10 Songs Which Describe My Relationship with Writing Today #Writers #songs #mood #Thursdayblogthoughts #quitting #amnotwriting


Today is a negative day for me. The writing world and I have fallen out. Writing is as far away from what I want to do, as New Zealand is to a rambler walking from the U.K.

For now, this is the play-list most relevant to my relationship with writing, which in the words of Neil Diamond, is ‘on the rocks’.

I am sure that my mood will lift again soon, but for now, this is where I am.

What song is relevant to your writing mood today?

My Top Ten:

  1. I Quit –Bros
  2. I’m Outta Love (set me free and let me out this misery) – Anastasia
  3. HELP! – The Beatles
  4. Let’s wait a while – Janet Jackson
  5. Give me the reason (to want you back) – Luther Vandross
  6. Criticise – Alexander O’Neal
  7. Leave me alone –Natalie Imbruglia
  8. Run Away – The Corrs
  9. Stop! – Sam Brown
  10. It’s Over – Level 42


photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/31370779@N08/6963076999″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

Remembering Jack #RemembranceDay #Poppies #Fallenheroes #flashfiction



Ted shrugged off his warm coat, to reveal a chest of gleaming medals. He pushed himself out of his wheelchair and stood with his head held high and his arms rigid by his sides. He refused the tears from his eyes and took a deep breath. This was his two minutes, to officially honour those who fought beside him; those who didn’t come home.

His mind drifted to Jack, and how they joined up together, desperate to fight the enemy and honour their country. So young and with their whole lives stretched out before them, they cheerfully signed their lives away, in a dismal office amongst a throng of keen men.

Jack with his cheeky grin would win over any ladies with his soft brown eyes. They used to follow him around the village and he could have any pick of the girls. Another image flashed into Teds mind, this time not so happy. It was them in a dug out under fire, caught up in the catastrophe of battle amongst mud, blood and desperation. Jack took a fatal shot to the head, and that was it. His life extinguished in a second. Every day since, Ted would honour his best friend; his framed photograph of the two of them in uniform proudly displayed on the mantle.

Silence resounded in Ted’s ears, and goose bumps erupted across his body as he faced the final truth: This was his last time- his heart was failing and his legs were jelly. Determination was all that allowed him to stand those final two minutes. Next November he would be a memory in the minds of those he leaves behind. Later he would box up his medals one final time, and attach a note to his grandson, who would stand in his place in the future.

With the ceremonial guns marking the end, Ted sunk back into his chair with his eyes flicking between the wreaths and the sombre crowds. This was his final goodbye. Soon, he would join Jack and together they would pound the village streets in search of mischief.

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Story/20930#sthash.dHz1MHHi.dpuf

A Magical Moment #Christmas #Family #Children #Magic #flashfiction #amwriting

I know this is a little early, but for some reason, this morning I had the urge to capture this moment! Hope you enjoy this little piece of flash fiction!


Fresh snow carpeted the moonlit ground for as far the eye could see. Rooftops glistened and chimneys chuffed out smoke, whilst their fires below kept away the chill from the occupants, cosied up in doors.

Inside the middle of a little terrace house, a mantle clock rhythmically ticked the seconds away, whipping up excitement within three children’s bellies. He would arrive soon, and leave behind him bulging stockings full of promise. The two girls, their shoulder length hair twirled in rags, ready for bouncing curls on Christmas day, sat cross legged by the fire. Each clutched a warm cup of milk, and their eyes were fixed on Granny. Granny, rocked gently in the rocking chair and upon her lap, a fair haired toddler fought the sleep which briefly closed his eyes every few moments.

“’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…Not even a mouse.” Granny’s ancient voice read from the book which she held, gently, wide-eyed. The girls, mesmerised by the images now dancing in their own heads, did not move. They were perfect statues. Sweet pine tickled their noses and the fairy lights from the tree cast magical shadows on the walls, whilst the frolicking fire crackled.

In the kitchen, vegetables were chopped and the turkey prepared for a slow overnight cook in the oven. Dad sidled up behind mum and pointed to the generous bunch of mistletoe hung with red ribbon, above their heads. He stole a Christmas kiss and she squealed with delight before reciprocating with her arms around his neck. With the preparations completed and the kitchen filled with the promise of a delicious dinner the following day, Mum and Dad stood in the doorway to the lounge. Their dewy eyes absorbed the moment. Granny had read that book to Dad when he was a child and now he watched as the tradition continued with his own children.

Snuggled on the threadbare armchair next to the tree, Grandpa’s wobbly tummy moved up and down like bellows and his white beard trailed from his chin. A smile crept to his face in between his erratic snores, his half –glasses still low upon his nose. On his feet were holey slippers and Mum grinned at the thought of his face on receiving his new sheepskin -lined pair in the morning, which the children had chosen especially.

On a low table, half way between the fireplace and the tree, were the children’s offerings to the great man himself, Father Christmas. A carrot scrubbed by Tom, a mince pie home-made by Tilly and a tipple of sherry poured, with help, by Louisa. They were ready for him and as soon as Granny uttered the final words of the story, the girls locked eyes in a shared moment of overwhelming excitement before finishing their milk.  Then they adjusted their offerings upon the little table, until they were completely happy with the presentation for him.  It had to be perfect.

“Now then my lovelies, your brother is sound asleep already. I fear it will not be so easy for you two.  But you must try, because he cannot visit until you are both dreaming…” Mum crouched in front of them and kissed them both on the forehead, whilst Dad lifted his son from Granny’s lap and carried him up to bed. The girls kissed Granny and Grandpa good night and tiptoed up to their warm beds in their nighties.  They were bursting with excitement, after all, it was the night before Christmas…

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Story/20924#sthash.tZPFQ0pT.dpuf

Visual Blurbs #writingtips #amwriting


Self publishing your novel, is like a whole career in itself.  For me it has been far harder than the writing!  It takes hours, days, months and sometimes feels pointless…until you get that first wonderful review and you suddenly remember why you are doing this.  Reader recognition is the most amazing feeling, and personally, to know that my words have reached out and evoked emotion in a stranger, is mind-blowing.

I am always trying to come up with innovative ideas to entice people to read my books.  The latest thing I am trying is a visual blurb on Pinterest.  I have added images which flash moments from the book into my mind, to create a visual impression. It seems to work for those who like to hold a book in their hand and feel it before purchasing, as well as those who happily click a button and order electronically.

Here are the two links for my ‘visual blurbs’ of the ECHOES FROM THE PAST series:

Book one: https://uk.pinterest.com/sarahjcolliver/echoes-from-the-past/

Book two: https://uk.pinterest.com/sarahjcolliver/echoes-from-the-past-alive-again/

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Opinion/19662#sthash.HlpoeCJe.dpuf

Sweet Serendipity #amwriting #author #flashfiction #ghosts #spirits #marriage #serendipity


She was peering through the window again, her lifeless eyes stared straight at him. He did not move his rigid body and dared not look towards her. Her flayed hands etched prints upon the fragile panes of glass as she gazed in. This was her domain, her space, and he was intruding.

He was exhausted, she had allowed him little sleep since his arrival. What began with high hopes of a fresh start for his failing marriage, soon evolved into a lone quest to stay sane. His wife bolted on day three, after the phone was finally connected but then delivered her silence with each answering. He must be having an affair, also confirmed by the scratch marks on his back, to which he had no knowledge or way of explanation. She left, triumphant in her proof that she was right all along, he was unfaithful to her, as he always had been.

The irony was that for the first time in his ten year marriage, he was one hundred percent committed and there was no other women lurking on the fringes. When they lost the last baby, it was like an epiphany, as though his eyes were suddenly opened to how much he loved his wife. Regrets and guilt thundered down upon him like a judgement from the Gods. He finally agreed to move away, away from everyone they knew and start a fresh. Weekends were filled with house hunting and leisurely coffees. He fell back in love with her over those months and for once, contentment within the confines of his marriage sat easily. The move was exactly what they needed. Now, as he sat rigid and alone in the dark, just hours after his wife had bolted, he questioned his sanity. Was there really a ghostly apparition at the window? Had she really caused the phone to ring and inflicted the deep scratches upon his back? Perhaps this was his payback for his past. What if he was sent to this place, as punishment?

She trailed her spindly fingers along the window and disappeared from sight. Sweat erupted from his brow and trickled slowly down his cheeks as her shadow vanished. He shifted in his seat by the fireplace and the fire leapt back to life, with dancing flames. He sighed and looked around the room, still full of half un-packed boxes. It was a reflection of his life, were they half packed or half un-packed? He didn’t know anymore. He wiped his damp face with his woolly sleeve and stood, the remains of a bottle of whiskey called to him.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Slow, deliberate. The dancing flames whipped up into a plume of smoke and vanished. His body jolted, he knew who was knocking; it was her. She wanted her house back, at any cost. He waited. Knock. Knock. Knock. This time louder and quicker. He paced out of the lounge towards the front door and braced himself for what might unfold.

He reached for the heavy lock and carefully turned the key. His breathing was fast and heavy and his hands shook as he pulled open the door… There was no-one there, no apparitions; no friendly neighbour with a warm welcome. No sign of anyone who may have so deliberately knocked upon his door. He shuddered and leaned forwards looking left and right. Perhaps he really was losing his mind? He pushed the door closed and headed upstairs to wash his face.

As he climbed the last but one step, he shrieked. It was all over. She loomed over him, her pale face shrouded in anger. Her dark eyes widened with hate as she thrust out her skeletal hands and shoved him backwards. His body spun and tumbled, each impact more damaging than the last and as he landed at the bottom, he opened his eyes one final time. It was her face which he saw as he drew his last breath, smiling. “Ahhh, sweet serendipity. Now you belong to me.” she whispered into his bleeding ear.

She crouched beside him and as his spirit left his broken body, she grasped hold of it and held it tight.

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Story/19615#sthash.OTtgr9rv.dpuf

Learn to Dance in the Rain #flashfiction #amwriting #writing #sexy #kiss #lust #love

Fi ran the final few steps and in through the glass doors. Rain dripped down her face and streaked mascara in zebra stripes down her cheeks. She leant out of the door and shook her umbrella before dropping it into the coat stand. Lunch had been a fiasco, her second coffee date with Tom the fireman, cancelled at the last minute as she sat in the coffee shop alone. He managed a text at least but it seemed he was getting back with Lianne, his ex. To compensate she ordered a large slice of chocolate cake and watched people scurrying around town, through the steamed up floor to ceiling windows.

With only a minute to spare until lunch was officially over, she ran up the stairs to the cloakroom area and hung her sodden coat up to dry. The mirror flashed back a striped face and she grabbed a hand towel and rubbed away the black streaks before donning her white coat and dashing back out onto the ward. She was relatively new to the private sector and it seemed to be run more like a hotel than a hospital, with lounge areas and coffee stations dotted around.

“Any calls for me Simon?” She walked briskly towards the nurse’s station. Simon was taller than her with tortoise shell glasses which framed his green eyes. His thick chestnut hair was swept back from his clean shaven face and he always wore pristine greens and smelt of soap. He was good looking, but not her usual type. He was quiet and softly spoken, she preferred a more imposing character. Besides he was at least five years her junior and was sure there were plenty of nurses his age, whom would gladly engage with him. She leaned over his desk as he scrawled down her messages.

“Thanks for that.” Fi was already on her way back to her office as she scanned through the messages. The third one stopped her still in the doorway to her office and her cheeks pinked: Fi, Your white blouse is wet, see-through wet. She pulled her white coat tight around her and swiftly did up all the poppers as she glanced around but to her relief, everyone seemed busy in their own worlds. Everyone except Simon, who was grinning. His glasses sat on top of his head and he leant forwards over the tall reception desk. Was that a twinkle in his eye? Did he just wink at her? He looked different, un-Simon-like. Fi coughed and entered her office, ignoring the fluttering in her stomach. Was he still looking at her? The ring of her telephone redirected her attention away from the strangeness of the situation.

“Good afternoon, Doctor Taylor speaking.” She slumped into her chair and swung around to face the window, where the grey clouds continued to pour down upon the bustling people below. “White shirts and rainy days…who knew they could create such an uplifting afternoon?” Fi stiffened and blushed. Was that Simon? What was he playing at? “Hmmmm,” she said unsure of how to answer, still facing the window.

“You look hot. Too hot to waste.” Fi’s body erupted with heat, “What did you have in mind then?”

“Well how about a coffee. I’ve got at least another half hour before I’m needed. We could discuss our options.”

“Options? You mean like latte or cappuccinos?”

“No, I think you know exactly what options we’re talking about.” His phone clicked dead and she placed the receiver down. She fought to catch her breath. Quiet unassuming Simon, appeared to be propositioning her. She stood up, straightened her skirt and rubbed her hands together. Simon appeared in the door. A slight smile caught her lips as he reached his arms above his head and stretched. His scrubs rose up slightly and revealed a taut stomach with a flash of hair. Fi’s eyes fixated on his skin. She was seeing him in a whole new way. He laid his glasses on her desk and left, heading towards the tiny staff kitchen. Fi watched him disappear through the door, and close the blinds to the internal window.

Her pulse raced and before her brain could protest, her feet steadily followed his path. Fi took a deep breath and strolled along the corridor. She opened the door and entered the boxy kitchen. It was empty, except for Simon, who stood crossed-arms leaning against the wall. He looked hot and she couldn’t believe that he had slipped under her radar for so long.

She pushed closed the door, leaned back against it and removed her white coat. Simon grinned and his eyes roamed her body. Fi shivered, her damp shirt clung to her skin.

“You did that for me?” Simon walked towards her until they stood toe to toe. “You took that off for me?” Fi managed a nod. Suddenly, she was struck dumb in his presence. Simon traced his fingers from her neck down her shoulder and along her arm. Fi jolted at his touch.

“Who are you?” She smiled meekly as she looked up into his eyes.

“Same old me, sometimes you have to look beyond what you see, Doctor Taylor.” His lips touched her neck and peppered her ear. Her knees buckled as he slipped one arm around her back and gently traced the curve of her jaw with his tongue. She could feel him pushing against her waist and she moaned in anticipation. She lifted her mouth up towards his and kissed him firmly, his slight stubble tickled her soft skin. He pulled out her shirt from the waistband of her skirt and he slipped his hands up to the wire of her bra and expertly unhooked the clasps. His fingers roamed her breasts, she sighed and shook her head. What were they doing?

“Hello? The door seems to be jammed.” A loud banging on the door stopped them still. They clung together for a moment, then detangled and straightened up. Fi adjusted her bra and shirt. She stifled a giggle. She had never done anything so reckless in her life and pulled on her coat as Simon brushed his fingers through his hair.

“It’s a bit late for covering up, don’t you think?” He whispered and smiled, “I fixed it now Katie, not sure what happened there.” He opened the door and left the kitchen. Fi pottered in the cupboards and began to make a coffee alongside Katie.

Simon was typing up some patient notes as she went past, “I thought you were quiet and unassuming. That blows my sense of judgement out the window!” Fi’s eyes widened and she rested her free hand on the desk.

“Don’t they say, it’s the quiet ones you have to watch? Dinner tonight, my place?” His fingers brushed against hers, they had unfinished business. Fi nodded. This was like some weird dream, where everything happens so quickly you can’t process it all. Fi felt sure that everyone knew her secret but no one looked up from their work. She blushed, pondered the rain and her disastrous lunchtime date. What was that saying? “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.”

See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Story/19550#sthash.laothRvX.dpuf

The Language of Love #flashfiction #amwriting #writing #love #signing #bookshop #author


It was her perfume which alerted him of her arrival. A heavy musk scent, which usually lingered long after she left. She always arrived half an hour before closing time, and stayed until it was time to lock up. She worked in media, according to her security tag and her image was casual, mainly jeans, pumps and baggy jumpers. Her strawberry hair was always swept loosely into a ponytail, with tendrils snaking down her neck.

“Hi, how’s your day so far?” was the question she always asked and her mouth would stretch into a smile as she awaited his answer. He would always reply with the same nod and smile, then she would throw down her rucksack by the threadbare armchair under the stairs.

It was his favourite time of day, he would busy himself, just enough to allow him to watch her without arousing suspicion. The voice in his head would always pipe up and tease him. IF YOU WERE A REAL MAN, YOU WOULD ASK HER OUT. DOES SHE REALLY COME IN FOR THE BOOKS? But he could never find his voice and with each turn of the key in the door, he would mutter frustration through his sighs. Panic would creep across his brain, what if she never returns? He might never see her again? Then he would promise that if she did come back, he would reveal his feelings to her, tell her that the only part of his day which meant anything to him, was that half an hour, when she sat reading in his battered, old arm chair. Sometimes she would cross her legs up underneath her and he would imagine they were at home together. The truth was, that he loved her, it was that simple.

On a rainy Wednesday in September, after months of daily visits, she arrived flushed and anxious. Their usual familiar pattern was silenced and she hovered in the doorway as though she needed an invitation. He gently guided her in through the door and past the shelving crammed with antique books, inscribed to lost loves. When they reached her chair, she lingered beside it, as though afraid to sit down. Her hands rubbed together and she chewed on her finger nail. His eyes sought out hers. What was the matter? Concern rose from the pit of his stomach to the back of his throat.

Instead of sitting down, she pushed him gently into the chair. Then she dropped her bag to the floor and knelt in front of him. What was she doing? What was going on? Slowly, her hands began to move, slowly. Her face contorted with concentration as she strung words together with her fingers. He watched, wide eyed as she signed:

“This place has been a sanctuary for me, when everything around me has been dark. The only thing which got me through it was my daily 30 minutes spent here, with you.”

She smiled with tears in her eyes and her head cocked to the side. He was gobsmacked. She just spoke to him, in his language. He hated to think of her life being so desperate and dark.  He wanted to protect her, make her happy. He lifted his hands and signed:

“My favourite part of the day, is your arrival. My worst part, is you leaving. Did you learn to sign, for me?” She nodded and her eyes held his gaze as he shuffled from the chair onto the floor and knelt in front of her. He took her face in his hands and kissed her.

At 5.30pm, they locked the world out together. A turn of the ‘CLOSED’ sign and swipe of the bolt across the door signified that there was no need for ‘goodbyes’ anymore.

– See more at: https://scriggler.com/DetailPost/Story/19529#sthash.WlyucbL3.dpuf

If Writing were a Superhero #amwriting #writing #author #superhero


It would have nerves of steel, waiting for those initial reviews.

It should have an inflatable brain to cope with all the ideas which build up.

Robotic fingers would be a must, for typing up endless chapters.

A reflector shield could prevent bad feedback from bruising.

It would store new ideas safely in the on-board idea bank.

A super powered motor should run inside constantly, to prevent exhaustion.

A thesaurus chip would be firmly implanted, for alternative word suggestions.

It would wear an invisibility cape, in order to sneak around undercover and find out what people really think.

It would not need hugs or encouragement in the dark days of doubt, but would simply switch on the belief boost button, nestled in the wrist cuff.

Fresh coffee would appear with one click of its fingers.


Photo credit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/which-superhero-are-you




Photo credit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/which-superhero-are-you

10 Ways to Navigate Grief #grief #loss #bereavement #death #hope #survival



Loss of a loved one.

Losing someone close, is a painful experience. It is suffocating and all-consuming, but there is hope.  The words I wanted to hear were, “You will get through this.”

I did get through my dark time and emerged a stronger and more compassionate person. If you are currently in a similar place, I want to tell you that you will get through this too. But in case you do not know which way to turn, here are 10 pieces of advice which may help…

1-Write. Write it down, all of it. The silly stuff, the morbid stuff and even the stuff which makes no sense.

2-Cry. As much as you like, for as long as you like. Let it out.

3-Be kind to yourself. Don’t expect to handle all the things you normally can.

4-Accept help. If you are offered any support or help, don’t be proud, take it.

5-Feel. Don’t block it out, it just stores it up and makes things worse.

6-Eat. Little and often, but something. You only feel worse when you are hungry.

7-Sleep. If you cannot sleep, a common symptom, try reading to distract your thoughts.

8-Hug. Give them and accept them as much as possible. They help heal.

9-Talk. Even though you may not feel like it. Talk about it. Expel those feelings.

10-Have faith. Even though it seems like the world is crashing around you, a day will come when you will laugh and life is okay again.

10 Reasons to Write #amwriting #writing #author #reasons


Write because:

1-You want to.

2-Your brain is tangled.

3-Your brain is nagging you to.

4-The characters in your head will not give up.

5-Your story haunts you and it must be told.

6-You can bring something to the lives of those you have not met.

7-You will combust if you don’t.

8-The voices in your head will get louder until you do.

9-People will enjoy what you write.


Photo credit: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/189739450/creative-minds-are-rarely-tidy-print