's the long story of a life...' and 'me is all I can be..' Wonderful words. There'll always be regrets, but we need to love and accept ourselves so we can reach out to others.

ANDY - A little departure for Andy this week but I think it added another level to his great prosetry. Beautiful You was a poem to shattered dreams, but steadfast love (yes, Andy!) The sting of unrequited love is there, along with some regrets, but here we have the spurned lover wanting to ' jasmine and honey.' Delicious. Still managed to get that romantic element in Andy.

LINDA - Linda used a male POV, so the arrogance comes through (OUCH! Sexist! Well, who could be more arrogant than a young male university student in a group of other males, all working their tricks to get their chicks?) Anyway, Marcel, an Algerian, is in hot pursuit of an American student, but is spurned. After she leaves, he regrets the lost weeks where he was angry with her and flagged in his efforts to win her.

DENISE - I set my story in the most romantic city in the world to me - Paris - in one of the most romantic spots - the Padlocked Bridge (well, there's more than one now, but the one near Notre Dame still the first and most famous) with stereotypical gorgeous couple who get married, get separated, get together again. all in Paris. I decorated it with my pictures from the bridge and the area I stayed in Paris last time - the bridge was in front of me and that restaurant was beside me. Oh joy!

So overall, regrets we have a few. The prompt could have lead to pessimistic writing, but overall we all kept pretty optimistic. Well done all!

Now moving onto next prompt. NOTE: It is a first person prompt. I've made it very open ended. Have a ball!


This is a first-person challenge!

You are sick of your life!
You feel the need to break out of the box!
You are doing what you want for a change!
Yes! You're taking that break you've been promising yourself - you're heading for a tropical island paradise to:

- finish that project you've been working on
- just do nothing but sunbake, eat, party
- think about your relationship (does that need to change too?)

Perhaps your love may surprise you with a welcome or unwelcome visit to enhance/spoil your island idyll...

Perhaps your love decides to move on while you're gone...

Perhaps you miss your love so much that you hurry home before your time...this could be exhilarating...or tragic...

Your story, your way! Surprise us!

And before I go, there has been some disturbing activity on the Internet related to some of us here at RFW. Perhaps the name Romantic Friday Writers may give some people the wrong idea, but those who have been members a long time, or even recent members if you take the time to check, know our group is 'closed door'. Facebook has been used to seek 'friends' from some of our 'friends' who may be family members. Following each other is fine, but there is no call to send 'friend' requests to our family members. For further information you may contact myself or Donna, but I hope this quick note is enough to warn those who have been doing the wrong thing that no predatory activity will be tolerated at RFW. I quote from our Submissions Page:

The main purpose of RFW is to improve our writing in a supportive environment by response to prompts and through friendly critique..

Thats all folks!!

Please return on Monday 6 August for a Guest Post from India Drummond, author of Contemporary Urban Fantasy.