Born in Cornwall, Ben Mears first began writing high fantasy as a hobbyist, later working on a series of early-medieval whodunits before self-publishing the young adult Tyler May series. A Sock Full of Bones is the first of his novels to be traditionally published.
I have a dream.
No this is not the start of Martin Luther King’s famous speech.
Instead, it’s my take on a similar principle. I have a dream, I’ve had it for many years, to give everyone the opportunity to change their life if they want to. The method is simple and effective and it works every time, but first, you have to see me as I really am.
Kay sat on the step of her pottery studio cradling a cup of tea when she felt a nudge on her arm as Pansy, her Nan’s Yorkshire Terrier, rushed past her and began doing joyful circuits of the lawn. Kay had been apprehensive about taking Pansy in, but things had happened so quickly after Nan’s fall that she had felt it was the only option, and her Nan had been so grateful.
Thanks to a kind donation from a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous, the prize funds for each category winner have been doubled to £50 each.
To be or not to be, that is the question?
The opening line of Hamlet’s soliloquy is a memorable piece that you probably remember from school days. But it is the beginning of a personal consideration about the merits of suicide; it’s no wonder the play is one of Shakespeare’s tragedies.
You know what it’s like to encounter something new for the first time. There’s a moment of surprise, perhaps even shock, before the eye starts roving around, exploring. What your subconscious brain is trying to do is place this ‘thing’ in context; can I eat it, should I run away or does it pose no threat? Your conscious brain isn’t aware that this is playing out in the background.
Jenny Jaeckel is the author of House of Rougeaux, her debut novel, winner of an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Hisorical Fiction and was named one of Bitch Media’s 25 Must Read Books of 2018; and the forthcoming companion book Boy, Falling, to be published by Black Rose Writing in July 2021. In our time together we talked about how the art of being more real is one of Jenny’s core themes in her work and life.
Back in 2012, I was a member of Toastmasters International at my local club, Casterbridge Speakers, in Dorchester. I’d written and given many speeches in the years I was there, but this is one, titled ‘The guru, the hero, the lover and me’, I wrote but never delivered. I thought it might be nice to share it here, just in case, there is anyone out there thinking (or fearing) giving a presentation sometime soon.
I woke up this morning with the title of this blog post pounding a drumbeat in my head and had to write it down immediately. It was born out of a need to focus on this elusive thing we call ‘truth’. In light of recent events in the United States, and closer to home personally, I felt it was time to embrace the conversation that starts something along the lines of ‘there is no such thing as truth’.
The period between Christmas and New Year is an odd hinterland of non-doing for me. The celebrations of Christmas pause and wait until the celebrations of New Year begin. That space between one year and the next is when I try and get through tasks that would normally be difficult to do, not because they’re hard, but because they require discipline and time – not something I’m normally abundent in!