J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

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writing 101. Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View

Day Eighteen: Hone Your Point of View
The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.
Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.
First person, second person, third person, whew! Point of view is a type of narrative mode, which is the method by which a story’s plot is conveyed to the audience. Point of view reveals not only who is telling the story, but also how it is told. Consider a recent short story published on The Worship Collective, “Funny Things,” in which the narrator is a child who has passed away.
Need a refresher on first-person narration? Recall Scout Finch, the six-year-old first-person narrator of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Scout tells the story through her eyes:
It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.
“‘Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.”
Today’s twist: For those of you who want an extra challenge, think about more than simply writing in first-person point of view — build this twelve-year-old as a character. Reveal at least one personality quirk, for example, either through spoken dialogue or inner monologue.
Refer to some of the exercises we’ve done on character, dialogue, and even sentence length to help craft this person. All of these storytelling elements can combine to create a strong point of view.
No one from the neighbourhood, but me has come out to watch them people hammering at Mrs. Pauley’s door. Since from the time I can remember, Mrs. Pauley has always been part of this street. She had sons like me, but they are all grown up and gone now, I can kind of remember what they look like, but they don’t come visit like what they used to do. My Mum said she don’t want me to be like that, she said my time will come when I will want to leave home but I don’t think that will ever happen, but mum just laughs and says, “You’ll see.” and then she says she hopes I’ll come home at Christmas time and on her birthday to say hello and to remember that she has always done her best.
I asked mum if Mrs Pauley had done her best and mum said, “Yes.” and then busied her herself with the washing up and told me to go out side and get some sunshine.

I didn’t really know Mr. Pauley, he seemed to be angry a lot of the time. Whenever he started shouting and stuff, mum would call me indoors and tell me to play in the back garden or in my bedroom.
Three month back, Mr. Pauley suddenly died and there was a lot of noise from the ambulance and police cars that sped into our road. The thing is, it’s not a road as you can only get to the end bit before you have to turn round again to get out. Me, mum, dad and my sister Beverley all stood at our gate and watched as they brought Mr. Pauley out, he was all covered up in a black bag and you couldn’t see his face. Mum said that it wasn’t a good sign and I asked her why and she said not to ask. Beverley told me later that Mr. Pauley had died in suspicious circumstances. I asked Beverley what that meant and she said Mr. Pauley had been murdered by Mrs. Pauley, that she had had enough and had pushed him down the stairs.
When I asked mum, she said not to say things like that because they may not be true. I asked her if they could be true, but mum told me not to mention it again.
I heard mum say that it was a disgrace that none of Mrs. Pauley’s boys had been to see her and that she was going to go round, but dad said it was best not to get involved.
For the next few weeks I would sit right here on the doorstep and watch Mrs. Pauley’s house. I told myself that if she came out of her house I would run over and say that i didn’t believe that she had killed Mr. Pauley and that if she wanted to come and live with us for a while that I would give her my bedroom and I would sleep on the sofa downstairs.
I had thought about saying that I would sleep in her house, but then I thought that Mr. Pauley might come back as a ghost and be angry with me for being in his house and so I decided not to mention that bit.
I think Mrs.Pauley must go out late at night after i’ve gone to bed because I have never saw her come out and I have never saw anyone go in. I then thought that Mrs. Pauley might go out at night and get her shopping from the late night shop down Harper Street. I then got even more worried for Mrs. Pauley as that shop only sells things in tins and nothing fresh.
I got a call from mum to say she had made me a sandwich. I didn’t want to go in as the police and some other people had gone inside Mrs. Pauley’s, but not come out for a long time. I then decided that I would grab my sandwich and take it over for Mrs. Pauley. I ran into the house as quick as I could and picked up the sandwich’s from my plate and mum shouted at me to not drop them and make a mess and then I ran outside and I checked the road and saw the police car and the black car had gone.
There was a note on Mrs. Pauley’s door and I ran over and I read the note but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. The only word I could read was, Eviction Notice. Do Not Remove, Keep Out.

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Writing 101, day 15.

Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force.

How does that make you feel?

 

I couldn’t get into this prompt, so I have revisited an old story and tidied it up to give, Bobby his own distinctive voice.

 

Bobby.

Image from laughingshed.blogspot.com

Charity shop.

 

I work in a charity shop. It’s the one down the road, do you know it? The manageress at work, Mrs. Clarke, she says compared to the others, her charity shop has the best selection of good quality clothes and knick-knacks.

When I get into work each morning, Mrs. Clarke says, “Make us a cup of tea, Bobby. You know how I like it.”
I then say, “Julie Andrew’s, white nun.”
That means milk no sugar. I like saying it, as it makes Mrs. Clarke laugh. I laugh with her, but I don’t really get the joke.

I got myself a really nice suit the other day. The lady that brought it into the shop said it use to be her husband’s. She said he had wanted to get buried in it, but she thought it was far too nice, so she brought it in thinking someone else might get some use from it.

When the lady left, Mrs Clarke chucked it in the rag pile, saying it was out of fashion and stank of mothballs. I didn’t think it was that bad. I asked Mrs Clarke if I could have it and she just rolled her eyes and nodded and sold it to me for fifty pence.Prince of Wales Check

I have a friend called Joe-Joe, who lives in the basement flat from me. Mum don’t like me spending time with Joe-Joe, she said she don’t trust him; she says his got shifty eyes and thin lips.

When I showed Joe-Joe my suit, he said it was nice and that it could be worth something. He said the pattern is what you call, a Prince of Wales Charles Check.

The trousers are too long, but I just roll them up. The jacket’s a little on the large side… Little and Large, Do you remember them? Me and my mum saw them once on the end of the pier in Brighton… The fat one was tucking into a bag of chips and a jumbo sausage, while the skinny one was handing out leaflets about being a Christian. I wanted to take the leaflet, but mum pulled me back, saying I didn’t need me head filled with such nonsense.th

What was the skinny one’s name? Em…Tommy! That’s it, Rock on Tommy… Nah hang on, I’m getting him muddled up now in’t I, that was Cannon and Ball. I love them too!th-1 They were back on the telly a while back. Do you remember them doing that comedy sketch about Double-glazing, ‘You buy one, you get one free, I say you buy one you get one free.’

Mum told me off in the end for singing that over and over. She said it was making her skull crack and I’d better stop, otherwise she’d crack my skull and then I’d be sorry.

Do you know my mum? I’ve always, and mean always, thought my mum to be the spitting image of the Queen Mum. Not now the Queen Mum’s dead, no, before that, when she used to walk around and wave.

My mum don’t like any of the Royals, except Princess Diana. Mum always hoped that Princess Diana would do one of them royal visits and come to our flat. She’s got this tea service from when she was married but never used. She used to say If Diana came to visit, then she could drink from one of the bone-china cups but she never did, and now she’s dead.th-4

My Mum blames Camilla. My mum says Camilla is a nymphomaniac, whereas Diana th-6was a true lady, that’s why Prince Charles liked Camilla more than his wife and that is why he left Princess Diana. Mum says all men are like that.

Me mum, she don’t like me saying that she looks like the Queen Mum, ‘cause she says the Queen Mum had filthy teeth, whereas her teeth are nice.

This morning, Joe-joe came round. Mum was still in bed and so I put her false teeth in and pretended to be Mum. We were making so much noise laughing, that mum came in to my bedroom. When she saw that I had her teeth in my mouth, she really told me off. She said it would be my own fault if I caught anything from her, as she hadn’t had a chance to give them a rinse from the night before.
I spat em teeth, right out, ‘cause I remembered hearing mum being sick in the kitchen sink last night. She had one of her fancy men over. She always drinks too much when she’s entertaining; she says it helps.
Blimey, is that the time! I better get back to the shop, Mrs. Clarke  don’t like me being back late, she says it’s a sign of bad breeding. It’s been really nice talking to you. If you’re passing, pop into the shop as Mrs Clarke says her charity shop has the best selection of good quality clothes and knick-knacks.

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Have a Word Summer Special

Founder of Have A Word

Founder of Have A Word

Ellis Collins, the brainchild behind Brighton literary event, Have a Word, returns for a summer special on 27th August, at the Latest Music Bar, Manchester Street. An all male line-up promises to be an exciting and diverse range of poetry, story telling and music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poet

poet

Nicolas Collins first collection of poetry, Washing the Duvet, spanned the life of a gay man exploring subjects: love, lust and loss with equal amounts of soul searching and humour through personal experience and wry observations of the world around him with a panache of exploring the world of cats! For the Have a Word Summer Special, Nicolas will be reading from his new collection of poetry.
Nicolas’s first book, Washing the Duvet will be on sale on the evening and from amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Where all the neighbours are a nightmare.

Glenn Stevens passion is the short story, taking great pleasure in dissecting the world of suburban gothic in his collection of stories, Blanche Street: where all the neighbours are a nightmare, available on the night to download as an ebook. He will be reading the Brighton based tale, Dead Famous.

During a ghost walk in Brighton’s Lanes, Bryan bumps into Janice and Nick. As a new boy in town, Bryan is pleased to meet such a nice couple. Even better, Janice loves the fact that Bryan longs to be a writer, an actor or someone famous. With their help he will be, but at what cost?
www.blanchestreet.co.uk (website coming very soon)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novelist

Novelist

Liam Murray Bell who will be reading second novel,The Busker, published by Myriad in May 2014 and Scottish Book Trust 2014 Pick of the Year.

“A modern-day ballad set across three cities and two years, The Busker is a richly comic exposé of the music industry, the occupy movement, homelessness, squatting — and failing to live up to the name you (almost) share with your hero. It is also the story of what survives when the flimsy dreams of fame fall apart.”
www.liammurraybell.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer, song writer.

Singer, song writer.

Paul Diello is a Brighton based singer songwriter and it is a real treat that he will be bringing his soul drenched songs to Have a Word Summer Special, singing songs from his second album, Looking Glass, including new double side single, (I am) a Voodoo Doll, reminiscent of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond in both sound an dark lyrics, with the flip side bringing Paul’s soulful sound to the Bronski Beat/Jimmy Somerville classic, Small Town Boy

www.pauldiello.com

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