The Race

Dear Emma,

Picture me this. We – and when I say we I mean all of us students – have been running in a race for the past few years. Maybe two, three, four even. 

But for once, we’re actually nearing the finish line. This is the point where we can see the goal on the horizon.

However, this is also the point where the panic begins to set in. 

Because between us and our goals there are so many hurdles, higher than anything we’ve ever jumped before. But they are also hurdles that we knew were coming, and they are hurdles we have been running our whole lives to jump. 

And suddenly the regret kicks in, and our pace slows as we think about all those times we stopped running to take a break or enjoy the scenery. 

We think about those times we stopped training because those hurdles seemed so far away, and pangs of guilt hit us like hailstones. 

There were so many opportunities to make those hurdles seem easier to climb. We start to panic, overtraining, over exerting, missing those times when those looming obstacles could be pushed to the back of our mind.

Sadly, we can’t do that anymore.

(To be continued)

Love from,




Drag and Drop Stories – Series Three: Part Four

Dear Emma,

Today’s prompt was suggested by Alex, and I really like it 😀

“Come on, Sam, it’s your turn.”

With those words, four pairs of eyes snapped up to look at me, accompanied by five grins of anticipation. “Come on,” echoed the chorus.

I rolled my eyes. “Fine, fine. Give it your best shot.”

Amy smirked. “Okay. Truth or dare.”

What is it that makes us decide how to answer that question? Most people say truth, especially when you have friends as intelligent as mine who can come up with the cruellest dares. But then if you have a burning secret, you could choose a dare out of fear. I guess there is no real easy option. Luckily, I don’t have that problem, because I know how to lie.

“Dare,” I said, then lounged back on the chair I sat on. I had given them something to be excited about: everyone else had chosen truth. Waiting while a group of teenage girls sit in a huddle is not an incredibly exciting experience, but for once, it was going to prove helpful.

Because for some reason, Grace’s hair was starting to change colour. Around two years ago, she dyed her mousy brown hair jet black, and we had all gotten used to her hair being the darkest out of our friends, but her normally subtle brown roots were suddenly getting more and more noticeable. It was like a tap had been turned on on her head and the black colour was vanishing like water down a drainpipe.

“Grace, what’s up with your hair?” I called to her back, and she whirled around, laughing. She reached a hand up to her face and her eyes widened. Instantly she ran from the room, but no-one seemed to notice.

I rose from my seat and walked over to the group, laughing. “Guys, how long does it take to come up with one dare?”

The three of them turned to face me, and I took a step backwards in shock. Before my eyes, braces appeared on Evie’s face, Amy’s face completely changed shape and Jess suddenly had to contend with a pair of glasses on the bridge of her nose, replacing the contacts I had gotten used to seeing her in.

And me? I realised that I was looking at the friends I had known three years ago.

“What the hell?” I said, stumbling backwards like my friends had all caught some kind of contagious disease. “Guys?”

Amy laughed and stood up. “What are you doing, Sam? We’re playing tag!” She then hit my forearm and suddenly everyone leapt away from me, squealing.

I started to walk out of the room, but was confronted at the door by Grace. At least, I thought it was Grace. The girl stood in front of me barely came up to my shoulders, and she had her hair in sandy brown pigtails. I looked again, and her two front teeth fell out as I stared. “Grace?

She looked at me and started giggling, running between my legs to join the others in the living room. They were all shrieking and jumping on the furniture, laughing like they were six years old again.

Maybe they were.

I didn’t understand. They were all shrinking. No, not shrinking, I reminded myself. Getting younger.

And I didn’t know how to stop it.

I have decided to skip yesterday’s story especially because I only have two prompts left. Sorry guys.

Love from,








Drag and Drop Stories: Series Three – Part Three

Dear Emma,

I actually really enjoyed this prompt. Maybe I’ll continue it, what do you think?

Anyway, it was suggested by Elm and here it is!

Around here, we believe that there isn’t a better feeling in the world than grass underneath your feet. I spent the first ten years of my life shoeless, and only when I started climbing the mountains did my mother spend three hours hand-sewing a pair of simple leather plimsolls, but the only occasions I wore them were those days where I wanted to get away from the valley and explore a little piece of the world. Well, as much of the world as I was allowed to see.

In my grandfather’s words, “I don’t think that you understand, Samantha. I don’t think that you understand what the world has become. You are one of the truly, truly free children in this world. You should feel privileged, my child.” Then he went back to his rocking chair and I soon learned not to ask about what lay beyond the forest because I never got a straight answer, as much as my burning curiosity hated to admit it.

To be fair, it isn’t a tortuous existence. The only thing that wakes me up in the morning is the first light of dawn, but then I’m never in bed until after the moon peaks over the mountaintop. I had to negotiate with my grandfather for at least a week for him to let me stay up until after sunset. But I love it.

It doesn’t normally bother me that I’m the oldest one in the village: I’ve spent endless days alone, wandering through the forests, rescuing bear cubs when they get stuck in trees, climbing the rocky outcrops on the outskirts of the forest and craning my head to try and get a glimpse of what lies beyond. It’s never really bothered me. Until today.

I sat on the topmost branch of an ancient oak, lazily whittling a misshapen chunk of wood into an eagle when a rustling of leaves underneath the tree made me freeze and drop the carving. I heard it roll down each branch until it came to rest on the forest floor.

The first rule of encountering a potentially hostile creature in the forest is to figure out what you’re up against. If it’s something you can run away from easily. Sadly, that’s not really possible at the top of a fifty-foot oak tree. As silently as possible, I slid down the tree one branch at a time. Except I couldn’t do that, because there was an acorn on the third branch from the bottom which I tripped over, causing me to rather ungracefully tumble to the bottom of the tree. Luckily, I caught hold of the bottom branch, so I swung down onto the forest floor and drew my pocket knife from my belt, landing with a thud onto the floor, knife towards the attacker.

Except, it wasn’t an attacker. Standing before me, looking pretty perplexed and holding my eagle, was a teenage boy.

I would very much like to see what happens after that.

Also, I am very excited because it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I went prom dress shopping today…it was an interesting experience.

Anyway, thanks for reading and if you have any more prompts (still don’t have enough) then please leave them below!

Love from,


Drag and Drop Stories: Series Three – Part Two

Dear Emma,

I apologise for last night’s story, I know it’s about two milliseconds long and I will go back and edit it when I have time. But anyway, for now it’s on to the next one!

By the way, I do not have seven prompts yet, and for this series to work, I need them so I’d really appreciate it if you guys gave me some otherwise I might have to cancel the series 😦

Okay, I’ll stop being needy and depressing and get back to the story.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Selfie!

“You know we’re going to have to have this conversation at some point,” called the voice from downstairs, but Sam was too preoccupied with darting into her room and quickly shutting the door to notice. There was no way in hell that she was going to sit at the dinner table, going through A-level courses and college brochures with her parents. Simultaneously it seemed like the easiest and the most terrifying prospect. Easy because she could impulsively and stubbornly make a decision, terrifying because it was all too simple to make the wrong decision, and, as she was reminded all too often, her future hung in the balance.

For her, procrastination was an art, and a skill she could demonstrate all too easily by just ignoring the entire world to continue to binge-watch the entirety of Netflix: it was her number one technique to avoiding revision, chores, and responsibilities in general.

She knew she couldn’t avoid her future forever, but she was determined to prolong the fear for as long as physically possible. Sadly, her parents didn’t seem to share the same beliefs. “Sam, come on,” came her mother’s voice from outside the door. “We have to talk about this at some point, you know. You can’t avoid this forever.”

“I can try,” she muttered, grabbing the nearest pair of functioning headphones and shoving the earbuds into her ears, turning the music up as loud as physically possible to drown out her mother’s patient questions.

“Right, come on,” she said, and the door flew open, the foreboding figure of Sam’s mother shadowing the doorway. “Your application is due in in three weeks, and we need to talk about this. Have you even bothered to read through the form?”

Sam raised her eyebrows at her mother’s not-so-subtle accusation, groaned and got up from her bed. 

An hour later, Sam returned to her bed, but the sunlight that normally illuminated her little room had vanished, along with any enthusiasm she had for the next two years of her life. The supposedly helpful conversation with her parents had just made her brain hurt.

She rested her head on a pillow and stared at the ceiling. It seemed horribly unfair that her school, family and general life had prevented her from having too much responsibility and then suddenly given her a thousand at once. 

Exams were looming and it was getting harder to find time to just figure out what the hell she was doing with her life. 

There just wasn’t enough time.  

Okay, that got way too similar to my life, I feel attacked.

Also, I know it’s not the most action-packed prompt, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the most relatable. 

Anyway, hope you liked this, and it would mean a lot if you guys gave me some more prompts! Also, I’ve started a writing blog with Elm, so I’ll leave the link here and in all my future posts if you guys want to check it out!

Drag and Drop Stories: Series 3 – Part One

Dear Emma,

Here we go, the continuation of one of my best ideas to date. Let me just slightly apologise, because I know this could be a bit better. I might come back and edit this later. To be fair, it was my birthday party today, so I haven’t had much time to write this, but I’m just going to go with it.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Greton!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? To be fair, I wouldn’t describe it as a feeling, more like an instinct, a sensation. There is probably a reason, some primal urge from when humanity’s biggest worries were whether or not the family would be eaten by sabre-toothed tigers. Actually, that sounds more worrying than any of the crap I go through these days, but I digress.

As a teenage girl in a fairly low-life neighbourhood, I’d say my guard is always up whenever I walk down the street. As much as I would love to interact with the people I meet on my way home, I’ve heard too many horror stories to be able to casually stroll down the road, having conversations with everyone I meet. I normally just settle for getting home alive.

Which is why the boy in the bomber jacket freaked me out so much. The fact that I have to walk home through an estate normally gives me a reason to excuse the gaggle of teens with poor posture shuffling behind me, but once the cluster of urbanisation with pitifully small space is over my shoulder, normally my shadows have disappeared, because the road I live on is pretty small.

Apparently that wasn’t happening today. I turned the corner out of the estate, and the unfamiliar sensation caught me between my shoulder-blades, like an invisible knife pressed against my spine. 

I tried to turn around subtly, but something stopped me from looking back. Instead, I got out my mirror to pretend to fix my unruly parting to get a glimpse at my potential attacker, and then mentally rolled my eyes because I knew I looked like an extra in a bad spy movie. 

But as I walked, the figure shadowed my every movement, so I don’t think I can be blamed for feeling uneasy. 

It’s not every day you suddenly gain a stalker.

Okay, I want to continue this but I had four hours of sleep last night and am ridiculously tired so I have to stop it there. If I add to it later I’ll link it in a post 🙂

Thanks for reading, guys!

Love from,




Dear Emma,

So I’ve been working on a “secret project” for a few months now, and when I say a few months, I mean that we came up with the idea for this project a few months ago and then spent four hours on Skype yesterday making it happen. And when I say we, I mean me and my BBF Elm.

Sorry, I’ve kinda pulled all momentum out of this exciting annoucement. It is exciting, I promise.


So, it’s called The Writing Treehouse and the link is here. I thought I would explain more about it before you guys checked it out.

Basically, we decided that we want to post all our writing in one place, and especially because I know that not all of you are huge fans of my writing, so if you don’t want to read it, that’s fine. But this blog is going to be incredibly exciting, we’ve got loads of collaborations planned, and the best thing is, we want to involve everyone. Even those who don’t have blogs. Our plan for this place was if you want to write something, there’s a place for people to read it.

I already wrote an introduction on the actual blog, and Elm just put up a post introducing the blog here, which you can go read because I’m sure it will be better than mine. Also, I worked hard on the introduction post over there, so even if it’s the first and only time you look at this new blog, I’d appreciate it if you read it.

Also, we want this blog to be a community, so if you are interested, it would be amazing if you shared this with your followers, we’d love as many writers as possible to take part!

I am still doing Drag and Drop Stories next week starting tomorrow which I am very excited about, prompts would still be much appreciated!

Anyway, I am incredibly amazingly excited for this new blog, and I would love it if you all went over there and had a look, and I would love it if you joined us on what I hope will be an amazing adventure 😀

Love from,






Dear Emma,

Guess what’s happening again. Do you know? No? Well, neither did I up until about an hour ago, because I completely forgot.

What do I do at the end of every school term? That’s right, my favourite series, Drag and Drop Stories. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, the first and second series are here.

The basic concept is that I have a character called Samantha (or Sam) and I “drag and drop” her into various situations every day for a week based on comments from my lovely readers.

So, I need prompts. I apologise that it’s such short notice, but I didn’t remember until today. I’d love it if you guys made some suggestions for stories I can write next week, and it’s completely okay to make more than one 🙂

Thanks guys! I’m excited now, I completely forgot about this!

Love from,


P.S.  I apologise for yesterday. Or do I… 😉



A Story Down Memory Lane – Part 2

Dear Emma,

Guess what’s back. Yep, apparently everyone actually liked my weird ten-year-old storywriting, so as promised, here is the next installment!

Chapter Three

Crystal moodily walked herself to school the next day. As she passed the library she was joined by Petal, her second-best friend to Amber. Seeing as she hadn’t told Petal, she immediately asked what was wrong. Crystal told her the whole story. Petal looked concerned up to the part with Aunt Jo in it. Then she exploded. “What!!!” “That’s what I said!” answered Crystal. They carried on like this until they got to school. There they met Amber and Megan, another of Crystal’s friends. At school, Crystal seemed to forget about Aunt Jo. She had arranged to go home with Amber that day. She knew her parents would approve. They always let her go to Amber’s, as they lived a few doors down. Crystal went home with Amber. At six o’ clock, she decided she should really be getting home. When she opened her front door, she was suddenly was embraced by Aunt Jo. “Where have you been?” She sounded really angry now. “Er… at Amber’s” said Crystal nervously. “WHAT!” she yelled “Without telling me!” Yeah, thought Crystal duh, but she didn’t dare say it out loud. “You are grounded for a week! Go to your room!” Crystal obeyed but was by no means defeated. She knew her parents would ring on the first night to make sure she was ok.  Later that night, Crystal heard her aunt talking to her father. “Hello. Did she now? Yes, she did. I grounded her for a week because she’s obviously not allowed… What? She is? But… She’s much too young. And she’s going for a sleepover at Amber’s on Friday? But… But… Ok. I’ll tell her that. Thank you. Goodbye.” Crystal heard her aunt sigh and sink back into a chair. Crystal smirked as she went back to bed. At least she had one small victory.


Chapter Four 

A week passed and Crystal’s birthday neared. Aunt Jo started worrying about a party. Crystal had said she wanted a sleepover. Aunt Jo thought about it. Girls, running around, causing havoc for twenty-four whole hours. And, Crystal had suggested bowling, or roller-skating or maybe a film. Even more panic. Still, Crystal’s parents had allowed it.

On the day of Crystal’s birthday, Crystal woke up eager. Aunt Jo came into the room bleary-eyed. “Will you be quiet!” Crystal raised her eyebrows, confused.  “Oh, happy birthday Crystal” said Aunt Jo finally. Crystal gave Aunt Jo a pleading look which meant can I open my presents? Aunt Jo seemed to read her expression. “No, you can’t open your presents” said Aunt Jo. She made a big fuss of putting on her dressing gown and getting the camera ready and things like that. By the time she had done all that, Crystal was almost getting bored. Finally, she was allowed to open her presents. Tearing the wrapping paper off the first one, she found… a set of vests and a teddy bear. “Happy Birthday!” cried Aunt Jo “Do you like them?” Crystal was shocked. A vest set? A teddy bear? For a ten year old? What was Aunt Jo thinking! She tossed those presents aside and unwrapped the next. “Don’t tear the paper” said Aunt Jo nervously. By the end of the unwrapping, she had:

Two computer games

A woolly scarf and hat set (Which she wasn’t too pleased about)

A professional art set

A leather jacket

Some blue jeggings

A chemistry set

3 board games

A large bar of chocolate

And over £500!

She had saved the ones from her parents last. She savoured the wrapping paper of the first one (for once).  She unveiled… a cute toy lion, leopard and tiger set and a leopard pendant (leopards were her favourite animals)

Another one had a cheque for £50 (Aunt Jo was shaking her head at all the money) The last one had a beautiful stone made of obsidian, a turquoise volcanic rock. There was a postcard that said:

Dearest Crystal,

Happy Birthday little eleven year old!!!
Lots of love

Mum and Dad


By that time, it was about ten o’clock. “Time to get ready!” said Aunt Jo.

Let’s all take a moment to appreciate the terrible, terrible names that I decided to give my characters. I mean, Petal, seriously? Also, Crystal is one spoilt child – who gets £500 for their eleventh birthday?! And she’s so sassy.

Cough cough-easy way to move the plot-cough cough.

ANYWAY, hope you enjoyed (or not) and there is still more of this. I promise there will be an actual plot at some point in the foreseeable future.

Love from,





A Story Down Memory Lane

Dear Emma,

So I was going through all the files on my computer, and I came across something. That something being a story that I wrote when I was ten years old. Well, the first 5000 words of it. Of course I didn’t finish it, it’s me.

Trust me, you’re lucky that you’re getting to read it. I cringed at it so many times while I was reading it that I just wanted to delete the entire thing and then give my brain a bath to remove all traces of it from my memory.


In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not particularly proud of this.

Side note: will I react in the same way to the stories I’m writing now in ten years? I really really hope not.

So, here it is. I haven’t touched it, which is why it is horribly edited and confusing to read. Blame ten-year-old-Tara. It’s called Crystal, and please don’t ask me where I was going with this, because I have no idea. I’m just going to sit here and pretend that it doesn’t exist.

Chapter One


“Crystal, we’re home!”

“OK Mum, just coming!” Crystal ran down the stairs and opened the front door. Zac, her Siberian husky yapped excitedly as the door opened. “Hello Mum. Hello Dad.” said Crystal, smiling. “Hello darling,” said Crystal’s mum, Mrs Taylor. “Did you have a good day at school?” asked Mr Taylor, taking his coat off and hanging it up. At dinner, Crystal and her parents talked about the day’s events. “So, Mum, what happened today?” asked Crystal, putting her fork down. “Well, just the usual. But, we have something to tell you.” Mrs Taylor put her cutlery down and turned to her husband, sighing. “Crystal,” said Mr Taylor “Your mum and I have to go away for a while. Just for a few weeks. We’re going to Kenya, Africa. We leave on Sunday. You know we have to do this, it’s part of our conservation work.” Crystal knew. Her parents were big conservationists, always on the lookout for new and endangered species. “What about me?”  she asked. “Well,” said her mother “We’ve arranged for Aunt Jo to come and look after you.” Crystal knew Aunt Joe all too well. She was very strict about things like movies, bedtime and treats. She was also very strict about going out. “Why? Why does Aunt Jo have to look after me? Can’t I just go to Amber’s house instead?” Crystal pleaded “No.” said Mrs Taylor “Aunt Jo has already agreed to look after you.” “But if I ask to do anything that a normal ten year old would do, she suddenly starts asking questions” said Crystal. “Where are you going? What time will you be back? Have you got your phone? Maybe I should ask your parents if you can go” said Crystal in a high pitched imitation of Aunt Jo’s voice. Then she stopped. She remembered. “Mum!” she cried “My birthday! It’s in three weeks time!” “Yes, Crystal” said her father “We won’t be here for your birthday” “WHAT!” yelled Crystal, “I have to spend my birthday with Aunt Jo! Why didn’t you tell me about this before” Crystal stomped upstairs with Zac trailing behind, his tail between his legs. Up in her room, Crystal was sobbing into her pillow when her computer lit up. Crystal thumped onto her office chair and looked at the screen.



Um… do you know how to do the Maths homework?





Crystal decided to tell her best friend everything.




Mum and Dad have just dropped a MAJOR bombshell. They’re going away for a month, maybe two! I have to stay with Aunt Jo (Worst luck) Zac, obviously is staying with me. AND, they’re going away for my birthday. I’m gonna need all the support I can get.





Chapter Two


It was time. The house was a busy place. Mrs Taylor was bustling around, checking everything was where it was supposed to be. Mr Taylor was upstairs getting changed. Crystal was sulking on the stairs. Zac was running around, barking madly because of the mad atmosphere in the house. Mr Taylor came down the stairs and nearly fell over Crystal. “Crystal! Get out of there!” he cried, steadying himself. Mrs Taylor piled everything into the metallic blue Land Rover. “Come on!” she called from the car. “We don’t want to miss the plane!” Mr Taylor, a sulky Crystal and Zac went into the car. They got to the airport and Mr Taylor parked the car. At the terminal, Mrs Taylor checked in the bags and Mr Taylor checked the dashboard. “Flight to Kenya, boarding in…” Mr Taylor checked his watch, “… half an hour.” Crystal looked up to see her mum coming back with Zac, who had been reluctantly admitted by a member of staff. “Yoo hoo!” cried a voice from the airport entrance. Mr Taylor looked up. Mrs Taylor looked up. Even Crystal decided to look up for a few seconds. She saw a woman wearing an orange dress (Orange was really not Crystal’s colour), a purple hat with a green band with a blue flower bobbing along on the top and sparkly silver shoes. She was carrying a large suitcase. Crystal sighed. If this was what she had to put up with for the next month and a half, she had better be prepared.

Ten-year-old me really knew how to create tension. Also, the chapters last about ten seconds for some reason. There is at least another 3000 words of this, if you guys want to read them (…why…) then you can let me know 😉

Hope you’ve had a good week!

Love from,



Drag and Drop Stories: Series 2 – THE FINALE

Dear Emma,

This is it! It’s the end of the holidays – I go back to school tomorrow – and it’s the end of Drag and Drop Stories! I love doing this, hopefully I can do future series in, well, the future!

Today’s prompt was suggested by my good friend 3liittlebirds, and she said, “Sam is at school when suddenly a really bad meteor shower happens! All the buildings are being crushed and people are dying and its all really dramatic!!”


We always sit outside at school. According to the entire school, you can’t sit inside, even in the winter. Apparently it shows weakness and ruins your street cred. Thankfully, we succumbed to peer pressure, because if we had been sat inside, well, I don’t want to think about what would have happened.

It started when we thought it was hailing. We can normally handle small showers and just stand stubbornly in the rain, but hail was another story. We all gravitated towards the largest tree in the centre of our school’s courtyard to avoid us or our food being hailed on.

I watched as Ben temporarily left the shelter of the tree and held out his hand. “Guys,” he said, holding out his hand, “This isn’t hail.”

“Yeah,” Jake snorted from the other side of the tree, “What is it then?”

“It’s rocks.”

“Liar,” Jake muttered.

Ben threw a handful of rocks at him.

“Hey!” he yelled, brushing little rocks out of his hair. He realised me and Emily were laughing at him, and threw rocks at us too.

“So why is it raining rocks?” Jake said, picking the last rocks out of his shirt and throwing them away.

“No clue,” Emily rolled her eyes, picking up her bag. “But I have to go see Miss Watson before she murders me.”

“Seriously?” said Ben, laughing, “It’s the first day of school, even you can’t be in trouble already.”

Emily stuck her tongue out at him and walked off in the rock rain.

I began to realise that the rocks falling from the sky were getting less frequent, but a lot bigger. “Maybe we should get our bags,” I said, pointing to where we left them, on a nearby picnic bench.

“Yeah,” said Jake, “Be my guest.”

I rolled my eyes and began to walk towards the table, when suddenly I hear Ben shouting from behind me.

“Sam! Get out of the way!”

I turned around to see a rock the size of an Alsatian speeding towards me as if in slow motion. I didn’t seem to be able to move, when suddenly it impacted, throwing up the earth around it, and I was frozen about a millimetre away from the edge of the boulder.

“Sam!” I saw Ben and Jake trying to get towards me, but then I heard another boulder smash into the building behind me, causing a landslide of debris to fall. Somehow I snapped out of my daze and realised that I was going to have to move to avoid being crushed.

Ben reached out his hand and pulled me over the top of the rock. “Maybe our bags can wait,” he said, trying to crack a smile but you can see he’s visibly shaken.

Jake still seemed frantic. “Where’s Emily?”

I looked over in the direction of the English block. “Oh my god,” I said, and began to run.


This is the end! I’m actually quite sad.

Fun fact: I actually had a dream about this prompt, and I wrote exactly what happened in the dream, although if I had written the whole dream it would have taken about two thousand words!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my week of writing!

Love from,