Suggestions and Stonking Good Stocking Gifts Inside.

Dark visions horror anthology Buy Here

I won’t lie, I may be biased slightly … because I have a flash fiction in this book. But, and the but is huge; I am very proud to be part of this Anthology. Stuffed full of stories; some you can read in a snatch, others that fill a lunch break. All will fill your thirst for the weird, the creepy and the scares. Ask your local shop to get this best-selling horror anthology in stock. Order it from the library or purchase it from Amazon. Either way, you won’t regret giving, reading or receiving this gem. Twenty-seven Authors and 34 stories to stir and startle your imagination. Ideal for the unique individual in your life. The quirky shopper that wants to be the best present giver. The toilet reader. Ideal for the Allotment snuggler; sat in solace in the shed. For the wise man (maybe three of them)๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚ escaping the world with this book before bed.

NEWS FLASH! any moment now this book will be available in audio I will pop a link here as soon as it is live.

My next choice is this. A fantastic little piece of kit that will thrill any guitar playing person. It has to be a must for a stocking I am filling.

https://drummondandhammett.com/product/accessories/trans-amp/

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A great place for a special gift Drummond and Hammett make some amazingly unique items; the whiskey tumblers above are only one of many hand-made items on offer.

RIGHT HERE

This Gift stop is for …

All writers and readers

or library feeders,

sketchers and scribblers

and stationary givers,

drawers and doodlers

Fiddlers and stencilers,

And collectors

Or pencilers.

A small niche company in Ireland who makes exquisit gifts one of my favorites are her hand rolled pencils Press Here to find my favorites.

Next is a doozy of a gift.

Geoff LePard’s Book

Apprenticed To My Mother

Buy Here
Geoff painted a clear picture documenting the lives of his Mother and family. Her quirks and idiosyncratic ways are brought to life with carefully chosen words. His words have you standing in the corner of the kitchen; watching her show her boys how to cook. The story is punctuated with his father’s extraordinary poetry; received by his wife throughout their lives. It paints a picture of a time past and fortitude shown. It has laugh out loud moments like the comments she made and the diplomacy she fooled you into believing she used. A cracking good tale one well worth reading. Told beautifully by a loving son, and a damned good storyteller.

The cushion in my photo is a fluke, but Geoff mentions his Mothers dabble with Beekeeping so I thought it apt in the circumstances. The cushion is mine purchased from Dunelm. A super stocking filler, even those surgical stocking wearers who we can never quite please … will wipe a tear and cast a smile at the strength and the love in this book. Three generations of my family have thoroughly enjoyed it so far. This book will Grace many a comfy seat, accompanied by a slice of perfectly baked lemon drizzle cake.

My final gift idea is time.

It doesn’t have a price-tag because it is priceless.

Offer time, Pick a date and time; time to sit, and listen. Share a cuppa with someone who is alone, share a story or two.

I owe you two babysits written in the Christmas card. To give a young couple the time, to do as they wish; time for themselves.

An invitation to supper or breakfast, sharing food is rarely about eating. Sharing food is more about your caring; you cared enough to ask, to share your time.

What are your best gift Ideas and did you enjoy mine? I love to talk, leave me the gift of a comment.

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There Is Power In A Name.

In 1000 words (by the end of each month) using the monthly prompt word. Write a short story, no more than 1000 words. To join in, read the entries and guidelines PRESS HERE. November’s random word is Educate.

Aland worked in artificial intelligence, Luna, two days a week for an Observatory; together they taught the children. They live in a self-sufficient home in the Fens. London was fifteen, Quacey twelve, Diana eleven, Amaris ten, Jaci seven, Candara five, Auberon and Neoma are the two-year-old twins.

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London’s raindrop alarm splashed his hair, with a clenched fist to hit the stop button. Last week he tried ignoring it, four drips in and a deluge of freezing water soaked him. He was not best pleased with hanging out bedclothes and remaking the bed; all before school. The schoolroom was down the back of the plot; both Aland and Luna planned the lessons, they had a nursery nurse Martha to help educate Jaci, Candra and the twins.

“Who calls their kid’s such stupid names?” Shouted London, as his fist pummelled the jute wrapped bale in the barn. “Even our bales suck.” He punched hard into the rough cloth. ” Clean this dig that,” punch swipe, his hands were hot and speckled with droplets of blood, fibres clung to the wet grazes. London pulled his forearm across his face and sniffed hard. His brows creased and mouth screwed as he looked out of the hayloft door. From his position he could see Luna, teaching Quacey Diana and Amaris about pond ecosystems; besides the duck pond. Fishing chairs and nets lay with buckets, paper and pencils; cluttering a trestle table. Dad was doing something disgusting in the reedbed across the far side. He should be revising for his exam at the college next week, instead, here he stood, sulkily watching, keeping out-of-the-way. “I won’t stand a chance, the kids who have normal names and normal lives will hate me.” Regardless of the pain, he returned to finish, his punches clean, swift and hard.

Jaci and Candra were painting a frieze with stamps made from potatoes. Martha looked in on what should have been London revising. Her call to Aland was answered swiftly, “Hi, I am sorry to have to tell you; he’s gone again.” She heard a ragged sigh, his voice flat. “Thanks, Martha, any clue? Anything at all?” She could feel the sadness in his tone, “sorry nothing.” Struggling out of his waders he swore as his sock sank in the grey sludge beside the reedbed. Throwing the waders in the old golf cart, he slumped into the driving seat and turned the key. He watched the children with Luna and smiled to himself. A Kyte caught his eye gliding, like a dart; it plummeted. That’s when he saw movement in the hayloft, relief followed by anger. Going into the barn he coughed and stamped, Aland didn’t want to surprise the boy. Soon they were eyeball to eyeball. Aland winced at the sharp hay stabbing his bare legs. “Okay, I am listening.” His lips were pursed his brow furrowed. London shook his head slowly. Aland caught sight of some blood on the boy’s sleeve, picked his arm up to look. “Better go home get that cleaned before your mother has a fit.” London jerked his hand free. He reached the tackle and hook used for lifting and lowering bales; defiantly he stared at his Dad as he abseiled from the loft.

The house was quiet with the children asleep. The only sound was the bats … and the beat of a base carried on the night’s breeze. Lights shone from the schoolroom where London revised to the background of heavy metal; minus the headphones. “That young man is pushing his luck,” Luna had to hold back from banging the mugs into the cupboard, ” Really Aland, we can’t let him get his head; we will lose him.” She dropped her face to her husband’s shoulder. Squeezing her tight his lips pressed to her ear. “We will cope, we’ll find a way to get through to him.” She turned to him, “It needs sorting before his exams … or he will fail.”

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London sat in the hayloft watching the Moon; tonight it was almost full. Tomorrow a red Moon would be seen from this vantage point, but the thought of sharing it with his siblings and parents made him mad. He scuffed his boot angrily filling the air with dust. London’s cough disguised the sound of weary boots treading the stairs. For the second time today, Aland faced his angry lad. “You, home, now!” London moved towards the door as his dad grabbed him, “Do not push me, use the stairs.” His shoulders slumped, eyes focused on the floor; his boots thumped the steps purposefully. The boy, closely followed by his Father; left the loft.

Luna and the children were excited, today they prepared food for a moonlit picnic. Dad set up two telescopes, one at the lake the other in the loft. He hoped that Mum’s calculations were correct and the sky clear for the show. Jaci Candra and the twins covered spheres with crumpled tissue with the help of Martha. Quacey. Diana and Amaris wrote stories and poems depicting the moon’s phases. Their fun made London angrier. With wet red cheeks, London came face to face with his father, neither of them expected the other. “You always follow me” London roared, his nose only an inch from Aland’s face. “Sneaking up, spying on every little thing.” His nostrils flared, he snatched and flinched and took off at speed. Alund followed. Twigs cracked, sweat seeped into his eyes but he knew this was crunch time; the boy mustn’t win. Aland’s chest began to tighten his legs trembled, but on he tore. At last, London fell to his knees, breath spent, shoulders twitched and drips of salty tears fell from the end of his nose. Aland flopped on his backside; breathing heavily next to him. His head back; eyes screwed and mouth gaped. Eventually, they talked.

Luna watched as they walked, arms draped across shoulders; she smiled. London sat with his siblings around him. Aland tugged Luna away, hand in hand they walked with heads almost touching. London told the children how each one had been given a name specially chosen for its astrological connections. He told them how lucky they were to live there, together they watched the spectacle before them.

the names as verified in the link are:

Aland = Bright as the Sun (English/Celtic origin)

Luna = Moon

London = Fortress of the moon

Quacey = Moonlight (Scottish 0rigin)

Diane = Goddess of the moon.

Neomea = Full moon

Oberon = Large moon

Ameris = Moonchild ( Irish origin)

Candara = Glowing like the moon

jaci = Moon (American tribal origins)

The above list was compiled from various sources but most are verified in the link below.

Name Link

Does someone in your family have an unusual or meaningful name? leave me a comment I would love to talk?

All Teachers are Monsters.

Thank you Linda for this opportunity. The prompt word is ‘post’ to be used alone or as part of a word. Press RIGHT HERE to join in or read some great responses.

“Post my letter” Mother called after me. Stamping my feet with slumped shoulders I went back in the kitchen. “Give it me then, quick! you know I hate being late.” I snatched it from her hand and slammed the door. I lifted my arm pushed back the sleeve, my trusty Timex startled me.”Rob, can I bag a leg on your crossbar?” I yelled. He was a bit fly was Rob but with my prim plait, flat chest and tough shoes he was hardly seeing me as a girl; one of the lads that’s me. I closed my eyes and hung on as he weaved through the traffic; my lady parts bruised with each bump. Rob stuck the vee’s up to Mr.Light the Maths teacher as he passed in a rusted Vauxhall Viva. Embarrassed I try to hide my face in Rob’s back. So relieved I was to jump off; in front of the corner shop … Not quite like in the movies.

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Rob ruffled my crooked fringe, “Maths homework … you owe me.” He called as I hobbled away tidying my fringe. Waving as he wheelied off, I rub my shoe on the back of my sock to try to rid it of oil. Letter posted and Parma violets purchased I made it to class in good time. At lunch break, I would go to the phone box to phone Mum, make amends for being grumpy; I wasn’t late after all.

Mr. Wright called me over. “Cheshire,” He called. “That lad, he is a little rough … around the edges.” He stumbled his words awkwardly, “your parents, they would be displeased at you … marauding around on his crossbar. Take heed, he will end up in Borstal if he’s not careful.”

I knew he was right, they would give me chores for a month if they knew. “Sorry Sir, I didn’t want to be late.” My cheeks and neck grew warm and I just know I was scarlet. He gave me double homework and tapped the side of his nose as he handed it over. That was all I needed what with Robs lot and now this I’d be at it for hours. I sighed, pushed it into my bag and thanked him. Because good girls do not answer back, ride on crossbar’s with reprobates, and expect leniency from the teacher who received the Vee sign.

Mother, wearing her furious face; stood cross armed at the door. “To your room young lady, post-haste!” I should have guessed he would tell; all teachers are monsters but none more than Mr.Right.

Did you do something foolish that bit you back? Do tell I am waiting with Bated breath.

P.S. I love and respect teachers, this is a work of fiction, or as Mother would say damn lies. *gulp*

Yes! Sir. #soCs

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “yes” Use it as a word, use it in a word, extra points if you start and finish your post with it. Enjoy!

Yes! This is what climbed down in front of my face. I was In the supermarket gathering items, reading label’s, trying to compute calories, sugar and fat. Really not taking much else on board when this happened. On yesterdays trip it was eyes peeled, trolley nicely filling up when . YES! A flipping “S” word, him up there๐Ÿ‘†dropped like James bond absailing into th O2. Hairy legs wriggling from a sign, you know the ones (TEA and sanitary protection isle 4).

My arms froze in crucifixion position my eyes crossed, I leapt back and the Agave nectar spun out of my hand and slapped hard into the direction of a passer by. At that precise moment I was doing an impression of a first nation Indian warrior dancing on hot coals … voice and all. Meanwhile the recipient or victim, (of the Agave) had turned to face me, as it’s thin plastic container slapped his forehead, split and sent rivulets (all in slow motion) down his face and suede jacket. ‘Humpf, who wears suede to do the shopping anyway?’

I remember hearing a frantic tannoy announcement but couldn’t understand what was said, for some random screeching commotion that was going on. That was when I realised it was me. Some person was dragging me towards pet food and finally clamped a hand over my mouth. Yesterday was a not such a good day for shopping.

The ‘S’ word had long since gone scuttled away no doubt looking for Miss Muffet. Two girls were cleaning down the irate man in isle 4 ( he appeared to enjoy that bit) and I was escorted (manhandled by a chauvinistic security guard) out to the door to my car,

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minus my shopping and thoroughly traumatized. “You will go home and think yourself lucky that the gentleman in isle 4, does not … do you for assault” said the security man close to my ear.”You have serious issues” I went on to suggest mental ones. How dare he I thought, but meekly I unwound the window and said “Yes Sir I am going … I promise … yes”
P. S. Just in-case you didn’t notice “I hate the “S” word, I do Yes.”

What don’t you like? That could get you to loose control? leave me a comment and I will get back as soon as I can.๐Ÿ™‚

Around The Garden.

I set the garden up first thing before the crow dropped feathers and the frogs sang. Tables, chairs, chests of drawers. Grandad’s binoculars and his upright teatime chair, the one with a wooden hinged cup tray at the arm. I piled and propped things to replicate rooms; polished and loved them one last time. I could almost hear them; Popa and Mama … discussing how this was; as needs must. By the time Chorley arrived with the mail, the lawn was an outdoor house. Trestle’s replicated the kitchen, displaying the silver with the willow- patterned service piled high. Sun crept between the Ash and sparkled the Copper kettles and pans. Grandma’s embroidery samplers, linens and her handmade lace filled the aged trousseau box, beside the Chaise longue … under the Apple tree. A copper slipper-bath nestled next to the herb garden. Laundered towels I draped on the oak airer; besides the pond.

By half-past three all was sold … except for the large mirror Mama used in her dressing room when I was three. It reflected more than Stupley’s walled garden. Memories of ball gowns, pirouettes and tiara’s, stopped me from accepting a bid. Satisfied, I took a last look around.

My stream of consciousness began with a word containing round and ended with it also as the prompt suggested. Thanks again Linda Hill for the opportunity. Press “HERE” to join the fun or read some wonderful posts.

Let me know what you think! I am thick skinned and love to chat. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Give Notice To Write.

Thank you Linda Hill press Here to join in or read. Saturdays Stream of Consciousness word is ‘notice.’ #SoCs

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A link to where you can purchase above mug is my gift to you!
Happy writing.

Go Away I'm Writing Bone China Mug

“Go away” is not nice for someone you love to hear.
I began to wonder how other writers got “space”or privacy to write. How do you have room?
What do you do to get room to pull faces, pace the floor, screw up sheets of paper for no good reason and toss them by the door. We do not need others seeing us chewing our lips, clenching our fists, grunting, groaning or raucously laughing at what is in our heads, so how do we manage?
Here are a few things I can think of some work and some … Some maybe not so well.

A. In a loud voice state “I need to be at my desk this morning” then slam the door.

B. Put a note on the door “Shut happens” and hope. This can be propped on your desk if you live in an openplan home, stuck to the window if ou have a garden office or attatched to the back of your head.

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C. With a desperate look and dramatic voice, beg to be left alone for at least eight hours, taking a flask and sandwiches with you, so there is no need to be disturbed with lunch.
D. Smear chocolate around your mouth, mess, up your hair, while still in your pyjamas, run around the house maniacally while chanting “I need to write ” repeatedly until husband, flat mate, parent or partner, get so concerned they tell you ‘ go and write.’

E. Have a frank discussion about how long and when you need to write, the day before; preparing the way.

F. Pour a cup of tea in the pictured mug, and if there dares to be a tap on the door to your writing place, thrust it through the partially opened space and shake with vigour.

G. Write out a formal notice to quit.

Dear ….., (insert name) Husband,

I am giving you formal notice that on Tuesday at eight A.M precisely my services as …. (insert your own) wife/superhero will be withdrawn. I will not be approached for any reason, other than to recieve bi- hourly deliveries of snacks, shoulder massages, smiles, or cups of my favoured brand of tea. During such visits conversation will not be permitted. Normal service will resume at six pm. I thank you in advanced for your co-operation.

If you can think of any better ones, or some that you have tried, please leave them in the comments … Do keep them clean and I will add them if appropriate to my list. Happy writing my friends.