Sunday 5 May 2024

Sunday Serial, 280 x 70, Gill James,15. Dream Time 20 November 2018, hot chocolate

 She hadn't heard of the writer before but the book was brand new. The word "Christmas" helped. The picture was lovely, too. A street in a small town or village. All covered in snow with a pine tree looking like a natural Christmas tree.

The heating was on. It was getting dark. She'd picked up Stollen and Lebkuchen form Lidl's on the way home. The hot chocolate was ready. She pulled the little table nearer to the sofa and curled herself into it.

She opened the book with some considerable difficulty. The spine was rather stiff. It was quite hard to keep the page open and eat her cake at the same time. The plastic sleeve the library had provided made the spine even stiffer. She found it hard to get into and had to read the first few pages several times.

Yes, all right. Now she began to get the gist of it. But when was something going to happen? She preferred those stories that plunged right into the action. There was some nice scene-setting here but absolutely no action.

She'd finished her cake and hot chocolate but was still angry. These characters didn't work. They were wooden stereotypes. Beside, people didn't speak that way. Why was the writer telling her all this? Why didn't she show us? She was missing so many opportunities to show us some dramatic scenes.

She slammed the book down in frustration. She could do so much better than this.

She returned her mug and plate to the kitchen. She made her way up to her study. Her computer was already booted up. Right, here she went. She would write her own Christmas story.

About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown. 

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.


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