Tag Archives: novel

1109. Lorna

Lorna disliked her name. Some kids at school would ridicule her: “Lorna needs mowing” and “Do you wash your clothes in the Lorna-dry?” and so on. These kids thought they were clever, but Lorna was hurt. She wanted to change her name.

“Can I change my name?” she asked her mother.

“Perhaps you could use your middle name,” suggested her mother. Lorna’s middle name was Elizabeth.

Lorna said she’d think about it. And then… quite by accident… Lorna discovered…

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, a novel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. She loved it! Why would she ever want to change her name from Lorna? Lorna! The woman who married the handsome and brave Jan Ridd! The woman who lived happily ever after!

1077. What’s the story?

What’s the story? Well, the story is this: I found a book of stories. I thought, why be predictable? Why not do something I’ve never done before, and that is review a book! The book is available through Amazon, and although a review could be posted on Amazon, I thought if the net is cast on the other side of the boat it might catch a couple of fish hitherto uncatchable.

Wuthering Heights aside, there are very few books I would like to say I had written. One such book is Sarah Angleton’s Launching Sheep and Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense.

If you follow Sarah’s blog, you’ll know the quirkiness of it all. These 86 stories wallow in delightful oddities, and at the same time each expounds on almost eccentric historical points that you “never knew before”. Sarah also manages to include a whole range of true characters from her real life: her husband, her sons, her parents… and you feel almost “part of the family”! There’s enough to satisfy our fondness for wanting to know what’s going on in other people’s lives, and so we think they’re friends.

Each story is short. To me that’s a huge plus. I’m a very modern person, and therefore my concentration span is grievously limited. You can read ten stories in a line if you’re a literary glutton. You can snuggle up in bed and read just one – or maybe another one, and another… because they’re addictive. You can read one out aloud while your partner prepares dinner; it saves getting pre-dinner indigestion by having the television news on. You can read it on the beach (provided you don’t live in Kansas, silly).

Wonderful story titles make one want to read more, such as Why You Should Have Smarter Friends and a Fabulous Cupcake Recipe and Hey, Mom! Do you think this would blow up if I…? and The Dark Days of Pinball: How I Nearly Took a Sledgehammer to a Snowman.

One of my favourite stories is Just Please Don’t Tell My Husband in which the author makes pancakes while giving the history of pancake making and the famous Olney pancake race. Flipping fantastic!

This is a book I like. I recommend it to everyone and every library. It is published by Bright Button Press of St Louis and is available through Amazon (both real and virtual). It would be a terrific gift for any grown-up who likes to read. If I had discovered at school that history could be so interesting I would not have dropped it in order to take Latin.

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

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I can deal (at times) with all sorts of computer languages, but I can’t see how to re-blog on WordPress! Anyway, when one is all nervous and shaky and excited, how is it possible to calmly find a re-blog button? The truth of the matter is:

MY NOVEL HAS BEEN REVIEWED!!!! HERE!!!

The review is worth a read just to savour the wondrous writing skills of the reviewer: Uma Shankar. His blog is well-worth savouring – he writes stories, poems, reviews, and translates into English poetry from Hindi. It’s a delight to read a review composed with more aplomb than that being reviewed!!

So I’m posting this connection to his blog not only by way of thanks for the review, but to give others the opportunity to experience and enjoy his considerable literary skills!

Thank you, Uma.

Award 17: The Best Award-Free Blog

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It’s quite some time since I received an award for my blog, so I was delighted to see I had awarded myself the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. To make things doubly pleasurable, my blog is not actually an award-free blog. I accept awards with a passion. Strictly speaking this blog is not able to receive the Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog. But I accept it humbly nonetheless, and without a murmur, in a matter similar to an American citizen receiving an honorary knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Congratulations to me!

There are a number of requirements that must be done in order to receive this award:

a). Wish everyone a nice day.

b). Answer a series of questions (I have omitted a good number of the questions because of their overly intimate nature).

c). Give a link to your novel if you have one and if it’s online. (If you haven’t written one then conceivably it will not be online.)

Requirement a):

Have a nice day! Everyone!

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Requirement b):

Question 1: Who invented the steam engine that operates on the principle of a pressure difference created by a vacuum on one side of the piston to push the steam piston down with the cylinder remaining hot at all times with valves permitting the steam to flow into a separate condenser and then condensate and get pumped along with any gases using the air pump?

Answer 1 (to be said aloud): What? (Get it?)

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Question 272: If you had all the money in the world, what coloured car would you drive around in?

Answer 272 (this may be said silently to save embarrassment): You couldn’t buy a car and have all the money in the world, silly. You wouldn’t have all the money in the world because the used car salesman would have some as well.

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Question 3082 (this is the final question thank goodness): Where are you going to hang this award?

Answer 3082: Hang on a minute.

Requirement c):

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My novel is called A Passing Shower. It is free to read. Two or three people have read it and said they liked it. (No doubt there are others who have read it and didn’t like it but they’re not saying). Ten years ago I sent it to a prestigious New York publisher who phoned me three times about it and said he had kept it on his desk for 8 weeks and constantly reread it, unsure what to do because he thought it “extraordinary” and that it should be published. In the end it was not published, but he said I wouldn’t have any trouble finding a willing publisher. I was so excited that I never sent it to anyone else.  I did try here in New Zealand to find a publisher to send it to, but they all asked the same question: who is your agent? When I tried to get an agent they all asked the same question: who is your publisher? One New Zealand agent did answer in an enthusiastic manner: “I suspect your novel would annoy the shit out of me”. Bewildered, I posted the novel online. It might be worth digging into to see if it “annoys the shit” out of you!

It’s rather frustrating because had the novel been published I would have written another! And another! And I would probably have the Nobel Prize for Literature by now, instead of this crumby Self-Gifted Accolade for the Best Award-Free Blog! A pox on this award which I accept from myself with a great deal of reluctance. The novel can be found HERE!

966. Hot raindrops

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Congratulation to Callula who has just self-published her first novel. It is called Hot Raindrops.

1. Jonathan has the hots for Pam.
2. Pam has the hots for Rod.
3. Rod has the hots for Sybil.
4. Sybil has the hots for Nigel.
5. Nigel has the hots for Gavin.
6. Gavin has the hots for Eva.
7. Eva has the hots for Jack.
8. Jack has the hots for Gretchen.
9. Gretchen has the hots for Louis.
10. Louis has the hots for Laura.
11. Laura has the hots for Walter.
12. Walter has the hots for Annie.
13. Annie has the hots for Mervyn.
14. Mervyn has the hots for Stephanie.
15. Stephanie has the hots for Giles.
16. Giles has the hots for Lilian.
17. Lilian has the hots for Hunter.
18. Hunter has the hots for Rachel.
19. Rachel has the hots for Liam.
20. Liam has the hots for Annette.
21. Annette has the hots for Paddy.
22. Paddy has the hots for Graeme.
23. Graeme has the hots for Maggie.
24. Maggie has the hots for Jonathan.

The novel is divided into 24 chapters.

Make sure to get your copy today.

774. Geraldine’s picket fence

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Geraldine decided to make a fence. It was to be a lovely white picket fence along the front of her garden. It was going to be a masterpiece!

She went to the hardware store and purchased some boards made of polyvinyl chloride and some nails. She placed them in some sort of order on the ground near where she was going to erect the fence.

That was it! She didn’t do any more. People asked, but where’s the fence?

I’ve done it! she said.

But that’s not a fence! everyone cried adverbially. A fence is not just bits of wood and some nails and paint lying about!

Oh yes it is, said Geraldine. This is my wonderful fence and I’ve finished. It’s so satisfying. It was quite a challenge.

(Oh sorry! I’ve got all muddled. It wasn’t a fence at all. It was November, and Geraldine was writing a novel).

447. Deborah pens a novel

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The editor of the prestigious gardening magazine would get unsolicited submissions. There were articles on garden bugs, and fertilizers, and new plant varieties. There were offerings on compost bins, and when and how to plant garlic.

Deborah, for that was the editor’s name, always enjoyed composing the rejection slip. It gave her a break from reading the heftier articles written by her staff.

“Thanks for your article on worm farms. Unfortunately I won’t be able to wriggle it into the magazine.”

“Thank you for your article on glazed containers for plants. A bit potty.”

“Thank you for your article on Venus Fly Traps. Quite frankly, it stank.”

What no one knew, was that Deborah was a secret novelist. She had spent a mere two years writing her novel, for she was a skilled and disciplined writer. It was a masterpiece. It was called, “Crocuses at Twilight”. (No, she hadn’t written it in a month.) She sent off the manuscript to a publishing company. Deborah knew the publishing scene. She knew how to read one publisher from another. Her magnum opus was a publishing certitude.

She got a response: “Characterless, humourless, plotless. There’s enough trouble is the world without your novel.”

Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! …

Suck eggs, Deborah.