Earlier this autumn, I began thinking about Remembrance Day. I always find it very moving and, like many, have been wondering how the occasion would be marked in these strange times. Would there be poppies for sale? How would the Annual Festival of Remembrance take place amidst social distancing requirements? Could I write something as my own tribute to the brave men and women who give so much to keep us all safe?
Then I chanced upon the Romantic Novelists’ Association flash fiction competition; we were invited to to write no more than 250 words on the theme of ‘Chasing Rainbows’. Suddenly I knew what I could write about. ‘Chasing Rainbows’ usually means pursuing an impossible dream, but what if you were a really determined and courageous person – couldn’t you make that dream come true?
I called my flash ‘Marching On’ and you can find it here:
I am a guest today on Patsy Collins’ wonderful Womag Blog, talking about what you can do with your Pocket Novel after it has been published. Please see here for the guest post.
It is an absolute pleasure to appear on Patsy’s blog; she works selflessly to provide an up-to-date resource for writers of fiction for the women’s magazine market and her work is much appreciated and often commented on. See here for her appearance as Writer of the Week on The People’s Friend website.
Patsy has her own site too showcasing her published romantic novels and short story collections along with many other interesting articles and features. It’s well worth a visit! Please take a look here.
Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.
I have long been an admirer of Wendy Clarke’s short stories; she writes with great delicacy about the deep emotional truths found at the heart of seemingly everyday lives.
Christmas is a time of heightened emotion and this collection explores themes of loneliness, loss and love, all with the constant thread of the real meaning of Christmas running through.
In ‘Finding Santa’ we sympathise with a family stranded at Gatwick Airport as the festive season starts and in ‘All I Want for Christmas’ we feel for the new step-father desperately searching the shops for the elusive must-have-toy late on Christmas Eve.
The most original story of the collection in my opinion is ‘Silent Night’, but my favourite is ‘Christmas Strike’, for its humour and for the tenderness of its resolution.
So, enjoy this wonderful collection, with a mince pie and a cup of tea at your elbow!
WARNING: keep a tissue at the ready too, as Wendy Clarke really knows how to pull at the heart-strings.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman is a cosy crime novella set in the fictional sleepy market town of Burcliffe. A young teacher, Rosie Rainbow, has a broken heart, Mr Spearman the school catering manager has disappeared, six year old Susie Sullivan makes an unusual discovery in the school playground at school and the famous Italian violinist Leonardo Pizzicato is robbed of one of his most precious possessions. As the mysteries deepen and entwine, we travel from Burcliffe to Naples, Legoland and to Dagenham, meeting a mysterious signorina, a suspicious photographer, a jealous cat named Marlow and a gang of ruthless criminals along the way. All is solved by the time we reach the sparkling musical finale, thanks to the incredibly quick thinking of Rob Dobbs and his police colleagues, not forgetting vital help from Rosie Rainbow and the slightly dotty Miss Palmer.
This novella can best be enjoyed with a large pot of tea and a mind eager to spot the cheesy clues.