March Speculative Fiction Prompt from Diana Peach – The Ride

 

 

For this I have imagined one of my characters, Ryder, from The Curse of Time Book 1 revealing a snippet of a story which I might use in future books. 

The Ride

It began with a rocking horse, a child’s toy.

Ryder discovered this antique treasure in a quirky street window, down ‘the lanes,’ in Brighton. He strolled along, with his rocking horse in hand and joined the queue for the busy student bus back to campus. A couple of ladies stared at his greediness, his decadence, taking up two empty seats on the bus. Undeterred he smirked, patting the rocking horse’s head. The ladies glared.

When he arrived back at his flat his flatmates exchanged knowing glances, cataloguing Ryder and his rocking horse in the oddity section. Only Olivia gave him the benefit of the doubt. He appreciated that and made a mental note to reward her later. A midnight kiss perhaps.

The perhaps became a definite. The midnight kiss became much more. When he left the  embrace of slumbering Olivia the moon lay heavy in the sky, its orb a perfect circle of complete mysteriousness. Ryder hung out his bedroom window staring, pleading with the moon to notice him. He dangled precariously, goading the moon to come closer. The pumpkin moon glowed blood red, a bleeding heart, surrounded by an uncaring sky. The rocking horse began to move slowly absorbing the moon’s vital energy. The moon continued to bleed until it could bleed no more. Instead it became darker and darker until Ryder could see nothing but darkness.

Beyond the darkness Ryder heard the sound of an ice cream van, its tune winding its way towards him. He hung further out of his window wondering about this strange phenomenon, an ice cream van in the middle of an eclipse of the moon.

He hesitated for a moment wondering whether to chance rushing outside into the darkness to catch the van before it disappeared. In the end he only wavered for a moment, his senses overflowing with midnight promises, a feast of darkness consumed by sugary ice-cream. But, no van appeared. Instead he waited, displeased.

Again he heard the jingle of the van teasing him, laughing at his foolish, childlike desires. The music grew louder and louder, a jarring cacophony. He covered his ears about to turn away, now desperate to escape. The van came to a screeching halt just as he took his first departing step. Ryder smiled. The hatch opened, and a man peered out. He had a round face, the roundest face that Ryder had ever seen, vanilla white, pock marked, hair as black as the midnight sky. There were no signs to indicate what kind of ice cream he sold. So Ryder waited for him to speak.

“Well, I haven’t got all night, what do you want?” asked the man scowling, as his creamy white face turned a surly red.

“I’m not sure,” replied Ryder. “What ice creams do you have?”

“Ice creams? What? No ice creams here young man.”

“But you’re riding in an ice cream van, playing an ice-cream jingle.”

“That’s true, but that’s not what I do.”

“What do you do?” asked Ryder, frowning.

“Hop aboard, ride the van and you might find out,” said the man, his face returning to its original brilliant white.

Ryder hesitated. This was strange, but Ryder thrived on strange, so he agreed.

The man opened the back of the van and Ryder climbed in. Inside the van Ryder could see only darkness. Blackness drifted towards him filling his senses with a bleak sense of loss. The man handed him a tiny torch that gave off a brilliant light.

“Come,” the man said.

The van was motionless, yet Ryder could swear that he felt movement. They walked and walked further into the darkness. Suddenly they stopped. A bright light shone from the torch on to a patch of turf. How curious. The van’s opened doors revealed a vast land which stretched its tendril-like fingers, shadows extending everywhere.

Ryder recognised the land. He sighed. “Home,” he said.

“Yes,” said the man. A note of melancholy filled the air.

“Why have you brought me here?”

“It’s nearly Halloween, lad. A time to visit the place of your birth.”

Ryder heard the sound of the fairground, the laughter, candy floss and excitement, but behind it all he knew there was the ride. There was no point in pleading with the man, asking him to take him back. He had to accept his fate, whatever that might be.

“Come,” said the man.

Ryder lifted his heavy feet, a ghostly chill settling in his bones.

 

To be continued…

 

This is in response to Diana’s Speculative Fiction prompt: https://mythsofthemirror.com/2019/03/01/march-speculative-fiction-prompt/

4d4a6c6a-69cd-46f9-8810-a3031a67f4e4

To find out more about the Curse of Time please visit:

myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

https://mjmallon.com/2018/02/13/media-kit/

Sharing Options:

#BookReview Andorra Pett and The Oort Cloud Cafe #mystery #scifi

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict cafe. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn! She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past. 
But the cafe holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not. And being accident prone doesn’t help. The more you try to pretend that you know what’s going on, the worse it gets. 
Andorra’s plans for peace and quiet get lost amid the revelations and skulduggery and she soon realises that the fate of the whole station lies in her hapless hands. 
In space, you can still trip over your feet; the question is, will you land upright? 

 

My review:

This is about as different as it gets in terms of sci/fi murder mystery sleuthing. For a start it is set on Saturn in a café frequented by miners, with lots of gossip and dodgy goings on and a body hidden in a freezer. It is imaginative and I like imaginative!The author himself has described it as an ‘Agatha Raisin in space.’

Who killed the previous owner of the ‘Ucky Strike Cafe’ which has lost its L?

It seems that Andorra might be the one to find out. There is a light-hearted feel to this novel and plenty of moments that made me laugh right from the start:

Also there are some interesting, (exclamation, exclamation,) revelations LOL… that I didn’t see coming at all and who would have guessed the culprit? Not me…

Andorra comes across as a likeable character who is looking for love and (sometimes tries too hard to find it .) Can she find love now she has escaped the hurts of her past? The supporting characters are believable and the story is well-written and engaging.

Even though it is Sc-fi it is a cozy Sci-fi, so don’t let that put you off if that might.

Do check out Richard’s website. He has written an enviable collection of books and is a fantastic supporter of independent authors with his Indie Showcases.

My recommendation: Read it! 5 stars. Enjoyable read.

Richard’s website:

https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

A magical blog of books, writing and inspiration

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Sharing Options:

COLLEEN’S 2019 WEEKLY #TANKA TUESDAY #POETRY CHALLENGE NO. 128 #SYNONYMSONLY

 

I think cats and Buddha have a lot to teach us so I wrote this double Tanka poem for Colleen’s poetry challenge.  Isn’t  Lily the cat gorgeous? Just like Shadow the black cat in my book!

I had fun choosing some alternative synonyms for Colleen’s poetry challenge – for Spring I chose Develop, and for Sing – Serenade.

 

Life Lessons from Buddha: 

Buddha Teaches us

To develop good habits

Time to meditate

Ensconced by a sacred tree

While sweet birds serenade you.

 

The tree I had in mind is the Bodhi Tree which is a sacred fig tree in Bodh Gaya Bihar, India.

 

I had fun choosing bound for spring, and extol for sing.

 

Life Lessons from Cats:

Bound about, stay curious,

Extol trying hard,

Do what’s right for you, RELAX….

Live, love, unconditionally.

Be determined, but have FUN,

 

Cats teach us to be all of these!!!

Be confident, keep on trying, do whats right for you,  live in the present moment, remain curious, take time to relax, stay determined, love unconditionally.

https://www.yogiapproved.com/life-2/wise-life-lessons-cats-teach-us/

To join in Colleen’s poetry challenge follow the link: https://colleenchesebro.com/2019/03/19/colleens-2019-weekly-tanka-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-128-synonymsonly/

Lily the cat photo courtesy of Samantha Murdoch:  https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/

 

A magical blog of books, writing and inspiration

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Sharing Options:

SCBWI Event: From Tots to Teens Why Children’s Literature Is So Important.

20190317_182717

Yesterday I attended a wonderful event at Cambridge Central Library in conjunction with The Society of Childrens’ Writers and Book Illustrators: SCBWI.

I had the opportunity to hear from not one, not two, but three authors: Rosemary Hayes, Gillian McClure, and Pippa Goodhart who are all based in East Anglia and published by http://www.troikabooks.com/

Rosemary Hayes happens to be the same age as my mum and writes for young adults (11+) my preferred writing age range!

Who says we are ever too old to read, or to write YA! Never…

All of these age groups offer differing opportunities and challenges, from picture books to teens,  authors have the power to capture and keep a reader’s attention.

How inspiring is that?

Gillian McClure

Gillian McClure kicked off the panel discussion by talking about her journey into writing and illustrating picture books. Her advice for picture book writers is simple: focus on seeing the world from the 2 – 6-year-old child’s point of view. Imagine what it is like to be a small person in a big world. Be aware of the things in their immediate vantage point, such as a dog on a pavement.

Begin by using a blank dummy with post-it-notes so that during the creative process you can move the words around and find their best placement.

Pay attention to pace and tone, e.g. starting and stopping to create a sense of flow.  Or using two characters, one to speed up the pace and the other to slow it down. Or perhaps introduce one character to pose a question and the other to deliver an answer.

Think visually if you can and make sure that the words flow well on the page so when adults read aloud to children the experience is delightfully seamless.

For a shorter story format use minimal text and the present tense. Sometimes it is useful to use the past tense for scary scenes to bring the young reader out of the sense of immediate danger.

The ending should suggest that any underlying fears are resolved and there should be a sense of hope conveyed.

https://gillianmcclure.com/

Pippa Goodhardt

Pippa Goodhardt joined the discussion next, with her experiences of writing for MG – (7 to 9-year-olds.)

Her introduction focused on the importance of encouraging a reading habit in young children, validated by her own experience as a poor reader and writer as a child. Opportunities and the right environment can change a poor reader into an enthusiastic one, or may even encourage a poor reader to become an author as it did in Pippa’s experience.

This age group has huge potential, this is when readers are made and begin to choose their own books. There is a growing sense of independence characterised by sleepovers and the like. Characters aren’t expected to be saintly, and should be given the opportunity to explore, and have independent adventures. More serious topics can be explored, (in an imaginative and perhaps fantastical way,) but with an awareness of what is appropriate to the age of the child.

http://www.pippagoodhart.co.uk/

Rosemary Hayes 

Rosemary Hayes continued the discussion with her thoughts on encouraging empathy in children and fostering reading in the teenage age group.

Twelve to fourteen-year-olds question the world around them and are sensitive and impressionable. Consider various aspects when writing for this age group e.g. Do they interact well with their peers?

Authors should be encouraged to explore more challenging, edgy content as long as this is thoughtfully done. Focus on what you care about. Be passionate, grab the readers’ attention fast or they will lose interest. Be careful about the use of language – slang and the like can become out-dated very quickly..

Don’t write down to your readers, treat them with respect, write about what inspires and intrigues you and this should in turn intrigue and inspire them.

http://rosemaryhayes.co.uk/

This event was organised by SCBWI – The Society of Children Writers and Book Illustrators: https://www.scbwi.org/

To find out more please follow the link, or leave a comment below.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have about this wonderfully supportive group.

 

Bye for now,

A magical blog of books, writing and inspiration

85978b3eeb2a2f45468e6707ceafe70d

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Unique Selling Point: Unique, Imaginative, ‘Charming, enchanting and richly layered this is purely delightful.’

Social Media Links

Authors Websitehttps://mjmallon.com
Collaborative Bloghttps://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time
#ABRSC: Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Sharing Options: