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April 30, 2014

X, Y, Z - The End of the Alphabet Kids


OK so I'm cheating a bit here. I fell at the final post. Mainly cos I didn't have any character's whose names begin with X, Y or Z. So I had to make some up. But then I wanted to put them together and take a bit more time to write a brand new story. 

So... to end my A to Z  here's 

 

The End of the Alphabet Kids

Alison Abraham and Brandon Bryans wanted 26 children. They thought it would be fun to have a troop of children, each one with a name beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. When their first daughter was born they were going to start the process by calling her Alison, but reconsidered, starting with the other end of the alphabet. 
 
Baby Zara Abraham-Bryans brought more joy to their lives than they ever imagined possible and when she was 6 months old they found out that they were expecting number 2. Yolanda was 7 weeks premature and at one stage they thought she wouldn’t make it; but the little fighter was soon growing and making as much noise as her big sister.
Once Yolanda was thriving, thoughts turned to baby number 3. 14 months later Xavier James was born.
 
Life in the Abraham-Bryans household functioned like a production line. There was an excellent system that kept bottles washed, sterilised and filled for the next feed. Alison had dreams of saving the planet along with having a large number of children, but when Xavier was born she knew it was unrealistic and reluctantly went over to disposable nappies. The washing of clothes, vests, baby bed sheets and bibs was more than enough to keep up with. 
 
On Xavier’s first birthday the house was full to bursting with babies and toddlers and the one question that every other mum wanted to know was when Alison would be pregnant again and what they would call the baby. 
“W isn’t a great letter is it?. It’s not much easier than the others.” Alison’s friend Sally was feeding her own newborn. 
“You think? I mean they could have Will, Walt, Warren… uh…” Brandon’s sister Barbara was stuck. 
“See what I mean? Warren? Walter? Not great names. And if they have a girl you’ve got Wendy and Whitney. I mean I don’t think they’ve thought...”
Barb nudged Sally as Alison came back in the room. 
“You ok Ali?”
“Yeah all good. Couldn’t find the matches, and now that I have, the candles have disappeared.”
Alison was throwing stuff, moving toys from one chair to another. Every so often stopping to sigh and then starting her vain search again. 
 
Eventually both matches and candles were found. Happy Birthday was sung enough times so that every child could blow the candles out. Babies were asleep in prams and toddlers were almost asleep on bean bags in front of the TV showing Monsters Inc. The mums surveyed the mess, ignored it and opened a bottle of wine. 
 
All this time the dads had been out in the garden. Once or twice one ventured in to check if any help was needed but backed away slowly returning to the safety of the children who’d decided to play ball.
 
They too discussed the expected announcement of baby W; in Brandon’s absence of course. Less concerned with the name and more concerned with the fact that the more children Brandon had, the less he looked like he’d have the energy to make another one. 
 
It was after midnight before Brandon and Alison collapsed into bed. Zara and Yolanda were very lively due to the unusually high blood sugar levels so it was almost 10pm before all 3 children were sound asleep. Then the mountains of paper cups and plates were collected from every corner and surface, lumps of goodness-only-knew what was scraped off tables and walls, and spillages were mopped up.
 
They lay on top of the bedclothes still fully dressed, neither wanting to ever move again. 
 
“None of the girls asked if I was pregnant again. First time since I had Xavier. Did the guys mention it?”
 
“Nope.” Brandon said through a yawn.
 
But after about 5 minutes, he had a miraculous revival and felt like he might just have some energy left after all. 
 
“Hey honey.”
 
Alison wanted to cry.
 
“Oh Brandon please. I’m exhausted. And anyway, I think it’s too soon.”
 
“Awh honey.” The wounded voice. “It’s not too soon. Don’t you think we’ve left it long enough?”
 
“No Brandon I don’t.” Alison sat up. “I spoke to the doctor when I brought Yolanda in for her check-up. He said we should leave it another couple of weeks.” 
 
“Honey that was 2 weeks ago.”
 
“Nooooo. Really?”
 
“Yep. It’s been 6 weeks since my vasectomy. I’m good to go.”
 
 
 
*****
 
And with that I say farewell to the AtoZ Challenge for 2014. Thanks so much for reading. 

I'd love you to stick around. So please pop over to the homepage and sign up to the mailing list. I'll send on a couple of free stories as a pressie to say thanks ;)
 
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April 27, 2014

W is for Walter


Walter - from 'A Life Saved'

Walter Jennings will never recover from that day. The day the boys climbed the water tower. They meant more to him than they, or he realised; and he lost them both that day. 
 
Jennings never married. He and his brother inherited the farm from their father and they worked at nothing else all their lives. His brother and died and now Jem and Carl were the nearest thing Jennings had to family.
 
He had been about ready to give up on the whole thing when the boys arrived at his door last year looking for some work. He paid them a few dollars to clear the yard. They came back for more, soon they had the place tidied, painted and some broken fences repaired. Their interest encouraged him, and in some ways energised him. Things began to improve and Jennings' plan was to get them more involved in the running of the farm; maybe someday they’d have taken over. 
 
But now it was too late for Carl, and he thought it was also too late for Jem – but maybe not...
 
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about 
Want to comment? Pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting


April 27, 2014

V is for Veronica


Veronica - from Neighbourhood Watch
 
Veronica is a twin so it was no surprise that her that she had twins herself. It was to her husband though. He was stunned when his wife gave birth to their two sons. Maybe the shock stopped it from happening again, but they didn’t have any other children after that. 
 
Anto and Mondo were more than enough; from the day they were born they were a handful – well… two handfuls. Sleepless babies, cantankerous toddlers, mischievous tweens, heading for the rebellious teenage years.
 
There was one way that Veronica Maher kept her boys under control – that was by mentioning their father’s immenent arrival home from work.
 
Their dad took no nonsense from either of them. And when they brought the police to the door in this story, Veronica almost felt sorry for the boys – they were both going to be in very…. big… trouble! 
 
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about
Want to comment? Pop over to my my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting


April 27, 2014

U is for Ursula


Ursula - from 'The Bridge' (working title)

Ursula Jones is a character from a new story I’m working on – called 'The Bridge'.

 

In a local park where lots of people walk their dogs or jog, and teens meet for a secret smooch, a new bridge mysteriously appears across the lake.

 

No one knows who put it there and local authorities are as surprised as the people who frequent the park. Because of the suspicious nature of the bridge's existance, people are reluctant to cross it but time passes and the convenience of the bridge wins people over and they start to use it.

 

After a while a pattern emerges and it seems that everytime someone crosses the bridge, something strange happens to them. Sometimes it's for good, but not always..

 

Ursula is the first one to notice the connection between the weird events and the bridge, but no one will believe her. So she has to prove the connection, but how?

 

Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about
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April 23, 2014

T is for Twitter


Twitter - from 'Friends Reunited' 

HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY EVERYONE
Friends Reunited features a mediation session between some social media friends/enemies (delete as applicable :D).

To celebrate World Book Day, I'm going to let you have this story right here and right now. Don't forget if you sign up to the mailing list on the homepage you'll get two other stories free.

But for now here is the last and one of the shortest stories in my book. And to be honest, it's probably the story I'm most proud of... :) I really love it. 

 

Friends Reunited

The room fell silent, but the last comment was still ringing in the air!
 
Skype was a seasoned mediator but even he felt out of his depth now.
 
Resolute and determined, Facebook sat at the table.
 
Twitter was now standing at the window… staring… fuming!
“So I’m needy and lack discernment?!”
 
Facebook sighed. Exasperated and getting progressively louder, he replied, “All I’m saying is, when you get a new follower you’re pleasantly surprised if you know them. When someone requests my friendship I expect it to be a FRIEND!”
 
Twitter flinched slightly and muttered under his breath… “#whatever”
 
Let me know what you think - pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting

Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about.



April 22, 2014

S is for Sebastian and Skye


Sebastian and Skye - from 'Moving the Threshold'
 
I couldn’t decide between Sebastian and Skye – they both fascinate me. Strange thing to say when I wrote them, but it’s true :) Sometimes I’m tempted to take this story and rewrite it to include their histories; not just how they got to be where they are, but how they got to be WHO they are. 
 
Looking back at the story again, with fresh eyes, they are they strike me as opposing forces who have the potential to even each other out.
Chaos v order. Outgoing v introverted. Free v bound. 
 
I hadn’t seen The Grinch before I wrote 'Moving the Threshold'. But when I saw Cindy Lou Who hug the Grinch – it immediately reminded me of the moment when Sebastian started to feel different. All thanks to Skye’s little girl, Jaden. 
 
I feel sorry for Sebastian but I know I would not have the patience with him that Skye has, or the innocent affection for him that Jaden has. So I’m happy that he is safe and loved with them. 
The story tells of Sebastian and Skye’s first meeting.  
 
You’ll find Sebastian and Skye (and Jaden) in ‘Moving the Threshold’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
 
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about 
Like to comment? Pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
 


April 22, 2014

R is for Ray


Ray - from 'The Matchmaker'
 
Ah bless him. I’m never sure whether I want to hug Ray or fish-slap him :)
Ray has never picked up a dirty sock or taken his plate to the sink after dinner. He has never needed to. Everything is done for him. He’s not mean or selfish or lazy; he’d have to be far more self-aware to be any of those things. 
 
He loves his job as a butcher in the local supermarket. He can bone-and-roll a turkey faster than anyone he has ever worked with, and he’s a dab hand at the sausage machine; if he does say so himself. 
 
We find him on a rare Saturday afternoon off, doing what he is always doing – what he’s told. As he reminisces with Mary, an old school friend, his memories of that time are very different from hers. He enjoyed every day of school but that’s because he was oblivious to most of what went on around him. 
 
And as we see in the story…that particular trait is very much still with him!
 
You'll find Ray in 'The Matchmaker' from 'The Long & The Short of it'
 
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and find out what my AtoZ is all about 
 
Come and say hi on my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting


April 19, 2014

Q is for Quentin


Quentin - from 'The Audition' (working title)
 
Quentin is a character in a new story I’m working on for my second collection of short stories. The story is about a local theatre group full of folk who believe they should be on the West End stage. It’s audition night for their next production and a new member comes to join… that’s all I’ll say for now. 
 
Quentin Purcell (pronounced PurCELL) was born Ralph Purcell (pronounced PURcell). He legally changed his name after being made redundant from the papermills when it shut down. His settlement was enough that he could afford the legal fees then comfortably retire; just as long as his wife kept working in the local bakery. She was quite happy to keep working; especially now that he was retired!
 
Quentin was a founder member of the theatre group and it really did mean the world to him. He had seen members come and go and secretely resented them all. The ones who left to do something else, because he did not understand how anyone would want to do anything else. The ones who went professional, because he himself never got the opportunity. 
 
In the story, Quentin’s nose is put firmly out of joint by the new member of the group who did make it to the West End. However the situation is resolved, but by the most unlikely person…
 
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April 18, 2014

P is for Patsy


Patsy - from 'A Technical Hitch'
 
Patsy Dalton was born Patricia Maxwell. Her father was the Head of Maths at a Junior High School and her mother was a child minder. Mostly for teachers in her husband’s school. From a very young age Patsy was a ‘fixer’ of things. Her father was no good at DIY so Patsy and her mother always worked together to find a way to make things work. While the other girls in her class studied music and art, and were cheer leaders. Patsy studied woodwork and physics, and edited the school science magazine. 
 
After winning an early scholarship to MIT she gained 2 Ph.Ds - in Science and Engineering. She was snapped up by NASA before she'd finished her studies; and after just 6 weeks at NASA, was snapped up by Cuthbert Dalton III whom she married 6 months later. 
 
Bert, as he was called, was almost 20 years Patsy’s senior but they were perfect for each other. They loved living and working together, and never ran out of problems to solve or theories to argue about. They bought a run down house and renovated it top to bottom. In the middle of it all their daughter Maisie came along. 
 
In the story Maisie is a teenager, and is having a bit of trouble in school. She’s wired very much like her mother and so when she gets a chance to be involved in the school play, it’s not on stage doing the singing. 
 
Patsy ends up being a great help to Maisie as she helps out back stage with the tech side of things…
 
You'll find Patsy in 'A Technical HItch' from 'The Long & The Short of it'
 
Click here to read my ‘A’ post and see what my AtoZ is all about 
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April 17, 2014

O is for Orla


Orla - from 'Artistic Temperament' 
 
Orla had little option but to be an artist. Her father was a ‘tortured writer’. He wrote during the night mostly and dozed on and off during the day. His books were deep and dark; and though they were niche, they sold well enough that he could live a life where he did not have to do anything else to provide well for his family.
 
Orla’s mother was a poet and artist. She was not interested in money; and it was a good thing that she didn’t need to be, as her work had a loyal but very small following. 
 
So how could Orla escape the arts? She was the only child of these two creative geniuses; and an unplanned one at that. They were both shocked to find themselves expecting a baby; as if no one had told them how these things came to be. They doted on Orla from the moment she arrived but determined not to ‘make that mistake again…’ Their parenting style was interesting to say the least and consisted mostly of various ways of making sure their daughter knew the importance of art.
 
Orla could create any idea from her head but it was a frustration to her that she could not draw what she saw in front of her. So she regularly attended life drawing classes. 
 
Somehow she managed to end up with a ‘practical’ gene and knew that she would need a ‘real’ job to pay the bills, while she waited for artistic success. So she went down the route of graphic design. The zany thing she got from her parents gave her an edge in the business and in this story we find her in an interview for a high level job in a big firm. 
 
But she gets a bit of a shock when she sees who is on the interview panel...
 
You'll find Orla in 'Artistic Temperament' from 'The Long & The Short of it'
 
Want to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
 
 


April 16, 2014

N is for Nancy


Nancy -  from 'Girl Power'
 
I think Nancy is the kid I wished I was. I was bullied in school and anyone who has known that experience knows how powerless you can feel in the presence of certain people. 
 
I suppose this story is a ‘hat tip’ to all who have been bullied. Those who’ve been brave enough to stand up, like Nancy; and those who are more like me… who wish they’d had the gumption to do what Nancy did. 
 
It’s possible that her reaction wasn’t actually the most appropriate one. I would never advocate lashing out or hitting back. It’s far better to go to someone you trust and tell them what’s happeneing, so that together you can find help. But Nancy hadn’t done that (unless you count her brother who gave her the 'chin-up' response), and so a build up of anger and frustration brought things to a head. 
 
Like I say, maybe not No.1 one on the list of ways to respond – but if you’ve read the story I bet you gave a cheer when she did… :)
 
Oh btw I gave a couple of interviews for a radio series called 'Freedom from Bullying' if you’d like to listen to it. 
 
Want to comment? Pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting


April 15, 2014

M is for Marty


Marty - from 'The Revolving Door' 
 
Marty was inspired by Albert Brennaman, the character played by Kevin James in the movie ‘Hitch’. I love Kevin James and though he is a little typecast at times (the vulnerable, chubby, good guy), he always makes me ‘lol’ and ‘naawwwwhhh’ at the same time. 
 
Marty has that same vulnerability and desire to get the girl that he feels is way out of his reach. 
He lives in the house he was brought up in. His mother died when he was a small boy and he and his father looked after each other until his father died. Until that point Marty had no idea that he could have a life outside of work and home. 
 
He had wanted to apply for the Garda Siochana (the Irish police force) but it would have meant 6 weeks initial training in Templemore and he could not bring himself to leave his Dad for that long. He lied to his Dad and told him that his application was refused and his father questioned that decision by ‘those bloody gards’ til his dying day. The lie was hard for Marty, but leaving his dad would have been impossible. 
 
It was just a couple of months after Marty’s dad died that Marsha joined the team of receptionists at Bailey, Biscombe & Carlisle. Marty worked security in the big open plan lobby which afforded him the best view in the world; that of Marsha behind the large reception desk she shared with Janice and Georgia.
 
But in this story, his happiness is about to be squashed by some news about Marsha.
Marty is left with little time to make his feelings known.  
 
Click here to read my 'A' post and find out all about my AtoZ
 
Want to comment? Pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
 


April 14, 2014

L is for... Lizzy - who else? :)


Lizzy - from 'The Life and Times of Lizzy Redmond'

If you've read my 'A' post, you'll know that last year's AtoZ was all about Lizzy Redmond. These days she's a regular feature in a local newspaper in Dublin and she has her own blog here on this site. 

 

She prefers to speak for herself so click here for an introduction to her :) 

 

Like to comment? Pop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting

 

Why not sign up to the mailing list and as a thank you I'll send you two FREE stories today! 
Simply go to the homepage and pop your address in :)

 



April 12, 2014

K is for Kev the Karaoke King


Kev - from 'Singing the Blues'

To be ‘Kev the Karaoke King’ was not Kevin Doyle’s ultimate dream. What he really wanted was to host a game show on British TV; because let’s face it, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. His dream was to present Family Fortunes and in time, Celebrity Family Fortunes; but sadly it was not to be.

 

In his early 20s he did a few years on the cabaret scene in Blackpool. He made it once Granada Television, but just as an audience member in a recording of the 'Criss Cross Quiz'.

 

He eventually ran out of work and money, and so he came home to Ireland. But his timing was good and it was just when Karaoke was starting to take off here. He got into it quickly. He borrowed (more) money from his mother and went from strength to strength. Even now when Karaoke is a bit 'last season', Kev manages to keep busy and gets most of what little Karaoke work there is out there. 
He has even managed to pay his mother back in full.

 

Kev takes karaoke very seriously; problem is, in this story he’s about the only one who does.

 

You'll find Kev in 'Singing the Blues' from 'The Long & The Short of it'

 

Want to comment? You can drop by my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
Click here to read my 'A' post and see what my AtoZ is all about



April 11, 2014

J is for John


John - from The Disappearance of Bernie Francis

John Francis was always spotlessly clean. It was what his wife liked about him first when she met him. The guys he hung out with were a bit scruffy. In the pub after the football match they’d look like they hadn’t bothered to shower or even brush their hair. John Francis always looked like he was ready to go to a wedding.

 

Maybe that’s all there was between them. She loved his clean nails and he loved the attention; but after they married and had their first child, that attention turned solely to her children. Over the years John just faded into the background and he put up no argument to that.

 

He noticed that the child who gave most trouble was the child who received most attention from his wife. He knew he should do something about it but he buried his head and ignored the guilt.
When I thought of him as a character first I had a modern day Mr Bennett (Pride & Prejudice) in mind.

 

When John’s daughter Bernie goes missing, his wife’s devotion to her turns to obsession and soon there is no one else in the world other than Bernie Francis; to his wife at least. At first to John, the absence of Bernie is a relief and he secretly hopes she is gone for good. Another weight of guilt he pushes aside.

 

He is glad that no one in the family knows what happened between him and Bernie when they fought. Not because he is ashamed of himself, but because he is embarrassed that he did not prevail.

 

When the story ends there is grief mixed with relief. But John Francis will always be pushing guilt around his heart and head like heavy luggage moved from hand to hand in the hope that, even for a moment it will feel lighter.   

 

You’ll find John in ‘The Disappearance of Bernie Francis’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
 
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April 10, 2014

I is for Iris


Iris - from The Life and Times of Lizzy Redmond

Iris is Lizzy Redmond's best friend. Lizzy was the subject of my AtoZ last year. She is now a regular feature in a local newspaper in Dublin and tells her story on her own blog on this website.

Lizzy knows Iris better than everyone so... I'm going to let her tell you all about her.

Click here to let Lizzy take it away... :)

 

Like to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
Click here to read my 'A' post and see what my AtoZ is all about
 

 



April 9, 2014

H is for Hannah


Hannah - from 'Lost and Found'

Hannah is a teenager. Mono-syllabic, head down, phone constantly buzzing, hair-straighteners always plugged in, plenty of eye-rolling.

 

There’s been a lot of sadness in her few years and in her own way she grieves the loss of her brother and her father.

 

Hannah has that ‘iceberg’ thing going on. There’s a lot more happening under the surface than we see above it. She hides it well but she is frightened about the future of her family and confused about how she should react to her parents inability to have a conversation without arguing.

 

It’s one of those usually benign annoyances of life, that opens up a door for change. It might not look like Hannah is watching how things are unfolding, but she is…  

 

You’ll find Hannah in ‘Lost and Found’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’

 

Like to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting

Click here to read my 'A' post and see what my AtoZ is all about



April 8, 2014

G is for Gertrude


Gertrude -  from 'The Last Days of Gertrude Hopkins'
 
Here is another treat for you. :) 'Gertrude' is from a story that you can get your hands on today.  
 
‘The Last Days of Gertrude Hopkins’ is one of two stories I am sending as a free gift to those who sign up to the mailing list on the site. I won’t send you any SPAM or share your info. I’ll just keep in touch every so often. You can sign up on the homepage if you like. 
 
So… Gertrude Hopkins; well she is a complicated character. She is lonely soul, but that is mostly because she cuts herself off from people. She was a victim of some terrible bullying in school and it made her strong and determined; but angry too. 
 
Gertrude is one of those people who believes that the best defence is a good offence. And boy does she offend AND is easily offended. In this story, she is about to leave her job and not surprisingly, EVERYONE is delighted and she knows it. 
 
Just before her final day there is a softening in that attitude to her and she is invited to a gathering to wish her well as she goes. But it doesn’t quite go to plan…
 
You’ll find Gertrude in ‘The Last Days of Gertrude Hopkins’. Click here and scroll down to sign up to the mailing list and get hold of this brand new story today. :)
 
Want to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
Click here to read my 'A' post and see what my AtoZ is all about 
 


April 7, 2014

F is for (Brother) Francis


Brother Francis - from 'Never Judge a Monk by His Plumber'

There are few people without guile in this world – Brother Francis is one of them. Not because he is a monk, or because he leads a ‘holy’ life. It is because he knows his own weaknesses and imperfections. There is no false modesty in him, simply a realistic appraisal of who he is; and who he was.

He does not lose sleep over anything in his own life, although he has lost the odd night’s sleep, wrestling in prayer for the needs of others. Francis leads a simple life; a life of devotion to God and service to others. He has few possessions and nothing to hide.

 

We meet him having one of his regular chats with Dougie, the handyman who looks after the maintenance of pretty much everything at the monastery. Dougie finds a shocking photograph in Brother Francis’ room while fixing a chair. He is troubled and uncomfortable at the sight of this inappropriate image; and to his further embarrassment, Francis arrives just as Dougie is staring at the photograph.

 

Awkward to say the least, but not for Brother Frances…

You’ll find Brother Francis in ‘Never Judge a Monk by His Plumber’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’

Like to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting

Click here to read my 'A' post and see what my AtoZ is all about 

 



April 5, 2014

E is for Evelyn


Evelyn - from 'The American Wake'

I think Evelyn might be one of my faves.
Maybe it is because hers is the first story in the book and it’s one I’ve read aloud most times. Evelyn like yesterday’s mammy, is a woman who reared her child alone.
 
The story begins with Evelyn cooking breakfast for her son Peter who is about to emigrate. I kinda based her on memories of my mam when I was moving to the UK and to some degree my sisters when one of their children moved away. 
 
I didn’t write it into the story, but I know in my mam’s case that there was a silent, inner pleading going on. For Evelyn it was along the lines of…
 
“Don’t go! Stay… stay here; where you’re safe and I know where you are. I don’t care about the state of your room and the amount of shirts you need ironed in a week; just don’t go. You’re only 5… aren’t you?” 
 
Like my mam, Evelyn would never say that to Peter, because to her it would be selfish to do anything that might stop him from following his dreams. But it was there alright. In this story however, something happens just before Peter goes. It causes even more emotional upheaval for Evelyn and Peter, and makes the goodbye even more difficult. 
 
You’ll find Evelyn in ‘The American Wake’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
 
AND HERE’S A TREAT FOR YOU!
If you click here you can read this story or listen to me read it in an audio clip. 
 
Want to comment? Drop over to my FB page or you can tweet @amowriting
 
 
 


April 4, 2014

D is for Dolores


Dolores - from ‘Suddenly Granny’
 
I think this story is the one with most requests to know what happens next. I’m so tempted to write the next ‘chapter’ in this woman’s life.
 
Dolores is a widow and has been for many years. She raised her daughter alone and they had many difficult years together.
 
She is a creature of habit. You could set your watch to everything from her breakfast time to her bath time. Bingo on a Tuesday, grocery shopping on a Friday afternoon, hairdressers on a Saturday, 8 o’clock Mass on a Sunday morning. She likes order; actually it’s more true to say she insists on it.
 
It’s ironic then that the circumstances in which she became a mum are not 100 miles away from the other character in this story. But ssshhhh! That’s a big secret. 
 
When we meet Dolores in this story she has just had life-altering news. As usual, she is alone; but it would seem not for much longer…
 
You'll find Dolores in 'Suddenly Granny' from The Long & The Short of it
 
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April 3, 2014

C is for Carla


C is for Carla - from 'Change of Scenery'

Although Carla plays a big part in the life of the main character of this story, she only features in the story for a short time. 'The story of her life’ I suppose you could say. What’s that great line from the movie ‘The Holiday’? “You're supposed to be the leading lady in your own life.” Well that’s not Carla’s experience, she is most definitely in a ‘supporting’ role. 
 
She is personal assistant to Mackie. Though she has never called him Mackie in all the years she has worked with him. In work he is called Roland Mackintosh; Mr Mackintosh to her. 
 
Carla is single and relatively content to be so. At certain times of the year like birthdays and Christmas, she has a little bit of spare time to contemplate not having much of a life outside of work, but she never dwells on it for long. In the last 5 years she has had 3 dates – none of them very pleasant experiences. A late chinese takeaway in the office, going over travel plans with Mr Machintosh is a far better and more enjoyable use of her evening. 
 
She considers herself lucky to be too busy to dwell on the fact that she is alone and unlikely to meet anyone or have a family. She wonders where people who have a job and a family get the time to do it all. Carla is always working. Whether she is in the office or at home. If she isn’t on the computer, she is thinking about what needs to be done and the most efficient way to do it.
 
Circumstances beyond her control throw her life into a bit of disarray in this story. Her life is not really her own; and when things change and the person who does ‘own’ her life has no need for her anymore, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
 
You’ll find Carla in ‘Change of Scenery’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
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April 2, 2014

B is for Barb


B is for Barb – from ‘Love Bubbles’
 
Barb the Bubble is from an even shorter story than yesterday’s. In fact it’s one of the shortest in the book. I went through a micro fiction phase and wrote a number of 99 word stories and a few of them made the cut. 
 
There are some characters in fiction who are victims of circumstance. Their lives from the very beginning, are on a calamitous trajectory. Barb the Bubble is one of those people, or… bubbles! 
 
Fate deals harshly with Barb and like the tragic near happiness of Romeo and Juliet, or the unrealised advances of Pepe le Pew – Barb does not get her happy ever after. 

This short & tragic tale of a love unrealised, the brevity of life and how important it is to watch where you’re going, is shared with Roger the Bubble and Clive the Bubble.
Not so much a ménage a trois as three sheets to the wind.
 
It’s a sad tale, so tissues may be required. Actually it’s a short tale, so you’ll only need the one.  
 
You’ll find Barb in ‘Love Bubbles’ from ‘The Long & The Short of it’
 
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April 1, 2014

A is for April, Annmarie & Arthur


 A is for Arthur

So it’s AtoZ time again. Didn’t that year come around fast? So much has happened in the year for me as a writer. Last year I did the AtoZ on my old fiction blog Fictitious Amo.
As you see now I’ve got my website up and running. I’ve self published a book with the help of a fabulous Irish publishing company Emu Ink. The subject of last year’s AtoZ ‘Lizzy’ is now a regular feature in The Echo Newspaper, a local news paper in Dublin, Ireland. Lizzy is building a bit of a following on Twitter and she has her own blog here on this site.


For this year’s AtoZ I’m focussing on character profiles – both from the collection of short stories I published last year and some other stories I am or have been working on. There are plenty of characters to go around but as you can imagine, when I get towards the end of the alphabet things get a bit trickier – but we’ll get there.

My hope is that if you’ve read the book, you’ll get some more insight into the background of some of the stories. If you haven’t read it… well maybe you might like to :) You can read or listen to the first story in the book by clicking here. To get hold of the book just click the ‘Books’ button above and it will give you the links for all formats.

So let me introduce the first character.

Arthur – from ‘Remembering’

In the story, Arthur is an old man who struggles at times with his memory. But the one thing he has not and will not forget is how much he loves his wife Marge.

The story is very short and is just a quick glimpse of a moment in Arthur’s life now. The story tells briefly how he and Marge met. From that night he was smitten – it was a done deal and he would never look at another woman for the rest of his life.

As a young man Arthur was strong, handsome and tall. He was very shy and had never had the courage to talk to a young lady, much less ask her to dance. But if ever he had doubted the concept of love at first sight, he knew it existed after that night.

Marge was much more lively than him. She was chatty and witty; and it was thought by some that she had a mischievous streak. Over the years Marge brought Arthur out of himself and though some thought he would (and should) hem Marge in a bit, he loved the rascal in her and didn’t ever want her to be anyone other than who she was.

Although in the story Arthur’s strength & energy are not what they were when he first met Marge – his love for her is as strong, if not stronger than ever.

 

You’ll find Arthur in 'Remembering' from ‘The Long & The Short of it’

Click here to drop a comment on my FB page or you can send me a tweet @amowriting



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