Hope By The Glass


So I’m talking to my friend Greg.  Him for whom each new girl was, “Real ” at least for a weekend, although most weekends for him were spent taking a rest from life and romance, until he met his wife Sandra,that is, when the clouds cleared briefly, before he settled down for a career in domestic servitude. I mean who needs too much intensity anyway, and he seemed happy enough living by someone else’s agenda. We all like a little fun but now he looked down in the dumps, even by his humbling standards, and then it got worse.

“Do you believe in Hope?” he asked  me, and I’m telling you, there is nothing worse than an introspective depressive, unless you are talking a drunk introspective depressive or the final challenge, a drunk introspective depressive talking  to his oldest friend, which is what I am, about philosophy

I mean normally what’s not to like: he’s “One of the pack,”  good to know, buys his round, loyal to a fault, and that pretty much defines friendship in my book.   He has failings: he’s clever, but in that wasted “Off the wall”  way that teachers don’t recognise, and girls always seemed put off by his outsized chin, till he met Sandra, that is, but then we can’t all be floored by inner beauty can we, and she’s no oil painting herself, and if she were an oil painting, she’d require a pretty big frame if you’re hearing me. But I’m straying from the point again. The question he posed was, “Do you believe in hope?” and do you know what kind of people ask that question? The people who don’t feel any.

Lets talk solid here. You don’t get a guy walking out for the  best night ever with a girl who adores him on his arm, clutching a winning lottery ticket saying “Do you believe in hope?” because those people are too busy having fun to talk philosophy. Philosophy is for  miserable people making an excuse for not having fun, or being passed over for promotion or just passed over: period, and that I suppose pretty much defines our Greg.

Still, I don’t want to leave the guy drowning on his own so I ask him, “Are we talking deep- space hope or just “Will I get a holiday?” hope, because, deep-space wise, life’s just a black hole Greg, and I snort a load of beer down my shirt because, lets hang out the truth here, I can be funny.

OK, more truth, Greg wasn’t laughing so I asked him what his problem was and he said, “It’s all deep space to me Fred, and Sandra’s left me” and there you have it. He’s” Clever in a wasted way” and so I raise my glass and give him the only advice I have to give. “While there’s beer there’s hope and I’ll keep drinking as long as you buy the rounds”  and he walks off to the bar  without a word. After all, what are friends for!

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“The Man Who Missed The Boat:” Here’s The Cover


 

Quick View Peter

The Man Who Missed The Boat,

Pre-order available for Kindle, delivered to your device by mysterious means on 9th April

Paper-back published 10th April

How it Begins:

He did not really have a career. More a series of jobs, which took him to different experiences and outlooks, and that is how he sold the situation to himself. Simon Baxter was one of those people who, armed with a clean shirt, could enter any room or salon and be taken as an equal until someone asked him what he did.

“I can’t remember,” sometimes sprang to mind and got a laugh, but the probing might continue. Finally, it might dawn on them that he did a bit of quite a lot of things, and nothing.

You could watch the shadow pass across their faces. Suggestions about good restaurants would die on their lips, and he became what he always became: the polite outsider, the enigma, the man who missed the boat.

Can anything happen, planned or unplanned, which will change his life ?

Read the Book and find out. I did !

Posted in creative writing, Fiction, humour, Life, Love, Peter Wells, Romance, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

A Romance Of Flawed Beliefs


In our early days you were lost, it seemed to me, and you let me feed you with compliments, and I watched you flourish on the diet.  You were beautiful: a secret garden, a shy persona with a gift, a guarded women when I met you, who grew under my encouragement.  I believe, perhaps mistakenly, that you would cherish me in return,  but then you became more demanding than nurturing: determined in manner, and obsessed with furnishings and the social calendar.

I, it seems to me, placatory to the point of exhaustion, wondered where the gentle chrysalis I met had gone, changed now into  this demanding ‘harridan’, testing me with ever stricter lectures. I thought life offered moments of sanctuary, and when we found something worth the nurturing, it would understand that wise souls always treat those they love, “With a kindness.” but with every word and phrase you tested that belief.

My inner voice repeated “Kindness” every day, but that same voice was changing, and spoke the same truths but with an undertone of doubt. Children came and must, you quickly told me, “Be presentable” where, I always thought, the central truth was “Must be happy. ” We argued, as couples must, until that simple recognition which sparked our union was lost in a sea of disagreements and cultural conflict.

There are moments in any civilisation, where each of us think we have the final truth: the moment which connects us to the “Immortal” but which we also fear may be nothing but a wisp of smoke. Is there always the teacher and the taught: the bearer of knowledge, made weary of her burden, and the being she was sent to nourish? Are we all refugees, walking through the ruins of our youth’s dreams, seeking something worth the saving?

So you were to me, but somehow, lost in your certainties, with a plethora of commonplace observations taught you by your mother I believe, you forgot who you were talking to, or were sent to nourish, until, I found myself in another bed, seeking for the feelings you first gave me, but with another body and in another place.

Do you remember at those parties, in those early days, when to  talk to me, lean on and touch me was your only agenda? But how, at later gatherings you merely nodded in recognition when I brought you drinks so you could continue talking to another man about “Cultural confluents,”  leaving me to wander on alone among a sea of unknown faces? That is where I met her, and where she rescued me while you defined “iconoclasm” with a personage you thought might be useful in a career way. We are all metaphors in each others lives, are we not,  and I discovered, while in another’s arms, that I had exhausted yours.

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Love’s Hidden Boundaries


Love can be like a burglar don’t you think:  steal up on you and take your heart without a sound; presence unnoticed until  you discover happiness is no longer yours alone to grasp, But life is not always getting what you want, but involves sharing with another  whose breath is central to your happiness is it not?  We were as different as two people can be, with different approaches to life, culture and religion but at the heart of it I felt you would always be true to me, and so I opened the door and let you in.

Can  Love be like an emissary from Heaven, who makes a journey once a lifetime?  If you are too busy to receive it, “Love” may leave your side forever, never to return, but I was not too busy, and nor were you I always thought; once we realised that meeting each other was a blessing beyond  measure. We were chaste, because you said it must be so and I understood. In your culture, you told me, a girl cannot be familiar with a man before marriage and it was a formality I was happy to respect and understand. I loved the courtly sense of life it echoed but this I did not fully understand.

It seems you were already engaged to be married to a man you had met only once in your mid-teens and this voyage through university was your parents concession to modernity. They would trust you to maintain your innocence until your studies were completed when you would fly home and marry your betrothed, according to their wishes. It was your custom and your culture that this would be so and you made it plain that respecting the wishes of your parents was more important than any private dream or urgency. In a sense, with me, unconsciously I’m sure, you were displaying what could not be offered, and I was banging on the shop door with a currency which would not be accepted.

Neither of us were especially religious, but I discovered that custom and expectations can hold you to a behaviour as much as any faith, and disappointing your parents was not  in your lexicon of conduct: your choice could not be personal.

As what you meant to me became clearer and more urgent, you shared the sadness we both felt, but I could only watch you board a plane and take my grief at your parting as the price of my past happiness, dwelt on in solitude, until, bruised it must be said, I realised that “Life,”  Humorous without pity,” had played a trick on me and I must move on if I were ever to breath again  and so I did.

Two children and a lifetime later I saw you on some Indian TV channel, rounder and more solid, can I say, but clearly still quite beautiful. “Our Political Correspondent” the words read on the screen, and I wondered how “My Meera” had become so serious. When young, what we cared about was literature, and “inner meaning” and integrity and other vapourisms with which students fill their intellects.

I wrote to you, care of your TV station saying,

“Darling Meera,

I do not wish to interrupt your life, but we are both old enough, are we not, to recognise everything our parents told us was genuine but not necessarily right, and the feelings I had and have for you are true and real, and would have value in any culture in any era. Contact me please and save me from myself”

I have not received a reply.

 

Posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Life, Love, Relationships, Romance, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

Life In The ‘No’ Lane


By my middle years  I had built a living through using measurable skills, habits and routines so I could live, celebrate or exist in some safety, away from the shellfire endured by those who are careless of their wellbeing and happy to venture beyond those boundaries created for our survival by common sense.

On Wednesday I ate chicken on a bed of freshly boiled spinach. Thursday was mince and peas on a bed of rice, with onions,spices and chilli for a bit of heat, and so it continues. I played golf with the same group of people every Saturday afternoon and my handicap was unchanged in fifteen years. On weekends at breakfast I would have nothing but toast and marmalade. The marmalade brand might differ, but that was all. I could sit there with my paper, always delivered, and discuss the merits of one brand against another  with anyone who would listen, or a fly.

I was not a risk taker, adventurer, free thinker or explorer but if you wanted an opinion on the use of  alloys and protecting cement abrasions in construction work I was the man to ask. I never took a risk in my entire life, but, armed with my skills, I skirted round visible dangers and moved quietly and determinedly towards a well-planned retirement, and then there was you.

Every Saturday I took my coffee at the local café and one morning  you were there, speaking in some eastern-European accent. “Are you living Mr” you asked me and I looked up and saw your impish challenging face:  the very look of you was demanding, and seemed to be asking, “Is this all you are ?” and I grinned uncertainly, because you made me feel ashamed of my choices.

You were like a moth, a bee, a flower or muse, who would challenge me to cast aside the apparel of boredom and face life with demanding urgency. Like all adventurers you  gave advice without a thought for consequence, but we know how stupid men can be don’t we, and I was nothing special.

Beautiful, quirky and personal, you talked to me as if I mattered. As if  you had been looking out for me to enter the café  and I felt myself laying aside my caution and willing to risk anything for a sense my life could still be beautiful, enchanting and unplanned and make me worthy of your attention.

I had a wife of sorts. Someone who grumbled at my every movement, and who was quick to observe how boring I was. We ground against each other in that habitual way so many of us describe as “Being happy with our lot.”. We were predictable, but not uncaring of each other’s welfare, but now there was you: smiling, flirting, taking an interest in a man who did not merit it. Seeing something in me which no one else had seen until your smile became the highlight of my week and then its ruin.

For some reason, as I passed you to buy some ketchup from the shop one morning, you reached up and kissed me, or bumped faces or something: a clumsy joke of sorts, nothing and everything, but with just that hint of danger thrill-seekers like a taste of on occasion. I was baffled more than anything, but also touched.

Someone saw it happen, on the street and in broad daylight. She must have told my wife because two days later my wife met me at the door when I returned from work. Her eyes were dark and had the anger in them it takes a generation to create. She  said, “You disgust me,”  and I understood her. It was the first honest conversation  we had held in a number of years.  There are so many ways to be a fool I’ve discovered, but later I found out you were just saying goodbye. You left as abruptly as you came, leaving the questions you posed  as your parting gift.

 

Posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Life, Love, Peter Wells, Relationships, writing | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

OK Lets Talk Paranormal and the writer J.D.Brown


 

Author pic

 

Ok usually, when I say I am going to talk about the paranormal, people think I am going to discuss my fitness regime but, sometimes, that is incorrect. In my movements around the Blogosphere I come across people of every persuasion, walk of life and outlook and something about their energy, willingness to fight for their dream and raw talent impresses me. Such a person is award winning author J.D. Brown who writes about those folk who enjoy night more than day, and have appetites which some of us might consider unusual.

She has just released her third in the series of Ema Marx novels, and Emma is an intriguing character. To quote the “Blurb” on the book available on her website,

” Ema Marx is in a race against time. Or rather, a race against Apollyon. A powerful weapon—the legendary philosopher’s stone—could tip the scale in favour of whoever gets their fangs on it first. For Ema, obtaining the stone is an uphill battle through love, alliance, heartbreak, and loyalty. Winning should mean the beginning of beautiful things, but the closer Ema gets to her destiny, the more uncertain her future becomes. Could it be this war was never meant for her? And why the heck doesn’t morning sickness adhere to rules of its own name?”

You get the picture. It is a rip-roaring tale, full of energy and adventure and an interesting take on the old battle between good and evil.  It got me thinking, What got JD writing in the first place, and so I contacted her and asked her some questions. Here they are

How early in your life did you decide you wanted to be a writer

Actually, I didn’t start writing fiction until after collage, and before that I was convinced all “writing” meant essays and term papers for school, which I loathed. I have always been an avid reader though. I was the odd child who got excited over the assigned reading, and actually read everything cover-to-cover instead of looking up the cliff notes. Suffice to say, my language arts teachers loved me. I used to doodle a lot as a child, too, and would make up tons of characters. I’d name them and give them backstories, and super powers. So I suppose now, looking back, I always had a bit of a calling for fiction writing, I just never actually got the guts to try it until I was well into adulthood. Once I did, though, I couldn’t stop. I love writing fiction and can’t imagine doing anything else with my life now.

 

What is it about the ‘Paranormal’ which draws you to it

I blame the very young and impressionable age at which I was introduced to Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, haha. Mom never bothered to censor what I read (which I love her for) and for whatever reason, I was always drawn to the dark anti-heroes and tragic romances. I like the larger-than-life magic, the fantasy, the love that transcends life and the physical realm. It’s fun to think there’s more out there than just the mundane.

What are the principle influences of your writing style

Me, myself, and I. While I admire many authors and am very inspired by their work, I try my best to stay true to my own voice. There is no point, in my opinion, of trying to imitate. The variety of fiction available today is so vast, the only way to stand out from the crowed is to be true to yourself.

Apart from me ( joke sorry ) What authors writing today do you most admire and why.

I suppose Anne Rice is a given. Also Orson Scott Card, Darynda Jones, Cassandra Clare, J.R. Ward, Julie Kagawa, and loads of others. Why? Because they have phenomenal characters and world building that inspires me to dream big. :)

What themes dominate your creative output.

I try to be epic in my writing without going overboard, haha. The Ema Marx series touches on a lot of central themes like family, love, loss, abandonment, trust, and inner strength. One thing that’s very important to me is to have strong, realistic female characters. I can’t stand the Bella Swans or Mary Sues of the world. My main character, Ema, makes her own choices and fights her own battles. That doesn’t mean she’s perfect. She makes mistakes and people get hurt as a result, but she does everything in her power to right her wrongs. I think the world needs more strong female characters in fiction.

Here is the cover of her engaging book

Dark Becoming 333x500(2)

 

Well apart from being impressed that I’ve got all these links and pictures in my post, and in the right places, have a look at her very professional website. More about her books is available over there, or do what I did and pop straight over to Amazon

where you can purchase your own copies and read the many reviews this astonishingly able and energetic young novelist has attracted with her writing skills.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in creative writing | 14 Comments

The Guardian Angel


Sometime later, after the wedding and the honeymoon, when we were settled into our new home and I was about to suggest we bought a dog, she started talking about herself. I know you are going to say, “Shouldn’t you have that conversation before the wedding?” but we didn’t. “Silly” isn’t really the right word, but it will do for now.

Our courtship was built on a meeting in Hawaii where we where both on holiday, and we discovered we both lived in the same city. “Is this fate?” she asked, and I just nodded my head and leant to kiss her: our first kiss. I called her my ‘Guardian Angel,’ sent to save me from myself, as a joke, and she sort of laughed in that indulgent way people do when they think you get them.

Sunsets, starlight, euphoria: those things have got a lot to answer for, because that is not where marriages find out if they will work, but none the less that is where we decided we were made for each other and we got married, just at the end of our vacation and a day before we were due to fly back to London.

She was the answer to my prayers I told myself. A beautiful girl, but homely and able to laugh at herself, but with just that edge of magic which keeps you guessing and lets you swallow the hook so deep that when she tugs the rod you feel the pull from the centre of your being and the miracle is, she doesn’t even know she’s fishing. I found out later that she does it anyway, to any man she meets, but perhaps the extra magic of the Island made her think this was the real deal. It was for me and I have the certificate to prove it. A fact I reflected on when she began to talk about herself.

“As a young girl” she said, “I learnt about terror. I mean really learnt. The knowledge you are at the mercy of something pitiless and dark for whom your cries are the icing on the cake. My uncle would threaten me but never touch me, so there was nothing to see if anyone asked, but his look alone could burn me.” It seemed a bit indistinct, but her tears were real enough and of course I went and put my arms round her and she looked up at me and said, “You make me feel safe” and what man wouldn’t melt under that statement; except later on I learnt she had a way with creating dramas and didn’t actually have an uncle: three aunts and a vivid imagination but no uncle.

Those people who can be anyone you want are the most dangerous people you can meet because they don’t know who they are themselves, but just that you are a stage on which they might play a part. She could do lots of things well, but not for themselves but just because they made the current “Her” more convincing.

I kept her this side of sane by taking everything she told me to be real and the truth, and thus I never threatened her, and in protecting her found I must love her because without someone like me she really would be lost. She was, in more ways than I can ever describe, my own creation, and protecting her fragile entity became my whole life’s work. I’m not saying she was faithful, but she was loyal in her way and always seemed well-meaning. None of us are entirely real are we? We are all partly a figment of someone’s imagination and sometimes of our own. I think my darling just took that to extremes and I rescued her. I think that’s what it was.

 

Posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, Love, Peter Wells, Romance, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments