Who better to write about than my lovely dad, Ronald?
He has always been my inspiration. I doubt I would ever have become a writer if it hadn’t been for him. Both of my parents are much loved and have had an extraordinary life with many stories to tell. My dad is quite the raconteur! He has been fortunate to have travelled to, and lived in, many exotic countries in his life: Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia (where he met my mum,) Africa, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, British Virgin Islands, Fiji, Anguilla, Abu Dhabi… etc.
So this is for my dad, who isn’t Russian but learnt Russian as a young man. I find it quite extraordinary that he still remembers how to speak and sing in Russian after all these years. Like his grandfather, who lived a long life (and walked miles when he was ninety,) he has a zest for life which I admire enormously. And the ladies seem to love dad – apparently he received many birthday wishes from the female golfers in his club! Which mum took very good-naturedly… He is so like his grandfather, (who he loved.)
Apparently his grandfather was also a big hit with the ladies too!
From his birth,
One of a kind,
He likes a challenge,
A dapper gentleman,
Whose impeccable taste shines,
I’d describe him to impress you,
Just like his grandfather before him,
He dazzles all those he meets with his charm.
From the beginning
He was so adventurous,
Now ninety he sings,
Russian songs to our waitress,
For the record – he’s handsome!
I hope you enjoyed my tanka and etheree. Do join in with Colleen’s poetry challenge.
Thank you so much to Beaton for reviewing The Curse of Time. Thrilled to say it looks as if he really enjoyed it. Pop over to Goodreads too to see his 5 star review there too. Very happy author moment.:)
Mr Elephant’s long lashes filled with tears. His heart lay in tatters and the endless falling snow and blizzards were making him wonder what was the point in going on. He longed for blue skies, warm sunshine, lush green trees and someone to play with.
One day he tiptoed upon a charming little tree house in a vast clearing. Unfortunately, even though he liked tiptoeing about, he knew he was too clumsy and cumbersome to live in such a sweet little abode. His trunk could just about fit in the window and extend to the other side but his body would crush it to pieces. He philosophised about the unfairness of this with several stamps of his rather large feet. His gaze trailed up, and he realised that a bunch of cheeky mice were playing on the roof. This made him even more angry. He pressed his trunk against the house and in a fury he pushed hard. The tree bent and strained against his enormous bulk and the house groaned and shook.
The mice scurried about squeaking in high-pitched protestations trying their best to find a safe place to escape from the fury of the elephant.
Mr Elephant paused for a moment to observe these tiny creatures who were as white as the falling snow. He curled his trunk in thought. Was he being as nasty as those humans who had killed his herd? Perhaps, he should be the one to fear these mice? After all, his mum always told him that elephants are frightened of mice, but he believed this to be nonsense. How could he, one of the largest creatures to walk this earth, fear these tiny, rodents? Surely, it must be the other way round?
But, did he need to scare these silly things?
He blinked his eyelashes as large snowballs fell on top of the mice.
‘Stop that Mr Elephant! You big bully. Your eyelashes are sending loose snowballs in our direction and your bulk is threatening to topple over our new home. Can’t you see we are about to have a house-warming party?’ said one tiny, but confident mouse.
‘I don’t care! You… You, didn’t invite me to your party and I so love to play! You – unfriendly mouse.’
‘I’m not. Mice are very friendly. If you take a moment to stop being so uppity with your trunk in the air, tiptoeing like a ballerina, you will see that I speak the truth. We’d like to invite you in, but we can’t. You won’t fit. You’re – too big.’
‘Hey, that’s not true. I can fit. My trunk is a master of contortion. It can fit through the window, or pop in via the front door.’
‘Oh! I never thought of that. That’s brilliant Mr Elephant,’ said the mouse. ‘I suppose it would be rude of us not to invite you. You are our nearest neighbour, and a talented contortionist.’
‘Oh, thank you! I would love to come. What a treat! I have been so lonely and lost since my family died.’
The mice gasped in unison. ‘Your family died?’
‘Hunters killed them for their tusks,’ said the elephant in a sad whisper.
‘That is dreadful. Humans are wicked. We wish to make your day a little happier by making you our guest of honour,’ said the confident mouse.
‘Thank you mouse, that means so much to me. I will never have a tree house but it would be lovely for my trunk to come for a house-warming visit.’
All the mice giggled. ‘Come in, come in, Mr Trunk.’ they chorused, standing on their hind legs.
Mr Elephant’s trunk didn’t hesitate. His trunk was a huge hit at the party. The mice had endless fun sliding down what amounted to an endless slide. It was the best party game they had ever had. And Mr Elephant enjoyed spending time with his new, tiny family and he appreciated a chance to pretend that he owned his very own tree house nestled amongst the snowy clouds far away from cruelty.
Today, I am thrilled to share with you details of a crystal that I have recently discovered.
Chiastolite is such a fascinating crystal! I have chosen to feature it in the second book in the Curse of Time YA Fantasy series. This current work in progress stands in the region of 70,000 words. I am very excited about how it is progressing.
Chiastolite exhibits may be brown or green with a black cross pattern. The meaning of its name comes from the Greek word “chiastos” meaning cruciform or crosswise.
It has many wonderful properties: stone of balance, harmony, creativity. It is spiritually grounding, an excellent tool for meditation, psychic protection, problem solving, understanding aging, death, and is considered to be a stone of prosperity.
Let me share with you the unedited prologue/first chapter of The Curse of Time Book Two – Golden Healer. I hope you enjoy! Any feedback would be gratefully received.
Eruterac wore a round knitted rasta cap embellished with bright sun-cured palm leaves. At the centre, he’d attached a shining Chiastolite – otherwise known as the death crystal.
The Chiastolite shared the brown colour of the earth he inhabited apart from a distinct black cross in the middle. Other than that and several cakes of mud he was naked, if you can call such a creature naked.
His filthy, matted dreadlocks tumbled forwards as he picked off a wriggling worm which dared to crawl across his bony frame. He held it inches from where his mouth used to be and dangled it in front of Leanne’s nose.
‘Dinner,’ he joked, as he bobbed his skeletal head.
‘No thanks, dearest creature,’ replied Leanne, as she tucked a strand of her silver pink hair behind her ear. ‘I prefer caviar. But I do like your new hat – that Chiastolite is very fetching!’
Leanne picked up her teapot and poured the liquid into a cup. It flowed slowly, twinkling with the brilliant colour of a thousand crystals. When it filled the cup, it turned the colour Leanne expected. She’d thought of green tea and magical green tea it was.
Eruterac reacted by choking and spluttering on clods of earth as he laughed. ‘That’s foul. Green tea, how can you drink such muck? Stinking Caviar. Sturgeon’s excrement.’
‘Huh, you can talk! You’re the one infested with worms.’
‘Worms… yes… I don’t blame you for hating worms. Worms are a wriggling nuisance but heavens to cemeteries they are nowhere near as bad as rats. Disrespectful Vermin!’
‘Poor you! Take heart,look, it must cheer you up to see such beauty every day,’ Leanne turned and pointed at the rose and myrtle garden and the cottage beyond with its walls of brilliant crystals.
‘My heart beats no more but I adore the tranquillity and beauty of this magical garden and cottage.’
A white dove landed on Leanne’s shoulder, she turned and smiled. But the dove thought better of it and alighted on the Creature’s hat. It pecked away at the worms making the creature smile.
‘Cheeky doves, always favouring you and your sunny hat when you’re around.’
‘They know who provides them with a constant dinner of worms. And who’s… boss.’
‘Huh! Yes to dinner, but a boss? You? That Chiastolite’s making you big-headed. Oh, my days. The mythological protectors and my dearest doves are all I – and my dear cottage need. And… to return to our earlier conversation, the mythological fly is up to his tricks.’
‘Where’s that stinking fly from hell been to this time?’ asked Eruterac, leaning forward, sending a bunch of worms tumbling towards Leanne’s teacup. Her eyes grew wide as she placed a protective hand over the top but a few swift worms landed in the saucer. She swiped them away.
‘Oh, anguish me. Worms in my saucer! How my flesh crawls. Ugh. I feel giddy,’ she placed a trembling hand on her forehead.
‘Leanne, forget the innocent worms. We were talking of the fly?’
‘Yes, we were. Now let me see. The fly has been to Amelina’s,’ she paused for a moment, her eyes wide. ‘He flew in the window but I am at a loss to figure out what happened next. My naughty crystal ball refuses to grant me a vision. I do know this – I placed my trust in Amelina – but I fear I was hasty.’
‘Your heartfelt sigh makes me glad I’m dead. I no longer experience human stress and with time to waste, I’m a master at pontificating about nothing. But, I have a gurgling sensation in my once gut which tells me that the Grasshopper and the fly are in cahoots. Either way, I could suggest this or that, but it would all be for nought. Amelina is young, she will learn to master the magical crystal gifts you have entrusted to her. Time is on her side. I have every faith in her.’
He lifted his hat in a calculated salute to Leanne. A family of rats who had been resting on his dreadlocks ran free, knocking over Leanne’s cup.
‘Ugh. I wish you wouldn’t do that Eruterac,’ said Leanne. ‘You pretend to honour me but the last time you did that, you broke my precious teacup!’
‘Me! Mercy!’ replied Eruterac, laughing so hard that his eye sockets crunched together producing a horrendous grinding sound.
‘Stop that! You know you have no eyeballs – you devil! The rats devoured both your eyes long ago. Enough, our conversation is at an end,’ she paused for a moment before proclaiming, ‘The Bloodstone will find a way.’
‘Of Krystallos blood and Amelina I am certain,’ replied Eruterac, bowing.