Newsletter no.172, April 15th, 2021

Bring Ellie home!

This is the considered opinion of my readers. They like Ellie. They like Susan and Rafael and the babes as well, but they really really want Ellie to return. I’m listening to what they say and Ellie will return in the next book. I enjoyed writing about Susan and Rafael and the children while the big house was being remodelled and Ellie and Thomas were away, but I hear and I obey . . . which raises a couple of problems.

In the first place, when plans were drawn up for the Ellie’s big house to be turned into two three-bedroomed semis with room for expansion into the attic floor, I made umpteen sketches of how this was to be done. I tried this and I tried that, and eventually I worked it out who got which rooms and where the corridors finished and the bathrooms fitted in; also where to put in another staircase. Only, I seem to have lost the final plan. It’s no good looking in the waste-paper basket; that was cleared ages ago. There’s no help for it; I’m going to have to sketch it out all over again.

The second problem is how to bring Diana back into the story and under what circumstances. You may remember that, newly widowed, she’d shed her children and gone off with an expense account in a limo. Well, as we all know, her projects are fairy gold; they invariably turn to dust. So she’s going to zing back into Ellie’s life, isn’t she? I grind my teeth at the very thought of it and then shrug; for what is life without a problem or two to solve? Although Diana – sigh! – is a bigger and nastier problem than how to clear a blocked drainpipe.

In the last newsletter I asked if people wanted me to continue sending a short story from the archives at the same time as I advertise the availability of a newly-written one from the Methodist Recorder, and got a resounding Yes! You like the short stories both ancient and modern. Very well. So, if you haven’t seen it already, this Easter’s short story – called ‘Zooming In!’ – is now available for you to read. Send me an email request for it and I’ll let you have a copy.

The next ‘old’ short story from the archives is another about Corin, that tiresome Man from Mars who seems to live only to criticise Christians. It’s called ‘How Dare He!’ and explains pretty well why he’s like he is, poor soul. It is available here.

And no, I haven’t heard back from my editor yet as to whether she likes the Bea Abbot story I sent her last week. I think it’s all right, but – sigh – there are an awful lot of really nasty characters in it.

A blessing on all who take on something extra to help others – no matter how boring or inconvenient it may be for them to do so.

Veronica Heley