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Posts Tagged ‘Rail Rales’

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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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Although I was invited to the inaugural Avon Valley Writer’s Festival last year, to speak and workshop with my screenwriter’s hat on, I wanted something tangible for the audience to purchase so (as mentioned previously) self-published three small books.

Since writing the poems in 1998-2000 on the train between the Northern Suburbs, to the City of Perth then on to University in Mt Lawley, they appeared in my first book published in Ireland ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ and more recently re-assessed and ‘tweaked’ to appear in the stand-alone chapbook for sale.  Some pieces have also appeared variously in publications and on the net.

Now I’m hoping to give it yet another life, to convert the chapbook to an e-book for purchase on-line.  Any suggestions?  The service at Amazon has been recommended although I’ve been told not to expect ‘many dollars’ it’s a chance for many to see the poems and a whole new experience for me so I’ll have a look at it.  As I’m not really clever technically, I’m looking for something laywoman easy 😮

Meantime I thought I’d share a story and poem from the book just in case you wanted to investigate further either by purchasing a hard copy from me  or perhaps later an e-book from Blurb, Issuu or Amazon.  These are the first couple of pages:

Edgewater Station, 7.45am.

 The first time I climbed the ramp to cross the empty freeway I thanked my daughter’s advice for nervous, first-time train-travel.

“Don’t make eye-contact and take something to read.”

Embarrassingly unfit; I was truly unworthy of riding to city steeples and naked greed.  However, I was able to slow my breathing before reaching the platform, populated by corporate black.

Like others in smart casual I waited unprepared, searching and praying that I had correct change.  No way would I approach anyone to help if my Target Special revealed only notes.  An extra minute to read the zones and I felt their impatience stab my shoulder blades.

First rule: be prepared.  Why doesn’t someone press the ‘Next Train to Perth’ button?  How long have I got?  Finally, the clunking use of coins and metal spit of ticket, loudly confirmed my lack of railway sophistication.

As I claimed my waiting spot, the gentle morning sun warmed my arms and I began to relax.

My head moved left to spy an approaching train. Then swung right, to relax the tension.  The violent clash of eyes focussed on the anticipated train, brought heat and colour flooding to my face.  Have I broken another rule?

I turned away. Moved left and slid around to a corner bench, hiding under graffiti steps.

A cleaner diligently wiped the dead remains of habit from a shiny steel surface.  As our eyes met, she smiled in understanding. My isolation lifted with the corners of my mouth. “Good morning.”

A distant sparkle from Joondalup Tunnel caught my attention.  Although I had lost my place for the central carriages, I joined the stragglers just as the last door swept toward my flat comfortable-s.

The unsmiling silent wave surged toward the precipice, eager to rest their feet or continue sleep.  We were swallowed with a whoosh.

All around people take off their Sunnis and don clear glass, casually opening their oft-thumbed pages: Time magazine, corporate handouts, New Idea, ‘Bondage – a love story’ the latest Patricia Cornwell…

I am starting my own new adventure – a new life.

No husband ~ he’s decided to share his bacon with a younger model.

No children to care for – they’ve all moved out, no-one who needs me, just me.

So I’m dealing with the empty nest, taking my new life into a different direction ~ a city job direction.

The first day of my new life: new job; new me.  Is it obvious?

No one speaks, except the odd un-sophisticate, who broadcasts gossip as if it elevates them.

I lose myself in Harry Potter and block out the other occupants, cocooned against intimidation.

Priority Seating.

Chivalry’s not dead.

Young man offers an older

person his seat, but

not the young lady. He stands

silently, matching her sway.

 

Freeway Sprawl.

relaxed – half asleep

compassionately floating past

overheated motors crawling

without air-conditioned silence

forced to queue as road workers

widen a future path.

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2013

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I spent 14 glorious months living and learning everything I could in the ‘Cradle of Storytelling’, Ireland.  I became a member of  Munster Literature Center in Cork and attended inspiring weekly workshops with masters of poetry and short story.  I also joined the Midleton Writers Group and attended their monthly meetings, welcomed warmly by local writers.  Anne, Joan and Mary shared many an inspiring pub lunch and writerly discussion.

The opportunity to publish my first book of poems arose and I took great advantage. The book was very well received and reviewed and I thank all those who encouraged me to go ahead, particularly my partner Padraig.  Cover 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's journey'

Cover ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’

Since returning to Perth, I’ve had the self-confidence to publish more:

Book PC: Pages Cafe '05 Antholody

Pages Cafe ’05

Pages Cafe ’05 a thank-you to the 60+ poets who participated at my Poets Corner events during 2005 National Poetry Week.

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‘Rail Tales’ a chapbook of just those pieces written on the train travelling between Perth and the Northern Suburbs, previously published in my first Irish book.

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‘Love’ a book concentrating on poems written about that universal theme of love.

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‘Santa’s Swim’ a children’s story with pictures.

The last three were necessary to have something to offer when the invited guest of the Avon Valley Writers Festival as my first book was sold out.

I still have some copies of the last three book available – there’s further information regarding purchase here:  http://francesmacaulayforde.com/buy_books__postcards

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