Napping on the job, zzz

Quiet… writer at work…

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I came in from doing a bit of gardening and caught Anita napping!

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Guest Posting…

 

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One of the first things I learnt when we started blogging, was the importance of sharing, for although the blogosphere is a crowded and busy place, it can feel like the loneliest place in the world.

That first year, before I learnt the finer points of internet communication (it was so complicated and confusing at first, with all the technical stuff you need to know, like all the linking and tags) we didn’t get many visitors.

We were adrift in a tiny boat, fumbling about in the dark. The thought of actually talking to complete strangers all over the world was both exciting and terrifying.

Gradually, we have become a part of this worldwide community and the support and generosity have been amazing. In turn, we like to support our fellow writers and bloggers, helping to promote their work, so all of you writers, poets and photographers, if you would like to have a guest post featured on our blog/website, you can email us HERE. We are happy to promote your work, as long as it is original, family-friendly material that is all your own work.

The average guest post is between 500 – 1000 words long. Please submit your article as a Word Document and images as email attachments.

We will also need a brief personal bio and links to your website/blog, along with links to your social media/Amazon/Goodreads Accounts.

We will…  create and schedule your post, letting you know the time and date of the post. We will also send you a link when it is published and post links to the article across all of our social media accounts, including our blog feed on Goodreads.

Our Caveat: We reserve the right to refuse any submission we feel unsuitable for our blog/website…

 

A Quick Question…

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Do you know where the stories you write come from?

What if they have already happened in some other reality, time or space we know nothing about?

What if that is where it really comes from?

It reminds me of the saying to be careful what you wish for, so maybe we should be careful what we write and put back into the universe…

#WednesdayWriter Nine Lives

This was my debut novel, one I made such a lot of mistakes with.

Feel free to comment, advise or critcise, as I am very interested in improving my craft.

It might never be perfect, but your very first book is always special, isn’t it?

To this end, I will be posting a chapter every Wednesday…

 

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Chapter One

Kate’s days were too long, the nights never ending. She didn’t belong in this life, this face, this body. It was all wrong.

She had wished for death many times, and it passed her by so often. It cheated her yet followed her everywhere. It whispered to her. Black thoughts plagued her dreams, monsters wearing the face of her mother, brother, husband. She wished such evil for them and it had returned to sit like a monkey on her back.

Kate heard the teasing voice in her head and chose to ignore it, wondering again if she was going insane. Why was it still pestering her after all these years, why couldn’t it leave her alone?

None of what it said ever made any sense, so she filed it away in her mind as some sort of deviance she must have been born with, like colour blindness.

Friday had been a busy day like any other and Kate was tired and ready for bed, ready to forget the day and switch her brain off, but the heartburn that plagued her all day seemed to have another agenda.

Pushing the unruly mop of curly hair away from her face, she studied the canvas in front of her, trying to decide if the painting was good enough; or if she was wasting her time trying to be creative when she felt like crap.  It had most of the elements her customer loved so they should like it. A stunning waterfall was the focal point of the picture with ethereal greens and blues in every shade imaginable captured in the white froth of the spraying water. The image seemed to shimmer and move the more you looked at it.

She knew the place well, it was in Cornwall and she had been there many times. It was a truly magical place, for you could climb up the rocks and get close to the falling water. Close enough to get soaked, she thought, smiling at the memory. She knew she would have to go there again, and soon.

There was something about water; it seemed to communicate directly with Kate’s soul. She loved nothing more than being near, or in it at every opportunity. A simple boat ride would be so much more special if she ended up soaked to the skin.  She didn’t tend to analyse it too much though, water had the power to make her feel good and paint extraordinary artwork. This transferred to anyone who loved her paintings, and that was all she cared about.

Deciding to call it a night, she took a last look at the canvas, reasonably pleased with what she had accomplished. The wet paint glistened like moonlight on the water, and she wished as always the effect would remain when the paint was dry.

In the beginning, she thought the voice just wanted to confuse her as it kept telling her what to do, or usually, what she shouldn’t do.

Why was it she instinctively never took any notice of its instructions, or the seemingly sincere appeals or sarcastic quips? She knew from experience to refuse to cooperate sometimes led to a disaster of one kind or another, but something other than the voice told her that to obey was more than her life was worth.

Either way, she seemed powerless to do anything other than follow her own instincts, even when she knew deep down she was wrong.

It was almost as though she was meant to fail, to suffer. To know and feel just how stupid she was, as though she was born with something missing. She often wondered if the voice was, in fact, the devil, because sometimes it would seem as though it was. All that medieval temptation and mysteriousness – it could well be, she thought, but what was its business with her?

A small part of her brain always sympathised with the Devil. He had been cast out too hadn’t he, fallen from grace and all that? They did seem to have a lot in common. It didn’t explain why this voice had been annoying her for most of her life. There was no reason she could see or imagine, or was it the only thing that listened whenever she prayed for help?

The voice didn’t seem evil or cruel to her. Sometimes there was something else just underneath the surface; something she could sense, but never strong enough to make her toe the line. She never obeyed the slightest suggestion, and despite the consequences, she didn’t intend to start now. She often wondered if her life would have been any different if she had, or would it have been worse?

What could it possibly do to her anyway? It was just an annoying voice in her head and couldn’t  hurt her, could it?

She finished her cigarette, stubbing it out in the overflowing ashtray and looked at the painting again. Oh well, she had done enough for one night. She wiped the paint from her fingers with a piece of rag that smelled strongly of linseed oil and made her way to the kitchen.

The indigestion was developing into razor blades in her stomach and she pulled a face. Why was it bothering her now? She used to suffer a lot in the past when she was worried or going through yet another crisis.

Lately, though, her life had evened out and that was just as well for she was getting too old to put up with any more trouble. She was moderately happy and free from problems; at least she thought she was. There was no annoying pig-headed husband to drive her nuts anymore, no pestering family turning up at inopportune moments. She was her own boss, doing something she loved. If she could just sell more of her work, it would be perfect.

Then she could move to a remote island, somewhere she would not see or hear other people with all their noise, but she was content for now.

That’s if she could just get this indigestion to sod off.

While she was making the last cup of coffee before bed, she took another antacid tablet, hoping to knock the heartburn into submission so she could get some sleep.

A wave of nausea and dizziness hit her and she clutched desperately at the worktop, wondering how long it would last this time. This wasn’t like before; she felt hot and seemed to be moving in treacle. She sat down on the nearest kitchen stool, hoping it would pass or just ease off as it had in the past, but if anything she was feeling worse by the minute. There was no pain, apart from the heartburn which was trying to burn a hole in her chest; and when she checked her pulse it was dancing all over the place, seeming to stop altogether for long moments as she frantically tried to hold herself together.

This can’t be happening now, she thought. Was she finally going to die or was this just another one of its games?  She didn’t care anymore, she just wanted to stop thinking and feeling. Just stop.

The voice was busy telling her that she needed help, but Kate didn’t want to listen.  Please just go away and leave me alone. She didn’t need any insidious remarks tonight.

As she sat there, trying to decide what to do, Dylan, her silver tabby walked into the kitchen and wrapped himself around her ankles.

‘Hello boy, where have you been?’ She hadn’t heard the cat flap so he must have been asleep on her bed. He nuzzled her hand and stared up at her as if he worried about her. She loved him dearly but other things were on her mind just then. ‘I am okay, go back to sleep.’

She was probably right, this was nothing new. She had been having these ‘turns’ for a while now and they always stopped before. As she sat there, she began to realise that this time something was wrong. She was sweating and sleepy, and a strange thing was happening to the indigestion. Instead of the annoying pain of heartburn, it was turning into a clamping grip of iron that threatened to get worse. It was time; it seemed, to call an ambulance…

 

We Have Been nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award!

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Just one day after we were nominated on the Annual Bloggers Bash in the Best Pal category, we have been nominated for the Really Neat Award too! Two very good reasons for this delighted look on our faces…

We thank Stevie Turner for nominating us for this honour, and the rules are as follows:

 

  • 1.Put the award logo on your blog.
  • 2. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • 3. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • 4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, and ask them 7 questions.
  • 5.Let them know you have nominated them.

Stevie has asked us these questions…

Just one day after we were nominated for the Annual Bloggers Bash in the Best Pal category, we have been nominated for the Really Neat Award too! Two very good reasons for this delighted look on our faces…

We thank Stevie Turner for nominating us for this honour, and the rules are as follows:

Whom do you admire?

This is an easy question, for we are surrounded by the achievements of several family members at the moment. One by one, our offspring have surpassed expectations and gone over and beyond the call of duty, causing much puffing up of chests and proud smiley faces. There are times when being a parent is the best job in the world!

Are You a Cat or Dog person?

This is harder to answer, for we are all animal lovers in our family. We have Merlin, a black and white cat who is 14 years old this year, and regularly dog sit a pair of young sausage dog puppies. But my favourite animals are horses…

Do you like city or countryside living?

Definitely the countryside or better yet, countryside by the sea!

Are you an outside or an inside person?

Always an outside person, I even write out of doors, weather permitting…

Do you still see people from your childhood?

I don’t think there were any people in my childhood, I am an orphan and remember being a bit lonely most of the time…

Facebook heaven or hell?

Neither, it is just an online social club, to meet and communicate with other writers/bloggers…

Do you like your holidays hot or cold?

I prefer action, adventurous holidays, so like the weather to be clement. My idea of hell is to sunbathe in a hot climate…

So, now it is our turn to nominate some people for ‘The Real Neat Blog Award’ and ask them seven questions.

Here are the eight people we have nominated:

sknicholls

Rathertoofondofbooks

Besonian

Tina Frisco

Rachel poli

Nottomatoes

Deborah Jay

Here are your questions everybody!

  • Can you just stop anywhere or must it be at the end of a chapter?
  • Do you play music or have the TV on when reading?
  • One book at a time or several?
  • Do you ever write in your books?
  • Do you have a specific place for reading?
  • Do you use bookmarks?
  • Which author do you really admire?

 

I hope we have done this correctly, as it has been a while and just a bit rusty!

 

 

 

Flash Fiction 99 word Challenge for The Carrot Ranch Literary Community

This weeks prompt was to be about a bat and a bat cave…

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The Ghost Bat

It is said that an old hermit lived in the old bat cave many moons ago.  Children called him the batman, chanting behind him as he roamed the woods for herbs to make his potions.

The villagers never worried about the old hermit, leaving food by the cave for him and children would often watch the hermit make his potions.

He had once been a doctor and he still travelled through the village caring for those who needed his potions. On one of those trips, the children noticed the white ghost bat fly from the folds of Henry’s sleeve…

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This turned out to be a lovely coincidence, coming so soon after the flash fiction about a Raven. Anita had dreamed of a white Raven, so that’s what we wrote about.

This weeks prompt was a bat, so out of curiosity we wondered if there was such a thing as a white bat?

And there was. Something weird going on here, and I wonder what will be next?