#writephoto – When The Water Falls

‘You been here long?’

‘No, not really.’

‘Me either,’ I say, dragging my finger through the water pooling on the sill. ‘Still, it’s weird, isn’t it?’

‘What?’

‘Well, like, I don’t think I’ve been here long. But on the other hand I can’t remember ever not being here… So I don’t know.’

‘I remember singing.’

‘Singing?’ I consider for a moment. Light dawns. ‘Oh yeah, singing. And, like, a lady?’

‘Yeah. In blue? Or was it purple?’

I screw up my face. ‘Purple, I think. I seem to remember purple.’

‘And, were there other people?’

‘Hmmm. You know, I think there might have been. Like, I was here with someone else, and then I heard the singing, and then…’ But I can’t remember anything else except a blur of white light and singing. I definitely remember the singing.

‘It was raining then, too.’

‘It was?’

‘Yeah. My… mum?’ He pauses, as though he’s testing the word. ‘Yeah, my mum, she made me wear wellies that day.’

‘Wellies? What are they?’ But as I think about it I remember, black rubbery boots. And, some sort of uniform. ‘I think maybe, I might have been at… school once.’

‘School? Huh. I think maybe I might have been too.’

‘And there was someone, like, a mister someone. They were shouting…’

‘And then there was the singing. And the water…’

‘A bit like today, I guess.’

There is noise, then. The chatter of voices, the clatter of shoes on old stone floors, and the room feels all at once crowded. I hear someone speaking. ‘And this is the very chamber is where the infamous lady lured…’ His voice disappears,  drowned out by a rushing sound. Through the window I can see water pouring from the mouth of an ancient figure carved into the wall. And as it falls it takes with it all my half-remembered ideas, and all that is left is singing, and a glimpse of purple.

…..

‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’

‘You been here long?’

‘No. Or, I don’t know, really.’

‘Me either’

‘Okay.’


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

 


 

Thank you!

If you don’t know the story of Sue’s son Nick, head over to Sue’s blog and read more. Suffice it to say, this remarkable young man now has wheels and is ready to head off on more adventures – can’t wait to hear about them!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

To everyone who helped raise funds towards the cost of Nick’s Mountain Trike, a specially adapted, off-road wheelchair able to take the less able to places otherwise out of reach…

THANK YOU!

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Ups and Downs and Strawberry Fool

Recently I entered a writing comp on Morgen Bailey’s blog – the premise is to write something that is exactly 100 words, based upon the prompt for the month. I entered the April comp, and the prompt was ‘Fool.’

Here is my entry:

Strawberry Fool

She sliced the strawberries, red juices staining her fingers and the wooden chopping board, ruby drops on her blade.

A bowl of whipped cream waited to receive them, peaks like the breasts of another woman, pointing skywards. She lifted the chopping board, using the knife to push the strawberries into the cream. They fell with heavy plops, staining the pure whiteness as she folded them through. From the room beyond she could hear laughter. Her husband’s. And the other woman.

Strawberry fool. Well, she thought, sprinkling sweet sugary cyanide over the bowl, let’s see who the fool is, after all.

And, I’m happy to report, I managed to get a ‘Highly Commended,’ which came with a small prize 🙂 Nothing like a little win to keep a writer going.

Because I also, today, received a not-so-great review for one of my books. Basically, the reader didn’t like the story, and felt it wasn’t for them. I can’t deny it hurt a bit, but at the same time I can’t get mad about it. We all have different tastes, and something I love might not be another person’s cup of tea at all. So the key, I think, is to let it go and move on (unless of course you get reviewers pointing out the same thing over and over – then you might want to revisit your story).

So, ups and downs, highs and lows, light and dark – it’s all part of being a writer, and something we can bring into our writing too.

Plus, it’s almost Friday.

🙂


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Wednesday Wander – El Peix, Barcelona

I’ve been to Barcelona twice, and both times I visited the beach. Yet, before I visited, I’d never thought of Barcelona as a ‘beach’ city. To me it was a place of dance and food and architecture, home to Gaudi, one of my favourite architects. I knew it was on the coast, but Barceloneta beach was an unexpected delight.

On my second visit we spent half a day or so there, hubby and the gorgeous girl in and out of the water as we looked for shells and soaked up the sunshine, eating fresh paella at one of the many seafront cafes before returning to our hotel sandy and happy. We also took a walk along the wooden boardwalk, heading towards an unusual structure we could see gleaming golden  in the distance.

It turned out to be El Peix, a golden fish sculpture created by renowned Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry for the 1992 Olympics. Built as a canopy to link a hotel, casino and restaurants, it’s now one of Barcelona’s most well-known landmarks.

It’s not the only Gehry we’ve seen – in Seattle we spent a wonderful day at the EMP, marvelling at the colours and curves of the extraordinary building. It seemed fitting to see another piece of his work in Barcelona – Gehry, like Gaudi a century earlier, twists shape and form to challenge what can be done architecturally, creating structures like no other. We’re heading to Bilbao this summer and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the Guggenheim there, another of his famous works.

But for now I’ll leave you with Barcelona beach palms against a brilliant blue sky, a memory of a golden day. Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!


If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

 

 

Book of the Month… A Thousand Rooms

Well, this is a nice surprise! A Thousand Rooms is Book Of The Month over at KC’s Books And Music – thanks so much, Kev 🙂 *blushing*

And, just a reminder that A Thousand Rooms is currently available to read and review via NetGalley…

KC BOOKS & MUSIC

My latest Book of the Month is A Thousand Rooms by Helen Jones.

Helen was awarded the spotlight for having the most popular book review last month. Helen’s book has also been entered into The Diamond Book Awards this year. A link to find out more and purchase A Thousand Rooms is highlighted in the widget bar where it will stay for a whole month. In case you missed my review of Helen’s book; here’s the link: Book Review.

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Reading, Writing, and Silver Fish Jumping

It’s been a little while since I’ve written an update kind of post, and so it seemed like today would be a good day.

A Thousand Rooms is currently available to read and review via NetGalley, and was recently in their Summer Reads newsletter. So far, so good. I’ve also been asked, via a NetGalley request, to take part in a blog tour for a new Random House/Penguin release, The Finding of Martha Lost. My review is due on May 24th – I’ve read the book already and can say it’s a lovely, whimsical read.

Writing-wise I’ve been forging ahead with Silver and Black, hoping to get a complete draft finished by the end of this month. I’ve been working on it, on and off, for over a year now, so it will be nice to get the structure sorted. There will be quite a bit of work after that, of course, adding in detail and finetuning things, so it’s a while away from being shared. However, the fourth Ambeth book, Under Stone, is now out for edit, and I’m sorting out the cover design with a view to publishing this summer. Then there’s The Grove, a story that’s coming to me in bits and pieces, and that I’m quite excited about. I foresee a lot of work ahead with that one…

Other than that, I’ve been looking at planning a few short trips over the coming months, so hopefully that will mean more material for my Wednesday Wanders (although I’m not close to running out yet!). Even though I’m not blogging quite as much as I usually do, I try not to miss posting those – it’s fun going back to places I’ve visited and I really enjoy hearing from everyone about places they’ve visited too. And does anyone else feel that Game of Thrones cannot return soon enough? I’m dying to find out what happens next, and think it quite mean that they’re making us wait so long. I also recently read The Handmaid’s Tale, and wish I could get the Hulu adaptation here – I hear it’s excellent.

And I’m still walking, enjoying the trees and canal and wild creatures, using the time to work out plots and ideas. Yesterday I saw herons, two swans building a nest, countless ducks and silver fish jumping, and was scattered with sweet scented hawthorn blossom as I wandered past water so smooth and still it seemed an extension of the path I walked.

Last night the gorgeous girl and I watched Eurovision together, as we usually do. We had snacks and supplies, plus I was tweeting with #BigUpYour Eurovision, which was hilarious fun. None of us, gorgeous girl included, were completely thrilled with the song that won – however, huge congratulations to Portugal on their first Eurovision win ever. Here’s to Lisbon 2018!

Happy weekend, everyone, and Happy Mother’s Day to those who are celebrating xx

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If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Wednesday Wander – An Italian Villa, Tuscany (eventually)

Each week, when it’s time to write another Wednesday Wander, I cast around in my mind to see where I want to go. It’s usually a feeling that inspires me – perhaps the weather reminds me of somewhere I’ve visited, or I find a photograph, or see something on TV or online. This week I thought – Monaco. I haven’t wandered there as yet, though I remember it well. All pink sky and blue sea, roads cut into precipitous green hillsides, the scent of blossom and the glamour of the casino at Monte Carlo, me desperately trying to put together something approaching a sophisticated outfit from the rather less-than-sophisticated contents of my bag.

And yet, when I went to the photo album to grab the photos I definitely remember taking, there was nothing there. Zilch. Nada. I suppose it’s because of the technology of the time – it’s been over twenty years since I was there, and my (pre-digital) camera only worked sporadically on that trip. But at the time I didn’t really care, too taken with the sights I was seeing. I still feel the same way about travelling, keen to take everything in, but I usually end up with about three hundred photos as well, easily able to edit the ones that aren’t so great. And I guess that’s what happened here – the photos I took in Monaco didn’t work out for some reason; they were blurry, or I managed to get a thumb or some hair in the shot (happened more often than I like to think), so I decided to discard them when I got the prints.

There are other places I’ve visited where I’ve taken no photos at all – the Sistine Chapel, for example. If I remember right, we were told not to take any photos as we were herded through the many rooms leading to the chapel, at one point climbing out a window and walking along scaffolding, then climbing back in through another window (I am not making this up), an interesting exercise considering the crowds of people visiting that day (the Pope had just canonised four new saints). Leighton House, in London, is another place where interior photos are forbidden – I don’t know why, exactly.

Anyway, I have no Monaco photos. So, instead, I’ll just wander to this lovely Tuscan villa on the outskirts of Florence. Once a private home, it was reputed to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman. One night, as I was returning to my room, I walked along the darkened hallway… to see a young woman gliding towards me, her long hair flowing back. My heart almost stopped until I realised it was a young Japanese woman, also on her way to her room. The hall lights were on a timer and had switched off just at that moment, adding to the eerie feeling. For all that, it was a gorgeous place, the manicured gardens and old stone walls reminders of a time past.

So this week, perhaps, was a bit more of a meander than a wander, but thank you for coming along with me – see you next time!


If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.