Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category

GOTHAM- Nick Earls 1417







#FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #NickEarls  #E-BOOK-Gotham  #KINDLESingles  #StephenKing  #AUDIOBooks  #Writing  #Writers    #ShortStories  #E-Books

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Mitchell Freeway photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The train I catch to the city rides on a railway line between the North and South lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.  I loved gazing at the cars streaming on their way to or from work.  Comfortable in the air-conditioned, clean and very fast, with someone-else-driving carriage, I filled my notebooks as other commuters wondered what I was saying about them.

Short stories and poems written on my train journeys between Edgewater Station and Perth City, appeared in my book  Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey  and later  separately, in my Rail Tales chapbook. (Both books are sold out.)

Trips into Town.

However, there is a game I play on my way to work. Wearing my HBF corporate uniform, another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons.

When the no-name monotony gets too much, I shrug off that persona and step into my imagination.

On the most normal and usual of journeys to and from work, strange things happen because I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday. It seems that when I touch it, caress it, the cold metal seems to warm.

I can actually feel his love, the time he took to find exactly the right broach, the money he saved and his joy when I opened the wrapping, laughing and smiling with obvious delight.

A different me seemed to take over: moveable me, a nebulous entity able to drift like an invisible tide on air thick with wanting. I could change my life – become someone else by feeling envy or wishing for what others seemed to have…

Though the first time it happened, I was terrified.

Work at the Bank held no attraction that day.  In fact, I had finished up the previous day out of balance, fully expecting my pretentious I-play-the-game supervisor to take me to task.  Not a workday to look forward to.

So with the announcement “Next station Perth”, I was focusing my energies on someone who seems to have it all.

As we squealed into the Leederville Tunnel, the lights flickered then dimmed. I don’t know why but in that fraction of black, a thrill of anticipation ran through me.

The last person I concentrated on wore a lot of good jewellery, expensive clothes, bag and shoes.  She was attractive, with immaculate nails.  When the lights burned fully again, I was wearing the expensive clothes, lots of jewellery and immaculate nails. I had shed myself, metamorphosed into this perfect being.

What next?

Unlimited credit cards, meeting a friend for lunch on The Terrace, more shopping – check out the bank account and then, pop into the Italian jewellery for a new bracelet. I would of course decline dinner at the Hyatt because I have to get back to feed my cat.

Do I still have a cat?  Who’ll feed Soxies?

This dream couldn’t last and I had to try to return to my own skin but first, I had to find myself.  A creature of habit, I make sure I get the same train every night, waiting in the usual place on Platform 2 with sore feet and tired stance.

Just managing to board before the doors swished shut, I gratefully sat down. As the carriage pulled away from the station, I placed ‘her’ handbag between my feet.

We swayed to the left and the lights flickered then dimmed. There’s the fraction of black again and I concentrated, staring at ‘myself’ two seats away, firmly clutching Angela’s purchases.

It couldn’t really happen. My family would wonder how I managed to acquire such gorgeous clothes and new jewellery on my wage. They’d think I had a secret admirer and why weren’t they told?

They don’t know about the games I play to relieve the boredom. 

It’s all in my head of course…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Prose&Poetry  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #TrainStories  #RidingTheRails  #TrainWriting  #TrainStories

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Wise words from MLC’s Patrick Cotter – one of the best festival organisers in the writing world: 

How to Put on a Poetry Festival: Patrick Cotter on the Cork International Poetry Festival 2016


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #PatrickCotter  #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry  #CorkInternationalFestival   #GO’DPoetryComp


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Munster Literature Centre puts their journal “Southword” on-line – treat yourself to some excellent poetry and short stories…




@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #GerryMurphy  #AfricMcGlinchey #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry

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Just to let everyone know, I’m busy taking my e-books off Kindle but leaving a couple of print versions of poetry books available on Amazon.

Soon after they were published on Amazon/Kindle, I found the mss available for free download (elsewhere) on the net.    I reported it to Amazon who said they had been copied illegally…  (?)  Not happy, Jan!

I want to try another publishing vehicle to see what their service is like and will let you know as soon as I have set it up.

#FrancesMForde  #E-BOOK:E-males  #E-BOOK:MeetingMrX  #E-BOOK:LoveYouMum  #E-BOOK:Overtime

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There’s something about Perth people.  Although our beautiful sprawling city feels like a small town, our people think internationally.

So I wasn’t at all surprised to see my sister-in-law had unearthed another ‘treasure’  here in Perth – one I was familiar with through the romcom (one of my all-time favourites)  “Notting Hill” and that garden scene.

Like my sister-in-law, I am also intrigued to find out who ‘Rodd and Nicole 2002′  are or were.   So, I let my imagination fill in words:

Bench space…

Rodney. What makes you think I’d want a rotten wooden bench with tombstone writing on it?  Ewwww.  A scabby reminder of old people who sat together in some cold and miserable place in England, years ago?  And it must have cost thousands to get over here…. why didn’t you just go to Tiffany’s in King St?  You know I like new stuff… not crappy used things that no-one else wants anymore.  Really Rodney – get a life!

Where’s the romance in that, Nicole?

Who wants romance – bling’s the thing Rod.  I love it when you introduce me to your friends, like at ‘Muse’ the other night.  Everyone loved my outfit – I’m a Perry girl through and through!

I thought we had a ‘life’, together or were at least were building one.  You’re not just – and why were you smoking again?  Who was that bloke outside?  You could be pregnant…

Roddy, Roddy, Roddy, chill already.   Speaking of Alex – do you want to come watch me try on my Perth Cup outfit?  I have to order early… he’s making it in blue, to match my eyes.  Perhaps we could visit Tiffany’s again, something Sapphire-ish?

Nicole, we don’t seem to be on the same page – if we ever were.  Did I tell you, I bumped into an old friend?  Her name is Alex too…

About the preggers thing, Roddy… I got the injection when I went to the doc about a boob job.

You don’t need one!

It’s my body! Just increase my card limit and I’ll surprise you one day, hey?

Yes, about the card.  I’ve cancelled it.

What?  Did you get me another one?  American Express is better, I’ve heard.

Alex is a lawyer.  We met at UWA.  Did I tell you…

My bum’s numb from this friggin’ bench.  Can we go back to the hotel now? 

I wanted you to see what I’d done with it – wanted to let other people enjoy it, feel the romance, like I did.

Great idea, Roddy.  Can we go now?

Go where, Nicole?  You won’t even give me bench space…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014 

#FrancesMForde  #PerthDailyPhoto  #ShortStory

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Newly released Christmas Books.  Now we’re well and truly into November, the shops (and the net) have started their Christmas campaigns and everywhere I turn, I see tinsel.


We’re sending out invites for our usual family Christmas Party and hubby and nephew are practicing their guitars for the carols.


I do LOVE this time of year – just wish my purse felt the same.

This year, I shall be going back to making most of my pressies – sewing or cooking or writing…

But wait!

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I HAVE a book which would make the PERFECT Christmas Gift for littlies:  “Santa’s Swim”  – although I only have a few paperback copies left.

My inspiration was a little Santa Statue from on top of our Christmas cake and my daughter asking for it.

When I was growing up in Africa it was a favorite ritual for Mum and I to make the Christmas cake.  As I got older, I confess, a lot of the hilarity came from tasting the whiskey before adding to the fruit.  Such great memories, now my Mum is no longer available to hug!


‘Santa’s Swim’ is inspired by treasured memories, of Nanna and her Christmas Cake and Santa, who presided over it.  When Nanna dies, young Mandy wears the little statue on a string to keep Nanna close.  On the beach, one day,  the string breaks and unknown to Mandy, Santa goes for a swim.  Now Santa’s lost, will Mandy ever find him again?  And does it mean she’s lost her Nanna too?


 Buy the Book:  $15 each with FREE postage in Australia.

#FrancesMacaulayForde”  #BOOK:Santa’sSwim  #ChristmasBooks  #Children’sPictureBook  #Nanna&Christmas  #Grandparents  #LosingNanna



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PP Sue H

Were you ever naughty as a child?

Yes – of course but I could smile and charm my way out of any frown.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Anything that sparkles: smiles, sunlight and serious jewels.

Did you have a favorite teacher at school?

My French teacher was strict but always looked like a fashion model straight from Paris, with exquisite accessories.

Where do you most like to read?

Snuggled up in bed when it’s cold or on the patio when it’s not too hot, but I do most of my reading these days sitting in front of my computer in my study, surrounded by the written word!

Which childhood books stick in your mind?

The ‘Royal Book of Ballet’ by Shirley Goulden, illustrated by Maraja, published by Follett 1962. Stories of famous ballets; Nutcracker, Petrushka, Swan Lake, Copelia, Sleeping Beauty… then there’s also anything by Enid Blyton: Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, Noddy etc etc.

Where are all the books in your house?

All around me in my study, in the lounge, family room, passage to the bedrooms, in my bedroom plus I have boxes in storage too!

Did you ever fail at anything? Or what are you hopeless/worst at?

Often!  I absolutely freeze at exams no matter how much I’ve studied and usually know the answers…   But I’m also very good at running away or hiding at the first sign of success.

My mother (or father) always told me to ….

Do my best.

Do you have a favorite word?

No – far too many (seriously) to choose from. 

If you could invite anyone (past or present) to dinner, who would it be? Please explain why.

  1. Joanne Rowling I have some things in common with her: No money, a belief that I can write for children, the willingness to forgo common comforts and the tenacity to keep writing. I want to share more. I want Warner Brothers (or Steven Spielberg) to buy the rights and produce movies of my stories and let me write the scripts. 
  2. Richard Ford – I attended his workshop at Munster Literature Centre in Cork, 2003.  He was inspiring and fascinating as a writer. Think ‘Independence Day’, Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award. http://www.salon.com/weekly/interview960708.html
  3. Barbara Streisand – her grasp of melody, her strive for perfection, her non-compromising attitude and talent.  As a screenwriter I want to discuss films, as a not-so-gorgeous girl, I related to ‘Funny Girl’ but also as a woman, we’ve both recently fallen in love and found true romance after fifty.
  4. Lord Macaulay I want to know how he came up with the idea of writing ‘The History of England’ – never mind his approach and are we related?

What is your career highlight?

Writing: Winning a Furphy Award for the Best Children’s Book Manuscript ‘The Swimming Pool People’ 1983

Poetry: publishing my first book ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ in Ireland 2003.

Film:  the film of my script ‘Love You Mum’ made in 2005 then the film winning Best Film & many other awards or nominations in festivals here and overseas.

What is your career lowlight?

Not being eligible for nomination for the film ‘Love You Mum’ in any of the awards it was entered, many of which it won, here and overseas because I wasn’t a resident of South Australia. 

What are you currently working on?

Current writing a War-time love story/feature based on my parents: Dad was a Pathfinder in the RAF and Mum was a WRAF Sergeant so I’m engrossed in family research AND writing manuscripts for picture books.



#FrancesMacaulayForde  #10ThingsAboutMe  #FurphyAward  #LoveYouMum  #HiddenCapacity

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This is an example of why I look forward to receiving my copy of the latest  Crannog Magazine.  I also submit short stories and poetry, hoping one day to find a piece of my own nestled between the gems I enjoy in each issue.


It’s inspiring to discover new (to me) writers.  I am now a fan of Maggie Breen and will have to add “Other Things I Didn’t Tell” to my wish list

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #Crannog36  #IrishMagazine  #Poretry  #ShortStories   #MaggieBreen  #OtherThingsIDidntTell

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