Newsletter no.181, 1st November, 2021

One down and three to go . . .

False Face was published at the end of September and I know that some of you lovely people were off to collect your copy straight away. The story? Bea’s husband, Piers, has nearly finished the portrait of a fading film star, Karina, when she claims that he’s conspired with young Molly, a ghost-writer, to steal some of her jewellery. Molly is a fantasist, but she denies theft and perhaps she’s telling the truth for once. The hardback came out in the UK on 30th Sept, the e-book on Nov 1st, and the USA hardback is at the start of December.

So that’s one down. The next Ellie is coming along all right, I think. I remember a woman who used to make people sigh at committee meetings by saying, ‘On a point of order, Mr Chairman.’ and carry on for ten minutes. Although some people termed her paranoid, she was more often right than wrong. So some of the characters here may appear to be on the wrong side, but they may actually be moving in the right direction.

I have not one but two Christmas stories to write. The shorter one is for our local choir’s concert in December. Now in high school, Joe still has to dance attendance on his frail – and difficult – elder brother. By chance, Joe finds his voice through singing carols, only to be told his brother needs him choir at practice time. Perhaps I’ll include it in the December 1st newsletter.

The other ‘short’ story is for the Methodist Recorder as usual, and will go out in their Christmas/ New Year issue. I’m thinking of calling it ‘All I Want for Christmas . . .’ It’s about inappropriate gifts and what to do with them. If it works out all right, that should go out with the January 1st issue.

The next short story is: ‘Lost Child!’

This is a tribute to all the volunteers who give up their time and take trouble to make neighbourhood events work . . . in this case it’s the summer Party in the Park. Bruce would rather watch tennis on TV, but he’s been landed with the job of working in the HQ tent and problems proliferate! You can access it here.

Parsley’s Pose

Parsley calls these ‘early grape hyacinths’ but they’re not spring bulbs. The foliage is like a variegated ribbon grass and it flowers in October/November. I can’t remember who gave me the original plants but I’ve divided and replanted until they line the front path. Latin name: I think it’s Liriope muscari, the variegated version. Access it here.     

All Souls: A blessing on those who mourn those who have gone ahead.    

Veronica Heley