Category Archives: Competitions

A story for the weekend

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This is the story that won Eddie Walsh’s final Emerald competition. Theme: – Nobody will ever know. I came first from 65 entries, so I was thrilled as you can imagine. It’s been a while ago, but it’s a story I’m proud of and thought you might like to read it.
When the cheque for £65.00 arrived it was a real treat especially as it came on my birthday as well. Eddie, told me that he read so many stories with bodies under the patio, that it was good to read something different. So, remember, when entering any competition, write about the most way out thing you can. It will get you noticed, if nothing else.

It’s a shame about Cliff and Binky, I think they would have had some good adventures as the house-sitters with Herbert, and even done a bit of sleuthing. I’m now going to work on a series of stories with the two of them.

They met at university in the sixties. Cliff was a vegetarian, that’s why Binkie was always with him. He loved animals, and did a lot for animal welfare, so it was a sad ending for him. Hope you enjoy the story, I wrote it while on holiday in Brixham. So, I think we should have another holiday so that I can write another winning story:

One of my summer projects is to publish a collection of my short stories to keep them all together and so that I can have a clean up with my files and get rid of lots of folders that are gathering dust but ones I don’t like to part with. Title will be The House-Sitters and other stories.

 

 

The House-Sitters

“Hey Cliff, I’ve let the canary out of the cage for a bit of a fly around the conservatory.”

“I wish you’d said, then I could have shut the Jack Russell out.” A flash of white fur dived onto the back of the rattan settee, and in one gulp, swallowed a mouthful of yellow feathers. Herbert and Cliff watched in horror as Binkie coughed and spluttered before smacking his lips in appreciation.

“My God Herbert, I can’t believe that. He’s eaten the canary!”

“We’ll have to cover this up Cliff. Nobody will ever know. We’ll say we left a window open, then the bird flew out.” Herbert bit on his lower lip as if to convince himself it could pass for the reason the cage was empty of canary.
“Blasted dog.”

Cliff turned, “I’ll go and feed Monty his rats. When the instructions said, three of them, did it mean daily or weekly do you think?” Herbert frowned, then ruffled his thick mop of white hair.

“Not sure, I threw him one in yesterday. I haven’t much idea on the diet of a python.”

“Me neither. We haven’t had one of those before have we?” Cliff made his way to the shed where a cage of live rats with pink piercing eyes darted with fear, or maybe anger, Cliff wasn’t sure. He made a grab for one of them by its tail. Binkie gnashed his teeth, trying to grab the wriggling rat from Cliff’s grasp.

“Blast you Binkie.” He tried kicking the dog to one side. “You’ve caused enough trouble for today. Move away.” Cliff opened the door to the spare room where Monty the enormous python languished across the top of a dusty bookcase. Hurling the screeching rat across the room towards the snake, Binkie flew like chalk dust onto the big grey rodent. Cliff just happened to see the rat clasped in the jaws of the dog when an even swifter move was made by the snake. For a few seconds he froze in time; to see Binkie’s head, body, then legs disappearing down the jaws of Monty.

“Herbert, come quick!” Cliff grasped Binkie’s back legs and tugged as hard as he could on the only remaining part of the dog that hung out of those elongated poisonous, fang sucking lips that opened even wider to pull in dog, hands, arms then head of Cliff.

Hebert entered the room just in time to see his friend being swallowed alive with one last gulp. With that final suck, Monty had feasted on canary in dog, with rat in jaw, followed by one slightly tough, though tasty all the same, human being.
As he shivered uncontrollably, Herbert could see the shape of Cliff lying inside the snake. Slowly closing the door on the horrific scene, he whispered to himself.

“Nobody will ever know.” The Peterson’s were due back in the morning. Herbert needed to act fast. They never left true contact details, always best to give false ones. He picked up the phone and booked a flight. “Thank you, first class travel to South Africa will be perfect.”

selective focus photography of puppy lying on green grass
Photo by Osmar Vasques on Pexels.com
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Looking for fairies and tropics has arrived plus a great giveaway.

There’s nowhere like Warwickshire when the bluebells appear in the woodlands. Ann and Sophie have the same thoughts on a warm sunny April afternoon. Sophie is on the hunt for fairies.

Bluebell woodfairy huntANN = SOPH

You never know when they may appear and glad to see she found them. Good to see magic in the air. Hope you’re enjoying the Easter break and doing things you enjoy.

FAiry houseIt’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so to make up for that I’m doing a giveaway. Not one or two but three of my Redington paperbacks to give you some great sunshine reading. It’s a collection of short stories set in Norfolk, a mixture of happenings and characters to keep you entertained for a while. Obviously if you’ve read the book you wouldn’t want another one, so only for people who haven’t already got one can apply. Just pop a comment saying why you’d like one, and good luck if you have a go.smaller pic

Other great news is my tropics skin-care storybook has arrived. It’s called the story book of skin care as it’s adapted to what you need. Here’s mine on the right, and a tropical day in Torquay on the left.

The complete boxed set has cleanser, toner, moisturiser, green serum for lovely skin, face mask full of natural products, see more here.

They really work well and if you want to know more about that, let me know and I can put you in touch with Ann, who will give you more information. PHOTO-2019-04-16-21-41-24PHOTO-2019-04-16-21-41-27Redington books

Enjoy the weekend, and get your name in the comments box if you’d like a free signed copy of my book.

Fancy a good story?

I started back at the gym this week. On Wednesday morning and again this morning, I went on the rowing machine, treadmill, bike and then the cross-trainer. After that mat excercises and stretches to cool down. I’m lucky to have a personal trainer, who says, no do those planks for a bit longer, and no, not like that, like this. Next week I might swim to mix it up a bit.

gym pictureThat’s not the story. I came home to find out that I’d won Morgen Bailey’s challenge to give the words for a story prompt. What she did with the words is lovely. Exactly the kind of story I had in mind. Details are here.

You can read all three stories here… How lovely to have a prize of 5,000 words edited.

Now I’m working on chapter 3 of Another Year in Redington. Being in Norfolk, they’re talking about the whales and how tragic it is that they’ve been washed up on the coast.

Have a great weekend, and if you want to read the opening of Redington, you can find it here on Amazon.

Thanks to all who have already downloaded or bought it.

 

O Christmas Tree

Now I know it’s coming closer, we’ve got our tree up.

TreeMr Polar bear is keeping an eye on the chocs under the tree and he brought a supply of glacier mints with him as well.

Christmas music to get you in the festive mood while you make mince pies.

What’s your favourite Christmas song? I love traditional ones like Little Donkey, and A Winter’s Tale

Speaking of a winter’s tale, I’m off to edit a story. And great news that Shirley Blair’s blog has news that we’ll be getting news from our People’s Friend entries.

Glad I didn’t have a burning desire to submit somewhere else. I am going to complete the story though as it’s something I’ve grown attached to, only yesterday I was thinking about the characters.

And just incase you wanted a sunny summer picture to compensate for the grey days, here’s one.

??????????????????????Me and Alan sipping champagne on our wedding day.

Polar bear

The Winner is…

names in the box

How exciting, I’ve folded all the names into three, and given them a good shuffle in the fruit box, watched carefully by the adjudicator, and another shuffle and another one. Now, he’s selecting one name to be the winner of the free book.

She’s on a roll, it’s

Comp winner

So pleased for you, Linda. All in the same week of winning the Alfie dog short story competition as well. The book will be winging it’s way to you very soon.

If you click on the tab above to take you to my website. Then under Welcome to Sue’s writing site tab, you’ll see my C.V. page. On there is my email, to let me have your address. Hope you enjoy the stories, even though you’ve read some.

Thanks to everyone who had a go, and shame there can only be one winner. I’d love you all to have a copy, but that wouldn’t be sensible. Have a great weekend everyone.

 

 

Here it is…

coverThe new cover of my latest e-publication. Don’t you just love it? I know I do, and it’s exactly how I wanted it to be.

A collection of 9 stories set in my favourite made up village in mid-Norfolk.

So far, it’s available on Amazon.com and soon will be on the .uk one as well. Here…

Nine stories in all, ending with The Wedding… It’s taken a while, so at last I can get on with something else now. Like the serial for People’s Friend magazine, and a story for the Alfie dog competiton.

Coming next week, interview with Glynis Scrivens and all about her latest book, which I need to get. Edit is a four letter word.

Latest Redington story.

On Monday 24th November, my latest Redington story will appear on Creative Frontiers.

The story for this month is called, Treacle Toffee & Poisoned Coffee. A time slip story, and hope you

enjoy it if you tune in every day to see what happens. It is Sebastian and Claire’s story, and it begins

when they go to the winter fair that turns up in Redington.

Redington V11

Following on from my last post, Keith Lindsay has the answers to some of your questions as well….

Seems there are a couple of follow up questions so:

Who do I test my jokes on?

Welllll, firstly I don’t really write jokes, I write funny; that is I find humour in characters in a given situation and their reactions to it. As for testing it, I rely on my instinct, you can only really write what you find funny and hope there’s an audience for it. My opinion anyway.

Do you know who will play the parts of the characters before you write?
Or do you write with anyone in mind?

Hmmm, I feel the need for a multi-part answer: If you’re writing for someone else’s show then obviously you know the actors playing the parts, but that shouldn’t really influence your writing – it has more to do with the house style of the show than the actors strengths or otherwise.

If, as in the case of Birds of a Feather, the show is being written with particular actors in mind then maybe consideration is given to what the actor can bring to the part. That said I’m of the opinion that you should write parts actors will want to play not parts they can play.

Finally unless I’m asked to write for a specific person I really never have anyone in mind when I create characters, I prefer to produce the most interesting and funny character I can with their own voice as opposed to hearing only one actor in my head. I mean why limit yourself to one when there are so many to choose from, bit like pick and mix.

Thanks all for the kind comments.

Keith

Now for the December giggle blog, this is a funny one. It was so funny to me, I was in our front window wishing

I had some of those protective pants. those you wear when you get to a cetain age, because I laughed so much it

was a time for crossing legs. And why didn’t I take a picture? Because I might have had my camera chucked over the

hedge, maybe………. that’s at the beginning of December, and involves a rottweiler dog, a big fat hippo sized one.

I came on the longlist of the Alfie dog competition, and good luck to all on the shortlist. Sadly I didn’t make it to that one.

Now to round up my story, and get it finished in time for Monday…………………………………….. and it now has a dog following Lynne Hackles advice on Creative Frontiers.

Stories to read…

scented pinks
scented pinks

I have two stories published. One is on a shortlist, and published in the new magazine called Kishboo. available to read now. That stands for

Keith and Sharon Boothroyd, who have combined to create a new online magazine. On Monday 27th, you can start voting for the stories

they have chosen for their list of contenders for the winning prize. I’d be over the moon if you read my story and clicked like please.

It’s called ‘Three Little Flowers’ and it’s special to me.

They are running an ongoing competition, that is only three-pound to enter, and prizes are £50.00 for first and £25.00 for second. Voting is on people clicking, so the more friends you have, the more likely you’ll win. So, not hoping for miracles, because they’re in the story, and that’s where I’d rather them be:))

Prepare yourself for a mammoth read that is my latest Redington story, thank you Martin West of Creative Frontiers, for publishing it.

Midnight on Colley Hill, will run as a serial, beginning on 27th October, and is a Halloween story, where three Redington girls, or more like, old girls get together for a re-union. Don’t want to give too much away, so hope you enjoy it if you read.

Stones darkerPicture courtesy of maritimephotographic.com

RNA Award Ceremony.

On Saturday, we went to Leighton Buzzard so that I could attend the Award Ceremony. Here’s the list for the new talent section.

Jan in a hatTo celebrate me getting on to the shortlist of 11, here’s my writing buddy Jan, modeling her stylish hat, in support for Hats off to Love… Click on the picture to go to Jan’s blog.

New Talent Award Shortlist
An Infamous Seduction by Glenda Cooper

Country Strife by Debbie Fuller-White

Fancy Cakes and Skinny Lattes by Melanie Griffiths

For One Last Time by Louise Hall

The Gossamer Trail by Brenda Hawkey

Who Does He Think He Is? by Emily Kerr

Hats Off To Love by Susan Jones

Meeting Halfway by Mairibeth MacMillan

The Perfect Blend by Catherine Meadows

True Colours by Caroline Rayner

Maggie’s Child by Glynis Smy

It was lovely to meet the others on the shortlist. Brenda had traveled all the way from Cornwall, and I thought we’d had quite a journey. Her story sounded interesting, and so did lots of others, like Louise’s One Last TIme, and Glynis’s Maggie’s Child. Then I met Debbie Fuller White, who told me about Country Strife.

Congratulations to Caroline Rayner who won with True Colours. She told me it’s a story about second chances, because everyone deserves a second chance. Look forward to reading that.

The children dancing before and in between the awards were a real treat, and some brought a tear to the eye. I especially liked the lad dancing to ‘why do fools fall in love’ and the little girl singing ‘where is love’ from Oliver Twist, and dressed in rags.

Click on Samantha’s photo to go to her website.

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I met Samantha Tonge, who was also shortlisted for her e-book, and two lovely Irish ladies, Carmel Harrington who won last years e-book category, she was presenting an award; and Louise Hall who was on the same shortlist as me. The editors from Carina are lovely as well. They won their section.

Sophie, in the middle of the two lovely Irish ladies, Carmel and Louise, won the blogger award for reviewedthebook blog.

shortlisted pals

So now I’m busy getting the novel finished, edited, polished and up to scratch to send in… also I’m working on The Ghost of Windmill Walk for Creative Frontiers.

Right after the award ceremony, we had a visit to Wales to visit Alan’s mum. She was her usual welcoming self, and more about that on my giggle blog in a week or so…

Even though I didn’t win, (in some ways I’m glad as I’d have been a nervous wreck going up on the stage) I know now that the story of Denise will be published one day. She is waiting for me to get fingers on keyboard, and put the whole thing together…..

One thing that stayed in my mind from the weekend, is that the lady who won, Caroline, had a lovely smile and she turned to me and said, ‘what lovely friendly people romantic novelists are.’ She is truly smashing, and looking forward to reading her story.

My novel…

Some of you who follow my blog may know that I’m working on a novel… Hats off to Love. A romance, set in the 1970’s.

Well, I’m proud to tell you that I’m on the shortlist of the RNA, new talent awards. Have a look here. I entered the competition a while ago, and had the email the other day.

I recognise some names, like Samantha Tonge who was a guest on my blog recently, and Sue Moorcroft of course. Also, Liz Fenwick and Linda Mitchelmore. Also, Debbie Fuller White who is in the same category as me.

So now I’m polishing up my first three chapters and synopsis to take with me to the event, where the shortlisted people are invited to an exclusive reception prior to the awards. Sounds good doesn’t it, and I’m glad I’m able to go, even though we were due to go away on that weekend, but we can go a day later.

canalI’m putting this picture in, as a canal features in the story.

Also, I’m working on another Redington story for Creative Frontiers… It’s a ghost one, but the ghost is taking it’s time to appear in the story. I’m sure it, he/she will manifest soon…..

Digital imageHere’s me and my love, to inspire the romantic writing, and you can never have enough flowers can you>? So here’s some red roses.

Digital image

Digital imageAnd a hat…. I was the only one at the wedding in a hat, but someone has to wear one don’t they? Even if our youngest son told me I looked like the person who’d turned up with the take-away…. cheeky isn’t he?