Get On Your Bikes, Gremlins!

When I announced at the end of September my intention to take a month off blogging and concentrate on doing an intensive edit of my latest novel, I might as well have sent out a party invitation to every gremlin in the neighbourhood.

Here was the gremlins’ idea of a party

  • Turned my landline into a homing beacon for international call centres.
  • Made sure that everything I needed to buy wasn’t available in the local shops, so I had to search for the items online, which, in turn, distracted me with things that I might like to buy in the future.
  • Compelled me to google for the perfect cure for being underweight.
  • Put the idea into my head to take fish oil supplements, which caused me the rarest side effects of insomnia and anxiety attacks.
  • Blew up my mobile phone charger with an almighty flash and bang.
  • Knocked out the speedometer and petrol gauge in my car.
  • Ensured no family chilling out time in front of the TV in the evenings by damaging the satellite dish.
  • Caused instant narcolepsy to anyone in the household trying to read a book after supper.
  • Then finally, as if this wasn’t enough, those darned gremlins decided to make Mister so ill I thought he was going to die. This necessitated him being admitted to hospital as an emergency and undergoing every test under the sun.*

[*It reminded me of an episode of House, whilst the team search for the cause of Mister’s symptoms like medical detectives, finally diagnosing the problem. I can’t praise them more highly. They’re my heroes. They are the reason he’s still alive. Thank you, NHS. You are a national treasure. May this Government and future ones always see it that way and provide the necessary funding.]

As you can imagine, I haven’t finished editing my novel but have only completed a third of the task. Neither has my son managed to complete the first draft of his novel as intended. Now we’re both working hard to stay below the gremlins’ radar to complete our missions, although, if I’m being realistic about it, I can only manage an hour a day of intensive work. On the plus side, I admit to achieving more in one hour than I sometimes achieve in four!

Please bear with me, my dear blogging friends, if my participation in the WordPress community is rather intermittent for a while longer (maybe until the New Year).

Next week, I will post a 5-star review of Sam Jordison’s most entertaining non-fiction work The Ten Worst of Everything: The Big Book of Bad, which, despite the title, is incredibly funny in places and helped me put my own trials in perspective.

Please note, that if you add the fact I haven’t finished editing my novel to the nine bulleted ingredients of the gremlins party, it equals TEN BAD THINGS – a most interesting coincidence, indeed.

So how did everybody else’s October go?            

Monday Morning #Haiku — Celebrating its 200th Week!

To mark this special occasion, here are the three haiku and accompanying images to have earned the highest number of likes since the 100th week celebration

Night Dog (53 likes)

Snow-dusted garden
Luminous eyes pinprick night
Explorer dog lamps

Bird Truce (39 likes)

Jackdaws and magpies
Annual Branch Meeting starts
Armistice short-lived

Tulips (2) (39 likes)

Tulip sweet delight
Assortment of Bold colours
Nature’s candy mix

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This is my last post until the beginning of November, as I need to take a month off from blogging to concentrate on doing an intensive edit of the offbeat satirical novel I began in National Novel Writing Month 2017.

To keep me focused upon achieving my goal, I’ve agreed to do a beta-reading swap with two other novelists in November.

I’ll try to visit as many of your blogs as I can before the end of October.

Love and best wishes to you all x

Friday Fictioneers — Beyond the Veil

Genre: Tragedy
Word Count: 100

BEYOND THE VEIL

Alice’s bridal veil hangs at the window, curtaining her off from the world.

Beneath a silvery moon her seducer had sung of love and sent her heart sailing over the rooftops, along with her brain.

If only clouds and rain had sheeted the moon in gloom that night, Alice would’ve hung on to her brain and her panties.

If only she’d worn a straitjacket for her hen night, she could have settled for mediocrity.

If only her fiancé had sent her heart sailing over the rooftops as her seducer had done.

Forever after, “if only” will be her daily mantra.

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image copyright (c) Gah Learner

My Latest Meet-up With Fellow Blogger, Sherri Matthews

Last week I had one of my regular meet-ups with my dear friend Sherri Matthews, who blogs at A View From My Summerhouse. As many of you know, Sherri and I both live in the south of England, but 150 miles apart from each other; however, I’m very fortunate that her two grown-up sons live in my neck of the woods and she visits them as often as she can.

To my delight, apart from our usual pub lunch, this time I was able to share one of my favourite walks with her — Cuckmere Valley and Estuary — the beauty of which I’ve celebrated many times in haiku and tanka verse.

My first get-together with Sherri was back in June 2015, when we met for lunch and discovered that we could do more talking in a few hours than some people do in a week! Not only was Sherri the warm, caring, and sincere person I expected her to be, but I found she shared my quirky humour and eccentricity, too. So how could we end up as anything other than good friends?

Of course we have writing in common also, and I think she’d agree that we support and encourage each other through the highs and lows of completing our projects. Sherri is working on the final draft of her memoir Stranger in a White Dress and, by now, most of my followers know that I write offbeat novels.

Sherri twice contributed to my monthly guest storyteller slot that I ran for a little over three years. On both occasions, she managed to delight readers with some flash-fictionalised seasonal memoir  — ‘Chocolate Umbrella’ and ‘A Blue Coat for Christmas’.

I look forward to my next meet-up with Sherri, when I plan to share another of my favourite walks by the sea, which includes the site of archeological interest mentioned earlier this week in my tanka poem about a crow.

Has anyone else a story to tell about real-life friendships they’ve made through blogging?

Friday Fictioneers — Dressed Trout

Genre: Dark humour
Word count: 100

DRESSED TROUT

“You, madam, have fatally overstepped the mark.”

“Leb be bout!”

Silly old trout. Dose of y’ own medicine. Enter the zone of a faceless nobody without a voice, hands tied by The System. …Except now you’re at the mercy of My System. “Madam, you called me ‘boy’ again today and shouted at me in front of the customers. My job is to stack the freezers, not spend hours helping you choose wine so all my ice cream melts.”

“Bolice! Boy’s a bycho.”

“Too right, I’m a psycho. Now an officially jobless one with infinite time on his hands for torture.

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Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories
Photo Prompt: image copyright (c) Liz Young