A Pocket Full of Words Podcast

I have always loved short stories and today marks a first for me. I have recorded my first ever short story podcast!

Each month I shall be adding one of my short stories to my Pocket Full of Words series of podcasts. This month I’ve decided to record my heartfelt story of love and loss – Come Tilly Come. I’ll warn you now, this one’s a bit sad!

All of my stories are under 30 minutes in length, and designed to be listened to in one sitting. So if you’re making the tea, on the bus, or just need to go someplace else for a short while, please give my podcast a listen. I’d love to know what you think.

I am not one for public speaking and have always been content to be somewhere in the shadows so this has really challenged me. It’s funny when you hear your voice played back, I thought goodness, is that really how I speak??

My Pocket Full of Words podcasts will eventually be available across all platforms, currently it is available on Spotify.

I think I sound a bit nervous, and am hoping as the months go by I’ll sound a lot more confident but I can’t promise anything!

I hope you enjoy listening to Come Tilly Come 馃檪

Break a Leg…

I’ve written this post in the 5 minutes or so I am allowed to keep my leg in what’s considered a normal position. It’s fair to say that February has so far been anything but normal. Let me explain, we have a feral cat who likes to pop it’s ginger head into our garden about tea time looking for tasty snacks. Of course, there are always tasty snacks to be found left by yours truly. Last Saturday was particularly rainy and grim and with my garden shoes on and cat food in hand I went to leave said tasty snacks at the bottom of the garden. Unfortunately I never made it that far, and with about as much grace as a baby elephant I slipped on a very muddy section of grass. I wished it had been more poetic, but it wasn’t. However for comedy value it was exceptional! A quick dash to A&E ,and a few hours later I am now the proud owner of a broken fibular and dislocated ankle! Why thank you very much 馃檪

This week has been a steep learning curve. I have had to negotiate crutches, elevate my leg for what feels like forever, and avoid searching for ‘broken ankle recovery time’ on the internet! I am due an operation over the coming days and then the long road to recovery begins.

Looking on the bright side here’s three positive things that I have learnt this week:

  • My upper body strength is improving
  • You can indeed write whilst staring up at the ceiling
  • The power of a small bell is vastly underrated!

I’ll keep you posted on my one legged adventures…

If you are stuck for something to read, pop on over to my little bookshop and see if anything tickles your fancy!

When you’re bored and decide to ‘pimp up’ your plaster cast!

A Pocket Full of Words

It is an honour to have my small piece ‘A Remembered Dance’ published in the literary journal From The Depths 2020. My Penny Fiction piece of exactly 20 words can be found wriggled in among some amazing authors. From The Depths is a beautiful journal full of poetry, prose poetry, and fiction which is released once a year in both print and digital formats. It is published by Haunted Waters Press, an independent publisher located in the Shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. If you haven’t come across them before I urge you to pay them a visit, it really is the most beautiful literary journal and can be found here.

From the Depths 2020

Happy Reading 馃檪

Haunted Waters Press

Well, There We Have It!

‘Well, what a rotten year,’ said everyone in the world!
‘Can we do things differently next year?’ asked everyone.
‘Yes, let’s, but where do we begin?’
‘With a small step, one foot in front of the other, see?’
‘OK, Iet’s try.’

This year there is no looking back, just forward. There is no thinking what could have, should have, would have been. No New Years resolutions, or eating less, exercising more mantras. Today I have set my eye’s toward the horizon and will be waiting on tomorrow’s sunrise.
From my house to yours here’s wishing you health and happiness in abundance for 2021. Stay safe and well and I hope to see you on the other side . Happy New Year & here’s to 2021 – Nicole xx

A Christmas Eve Tradition

In Iceland since 1944 it has been traditional to give a book on Christmas Eve. Unlikely other parts of Europe, during the Second World War paper was not rationed, and the tradition of J贸lab贸kafl贸d was born. Whilst reading and storytelling has been a intrinsic part of Icelandic culture for centuries J贸lab贸kafl贸d, (loosely translated as ‘Christmas book flood’) has been instrumental in continuing to birth a wonderful nation of book lovers.

I often think of a tradition as something that began way back in the annals of time. Now, whilst 1944 may be just that to many, it is still our recent past, and that got me thinking. Broadly speaking you need three things for something to become a tradition – a large group of people participating, the activity being passed from one generation to the next, and respect and acknowledgement of the past.

This year, my family will be receiving a book on Christmas Eve – who knows, one day this may become a family tradition!

Here’s wishing you all a Happy & Healthy Christmas.

Nicole x

A Vacation for Your Mind

In my opinion, their are few things lovelier than browsing the shelves of a book shop. All those wonderful unread stories sitting patiently waiting to be explored, it’s like being able to choose a vacation for your mind, something I think we all need right now.

With continuing restrictions thumbing fresh pages and getting that wonderful woody hit of paper is not always possible. However, you can still do your bit to support those small businesses who have been hit badly by this pandemic. Before you take the ‘major corp’ easy option and press the ‘buy now’ button, take a breath and think. Is there a local business that needs you more?

Local books shops are a part of our communities – your community! Local booksellers are a font of knowledge, and can often recommend new and exciting books you may not otherwise have thought of. By definition of where they are (ie. near you), they can point you in the direction of local authors or books with a local twist. Even if you can not visit the shop in person there is still a way you can support them.

Bookshop.org is an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local independent bookshops. Their aim is to build up the network around local book shops and those who support them in an effort to keep local bookshops an integral part of our culture and community. You can use the map to look up your local bookshop, buy online and the store you’ve chosen gets 100% of the profits.

If you’d like some recommendations please take a peak at the books I’d be happy to recommend here. All the books featured within my Bookshop.org store front I have read. I’ll be adding to the lists regularly. So, what are you waiting for? Happy Shopping!

Disclosure: If you buy books linked to my site, I may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookshops.

One, two, three, four, five…

As writing goes mine has been a bit underwhelming of late, but I’m happy to report I am back on the wagon again. There are plenty of excuses as to why I’ve been walking in treacle, but none of them really stack up! So, before the bow strikes the violin here鈥檚 the good news – 2 new books are in the pipeline – one is a contemporary thriller (natch), the other is a literary historical fiction novel which dips its toe into the 15th century! I am loving working on two books and wonder why I鈥檝e not considered it before – after all, multitasking is one of my super powers!

Perhaps immersing myself in two completely different worlds has become my way of travelling during this pandemic! Hey, whatever gets you through right? I’m enjoying having the choice of which book to work on too dependent on my mood, the position of the sun in the sky etc.etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape back to the 15th century! I’m at about 6,000 words on both so still a way to go yet. Please feel free to remind me it was my choice to go tandem when I start complaining!

I shall keep you posted on the adventures of both… until next time…

Autumn Ramblings

The strangest of years is almost at an end and I’m left wondering where the year went?

It’s hard to believe we’ve been locked down since March! OK, so I’m stretching the truth just a little, but it certainly feels that way. There was a glimpse of normality over the Summer before the hatches were firmly battened down again. I’m not sure what normal is anymore, but whatever it is I’d like it back thanks very much!

Like a lot of people my refuge has been nature. I’ve found beauty in the smallest wonders and it’s given me a welcome boost. I’ve stayed connected because of it – thank you nature!

During Lockdown V.1 we were all working from home. Different rooms of our house became makeshift offices where four diverse companies came together under one roof. My kitchen became our work social space and we would meet occasionally during coffee breaks, or lunchtimes. Chatter revolved around ‘how’s your day going?’ and ‘What time you finishing?’ We functioned, we worked, but live? Not much. Evenings were spent trawling Netflix, reading books, silently wondering when we’d be released from the holding pattern our lives had become.

With the appearance of Summer restrictions eased, and for a while we did ‘normal’ – meals out, meet ups with friends, shopping for things other than food, but that came to an abrupt end as numbers of Covid cases once again rose, and we prepared ourselves for Lockdown V.2.

There are some differences this time around. Now there are just two of us working from home, the nights have drawn in and there is less time to be outside. My writing has begun to increase again, as has my crocheting and sewing – I’ve become a dab hand at running up a quick face mask! My tbr pile has increased ten fold and I don’t think I need to buy anymore books until 2025! Although, you can never have too many books 馃檪

We are almost out the other side now, and I am hesitant. I’ve gotten used to my new small world, it’s a routine of sorts and whilst I look back on the freedoms of previous years with longing, change is never easy.

As we move into another period of uncertainty I shall endeavour to write more, and eat less (seriously – it needs to happen), everything else is up for negotiation. The one constant throughout has been the small world at my doorstop. It has carried on regardless. Buds have blossomed, and leaves have fallen, and for the first time in a while I’ve been lucky enough to see and really appreciate every single season. Whatever happens next remains unknown. Me? I’ll be opening my front door and taking in a deep breath. I’ve even brought a bike!

I leave you with a few pics from my recent adventures – oo’s and ah’s are optional!

I looked back on my walk to the Tor and my breath was taken away…
At the top of the Tor a beautiful view and a wild pony greeted us.
One of the many mystical stone circles of Dartmoor – such beautiful Autumn colours.
Pebbles on the beach
Extreme social distancing!

Thank You

Today is #WorldKindnessDay and I just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful people who have supported me, I don’t say it often enough!
You are valued, and special, and appreciated in ways I can’t even begin to explain. Whether you have given words of encouragement, read one of my books or given a much needed smile I want you to know that I am forever grateful. It means a lot, thank you, you are all amazing people xx

Photo by聽Howie R聽on聽Unsplash