Last week two – no three – things happened that are writing related that put a big smile on my face.  This may sound like blowing my own trumpet and that is not something I’m particularly comfortable with, so bear with me.

First: I got a rejection from an online magazine for a piece of poetry I’d submitted.  Fair comment, it probably didn’t work for that particular magazine.  It may for the next one.  At least I’d heard back very quickly which was nice.  Did it sting?  No, not really.  I guess it’s always the chance you take when you put your work out there.  Did the piece suck?  I’ve no idea, but I’m putting it to one side for the moment.  The important thing was that I had tried.

Second: I submitted a short piece as part of the #geowriting September-long writing-fest in response to a geographical prompt.  See here for more information.  It was really nice to be accepted and featured online.  Even nicer was someone contacted me on Twitter to say they had liked the piece.

Third: I felt encouraged by the acceptance to try out a short horror story I’d submitted elsewhere and been knocked back about.  I popped it on here and publicised it on Twitter a couple of times.  Some “favourited” the piece, some re-tweeted, and some said they liked it.  What a lovely boost to my writing confidence.

So why am I blogging about it now?

Well, if I read a book that I really like, I now try to find the author, whether on Facebook or (more likely) on Twitter to say thank you.  It doesn’t take much to do and I know how happy I felt last week on receiving the positive feedback.

Please, if you really like a book or a blog or something literary (like a poem), say thank you.  It makes the author/writer/scribbler so very, very happy.

Music to my ears

I wish I’d been able to warn them. Well the human part of me did.

“She’s catatonic.  We’re not quite sure why.”

I was listening.

Listening for the music that was the warning of things to come. Music that only I appeared to hear. For those surrounding me, I was to all intents and medical purpose locked into a vegetative state.

“There’s no response.  We’ve done so many tests.  No response from her whatsoever.  I’m sorry.  There’s nothing more that we can do.”

Eyes flickered behind shadows, belied the diagnoses of doctors, condemnations of me by those who should have known better.

“Should we consider moving her to another hospital?  We can afford to pay.  We have insurance that will cover it.”

Betrayed by my own dad. He, of all people, should have known what I was listening for. I heard him holding back the tears, breathing heavily, trying to control himself.

“Well there is a place.  I’m just not sure they’d take her right now.  I’ll make a call.  If you’d like to wait here for a few moments.”

Click. A door closing.

Again. I heard it again. That subliminal sound. Right at the top of the range, almost outside human hearing. I heard it. Minutes passed with it boring its way into my brain.  The final note now fell into place.

A chord, heard only by those who had been infected, calling us to battle. That’s what I’d been listening for.

Click. Click. Click. A door opening.

Yes, you’re in luck… they said they’d take……”

In the room there was silence. The eerie silence you get when the monster within finally explodes out of and kills.   The silence of shock and horror that is unable to utter a word, nor scream.

The invasion began.






Life for me is going to change very shortly.

After a long period of searching for a job, I finally managed to find one.  The frustration of not hearing after submitting the application form, or of just being pipped at the post is behind me.  A definite cause for celebration.  Instead, it’s been the new frustration of waiting for a start date.  Now I’ve got that too.

I’ve been struggling over the weeks with the waiting and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was bothering me.   Then I remembered: it was like being back at school in the final couple of weeks of the summer holidays.  Do you remember those days?  You loved being at home, just doing nothing or hanging out with friends.  Then you get that itch.  The itch of boredom, when you realise that you’re missing something, but you don’t want to admit what that something is.  Until it sneaks up on you that you really want to get back to school.

That’s where I am now.  Kinda bored, kinda itching to get started.  Certainly, kinda worried about getting into a new routine, with new people, a new role but also excited.  Yet calm.  That long-lasting itch of wanting to belong is about to be scratched.

I can’t wait!




Barry the Duck has landed!

Dear M (and J)

I am here!

I am here!!

I am so excited to be here.  I’m even more excited about seeing you for the first time and being able to cuddle up with you.

The journey was really very long.  It seemed to last forever and I got quite anxious (worried) about the amount of time it was taking.

Never mind that.  I’ve f-i-n-a-l-l-y arrived and I am so looking forward to being your friend.

Lots of love

Barry xxxxx


Tales from an #fp tweet



He loved summer.

It was then that all the girls abandoned the dull thick tights and heavy shoes of winter. The sun brought out the legs. Legs in shorts, legs in skirts, sandals, flip-flops, legs with tattoos, some with none. Oh he loved them all. That exposure of skin brought out the best and worst in him. Sometimes he would go to the beach and just look. A voyeur, yes. But one with taste.

It was look but don’t touch.

Until that day, on the bus. He saw her. Tall, leggy, all in white. Truly beautiful. He watched her move towards the door and he looked down. Her choice of nail varnish knocked him for six. Swept away by a pink so shocking he could hardly breathe. He just had to follow her…