Last week Norm featured some oddball doors on his post : Norm’s Thursday Doors so I thought I’d do something a bit quirky for this week’s Thursday Doors.
Here’s the info from Norm’s blog re: Thursday Doors:
Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button on Norm’s blog: Norm’s Thursday Doors April 28th 2016
I’ve got just the door and accessories in mind…. A toilet door! Sorry I did warn you this was a quirky post.
Well it’s colourful isn’t it, ladies? The image is a bit blurry, no I wasn’t inebriated when I took it! I was stone cold sober I swear! Sorry that it’s a bit out of focus but my phone wasn’t impressed by my taking a photo of a toilet door! Given that the post is a bit bonkers I don’t suppose that the blurry image matters too much.
Perhaps the door isn’t as interesting or as amusing as the unusual signs that live just beyond the toilet door. Someone’s got a sense of humour..
These two images …. certainly made my toilet visit entertaining.
I don’t think I’ll wash my feet in the sink… but thanks for the reminder… we’re in Cambridge not a beach resort!!
I took these photos after having a lovely Thai meal at Thaikun Cambridge. I was with my youngest daughter.
The food and décor are great. Their slogan (From the Streets of Bangkok,) is just right. Both times I’ve eaten there it’s been first class, so do go there, have a lovely meal – but whatever you do don’t forget to visit their unusual loo before you go!
The image to the left (below,) is one you often see but the one to the right…. is this a new yoga pose best perfected on a toilet seat? The hover pose? And the person on the toilet kind of looks a bit like he’s got either a long neck like ET, or no neck at all. In fact I suspect that head is in fact a balloon masquerading as a head! Hope it doesn’t go bang and give the person in the next cubicle a dreadful fright!
So you never know what lurks beyond a door….fascinating things doors.
Hope you like my jokey post for this week’s Thursday Doors! Sorry for being so bonkers Norm! I promise to do something more conventional, and cultural next time!
It has been an age since I joined in #BlogBattle and I’ve missed it but I’ve been very busy editing my manuscript so I have a bit of an excuse! Anyway, this week the prompt word just seemed to speak to me: Voice. I have just the story in mind! It’s an idea inspired by my current WIP novel, The Curse of Time, which I’m currently sharing on Wattpad, (Prologue and first few chapters….)
My short story is a YA Fantasy… with a touch of wacky humour. This short story takes a quirky look at what might have happened if the main character in my WIP: Amelina, had her missing dad return as a zombie!
The Knock At The Door – The Buried Voice.
I heard a knocking coming from the front door, a light tapping, but persistent sound. I ran downstairs. Through the frosted glass I saw a hazy silhouette. The knocking stopped. I opened the door a fraction and peered out.
I spied a half dead living body exhibit, a horror museum zombie. I staggered. This thing was gasping for breath, making terrible rasping sounds. His eyes were bleary, sad pools of stagnant misery. I clung to the door frame, seeking support, almost mimicking him. I wanted to run, to escape this visitor, but instead I let him in. I don’t know why I did. Somehow it seemed the right thing to do. One thought gave me comfort; I figured that if this stranger turned nasty I could run faster than he could. He hobbled into the house, each step a slow, painful shuffle. I pulled the dining chair out for him. He didn’t sit, he collapsed. I didn’t know what to do next. I hovered for a moment uncertain. His breathing continued to rattle in his rib cage, so I rushed off to get him a glass of water. When I returned he held the glass with his pinky extended, his hand shaking, the water spilling. He lifted the glass to his lips, drinking in gulps that tugged at my heart.
‘Amelina,’ he croaked, his eyes swimming out to reach mine.
The ocean currents of his sad lost eyes drew us together. The shock pummelled me with a force that I couldn’t begin to describe. His voice couldn’t say the words he longed to say, those syllables were lost on some faraway shore, yet I knew what was in his heart.
He had my name in his heart. Of course he had. I knew who he was, of course I did. That pinky told me before he did. He’d always had trouble bending that finger, ever since he’d broken it, mucking about on a family holiday in Cornwall.
I heard the sound of mum turning the key in the door; she didn’t have a clue what was coming. She was adrift in the sea and had no idea.
She walked into the hallway.
‘Amelina, I’m home,’ she yelled.
I didn’t reply. I couldn’t say a word. That pinky still had me transfixed.
Mum walked in and saw us. She staggered, and swayed.
‘What, the….. who… is….’
He lifted the glass with trembling hands and she saw the truth.
Poor mum. It was all too much for her; she swayed, and then fainted.
Mum was out cold. I didn’t know what to do. Zombie like dad took over; he picked up his glass and waved it in mum’s direction. I got the parental message. Water. That’s when I heard it, this plaintive meowing coming from the patio. A black cat had his nose pressed against the glass. I rushed to get mum the water, passing by the patio door on the way to the kitchen I didn’t stop to think I let the strange cat in.
Before the water even reached mum’s lips, she came to, stirring.
I gave the cat a bowl of milk. It seemed the thing to do. He supped it up as if he was starving. I gave mum the glass of water; she swallowed it down gulping back tears.
By now Mum had clocked dad. This second viewing couldn’t have been a pretty sight, but she braved it. She didn’t cry out. Instead the expression on her face almost hiccupped as if she was swallowing her shock, a bitter watery pill. She must have noticed the cat too but didn’t object. I expect she didn’t have the energy.
Much later that evening mum and dad were getting reacquainted. The reunion, if you could call it that must have been slow and painful. A chat with halting words, a slow shuffling to get to know each other again. I withdrew to my bedroom.
Nothing could quite match that first shock of seeing dad but what happened next came close. I saw a tiny person captured in my bedroom mirror. I thought I was hallucinating. So I tried to wipe her away with a flannel.
‘Hey, stop that,’ she scolded, ‘I don’t need a shower, you’re making me all smeary.’
I stepped back. This was crazy. First dad reappeared, then the cat fell in the door, and now I had a talking girl captured in my bedroom mirror. WTF. I recognised this tiny person; it was Esme, a girl from my school who’d vanished suddenly with no explanation.
I closed my eyes willing her away. I just couldn’t take anymore. Things like this just didn’t happen to an ordinary girl like me.
When I reopened my eyes, she was still there, frowning, as if I’d captured her and put her there, like I made it my habit to be her jailer. She scowled. I ran through the house and checked each mirror. She was in all of them. Every single one. Ugh.
I had scowling Esme on tap.
A dad, who kinda did the, kinda didn’t do the zombie dude scuffle.
And a black cat who craved attention.
Sometimes fate ladles out wicked blows. Our once happy family was a distant memory, and laughter became a cruel joke.
Now we’re an unhappy family of three plus a mirror girl and a strange black cat with a white handkerchief fur necktie. This cat dude knows how to dress. Yeah, he came house hunting in his Sunday best looking for loser owners. Our sad house remembered its past, shrunk, and became a reflection of our sorrow. Nothing was ever going to be the same, but one sad fact remained, the curse wasn’t trapped.
1000 words max fictional tale (or true if you really want)
PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
Go for the entertainment value!
State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
#Blogbattle is a wonderful community of short story writers via Rachael Ritchey, do pop over to her blog to find out more:
If I were having coffee I’d say I’ve put on a little weight around the middle so perhaps I’d better stick to a Skinny Witchy latte! What about you? What are you having today? …. Are you going to have a full fat Cappucino? You wicked tease!!!
It’s been a bit of an uneventful week – just been working, editing, blogging, cleaning, washing……. so I thought I’d share some news with you….
Guess what happened this week… I missed my own 2 year Blog Anniversary. What? Yes, I did, somehow I misplaced it. So today I’m picking this piece of news up and saying that Kyrosmagica turned two this April!!!!
This calls for a double shot of coffee and some chocolates I reckon! Don’t you agree? Oh dear, bang goes my diet!
So I thought I’d share with you some of my stats….
Followers, 831. This in itself is amazing. Thank you so much for following, and engaging with me on my little piece of blog land. You lovely peeps.
Views, 23,220. What this means I have no idea… I think you’ve been looking at my blog, peering at it curiously!
Comments, 4010. Yes, lots of these and I love comments! So keep them coming… You chatterboxes.. 🙂
Posts, 610. Wow! Have I really written that many? Boy, that’s a lot.
Visitors: 8613. That’s astonishing. I feel quite faint.
Best views Ever: 31st October, 2015 – 177 views. That’s the one, the stat that amuses me! My most popular post at the time was a Halloween poem! Wonder of wonders. Moreover my eldest daughter was inspired by this poem My Halloween Poem to write a story..
Now, I’m not intending to bore you with this bunch of stats, honest… I’m no statistician. The reason that I’m mentioning it is I’m amused. Amused? Yes….. my best views ever occurred at Halloween!!! Yeah, I think that proves that Kyrosmagica is truly a bit of a white witch. I cast a spell on you! Even my daughter….
I’m so proud! I couldn’t be more happier. What more could Kyrosmagica ask for? What a trophy!
Right, enough Witchy nonsense. Now that I’ve fallen off my witch’s broom and landed on my posterior, what’s my 2 year news?
I’ve been editing furiously and now my manuscript is a staggering 84,344 words.
After much deliberation I’ve chosen a title for my book – The Curse of Time.
I’m currently considering some ideas for a book cover.
I’ve written something in the region of 80+ Book reviews!!
I’ve developed an interest in Photography.
I love writing haiku, and dabble in a bit of short story writing too!
I’ve started writing book reviews for self-published authors…
I’m a Bloggers Basher! I went to last years event and will be attending this years event in London too! If you’re interested to find out more, here’s the link to Sacha’s blog to find out more: Annual Bloggers Bash
I had the opportunity to steward at this year’s Literary Festival. I wrote about this wonderful experience in last week’s coffee share in case you missed it. Here’s the link: Cambridge Literary Festival
As you can see this blog really has made me grow as a person! No wonder I’m putting on weight! I’m so glad I began my blogging journey. I’ve made so many supportive and lovely blogging friends.
On my to do List:
Public speaking. This has been on my to do list for a long time…. I hope to bite the bullet on this at some time, but in truth this frightens the bazookas out of me. Being a bit of an introvert, (with extrovert tendencies,) can be a bit of a set back sometimes.
Publishing my novel. Of course this has been on My To Do List for a very long time, but I’m in good company. I take heart from the fact that a lot of writers take a long time to publish their books. I just hope 2016 is my year…
Writing a post about My Daughter’s Prom. I will be doing a Fashion Feature about this in July. Can’t wait!
Skydiving, White Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Paragliding, all lies, all lies…
Overhaul of my witch’s broom. This one’s true. I have a lot of plans for my broom. It needs a new and improved spec to take me to many more wonderful blogging destinations in the years to come!
Jobs. Ouch, nasty word! Yeah I’ve been dabbling in various occupations other than writing to make a few crusts as you’ve probably noticed. At Christmas time I worked in John Lewis as a temp, and now I’m working in my local primary school. I’m toying with the idea of doing some therapy work too – I’m a qualified Reflexologist/Aromatherapist too! So intending to practise this summer….. It’s been a while since I practised properly so may need to update my skills… do a refresher course. We’ll see… Decisions, Decisions. Terrible dilemma for a procrastinator.
So a lot of juggling going on…. thank goodness I’m a white witch or I’d never manage to cope with it all!
As she let her gaze drift around her, she saw that there were more birds. Perhaps a dozen or so, perched among the trees that stood on the edge of the clearing. And yet more were arriving, swooping down through the gap overhead and landing on branches that overlooked them. The birds weren’t threatening, yet the sight of them all coming together in this dark and isolated spot was unnerving. Tanya reached a hand out towards Martin, and was relieved to feel him take it. She felt him move in behind her. After the uncertainty she’d experienced with him in a similar position only a few moments ago, she recognised the irony of her reaction. His closeness offered security.
“You know what they are, don’t you?”
A stranger’s arrival in a small village coincides with a tragic accident. For the Gates family in particular it’s more than a coincidence, but their unease increases following a brutal attack. As tensions rise, a dark past returns to haunt them and others, while newcomers to the village are drawn into a mystery with terrifying consequences. And no one can explain why the ravens are gathering.
Ravens Gathering twists and turns as the truth is gradually exposed in a gripping thriller with a supernatural edge to it.
This is a very ambitious first novel, and on the whole Graeme Cumming does a fantastic job, creating a novel which is both highly imaginative, and unusual in many respects. The dialogue is believable, as is the detail in the various innocuous, homely settings: the pub, the farms, and this close knit English village.
Ravens Gathering does a shape shift through several different genres, embracing fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, police procedural, thriller, and horror.
The main character Martin Gates returns to this community, his home after a long time abroad. Martin’s reappearance is not welcomed with open arms by his family, in fact they appear to view his reappearance as something to avoid rather than embrace. To begin with Martin is a difficult character to engage with. His character is somewhat obtuse, but there are reasons for this, which become apparent as we read the book and realise why he is the way he is. We do get a sense of his outrage about being so unloved and uncared for by his family, and yet to begin with we have no idea why this the case. We can only speculate, but there’s no way that our speculations will be correct.
Equally, Tanya, and Ian aren’t particularly appealing either, and neither are Martin’s family. The further we get into the book it seems more and more likely that everyone in Ravens Gathering are flawed in some unique and individual way. The key words that initially come to mind are: selfish, shady, desperate for sexual diversions, or damaged in some way.
The story unfolds slowly with a considerable amount of detail, making events more real. Shocking and disturbing revelations in the latter part of the novel don’t come as a complete surprise given the underlying sense of a community where something is terribly amiss. Nevertheless I had no idea of what was coming, and the shock factor of what did surprised, and appalled me in equal measure. This is a novel where you can’t help but go WTF!!!!!
The characters for the most part are not particularly lovable which initially distances the reader from them but that’s not meant as a criticism, in fact under the circumstances having read the story one realises why this is the case.
The bad guy is about as horrible, wicked, and debauched a villain as you can get.
This is a very complicated story that remains in your psyche for some time afterwards. It winds its way stretching the believability of the fantastical elements to the max, edging the story to its conclusion.
My recommendation: Definitely an author to watch out for, a well written, confident debut. Read if you like mysterious thrillers with a fantastical, but deeply shocking element.
DISCLAIMER: “As of 13th September 2017 we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”
My opinions are my own and any reviews on this site have not been swayed or altered in any way by monetary compensation, or by the offer of a free book in in exchange for a review.
I haven’t taken part in Ronovan’s Poetry prompt challenge for ages as I’ve been really busy editing my manuscript. It’s now a staggering 84,330 words in length!
I have to say that I’ve really missed writing haiku, taking part in quote challenges, writing short stories, etc…..
Listening to Al The Author’s radio talk on Annette’s blog talk radio: Meet Poet Al Lane just made me want to write a haiku or two this week! So I gave in, the craving was just too much!
Annette’s Blog Talk radio show has also recently featured our very own Judy Martin from Edwina Episodes who has recently published a poetry compilation, Rhymes of The Times. Listen to Judy talking about everyday things, naughty poems and chocolate! She reckons that just about anything can be made into humorous, rhyming poems, find out more via this link : Judy Martin on Tell Me A Story.
Chris Graham of the The Story Reading Ape designed Judy’s book cover. Here it is in her favorite sunny colour yellow, and very nice it is too:
My two haiku are inspired by my recent job working in my local primary school.
Kids can be so sweet at times, particularly when they’re happy! Not so much when they fall over and hurt themselves in the playground, then they need oodles of TLC…. One day it was raining in the playground, and the infants were thrilled to be out in the gently falling rain getting their hair just a tiny bit wet. Their enthusiasm and excitement can’t help but make you smile, it’s so fresh and invigorating. If only we could bottle that!
I have to say that I hovered underneath the shelter, out of the rain, keeping an eye on them from there. As we get older we tend to view rain as a nuisance, losing sight of the enthusiasm we once had for tiny drops of invigorating, cleansing rain. Rain can have a beautiful aspect to it, particularly if it is followed by a rainbow! This is especially true when you’re young and raindrops can be almost magical. One young boy held his hands out capturing little drops of rain in his fingertips, I joined in and kept him company, and for a moment I remembered how magical and special rain can be!
So with those raindrops in mind I’d thought I’d be a bit playful and suggest that perhaps adults shouldn’t be so quick to attribute rain with negative thoughts. We tend to see rain as a nuisance, thinking about practicalities such as the washing hanging on the line, our soggy wet clothes, and hair. Instead perhaps we should focus on the positives as seen through a childs’ eyes – and go out and play in the rain!
After all if we do get soaking wet we can hopefully come in and have a nice reward. A hot shower and a cup of tea or even a hot chocolate if the mood takes us! Otherwise perhaps a brolly or a raincoat might be a good idea! Ha ha !!!
Play Out In The Rain
Kids teach us lessons,
As do the sun, and the moon,
And the rainbows too!
The sun is hiding,
Stop mooning around grownups,
Play in the rain too!
Hope you enjoyed my double dose of haiku!
Do you enjoy the elements? Rain, rainbows, and perhaps thunderstorms…. do comment I’d love to hear from you.
The school captain: Ryan has it all … or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now?
The newcomer: Charlie’s just moved interstate and she’s determined not to fit in. She’s just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends …
The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He’s been single-handedly holding things together since his mum’s breakdown, and he’s never felt so alone.
The popular girl: Well, the popular girl’s best friend … cool by association. Tammi’s always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself?
The politician’s daughter: Gillian’s dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she’s learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.
Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?
First of all before I begin my review I’d like to say a big thank you to Jade at Scatterbooker for sending me my giveaway prize all the way from Australia! Miraculously it arrived the very morning that I was going to Brighton for a family get together for my mum’s birthday! Quite extraordinary… Anyway it was lovely to bring it along with me for a weekend away. In fact I took a photo of it for Instagram along with a beautifully folded towel and some toiletries.
The main characters in Sarah Ayoub’s The Yearbook Committee are Matty, Charlie, Ryan, Tammi, and Gillian. The story revolves around the five teammates who are drawn together to create a Yearbook of their final year at school. All of them are reluctant, (expect Gillian,) to get involved in this activity. In fact the five would most probably never have been friends if it wasn’t for their involvement in the Committee. As the Yearbook develops so do their friendships. In fact these new relationships make the Yearbookers’ question some of their existing friendships, and an unlikely but strong bond is formed.
I must admit that I found The Yearbook Committee a little slow to get into at first, but maybe I’m showing my age! Ha ha!! The chapters are set out in alternating Pov’s of the five characters, so perhaps it takes a while for the reader, (particularly oldies like me!) to engage with each individual character. Nevertheless I enjoyed The Yearbook Committee. I’d say that its strongest characteristic by far is its exceptionally well written and believable dialogue. Though, I didn’t get much of a sense of place. Of course we know the novel is set in Australia but there’s very little descriptive language. So perhaps not a recommendation for readers who enjoy a lot of descriptive language…
The Yearbook Committee will definitely appeal to those who enjoy YA, teen books, character led stories with tons of engaging dialogue, an emphasis on the wide ranging difficulties and peer pressures of growing up. The novel highlights a wide range of diverse issues: cyber bullying, having a sibling with Downs, coping with a parent with severe depression, non-nuclear families, moving to a new school, distracted and disinterested parents, lost dreams, pressure to have sex, to do well, to be popular, to take drugs..
The characters are:
Charlie’s just moved from Melbourne with her mum and stepdad to Sydney. She didn’t want to move and is determined not to fit in. She’s the bright spark and feminist of the group.
Ryan is the clever, athletic, popular but nice guy whose dreams are smashed by an injury.
Matty is the scholarship kid who has a tough time of it working two jobs to try to help and support his depressed mother who can’t even get herself together to go to parent’s meetings.
Tammi is to some degree defined by others. She is best friends with the popular but meanest girl going. Tammi finds it hard to convince her parents that she’d like to be a police officer.
Gillian is the only one of the five who volunteered to be on the Yearbook Committee. She’s a politician’s daughter and the target of cyber bullies, and constantly in the media spotlight.
The key words: Revelations, Relationships, Frustrations, Explorations, Decisions, Unlikely Friendships, Unfortunate, Sad, Tragic, Thoughtful (Ryan’s final chapter,) Teen, YA, Social Media, Current, are the key words I would use to describe The Yearbook Committee.
If these appeal to you then I’d recommend that you pick up a copy!
The ending really smashed it for me, very moving and emotional, making up for the slow start.
A new social media tool, called Headliner from Lit World Interviews, a find via Olga Núñez Miret, sounds very people/supportive friendly. Reblogging it for future reference and sharing here so that others can find out more. 🙂