Archive for the ‘Short Stories’ Category


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!

12SSCover8'Front1 001W

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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earls, nick

Random House Books.

Here’s to the amazing, the wonderful, the supremely talented and very kind – not to mention could-have-been-an-actor handsome  Mr Nick Earls!  

OK, that’s a bit over the top but that’s how I’m feeling about him right now.  I will explain.

His newest novel is ‘Analogue Men’ and I wanted it.   On the 17th, I emailed Nick to ask how I can get hold of a signed copy for my daughter – we’re both huge fans.

This doctor turned novelist and most wonderful Nick, remembered he had met us way back in 2000 when he was the Writer in Residence at PCWC and we were his chauffeurs… (Chuffed at his memory!)

Needless to say my then 24 year old daughter and I were both very impressed with Mr Charm himself.  She still reads anything she can get her hands on and lists him as one of her top ten authors – so do I.

He suggested I purchase one from a bookshop in Brisbane, QLD for a tour event on Monday night; let the staff know I needed it signed and they would post it out to me.

I emailed, the staff said yes they’d do it but unfortunately although Monday came and went, so (seemingly) did the piece of paper the instruction was written on.


Monday following, I received the book – unsigned 😦 and let them know straight away how disappointed I was, copying the email to Nick as a courtesy.

The kind, caring and conscientious Nick came straight back and said he would send one from his own stash, signed, in the mail forthwith!

Much as I appreciated his offer, I didn’t want him out of pocket so offered to send the copy I had to him to replenish his stocks.

Nick would not have any of it – he said and I quote:  ” The book is on its way.  If you’re in the habit of occasionally giving my books as gifts, then I’m coming out of this pretty well, so please keep the spare copy for someone who you think might like it, rather than incurring another mailing fee.”  

Wow – at least three friends names came immediately to mind, I know would love it!

To be fair to the bookshop, they’ve said they will make sure Nick isn’t out of pocket, too.

But see –  what a wonderfully kind and patient man this abundantly talented writer is!  

9781863252867 9781864711516 648167

His Amazon Page has lots of his books available in print, digital media and I’ve linked the covers (above) to where you can buy.

Many of the new ones,  I haven’t read so Jess and I will be buying and playing catch up over the next few months.

(Anyone who knows Jess, keep this a secret until her birthday, please – I know she doesn’t read every blog post I do.)

Two of his books have been adapted to film and 5 to stage plays so far – impressive or what!

If you haven’t read Zig Zag Street, Batchelor Kisses, Perfect Skin, Headgames and many more.… get one now!

Be warned, his writing can make you laugh out loud and sudden bursts of laughter on the train can make fellow passengers very nervous.

Also for my overseas readers, if you want to experience the charm of Australian men, Nick Earls is the very best I can offer you, right now.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #NickEarls  #ZigZagStreet  #BatchelorKisses  #PerfectSkin  #Headgames  $RandomHouse  #Amazon  #Gifts  #Authors  #Novelist


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Halfway through and I’m frantically trying to finish a manuscript to send to an agent through my 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge with Julie Hedland.

I have so many manuscripts saved,  waiting patiently for my attention and felt disappointed I couldn’t muster up the time to do so.

This challenge has made me re-look at them, so I have picked two; “Suzette the Snake” (based on a poem) or “New” (based on a short story) and have been vacillating between them all week.  Although many others call to me and I keep getting new ideas, I want to just stick to getting something done with these two.

The opportunity to submit to an agent (each month) offered as a GOLDen Book Member is invaluable.  Although I know, as an Aussie participating in an American challenge I’m somewhat on the back foot, I wanted to push myself.  And rejection is empowering, isn’t it?

Support from other members in the Forum, on the Facebook Group page etc is both encouraging and inspiring when a member announces their successful signing or future publications.

So, I’m just focused on revamping my work, getting it ready for submission and actually experiencing being a member of the 12 x 12  group of Children’s Picture Book Writers.


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #JulieHedland  #12x12Challenge2014  #12×12  #Children’sBooks  #PictureBooks  #Illustrated  #SCWBI

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I feel I’ve neglected my blog lately and I do sincerely apologize; work, life, writing, challenges and ambition have totally distracted me.

But am I getting anything done?   Yes – although how effective I’m being remains to be seen…

There are now 5 short story and 3 poetry chapbook KINDLES on Amazon and I’m proud of myself for putting them up for the world to judge.

Disappointingly I’ve only had two bites so far and will admit, I expected more – but it’s early days. The first rookie mistake was being all excited and talking about my books too early.

I kept adjusting them and while they were being re-published they weren’t available, so anyone who may have initially had an interest, soon lost it.  My bad. But I’m learning, so the next challenge is to make my books stand out from all those millions already on there.

I’m also going to add some children’s stories which haven’t been illustrated yet as soon as I’ve painted covers for them. (KINDLE is not recommended for books which contain lots of pictures.)

811pbJJ4NTL._SL1500_ (1)

As I mention in my books, most of the Short Stories have also been adapted to scripts and one (Love You Mum) has even been filmed, winning awards here in Oz, in the USA and Canada.

I’ve also been busy at work – covering my bills is a priority although I do resent the time away from my current writing challenges, particularly my 12 x 12 Picture Book Challenge.

June was taken up with my 30-day KINDLE Book Challenge which actually ends next week and I have a lot of catching up to do even though I have published books within the challenge.

And poetry always distracts me but I keep hoping a LOTTO ticket will save me 🙂



It unites us.

This dream

  to have choices.

Whether to work or laze.

Decide our futures

  instead of waiting for opportunity.


The universal language of need

–       not greed.


We’ve lost control.

Caught up in the flow

   of magazine lifestyle.

The one we desire and reality.


To walk through town

  not asking the price.

Carrying the labels

  which define our success.

Purchases we don’t need.


It’s universal

  the conviction that money

  will right all our wrongs

  and make the world spin

  in our direction.,


When we buy a ticket

  we’ve planted the seed.


The seed of our fantasies.


Frances Macaulay Forde © 1999

(Appears in my ‘Return of Rainbows’ KINDLE edition)

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #KINDLE:ReturnOfRainbows  #POEM:LottoLife




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Book 2 in my Short Stories series is “E-Males”   Meet ‘Anna Karenina’ of the Australian suburbs:

After seven years of marriage, Michelle began to question her love ~ not her husband Barry’s ~ his adoration was as solid and steady as a rock.  No, she questioned her state. 

Was this all she could expect?  She yearned for more  ~ or perhaps a different ethereal mist of feeling which engulfs like a warm blanket of bright colours, flapping every now and then in the breeze of life. 

“Damn those blasted fairy tales! Where’s my prince?  Why doesn’t Barry come home in the middle of the day and whisk me off to Paris for coffee?” 

She day-dreams he’s sitting in his high rise office, gazing out across the Swan River, thinking of her in a flowing white peignoir, hair carefully styled, just risen from their marriage bed to meet her love. 

Full lips ready to receive his kiss, his embrace strong but gentle he smiles down at her, with one arm to support her swooning, body trembling with unspoken ardor. 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

If you’d care to read the rest, you’re welcome to buy or lend a KINDLE copy of  “E-Males”  or Book 1:  “Meeting Mr X”  directly from Amazon.

(Hope you do…)


#FrancesMacaulayForde  #McAlpineBellPublishing  #MeetingMrX  #KINDLEbooks  #E-Males”

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