The vigil flame

Winter is becoming spring,
but there’ll be no joy in summer.
Evil has consumed the world.
Our days of love are numbered.

A corrupt and brutal boor,
blinded by his hate and greed,
by his own lies, in the ruins of his mind,
has condemned us all to bleed.

We can only hug in memories.
I had so much more to say,
but my tears fell on the border road,
as I watched you walk away.

The vigil flame’s for all who flee,
who stay, who fight, who soldier on,
who grieve amidst the dark unknown.
For every mother without her son.

The HistWriter Newsletter February 2022

For February I look forward to the publication next month of Annette Libeskind Berkovits’ debut novel ‘The Corset Maker’ in which a young Jewish woman encounters danger, suffering and the anguish of an impossible love amongst the cataclysms of mid-20th century Europe and Palestine. I review ‘Black Drop’ by Leonora Nattrass, a fine example of the emerging genre of Eighteenth Century Noir. And it’s Valentine’s Day today, so I offer you my Regency pastiche short story ‘A Month at Bath’.

December 2021 Newsletter: Happy birthday, Ada Lovelace.

This month I’m agonising over the blurb for my forthcoming novel City of Famine. I share a few observations on the Bellotto exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Today, 10th December, it’s the 206th anniversary of the birth of Ada Lovelace (the ‘mother of computer programming’) so I revisit my short story The Analytical Assurance Company (link). And I review Black Dragonfly, Jean Pasley’s fictionalised biography of Lafcadio Hearn.

Spammers beware…

Having set up a writers’ forum for my local writing group here on this website, I am now besieged with spam registration requests, which I nuke every day on a wholesale basis. It’s irritating but the spam names do make me laugh sometimes!

I might write a Halloween short story about ‘Napoleon Schippers’, ‘Magdalena Gaskin’, and ‘Chau Krome’: just a few of the hapless employees of ‘’, who go on to become the victims of extremely detailed, throat-slitting and eyeball-popping murders.


The HistWriter October Newsletter

This month I reflect on a small writing workshop I’m holding with my local writing group and introduce two writers you may not have heard of:
Cheryl Underhill, a childhood friend, who has compiled her parents’ WW2 correspondence into a fascinating book ‘The Box of Beautiful Letters’ and Rose Cullen, a fellow member of the Irish chapter of the Historical Novel Society, whose debut novel ‘The Lucky Country’ is an epic tale of an Irish family’s emigration to Australia in the 1950s.

All my newsletters are viewable here

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