Poetry Challenge #45 – Summer Storm

Photo ©Fir0002  via Wikimedia Creative Commons
Photo ©Fir0002 via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Jane Dougherty posts regular poetry challenges, using different forms – this week it is a rondelet, and the theme is ‘Summer Storm’.

A rondelet, if you’re unsure (and I was), is a poem of seven lines, where the first, third and seventh line repeat, the second, fifth and sixth lines rhyme, and the fourth line rhymes with one, three and seven. Got that? Also, lines one, three and seven have four beats, whereas the remaining lines have eight. Sounds complex but, once you give it a try, it’s quite a nice simple structure. Here’s my effort:

Summer Storm

The air lies warm,

Summer sweat beading your pale skin,

The air lies warm.

Lightning paints lines across your form;

Thunder crashes, heavenly din,

Breeze cool against our heated skin.

The air lies warm.

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If you’d like to give the rondelet form a try, head over to Jane’s blog and leave your link in the comments.

The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2) Cover Reveal

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A beautiful cover reveal from Kate M Colby, for the next novel in her Desertera Series, The Courtesan’s Avenger. I’ve read the first book, The Cogsmith’s Daughter, and it’s great! Looking forward to reading this one as well🙂

Kate M. Colby

Hello, everyone! Today, I’m pleased to present the cover and book description for The Courtesan’s Avenger (Desertera #2).

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A courtesan on a mission. A brothel ravished by greed. A murder to avenge.

Dellwyn Rutt loves her life as a courtesan. For years, she has enjoyed the simple pleasures and lavish gifts of her trade. Now she wants more: the title of madam.

But Madam Huxley, the brothel’s current proprietor, refuses to name a successor—a problem that is amplified by the legalization of adultery. As the new law sends lusty clients flocking to the brothel, Madam Huxley’s greed grows unchecked at the workers’ expense. Only one outsider seems to care: a self-proclaimed prophet who won’t rest until the unholy institution is abolished.

After weeks of abuse, Dellwyn desperately seeks a way to subdue Madam Huxley’s tyranny. But when another courtesan is murdered, Dellwyn must set her struggles aside and solve the…

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Thursday Doors – The Bishop’s Door, St Albans Cathedral

IMG_3166A little while ago I posted about a set of doors at St Albans Cathedral, which someone commented ‘were probably the oldest’ set of doors to appear in the Thursday Doors Challenge. Now, I know I have an advantage, as I live in a country where buildings can be a thousand years old. However, this week, I have an even older door.

Also in St Albans Cathedral, the Bishop’s Door is thought to have been made around 1396, and the Great West Doors I featured previously, made around 1420-40, were based on the design of this earlier door. On the top right-hand side of the doorframe is the crest of St Albans, and on the other side the crest of Richard II, king at the time the doors were made. The timber has been well maintained over the years, so is in better condition than the Great West Doors, and the quality of the carving is just beautiful.

IMG_3167And here is some more carving – two hundred year old graffiti, scratched into the wall at the left of the door, just above the stone plinth. There are even older examples to be found in the cathedral, some dating back to medieval times, proof that people always like to leave their mark.

IMG_3169This is my entry for Norm 2.0’s weekly Thursday Doors Challenge – for more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link🙂

 

Wednesday Wander – Arthur’s Seat, Australia

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Arthur’s Seat is the promontory to the right of the picture. The car ferry in the foreground runs between Sorrento and Queenscliffe, a journey of about forty-five minutes across the Heads, or several hours if you were to drive around the bay.

Urf, it’s another hot night in the UK. Thunderstorms are on their way and I for one cannot wait. There’s nothing like the refreshing change, the ozone in the air, the fury of the elements – at least while I’m indoors😉. When the weather is humid like this it reminds me of Australia, of several days in a row where the air would lie hot and heavy, the temperature above 30 degrees before 9am. Then the cool change would come, sometimes with thunder, sometimes just a fresh breeze, the temperature dropping literally in minutes.

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Looking back along the bay towards Melbourne. You can just glimpse the towers of Melbourne at the extreme left of the horizon, giving you an idea of the vastness of the bay.

Before we came to the UK (or returned, in my case), we lived on the Mornington Peninsula, just outside Melbourne. It was a beautiful place to live – we were there for seven years, and I just loved it. There are several tall promontories overlooking Port Phillip Bay – Mt Martha, Mt Eliza and Arthur’s Seat, named for the original in Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is the highest of the three and the views from the top are spectacular.

Looking towards the entrance to the bay.
Looking towards the entrance to the bay.

In the photo above you can see the small towns strung along the curve of the bay – Dromana, Tootgarook, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento, and the millionaires playground of Portsea. We lived in St Andrews Beach, on the ocean side of the Peninsula, where the land starts to curve towards the head. We were only a few minutes walk from the beach, waves pounding just beyond the dunes – I still miss hearing them at night.

From the top of Arthur’s Seat, the land stretches back in a ridge, the rich soil home to farms and vineyards, lush eucalypt forests and small towns. It is glorious.In fact, I think I’ll be wandering to this part of the world again, both in real life and on this blog. It’s a wonderful place to be.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time🙂

Monday Motivations Flash Fiction Challenge – Love Hurts

Wedding shot

I know it’s Wednesday, but this is my response to Esther Newton’s Monday Motivations Challenge. This week, we were challenged to write a 50-200 word piece of flash fiction incorporating the following three lines:

He was in love

The glass smashed to the floor

Just how was he going to get out of this one?

And here’s mine:

Love Hurts

He was in love.

At least, that’s how he felt. His heart fluttering in his chest, his eyes dazzled with stars. He staggered with the force of it.

She stood at the bar, oblivious to the strength of his feelings. Her bottom, in short denim shorts, was shapely, and her bosoms, he knew from watching her walk past, were full, with a pleasing bounce.

He felt weak. He tried to lift his drink, but the glass smashed to the floor. Then, incredibly, he followed it, gasping like a stranded fish as he writhed on the sticky carpet, pain running down his arm.

Everything went blurry, but he wasn’t sure why. It was only his fourth drink, for God’s sake! There were faces around him, and all through him love pulsed with a staccato beat, his breath stuck somewhere in his chest. He heard someone say,

‘He’s having a heart attack!’

Oh. So it wasn’t love. He should have known better, really, a man of his age. He thought briefly of his long-suffering Enid, waiting at home. He’d told her he was going bowling, another lie in a layer of years.

Just how was he going to get out of this one?

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If you’d like to enter the challenge, you have until the end of the week, so head over to Esther’s blog and add your link🙂

 

Summer Daze, Part II

IMG_0305Hello everyone! Summer is flying past and the gorgeous girl is back at school next week, which I cannot believe – where have the days gone?

I know I’ve been quiet on the blog front (again) this past week, though I haven’t been completely absent. The lovely Suzie, over at SuzieSpeaks, reblogged one of my posts this past weekend, which was a welcome boost – thanks, Suzie! And Lucy over at BlondeWriteMore included my in her list of What Writers Wear When Writing, taken from her excellent author interviews. Apparently when asked, I said I wore something ‘cool and glamorous.’ Well, I wish I could tell you that black track pants and a red Miffy t-shirt are cool and glamorous, but I think I must have been joking, or unusually well-groomed, when she asked me😀

IMG_3144And so what have I been up to? I spent part of the weekend helping out with our dojo refurbishment. This is a fairly traditional part of martial arts – our dojo is a timber framed building in a private garden and, once a year, the adult students contribute their time and effort to sprucing it up for the coming winter. I was on measuring, then painting duties, and it was nice to see my fellow students again after our summer break.

IMG_3157I’ve also been hanging out with the gorgeous girl, taking her out for the day yesterday, having lunch and visiting shops, plus enjoying some art, craft and history at St Albans Cathedral. Today was more of a mundane at-home day, making sure we have everything ready for school next week, then a last-minute trip out to make the most of the glorious summer weather we’re having at the moment.

Oh, and writing? What’s that? Just kidding. I’ve now completed my edit on A Thousand Rooms, and am working up a launch strategy for the next month or two. ATR is quite a different read from my Ambeth books, aimed at an adult audience rather than YA, though with my usual twist of fantasy. Silver and Black is also calling to me, the manuscript rattling around in its digital drawer, so I know I need to look at that soon. There’s been a song in my mind this past little while, to the point where I ended up downloading it to Itunes – it’s an older song, but there is a vampire connection (no, it’s not by Muse), and it seems to me that the song will feature in Silver and Black.

I’m hoping to get a few more posts up this week, as well as make the rounds to see what everyone else has been up to. I’d also like to welcome some more new blog followers – thanks so much for choosing to come on the journey with me! And finally, I’ve been having fun with Instagram – I’ve been on there for a while and never done anything with it, now all at once I’m hooked. So if you want to find me on there, I’m helenejones33 – hope to see you!

And that’s about all for today. The sun is setting, last golden glow in a turquoise and purple sky outside my window. I think it might be time for a cuppa, and maybe a bit of reading, before bed. Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer – let me know in the comments what you’ve been up to!

World Photography Day!

It’s World Photography Day today, and so I thought I’d share some of the images I’ve taken, many of which I’ve used on my blog. Also, you can find me on Instagram at helenejones33 – I haven’t been on there for long, but now that I am, I love it! Happy World Photography Day, wherever you are🙂

IMG_2366 IMG_0007 IMG_0091IMG_0652 IMG_2094IMG_0253Beautiful girl with rose petalsIMG_1613 IMG_1570IMG_1459