Stepping back a bit

Just a quick post by way of apology. If I’m not reading and commenting on other blogs as much as I’d like, it’s because I’m writing. Serious writing. I’ll be coming up for air to respond to some of the prompts, before diving back in again, so my blog rhythm has completely changed.

The ‘big’ series I’m working on (adult fantasy with Norsemen, Gaels and sea monsters etc) is into the final volume. I finished the second and wanted to get straight into the last one while I still have a (kind of) hold on the thread of the story. It’s a big canvas with a couple of layers to it, and I want to plough ahead while I still control the plot.

When I started this volume a week ago, I’d hoped to be diving straight in with the chapters that I cut out of the original draft almost four years ago. The book was already long, so I ended the first volume of the projected series before the story got to that point. As it turned out, the second volume didn’t catch up with that part of the story either, so I thought I’d be starting volume three with about 20,000 words head start.

Wrong. After many revisions and rearrangements, character development and different twists to the plot, I find that the characters in these head start chapters bear no relationship with the characters of as they have become. Even the story isn’t the same, and I don’t recognise my voice in the writing. Consequence, I’m starting from scratch, feeling my way and hoping it’s all going to come together in the end.

I’m setting myself word count goals and working hours. While the weather was Bibilical, it wasn’t too difficult. Now that the apocalypse is over, the sun is out and a thousand birds are singing again, it’s going to be harder to keep bum on t’seat, as they say oop north.

Wish me luck. We’ll see how long I stick to the regime.





Three Line Tales: One use for a dead star

A short story for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin via Unsplash


The Creator looked down on the high-rises that sprouted like fungus over the planet, the planes that swarmed in the skies where birds used to fly.

The oceans were mounting, land receding, and the battle between rich and poor for the diminishing resources was on a global scale.

“Cancer is a sad fact of life,” the Creator said, “time to cut this one out,” and picking up a dead star, she blocked up the hole in the universe through which the rejected life forms had escaped.

Microfiction: Grail

A 100 word story for Rochelle Wisoff’s Friday Fictioneers.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot




He looked down with distaste on the crowds milling around the souvenirs.

You’d never think this place had been a church once.

Of far more value than the artworks on display and guarded with the most elaborate security systems was what was hidden in the crypt.

The cretins don’t even know there is a crypt.

Well, he did, and he knew how to get in. He slipped into the shadows of the gallery and waited, dreaming of the Grand Master’s gratitude when he handed over his prize, how the world would change, and how it would be thanks to him.

#writephoto: Flight

This little story is for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.


They halted on the road because she was tired and the baby needed feeding. He looked back the way they had come nervously. There was only a line of low hills between them and the town. He’d have preferred a mountain range. Or an ocean.

“It’ll be fine,” she said as she settled down and undid the front of her robe. “He said nothing would happen to us.”

Her husband looked at the glow in the sky that meant the town had been torched. “Not to us, maybe.”

She looked up in irritation. “But we got out in time, and that’s the main thing.”

“He also said that this could happen again.”

She shrugged. “But we’ll be looked after, whatever happens.”

“Doesn’t it make you…uneasy?”

“Look,” she said wearily, “it’s unfortunate about…the others—”

“The babies,” he specified.

“All right! The babies! But it can’t be helped. He’s more important. Look at him,” she smiled down at her baby son. The child paused in his suckling and raised his head, fixing the worried-looking man with a piercing blue stare. “Now tell me you’d put his life at risk for a bunch of insignificant babies that were probably already more than their parents could cope with.”

Her husband tore himself away from the baby’s blue-eyed gaze and looked back at the mounting flames.

“I hope you’re right,” he said.

“Of course I am,” his wife said, fastening her robe and getting to her feet. “Now, hold Jesus while I get back on the donkey. We’re not out of the woods yet.”

#Three Line Tales: Fresh start

This short story is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales, based on the photo prompt © Fabio Mangione via Unsplash


Before they left, they made sure everything was neat and tidy, fresh paint on the façades, the boats on the canal toe to tail as if for an admiralty inspection.

They knew in their heart of hearts they wouldn’t be coming back, but they wanted to take a picture of peace and prosperity with them to treasure in the darkness of the unknown.

As the new day dawned and the departing rockets merged with the sunlight, the clocks, set back a hundred years by the cosmic fairy godparents, ticked into motion again, and humanity crawled out of its post-apocalyptic slumber ready to make a second attempt at getting it right.

Twittering Tales: The face at the window

A 276 character story for Kat Myrman’s twittering tales photo prompt.

Photo by Alistair MacRobert via



Jilly tugged her big brother’s hand. “Why’s there a big wind coming out of Mr Roberts’, Darryl?”
Darryl shrugged. “One of his daft inventions probably.”
“Darryl? Can you see a cat’s face at the window?”
Darryl’s eyes narrowed then widened in fear.
“Darryl, where’s the rest of it?”