Stories to Tell

I started writing again just over 10 years ago. Not really sure what sparked it. I hadn’t written since I was in my early (troubled teens).
Suddenly, when I hit my fifties, stories began flooding my brain and screaming to be let out.
The first story to emerge was “Guy at the Bar”, which brought back lovely memories of a small village in North Yorkshire called Brompton on Swale. Tears flowed as I wrote about my parents, how I miss them. If there really is an after life, they’ll be looking down at me and shaking their head and saying, “Our Sandra, a rebel to the end.”
Guy at the Bar wasn’t a best seller, but it piqued my interest and more stories followed. I recently re-wrote Guy at the Bar, and bundled it into a collection of short, slightly scary stories, called “Ghosts on the Sand and other chilling tales.” It’s still for sale on Amazon, along with my second book “Dead of July.”
Ghosts on the Sand Dead of July – Amazon
Now I’m retired and have a little more time on my hands so I’m writing again. I’ve just finished a Children’s book, inspired by my daughter’s pup Tess. I took care of Tess for a short time while my daughter and her husband vacationed in Japan. I never knew dogs could be so funny, or have so much character. I adjusted my mindset to write for children. I also had to think like a puppy. It was a blast to write. “Princess Tess and her Mess” will be published sometime this year.
The pictures above are my mum and dad. I never stop missing them. On the right is the King William IV, where Guy at the Bar came to life.
Writing makes me happy!

Old Mother Shipton and Brompton-on-Swale

shipton

I lived in Brompton-on-Swale from 1967 – 1977. My teenage years were spent in this small northern village, and they were good years. I think I had my first alcoholic drink (legally) in the King Bill, which is no longer open for business. “Guy at the Bar” is inspired by events that happened in this public house. It was a scary evening for me, but I survived, and lived to tell the tale. I’m working as hard as I can (while still holding a full-time job) to get this story along with one or two others into a compilation of short stories called “Ghosts on the Sand and other Chilling Tales.” Be patient, it’s coming.

“Run while there’s still time!”
“What?”
“You’ll die if you stay here.”
“Die? What are you talking about?”
“The flood, it’s coming.”
“What flood?”

I looked around for approaching waves. “Where’s this water going to come from?”

“You’ll see soon enough. I’m heading for the hills!”
“There’s no water close enough to us to cause a flood.”

Our soon to be ex next-door neighbor, glared at me as though I was the crazy one.
“The river Swale, it’s going to wash the village away. You’ll be sorry if you stay here, mark my words.”
“Don’t listen to her Sheila,” my Mam whispered, “she’s lost her marbles. I’m glad she’s moving out.”
“I can hear what you’re saying. You think I’m not right in the head,” she persisted, “but I’m telling you, the village is doomed.”

My dad joined us
“What’s all this about a flood?” he asked, clearly irritated at the thought of having bought a house in a flood zone.

“Old Mother Shipton. She warned us. The flood is coming, I can feel it.”

My dad laughed, clearly relieved,

“For a minute I thought you were serious. Don’t worry girls; Mother Shipton is a legend in these parts. She lived in a cave in Knaresborough hundreds years ago. Many people believed she was a prophet, but others claimed she was a Witch. I’ll take you to visit the caves if you like. We’ll take a picnic and make a day of it.”

My Mam looked relieved and continued to unload the van.

Journey to Insanity

The Clown rolled backwards at the sound of my scream. He fell on his bottom between the seats and sat there looking dazed. Although I felt a little sorry for him I remained in my hiding place, unsure of my surroundings. Where had this bus come from?  Currently I was on a bus driven by Hitler and the only other passenger was a clown.

The bus stopped again and I heard the door open. We were in the middle of the County Durham Countryside. There were no lights and the moon was hiding behind a cloud. I heard the sound of slow heavy footsteps as another passenger climbed the steps and paid his fare.

I looked across to where the clown, who was still sitting on the floor. His eyes were wide and he was trembling. He scuttled across to me without standing up. We crouched at the back of the bus, peeping above the seat in front to see who was about to share our journey.

We weren’t quite expecting to lock eyes with Frankenstein . It was pointless hiding anymore so the clown and I huddled together on the back seat of the bus. I couldn’t believe I was holding hands with a clown.

To be honest, although the latest passenger looked like Frankenstein, he certainly wasn’t scary. Instead he looked quite sad. He was tall and not very well-coordinated. His head was a little flat on top, and he had a big scar on his forehead, but he looked rather shy.

He sat sideways on the seat in front so he could talk to us. “Hello” he said “my name is Bernard”

The clown and I laughed. Bernard looked hurt and turned his back. “I’m sorry” I said “I didn’t mean to laugh, I just didn’t expect you to be called Bernard. My name is Poppy.”

“Poppy, Poppy.” said the clown “You don’t look like a flower. My name is Jack”

“Jack’s are alway heros and you don’t look like a hero.” I replied, a little annoyed.

Bernard turned around and smiled at us. “I know, everyone thinks I should be called Frankie like the monster.”

I felt safe again and started to think of Herman Munster, from the TV show. Bernard looked like Herman Munster, he wasn’t scary at all.

“What are you laughing at” a voice hissed. An awful voice filled with hatred and venom.

Another passenger had crept aboard, a passenger I really didn’t want to get close to.

 

She slithered down the middle of the bus and made herself comfortable on the back seat next to Jack, who was holding my hand so tightly it hurt.

Her body moved constantly as she rattled and hissed. She was beautiful, but deadly. I was unable to speak. Bernard moved to the front of the bus. I saw Hitler’s reflection in the rear view mirror. He was enjoying the show.

I have fun with my blogs and I hope you do too! Writing gives me great pleasure. It allows me to escape from everyday life and fantasize. It is also a great way to practice my writing skills and practise makes perfect. 

My first two short stories are available on Amazon for a little while longer. In March, my first full lenght nove ‘Dead of July”(Preview) Dead of July will be released and my short stories will be taken down to re-edit. I am also in the process of writing my second novel ‘September Souls’ which is set in the London Blitz. Follow my blog and have fun with me. 

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Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

 

Guy at the Bar on Amazon until Friday! $2

 

Raw and original

 

Hard to believe the year is almost over! I covered a lot of ground this year, but it was really just a practice run for the task ahead of me.

I have learned ‘patience’ whilst I wait for editors and cover artists to do their thing!

I have learned to edit my work as I write!

I have leaned an awful lot about Social Media, networking, internet marketing.

Next year is going to be tough and busy in many ways so I need to learn to ‘switch off’ sometimes and recharge my tired brain.

My humble (and amusing) unedited version of ‘Guy at the Bar’ is still for sale on Amazon. On Friday it will be taken down and will not be on sale again until it is edited and has a new cover. If anyone wants  copy of the first, unedited book I published, so you can laugh and say “I knew her when” you can still buy it for two dollars. When it is “polished” and relaunched, it will be $7.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

‘Guy at the Bar’ takes a short vacation.

 

Where it all started

 

 

If you have been following my blog, you know that ‘Guy at the Bar’ was my first short story. It is the story that gave me the writing bug. I published it as an eBook on Amazon, and to my surprise sold a few copies, enough to buy a bottle of champagne anyway.

I joined ‘Meet Up’ groups where I met seasoned writers, as well as beginners like myself. I am learning an awful lot from these people, and still have an awful lot to learn. One thing I do know though is I must re-edit my first story and make it more readable. A professional editor can help make a good story great. I think ‘Guy at the Bar’ is a good story and will remain on Amazon for $2 until the end of December.

When it returns in April, it will have a facelift. As well as being professionally edited, it will have a fancy new cover, and will probably be available in paperback too.

Thanks to everyone who bought my first book and gave me the confidence to continue. You will be hearing a lot more from me next year.

 

 

 

 

Guy at the Bar – Widgets and Gizmos!

Good Morning World! It was a late night last night as I wrestled with widgets and things to find out how to link ‘Guy at the Bar’ from my blog to Amazon where you can purchase it…..I did it. I hope this makes it much easier for you all. There are millions of books on Amazon so now, if you want to, you can go directly to mine. ‘Girl at the Beach’ will be joining it soon.  Does anyone have any feedback on ‘Flat Country Snow?’ Have a lovely June day, and keep reading!

‘Guy at the Bar’ or ‘Girl on the Beach’?

Give me some feedback.  Which did you think was the best?  Be honest!

I enjoyed writing them both. Guy at the bar will always be may favorite because it was the first one I plucked up courage to share.  I am hoping I get better with experience, but who knows.  Have a FANTASTIC long weekend everyone. Grill, entertain and relax.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I have just submitted ‘Guy at the Bar’ to another publisher.  Lets hope someone likes it. I just need one acceptance to give me some confidence. Almost finished my third story.  I may have my book together by Christmas.  Just trying to find my way around in this new hobby of mine. Keep reading and share my experiences. Almost ready to start posting my next story….when I have a title.  Maybe I should just publish it and let you guys help me decide on a title. There’s a thought.