Of Mice and Men – how we all wish it had ended.

Having just taught Of Mice and Men for twentieth-ish time since I began teaching, I could bear the trauma no more. I’m not suggesting this is how Steinbeck should have ended it – because that would make his whole message pointless – it is just how I wish it had ended for George and Lennie and all the others. I haven’t proof read either, so forgive any typos – I just needed to exorcise my OMAM demons!

For all the traumatised students out there, I give you:

Of Mice and Men – The Optimist’s Ending 

 

George wiped his forehead with an old towel and looked around the kitchen. A slow but steady grin spread across his face. Old Candy had a rich stew bubbling gently on the stove, the chickens were fed and fresh pail of creamy milk stood in the corner. Crooks, having finished his chores was sitting in the shade of an old cherry blossom just talking and talking and talking, while Candy sat beside him carefully listening and occasionally nodding off. Lennie was in the rabbit run again, lifting one rabbit after another and holding them against his cheek.

‘Gently, Lennie,’ George called over, more out of habit than anything else.

‘I… I’m being gentle George. I’m being real gentle!’ Lennie placed a white and brown rabbit back by the hutch as if it were made of the thinnest glass. His hand hovered just above the fur in an impression of stroking. George chuckled and stretched contentedly.

Before he could sit, there was a sudden noise. Someone banging on the door. Lennie, Candy and Crooks turned six eyes to George in surprise.

‘We ain’t expecting no-one today,’ Candy said, raising his bushy eyebrows.

George sighed, ‘Guess I’ll get it then.’

He opened the door just as Slim was raising his hand to knock again.

‘Slim!’

‘Well hey George, thought I’d call in and see how you guys are getting on.’

‘Come in… come in and see for yourself. Candy, Crooks, Lennie… look who it is!’ George waved Slim through the farm house, delighted to see his old friend again. Slim’s steady brown eyes took in the cosy front room with four armchairs arranged by the fireplace; the kitchen with its huge wooden table and welcoming warmth; through to the garden with peach trees and orange trees, a duck pond and brood of chickens; and the three happy faces of Candy, Crooks and Lennie, all too delighted to show him where they belonged.

‘Okay, okay, give the guy his arm back!’ George laughed as the others shook Slim by the hand eager to point out their own favourite parts of paradise. ‘Here Slim, set down here and I’ll fetch you a slug of whisky’. George placed two chairs in the shade of the tree and he and Slim sat and took a drink in companionable silence.

‘Well this is really something.’ Slim gazed around appreciatively before turning to look at George. ‘You don’t know where there’s another little place like this do you?’

‘’You serious? Happens I do.’ Slim turned to see if George meant it.

‘Our neighbours up the valley a little. They’re selling up and moving North to live with their daughter. I wondered if we could get it ourselves, it’s so close, but we don’t got no need for more land. This here is perfect. Why are you asking Slim? You got a stake together?’

‘Sure have. I met a girl some months back in town. Sweetest thing you ever seen and clever too. Reads all the time, can set an’ talk about real stuff, you know?’ George nodded, although he wasn’t too sure himself. ‘Anyway, she’s got a little bit of money come to her and I’ve been saving my wages. We got enough between us to swing it. She don’t want no big, fancy wedding or party. She just wants us to have our own place.’

George nodded with more conviction. ‘Congratulations Slim, she does sound pretty swell.’

‘Yeah I got lucky alright. Life on the ranch hasn’t been much fun since you guys left. You know Curley’s wife up and left him?’

‘What a tart!’ Candy mumbled as he shuffled past to refill his glass.

‘Well, I don’t know Candy. Selina was alright. Just made a few bad choices.’ Slim’s comments fell on deaf ears as the old man kept shaking his head.

‘Selina?’ George asked.

‘Sure. That was her name. Now she’s Selina the Silver Songbird! Turned out she had a great voice and the next time the travelling show came through, Selina threw a few things in a bag and stole out at night. She ran after that show and sang for the manager there and then. He loved her! She’s top billing. Curley’s so mad, you can’t even imagine!’

George exploded with laughter. ‘Oh I can Slim, I sure can,’ he managed at last. ‘I suppose show folk don’t care if she’s married, single or what. As long as she’s pretty and can hold a tune folk’ll pay to see her. They don’t live by the same rules that the rest of society do.’

Slim nodded sagely. ‘You got it George. She escaped when she saw her chance. I think seeing you four fellas make a go of this place made her even more determined. Now old Curley stomps around the ranch like a bear with a sore head. He’s so angry he’s going to make himself sick.’

‘How’s his hand?’ George asked, a shadow flickered briefly across his face as he remembered a darker time.

‘Pretty useless,’ Slim replied, ‘like its owner but his Father’s planning on retiring soon and leaving Curley in charge, so I guess he’ll feel better when he’s the big boss.’

‘You need to get out before that happens,’ George commented.

The two men shared a nod of agreement. ‘I’ll go speak with your neighbours on my way back,’ Slim confirmed.

‘You’ll stay for a bite to eat first though? There’s plenty.’

‘I will George thanks, it smells mighty tempting,’ Slim settled back comfortably in the garden chair.

‘Yeah, old Candy said he could cook and he wasn’t lying!’

George looked out over the farm. Lennie chuckled as rabbit fur tickled his nose and Crooks snored gently in the peace of the moment. The only other sound was Candy humming happily to himself in the kitchen. The setting sun sent a golden glow over the farm and bathed everything in shades of apricot and peach. And life was good.

 

sunlight

So, there you go – a tongue-in-cheek, how-I-wish-it-had-ended version. Hope it made you smile and helped to deal with the scars of English lessons past 🙂

And may all your dreams come true!

Time flies!

Well, I seem to be averaging two blogs a year at the moment! Not brilliant for a writer. In my defense, we have moved THREE times this year and I’m mindbogglingly shattered. Still, I am writing – plowing on regardless – but it’s slow process. I’m still working through book 1 of the murder mystery series and trying to find new ways to promote the trilogy. If anyone fancies reading and reviewing any of the Eshla books, please let me know. I’m happy to send a free mobi file, for use on kindles, or a pdf.

It hasn’t all been hard work though – got in a few good days at the beach (with best friend in picture below) and an amazing 12 hours on the flying Scotsman in vintage luxury (strictly for historical research you understand!).

Seer!

How lovely to land back in the country and discover that the third book in a great series is available! 

I’ve just brought ‘Seer’ by Amy Reece – a review will be here soon. In the meantime, happy reading everyone!

  Buy here

Reviewers urgently needed! 

It’s an eternal problem for authors – how to get people to review your books! Most people just don’t realise what a difference it makes. 

Now I have three books out, it’s even harder – if I want someone to review book three, I’m asking them to read three whole novels! I have 17 reviews for The Lost Heirs, 4 for The Second Stone and none yet for The King’s Chamber. 

So, if anyone out there would be willing to read and post reviews for the trilogy, I’ll love you forever 😁 

I can send the books in a pdf format, or send an Amazon gift card so you can buy the kindle edition, or even post you a paperback copy if you prefer?

Thanks! From a struggling author xx 

 

The Wilderness…

I admit it – I am lost without the internet. Seven days in our lovely new house and the broadband box still hasn’t arrived (yes, I’m typing at work during my lunch break instead of eating!).

I completed GCSE’s, A’Levels and my degree without the power of the internet – no problem. It was absent for many of the years I spent as a single Mum, and I managed just fine; but this has been the impossible week.

Apart from the practicalities of trying to promote my new e-book with no e-access, I’ve lost count of the amount of times my husband or I have asked a question and we’ve reached for our phones to google the answer! I’ve also lost count of the amount of times one of us has said, ‘I’ll do that when the internet’s back…’

When did I become so dependent?!

internet

It’s here!

The sequel to ‘The Lost Heirs’ is available to buy now!

How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE

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‘The Second Stone’ is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! FREE for today only…

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NJX2DQY

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A sad week

This should have been quite an exciting week! Tomorrow my second book is available in the kindle store, and to celebrate, my first book is free for 24 hours. This should have been one of those busy, buzzy weeks where I’m crazily typing tweets and blogs and posts to let people know.

In reality, this is the first time I’ve thought about it properly. I and my family were blind-sighted at 10pm on Sunday when my four year old cat, Gatsby, suddenly lost the use of both his back legs. The panic and fear that followed will be familiar to any cat owner who has loved and lost a fluffy companion, but suffice to say it led to his peaceful death on Tuesday morning.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there will be people reading this who have lost far, far more than a cat in their lifetimes, and some who may be grieving for loved ones right now. I don’t write this blog to suggest that losing a pet is anything akin to losing a parent, or a child, or a close friend. But it does leave a gaping hole.

Gatsby was a character cat. By that I mean, he wasn’t one of those aloof felines who sit and watch you from a distance. He was a tail wagging, in your face, I-want-to-be-wherever-you-are, sort of a cat. He was on your lap, behind you as you walked, meowing to be let into the bathroom when you were on the toilet, chasing any random shadow, stalking any flash of light. Basically, he had the knack of keeping in your line of sight at all times! Don’t ask me how, he just did!

He was the inspiration for Espog, Eric’s purram in the Eshla adventures, and he was the inspiration behind a lot of the laughter in our house on a nightly basis. In short, he will be missed. A lot.

So, sorry for the slightly sad tone – normal service will hopefully resume tomorrow, when I’m bound to be bombarding you with ‘buy-my-book’ blogs 🙂

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Pre-order available now!

The second Eshla adventure is available to pre-order now!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00073]

How do you disguise a fluffy blue alien in Victorian England? How do you stop your evil headmaster from ruining your exam grades? How do you live down the humiliation of your whole year group thinking you have a teddy bear in your rucksack? Join Eric as he searches for the answers in the next Eshlan adventure.

The quest continues with Eric, Corbin, Rose and Lydia trying to release the next prince from the Bel-Arayba cave. The four friends have some tough decisions to make while looking for the second stone in 1842, and things are getting pretty tricky in their own time too as Lowick Bradwar, masquerading as their head teacher, steps up his plans to get back to Eshla.

Meanwhile in Eshla itself, things are far from peaceful, as the malicious Galed continues her campaign against the Arwain family.

This is the second book in The Eshla Adventures series. Be sure to read the first: The Lost Heirs – a five star Amazon rated, middle grade/YA steampunk, fantasy adventure! One reviewer wrote: “Reminded me of Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and even Dr. Seuss.”

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TDR1YRE