On the edge of a pond,

Today I’m going to share an excerpt from the first e-book I published, Farholm. The story takes place over two weeks – Deke goes to Farholm Island where her late husband lived as a boy to try and find out more about the man she married; when he was killed in a road accident she discovered he had secrets which affected her after his death. When she gets to Farholm, she meets Michael who also has a particular reason for staying on the island.

In this excerpt, Michael and Deke have travelled up to an old village up in the hills which has become an alternative community, the members adopting new names and following a seemingly harmless ecological/Mother Natural/Earth religion. Deke and Michael have a terrible row and she storms out of the little studio where they have been looking at paintings and photographs, into a dense fog. As Deke is on crutches because she has a broken ankle, it is possibly not the most sensible thing to do…

Deke hobbled swiftly down the stable, flung open the door and rushed out into the fog, she would go back to the cafe and phone Tom or Barbara Crewe or Sean, anyone to rescue her, to take her back to her cottage and she would pack and run away. She blundered on and she heard Michael somewhere calling her, his voice oddly directionless in the obscurity. She came up against a wall and followed it, passing an unlit window and came to a door. She banged but there was no response, it wasn’t the cafe. Michael was still calling her name and then she heard other voices. Quite close at hand a woman said

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, Deke,” she answered because the voice sounded familiar.

“Where are you?”

Deke stumbled on to where the woman seemed to be. There was grass beneath her feet, she had strayed out of the confines of the village. She was very frightened. Something moved in the fog in front of her and thankfully she hurried towards it only to collide with a startled cow. She turned and tried to go back the way she had come. She had no idea which way she was facing, towards the village or away and into the hidden wilderness.

“Where are you?” said the woman again.

“Here.”

She stumbled on and suddenly her crutch sunk into mud. She was on the edge of a pond, the pond she had seen in the photo of the children. She had staggered into the cow trampled ooze and  slithered and stuck, her crutches pushing down into the smelly slime.

“I’m by the pond,” she called, her voice sharp with panic and fear. Deke looked across the dull grey water and could just make out a clump of reeds.

She was shoved violently and she slipped and fell with a great splash. She floundered and thrashed desperately as a foot pressed down on her back, between her shoulder blades. Then suddenly it was gone and she turned onto her back, hacking and coughing as she tried to sit up. Then the pond seemed full of other people and she was pulled up, hawking and spitting.

“Oh stars and moon! Are you alright?” Lark was wrapping her tartan around Deke  and there was a chorus of concern from the others who had appeared. Michael had pulled her out. Had he pushed her in?

If you want to find out why Deke and Michael were in the village, who pushed her into the pond and tried to drown her, and what happened next, here is a link to Farholm:

A mystery

There are all sorts of reasons people write a blog, and each person who does so probably has many reasons themselves. I have lots of different reasons; I enjoy writing and I enjoy writing for this forum, I like to explore what other people have written and enjoy the photos they share as well as their thoughts, without being pretentious I feel it’s an opportunity to practice my craft, it is a way of recording my family’s history in a readable way rather than just a list of different generations, and I can promote my self-published novels… I have never had the contacts or luck to be published by an actual publishing house, so this is a way I can try and get my work to a wider audience.

I admit I glance at the graph which shows how many people have viewed and looked at my posts, but I’m not obsessive about it and I know there are all sorts of reasons why the figures might go up and down. For quite a while I seemed to have a constant number of visitors, around the same mark each day, then it might dip, and there might be reasons for that, eg Christmas. There was a bit of a slump earlier this year, but it settled back at a new constant and it has been bobbing along quite nicely for months.

However, yesterday, I was shocked to see I had virtually no views or visitors at all… was it something I’d done? I had written three posts, one on Sunday roast dinner, one on Galloping Horses – the carousel horses, and one on a fabulous Turkish restaurant I went to in Brighton. When I tried to view those posts myself, just to check I hadn’t made some glaring or ghastly error which would have put people off before they even read what I’d written, I found I couldn’t see or find the posts…

I think some gremlin has got in the works… if I have a similar problem today I’ll get in touch with the helpful WordPress technicians – they’ve sorted out problems for me in the past! If it’s not a gremlin, but my posts… then I’ll have some serious thinking to do!