Welcome to my writing portfolio

THERE IS SOMETHING DELICIOUS ABOUT WRITING THE FIRST WORDS OF A STORY. YOU NEVER QUITE KNOW WHERE THEY’LL TAKE YOU.  (Beatrix Potter)

Hi. I am glad that you are visiting my blog site. Some examples of my writing are here for you to enjoy including up to date short stories and flash fiction. Welcome to the bizarre, funny, sad, dark, romantic and other worlds created by my imagination.

I welcome comments and feedback.

All stories are my original work and my copyright and can not be copied or distributed without my express permission.

You can buy my novel Silencio by following the links under the section ‘Buy My Novels’.

If you are interested in the research and background to Silencio or my new work A Life on the Line and/or want to know more about me or listen to my radio interviews why not take a look at my website http://www.laberrynovels.org

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Goodbye to Cole Brothers

Before starting my nursing training, I worked for a few months at the John Lewis store in Sheffield. At that time, it was named Cole Brothers and my role involved stocking shelves and being a general dogsbody in the Christmas Decoration section. The store was a landmark in the city centre and I remember meeting many friends and relatives at the entrance.

Every morning I caught the bus that seemed to race along the roads, wiggling across the moors before it slowed for the city traffic. In the evening, I shed glitter over its seats and aisles and no matter how often I washed my waist-long hair, those tiny shiny specs stuck like limpets.

We were a partnership, a group of employees who looked after one another and who genuinely loved working for a company that rewarded our loyalty. I loved being a witness to the excitement of shoppers as they chose their baubles and tinsel. It was a magical workplace.

The distribution of the bonus caused great cheer and even though I was a temporary employee, I took home my share.

The news that John Lewis is closing the Sheffield store breaks my heart. One more thing this pandemic has stolen. My memories of my time there will last forever.

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Exotic Locations

In an era of limited travel and fear of new infections, I appreciate that it may be several years before I am able to enjoy tropical locations and therefore, I have used wallpaper to create the feel of a jungle teeming with birds.

Usually, my sense of decoration could be described as bland but Covid times have taught me that it is possible to escape the mundane even when I can’t travel beyond my locality.

If the cheery surroundings encourage my writing as well, it will be an added bonus.

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Infinity – A story for Friday Fictioneers

Photo Prompt © CEAyr

On her 18th, he gave her the bracelet and a gold heart, the charm representing new love.

At 21, she unwrapped a miniature champagne bottle to add to the collection in addition to a diamond for her finger.

They married and a baby soon joined their family.

The bracelet filled, and by the time they celebrated their 25th anniversary, the jeweller struggled to find space for the infinity charm. He soldered it between mini wedding rings and a tiny cradle but loops of infinity hooked other treasures, making it difficult to wear.

Infinity didn’t last. Nor did their marriage.

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle at https://rochellewisoff.com.  Every week, flash fiction lovers write 100 words (more or less) of short fiction, poetry, prose, etc in response to a photo prompt. We share our ideas and comment on others’ work through the link on Rochelle’s website.

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Break Time

Thank you to Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com. She organises photo prompts and links for the Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo was contributed by Susan Eames.

Participants write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on each other’s work.  If you are a writer of short fiction, join in and let your imagination feed others with your stories. 

Photo copyright Susan Eames

Sitting in a car for hours is bad for older travellers and so, the couple take a break in a little known Spanish town. Siesta means it is deserted and they have no trouble parking in a plaza near the centre. Strolling along the empty streets, they admire the ornamental facades of the stone buildings.

Suddenly, the woman yelps and falls to the ground. Construction workers run out of a bar across the road, gabbling in their foreign tongue as they try to pull her to her feet. Even though the pain makes her eyes water, she waves them away.

‘De nada’ is one phrase she knows but from the crack she heard in her ankle, it’s going to be a big problem.

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The Nano Experience

Only 8 days are left to get to the 50000 word goal of the Nano challenge and I am floundering with 20000 left to create.

Earlier this month, my daughter’s family moved in with a 3 1/2 year old whirlwind toddler and I find myself struggling to stay awake past 8pm. Her witching hour starts at 4 and lasts until bedtime at 7pm. Who knew that one little person could create such havoc?

So I have to learn forgiveness for myself – I am not a super-nanabee and a super-writer. If I have to be one or the other, the sweet little hugs will always win out.

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Friday Fictioneers – Underground

Thank you to Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com. She organises photo prompts and links for the Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo was contributed by Sarah Potter.

Participants write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on each other’s work.  If you are a writer of short fiction, join in and let your imagination feed others with your stories. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

Years ago, they visited this place. It must have been their first date. Or, maybe their second.

Bill’s hand tight on hers, he led her along the path, brushing past the roses, as he searched for privacy: somewhere to explore her body. She teased with promise and he fell under her spell.

He found the perfect flower for her, and she kissed his cheek and then, his lips, but a thorn found her finger. Her temper flared.

That incident foreshadowed the course of their marriage, moments of bliss but always tainted.

Until he snapped.

Beneath the rose bush, she lies where thorns don’t reach.

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A Story for Friday Fictioneers November 12th – ONCE

Thank you to Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com. She organises photo prompts and links for the Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo was contributed by Dale Rogerson.

Participants write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on each other’s work.  If you are a writer of short fiction, join in and let your imagination feed others with your stories. 

Once upon a time, I frolicked in snow and danced on ice skates.

Once I was agile and my body melted his heart.

Once I took chances and didn’t care about the consequences.

Once was all it took for her to extract revenge. A saw through a blade can do a lot of damage.

Now I sit at the window and watch as others play their dangerous games.

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Nano 2020

I came into contact with Covid 19 and at first, I was angry as I had taken on board all of the advice about social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing.

However, once my anger had worn off, I realised this was an opportunity. I could do the National Novel Writing Month of November.

Often I don’t write because I am ‘too busy’, ‘too tired’, ‘wanting to be with my family’. In fact there are hundreds of reasons why my second novel has taken me so long to write.

Now, after completing the excellent ‘Dream Author Coaching Programme’, created and run by the brilliant Sophie Hannah, I had some tools to overcome the obstacles, and self isolation would give me the opportunity to put these to good use.

7 days in to Nano and I have written more than 10000 words, some of them terrible but with some gems nestling in there. Always an avid brainstormer, the deadline and pressure of Nano suits my creative spirit and after years of trying to give this novel some momentum, it is taking shape.

Some of my fellow Faber Academy Alumni are also tackling the challenge and we have formed a group to help with motivation, etc.

If any of you are also doing the challenge, please feel free to buddy up with me on the Nano website. My Nano name is lindybee.

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Cruise Ships Going Nowhere

The travel industry struggles to cope during the worldwide transmission of an unseen enemy and companies are having to find parking places for their ships and planes.

The beautiful bay between the Solent entrance and the entrance to Poole Harbour on the south coast of England is currently hosting 5 large cruise ships. They have been anchored here while they await better times for travel. Sometimes they power away, probably up and down the coast to give their systems a boost and a few days later, they return to their positions. Local cruise ferries have taken the opportunity to sail close, giving the tourists a fabulous view of these majestic ships.

 

Old Harry Rocks, seen in the photograph below, erupt from the sea off the Headland of the Purbeck Peninsula and mark the end of the bay. Standing high on the cliff offers a fabulous view of the ships with a backdrop of the sandy beaches of Bournemouth and Poole.

For several months, nearby Bournemouth Airport became a car park for large planes, the majority were British Airways machines, while they waited for the resumption of air travel. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a photo due to stopping restrictions but it was an incredible sight to witness our local runways crammed with jumbos, etc.

My memories of the Pandemic will be made up of these wonderful sights as well as the emotional upheaval and sacrifice. Someone taught me to write down 5 good things that happen in each day and this has been a great tool for coping in these strange times.

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Eating Out During a Pandemic

When I tell people that I have gone out for three lunchtime meals I realise that others are feeling less confident than I am about the ability of staff to protect their customers. In the UK it has been possible to sit inside of a restaurant for a few weeks but few of my friends have ventured out. I want to support the local businesses but am taking it slowly. My first outing was a wonderful lunch at The Jetty restaurant in Mudeford, Dorset. This restaurant is known for excellence and as you can see from the photo below, the views over Mudeford Harbour are outstanding.

The other two venues that I have visited are pubs serving food, one in Minstead Village in the New Forest and the other on the riverside in Stockbridge where I finally had time with members of my family who live in Oxford.

The three venues had different procedures but each felt safe. The staff were attentive and delighted to be serving customers once again.

It is such a pleasure to be enjoying the treat of having someone else cook. I always think other people’s cooking tastes so much better.

 

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