My new thang—editing

So, you’ve got to this point with your novel


and don’t know what to do next. You have just written The End. You want to get a publisher interested, or you want to publish it yourself, but it needs another pair of eyes casting over it first.

What you need is an editor, and that is exactly what I’m thinking of becoming. I can write, I’m pernickety about everything, and I can spot a plot hole a mile off. I’m still thinking this through, setting up a new web site and working out where to advertise. Competitive is the new cheap, so my rates will be competitive—we’re all broke and not many of us are going to make millions out of our books.

I’m offering to edit the first few pages to give you an idea of what you can expect, but bear in mind that I write fantasy, YA, and historical fiction. I’m not your best bet for spy thrillers or erotica. If you think you might be interested, please get in touch through the contact form. If I get a positive response, I’m launched!

Continue reading My new thang—editing

Microfiction: The End

I saw this competition today, the Sully Award, and since I have any number of 200 word stories, thought I’d enter one of them. Not necessarily the best, but one I’m fond of. If you would like to enter, you have until next Tuesday. Just pop over to Heylookawriterfellow’s blog. The more the merrier.


They had run out of time. There were no more moons left, no more hope. Nothing more would rise in the sky, night or day. The standing stones watched but refused their help. The magic that lay beneath them slept. And it would sleep now forever. The sleepers would never waken, though this was surely the end, and they were the only ones who could avert it. So said the stories.

The fox watched the setting sun and called the vixen. Together they slipped through the gateway between the stones to the otherworld and left the earth to its dying.

Vixen stopped and looked back. Dog fox sat and wrapped his brush neatly over his toes. The sky beyond the stones was darkening though not with night; it was dark because the sky was empty. The pale sun had set and no moon would rise. The stars had all fallen and the universe turned its back on the earth. A flock of birds swung, swift, feathered darts, between the stones. An owl followed, another. They were the last. The stones fell together and shattered. The doorway had gone. Fox shook himself, vixen yawned, and they trotted into the starlit night.

Microfiction #writephoto: Starting over

This is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt


Fifty years after the end of the conflict, the wasteland showed only the barest trace of green. The bodies were gone, bleached bones covered in dry, shifting earth. No vegetation anchored it, and winds blew the earth from drift to drift. Here and there, desert animals were returning: rodents and in their wake, small predators and raptors.

The earth licked its wounds, letting the toxins leach away and the scars close over. On the hillock, a gun carriage rotted into the earth, the only evidence of man in the landscape that stretched from horizon to horizon, a dried-up lake, a range of hills, and a dense mist where the ocean lay. Or had done once.

The two emissaries took a last look at the emptiness before turning back to their shuttle. They had arrived too late to make contact.

“Perhaps it is just as well,” one said.

“Now it can all start again. But this time, we will take charge.”

They walked carefully around the vessel, sweeping the earth clear. One of them bent, and with long, slender fingers, scooped up a nest of mice and placed it clear of the blast from the reactors. Satisfied that all was well, the two took up their places in the capsule and returned to their mother ship.

The sun sank to the horizon. A mouse carried her babies into the tunnel-dark safety of a new nest. A fox slunk out from beneath the gun carriage and sniffed the air. Puzzled, she raised her muzzle and tasted the strange scent of well-being. She trotted without fear in the direction of a small watercourse. Something said the cubs would eat well tonight.

Microfiction Three Line Tales: Meat shop

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash


Behind the plate glass and the white coat, the shiny knives and the polished glass refrigerated cases, lies the meat.

Slabs and slices of flesh, dismembered, wings, legs, thighs, heads, ears, vital organs lie in clinical display, and in the publicity posters on the walls, lambs gambol, pigs grin cheekily and cartoon cows munch buttercups.

Behind the heavy doors at the back, where the carcasses hang in silence, ghosts linger in the cold air, and when the butcher opens the doors, with a flourish of his apron and his ghastly smile, you can hear a faint cry of terror and pain, if you listen.

Microfiction: Take it, take another little piece of…

A not very serious story for a painting prompt I can’t take very seriously either.


“Take it,” she said.

“Do it,” the baby said.

“No,” said the ewe. “I don’t want to become a cat sheep.”

“Just stop arguing,” she said, “and take the tablet.”

“It won’t hurt,” the baby said, “much. And anyway, when you have claws and teeth you’ll be able to take it out on the wolves.”

“Look,” said the ewe, “I don’t want to ‘take it out’ on anyone. All we need is a pen. You provide shepherds and a pen for the night time and we’ll be fine. Until you send us to the slaughterhouse anyway.”

“Don’t be smart,” the baby said. “It’s time you learned to look after yourselves. Claws and teeth and a snarky temperament and the wolves won’t stand a chance.”

The ewe sighed. “I’m a sheep. Lambkins here’s a sheep. We eat grass, not… That’s a point. What do they eat?”

A low sound, somewhere between a growl and a purr made the woman turn.

“Ma’am! Call the guards! It’s got little Jimmy!” the governess screamed, tugging ineffectually at a child’s pinafore. A dozen woolly individuals stopped prowling around the corpse of their sister and turned their attention to the human drama.

The woman sighed heavily and tut-tutted as the cat sheep dragged the shrieking toddler down the field to the waiting pack flock, and the baby smirked.

“I always hated Jimmy,” he said.