My story Lover’s Leap, is in the November issue of Take a Break’s Fiction Feast, which should be in the shops now.
This tale was prompted by my trip to Ireland earlier this year (see, Mrs Tax Inspector, swanning about in the campervan is a perfectly legitimate business expense). We visited Loop Head, where as well as a lighthouse there’s a large chunk of rock which has broken away from the mainland. This is home to a variety of seabirds. The picture is of me attempting to get a shot of the chicks.
The birds are perfectly safe as predators (except other birds) and people can’t reach them. However there’s a legend about someone jumping across. That story and much more about the area can be found here. Gary and I have visited quite a few castles and natural features where it’s claimed people have made impossible leaps, often for love. I’m almost certain at least some of the stories were made up, so I decided to add one of my own.
My story, Luck On Her Side, is in the Autumn Special issue of The People’s Friend. As you can probably guess from the title and illustration, the story is about luck. I got the idea after hearing someone say ‘you were lucky’ to a friend who’d suffered a minor mishap. Of course they meant he was lucky not to have been more seriously inconvenienced, but it got me thinking – can what initially seem like bad luck actually be the opposite?
It can of course, in fiction at least. Not only did I get to use that idea in the story, but I also managed to work in some poetry. That’s not a strong point of mine, so I have to come up with ingenious ways to try to get it published. On this occasion, I was lucky!
A scar is the mark left on our skin after a wound has healed, or on our mind after an unpleasant event. If I were to show you a photo of my operation scars* while the staples were still in, I reckon you’d be scarred (and maybe scared too!).
A scar also the mark left on a plant stem after a leaf is removed. Plants can be scarred deliberately, by scratching them. When I was a kid, my dad scratched my and my brother’s names on tiny marrows in letters so small we couldn’t see them until the fruit swelled and the scars were clearly visible.
A scar is also a steep cliff or outcrop of rock. I think the word escarpment may be connected, but I’m not sure. I’m also not sure if this bit of rock is actually a scar**, but it’s a nice picture isn’t it?
*It was a long time ago, there’s not much to see now.
A flag, as I’m sure you know, is a piece of cloth used as a symbol of a country or organisation. Such flags can also be used to send messages or signals. You can flag up something for attention, or flag down a taxi.
Flat stones used for paving are sometimes known as flags. To flag is to become tired or less enthusiastic. Flag is also a type of iris.
Is there anything you can think of that I should have flagged, but didn’t?
Mike accuses Chloe of jumping to conclusions, creating chaos and dragging others along with her. Annoyingly he’s right. Geoff’s in no rush to tackle the wisteria. They’ve got all the time in the world for that – which is precisely what’s worrying his wife. Freya’s broken arm means she can’t enter the flower arranging competition herself. Even so, she’s not going to let Celia get away with her usual tricks.
Barbara gives her step-granddaughter a gift which just might give her a lifetime of happiness. Hospital rules mean Henry can’t take flowers to Millie, so how can he carry out The Idea? Colin is quiet and doesn’t really do much, but he has the gift of getting Cynthia out of unwanted situations.
Rhonda is a little sad to be leaving the garden she’s developed for over fifty years, but discovers a perfect alternative. Maria’s garden is looking better than ever – but who or what answered her plea for help with the design? The conservatory is as much of a wreck as Ginny, restoring one brings back the other’s joy.
Gardens, flowers, plants and people all have their stories. Beyond the garden wall is where you’ll find these tales.