More Success for Arun Scribes Authors

I am pleased to announce that Patricia Feinberg Stoner has won a One Stop Fiction Award for her book At Home in the Pays D’OC. Really well done, Patricia.

Angela Petch has had three short stories published in magazines this year, two within the last week in People’s Friend. Angela has written a piece on her own blog about short stories which I am sure many of you will be interested in. Please take a look Angela’s blog.

Please don’t forget that Patricia and I will be at the Crawley Library Book Fair tomorrow between 11.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m.



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I Insist; a poem by Philippa Bower

Mother, I insist you get a cleaner,

Your bungalow will soon be smelling musty

How often do you hoover or sterilise the loo?

And your ornaments are starting to get dusty

Mother, I insist you see a doctor.

Something should be done about your hearing.

I must shout to make you hear above the television’s blare

And the decibels are almost beyond bearing.

Mother, I insist you get a bus pass.

Your driving expertise is below par

You grind when you change gear and meander when you steer

It’s high time you were finished with your car.

Mother, I insist you join a gym club

Your muscle tone is in an unfit state .

You will get a hunched-up back and your pelvic floor will slacken

Till incontinence becomes your final fate.

Mother, I insist you get a mobile,

To call for help if ever you are stuck …

“Help! I’m stuck with a dominating daughter!”

“That’s not funny, Mother.”

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Events to put in your Diary

There seems to be a growing number of arts and book based events in the South of England, all good news for authors. Here are some that may be worth putting in your diary.

  1. Crawley Library Book Fair – Saturday, October 14th from 11a.m. – 2.p.m. Meet 20 authors and get signed copies of their works.
  2. Portsmouth Book Fest – the weekend of February 17th – 18th. 2018. It looks to be a really exciting programme.
  3. South of England Book Fair – Worthing Pier, Sunday March 4th, 2018
  4. Chichester Festival – Lots of book based events planned by CHINDI July 2nd -7th. 2018.
  5. Littlehampton Arts Festival (LOCA) – July 14th – 28th, 2018. CHINDI are hoping to put on several book-based events for the first time in Littlehampton.

For the LOCA event, we would like Arun Scribes and other book groups to get involved by submitting a ghost story set in Littlehampton for a possible tongue in cheek ghost tour. If you are interested, let me know – No fee but the honour of your story included in the accompanying book.


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Changes in Arun Scribes

Some of our readers may have noticed a dearth of material appearing on this blog over the last few months. There has been a change, a mini-revolution, I would not go so far as to say a rebellion, but a take-over.

The novelists have won. That does not mean that the short story writers have been beaten into submission, rather the group has developed into a distinctive novelist group and the short story writers have not one but two other groups. However, we lucky beings retain the name of Scribes and the blog. Having said that, as keeper of the blog, I would be happy to accept submissions from the short story groups, otherwise, our blog may be somewhat lacking in original work. The offer is there, take me up on it, please.

Other news – the novelists’ group has grown and we have two new lady members and one new gentleman.  One of our group, Angela Petch has a contract from Endeavour Press to publish her books, Now and Then in Tuscany and Tuscan Roots. Angela has also been very busy and successful with her short stories. She is now a doyenne of short stories in Prima and People’s Friend. Look out for her story in the October issue of People’s Friend.

Patricia will be publishing her book of naughty limericks in time for Christmas. A definite stocking filler and there will be more about that anon.

Posted in News | 2 Comments

An in-Convenient Truth by Patricia Stoner

Yesterday, at our regular monthly meeting, we had to write a humorous story. Patricia didn’t knock this up in 15 minutes, but two of us did write on lavatory humour and this contribution may have been hidden in Patricia’s archives or been there in the back of her brain waiting to be written.

(One elderly lady to another in the ladies’ room at the Chichester Festival Theatre: ‘Of course designers don’t want instructions spoiling their, erm, designs, but I’m just thinking, where’s the handle?)

Which got me thinking…

I remember the loo.  It was dependable.  It sat there, foursquare in its hard porcelain whiteness that was freezing on the bum in winter.  Above it on the wall a large greyish box from which a chain depended.  You pulled on the chain and a cascade of water disappeared those things you wished would disappear.  Sometimes.  If someone had been in there before you, you had to wait an age before the water would fill up again.

Of course we didn’t call it the loo back then; that was long before the chattering classes took their holidays in Tuscany, and a coy cry of gardi-loo had yet to be heard.  We “Spent a Penny”, we “Paid a Visit”, the bold upfront ones announced that we were “Going to the Lavatory.”  That was Mother’s preference:  the lavatory.  She disdained Toilet and winced at Lavvy – I was careful not to let my more bohemian friends name it in her presence.

But whatever you called it, it was there, unchanging – as I said, dependable.

Today we have low-level avocado suites and high-rise conveniences for the disabled.  We have Turkish Holes in motorway service stations – not easy for the fashionista in her gold velour onesie.  The chain evolved into a lever, and just as we got used to that, it too headed down the road to extinction.

There might be a chrome knob squatting on the streamlined cistern.  Lift or press?  Whichever you choose is the wrong solution.  Even more daunting is the pair of recessed buttons, forcing the dilemma:  does this deserve a big or a little flush?

Sometimes the very act of rising from the throne will trigger the flush, sometimes a mad flapping of the hand towards some concealed electronic eye will do the trick.  If you know the trick.  And the Turkish Hole, of course, the superior kind, will ambush you with an automatic, roaring gush that, try as you might, always swamps your footwear.  Well might that elderly lady bemoan the demise of the handle.

And don’t get me started on washbasins…  You push the tap, you turn the tap, you pull the tap, you wiggle your fingers under the tap.  Sometimes none of these will avail, and it sits smiling smugly while you search desperately for the answer.  Ah, yes, the foot pedal.  How silly of me not to know that.

We have a public loo in Churchill Square in Rustington.  It’s a perfectly splendid loo, clean, warm, smelling inoffensively of pine.  It wins prizes, I kid you not.  It’s the loo that has everything.  Apart from wash basins.  Emerge from your cubicle and you will be confronted with two small recesses in the wall.  Each has its mirror above, and below that a shiny chrome plaque with little drawings on it.  Left to right:  bubbles, a shower, a blow drier.  Perfectly intuitive you might think, but no.

Place your hand below the bubbles, and… nothing.  Place your hand below the shower and you get soap.  Place your hand below the blow drier and you get water.  And just as you give up in despair and turn away, shaking the drops from your hands, the blower starts up.  It’s all very confusing for a Bear of Advancing Years and of Very Little Brain.

Ah, me.  Where are the loos of yesteryear?

Posted in Exercise of the Month | 1 Comment

Black Eyed Susans – Review

I received this book as a prize in a twitter draw. There are many things to like about this book, not least the crisp writing and the way the backstory emerges drip by drip. I’m not particularly partial to serial killer books, but there is a surprising like of gore and dwelling on violence because the author chooses to leave that in the past. We know the heroine is a survivor of a terrible crime, that she was found in a grave along with the bones and a body of previous victims. Instead, the book looks back to the time before the trial of the man accused of the crime, through the counselling of the victim and alternating present day chapters, fifteen years later. The ‘killer’ is facing execution and Tessa, the surviving victim is no longer sure of his guilt. Continue reading

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The Grand Book Launch

What a month it has been – and most of all what a blast!. Despite the hard work, it has been so much fun. Yesterday saw all of it come together in a wonderful book launch. I wish we had someone adding up the numbers of visitors. Deep down, we all worried that we would be sitting like lemons, twiddling our thumbs as just a trickle of friends wandered through the door. Not at all from the moment we opened people came, were greeted by a glass of fizz and gorgeous cakes and then came to talk and buy. The Jubilee Gallery buzzed for three hours.

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCThanks to Arthur Wells for the photographs.

Posted in Book Publicity, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Virtual Launch Party

This is a new adventure for Arun Scribes. Over the last month, we have been busy doing lots of crazy thin8U1A0807-Editgs, making a silent film, creating a radio broadcast, tweeting like crazy – you name it – we’ve been doing a lot of pimping our new books.

But the craziest thing of all is our Virtual launch Party to be held on the Arun Scribes Facebook Page on Tuesday, April 18th between 7pm and 9pm, British Summer time. We will have guests from all over the world, the more the merrier. Apart from our new books, we are proud to have four guest authors joining us. Ruth Dugdall; John Broughton; Jane Cable and Michael Parker – so there’s something for everyone. We will have lots of competition giveaways along with food, drink, music and dancing. You can post your own images to the party – we want to see dancing.

Competition winners will be awarded electronic version of books and will be messaged the day after the party. Do join us.


Posted in Book Publicity, News | 1 Comment

Another Banana Sonnet

BANANA SONNET  by Angela Petch

I watch you as you sit and peel the yellow skin

Up in the baobab tree, where you lay in wait.

You stole the banana from my picnic plate,

You and your hairy monkey friend, with a din

And a chattering, a hullaballoo of vervets

That echoed round the Serengeti – to Kuwait,

Constantinople, Timbuktu and the Bering Strait.

Oh banana mine, bought in the market of Tanga

From a mother and baby wrapped in a colourful kanga.

She carried a hand of bananas atop her head,

The baby slung on her back in peaceful slumber.

She chopped a bunch for me with a knife-sharp panga

And I placed you in my basket, a snack to store

For our safari. But alas, alack…you are no more.

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Banana Sonnets

This month’s homework was to create an ode or sonnet to a banana. Who knew it was 600 years since bananas first appeared in Britain.As editor of this website, I made the decision that all the offerings were worthy of publication.

The first is by Maureen Wells and entitled My Ladies Choice

I looked upon such lusciousness with delight
At beauty, golden tinted as in a summers day
Nature has caused my senses to excite
My fair lady will surely wish to stay
When I present her with this new fruit banana
She’ll surely give me her hand forever more,
O No! She behaves with uncalled for drama
In a beautiful shape she finds a flaw
She refuses to place her rosy lips to taste
I plead in vain we might share such joy
But love has not the time, it acts in haste
She demands a straight banana. Is this a ploy?
For how hard I try, this I cannot acquire
So farewell my lady, a curvy banana is my desire.


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