Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Jenny's Jewellery

At last, a picture of one of my earrings. Always meant to do it, but didn't. So, if you have purchased one of my jewellery items, you can now see it's not just a literary blog, but also a jewellery one. These are made from citrine, the yellow stones, and mookaite, the darker stone, both from Western Australia. These two stones go together beautifully.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

New Story for you

Do you remember 'back when'? Do you like other people's nostalgia? Here's a story for you.


 It was a hard time, the 50s, for a woman with relentless energy – especially for a widow with no children. You could string out the washing chore by hanging it out Monday, then rehanging it Tuesday to air after you had ironed everything. But where was life if you did that?
Florrie started seeing demons in the patterned wallpaper. Well, she said to herself, there’s a whole world out there. What’s it like? Excitement? Romance? I think I’ll get a job. Hardly the done thing then, if you didn’t have to work for a living, but in a grimy little city office she found a position handling invoices and payments. The neighbours sniffed a bit, but who cares?
Really, the job was hardly more interesting than staying home, but there were people there, and cups of tea, and smoking convivial cigarettes. As Florrie said, you could hardly not smoke when you were breathing in everyone else’s second-hand. But was this romance and thrills? The staff were unremarkable, but Florrie found one man she could really get on with. His name was Bert, around her age. Just her luck, he was married with a couple of kids, but they gave each other that special look. Sometimes they would leave the office together and walk up to the corner and glance rather wistfully at each other as they went to their different tram stops.
If I want a new path through life, it doesn’t look as though Bert is on it, said Florrie to herself. But that warm look, that occasional brushing of hands as they passed piles of paperwork backwards and forwards kept her where she was. Bert’s wife, after all, might decide to up stakes and go somewhere else. Well, not much chance, but you never know.
‘Watcha doin’ for New Year? asked Pat the telephonist. ‘I’m goin’ away. So’s almost all of us, just leaves you and Bert holding the fort between now and then.’
Just Florrie and Bert in the office for three whole days! What a luxury!
When their day’s work on the Wednesday was finished, they sat together and told each other their life stories, about their marriages, his children, how he and his wife were ‘just so-so’. On the Thursday, Bert cleared his throat, and said with some difficulty, ‘Ah, how about tomorrow night?’
‘What about tomorrow night? New Year’s Eve?’
‘Yes, well, I thought we might go out together. Cleared it with the wife. Told her Pat’s holding a party for the staff and I probably wouldn’t make it home – no transport, you know.’
‘You told her a lie?’
‘Well, you know, Florrie,’ he said, and took one of her hands in his. ‘I just can’t help myself. I think about you all the time, really need you and … look, I’ve booked a room near Manly Wharf on New Year’s Eve for the two of us. No names, no pack drill, you know.’
So the path to excitement is taking me to Manly Wharf, said Florrie to herself.
‘I’ll do it, Bert, she said.
They ate hot dogs and fairy floss, visited the shooting gallery, went on the dodgem’ cars, and had two goes on the spider, which whirled out over the Harbour at about twice the usual speed, the cars going round and round so fast that Florrie almost stopped breathing. Then the few hours in the hotel room – Bert had to get back home in the morning of course – surprisingly beautiful and joyous.

It was the beginning, and the beginning of the end. Mrs Bert had her suspicions, and Bert had to find another job. Florrie had tasted life, and she wasn’t going to end there. The neighbours said she sold her house, and was ‘going north’, though they weren’t sure where, and they never heard from her again.

Monday, 21 November 2011

The guinea pigs in verse

My first post was a touching story about Romeo and the guinea pigs. Here is the story in verse.


22 November 2011

Now Romeo was a little cavies,
That’s guinea pig to you,
Who saved his tribe and all his kin,
From the mortal danger they were in.

He made a home upon the hill,
Near the church the rabbits left,
And there they played and loved to mate,
They had big families on their plate.

But bandicoots arrived one day
And tried to move right in,
The guinea pigs all had a fright,
The newbies were spoiling for a fight.

Romeo made them build a wall,
And they made little swords,
And when the bandicoots made war,
They made ready for them at the door.

Upon them, cried the little pig,
The swordsmen did their best,
But couldn’t see much in the night,
The battle ground got pretty tight.

Many of them died that night,
The bandicoots were strong,
Into the battle they were led,
Tearing the piggies shred by shred.

At dawn the fight was nearly lost,
The pigs were almost cowed,
Big dogs arrived and saved the day,
The bandicoots all went away.

But Romeo was really sad,
His Juliet was gone,
It’s what he’d feared and come to dread,
No lover – she was dead.

Romeo without his wife,
Felt that life was past,
He curled up tight and in the morn,
We found he too had gone.

That’s my story, and it’s true,
The old white rabbit said,
On lovely evenings like tonight,
I often think about that fight.

Monday, 24 October 2011

How to Write a Novel

If you follow all the advice on the net about how to write a novel, you would never start. The only consistent advice that I can follow is, just write. Do you plan it, not plan it, create characters, let the characters create themselves? Everybody has a different idea.
I am writing a novel, just writing it. I did a three-day writing workshop recently, and the tutor's advice was to just write, write the crap out, then rewrite. You have to have a novel before you can know you can write one, right?
Any hopeful writers reading this?
My Creative Writing class is a great spur. I have to come up with something to read out 24 weeks of the year, even if I don't feel like it. So I do.
Extending this to any area of life, I believe if you want to be a millionaire/jeweller/painter/screenwriter or anything else, you have to make some steps towards it all the time, and whatever jolts you can give yourself to keep going, just give them. The longer you put it off, the less likely you are to do it.
Feel good advice for today.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

More About Free Stories

Giving away free stories is much easier than selling them. Surprise, surprise!
My second give-away booklet was titled Modern Gothic. It's quite a long story, over 6000 words, based on a true story from the world's press about a supposed lesbian blogger who disappeared from her home and was thought to have been kidnapped. 'She' was really a man, who finally 'fessed up. Feminists and political activists were highly critical, but he claimed he was trying to do good.
My story is a development of this. It's too long to post here, but if you want it just ask, and I will email it.
Many copies of this story also left the rack, and now I have a new one to put there. It's called The Husband Whisperer, and you can guess its inspiration.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Free Stories

Handing our a free story looks like a great idea. Copies of my guinea pig story have been disappearing from the Gallery/Library foyer rapidly. The A5 format is a success, because it's not too big to fit in the slot. Must go and print some more and decide on a second story.

His Way and The Highway

I did it my way
That’s what the man says, old Cranky Frankie
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then too few to mention

And I’m not regretting driving along on my own, CD playing.
I’m on the highway now, and I have travelled almost each and every highway, just like the song says.

This time it’s a bit different. Moving interstate to get away from the missus.  One step ahead of the police. I might have bit off more than I could chew this time. Keep an eye peeled.

I did it my way
 Yep, sure did. Got the knife to prove it. They won’t find me. I’ve planned it too carefully. New identity, different car. I did what I had to do.

Funny, isn’t it, how a song can be just like a man’s life.

I’ll put it on repeat.

And now the end is near
Hold on! My new life is just beginning. New city, new woman, no ending for me, thank you.

But what’s that? A B-double on the wrong side of the road.
Too late. Scream of brakes. Crash. Silence. CD still playing.
 I did it my way … my way … my way