Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Collection – #Verse #Short Stories – Life’s Rich Tapestry : Woven in Words by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin, who flows unstinting support and loving care to all indie authors, has a new release of her own. Loving energy under its wings. ❤

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of my own new release today. Life’s Rich Tapestry : Woven in Words is a collection of verse, micro fiction and speculative short stories.

About Life’s Rich Tapestry

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of…

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Silence is golden…

On the edge of moments…

I watched the tide come in yesterday and as the beach disappeared I was reminded of the flow of it all. Within twelve hours the beach will re-appear and the cycle will repeat.

Earlier, on this post, I wrote a story to illustrate a philosophy that I believe. I have sat knitting tonight and sharing what I did was not sitting well with me, as it wasn’t my tale to tell. So, let me put it another way. I struggle with seasonal goodwill and festivities and have done for many years now. If I could hibernate till it was all over, I would. A friend feeling the same way reached out for support and we agreed that there must be many others feeling as we do.

‘There is no such thing as a normal family or a normal Christmas. We are force fed these images of perfection and they are not real. Christmas has been hijacked by commercial enterprise and we don’t need to buy into it. Life is messy. We are messy. Goodness knows it’s a mess in our heads, so mess is bound to follow when we interact with each other. Yay to the mess! Joy comes in moments.’

‘I feel our purpose in life is to learn how to love. We try and fail and try again. Create and destroy and create again. Learn and forget and learn again. We just need to show up every day and stay open-hearted.’

When things tumble and fall…

After a tiring day, I pulled my wellies on and headed off to walk the beach in the last hour of daylight. There among the dog walkers, fishermen and birds, I returned to my calm centre. There was a chap pottering on the beach with intent and as I walked up the slipway, I waited for him to follow. ‘If he smiles at me’ I thought to myself, ‘I will ask him what he was doing.’ He did and walked towards me opening up his hands, which held broken fishing lines and weights.

‘I was fishing at high tide earlier and the currents kept breaking my lines.’

We stood looking at his hands full of his beachcombing rescues.

‘I found a huge fish attached to one, still alive, so I walked him back to the sea.’

We wished each other well and headed back home.

I have spent time lately creating a 50th birthday jumper for a friend’s husband. With love, I gathered measurements, found just the right yarn, followed the pattern faithfully and after finishing it stood back, frowned and got my tape measure out. It’s massive and I mean ‘tent-like’ massive. I know he’s a chap who works outside with chainsaws and the like, but with the best will in the world, he’s not that big! They were dealt a shattering life blow in the last few days and are struggling. All plans have tumbled to dust and as we spoke yesterday I heard her cry for me to talk about anything that gave them some respite. So, ‘tent’ like knitting it is! I may not have created a garment he can wear, but we have a heart story that will make us chuckle for quite some time.

My lovely buddy, Suzette B, runs a blog where she posted about ‘waters flow’ today and it made me think of all the times our plans and projects turn to dust and how life flows on. Of how we keep on creating new plans and projects regardless of labels, judgments, shattered hearts and expectations on how things are supposed to be.

It is how it is and love is the ever-flowing constant. ❤

Book Launch for ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister’ by Richard Dee

I am delighted to welcome Richard Dee on the launch day for the third book in his wonderful Andorra Pett series ‘Andorra Pett and her Sister‘.

Richard has written thirteen Science Fiction and Steampunk adventure books, three of which chronicle Andorra’s exploits as a reluctant amateur detective.

Take it away Richard and may the loving energy in our Global Village lift your launch.

Links to get in touch with Richard are at the end of this post.

Title and author: Andorra Pett and her Sister
Series: Book 3 in the adventures of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective, published on October 15th by 4Star Scifi.
Genre: Crime/mystery fiction
Available at: http://mybook.to/Andorra_and_her_Sister

Bio

I’m Richard Dee and I’m from Brixham in Devon. I was never a writer, at least not for ages. I made up stories in my head, based on dreams and events in my life, but I never did much with them. Life, a wife, three daughters and now three grandchildren have kept me busy.

I spent forty years in shipping, firstly at sea, then in Port Control and as a Thames River Pilot, with adventures to match anything I could imagine. When I retired, I just moved them out into space, changed some of the names and wrote them down.

I write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures, as well as chronicling the exploits of Andorra Pett, reluctant amateur detective. When I’m not writing, I bake bread and biscuits, cook delicious meals and walk the Devon coast.

My first novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of The Rocks of Aserol, a Steampunk adventure, and Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space, the first of a series featuring Andorra Pett. Sequels to most of them have either followed or are in production. I also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection of alternative history stories. I’m currently working on more prequels, sequels, and a few new projects.

Interview

Do you need silence to write?

I used to have music in the background all the time, now I find it stops me concentrating on the action that I’m trying to describe.

Does writing flow for you and fit into gaps in your daily routine, or do you need to set specific time aside?

I try to write early and late, but I can get an idea at any time. I’m lucky to be retired, so I can pretty much pick and choose when to write. In fact, I only started writing when I retired. It was as if the voices in my head were waiting for when I had the time to listen.

What has changed for you, since you started on the published path?

I never intended to write more than one book, but I’ve found that ideas for sequels, prequels and spin-off novels keep coming along. That’s as well as new ideas. Andorra Pett started as a short story, this book is the third, I have at least two more in development. And that’s before you get to the Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures that I also write.

Here is an excerpt from Andorra Pett and her Sister.

Chapter 1

The fluorescent tubes flickered in their yellowed plastic fittings; the air was rich with the smells of stale alcohol and unwashed humanity. It was as unfamiliar to the lady standing in front of the desk as the surface of the moon.

“You can have one phone call,” said the uniformed man behind the desk, three stripes on his sleeve, which would make him a sergeant, she idly thought. Behind her, an assortment of people sat sprawled, drunk and bloodied, the result of another busy Friday night in Greenwich. She carefully avoided all eye contact, if she didn’t look, then they weren’t here, and neither was she.

More uniforms bustled around, the air was thick with words, shouted and slurred. She shifted from foot to foot, her soles sticking to whatever it was that adorned the worn plastic tiles; she didn’t really want to speculate on its origins.

The uniform was still talking. “Before we record your possessions and take you to the cells, do you understand the charges against you; and your rights?”

‘Oh God!’ she thought, it sounded so final, and such a surprise. When the doorbell rang, the last thing she had been expecting was the group of suited detectives, with uniformed officers in tow. They swarmed over her house and garden. Cupboards were emptied and holes were dug in the immaculate turf. Muddy boots trampled over the shag pile. Dogs panted and strained to sniff in all the corners. Her computer was disconnected and placed in a box, together with all the papers from her business. It felt like an invasion, and yet all her pleas for an explanation were met with silence. In the eyes of the searchers, she could see contempt and the world-weary presumption of guilt. In desperation, she faced one of the uniformed men and shouted into his face, “What are you doing in my house? What do you think I’ve done?”

Again, there was no answer; she grabbed the man, wanting to shake a response from him. Instantly she was spun around, her arms were forced behind her back and handcuffs were fitted, digging into her wrists.

“Don’t make it worse,” the policeman hissed in her ear, his breath hot on her neck. “You’ll add assault to the list if you’re not careful.” She forced herself to calm down, rage would get her nowhere.

The charges against her were read out as she was cautioned by one of the detectives; they were the second stage of the nightmare. Until a week ago, she wouldn’t have had a clue how they fitted into her life. All she did was run a modest shop, selling ethnic goods, cane furniture, ceramics and hand-woven fabric cushions. It was Fairtrade; for goodness’ sake!

They said that she was receiving controlled substances and laundering the proceeds of criminal activity. But she was forced to accept that they were, on the face of it at least, correct. The way she found out, had been just as bad. But she was saving that for the statement she knew she would need to make, sooner or later, so she said nothing. And now she was here.

The nightmare started a few days ago. She was unpacking a delivery when she knocked over a vase that she was putting on display in her shop. There were a few small plastic bags of something white taped together inside it, they were mixed in with the broken shards and her heart sunk. Stupidly, as it now turned out, instead of calling the police, she threw everything away, double wrapped in black bags and tried to pretend that she had never seen them.

“Who do you want us to call?” the police sergeant repeated. “Husband, partner, parents, solicitor?”

As he suggested each, she thought, ‘No, I haven’t got any of them,’ and if she was honest, even some of her so-called friends would not want to be associated with her now. And at this time of day, they probably wouldn’t answer or be too smashed or stoned to be of much use. In their world of dinner parties and liberal values, they all professed to despise the police and authority in general as instruments of the overbearing state, they would avoid being seen in such a place voluntarily if they possibly could.

There was only one person who could help her sort this mess out, and she still hesitated, even though there was no one else to call. To say that they had had their differences over the years would not be an exaggeration but she knew that she would come through, now that it really mattered. Because when the chips were down, that was what you did.

“Call my sister,” she said. “I’ll get you the number.” She fished around in the bag laid on the counter.

The policeman looked mystified. “Your sister? It’s up to you entirely but most people ask for their solicitor. You are aware of just how serious all this is?”

“That’s fine,” she answered, still desperately hoping that it was all a fuss over nothing, that in the end, common sense would prevail. “Just get her, she’ll know what to do.”

She passed him the card; in her purse so long that it was rubbed and scuffed by all the coins it had pressed against. He took it and peered at the writing.

“Is this some sort of a joke?” he asked in a puzzled tone. “AC Couture, a clothes shop in Greenwich? It’s been closed for years. And Andorra Pett, the Andorra Pett? That’s your sister? Won’t she be on that space station, out near Saturn, or wherever it is?”

The woman nodded. “That’s her. Just use the mobile number; it should still be the same. Tell her that her sister Argentia’s in deep trouble and that she should get here as quickly as she can.”

The sergeant dialled. “It’s ringing.”

~~~~

As well as a special launch price of £1.99, the first two Andorra Pett adventures are currently reduced to £1.49.

You can find them at http://mybook.to/Andorra and http://mybook.to/AndorraPettonMars

Links

I’m Richard Dee, as well as the Andorra Pett series, I write Sci-fi and Steampunk adventures.

My website is richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, you’ll find free short stories, regular features on writing, book reviews and guest appearances from other great authors. There’s even a bit of cookery!

You can find all my titles on my Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG

I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi and I can also be contacted at mailto:richarddeescifi@gmail.com

The wind beneath our wings…

I saw an oldie but goodie this morning and it made me chuckle. Thank you, Debby and Sally. ❤

Women are angels and when someone breaks our wings, we simply continue to fly, on a broomstick. We’re flexible like that!

Yesterday I played hookey and went with lovely friends to visit a wonderful converted old mill in Flintshire, North Wales, where all the stone buildings are filled with yarn, fabrics and craft supplies. There is also a restaurant selling yummy homemade food on-site, which will not come as a surprise to any of you.

The day was filled with support for each other while we chose the things we needed for future projects, bounced ideas around and at times were bent double with laughter. Plus, there was a sale on, so the bargains we found were a bonus.

Welsh rarebit for lunch added to the wind beneath our wings.

We ended the day sharing coffee and lemon drizzle cake back home in the conservatory of a clever lady who creates animals from her imagination that make you go ‘Ohhh, will you look at that!’ Her lovely buddy sparkled as she talked about the things they used to make together and it was obvious how these two souls have been the wind under each other’s wings for many years.

Today I had a tricky situation that flowed through my morning. Before I would have gone quiet, internalised it, hashed it about, stewed on it and made myself feel thoroughly ‘Yuk’. The re-vamped me reached out to my buddies and they flowed their wind under my wings. I managed to maintain a calm exterior, stop anything inciteful from leaving my mouth, handled it and stayed in my space of grace. The soul with a tendency to dramatic wind then passed on through and all settled back down again, without upset.

My Granny used to say that the older you get the more important your girl friends are and those are wise words.

Thank you girls for being the wind beneath my wings. ❤

Le Club…

Each Friday, my buddy in France and I ‘sail’ together on Skype as we share our working day. We call Friday’s ‘Le Club’ in honour of a group I was touched to share during my time in France.

Around about sixty creative women gather in a village hall deep in South West France among the hills and farms, where the honeyed stone buildings give out warmth and the peace is palpable. They come bringing easels, sewing machines and bags full of creativity to share a day together. All nationalities with a bond that transcends language as they sit inside nattering, crocheting. knitting, embroidering, quilting, sewing and felting, while outside under the trees are a group painting.

They sit together sharing stories of childhood, love, illness, bereavement, children, grandchildren, retirement, plans gone awry, projects, home renovations, family visits and specials from the food market. I sat next to a lady who creates pictures through exquisite bead embroidery and with hand gestures and smiles we had understanding.

The energy carved a place in my heart and each Friday my buddy and I return together. ❤



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