Islands of Hope Update – 12/01/2019

I had really hoped to finish the next section of the book this week, there is a scene I have been waiting to write for some time. I have, however, been back at work and therefore time is disappearing at an alarming rate! I started the scene, a continuation of Chapter 34, but have not got to the best part. Rather than rush it, I thought it better to wait until next week and have a well written scene. For now you can read the start, where Martha has entered the boardroom and is starting to let rip! Chapter 34 is live on wattpad, get it by going here, alternatively you can start from the beginning of the book here. In other good news, I got a positive comment about ‘Islands of Hope’ and two votes on wattpad. Things are looking up!


A Writer’s Guide… to being a Teacher (in the UK)

My first guest post, hopefully helping writers write about teachers…

Ari Meghlen - Writer | Blogger | Bad card player

This is part of the series of blog articles called “A Writer’s Guide…”, check out this article by writer Chris Harvey on being a Teacher.

A Writer's Guide to being a teacher (in the UK). Image: empty classroom

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Islands of Hope Update – 05/01/2019

Welcome to a new year and the first ‘Islands of Hope’ update of 2019. Is it an exciting one? Probably not, but it does set up for the scene I’ve been waiting to write for some time. I know I have taken on this project as a pantster, but there were still key points in my head. For now you will have to settle for the first part of Chapter 34, back with Martha and her hunt to finally confront Ukrit. You can read the update on wattpad as usual, just click here. If you want to read from the start then head here. Here’s to a good 2019, and hopefully you will enjoy what ‘Islands of Hope’ has in store.

The good old (slightly late) end of year review – 2018 Edition

Another year over, another review of the year. This was supposed to come out at the end of December but it has been a very hectic festive period. Right, on to the review, it’s been a great year for writing with the release of my comedy fantasy novella, at last! Also lots of poems written and my sci-fi serial novel going well. So here we go, a quick look at 2018…


cover-blogA Close Shave with Destiny

Three years ago I started writing a short story to sell for 99p so I could raise money for Movember, a charity that helps men’s health causes. You grown a moustache in November and get sponsored. The short story developed into a 40,000 word novella so I felt it best to donate some money to Movember and release the book as a piece of work in its own right. After three years of writing and editing I finally released the book in both e-book and print formats. I am really happy with the story but could have done with more proofreaders. Still, I hope people enjoy it. You can get it on Amazon using the following links…

Kindle UK

Print UK

Kindle US

Print US


Islands-of-Hope-CoverIslands of Hope

My serial novel was in its second year in 2018, again the plan was to update something every Saturday, even if it was only about 150 words. I am happy to say I managed that, updating every week. The story is now about 45,000 words long, so almost actual novel length. I will continue to update it throughout 2019. I have just got to a good bit so am excited to carry on. If you have not read it yet, it is set two hundred years in the future where a corporation runs most of the Earth. Kira, a girl living in a slum, steals some bread and is caught. She is sold into slavery, but her buyer is not the cruel man people think he is, instead he is building a resistance. If you want to read it so far you can on wattpad, just click here.


Bad Poetry Cover BLOGPoems

I don’t write poems that often, just four or five a year when I get some inspiration. They are housed in my collection on wattpad entitled, ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.’ I managed six in 2018, which I think is pretty good. You can read the whole collection by clicking here, or head to the blog posts for each of the six poems (just click on the poem titles), they were…

JanuaryPolishing a sheep is a so hard job – the title comes from a phrase my, then four year old, son said. It made me think of something a crazy farmer would do, for some reason it rang around my head in a west country accent. I wondered what else the farmer might do, like iron a chicken or hoover a cow. But why do that? To get them ready for a show of course!

MayA Great British Holiday – In the Easter holidays I went to stay in a holiday cottage with my parents, wife and children. We had a great time sampling the delights that the midlands had to offer, however it kept raining. This poem is my love affair with what Britain has to give to the traveller, even though the weather can be less than desirable.

AugustAn Ode to the Greatest Toy – As a parent you can shape your children to like the things you like, reliving your childhood through them. I made sure my son was into Lego a long time ago. We always worked together to build models, however, in the last year my son has become able to make models by himself. He now likes to rebuild old models we did together so I have been relegated to brick finder, this poem speaks of my frustrations.

OctoberChange – Change is a poem about a tree growing, dropping seeds and new life beginning. It was written for National Poetry Day. There is not much more to say it about it really.

NovemberCancelled – I wrote this poem at a train station whilst waiting for a train after the one I should have been on was cancelled. Even more annoying was that I had rushed to get the first train. Oh well, at least it gave me an idea for a poem!

DecemberThe Boy who Saved Christmas – My last poem of the year was released just before Christmas. The family had visited Father Christmas and the big man’s hat had fallen off. My son picked it up and gave it back to him, I like to think he may have saved Christmas. Even if he did not, I got the idea for this poem out of the situation.



So, all in all a good 2018 in terms of writing. I set my goal as ‘just write’ as usual, and I feel I definitely achieved that. So what about 2019? Well, I have never hit targets when I give myself a list of them, so I will go with ‘just write’ again. I seem to write more with less pressure on me! Having a time-consuming job and a young family also means I do not have the time to write that I would like. That said, it would be good to get my Young Adult novel, ‘The Fifth Coin,’ ready to send to publishers for query and complete the first draft of my serial novel, ‘Islands of Hope.’ I do also want to write another Super Lizard short (I’m actually part way through one) and a flash fiction for ‘The First Flash of Hope.’ So, yeah, plenty to keep me going.


Right, I will sign off with a Happy New Year, thanks for reading my stuff, and I hope 2019 is great for you. Also I hope you continue to read my work, and maybe even review one of my books on Amazon or Goodreads…please, pretty please!

Islands of Hope Update – 29/12/2018

I always forget how hectic the festive period is, so much so I have lost track of which day it is and almost forgotten to write the ‘Islands of Hope’ update for this week. It was a bit of a mad dash yesterday but I got it done. It is another short chapter, this time we are back with Johanna in the second cage. Will she get bought this time? Can she get free to find her daughter? You’ll have to head over to wattpad to find out. You can get to Chapter 33 by going here, or start from the beginning here. Also, I want to say a huge thanks for reading my stuff in 2018, I hope you continue to join me for updates in 2019, got some really exciting things lined up.

New Poem: The Boy who Saved Christmas

santa-claus-3806346_640Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas. What a treat, you get another of my really bad poems in time for Christmas. This one is dedicated to my son, and sprang into my head when we visited Santa this year. His hat fell off and my son picked it up for him, I therefore wonder if my son inadvertently saved Christmas. Anyway, you can read ‘The Boy who Saved Christmas’ below or, if you want to read any of my other poems, head over to wattpad and my poetry collection entitled ‘Bad Poetry You probably never want to read.


The Boy who Saved Christmas

The wild blew wild in the chilly night

To anyone else it would give a big fright

But Father Christmas had to go

High above the blanket of snow

The icy air may make bone chilled

But children’s stockings had to be filled

Suddenly a gust of wind blew fast

And grasped his hat as it went past

An image in red dropped to the ground

Spinning like a sycamore seed going round

With a whip of the reigns the sleigh plummeted down

“My hat, my hat,” Santa moaned with a frown

They landed and searched, high and low

In trees, on houses, under lamps that glow

But no matter how hard, they could not find the crown

“Without it I can’t deliver the presents to town,”

Father Christmas uttered with a tear

It would not be such a magical year

But a little way away, coming from church

Slumped a tired boy, who walked with a lurch

He saw a beacon, as bright as the sun

Towards this wonder he decided to run

It looked like a Santa hat you bought from a shop

But the pompon glowed bright, right at the top

He knew in an instance it was no ordinary hat

No second rate knock-off, no cheap piece of tat

It was Santa’s himself and he must get it back

But where was he now, how could he track?

He could use his phone, an amazing app

That would tell where Santa was on the map

But he knew that was not the Christmas way

It would not bring Santa here on his sleigh

He closed his eyes, made a Christmas wish

That Santa would come, quick, sharpish

As if he wished upon a travelling star

He heard the noise of sleigh bells afar

Coming closer, they came at amazing speed

Reindeers of the most fantastic breed

Flying on magic, with a jolly elf behind

Happiness and kindness to them was enshrined

Despite the snow, they landed not with a skid

Then Santa stood there right in front of that kid

He moved in a flash, like a great sprinter

And his glow stopped the biting cold of midwinter

“I see you have found my hat,” he said

“As a reward, tonight you can ride in my sled

Travel the world, give presents galore

Feel the spirit of Christmas and much more.”

The boy was so shocked he barely could speak

Slowly walking to the sled, a magic antique

Although hand painted and flow through the night

There was not a scratch, no sign of a fight

Santa helped him upon a cushion in front of a sack

All manner of toys were contained in that pack

Calling the names of every reindeer

They flew up in the air with a great cheer

The red and white hat now firmly on Santa’s head

They flew to places, about the boy had only read

From the plains of Kenya to the trails of Peru

From the lakes in Italy all the way to Timbuktu

He saw things he never dreamed he would

All of the wonders that currently still stood

And although the icy wind did blow

His heart was warmed by hot cocoa

And all the way round Santa made such a fuss

But then he was ‘The boy who saved Christmas’


Picture: Pixabay

Islands of Hope Update – 22/12/18

Now I have finished school for Christmas and all the family visits are done I am able to write. We are back to Saturday updates and back to short whole chapter updates. This week the story moves back to Kira, or rather Eliana who has managed to contact Kira at last. It is the morning after the night before and Kira and her new friend have slept in a cave. It might seem like a bit of a filler chapter but will serve a purpose later on, you just need to wait. Right, you can read Chapter 32 here, or start from the beginning here. Oh yes, Merry Christmas as well!