Slightly Irregular Conformity

Archive for the category “Prompt”

New Year, New Art

Resolution time!  Only I’ve always sucked at them, so I’m not even starting.  What I’m doing instead is expanding my journal, and playing with the digital scrapbooking supplies I’ve got stashed away.

To help, I’ve signed up for a couple of weekly art journal prompts, which I’ll probably only do a few of before flitting off to something else.  That’s how I roll, and I’ve given up feeling bad about it.

In the meantime, the first prompt from Journal52 arrived in my inbox this morning: your word for the year.  Generally I draw a complete blank, but I had actually been mulling that over for a few days.  At any rate, this is what I’ve come up with:

2016-01-02 J52 Week 1


Embellishments include pieces from various kits:

  • Prompt tag is by Tempus Fugit, whose website has been locked down, so unfortunately this is a shout-out rather than a referral
  • Brushes include Typographic Grunge Brushes by Scully7491, which might just be my new favourite brush set
  • Splatter was created with a brush set designed by C130

I’m determined not to put any pressure on myself to stick with this challenge, so there may only be this one spread put together, but I had fun doing it.


Staring at angels

Writing prompt response – in answer to a #PromptsAndCircumstance prompt by the awesome Bliss Morgan.

“the only way out is through us


The angels looked impossibly perfect, their wings curled around their bare arms, their robes dropping seamlessly to the floor.  One was green marble with silver eyes, the other black marble with gold eyes, watching the boy crouched on the floor.

“You cannot be here.”  Their voices echoed around the tiny chamber, breathless and terrifying.

“But I am here.”  The boy replied, his voice small.  There was a smear of soot across one cheek, and his rags suggested he’d been wandering through the caves for hours or more.

“You cannot be here.”  Their expressions didn’t appear to change, but he realised that they weren’t angry, they looked sad.  He stood up slowly, shuffling across the dusty floor to peer at them closely.

They were stone, but they spoke.  He touched one; it was cold and solid, like the marble tiles lining the bath houses, but it moved, sliding away from his touch.  He drew his hand back hurriedly, wondering if he should apologise.

“You must leave.”  Their voices were perfectly in sync, the sound of dry leaves being blown about, and he swallowed.

“I don’t know how.”  He glanced behind him.  “They left me here.”  They’d done more than that – they’d dropped him down a hole and slammed the lid, laughing at his terror.

“They left you for us.”  The angels agreed, their wings separating slightly.  Beneath them, they each clasped a sword, point down.  The boy shuffled backwards carefully, trying to move silently.

“I don’t know why they did that.”  He said nervously.  “Why did they do that?”

“You cannot be here.”  They didn’t seem inclined to say anything else, and he dropped his head.  He was thirsty and tired, and hopelessly lost.

“I don’t have a home to go to.”  He muttered.

“Yes, you do.”  They laughed, the sound of glass shattering.  It wasn’t cheerful by any means, and the boy hitched a sob, trying to look brave.

“Where is it then?”  He challenged, pulling his shoulders back.  They mimicked him then, pulling their shoulders back.  Their wings unfurled above them, grazing the ceiling, before settling behind them.  They held the swords out, points to the floor, and tilted their heads slightly, away from each other.

“The way out.”  They chorused.  “The only way out… is through us.”

He stared at them, trying to match the vision in front of him with the words of the priests, the stories of angels leading lost followers to their tribes… but he had no tribe and no family.  And these angels didn’t seem friendly.  Maybe the priests made them sound nicer, so people would listen.

He turned away.  The chamber was sealed; he’d fallen in by a steep channel from the catacombs above.  There was no escape, even if they were telling the truth.

“What home do you mean?”  He asked, his curiosity giving him courage.  They didn’t answer.  He cast another look around the chamber but if offered no solution.  The dust was thick in here, and his thirst was getting the better of him.

After the rough way he’d been thrown down the hole, and the rumbling monster he’d run from a whole level up, he was almost beyond scared.  And so thirsty…

He squared his bony shoulders and looked from one to the other.

“All right.”  He nodded once, like a merchant closing a deal.  “Through you.”

Still, he hesitated.  He could hear his heartbeat in his ears, a fast yammering that threatened to give away his nerves.  He took a step forward.  The angels drew back.  Another step, another sliding shuffle as they kept the same distance between them.

Scowling, he dashed towards them.

Their wings spread, quicker than he could see, and before he could utter so much as a startled squeak, they’d gripped an arm each, drawing him in and wrapped him in stony feathers.

There was a blur of movement, and the angels settled back to their positions, wings wrapped around their arms, shielding their swords.  They rippled slightly and went still, returning to stone, and the room was silent.

So many waifs and strays to send home.  They wouldn’t have to wait long before the next one.


This week’s challenge was Time.  Specifically, we had to incorporate some kind of time device into our page.  Well, with no way of escaping the pun, it was perfectly timed (groan…), since it was my birthday last week, and time has been on my mind.

Seriously, how can I resist using the ultimate time device??  It’s the front section of a cubee from DeviantArt, and it’s beautiful.  It’s also 3D, and inside are a couple of ATCs with some short thoughts on turning 30.  I put a watercolour wash over them, so they’re somewhat obscured, and I think they look awesome:
I trimmed the edge of each one before they had completely dried, so the cuts are a little fuzzy, but they’ve got slightly different patterns down each side.  I showed the Other Half the finished page, and mentioned that there was something tucked inside the Tardis, but now that they’re in there, I’m going to leave them there for discovery some time in the future.
And, of course, the text on the right is a quote from one of the greatest Doctor Who episodes ever, Blink.

365 Photo Challenge

I decided this year to have a(nother) go at the 365 challenge.  Not the official portrait one where you take a photo of yourself every day – I’m reluctant to get in front of the lens even once, let alone once a day.  I’m doing a sort of casual one instead, where I take a random photo of something different each day.

They are over at Flickr, if anyone is interested.  By now, I’m grateful that it’s the change of season, because I’m starting to struggle to think of interesting things to shoot.  Our cat and Mum’s two cats are getting a bit wary whenever I get my phone or cameras out, and they’re not being very helpful at all, so I need to start taking more notice of prompt/challenge sites for a fresh perspective.

Thankful for 06/06

It’s been raining all day, and combined with a Doctor Who marathon, I’ve managed to spend almost ten hours on the laptop today. Guess how much housework I got done, haha.

I did scribble away in my journal while I was surfing, including half a thankful list:

1. I can sit inside and listen to the rain.
2. Tomorrow is a public holiday!
3. Harry brought me a bag of Skoffs on the way home.
4. I have some wonderful new friends on JournalWriting.
5. H and J didn’t mind cancelling our ride today.
6. JR is feeling better today about what has been happening in our group the last few days.
7. There is a Doctor Who weekend on UKTV.

Booking Through Thursday 2

This weeks prompt from Booking Through Thursday:

What books do you have next to your bed right now? How about other places in the house? What are you reading?

I don’t have any books on top of the table next to the bed – there’s no room, what with the clock and tissues and drink bottle (and chocolate) and a wee bit of space for glasses.  Underneath the drawers is a different matter – there’s a shelf at the bottom that houses a very small, rarely touched collection of books, mostly by Nancy Friday (or collated by her, at least).

I tend to not leave books in the bedroom, as I’m never in there during the day.  My book is either on my armchair or in my handbag, within reach.  At the moment I’m carrying around a book called The Lightstep, which I’ve only just started, by John Dickinson.  So far so good, although the story is really only just starting.  This weekend should be pretty nasty in terms of weather, so hopefully there will be lots of time to curl up on the sofa and make a dent in this novel!

Booking Through Thursday 1

Stumbleupon rocks, by the way.  It’s how I found a blog about book memes, and a whole host of other journalling odds and sods that will keep me occupied for weeks.  But for now, my first foray into Booking Through Thursday: (and no, not on a Thursday either – talk about a promising start!)

What’s the most useful book you’ve ever read? And, why?

Cookbooks are the first things that come to mind, but I don’t know that I’ve ever sat down and read one cover to cover.  I’ve got a couple of those ‘how to clean everything’ and ‘1001 uses for vinegar’ type books as well, but it’s not exactly riveting reading.  I can’t even claim any self-help books, although that’s probably not a bad thing.  I’ve never been able to get into them, although I have a bunch of writing/journalling ones on wishlists across the web…

As boring as it is, the most useful book I’ve actually read completely is the user manual for our DVR.  I didn’t read it because I was starved of the written word; rather, we couldn’t figure out how to get it to record for more than 30 minutes at a time.  I scoured the book from cover to cover to try and figure out why, and eventually posted to a .comp newsgroup.  I got the answer within half an hour, and then read the stupid manual again to see if I’d missed it the first time, but no.  Apparently, it’s a quirk unique to all Philips recording devices that the entire universe knew about except us.  (In case you’re wondering, you have to press the record button once for each half hour – 90 minutes means three hits to the red button).

APlace Prompt – Control

Today’s prompt from A Place of Ones Own: If you could take more control of one aspect of your life, what would it be?

My finances.  I’m shockingly bad with money.  A couple of weeks ago I realised that I couldn’t actually afford to live, with two credit cards and a bunch of HPs, plus a vehicle loan, so went and refinanced.  Both cards cancelled, HPs and store accounts paid up and shut down, and suddenly my weekly expenses have halved.  I don’t care about the interest – I am happy to have actual money in my account after payday.  Now, I need to get into the habit of saving for things, instead of ticking them up on contract.  It’s going to be a novel experience – every single big-dollar item I’ve ever owned I’ve gotten on HP, because it’s been easier, and I’ve always been good about paying it back, but now I’m going to have a go at doing it backwards: get the cash and then buy the goods.

That said, today I bought a new handbag.  Payday is most of the week away, and I’m left with enough money for badminton this week, but that’s it.  Is it okay for me to claim that being bad with money is a hard habit to break, and I need a little time?

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