May 2014


The people at Crooked Cat (who are going to publish my novel, NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, in 20 days’ time) have produced an anthology of 20 short stories written by 20 Crooked Cat authors.

The wonderful thing about anthologies is the way they are so varied. Each story is written by a different author in a different genre with a different theme and set in a different place. And all of these are interesting, well-crafted stories.

I came to a decision about short stories: they need to be read in one go. Fortunately this is not hard, because each story takes only a few minutes to read. But it’s no good starting a story last thing at night when sleep will probably take over before I’ve reached the end. When I pick it up again in the morning, or later, it’s hard to remember what went before. Short stories are great for bus or train rides, as long as you’re going further than one stop.

Anyway, this anthology is free from Crooked Cat Books and Smashwords, and definitely worth a download.

 

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What a beautiful picture for this week’s prompt:

Following Instructions

“Which way now?”

“It says to cross by the bridge.”

“Erm, that might be a bit hard.”

“I see what you mean. We’ll just have to take our shoes off and wade over.”

***

“Here we are, on the bridge. Pity you fell in.”

“I’m cold and wet through. My sandwiches must be soaking. And now we’re here, I see this bridge doesn’t lead anywhere.”

“That’s true. We’ll have to wade to the other side.”

“Look! Over there. Do you see what I see?”

“That long, sturdy metal bridge? Must be the one we should have taken.”

“Great. Just great.”

.

Just 22 days to my book launch…

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This is what Julia said:

I am very lucky to have a garden and even luckier that a variety of birds visit each day. At the moment we have 2/3 blackbirds who are really ruling the roost so to speak. They are beautiful song birds I know, but they are having a conversation. You can tell with the intonation of the sounds and the responses from another birds.

So, your prompt this week is to write that conversation!

Cherry Ripe

“Phew! My wings are aching. All that flapping. Whose garden have you brought me to now, then?”

“It’s Julia’s place – she of the hundred word challenge.”

“What good are words to me? I need food.”

“Coming from one who doesn’t stop talking…”

“I have a lot to complain about. We were just settling into our nest and now I have to build a new one.”

“But we finished the cherries in the old place. Remember? And look at those delicious cherries over there.”

“The ones that are protected with a net?”

“Didn’t you see what I brought?”

“Scissors! Oh darling!”

While I was away, the wonderful Morgen Bailey produced a podcast that includes my story, The View From Heaven.

You can listen to it here or read it here.

The nearest I’d ever got to a cruise before was watching Love Boat many years ago. That programme and things I’d heard from others made me think cruises weren’t for me. Evening dress and ballroom dancing simply aren’t my style.

MS Lofoten in Havøysund

MS Lofoten in Havøysund

But this wasn’t like that at all. The ship was small, the crew and fellow guests very pleasant and we’d have looked out of place in evening dress.

Without the hassle of packing and unpacking, or not unpacking and having to search for items in a suitcase, we travelled all along the coast of Norway, stopping several times each day for some great views, short hikes and other activities.

Hammerfest

Hammerfest

Before you ask, no, we didn’t see the Northern Lights. You can only see them when it’s dark and clear, and it never really got dark in the far north.

Dog sledding

Dog sledding

We had wonderful weather the whole time, except one evening when it snowed on us.

Caught in snow in Norway

Caught in snow in Svolvaer

There was a little rain in Bergen on our last day, but nothing like the downpour that (surprisingly) greeted us on our return to Israel.

I was sorry when the cruise came to an end, as all good things do. Now I have a long list of tasks to catch up on, one of which is preparing for my launch day and online party on 17 June. Do join it if you’re free any time that day. The link is: https://www.facebook.com/events/733704203318444/?source=1.

This cake appeared almost every afternoon to celebrate the MS Lofoten's 50th anniversary

This cake appeared almost every afternoon to celebrate the MS Lofoten’s 50th anniversary

2014 Blogging from A to Z: reflection

My fourth A-Z blogging challenge. How did it go?

  • I completed the challenge.
  • I learned things about the lives of authors.
  • I introduced readers to new authors, most of them fairly new to me, as I met them through Crooked Cat Publishing, who are going to publish my novel next month.
  • I read and enjoyed posts by other A-Z bloggers.

But, as always, I was constricted by time. Other activities got in the way.

  • I didn’t write all the posts in advance.
  • I didn’t read enough posts by other bloggers.
  • I didn’t comment enough.

Then, like last year, I went away towards the end of the month. I had a wonderful time, but it wasn’t so good for my A-Z Challenge experience. Maybe next year I’ll do better. And maybe not. I have my priorities. I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to go away for the sake of blogging, important as it is.

More about Norway next time, I hope.