Three Line Tale: Death at River Road

So I was happily browsing WordPress this morning when I came across a post at Only 100 Words with a writing prompt and I thought I’d have a go. Here’s the prompt:

Photo by Clay Knight via Unsplash

You’ll find full guidelines on the TLT page – here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write three lines inspired by the photo prompt (& give them a title if possible).
  • Link back to this post (& check the link shows up under the weekly post).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales (so everyone can find you in the Reader).
  • Read and comment on other TLT participants’ lines.
  • Have fun.

Happy three-lining!

And here’s what I came up with:

Death at River Road

It happened as the elders had always warned; all I wanted was some lunch, but what I got was something quite different.

Something sharp jabbed my cheek and I was wrenched through the water – slowly at first then faster and faster until my world whirred right past me and I shot up through the surface into the hot, dry sunshine.

My skin began to crackle, my eyes were sore with drought, and I knew, at last, it was time to meet my maker.

Thanks Sonya – that was fun. I’ll be sure to join in for the next one too 😀

Short Story: The Taxi Ride

She sits in their awkward silence, handbag on her lap and her shopping bags squashed down by her feet. He’d offered to open the boot for her, but she didn’t want to trouble him and besides, she’s rather keep her shopping close. She didn’t want to lose anything that might roll out of a bag and wedge itself into the corner of his car. Her hair is dishevelled from a day of rushing around, and her cheeks are a deep shade of red as a flustered heat envelopes her. She presses her lips together and sighs.

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Ten Questions with… Maria Gibbs

Check out DM Miller’s fantastic interview of Maria Gibbs – friend, author, and previous interviewee. It’s well worth a read. She’s just released a new book and whilst I haven’t got around to reading it yet, I’ve only heard great things about it and I can’t wait to get started.

Whilst we’re on the topic of good reads – I’ve heard fab things about DM Miller’s books too. Gah – I need to find more time to read!!

Author D.M. Miller

Maria Gibbs is the author of the newly released novel, A Boy from the Streets, about twins living separate lives, one of privilege and the other in poverty. Though this book is her first full-length novel, the British writer has three thought-provoking novelettes, all of which I’ve read and highly recommend: A Lifetime or a Season (A Woman’s Journey to Self-Awareness), As Dreams Are Made on, and The Storm Creature.

18111228_1656637754643299_36653407_oIntrigued by her writing, I wanted to find out more about the author and her work.

Hi Maria. Thank you for sitting down to answer a few questions. First off, I’d just like to say that I find your writing so creative and unique, and your descriptive language really pulls me in as a reader. Do you have a background in writing, or how did you get started?

Hello Dana, thank you for asking me to…

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In Defence of Clichés

I’ve got a confession.

I love clichés. I mean, I really love ’em. I know I’m not supposed to. I’ve heard it said over and over again. Clichés are bad. Delete all clichés in your writing. Clichés suck. Your writing sucks if it is full of clichés. It’s been said so often that it’s almost a…well…cliché.

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Short Story: The Lecture

The noise around her becomes a murmur, words turning into indistinguishable sounds. The room slowly darkens and the sentences merge from distinct to abstract. They distort and and make no sense. They come alive, colourful swirls in the darkness that she leaps up and tries to reach, until…

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Author Interview: Wayne Farrugia

Wayne FarrugiaBorn and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Wayne Farrugia has been writing since his early childhood. He loves to create new worlds and diverse characters – and he’s certainly done that with his series: The Valadin. Volumes 1 and 2 are out now, and Volume 3 won’t be far behind it! I was lucky enough to get early copies of all three volumes to proofread, and now Wayne has agreed to answer my rambling questions. You can check out my review of the first two volumes here

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Bookish Bonus Material

You know that feeling when you’ve finished reading a book that you loved? I mean, really really loved? That feeling of deep sadness and loss, that kind of hung-over feeling of bewilderment. What are you meant to do with your life now? What’s happened to Jill/Bob/character-name-of-your-choice? It’s a kind of blown-away, ‘I can’t believe I found this magnificent thing only to have it end so soon’ feeling. It’s the holy grail of reading, that feeling. It’s the elusive thing that we’re all searching for and only come across once in a blue moon. It’s something all bookworms crave and fear at the same time. It’s bloomin’ awesome.

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So here they are, my beautiful new covers, as designed by the wonderfully talented illustrator and graphic designer, Maria Jose Galvan. Her portfolio is well worth checking out, she’s done some truly fantastic work. So what do you think?

On Why I Don’t Like Self-Promotion…And Why That’s Going to Change

Self-promotion sucks. I find it really hard, at least in the context of my writing. I’m not a natural bragger and I don’t want to boast about my work. I don’t want to intrude on people’s days or twist conversations unnaturally so that I can talk about my books in the hopes of getting a sale or two. I hate it when authors do that to me, so why would I want to do that to anyone else? It’s not for me. I’m not interested. Since I’m not really in this writing lark to make money, I quite simply decided not to bother with the self-promotion. I’ll talk about my book if it comes up in conversation naturally, I’ll continue writing my blog (albeit very sporadically…oops) because I find it fun, I’ll take pleasure in any sales or reviews as they come but I’m not going to push it and I’m not going to be disheartened if they don’t come. Ever since I came to that decision, I’ve enjoyed writing a whole lot more.

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Friday Feels…Positive

Friday feels…positive (mostly). 

danger-44575_960_720.pngI’m a natural stress-head. Not about everything but about little things. When it comes to big things, I’m surprisingly calm. I can handle it. But for little things, stupid things mostly, I’m a stress-head. I stress about time a lot. How am I going to find the time to get everything done? What if I die soon? I’ve taken on too much work…again! I stress about doing things well. You could have done that better, Riley. You’re not very good, are you Riley? I stress about stressing even. Chill out! What’s the matter with you? I snap at my poor, unsuspecting husband when I’m stressing too. I can’t help it. It’s like little worms burrowing into my brain and making me behave irrationally – irrational because stressing rarely helps.

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Review: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt


This over-assuming book has been looming on my book case for longer than I remember. I wouldn’t even know where it came from if it weren’t for the charity shop sticker pasted to the front – ah yes, one of my jaunts through the many that grace our town, spending money I haven’t got on books that I rarely get around to reading. I say ‘over-assuming’ because of the dark, foreboding cover and the creepy looking doll, with it’s piercing black eyes and spooky under-layer. The cover, if I’m honest, has always frustrated me a little and perhaps that is why it has always lain untouched. It jumps out and smacks you on the face and says ‘read me’ in such an ugly, obvious way that I was repelled and put off. I built a wall that screamed back ‘no I won’t, I’ll read what I bloody well like and you can’t stop me’, shouting (silently of course, I’m not as crazy as I would perhaps like to be) in an obstinate manner much as I imagine Harriet herself would do.

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What makes an action morally wrong?

It’s the intent of an action that makes it morally wrong, rather than the consequences. 

That’s something I find myself pondering often (obviously in between more important 14796219847_2c79d52c11_bponderings such as “what’s for dinner?” and “Is it nap time yet?”). When does a neutral action become a morally bad one? At its time of conception with the intention or at its conclusion with its consequences? Or even somewhere in the middle? It’s something Roy and I debate quite often too. Whilst he’s firmly on the consequences end of things, I tend to be swayed more by the notion of intention – and not just because being on opposite ends of the spectrum engenders a better debate.

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Short Story: The Jam Jar


The jam jar fell from the kitchen worktop. She saw it fall, as though in slow motion, but her dive to catch it did nothing to save it. It smashed on the floor with a crash and a splat. The thick, purple lava spread slowly, crawling across the floor and climbing over glass fragments like a predator.

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A World Without Cash

Money makes the world go round, right?


Even as a kid, I never really got money. I mean, I had pocket money, I understand money, I even like money to the extent that it can buy me things and offer opportunities and experiences I wouldn’t otherwise have, but at the same time, I never got money. I still don’t. I mean, bits of extravagantly printed paper or stamped chunks of metal that we pass around to one another and for what? What’s their real purpose? To be able to pass it to someone else in exchange for other things, who will then do exactly the same. Bits of stuff we just…move around. It seems pointless, doesn’t it? It something we all accept with ease because it’s part of our everyday lives and has been forever but if you really think about, it seems banal and bizarre and peculiar. It’s not like warmth or food or skill. It’s not something that actually provides value to our lives other than as something to exchange. It has no function. Money is, in essence, useless.

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Audiobooks: Do They ‘Count’?

I’ve never really seen the appeal of audiobooks. Why sit and listen  to something when you could be reading instead? It didn’t make any sense to me, but then neither do other hobbies like…you know…anything that involves moving or going out or talking to real-live people. What’s more, I’d get even more pickled when people say that they’ve ‘read’ so-and-so book as an audiobook. You didn’t read it then, did youI’d quietly ask (more than quietly – I’d ask in silence). I never thought there was anything wrong with audiobooks of course. If you enjoy listening to books, go for it – why not? But it’s not reading is it? It’s listening. Saying you’ve ‘read’ an audiobook is like saying you ‘read’ the movie version, right?

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Review: See How They Run by Tom Bale


So it was book club again this week. I love book club. Even when everyone enjoyed the book, the discussion always reduces to a bitch-fest of which characters we didn’t like and who did something stupid. It’s fun. Even without the bitch-fest, it’s always satisfying to talk to people who agree with us and interesting to talk to those who don’t. The best book club meetings are those when there is a range of opinions on a book – lovers and haters. That can really get a debate going.

See How They Run by Tom Bale didn’t quite manage that level of debate, but it did get the conversation flowing. There were some who absolutely loved the book while others thought it was okay, but there were no out-and-out haters this month. Certainly, as it proclaims on its cover, it’s a fast-paced novel. Right from the outset, the action gets your heart pumping and your curiosity jumping. It gets your eyes running across the words and stumbling as you try to take the story in too soon. You need to know what’s going to happen next.

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The Power of Self-Belief

“You can do whatever you want to do, as long as you believe in yourself.”

When I was a kid, mum and dad said that to me a lot – a good, strong, positive idea to spur me on to greater things. Motivational advice designed to keep me going, to keep me confident, to keep me working hard, and to make sure I make something of myself. It worked and, perhaps because it was so drummed into me or perhaps because it’s true, I still adhere to this guiding principle – work hard and believe in yourself and you’ll achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. It’s pretty powerful for one little sentence.


Even as a child, though, I could see the flaw in this proposition – not so much in real terms, but in abstract terms. No matter how hard I work or how much I believe in myself, I’ll never be able to fly to the sun (the story of Icarus, which I was also told as a child, is proof enough of that). No matter how hard I work or how much I believe in myself, I can’t just point at a frog and turn him into a prince – not that I’d need to, I’ve already found my prince (altogether now…d’aaawww – or blurgh – equally acceptable reactions). So the proposition, no matter how motivational or powerful or functional, is simply not true. But what if it was?

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Immortality: The Ultimate Time Warp

Do you know what I’ve realised? Time is a big thing for me. It’s an issue, and not just in the I-don’t-have-enough-of-it sense (although without a doubt, I don’t have enough of it). Time, where it comes from and where it goes, how we waste it and how to make the most of it, efficiency, procrastination, life, death, and immortality. They’re things I think about a lot – and I know I’ve done a fair few blog posts on the topic too – but time genuinely does affect our everyday lives in ways that sometimes we don’t even realise.

2014-05-04-17-12-51I recently read a blog post by fellow author Tanya Jones. It was all about immortality and whether it’s a good thing. It got me thinking. In fact, I read it over a week ago and since then, the concept of immortality has been swirling around and around in my over-stuffed brain, trying to wedge it’s way between thoughts of what we’re having for tea, the ever-increasing to-do list for the bar, and the importance of putting commas in the correct places. After all, immortality is a big deal, right?

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