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  • Oooooo a beautiful love story but so much melancholy lurking in the background. What a sad situation. Alas, I think, all too common. I thought you kept the gentle pace beautifully even throughout and neither character took centre stage more than the other. This was a wonderfully rounded piece of writing

  • Awwwwwww – I’m a sucker for a good old traditional love story. Thanks for this. I really enjoyed the conversational pace throughout – and the switches in perspective. So glad it all worked out for them in the end 🙂

  • Jeepers! This gives Santa’s naughty list a whole new meaning! Another great, pacey story with lots of mystery and intrigue. You always seem to be able to keep that momentum flowing at a tremendous rate. Lots of sinister undertones here and you have great skill in dropping just enough ‘hints’ here and there – that you don’t even notice are hints…[Read more]

  • Ahhhhhhh, with all the crap that’s been flying around the world this year I have to say I’m a sucker for a good old gentle, sweet, traditional Christmas story. Thank you for this, Pam. I especially love love LOVE (did you get that I love this bit?) the fact that she wakes up to just one present – so much more special that a ‘pile’ of plastic gifts…[Read more]

  • ‘Don’t call me that.’ Hen glowered and turned away to join her friend.

    ‘You love me really, Henrietta, you can’t deny it,’ Tom yelled after her, feeling thoroughly proud of himself. Yet again he had succeeded i […]

    • Hi Ruth,
      Thanks for an enjoyable tale and reference to all things of a ‘fowl’ nature😉. It made for an original Christmas story. The pace was great and it kept me reading. The only thing I would mention was that it did feel a bit disjointed going from the girls to the cottage and back. I couldn’t quite get the link between them – unless the girls and Tom were poultry? Sorry to be slow on the uptake.
      Thanks for an entertaining read. May I be the first here to wish you the compliments of the season.🍗🍗

    • Oh I loved this Ruth. I very nearly caught on when I read ‘Hen’ at the beginning and then I thought, no, don’t be silly, it can’t be. Only when I got to the end I realised you had me – they were the turkeys! I had to go straight back and read it all again to understand how you did it and it was all in there, I’d just missed it. Very cleverly done and most enjoyable. Great way to finish the year, well done.

    • Hi Ruth,

      Well, I thought the old fashioned names were those of the craftworkers. I was well and truly slow on the uptake right to the end! 😂 But it explained the dieting! A great yarn altogether.
      I wonder if you might think about italicising the parts where Hen, Mildred and Tom are talking just for a wee bit of clarity for the slow ones like me.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • Very clever writing. I only picked up in the end that the characters were the turkeys. Good job.

    • Such a fun story, I loved it. I too thought it was the turkeys at the beginning of the story, but you cleverly changed my mind in the middle and then got me again at the end. Very clever indeed. Well done.

  • How lovely. I enjoyed this so much – the slight overtone of suspense, of waiting for something to happen, without it being overdone. A really nice tension and wonderful description. Great balance between dialogue and prose and I love how it’s so beautifully ’rounded’ in its own right (even if it’s a Part II) – beginning and ending with Aram. Loved it.

  • Fabulous. The tension was palpable. I think I was holding my breath for most of this. There’s a hill in my hometown of Dublin that is notorious for ‘choreographed’ smash ‘n’ grabs and I’ve been the victim of one of them. I think you’ve described this so perfectly – the tension, the relief as he moves away, the completely unexpected turn of events…[Read more]

  • Haha. This reminds me of me – exactly the kind of thing I’ve occasionally done in the past when my sneaky daughter was throwing a fake sickie from school!! I loved this. My only question mark might be that I couldn’t work out the relationship. It could be husband/wife (I wondered if it was going to be a secret lover) – or mother/daughter – could…[Read more]

  • Haha Lovely story. Enjoyed it thoroughly – especially since I have a very young puppy lying at my feet right now. Think he’s more likely to lick any intruders to death but your story gives me hope 🙂 Very sweet take on the prompt.

  • Haha Very clever, succinct and, sadly, topical. I raced through this – couldn’t stop reading once I’d started. Super piece of writing and fabulous take on the prompt.

  • Lucy Wethersby-Higginsbottom was not privy to the complaints on the local kind, caring Neighbourhood Watch site. You know the kind. Where virtue signalling is second to none.

    Anybody know the homeless woman that […]

    • Hi,
      The story was easy to read and the topic was an interesting choice. I enjoyed reading your story. The ending could easily have been another scene in the story instead of the reader just being told (show, do not tell). Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Oh my Ruth. This is a little gem. I love the circularity of the story, beginning with the critics’ assumptions and closing with the truth. So poignant and a sharp reminder not to judge a book by its cover. I especially like the matter-of fact style of the story, while telling such an enormous tale of grief and the struggle to go on with leading a worthwhile life. Did I mention I loved it? I loved it.

    • This is a lovely, if sad, story and as Susan said, a great reminder not to judge people based on appearances and assumptions. Lucy sounds like such a wonderful person, undeserving of such an end. I’m glad she had Poppet to care for her, as no one else did. The narrative and prose are well done, the story reads easily has great pace and flow. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Ruth. Your story is a wonderful peek at the other side of a homeless person. One that we often don’t see although we may try to imagine who they really are. I did find the ending a bit sudden. I needed to be led into her demise and felt that the point you were trying to make in the story – don’t judge, was already made and didn’t need that punch at the end. I agree with Mara – a bit more showing in that last paragraph would allow the reader to be more immersed in your MC’s plight. Well done and thank you for sharing.

    • What a lovely and sad tale Ruth, and told with such care. I love how you ‘answered’ each unsubstantiated claim. A beautifully told story; well done.

  • WATCH OUT!

    Elsie jumped back as a car zoomed past, both driver and passenger gesticulating angrily and yelling out the window at her. Oh how she hated towns with their traffic, their fumes, their high buildings […]

    • You made me giggle! Mama Bear with a blue rinse? LOL! Poor Mr. Perkins. You let me suffer right along with him.

      Such an interesting take on the prompt, Ruth! Lovely flow. I enjoyed it very much.

    • What a colourful character you have presented here! It is a very unusual story and I enjoyed reading it. I was a little annoyed by the judgemental insurance man, as she cannot help being who she is. A great read!

    • Oh Ruth – you got me! I absolutely didn’t see that coming. Very very clever. When I read it again, of course you had laid an excellent trail, but the story was so engaging I ripped past it and didn’t twig. The name, the chairs, the beds – I feel such a fool not picking up the hints, I even read straight over the bear-sized belch, enjoying the originality of the description. All I can say is, this is just terrific and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done!

    • Hi Ruth,
      You made me chuckle at the end. Like Susan, I didn’t appreciate who Mrs Edwards was until I finished reading it, and then it all made sense (especially the smell!). One of the areas that I have difficulty in writing is humour. This story was priceless. You, evidently have the knack. Very descriptive with the dialogue moving it along. It gripped me. Thank you for an excellent read.

  • Gosh! I think I just wandered through a dream lol I loved this but I was confused at times as to who was speaking and to whom. The short sharp dialogue did wonders for the pace but I think it also led me to read more quickly than I normally would and I missed bits? That’s not your fault, it’s mine haha On second reading it was much clearer. It was…[Read more]

  • Ooooooo – great chapter. Love the cliffhanger at the end. I really enjoyed the MC’s confusion of what was dream, what wasn’t. I liked the detail of the alien’s touch allowing Andy to understand the language – this always annoys me when it’s not explained lol I thought the short paragraphs really gave your story pace and kept it moving along…[Read more]

  • Haha Another gem, Susan. You never disappoint. Such easy, engaging dialogue – and just enough ‘hints’ dropped every now and then to keep the reader intrigued and wondering exactly how this was going to end … and most importantly, would he obey her wishes and stay in the cafe – or would he save her? This was so much fun. Love the reference to…[Read more]

  • Haha – loved the gentle ‘glide’ through all the emotions – bewilderment, sadness, humour, contentment … Really loved the gentle humour running through the fantasy element and it was great that you kept the suspense right until the end. We never had an inkling of exactly how this was going to turn out! Thoroughly enjoyed this story x

  • Haha oh my goodness, this story started off wonderfully and just got better and better. What a twist at the end – I did NOT see that coming. Laughed my head off. What a brilliant BRILLIANT fun read. Utterly gorgeous. You definitely need to publish this.

    Only one sentence slowed me down – at the beginning you have a repeat of a word in the same…[Read more]

  • THANK YOU so much for taking the time, Nonie. I honestly didn’t expect it. Amazing. I’ve lived abroad for many years and things have ‘snuck in’ so I really appreciate your comments and I’ll certainly use them as I edit. Hugely appreciated 🙂 xx

  • Thank you so much, Chantel. I honestly didn’t expect this story to go in the direction it did – as I wrote the emails it sort of unfolded and took twists that I hadn’t thought of previously so it was a lot of fun 🙂

  • Hi Nonie. Thanks so much for your comments. Really perceptive – I’ll go back and make the relationships clearer 🙂 x

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Ruth Nolan

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@ruthy

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