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Dusty Files Episode 1

Deep in the recesses of my old hard drives and notebooks some strange files lurk and all carry my name as the author. I’ve dusted them down and present them here for your reading pleasure (or not). Yet reading these causes me to celebrate the wonder of human development when I look back and try to remember what my writing felt like then, compared to today.

As much as I live for today, the past serves as an informant, it is what I have become today. Aside from the philosophising, some of the dusty files I have rediscovered have potential as stand-alone works while others may well be swallowed into something greater.

As with every feature here at Beyond The Pyre, you are very welcome to add some of your own dusty files with a link back to you. Go on, dust them down, it’s a great experience.

The 4001st Hole

‘They said there were four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire in the 1960’s. Well, I can tell you that there were never four thousand holes in Blackburn; I know that because I was responsible for counting them and I don’t make mistakes. There was four thousand and one to be precise and would you believe it, they missed the most important hole that made its’ way from the street to the subterraway ever.

OK, you might argue that they didn’t actually miss the hole in question and that in fact they had included it in their total and had missed another one. Not true; I know that too because I followed them as they counted because I needed to employ an assistant and wondered if one of six applicants might be up to the job. They didn’t get the job because they proved to me that they could only see what everybody else sees and they had no capacity for spotting the special.’

‘What are you talking about, Bron? There are holes all over the place. The council or the utility people are always digging them. And, and, what’s a subterraway?’

‘It’s just a word to describe the underground routes around the globe and yes, they are always digging holes my friend but there’s a lot less now than there was in the 60’s. Anyway, I am not talking about any old hole. These are special. Imagine them as doors to other places that help you to travel almost at the speed of light to just about anywhere you want to go on the planet. Come on, I’ll show you what I mean.’

‘Have you been drinking, Bron? No, no, I know what it is. You been taking those two for one offers on ecstasy that they were on about on the news. You’ve frazzled your brain. I keep telling you to stay away from that stuff.’

‘I’ve not had any stuff and I’m offering you a rare chance to see something very unique. Now are you coming or not?’

With a resigned tut and thoughts of here we go again, Eric followed Bron through the shopping centre to the site of the old fire station where he suddenly grabbed Eric’s arm roughly and before he had a chance to say ouch, he found himself spitting sand from his mouth on a starlit beach in Goa.

Two hippies sitting nearby giggled and marvelled at the strength of the joint they had been enjoying while Bron encouraged the astounded Eric to keep his raincoat on and lead him away from the hippies after filling in the hole they had left. As they walked up the beach, Bron explained how they had come to be in Goa and how a network of subterraways connected the entire planet.

Eric felt sick. The skin on his face felt too tight and it hurt, as did every muscle in his body. He looked for familiar signs listened for familiar voices, looked for familiar shops, nothing was familiar and the sickly feeling turned to reality that Bron said would be washed away when the tide came in.

‘Here, eat this friend.’ Bron gave Eric an apple that he had picked up from Thompson’s on the way to the fire station. ‘It will get rid of that taste in your mouth and will put some of the sugar back that you lost on the journey. You see travelling at the speed we just did takes it out of you when you are not used to it.’

Eric still looked sick. ‘Why can’t I take my mac off?’

‘Trust me, you will need it in a minute,’ Bron said matter of factly and before Eric could utter another word he caught a glimpse of Bron’s arm and hand which held his before he felt himself being violently jerked through the sand. Several whooshing sounds and one very loud pop later, they appeared on a ledge beneath an ear-shattering waterfall near Ingleton, North Yorkshire.

‘I want to go home now. Please take me home,’ Eric simpered.

‘I have just given you the trip of a lifetime.’

‘If you carry on putting me through this I will have no life. I don’t know which part of me belongs where, I feel sick, I don’t know whether this is a dream, am I going insane or what!’

‘Most people would be thrilled.’

‘Yeah right.’ Eric was getting some of his usual confidence back. He walked forward, away from Bron who stood with his back to the wall in an attempt to keep dry. The force of the waterfall caught Eric squarely on the shoulders and forced him off the ledge into the pool some twenty feet below. Bron leaped off the ledge and joined him in the water, much to the amusement of several walkers who were enjoying a quiet picnic on a rare sunny day in the dales.

‘Take my hand and hold your breath,’ Bron yelled above the roar of the water.

‘No. I won’t, you are not going to get me again. I just want to go home.’

Before Eric could protest any further, Bron grabbed him and with unusual strength for a man with the appearance of Mr Punyverse, he pulled Eric to a dark shape at the bottom of the pool. Needless to say, the shape was a actually a hole and following another instant of body punishment, they appeared at the site of the old fire station in Blackburn where Eric stormed off, squelching his way through bemused shoppers. Bron was nowhere to be seen and when he got home, Eric felt sick again when he heard the newsreader say that the emergency services in Ingleton were baffled when two men disappeared.

 

Where to begin?

Well, I’m not overstating by saying that the last week was a roller coaster of chaos. In one way or another, all of it has been (or has at least ended up) the sort of positive chaos that I like because there has been plenty of learning outcomes.

Last week started with one of my daughter’s putting my old PC to sleep instead of shutting it down. It literally did go to sleep and refused to wake up no matter what commands (verbal or otherwise) were sent. To shorten a long story, I disconnected several crucial internal cables while the machine was running, thoroughly confused it and reconnected. Please don’t upset any techies by retelling this story but, normal service resumed.

Now I can re-open the dusty files that I talked about a couple of weeks ago and I will post one in a new feature starting tomorrow, 6th September 2017. If you missed it, I talked about those files that we all have such as story starters that didn’t see the light of a readers eyes.

Image result for image of a dusty computer file

Fragments from your imagination that you saved for a rainy day or had even forgotten about. You know the sort of things I am talking about. Like the ball point pens in Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy. . .

“Somewhere in the cosmos, he said, along with all the planets inhabited by humanoids, reptiloids, fishoids, walking treeoids and superintelligent shades of the color blue, there was also a planet entirely given over to ballpoint life forms. And it was to this planet that unattended ballpoints would make their way, slipping away quietly through wormholes in space to a world where they knew they could enjoy a uniquely ballpointoid lifestyle, responding to highly ballpoint-oriented stimuli, and generally leading the ballpoint equivalent of the good life.”

I discovered some of my own lost files in a folder containing copies of files from a very ancient version of Windows and written in Rich Text Format. Like ballpoint pens, they too had slipped away through a  wormhole where they enjoyed a vitual world of peace and tranquility until I spotted the unmistakable trail of half-recognised filenames and forced them out into the light.

Who knows, one of these files may have what it takes to be the next best seller, blockbuster movie or stage show (one of mine is a theatrical script) and a great way to put them to the test is to let you decide. So taking a deep breath, I will do that tomorrow.

Your own dusty files are very welcome. Send them over (if you can find the wormhole) and I will be pleased to add them to the next edition of Dusty Files.

Twitter users out there will probably be aware of the #MotovationMonday, Tuesday . . hash tag and have seen some of the great posts. There are so many wonderful thoughts out there in cyberspace (another wormhole) that I thought I would capture some, add a few of my own and create a Facebook photo album. So, there it is. I will be updating it every day and as usual, you are very welcome to add some of your own.

That was one of the positives that came out of the confusing week of chaos, reminding me of a quote a group of us developed in university social psychology lectures many years ago and probably over-used; “Confusion can be creative.” The main body of the quote is out of context here but it is thought provoking . . .

Dogmatism denies development; Confusion can be creative.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the chaos. Suffice to say, it all ended well and particularly well for our eldest son who started a Sports Management degree course today at Montpelier University. Very positive for him to be following his dreams, sad for us because there is a gap in our daily lives. But that reminds me of Kalil Gibran in The Prophet . . .

“Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”

Wishing you all Namasté and Peace, Love and Happiness

SC

Blog your book or short story

A few weeks ago I published a short story on this blog called, The Cappedocian Express, a true story with a few mystical elements added by the main character from my novel, Beyond The Pyre. Keep that in mind.

Searching Google for a little inspiration for blog content with a difference (not my exact search-term), I was overwhelmed as usual with over 80 million hits but I did discover something of interest from a veteran blogger and freelance writer who offers to list books that are published on blogs. Now this got me thinking.

I don’t know how many but I have years of short stories, story starters, orphan chapters and theatrical scripts in my file storage. I often draw from these to inspire and grow my own books but I have to admit that there are some that are unlikely to meet the readers eyes. Nothing to do with quality, it’s just that I have moved away from the theme and have no interest in publishing them at the moment. Although never say never.

Here’s the thinking. It’s time to dust down some of these stories and present them here on this blog in an anthology of neglected writing and you are invited to join the fun starting next Tuesday.

So, dust down one of your neglected files and send it over with a link back so my readers can find you. If I receive too many (that would be wonderful), I may have to add a ‘continued’ button linking back to you but, let’s see how it goes.

My first will be a funny story about a man called Trevor and his adventures as a trainspotter.

#SynopsisThursday

Kirsten Nairn offered the latest in the #SynopsisThursday series,
scroll down and read her synopsis for A Sorry Affair.

You can follow #SynopsisThursday on Twitter through @SteveCostello8 .

Thanks to the authors who have offered their work, ‘as soon as it’s ready.’

Your support is much appreciated. Namasté

Send in your own synopsis by Wednesday to be included on Thursday. The first received each week will be given top place priority and additional Twitter, Facebook and other SM exposure, no strings attached.

14/09/2015

A Sorry Affair is a romantic novel by Kirsten Nairn which examines the complexities of relationships and the heartache which can often accompany love. The story is told from the perspective of the three main characters, Mack and Jen, the archetypical golden couple, together since they were students and Abbi, who Mack finds himself drawn to, and eventually falling in love with. He ends up unintentionally in love with two women.

The idea for the story began as a simple question. What does it feel like to be the adulteress? To be the other woman? The sympathy, understandably, is always directed at the innocent party but what if there are two innocent parties? What if you are the ‘other woman’ and are completely unaware that you’re involved in an affair?

The story is considered initially from the view point of Abbi, the ‘other woman’ and focuses on how she feels. She meets Mack by chance and is immediately drawn to him. There is an innocence and naivety to her and the possibility that Mack is in a serious, long term relationship would never have occurred to her. Abbi would never consider having an affair with anyone, married or otherwise and because of this she feels utterly wronged. Everyone, including her own family and friends blame her and they can’t understand or believe that she had no idea that Mack has another girlfriend, another life. The most difficult thing for Abbi though is that she’s in love with Mack. She saw a future for them which has now been destroyed. She’s heartbroken and suffering the pain and loss of a failed relationship, but has no one to speak to, no one to support her.

Mack’s side of the story is perhaps more difficult to understand and to empathise with. He’s in love with Jen. She’s perfect. They’re engaged, they’re happy and it has never occurred to him that they wouldn’t be together for the rest of their lives, and yet for no reason he can fathom, he enters into an affair with Abbi. He realises, too late, that he has risked everything.

Mack’s immediate loss and helplessness are apparent, but ultimately the story examines the long term and wider reaching consequences of his actions. The impact on Abbi and Jen, on Jen’s family and his own family and the loss they all experience.

Later, as the story concludes with a twist, it becomes apparent how much hurt he has caused and the monumental mess he’s made of everyone’s lives. Not only has the future life they all imagined for themselves been changed forever, but he has a child, who may never be a part of his life unless he can prove he will never make the same mistake again.

My hope is that the reader will connect with all the characters and in doing so, be faced with the dilemma as to where their sympathies lie and to ask themselves what they would do in a similar situation.

Kirsten lives in Scotland with her husband, two young children and the usual array of pets that seem to accompany small children. She studied science at Edinburgh University when dungarees were in fashion and Dexy’s Midnight Runners could still cut it with the young ones. She should have studied Art and English and blames her guidance teacher whose words ‘what career would you have?’ still wring in her ears.

http://www.austinmacauley.com/book/sorry-affair

#SynopsisThursday – 31 August 2017

This week MJ Goodman shares her work with The BTP community. Click on the Amazon link when you reach it and read the wonderful reviews.
Messages From The Soul is a diverse collection of eclectic heartfelt poems that explore the very stuff of our dreams and fantasies. It touches on our hopes, longings, losses and at its heart explores the universal truths of the human condition that is totally relatable to any reader.
I started writing poems about 15 years ago after a (now friend) therapist suggested I express my emotions through the written word.
Messages From The Soul was released on 31st July 2017 and has already received five star reviews on both Amazon in U.K. the USA and on the publishers website.
I love writing and that is something that will never leave me.

Bloodlust, The Shifting Sands of Home and These Foreign Fields are just a few of the poems included in the book and they are written just as the title indicates – Messages From The Soul.

Born in Stamford, Lincolnshire in the 70s, M.J Goodman has moved around in the UK and lived abroad with her service family. Finally in her twenties, she put down roots in Gloucestershire where she started her writing career as an absorbing hobby. She lives in Gloucester with her husband Peter.
Find MJ Goodman

24 August 2017 from Austin Macauley authors Deborah L Pearson and George Roberts

From Ten Down To Three

by George Roberts

In 1986, James collapses after a game of football at school. The cause is diagnosed as a tumour on the brain. Although treatment is successful, James will never be the footballer he was. The story of James continues on into his thirties as he falls in love, starts a family and becomes, in a modest way, a hero.

In From Ten Down to Three George Roberts examines fate as events happen in James’s life that leave him questioning whether things are meant to be or are simply coincidence. A phone call made in error lead to him finding love. A bang on the head reveals the presence of the tumour. Saving a young woman’s life leads to an unexpected encounter.

From Ten Down to Three is a delightful read full of wit and a dash of tragedy

Passage of Destiny

by Deborah L Pearson

Deborah_L_pearson@hotmail.co.uk

Two young people, will be inseparably linked through an amazing chain of events that will take them on an incredible journey of discovery, laced with intrigue, secrets and love plus an overflowing amount of adventure, visiting unimaginable places, encountering extraordinary creatures and terrifying horrors.

The book starts with both the birth of Melanie and the death of her parents James and Selemie; Melanie is left in the care of her adopted parents along with a bad tempered, black and white tom cat called Austin, who is no ordinary cat, but is in fact Melanie’s guardian, known as a watcher and turns out to be a shape shifting alien. She is eventually told the truth about her real parents and the special gifts she’d inherited from her mother, after a supposed chance meeting with a man called Vian and his two cousins Tarak and Raan. Eventually a romance blossoms between Melanie and Vian.

Vian and his cousins are here to escort Melanie back into the fold, with Austin’s help but to their surprise and utter disbelief they are introduced to Max, and sense almost immediately that Max was no ordinary friend. Max having been brought up in foster homes throughout his entire life trusts no one except Edna, his adopted grandmother who runs a boarding house. He had always sensed a deep rooted connection to Melanie after meeting her at Edna’s but he could never understand why, until it was much too late, from that moment on, his fate was sealed, and both they’re lives would never be the same again.

Max eventually makes an unlikely friend and ally in Raan the youngest and more powerful of the three visiting aliens, who loves everything earth has to offer, as all at once, Max and Melanie are their gradually drawn into friends’ world, but they do not go alone, as a host of friends go with them on this unforgettable journey: Lynnette, is a French born interpreter / translator, Sarah who has a degree in Theology but works as a model, and finally Edna, Max’s highly eccentric and downright unpredictable grandmother, who on a good day is described as the antichrists version of Miss Marple. Both Melanie and Max are eventually introduced to Taban, Melanie’s deceptively illusive and highly secretive uncle, who like Vian, Tarak and Raan are a race known as the Escenii, and it is from this moment that the story takes an unexpected journey, taking them to a serene picturesque alien world known as Munastas, where various shocking and upsetting secrets are revealed.

This is a modern day Science Fiction novel filled with everything you could wish for: Romance, intrigue, humour and kidnapping, and with it, a group of mad cap humans and aliens enjoy!

 

Thoughts of Time‘ An Anthology collection to absorb, revisit and enjoy. by Jenny Dunbar

In Summer Linen, Jenny Dunbar contrasts “The citrus hay days, apple dawn and wood warm,” against “the glass edged ice horn of the winter visitor who made old, hunched creatures of us all.’’

The poem highlights the main themes of the collection; the passing of time, and the sublime power and beauty of nature. With time comes memories; love, laughter, and contemplation echo through the poems. In, Last, Dunbar questions, “Where were you as the world tipped?

The city spewed. The last tree split.”…

Check out Jenny’s YouTube Trailer

Graduating from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Jenny followed a career in the performing arts. Writing has always been part of her life and she now divides her time between the landscapes of Languedoc and Northamptonshire, both of which she finds conducive to her writing. This is her first poetry anthology. She has written three novels and is currently working on a trilogy of short stories.

Thoughts of Time is available on Amazon, Smashwords . . .

#SynopsisThursday is an opportunity for authors to tell the world about their books.

Here’s how it works.

You send a synopsis and link to your current or forthcoming book in 500 words (or less if you prefer), and I will present it here. In addition, I will promote the first one I receive each week (for seven days) on my social media accounts which are steadily growing.

No catches, that’s it, send a synopsis today.

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