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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Smiling Through a Pandemic

I am not a writer of humour. Although I enjoy a joke as much as most, I am hopeless at remembering punchlines and I don’t always have the wit to come up with something funny. In particular, at the present time, it can feel inappropriate to try to lighten the mood with humour.

And yet in my career as a NHS nurse and midwife, humour was how my colleagues and I dealt with difficult times. It didn’t mean that we weren’t sensitive and considerate when the occasion dictated, but it did allow us to express emotion in useful ways.

Once in a while someone makes me smile with a joke about haircuts or other pandemic dilemmas and I know that the human spirit will carry us through this worldwide challenge. So when I think about writing a pandemic journal I try to remember to include the positive thoughts in addition to the negative ones and to inject an item of humour.

🤣

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Relisting of Ebook of Silencio

I’m pleased to announce that the ebook version of Silencio has been relisted on http://www.amazon.co.uk and http://www.amazon.com

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A Poem for Our Times

This beautiful poem was sent to me recently (thanks to J.C.) and is worth sharing with you today while we go through the difficult days of our own pandemic. I acknowledge the talent and skill of the writer Kathleen O’Mara.

 

History repeats itself. This poem that was written in 1869 & reprinted during the 1919 pandemic

It was written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara:

And people stayed at home

And read books

And listened

And they rested

And did exercises

And made art and played

And learned new ways of being

And stopped and listened

More deeply

Someone meditated, someone prayed

Someone met their shadow

And people began to think differently

And people healed.

And in the absence of people who

Lived in ignorant ways

Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,

The earth also began to heal

And when the danger ended and

People found themselves

They grieved for the dead

And made new choices

And dreamed of new visions

And created new ways of living

And completely healed the earth

Just as they were healed.

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Family Life

This week, I wrote this in response to an exercise to write something about the clocks going back or forward. Just a bit of fun for these challenging days.

 

Mum                     Don’t frget to put tour clocks bick.

Sally                       Will do. For God’s sake, turn on predictive text Mother.

Mum                     How di I di ths>

Sally                       Don’t you remember. I wrote it down in your book.

Mum                     Whst?

Sally                       Your notebook. It’s by your calendar in the kitchen.

Mum                     Is it/

Sally                       Go there and look. Don’t hang up!!!!

Mum                     I@m here.

Sally                       Mother. Where have you gone? Answer the bloody phone.

Mum                     Hi. Beck agin.

Sally                       Why don’t you answer when it rings?

Mum                     Wat

Sally                       Your phone. Answer it when it rings.

Mum                     How de I de tht

Sally                       Remember, I showed you the last time I came over. Press the button with the green telephone.

Mum                     Wher are yu

Sally                       I explained Mum. There’s a problem with a virus. I don’t want you to catch anything.

Mum                     I dnt car. I wnt to di anyway

Sally                       Don’t be ridiculous. What would I do without you to remind me to put the clocks back.

Mum                     Lov yu

Sally                       You too, Mum. I’ll call you in a minute. Remember press the green telephone.

Mum                     Ar u thre.

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5 word stories

Esther Chilton has a blog and she poses challenges for writers of short fiction. This week she asks:

Can you tell a story in five words, using the word FREE in it somewhere?

My thoughts (some not particularly inspired) are as follows:

I want to break free.

I never appreciated being free.

Kindness is free. Please donate.

Words are free and wound.

Words are free and heal.

Words are free and comfort.

Use kind words, free gifts.

I used to be free.

That’s it for now but if you want to take a look at some others, visit esther’s blog at https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/can-you-tell-a-story-in-58/

 

 

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Lockdown Reflection

If I could turn back time and the clocks went back, if I could relive one moment, what would I choose? Maybe…

-that day before my father announced he was going away to fight in a conflict that no one supported. That was the last time I remember my family being truly happy, a time when my mother laughed without reservation and we lived without fear.  We were grateful that he returned a year later but he was changed, someone I did not recognise. We were strangers and from that moment, we treated each other as though a harsh word would cause irreparable damage, treading gently lest we upset the uneasy balance in our relationship. The breach continued until his dying days and found the courage to express our true feelings. Too late for repair but it was the beginning of a bridge, nonetheless.

-either of my two wedding days – the first as a youngster; full of hope and excitement for the celebration itself. Or would it be the second, when I had endured experiences of motherhood and hardship and so, our love for each other eclipsed all the trimmings of the occasion.

-the birth of my daughter – the birth itself I would not revisit willingly – but the nights afterwards in hospital when it was the two of us in a cocoon of getting to know each other. I could not bear to put her down, cuddling my bundle as darkness overtook the room and until the midwives forced me to rest. The hospital chaplain, a friend, crept into my room way past the visiting hours and blessed my gift from God. New feelings ruled my life.

-the birth of my granddaughter – a more recent event and one that has led to a relationship begun during the most meaningful of life’s experiences and connected by the knowledge that my blood flows through her veins. Her curly hair and sense of humour are part of my bequest.

-or would it be the first time my baby granddaughter said, ‘I love you’. My chest struggled to contain my heart that day.

No, if the clocks went back and I could choose any moment, it would be the last time I hugged my precious daughter and granddaughter. This time I would not let go.

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Am I Allowed to Cry

During recent weeks, I have become addicted to the news and flick between channels on the television or scroll through apps on my devices, looking for something good to absorb. It’s a fool’s quest in this new age of the virus which challenges our human race. I have always believed in survival of the fittest, but here I am bordering on the criteria for elderly with a husband already past that summit. When did I become one of the weaker of our species?

Pre-outbreak, I would wake most mornings and steel myself for the spin, aerobics or other intense physical class I had planned, priding myself that I can keep up the pace when alongside those half my age. My sense of fun is not absent and my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter thinks I am one of her favourite playmates. My looks have faded but I do not see an old woman in the mirror. My doctor says my medical file is almost non-existent.

And yet, I saw a video which showed the removal of ventilators from those over 65 to allow younger victims a chance.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think it is right that we try to protect the young so I do not object if that is what is necessary.

It has made me contemplate my life and my achievements, the greatest of which is the beautiful family I have created. All of the success at work and play pales into insignificance and I miss being able to hug my loved ones. It is for their own good and mine, and as we are reminded frequently, for the greater good of our NHS but if I had known those last hugs had to last this long I would have never let them go.

 

 

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