Short Story: Hatless Henrietta

SOURCE: The Telegraph (Credit: John Robertson)

It was raining. Henrietta hated it when it rained. She hated it in that same way that all the hatless hate the rain.

“Eeeek,” she squeaked as the rain pattered onto her soft and downy head. “I’m going to melt!” Her little feet pitter-pattered on the ground, making the cutest, teeny-tiniest slapping sound. She ran here, she ran there, but nowhere could she escape the plops of liquid that quite insisted on landing upon her soft and downy head.

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Review: Format it Yourself by Jo Roderick


You know, one of the things that I love most about books is just how versatile they are. Yes, they can make you laugh or make you cry, but it’s more than that. Books can be pure entertainment and escapism or they can be there to guide you through life. They can be a reflection of your soul or help you through a spiritual matter. They teach you things, from facts and figures to methods and hows to do things. Format It Yourself by Jo Roderick falls exactly into this category – and it does it very, very well.

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Decisions, Decisions…

I’ve been stood here for too long, trying to make a decision. I know I’m taking too long. I just know it. This isn’t normal. It’s not. I’m not normal! She’s getting impatient. I thought I’d made my decision but now she’s asking me questions, making me clarify my decision, making me add extra nuances. It’s like time has slowed and I’m having to use all my energy to concentrate on making this one decision. Too many. Too many decisions today. Too many decisions in life. What if I make the wrong one? What if I say yes and it all goes disastrously? What if I say no and regret it? There is so much riding on it. Or is there? Perhaps the rest of my life, perhaps not.

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The ethics of ghost-writing

Nail Your Novel

282428943_322a2027b4_oThis week I was pulled into a discussion on Facebook about ghost-writing.

It began when novelist Matt Haig wrote an impassioned opinion in which he lamented the number of books whose true authors were not acknowledged, which kicked off a wide-ranging and emotional debate. One commenter introduced the term ethics and asked me to talk about ghost-writing from that perspective. As that’s far too long and gnarly for a Facebook comment, I thought I’d explore it in a post. Here goes.

What ethical considerations might there be? Looking through the discussion, they seemed to be:

  • Is it dishonest to pretend that anybody could write a book?
  • Does ghost-writing devalue the contribution of real writers, or appreciation of their skill, especially when so many genuine writers struggle to get published?

I’m going to tackle this in a roundabout way, and first, I think we have to be practical.

Writing is like…

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The Seven Tones of Riley

So I was happily browsing the internet, doing nothing much that was productive, when I came across this image:


I almost wrote this based on a normal 9-5 week, but decided against that and went for my week instead. It’s a bit of silly fun (poetry is far from my forte), so laugh with me and not at me 😉

The Seven Tones of Riley

Sunday is ambitious, a girl of many plans,
She is the adventurous one, the one who had no bans.
She loves to shop at brocantes, buying afghans, dustpans, toucans,
In fact, she buys just anything that she could grab with her fat hands!
And after that, to work she goes with a face full of smiles and suntans,
And by the end of her shift, she falls exhausted into sleepy wonderlands.

Monday is a slovenly wench, pyjama clad with straggly hair,
But she revelled in her lazy day, all draped across her chair.
A grin stretched across her tired face and she said with quite a flair:
“Today I shall do nothing, and I will not go elsewhere,
For unlike others who race to work, those with full despair,
Today I begin my weekend, and I do not give a single care!”

Tuesday, she is quite a mover, as productivity  headlined.
She scrubs and cleans and rubs and dusts, blowing cobwebs from both home and mind.
“It’s a day to get stuff done,” she says, “a day I use to rewind,
And undo all the mess I made during my work and lazy days combined.”
She whizzes here, she whizzes there, will oh will she find,
That final speck of dust and then, she can finally unwind.

Wednesday is a writer-type and she’s creative with her prose,
She sits and types and laughs and cries as her characters face life’s throes.
Wednesday is a happy lass, and it most definitely shows,
As she sits and does what she loves most, making sure that everybody knows,
That to disturb her now means the pain of death, a life brought to its close,
Although even she admits, it’s only in her stories that she stoops to these true lows!

Thursday is a Domestic Goddess, or at least she pretends to be!
She cooks treats for all and sundry, although her husband he does plea:
“Thursday, I do love your treats, so keep them all for me!”
Thursday cannot do that though, for she makes the treats with glee,
For all those lovely French-folk who for the treats say “oui!”

Friday’s face is rather saggy, as early she does rise.
She drags herself to work with sleep still in her eyes,
For she does not like to wake so soon, and this she does despise!
But when she starts, it all does change and she starts to feel the highs.
Work gets busy and she doesn’t stop and it’s then she rather thrives,
For then it does upon her dawn that she’s grown quite fond of these barflies!

Saturday is a worker girl, full of life and energy,
She is sprightly, she is active, perhaps she’s like a flea!
She works hard and loves it too, and I’m sure you will agree,
That Saturday is a happy girl with the stamina of three.
She jumps around and moves about, until it’s time for tea,
And then she sits and chills and thinks “how great it is to be me.”


The Time Warp

You know what’s funny? Time. Time’s funny. Take, for example, the bacon sandwich I ate this morning. That hot, greasy deliciousness that was smothered in tomato ketchup and smelled like heaven? That feels like it happened years ago when in reality, it’s only been a mere 12 hours ago (okay, so maybe not ‘mere’ – 12 hours is a long time to go without bacon). It works the other way too. Take my last blog post, for example. I put that out just last week, right? WRONG! It’s been two months! Two months? What happened there? I was tricked by the accordion of time, that’s what happened.

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