Victoria’s Notebook

Painting Over Mother

Painting Over Mother is my entry for this week’s Mid Week Flash (week 242!), which is run by Miranda Kate. The picture this week was taken by her. Anyone can enter this weekly flash challenge. The General Guidelines can be found here. Come and write!

Painting Over Mother image- looking up at a staircase and hallway, painted white

Painting Over Mother

It was no good trying to put it off any longer. The hallway, stairs and landing hadn’t been painted since she moved in, 10 years ago now, and it was looking filthy and tired. Far from home feeling like an inviting sanctuary, Lucy found herself getting depressed as soon as she opened the door. It had to be done.

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The Rot

The ice caps are melting. The humans knew about it for ages, but, despite all their gadgets and inventions, they’re slow to learn. That used to work in our favour.

Our people weren’t worried when old diseases, long since extinct, started reappearing again. We are small in number, and solitary creatures, so there was still plenty of blood to go around. They breed so quickly, even if a few million were wiped out by plagues, there were still billions more. And it’s not like we can catch their diseases, not even if they live in the blood we drink. It wasn’t our problem.

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Resolution

As you probably know, I’m not really one to make a resolution. And don’t get me started on New Year, New You! marketing emails. This poem is more of a promise, really, to myself. Maybe make this your resolution too.

Resolution

My only quest 
for the new year
is to hunt my happy

I will seek out my song
and find the light that reflects 
from the broken dark
I will slay my demons
with a sword of laughter

I will not seek to be more than I am
to please anyone but myself
Instead I will learn to love 
every facet of who I already am

And know that is enough

My resolution this year
is to live fully 
rebelliously joyful

And taste every moment.

Invisible

I don’t really know where this story came from. I guess since it’s Solstice today, I am pondering the nature of the festive season, and how it impacts invisible people. It doesn’t have a happy ending, but neither did The little Match Girl, which heavily inspires this story I’m, at least temporarily, naming Invisible.

Invisible

Jack is as old as the wind, and a little older than the hills, and his beard could be no whiter.

His touch is cold enough to kill, so he bundles himself in thick furs and hide mittens. He won’t risk it happening again.


He can see her face even now, the invisible little match girl, lighting tiny flames to keep the cold away.

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In The Liminal

Mid-Week Flash Challenge – Week 229

It has been a while since I joined in with Miranda Kate’s mid-week flash challenge, but this little piece – which I’ve called In The Liminal for now, but I’m not sure about that title-just popped up in my head out of nowhere. It wasn’t until I was halfway through writing it that I realised it was actually set in the universe of the very first novel I tried to write: Standing Room Only On The Soulbus. Maybe one day I will return to that long since abandoned novel, now that I actually know how to write one.

If you want to join in with mid-week flash, the General Guidelines can be found here, and everyone is welcome.

This week’s photoprompt was taken by @dbereton on twitter. This was taken in a hotel in Hammersmith, London. 

In The Liminal

When you die, there is a light. That part, people have got right. Everything else….Well. It’s a bit tricky to explain to a human, no offense, because your senses are really quite limited. We do our best to make it easy on you, but often we use…let’s just say visual metaphors. Not illusions as such, but stories, to help you come to terms with the incomprehensible.

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Samsara

Production poster for Samsara – based on my short story, The Door

A few of you may remember that a couple of years ago my short story, The Door, was made into a short film by BlackCave Productions. The pandemic of course, delayed the release, but now the short film – called Samsara- based on the story is here!

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NaNo – Now What?

NaNo Now What? A guide to recovering after writing a novel

In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days, an epic sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo effort, which followed Malcolm The Werefox from A Tale of Two Princes. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021. This post is for the post NaNoWriMo slump, where you’re looking at a mess of words and thinking ‘Great, I managed NaNo! Now what?’

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Top 5 Tips for Smashing NaNoWriMo

5 top tips t smashing NaNoWriMo

In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021. This section focuses on the month of November itself, and my top 5 tips for smashing NaNoWriMo itself.

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5 Top Tips To smashing Your Preptober

5 Top Tips to Smashing Your Preptober

Getting the most out of your novel planning time

In 2020 I attempted – and managed- my biggest NaNoWriMo challenge to date: 80,000 words in 30 days, an epic sequel to my previous NaNoWriMo effort, which followed Malcolm The Werefox from A Tale of Two Princes. Along the way lots of fellow writers, and those interested in attempting the challenge themselves, asked questions about my process, but being caught up in it, I didn’t have time to fully respond. So in this mini-series I’m going to break down my processes step by step to help you make the most of NaNoWriMo 2021, starting with my Top 5 Tips to Smashing Your Preptober.

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Pool of Players – Author Interview

Regular followers of this blog will already be familiar with Miranda Kate (aka Miranda Boers) from my sporadic attempts at her regular Mid Week Flash challenge. You may not know she is also a fantastic, genre-bending author with a string of dark and twisty novels under her belt. Miranda Kate’s Pool of Players, sequel to The Game, is out today (1st June 2021), and I convinced her to take some time out of her launch day to come have a chat about the book, her attitude to writing, and what her favourite dinosaur is…

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Peter and Jane

This little slice of story has been knocking about in my head for a week or so, ever since @winklesbloke posted this picture of a very creepy traffic calming measure.

Image shows an unconvincing and creepy plastic statue of a school girl, next to a road traffic sign that warns of pedestrians in the road.  She stands around three feet high, very straight backed with her arms straight by her sides like a soldier standing to attention. She has unnaturally bright yellow hair, a painted on red school jumper, grey school skirt and red socks, with black buckle up shoes. Her eyes are piercingly bright blue.
Photo credit: @winklesbloke

She put me in mind of a being from the same dimension as Peter and Jane,* who had somehow crossed over to our world. She wouldn’t get out of my head, so I had to trap her in a story.

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My Strange Notebook

My Strange Notebook is the journal for those too chaotically creative to journal!

Contains creative prompts to help you get started with writing your own strange stories, doodle pages, pages to empty out your brain, and journal prompts to help you feel more confident, self-assurred and positive during these strange times.

Or you could just use it for your shopping lists. It’s entirely your call.

My Strange Notebook is 225 pages and the size of a standard paperback, making it easy to carry around wherever you go. The pages are fully bound so they won’t fall out, however rough you are with it.


Reviewers Say…

“You look at the prompt, think “oh, that’s daft!” then think “Yes, but…..” & have a go, and accept the challenge, & lo & behold, you’re scribbling something!
We all need a kick up the backside sometimes!”

I really love this note book.
Beautifully designed, very well made and the small touches, such as the creative prompts really make it stand out
.”

It’s chunkier & thicker than I expected & beautifully designed inside. I love it.”


Buy direct from the author and get a free pen


Order your copy on Amazon now

Fancy reading some Strange Stories to get you in the mood? Try Strange Love, Strange Worlds, A Tale of Two Princes, or Once Upon A Twisted Fairytale.

A Moment

Is A Moment a piece of flash fiction? Is it a scene in a much longer story? Is it a poem trapped in a cage of prose? I’ve no idea. But sit with me a moment and I’ll tell it to you, and you can decide.


Barefoot, she stands in the snow under the neon orange light of the lamppost, fingerless gloves hanging in tatters to hands that are gnarled by years of toil. She draws on the damp toothpick roll-up ferociously, drawing the thin blue smoke into her lungs as if it can warm her from the inside out.

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Be Water

Be water.

Flow around the challenge in your path.

Wear a trail for others to follow,

Or take the path of least resistance.

Be water.

Rise above everything sometimes.

See the world from a higher perspective.

Rain down and bring life,

Or wash things clean to start again.

Be water.

Persist, despite everything.

Wear the mountain down into sand

With gentle, lapping waves.

Be water.

Be still sometimes.

Reflect.

Become deep.

Be water.

If you enjoyed this poem, you may like the poetry in Strange Worlds – Surreal Stories and Tainted Tales. Inspired to write your own poetry? You’ll be needing a pretty notebook, with prompts designed to inspire you.


Enjoyed Victoria’s Poetry? You can find her tip jar here.

Logo to Victoria Pearson's site - A purple and black V entwined with vines of the same colours. Clicking this leads to the site donation button on paypal.

The Show Must Go On (Encore)

I realised halfway through writing this that this isn’t the first time I’ve used these particular monsters in a story and although I didn’t set out to I’ve almost written a continuation/sequel to the original here- hence this story being called The Show Must Go On (Encore).

The Show Must Go On (Encore)

Like most beasts, they are docile enough if you keep them well fed. It’s when they get hungry that they become aggressive, and then you really don’t want to be cornered by them.

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