Tag Archives: heart

Three Words

Three Words coverOn 14th February 2017 my second book will be making its way into the big wide world. It took me two years to write Three Words and get it to the point where I was happy to submit it to my publishers, Magic Oxygen. They’ve also put a lot of time, effort and love into it, from the editing to the amazing cover photography and much more besides. A big thank you is due.

It’s a romance at heart, exploring love and those things that pretend to be love but are very far from it; possessiveness, manipulation, guilt etc. It also encompasses love and relationships in the wider sense of friendship and family.

And of course there’s a magical element – because how could there not be? It’s very (and I do mean VERY) loosely based on The Little Mermaid, but the fairy tale rather than the film.

If you want to read the blurb on the back cover, click on the picture above. For now, here’s an excerpt to hopefully whet your appetite.

 

Tia and Serena left the cavern and swam through the wild ocean in silence, overawed. Tia was the first to speak.

“Did it hurt?” she asked. “When you gave up your magic?”

“A little,” Serena said. “I feel empty now, hollow. Room for a soul, no doubt.”

“Are you afraid?” Tia’s eyes were worried.

“Yes,” Serena confessed. “But I know this is the right thing to do. The only thing to do, for me. I’ll never meet the expectations of the mer, I’ll always be found wanting. At least this way I have a chance. I know you understand.”

“I will miss you,” said Tia.

“And I you,” Serena replied. “But I will always remember, all of you but especially you, Tia. I think you’re the only one that’s really ever understood me. Don’t think that some of the love I hope to find over there won’t be held for you.”

Tia said nothing but she didn’t have to. The crystal tears that slipped from her eyes told their own tale.

Dandelion Clocks

dandelion clockI like to mark time with dandelion clocks. They have no need for cogs and wheels, springs and tension. They require no winding up; there are no numbered faces around which hands are driven, ticking and tocking the minutes away with relentless inevitability. No hands even, especially not the straight, black, rigid sort, the ones that chase us through the day, constantly reminding us of all the things that we still haven’t done.

Mechanical clocks; a pulse without a heart, beating away our lives.

No.

Give me the soft sway of the dandelion clocks, soft filigree glimmering in the sun, ethereal filaments floating and dancing on the whim of the breeze. Let me measure my day by sunshine and shadows, the opening of flowers and the rising of the stars. Let me enjoy the moments instead of counting the minutes and let my eyes always be open to wonders everywhere.

Third Runway – a short story

 

Photo of oak tree

Photo by David Tucker

The oak stood, remembering; slow memories rising from deep within, flowing like sap to nourish branches, bark, roots and leaves. It recalled its embryonic acorn self, saved from the forest floor by the son of a farmer, who carried it over his heart until his true love agreed to marry him. How he and his new wife had planted it tenderly in the field where they would build their house, and how it had thrived in the rich earth and put down roots as they did.

It grew with their children and grandchildren and countless generations since; was glad when it was tall enough to shelter them. Joy coursed through it when people sat beneath the boughs to laugh and chatter, to whisper secrets and stories or just leaned back against its rough trunk to dream. Humans were full of mysteries and tales of far away lands, strange creatures, heroes, villains and thrilling adventures. Sometimes it felt a great longing to wander and see. Most of the time it was content to stand and watch, its presence giving comfort and stability to those around it. It watched as the tiny hamlet became a village and the village grew into a town. Observed as the garden it knew became the local green, with houses and roads ranged around it. Saw the old forest slowly cut down to make room for new buildings.

The oak shivered – the loss of its kindred left it saddened. And yet it endured, instilled with a deep peace from the earth and taking solace from the stories of the lives around it. Even as the other trees were lost and the green spaces dwindled and the concrete spread, it was content. Even as the horses became few and the cars multiplied and the developments obscured the sky and the air became heavy and toxic, it could still feel the healing power of the earth.

Yet sometimes, as it watched the humans, especially the children, it wondered. About how lovely it would be to run and laugh and jump and climb, free of roots and cares and the weight of change. About exploration. Discovery. Freedom.

It was glad of the children. It had seen so much change and they, although different, remained the same, full of laughter and love and questions and stories. Even now, as the adults became more angry and hardly stopped to draw breath, as its new roots struggled to find a path through concrete and tarmac, the children still came. As it stood on its tiny postage stamp of green, amid dark rumours of further destruction, it looked forward to the visits of the children. They, like it, knew nothing of business, profit margins, speculative investment and stimulus. They lived for the moment. And it understood observation, listening, stillness. Although now that was more difficult. So much light, noise, rush. So few of the wild creatures left.

The little girl was a good friend to the tree. She came almost every day, telling it what she’d done at school, at home, about her Mum and Dad and Gran and baby brother. She knew that the tree was her friend too, and so she told it secrets – how she had fallen out with her best friend and how when she was grown up she was going to discover an entirely new species of dinosaur. One day she was upset. ‘Dad says we might have to move,’ she said. ‘Everyone who lives round here. They want to build a new runway so more planes can fly in. So they have to knock down all the shops and houses. But I don’t know where we’ll go. Or you. Where will you go?’

The tree didn’t know. Trees don’t usually go anywhere. But fleetingly it wondered. ‘Could I?’

It was no more than a passing thought to begin with. It could not believe that the humans would destroy all that they had created. But there was anger tainting the air, tension tightening like bands around the community. The people marched and shouted and waved banners and signed petitions.

And then the girl said ‘They won’t stop. We all have to move.’

The tree watched the huge yellow machines in the distance as they ate the buildings away, leaving rubble and clouds of dust. They came closer frighteningly fast, the landscape flat and lifeless behind them. It could feel the rumbling shock waves of destruction as it moved its roots in the soil, but even that gave no comfort. All it could taste was bitterness.

When only the last few rows of houses stood between it and demolition, the girl came for the last time. She wept. ‘We have to go, they’re going to knock our house down. You have to go too. Please go, tree. So I’ll know you’ll be safe.’

Her tears fell on the roots of the oak as it stood, and it waved gently as she left, even though there was no breeze. A deep sadness flowed through it. And as it stood that night, alone with a few desolate houses and the drone of aircraft and traffic and the urban sky-glow hiding the stars and dimming even the moon, it surveyed the emptiness that had once been full of life.

‘Go.’ The realisation rippled through it.

‘Nature alone holds power, yet humans seek control. But they cannot control what they do not understand and that will be their destruction.’

It reached its being deep into the earth for strength and wisdom. Then, with mighty force that shook the ground for miles, it tore its roots free of the cancerous ground and set off in search of a better place.

Never take a rainbow for granted

rainbow on streetA little piece of magic on a rainy day, that’s a rainbow. The upturned smile of colours arcing across the sky, joining darkness and light, steel grey cloud to sun; light refracting, splitting and settling overhead in a translucent promise of something better, unreachable, untouchable, but with the power to elicit a lifting of the heart. But think about rainbows. They aren’t just in the sky. They glimmer from the surface of bubbles, they surprise from oil slicked puddles in the street. They catch you unawares as they slip off the corners of mirrors, and appear in unexpected corners through tricks of light and glass. Explain them with science if you like. I prefer to think that they’re a gateway, a glimpse into the magical and supposedly impossible realms that are beyond our world and our understanding.