Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

What’s that Noise?

Behind the door?

Was it something moving?

Someone?

Just ignore it. Dive back under the covers, carry on reading…

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out on Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

paperback version is now available for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Health, NaNoWriMo, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

NaNoWriMo – Shall I?

I have been in a writing rut – in that I have done nothing new for ages. Life circumstances have been against me.

It’s time to take a stand against all that. I should set myself a challenge again and give myself the proverbial kick up the arse.

So I am considering going against all the odds and partaking in NaNoWriMo this year. I have completed it once but failed the following year due to some serious illness in the family.

These days, all the demands on me mean I don’t get any time to sit down and write – event doing this today is a very rare occurrence. I have been reduced to reblogging old content.

Well, those demands are going to have to take a back seat for a while. They will need to for my own sanities sake.

My plan is not to try and create novel, novella or even a part of one as I did last time. This time I want to use the push to create 10 drafts of short stories. Each around 5000 words long. I will then use these to enter some competitions with – maybe eventually publish them as a collection as well.

Well, that’s the plan. Let’s see how it goes. Lately, my plans don’t see the light of day – this is a last-ditch attempt. I need some success.

Image from Pixabay

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Cracking Five Star Review

For Thirteen Tales

See the original here or read below.

I was very eager to acquire and read Thirteen Tales, by Scott Bailey, as I’m familiar with his writing from his blog. I like everything about his book–the cover art is spectacular, suggestive of Poe’s “Raven”; and the stories read quickly as you hunger for the next one–but try to slow down, and savor each one! I’m glad to have added Scott’s book to my home library–and highly recommend it. It makes a great gift too!

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

Check it the book for yourself here and see if you agree.

And many thanks to R Ryan – also known as Ennle Madresan over at Abandoned Amenities for the review and kind words.

www.scottandewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, FTS, Short Stories

FINISH THE STORY — THE CIRCUS PART 3

c32e9cf5-b0fc-46a5-817c-a5629f2ce0b4Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, has started another one of her intriguing stories where she gets things started, tags another blogger to pick up where she left off, and then that blogger picked someone else to keep it going.

Fandago was second, and he tagged me as the third. So here goes.

To get us started, here’s what Teresa wrote:

Andy sat in the front row every night and watched the small family circus perform. There were clowns, acrobats, dog tricks, and even a high-wire walking monkey. His favorite though was the juggler. Andy watched as he threw balls, flaming torches, rings, and knives in the air and caught them with ease. Everyone in the circus seemed so happy and nice. He longed to join them.

Late one night after the final performance, Andy mustered the nerve to find the circus owner who traveled with them.

“I’ll do anything. Please let me join you.”

Mr. Tall looked at the scrawny boy and scratched his chin. He walked around Andy and looked him up and down. “What could you do for us?”

Andy spared no time to think. He blurted out a laundry list of menial tasks he could do.

“I have plenty of people to do that.” Mr. Tall shook his head and stared at Andy. “I asked what you could do for us? What are your talents? Your secret talents?”

Andy gulped. Few knew his secret, but those who did knew it immediately. Could Mr. Tall be one of them? Could he risk telling the truth? Not telling the truth? Andy took a deep breath and swallowed his fear. “I could …”


Fandango’s addition to the story:

…change my appearance.”

“What do you mean you change your appearance?” Mr. Tall asked.

“I’m a shapeshifter,” Andy said.

“You mean that mythological crap about being able to transform your physical form or shape?” Mr. Tall said. “Get out of here, kid. You’re wasting my time.”

“I can transform into anything I want,” Andy insisted. “Think of something you want me to change into. Don’t tell me what it is. Then close your eyes and I’ll let you know when to open them.”

“This is stupid, but fine.” Mr. Tall thought for a moment. “Okay, boy. Now what?”

“Close your eyes until I tell you to open them.”

Mr. Tall closed his eyes and waited a few seconds. He then heard a voice from overhead instructing him to open his eyes. Mr. Tall looked up, but all he saw was a red-tailed hawk perched on the high wire near the top of the tent.

“So?” the hawk said, looking down the shocked circus owner. “You thought of a hawk, right?

“Am I hallucinating? Did you slip something in my drink?”

The hawk opened its wings and started circling above, slowly working its way back down to the ground. By the time it hit the sawdust covered floor, Andy was, once again, a scrawny, human kid. “So, Mr. Tall, can I work in your circus?”

Mr. Tall just stood there for a minute or two before he found his voice. He looked at Andy and said …


Now mine..

“Come with me!” and he hurried off into the night.

Andy rushed after him, eager to pursue the chance he had been longing for.

Mr. Tall brought him to the centre of the campsite, he stopped in a ring of caravans, the doors looking inward. Andy felt suddenly like he was on trial. The brightly coloured caravans seemed like elderly matriarchs, stern but hiding an impulse to burst into laughter.

Except, one. There was one dark caravan, unpainted and in disrepair. It was completely out of place in this bright court.

Mr. Tall caught the direction of his gaze and then looked abashed. He ducked his head as if to hide his shame or some other emotion not meant for Andy’s eyes.

‘I shouldn’t have brought him here,’ Andy heard his thoughts. ‘He will not resist that place and we will be discovered.’

Then he spoke.

“Listen lad. There’s no doubting your talent, we can use you. I am just not sure how. My people here, they. Well, they are an old fashioned bunch. Give them bearded ladies, conjoined twins and they’re fine. But you – you show them that and they will freak. And you and me won’t last five minutes. As for the audience. Well, we have to be subtle. Show them a trick that looks impossible in a way that they can believe it’s all smoke and mirrors.”

Andy stared at him. Was he going to give him a job or not? Was he going to bow out at the last minute? Lose his nerve?

Mr. Tall glanced at the dark caravan again, then back at Andy. He took a deep breath as if drawing his strength.

“OK. Wait here! I have an idea, let me introduce you to my partner. He will know what to do.”

With that, he swept off into the darkness between the caravans.

Andy stood, suddenly unsure what to do. Should he just wait? What was going on here? It was all very strange.

But then it was a strange situation he had engineered. And much of the strangeness emanated from him.

He smiled wryly at himself. Wasn’t this exactly what he wanted?

Then he caught sight of the dark caravan again. It seemed to draw his attention. What was in there. What was Mr. Tall afraid of? Ashamed of?

What would he discover behind that tatty door?

He found that he had already walked up the steps to that door. He looked around, something was warning him not to go any further but he found he could not resist. He pushed the door open.

It was dark inside. He stepped forward into the darkness. He took three steady steps and then there was a click.

Too late he sensed a trap. There was a clash of metal. The darkness fled as the sides of the caravan fell away to reveal he as inside a cage. A cage with fine wire mesh sides.

He could transform – but not into anything that small.

“So! You could not resist?” Mr. Tall. “You read my mind! At least as much as I wanted you too. And could not resist my bait.”

He smiled strangely.

“You are not the only one with talent.”

Before his eyes, Mr. Tall seemed to shimmer and he transformed. Not into an animal but into a young girl not much older than himself.

“We have been waiting for you to joins us for quite some time,” she said.

“Indeed we have,” said another voice. And out of the darkness came another man. Broad, long-haired and bearded, dressed in an immaculate suit.

“What shall we do with him?” asked the girl….


 

Teresa’s rules for Finish the Story are:

  1. Copy the story as you receive it.
  2. Add to the story in some fashion.
  3. Tag another person to contribute to or finish the story.
  4. Please use FTS as a tag so Teresa can find it or link back to part 1.
  5. Have Fun!

I tag – Ritu who is a vey talented blogger who is sure to take this a surprising way (no pressure there then 🙂 )

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Huge Jump!

That’s what I call jumping up the charts! Over a Million positions! Can you help me make it more?
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Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Ghosts Arising!

Have reached no 188 in the Amazon Charts for Short Stories! A few more sales might get me to number 1! Anyone want a good collection of Ghost Stories? Get in the mood for Halloween

Check it out here – Thirteen Tales of Ghosts

13talescover

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Dawn – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here. Very late this week – it’s not been easy in our lives lately. Hopefully not too late but if it is – hey – I need to keep it going for my sake.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.


Dawn

By Scott Bailey © 2018

All night she had waited. Watching that dark cave. She knew it was occupied – there had been a fire lit there.

Yet something has held her back. Fear – of what?

Well, for one thing, she did not know how many people were in there. Or what their reception to a stranger might be.

But she was in just as much danger hanging around out here. There were too many wild beasts that would finish her easily.

And she was cold and hungry and alone.

She had nothing left to lose – she told herself. But though she was young, she had lived long enough to know exactly what else she could lose. He life was the least of it.

All night this battle had raged in her, fear of the night, fear of the cave and that fire.

And beneath it all, grief boiled and churned. Tears flowed silently for the family she had lost to that treacherous wave.

Was there a family up there? Huddled in warmth and safety around that fire. She could recall many such scenes with keen sharpness and pain.

Then a thought struck her – if her family had been there they would have posted lookouts. Maybe there were not so many occupants in that shelter.

As she thought over that the sun rose, burst over the cliff top and spilled light like new hope onto the plains.

She stood. Her decision made. She started to climb to towards the cave.

#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Remains – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

Image from Pixabay

 


Remains

By Scott Bailey © 2018

“This was where you found it?” Ilaria said brushing her fingers along the smooth stone bones. “It doesn’t look that old.”

“My father found it,” he corrected it, “and it’s not. At least this isn’t.”

He nodded at the stone skeleton that adorned the tomb.

“This is a reconstruction of the original that had been badly damaged.”

Ilaria shuddered at the thought and again he surprised her by noticing. She wondered if he were really blind.

“Those Victorian’s did not share our modern obsession with preservation,” he smiled.

“Who was he?” she asked

“One of the past wielders. A French lord. There are many myths surrounding him, most of which involve sword fights. Most sound ridiculous to most people. You will find them – easier to accept in time.”

She frowned, wondering what that meant. He went on.

“The sword was found in his tomb. His enemies buried him with it.”

“It survived the fight then?”

“He did not die fighting. He died of old age.”

She stared at the detailed – almost lifelike stone carving. Lifelike! Ha!

But it was exquisite  – if it was accurate the man must have been an imposing figure. Certainly tall.

“He was undefeated then,” she observed.

“Death claimed him eventually, even Northblood cannot stay that blade. He lived a long life, spinning his own stories. It is from him we got many of the tales of other wielder’s. They do not seem to have lived such charmed lives as he. But in the end, he died alone, an old blind man.”

#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Wielder – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


Wielder

By Scott Bailey © 2018

He sat staring too the horizon. Waiting. Occasionally he would sharpen the sword that sat against his thigh.

The sky was bathed in fire. It was a sign. He was sure.

The metal felt warm in the sunlight. He caressed it. He was sure of his fate now.

He had never wielded a sword before. When this one had been gifted him from the sacred pool, he had put it away safe. Never thinking he would need it. Never thinking he would want to.

Now he had no real need for it. But he wanted too.

He has been away. Delivering corn downriver to another village who had need of it.

That’s when they came. Invaders from the north.

They had taken his family. Everyone one, slaughtered. He had nothing left.

Nothing but revenge.

He had been a farmer. No more. He knew he was no warrior, knew his life would most likely end this night. The invaders were returning, rumour preceded them. He scanned the horizon where their dark figures would appear.

No, he would not survive the night. But this blade, this fiery, beautiful blade, would earn its name tonight.

Tonight, it would drink northern blood.

#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Heirloom – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


Heirloom

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

She had run from the stately home – from ghosts and strange blind men – both alive and dead.

But not far. She had very quickly got hold of herself. Now she sat outside a provincial coffee shop sipping the best she’d tasted for some time.

As she drunk she stared at the place in the distance. Turrets rising from the darkness like the beginning of some gothic horror movie.

Only now she knew the ghosts were real.

How she knew that she was not sure. It went against everything she had ever believed, against the grain of her fundamental seeking for truths.

But she did not doubt what she had seen.

So, that is how he found her, sipping coffee, staring at his home.

Vaguely, she wondered at that. Had she stumbled straight into his favourite place? Had he had her followed? Again, she noted that he seemed to need no guide. He must be familiar with this place as well.

He sat across the table from her and waited.

“Who are they,” she asked eventually.

He smiled wryly and lifted one shoulder and a strange shrug.

“That is the question. One there has been no answer to. All I can tell you is that through all the stories, down through the years – beyond history – they are there – along with the sword. With Northblood.”

“Stories? Do you have them all?”

“All, that are known of,” he replied. “There are gaps in time, and as I said, they go beyond written history.”

Again, for no apparent reason, she believed him.

“Will you tell me them?”

“I will,” he nodded. He signalled to a waiter and ordered himself a coffee. Then he resumed.

“But if you are seeking truths, stories will not suffice. You must take more, you must take responsibility.”

She cocked her head at that.

“What do you mean?”

“It is time Northblood was held by new hands.”

“You want me to have the sword?”

He nodded, then added more quietly.

“But there is a cost.”


#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Avenue- #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


The Avenue

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

This was the second time Ilaria had walked down this Avenue of trees today. Earlier it had been bright sunshine and lush green grass. Now it was grey and blue in the moonlight.

Then, he had walked with her. The Count. She had learned he was a Count almost immediately. It had amused her mildly. She had followed all the clues and they had led her to a castle where a Count lived.

It has all the makings of a horror movie. Or maybe a quaint period romance.

She had no taste for either. She rarely read fiction. She preferred a good textbook, preferably history.

Somehow he had known that.

She had badgered him with questions which he deftly danced all around and avoided with politeness. As she talked, he walked. Moving at a leisurely pace. She noticed that despite his age – she guessed around mid-fifties he seemed quite fit. Moved with a strong, feline confidence.

She barely noticed that they left the darkness of his personal museum and found themselves strolling in the dappled sunlight beneath the trees.

When she did she also realised that, despite his blindness, he had not faltered once. He had been sure-footed and need no guide.

She stopped. Taking in the implications.

“You have lived here all your life?” It was the only explanation, he must know the place intimately.

“As have my family for several generations.” he smiled, amused at her question.

“A French Count.” she mused.

“An English title, my family moved here many years in the past, the title came with them and stayed.”

“And you? You have stayed here, never left?”

“Oh, I have travelled in my time, all over the world.” There was sadness in his voice now. Maybe he had not always been blind? Did he mourn the loss of all the sites he had seen?

She pushed on with her quest for answers though.

“Is that where you collected all those weapons?”

“No, that was not me. That was father’s passion. I don’t really care for the collection – it holds no interest to me.”

“Except for that sword.” There could be no denying his interest in that sword. It had pride of place n his house.
He smiled wryly, as is admiring her insight. He nodded.

“Yes, except that sword.”

“Was that one of your father’s acquisitions?”

“It was. One of his last.” he began walking again, drawing her down the avenue.

“He never knew what he had, he dies shortly after bringing home.”

“But you do?” she said. “You know what is special about it. What is it? And what are those figures?”

He stopped again, turned and faced her. He sighed and appeared to be considering his answer. Finally, he spoke again.

“I know your type. You are obsessed with facts – with explanations, not mystery.”

She bristled at this description of herself, to the way he had pigeonholed her, she wanted to dispute it, but she didn’t know what to say. She realised that he had hit the mark.

He went on.

“You want answers, explanations. I am not sure I can give you that. What I can tell you, you would not believe.”

“Try me,” she said. Something about all this had hooked her. She needed the answers in a way she had never felt before. Her calm assessment of everything that had gone before in her life seemed to have been washed away by this sudden, irrational obsession. Though it frightened her – she found she could not turn back any more.

So her heart lurched when he answered.

“No.”

She began to protest but he held up his hand.

“I cannot tell you in any way you would accept. Therefore, I must show you. Meet me here again, this exact spot at midnight.”

She almost snorted, almost derided all this theatrical nonsense. Almost walked away from it all.

But he did not give her the chance. He whirled around and stalked away from her, leaving her open-mouthed.

So she found herself back beneath the trees in the cool night, wondering if she were starting to go mad.

“Are you ready to open your eyes?”

She jumped in fright. The count had come up beside her in silence.

The air felt chill now. Yet, somehow, in spite of the situation, she did not feel any threat from him.

“What are we waiting for?” she asked, trying to keep the scepticism from her voice.

He pointed his cane down the avenue.

Where two faint white figures approached. They were misty and translucent and seemed to be sunk in the ground up to their waists.

She stepped back several paces in fear. What the hell! They looked for all the world like ghosts approaching them.

The air felt colder still.

This could not be! She whirled around looking up in the trees for the light of a projector.

“This is no illusion!” said the Count. “Take all the time you need to confirm that after, but for now – attend closely.” He nodded in the direction of the approaching figures.

She could see them more clearly now. They were indeed sunk up to their waists into the earth. But they seemed not to notice. They ran as if it were not there.

They were figures from the most ancient of times. Almost naked, wearing simple animal hides. Their hair wild. They both carried spears, wooden with flint heads.

They passed her. The nearest was a young woman, barely an adult. The other was an older, man. He looked strong but worn by time. Somehow, despite the fact that he was not eyeless, she could tell that he, like the Count, was blind.


#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Sculptor – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short (very short this week) fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


The Sculptor

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

He stood back, took in his work, and smiled.

Yes. He was getting there. He was satisfied.

He was almost finished.

He knew that nobody else would see it. No one in this place understood. They would not see what he could see. They would only see a couple of boulders, barely touched by him.

But he knew. His subtle touches revealed the shapes that were there. The two figures, watching waiting – poised. Ancient figures known now only to a few, their stories passed down through the generations.

Stories many did not believe – of wonder and dread.

Stories of The Hunter, The Eyeless Man and a magical weapon that defied time.

Northblood.


#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Pedigree

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The list is out
The top dogs preen
While those who put on the show
Count their gains
And the mongrels
Sniff out the scraps
On the ground

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Pedigree

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Slight

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The slight light
Of the dawn
Brings dread
Worry
When it should bring hope
What happened?
When did the light
Seep

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Slight

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Fire and Green

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Earth’s ire arises
Fire from the pulsating core
Fertilizing land

In response to the daily prompt Core

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Top Hat

By Scott Bailey © 2016

With top hat askew
Dancing lightly through the throng
Predatory smile

Photo by Siobhan Dolezal from Pexels

In response to the daily prompt Skewed

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Northblood – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short fiction – another continuation of previous entries that I have decided to collate in one place – here.

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


Northblood

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

Ilaria regarded the stairs with apprehension. Should she ascend them? There was something about all this? Something she could not explain rationally and that disturbed her. She was a scientist! Her life was all about explanations.

So she hesitated.

Actually, she was not being honest with herself. She was an archeologists and in that field explanations were not always forthcoming. In fact she prided herself for her tendency to refrain from explanations. To her facts were what she found. A pile of swords in a pool was just that – a pile of swords in a pool. They might be in a broken state or not. What she did not do – what she insisted on – was starting down a flight of fancy trying to imagine – or theorise on what it all meant. Was it ritual? Or a treasure hoard? In the end there was no way of knowing. So it was best left at that – an unknown.

So why did this whole mystery upset her equilibrium?

It was that face in the caves. That ancient figure from a time so long ago it was a miracle that it still survived.

It was the contradictions in the figure. When they had discovered it she had enthused to her colleagues about the clarity and detail of the painting – and it was all true. The figures truly surpassed anything else she had seen that was contemporary or even later. Yet, by modern standards it was crude.

And still.

That figure of the man. It seemed to stare right through you. Look down through the ages and into your soul. Despite the fact it had no eyes.

And now this sword. She had seen the photo’s and there was no doubt in her mind – the figure was the same.

So she had pleaded and begged this visit – to see it for real. The owner had been reluctant – to say the least. He had even denied its existence.

It had taken a photo of the cave painting in return to convince him.

And still, she hesitated.

“Ms, Neri?”

Her guide, looking for all the world like an old time butler, waited by the stairway. She had come all this way to Paris, to this opulent mansion, to this private collection.

She took a deep breath and nodded. The guide led her up the sweeping curve of the stairs.

They walked down a hallway, lined with many fine pictures which she she guessed were worth a small fortune each. They came to a heavy, modern security door. The guide discreetly entered a code and, she thought she detected, used a fingerprint to unlock the door.

They stepped into a small, dimly lit room. In the centre was a hexagonal glass case. Hanging in the case was the sword.

It did not look ancient. It did show signs of use but could have been twenty or so years old. The hilt certainly looked like it had been replaced.

But the rest – it drew her in. The deep rose gold of the metal had a deep lustre, as though light was lost in it, swallowed to another place deep within the blade where it ebbed, reaching out for reprieve.

And, there, on the blade, was the figure, the eyeless man.

She shook herself, immediately started to see the signs that told her the design, the origin of the the blade. It certainly, at first glance, looked to be something designed in the early iron age. Yet it also looked far too unscathed.

Was this a replica?

She asked the guide.

“No,” he said. “This is the real blade. I understand your confusion – but let me assure you – it has been aged correctly.”

“Was it found near here?” she ventured – it was a test. The was not Gaulish if she was correct.

“No,” he replied. “We have traced its earliest findings to Wales.”

She nodded, that chimed true to her.

“Is that why your master is so cloak and dagger? Does he think the Welsh agitators might want it back? As a symbol?”

The man paused for a long time. Finally he spoke again, carefully.

“No. No doubt you’re right, they would demand it back. This sword is not unknown though few know that it really exists. Many historians in fact equate to a more well known sword of Welsh origin. They are mistaken – that name does not belong to this blade – it has another.”

She looked at him quizzically

“It is called Northblood.”

Before she could ask how he knew that he seemed suddenly to remember something. He went to the case and flicked a switch on the base. The sword began to rotate slowly. She watched, mesmerized as the light glinte on the strange red metal. Then she gasped as the other side of the blade came into view.

There was the figure of the woman, the same woman from the caves.

What the hell connected this sword to that cave – the time distance was fantastic!

“Well? You are the only person alive to have seen both this sword and the cave paintings. Do they indeed match?”

She nodded slowly. They did. She was so shocked by what she had discovered here that it took a few moments to realise that it had not been her guide who had spoken. It had been a much deeper and richer voice.

She whirled around.

There stood an imposing figure. A middle aged man, well built and with strong shoulders over which he wore a coat like a cloak. A bristling, greying beard on a broad strong face. He leant his heavy frame on a sturdy black cane.

And though he has deep grey eyes it was immediately obvious.

He was blind.


#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Review, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

A Ripple of Reviews

I don’t know if that is the correct collective noun but it should be 🙂

Here are a few reviews I have accrued over time.

Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts)

 Excellently Eerie! AAA+++!! 30 January 2018 

Witty, scary, creepy, delicious, and not without a deft touch of wit! Well-crafted visions of the dark side! So refreshing to discover such beautifully told, original material! If you love ghost stories, this is for you! JanO


Tales that take you to some very different places, some are very dark places. 26 January 2017

All the stories in this collection are very different, savour them one at a time. I was very taken with Cycles, an astute tale of teenage boys, with a twist of course. Fire and Ice takes us somewhere deep… Terminal is a very modern tale, Shipwreck not for the faint hearted. I loved A Ghost Scene, one to amuse. Don’t read The Church at bedtime, be sure your past will catch up with you in ‘Suspense’ and you will not want to live in the country by yourself if you read ‘The Valley. Mother completes the collection with a very dark ending. Whether you like to be entertained or wonder what really lies beyond, this is the book for you. Janet Grogerty


A Spring of Dreams

 A clever and insightful book of poems 21 September 2015

Great concept to write a poem a day for a year and provides an insight into coping with difficult family circumstances – a recommended read for anyone who has struggled in such situations. Some poems were obviously more personal than others (my favourites were those when the writer cherishes the ‘small moments’ in life such as going to a fireworks display with his wife and son) but he also branches out into more political territory. Look out for the funny poems scattered throughout the book too, one, in particular, made me laugh out loud! A good read and Scott Bailey shows talent as a poet. Recommended. M.H.Beton


Mankind Limited

It feels like us, it acts like us 20 August 2015

This book should be a movie. Somewhere in Hollywood right now there are actors waiting for their agents to deliver this story in script format to them. The makings of all action-packed adventure films are here. I can see the film in my mind’s eye.

But this one is different.

It’s not fast-paced for the thrill of it alone. It needs to be to get the message across. Mankind could be on the threshold of just such a future.

This one could be us.

Maybe a few years down the line yet, maybe already almost there in some similar format. Change a few details. Replace one group for another. Look behind the motives in politics and corporations. Stretch the reality just a little. Ask ourselves questions looking through the light of a different lens.

It feels like us, it acts like us, it may very well come to be.

It could be The Secret we all hold and may one day need.

The future may be closer than we think.

It only takes a small leap of imagination to take us from where we are now to Mankind Unlimited.

Scott Bailey is a writer I follow through his WordPress blog.

I downloaded his book a few weeks ago after reading an excerpt from it on his blog. It wasn’t until this week that I finally had the chance to read the book. I like a good action-packed adventure as much as the next one but I liked, even more, what Scott communicated in the story.

I believe there is more to follow and I’ll be waiting. If we have time and I’m still aware… anniehy


Excellent book 21 October 2013

I really enjoyed reading this book and could barely put it down. It is pretty rare for me to get so engrossed in a book, so if you like books about a dystopian future then this is worth a read. Now I want to know what happens next! RuthJ


Fantastic Read 9 September 2013

Really good book, well worth the money could not put it down at times, sad when it got to the end.
I will be reading it again, dont do that with many books. Amazon Customer


 

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Steel – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short fiction – another continuation of The Dark – and Footsteps, and The Discovery

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


Steel

By Scott Bailey © 2018

 

Splash!

The water leapt into the air, droplets glinting in the sunlight.

The man watched – was it magic he saw shining there? Was it the blessing he sought?

The water settled quickly and somewhat disappointingly. Through the shimmering ripples, he could see his heavy chain shifting, sinking slowly into the mud.

He sighed. He would miss it. It had been in his family for many generations. It has served them all well.

He had not wanted to part with it.

But he was desperate and the gods needed an offering.

So he had cast it into the holy pool.

He would miss it, but he had nothing else to offer.

Maybe, just maybe the fact that it meant so much to him, that this was a real sacrifice, would be enough.

He watched as the water became calm once more. Ruffled only by the breeze and the slow current of the stream that fed it. Waiting for a sign.

Nothing happened.

He looked up at the druid. The man studied the pool for a few minutes more than shook his head.

Nothing! What a damned waste. He started to turn away in disgust. As he did something glinted. A flash from deep in the pool, in the heart of the coils made by his sunken chain.

There was something there!

He glanced up at the druid for guidance. This was a holy pool, here offering were made – not given back.

But the druid seemed as surprised as he, and excited. He motioned towards the pool.

That was enough, he stepped into the water, thrust his arms between the chain coils and gently cleared away the mud.

It was soon very clear what he had found. It was a sword, not broken, so not an offering that had been cast here. It was whole and as he lifted it from the water it shone. It was clean and undamaged. It might have only been placed here yesterday.

It was of a strange colour. A golden hilt and pommel, but the blade was reddish gold. Like nothing he had ever seen.

He passed it to the druid who wiped it dry on his robe and studied the blade for a long while.

Finally, he spoke.

“The gods have given. This gift is for you. You have been answered.”

“Answered? How?” he replied. How would a sword help him? He knew nothing of fighting – he was not a warrior.

“That will be revealed in time,” muttered the druid. “Maybe they will come to guide you.”

He pointed to the engraving on the blade.

There, he could see two figures. A woman and a man. A man with no eyes.
 


#writephoto

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Lunch Hour

Started by Scott Bailey

There were some friends. And a hall. An infinite hall, with marble walls and pillars that stretched forever into the distance.

And there were tables. Row after row after row of tables. On each table was a never-ending supply of a single dish. In that hall, on those tables, there could be found every dish that had ever been imagined, concocted and served up in all of human history.

With a thought you could be sitting before any dish you could think of. Or you could ask your neighbour for a recommendation and try something new. The name of the dish was enough to take you there.

It was time for the friends to eat. They entered and they took their paths through the hall. They commenced their lunch.

As they knew – it was a once only meal.

An hour later they reconvened, look each other in the eyes and assessed their time beneath the infinite arches.

The first spoke.

“I tried as many different tastes as I could. I jumped from table to table and I can honestly say that I know of no one who could have filled their time here with as many different flavours as I. Yet. Now I am here –  wonder why? I stand here before you proudly stating the number of meals I have partaken off – yet I wonder why does that matter? Not one was complete. Have I missed the joy of a meal.”

He hung his head, deep in thought and regret. But the second friend spoke.

“You make me wonder. What taste did I miss? I did not try many different meals, For quite soon I found one that I really enjoyed. I sat down and savoured the taste. People around me did the same and we discussed the meal and more besides. I do not regret that – no it was heartwarming – but I wonder at the tastes I missed. Was there a better meal still that I could have savoured with more relish?”

The third friend looked haunted.

“I did not eat. I wanted to try everything but I realised this was not possible, that it was a dream that could only fail. Yet I felt that to just sit down and eat was an insult to the great hospitality and variety that had been laid before us. I fell in with a group of other like-minded people and we were determined to resolve this dilemma with the gifts of reason we have been bestowed with. I have been a fool.”

“You are all fools!” said a fourth friend.

“I knew the way – I understood the correct combination of meals that would allow perfection! I tried to tell you but you would not listen! So many people did not listen! Fools! But there were some and we understand that we have eaten correctly and that we will be rewarded for that. I pity you – you have wasted your lunch hour.”

Image from Pixabay

In response to the daily prompt Partake

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Discovery – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Another bit of short fiction – may be a continuation of The Dark – and Footsteps, maybe not – what do you think?

Here Sue’s photo for this week.

 


The Discovery

By Scott Bailey © 2018

This was what she lived for – this moment! She had been waiting half her life for it.

She stood at the entrance – entranced. She was almost afraid to take a step further, both savouring the moment and fearing a disappointment.

The tunnel looked old – and it was. But it was nothing she had not seen a thousand times before. It was what lay beyond that had drawn her here.

The tunnel before here was from over a millennia ago. There were many of them scattered around the area. She was as familiar with them as any archaeologist – there had some frisson about them, some mystery as nobody really knew what they had been made for. That, of course, led to many wild theories.

She had no interest in mad theories and folk tales. She was only interested in hard facts. And if what she had been told was true – there would some remarkable finds here.

Three weeks ago, some tourists wandering the tunnels had nearly been killed when one of the walls and part of the floor had clasped. They had revealed something darker and older than the tunnels.

Much older.

Two days ago a colleague of hers had rung her to get her advice on what had been found. When she heard what he described she snatched up her passport – nothing else – and had booked the first flight she could get to see for herself.

Now she was here. She took a deep breath and gripped her torch tightly, then she took a purposeful step inward.

It was a five-minute walk to the scene of the near tragedy. The place was cordoned off with police tape and officers were stationed there. They nodded to her and waved her in. All the locals were excited about the discovery and wanted to know more. They were waiting on her opinion.

She looked into the hole made by the collapse. A vast darkness spread out before here, water dripped into it. Some lights had been hastily strung up on the walls but they were not enough to reach out the full extent of what was obviously a large cave.

A rope ladder stretched downward into the darkness.

This was it.

Holstering her torch she climbed deftly down the ladder. More lights lit the way revealing the wet, jagged wall before here.

When she reached the bottom she found several other people already there. Student by the look of them busy taking careful measurements and photos, but not disturbing anything.

Before them stood an older man – her friend. He was grinning widely.

“Well?”

“This is it?” she whispered.

“This is it,” he murmured in almost reverent tones.

She looked around in awe.

“It’s natural,” she said. He nodded.

“And the evidence for human habitation?” she went on. He grinned again and waved her to a spot where the students were concentrated.

“Here, take a look.”

She knelt down carefully and shone her torch. There, unmistakable to her eyes, was a loose pile of flint spearheads and other tools.

“Is this everything?” she said eagerly – it was enough for her.

“There’s a few other finds but this is the best so far. We have only covered about a quarter of the floor so far.” He smiled wryly now as he saw the light of excitement in her eyes.

“And the walls?”

Now he looked puzzled.

“Well, we haven’t..” he started.

She stood and swept the beam of her torch slowly around the walls.

And stopped.

“Holy crap!” swore the man.

There, high on the cave wall, was the clearest, most detailed cave painting she had ever seen. It was of two distinct figures. Unlike anything she had ever seen before they were almost portrait like in their detail!

One was a young woman holding a spear. The other was a man. A man with no eyes.


 

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

Footsteps – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Well, as soon as I saw this week’s picture I thought great! I have THE perfect poem for that – it fits so well. However, I can’t use it as I already have! For another of Sue’s writephoto challenges not so long ago – this one if you are interested.

So I knew I had to write something original. It was difficult to get that poem out of my mind until I hit on another idea – I would write a continuation of the story I did last week. See it here.

So here Sue’s photo for this week.

and here is part two of the story.


Footsteps

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The fear she had been holding back pounded in her chest. Her heart thudded, her breath constricted.

All this time alone, she had been ignoring it, holding it at bay. It had not been difficult. The trials of survival had occupied her. That had been hard enough. Any weakness, any giving into fear, could trip her up. And it might be her final step.

It had been four moons since the storm, the sudden tumult that raised the sea against them, taken every one of the clan.

Everyone she had ever known.

Since then she had walked this land alone, swinging between throwing herself into the sea after her family, and desperately fighting for survival without really knowing why.

Since the storm the weather had been warm and calm, which was good as she had not made any effort to create or find shelter. All she had done was wander and find food.

She was no hunter, but she knew how to forage. She knew where to find fruits and roots that were good to eat. How to find fresh water.

And she could fish. That she could do!

Which was why she had hung by the beach. Though the sea now held an ill-boding threat to her, dark memories threatening to overwhelm her, it was also her only provider.

Her clan had always lived by the coast, travelled along it, living off the plenty of the great water.

Habit, as much as necessity, guided her path now.

Until now.

Footsteps rocked her daze. Shook her out of the fugue she had lived in since the tempest had departed.

They stretched away from her in the sand. They must be fresh, the tide would wash them away.

They led off inland, she followed them with her gaze.

In the distance, far inland, across rolling hills, there rose a dark cliff. In the face of that cliff was a cave.


Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Lullaby

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The sun is just shy
Of setting in the west to
Birds’ sweet lullaby

Image from Pixabay

 

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #196 Shy&Sweet

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Short Stories, Writing

The Dark – #writephoto

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo prompt

Again, I missed last weeks and this week has been so busy I almost missed this too! However this week has been a good kind of busy as I have been on Holiday with the wife and kids. Lots of days out adventuring and my eldest’s birthday party right at the end!

So this is this weeks photo from Sue.

Unusually for me – this immediately suggested some prose to me, rather than poetry. In fact, the following scene arrived almost fully formed in my mind. It’s not part of anything I am working on or thinking about – it’s completely new to me – as fresh as is it to anyone else who reads it. I am not sure what it’s about or where it’s going? I am quite excited to find out myself!

That might take a while though. I think it will need some time to ferment – or maybe not – maybe I should just get on with it – not knowing where it’s going. Not my usual approach but hey – maybe it will work.

Anyway – here it is.


The Dark

By Scott Bailey © 2018

He stood in the mouth of the cave and breathed in the sweet morning air. He was right on the junction of the entrance – he could feel the cold air behind him, the warm before.

It was a natural balance he appreciated.

The cave had been a good find. It was warm at night and inaccessible to larger animals. Not too difficult to get to for him – but a challenge.

The warmth was important, he could no longer risk fires. Not for a while anyway. Maybe he could work something out eventually – how would probably need to before winter arrived.

If he survived that long.

He shook himself, discarding that line of thought. He had survived this long. This latest setback was just another challenge.

It was a rather large one though.

He felt the wood of his spear shaft starting to warm in the morning sun. It’s smoothness satisfied him as he ran his fingers along it. Hours of care had been worth it. He reached the tip and checked the sharpness of the flint head carefully. It was still good. He had a stash of spares in the cave ready.

He squatted down and run his fingers over the fine gravel that was scattered on the small ledge before the mouth of the cave. He brought it to his nose. It felt and smelt freshly wet – more than dew – there must have been a light rain overnight, that would account for the freshness of the air. That would make the path down from the cave more dangerous, but it should also bring out more game.

He stood, cocked his head and listened intently in the darkness. He could hear many birds circling and far below, many beasts on the plain. Yes, hunting would be good today. Challenging – but the opportunity was there.

Another sound caught his attention and a scent, faint but unmistakable.

Somebody was approaching!

He shifted his stance, dropped into defensive readiness and waited.

This would be the first real challenge he had faced since he had lost his sight two days ago.

He was determined it would not be his last.


 

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Monarch

By Scott Bailey © 2018

The meadow’s monarch
Surveys his green realm with hope
Before the sun sinks

Image from Pixabay

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #195 Regal&Hopeful

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Man’s Folly

By Scott Bailey © 2016

She stared at the artefact. It reminded her of a flower. Well, reminded was the wrong word. She had never seen a flower – there were no more left. They had died out long before she had arrived.

Everything had.

But in the last few months, her colleagues had managed to decipher and read the ancient data they had found here and there. They had pieced together a rough history of this dead place. Not much but enough – enough to know what happened.

Enough to know it could happen to them.

Enough to know what a flower looked like.

Before they had died – somebody had carved a final message on this artefact.

‘Man’s final folly!”

She wondered at that. She could not fathom its reasoning.

It was beyond doubt now that this giant metal flower had been the instrument that had called out to them so long ago. Sent its message to the stars.

And they had heard. 20,000 long years ago she and her colleagues had boarded their ship and started on their way.

In all probability, the flower was still broadcasting then. The carver of that message was still breathing good air.

No more.

There was no more good air. There was nothing left to breathe it.

Was puzzled her more was the fact that the remaining histories made it plain that it was foreseeable. Preventable even.

Yet she could also see that their own masters back home could easily make the same mistake. As advanced as they were the path was familiar.

So it was that she and her fellow robotic explorers had taken the decision to delay their trip home. It would take them 20,000 more years to get back with the warning.

This – folly – could send the message quicker. So here they were trying to repair it get it working again.

A desperate battle to avoid the fate of these long dead people who called themselves human beings.

 

In response to the daily prompt Warning

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Worship

By Scott Bailey © 2018

Snake worships the sun
Praying to the gold goddess
Waiting for the rain

 

Image from Pixabay

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #194 Worship&Goddess

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Peace

By Scott Bailey © 2018

When the sea and sky
Are equal to the viewer
By chance, peace will fall

Image from Pixabay

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #193 Chance&Equal

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Slim Pickings

By Scott Bailey © 2018

A chance glance of light
Reveals the heron hunting
Slim pickings below

 

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #192 Slim&Chance

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Dim

By Scott Bailey © 2017

Image from Pixabay

The light that burns bright
Will burn twice as fast. My light
Must last forever

In response to RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #180 Slow&Burn

In response to the daily prompt Dim

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Short Stories, Writing

Congregate

By Scott Bailey © 2018

We have reached
A time
When
Congregation
Is not enough
Movement is needed
Action
Revolution

 

In response to the daily prompt Congregate

#DailyPrompt, #amwriting, #postaday

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Haiku, JusJoJan, Poetry, Short Stories, Writing

In Need of Prompts

Now JusJoJan has finished I need some more prompts!

I use the WordPress Daily Prompt and Ronovan Writes Haiku Challenge on a Monday. I could do with another for each day.

Anyone know of any good ones?

light-2581929_1920

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Five Star Review Received! Thirteen Tales

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts received a great review from janowrite, a fellow Ghost Story writer and fan.

Check out the review here and her own blog here.

And why not check out the book itself – see if you agree 🙂

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

USA Catching Canada!

Thirteen Tales – the race of the Americas is on!

Well, no more sales in Canada as yet but some in the USA means that they are catching up – who will win? Where will I hit the top 10 first? The UK (my homeland) is lagging far behind!

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales -Popular in Canada!

Thirteen Tales Rising

 

Well, had a bump in sales in Canada and Thirteen Tales is now No. 30 in its genre!

 

Let’s hope it generates some more interest.

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Haiku, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Last Minute Presents

If you are stuck for ideas – here are a few. They are original and different – plus being ebooks they have the advantage of not being hindered by delivery issues 🙂

Mankind Limited

Mankind Limited

Marc trudged on with life, marching in line with his fellow workers. Weighed down by the everyday burdens of life, the pressure to conform, to succeed or face destitution.

Yet he knew, in his heart that it was all wrong, the questions squirmed like fiery dragons in the pit of his heart, beneath his deepest darkest doubts.

Until they grew and burst his sanity, set him on a path of defiance and rebellion. A path that would cross three others – all like him seeking answers.

A path of danger and adventure that would see him marked as a terrorist and fleeing for his life. It would see him find love and heartbreak, hope and despair, Most of all, it would open his eye to the possibility of an ancient and powerful secret that might answer all his doubts and fears.

If he survived.

 

Buy Now


Thirteen Tales

As the title says – thirteen tales about ghosts. Yet, while ghosts feature in them all – not all are traditional ghost stories.

You will find the vengeful spirit but also the plaintiff one. The haunting message from the past and the playful spirits capturing the joy of their past lives.

Some of these visitors from beyond lead the haunted to peace and joy – others take them on much darker paths to places with no return.

Enjoy them – just don’t get too comfortable.

 

Buy Now


A Spring of Dreams

Three hundred and sixty-five poems in all shapes and sizes, sprung from dreams and emotion. Published day after day for a year. There are haiku, sonnets, katauta, lanturnes and many other forms – including free form. The moods are as varied as the forms and often reflect my mood on the day. There is sadness and grief, joy and love.

If nothing else – these can provide a small moment in everyone’s stressful lives to stop and contemplate the world in a different way.

 

Buy Now

 

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Blogging101, Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, General, Haiku, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Next Year

I am in a quandary – what to do with this blog next year.

This year I set up prescheduled posts – three a day for a whole year! Then I posted each day as and when I could.

This has resulted in two things.

  1. A lot of repetition, the same posts being seen over and over again.
  2. The highest number of views ever – more than doubling any previous year

This got me thinking – how do I match it? How do I keep the momentum going?

Then I thought again. Do I want to?

I realised as I was trying to plan out a new schedule of posting I thought about what it meant. What was the reason for it?

Last year I wanted to increase my views – but the reason for that was to increase exposure of my books – and try and boost their sales. Sure I enjoy the writing and enjoy the challenges I have become a part of. It has helped build up a and strengthen a little network of fellow bloggers that I now value.

But it has had detrimental effects too. As mentioned it has filled my blog with reams of duplicate content. But worse – it has taken up all the precious writing time I had. All of it. This means I have done nothing else.

On top of that – it has not boosted my book sales at all. So it failed at its main aim.

So, I have decided that this year I will take a new approach. I will probably try and write every day – do Ronovan’s Haiku Challenge on Monday’s as well as something for the Daily Prompt.  But, I am not going to get hung up on stats and trying to reach targets. I am going to step back and try and produce some more books. Another poetry collection, and maybe another collection of short stories.

But I won’t be disappearing.

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Get in the Halloween mood

Settle down in the dark with Thirteen Tales of Ghosts, immerse yourself in fear if you dare.


www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Some Feedback Requested

I wonder if I could ask my blogosphere friends a quick favour? Or anyone who reads this in fact?

I am in the process of trying to update my website in order to improve my lagging sales! I am trying out some new text to describe each work – see below. What do you think – are these better than what I already have? (which can be seen here).

Are there any improvements anyone could recommend?

 

Mankind Limited

Marc trudged on with life, marching in line with his fellow workers. Weighed down by the everyday burdens of life, the pressure to conform, to succeed or face destitution.

Yet he knew, in his heart that it was all wrong, the questions squirmed like fiery dragons in the pit of his heart, beneath his deepest darkest doubts.

Until they grew and burst his sanity, set him on a path of defiance and rebellion. A path that would cross three others – all like him seeking answers.

A path of danger and adventure that would see him marked as a terrorist and fleeing for his life. It would see him find love and heartbreak, hope and despair, Most of all, it would open his eye to the possibility of an ancient and powerful secret that might answer all his doubts and fears.

If he survived.

“In a world obsessed with measurement and success four rebels question everything – including themselves.”


A Spring of Dreams

Three hundred and sixty-five poems in all shapes and sizes. Published day after day for a year. There are haiku, sonnets, katauta, lanturnes and many other forms – including free form. The moods are as varied as the forms and often reflect my mood on the day. There is sadness and grief, joy and love.

If nothing else – these can provide a small moment in everyone’s stressful lives to stop and contemplate the world in a different way.

“The result of a year-long challenge to write a poem a day for a year. Raw and accessible poems of many moods.”


Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts)

As the title says – thirteen tales about ghosts. Yet, while ghosts feature in them all – not all are traditional ghost stories. You will find the vengeful spirit but also the plaintiff one. The haunting message from the past and the playful spirits capturing the joy of their past lives. Some of these visitors from beyond lead the haunted to peace and joy – others take them on much darker paths to places with no return. Enjoy them – just don’t get too comfortable.

“Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.”

Posted in Creative Writing, Haiku, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Best Year So Far!

When I hit over 10000 views at the end of last year I thought it would be a hard target to beat – yet here I am just over halfway through the year and I have beaten it already!

I have to thank my followers and all who have read – a little or a lot.

Now if only I had 10000 book sales 🙂

Mankindd Limited

A_Spring_of_Dreams_Cover_for_Kindle

13talescoverc

http://www.scottandrewbailey.uk/

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Poetry, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Thanet Writers Feature – Me!

thanetwriters

The folks over at Thanet Writer’s interviewed me a while ago and it’s now up and available on their website.

I am deeply honoured and appreciative.

Check it out here!

Posted in Creative Writing, Fantasy Fiction, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Happy Book Day!

Here’s a  few you might like to try 🙂

 

Mankindd LimitedA_Spring_of_Dreams_Cover_for_Kindle13talescoverc

to find out more click on www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Four Star Rating and review – for Thirteen tales!

Incredibly pleased and appreciative of the latest (and first for this book) review of Thirteen Tales – many thanks, Janet Gogerty.

Featured Image -- 7657

See the review below or click here for the original on Amazon.

This review is from: Thirteen Tales: of Ghosts (Kindle Edition)
All the stories in this collection are very different, savour them one at a time. I was very taken with Cycles, an astute tale of teenage boys, with a twist of course. Fire and Ice takes us somewhere deep… Terminal is a very modern tale, Shipwreck not for the faint hearted. I loved A Ghost Scene, one to amuse. Don’t read The Church at bedtime, be sure your past will catch up with you in ‘Suspense’ and you will not want to live in the country by yourself if you read ‘The Valley. Mother completes the collection with a very dark ending. Whether you like to be entertained or wonder what really lies beyond, this is the book for you.
Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales – Now available in paperback

For those of you who like the feel of real paper….

Thirteen Tales of Ghosts is now available in paperback! Check it out here.

Or go here for a sample.

ThirtFeatured Image -- 7657een Tales of Ghosts

By Scott Bailey

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version is here for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

 

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Review, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Four Star Rating and review – for Thirteen tales!

Incredibly pleased and appreciative of the latest (and first for this book) review of Thirteen Tales – many thanks, Janet Gogerty.

Featured Image -- 7657

See the review below or click here for the original on Amazon.

This review is from: Thirteen Tales: of Ghosts (Kindle Edition)
All the stories in this collection are very different, savour them one at a time. I was very taken with Cycles, an astute tale of teenage boys, with a twist of course. Fire and Ice takes us somewhere deep… Terminal is a very modern tale, Shipwreck not for the faint hearted. I loved A Ghost Scene, one to amuse. Don’t read The Church at bedtime, be sure your past will catch up with you in ‘Suspense’ and you will not want to live in the country by yourself if you read ‘The Valley. Mother completes the collection with a very dark ending. Whether you like to be entertained or wonder what really lies beyond, this is the book for you.
Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Still Available! Thirteen Tales.

Grab it now and enjoy – Thirteen Tales (of Ghosts). Spread the word!

13talescoverc

A collection of short stories concerning ghosts. Some are traditional ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe. Other are not. Some scare, some are fun. Some play with the concept of a ghost. There are ghosts who are out for revenge and the living avenging the spirits that curse them.

Ideal for sitting around a campfire and late at night under the covers. Or maybe not if the stories themselves are any guide.

Check it out at Amazon and Smashwords and other online e-book retailers.

A paperback version os being worked on for those who prefer the feel of the paper while huddling by the fire – on your own – in the dark – with that noise behind you……

www.scottandrewbailey.uk

Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Fiction, Mankind Limited News, Poetry, Science Fiction, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

Marathon Scheduling

So regular readers of my blog will notice that a lot of my posts have been about my books. In fact, they are marketing posts in an attempt to bolster sales and increase awareness and interest. I have been trying to do one for each book each day but it all takes time.

With that in mind, I decided to take a bunch of them and create a rolling schedule. So that’s what I have ben doing the last two weeks. I now have posts scheduled for each book for each day for the rest of the year! Over 1000 posts scheduled. So whatever happens you’ll be hearing from me every day until at least the end of the year.

This will leave me the time to do other original posts. I will still be doing Ronovan’s weekly Haiku challenge. I will also try and do something for the Daily Prompt. Having said that a heavy cold has meant I missed yesterday’s already!

I hope it doesn’t make the blog too repetitive – it’s an experiment to see if I can drum up more sales. We’ll see how it goes.

Posted in Creative Writing, Fiction, Short Stories, Thirteen Tales, Writing

Thirteen Tales – A sampler.

Why not try a collection of ghostly tales?

Get comfortable by the fire, or under the duvet, grab your Kindle and lock the doors.

To give you a taster read the first story of the collection here.

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Posted in Creative Writing, Daily Prompt, Family, Poetry, Self Publishing, Short Stories, Writing

New Year

It was rough last year. I am not just talking about celebrity deaths.

We as a family have had it rough. We have had family members in and out of hospital, having to deal with a diagnosis of Autism for our youngest and his so far very rocky transition into school. I have had work stress and uncertainty. We have seen our social lives and our house being slowly taken apart. I have seen my writing dreams slip away.

Midlife crisis? Maybe.

I have to cling to hope. It is the only thing left.

So not really new years resolutions as such but goals I am aiming for this year.

To find a new job. But not just another role. I need to get back to enjoying work again. That has been totally destroyed of late – I had thought beyond hope – but if I give up hope then all is lost. I have been thinking about a total career change and that’s the way I will try to go.

To improve our daily lives by trying new techniques for dealing with Autistic behaviours.

To reinvigorate my writing dreams. To help with this I will attempt to complete the daily prompt as well as Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge. This is purely to get my juices flowing. Behind the scenes, I will try to put together two more poetry collections for publishing as well as another short story collection and a new novel. Ambitious but I must attempt it.

I wish everyone a happy new year and hope you all attain your own dreams and goals.

In response to the daily prompt Year

#DailyPrompt