The Humpty Dumpty Girl




I know it’s only been three weeks since I was left here, because Sammy showed me how to mark time. We were in the alleyway, the women gathering around us, waiting to see me gone.

‘Here,’ said Sammy, scratching the wall with a piece of coal. ‘Six lines down, one across makes a week. Like a gate.’

I said the words over and over as Da dragged me away, as the women looked on, shawled arms folded under smug smiles.

I have three gates scratched under my bed.

‘They’ll beat you with a cane ’til you’re black,’ Nell said when she caught me finishing the second gate.

Now she’s lying in a bed in the infirmary, head wrapped round in bandages – the Humpty Dumpty girl who fell off the wall. Matron asked me how it happened – sad faced, I shook my head and returned to my spindles.

Tonight, I’ll make another mark with my pocketknife. Perhaps tomorrow is the day Sammy will come to take me home.

If it is, I shall set a fire in the dropped threads, watch Matron and Nell and the clack-clack looms flame until there’s nothing but ash and the stench of burnt cotton.


For week ten of FFftPP. A very lovely, creepy photo that brought out the very worst in me.

3Line Tales: Under That Lazy Moon


Photo by Sonya Oldwin



‘Lazy bloody moon,’ he muttered, draping an arm over her narrow shoulders.

She hated how the weight of him constrained her breathing, hated  his greed for her, his undeserved swagger.

None of that would matter soon: soon she would be gliding across the bay under that lazy moon, heading to a Somewhere he was too stupid to find – happy to become invisible again.



For Sonya at Only 100 Words Three Line Tales. Write a little something of no more than three lines inspired by the photo prompt, then post, link back and take a gander at the other contributions. For full rules see here.









Reasons to love a frozen day in Bristol


Image: Pixabay

A dusting of frost whitens the roof tiles: the wheelie bin’s iced shut again. Vapour trails slice the haze. I imagine excited passengers in flight to warm seas and warmer blue skies than mine.

I wear fingerless gloves as I type, slippered feet resting on a hot water bottle, body wreathed in layers: vest, blankets, jumpers – a scarf.

But the sun shines brilliant and golden on the old gas fire, brightening photographs of my  smiling son and a Valentine’s Day card. Along with the blankets I’m wreathed in valuables – that card, those photos.

I don’t envy those holiday makers and their week on a beach.

I’d rather be here than anywhere.




Love Nudge Competition. Monday: Attraction


Image: Pixabay

Good morning lovely people and welcome to the first day of the Love Nudge competition.

Each day up until and including Valentine’s Day, I’ll be posting a story prompt – a Love Nudge – to inspire you to write.

Today’s Love Nudge word is


So why not pop something in the comments box: poetry, prose, elegy, blurb for a cereal packet. Do as you feel.

Judging will start the week commencing 15/2/16 and I’ll announce the winner sometime after.

Take a look here for the full rules and happy writing.


Much love to all who have already shared and taken part in this prompt – you’re all wonderful people.


Is being an author written in your DNA like brown eyes and freckles?


Clackety-clack Image: Pixabay

After Wednesday’s groan-athon, where I attempted to turn whiny introspection into an art form, and realising that I probably focus on rejection way too much in these posts, I thought I’d write something rather more positive.

A couple of days ago, my other half was reading my first blog post for Mslexia. After the odd wry smile*, he finally said,

Bloody hell, it’s tough, isn’t it?

By this I don’t think he meant writing blog pieces was tough – cos that’s as easy as falling off a stack of the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica – but that the road to being a paid author is tough.

The comment made me look at the whole endeavour with fresh eyes.

Yes, it’s tough. Few people who love to write can do so professionally, fewer still full time. And it’s only the top tiny percent who become so rich they make Croesus look like the Clampetts pre oil strike.

But that doesn’t phase most of us, because that’s not why we do it.


We write because words are part of our DNA, woven into our genetic make up as much as brown eyes and a tendency to freckle. 

We write because at some point, we have fallen into the whirlpool of a book, drowned in its world, felt the emotional tug of its characters – we’ve inhaled the magic of the best stories. And we’ve thought, even subconsciously,

“Dammit, I’d love to do that for someone else”

We write for the fleeting joy when a scene, a phrase – even a mere word – feels right.

We write because we grow to love our characters, they live in our minds and whisper at our shoulders, telling us what they wish to do next – what they WILL do next – and we want to be along for the ride.

We write because we want to prise open the door on the worlds we created and say to others, ‘Come on, take a look. Share this with me.’

We write for Joy and Love and even for the Pain we feel as our best created friends slip from us.

We write because we have to.


At least, that’s why I write.

So all my writer pals out there, tell me why you write.

Fame? Fortune? The possibility of appearing on Radio 2’s book club with Simon Mayo (oh, yes please)? Or is it just because if you don’t, the stories will build up until your head bursts a la Scanners?



*My husband has been with me for twenty five years, so he’s heard all my gags now – it’s tough to make him really laugh. Carry on reading this blog until the year 2040 and you will no doubt feel the same.

The Last Enigma


Image: Pixabay


His Will was the first hint the family had of his cabalistic existence, the awful truth etched in every sub clause – so many children …


In response to My Loving Wife on A Word Adventure’s – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt – the word for this week being Cabalistic. Do drop by here if you want to know the rules and join in with the fun


How authors can overcome their lack of time to write

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Greetings from ‘sporadically sunny, but when it comes down to it, pretty rainy and miserable, let’s stay in and have another cup of hot chocolate’ Bristol.

Whilst not exactly bathing in the glorious output of the sun and feeling the Vit D leech from my body with every second that passes, there is something that warms my very soul today.

No, it’s not the hot chocolate.

Nor is it the prospect of eating the dosa (and possibly imbibing in a sneaky ‘my son’s at school so why not’ cocktail) that’s waiting for me for lunch with a friend.

Neither is it chatting to you lovely people in the little ray of sunshine that is right here, right now, this blog – though it warms my insides almost as much as the dosa and Mumbai Mule coctail will, I assure you.


It’s the news that the second in my series of posts for Myslexia was published mere minutes ago.

As well as my usual nonsense rambling about dragons and tea, there are a few useful tips about conquering every wanna be author’s foe – Time Constraints.

Do pop along. A warm welcome extends to all.