Latest news on Three Sheets to the Wind.

Three Sheets to the Wind written by Whittlesey Wordsmiths

Excitement mounts in Whittlesey as the town’s senior writing group awaits proof copies of their latest outstanding collection of stories and poems.

We can do no better than to show you the back page blurb:

Well, well, well, the Whittlesey Wordsmiths have done it again.

They keep producing such fine work that it would almost be a crime not to publish more. With fabulous poetry and wonderful stories, this latest collection will thrill and surprise, make you gasp and chuckle, sometimes even in the right places, and for the right reasons!

For those readers who have experienced the talent of the group before, you will be delighted to hear the Wordsmiths are back, having added to their number, and for those of you who are new to the collections, you have a real treat in store, and you are very welcome.

You are guaranteed to enjoy it.

“Amazing they are still writing at their age,”    Becky, age 12.

“What, again? Really?”  Their families.

“You will still keep taking your pills, won’t you?”   Their doctors.

“How do you do it?”  Other u3a groups.

Want to buy it on Amazon?

Click here to buy it on Amazon.

A taster for Three Sheets to the Wind

Whittlesey Wordsmiths’ new book, “Three Sheets to the Wind” is nearing completion and will be published soon. As a small taster here is a shortened version of one of the stories, if you want to read the full version you will find it in the book. Don’t worry we will let you know when it’s available.

We have revised the front cover see the new version in the picture below.

Three Sheets to the Wind new cover
Three Sheets to the Wind new cover

An unusual job for a woman.

Written by Philip Cumberland

The guided bus was an unlikely getaway vehicle but it had served her well in the past.

“It’s their vanity that makes them vulnerable,” she thought.

She had been glad to get out of her waitresses uniform and into something less conspicuous. What politician full of their own importance could refuse a honorary doctorate from one of the World’s leading universities.

 “More wine Mr Ambulant? Yes the glass is a bit dirty I will fetch you a clean one, it was the Chardonnay wasn’t it?”

Fortunately she was in the kitchen when he collapsed, nowhere near him. When they all rushed to see what was happening she was in the ladies, changing into jeans and a tee shirt. Then nipping out through the Masters Garden, a bit naughty really but not as naughty as poisoning someone. Thank goodness for the tourists it was easy to get swallowed up by the crowds. The bus was waiting in its bay when she arrived at Drummer Street. Some of those academics can be a bit handy when a girl is carrying a tray of drinks, the women were the worst, and she wondered if she had been missed yet. The Park and Ride is very useful you can park for free get into the middle of Cambridge then back to pick your car up. The luggage lockers are useful too, the jiffy bag was waiting for her, Sheila; would count it later no doubt the next job was in there too. The policemen standing waiting by her car was a surprise; she noticed them as she closed the locker door, always sensible to park near the bus shelter. Fortunately the bus was still waiting to move on, she climbed back on flashed her day rider ticket at the driver then found a seat next to the emergency exit.

As she left the bus at Huntingdon she thought it was always good to have a plan B. The elderly Renault Clio was inconspicuous and could be left anywhere there wasn’t yellow lines or parking restrictions and not arouse suspicion.

She drove to her cottage in Wistow, it wasn’t her main address but somewhere out of the way when life got complicated. There was a wry smile on her face as she opened the Chardonnay and poured herself a glass, then reached for the Jiffy bag. There was a few hundred in twenties and tens for expenses the lottery ticket was there too, the photograph of her next target was a bit of a surprise. He was nasty and odious enough but well connected. He must have really upset someone Sheila thought, then remembered a story, well a rumour of a story circulating, that would explain it. No matter how big a bully you are there is always someone bigger and nastier.

Right, London on Monday to claim her lottery prize and perhaps a call to Grandmother. The Sunday papers headlined Ambulant’s sudden death, a heart attack was the suspected cause, hopefully the college had secured his endowment before his demise.

Sunday passed quietly and it was the eleven thirty train from Huntingdon that delivered Sheila to Kings Cross. The newsagents was small scruffy and inconspicuous, located in an anonymous side street.  

The newsagent, certainly the man behind the counter was elderly bald and stooped, his nicotine stained fingers suggested that a few years ago a cigarette would have been between his lips. He took Sheila’s blank lottery ticket and took it into a back room, returning after a few minutes he inserted it into the lottery machine. The tune from the machine announced it was a winner,

“Congratulations young lady five numbers and the bonus ball, £180,000 and 3p. You will have to contact Camelot, keep your ticket safe.”

Sheila called Camelot’s special number using her mobile phone, identified herself, scanned the QR code and arranged the transfer of the winnings to her bank in Switzerland. She left the newsagents with a copy of the Times and found a call box.

The call was answered on the third ring by an elderly male doddery voice,

“Hello, who is it?”

“Mr Wolf?”

“Yes,” the voice had changed to something younger, no longer doddery.

“Its Little Red Riding Hood, can I speak to Grandmother please?”

“Grandmother’s familiar voice was calm as usual,”

“Hello my dear, what can I do for you?”

“I am a little concerned about my next job.”

“He has got a history of heart problems, you are an attractive young lady and very clever.”

“There were two policemen waiting by my car at St Ives after Mr Ambulant died.”

“You should have a list of your next targets engagements in your pack; you need to be very careful about how you manage things.”

“I am a little concerned about how quickly the police were onto my car.”

“The payment for the next job will be a lot higher; a million from the Euro-millions draw there is less interest in those winners.”

“Who else knows about me and the next target?”

“Just Mr Woolf, the Woodcutter and myself.”

“What about the Witch?”

“She’s dead.”

“Okay then, I will do it but won’t notify you first, once I have done the job I will phone you.”

“That’s absolutely fine my dear, we know you well enough by now.”

The cover for our new collection.

Three Sheets to the Wind

Whittlesey Wordsmiths latest collection is nearing completion.

At our last meeting after a secret ballot we agreed on the title Three Sheets to the Wind for our new book. The title in no way reflects the sobriety or otherwise of any of the members; it says here.

It is an excellent collection of short stories and poetry, as are all our collections, as soon as we have a publication date we will announce it to the world.

Coming Soon!

Coming soon watch this space

Whittlesey Wordsmiths are working hard to have their latest collection of short stories, poems and limericks, ready for publication in the autumn. There will be one more month of submissions; then the final editing, cover designs to be finished, together with illustrations and title selection. We are working towards a September or October launch in time for our fans to buy copies as Christmas presents or as a special treat for themselves.

These and books from other local authors will be available at Whitt Litt 2

This will be our third annual collection, our fifth if we include last year’s two Christmas collections. We are thinking of offering our three major books as a boxed set (probably without a box though) or possibly all five as a set. We welcome people’s thoughts and suggestions.

Where the Wild Winds Blow and A Following Wind, the first two collections.
Jingle Bells and Tinsel Tales and Windy Christmas ( that’ll be the sprouts). Our Christmas collections

Writing a book? My advice? Let’s Ask The Experts

Kind words from Eva

Eva Jordan

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”––George Orwell

Over the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing some amazing authors. Each one different, but all equally fascinating. However, I always end my interviews with the same question, namely, what’s your advice to anyone thinking of writing a book or taking up writing? So, this month, I thought I’d take some of those fabulous responses and put them here, in one helpful, and hopefully inspiring article.

The only advice that is guaranteed to be correct is to pick up your pen and begin. Then you are a writer, whatever anyone says. ––Ross Greenwood

It’s a real cliché but read. Read in your genre and out of…

View original post 399 more words

Paranormal City by Stephen Oliver

One of our writing group members, Stephen Oliver, has achieved publishing success with his new novel Paranormal City. It has been very well received and attracted 5 star reviews on Amazon:

“I survived the Dark City and found my way home. I bought this book from the author at a book signing. I was intrigued and when I started reading it was instantly drawn deeply into this strange world. His descriptions of the people inhabiting the dark city and descriptions of Hell are absolutely amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book. It appealed to my darker side. Congratulations Stephen Oliver, I look forward to the next one.”

George & Jane Pobgee

If you want to buy a copy here is the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paranormal-City-Stephen-Oliver/dp/1951768426

Shuttlers by Stephen Oliver a review.

Shuttlers written by Stephen Oliver

Stephen Oliver is a prolific writer of short stories most of which occupy the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres.

Shuttlers is his first full length novel. I was privileged to read it prior to publication and enjoyed it thoroughly. Stephen is the consummate story teller the book is imaginative, original and not to be missed.

After reading the manuscript as it was then, I gave him my order for the first paperback print copy. If you can’t wait for the print edition the ebook is available now on Kindle,

Shuttlers eBook : Oliver, Stephen: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

This is the blurb from the book cover.

Trouble is brewing across the Multiverse, and Justin Wilson, a young inter-reality smuggler, is in the thick of it. Alternate versions of the Earth are being raided, plundered and even accidentally destroyed, by Shuttlers, beings like Justin who can slip between realities with ease.

The story begins when Justin is arrested for smuggling forbidden books from his world into another by Pol Atkinson. Pol is a patrolman of the Sidewise Directorate, the organisation set up to prevent further damage to all these defenceless worlds. Justin eventually decides to work together with Pol to avert a conspiracy from gaining control of all of Earth’s alternate realities everywhere.

Forget about reaching for the stars, which may be impossible, and explore the infinite variations of our own world, where anything can and will happen!

Review written by Philip Cumberland

Remembrance

Before it all started “Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.”

We have posted these two pieces before but they are timely just now, the first was written by Val Fish and is about the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon. The second piece is a poem written by another of our brilliant Whittlesey Wordsmiths TessaThomson.

For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon

Inspiration for ‘For The Fallen’

Laurence Binyon composed his best known poem while sitting on the cliff-top looking out to sea from the dramatic scenery of the north Cornish coastline. A plaque marks the location at Pentire Point, north of Polzeath. However, there is also a small plaque on the East Cliff north of Portreath, further south on the same north Cornwall coast, which also claims to be the place where the poem was written.

The poem was written in mid September 1914, a few weeks after the outbreak of the First World War. During these weeks the British Expeditionary Force had suffered casualties following its first encounter with the Imperial German Army at the Battle of Mons on 23 August, its rearguard action during the retreat from Mons in late August and the Battle of Le Cateau on 26 August, and its participation with the French Army in holding up the Imperial German Army at the First Battle of the Marne between 5 and 9 September 1914.

Laurence said in 1939 that the four lines of the fourth stanza came to him first. These words of the fourth stanza have become especially familiar and famous, having been adopted by the Royal British Legion as an Exhortation for ceremonies of Remembrance to commemorate fallen Servicemen and women.

Laurence Binyon was too old to enlist in the military forces, but he went to work for the Red Cross as a medical orderly in 1916. He lost several close friends and his brother-in-law in the war.

For The Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,

England mourns for her dead across the sea.

Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,

Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal

Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,

There is music in the midst of desolation

And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,

Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,

Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,

To the innermost heart of their own land they are known

As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;

As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,

To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon 1869 – 1943

For the Fallen
For the Fallen we will remember them.

Postscript

I was privileged to perform on the stage at The Broadway Peterborough in 2014, in the ‘Sing for Life’ ladies’ choir, to raise funds for a new wing at Sue Ryder’s Thorpe Hall Hospice.

On the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, we sang an adaptation of ‘For The Fallen’ by Rowland Lee.

In the final few bars, we were as stunned as the audience as poppies came falling from above onto the stage. It was a moment I’ll always treasure.

Valerie Fish

Lest we Forget

Written by Tessa Thomson

With the annual remembrance commemorations drawing near, Tessa has marked this time of reflection with a poem expressing not only her thoughts but those of most of us.

LEST WE FORGET – NOVEMBER 11TH

We travel in our hordes to see that place

Wherein our loved ones fell without a trace.

Marked and blanketed by stones in white

Covering that great plain, that great site.

Farm hand boys and factory workers

Friends from villages, schools or clubs.

Joined together, left their homeland

To lie in fields, decayed amongst the scrub.

Their voices call out still across that plain

Feet are still heard thundering, inches gained.

Hearts were in their mouths, panting fast

As struggling, reached their enemies at last.

The bodies lay before them in the mud

Mingled with the dirt, the crimson blood.

No time to mourn a brother or a friend

Just pass them by, praying for the end.

Guns that deafened now are stilled

Armies of boys and men were killed.

Some now just memories to their kin

Some carried pain through life like sin

They gave us freedom, free to speak

They made us strong not kept us weak

We live in peace and fear no man

They gave their lives so we just can

Tessa Thomson

Sunrise in the fens with windturbines
At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them

We can only have spring after winter the sun can only rise after it has gone down.

An entertaining crime thriller with a difference

Killing Time in Cambridge by Philip Cumberland

Val Fish reviews Killing Time in Cambridge.

If you’re after something different from the ‘run of the mill’ crime thriller , this is the book for you. Set around Cambridge and the Fens, we are introduced to D.C.I. Cyril Lane, affectionately known as Arnold, a likable quirky character , who surprised me nearing the end by showing a lovely sensitive side.
A mixture of science, history and time travel, an interesting and entertaining read. I do hope this isn’t the last we hear of Arnold, this is crying out for a sequel.

If you live in Whittlesey this book is available at Parker’s Newsagents.

From the author http://Fenlandphil

In Huntingdon from Niche Comics Bookshop https://huntsbooks.co.uk/

In Ely from Toppings https://www.toppingbooks.co.uk/

or on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Killing-Time-Cambridge-Philip-Cumberland/dp/1916481779/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2BVT943K11BYV&dchild=1&keywords=killing+time+in+cambridge&qid=1635235055&sprefix=killing+ti%2Caps%2C360&sr=8-1

Two for Christmas

A pair of remarkable Christmas collections.

Out in the fens we pay little heed to the passing of the seasons and for us older residents we have some difficulty even with the passing of the days. Knowing where we are in the week is a task often fraught with difficulty, a calendar is a useful tool.

Early in the new year before Father Christmas had settled down for a good sleep. Whittlesey Wordsmiths resumed work on two Christmas collections.

Jingle Bells and Tinsel Tales for younger readers or listeners and Windy Christmas for the grown-ups.

The books are authored by the talented bunch of writers known as Whittlesey Wordsmiths.

The children’s book is illustrated by Jane Pobgee, both books were edited by our resident wizardess Cathy Cade.

The covers are a joint effort with contributions from Stephen Oliver, Cathy Cade, Val Chapman, Jane Pobgee, Wendy Fletcher and Philip Cumberland

The covers are complete and these excellent books should be rolling off the presses within the next few weeks.

More updates to come.

Watch out for them.

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