Excerpt From Author Jim Scott’s Travel Poetry & Writings

jim-scott-bookSlake Your Thirst on this Satisfying Sample…

An Excerpt of Jim Scott’s poetry typical of his style that incorporates the essence of the Wanderings and Sojourns series.

Tomorrow’s Past Life



There was once a time when my life was filled with living;

Adventure and excitement scattered all across this earth.

I was in my prime, with so much just ripe for giving.

To wander seemed the reason for my birth.

But now my life has changed, I seldom travel fifty mile.

Adventure’s turned to mortgage. Mine’s a sedentary style.

My freedom’s now an office, distant romance an ex-wife.

I have to find the path that leads me on to my old life


So that just once more I can sail the endless ocean,

Or track the old bull wildebeest, and dive amongst the whales.

Watch the condors soar. Change my plans on any notion

To seek of lands heard in a stranger’s tales.

Is that so very much to ask? I’ve known it so before.

The hunger and the plenty, forest snow and desert shore.

The laughter and the loneliness, the passions and the pain.

But still there’s lands I didn’t see, and those I’d see again


If I found a way to undo these chains that bind me,

Not harming those I love nor running from the debts I owe.

I should leave today! Going where no one could find me,

Not caring what I’d seek or where I’d go.

But that’s now how my dreams are made; awake I see the truth:

The bank, the schools the eight to five, so absent from my youth,

Now plot against my wanderlust, my yearning for the road

To hide the path I’m seeking that I once so freely strode.


But there’ll come a time when the house is bought and paid for,

The kid’s are all through college and the pension’s guaranteed.

Then I’ll start to climb back toward the life I’m made for;

My chains released, my spirit once more freed.

Though twenty years may lie between this moment and that day,

It waits on the horizon as a cairn which points the way.

A monument to travellers; emancipation’s prize!

A mark to set my compass bearing steady in my eyes

So that I can see that my life is far from finished.

And some day I will live again adventures yet untold.

Where the wind and me, with a passion undiminished,

Will find that younger life I knew of old.



Copyright © Jim Scott 2008

Don’t miss hearing Jim read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event at Archtop Cafe in Bolton this Saturday November 8th starting at 2pm!


Excerpt From Erika Willaert’s Sci-Fi Short Story Titania

A fabulously fulfilling friandise

Excerpt from Erika Willaert’s Science Fiction Short Story Titania from the WORDPLAY 2013 Anthology:WORDPLAY Cover

Part Four: Insight

             The Scripts feel delicate in my hands, fragile keys to a future I have held in my mind’s eye for a lifetime. Now that the power of choice is within my grasp, it singes my flesh like a burning coal I wield mercilessly in my palm, leaving scorched question marks on my skin. The folds within beckon my desire to know, at all costs, what my ultimate task shall be. I am bound by law to the words contained in the scroll; my fear of the unknown has grown to become unbearable at this point. Quivering slightly, I stare in disbelief as I smooth the creases with the rough tips of my fingers, my mouth agape.

            Empty. A blank page. Nothing.

            A silent scream tears from my throat. How could this be?

            If I speak, I risk revealing the tremor that erodes the last shred of hope I carry to answer your calling. I can still feel my brother’s breath against the delicate curve of my ear as he urged, “Promise me this: do as she commands. You will know she is the one. Do not question; simply allow.”

            It is you he made me promise to obey, and it is to you whom I must now admit defeat.

            “Mother. I have failed you.”

            “It is I who failed you, Nova.”

            I startle. “How do you know my birth name?”

            “Because I am the one who gave it to you.”

            “But my brother told me – “

            “That I was gone before we named you? That I have no right to speak it? Be that as it may, I still carry the guilt of naming you.”

            “Guilt?” I wear my confusion like a cloak, hooded and suspicious. My faith is beginning to slip from my grasp, doubt threatening to overtake me. I take a step back. My guard rears up in a protective shield around my heart.

            “Show yourself.”

            A mild chuckle rumbles through the trees. “Indeed. Very well, my daughter. If you insist; as you wish.”

            A shimmer of light flickers momentarily in the darkness. Blinking, I raise my sightline until it is level with the slope of the landscape.

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Don’t miss hearing Erika read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event Saturday August 17th starting at 1pm!

Excerpt From Isobel Warren’s Novel In Them Days

Delight in this decadent indulgence

Excerpt from Isobel Warren’s historically accurate contemporary novel In Them Days:In Them Days

In his dream, Adam was four years old again. He was crying and covered in blood.

Uncle Joseph stood over him, looking annoyed. “What have ya done to yerself, laddie? Ya should know better than to climb on that wire fence?”

Adam didn’t try to answer – there would have been no point. Uncle Joe believed that children should be seen but not heard so even when he asked a question like that, he would not permit an answer.

“Get on up to the house,” he ordered. “Get yer Auntie to look after ya and clean ya up. And mind ya stay off that wire fence like I told ya time and time again.”

In his dream, Adam staggered a bit as he headed up the path to the house. Blood was pouring down his leg and into his sock and boot. When he had fallen, he had not only gashed his leg but smacked his head on the hard ground. Blood was everywhere. When he swiped at his tears, his hands came away bloodied. He was scared.

Aunt Sarah, busy with the baking, didn’t look up when he came into the kitchen. Then she heard his sobs and turned to look at him. Her floury hands flew into the air. “Heavens above, Adam, what have ya done to yourself? Come over here into the light so I can see ya. No, you’re messin’ up the floor – go back to the summer kitchen and stay quiet.”

Adam stood miserable and sobbing in the chilly summer kitchen. He was very cold and feeling dizzy. His head had begun to ache and his leg was hurting fiercely.

“What happened to ya,” Auntie demanded. “You’ve surely made a mess of yourself.”

“I climbed up the fence,” Adam sobbed. “And my coat caught on a wire and I fell.”

“How often have I told ya not to climb fences,” Auntie scolded. “You’re a very wicked boy. Now look at the mess you’ve made of your clothes and boots. And the mess on the floor and all the extra work…”

Her voice trailed off as she realized the depth of the leg injury. She spread some sugar bags on the couch and lifted him by his armpits to lie there. Then she bound up the leg wound and turned her attention to his head. His forehead was bruised but his cheek was cut and bleeding. She made a pad of cloth and ordered him to hold it firmly over the wound.

“Now stop that crying,” she snapped. “It does ya no good. Lie still so’s not to make more bleeding.”

“I want my mommy,” Adam sobbed.

Auntie’s eyes hardened and her mouth formed a straight angry line. “You’re a nasty ungrateful boy,” she flared. “Ya know very well that yer ma didn’t want ya then and doesn’t want ya now. Uncle and I took ya in and we care for ya and give ya everything you need. Instead of complaining, ya should be thankful for your blessings.”

She left him there, shivering and still bloodied, and stormed back to her baking.

His teeth chattered, from cold and fear. His head throbbed. But he lay still for a long time, cowed by Auntie’s wrath and longing for his mother. He hadn’t seen her since coming to live with Auntie and Uncle but he still remembered her plump warmth, her strong arms holding him, her hand brushing back his hair and wiping away tears.

The dream seemed to fade yet he couldn’t wake up. He struggled to find consciousness but it eluded him. The pain in his head was brutal, just like the one so many years before, the one in his dream. He felt lost and he tried to call out for help.

Immediately his mother was beside him, her cool hand on his cheek, speaking gently.

“Adam my dearest, you’re awake at last,” Julie said. “Don’t try to talk, dear, and don’t move. Just lie still if you can. I’m right here beside you.”

Adam opened his eyes. Just for an instant, he was disappointed. This was not his mother. And then he recognized Julie, her loving smile, her soft voice, her gentle touch and a wave of gratitude washed over him, so powerful that he wanted to weep.

* * *

Don’t miss hearing Isobel read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event Saturday August 17th starting at 1pm!

Excerpt From Murielle Bollen’s Travel Novel Tasting Life Around the World

A palpable piquette to ponder over

Excerpt from Murielle Bollen’s True Life Travel Novel Tasting Life Around the World:Tasting Life Around the Word

I have always loved going to the Belgian Coast. The sea to me represents freedom, ultimate freedom, something I have been looking for all my life. I always get a little closer to it when I am surrounded by the sound of waves, when I can feel the breeze or even the stormy wind blowing in my face, bringing that invigorating scent of the ocean.  As a child I would never say I was going to the coast, I was always going to the sea. Maybe a coincidence, maybe karma, but my name, Murielle, in its Celtic origin, actually means “Bright as the Sea”. It took me a long time, but I have finally discovered that I am carrying my freedom with me all the time, it is nowhere to be found, it was there all along and it will be there, always. I have very fond memories of the coast, since this is where my grandparents had a cottage and where my favorite aunt used to live for a while. As a child I would go and visit with her for a couple of weeks a few times a year. She would be the aunt watching TV with me, cuddled up on the coach, suddenly getting up to make us fried potato slices with mayonnaise (so greasy, so decadent, so yummy). She had no car, so we had to walk everywhere. Going for groceries was quite an undertaking, she with the stroller (my cousin was about 6 months old and the cutest baby ever) and me by the hand, bags everywhere. To soften the experience, she would buy me one of my favorite comic books almost every time we passed the book store. I can still feel the anticipation when we would near the store, wondering whether I would get a book this time… Good times.

We leave the coast to find the pale green, flat pastures of Flanders, bordered by proud poplars, a ribbon of liquid silver flowing through historic cities like Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp, carrying the history of hundreds of years, the memories of thousands of people to the depths of the North Sea. Seeing this flat, wide open landscape as a child on my way to “the sea” would make me exclaim each and every single time “I think I can see the sea now, we are very close!”

We make our way further east to the lush, deep green forests of the Eastern region, interspersed with deep purple fields of heather and embellished by the proud bronze of the statue of Ambiorix in the Roman city of Tongres. Rolling hills gently leading us through fields of pink and white blossoming fruit trees to the majestic black green pine forests, the brown-reddish rocks and crystal clear streams of the Ardennes. There is a story on the Ardennes, of course food related, that I really want to share with you. One year we decided with a whole group of friends to celebrate Christmas in a small village in the Ardennes. There was about ten of us and we stayed in a lovely wooden chalet that one of our friends had managed to get through a friend of his parents. The Christmas tree was beautifully decorated and there was a huge fireplace with comfortable coaches all around. Cozy and warm. We brought loads of food and ate to the point that we would get up in the middle of the night to discover that everybody was hanging on the sofas, moaning that they had too much to eat (and drink probably!). In spite of that we found that we could not celebrate Christmas without a Christmas Cake (a tradition in Belgium, called “Kerststronk,” a cake shaped like a log of wood, coated in crème au beurre and decorated with sugary leaves of holly and a marzipan plaque that said “Merry Christmas”). Nobody had remembered to bring one, so my husband and a friend set out on a quest to find one on Christmas Eve. They drove for miles and miles and finally came home with a glorious Christmas Cake. Since the fridge was so full with the rest of the food (in those days we did not have those gigantic fridges!), we decided to put the cake out on the porch so it would stay cool and fresh. On Christmas Day we would then enjoy this delicious cake, or so we thought. The next morning we woke up and discovered that the cake we had made so much fuss about, had simply been eaten by some animal visiting our porch at night. Not a single crumb was left…

Indeed a country of multiple colours, tastes and memories!

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Don’t miss hearing Murielle read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event Saturday August 17th starting at 1pm!

Excerpt From Adrienne Clarke’s Fantasy Novel To Dance In Liradon

A Salivating selection to supplant your usual spread

Excerpt from Adrienne Clarke’s Fantasy Novel To Dance In Liradon:To Dance In Liradon - cover

Brigid allowed herself to be dragged to the edge of the circle before she raised her right foot and kicked backwards as hard as she could. Midir released his hold long enough for her to remove the horseshoe from her bodice. When he tried to seize her again, she shoved him away, the object gripped firmly in her hand.

Midir stumbled backwards, and the smell of burning flesh filled the air. A desperate, keening sound rose up from the circle before it broke apart and every Faerie man and woman rushed towards her. Long slender arms grabbed hold of each of her limbs, and Brigid felt certain they intended to tear her to pieces. A violet-eyed woman sat on top of Brigid’s chest, crushing the air from her lungs. Brigid watched the beauty leak from her face until it was a hollow masque of rage.

“Release her!” the Faerie Queen screamed.

Whining like disappointed children, the Faerie reluctantly retreated, and Brigid rose shakily to her feet.

The Faerie Queen’s eyes flashed cruelly. “If you want him, come and claim him!”

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Don’t miss hearing Adrienne read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event Saturday August 17th starting at 1pm!

Excerpt From Sue Battle’s Contemporary Short Story Grandpa

Delight in this delicious dish of decades

An excerpt from Sue Battle’s contemporary short story Grandpa found in the WORDPLAY 2013 Anthology:WORDPLAY Cover

Marv got into his old truck, started it up and headed down Post Road to his favourite spot on earth.  He got himself settled on the riverbank with his line in the water, and he let his mind take him where it would.  The water barely moved and it was so clear today you could almost see the bottom. Just as Marv started to doze a little, he heard branches cracking and turned to see a boy stop and crouch about 10 feet away just looking at him.

     “Hey kid. What are you doing here? Can’t you see I’m fishing? I need complete silence. You get it? Now go home.”

     But the boy did not move. He just settled a little lower and continued to watch Marv.

     “Didn’t you hear me kid? Go away. This is my fishing spot. No one bothers me here.”

     “Why?” said the kid.

     “Just go away.”

     “Hey mister, are you alright?  You don’t look so good.”

     “I’d be a whole lot better if you weren’t here, see!”

     “OK.” said the boy as he turned to leave.

     Marv watched until he was out of sight. Good, he thought.  However, every once in a while he would look around to see if the boy was there but he didn’t come back. Marv admitted to himself that he felt bad about yelling at the kid. But a man needed quiet while fishing.

     The next morning at the diner Marv told Frank about the kid. And they both wondered who he could be. “I don’t know. He could be from that new subdivision over by the dam.” said Marv, “Just out exploring no doubt, but I hope he doesn’t come back cause I’m on my way there now and you know….”

     “Yes, I know,” said Frank. “You want absolute quiet.”

     Marv arrived at his fishing spot and settled into his routine of staring at his fishing line in the water and started to doze off only to hear once again branches cracking and sure enough the boy was back. Marv just glared and said “What are you doing back here? I told you. I need quiet.”

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Don’t miss hearing Sue read at the JUzDIzRTS Author Event Saturday August 17th starting at 1pm!