#FridayFictioneers Last of the Summer Vines

I found this very difficult, sometimes you have too much going through your head to make into a story. When I saw the picture I immediately thought of my grandad so this is ever so slightly autobiographical.

If you want to take part in Friday Fictioneers, visit Madison Woods to view the picture, write 100 words and post it back on her blog.


Last of the Summer Vines

It was the end of summer and the rain had been falling heavily for months. Jean and Bernie walked through the orchard as the thick grass tickled their bare ankles. It was a place the season had forgotten and now it belonged only to them. The apple tree their granddaughters used to climb cowered under the weight of the early crop, beneath it a rusting lawn roller surrounded by rotting fruit.

“How are the vines Bernie?”

“No harvest this year” he sighed, examining the intertwined branches.

She wrapped her arm around his “Ah well, cider it is this Christmas”


Chapter Extract from First Draft

Jerry sat in the chair and waited for the man to come over with the needle. The room was covered with art work of dragons, Chinese symbols of mythology and girls etched in different characters. From each year since Jack was born, Jerry obtained another tattoo.

He had twelve, all over his body. None of them could be seen without him bearing skin. His brother hated them, branded him as common for succumbing to the clique that he had managed to avoid. However Jerry was an addict. His hair-line had been receding for a while and he loathed that every time he looked in the mirror, an old man was staring back. His face was rough from the years of working outside and lugging around heavy loads. He also laid blame on his sister-in-law and nephew. They caused him no end of hassle, the stress was hard to bear and there were times when his temper got the better of him. He knew he had to control his urges but it was becoming more difficult.

Since Jerry could remember, the anger had always been with him. It was unexplained and irrational. The violence that had gone alongside it seemed as natural as eating and breathing. He wanted to hate himself but he didn’t. There was no remorse nor was there any pride. It was just what he did. When he was ten years old he remembered beating up a bully in the playground who had singled out Bill. His brother would come home in tears, unable to defend himself. Their mother vowed to go into school and sort it out. However Jerry had sorted it before she had the chance and the lad never bothered Bill again. In fact he never bothered anyone, too afraid to be in the same room as Jerry.

He looked at Jack sometimes and saw Bill in him. Jerry did think a lot of Jack, to say that he loved him would be too much, but he was certainly fond of him. At the same time he saw him as a liability. Even though he had taught him a lesson for his snooping, Jerry was worried that unlike his father, Jack was clever. His mind was always ticking, always thinking about what was going on around him. His morals led the way he acted in life and although he was weak, he was not malleable and easy intimidated. Jerry feared that one day, Jack would turn his back on the family and turn them in. He would certainly have a lot to say which is why he had to keep a very close eye on him at all times.

“What we having this time Jerry” asked the burly looking man, arms covered in tattoos and ears full of studs
“A scorpion” Jerry handed him the picture he had sketched himself “Got a spare patch on my back, think it could go there”
The man nodded and studied the picture “No problem”
Jerry could feel the ink penetrate his skin and he breathed a sigh of relief. As the needle went in, the evil flowed out and for a few hours he felt no anger.

Earn Money Writing Articles – A Few Tips

For the past couple of months I have been trying to earn some extra money through my writing. Whilst I would love this to be through my short stories, I am still not confident enough to send anything out to publishers.  In the meantime as I still need a few additional pennies to keep the bills at bay, I chose to pursue article writing.

Although I have a background in journalism, becoming an online copywriter was a little tricky. I didn’t know where to start. First I became an approved writer at Demand Studios but found that unless you have specialist knowledge then it will be hard to find assignments. For example if you want to write about buying curtains, you need to be a well established home and garden journalist to pick up the job.

Squidoo is using article writing to create ‘Lenses’ using a free platform. Here you write about a topic you are enthusiastic about and you feel is useful. Income generated from the affiliate ad links and ad revenue.  This is a great way to earn money whilst article writing but it’s a slow burner, don’t expect to see results straight away.

I have found better success with Copify, a copywriting agency with hundreds of copywriters on their books. To become a copywriter you need to apply through their website, which from what I remember was a fairly quick and simple process.  At first you start off as a standard writer, where you have access to pick up ‘standard’ jobs. Most pay about 1-1.5p a word, with jobs ranging from travel articles, blogs and website copy.  When you have completed a job and it has been approved you are paid. The client can leave a rating on your profile out of five stars and may also leave a comment. Once you have worked through a few jobs and received consistent, positive feedback you graduate to become ‘Professional’ writer. I understand at this point you are offered higher paid jobs.

So that is my bit of advice for copywriting online if you need a bit of extra cash in these hard-up times, I hope you’ve found it useful.

Lovely, Lovely Awards

I need to apologise to the very lovely Jacqueline at Maturestudenthanginginthere as a few months ago she nominated me for a Sunshine Award. A few days ago another lovely blog nominated me for a smashing four awards which I am also incredibly grateful for and also reminded me that I need to get on and complete saying my very big thank you to Jacqueline and now Megan Paasch for the nominations.

Sunshine Award and Reader Appreciation Award

These both require the same questions so I’ve done a combo!








Favourite Colour:

I have two! I can’t pick between the two so first is a deep purple and second is a bluey grey – something that looks like it would smell nice if it was a perfume. Yes, that makes no sense.

Favourite Animal:

Friendly dogs are wonderful, of the non pet variety I love penguins. Specifically the Adelie Penguins, they’re pretty cute whilst also being a bit gangster. Don’t believe me, here’s a bit of criminal nature comedy.

Favourite Number:

Urm, don’t know. 18 is a pretty nice one.

Favourite Non-Alcoholic Drink:

Orange and mango juice. Nom.

Facebook or Twitter:

Now this is tricky. Facebook is starting to get on my nerves for numerous reasons. I don’t like the fact that it can sneakily tag you in a location – seriously have no idea how to turn this off. Twitter is great when you want to connect with other writers, but keeping in touch with friends it can be a bit boring. So don’t know. Facebook has the edge due to the fact that despite relatives being the other side of the world we can keep in touch, share photos, chat easily etc.

My Passion:

Writing is my passion, so is music and cake. Can’t get better than that.

Favourite pattern:

Don’t really have one. Never thought about it!

Favourite day of the week:

Saturday, it can either be packed full of adventure or a complete chill out session. Plus you know you have another day to have fun with.

Favourite Flower:

Gerberas, they look so happy!

Third award up is the Most Inspiring Blogger Award which is a really nice one to get. I haven’t been blogging all that long but also I haven’t blogging much lately so this was lovely. It requires you to share seven things about yourself people probably don’t know and nominate other blogs to do the same.


1. I need coffee, every day, at 11am else the rest of the day feels weird

2. For about 15 years I loved tap dancing and longed to be the next Ginger Rogers. Then I discovered boys and that went out of the window. Few years on I wish I had kept it up and whilst occasionally stirring whatever is on the hob I still break into a little bit of timestep

3. Whilst working in public relations I performed a timestep at a networking event whilst under pressure to prove that I had done a bit of tap before… humiliation doesn’t even cover it

4. I once bumped into Steve Tyler whilst in Moscow without realising. He was trying on a traditional Russian hat, I asked if I could get by and started trying on hats next to him. Didn’t realise that I was surrounded by a fair few bodyguards and Aerosmith fans desperate to get a picture until my husband and friend informed me that I was getting in the way

Me as Eric Clapton

5. My teddy bear Harry is my most prized possession

6. My dad is responsible for my music tastes… instead of nursery rhymes he used to make my sister and I listen to BB King, Roxy Music and Bob Dylan. He even dressed me up as Eric Clapton once. Don’t know what’s worse, the get up or the hair cut. Possibly the haircut?

7. My name is Emma and I’m an Eddie Stobbart spotter.

The last two are Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award and Beautiful Blogger Award which I belive have no requirements except to pass it on.


Now for the nominations, all of which are well deserving of all these awards. All of these blogs I love and read regularly, so I hope you manage to drop by and share the appreciation.







#Friday Fictioneers – Solitude

Thank you Madison Woods for the photo prompt. If you want to have a go at Friday Fictioneers, here’s the link

I haven’t done this in a few weeks, again done rather quickly on my lunch break. Some things never change!

98 words, critiques always welcome.


Martha called it Home. It was nothing much, just four crumbling walls and a dusty floor, decorated with a single tapestry blanket.  The garden was thick with desert flora, rattlesnakes and scorpions. She went outside and gently patted her horse “I’m sorry” she said out loud “No riding today”.

Martha searched the horizon for signs of Ethan. He had ridden out the day before to find a doctor. A sharp pain shot through her back and Martha leant her weight on the horse. Breathing slowly, she felt liquid run down her legs.

“Oh Jesus” she muttered “Not now”