Monthly Archives: May 2017

Ronovan writes #151

She shares his pleasure

gained from teasing her tresses

before the mirror

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#writephoto. Derelict


Breathless, as much due to excitement as the very steep narrow path I had just climbed, I rounded the bend not knowing what I expected to find. It was still there, though. I could vividly remember the day that the old thatched roof was removed and replaced with red tiles. A bit of the community died with it’s removal. Now I saw that even the shiny tiles had not survived the intervening years. A sorry sight but one that still gave me joy. Memories came flooding back as I surveyed what were now the ruins of the old Chapel. Twice a day on Sundays, my father, mother, and my four brothers and sisters had walked the steep path up from the village to join with the other families in worship and the acapella singing of praises to the Lord. The congregation consisted of a stern-looking preacher in black  and only another three families, who lived in the adjoining farms in the steep, dark, rain-soaked mountains nearby. All of these were now long departed and the small family farms merged into one large corporate sheep-rearing unit with a farm-manager and two permanent staff living in the large modern farmhouse. So many ceremonies had taken place in that chapel but all the couples who had been married, the children who were baptised and christened, were now spread far and wide, possibly, in fact probably, dead. I myself had left many years before, settling down to married life with an out-of-towner as she was, by my parents, not so jokingly referred to. Now she too had gone and upon her passing I had decided it was a good time to make this pilgrimage to the land of my upbringing one more time. But this time I was not alone, my constant companion a shadow that clouded my every waking thought. “That damned pipe will be the death of you, ” she used to say and so it has proved. Upon hearing the news from my friendly but sympathetic doctor I knew that there was only one thing I needed to do. And here I am, preparing to lay down to sleep in the welcoming arms of my mother church, in the hope that I shall once more see friends and family past.


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Light and shade


Shadows and sunshine

resulting then replacing

following life’s path

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#Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 35 – PAST & FUTURE



Generations past

saw only a bright future

plundering the earth

We look over our shoulders

but we stumble blindly on

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#Colleen’s Weekly #Poetry Challenge 35 – PAST & FUTURE




I choose the three cards

my past, present and future

are revealed to me

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Ilkley Literature Festival, timely reminder

A reminder that the 2017 Ilkley Literature Festival writing competitions are open for entries.

The Poetry and Short Story competitions are open to anyone aged over 18 and entries can be on any subject. The judges for the competitions include author of The Watchmaker of Filligree Street, Natasha Pulley and previous winners have gone on to publish their work. Shortlisted writers will have the chance to read their work at Ilkley Literature Festival in October.


The winners of each competition, plus runners up and commended writers will be invited to read at the Festival in October 2017.

In brief

  • Entries can be on any subject
  • Short stories should be up to 3,000 words
  • Poems should be not more than 30 lines
  • Closing date for receipt of entries: Tuesday 01 August 2017
  • Prize winners will be notified by Thursday 28 September 2017

Walter Swan Trust Poetry Prize

1st Prize         £200

2nd Prize         £100

3rd Prize          £75

Judge: Daljit Nagra

Click here to download the entry form and rules


Short Story Competition

Sponsored by Leeds Trinity University

1st Prize          £200

Judge: Natasha Pulley (The Watchmaker of Filligree Street)

Click here to download the entry form and rules


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Book Reviewers Wanted!

Reviews, good for the soul

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

I’m hoping that readers of this blog will take my request seriously and consider reading to write reviews for the more than 150 Authors I’ve promoted on my blog, Reading Recommendations. I posted to that blog today and addressed all the authors there, Reading Recommendations … Spring Cleaning, telling them I’ve cleaned up the lists a bit. I immediately received messages from several of those authors, offering me reciprocal promotion for my own writing, and one also requesting titles he could review.

So I thought I would open this up to everyone, readers included – those who don’t happen to also be authors themselves. I ask that you look through the lists on that blog and consider writing a review of books you may have already read, or let me know if you have written a favourable review of any that I may then repost on the reading…

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Writespiration #116

It stared at me with unblinking eyes. I recognised the wheezy hiss that I had heard  many times in the warm barn. The chick’s parents were both hunting over the dark fields so I would not be caught in the act. Inserting my leather-gloved hand I grasped the downy body ready to attach the coloured ring.


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Walking under trees: facts and fantasies – Guest Post by, Felicity Sidnell Reid…

In the immortal words of Fox Mulder, “I want to believe.”

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

After the torrential downpour we experienced yesterday, walking in the park with my dog, Danny, was a special pleasure today. The woods were full of puddles, some the size of small ponds. The trees drinking up the water shook off the rain and set their flowers and new leaves dancing.

Japanese scientists suggested a few years ago, that walking under the woodland canopy an activity they call “forest bathing” improves immune function, reduces stress levels and promotes creativity.

Cleaner air and less noise and distraction play a part, but some researchers also argue that the trees may give off a mist of “wood essential oils” which have a beneficial effect.

New research recently measured an improvement in cognition after subjects of the research took a 50 minute walk in a treed park. Not only the improved air quality and quiet affected the walkers but the colours and complex shapes in…

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Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge #34 Power & Allure, haiku



Face of the Goddess

alluring without effort

seductive power

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