Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Snippets: Ugly



I get that I’m ugly, OK. Even my mother couldn’t bear to look at me. She did her best, mind, fed me and clothed me, tried to keep me from the prying eyes of the village. But she never once actually looked me in the face, not that I remember. And I guess the shame of having produced such a horror as me got to her in the end because one day she just upped and died in her sleep. Village priest took me in for a while, but there were whispers, first that she’d done away with herself because of me and then, when that wasn’t enough, they started saying that I’d done her in. Priest told me he didn’t think he could protect me from them. He gave me a gold coin and a slice of bread and sent me off out of the back door just as the mob appeared at the front. Seven years old I was, ugly as sin and all alone in the world.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Snippets: Sticks

Look, building a house out of sticks is a perfectly reasonable architectural option. You humans did it for centuries, probably still do in some places. Straw’s not such a bad option either. Both of them simple, reasonably robust once you plaster over with a bit of mud and most importantly, it’s cheap.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Snippets: Flies



The tailor smiled his careful smile as he closed the door behind the two young men. He raised a hand. Not that they’d notice, those rich dandies. They didn’t even think of him as a human being, most likely. Those young men Just like all the tailor’s other customers: they’d notice if he stuck a pin in them, that was about it. Some people would ask his advice about cut and fabric. Not the dandies though. They made their demands for bigger, better, brighter suits of clothes and struck poses while the little tailor tried to measure them, talking all the time to their companions if they’d come accompanied or to the air if they were alone.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Snippets: Apple



The moment she thinks of the way to do it, a little noise gurgles up from her throat. A chuckle, she tells herself. Certainly not a cackle. She coughs politely and pats her mouth with her table napkin.

“I will be busy this morning,” she announces to the room. As she rises, a silent servant glides forward to pull the chair out of the way of her skirts noiselessly.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Getting to know you

I’ve just started writing a new book. It’s all planned, carefully broken down scene by scene, with the ups and downs of the plot mapped out, because that’s the kind of writer I am. But there are always unknowns.

The main one, for me, is who these people are that I’m writing about. I know what their role in the book is, I know what their character is and how they relate to each other in a broad-brush sort of a way. My protagonist, Ravi, for example, is male, sixteen, clever, his shyness makes him seem a bit aloof, likes computer games. That’s more or less it.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Snippets: Boy

Moment I opened my eyes I thought, o-oh, better scarper double-quick. She was looking down at me with tears in her eyes, honest to God tears and going, “Oh, my beautiful boy, how perfectly you’ve turned out. I am quite the happiest mother alive.”

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Snippets: Sleeping Draught

“Go on, take the idiot his cake,” whispered her eldest sister. “The sooner he’s asleep, the sooner we can be on his way.”

“At least he’s a skinny little thing,” giggled one of the twins. “Remember that big fat one last month, the one who needed two cakes before the sleeping draught kicked in.”

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Snippets: Frog

“But he’s a frog!”

“It doesn’t matter, dear. You are under obligation to him.”

“But…”

“No arguments.”

This is beyond unfair. Ok so the slimy little beast brought back my golden ball, but quite honestly, I’d rather have lost it forever than have to put up with his creepy green body sitting right beside my dinner plate. It honestly makes my skin crawl every time he opens his mouth and human words come out.

“This is very kind of you, Princeth,” he lisps, right before his disgusting tongue flicks out of his mouth to nab a bit of meat from my plate.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Snippets: Tongue-tied



At first he thought it was simply a matter of finding the right words. He would frame it in his mind, where they would be, how he would introduce it into the conversation, this thing he needed to tell her. He would go so far as trying to picture her lovely face as he told her – horrified, sympathetic, generous – but there his imagination failed him. Or perhaps he couldn’t think it through that far because, after all this time, he couldn’t quite bring himself to hope that it would all work out.