• Peggy, what a fabulous read. You’ve brought your travels alive. I almost want to go there myself. You really captured the fun, the exhilaration, the frustrations, the ups and the downs. Probably the most interesting travel blog I’ve read in a long time xx

  • Oh, Annalie, you’ve done it again. How beautiful is this. Like soft raindrops of words. You are so lyrical and this was gentle and emotive and thoroughly gorgeous. Thank you.

  • Sit back and ‘watch them’ having the conversation. Type exactly what you hear 🙂 You’ve got this. Dialogue is loads of fun and allows you to really show the characters – posh or rough ‘n ready, snooty, grumpy ……. lol

  • Haha Thank you, Susan. It was all a bit last-minute (got my dates muddled) and I was in one of those slightly irritated moods. I had no idea where this was going, but I might hang on to a couple of these characters and see where they take me. I’m glad you enjoyed the last line. From the beginning when I decided she was going to have a typewriter I…[Read more]

  • Gosh – far too complimentary. Thank you so much, Joanna. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • Oh – this is so clever. Don’t know why I’m sounding so surprised! Another gem (no pun intended) from you, Susan. Again, you draw the reader in and then shackle them until the very last word – there’s no ‘pausing for sec’ – no chance to take a breather … that phone will have to keep ringing (I’ll call them back) ’cause I’m in the middle of…[Read more]

  • Great title!! I really enjoyed the pace of your story, even if the names seem to have got a little mixed up. Like someone else said, new line/para every time somebody different is speaking will help clear up the dialogue. I think you kept the rhythm of this very well, but breaking up with more dialogue will really help move it along – and gives us…[Read more]

  • Fabulous. You caught my attention at the very first line and I couldn’t stop reading. What a wonderfully, imaginative story. Great ending, too. I’m still picturing an orchestra with fiddles, banjos and a double bass lol

  • Simply delightful. Wouldn’t change a thing. Beautiful imagery, lovely, easy conversation. Gorgeous.

  • What a gloriously beautiful day. The sun not only peaked out from behind a single fluffy white cloud but cast her rays on every manicured lawn and spread warmth on every beloved flower bed, her light and gentle […]

    • Oh this is so lovely. The lightness of M Keyes, and such fun characters. I really enjoy your pacing too. More please.

    • How is it you can make me read in an Irish accent? That’s brilliant, that is. I really enjoyed the contrast between Concepta’s battle to remain positive in what sounds like a pretty downbeat place, but it’s her exasperation with her writing that creased me up – your final line was a joy!

      • Haha Thank you, Susan. It was all a bit last-minute (got my dates muddled) and I was in one of those slightly irritated moods. I had no idea where this was going, but I might hang on to a couple of these characters and see where they take me. I’m glad you enjoyed the last line. From the beginning when I decided she was going to have a typewriter I knew the last line had to be running out of ribbon (oh, those days hahahaha). It was fun. I’m glad you enjoyed it x

    • Loved the contrast between Concepta’s apparent grumpiness and overall negative opinion of the village and its occupants to her desire to write positive and happy thoughts. The last line was priceless – just as she found her resolve and her muse, she’s plunged right back into the realism of her existence. Well done, Ruth, thanks for the fun read.

    • Hey, again Ruth and how goes it? I really enjoyed your disguising this as a comedic piece, that bit about Jack Whatshisname blowing himself apart after falling off his roof made me sit up. I enjoyed Concepta’s voice and the fact that she hid her own dark thoughts under a veneer of politeness with the other villagers. I found myself a bit confused with the slightly different voices you used, in the instances where your narrator addresses the reader directly, though. I’m still trying to figure out if I missed a clue that explains this difference in tone. I loved the dialogue, as well as all that last bit where Concepta loses her resolve is priceless. Well done and all the best. Regards, Seyi

    • Hi Ruth, Your last line was perfect! And was so glad Jack got his comeuppance! The one thing that niggled a little for me, and it was only a little, was the fact the narrator sometimes used ‘ye’ and sometimes ‘you’. I loved this line:Butterflies flitted and flirted with bees and another creature delights and Jimmy Fadden’s cows looked up from their chewing and sometimes followed her across the paddock. Thank you for your story.

    • Hi Ruth,
      I loved your story! Your sense of humour is priceless; a cheerless village called Jewel! I like the pace, the voice, the language and especially the down to earth ending. Thank you for sharing.

    • Oh my, this Concepta is in a foul mood. The story left all sorts of questions for me – why does she find herself here, among things and people she dislike so much. Why does she need to write about something good, while she wants to spit poison. I love what you did with the prompt.

    • Hello Ruth, the language makes reading your story a lot of fun. All the details and elements you used to create the contrast make for a fascinating picture of the village. The irony is great and makes for a good laugh.

  • 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.

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Ruth Nolan

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