Word of the Week (WOW): Anthropomorphic


This post is in response to Heena Rathore P.’s Word of the Week (WOW). This weekly meme is a great way of improving your vocabulary. As a lover of words, how could I not join in? If you wish to participate, simply create a post with your word and leave a link in a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

Here’s my WOW for this week:



Part of Speech
(adverb: anthropomorphically; noun: anthropomorphism; noun: anthropomorphist)

an-thro-po-mor-phic (ænθrəpəˈmɔːfɪk)

1) ascribing human form or attributes to a non-human being (i.e. a deity or animal)
2) ascribing human characteristics to a nonhuman thing (i.e. a carving)

anthropoid, anthropomorphous, hominoid, humanlike, humanoid, manlike


Word Origin
early 19th century: from Greek anthrōpomorphos

Use in a sentence
1) As an anthropomorphic representation of human fears the figure of Death strides through world mythology in many guises.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

2) With its humanoid shape a gingerbread man biscuit is an anthropomorphic representation with which children can identify.


If you want to discover more great words then visit Heena’s page Word Treasure.


Friday Fictioneers: Grandma’s House

This is my entry into the Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge run by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s picture prompt was provided by Ted Strutz. The challenge is to write a story within 100 words.


Copyright – Ted Strutz

 Grandma’s House

“You box up in here,” Emily said. “I’ll do the bedroom.”

Lizzie nodded numbly, looking at the furniture: the table, chair and ornaments, the old-fashioned lamp. It was strange without Grandma.

They spent the day sorting and boxing. That night Lizzie couldn’t sleep. Trying not to disturb Emily she moved in darkness to the living room.

Sudden light flared. Grandma’s lamp glowed brightly.

Lizzie froze, squinting. Shocked. Another step and she’d have tripped and cracked her head on the fire place.


As Emily flicked on the main lights the glow of grandma’s lamp faded.

It wasn’t even plugged in.

Word Count: 100

 Click the little blue frog to see other entries.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge 2015: Week #4 – A Path Through History

path trough ruins

Corfe Castle, Dorset, UK

 A Path Through History

Rickety fences direct your steps with genteel insistence as you follow the meandering path, uneven stone beneath your feet and the summer sun warm upon your skin. With curious eyes you explore the ruins. Once an extravagant display of elitist dominion, a focal point for struggles of class and ideology, the castle walls were forced to tumble in the wake of ignominious defeat. Now masonry lies in unruly heaps, moss and ivy creeping in a spreading mantle of greenery.

Here is this week’s entry into Cee’s Which Way Challenge.

The photograph was taken at Corfe Castle in Dorset, another fortress that was destroyed by the parliamentary Roundheads after they defeated the royalist Cavaliers in the English Civil War. To find out more go here or here.

100913-bw-11featured blogger

I feel incredibly honoured to have been chosen by Cee as one of her featured bloggers for this week.


One-Four Challenge: January Week 4

toadstools2 edit 7.2

This is my entry four week 4 of Robyn’s One-Four Challenge, which asks that you edit the same picture in four different ways over four weeks.

For this final edit I wanted to create a more psychedelic image, drawing on the slightly more esoteric role of mushrooms (though ink caps do not have any hallucinogenic properties!). I initially edited on the online photo-editor site Sumo Paint, where I equalized the colours and tones. I then transferred into Photoshop Elements where I added a slight diffuse glow before shifting the hue to green and increasing the saturation. Finally I opened the image in PicMonkey where I increased the temperature and added a slight blue edge and some faint radiance beams.

Now, with this final post of the month, a poll – which of the four is your favourite edit?


As an accompaniment to this final post I thought I’d share a few facts about the folklore, mythology and history of mushrooms and toadstools:

  • A circle of toadstools is generally known as a fairy circle or ring. They have also been called elf rings, pixie rings, sorcerer’s rings an witches rings.
  • Western European folklore states that fairy or elf rings were caused by fairies or elves dancing.
  • Superstition warns against entering a fairy circle as it can bring bad luck. It can sometimes allow you to see the elves dancing but can cause the interloper to be caught in thrall to elven illusion.
  • Conversely, having a fairy ring in your garden is sometimes said to bring good luck.
  • It has been thought that ingestion of fly agaric, (amanita muscaria) the iconic red capped toadstool, was used by the vikings to induce the beserker state, but this is unsubstantiated.
  • In ancient Mexico mushrooms were considered the food of the gods – they were called teonanacatyl which translates as ‘flesh of the gods’.

To find out more you can go herehere or here.

Monday’s Finish the Story: Predator

This is my entry into this week’s Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge run by Barbara Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture and an opening sentence and asks that you finish the story within 100-150 words. The opening sentence is given in italics. Click the link above to check out some of the other entries.


She was unaware that she was being watched.

His gaze followed her as she went about her day, oblivious to his presence on the fringes of her life. He was there on the bus she rode to work, on the neighbouring table as she ate her lunch, outside her house each night. He drank in the sight of the soft curves that, soon, he would possess. Anticipatory thoughts filled his mind: of sinking his teeth into succulent flesh, of ripping and tearing and savouring the blood that filled his mouth. The expectation was almost as enjoyable as the act.

Soon… So soon…

For he was the wolf and she his prey.

DCI Martins frowned, shifting his attention between the photographs. “Sergeant, pull up that footage from the night Carrie Thompson was killed.”

There he was again. Finally, a link between the murders. They had him! Now they just had to catch him before the psychopath struck yet again.

Word Count: 150


Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Roadscapes

road to house

The lanes twist and turn across the countryside, crossing, merging and dividing as they skirt around fields and farmyards, winding in leisurely meanders in an intricate tarmacked maze. Muddied verges, puddled from recent rainfall, are torn and frayed by the tires of vehicles forced to pull aside on the narrow route. In the chill of winter days there is a stark beauty to the scene. It is a beauty made finer by a simple awareness – eventually, these lanes lead you home.

This post is my entry into this week’s Black and White Photo Challenge run by the wonderful Cee. This week’s theme is ‘Roadscapes’.

I just thought I’d point out that, despite what the descriptive passage may suggest, the house in the photograph is unfortunately not mine. It’s just one that I happen to pass on my drive home from work. This lane is one that we call ‘the pheasant lane’ as there’s a little woodland off to one side where a local farmer breeds pheasants for game. In the summer you have to drive down it really slowly because the young birds all sit right in the middle of the road. And there are a lot of them. Even when you think they’ve finally moved off to the side, quite frequently they’ll turn around and run back out again! It’s very irritating. I much prefer driving down it at this time of year.

Word of the Week (WOW): Amorphous


This post is in response to Heena Rathore P.’s Word of the Week (WOW). This weekly meme is a great way of improving your vocabulary. I’ve learnt so much more about my WOW word while researching for this post!

If you wish to participate, simply create a post with your word and leave a link in a comment on Heena’s WOW post.

Here’s my WOW for this week:



Part of Speech
(adverb: amorphously; noun: amorphousness; noun: amorphism)

a-mor-phous (ə-môr′fəs)

1) lacking definite shape, formless.
2) of no recognisable character or type, having no pattern or structure, unorganised.
3) (of rocks, etc) not having a crystalline structure.

1) shapeless, vague, nondescript, indeterminate, nebulous, formless, inchoate, characterless, unformed, unshaped, unshapen
2) unstructured, irregular,
3) uncrystallised

1) definite, distinct, formed, shaped, shapen
2) coherent, ordered, orderly, organized, clear, decided, , structured
3) crystalline

Word Origin
1725-35, from Modern Latin amorphus, from Greek ámorphos: “without form, shapeless, deformed”.

Use in a sentence
1) The spirit drifted through the building in an amorphous cloud, seeping through every nook and cranny as it explored.
2) He poured out his words in an amorphous style that to shifted and twisted as he wrote.
3) The curl of amber hid amidst the rock, it’s amorphous structure catching the light for the first time in centuries.

If you want to discover more great words then visit Heena’s page Word Treasure.

Friday Fictioneers: The New Boat

This is my second entry into the Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge run by Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields. This week’s picture prompt was provided by Georgia Koch. The challenge is to write a story within 100 words.


Copyright – Georgia Koch

‘Just look! Isn’t it wonderful?’ Kev exclaimed.

‘Wonderful?’ Valerie shifted her disgusted gaze between him and the dilapidated vessel, her painted lips pursed. ‘How much more money have you wasted? And you expect me to live on it! You know what, Kev? I’m sick of this. It’s over.’

The ring that had adorned her finger for nearly five years landed at his feet.

As his soon to be ex-wife stalked away from the river Kev examined his new boat with satisfaction. It had worked. Their pre-nup was quite clear. By leaving him she wouldn’t get a penny of his money.

Word Count: 100

Click the little blue frog to see the other entries.

Friday Fictioneers: Hunted

This is the first of two entries into this week’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge, run by Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields. This week’s picture prompt was provided by Georgia Koch. The challenge is to write a story within 100 words.


Copyright – Georgia Koch

Genre: fantasy

Mikael stumbled from bridge to river bank, weaving energy threads to mask his passage. There was the promised boat – something was finally going right! Clambering on board, he untied the mooring ropes and pushed the ramshackle vessel out.  A wave of dizziness forced him to his knees as he began to drift downstream and he pressed an unsteady hand to his side, biting his lip against a moan of pain. Bandages… He needed bandages… The world swam around him, his vision fading into muddy brown. As consciousness fled he prayed that none of the king’s guards favoured poisoned blades.

Words: 100

Click the little blue frog to see the other entries.

Cee’s Which Way Challenge 2015: Week #3 – Devil’s Bridge

Devil's Bridge

Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria, UK

The sounds of water lapping against the rocky outcrops below drift soothingly to your ears as you traverse the Devil’s Bridge, following in the footsteps of centuries worth of travellers. Your hand trails over the stone balustrade as so many have done before. The structure may be mottled with moss and lichen, it may be weathered and worn and bearing the repairs of past years, but it strides as powerfully across the deep pools of the River Lune as it has always done. A place wreathed in folklore and superstition, tales of its origin are whispered still: have you heard the tale, carries the voice on the wind, the Devil made her a deal. The first soul to cross was the price for his handiwork but the trickster himself was tricked. It was her dog. She sent over her dog! You laugh and shake your head at ancient follies and continue on your way.

This picture was taken last year when visiting family who live near Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. The Devil’s Bridge, built in around 1370, is one of the market town’s most famous landmarks. The story of its origin goes that an old lady’s cow had wandered away from her pasture and over the river. By the time the old lady tracked her down the river was so swollen that she couldn’t cross to fetch her back. It was at this time that the Devil appeared and offered the old lady a deal – he would build her a bridge and in return he would claim the first soul to cross. He thought that this would be either the woman or her husband, but the old lady had a plan. When the structure was built and the Devil waited to claim his prize, she drew out of her bag a small loaf of bread that she threw over the bridge. Her little dog chased after it and the Devil had to make do with an animal soul as his reward. Some versions say that he howled in rage and vanished in a cloud of brimstone; others say that he jumped from the bridge, losing his neck collar as he did so. It is said that beneath the bridge is a stone with a hole that is still known as The Devil’s Neck Collar, though I have not seen this myself.

If you want to know more about The Devil’s Bridge or Kirkby Lonsdale you can go here, here or here.

This post is in response to Cee’s Which Way Challenge.