A.J. Walker


VSS365: Little Seedlings

The words from Sal for this week's #VSS365 have been:

  • teach
  • drive
  • grass
  • push
  • spread
  • lean
  • beach

I managed to remember each day and write one VSS for each of them:


‘Teach me how to love, gorgeous.’
‘You’re too old. Everybody knows you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’
‘Who you calling old?’
‘You’re not questioning the dog bit then?’
‘Nah, you’ve got me bang to rights there fella. Woof!’


I need to drive the blues away.
I need to find a way to stay.
With you beside me every day.
I’d be faithful come what may.
You make my heart go bumpetty bump.
And give my trousers this embarrassing lump.
Come on baby, fancy a jump?


The grazes on her elbows would heal eventually, probably before she got the grass stains from the knees of her jeans. Still, it had been a wicked afternoon with Ben. She smiled as she remembered seeing the curtains twitching next door. Mr Spencer must have got an eyeful.


The men looked at the screens in front of them.
‘It’s such an easy game this.’
‘We’re just talking about tiny percentages. A little push here a brash headline there.’
‘We’ll change a few minds. Just a few, it’s all we need.’
The Russians embraced the info war with gusto.


Kev came home early to find his beloved Samantha spread across the sofa wearing nothing but a smile. His mate Dan came out of the kitchen with strawberries, chocolate sauce and cream and all Kev could think was that the pair of them were using the last of the strawbs.


The Lean Mean Menace Machine. that’s what they called Eddie back in college. At one point it looked like he’d make it in football. He was like the Refrigerator but thinner. Should see him now. Not mean really, but definitely a menace and very lean. Bloody meth head.


'Dad, why does mum call Deb from next door a beach?'
'Well she's not sandy or stoney, or near the sea. So I don't get it.'
'I don't know, son.'
'Perhaps you can lie on her. If you've got a towel. Is that it?'
'Go and watch cartoons. I need to talk with your mum.'


A right mix of ideas from the one word at the top of the page each day.

An Idea

It takes me back to the one day I had doing a creative writing course a few years ago in a classroom in Liverpool. In that the tutor asked us to write a colour (I think) at the top of one page in our book and another on the facing page. Then we were asked to write five sentences that each colour made us think about on the following page. Then we had ten complete sentences representing all sorts of ideas. After that we were asked to choose one of the ten sentences to write a flash story on.

It was amazing the stories that came out that day from all the writers; which could be traced back to one word at the top of a page in a notebook. Sound familiar? Each day that's what we VSSers are doing. But we stop at the 280 characters. How many of us are taking them to the next level? From a sentence or two to a flash or short story? Anyway, here's my idea... how about looking at your VSSs you've produced during the week and choosing one to write a story about. Let's say up to 365 words (a nice circularity there and a similar length to the great stories that used to come out from Angry Hourglass back in the day).

Anyone up for it? I've created a page for it. Let's see where it may lead.

The Seedling Challenge

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