Tag Archives: #fiction

Dying Is Easy -Coming Back Is When Things Get Tricky (flash fiction)

P1120827

Inspiration for these weekly blog posts comes from all angles and on occasion some unlikely thought processes.

But here we are at Wednesday ( I wrote this last night) and inspiration has yet to strike this week……drums fingers impatiently.

Part of me has been itching to write a piece of flash fiction but again the inspiration bank was shut tight.

  Hmmm…..time to Google  “writing prompts”.

The screen lit up before me with a multitude of ideas. I read through several screens worth then one finally caught my eye

“Dying is easy. Coming back is when things get tricky.”

I gave myself an hour to come up with something inspired by this statement.

Here’s the result:

 

Dying is easy -Coming back is when things get tricky

 

Everything around her was totally still and calm. As she sat at the picnic table staring out across the river, there wasn’t a ripple on the water. A sea of tranquillity.

Inside, she felt far from still or calm or tranquil. So much had happened over the past week. So much had changed. Her mind was racing with thoughts of the things she still needed to do but time was against her.

From the position of the sun and the length of the September shadows, she guessed it was around four o’clock. If that was the case, she had less than half an hour….. time was slipping through her fingers like grains of sand.

“Just one more goodbye to say,” she thought to herself as she turned to go.

The warmth of the autumn sun had brought people outdoors and she passed close to several couples as she made her way along the road. No one gave her a second glance as she walked by.

Silently, she wished she had her phone. At least if she had that with her she could check if she was going to be on time. Both of them were creatures of habit and she prayed that this was one of the days that they were in sync with each other. Part of her realised that it was unlikely considering how events had unfolded over the week but she had to try, had to hope.

Her energy reserves were dwindling. It had been a manic forty eight hours.

“So much to do, so little time,” she thought as she walked along in the sunshine.

When she reached the next grassy area, she was relieved to find both the benches were vacant. Ever conscious of the time, she decided to sacrifice a moment or two to take a seat. Around her, she could hear birds singing in the bushes and seabirds calling down on the shore. Resting wasn’t helping and she felt even more drained as she hauled herself to her feet one final time.

The next section of the road was in shadow and cooler. Up ahead, in a patch of sunlight, a flash of colour at the bend in the road caught her eye. As she reached the spot, she stopped. The area around the bent signpost was covered with floral tributes and mementos.

Rooted to the spot, she read over each of the cards nestled among the flowers; read the messages of farewell; read poems; read stories of shared memories; smiled at the photos cradled in amongst the flowers.

Who knew so many people cared?

Images flashed before her eyes. The silver 4×4 taking the corner too fast. The squeal of its brakes. The crunch as the vehicle struck. The screams as she was thrown forwards before being crushed against the pole.

Then nothing…..

Then the searing pain of separation as her soul tore itself free from the broken body.

Unseen, her soul had watched the scene unfold; watched an ambulance arrive, closely followed by two police cars. As the paramedics had worked on her badly injured body, her soul had slipped quietly into the ambulance, fearful of being left behind. She had watched over the body she had inhabited as they transported it to the local hospital, operated on it then waited in the corner, invisible to her family, as the hours ticked by in a small private ICU ward.

Almost forty eight hours ago, her broken body had surrendered it’s fight for life. Just as panic was about to set in, she had seen an old woman enter the room. No one else reacted to this new arrival.

“Come on , my dear,” coaxed the old woman gently. “Time to go.”

“Go where?” she had heard herself ask.

“Well. Some folks call it Heaven. Others think its Hell. I prefer to think of it as home.”

“But I can’t! I’ve not said goodbye to everyone. I need more time!”

“Your time has passed, my dear. Time to move on.”

“Please,” she had begged. “Just a few more hours. Let me see the people who mean the most to me one last time. My children. My family. My friends.”

The old woman faltered then shook her head, “Highly irregular but, if it helps you to settle in your new home, I’ll give you two days. Not a second more. Two days to the minute of your physical death.”

“Plenty of time.”

“Is it?” asked the old woman. “We’ll see.” She paused then continued, “When the time is up, I’ll come back for you. Be warned, you’ll start to weaken as the time passes. When I come back, you need to come with me. No more begging. No pleading. You just follow me.”

“I’ll come,” she heard herself promise.

 

As she stood reading the messages, she acknowledged that forty eight hours had been too short. It had broken her heart to see her family grief stricken, knowing she couldn’t reach out to comfort them. Only the cat had sensed that she was there. She had watched helplessly as friends arrived at the house to offer their condolences. Neighbours kindly delivered meals to the family as they too dropped by to express their sadness over their loss. It had touched her to see that so many people cared.

The flowers and messages spread in front of her reinforced that once and for all.

She knew her time was almost up but there was still that last goodbye to be said. Squinting into the sun, she looked along the pavement, praying that her instincts were correct. She thought she saw a movement in the distance, a familiar outline approaching at a steady pace.

Behind her, she heard a soft cough.

Before she turned round, she knew it was the old woman come to escort her home. With one last lingering glance into the sun, she waved and whispered, “Till later.”

Everything around her faded to nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Soul Searcher II

With her heart pounding in her chest, she stared at the long-haired stranger in disbelief; with her heart racing, she felt herself flush scarlet as she noted how hot he looked.

Feigning anger, she drew herself up to her full height of five foot three and demanded, “What in the hell are you doing in my garden?”

“Enjoying the view,” he replied casually, noting her petite figure and the curve of her breasts. “And waiting for you.”

“You’re trespassing!”

“Technically, you are correct,” he agreed without showing any signs of moving from his reclined position on the bench. “Stunning view by the way, Anna.”

“How do you know my name?” she asked sharply, instantly feeling stupid. Of course, he knew her name! He had read into her soul back at the coffee shop. This stranger knew more about her than she was comfortable with.

He raised one dark eyebrow at her and smiled. Despite herself, she felt her heart skip a beat.

“You really need to learn to shield those thoughts, Miss Maitland,” he chastised warmly.

Staring awkwardly down at her feet, Anna confessed, “I don’t know how to.”

Getting gracefully to his feet, her uninvited guest said, “I can teach you. It’s easy once you know how. Now, you inadvertently mentioned a chicken casserole. It would be a shame for the wine to go to waste.”

“I don’t see any wine,” countered Anna, looking round for signs of a bottle.

Suddenly, she picked up on a thought from her guest and her eyes flew towards the beach. Sure enough, nestled between two small rocks, just covered by water, lay two bottles of wine.

“Two bottles? Are you trying to get me drunk?” she asked, the icy edge to her tone melting somewhat.

“Not at all. They were on offer. I can’t resist a good deal,” he said as he took a step towards her. “I’m Jarrod, by the way. Jarrod De La Cruz to be exact.”

“Fancy name.”

“Spanish ancestry,” he explained with another heart melting smile. “Now, can we talk over dinner?”

Silently, Anna surveyed him, sub-consciously probing his mind in an effort to determine if she was in danger.

“I won’t harm you,” promised Jarrod. “On my grandmother’s life, I won’t touch you.”

“Fine,” she relented, as her heart sang with joy. “Fetch the wine and come in.”

 

The kitchen of the small cottage was surprisingly spacious. It was one of Anna’s favourite rooms in the house, largely because of its picture window views over the beach towards the river beyond. A tantalising aroma of chicken casserole filled the air, adding to the warm homely feel to the room. While she waited on Jarrod bringing the wine up from the beach, Anna fetched two wine glasses from the glass fronted cabinet then turned to put two plates in the oven to warm. She had just set two places at the large pine table when Jarrod walked into the room.

“Sorry. I had to make a quick phone call,” he apologised. “Had to let the others know where I was.”

“Others? Those hairy guys from the coffee shop?”

“The very ones,” he said with a smile. “I told them I’d catch up with them tomorrow in Glasgow.”

Before she could reply, Jarrod added, “No, they’re not lying in wait to turn up here to rape and pillage you. Relax, Anna. They’re in an Indian restaurant in Paisley. And as for me, I’ve no intention of touching you.”

Her sixth sense caught the hint of the lie in that last sentence.

“So, what are your intentions, Mr De La Cruz?”

“Patience, Miss Maitland,” said Jarrod, opening the first bottle of wine and pouring two half glasses. “You might want to put the other bottle in your fridge or do I need to go back and put it in the river to chill some more?”

Obediently, Anna stowed the unopened bottle in her bare refrigerator then busied herself serving their meal.

“Delicious,” complimented Jarrod after the first few mouthfuls. “Now, how long have you searched souls untamed?”

“Pardon?”

“Your mind was wide open back there in the coffee shop. Shows lack of training. Who taught you how to read minds and search souls, Anna?”

There was a serious note to his voice that caught her by surprise.

“No one,” she answered honestly. “I’ve always been able to do it. When I was little, I thought everyone could do it.”

“You were born able to do it?” exclaimed Jarrod unable to mask his astonishment. “I thought there was something different to you. Tell me about it.”

It wasn’t so much a suggestion as a command and before she realised what she was doing, Anna had told her uninvited guest about the challenges of growing up, the torture of travelling to college on public transport as she was haunted by a cacophony of conversations, the mental cruelty of lectures where her mind followed every day dream of every inattentive student while she consciously tried to focus on the lecturer. She explained the immense relief and inner peace she had found when she bought the cottage and secured a job that she could do from the solitude of her own home. Understanding entirely, Jarrod nodded periodically as Anna told her tale.

“I feel your pain,” he sympathised warmly. “First lesson. How to shut out the noise.”

Anna stared at him open mouthed, “How?”

“It’s easy,” promised Jarrod. “Do you always wear that turquoise ring?”

Anna nodded.

“Focus on it. Focus on everything about it. The texture. The shape. The colour. The silver band. The silver setting around the stone,” instructed Jarrod. “Now, keep that focus but try to pick up my thoughts.”

For a few seconds Anna enjoyed blissful silence as she focussed on her mother’s turquoise ring. After about thirty seconds, she allowed her concentration to lift a little. Immediately, she could hear Jarrod musing about the colour of her underwear. Before she could shut him out again, he began to laugh.

“White lace works for me, Miss Maitland,” he teased as she flushed scarlet in front of him.

“That was cruel!” she protested with a smile. “Is it really that simple to shut the voices out though?”

“Yes,” assured Jarrod. “It takes practice to hold that degree of focus but you’ll soon get the hang of it.”

“Thank you.”

“Lesson two is just as important,” began Jarrod as he refilled their glasses. “You must learn to shield your own thoughts. Learn to preserve your soul from prying eyes.”

“I never suspected anyone was looking before today,” revealed Anna softly. “I didn’t know there were other people like me.”

“You’ve had a long, lonely journey, haven’t you?”

Anna nodded slowly.

“OK. Lesson two,” he stated. “You kind of need to cloak your mind. It’s another visualisation technique. This is harder. Takes more practice. There are a few ways to do it too so you need to experiment a bit.”

He paused to sip his wine.

“Imagine a thick, dense, fog then bring it down around you. Disappear into it. Lose yourself in it. Trust that nothing can penetrate it. Nothing can see you. Focus on it. Believe in it.”

Tentatively, Anna tried to imagine a foggy cloud around her. Her first few attempts were patchy and Jarrod easily managed to find a way into her mind.

Before she became too frustrated, he suggested an alternative, “Try visualising a mirror instead. The mirror side is pointing away from you. The mirror is reflecting everything away from you.”

Again, Anna experimented with the technique described only this time with greater success. It took Jarrod over five minutes to find a chink in her protection.

“Well done,” he praised as she finally let her shield shatter around her. “For a first attempt that was none too shabby. It’ll get easier with practice. Promise.”

“Thank you. I’ll work on it,” vowed Anna as she took a sip of her wine. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, but I reserve the right not to answer.”

“What brought you here?”

“There’s an obvious answer in there, Miss Maitland, and its parked outside,” he teased, playing with her a bit. “Business and pleasure though is a more accurate answer.”

“And the business bit?” quizzed Anna, trying to learn more about her guest.

“Well, I can’t say too much. I’m looking for something.”

“And the pleasure?”

“Apart from having dinner with you?” he teased with a smile. “The pleasure’s getting to ride with the guys I was with earlier. We’re touring around but I need to leave them in a couple of days.”

Jarrod paused for a moment then decided to take a risk, “You could help me out here if I find what I’m looking for.”

“Me? How?”

“Look after it for a short while.”

Alarm bells rang in her overly cautious mind. What if this charismatic stranger was a drug dealer? What if this parcel she was being asked to look after was illegal?

“Calm down,” he said quietly. “And did you listen to anything I taught you earlier?”

“Sorry,” apologised Anna. “But, can you blame me, Jarrod? This has not been the most conventional meeting or evening.”

“I guess not,” he said with a sigh. “I’m working under cover. Hanging with the boys is my cover. They genuinely are my friends, before you ask. My investigations and probing around have been quite fruitful today. I’m pretty sure what I’m looking for will be on the last ferry tonight. I plan on being at the ferry terminal to collect it. However, I need somewhere to keep it safe for a couple of days.”

“Under cover for who?” quizzed Anna, sensing he was being honest with her.

“I can’t say,” apologised Jarrod. “It’s confidential. I need to be in Glasgow tomorrow to catch up with the boys. We’re heading to pick up the owner of the package. If you could guard it for two or three days till I get back it would save me a lot of trouble.”

“Is it too big to take on the bike with you?”

“Not exactly. More like too fragile.”

“And I definitely won’t get into trouble with the police? No thugs are going to turn up here trying to steal it?”

“I promise you it’s safe. No police. No thugs. No one.”

Against her better judgement, Anna felt herself nod.

“Miss Maitland, I think I love you!” declared Jarrod smiling at her.

At the sight of his smile and those dark brown eyes, the last of her reservations melted. Something, fate perhaps, had brought Jarrod into her life and Anna felt compelled to go along with his plans. Swiftly, he explained that he’d leave around eleven, meet the boat and be back by eleven thirty.

“Where will you stay tonight?” asked Anna, realising that locally his options at that time of night would be limited.

“I’ve a tent in my rucksack. I’ll camp outside, if that’s ok?”

“Nonsense,” she heard herself saying. “I’ve a comfortable couch. You are more than welcome to sleep on there.”

“Only if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure.”

 

Shortly before eleven, Jarrod rose to leave for the ferry terminal. While they had waited for the clock to tick round, he’d coached her on a few more basic ways to both use and shield their shared talent. When she had quizzed him on how he had developed the skill, Jarrod had explained that he’d developed the talent after a car crash when he was a teenager. The crash had killed his parents and left him in a coma for a week. When he’d come round, he discovered he could hear what everyone was thinking. With a catch in his voice, he’d confessed that’s how he had learned of his parents’ death. He’d read the mind of one of the nurses.

 

While he was gone, Anna cleared away the glasses and dinner dishes then ran upstairs to fetch a quilt and pillows from the airing cupboard. She left them neatly folded on the floor beside the couch, hoping that her guest would be warm enough overnight.

A short while later, Anna heard the distinctive roar of Jarrod’s motorbike, listened as it stopped outside then heard his footsteps on the path. He knocked at the back door before stepping into the warm welcoming kitchen.

In his arms, he was carrying a sleeping child.

Vivid Nightmare (flash fiction)

moonlight

Music and sunlight fill the world. A gentle breeze wafts by. The taste of salt in the air. Warmth.

Then there’s silence as the song comes to an end….

The music’s temporarily replaced by the growl of an engine. The throaty grumble of an exhaust.

Sunlight glints off the chrome surround of the vehicle’s headlight.

As the next song begins….BANG!

Instant agony. Pain burning like fire. The feeling of flying through the air out of control. The bone crunching thud of hitting the ground. Screams. Mine? Engine roar. A screech. A crushing weight from above then nothing….. no noise; no music; only deafening silence and darkness.

 

Time moves on….

 

Dull fuzzy sounds. Distant noises. Muffled voices hovering around. A clinical smell. Telephones ringing far away. Numbness. A feeling of choking. Gagging on something. Panic! More voices.

A small stab of pain……the darkness returns.

 

Time moves on….

 

The darkness begins to recede. Shadows flicker through the grey haze. Silence. No voices. No telephones ringing. A stillness. An air of calm. Night?

A sense there’s someone there. Someone close by.  A familiar scent in the air. A long, sad sigh at my side.

A hand over mine. It’s firm. It’s warm. The stroke of a thumb. Slow, gentle, movements. Fumbling fingers straighten my signet ring then spin the rings on my thumb. Is someone reading the inscriptions on them?

Bleep….bleep….bleep…bleep…….it continues…..on and on and on…

 

The alarm clock! The nightmare ends once more.

 

(image sourced from Google – credits to the owner)

The Soul Searcher

e501e681c239110dc41ce8e13988ed2b

All around her was the buzz of conversation. In her mind, there was the constant murmur of unspoken thoughts.

Silently, she sipped her coffee and continued to gaze out of the window at the river view outside. The local ferry was passing the cafe, it’s bow wave disturbing the calm water.

Entering a crowded café was always a challenge to her sensitive soul. Venturing out from her cottage into town was a weekly endurance event.

Voices everywhere!

The constant babble almost drove her insane.

As she took a bite of her scone, she tried to block out the cacophony of conversation.

“I can hear you listening,” came a clear male voice in her mind.

She dropped the scone back onto the plate. Eyes wide, she scanned the café, searching for the face that went with the voice.

“I can see you searching for me.”

A chill ran down her spine and she began to tremble.

For over twenty years she had gone to great lengths to hide her enhanced listening abilities. Coping with it as a child had been torture. Being a teenager had been even worse. School and college had been like a prison sentence to her. As soon as she had graduated, she had sought out a job that allowed her to work from home, saved up for the mortgage deposit then bought her secluded cottage and retired from the world around her as much as was possible.

She’d heard millions of unspoken conversations over the years. Inadvertently eavesdropped on  innermost thoughts. Every unspoken word ringing in her mind as clearly as if they’d been spoken out loud beside her.

Never had someone spoken to her in her own mind before.

She felt instantly violated.

“You appear to have dropped your scone.”

“Who are you?” she asked silently. “Where are you?”

Silence.

Carefully she filtered through the dozens of conversations going on around her. Breaking all of her own unwritten rules, she searched the thoughts of the customers in the café in an effort to find “him”.

None of the voices matched.

Her senses picked up a strange silent spot near a table where six guys, all in their twenties or early thirties, were sitting. All of them had long hair, tattoos, biker jackets and had their motorcycle helmets stowed under the high stools they sat on. None of them were looking her direction. All of them were pouring over a map spread out on the table.

With shaking hands, she picked up her scone and took a nervous bite. A bead of jam stuck to her lip. She deftly licked it away.

“Strawberry or raspberry?” asked the voice, its tone mildly curious.

“Raspberry,” she replied silently before realising what she was doing.

“I prefer blackcurrant myself.”

“Who are you?” she asked again, scanning the room.

“A fellow soul searcher.”

“A what?”

“A soul searcher. At least that’s what I like to think I am.”

“Well, you’re not searching mine,” she snapped indignantly.

“Too late. I already have,” mused the voice. “You’re worried that you’ll miss the deadline on the article that’s open on your laptop at home. You’re going to pick up your dry cleaning when you leave here. You have chicken simmering in the slow cooker in your kitchen for dinner. Enough for two meals. Oh, and you forgot to put wine in the fridge before you left. Pinot Grigio.”

Her blood ran cold. Fear began to seize her.

All thoughts of finishing her scone and the coffee vanished.

Grabbing her bag, she paid for her coffee and fled from the café into the street.

 

By the time she had walked the three miles homes, carrying her dry cleaning, she had almost calmed down. As her beach front cottage came into view, she spotted a large Harley Davidson parked on the pavement. There was no sign of the rider.

Quickly she ran down the steps to her front door. A shadow at the side of the whitewashed house caught her eye.

Someone was sitting on her bench gazing out at the river.

Slowly she made her way round the narrow path .

A young man, more or less her own age, sat there with his long denim clad legs stretched out in front of him. His leather jacket and helmet lay beside him on the bench. Long dark hair tumbled down over his shoulders, cascading down his back. His eyes were closed and she wondered for a moment if he was asleep.

Suddenly his eyes opened. They were deep, dark brown, liquid pools of  melted chocolate. He smiled.

“I brought the Pinot Grigio.”

 

 

To be continued…….

Silently Watching At Sunrise

1101329-bigthumbnail

Early morning shadows hid the fallen angel in the trees that grew beside the picnic tables. There was a still a chill in the air. She drew her majestic black wings around her for warmth. Her throat felt parched. It had been weeks since she had last fed; months since she had last enjoyed some warm, viscous human blood.

Killing a mortal was always high risk. Hunger and desire had caused her to be careless last time. She should’ve taken time to carry the body off instead of discarding it in the dried leaves on the pavement.

She’d heard the shrill shrieks of the dog walker who had discovered the man’s body not long after she had abandoned it. Damn dog!

Well, she’d taken care of it a week or so later. Dog owners were sloppy. The angel had watched, biding her time, until the chocolate brown Labrador was off its lead, running ahead of its slow middle aged owner. The dog’s death had been swift. It had barely whimpered as she had bitten deep into its jugular vein. By the time the owner had caught up, the angel had drained every last drop from the beloved family pet and swooped up into the trees out of sight. She had laughed at the woman’s wails of grief for the dead canine lying on the pavement.

Her attention was brought back to the present as she watched the woman cross the road, heading towards her. The angel had been studying her early morning routine for a few weeks, working out where and when to strike. The woman’s erratic fitness regime had frustrated her. Never the same day two weeks in a row; never the same number of outing s a week; always the same time to within a minute or two. Close surveillance had warned the angel of the routine of others who walked and ran along that section of road so early in the morning.

There was one obvious window of opportunity. It came when the woman finished her run. When she returned to the small secluded picnic spot, she sat down at one of the tables to catch her breath for a moment or two before tackling the steep hill back to her home. She only took a seat though if the sun was shining.

Hunger was forcing the angel to take a dangerous but calculated risk by stepping out into the direct sunlight. For the sake of savouring the sweet ferrous female blood, she was prepared to risk singeing her precious wings. There were only so many rabbits and sheep and deer that she could stomach. Her recent starvation diet had left her feeling desiccated; feeling unfeminine. It was this fact that had decided her that she needed to feast on female hormone filled blood on this occasion.

Calmly, she waited in the shadows for her prey to return. Patiently, she counted the dog walkers, ensuring they all passed her oblivious to her presence. The other two regular early morning joggers also passed, heading out towards the lighthouse

The minutes ticked steadily by.

Silently, she watched the woman approach. There was a sheen of sweat on her forehead. Her cheeks were scarlet, reddened by the effort, and she was breathing heavily. The angel’s nostrils twitched as she tasted the hormone soaked blood in the air around her.

Just as she had hoped, the worn out woman took a seat at the end of the bench in the sun, gasping for air.

Spreading her wings, ready to swoop, the angel suddenly froze to the spot.

The air was filled with a familiar ferrous infused male musk. A scent she had only dreamed about over recent weeks. A perfume that she hadn’t lusted after since her last human meal.

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Rhythmic light footsteps were approaching rapidly. He was still a hundred meters or more away. Already her sensitive ears could hear that infernal music that he listened to.

Faced with a choice, she hesitated. Male or female? Decisions. Decisions….

Fate intervened.

Hearing the footsteps, the woman scrambled to her feet and darted across the road out of sight before he reached the picnic area.

Silently, seething with hungry frustration, the dark angel watched as he ran by. Oh how she yearned to sink her fangs into his veins. He was a meal to be lingered over and savoured, not a dinner to be rushed through greed. Like a fine wine, his blood would be sipped until she felt intoxicated by it.

With a soft sigh that could easily have been mistaken for the breeze wafting through the leaves, the angel drew her purple tipped wings around her once more and settled in the shadows to wait for her next opportunity to dine.

 

 

image sourced via Google- credits to the owner

Post Staycation 2016 Book Baby blues…sorry, news

Staycation 2016 is already a fading memory (After ten minutes back in the salt mine on Monday morning, before I’d even got half way down my first coffee of the day, it had faded.)

My primary goal for my Staycation was to finish the first draft of Book Baby 3. To return to my previous pregnancy analogy, I feel like I’ve been expecting this one forever. When I went back and checked, I started to write it just over two years ago, 22 June 2014 to be exact (although one scene was written in December 2013) If this had been a pregnancy I think I’m just about to deliver an elephant! It may well prove to be a tome of a book!

However, after my labour of love, by the end of week one, my mission had been accomplished and I finally had a completed first draft in my hands. Hallelujah!!

20160724_175240

It’s a surreal feeling this time around as I’ve already taken the decision to “park” the Silver Lake series after this one.

Don’t panic Jake fans – he’ll be back! There’s a plan in my mind – well two actually- but I’m not giving anything away just yet. It’s very early days but the notebooks have been bought.

Now I’m facing a marathon labour with Book Baby 3 as I type up my handwritten scrawls and edit and proofread and spellcheck and grammar check……I wonder how much caffeine and Pinot Grigio this is going to take?

Watch this space!

20160725_133731

So what about my first two Book Babies? Are they behaving themselves?

joint promo collage

Well both of them are quietly ticking over – too quietly for my liking (quiet children always arouse my suspicions)- but they’re out there making their way in this big bad world. Both of them are 5* students on Amazon.co.uk. Both have earned great reviews on Amazon.com. I really can’t complain.

No one’s told me my babies are ugly so there’s a blessing.

Self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to me but I’ve been doing my best.

Last weekend I bit the bullet and recorded a short video clip for You Tube to help promote Book Baby 1- Stronger Within. Lord that was nerve wracking!

Trust me, I am not a natural narrator!

It took several takes to get an acceptable version recorded for posterity.

I hate listening to myself. Cringing, I played it back. Oh Lord, I sound SO Scottish! Guess that is only natural as I am Scottish.

Hey ho, its another way to get some free promotion so feel free to go in, listen (laugh if you feel the urge) but please share the video with the world.

Once I regroup my nerves and manage to get the house to myself for an hour so that it’s all quiet, I’ll maybe try a second video to promote Book Baby 2 – Impossible Depths …..or then again…..

Well, I’ve thousands of words needing my undivided attention so I guess I’d better get typing!

#BondedSouls #amwriting #amtyping

Just Imagine…the opportunity to interview Jake Power

555824_357797190956616_628281178_n

Just imagine if……..

 

Sitting at a corner table on the balcony of The Greene Turtle in Rehoboth, De recently, I gazed across the crowded beach, wondering what to expect from the interview that lay ahead. I’ve interviewed my fair share of rock gods over the years but I was just a little bit excited to be given the opportunity to shoot the breeze with Silver Lake front man, Jake Power.

Arriving a few minutes late for our scheduled appointment, rock’s latest heart throb sits down opposite me, apologising profusely for keeping me waiting.

“Time keeping isn’t one of my attributes,” he jokes somewhat sheepishly. “My girlfriend even bought me my dream watch for my birthday last year in an attempt to keep me on time. She’s failed there I’m embarrassed to admit but I love that watch!”

Life for the Silver Lake singer/guitarist is busy right now. Following a successful European tour late last year and an Antipodean adventure with Aussie rock giants, Bodimead, earlier this year, Silver Lake are currently in the studio recording their second album, under the watchful eye of Grammy award winning producer, Dr Marrs.

When I ask Jake how recording is going, he flashes me one of his famous “Power” smiles. This guy is hot!

“We’re getting there. It’s only week one so it’s been mainly Paul and Grey who’ve been in. Rich and I have been working at the house tweaking the guitar parts. There’s still some lyrics to be finished off too.”

I ask how it feels to be the first act to record in the newly completed JJL Studios in Delaware.

“It’s pretty neat. The first day we were all like big kids in a new classroom. Wanting to touch this. Play with that,” confesses Jake. “I think Jim was getting pretty mad at us, to be honest. He had that withering look in his eye.” (Jim being producer Dr Marrs)

Up until late last year, our rock god was a schoolteacher, teaching music at a local high school along with fellow Silver Lake sensation, Rich Santiago. I ask him if he misses the classroom.

“I do,” he answers with little hesitation. “But this crazy life is the one I’ve been chasing down for twenty years. It’s great to go back and visit the school now and then as time allows. We’ve done a few workshops. Keeps my hand in.”

“And what kind of a student were you?” I ask, hoping for an insight into a teenage Jake Power.

“I was actually a good student. B+ average. I got an A in English Lit and Music. My mum was pretty strict about school and studying. She made sure study came first before music. She made sure I put in the work. Even through college, I worked my ass off but there was always a band or two on the go. My heart’s always been in my music.”

So after spending years in several small local rock bands and then forming Silver Lake some five years ago, with Rich Santiago, Grey Cooper and Paul Edwards, I was keen to hear how Jake felt about being catapulted into his dream world. Was it living up to expectations?

“It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind experience,” he begins. At this point we’re interrupted by the waitress arriving with the drinks order. She treats Jake like an old friend, prompting me to ask if the bar is a regular Silver Lake haunt.

“It is,” replies Jake with a laugh. “Many a Silver Lake night out has started or ended here. Lori and I held our engagement party here too.”

After a mouthful of beer, Jakes returns to my original question about his new found rock star lifestyle.

“We’ve been incredibly lucky. I totally appreciate that. Molton gave us our first big break when we played a few arena shows with them last summer. The UK tour with Weigh Station was an incredible opportunity. I’ve loved those guys since I was a kid. We learned so much from them on that tour then being out with Bodimead gave us another view of how things are done. It’s been a steep learning curve but we’re a tight unit. A family. Maddison and Gary keep us all on a tight rein. Maddison is a scary lady when she’s mad so we all tend to toe the line.”

I ask if there are any more live shows on the horizon.

“Actually, we’re playing a birthday party next,” Jake reveals. “It’s the record company’s 21st birthday in a couple of weeks so we’ve been invited to play a few numbers. Then, as far as I remember, we’ve a few festival appearances lined up through August. I get a hard time for never knowing our schedule. Drives Maddison insane.”

It’s easy to fall under the spell of this unassuming rock star. He’s easy to talk to. No ego. No entourage with him. He says that he walked along the beach to the interview, explaining that he lives not far from the centre of the small Delaware Riviera resort. Eventually I ask what keeps him so grounded.

“This place. Lori. The other guys,” he explains. (I should perhaps explain that Jake’s girlfriend, Lori, is none other than album artist to the stars, Mz Hyde)

“Off the road, our lives haven’t really changed,” continues Jake. “At least not yet. We all still live in the same houses or apartments. Rich treated himself to a new car but that’s been the only big splurge spend by any of us so far. We can all still come in here, enjoy a few beers and no one bothers us. I hope to keep it that way.”

“Do you ever get stopped around town for autographs?”

“Sometimes. It’s a tourist town so there’s a lot of traffic through here, especially in summer. It goes with the job though. If Silver Lake didn’t have fans out there buying our record, buying tickets to the shows and shit then I’d still be teaching class and playing at weddings on the weekend. Signing a few autographs is a small price to pay.”

Trust me, Jake Power can play at my wedding any day!

So what can Silver Lake fans expect from the new record?

“I don’t know,” laughs Jake, his hazel eyes twinkling with mischief. “Ask me that in another few weeks when it’s finished. Seriously though, it’s a progression of Dragon Song, our first album. Some of the new stuff’s a bit heavier. We’re trying to develop that Silver Lake sound. I don’t want to give too much away just yet.”

“Any ballads planned for it?”

“One so far,” Jake reveals quietly before adding, “The fans seem to love the ballads in the middle of the harder stuff. I guess we’d be in trouble with them if we didn’t sneak one onto the new record.”

Spotting Jake’s tattoo of the music to Silver Lake’s Stronger Within on his forearm, I ask him about that song and the tattoo. For the first time in the interview, he hesitates and, for a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to answer.

“That song’s pretty precious to me,” he confesses. “I wrote it not long after I met Lori and, as I’ve said before, it’s really about her. She’s one of the strongest women I’ve ever met. At that point, she was really proving to herself, as well as to me, just how mentally strong and determined she can be. The tattoo followed on from the song. I’ve gathered a few over the years. Each one has a personal meaning to me. They represent important events in my life. The music represents my relationship with Mz Hyde.”

From the way he speaks of her, Jake Power is a rock star madly in love with his partner(Sorry, girls)

He finishes his beer and apologises that he needs to get going. My allotted hour is long since up. Deciding to push my luck a little further, I ask what the pressing engagement is. Jake laughs, runs his hand through his long sun bleached hair and explains that Grey’s car has broken down again and that he’s arranged to help him tow it to the shop.

And with that, he shakes my hand, thanks me for the beer and heads off along the crowded balcony.

I sat on, finishing my own beer, watching the flow of people on the boardwalk below. I spot Jake in the crowd, walking briskly, just another anonymous face among them.

I get the feeling that that anonymity won’t last much longer. Jake Power is destined for rock god stardom…. I think I’ve fallen just a little bit in love with him.

 

credits to the owner of the photo sourced via Facebook.