Category Archives: Weekly Trail


Happy Wensfriesday folks!

I’ve got a little piece of writing to share with you before the day ends.

Crowded chimney stacks belched out dark clouds of smog, coughing and coating the hunched buildings cowering below. Sluggish, and almost refrained in its attempts to shine, the sun pleaded with this wall of darkness to let it in. The smog refused. Instead, it slithered through the narrow streets, infusing itself into the porous walls and tattered doors of the overcrowded houses. It paraded down the dimly lit streets, barely visible in the yellowish street lights left on day and night to diminish the darkness. Those trudging wearily through the cobbled alleyways, carrying their musky smell with them, didn’t care. Where they were going, the long hours and strenuous labour blotted out all thought of light and comfort. Where they lived held that same damp hopelessness, so it didn’t matter either way. Such was the life of the hands working the mills in Manchester.

This setting was inspired by what I’m researching at the moment. It also inspired a task I set for my Writers who were told to describe the setting of an industrial city from the past and they came up with some great ideas. It was too tempting for me not to try my own hand at the same!



Monday Coffee

Snuggle up and take a sip of your favourite beverage – it’s coffee time! Continue reading

Working Sunday

Good morning!

I’m up early today because I have an assignment that requires me to collaborate with six other students to produce a Wiki article. Organisation is key in the early stages and getting to know the people you work with online helps to gauge how far you can push to get the job done quickly without offending anyone.

Can you believe I haven’t even had my cup of tea yet? Yup, that’s how determined I am to get started. I do have ulterior motives for this. You see, with the house move looming over me, I need to have the majority of the research done this week and at least produce a skeleton draft of the Wiki by next weekend. This would benefit everyone as there are other parts to the assignment that require our personal input. The more time we have to do that, the better the result!

With that in mind, I hope I don’t miss Monday Coffee with you again. If I do, I will try to make up for it another day this week.

Onwards I go into the fray! Wish me luck.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 16/19

I’m taking up the #SoCS challenge again this week.
The theme is Sole/Soul. Here’s my take on the theme:

Wearing through my thin disguise, you tread with purpose on me, yet only surmise the depth of what you put me through when you stand in puddles of trouble.
No reason to reflect yet, no explicit message can refrain your destructive behaviour – until there is nothing left to protect you. Everything becomes eternal once that which protected your inner being is gone – the bottomless shoes of life.

Have some fun with the prompt . Here’s Linda’s original message to help you along.

Friday, Friday, it’s finally Friday, and time for your Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt! All is quiet here for the moment–will update later. In the meantime, here’s your prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “soul/sole.” Use one, use both, use ’em any way you like. Enjoy!

After you’ve written your Saturday post tomorrow, please link it here to this week’s prompt page and check to make sure it’s here in the comments so others can find it and see your awesome Stream of Consciousness post. Anyone can join in!

To make your post more visible, use our pretty SoCS badge! Just paste it in your Saturday post so people browsing the reader will immediately know your post is stream of consciousness and/or pin it as a widget to your site to show you’re a participant. Wear it with pride!!

SoCS badge by Pamela, at


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Poetry Friday ~ Follow & Lead

The Writer Next Door|Vashti Q

Hello, everyone! Welcome! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-writer-Vashti Q-Poetry_Friday-poetry-author-written word media-the writer next door

Writing can be a daunting task, especially in the beginning of writing a novel. As some of you know, I’m working on the third installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I’m the first to admit that I can be quite hard on myself. A perfectionist by nature I can be my worst critic and when your inner critic is a mean b!†c# it can be discouraging at times, because it creates doubts about my work. 

“Self-affirmation is also a great way to make friends with your inner critic. When that critic pops up, recognize it, and, with purpose, tell yourself about the things you are good at. This can also help you distance yourself from your inner critic.”

~Written Word Media (Clayton)

I know most writers go through this insecurity stage from time to time. That’s why I love this…

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Developing imagination and creativity through reading

Writing to be Read

Growing bookworks 2“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Einstein

It takes imagination and creativity to make the leaps of logic, faith and inspiration necessary for new inventions and technological development. As the human race stands on the brink of the digital revolution which is already changing the way we live, work and relate to each other, we need to empower our children with the skills they need to cope with an increasingly faster paced and continuously changing world. The development of critical thinking skills and creative problem solving abilities are essential in order for our children to thrive and excel in the work places of the future.

How do we go about instilling these vital skills in our children?

Creative and imaginative play is an excellent way of developing “out of the box” thinking skills in children. Another important way of developing imagination and creativity is reading.

Reading books and hearing stories…

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Simple Yet Wise

Inspirational quotes for a Wensfriesday.

Write to Inspire

Five Evocative Quotes

Over the years, I have collected quotes which resonate with me.

I use them, whenever they are relevant, in my presentations and in my writing.

In this post, I bring five of my favourites to you.

I believe that they all carry significant meaning in these troubled times.

Please use the Comments section to let me know what thoughts they stir in your mind as you read through them.

WB Yeats “Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people”

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

This is relevant to all bloggers. We can only appreciate the true value of your expert opinion and advice if we can understand what you are telling us. The real genius is not in the cleverness of what you have to tell us. It is in your ability to explain it to a bunch of fiveyear-olds.

“Once a job is…

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Monday Coffee

Hi and welcome back to the coffee house. It’s going to be a quick one today but a welcome break from the busy schedule. Let me tell you why… Continue reading

How to Leave Teaching

This advice could apply to any job, not just teaching. It’s always good to have other people’s perspectives when the going gets tough.

Suzie Speaks

How to Leave Teaching

Today marks the fourth anniversary of handing in my resignation, leaving a secure and financially stable teaching job to head out on my own and start again. 

Like the thousands of teachers who leave the profession every year, I couldn’t cope with the workload and pressure and it was affecting my physical and mental health.

My reasons behind the decision to walk away are no different to the hundreds of teachers that have contacted me since I published that post – workload, expectations, behaviour, health concerns – and they have all shared their own personal horror stories about the things they have experienced within their careers that have made them realise that they need to leave. 

Of all the questions I am asked, by far the most frequent is simply this:

How do I leave teaching?

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Bona Fide

A child approached my desk at work today and asked a question:

“Did you compete in writing competitions

when you were our age, Mrs D?”

My curiosity as to why he would ask such a question was stalled by my need to flex my credentials, describing writing competitions I had won from a young age and my experience of writing poetry and stories throughout my youth. Watching his expression of surprise and then understanding, I went back to my original response and asked him, why?

He surprised me. He said, “Because we do a lot more writing competitions now, more than before. I thought that it was because of you!”

It took me a moment to think about this. I couldn’t deny the fact that I supported and campaigned for many writing opportunities within the school – it just didn’t occur to me that I was huge part of the influence – or, at least, the children thought so. Being a part of a wonderful literacy team that pushes for children to have these opportunities didn’t necessarily mean that I was the reason for change. Maybe it had always been there, but not so prevalent as we have it now with all the clubs and enrichment days.

One might say I’m over-thinking it, but this child’s answer touched a nerve. You see, I have been fighting a complex for many years. The stigma of who we are when our super-writing coats hang back in our caves while we go out into the real world to fill our coffers has confused me. Am I a writer pretending to be a librarian or am I a librarian pretending to be a writer? Can I call myself a writer if I have not produced a book in that last few years or can I call myself a true librarian working part-time?

All these questions float around and stew…and stew…and stew! The way I identify myself during introductions has changed too. When I first decided to become a fully-fledged writer, I shyly mumbled that I was a wannabe author. After my first book, my shoulders pressed back and I declared my author status to friends and acquaintances. Now that a few years have passed since my last novel, I’m back to being a Librarian – the title of author gathering dust at the back of my cave.

Drawing back to my earlier conversation with said pupil, it dawned on me that I am one in the same person. I am a writer, author, librarian, sad cow who hypothesizes over her silly titles when she has so little time as it is and mother! I’m influencing young minds to read and write and enjoy it.  I’m fulfilling all roles, titles, whatever-you-want-to-call-it and it’s okay. I don’t have to be one thing and not acknowledge the other. As long as I stay true to my profession: someone who shares in the experience of the written word, in whatever capacity, I am being true to who I really am. And that pleases me immensely. I am a bona fide writer/librarian!

It’s a trivial thing but something I wanted to share with you. Do you find certain roles/titles waylaid as you plough through life? What’s your take on this subject?