Category Archives: Gibberish

100 word story for the Ink Pantry challenge

This is my 100 word story for the Ink Pantry competition. I didn’t win but I thought I would post it anyway.

The winners were much better than mine. Well done to them.

Halloween Fun.

The mist covered evening sun sank slowly into the gold and red autumn leaves just in front of Andrea. She felt excited about the evening ahead. This would be her first adventure since she had died. She couldn’t wait to get out there and put the fear of God, or should that be Satan, into the bastards that killed her. Halloween had never appealed to her in life, but she sure as hell was going to make the most of it now she was dead, and for the rest of their long, boring, stupid lives. Now they would pay for it.



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Meet Tom Gillespie.

Tom has just informed me that his new book is to be launched tomorrow, so I thought it was a great time to let you meet him. Over to you Tom…

Tell us a little about yourself…

Hi Annie.

I grew up in small mining town on the outskirts of Glasgow. After finishing a masters in English at Glasgow uni, I spent the next ten years pursuing a financially ruinous musical career as a singer/songwriter, playing, recording and touring the UK and Europe with my band . I now live in Bath with my wife, my daughter and my hyper-neurotic cat, where I work at the University as an Academic English lecturer.

Can you remember the first book you ever read or was read to you.

Noddy Goes to Toy Town. It had a profound effect on me. I still don’t fully trust flat-capped northerners on holiday.. Oh wait, that’s The Famous Five, isn’t it?

What was the first thing you ever wrote?

“Poo.” (no really, it is)

(Stop laughing Annie!)

Do you have a favourite writing place.

My head

Are there any other writers/authors in your family.

No I’m the only writer, but not the only lunatic

What or who has been your has been the biggest influence on your writing.

Music, movies, food, the moon, sex – and the day Archie Gemmill scored for Scotland against Holland in the 1978 world cup …. but not writing.

Which author(s) do you read most.

Me. I’m never done editing and re-editing my own work. I barely get a chance to read anything else.

Do you have a favourite genre and what is it.

I hate genres. I’m a genre buster. It’s a bit like saying, what’s your favourite colour? Every colour is important and every colour is relative to the next.

It’s blue, by the way.

What are you working on at the moment?

-Trying to pay off a massive home improvement loan that is bleeding me dry. Oh, and a collection of short stories, about debt.

Where can we buy your books?

Painting by Numbers is available in kindle format here:

And soon to be released book format… Awaiting link


Twitter: tom_gillespie

Facebook: /tomgillespiewriter

Thanks Tom. Good luck with your new book, I really hope it’s a best seller.


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Meet Carol McKay…

This week we meet Carol McKay… Carol was my tutor for the Open University A174 Start Creative Writing, which has sadly been discontinued, and is the co author of As I Lay Me Down To Sleep


Carol McKay


Tell us a little about yourself.


I’ve always worked with books and writing. My first career was as a librarian. Then, in my thirties, I took a correspondence course in journalism and earned my first pay packet as a writer with an anniversary piece about Citroen cars in Autocar and Motor magazine. And I hate cars! After that I concentrated on social and family history journalism and raising my four children. I explored writing fiction, too. In 2001, I graduated with an MLitt in Creative Writing here in Scotland and in 2004 started teaching it through the Open University. My writing’s been published in literary journals, anthologies and newspapers and shortlisted for the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition.  In 2010, I won the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship which enabled me to spend a month in the Hotel Chevillon, south of Paris, which was much favoured by RLS and his fellow writers and artists in the 1870s.


Can you remember the first book you ever read or was read to you.


I don’t ever remember having a story read to me. That didn’t happen in our house. But I do remember we had a few children’s books. There were two which were bound in red and which had bright white paper and colourful illustrations that really fitted the stories. One was Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty. I’ve loved that story ever since.


What was the first thing you ever wrote.


When I was ten, my sister emigrated to Canada and shortly after that, one of my brothers joined the Merchant Navy and the other started work. I must have been feeling sorry for myself because I wrote a poem about it. The first verse went something like this: ‘Isabel went to Canada, / Tommy went to the sea. / Allan went to the Railways / and all that was left was me.’  In a more upbeat mood, I then wrote a poem about going to live in Tahiti and had two verses of it published in our school magazine. I’ve never made it to Tahiti yet!


Do you have a favourite writing place.


Not really. I’m a very utilitarian kind of person. I sit at my desk in our dining room. I like to have the radio playing in the background but I find it very hard to write if there are any other distractions.


Are there any other writers/authors in your family.


My parents left school at fourteen. They were bright but had no opportunity for higher education. Both were great readers and my dad, when he had a wee whisky or two, liked to jot down his thoughts as poetry. I remember being really mad at him when I discovered he’d written on the cover of my brand new Cat Stevens record album when I was sixteen! But I forgave him. He had real potential but the life he was living and the time he lived in didn’t encourage men like him to express their inner feelings. Now he’s gone, I quite treasure those few lines for the glimpse they give of that sensitive side to him.


What or who has been the biggest influence on your writing.


Without a doubt, my schools. I went to the local primary school in the huge housing scheme where I lived in Glasgow. Looking back, I realise how high the standards were there. Pupils were really stretched. We read and sang classics and though I didn’t realise it at the time that must have influenced me. Until recently, I thought it was my secondary school which made the difference to me. Wait, that sounds pretentious. What I mean is that I became different from the rest of my family when I went to secondary school because I went to a fee-paying school and then to higher education – the first in my family to be given that opportunity. My secondary school introduced me to great writers, including great contemporary Scottish writers like Hugh Macdiarmid and Norman MacCaig, who both gave readings in the school hall. My school’s motto was Non scholae sed vitae – (education is) not for school but for life. Of course, it was my parents’ sacrifices which enabled me to go there so I should give a nod to them, too.


Which author(s) do you read most.


I’m a big fan of David Mitchell and Jon McGregor, Anne Donovan and Ali Smith.


Do you have a favourite genre and what is it.


Contemporary literary fiction.


What are you working on at the moment.


This summer, I’m editing a book about Addison’s Disease, which is an auto-immune condition I was diagnosed with in 2010. It will feature twenty or so pieces of life writing by people around the world who have the condition. It’s a life-threatening condition and it’s supposed to be what killed Jane Austen! Nowadays, it’s fairly easily managed with drugs but it was a bit scary being diagnosed with it in an emergency situation. I’m also supposed to be jotting down some thoughts towards a memoir of my own. And I’m always working on an idea for a short story or two.


Where can we buy your books.


Ordinary Domestic, my collection of short stories, is available as an e-book from Pothole Press. You can find it on Amazon here –


As I Lay Me Down To Sleep, a memoir by Eileen Munro with Carol McKay, is available as an e-book or in print, here –



My website is and my blog is



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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Gibberish, Meet the Authors


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My Gran Said…

A silly poem.

My Gran Said…

He’s gonna stab him with that gun

my gran said

as we watched the murder mystery


He’s gonna strangle her in her bed

my gran said

as we watched the love scene

being told

He’s gonna poison her with that drink

My gran said

as we watch the garden party for the Queen

being shown

You’re missing the news

my gran said

as Ronny and Ronny

fooled around

someone robbed the bank

my gran said

as the advert for the trustees

was aired

She’s gonna kill him with that pan

My gran said

as Fanny and Johnny

fry an egg

This is a good cup of tea

my gran said

sipping hot chocolate

from a mug

You trying to get me drunk?

my gran said

slurring over eggnog

in a glass

She’s driving us mad

my sister said

as gran dozed in the chair.


Shh! Don’t wake her up

I said

As peace descended

for once.


All Text Copyright © 2012 Annie Green ( Trudy Chappell) All Rights Reserved


Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Gibberish, My Poetry, Short Stories


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Meet Clair Evans

This week we meet author Clair Evans. One of the authors from ‘Tales from the Cafe’ volumes One and Two. I first met Clair on the Open University A174 Start Creative Writing course.

Welcome Clair. It’s nice of you too take the time to talk to us.

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Clair Evans, and I’m 38. I am originally from Somerset, but have lived in the Cotswolds for 16 years, and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. I’ve got three sons, aged 21, 18 and 5, a cat and a Labrador puppy.

I used to be a groom and a Special Constable (not at the same time), but I’m now focusing on completing my BA with the Open University.

When I’m not studying (or procrastinating), I like to go for long walks around the nature reserves here, watch dramas, science fiction programs, or documentaries. I love to read non-fiction, too, and have books on many subjects, including geology, nature and history. I occasionally call myself a gardener, and have even been known to bake the odd cake.

Can you remember the first book you ever read or was read to you.

The Magic Porridge Pot! I loved that story, and still do. Sadly, I don’t remember my parents ever reading to me, although I’m sure they must have.

What was the first thing you ever wrote.

Oh, that’s a tough one. I wrote stories for my English class at school, but I think the first thing I wrote as an adult was a short story about a woman who has an argument with her partner and storms off along country lanes with her dog. She ends up needing to be rescued. That got lost years ago, and I’ve never managed to re-write it.

Do you have a favorite writing place.

Graveyards. They are so peaceful, and usually very pretty, too, especially in these Cotswold villages. If it’s raining or too cold to sit outside, I just park my little car somewhere isolated. I detest the fact that I then have to try to read my atrocious handwriting and transfer it all on to my laptop, but I cannot write at home. Too many ways to procrastinate!

Are there any other writers/authors in your family.

My grandfather wanted to tell some of the story of his time in the RAF during World War Two, but he didn’t write it himself, his daughter (my aunt) wrote it. It was never sold, but copies were given to family members.

What or who has been your has been the biggest influence on your writing.

I would have to say Rory McCormac. He wrote three books about an Irish veterinary surgeon, who gets caught up in the criminal activities of various people. I was gripped by these stories in my early twenties, and decided that I would love to write books like that. I’m still trying!

Which author(s) do you read most.

I don’t really have a single author that I read; shockingly I’m not very up-to-date with books or authors at the moment. In the past I have read a lot of Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and other ‘classic’ authors, and Stephen King, David Morrell, Stephen Booth, and Dan Brown. I’ve just started using my local library again, so I’m hoping to experience some more recent talents!

I read a lot of non-fiction too, particularly books by Brian Cox, Iain Stewart and Simon Reeve.

Do you have a favorite genre and what is it.

I love thrillers with a religious or historical twist in them. Dan Brown’s stories fascinate me, even though his style of writing is not my favourite! I also love the classics, and ‘Lorna Doone’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ are among my all time favourite books.

What are you working on at the moment.

I’ve just finished a university course, and have another starting in October (both Creative Writing modules), so I’m actually taking the summer off to recharge the mental batteries. However, I do have a novel part-written, and have plans for more poetry writing. I’ve already had two short stories published in e-book anthologies, and will be working on more of these in the near future.

Where can we buy your books.

I write for Café Three Zero, and both of their e-books, ‘Tales from the Café: Volume 1’ and ‘Red’ are available on Amazon and Smashwords.


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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in Gibberish, Meet the Authors


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Am I mad?

I’m now fully booked for the Open University A363 Advanced Creative Writing to start on October 4th. I’m a bit nervous and very excited at the same time. We have finished the A215 Creative Writing and are waiting for the final result to come through on that. I’m told we will have to wait until August.

In my fit of excitement I did a silly thing, I booked myself on to the AA100 Arts Past and Present to start in February 2013. I say silly because I’m still not 100% sure I want to take my degree to the limits. I want to write and have gone off the idea of more study. Hopefully I will decide to stick with it and not cancel the AA100 in the end.

We’ll see.


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Another Poem from Me

I see Zombies.


Direct from Hell.

Black clouds roll into necropolis

as night falls on hallowed ground.

Dense fog creeps into inky black wells

of the cold, damp pits beneath.


They gather for a ritual

to wed in black and grey.

They’re searching for a sacrifice

to pay the devils alms


For the bride to have her former self,

they have made a deal.

To bring you to the boneyard

for you are the immolate.


Eerie whispers beckon you in

to join the festive brawl.

The putrid breath that sucks your life

will keep you in their spell.


Grating stone on grating stone

they crawl from their tombs.

They rise and bid you come inside

to join them on their side.


The church bells sound the warning toll,

the breeze will quietly tell.

Stay away from the graveyard tonight,

they’ve come direct from hell.


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