The “Act” of Writing.


from July 2014

Song Bird Songs


She picked up her pen staring at the blank sheet before her. It began.

Her hand moved, forming shapes on the white surface that wove the magic of words. She became more engrossed, captivated by the pictures forming before her eyes. The dirty casement vanished; coffee cups dwindled to nothing as a fresh breeze took the air.
She was transformed, re-clothed in silk, her features rearranged as she breathed in the role. Fingers formed the words she would utter, mind already scripting the scenes. Willingly she stepped into the world she was creating, breathed in the perfume of a hundred flowers as her eyes searched a velvet sky for details of the flying beasts above her, all the while her fingers dexterously capturing the imagery.
Slowly from the dust her counterpart took shape, his features refined by the art of the pen. Looking inward she formed his thoughts, his character…

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Return to my Ivory Tower.


ivory towerFrom June 23rd. 2014

Song Bird Songs

Well it’s not actually ivory and it’s only two stories, but it is an idyllic place and I do have a “knight in shining armor” living next door, a “jack of all trades” with a heart of gold who routinely rescues folks (not only me). The lakes and trees are nearby for me to wander in and my quaint old English town is dressed in red and white flags (world cup fever strikes even here.)
The love birds have returned from their honeymoon and I’m free of watching over my grandkids. It was precious having the company of my other daughter for a while, here from China for the wedding, and my eight year old grandson is a great guy. We spent wonderful afternoons together enjoying the benefits of the love birds’ home, picnicking under the pavilion in the garden, listening to the birds, the sound of the little river…

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The Price of Peace


from May 2014

Song Bird Songs


(Short story for the theme “Loss”)

 Dusk hung over the grim Northumbrian field, veiling, but not obliterating the sights that swam before Edwin’s eyes. Shield and banner, once glorious in their pomp, now lay in jumbled heaps amidst torn limbs and lifeless forms, contorted, muddy, and everywhere was the stain of blood. He leant on the shaft of his sword to steady himself, red streaking the fair hair and face in lurid patterns of death, his lean form panting hard. It was over. They had won! He was alive and relatively unscathed, but inside dwelt a sickening emptiness.

Senses reeling he staggered forward, blue eyes shot with scarlet, searching among the heaving bodies for what he could not find, the living body of his brother. He had seen him go down in the first charge, like a bird pinioned in flight, the bright eye shocked, unbelieving. Wulfric had thought…

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In Pursuit of Dreams (from May 2014)



(flash fiction)

“My dreams?” you ask my child self. “Why I shall become a vet and take care of all the animals in the world or maybe a princess secretly overseeing startling new inventions that will feed the hungry and bring war to an end!”

I set off blithely in expectation, but sadly as I grow my dreams shrink. Vets need years of schooling and grade levels I don’t have and I must finally come to terms that I am not really a princess, besides interests change!

Instead I shall find a glorious man to love, strong, kind and honorable. I shall devote my life to treasuring and upholding him. I set off on my quest at once, but find all the available applicants sadly unqualified for the task – they all turn out to be human like me.

So sorting through discarded dreams like rifling through old photos of past times dimmed and tinted by age, I ask myself “what remains of my dreams?”

Then I find to my surprise a treasure trove beneath the scattered pictures, like jewels of dust fallen from past images to the floor beneath. Things unvalued as yet but greater in their simplicity than a hundred achievements, riches gathering through the years. It is not what I have achieved but what I have become that is important, for from the mud that clung to my feet in my many painful wadings (encompassing seeds I was unaware of) have sprung flowers of wisdom leaving their trail through my life, blossoms others have picked and treasured. Did I find my dreams? No, not one, but my dreams found me it seems.

THE SPARK. (re blog from May 26th 2014 flash fiction theme of “flash”)



Flash!! Darkness entered my life in a sudden, blazing, blur of light. The curtain fell, an excruciating blanket of night, one of those unforeseen, irreversible accidents, and with it descended a cage of fear. At first the pain was too intense to permit ought but its rending presence, but slowly, stealthily it came, hedging me in, with its cloak of nothingness.
There was no solace. A man, led like a child, provider no longer, a dependent. My pride withered, my self image decayed. Slowly fingers became my eyes, a stick my mapmaker, my ears bodyguards. Days dragged to months and months to years…

My release came from an unexpected source – my nephew. In former days I had played the fiddle – he remembered.
“Play uncle, play!” he said. I was too morose. But youth will not be gainsaid. Eager ten year old fingers firmly placed the bow in my hands and at last I played. I felt the strings vibrate beneath my fingers as if in sympathy, the bow slid across the cords drawing a rasping song from the friction as if it understood. Tears fell in gentle streams as my fingers remembered past skill, but something was added. The music now sang my own heart cry, the strings echoed my sorrow, wringing forth a sweetness.

I heard a stifled sob from across the room. My brother was crying. I’d played many times before but never touched the heart of another. It was the first of many. From that day I have played, my fingers truly becoming my eyes with a sensitivity I never had before, born of that flash. A spark reduced my world to ashes, but like a phoenix I flew free, reborn.

my ivory tower


ivory tower

(Flash fiction fun re-blog from May 25th 2014 on the theme of “fairy tales”)

Well it didn’t look much like an ivory tower, with faded red brickwork and pealing white window sills it didn’t seem the type a prince might climb, but to be honest I didn’t look much a princess either, dumpy, with bushy dirty blond hair and a generally unkept appearence. I was studying law trying to make ends meet with an evening job at the local Indian restaurant.

I met him at the library. I was using the computers as my internet was off. I must admit he didn’t look much like a “prince charming” either, tall, skinny and  experiencing an outbreak of juvenile spots which I’d had my own episodes with, but he had nice brown eyes. He glanced up as I sat down and gave a half grin.

“Your internet down too?” It was more a statement than a question.

“How did you guess?” I gave the prescribed sigh.

“Easy, you’re a student I can tell. What are you studying?”

“Law, and you?”

“I.T. would you believe!” We both laughed and the ice was broken.

He never was a prince; save perhaps in the inner recesses of his heart, but the coffee we enjoyed together after never tasted so good. He offered to look at my connection and got it working, after that we were friends even when his was hooked up again.

He began to invade my tower (though he always used the steps even when the lift was broken.) Slowly I began to change; I died my hair honey blond and invested in a straightener. I encouraged him to eat better and in doing so began to lose weight myself. As he filled out I slimmed down and we became a more presentable pair, even the spots cleared up after a while. My ivory tower had become a cosy brick home. My prince moved in bringing modernisation.

But the greatest surprise of all was when he came to eat at the restaurant where I work. He fitted right in; he was the nephew of the owner you see!




My first post on May 25th 2015.

Song Bird Songs

A new realm to explore – blogging!

Apprehension turns to fascination as slowly I begin to reconnoiter these new domains. No stranger to communication I’ve tended to avoid the world of technology in favour of living breathing humanity. Then exploring I realised the potential.

There are the images one sees every day on the street, or hanging from a strap in crowded commuter trains, but inside under the veneer hide creatures of infinite depths, each a universe in themselves.  Blogs, tapping those depths, reveal glimpses of the most fascinating of all domains the human entity, each in its own surrounding cosmos.

So who am I then?

I never fit well in any box but words may help – idealist, artist, writer, traveler, radical Christian, teacher, mother, volunteer, counselor and perpetual student of life. I am at my happiest, absorbing, creating and communicating.

I’m at home in many worlds, many cultures…

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Spirit Child.



(The intro to the new fantasy book I’m working on which could best be described as an apocalyptic love story. – feed back especially welcome!)

Spirit Child.

September 2000

Lisa lurched up in bed, eyes glaring open. Beyond gaping curtains blood dripped down a moon washed sky. Like crimson drops from an overloaded brush it seeped from the heavens. Visions trapped her eyes in lurid glimpses, even as the dull rhythm of chants filled her nights with foreboding. They had done from childhood.

“Save us, save us!” voices throbbed, like waves on a beleaguered shore, oddly unemotional, echoing. Damp sheets clasped to her face she gazed in horror, clutching her eyes, seeking to evade the images. Clenching them only blanketed her in darkness, she needed light. Grasping the ebony rosary about her neck, she mumbled ineffective prayers…

The vision faded… they always did in the end. Sobbing she reached for the lamp.

Some would envy her “gift”. They didn’t understand. She wanted to escape it. Like a highly sensitive receiver she picked up “channels” that others were blissfully unaware of.

It was growing worse. A feeling of foreboding nibbled at the corners of her mind, things were coming to an end. As a child it had been fascinating playing with her “powers”. Now it was no longer a game. She played for real and stakes were high!

Only the rosary seemed to help, perhaps it had belonged to some saintly nun… a friend’s gift bought in a charity shop, she had no idea of its origin. Lisa herself was no nun or ever likely to be. She’d had her share of lovers, seeking one whose arms could shield her from the “shadows”. What comfort she’d found was brief, none could keep away the prevailing darkness she felt enveloping the world; rather they tended to drain her, sucking energy from her beleaguered spirit. At best they were powerless to help her.

She kept things secret.. People were apt to restrain, medicate, to put folks like her in asylums where drugs and negative environments would leave her unable to exercise any control.

Shaken she took a book from under her pillow and began to read, words tumbling past her mind into the oblivion she sought.


Morning sun revealed the devastation of the night, dark brown curls lay tangled about her shoulders and shadowed, red glazed eyes peered back from the waxen face in the mirror. She had to work, she needed the money. She must paint on a mask and pretend everything was normal when she knew it was not…


Beginning Again (coffee flavoured).



She hadn’t wanted to do this. It was too painful. Images flashed before her eyes as she neared the old café. Images of Colin in bed with her best friend, blurs of flesh seen through tears. Kori was hers; there was no disputing that. He could see her weekends, that was only fair, she knew he loved her too. He’d always been a devoted father; she couldn’t fault him in that.

The coffee shop bustled around her as she sought out his table, reassuring in its ambiguity. There he was, she could spot that smile anywhere, though today it was dimmed, without its normal sparkle. Kori burst into rapture.

“Daddy! Daddy,” she squealed fighting the restraining strap of her buggy. He rushed over to release her, clutching her in his arms, tears welling.

“Daddy where you been. I missed you.” The three year old lisped affection broke Lia’s heart. Why did he have to do this, reopen old wounds.

Setting Kori on his lap he looked steadfastly into her eyes.

“We need to talk Lisa.”

“I won’t stop you seeing her. She needs a father. You were always a good dad to her, just not much of a husband.” She sensed the spite on her tongue, the salt on a raw wound but she couldn’t help herself.

His eyes darted warningly at Kori, didn’t want her caught up in all this. Perhaps it had been a mistake to bring her, but what other option did she have; besides a part of her wanted this revenge, to see him suffer. She looked up rebelliously twisting the knife.

Tears welled over, the smile puckered. She felt cruel, vindictive. Why did it have to end this way?

“I told you I’m sorry. I’d do anything to undo what happened that day, anything to make it up to you. We were drunk, I told you…”

“I’ve heard it all before, Colin,” she snapped.

Kori looked up alerted by the catch in his voice. “Daddy, what’s wrong, why are you crying. Shall I sing you a happy song?”

“Nothing’s wrong darlin’ I just missed you and mummy.” He put on a brave smile.

“And mummy?”

“Hell! Of course “and mummy!” You think I don’t miss you? Every morning when I wake up alone, every time I make a lousy cup of coffee,” a little of his sparkle came back.  Most of all I missed those first days when you looked at me with that doggie look, when I was your world … when you found time for me, before you got that God awful job.”

His arrow struck home. She was not entirely blameless. Home late every night too tired to talk, too tired to make love, work obsessed. Not any more, she’d had to quit her job, go part time to care for Kori. Would it have made a difference if she’d been there for him? “Probably not”, she told herself, but deep in her heart she knew. She’d driven him away. The fault was hers too.

Seeing her hesitation he grabbed her hand across the table.

“Lisa, please, I’m not asking you to forgive me, just please let’s try to get back together for Kori’s sake.”

“Kori’s fine with me.”

“You think so?” He glanced down at the anxious toddler, not understanding why her parents seemed so angry. Had she done something wrong?

“She would have been fine if she hadn’t seen you!”

Kori burst into tears. “No, I want to be with daddy. Daddy loves me!” The words sung like acid.

“She doesn’t mean that Lisa. She’s just upset. You love mummy too don’t you Kori? Tell mummy you love her Kori.” He prized her away from his shoulder looking in her eyes, but Kori was not to be placated.

“No, I hate her! She took me away from you! I hate her!” Colin looked up helplessly.

“Kori, listen to me. Daddy did something very bad, that’s why mummy took you away. It’s not mummy’s fault it’s daddy’s.” Eyes were watching over their coffee cups, a hush had fallen on the café. Lisa reddened, humiliated before all the world; their dirty laundry strewn for all to see. Why had she come? Why had she brought Kori?

“I’ve got to go!” she hissed grabbing a screaming Kori from her father’s neck.”

“No, don’t do this Lisa. You’ll regret it forever just like I regret what happened between me and Tansy. Some things you can’t undo.”

“Forgive me for butting in,” their heads swivelled, mouths open, as an elderly waitress set two cups of coffee on the table. “I couldn’t help but hear. It’s not true what you just said young man. Things can be undone. It ain’t easy, I’ll attest to that, but it can be done. Now why don’t you just sit right back down and give the poor mite back to her dad for a bit.” Nodding to a man behind the bar she pulled a chair from an adjoining table. Sitting she waved them to the other seats. Kori had stopped screaming, studying the old lined face. Lisa hesitated, then passed her back to Colin as he took a chair.

“Now you’s all can get back to your coffee, shows over for the day. Give these folks some space.” The waitress looked meaningfully around. Folks pretended to ignore them, resumed their conversations.

“My husband cheated on me once too, well more than once if truth be told.”

“What’s cheating?” a small voice interrupted.

“Why it’s when you play a game and someone doesn’t stick to the rules. You knows what cheating is child.”

“So daddy cheated and that’s why mummy’s mad at him?”

“You’s got it child.”

“But my friend cheats all the time and I forgive her.”

“Of course you do, of course you do, ‘cos she’s your friend right?” Kori nodded. “But some games are more important than others and you’re not supposed to cheat.”

“But daddy did.”

“Right child. Someone cheated on me too, honey and I’ll tell you I was angry just like your mamma, but I had to forgive him. See I didn’t have a job and I had five little ones not just one to take care of.”

“So you forgave him.”

“Yes, child I did. But you know what, that son of a bitch never cheated on me again and he dang well made it up to me. He was the best dam father and husband a mamma could ever want. He learnt his lesson and he was real sorry.” Her eyes shifted back to the man behind the counter and they smiled. There was something in that look that stirred doubt in Lisa’s heart. Could it be that she was wrong?

“See it were my pride that was hurting most. That he’d cheat on me and play games with someone else, that hurt.”

Kori nodded knowingly. “Best friends should always be best friends; they shouldn’t let other kids spoil their game.”

“That’s right honey, best friends are forever.” She turned to Lisa.

“Now I ain’t gonna say no more. Choices is yours to make. But I jus’ want you’ll to know it’s not impossible. It sure ain’t easy, but you got this little one to think of haven’t you.” She nodded at Kori and smiled. “Now don’t you go worrying your head little one. You ain’t done nothing wrong. Your mamma and papa they’s had a fight, but you’s had fights with your friends right?” Kori nodded. “And you’s worked it out, right?” She nodded again.

Colin picked up his cup of coffee and took a sip. “Not bad, but not as good as you make Lisa.” He looked up, “I want you back. I’ll make it up to you I swear.”

“You’re not gonna cheat again are you daddy?” the little face was serious.

“No sweetheart, I’ll never cheat again, daddy was an idiot, a stupid idiot, ‘cause I only really like to play with mama.” He looked into Lisa’s eyes and she felt her heart start to melt.

“I’ll think about it.”

“Good, well that’s a start.”

“And you can have Kori over anytime you want, she needs you.” A sneaking suspicion was forming in Lisa’s heart. She needed him too, needed to know it had been, as he said, a stupid one off thing fuelled by neglect and alcohol, needed to know he loved her the same way he loved Kori, not perfect, but love.

Colin raised his cup. “Here’s to the hope of some decent coffee in the near future.” He winked at the retiring waitress, “No offence, but no one makes it quite like Lisa.”

“None taken.”

Hesitantly Lisa raised her own. Kori leant to clink them together spilling some on the table. No one cared, it was just a spill, between they could clean it up.