Death of a Loved One

Silently it entered like a cold touch

Feelings awakened were too much

It hunted, it sought, it found

Dragging its prey down to the ground

We prayed for it to leave us alone

And begged it to not take what we own

In it crept and touched all of our lives

Brothers, sons, daughters and wives

The ache we feel

Is all too real

It took our loved one too quickly

The journey handled too cruelly

We didn’t have time to reminisce

We picture all the times that we will miss

We wish we could have more time

But the absence is felt with every chime

The days ahead will be rough

The pain and tears will be tough

Cruelly it entered and cruelly it left

Leaving us to wallow in feelings of bereft

Dream Wishing

Short Story
by Stephanie Geary

I smooth down the blankets which are covering me and bury my head deeper into my pillow. My body is weary, and I ache in all the places I can feel; the familiar pull of sleep is dragging me down and I consider where I want to go tonight. I wonder what I will see and who I will choose to become.

You see, I have what some would call a party trick or a gift of sorts.

I can choose what dreams I have before I go to sleep. It’s not a killer special power like invisibility or being able to fly but it is kind of cool being able to decide what I dream of whist I am in the land of nod. Some days I choose to be a famous actress and walk onto a glitzy stage to collect an award or I model the latest fashion on the catwalk. A few weeks ago, I rode a camel across the Sahara Desert before sunbathing under the hot scorching sun.

Every day I lay in my bed and focus on what I want to dream about, and I simply let myself fall asleep and welcome the new experience. I have walked amongst dinosaurs, visited historical places and drove a fast car around a figure of eight track. Each night I live out an exciting new adventure. Obviously, dreams are still tricky to keep on track and they can still get a bit random but I can at least choose the theme for my dream, even if it does lose its thread a little as it goes along.

Tonight, I have thought of something new I would like to do. Something which I would like to do more than anything else in the world.
So, I close my eyes and focus with all my might whilst my body and mind slowly slip into sleep. The darkness washes over me and I feel lighter, almost as though I am floating off the bed.

And then I see bright white light, blue sky and a long delicately placed wedding aisle set outside in a beautiful field of lavender; the aisle is decorated with strewn white roses and pretty tealights. Either side of the aisle are white wicker seats with dusty pink bows decorated on the back of each one. In the seats are guests, all talking and waiting.
They wait for me. I look down at myself and see that I am wearing a long white wedding gown, decorated with diamantes and lace. It hangs from me, leaving a trail behind. To my left is my Father; he looks at me proudly, speaking words to me, words that I can’t quite hear. It is almost like he is talking underwater. I look back towards the aisle and I see familiar people amongst the guest, the chairs have changed from wicker chairs to pews. My mother sits at the front, dabbing the corners of her eyes with a lacy handkerchief. A few seats behind her is my best friend, April. She is dressed in black as though she is attending a funeral, she too is dabbing at her eyes. I take another look down at my dress and see that it has changed slightly, the cut is different, and the sleeves are now long in length and not short. I try to see my legs but it is as though I am floating.

I look back up towards the front of the aisle and then I see him. Robert. The one and only guy I have ever loved. He is looking back at me, smiling. His dimple in his right cheek is evident now and I feel myself smiling back. His hand reaches out and he beckons me forward. I look to my left for my Dad, but he is no longer with me. I search for him amongst the people in the congregation and see him sitting beside my mother, his head down in his hands as though is grieving. Robert still has his hand outstretched, so I walk forward towards him, taking each step slowly and memorising each second. As I walk, Robert creeps ever further away without taking a step. Its as though I am walking on a travellator going in the wrong direction. I start to run as I am eager to get to Robert before I wake up. I know this is a dream and I know that this moment cannot last forever. I jump forward, launching myself at him, and Robert catches me in his arms. He looks down at me and he stares deeply into my eyes and mouths words at me, which again I cannot hear. But I know by the look in his eyes that he is saying he loves me. Suddenly I look around and we are at our reception, we are dancing to our favourite song and he holds me to him. Robert kisses me on the top of the head and I hold him to me, praying that I won’t wake up soon. We spin around the room, everything and everyone becoming non-existent. He whispers, ‘Goodbye’ into my ear and then I notice that I am dancing on my own. The room is in darkness and I am suddenly sitting in a wheelchair, my legs numb. I scream but no words come out…

…I wake suddenly and see that the sun is starting to stream in though the window. I can hear whispered words outside my door and I let the silent tears course down my cheeks. I lie waiting for someone to come in. As though she has read my mind, my mother walks in and smiles sadly when she sees that I am awake. She crosses the room and touches my hand lightly. My mother, the strong person in our family unit is struggling to speak. Her mouth moves but she appears to be finding it difficult to put a sentence together.
‘I have sad news, sweetheart. I am so sorry that I have to tell you this, but Robert’s Dad spoke to me in the corridor…they are talking about turning off his machine tomorrow…’

I close my eyes, I hear her words, but they don’t penetrate. All at once I see the events of yesterday play in rapid succession through my mind. Me and Robert in his car on the way to a concert. The other car as it collided with us. The vision of Robert half thrown out of the front screen window, staring blankly but twitching violently as his body struggles to deal with the impact. I remember the pain in my legs and the fear as I watch Robert dying in front of me. The fire crew cutting me free. The blue flashing lights. The doctors talking to my parents about my damaged spine and legs.

Everything comes back to me and I squeeze my eyes shut, willing myself to fall back asleep so I can dream of us together again. I don’t want to live in a world where Robert isn’t here. All I have now is my pointless ability which will allow me to see him whenever I want….

…but what good is a dream if it isn’t real?

Review: The Keeper of Lost Things

written by Ruth Hogan.

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When it comes to choosing my next book to read, I always without a doubt get drawn in by what it looks like. I know the old saying asks you to not judge a book by what you see, but what else do we have when we enter a book shop but to peruse what is on the shelves and I do love a pretty front cover.

And this book was no different.

I instantly loved the way the book looked, it drew me in and I read the synopsis and knew that this would be my type of book.

I wasn’t wrong.

The story introduces us to the wonderfully charming Anthony who we discover is the keeper of all lost items. We discover what makes him tick and delve deep into his character, making him all the more lovable. Everything he finds is meticulously labelled with the correct information regarding where it was found and the date. Items such as umbrella’s, teacups and lost gloves are just some of the items he finds over time, adding each one to his itinerary. He entrusts the help of his faithful friend and housekeeper, Laura to try to reintroduce lost items to their owners.

Throughout the pages we are introduced to some wonderful characters, some lovable and some not so much; each one bringing their own interesting part to this magical, mysterious and enchanting story.

The writing is beautifully put together and I lapped each page up hungrily, reading the whole book in a couple of days.  The whole story comes together beautifully and there are some lovely plot surprises as you read along. There were also some emotional parts which had me shed a tear or two.

Overall this was a really good book. The story was well paced and had a lovely engaging feel about it. I felt like I loved Anthony and Laura from the start – I enjoyed how different all of the characters were, with Sunshine forever being one of my favourite.

I would 100% recommend this book.

S x

#My2018 Fiction

Imagine if you could write a fiction story based on the next 12 months. If you could paint yourself in any situation, good or bad, would you be writing yourself into a romantic story or would you be shooting amongst the stars in sci-fi thriller?

I saw this concept mentioned on Sweek.com so I had a go at writing my own Fiction/Non Fiction story. The first part of this story is based on my previous two years, which were not my greatest if I am completely honest, but the rest is a complete work of fiction.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – #MyDreamfor2018 #Fiction #Part Non-Fiction

In 2016 I almost lost my husband, he was involved in a terrible road traffic accident with him being the innocent pedestrian who was passing by as two cars collided. The cars spun out of control and one mounted the curb, up onto the path and ran into my husband, pinning him against the wall. He was very lucky to be alive, but it was a long, hard road to recovery. He spent five months in hospital, fighting for his life and then fighting to get back up onto his feet and to home, to us.

2016 sucked!

In 2017, things were looking up. We were finally back together as a family unit. Me, my husband and our two young boys. I had returned to work and life was getting back to normal. We were happy, so we decided to increase our family and I became pregnant, expecting our third child. The days soared by until finally I was sitting waiting to be called for my 20-week scan. Our 12-week scan had gone really well, our baby was healthy, and we were looking forward to finding out whether we were having a boy or a girl.

But this year apparently wasn’t our year either. On being called into our scan and lying back for the sonographer to do her magic, I noticed the look on her face. Within minutes our entire world came crashing down.

How can life be so cruel?
This year should be different, why was our family experiencing another horrifying blow?

Our beautiful sleeping angel was born on the 13th November. We mourned, we grieved, cried and celebrated the life we had lost. How much more heart ache can one family take?

2017 sucked!

Here it is, a new year. I wanted so much more from this year. 2018! I should have welcomed a new baby; should have been knee deep in nappies and I should have been sleep deprived beyond belief!

But I wasn’t. I felt hollow, I felt numb. New Year’s Resolutions didn’t stop me from feeling so empty, but I do have to live, I had to move forward. So, I decided to do something about it. We are now almost at the end of 2018 and this year has NOT sucked!

I decided to write a book. I poured my heart and soul into this work of fiction which has a big dollop of truth poured into it. Day and night, I wrote. My brain hurt, my eyes ached and my fingers were red raw from all the typing. I created a book. It was over 60,000 words long and I was proud of it. My husband had first read of it and he said it was good. So, I printed it all off and I proudly fiddled with the pages of my manuscript, typed correctly and with a cover sheet and a summary.

I approached publishers and my confidence dipped as one by one they turned my story down. It wasn’t what they wanted or not what they were looking for. With each rejection letter came another blow to my already faltering esteem. I asked myself whether I should give up, but then I looked back at my previous two years. I had no control over my life when those situations hit our family. And I was determined that I wasn’t going to go down without a fight!

So, when the final rejection letter came through, the fire inside me erupted. The anger from 2016 met up with the anger from 2017 and I screamed with frustration and rage! I vowed that my manuscript would be read. I knew it was good and I wanted the people who mattered to be the judges…. the readers! Not the publishers!

I wasn’t being big headed, this was me taking control.

I picked up my manuscript and drove to my local photocopying shop and waited as 50 copies were made. I kept the original copy and placed it in an envelope and posted it recorded delivery to myself, ensuring that I had proof that the manuscript was mine, to stop any attempted plagiarism. I then took each copied manuscript and wrote #SGnovel2018readme to the top right-hand corner of the cover on EACH copy. I then planted each copy into a bright pink envelope, so people could see it easily. The copied manuscripts were taken everywhere. I put one near our local burger restaurant, placed on in a shopping trolley at the local supermarket. I even sneaked one into the back of a goods wagon on its way to Ireland. Trips out with the kids had me depositing a manuscript randomly, including parks, zoos and even on a trip to London. Finally, after weeks of hiding the manuscripts around parts of the UK I was finally left with my last one in hand. I thought long and hard about what I could do with it.

Then I placed it in an envelope and using a PR address, I sent it registered first class to my favourite author, hoping that she would some how read my book. And then I waited, I made myself wait a week before I searched my hashtag online. Part of me was scared that I would find nothing…. another was excited at the possibility that I might find mentions, even if it is just one!

After a week, I sat at my computer and searched my hashtag. I searched Google, Facebook and Twitter, each search having my smile widen and widen. There were so many posts about the manuscripts being found. My heart soared, and my head was giddy with excitement. There were tweets, retweets, hashtags and photographs. Everyone was talking about my book, people were applauding the ingenious way that I had got my story out there. People were sharing they’re accounts of how they had found their copy and they were sharing them with friends and family. My hashtag was also trending on Twitter! I jumped up and down and raced around my kitchen. I knew I could do it. All I needed was to believe in myself.

That was the last day I remembered being normal. I was inundated with calls, my name was being shared, I was being discussed on television and all the companies who had originally rejected my book were now fighting to sign me.

I attended many interviews with various television, radio and newspaper companies. They all wanted to know about me, the author.

And here I am, sitting next to my favourite author on the most famous sofa on daytime television with my supportive husband watching from behind the camera. Life could not get any better. I regularly feel like I should be pinching myself!

The blonde presenter with the welcoming smile and amazing fashion sense looked me in the face and asked if I had ever imagined my life changing as I distributed my book. Thinking of my previous years and the traumatic events I went through with my family, I smiled openly and replied, ‘let’s just say, 2018 didn’t suck’.

Writing Competitions

The past few weeks of twittering, blogging and creating written pieces is really getting my love of creating stories back at the forefront of my mind. I am eager to start writing again and finally finishing a book to get it to the point where it might be publishable 🙂 – I have a ton of part written stories so my mission this year is to get them written! It doesn’t matter if they end up being awful, I’m going to do it!

Finally feeling like I have the bug back, been a while since I felt this excited about something solely for myself 😀

I have also seen a couple of writing completions which I am eager to enter, got a lot of ideas running around my little noggin and they’re all eager to get out!

Watch this space!

Sleep

I feel the pull of it’s power.

I feel the urgency.

Weary invisible arms encase me.

Pulling me further into it’s embrace.

I refuse to resist, I need this.

I welcome the serenity.

My mind is dimming, slowing down.

The darkness is getting ever closer.

My eyelids draw to a close.

I breathe slowly and rhythmically.

Under its spell I go.

Under I fall.

A Mother’s Love

The moment you were born I cried

I had wished for you for so long

And there you were

Lying in my arms, expectantly

Eyes blinking, fists clenching, mouth screaming.

I breathed in your scent,

Looked into your eyes

And felt thankful that you were mine.

For a moment our eyes met and you frowned.

Did you know who I was?

Even in those few early moments?

You were so small and precious

Such a delight to behold

The love I felt was instant,

The feelings took over my soul,

But with love came worry, followed by fear

I was scared that I would let you down

Or that I would be poor at my job.

I wanted to be your mommy for so long

But what if I got it wrong?

What if you failed to flourish?

Or copied my bad habits?

What if you lived to wish for more

More than I could give.

I pushed these worries away quickly

As fast as they had came.

If I did just one thing right in my life

It would be to give you everything I had.

Your life will be amazing.

It will be worth living.

I will give you anything you need.

I will forever be your shoulder,

Forever be your guide.

I hope you have a happy life

But for the days that you are sad,

I will always be by your side

I promise to love you for as long as I breathe

My baby,

My child,

My heart,

My world

The Craving (Poem)

Why do I crave you so much,

I should resist you,

You are bad for me, they all tell me so,

I should go for something that is good,

But I see you hiding,

You are calling to me,

Tempting me,

Flaunting the way you are dressed,

You are wanting me to sin,

Trying to get me to break!

I try to stay away from you,

I should find something else,

But I feel the familiar pull,

I walk one way,

but turn and walk back towards you.

I look at you for a long time,

I remember the taste,

I know what I want,

I don’t care what they say!

Tomorrow is another day and

Weigh Day is 5 days away!

S x

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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It would be fair to say that I’m not a big fan of Star Wars in the sense that I go crazy to watch it when a new one comes out or that I could ever re-watch the films over and over again. I never wanted to be Princess Leia or play with light sabers when I was a kid (although I did have a small crush on Han Solo, I mean come on…Harrison Ford was gorgeous back in the day) but I do appreciate the work that goes into making one and as my son and husband are fans of the movie franchise then it was inevitable that we ventured to the cinema at some point to watch the new release.

So on Sunday last weekend we visited www.lightcinema.co.uk/walsall and chose an early showing of 10.05am for us to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I watched the last film (The Force Awakens) in the cinema and I would be lying if I said that I hadn’t been moved by the story. Not only did my heart beat fast in the fight scenes but I also cried when Han Solo was bested and killed by his own son. And I eagerly watched to see if there was any type of connection between the heroine Rey and the old relic that was Luke Skywalker.  So a part of me really did, secretly want to watch the next instalment.

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I found myself enjoying the film from the very beginning. From the ever familiar scrolling text at the beginning which gives you an update on where we are with the stories to the friendships and possible romances that were blossoming. I am a big romantic at heart so I love to see a hint of a romantic connection in near enough all films that I watch, so I lapped up the cute relationship between Finn and Rose. They’re onscreen chemistry was really believable, although part of me was routing for Finn and Rey too! But I now see that they have a relationship that was much like Luke’s and Leia’s, more like best friends/brother and sister. And with me hunting for romance everywhere, I even pictured Rey and Poe together at the end. Whilst we are on the subject, Poe is very attractive!

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As with all Star Wars films there was a nice mix of violence and fight scenes with just the right amount of jokes and funny scenes. Especially between Chewbacca and these furry balls of fun, Porg’s.

They made some of the funniest scenes in the film.

Porg

The story showed us a weird connection between Rey and Kylo Ren. Through a link which was created by Snoke, his very ugly, taller than tall boss, they were able to communicate in a way that they couldn’t with anyone else. With Rey being afraid of her powers and continually worrying that she was going to be pulled over to the dark side, she thought that her way back was to convince Kylo Ren that he could be saved from the bad side. I believed her and I wanted her to save him. I wanted him to reach out and admit that he wasn’t going into the dark and although it was wrong what he did to his father, I hoped he could be reunited with his mother, Leia. But as with most Star Wars films, it doesn’t give you what you want, so I watched as battles were fought and characters were lost.

The entire story had me engrossed from the beginning, I watched expectantly as relationships were created and I quietly hoped that Kylo Ren, with his heartbreaking eyes would see the error of his ways. I watched as Finn risked his life, again…and cried as the sweet R2 D2 showed Luke a clip of a young Leia to convince him to help the fight.

Whilst we are on the subject of the amazing actress that brought life to Princess Leia, I shed a few tears as I thought about Carrie Fisher’s loss from any future films. Her presence in the film was a huge impact for Star Wars fans worldwide. For many she was  the fancy of many teenage boys when the first instalments came out in the 1980’s. Anybody who loves Star Wars knows that she was well known for her role as the heroine of the film.

I would love to talk about everything that happened in the film but I would hate to ruin it for people. One of the best things about watching a film, especially in the cinema is being shocked when something unexpected happens. I am a big believer that any film is enjoyable when watched at the cinema. I love the excitement of it and the fact that the experience is so much more amplified – with comfortable seating, air conditioning, surround sound and the big screen. There is nothing better than the cinema experience.

I would say that this film is fantastic! Like I previously said, I am not a big fan but even I enjoyed watching it. I have a little bit of a soft spot for Kylo Ren and really hope that we see him come back from the darkness. I love Rey too, she is the epitome of female empowerment. She is both sassy but kind. She has a good heart even if she worries about the darkness which keeps on calling her.

I would highly recommend people going to see this film. I give it 5 out of 5! And from a non Star Wars fan, that’s a good thing! That’s how good it is!

I will admit though that I do like some of the merchandise stuff, like mini R2 D2’s and I once had mini Jar Jar Binks figure which I liked. Although my husband would tell me not to admit that.

Anyway, that’s all for now.

S x

 

There’s a Monster in your Book by Tom Fletcher

 

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Nighttime rituals for my two little boys includes a bath, cuddles, teeth brush and a book of their choice before they get tucked up all cosy in their beds.

We read a book together each night and have been doing it since our first born, Ethan was only a few weeks old. I love reading and I wanted the boys to find their own enjoyment of opening a new book and reading a whole new story. But we also love to read our favourites again and again, we particularly like The Gruffalo and The Stickman.

Whenever I can, I pick up a new book….maybe, possibly more for Me than it is for Ethan and Oliver.

Yesterdays purchase was ‘There’s a Monster in your Book’ by Tom Fletcher. It’s fair to say that I get drawn to books by what is on the cover and I love colourful illustration, especially in the children’s books. So on seeing this book in the supermarket, I couldn’t wait to get it back home and read it to my sons.

The cheeky little blue monster became a favourite of our boys almost immediately. If I am honest, even I thought he was cute. The illustrations by Gregg Abbott were brilliant, giving plenty of visual feed for their little eyes to soak up.

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The story is very fun to read and fantastically creative, with reader interaction on every page. My boys got excited at every page turn, following the instructions eagerly.

They enjoyed it so much that we read it three times before they got into bed. And they got very loud at some of the later parts. It was nice seeing how much they enjoyed the book and Ethan even read some of the pages to Oliver on his own.  I would definately recommend this book for all children, it’s a lovely addition to any book shelf. And I think most adults would enjoy it too, because I sure did.

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S x