Friday, 13 October 2017

Ascension - find it on Amazon and other retailers.

The following is taken from Ascension. You can find it on Amazon by clicking the link to the right.

The girl who faces me isn’t Sarah. Or rather, she isn’t just Sarah. Her stomach is swollen and heavy; her birthing time near.
“Jessica.” It’s a flat statement, as if she’s not in the least surprised to see me or awkward that we have met like this.
“Oh! I had no idea,” I gush, trying to hide my confusion. I blink rapidly, trying to look delighted for her. “When did you get married?” I demand, when what I want to cry is, Why didn’t you tell me? Why wasn’t I there? and most painful of all, Why wasn’t I your bridesmaid?
I swallow back my hurt and my pride and try to be happy for her. Time and circumstance have caused us to drift apart and we are both at fault. Yet I wonder if she mourns the loss as much as I do.
Her gaze jumps away from mine, vivid green gaze fliting around the crowd as if seeking something. Whatever that is, she clearly doesn’t find it. When she looks back at me her eyes are sadder and somehow older, the green darker and more jaded than moments before.
She tries to smile, but more than anything she looks wretched. “Jessica Stone, you always did put your mouth out there on the ground before you jumped right into it, didn’t you?” The old exasperated tone she used to use with me is gone, replaced by something else, something harder. “Look!” She thrusts both hands at me hard enough to push me over.
   Rocking back on my heels, I grab them to steady me. Strong and firm, her unadorned hands hold        mine and anchor me to the spot. I search for the bright brilliance of engagement and wedding            rings—and find none. In fact there are no rings on either middle finger. And no indentations to          indicate that rings have ever sat there. Face as red as her hair, chin level with mine, she regards          me challengingly.

“No, I never got walked down the aisle.” She laughs mirthlessly, her cheeks failing to dimple the way I remember so well, “Just rushed up the alleyway.” Her voice is harsh, tight and full of shame— but not broken. She intends no offence, offering merely a sweeping pragmatism to bring me face to face with her reality. But even so, her words shock me like no others could have done. The implications behind her meaning hit me like a sledgehammer. Somewhere deep down in my stomach a clenching wave starts up and I think that I have never, ever, experienced such fear as I now feel.

“Oh my God.” I hear myself whisper, the words echoing on and on in my head, the ramifications of her situation exploding in a thousand different images, each one worse than the one before. “Oh My God Sarah! You’re not married.”

She just stares at me, not denying the truth of my words, not demanding that I take them back, not offering any explanation at all. Waiting it out as if dealing with a recalcitrant child.

I can only imagine what expression of horror and shock is frozen on my face. I am at once ashamed of my feelings and angry at our religion for foisting them upon me.

“But… But… How?” is all I manage to stutter out.

“Come on Jess. Really?” Eyebrows raised, she regards me almost comically. It’s a momentary flash of the old Sarah, the Sarah who, even though she is the same age as me, has always seemed more mature and worldly, as if all of life was an open book to her.

“I think you know the how.” She half giggles, as if momentarily forgetting her peril, before fear settles over her countenance. “I guess it’s the why you’re interested in.”

Happy reading.

Same, but different.

Today I'm working on a book which falls into the category of literary fiction. But with a twist.

It's great to be working on a book again [I finished my second screenplay yesterday] because I can post snippets once more, and also because I can deal with the main character so much more intimately, than can be done in a play. By that I mean that I can show exactly what goes on inside the character's head. With a screenplay, this can only ever be shown by a character's actions and words, and by the portrayal of the character by a good actor/actress.

It's the screen writer's job to make sure that the audience understands the character's feelings and motivations, but to get a 100% understanding of a character, nothing beats getting inside their head in a book.

So keep your eyes on this blog for future snippets.

Happy reading.

Thanks to Michael Bryce for use of the photo.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Never a dull moment.

Today I'm writing the last few scenes of my second screenplay and then I'll be working on my current books. These projects are all very different but equally enjoyable. It's great to be caught up in  the fervour and pace of the play as it reaches its climax, yet the sweetness of the unfolding stories within the books holds great appeal too.

Anyway, whatever you are doing today, have a great one!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

A Truly Unique Venue

What do you think of when you consider an event space? A large bland room? Perhaps an area with a stage? Certainly somewhere that can comfortably hold the amount of people you intend to invite.

I had these ideas and more in mind, when I attended a showcase evening last week. Set within the building which now houses The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, as well as Birmingham Library, the variety of rooms and areas for hire were more than I had anticipated.

And not one for hiding their light under a bushel, Unique Venues Birmingham had gone all out to show the rooms off at their very best.

After cocktails served in glass baubles upon our arrival, we were ushered from one room to another, each one decorated in a different theme. There was Mr. and Mrs. Jack Frost, Dorothy and the Lion from The Wizard Of Oz, [a personal favourite of mine] and The Queen of Hearts, each in their own unique setting. And I actually began to wonder how it would end. What could they have planned for the ultimate room, the final showstopper?

The Shakespeare Room.

It was everything I could have expected and more - stunning architecture, walls lined with wooden bookshelves which seemed to groan under the weight of hefty tomes and a table laid out for a king.

I for one would be more than happy to hold an event in such an illustrious place.

So maybe one day, when those shelves are filled with books bearing my name, you will find me holding court in that gorgeous room...

Until then, happy reading.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Moats and drawbridges.

I was talking the other day about infinity pools and how my ideal one would blaze a trail all the way around my house [not the present one, but my planned future one, of course] in a complete circle, when my partner said to me, "You mean you want a moat?"

And when I thought about it, he was absolutely right. Moats have always fascinated me, although I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe I just like the implied isolation of it...

Anyway, it was only a little strange when I found myself in The Drawbridge Inn in Shirley soon after, enjoying a birthday meal with my family.

I don't tend to eat out a lot with the children as their tastes are very different to mine but this particular pub has something to suit everyone and at a very reasonable price, including a whopping gut-busting 'Defeat The Meat!' section. And unlike many other establishments, the staff went out of their way to assist us.

But did the place have a moat? Sadly not, although there was water nearby and I think we drove over a sort of drawbridge in the dark!

I guess the idea of me swimming in a moat stems back from the very peculiar childhood I had, when my idea of luxury was going swimming in the local canal [I kid you not!] alongside rusty bikes and shopping trolleys.

Since I don't plan on doing that again anytime soon, I guess my dream of a moat will stay exactly that for now, a dream.

Until then, happy reading.