To be Homeless

It could happen to anyone of us. Particularly in these Covid times. One day you could be settled in a nice house, a good job, and the next your whole world could cave in.

Helping the homeless is a charity so close to my heart. When I was a child, we could have been homeless, my parents with four young children, one of them a newborn. Thankfully an organisation in Bolton helped us and we were temporarily housed in a huge house in Farnworth with other families. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the winter of 1962 and my dad made me go out with him to find the shops. I kept complaining I was cold and my dad told me to stop moaning we were all cold and I needed to know where the shops were so I could show Mum.

That year is the first time I can remember being poorly. I now know it was a bug. I kept being sick for weeks and couldn’t keep anything down other than Oxo which Mum used to make for me. Anyway, I am digressing but if it hadn’t been for that organisation, we could have ended up on the streets. God forbid what may have happened to us in those temperatures. Especially my two-month old brother.

When I started my MA in Brighton back in 2014, I saw lots of homeless people in doorways. I’d give one person the last money I had in my purse but then there was someone in another doorway and I had nothing left to give. I’d often find myself in tears walking back to the station. It was then I realised that I couldn’t help every individual but the best way to help was through an organisation and there are quite a few.

If you look on this link from an earlier blog there are options where you can donate.

What I’m asking you to do today is to consider pre ordering a signed copy of The Montefiore Bride, @ £5.99, and all profits will go to Crawley Open House. Check here to see what this great organisation does.

The Montefiore Bride brought me a winning place with the awesome The Hedgehog Poetry Press after I entered a prickly shorts competition. I knew then that I wanted to donate all proceeds from the first run (less PayPal and p&p charges) and all profits after that. Mark Davidson at The Hedgehog Poetry press has also supplied me with my story in pdf form and that can be purchased for £2.99 and all proceeds of this will go to Crawley Open House.

So are you with me? I’m told my prose poetry short story, The Montefiore Bride is a lovely piece of work. Here’s what it’s about and a preview of the story.

The Montefiore Bride 

A Sussex Fictional Tale Based on Facts

by

Patricia M Osborne

Back in 2017 as part of MA in creative writing I was required to take up a writing residency. I chose my local Victorian Park, Worth Park, in Crawley, West Sussex. As part of my remit, I researched the park’s past going back to 19th September 1888 when Sir Francis Montefiore, the first and last Baronet of Worth Park, brought home his Austrian bride.

This short fictional West Sussex tale is based on facts from archived newspaper cuttings, black and white historic photographs and filling in the gaps with fiction.

A preview read

The Arrival – 19th September 1888

Mr Burr and I push past men in top hats and bonneted women hovering around Three Bridges. White and blue bunting shimmers in the autumn sun. Villagers grip red flags. Mr Burr and I wait with eager crowds for the half past four to arrive.

            Red carpet in position, Sir Francis steps outside. I remember his Pa before him, a good man, one to respect, the Bart’s inherited that gift. He escorts his child bride, ‘Ice and Snow.’

            Elegance in satin, her gown embroidered with pearls, she enchants onlookers. The footman opens the carriage, lifts the lady’s moon-lace train. She settles onto the seat. Her spouse slides close, smiles, kisses her hand. We all cheer.

Step back to 1888 and become part of the Victorian crowd waiting at Three Bridges Station…

Preorder your signed copy now for £5.99 plus p&p and help the homeless at the same time.

Publication date by The Hedgehog Poetry Press 14th December 2020

The Montefiore Bride – UK delivery £5.99 plus £1.00 p&p

The Montefiore Bride – A Sussex Fictional Tale Based on Facts Ensure your address on PayPal is up to date.

£6.99

The Montefiore Bride pdf format

The Montefiore Bride – sent by email. Ensure your email address is up to date.

£2.99


This beautifully presented pamphlet will make a perfect stocking filler or a little treasure for you to keep.

Order in Pdf format for £2.99 – all proceeds to Crawley Open House.


Guest feature – Elizabeth M Hurst

It gives me great pleasure to invite a fellow Swanwick Writer, Elizabeth M Hurst, back to Patricia’s Pen. Elizabeth has come along to chat about her writing journey.

My Writing Journey

by

Liz Hurst

My writing journey began, as many do, with short stories. The idea of writing something as complicated as a novel, or even a novella, seemed much too big a challenge at that stage. Besides, I was still finding my feet, my author’s voice, so to learn the art of crafting a tale just a couple of thousand words long seemed more manageable. At the time, I was going through a phase of reading rather a lot of erotica so my stories reflected that and this is how Siren Spirit began, as an erotic short story.

It was as I writing the last few lines that the story was feeling somewhat unfinished. Without realising it, I had moulded the character of Emma on myself and my own feelings of disorientation after a marriage breakup. Her sense of loss, her grief and the desire to hide away to heal were all emotions I felt around that time. I should point out, however, that the similarities end there. I have never experienced any paranormal events, sexual or otherwise.

It was after this bombshell that it became clear that I needed to concentrate less on the erotic content of the story and more on Emma herself. Enter Lewis Carrington, her neighbour.

It was a fun story to write and, when the first draft was complete, I was confident that I would eventually publish. Then I had a revelation about telling the stories of Emma’s friends, too, and thus the Lost Souls series was born. The second book, A Friend in Need, was published a couple of years later, and the third (working title Letter of Lament) is due out some time in 2021.

This whole journey has ignited an interest in history that I didn’t know I possessed. I hated the subject at school, dropping it as soon as I could. It was only when I decided to trace my family tree around ten years ago that matching actual people with history began to bring the subject to life for me. Indeed, Grace’s father in Siren Spirit, Joseph, is based on one of my ancestors, who was a blacksmith.

People often ask us, as writers, where we get our inspiration from. For me, it is everywhere – in my own life, the things I do, the places I visit and the people I meet. I just need to be open to receive it. Once I am in the right head space, ideas come thick and fast; the creativity flows like a river in flood and I struggle to get it all down on paper fast enough!

Thank you Liz, aka, Elizabeth M Hurst. It was interesting to read about your writing journey and I can certainly relate to a novel being too much of a challenge as that’s how I felt too.

Links provided below to order a copy of Elizabeth’s books but first, let’s find out a little more about Elizabeth M Hurst.



About Elizabeth M Hurst

Elizabeth has always been a voracious reader since her preschool years, so perhaps it’s not surprising that when she hit middle age, the urge for a career change brought her into the world of writing.

The Lost Souls series brings together her love of the supernatural together with romance and historical settings to create provocative stories around her central female characters.

She has recently left the world of automotive engineering to concentrate full-time on writing and her freelance editing business, and is making plans to move to the south of France, fulfilling a lifelong dream. She is keeping her fingers crossed that her two cats will forgive her at some point in the future.

Links to purchase books

Siren Spirit

A Friend in Need

Links

Website

Guest Feature – Rebecca Marsh

It gives me great pleasure to invite author, Rebecca Marsh, who has come from across the pond to chat about writing, in particular, her new book Where Hope is Found. Without further ado, let’s go over to Rebecca.

My Writing

Rebecca Marsh

Many thanks, Patricia, for having me on your blog! I have so enjoyed getting to know other authors and finding a community of support.

I started writing at the age of twelve, but I don’t write so much because I love writing, but because I have stories to tell. I’ve been asked many times where my stories come from, but for most of them, I’m not sure I know. However, once they are there, I want to share them. With each story, my greatest hope is to do it justice. There’s no greater joy than a reader telling me how one of my books affected them emotionally.

Why I write what I do

Although I enjoy reading a variety of different genres, the stories I’ve had in me to write (so far anyway) have always been emotional. Typically stories of healing that take the reader on an emotional journey and come to an uplifting ending. As I said before, I write the stories that are in me. But I think the reason these stories come to me is because emotional stories are the ones that tend to affect me the most. They are the ones that hover in my mind for a while, the ones whose characters stick with me.

That’s what I want to do with my own writing; I want to tell stories that move people, make them think, and see an experience of their own in a way they never had before. I want to give hope to my readers offering endings which leave them satisfied.

Where Hope is Found: released
Oct. 15th 2020.

Blurb

One tiny moment in time can shatter your whole world.

A family beach vacation turns to tragedy and Marissa must find a way for her and her traumatized eight-year-old daughter, Maisy, to move forward and heal. But memories of what she lost surround her, threatening to take her to a dark place; a place she can never go again.

When her brother extends an invitation for her and Maisy to move in with him on Princess Island, Marissa thinks it might just be the fresh start she needs. But can she really find hope and healing on an island surrounded by the same ocean that broke her heart? 

And here’s a treat from Rebecca as she provides an excerpt from Where Hope is Found.

Marissa’s panic grew. She began pushing her way through the crowd, not even hearing the protests people shouted.

When she reached the center of the crowd, she saw the legs of a man sticking out from behind the lifeguard who was performing CPR. Marissa sucked in a breath. She didn’t need to see his face. Staring at the bright red swim trunks, she knew right away it was Kevin.

Marissa froze in place as if time was going on without her. She wanted to scream, but no sound would come out. She couldn’t move. She could barely breathe.

Approaching sirens screamed through the wind, coming closer.

In seconds EMTs were pushing through the crowd. When they reached the center, the lifeguard stood up. He moved aside, giving Marissa a clear view … and her world shattered.

Well I hope that taster gets you buying Where Hope is Found – links are provided below for this book and Rebecca’s other publications. Before that let’s find out a little more about her.

About Rebecca Marsh

Rebecca L. Marsh is an author of women’s fiction and a member of the Paulding County Writers’ Guild. She grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and now lives in Dallas, Georgia, with her husband and daughter.

When not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family (cats and dog included), watching movies, and reading a good book. Rebecca occasionally makes home-made candy and works on her scrapbooks (she is woefully behind).

Her novels, When the Storm Ends, The Rift Between Us, and Where Hope is Found are available on Amazon in paperback and eBook form. Paperbacks are also available for order on her website.

Links to buy Rebecca Marsh’s books

Paperbacks are available on Rebecca’s website

Paperbacks and eBooks available on Amazon

Links to social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

BookBub

The Montefiore Bride

The Montefiore Bride will be published by the awesome The Hedgehog Poetry Press on 14th December 2020.

You can now pre-order your signed copy to be sent out once I am in receipt of the printed copies, or order in pdf format at a lower price and get your copy emailed to you within twenty four hours.

Profits from all copies bought through Patricia’s Pen, signed copies and in pdf format, will be donated to my local homeless shelter Crawley Open House. Check them out and see what they do.

Pre order your copy here and scroll down. Choose which version is relevant to you – Signed copy options are UK delivery – Outside of UK – Europe – Outside of UK – Rest of the World.

Pdf format – wherever you live.

The Montefiore Bride brought me a winning place in a Prickly Shorts competition earlier this year .

What’s it all about?

The Montefiore BrideA Sussex Fictional Tale Based on Facts

Back in 2017 as part of MA in creative writing I was required to take up a writing residency. I chose my local Victorian Park, Worth Park, in Crawley, West Sussex. As part of my remit, I researched the park’s past going back to 19th September 1888 when Sir Francis Montefiore, the first and last Baronet of Worth Park, brought home his Austrian bride.

This short fictional West Sussex tale is based on facts from archived newspaper cuttings, black and white historic photographs and filling in the gaps with fiction.

A preview read

The Arrival – 19th September 1888

Mr Burr and I push past men in top hats and bonneted women hovering around Three Bridges. White and blue bunting shimmers in the autumn sun. Villagers grip red flags. Mr Burr and I wait with eager crowds for the half past four to arrive.

            Red carpet in position, Sir Francis steps outside. I remember his Pa before him, a good man, one to respect, the Bart’s inherited that gift. He escorts his child bride, ‘Ice and Snow.’

            Elegance in satin, her gown embroidered with pearls, she enchants onlookers. The footman opens the carriage, lifts the lady’s moon-lace train. She settles onto the seat. Her spouse slides close, smiles, kisses her hand. We all cheer.

Step back to 1888 and become part of the Victorian crowd waiting at Three Bridges Station…

Preorder your signed copy now and help the homeless at the same time. This beautifully presented pamphlet will make a perfect stocking filler or a little treasure for you to keep.

Guest Feature – Nigel Kent

It gives me great pleasure to invite fellow poet, Nigel Kent, published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press, over to Patricia’s Pen. Nigel has come along to chat about his writing, so without further ado, let’s go over to Nigel.

My Writing

Nigel Kent

I’m so pleased to be invited by fellow Hedgehog Poetry Press author, Patricia, to talk about my writing. It’s truly rewarding to be part of such a community of writers who support and promote each other’s writing.

I have been a lifelong reader of poetry. Though my taste in poetry is fairly eclectic, I have always enjoyed most poets who write in a direct, accessible style: poets such as American Poets, Ted Kooser and Richard Jones or Welsh poet, Jonathan Edwards. This is the sort of poetry I want to write myself. Like them I try to find the extraordinary in the ordinary. I want to explore the beauty, the heroism, the tragedies and courage of everyday lives in verse that continues to resonate and move after the reader has closed the book.

In ‘Psychopathogen’, my most recent pamphlet, the poems describe the effect of these exceptional times on unexceptional people: a reluctant schoolboy; a shielded grandmother; a middle-aged married couple. I wanted to document the individual stories behind the headlines.

Similarly in my collection ‘Saudade’ my subject is the different types of loss and longing that people experience in their daily lives. See ‘Miscarried’ below.

I had my first poem published when I was 17 and was paid the princely sum of ten shillings for it. However, at university I lost confidence in my writing, when I compared it with the wonderful writing I was studying for my degree in English Literature. In retirement with nothing to lose and a lot of time on my hands, I picked up writing again and have been overwhelmed by the attention my poetry has received: I was particularly delighted to have my poem ‘Miscarried’ nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize:

Miscarried

When she lost the little girl she’d longed for
they did not try again; ‘Too old!’ he said.
She did not lie silently in a closed-curtain room;
she did not stare mutely into the unused cot.

Her grief was a howling, bared-teeth grief;
a sinew-ripping grief; a snapping, snarling grief
that locked its jaws around her throat
and swiped at both his outstretched hands.

He learned in time to tip-toe round her,
flattening himself against the nursery walls,
but he never could ignore the quiet sound
of gnawing, as it devoured her hour by hour.

*

I haven’t regretted returning to writing. Reading and writing pretty much fills my time and has become a second career. I write most days: I need to as I am a painfully slow writer, taking days to finish a poem (if a poem is ever finished!). Furthermore, I am increasingly getting out to read my poems at live and Zoom events. Sharing the poems you have written is a nerve-wracking but ultimately rewarding experience; after all, what’s the point of writing if you can’t see and hear how your poems affect the listener!

*

Thank you, Nigel for sharing about your writing. I particularly loved your ‘Miscarried’ poem as I’m sure my readers will.

*

About Nigel Kent

Nigel Kent is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet (2019), author of ‘Saudade’ and ‘Psychopathogen’, and an active member of the Open University Poetry Society, managing its website and occasionally editing its workshop magazine. He has been shortlisted for several national competitions and his poetry has appeared in a wide range of anthologies and magazines. His latest publication, Psychopathogen, has been nominated for the 2020 Michael Marks Award for Poetry Pamphlets.

Links to books

Why not order a signed copy of Nigel’s excellent poetry pamphlets?

Available from Nigel’s website

Also available unsigned on Amazon

Links

Twitter

Website

Guest Feature – Allison Symes

It gives me great pleasure to welcome back, Queen of Flash Fiction, Allison Symes. Allison has come along to talk about her new release. Without further ado it’s over to Allison.

Tripping the Flash Fantastic

Allison Symes

Hello, Allison Symes, flash fiction writer and blogger for Chandler’s Ford Today, here. Many thanks to Patricia for inviting me back on to her blog. Further to my interview here, just over a year ago, I am delighted to announce my second flash fiction collection has now been published by Chapeltown Books.

Following on from my debut book, From Light to Dark and Back Again, my new book Tripping the Flash Fantastic takes you back in time. I also take you into some truly criminal minds, into fantasy worlds, and show you how motherhood looks from the viewpoint of a dragon. I hope you enjoy the journey!

I loved writing this book and it is such a thrill to see it published. Collections take a while to get together and, as with any book, so much unseen work goes on behind the scenes. It was also great to be working with indie publisher, Chapeltown Books, again.

What was nice here was having input into the cover design. The choice of image wasn’t my first, funnily enough. Due to the nature of Chapeltown’s square frame, I needed an image that would work well within that, my first choice didn’t, and so I looked again for another image. I think what I have chosen is better than my first idea. There’s a lesson to be learned there I think!

Why write flash fiction?

Flash fiction has been my great writing passion since I discovered the form in 2013. I had been writing short stories and having them regularly published on Cafelit, the online story magazine, when they issued their 100-word challenge.

My first thought on reading that was you have to be kidding me! How can you tell a story in so few words? A proper story that is! My second thought was well they wouldn’t have issued the challenge if it really was impossible, would they? Give it a go!

So I did and quickly became addicted to the challenge of writing the very short form of story. I think I love it so much because I’ve always enjoyed the character creation aspect of writing fiction. With flash, I’m inventing new characters all the time so win-win for me here.

Flash has to be character led simply because you haven’t the room for a lot of description but that in turn gives these short stories immediacy and pace, which I’ve always loved. The challenge of coming up with unforgettable characters and situations is always fun to try and meet! The great thing too is I can set my characters wherever and whenever I want to – for that, flash fiction is remarkably flexible. And even within the upper word count limit of 1000 words, there is much that can be done. I’ve written across the spectrum though my natural home is sub-500 words.

I’ll be holding a cyberlaunch for Tripping the Flash Fantastic on Saturday, 10th October between 7.00 and 9.30 pm. There will be quizzes and prizes amongst other fun things.  I also plan to share some of the stories from my new book and discuss how and why I wrote them as I have. If you have any questions about flash fiction, I’d be delighted to answer them. Hope to see you there! Join the event HERE

Where to Find Allison Symes

Amazon Author Central Page

Website

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Book Page – Advice on Flash Fiction

Chandler’s Ford Today – weekly topics of interest to writers

Cafelit Page

Don’t forget the launch for Allison Syme’s new release, Tripping the Fantastic, is Saturday 10th October 2020 7:00-9:30pm over on Facebook.

My Writing Journey

It was a delight to be invited over to Beth Haslam’s, a fellow writer and friend, blog today to chat about my writing journey. This could be of interest. Why not pop along here and see what I had to say.

Beth visited Patricia’s Pen in July this year to talk about her writing – in the event you missed it, or would like a reminder, read what she had to say here.

Podcast – Reading three poems

I am chuffed to bits to be part of Damien B Donnelly’s Eat the Storms podcast. You’ll find me reading three of my poems. The first two from Taxus Baccata ‘Seagull Sequence’ and ‘Oak of Avalon’ and the final one from an upcoming anthology ‘Cupid’s Arrow’ to be published in December 2020 by The Hedgehog Poetry Press. My poem is ‘All I have to do is Dream.’

Listen to the podcast: Episode 4 – Eat the Storms- A Host of Hedgehogs

You will find me at 11:13 – but listen to the whole podcast – you won’t be sorry.

A signed copy of Taxus Baccata makes a great Xmas stocking filler, tree or table present. Order your signed copy here