Character interview 2.

“Why did you threaten the job centre employee, Mr Sharp?”

“They didn’t have to call the cops. I didn’t hurt anyone!”

“I’m not a policewoman – I’m a Community Support Officer. I’m only here to help you. Do you feel calmer now?”

“Women! I’m surrounded by women. That stupid bitch insulted me.”

“Did she? How did she do that?”

“She told me that if I couldn’t find a driving job I could try being a cleaner ME, a cleaner! That’s women’s work.”

“Maybe she was thinking of cleaning jobs that needed muscle, like managing a team or cleaning vehicles or roads.”

“I’m not a bloody skivvy! I’m 55 years old and I don’t want to be told what to do by a bit of skirt like that.”

“I’m sure she didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, but your shouting frightened her.”

“Sorry, I’m just fed up. I can’t afford to set up my own taxi business or I’d do that. What else is a redundant coach driver to do?”

“Have you asked for a personal interview. or looked on line?”

“Can’t cope with the computer. They ask too many personal questions. If I ask for an interview I’ll only get another bloody woman, won’t I?”

“How about if I find out if there’s a male adviser for you? You won’t make any more threats to staff, will you?”

“Wish I didn’t have to come in here at all.”

“Don’t lose hope, Mr Sharp. Do you have references from your last employer?”

“Somewhere at home. My wife told me to make a CV but I don’t remember all my exams and things. It’s all right for her, she’s got a job. She’s a hairdresser.”

“Is she sympathetic?”

“She was at first but over time she’s stopped talking about it. She thinks I’ll never get another job.”

“Wait here, Mr Sharp. I’ll have a chat with the staff and see if we can’t prove her wrong.I’m sure we can reach a positive outcome.”

“Positive, smositive! Don’t be long. I need a drink!”

( From one of the two main characters in ‘Never Run Away.’)

Interview

“What can I do for you. Mrs Walsh?”

“It’s a bit delicate, doctor. You know my husband’s condition?”

“Yes, but apart from a missing limb he’s quite well, isn’t he?”

“He’s very fit. He’s enjoying working with children. He makes a fine teacher  -but that’s part of the problem?”

“I don’t understand. You are getting on well together, aren’t you?”

” In a way – but he is asking me when we can try for a child of our own.”

“And you don’t want to?”

“It’s not that I don’t like children. If I could be sure our baby would be all right I’d love to start a family.”

“What makes you worry that it wouldn’t be?”

“My father. He isn’t very clever and he has serious hearing loss. If our child was like him I don’t know if I could cope.”

” Mrs Walsh, there’s no reason to believe such things are hereditary and even if they were they are much more manageable that a lot of other inherited problems. Is your father happy?”

” Yes, my mother is a great support and they have a good social life. I just remember how hard it was when I was growing up. Other children teased me about him and it took him a long time to find a job.”

” Have you discussed this with your husband?”

“No. I don’t think he’d understand. He thinks every disability can be overcome with enough willpower – typical soldier- and he wouldn’t like to think I was worrying unnecessarily. He wouldn’t know what to say. I don’t want to admit how I feel. It would upset him.”

“Think of it like this – any child can be born with problems but there is nothing to indicate a child of yours would have any greater chance of a disability than any other child. In fact, with a strong young father like Ryan there’s more likelihood of it being a strapping youngster. We’d keep an eye on you through the pregnancy. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Go ahead while you are still under thirty. You are more likely to have a healthy child while you are young.”

“Thank you, doctor. I do feel a bit better,now. I’ll talk to them at the clinic. I know my mother would love a grandchild.”

“If you want me to talk to your husband, I will, but I’m sure when you think it through you will make the right decision.”

( The characters in “Lane’s End” “Unstable Lane” and “The Third Lane.” after the trilogy has ended.)

Sorry You Missed Us

People supporting Armed Forces Day, leaving the Steyne

Umbrella’s up – racing to get out of the rain

Their duty done, tombola tickets bought

And sympathy extended to the belly dancers

Gyrating in the breeze, smiling at the applause.

Now homeward bound along the prom

Coat collars up, hoods hiding hair.

A coach load of day trippers from Wales

Running from the windy pier – glad to be going home.

This is Worthing on a cold summer Saturday.

Even with the Artists’ trail to follow

It is not a place to stand and stare

Or look at a flapping gazebo of books.

Six local authors see their hopes

Swept away as folk speed past.

The weather beat us, as we shivered,

Our precious offerings ignored.

“I’ll come back” said one lady,

“I’m doing the trail – you’ll still be here?”

A young man stopped, demonstrating to his friends

He could appreciate words on a page

But gave an excuse, leaving without a book.

A huddle of students ran across the road, not looking back

We stayed, unnoticed, shivering in the wind

So sorry you missed us.

 

‘New’ website

What a great response to my poem. Thanks, folks. Also, now I have updated my website, http://www.juliecround.co.uk I have more people looking at it. I do need to email some of my readers to tell them about it but , most of all, I hope it will bring in more invitations to speak as I don’t have any for 2018 and I know most groups organise their speakers a year in advance.

The poetry book is under discussion but until I am sure of the layout I can’t ask Joan for more cartoons. I wish I had kept a list of everyone who bought “Honey and Humbug” but I didn’t. That’s a lesson, folks, keep a list of all your readers. It seems cheeky but it helps when you write the next book!

Hubby has made a database so I can track all the stories I send out for competitions. That will be my next task, when this hot weather breaks. At present I don’t feel like doing anything!

Poem – WAR

“What did you do in the war, Daddy?””It all depends which war you mean.”

“They said there was mud and tanks, Daddy.Did you hear the wounded scream?

“Was it terrible in the trenches, Daddy. Did your friends and comrades die?”

“I wasn’t alive for that, son, but it made your Grandma cry.”

“So, what was the war you were in, Daddy? Did you march, or fly a plane?

“Did you struggle home on a boat, Daddy, and who was it to blame?”

“I was only a baby, then, son. I was far too young to fight,

But the enemy sent some planes and bombs that gave us an awful fright.

The battle then was won, son. The wars are different now.

There’s still folk who want to harm us and I’ll try to warn you how.

If people tend to disagree they no longer compromise

Instead they use weapons of hate to distribute their lies

On internet across the world  -so, they are with us, here.

We all have to be vigilant, our enemies are near.

We want to trust the folk we meet, but even those who care

Find ignorance and greed combine to bring destruction there.

For many weeks the news has led with terror and with pain

It makes one wonder if our wars will ever end again.”

 

Review. Scribble.

Scribble is a little short story booklet published by Park Publications in the UK. The Summer 2017 issue has twenty stories and comments on the last issue by readers. Each issue has a competition and readers decide their three favourite stories. It is always interesting to see how different people’s opinions are.

The annual subscription is £15 for four issues (£21 overseas) and the stories are more varied than the usual magazine fare. If you are a writer looking for a home for a story of up to 3000 words you might find Scribble the best place to try.

http://www.parkpublications.co.uk