Week 136 – Novels, Shorts And Accomplished Acting

Here we are again. Another seven days have flown by and we are into Week 136.

Gwen gave me my inspiration this week when she bought me a Mark Billingham novel. I’ve read most of them. ‘Scaredy Cat’ was a superb book and Tom Thorne is a brilliant character! But I’m finding it very difficult to read a full novel at the moment. I reckon it’s all to do with the vast amount of short stories that we’ve read. (Nik is the man for the sites statistics!)

It is a totally different discipline. Not only writing but reading. Shorts have to grab you quicker than an enthusiastic lady of the night. Novels on the other hand need to groom you…Well you know where I was going with that!

I find it strange that some writers can write with speed. I’ve written some things on speed but gave up to dance to Iron Butterfly!

Simon Kernick is one such writer and I’m in awe of how anyone does that. I’ve mentioned ‘The Fog’ by James Herbert many times and that was another book that tweaked your interest straight away.

One of the best feelings in the world apart from hitting a golf ball straight and long, opening a litre of Bacardi and watching a toddler skin its knee, is the feeling that you get when you are really into a book. You can’t wait to pick it up and savour a few pages. You want to share it, tell everyone how they just must read it. It’s a bit like old people explaining their symptoms of the many, many diseases that inflict them. They talk so enthusiastically that you actually feel some jealousy that parts of you aren’t falling off or rotting.

I have a rather embarrassing admission and it has nothing to do with what I am taking penicillin for. Only once have I read a book in one sitting. It was nearly ‘The Lonely Lady’ by Harold Robbins but I had to put that down for the sake of my eyesight. I wish it had been ‘It’, ‘The Fog’, ‘Library Of The Dead’, ‘The Grave Tattoo’, ‘Nobody True’, ‘The Falls’…The list goes on, but it wasn’t! The book that I read all the way through was ‘Teddy Lester’s Chums.’

The revelation gets worse. That isn’t a pop up book with 40 pages of kiddies nonsense. It is a teenage book in the style of ‘Tom Brown’s School-days.’

It was all about Rugger and Cricket and jolly Lacrosse. To this day I don’t know why I read it. And honestly I didn’t have the same reaction as I did with ‘The Lonely Lady’! By the way the film was pish! Pia Zadora was one of my younger years fantasies. Susan Penhaligan and Francoise Pascal also made me realise my sexuality. They did make me question my ability to spot acceptable acting though!!

My torment was complete when I looked up the book and saw that it was valued between fifty and three hundred pounds for a copy and I’d lost mine.


Enough of this nonsense and onto our stories.

It’s always heartening to see that we had three first timers. We continue to pick up new writers most weeks. As well as them we had the wonderful Leila Allison and me. The topics were as eclectic as always. We had Indians, a spaceship pilot, a serial killer, an incestuous rape and Death also reared his head for an appearance.

I love stories about Native Americans, especially when the tale is in the hands of such a skilled and talented writer. Leila Allison started off the week for us with ‘The Great Cszminoothe‘.

‘A super fun read.’

‘We are very fortunate that Leila has become part of the LS furniture.’

‘This needs to be read over and over again to even begin to appreciate all the information given.’


Our first new author was next up. We welcome all of them, hope they have fun on the site and that they all send us many more stories. Erin O’Loughlan had her quirky story ‘Cosmic Girl‘ published on Tuesday.

‘A really good tone.’

‘Solid writing and it made me laugh.’

‘This was a very enjoyable and entertaining story.’


Wednesday came third in the week as is its wont. ‘Death On Wheels‘ was the first story for ‘Iona Douglas.’

‘Very well done and a nod to Sir Terry.’

‘Nicely constructed.’

‘I loved the line about animals having their own people.’


Our last débutante penned our penultimate story of the week. Laura Ann Zinc was next up on Thursday with ‘Infinity Land.’

‘Dark and gruesome.’

‘Odd, creepy and cleverly done.’

‘This dragged you into the story immediately.’


And on Friday, it was me. ‘Holly’ actually started off as a short many years ago. I then returned to it and changed it into a poem. From there it became another one of my unpublished novels which dealt with curiosity. And it has finally ended our week as a revised short.

As always I thank my fellow editors for their support, advice and comments.


That’s it for another week folks.

Well I’m going to look for that bloody book. I’m sure that the best pages are marked!

Really…Do I need my next line????



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4 thoughts on “Week 136 – Novels, Shorts And Accomplished Acting

  1. Excellent post as always, Hugh, or as I think of you, Mr. Saturday (as of late, Friday, as well).
    I have a list of one sitting books for people in search of that sort of thing. All classic, only one goes over 100 pages:
    Robert Lewis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde (writ in 3 days!); Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; Bartleby the Scrivener by Melville (it weighs in at 49 pages), and the lengthy in comparison to all the above, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, for those of you who aren’t depressed enough. All above equal less than 400 pages

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since I am in a recommending and listy kind of moo, I want to list my top five all time short stories (in no particular order): Big Blonde, Dorothy Parker; A Good Man is Hard to Find. F. O’Connor; The Lottery, Shirley Jackson; The Star, Arthur C.Clarke; The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, J. Thuber. Damn the maw of Hell opens and I go to work. Sigh.


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