Tag Archives: stories

Call for suggestions

Hello Everyone

Once again the well has run dry, so as at an earlier time I’m calling for suggestions for opening sentences. They shall be used in the order they arrive – one per day, starting hopefully in a day or two.

Please suggest only one opening sentence each! Such is the popularity of this blog. Yeah, right!

Type your opening sentence in the comments below. The Suggestion Box will close on the 24th of this month otherwise it trails on forever and (as happened last time) people end up waiting several months for their opening sentence to make an appearance. Many thanks to all who offered starter suggestions. The suggestion box is now closed!

In the meantime, have a happy day! Thanks.
Bruce

Update

Yesterday I said I would give the occasional update on my garden! Well, I’ve just made 4 bean fences – for beans, peas, vine spinach, sweet peas, and my all time favourite – moonflowers!

Here is a photo:

1651story9

1131. Good reason for a barbeque

This evening after work I’ve got my two grown-up kids coming around with their young families. We’ll cook a few things up on the barbeque to celebrate the occasion. What occasion? Well, it’s not much really, but I’ve lived in this same house on this same street for twenty years! I buried my husband from here!

Next door there’s a lady who lives alone although she’s not there very often. She’s from somewhere in Africa. She has three or four lemon trees. They’re absolutely laden with fruit, and occasionally when she’s not there, and I’ve a need, I go over and “borrow a lemon”. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.

My neighbours on the other side of me – I’m not sure what they do but a van advertising electrical supplies comes and goes, so I presume he’s an electrician or something. I think he and his wife have a couple of kids because I’ve seen her walk with the kids in the direction of the local school. They haven’t been here very long; about five years.

Across the road is a lady who seems to collect cats! She doesn’t seem to work but she’s out on the curb about ten times a day calling “Kitty! Kitty! Kitty!” Cats of all colours seem to come running. It’s sad really. Possibly the cats are the only thing in her life. People with that many cats must be lonely. I think.

Next to her is a fairly rowdy couple. They have a son who comes and goes with the music blasting in his car. He comes and goes at any hour of the day and night. The pulsating beat of the music drives me nuts, but fortunately he comes briefly and drives away again. I’m not sure if he lives there with his parents or not. At least I presume they’re his parents. Apparently they also have a daughter, but she’s in an institution for the-something-or-rathers.

As I say, I’ve been here twenty years now; the longest on the street I believe. I’ve been meaning to pop around and introduce myself.

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!!!

aah

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.

1001. Cabbage seeds

1001cabbages

(The last story is almost the same as the first. This story perhaps explains why these 1001 tales are called “Cabbages Seeds”.)

I’ve stopped gathering for a minute. I thought I’d tell you how an Angel showed me a field and gave me a spade and a sack of cabbage seed.

“Dig the field and sow the seeds,” the Angel said. “When the cabbages are ready, God will take you away.”

I began to dig and in my joy there seemed no night. Sometimes I looked towards the trees near the fence. I think there were further fields afield.

And now the seeds were planted. They sprouted and I knew every leaf. Not a weed survived! Sometimes I’d chase a butterfly. It was like a game, like a children’s game. Maybe the butterfly was God in disguise coming for a look.

Months passed and hearts began to form. Soon God would come. I’d been asked to grow these cabbages for heaven! It was a joke and I was jester.

Then I knew. They were ready for harvest. God would take me away for it was the time of the Angel’s promise.

But there’s no telling with cabbages as to the moment of ripeness. It could be now, but then again, it could be in a while.

I waited.

God did not come to get me. The cabbage hearts broke open and the stalks grew into a field of yellow flowers. I have gathered the seeds into an old sack.

(That completes this series of 1001 stories, 101 music compositions, and 35 poems. The “collection” has been moved to the website at Stagebarn. Thank you for walking all or part of this journey with me.)

1000. The gate

1066gate

Minnie stood at the doorway. She said farewell to her brother. It was for the last time. He was to be gone; forever. They hugged. He moved away.

He walked down the garden path and never turned back. His footfalls crunched on the path’s gravel. There were flowers on either side. Somewhere a bird sang.

He turned a corner. His footfalls faded.

Minnie heard the gate latch open.

She heard the gate click shut.

999. One thousand and one nights

999arabian

When Albert heard of The Arabian Nights he thought, so what? What’s the big deal? Anyone can write 1001 stories. So he started. And when he got to story 999, he discovered that in the original there were only about 250 of the bloody things.