Finally, All is Revealed

an old book

Sinead opened the Book. Her name appeared in fine illuminated script. More words danced down the page.

‘You overcame the Oppressors, not doubting the might of the fabled Blue Orb. You conquered your fear and retrieved the Chalice of Earthly Liberation from the Maze. You unswervingly followed the path to the Edge of the World, bearing the Crystal of Nor. You befriended the dwarves who Forged the Freedom Key.

You and noble Moonsprite brought all these sacred artefacts here without question, because you believed unerringly in the Book.

Because of you the Sisterhood has seen the error of its ways and will unite behind you. Others will come and sit at your side with Tarron, Lord of Elves and the Hound, Prince of Beasts.

You have proved your birthright. Mother Earth entrusts her Kingdom to you. The following pages are yours to write. Rule well, Sinead. This is your destiny.’

Image credit: Pinterest

And so, Sinead’s Final Quest is over and finally she has fulfilled her destiny. Previous episodes of our an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments, can be found here.

But perhaps the story has only just begun?

A bit of old nonsense

Just one tiny cake
a candle-topped treat
two bites big
is all I can eat.

Gone are the days
of parties and thrills
just make sure
I take all my pills.

But with memories rich
I’ll celebrate
don’t you know
I’m a hundred and eight?*

Written in response to Sadjes What Do You See #57 photo prompt.
Image credit: Angéle Kamp @ Unsplash
(The image shows a a single cupcake with a lit candle on top of it).

*thank you, Goutham @ (see the comments below)

NaNo update #3

Week 3 came to an end all too quickly but I’m still almost on track to achieve my personal target for this ‘dedicated’ writing month. I’ve dropped a chapter behind, but it’s not a train smash. The story is shaping up nicely and a few unexpected elements have emerged. I love these kind of surprises!

Meanwhile this week, I launched the ARC for Song of the Sea Goddess – do help yourself to a copy, there are still some left. Since it’s the sequel to Sea Goddess that I’m writing now, I’ve been truly immersed in my imaginary world on the west coast. It’s an exciting place to be.

Eight more writing days left to the end of NaNoWriMo2020. I wonder what further surprises lie ahead? Apart from a planned interruption to the electricity supply for the whole of Tuesday, which is really not going to help. Ah well, this is Africa!

Have a wonderful rest of the weekend – whatever you’re up to!

ARC Invitation

This is the novel I started to write during NaNoWriMo last year. I’d already discovered a few of the key characters early on that year in a handful of short stories I wrote, set in a fictional town located somewhere on the beautiful west coast of South Africa.

Some of you might remember Albertina, Auntie Rose and Auntie Grace, Jannie, Sam and the Professor from those stories; some of you also know that my characters have a habit of plucking at my sleeve, reminding me that they more of their stories need to be told.

And so now, it is with the greatest pleasure that I can tell you that Song of the Sea Goddess is ready to share with you via the ARC: simply click here to download your copy and get started.

Here’s the blurb:

Sam thinks his problems are over when finds his fishing bucket filled with gold coins. There’s a problem though. The gold burns the fingers of anyone who touches it. His unlikely find coincides with the appearance of a mythical sea creature on the headland overlooking the town and the resumption of quarrying up in the mountains that is poisoning the streams and contaminating the town’s water supply.

Determined to keep his coins hidden, Sam goes up-river to bury them. There he encounters a beguiling young woman called Shasa, who lives by one of the tainted springs and just happens to have a fish’s tail.

As the blasting continues, the discovery of a series of recently-made drawings in the cave under the headland reveals a terrifying prophesy that will result in the earth spilling apart. Fearing for Shasa’s safety, Sam sets out find her again, only to meet the danger head on, as nature takes its revenge for the damage being wrought by humankind.

Will Sam and Shasa survive?

Set in a fictional location on the West Coast of South Africa, this moving story blends the charm of small town life with the threat of ecological disaster at the hands of a powerful force beyond human understanding.

Come the New Year the ebook and paperback will be available to buy on Amazon and I’m already excited!

Now I must get back to writing the so far untitled sequel… be right with you, Albertina!

A New Chapter Begins

Sunlight was sparkling through the trees when Moonsprite gently nudged her awake. Sinead rose and went to the bubbling brook where she rinsed her face and drank deeply of its rich waters. She’d had no food since she entered the Garden, yet she was sustained.

A gentle breeze rustled through the glade and Sinead remembered the voice in the night. Mother Earth had spoken to her. She looked around to see Tarron, the elderly elf, emerging from the trees. The Hound padded silently by his side.

Tarron greeted them both with a smile. ‘Let us consult the Prophesy Book one last time,’ he said.

‘But the pages are blank,’ replied Sinead.

Tarron held up his hand. ‘Let us look.’

Sinead removed the Book from Moonsprite’s saddle bag. The title of a new first chapter appeared: “All Will Be Revealed“. Tarron put his hand on her shoulder. ‘Now read on.’

Image credit: Leonid Afremov on Deviant Art

Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.

Only Suffer in Silence

Look at her
a face illuminated by street lamps, by passing cars
she watches, she waits
the expression on her face is one of… nothingness.

Look at her
dark circles under her eyes, a bruise on her cheek
hidden by her hair
the look in her eyes is one of… emptiness.

Look at her
what did he do? what do you do? while she’s
beaten and broken
one woman, one of many, living in… hopelessness.

Society sleepwalks, liberals shake their heads
say wise but empty words, while behind closed doors
this never ends.

A woman is killed every three hours in South Africa, according to police statistics – a rate five times the world average. Half are murdered by men with whom they had a close relationship.

Written in response to Sadjes What Do You See #56 photo prompt.
Image credit: Phmaxiestevez @ Pixabay
(The image shows a young woman looking out the glass pane of a partially open door, with an indecipherable expression).

NaNo update #2 and a surprise!

End of week two, and it’s still going pretty well. Ten chapters almost complete and I’m more or less on track with the word count, although that’s not so important as far as I’m concerned.

Getting the story down is what matters to me. It’s coming along nicely; some mysteries are unfolding and some new characters are evolving.

And it’s still fun.

Remember I mentioned that what I’m writing during NaNo is a sequel to my new novel? Well, here’s the surprise. Exclusively for you, a sneak peak of the cover design and a tiny teaser from the blurb.

Just a few more steps to go and I’ll be ready to offer advance reader copies for anyone who’d like one. More details to follow, but if you’re interested in getting hold of one, please let me know in the comments.

All for now. I’m diving right back in to my new story again.

Have a great rest of the weekend, whatever you’re doing!

A Voice in the Night

Sinead woke to a star-bright night. The only sounds were of the bubbling brook and the gentle breathing of Moonsprite and the Hound who slept on either side of her.

‘Sinead?’ A whisper came from the other side of the clearing. ‘Sinead?’ The soft voice was closer now. Sinead’s hand went to her sword. No need.

She sat up and looked around her. ‘Where are you?’ Sinead whispered into the darkness, not wanting to disturb her companions.

‘I am everywhere. In the wind and in the trees, in a blade of grass and a field of corn, in the bubbling brook and in the starlight.’

‘Who are you?’

‘I think you know the answer. Isn’t that why you are here?’

‘Mother Earth?’

‘Yes, child.’

‘But I was sent to free you. The Prophesy Book said…’

‘Worry not, Sinead,’ Mother Earth’s voice murmured. ‘All is about to be revealed. Sleep now.’

Image credit: Cosmic Cuttlefish on Deviant Art

Previous episodes of Sinead’s Final Quest an epic tale, unfolding in tiny 150 word increments.


Unknown waters lie ahead, our future is opaque, obscure, still uncharted

No more mapped out milestones, no glittering goals to accomplish

Certainty has ceased, while we clutch at withered straws

Ever searching for proper patterns to pursue, the

Return to routine, to the mindful mundane

That frees us, and comforts us

And will sustain our souls

If only in illusion.

No chance of

That hope


Written in response to Sadjes What Do You See #54 photo prompt.
Image credit: Evan Clark, Unsplash

(The image shows a person precariously balanced, standing on a fallen tree trunk hanging over a body of water).

Nano update #1

The first week is over – already! All is going well (so far). Words are flowing, characters are cooperating, and lo, I’ve even done a little bit of ‘panster planning’.

I’m embarking on the sequel to my soon-to-be-released novel and it’s certainly easier working with a core cast of fully-formed characters. New ones too, are appearing from the wings and it’s exciting getting to know them.

Here’s the mind map I’ve been scribbling, which is supplementing the jottings of my developing thoughts in a notebook. Don’t try to read my terrible handwriting. I blame it on years of note taking.

So, in summary, how am I doing?
Five chapters (almost) completed
7169 words written (all of them good ones)

Verdict: Just a handful of words shy of my target. I’m happy with that!