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RBW Online ISSUE 212




Fiction Project




Your Pages Poetry

Creative Writing Session

Date: 4th November 2011

Thoughts & Quotes ... THE PANKHURSTS Sylvia Pankhurst Quotations I am going to fight capitalism even if it kills me. It is wrong that people like you should be comfortable and well fed while all around you people are starving. Love and freedom are vital to the creation and upbringing of a child.

Christabel Pankhurst Quotations • It is our duty to make this world a better place for women. • What we suffragettes aspire to be when we are enfranchised is ambassadors of freedom to women in other parts of the world, who are not so free as we are. • Ability is sexless. • The inferiority of women is a hideous lie which has been enforced by law and woven into the British constitution. • We are here to claim our rights as women, not only to be free, but to fight for freedom. It is our privilege, as well as our pride and our joy, to take some part in this militant movement, which, as we believe, means the regeneration of all humanity. • Remember the dignity of your womanhood. Take courage, join hands, stand beside us, fight with us. • Where peaceful means had failed, one act of militancy succeeded and never again was the cause ignored by that or any other newspaper. • We are not ashamed of what we have done, because, when you have a great cause to fight for, the moment of greatest humiliation is the moment when the spirit is proudest.  Never lose your temper with the Press or the public is a major rule of political life. Emmeline Pankhurst Quotations Justice and judgment lie often a world apart. The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics. There is something that Governments care for far more than human life, and that is the security of property, and so it is through property that we shall strike the enemy. Be militant each in your own way. I incite this meeting to rebellion. Wiki Quotes And Images

Trust in God - she will provide. We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become lawmakers.


order : Cheques payable to Rising Brook Writers, please. (Do not send cash through the post.) All are plus £1.20 P&P Order via Rising Brook Writers c/o Rising Brook Library, Merrey Road, Stafford ST17 9LX Issue 212 Page 2

Back Stock List Available: FARE DEAL (£5.00)


haricot n 1. A stew of lamb and vegetables. 2. A kidney bean. coalesce v 1. (of separate parts) To join into a single mass or whole. 2. (of a whole) To form from different pieces or elements. xylograph n 1. An engraving in wood, especially one used for printing. 2. A print taken from an engraving in wood. noetic adj 1. Of or pertaining to the mind or intellect. 2. Originating in or apprehended by reason.

uilleann pipes : Wikipedia

integument n 1. (biology) An outer protective covering such as the feathers or skin of an animal, a rind or shell. 2. (botany) The outer tissue layer of an ovule, which develops into the seed coat. jostle v 1. To bump into or brush against while in motion. 2. To move through by pushing and shoving. 3. To contend or vie in order to acquire something. ecumenical adj 1. General, universal, worldwide. 2. (ecclesiastical) Pertaining to the Christian Church in a worldwide sense or of the desire to unite the denominations of the Christian Church. 3. Interreligious or interdenominational. uilleann pipes n 1. The bagpipes of Ireland, which have a bellows strapped around the wrist and arm to inflate the bag rather than the player blowing to do so.

LIFE OBSERVATIONS ... It’s clearly a hawk. But any idea what sort of a hawk has taken a shine to this garden perch? The kindness of strangers can be deeply moving.

Issue 212 Page 3

Printer ink is a huge business — how disappointing so many global companies producing ink do not seem to offer a green recycling system which means millions of empty cartridges have to go to landfill. What is worse so many printers are not compatible with ’green’ refill systems and often reject such cartridges or fail to recognise how full they still are when stopping printing and demanding a new cartridge. Surely this is something worth investigation. Pity the NotW is no more! Source: Facebook Friend


Rising Brook Writers Touring Workshop Team Visit to Katharine House Hospice Tuesday 1st November 2011

RBW were delighted to be invited to talk about creative writing to patients and staff at Katharine House Hospice. The idea for the visit originated from the patients themselves who had started up their own Newsletter. The afternoon featured the work of RBW and how to structure a creative writing workshop. Few would disagree that as a positive therapy creative writing has a lot going for it. The team were very impressed by articles penned for the hospice patients‟ Newsletter and were happy to share poems, and comedy pieces produced by RBW contributors. Items discussed were daily observations, random words, assignments, card character games, and most important of all simply providing the opportunity for self-expression. Most important messages to put across included ... there is no wrong ... there is no competition ... there is no inferior quality writing ... there is simply the freedom to self-express thoughts, ideas and memories. For those interested in memory as reminiscence therapy RBW was happy to share techniques honed over many years of experience. RBW would like to acknowledge and thank the Katharine House Hospice team for the warmth of their welcome and enthusiastic participation in the „word games‟ we played which was greatly appreciated.

Little Red Rhyming Hood. Red Rhyming Hood was eight years oldA pleasant child, or so I‟m told. She lived beside a forest black, Her father was a lumberjack. Her granny, who was old and grey, Lived in a town some miles away. Poor gran had recently been illNot serious, a mere chill. One afternoon, Red Rhyming Hood Set out alone, to cross the wood, A wicker basket on her arm, Filled with produce from the farm. Granny‟s house her destination, Via the forestry plantation. Gran looked forward to her caller, Not knowing what would soon befall her.

Just then, Red Rhyming Hood walked in, And came across to kiss his chin. But when she saw him, she turned white. It‟s true, he was no pretty sight. “Her face is such a funny shade The end is near, I‟m afraid.” (She whispered very low, for fear Her grandmamma might overhear.) The wolf said “Why, whatever‟s wrong? Come tell me. Have you lost your tongue?” (Another thing, how odd she sounded. Red Rhyming Hood is quite astounded!) “I‟m sorry gran; it‟s just your eyes, I‟ve never seen a pair that size. Your ears too, - don‟t think me rude, But my oh my, they do protrude! Your mouth‟s large too, and underneath You have a lovely set of teeth. All in all, you are unique……” Just then the child let out a shriek.

And meanwhile, in a forest glade, Red Rhyming Hood had been delayed. She‟d never seen a wolf before, And took it for a Labrador. (The foolish child was soon to see He wasn‟t what he seemed to be).

“But stop! What‟s that beneath the bedclothes?” (A bushy, canine tail shows,) “Now that is odd, as I recall My granny has no tail at all.”

She quite forgot about the dangers Of holding discourses with strangers, And crafty wolf, he smiled so sweetly Red Rhyming Hood was fooled completely.

Up jumped Red Rhyming Hood, “Great Scott! It‟s nothing but a fiendish plot To capture grandmamma and me! Well I shan‟t stay around for tea!” (As you may know, wolves like to eat Young children as a special treat.)

“Red Rhyming Hood, where are you bound Across such dark and dangerous ground?” “I‟m off to see my gran, who‟s ill. Her house is just beyond that hill.” “Well do take care, you know you should Look out for dangers in the wood.” “Oh yes, I will most certainly. Thank you, doggy dear,” said she. Wolf waved his paw and said good day Red Rhyming Hood went on her way. Wolf took a short cut to the right And granny‟s house was soon in sight.

He pushed the door, it opened wide And stealthily he crept inside Where gran was sitting up in bed, A frilly nightcap on her head. Quick as a flash he‟d tied and gagged her, Into a nearby cupboard dragged her. “And now for my impersonation Of this elderly relation.”

The wolf must act without delay, Or else the child will get away. She‟d thrust the window open wide. “Oh someone help us, please!” she cried. Her father in the woods nearby, Was felling trees and heard her cry. He started off without delay, To learn the cause of the affray. When wolfy saw the axe, he fled. He didn‟t want to lose his head! So gran and child were reunited, And both of them were quite delighted. The wolf became a vegetarian,Never eating child again. He sent a letter of regret, Saying “Please forgive me, and forget.” They did, and so our story ends With everyone the best of friends! (PMW)

The Favourite Toy

Assignment JD

“You needn‟t be trying to comfort me I tell you my dolly is dead. There‟s no point in saying she isn‟t With a crack like that in her head…” She lies now, in two, atop the old chest of drawers, tenderly placed at a safe distance from the edge, should she be tempted to roll over. The final straw came when I was drawing the curtains behind her as she sat patiently waiting for a long overdue visit to the hospital. My enthusiasm in flinging the curtains open led to her demise. On reflection I suppose the sound of her head being smacked hard onto the dressing table was not dissimilar to that of a snail‟s shell when flung against my garden wall. By that I mean it sounded deliberate. It is said that we suppress uncomfortable memories and perhaps that is why I could never say just how she came to lose her eyes inside her head and just when her big toe dropped off. I know that if you want her to look at you when you are speaking you first need to peer inside the eye sockets and shake her, quite gently really, until they twist round on their wire trolley and fix you with their blank stare. And if you want to stop her snagging her best pink frock that came one Christmas when she had been very good you have to keep it tucked up away from her leprous feet. She came to stay soon after that baby brother who kept Mother busy all those years ago. She was just there, in a grubby pair of hand knitted knickers and a flannel vest. She had „Germany‟ and a number stamped on her neck, in case you wanted to send her back, but I think I kept her with me because she needed a mother and she always wanted to stay. She still does. We stood together at the bedroom window that day when Father went. She nearly cried but I made her look away while I waved and whispered “Don‟t go, Dada. I promise I‟ll be good.” He never looked back. That was when I gave her a new name. She could not be Baby Doll now. Now she was Big Girl. And what a big girl she was in those days. She was always ready to listen to my news after school. She told me I was a clever girl and she always wanted seconds when we had my favourite pudding. Every time my friends came to tea she hid in her room and when she heard them laughing at me she waited until they left and then she threw herself on the floor in floods of tears. One day when I picked her up again one of her eyes kept on and on looking into my eyes, even though she knew it was rude to stare. After that we played on our own with me being the nurse, gently bathing her and bandaging her, sometimes all over. She liked it and she begged not to be left on her own. And that was when she started sitting in the window. From there she could watch me as I came through the gate from work. Her bright red smile with two top teeth flashed me a warm welcome, although she seemed at first reluctant to say what had been amusing her. And now she waits in bits and now she has nothing to say.

Traditional English words such as ‘balderdash’ and ‘cripes’ are dying out thanks to the texting generation, linguists have claimed. Daily Mirror

„Where do they go?‟ you ask. The destination of words that die out is indeed a conundrum. Unless, that is, you were a devotee of BBC2 television between 1965 and 1988 or BBC1 between 1996 and 2003. If you were, you will be familiar with the repository of etymological remains that was Call My Bluff. Refereed in its pomp by the much lauded Robert Robinson, the show‟s often rambunctious teams, variously captained by raconteurs supreme Frank Muir, Patrick Campbell, Arthur Marshall, Alan Coren and Sandi Toksvig, sought with wit and wisdom to identify the wheat from the chaff betwixt assorted definitions of arcane words such as the fifteen listed in LP Davidson‟s new book, Planet Word. Lest there be a laggard or two amongst us, let me quash all confusion by offering an unusually testing game by way of illustration. As Robert Robinson might say, „Verily, our next word is … „Balderdash‟.‟ DEFINITION No.1 If I tell you that on most Friday evenings I am a dasher, you‟ll probably say, „Cripes! I never took you for much of a dresser.‟ That would be to misconstrue what I‟m saying. A dasher is no cad; it‟s someone who plays the board game „Balderdash‟. The dasher chooses a word and writes the definition supplied on a piece of paper which is mixed up with definitions composed by the other players. Those guessing the correct meaning gain points and move their tokens around the board. Whoever reaches the end square first is the winner. In the event of a tie, the players arm wrestle to win the game. DEFINITION No.2 Innkeepers in the 1590s knew that if the local squire popped in with his betrothed, he wouldn‟t just want your salutations and felicitations; he‟d expect a celebratory glass or two. When, as inevitable happened, the good stuff began to run out, mine host would „balderdash‟ it by mixing in some inferior liquor. In 1629 playwright Ben Jonson wrote, „Beer or butter-milk, mingled together ... It is against my free-hold ... To drink such balder-dash.‟ During the eighteenth century „balderdash‟ evolved into its current meaning: a senseless jumble, not of liquor but of words. DEFINITION No.3 Imagine you‟re the MO at an Army camp. At sick parade you are confronted by three squaddies, each complaining of memory loss. You ask the first soldier: „What is two times three?‟ „Tuesday, sir,‟ comes the reply. „Churchill,‟ answers the second. „What is two times three?‟ you quickly ask the third. „Six,‟ he says, amid gasps from the others. „No tell us how you got the bally answer.‟ „Well, sir, These guys are smart so I averaged their answers; the average of Tuesday and Churchill is six.‟ Most of us would suspect malingering but, being a trained professional, you know these squaddies could be suffering from „balderdash syndrome‟: a rare mental malaise characterized by giving nonsensical answers to questions. Issue 212 Page 8

So, „balderdash‟, is it a board game, a senseless jumble of words or a rare mental malaise?

“There you are Al your name up in lights, just like I said.” “Yes Mum. But that‟s not what I thought you meant.” “Just like your dear old departed Dad you are, Al,” she sighed. “He was tall, dark and handsome, with dark hair and a foreign look about him as well.” “You never said he was foreign, Mum”. “Must have been, Al. He came from Lancashire! A long-distance camel driver and yak trainer he was. Yes, Al. He‟d seen some Strange and Wonderful sights had your Dad. Many‟s the time he told me he‟d been to the Ends of the Earth, and seen the fabled wonders of the Blackpool Illuminations and the Costa Morecambe.” “Go on, Mum! Nobody believes THAT now-a-days. Kid‟s fairy stories they are, even the fairies don‟t believe them. Anyway, I‟m off to the office but don‟t worry I‟ll be back in time for the official opening tonight.” The phone rang; as they do. “Hello, this is Twanky‟s Fried Fish Restraint and Take Away. Annabelle Twanky, Prop, and joint owner speaking,” she said. “Good afternoon Madam Twenty”, said a voice. “Zis iz Ebenezer ze brothair of your beloved houseband speaking. I am being in your hometown today and am thinking of a visit making. I have a career for your son, my beloved niece in mind.” “Well, I am free until six then I‟ve got to open the restaurant.” “Good I vill be von hof your customers. A nice dish of Curried Goat and Egg Fries Rice for me please. Thank you. Good bye.” The line went dead. Later that day Al returned from the office to find his Mum in a pother. “Your Uncle Ebenezer‟s coming round tonight”, she told him “Who‟s he then?” seemed to Al to be a reasonable question. “Something to do transport from what I remember your dear departed Dad saying, Al” “And that‟s another thing, Mum. You never did explain what happened to him. Now is the time to tell me the whole story, GIVE!” “Oh it‟s horrid, Al.” She drew a deep breath and continued. “It‟s all a part of the Sheffield Semiskimmed Soggy Sago Sachets Saga. He was running a high risk, long distance, camel train to Hull. As the stuff was likely to explode in a thunderstorm, they had to go via Manchester to keep to the low ground. The other lads on the run told me they made it without loss, but when they got to Hull, there was a problem at the border crossing. The last they saw of him was going into a pub for a drink, they think he was shanghaied and ended up working on a Caribbean Cruise Liner. I‟ve never heard a word about his since. Well apart from a Christmas card last year. Posted from Aberdeen.” Ebenezer, call me Eb, we‟re family here, came and told them a right old yarn about hidden treasure so they went and found it, just as he said, hidden in a cave. “Are you sure that you‟re the owner, Eb,” asked Al? “Of course”, Ebenezer said. “Why are you asking?” “We need to get a shift on if I‟m to be in time for the Grand Opening and get an eyeful of Baron Hardup and his five daughters.” “But he‟s only got four daughters, everybody know that”, said Eb. “Wrong again, Eb. There‟s the World Famous, Fantastic, Marvellous, Gorgeous, Multi-talented, Cinders of course. Then there‟s the Famous Actress Goldilocks, her half sister by her mothers second husband, she‟s pretty good as well. Then there‟s the other three, but we don‟t talk about them.” “Pass me that lamp will you, Al,” said Eb. “The one by your left hand.” “It‟s a bit mucky,” said Al giving it a quick rub with his hanky. There was a pop and the Genie of the Lamp appeared. “All right sunshine,” said the Genie. “I‟m Police Sergeant Genie with the Light Brown Hair, this is stolen gear, and you‟re nicked. If I get you down to the nick sharpish, I‟ll just be in time for fish and chip supper from Widow Twanky‟s.”

(CMH) CLIVE‟s free e-book Marius Medicus NOW PUBLISHED on RBW and issuu

RANDOM WORDS EXERCISE The evidence before me is that the deceased had a problem with an inflamed bladder. He left the party in the function room of the ‘Cloak and Dagger’ public house, tripped over some impediment in the passage way and fell to the floor. Obviously, this must have disoriented him as he then proceeded, through a curiously narrow door, which closed and locked behind him, to descend into the cellar. Finding himself in an unenviable situation, and with a medical problem on his hands that required an urgent solution, he did his best to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, the way he chose to do so, whilst admirable in most circumstances, caused a chemical reaction that destroyed the building in an explosion. I can only pass a verdict of ‘Death by Misadventure’ and would urge Mrs Wolf to put the unfortunate incident behind her. I would also ask the Three Pigs to get a move on with the rebuilding as that was the only pub around here and I’m getting thirsty. (CMH)

One month to closing date ... Prose and Poetry Prizes 2011 from The New Writer magazine

RBW does not endorse any competitions

Closing date 30 November Now in its 15th year, one of the major annual international competitions for short stories, microfiction, single poems, poetry collections, essays and articles; offers cash prizes as well as publication for the prize-winning writers in The Collection, special edition of The New Writer magazine each July. Back copies are available at the TNW website: This year's judges: Jonathan Pinnock, Sally Quilford, Bill Greenwell. Further information including guidelines and entry fees at: prizes.htm Writers can enter online at our secure credit card server at: entryform.htm Or, the entry form can be downloaded from that page on the website and sent in the post with your entry. Also, we can supply this year's printed entry forms on request to writers' groups and organizations and individuals in the UK – just let us know, no SAE required. The 2010 Prose & Poetry Prizes winners are announced on this webpage:

You can also now follow The New Writer on Twitter and Facebook. TNW - over 100 issues since 1997 * over 1,000 contributors * full listing at:

Issue 212 Page 10

From the office of: The New Writer PO Box 60 CRANBROOK TN17 2RE Website: Facebook: Twitter:

National Short Story Week : 7th to 11th November 2011 There are only two weeks to go until this year's National Short Story Week but we already have some great treats for short story fans. One of the UK's most experienced and well known broadcasters, Sue Cook, has brought her radio programme The Write Lines online for three exclusive shows to tie in with this year's National Short Story Week. The three programmes cover British Short Stories, Women's Fiction and Children's Fiction. Hear lively discussion and top tips now: Listen to stories from eleven of the UK's best loved women's fiction authors, including our patron Katie Fforde, in the audiobook, Women Aloud. This double CD has more than 2 hours of stories and all proceed go to educational charity The Helena Kennedy Foundation. Take a look at our website for our recommended reading list and a selection of events that are taking place around the country. Best wishes National Short Story Week (email press release)

WHAT IS RADIO WILDFIRE? Radio Wildfire is an independent online radio station which blends spoken word, poetry, performance literature, comedy, storytelling, short stories and more with a novel selection of word/music fusion and an eclectic mix of musical styles. currently broadcasts live 8.00-10.00pm (UK time) on the first Monday of every month. Listen to Radio Wildfire at where The Loop plays 24 hours a day. There’s another new 2 hour mix of material in The Loop on Radio Wildfire – Now playing 24/7 a completely new selection of stories, satires, poetry, spoken word, music and interview - another two hours of live literature and chat. In this edition ... The Loop brings you Poets for Change featuring an interview with Helen Calcutt in the Radio Wildfire studio, plus poems from Sarah James and David Calcutt.. There's more Poetry in the shape of Adrian Johnson, Sue Brown and, with music, Swifty Lazarus who ask you to Honk Your Horn If You're Paranoid, Mark Goodwin with his Song of The Shoes, and Lester & The Loopster who are Down at the greasy Spoon Café. The Loop brings you Satire when Tony Judge takes us through A Brief and Approximate Guide to Social Class - and a double dose of satire when we repeat a section from his Little Hope Parish Magazine, the deadly Farming Diary ...and Humour from Naomi Paul with an extract from her Edinburgh Festival show Reshape While Damp. The Loop brings you Storytelling with young people from the Wordscape - North Shropshire project organised by MythStories and featuring members of the Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Young Tellers. And Derrick D chooses as his interviewee Ralph J Francis, giving a D-type extraordinary rendition of one of Ralph's poems. PLUS: we have Roy Mcfarlane's Laureate's Diary, the October edition of the monthly diary from Birmingham Poet Laureate Roy Mcfarlane, exclusive to Radio Wildfire. AND there's Gary Longden's Listings, the only regular spoken rundown of what's on in the spoken word community in the Midlands and beyond - check it out you might just be featured! The Loop will play online continuously for the next month, except during our live broadcast on Monday 7th November starting at 8.00pm UK time with a full programme of pre-recorded tracks, live studio guests and conversation.

Assignment Topic: Steroids or Apples Issue 212 Page 11

Random Words Exercise: sewing, spade, cuticle, stupid, succession, recycling, Albert, voluntary, medieval, Canada

INTERESTED IN WRITING CRIME FICTION? THEN THIS MIGHT BE OF INTEREST TO YOU:Debut Dagger 2012 Competition: 22nd October 2011 – 21st January 2012 Bulletin No. 1 – Looking Back

Issue 212 Page 12

Hello and welcome to the 2012 Debut Dagger Competition. Those of you who have done the maths, will realise that this year the competition is only open to entries for thirteen weeks, rather than the usual fourteen. You’ll also have spotted that we’re starting a week early. The reason is quite simple; entries increased yet again in 2011 and we need the extra time to get through all the entries before the shortlist announcement at Crimefest in May. In 2011 we had nearly seven hundred entries from twenty six countries. Once again there was an impressive mix of the psychological, supernatural, quirky, historical and action adventure. The overall winner was South African writer Michele Rowe with What Hidden Lies; the story of the hunt for the killer of an alleged sex offender on the spectacular Cape Town coast. Highly Commended went to UK author Graham Brack for The Outrageous Behaviour of Left-handed Dwarves where the death of a young woman in Prague reveals a series of scandals reaching to the highest levels of Government. The Awards were presented at the Harrogate Literary Festival in July and we were pleased that some of the short-listed authors attended the Event. Unfortunately a combination of visa problems and bronchitis prevented Michele from joining us, but you can find a video message from her on the CWA website. At the time of writing, I know some of the short-listed authors have been approached by agents and Michele has been signed to a prestigious London literary agency. If I tell you that I was speaking to Michele’s agent at the Awards and she told me that they get approximately 5000 submissions a year and sign up two or three new clients each year, that gives you some idea of Michele’s achievement. Now for the good news on some of the 2010 short-listed authors. I’m pleased to say that Peggy Blair’s 2010 entry The Beggar’s Opera is being published by Penguin Canada in February 2012. In fact, they like it so much, it features on the cover of their 2011 autumn brochure. In beautiful, crumbling Old Havana, Canadian detective Mike Ellis hopes the sun and sand will help save his troubled marriage. He doesn’t yet know that it’s dead in the water – much like the little Cuban boy last seen begging the Canadian couple for a few pesos. For Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, finding his prime suspect isn’t a problem – Cuban law is. He has only seventy-two hours to secure an indictment and prevent a vicious killer from leaving the island. But Ramirez also has his own troubles to worry about. He’s dying of the same dementia that killed his grandmother, an incurable disease that makes him see the ghosts of victims of unsolved murders. As he races against time, the dead haunt his every step... We also heard from two other 2010 short-listed authors over the summer. Rick DeMille’s entry A Murder in Mumbles (now re-titled Hellfire) has been picked up by Transit Publishing and is due for publication in at the end of October. and Rosemary McCraken’s book Safe Harbour (now re -titled Safe Harbor) has just been taken by a Canadian publisher and will be issued as a paperback and e-book early next year. That’s all for this bulletin. The 2012 Debut Dagger is now open for business on our website: Happy writing from Liz at Debut Dagger ... 13 weeks to go. For more information about the competition, visit

RBW does not endorse any competitions

„Pretty on the outside sure don‟t mean pretty on the inside,‟ said Maybelle stroking the brush through Missy Charlotta‟s untidy curls which cascaded across her shoulders and ended in ringlets about the sweeping pink ribbon tied about her waist. Missy Charlotta grew bored with the doll she was holding and dangled it by its hair. „Missy Charlotta! I am surprised at you,‟ admonished Maybelle. „Your poppa brought you doll all the way from Alabama. It‟s your favourite toy. Treat her nice.‟ „Tell me about Alabama before the fall,‟ pleaded choirboy eyes reflected in the dressing table mirror. „Tell me about Scarlet and Uncle Clem.‟ Maybelle checked the bedroom door was firmly closed, if found out she would get whipped for sure for raking over family secrets. Such things were not for delicate ears. But Missy Charlotta had her mother‟s slyness about her. If she didn‟t tell the story she would cop out one way or another. Missy Charlotta was a true Waterford right enough. „Well now, Miss Scarlet wasn‟t a beauty.‟ The girl raised a hand in protest, but subsided under a jerk of the hairbrush. „She was pretty, right enough. But hard pretty. She was too picky. And arrogant. She forgot that prettiness fades with the years. She thought them beaus would always be coming a-knocking. And, of course, as she reached her late 30s the door stopped knocking. She had been left behind.‟ „But, she did marry?‟ „Oh yes. She married all right, ten years later. 1859 in the fall. Clement Dubois, of the White Forks Ridge Dubois line.‟ „What was he like?‟ asked the girl plaiting the doll‟s hair. „Clem, he was another casualty of inbreeding, I guess. His momma had married her first cousin. The Dubois were very close. Kissing kin we call it.‟ „Was he weird? Couldn‟t she tell? Was it why she did what she did?‟ „No, he looked same as you and me, darlin‟ girl.‟ Maybelle didn‟t see the oddity of that statement as the house maid and the young Missy couldn‟t have been more different in looks and social status. „How did she find out?‟ „Ah, there‟s more to it than that. Before she discovered his secrets, something unfortunate happened.‟ „She got the wet lung! I know this bit.‟ „Yessum, she did. Coughing blood into her handkerchief day after day. Propped up on lace pillows, the French windows open to the balcony overlooking the plantation lawns as she wasted away. She didn‟t go quiet: she spit vile at the world. She hated being an invalid with an all consuming hatred. Anyone within earshot was defiled by her spite. And most of all she hated your Uncle Clem. She hated him for his moist hands, his tiny feet, his pale features. He was what we southerners call delicate. She was Waterford don‟t forget. Feisty and demanding.‟ Maybelle raised her eyebrow and widened her glance at her young charge. Missy Charlotta was a true blood Waterford alright. „Clem was no match for such as she. Most, she hated him for the knowing looks of sympathy from her kin. An aging dandy was the best she could get. Her, Scarlet Waterford, once the prettiest girl in Alabama palmed off to a balding wet fop like Clemmy Dubois.‟ „Yes, yes. Very sad, but get to the best bit will you. Momma will be calling for me to go down to dinner any minute.‟ „Summer came and in the heat, she improved enough to be walking with a stick for a few hours in the afternoon. It was one of these days of high summer when the cotton is high in the fields and the sun beating on the tin roofs if the gins. Dust blowing off the roads and a shimmer on the levy ...‟ „I don‟t want a weather report, Maybelle, get to the point.‟ Maybelle glared, remembered her place and dropped her eyes. „She woke from an afternoon nap, startled by an unfamiliar sound coming from the adjoining room. She struggled out of bed to investigate.‟ Maybelle laid down the brush, she had done her best to tame what did not want to be tamed. „What did she see? What was going on? Was that when she ...?‟ gasped Charlotta clutching the doll to her chest, her eyes gleaming in the mirror. In that second the dinner gong was heard. Her shoulders drooped, the murder part was always the best. The red of the blood as it dripped down the shutters, always excited her. The pinkness of his satin and lace gown, the young field hand, sobbing, still shackled to the wall, sweat glistening and running in trickles down his back. She couldn‟t get enough of it. „Hurry along now Missy, we‟ll have to finish the story at bedtime. Don‟t keep your momma waiting now, or we‟ll both catch out.‟ (SMS Assignment) POEMS AND PAINTS e-published Steph‟s 2011 poetry collection with original artwork is now published as a free to download e-book on and can be found on the individual project work page of RBW main website

Fiction Project: ARE WE THERE YET? Editor’s notes. A message from the manuscript editor:

Character list:

Charlie Witters and his brother, Brendan They own the coach company Angelo Driver FC Tours Coach No: 666 – Anglo-Italian – diamond smuggler Samantha Goodright Courier FC Tours – niece of the Witter brothers Ted Fetler Relief driver FC Tours Vera Pensioner - bladder weakness (Coldwynd Sands and Fare Deal) Gloria Pensioner - tubby companion to Vera Dan Forthright Inept, pompous PI – former rank DCI (Coldwynd Sands and WTAWTAW) Pete Ferret Sidekick to Forthright PI— insurance agents for stolen jewels Tudor and Dewi Davies Welsh sheep farmers won a ticket in a raffle Cyril & Muriel Pinkney Pompous Headmaster and long-suffering wife - hots for Henri Henri, Comte de Monte Donne - French aristo (?) Henri’s unnamed brother – a black sheep Mrs Richardson (Fare Deal) carrying Dickie’s mortal remains in a carrier bag Bobby Owen (Fare Deal) accompanying Mrs Richardson Jason Ratisson (JR) and Jacqueline Gardien (Jacqui). Lovers having a preliminary honeymoon. Martin Man of Mystery — go-between for jewel thieves and buyers Mick and Meg Dale Mick has wandering affection Mrs Grace Ferret Pete’s wife and partner in the PI business. Doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Mavis. Mrs Mavis Forthright Dan’s wife and partner in the PI business. Doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Grace. Lady Antonia Garibaldi Italian grand dame – diamond smuggler in cahoots with driver Miss Wainright Mousy companion to Lady Garibaldi (might be a man, as yet undecided) Barry and Beryl Smith Pools Winners. Parents to Harry and Cilla Sandy Rathe, and his friend, Julian, Grapes of Rathe Guesthouse Sister Margarette and Sister Bernadette – the fake nuns on the run from One Legged Eddie Sister Ignatius and Sister Teresa the real nuns

AWTY ... Message from the EDITOR to all contributors ...


Issue Issue 212 211 Page 14 12 Page

In trying to edit this manuscript I have hit a snag, not so much a problem as something that has annoyed me for some time. All authors are, and will continue to be, identified by their preferred name or nom de plume on the title page. If you wish to be identified by other than your given name please tell me NOW! Previously we have also identified a contributor within the story by using a subtitle and the author‟s name within the body of the book e.g. “What the left hand did [JB]” or “What the left hand did [Joe Bloggs]” Then onto that particular part of the story. To my mind this is constitutes an interruption to the flow of the story. One we can well do without, after all YOU know what you wrote! I cannot, unilaterally, decide to delete the ID marker; only you can give permission to do so. Anyway I've had my say. Now it's up to you. All votes – for preference written on the back of used £50 notes or any similar small change you find lost in your pocket – to me by the end of the month please. XXX Clive (Update: so far all votes have been for removal of initials by pieces and only to have contributor names at the front.)

Peter Shilston writes … November 5th is upon us, and once again we commemorate the day in 1605 (except that nobody ever remembers the year) when Guy Fawkes was caught in the very act of preparing to blow up the Houses of Parliament - assuming, of course, that it was a genuine plot, not a putup job by the government of the day, as some historians have suggested. Fawkes and his fellow-plotters were all Roman Catholics. Celebrating the detection of the plot with bonfires seems to have started around 1680, when England was in the grip of a new wave of anti-Catholic hysteria: the great “Popish Plot” scare. The figure ceremonially burnt on the November 5th bonfires is often called “the Guy”, but it actually represents the Pope rather than Fawkes (who was hung, drawn and quartered, the traditional penalty for High Treason, not burnt at the stake). Burning or hanging in effigy was an ancient method of demonstrating popular hatred of some prominent person, and the figure on the bonfire was actually labelled “The Pope” until very recently in some places; notably the town of Lewes in Sussex. By a happy coincidence, November 5th was also the day when in 1688 William of Orange landed at Torbay on his way to take the crown from England’s last Catholic king, James II. William’s supporters hailed as a clear mark of divine providence the “Protestant wind” which blew from the east to carry William’s fleet down the Channel from Holland, whilst keeping James’s fleet bottled up in the Thames estuary, unable to get round the headland of Kent. James ran away, William occupied London bloodlessly and was proclaimed King. Since then it has been laid down that no King may be a Catholic, and any member of the royal family who marries a Catholic is automatically excluded from the line of succession. I found in an old Church of England Prayer Book prescribed prayers for November 5th, bringing together this double anniversary under the heading of “Gunpowder Treason”. The first prayer begins:“Almighty God, who hast in all ages showed thy power and mercy in the miraculous and gracious deliverance of thy Church, and in the protection of righteous and religious Kings and states, professing thy holy and eternal truth from the wicked conspiracies and malicious practices of all the enemies thereof; We yield thee our unfeigned thanks and praise for the wonderful and mighty deliverance of our gracious sovereign King James the First, the Queen, the Prince and all the Royal branches, with the Nobility, Clergy and Commons of England, then assembled in Parliament, by Popish treachery appointed as sheep to the slaughter, in a most barbarous and savage manner, beyond the examples of former ages. (etc etc)” And then the second prayer:“Accept also, most gracious God, of our unfeigned thanks for filling our hearts again with joy and gladness, after the time thou hadst afflicted us, and putting a new song in our mouths, by bringing his majesty King William upon this day, for the deliverance of our church and Nation from Popish tyranny and arbitrary power. We adore the wisdom and justice of they providence, which so timely interposed in our extreme danger and disappointed all the designs of our enemies (etc etc)” We are not likely to find such violently anti-Catholic sentiments in these ecumenical times. Indeed, we are now told that the relevant clauses of the Bill of Rights (1689) and the Act of Settlement (1701) will be repealed, to allow Catholics once again to succeed to the throne!

LITERARY GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS CANDIDATE An author launching a new novel or book isn't unusual, but the 'Meet the Author' book launch at Clayton Library on Wednesday November 16th has a twist worthy of any Agatha Christie or J. K. Rowling page turner. Not one or two, but no less than six authors will read from their new volumes and chat to the audience about writing and publishing. The event begins at 7-15pm. More information from the library on 01782 616074.

Phil Emery's 'The Shadow Cycles' is the follow-up novel to his Potteries set 'Necromantra'. And in the year when Conan the Barbarian returns to cinema screens, the book also attempts to revision the genre of sword-&-sorcery for the twenty-first century. Ralph Alcock's latest novel bids to continue his progress as a powerful new voice in crime fiction. He reads from the proofs of the new book due out later this month. Gill Hargreaves performed with Prospect Productions theatre company before working for Radio Stoke. She reads from her debut novel, 'A Triangular Affair' which sensitively and wittily tells a story of love, passion, and family tensions. Dennis Wilton has taught martial arts for over twenty years. His books on the subject, including 'Battlefields of the Mind' are ground-breaking investigations into the subject which draw on philosophy and psychology. He also writes novels. He will talk about the differences between fact, fiction, and the writing of the two. Roy Gray is the author of 'The Joy of Technology', a 12,000 word chapbook published by South Wales publisher Pendragon Press. Roy spent most of his life developing packaging for pharmaceuticals and this is often reflected in his work. His story 'Being of Sound Mind' was anthologised last year. His new novelette is hard science fiction and explicit in its exploration of future technology. Richard Ayres began his acute explorations of modern life and mores with 'Waterloo Sunset'. His latest book continues to expand his reputation as a chronicler of the relationships between people and the times they inhabit.

Upcoming literary events: INFORMATION PROVIDED BY ALEX DAVIS (LECTURER IN CREATIVE WRITING) 7th November, Writing Workshop, Tamworth Assembly Rooms - more details at http:// 16th November, Taste Writing - two-course dinner and writing workshop. Full info at http:// 23rd November, Eat Your Words with Cath Staincliffe - three-course meal with readings and Q+A. More at

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26th November, Read and Breakfast with Niki Valentine - author readings with a delicious breakfast! Details at

THE POETRY SLOT Joseph-Isidore Bédard (January 9, 1806 – April 14, 1833) was a poet, lawyer and political figure in Lower Canada. Born in Quebec City in 1806, the son of Pierre-Stanislas Bédard, and educated at the Séminaire de Nicolet. He studied law and was called to the bar in 1829. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada for Saguenay in 1830 and was a member of the temperance movement. Bédard wrote the patriotic song (lst Canadian National Anthem) Sol Canadien! Terre chérie!, published in the Quebec Gazette in 1829. Bédard sailed to England in 1831. In September 1832, when he was about to return home, he suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage from which he never recovered. He died unmarried in Paris in 1833 and was buried in the cemetery at Montmartre. 'Sol canadien, terre chérie' is one of the earliest French Canadian patriotic songs. Two stanzas were published anonymously under the nom de plume Baptiste in 1827 and all four appeared in the Gazette de Québec 1 Jan 1829. The tune of 'Ah! quel tourment,' was common while some sources refer to the tune of 'Ah! quelle, quelle inquiétude,' as also being used before being set to music by the composer Molt. A publication at this time stated that the song 'sums up admirably the feelings of French Canadians. They were submissive to British rule, despite the daily strain placed on their loyalty by its oligarchic nature, because they abhorred the thought of annexation by the USA.' Sol Canadien! Terre chérie!, Translated and interpreted by: W. M. MacKeracher (From the French of Joseph-Isidore Bédard.)

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O soil Canadian, cherished earth, The brave, the noble, peopled thee; They left the country of their birth, And sought a land of liberty. It was from glorious France they came: They were the pick of warriors, they; The shining lustre of their fame Is kept untarnished till to-day.

Still honor the protecting hand Of Albion, friend of the opprest; And harbor no malicious band Of traitors nourished in thy breast. Yield never in the storm, be brave; Thine only masters are thy laws; Thou wast not made to be a slave; Fear not, thy rights are Britain's cause.

How beautiful thy fields appear! How much thou hast to give content! All hail, ye mountains that uprear Your lordly heights magnificent! All hail, St. Lawrence' noble tide! Hail, land by Nature richly deckt! Thy children's hearts should throb with pride, Thy sons should walk with head erect.

If that belov'd, protecting hand Should ever fail thee, undismay'd Stand by thyself, alone, my land, Rejecting, scorning foreign aid. From glorious France thy founders came; They were the pick of warriors, they: The shining lustre of their fame Unsullied shall be kept for aye.

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Issue 212

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Issue 212 RBW Online  

Issue 212 RBW Online weekly magazine

Issue 212 RBW Online  

Issue 212 RBW Online weekly magazine