Tag Archives: humour

The Twist – 100 words for the Friday Fictioneers

Photo Prompt © magaly guerrero

Lindy in Trouble

 

Every week the hard-working Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com organises photo prompts and links for the Friday Fictioneers. Authors 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 the group and let your imagination feed us with your stories. 

I can not let this opportunity pass by without poking fun at my current status. My leg disappeared down a drain and I wasn’t wearing heels this time. Previously, they have been a contributing factor in other injuries.

One minute she was at my side, the next she was sprawled on the cobbled pavement.

‘For heaven’s sake Mother!’

‘Sorry.’

‘Get up.’ Passing people glared. They’d understand if she was their responsibility.

‘I can’t.’

I was tempted to walk away, but then sighed as I extended my hand.

‘I told you. But no, you had to wear those bloody shoes.’

‘Sorry.’ Her eyes filled.

I lowered on to one knee and patted her shoulder. ‘Never mind. Let’s dust you off and inspect the damage.’

She did that thing with her mouth and I knew we were heading to another hospital. Again.

 

 

 

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Let’s Write a Story

As I am glued to the settee with my injury, I decided to start a story thread for a little bit of fun and see what happens. I will write the first two lines.

You carry on the story by inserting a line in the comments section of this post. The next person should follow so that the story evolves in the comments. Nothing that your mother wouldn’t want to read please.

Update on 19th April 2017  Thanks for the comments. What fun! I realise that I did not tell you how long we are going to do this.  I’m going to finish the story one week from today on the 26th April and will put everything together in a post titled We Wrote a Story.  

 

Here We Go

No one willingly invited Melanie for supper. Her reply was always accompanied by a list of allergies and food intolerance so concocting a decent menu required considerable time and a vivid imagination.

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The Fitness Test That Went Wrong

Earlier this week, I attended my new gym for a fitness assessment. I managed to stand on the scales (Horror!!) and endure the tape measure but within five seconds of starting the fitness part of the test, I tore a muscle in my calf. Even though I was shocked by the injury, this type of event does not surprise anyone who knows me – I am accident prone.  My mother often retells a story of when I disappeared on to the ground after a meal in a restaurant and my daughter warned her colleagues at the sports holiday resort she worked at that they would recognise me when I fell down the airplane’s steps (I actually made it to the resort but promptly took a tumble and couldn’t do any sports the entire holiday). My future daughter-in-law was warned to look after me in Spain – I fell and broke my ankle giving her a guilt complex forever.

Image result for clip art images injuries

I have had injuries in some of the best places – a broken cheek in the Caribbean, severe leg injuries after water-skiing in Greece. I even broke my hand while working as a nurse in the Accident & Emergency department.

I once read that injury prone people are focused too much on what is coming instead of living in the present. Maybe I was trying to avoid an exposure of my level of fitness!

Oh well, the good news is that I am forced to stay put and write so my new novel should benefit.

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Copy – Blog post on Jenny Kane’s Blogsite

The following is a copy of the guest blog piece I wrote for the lovely UK author Jenny Kane. You can read about her books and hook in to lots of interesting interviews by visiting her site at http://jennykane.co.uk

Writing What I Know (or How Life Influences My Fiction Writing)

Thank you Jenny for inviting me to write a guest blog piece for your website today.

In the company of other writers and readers, we often discuss what inspires our storytelling. During November, I was with a group of four writers at a retreat in Shropshire and it was clear that each of us had in-depth knowledge and experiences that informed our writing. One focused his story on his life as an Asian child within a predominately-white British community and another was using the experiences of a relative within the mental health sector. The third writer was interested in the modern history narrative, drawing from her own memories and I enjoy writing about human strength, in particular what happen when a female character faces a threatening situation.

Silencio, my debut novel, is a suspense story set in Spain, narrated with Spanish characters, and based on real life events that took place during the mid to late 1900’s.

Writing tutors and experts instruct writers that it is best to write about something they know but most of us have not committed a crime, witnessed a murder or had a new-born baby stolen whilst in the Maternity Unit. I started writing this first full-length novel in 2011 after watching a BBC documentary on television about the Stolen Babies of Spain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJJ7Pp_Zvvs). The investigative documentary introduced me to the background behind the baby trafficking of an estimated 300,000 babies in Spain during the Franco and immediate post-Franco periods.

I am an English woman, too old to worry about childbirth, and have not experienced the loss of an infant. How did I ensure that I wrote with authority and authenticity without the value of these experiences?

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My Experiences

I am a Mum. My daughter may be in her 30’s but I remember holding her as a newly delivered baby – the colour of her skin, the warmth and smell of her body. The memory

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of the sleepless nights and leaping out of bed to run to her assistance having recognised her cry in a room full of other babies, will not be forgotten. My maternal intuition kicked in from the moment of conception, well before the morning sickness and the tickling of tiny feet inside of my womb. Even now that she is an adult, I sense when my daughter is in danger and needs my support.

My previous employment was as a midwife and nurse. Every hospital has common features and my experiences of working in various hospitals allowed me to add detail to the hospital scenes in Silencio. It doesn’t matter that a Spanish hospital is different from one in the UK because this is a work of fiction and as long as the reader believes that the place could be real, he or she will not be distracted from the story. Having had experience of Spanish health care and hospitals, I can testify that there are more similarities than differences.

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Spain is my second home and I have lived there for a number of years, speak conversational Spanish, have travelled throughout the country, and have experienced life in a Spanish community.

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However, I am English and was not brought up as a Spanish girl within a Catholic family. Not a problem, because as the saying goes I know a man who can or in this case, a young Spanish woman who was delighted to read and correct my work and give me an insight to the lives of her mother, her sisters, her fellow villagers, etc.

Mercedes, the main character in Silencio, is a journalist. I am not a journalist but I studied the subject at university many years ago, I read newspaper articles and I am lucky to know a young magazine journalist who gave me the benefit of her experience.

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Many readers have commented on the development of the love relationship and the passion between Mercedes and Orlando. Apparently, it is quite steamy and some of my daughter’s friends are shocked that Rachael’s mum ‘wrote this’. 25 years ago, I met my husband and I thought back to those early days and the excitement that a look or a brush of the fingers could stimulate. I remembered the heightened senses and the fear of commitment and tried to bring these to my writing.

Research  

During a three-year period, I researched background information for Silencio and most of it has not ended up in my novel. One of my pet hates as a reader is to read a research-led story instead of one that focuses on the characters and plot.

In addition to internet searches, books and library research, I tried to visit each of the places in my novel. I travelled on the public transport and ate in local cafes so that I absorbed the culture. This was important when writing about a country as large and diverse as Spain because the northern life is different to that of Madrid, and the society of the eastern coastal towns does not resemble that of the central plane. The clothing changes to suit the local climate and the locals socialise in different ways. Hearty foods of the north are too heavy for the warmer climates of the south. I changed a number of details after each research visit; for example, the men in a northern village play cards instead of dominos.

My novel-in-progress A Life on the Line takes place in 1961 between York and Scarborough.

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Last summer I spent several weeks in the area as I surveyed the layout for detail and interviewed local people who remembered the period. In the York library, microfiche records of local press helped me to discover the products, trends and issues of that year and the library of the excellent National Railway Museum holds information and photos that add detail to the backstory.

Friends

There is a saying that goes something like this ‘be careful of what you tell a writer as you or it may end up in her next book’. None of my characters is based on a single person I know but each is a compilation of the characteristics of many people I have met. Mercedes, in Silencio, does not represent either of these two beautiful friends but she has the strength of one and the humour of the other. Without the people in my life, there would be no characters in my stories.

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It is time to finish this piece but if anyone wants to have a discussion about what influences their own writing, I would be delighted to read your comments. You can find out more information about my writing and research (including links to articles about baby trafficking and the Spanish stolen babies) at my website www.laberrynovels.org

Follow me on twitter @LABerryNovels or @writelindy

Like me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/silenciobylaberry

 

Silencio is available to purchase as a paperback through the following link or to order from any good book retailer  – ISBN 9781785890994

The EBOOK version of Silencio by LA Berry is available on all major ebook retail sites including Amazon, Ibook, Google play, Kobo, Nook – EISBN 9781785894732

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Let’s talk about the role of the mother of the bride

When Will I Come Down to Earth?

The countdown has begun and the dress fittings nearly finished. Eleven months have passed since the proposal and the day that the planning began. My daughter and her beau will speak in front of us all and I will clutch my square of soft linen, hoping that I don’t embarrass them with a sob, audible in one of the quiet moments.

Soon it will all be a lovely memory and my feet will touch the ground.

I will be sorry but also admit that I am looking forward to concentrating on book number 2.

Lessons learned are:

  1.  mother of the bride outfits can cost more than the wedding dress
  2.  you can’t convince a man that eyebrows, nails, make-up, hair, etc matter
  3.  hats don’t suit everyone and feathers coming out of one’s head can look ridiculous
  4.   money doesn’t grow on trees
  5.   the heart does swell when your child is happy

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Bequest – Friday Fictioneers

copyight-sean-fallon©Sean Fallon

The solicitor wore an expression of sympathy and handed me the sealed envelope. After shaking his hand, I maintained a mask of my own until the lift doors closed. Alone, I tore at the gummed strip with trembling hands. This was what I had been waiting for my entire adult life.

My daughter inherits my estate. The enclosed key will reveal all.

At last, my reward. The address and name of the bank followed.

I now remember that I skipped my way there.

In the dark bowels of the bank, I opened the safety box.

Even in death, he tortured me.

 rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com continues to run the successful Friday Fictioneers where authors write a piece of 100 word fiction on a photo prompt and exchange comments on their work. Thank you Rochelle for keeping this group active.

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Pam Ayres at Hay Festival

From the moment that Pam Ayres walked onto the Tata stage, she captivated her audience with humour, wit, facial expressions and a perfect sense of timing. Her introductory piece was a poem about the arrival of a letter from the pension office and it was the start of a series of hilarious poetry and stories which had the audience in an uproar, I have seen Pam Ayres on television but her impeccable delivery of her material and the twinkle in her eye can only be appreciated in a live show.

What was unexpected for me, was the sensitivity with which she described things such as the departure of her son for university and the arrival of her grandson into her family.

Most people know that her husband features in some of her material (not always in a positive way) and I think that he must have a forgiving nature as they have had a long marriage.

This session was one of my highlights of Hay Festival this year because I laughed so hard that my stomach ached for hours afterwards and it is wonderful to witness a true craftswoman practice her art.

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