My first book is published

image I apologise for advertising here, but I’m so chuffed that the first part of my series is now available on Kindle.

I have to admit that the actual file conversion and upload process was relatively simple – just a few unladylike words passed my lips as I grappled with downloading Kindlegen.  Scrivener, though, is a little gem.  So easy to use, which is just as well as I’ve given myself a deadline of the end of April to have Part 2 published.

I have only one problem, my computer has decided not to play ball.  Don’t know what’s wrong – it just won’t recognise my profile.  Aarrggghhh.

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Halloween Short Story: The Feast

A short story for Halloween:  The Feast

It was 11pm at night, the night of All Hallow’s Eve. Dan and Amy, both 18 years old, were walking hand in hand towards a derelict old house.  Dan had thought it would be fun to take Amy to his favourite place, somewhere where they could be on their own, alone, without any worries that ‘The Parents’ would walk in on them just as they got their clothes off.

Amy wasn’t so sure that the idea was that great to be honest, she’d never really had any desire to visit the house, it was far too old and decrepit for her, and she was quite sure that this particular evening was not the night to be walking into the old building.  She turned towards him, slowing him down, and voiced her niggling doubts:  ‘Can’t we find somewhere else Dan, I’m really not wanting to go there in the dark, it’s creepy enough when it’s light but right now it’s kind of spooky’.  Dan looked at her and kissed her on the nose.   ‘Don’t be daft love’, he said, ‘it’s the one place no-one’s going to bother looking for us and I’ve been in it loads of times – nothing’s ever happened’.  Amy shrugged and carried on walking up the windy drive towards the house – a drive which by this time, Amy noticed, was enveloped in floating curls of mist just to add to the creepy ambience of the whole adventure.  She didn’t find it at all romantic, seductive, or anything but scary though she didn’t say anything else to Dan.  He’d gone to a lot of trouble to make everything perfect for her, so he’d said.

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The Lone Wolf

A lone wolf stands at the top of the pass looking down onto the small town below.  He can smell the stench of burning meat, it fills the air and is carried on the breeze straight towards him.  He salivates, drool running down his throat and dripping off his mangy fur.  The wolf hasn’t eaten for days, but he makes no attempt to get closer to the food he knows is there for the taking.

He’s afraid of the flames – the flames which have engulfed the small town – the flames which are cooking the slaughtered inhabitants of the once thriving community.  He’s afraid of the humans who are left alive, the ones who have mastered the art of creating scorching, searing, murderous heat.

In his younger years he was the leader of his pack, his job to protect and to provide. He knew no fear.  Now in his old age he has no pack, he is responsible only for himself, and his strength has gone.

His legs give way and he slides onto his side.  Too weak now from hunger, he knows he won’t last another day.  He settles down to die.  Another victim of the marauding horde.

Short Story: Charlie and the Magic Dragon

Meet Charlie.  Charlie is a little boy of almost four and a half and is about to start school. Charlie is almost ready for school.  He can dress himself, tie his shoe laces, count very well and loves to make things.  Unfortunately Charlie  doesn’t want to learn how to read even though his parents had tried and tried to get him interested in stories – reading to him every night from when he was just a few months old.

The trouble is, Charlie cannot imagine the story as it is being read to him, so he can’t ‘see’ in his mind the creatures, strange lands, magical people and strange animals they’re talking about.  His parents are really worried as they’re sure that he will struggle to keep up at school if he doesn’t start to read very soon.  One Saturday, about two weeks before he is due to start his first day at school, his parents decide to take him to an old bookshop in town.  This bookshop is a wonderful place, full of old books, magical books, with words that are just desperate to get out of the pages and live in the real world.  One book, in particular, captures Charlie’s attention.  There is an image of a large but friendly looking dragon, on the front whose name, Charlie’s father tells him, is Ernie.  The man who owned the bookshop looked at Charlie and bent down so that he was at the same height as the little boy and said ‘This book is a magical book.  If you listen very carefully to the stories that are kept within it you might even find that Ernie the dragon takes you on his magic book to visit the stories themselves.  Would you like that’?  Of course Charlie simply had to have the book, so his father paid for it and they took it home.

That night Charlie’s father asked him to pick whichever story he wanted and they would read it together.  Charlie picked a story about a magical land full of magical creatures and listened, intently, as his father read to him.  After he had finished, Charlie’s father tucked him into bed, kissed him on his forehead, and wished him sweet dreams.  Charlie was asleep before his father even left the room.

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A Little Something for the Weekend

OBSERVING MURDER:  PART 5

I should have said that I swapped phone numbers with both Jeremy and Jennifer before I left the restaurant the previous evening.  This morning, at 7.30am, I had a phone call from Jeremy.  It went like this:

Jeremy:  ‘Naomi, thank you so much for agreeing to see me last night, and for being so positive and helpful.  My mother is so pleased that you’ve agreed to help us and is already ensuring your room will be ready for you’.

Me:  ‘Well that’s…..’

Jeremy:  ‘Mother has asked me to arrange for your luggage, etc., to be collected.  If that’s ok, can you have them left with the receptionist and they will be collected around 2pm’?

Me:  ‘Oh, I …..’

Jeremy:  ‘Brilliant.  Call me whenever you’ve finished and wherever you are, and I’ll arrange a taxi to collect you and take you straight to the house.’

Me:  ‘Thank you but that’s not really necessary, I’ll …….’

Jeremy:  ‘No, no, we won’t take no for an answer.  Mother’s already arranged with grandmother to gain access to the attic so we should have something to look at when you arrive – after dinner, of course.  See you later then.  Bye.’

Then he hung up.  Fait accompli.

I wasn’t at all sure how I felt about having my next few days organised so comprehensively.  I was pleased that I was going to be able to have access to some primary source material but, on the other hand, I was also aware that I didn’t know what use they might turn out to be, nor was I entirely sure that actually being based in the family home was necessarily a good thing.   I’d just have to wait and see on both counts.

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A Little Something for the Weekend

OBSERVING MURDER: PART 4

By 6.30pm I was dressed to kill, perfumed and immaculately made up. I was pleased with what I saw in the mirror, apart from the slippers – I so had to remember to put my heels on before I went out. I had folded up the piece of paper on which I’d listed my questions I wanted to have answered, together with some idea of how I was going to find those answers. If I could persuade Jeremy to help me with at least some of them, then that would surely prove a great help.

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Short Short Stories – Very Short Stories

I thought I’d share this site with you today.  It has a number of links to short and very short stories which is something I’m interested in taking further.  I’ve found I like writing short stories, never having been something I’ve ever tried before.  The site has some very useful hints and tips.

Read short short stories by our contributors, and publish your own. Here are some tricks to help you write successful flash fiction or very short stories.

Source: Short Short Stories – Very Short Stories

I need your input please

I would love to know what you, my readers and followers, would like to see more of on my blog.  To this end I’ve created a little poll to find out what type of writing you prefer to read, based on what you’ve already read of my little musings and longer pieces.

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Short Story – Isaac Newton and the Apple a revised ‘history’

‘Ouch’ wailed Isaac as he slipped to the ground, his quills, ink and parchments scattered around his feet, ‘that blessed apple hurt me’.  He looked for the offending item, found it, and then proceeded to take a bite feeling very pleased with himself that he’d at least manage to have some lunch as he’d forgotten to take any with him.  Isaac had just closed his mouth to be able to chew his prize when ‘Oi, wha’d’ya think you’re doing’? shouted a tiny, tinny voice right in front him.

Startled, Isaac opened his eyes and almost died of fright.  There, right in front of him, rising out of the apple with his tiny fists shaking, was a worm.  Yes, a worm.  Talking nay shouting – sort of – he was a worm after all.  ‘My pardon sir’, said Isaac – he still had his manners even though he’d been felled by an apple and shouted at by a worm – ‘but do you realise to whom you are shouting?  And what, pray, is a worm doing being able to talk’?

‘Never mind me talking mate, what ya gonna do about my apple, that’s sheer vandalism that is, not to mention theft – taking another’s property -yeh, theft, that’s wot it is’, responded the worm sweating profusely in sheer fright as he’d almost had his head bitten off.

‘Theft, yeah, you tell him mate’, came another little voice off to the left.  A voice, moreover, that appeared to be emanating from a mouse hiding behind another apple.

‘My apologies Mr Worm, I think I must be in shock.  I was watching the apple fall from the tree you see, and wondering what it was that propelled it down to the ground, instead of up towards the sky or sideways’.  ‘Why that’s easy Mr Bigshot Dandy Pants’, responded the worm ‘it’s gravity and the laws of motion, that’s what it is – really you humans know nothing, gravity makes things fall to the ground – or on yer bonce in your case mate’!

Of course, no self-respecting man of science could admit that he’d owed his brilliant eureka moment to a worm, so Isaac invented his famous story to reflect his self-perceived extreme cleverness – and history is written by the successful as we all know, which is why all school children are told Isaac Newton’s story.  But you can be sure that the worm world knows the truth of the matter.

The moral of this story is – the worm is a very clever chappie/chapess, and don’t ever forget it.

This short story has, once again, been prompted by Shafali’s brilliant cue art as above.

Does anyone else think that Shafali’s version of Isaac Newton looks very similar to Brian May from Queen?