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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.

analogue-men-cover

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!  

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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.)

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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 🙂

LOTTO LIFE

 

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

#KINDLE:LoveYouMum

 

 

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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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Book 1 in my Short Stories series is “Meeting Mr X”  ‘Middlemarch’ re-imagined as an Australian Suburban story…

Ms Brown certainly lived up to her name in an unremarkable brown brick, unappealing brown-roofed house, amongst similar unprepossessing dwellings, surrounded by shrubbery rooted in brown mulch, found in a commonly named street that looked like many suburban others, indistinguishable from her neighbors. 

Consequently, she lived a quiet life not wishing to stand out like the man she observed from her back patio whom she had named Mr. X.

Because her land sloped down the hill from the back, she often watched those in other similarly quiet, ordered avenues nearby.  Mr X lived across the street behind her block, down the hill – the front of his house facing her backyard. 

Music blared, lights blazed and many people visited making Ms Brown wonder if he was one of those drug dealers or even a manufacturer, referred to in the local papers.  

She repeatedly heard doors banging, the screech of tyres on tarmac or horns blasted in farewell.   These inconsiderate ruffians frequently left the house which Mr. X occupied at all hours of the day and night, disturbing those who may be sleeping or, like herself, wishing for quietude.  

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2014

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

(Hope you do…)

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #McAlpineBellPublishing  #MeetingMrX  #KINDLEbooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KINDLE edition #francesmacaulayforde

 

Well, that’s it – I’ve just published my first KINDLE book on Amazon of a previously printed  “Rail Tales ~ notes from the Currumbine Line”  and naturally, had to buy the first copy.

“Poetry and stories written while travelling on the Currumbine Line between the City of Perth and the Northern Suburbs in Western Australia.”    

It’s live and available right now so I’m pretty pleased.  (It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I managed.)

Here’s another of my favorite short poems from the book:

 

Rail Trail

parallel bars ride the sand

silver bullet steered by hand

expressed in kilometre-d speed

human flotsam to concrete greed

 

 

…and a (very, very) short story I hope you’ll smile at, remembering I was riding the rails when I wrote it.

 

The Great Escape.

Head back, eyes closed. I savor the cool, quiet efficiency of train travel.

I’m alone on this journey.  It is obviously not a popular time to commute.

Silence.  Then a scuffle, a soft knock below me and to the left, makes me

open my eyes. There it is again.  Are there mice on this train?  

It sounds like old crackle-y paper. Rounded, moving haphazardly

in all directions.

I hope the security video can’t see me climb onto the seat. 

Where is it? More importantly – what is it?

Feeling foolish, I gingerly step down. Then cautiously kneel and bend over,

eyes level to the carpet, bum up. 

Oh, it’s O.K. Panic over. Breathe again.

It’s only an onion, enjoying the freedom of riding on the train. 

Do you think it’s got a ticket?

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#BOOKRailTales   #FrancesMacaulayForde

#McAlpineBellPublishing

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Ultimate Book Coach – KINDLE NINJA 30 day Challenge

This is my latest challenge:  I’ve got 30 days to publish a KINDLE book and Kirsten Eckstein the Ultimate Book Coach and KINDLE  NINJA  is going to show me how to do it!

It’s only the first week, so at the moment I’m trying to decide what to do first.

I have so many manuscripts and ideas but need to focus on one, then the next, then the next.

Kirsten makes it seem easy and so far, with the insider help of a well-published and successful KINDLE NINJA, I think I’ve got this!

My problem has always been to focus on one thing and get it done.  Kristen gives you easy steps to do just that – focus and get it done.  

It’s exciting to find out what other participants are already putting ‘out there’ for comment.

For my first attempt I’m thinking of doing one of these:

1.  A children’s series of stories which at the moment are in the form of scripts for a TV Series.

2.  Should I publish a series of my short stories?

3.  The one which keeps nagging me – a DIY book to test the waters, ‘Dressing My Princess’.

What do you think?

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #KindleNinja  #UltimateBookCoach   #DressingMyPrincess #MrPandaLivesNextDoor

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CRANNOG Spring 2014 Journal

A free subscription was included with entry into their competition, so I’ve just received my copy of  ‘CRANNOG Spring 2014’.

Wish I’d read it before entering…    The book feels slim but the 88 page volume is packed with clever writing.

The Galway editorial board did a superb job of choosing short stories and poems which affect the reader – and they did.

Like “Worship”  by Ruth Quinlan:  Your white shoes aren’t white at all.  They’re just cream pretending to be white and when you hold them against the Communion dress they look old and discoloured  even though you know they’re new.   

The words put put me right into the moment of my own Holy Communion (which I haven’t thought about since) remembering the crisp feel of new material and the smell of polished shoes.  Wonderful writing.

Or Breda Wall Ryan’s  “Crushie” poem:  The rain has stopped. Sunlight/veneers a table set between windows. /The year turns.   

The journal CRANNOG Spring 2014  is available for Kindle fans or surprisingly cheaper as a printed version.

Certainly well worth the few dollars to enjoy such gifted authors.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #CrannogSpring2014  #RuthQuinlan  #BredaWallRyan

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NETCPrairie3aWEB

Backstage. 

Dank, dusty, sweat-smells in the soft blue light. Rope, sandbags, tape-marks glow.  Scene-stay, props on the table in regimental order marked for Act 1,2,3.

Black on white sign yells ‘Silence for Performance’.

Soft sneakers pressed gently one in front of each other.  Movements slow – considered care.

Audience clapping. Material and audience murmur as Curtains Close Act 1.

Audrey rushes off-stage, clattering – chattering LOUDLY to her waiting beau, declaring her excitement at first performance.

Stage Manager lifts two fingers to mouth for silence – ignored.

Quick! Frustrated grab in the once-again dim light. His hand wraps around the wooden grip of a ‘Silence’ sign banged impatiently against a thigh as he follows.

Hushed stumble down to the dressing rooms, annoyed – door locked – can’t knock – too loud.

Scratch a little – reign in – wait with rebuke ready.  Click, unlocked door creaks open. Force the sign through the crack and whisper. “Quiet”.

He races back upstairs with heart pumping – ‘Damn!’ missed the bloody Curtain Open for Act 2.

All through Act 2 Audrey blithely entertains, celebrating her debut in the change rooms with popping champagne and muffled giggles.

Curtains Close Act 2.

‘Places Please’ bell for Act 3.

Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. 1,2,3 steps stage left.

Curtains Open Act 3.

Heavy heels approach uncaring, echo through dimly lit wooden stairs and empty stage.

Audrey bumps out.

Giggle – stumble – giggle. ‘Hic – Oh sorry Love – Hic…’

Frustration bites hard and a mouth thunders. “QUIET!”

A deathly scream and silence at last, as Curtains Close Act 3.

 

#francesmacaulayforde

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Munster Literature Centre, Cork, Ireland.

When I was a member of the Munster Literature Centre, I did a masterclass in Short Story with James Lasdun.  

The title story of his published collection The Siege: Selected Stories, was adapted for film by Bernardo Bertolucci as Besieged ,  only one adaptation.

 Sunday was based on his story Ate Menos or The Miracle and co-written with Jonathan Nossiter. (Info from Wiki.)

030920Writers JL WS - CU Frances & James

Frances and James Lasdun during the 2003 Masterclass at MLC, Cork.

Later that year, I attended a festival at MLC with Richard Ford speaking, who’s novel Independence Day  was adapted and directed by Roland Emmerich in 1996 and a huge hit.

The Paris Review  did a very good interview with him soon after the film was made.

So, yesterday, I found this amazing resource – opportunities for competition and publications for writers of  SHORT STORIES:   Paul McVeigh   and just HAD to share.

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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