Sunday 30th November

First off, apologies for confusing you day-wise yesterday (and thanks for the alert, VP!) We are not - yet - so powerful that we can change the days of the week! Just trying to add on another day maybe, but with no luck. Here's our last message for this year. It's been fantastic working with you, and we achieved our aim in running it again this year which was to raise some well-needed money for the Kids Co. Thank you. Before we go though, we will be emailing the writer of our favourite message before Christmas - this isn't necessarily the 'best' message, or the 'best' writer. Just our personal choice. There is some GOOD stuff here - if you want to use it elsewhere please feel free to take it down from this site (or email us if you can't) and we wish you the best of luck. Keep in touch!


He calls them his little worlds. With one shake, he can change everything - not just the weather but the way their stories end. He lines them up. Which one today?


  1. I shook the globe and the church steeple fell off. At once, tiny people ran out of their houses and pointed in consternation at the weathercock flying over the town.

  2. He thinks they stay on the page, in the stories he concocts. But they come to life, to haunt him, demand better endings. He doesn’t own them, they possess him.

  3. Milkshake Monday in school, the softness of Miss Carson's mouth. Queueing, Anthony Andrews behind me, with scissors, cuts off a wisp of my red hair. Miss Carson makes him wait.

  4. Thanks to Sarah & Lynne for a great project. Thanks to everyone who has posted, I've loved reading them this month. Good luck!

  5. The mini folk huddle in the ruins of their erstwhile church. Then five approach the curving glass wall and make gestures. They are trying to negotiate with me. So sweet.

  6. Curved glass
    focuses the sun
    on tiny plastic Frenchmen.
    The Eiffel Tower
    under heated water.
    Mock Parisians
    wish for a coating
    of dust
    to protect them
    from summer’s onslaught

  7. My friend Mandy, she’s dead now, said she thought TH White’s Mistress Masham’s Repose was all about power and cruelty. The cruelty of adults to children. Of children to Lilliputians.

  8. As man’s meticulous plans,
    Almighty’s decisions mismatch,
    I started with poem of thirty words,
    ended up with narration of hundred
    lines, began with my tale, ended
    in her confounding story.


    He’s been collecting them since he was a child. Bought as Christmas presents first. Then holiday bring-backs and school fete finds and comic book trades with kids in the playground.

    ‘I saw this and thought of you.’

    And all his friends thinking the same, then and still, and snow globes on shelves in every room in his house. It is a quirk and the girls think it sweet and strange, both at the same time, this child in the man.

    ‘This is my favourite,’ he says. And he picks one up at random and shakes it, only a little. The snow flakes spin in the liquid air, then slow-settle back onto the church and the people.

    ‘Can I?’ she says, reaching out one hand.

    And he says she can, though he worries she might drop it, or shake too hard. The steeple broke once before and the people no longer trust the weather that can blow, sudden as snapped fingers, in their glass ceilinged world.

    In one he has let the water drain away. That’s not quite true; he threw it at the wall, god-like in his petulant wrath. And the people walk unsteadily around in drifts of white plastic and there’s a crack in their sky.

    ‘I love it,’ she says, not giving it back.

    She leans in, kisses him slow, one hand flat to his cheek. His thoughts are all shaken, like snow-globe snow.

    ‘I do love it,’ she says.

    He thinks she means she loves him and lets her keep what she has.

    Later, in the slow settling of his thoughts, he sees the girl is gone and the church and the people gone too, a circle in the dust on a shelf where they once were. And then it is his favourite and he misses it.

  10. Then he saw
    the glass snow globe-
    Christmas nineteen sixty five-
    mother in the kitchen
    father stoking the fire
    homely smells
    his lonely thoughts-
    some things cannot be changed.

  11. Thanks for the mention! I've thoroughly enjoyed my month here, especially reading everyone else's efforts. It's been so much better than the creative writing course I've been attending locally. And no, this is not a shameless effort to sway the judges - it's what I think! Good luck to eveyone and here's my final effort:

    My nephew often lives in his own little world and whispers conspiratorily to his special companion. My niece teases him mercilessly. He emerges from his reverie shaken but not stirred.

  12. My ebook reader has a fault. When I shake it, the words scramble. A new book appears from the old. And each time the book is better than the last.

  13. [COMMENT] I haven't started yet, this is a comment! I know the 30 worder that follows has nothing to do with the prompt, but it came to me out of the blue, and I've been waiting for a prompt about cats or technology and never had one. So here it is anyway: [/COMMENT]

    My new inkjet printer was a cat in a previous life. After a task you can hear it preening, cleaning electronic whiskers. And it never does exactly what it’s told.

  14. Sometimes, when she wanted to take her time over choosing, she would run her best feather duster along the shelves, although it was rarely out of necessity. Marilyn had always loved books and her most treasured, Through the Looking Glass, sat at one end, its spine so tattered that the mottled orange cover was only visible from an angle over the top of the adult-sized books. She loved the way the corners had worn into rounded triangles, that she could push them backwards and forwards whilst she was reading, savouring their velvety texture. She marvelled at its physicality; both the cover of her copy and its narrative had resisted the conventions of time in her monotonous exterior world.

    Marilyn gazed into her mirror. She chatted to Lewis Carroll about existential matters and she felt that he had encouraged her to explore ideas beyond those discussed by her dull colleagues. He understood her perfectly and she admired his brilliance. They talked about such esoterica as Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths, the technicalities of cloning, the changes in time and spatial directions as a plot device and lastly, chess. She'd never played chess because she was always alone with her books.

    A skilful listener, Lewis wanted her to feel whole, to prevent the type of fragmented absurdity that had dominated his books. Knowing the value she placed upon literature, he hatched a plan.

    He told her to put Through The Looking Glass next to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on the bookshelf and to resist analysing any themes and mirror images created by this juxtaposition. Next, she should write herself into the real story – not the daft one with dead authors - using free association and behold the transformation. He told her that the dust would settle in no time at all.

  15. The smug one on the left and...yes… the pretty one wearing a frock of imperial purple. They would be the protagonists in an epic of deceit and unripe fruit.

  16. He calls them his little worlds. With one shake, he can change everything - not just the weather but the way their stories end. He lines them up. Which one today?

    He picks a person in the crowd and weaves them into his story, imagining things that they might be. It’s like having a little in-joke with himself, because he never gives much indication to the person that they are part of his song, but for a second maybe he might catch their eye and imagine that they have connected in some way for a blinking moment.

    Standing in the middle of Glasgow’s Buchanan Street, he is a regular figure and is able to make a decent supplement to his living each Saturday. At the end of every day he comes back home and replays his tape recorder to listen to the songs and the lyrics that he has crafted that day. His “set” is different every time. Every so often a lyric will jump back out at him and he will remember the face of the woman who prompted it or the man that had a face that opened a world of imagined stories. Some lyrics are forgotten never to repeated, but a few get written down in his notebook. Sometimes the character stays with him for days, weeks even , evolving into a more rounded three dimensional character and he writes more songs about them, and their imagined lives.

    This is what happened when he saw Christie. One day a face, and then a lyric, the next day a song, and over months a real living person with a complete songbook. His Magnum Opus.

    Back on the street months later Christie appeared again, standing in front of him in the crowd.

    “I know you” he said, involuntarily aloud.

  17. Nobody actually knew him. He adapted his persona to suit each individual.
    No, he wasn’t a liar; just slipped easily from one world into another, his feet rarely touching ground.

  18. He made the gardener forget his planting and the chef discard his recipes so that the ingredients for the evening meal had an exotic scent of rose petal and pine.


    He writes. Stories, with people he recognizes not getting the girl. And the snow-globe snow of his words spinning spinning into shapes his readers think he controls. But his attention is elsewhere, when he writes. On the keys, looking for the letters to hit, and they hide from him sometimes.

    ‘You make them up, give them life and put words in their mouths. That’s what you do. You must know how their stories end, and can change them if you want.’

    That’s what the girl says, the one he has chosen to sit beside today, the one listening to his explanation of how it is.

    ‘They’re in my head,’ he says. ‘How they got there I do not know. And they have their own words, whispers, like the hum of insects in my ears.’

    She laughs. It doesn’t get much better than that, he thinks, sitting beside a girl and she laughs. Maybe this time something will be different.

    ‘It’s like a little world inside me,’ he tells her, ‘a hundred little worlds, and I simply find the words to tell you about them.’

    ‘Go on then. Find the words.’

    But he can’t. Not like that, not to order, not speaking the words. That’s not how it works. He opens his computer and begins typing.

    ‘She was called Frances, and she sat alone, as though she was waiting for someone, waiting for him. He sat down beside her. Said, ‘Hello.’ Simply that. She asked him what was in the bag he carried. ‘Stories,’ he said, ‘I’m a writer.’ Frances leaned into him. ‘Will you write about me one day?’ she asked. He nodded. She laughed. It doesn’t get much better than that, sitting beside a girl and she laughs.’

    He looks up from his writing. But the girl has gone.

  20. Little worlds made of thirty words. In one month they created a universe. Now Lynne and Sarah must choose a winner. They line them up, shake their heads: “WHICH ONE?”

  21. After the meteor hit, a tidal wave flooded the Earth.

    What remained of Humanity shook its collective fist at the sky. “But you promised!”

    "Ah..." said God. "You were listening.”

  22. A mischievous elf he stole THE. At first nobody cared, having taken ‘THE’ for granted - until they realised they could not find the dawn, the dream, the one, the end.


  23. Happiness, Wealth, Wisdom, Beauty: she cups the pills in her palm; must chose only one. One gulp and her destiny will be decided. She shakes them. Leaves it to fate.

  24. He touches the glass lightly. The snow falls inside the globe, a little world he cannot enter. He hears them fighting again and shakes the snow globe. Snow erases all.

    Jamieson Wolf

  25. Deciding, he eyed the most precious, the rarest of all. The Butterfly, set alone as if in mid-flight, it was the most delicate, one shake, one flap of a wing...


  26. He'd had enough
    time for a change
    he would move everything
    furniture, accessories,
    toys, pets,
    in no time at all
    he'd created
    the perfect world
    in his doll's house.

  27. Gerry said;

    Girls, all shapes and sizes; drawing boards, bags, bursting with paints, brushes, boxes of charcoal and pens.
    Grabbing easels and donkeys.
    His criteria; looks, desirability, availability.
    He lines them up.

  28. “He has autism.” She says, explaining his lining up obsession. “Don’t move them.” She warns. Does he hear her? Will she ever hear him? Each in their own world. Alone.

  29. Last pint
    Last laugh
    Last smile
    Last barf
    Last orders
    Last shout
    Last time
    Last out
    Last bus
    Last on
    Last stop
    Last seen
    Last night
    Last breath
    Last rites

  30. Thanks Lynne and Sarah for a great project - it's been so enjoyable reading and writing messages. Congratulations on reaching the target too.

    I'd like to keep you safe
    inside a waterglobe,
    showered with soft
    snowflake kisses,
    eyelashes glistening
    the way they did
    when you swam to me
    through tears
    with broken wishes.

  31. It's our own little world
    of wheatfield hair, wild
    curly eyebrow hedgerow.
    I'd wander your back forever,
    not as desert or moorland,
    but simply as
    the kindest back I've known.

  32. The last Sunday in November? In every town Christmas lights were being switched on, rainbow-hissing against the gloom, sparkling through the icy breath of crowds. Time for a happy ending.

  33. I’m evicting all the little people from my snow globe. I’ve drained the weather and slapped minute yellow notices on their houses. The financial climate’s changed, I tell them, sorry.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Thanks for another great 'Your Messages' - I'm going to miss it. Roll on November 2009!

    He often dreamt about detention at school. Writing lines, over and over. He found a strange comfort in these dreams, in never having to worry about what to write next.

  36. Mr Bletchley Park she nicknamed him, cockney slang for always being in the dark; over his actions, words, plans for tomorrow, oblivious of the fact the real enigma was her.


  37. On my bathroom shelf, clothed in dust ; New York, Paris, Mont St Michel. Shake them and you dream. Smell the snow. Feel how they settle. See the landscape has changed.

  38. How disarmingly easy
    To manipulate at that age.
    So eager to please, searching
    For approval, signs of affect.
    He strokes her hair, decides
    To let the foehn wind blow today.

  39. Atop the world, I scribble
    this for you from Iceland.

    Today, I wreaked havoc
    in Reykjavik. After,
    I unfroze a feast--
    icicles, snowballs--
    for us.

    Your warmth melted my world.

  40. I recall you shaking as I put my hands around you. I remember it was raining and the colour of your shoes. I thought I imagined that time stood still.

  41. Which little world will it be today?
    He chooses.
    'Come, I'm taking you to a much better place,' he says.
    It is the grieving families who feel they have died.

  42. For him: I adjust my life, I make excuses, I smooth the path, I disperse anger, understand his new persona – make sacrifices. He shakes his snow-globe and my world changes.

    Jacqueline Smith

  43. shaken, not stirred
    in his 8th year
    he realized his dreams
    if put in his mother's martini shaker
    every morning
    would boldly take him where no one had gone before

  44. oops sorry
    Beth Patterson

  45. To be or not to be?
    Lands End or Innisfree?
    Archangels in the sky
    As the horseman passes by?
    Are there words enough to cover
    The moment when it’s over?


Add Your Own Message Here
If you want to take part - great. All you need to do is add your response to our message here as a comment, but remember it has to be exactly 30 or 300 words, and it needs to be posted before 8am GMT the morning after the original post for each day. Please also remember to add your Name and Email Address to the end of your message, so that we can get in touch if your work is selected.