Tag Archives: Travel

Mermaid

This is a short story I am working on. It is not finished but please feel free to comment.

 

In the middle of the ocean, the stars shine bright and the blue water takes on shades of purple, red and black. The hull slaps on the slopes of watery hills formed by the waves. At 38, Alice is the youngest of three crew, and the least experienced, nonetheless she takes responsibility for the yacht on her shifts of the rota. Each night, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, she stills the quivers in her stomach before reminding herself of the alternative. Her colleagues will be at their desks making relentless phone calls in the hope of hooking a deal. Survival and safety are her targets now.

Orion’s belt glows above and she uses it as the base from which to practise her knowledge, working to all sides and reciting the names of the constellations and planets in a whisper; she does not want to disturb the others. Fred is stretched out in the main cabin, on call he says but unlikely to wake unless thunder shakes the ship. Now that the night is set, the peace calms her fears, the wind strokes her face and its air fills her lungs.

It has been 10 days since they last encountered another ship – a tanker crept up behind, nearly running them over before gliding by to fade into the mist – and they were too far from land for wildlife. A seagull had hitched a lift but fled on day 3 and the dolphins had played for a few days but she had not seen a pod this week.

A sail flaps and Alice leaps to tighten the sheet. The wind is changing. She shivers and reaches for her fleece as she scans the skies. The stars have vanished. Should she wake Fred? Shorten the sail? Close the hatches? Or should she observe a little longer?

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I’m the Guest Author on Rita Chapman’s Website This Week

I am delighted to announce that the lovely writer Rita Chapman interviewed me for her guest author spot. Rita originates from the UK and now lives in Australia and has a love of travel. She has written several romantic travel books in addition to a crime mystery and a horse lover tale.  Click on the links below to see my interview and to find out more about Rita.

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5834608.Rita_Lee_Chapman

https://www.facebook.com/rita.chapman

http://www.ritaleechapman.blogspot.com/

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Spanish Winter

Costa Blanca Views

                            Costa Blanca Views

After a long period away from Spain due to illness, a family wedding, book launch, etc, our arrival on Friday was anticipated with some trepidation. During those months, there have been serious fires that wiped out our local national park and apparently licked the borders near our house, severe rains and floods that destroyed local properties, and of course, Spain is still recovering from a period of recession. In addition, our home has not had anyone staying in it for months and we expected problems with heating, water, television, etc.

The landscape is somewhat scarred but Mother Nature is doing her miraculous job and green shoots are already appearing amongst the burned out remains of the forest. Few houses were lost to the flames and the area retains its beautiful Mediterranean character. Waves have broken some of the sea walls and some sea-front buildings look a bit battered but the locals are already repairing what they can. Sand scooped to form a breakwater has protected the bars and restaurants along the main tourist beach and we sat outside this morning enjoying our coffee and croissants watching the promenading locals.

The house is fine, thanks to a lovely Spanish girl and our friends.

So, things do not look as bad as we feared and this part of the eastern Spanish coast remains a stunning place to escape the chilly UK winter weather.  In addition, the peace means that I should be able to concentrate on my second novel and finally finish its first draft.

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The Ice Vault – a story for the Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

The man’s mouth moved but her mind refused to accept his words. A pain, so sharp that she struggled to breathe causing her to gasp as she reached out to touch the motionless fingers. Eventually she raised her head, looked up at the man and nodded.

‘If you’re ready, we’ll take him to the vault. The process will begin immediately.’

‘Will he .. When he … Will there be pain?’

‘We don’t think so. It should be like waking after a long sleep.’

The woman nodded and then, she rummaged in her bag. ‘Take his teddy. He’ll need his friend in that strange world. ‘

Thank you to Rochelle at http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com who organises the Friday Fictioneers. Authors write a piece of 100 word fiction, prose or poetry based on a photo prompt and exchange comments on their work.  If you are a writer of short fiction, join us and see where your imagination takes you.

 

 

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Researching the Past

One of my favourite things about writing about the past is doing the research. Both of my novels have been set in the recent past and so there have been plenty of personal accounts to give an insight to the environment and era. People love to be asked about the 1960’s and many of my friends and colleagues have rich recollections of that period. Whereas my first novel took place in Spain, this second one is located in York and its surroundings, making it easier to research. I spent several days in the fabulous Railway Museum in York where there are old photos, magazines and articles. While there, York Theatre was closed and the company relocated to the National Railway Museum to perform. We were fortunate enough to obtain tickets for the incredible production which told the history of the York Railways against the backdrop of the wonderful old engines and carriages. Over 200 performers were involved.

My research in Spain led me to villages affected by the Spanish inquisition and along the paths less travelled by the normal tourist. Locals filled me in on their customs which change from one area in the country to another.

The best thing about the research is that my understanding of my subject develops and hopefully makes my writing entertaining and realistic.

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Distant Shores – Friday Fictioneers

photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Rachel yearned for the sight of land. Twenty seven days, they tossed on the ocean waves in a container that seemed smaller with each passing day. The romantic notion was now a reality and not even the midnight sky with thousands of twinkling stars could re-ignite her passion. She hated him.

Behind was a life of comfort, family and the country she loved.

Ahead nothing but more days of salty spray.  The world adventure he offered.

She peeled the gold band off of her finger, lobbed it into the wake behind and sighed.

‘Your watch’, she shouted down the hatch.

http://www.rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com organises the successful Friday Fictioneers. Authors write a piece of 100 word fiction on a photo prompt and exchange comments on their work.  Come and join us and see where your imagination takes you. Thank you Rochelle for keeping this group active.

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The Yellow Rain on Spain

Every year, the locals go crazy with the yellow pollen that falls from the trees over this land. It is able to seek out the most pristine areas, turning the traditional white façades into dwellings streaked with dry riverbeds of yellow. As if that is not enough, the neighbouring continent sends clouds loaded with sand from its desert to dump over our humble abode. No sooner  do we clean and sweep than another delivery arrives.  It makes me wonder if our insides are as yellow!

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