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November Blues

Photo copyright
Photo copyright Bjorn Rudberg

On this dull November day, everything seemed tinged white, as if it had been painted with a heavy hand. Slowly approaching the sprawling hospital complex as she had done for the last six months Antonia looked for a glimmer of hope. Her course of chemotherapy was nearly finished and she wanted to feel positive, but the intense tiredness that dogged her every step had burrowed deep. Outwardly her smile warmed the day for those people who came into contact with her, however today she was in dire need of something to warm her soul. Yet the snow still fell.


When I saw this marvellous picture my first thoughts were of a story centred around music and light. Great I thought, but nothing [new] came to mind. So I decided to wait for a few hours, instead I set to work with a saw and drill in a warm well it garage. Then followed this up with coffee and lunch with a good friend. And I even managed to bag a few sun lit photographs of the autumn colours. Surely now I thought a warm story of music and light story will flow to do justice to Bjorn’s photograph – but no instead [November Blues] was born! So it seems a writer has to go with the flow, even if it is with the blues. Sorry if this is a bit heavy… my link to the picture was the white specks of light which led me to think of snow.

Now walking at midnight under an almost clear sky has led me to think about a light beam reflecting against the moon light and how I might use that in my writing! Mike

winter colour
winter colour
This Post Has 34 Comments
  1. Dear Michael,

    Applause! This is exactly what I mean about seeing beyond what you’re looking at, ie the prompt. Thank you for sharing your process. Sad story, but well done, nonetheless. The title is pitch perfect.



  2. It’s interesting that this photo has brought out mostly melancholy responses. I don’t mind melancholy and quite enjoy it because there are times for it and where it isn’t necessarily negative but offers comfort through sharing a difficult time if that makes any sense.
    I went through chemo two years ago to treat my auto-immune disease. It was actually around this time and I was actually relieved to be having the chemo because it was looking like there might not be a treatment option. I am a little bit wacky but I remember singing to myself “All I want for Christmas is chemo”. I only had 7 treatments and they mixed it with high dose prednisone so I was happy to be alive, buzzing for a day and then dead tired. The last treatment got me though. Must have had a cumulative effect. What I remember most is the appointment at the end of the treatment s to find out whether it had worked. That was monumental.
    Hope you have a good weekend. It’s my husabnd’s 50th Birthday so we have much to celebrate!
    xx Rowena

    1. Thank you Rowena for sharing your thoughts on this story, I thought long and hard about posting it. I went through chemotherapy three years back, and got the news that it had done its work christmas week.

  3. A powerful piece, with a kind of sad gentle formality in the language. A great mix of visual description, metaphor and simple action – I felt I was walking with her but also watching her.

  4. This is such a touching poignant write. Despite the apparent disconnect between the photo and the story, I feel it goes perfectly well – there is something terribly sad about the vacant chairs in the background and the silent cello in the foreground, as if there was life, joy and music but no longer. In fact it seemed to me as if the picture changed to suit the story rather than the other way round. I wonder if i am being too fanciful. Blame it on your amazing piece! 🙂

    1. I tried hard to write something brighter and more applicable but was unable. In the end I had to except defeat. It is great to see in which way a story is understood. I thank you for your great comments. Mike

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