Haiku Wizard… My Poem published!

Are you a bit of a book fan? Are you randomly on Facebook at teatime one day, scrolling through…

That was me. And I don’t know about you, but when I see “writing competition”, “free” “about your favourite books” and “haiku” all together, I automatically think I Can Do That. And my brain switched to Harry Potter…

Why Harry Potter? Well, my latest writing project is middle grade fiction, and my son’s bedtime story has taken us right through Percy Jackson and the Olympians, all through Harry Potter and back to Rick Riordan’s world, this time with Heroes of Olympus. Harry Potter takes three times as long and includes linguistic fun (look at the character names) as well as great storytelling.

It was wizard fun.

So today my ten minute’s work haikus were published in The Story, Amazon Kindle’s new reading/writing themed magazine published via tumblr.

I am a bit excited- seeing my name there as the reader responsible, with a potentially worldwide readership, and for something fun is fabulous.

No, it’s not an agent, a contract, publication (and international acclaim for) my novels etc. but it shows me that out there, people to whom I am not related believe I can be creative.

So you have to celebrate the small things as well as the big.

Please go and enjoy my haikus here. You can read it without joining Tumblr (at least I could) but just in case, you can also read it below:

Harry goes to school, 
Learns spells, makes friends, finds the stone.
How did he survive?

Kids get petrified, 
Harry talks to snakes, and fights
Heir of Slytherin.

Prisoner on the run,
Time travel saves the day – Oh!
Harry’s Godfather?!

Boy wizard competes
In dangerous magic games
The Dark Lord rises.

Ministry take school,
Order fights the Death Eaters: 
Sirius Black dies!

Who is Half blood prince?
Dumbledore self-sacrifice?
This one makes least sense!

Deathly Hallows Three,
Voldemort or Harry dies
Which one do you think?

Jake’s Ghost

Jake’s Ghost. It’s finally done. 130,000 words, perfect for holiday reading… Here’s the synopsis…

Jake Goodman is dead.

The women most affected by his life are dealing with the fallout, not least finding out about each other.

Zoë, left behind by Jacob as a teenage mother. She has a fantastic new life with the famous Pat Meadows. But will Zoë’s relationships survive the revelations?

Rachel, Jack’s ex wife, is mother of his two young children. Heartbroken over the divorce two years ago, Rachel has been barely surviving, raising her children with the help of her oldest friend. Living with Jack the stand-up comedian was no laughing matter. Can Jack’s death give her closure and help her choose to move on?

Jessica thought she was the love of Jake’s life. He was the perfect trophy partner for her, the antidote to her stressful, high-flying career. Will knowing more about Jake help her or destroy her?

And then there is Bex. What she knows about Jay will change everything.

Who was Jake Goodman? He seems to have lived many lives, reinventing himself as he moved on.

Saffron was Jake’s biggest fan. Now she is his daughter and nothing about him seems to make sense. She sets out to piece the story together, following the tale from tropical islands to Parisian garrets, from deep in the English countryside to live on stage.

She hopes that, in finding out who her father was and what happened to him, she will find herself too. Then perhaps she can lay the ghost.

Truth is stranger than fiction…

1612R-17671-main_Full… or what I read in the newspaper today.

My train got delayed today which meant that, after clearing the work emails etc., the only thing I had to read was Metro, the free newspaper.  I normally stop reading when I get to the sports pages and the classifieds, but today I had time and I saw this advert (I’ve copied the exact spelling faithfully):

I am looking for a married lady called Mrs Pauline Pratt I think she is living in Croyden and it would be great to find her. I do not know her address as it has been a long time since I saw her last.  I met her in Sandown on the Isle of White in 1960-1965.  She was staying with her husband Alan Pratt, he was an understanding man with a cottage in Ashfod, Kent.  If you have any information please email clint_sard@hotmail.co.uk

Now, I know nothing about Mr Sard, or the Pratts for that matter.  And the whole thing might be a big spoof or an in-joke for someone. But this personal ad has caught my imagination.

I guess the chances of that generation being on Facebook or Friends Reunited or MySpace or Bebo, or any social networking site for that matter are fairly slim.  Because of course those would be the starting points for my generation.  We might lack the local networks that past generations had, but our online social networks and a bit of search engine technology, they give us the chance to find people that we might never have got hold of again…
A quick Google search reveals one Mrs Pauline Pratt on Kemsing Parish Council, one at East Kent blood transusion services, and any number of Alan Pratts in Kent, Pratt after all is a local Kentish name (rather like Thorneycroft, Ovenden, Fortescue etc.)  But I can quite understand that if you were Mr Sard you wouldn’t want to just email them randomly to enquire whether they were the same person from 40-odd years ago.

And read that ad – the mind boggles as to what actually happened. 
Did we just bear witness a 1960s Brief Encounter?   
Was Mr Sard at Sandown  alone?
Did he just happen to meet and get to know Mrs Pauline Pratt by chance? 
Just how was Mr Pratt understanding?
What happened?
What’s prompted Mr Sard to search for her now?
Is Mrs Pratt likely to be pleased to hear from Mrs Sard?
Is Mr Pratt likely to be pleased to see this attempt at re-establishing contact?

There’s so many unanswered questions in that ad.  
And so much scope for a novel!  What a fantastic potential plotline.  I didn’t know that ads like this really got placed.

So I wish Mr Sard well, and hope he gets the information he’s looking for*.
And thanks for the inspiration…

* Well, sort of.  As you know I believe in marriage, and in marriage for life.  So if it’s just to know how she’s getting on, fair enough, and if she’s now single and he’s single and getting together was ultimately what they both wanted then fair enough.  But if Mr Pratt is thriving and especially if he and Mrs Pratt actually have a relationship which is less understanding than implied, then in my view Mr Sard should be backing off…