Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

Wordless Wednesday — Branching Out Into Alligators

Alligator branch

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Monday Morning Haiku #44 — The Vagaries of English Weather

December heatwave

Winter solstice soon.
Weather fakes balmy June day:
Whoops! trees have gone bald.

Top of the UK Charts 13th December, 1964, 1974 & 1984

Wordless Wednesday — South Downs, Seaward

South Downs SeawardWordless-Wednesday-Button-150

Monday Morning Haiku #43 — Bird Food

December Seeds

Earthworms burrow deep
Ground hard-frozen at midday
Seeds for hungry birds

December’s Guest Storyteller, Sherri Matthews

Sherri

Sherri is a freelance writer, published in a variety of national magazines, websites, and anthologies.  She is writing her first book, a memoir, and regularly publishes articles, memoir bites, flash fiction and poetry on her blog.  Having lived in California for twenty years, she now lives with her hubby, daughter and two cats in the West Country of England, where she walks, gardens and takes endless photographs.

You can connect with Sherri at

Blogwww.sherrimatthewsblog.com
Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/aviewfrommysummerhouse
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/sherri-matthews/60/798/aa3
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/103859680232786469097/posts

Memoir Book Blurb: http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/memoir-book-blurb/ )

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Sarah says: Welcome to my blog, Sherri, and thank you so much for contributing a most poignant and seasonal piece of flash fiction. In Sherri’s words: “This is about a little girl’s discovery that she isn’t the only one in her family who is keeping secrets”.

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Chocolate Umbrella 

Emma knew magic because Daddy made magic and she never stopped believing. Such magic that only he could muster, especially for his little girl, every Christmas Eve.

But today, while Daddy paid for their shopping, she stared in disbelief at the box of chocolate umbrellas on the shelf at the supermarket. Her chocolate umbrellas, the ones that fell out of the sky every Christmas Eve because of her daddy’s magic. How could this be?

On the way home, Daddy took her to the pub. “Don’t tell Mummy,” he said, with a wink. While he propped up the bar, let out bursts of laughter, and slapped the backs of drinking friends, Emma sat out of sight in a quiet corner with a bag of crisps and a glass of cola to keep her amused.

As she sat alone, she remembered last Christmas Eve, how Daddy had regaled her with stories of mystical creatures, of elves and fairies and how her eyes had shone with the wonderment of it all.

She remembered the flush of her cheeks as the burning coal in the fireplace cast its orange glow and how, with the lights off, she had been mesmerised by the red-hot ash of Daddy’s cigarette as it danced and made patterns in the darkness.

Then she had gasped with surprise as she heard a rustle and something fell from the middle of the darkness, landing in her open hands. Always a chocolate umbrella, conjured up just for her.

“Let’s go day dreamer.” Pulled away with a start from her memories, Emma looked up at Daddy. “Don’t want to miss the magic,” he grinned.

She stood up, smiling faintly. “I’m excited,” she lied, as she took his hand. She knew now there was no such thing as magic and she felt sad, but she played along, not wanting to hurt Daddy’s feelings.

That night, as a chocolate umbrella landed in her hands, she giggled as before and hugged Daddy but she knew things were no longer the same. Then again, she already had an idea that things had changed, ever since last week when she had seen Mummy kissing a strange man while Daddy was out at the pub.

The man had worn a Christmas hat, but Emma knew he definitely wasn’t Santa Claus.

© Sherri Matthews 2014

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You can find the links to previous guest storyteller posts at http://sarahpotterwrites.com/guest-storytellers-2/

And guess what? Next month, it will be exactly one year since I started my monthly guest storyteller slot, but more about that in January! Meanwhile, a big thank you to my twelve brilliant guests for 2014 :-)

Neglected Structures & Overgrown Places #28 — Going Nowhere Fast

Two-wheeled trailer

This two-wheeled trailer, piled high with household rejects, has been parked at the side of a road for a week.

To me, it’s symbolic of life and all the psychological dross we accumulate over the years. How often do we find ourselves saying “I’ve turned over a new leaf”, to meet with speedy failure? We do the equivalent of loading our unwanted behaviour in a trailer, but can’t find the willpower or motivation to drive it away and dump it for good on the rubbish tip.

For instance, who really wants to hang on to things below?

  • a green sofa (envy)
  • black rubbish sacks (black dog moods)
  • broom handles (unrealistic notions of looking like a stick-thin model)
  • white doors without handles (false notions that the grass is greener on the other side)
  • old cupboards (constant worrying about family skeletons)

My trailer would contain old shoes, as I need to walk taller with a confident spring in my step, instead of thinking that great success happens to other people.

What would your trailer contain, and would you have the willpower to drive it away?

Wordless Wednesday — Cormorants Prepare for Take-off

Cormorants contemplating take-off

Cormorants take-off

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Monday Morning Haiku #42 — Nutmeg

Nutmeg (leycesteria formosa)

Puce blooms adorn shrub
Ground spice sprinkled on custard
The nutmeg’s journey

Yay, It’s Publication Day for Dave Farmer’s Novel, “The Range” :-)

the range book cover FINALNews breaks of a deadly virus in Asia but, despite fatalities, few people take it seriously.

Sheltered within the university bubble, Samantha and Louise are convinced the UK is invulnerable to this virus, until gruesome events unfold around the world and the death toll rises from hundreds to millions.

By the time the virus reaches England and students on campus start falling sick, Samantha has to weigh up the risks of travelling home to London. She decides to sit tight with Louise and wait for everything to blow over.

But the situation further deteriorates in ways the two friends couldn’t have envisaged. Their student flat is no fortress and there’s only one place they’ll be safe: The Range.

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Hearty congratulations to Dave! Today, the Kindle edition of The Range (Bloodwalker Legacy Book 1) becomes available for purchase from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. The print on demand version is available via CreateSpace and will be linked to the Kindle listing in 3-5 business days.

Some of you will remember Dave from his previous appearance on my blog as June’s guest storyteller, where he whetted our appetites with an extract from The Range. In that post, I described him as writing speculative type “what-if” fiction that concentrates on things such as courage, loyalty and friendship, but with an apocalyptic slant. Of course, this makes him very much a writer after my own heart.

Dave blogs at www.davefarmer.co.uk

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