My hero Nick is a biker and a surfer and I rather like the illustration they’ve used (by André Leonard) because that’s just about how I’d pictured him.
The idea for the story actually came from People’s Friend themselves, when, a while ago, Shirley Blair (who used to be the Fiction Editor) mentioned on her blog that some lifeboat communities celebrate the birth of a baby by tying a pink or blue ribbon on the lifeboat station’s flag pole.
In my story, Nick sees the blue ribbon and realises that Jules, the woman he loves, has had a baby boy but it’s not his baby and Jules is not his wife – she’s actually married to his best friend…(da, da, derrrrr!)
The People’s Friend website is a great source of inspiration and guidance, by the way, regardless of whether you want to write for them or not. Every week they have a ‘story starter’ prompt, for example.
Richard and Judy: Keep Reading and Carry On
Did you see the Richard and Judy ‘lockdown book club’ which was on Channel 4 every afternoon last week? It was good – and if you missed it, you can catch the 5 episodes here.
Not that I need any more book recommendations! I’ve got dozens of books to read and at the moment I’m trying to finish ‘Before She Knew Him’ by Peter Swanson, which is our book club choice for this month (and the meeting – on Zoom – is tomorrow night. Eek! But in my defence, I try to read the book as closely as possible to the meeting, so that it’s still fresh in my mind! But erm…sometimes I cut it a bit fine!).
In case you are wondering, we have been blasting the unwanted squirrel squatters with Radio One at full volume, day and night PLUS bright lights and it seems to have worked – at least for the time being.
We have also, in the meantime (in a kind of biblical-plague-of-locusts kind of way), been visited by a huge swarm of masonry bees who were clearly ‘viewing’ our walls, with a view to also taking up residence but we blasted them with water from a hose and again, (are you impressed with our ‘green’ methods of pest control?) they seem to have taken the hint and gone elsewhere.
Mirror’s Crime Short Story Competition c/d 30th May
The Mirror have announced a crime short story competition, free to enter and judged by Val McDermid, with a closing date of 30th May. There’s very little (OK, nothing!) in the way of rules and regs – they don’t even state whether the story must be unpublished or whether published authors are acceptable – but if you want to have a go, then here are all the details and good luck!
And in other news, we’ve finished watching the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel ‘Normal People’ and enjoyed it (although apparently the ending’s different from the book! Hope that’s not a spoiler). Have you seen it? Apparently, it’s the raunchiest ever BBC show. Obviously, they made it ‘pre-lockdown’. They couldn’t have made it now, what with all our social distancing palaver, now could they?