The words tumbled down around me.

Lexicon, paragraphs; the sentence echoed in my ears.

Throwing the book at me, the accusations upheld.

I didn’t deserve the weight of the law.


Under lock and key were my private thoughts;

My diary used as evidence in a public court.

Pages published in the press condemned me.

Her parents followed the law to the letter.


Behind bars, those golden years are now tainted.

England turned over a new leaf and a new chapter began.

Illegal and consigned to the history books, we ran.

Caught and caged, I inscribe messages on the prison walls.


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Wild Woods

I stepped out from the wild woods and I planted my feet onto the shoreline. The little waves licked at my toes where the elves had nibbled. The beach was naked, an expanse of yellow sand without seaweed or rocks to stain it. Just me and nature. If I died here, I would simply return to the ocean.

Pains plagued my chest and prodded my head, making me wonder which part of my brain would crumble first. My mouth scooped in air, and none of it satisfied. As always, there was no one to reach out to. I looked over my shoulder to the farmhouse that lurked on the hill. The elves had abandonned me.

Astrid had found me. She keeps finding me. She comes to the Wild Wood with chocolate, and she brings boxes of the tablets I take every day and she shows me her photograph on her lanyard. On my birthday she brought me a dolly like the one I had had to leave behind. Every time Astrid comes to visit she talks and writes in a notebook, and when she is finished she leaves a sparkly hanging for my hut. I now have more than ten hangings but I don’t know which number comes after ten. Astrid has told me but I keep forgetting. She says that I don’t remember because in the Wild Wood I don’t need to remember. Astrid has told me about other woods that are away from the farmhouse on the hill and are closer to the town. I like Astrid but I don’t want to know the people in the town. They were friends with my parents.

Besides, I know the elves of the Wild Wood. Perhaps the elves of the other woods would be bad to me? Icouldn’t take that chance.

I heard the horses running. Their hooves pounded through my head, through my chest. I tried to stretch my arms out sideways, but only one arm moved. My left arm felt fire burn down it. Ahead, out at sea, the waves grew astonishingly with stallions pouring through them, rushing towards me. The startling sun pressed down on me, hurting my eyes. The stallions crashed into me. I fell under them.


The water extinguished the fire in my arm. I was able to use both arms to fight as I grappled for the bottom of the sea, my mouth a fountain, spouting out water. My feet found the floor and I stood, then strode towards the shoreline again. There was no pain, not in my head or chest. The horses had run on, run away, until they were needed again. The sun above me was a giant flower, pleasant and attractive. The panic attack was over.

As always, when I return to the Wild Wood, I did not even glance down at the farmhouse on the hill where the dark clouds hung. I would not think of it or my parents again while the horses are away. The pyjamas Astrid gave me – “scrubs” – would dry quickly on the roof of my hut. I had plenty of dry scrubs to wear. I would put on the green scrubs and tend to my vegetables and catch birds and voles to eat, and I will have fun and sing with the elves.  I was alive again.

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My first novel, Coming Back To Life is set in the English city of Stoke-on-Trent – a historic, working class city.

Stoke-on-Trent and the area around it are known informally by two words. What are these two words?

Send your answer to my twitter account as a direct message.


The first person to respond with the right answer wins. Simple!



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Tamed, Ashamed

I said it wrong. I wrote it wrong. I did it wrong. And I’m sorry. I picked the scab and it bled.

I should have left the door open. I should have left a way for you to come back. That would have been the kind thing to do for you. I tried. Yet you thwarted every attempt. When I reached out to you, you bit my hand.

The shame. The shame.

You said we’d always be friends. That was before your new friends whipped you into shape. They put a bit in your mouth and pulled you this way and that until you were totally under their control.

You said you were happy with them, until you had no one left but them. Isolated, you sent me a message to say they had broken you. You sent me a message to say you wished you were in those French fields again, running for joy, running wild, running free.


The shame of it. The shame of it.

I wanted to see you race again. I thought I was cutting you free, but I only succeeded in wounding you further.

You felt cornered, so you turned on me. I walked away, leaving you to lick your wounds, a festering mess.

I’ve done what you wanted. I’ve stayed away. I look back and wonder why we were friends. Because you had lied, you had cheated and you envied my freedom. You envied my lack of shame and you hated me for it.

You were the one who slammed shut the door, afraid of loving yourself and afraid of being loved by someone as free as me.

You allowed that poison to sink into the welt – the leg where there was no stab wound. You told me he had stabbed you. But there was no he. There was no rapist lurking in the alleyway. There were only the men you wished to take to bed. Those rolls in the hay did not satisfy.

With flared nostrils and feet scuffing the ground, you bolted.

They tamed you. Domesticated you. Took you into their fold. They brought you in for selective breeding. Docile horses raise docile foals who grow to be docile horses who raise docile foals.

I remain feral. Unashamed, apologetic and free.


I wish I’d left the door open for you to return. I wish I’d applied salve to your wounds and helped you break free. I wish I could have seen past the snarls and the bites and the fury.

But I am human. And you are not the man I met.

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The Four Hundred Year Old Orphan

She didn’t know how long she’d been here. She’d lost track of time. He’d fallen to Earth and left her hanging in the atmosphere, about to burn up unless someone gave her a helping hand.


Time stood still. With no sun to light her day nor no moon to light her night, she was stuck without a way forward. Oxygen was thin on the ground.

Time was running out for her. She knew she would have to go around again. The window of opportunity never opened at the right time and in the right place for the four hundred year old orphan.

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7th Day of Blog Tour Welcoming Chris Fosten.

Geraldine Ward


Today I am delighted to welcome another writer, Chris Fosten to this, the 7th and final day of my blog tour.

Chris kindly answered some questions for me. The questions with his answers and insights are below.

What is/are your motivation/(s) for writing?

My motivation for writing is often just to express myself. It’s why I started writing (awful awful) poetry as a teenager, and is sometimes a wonderful cathartic process – but I am constantly playing with words and trying to connect ideas in my head, so I guess it’s also just to get stuff out of my head! Otherwise, it depends on what I’m writing: I like making others laugh, or feel something.

What genres do you enjoy writing?

Many and various – I write poetry most often, as it’s something I can put down fairly quickly and then return to every now and again to play…

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Forged 4

I held onto the candle for dear life. I drew the candle to me for warmth, with my eyes fixed upon the flame. Then it all came back. All those times on social media when I’d been right – I’d had to be right. I’d given hours of my days and nights to people I would never meet, proving them with science and mathematics why I was right and they were wrong.

All those years I’d given, taking my job so seriously. I’d become a manager. I’d been successful. But what had I managed? People who had no interest in me, who got through staff meetings without bothering to look up and meet my eyes. Paper pushing and statistics and reports on the paper pushing.

Fucking queer. Freak. You’re so gay. They’re trying to make everyone gay. We need a cull. It’s just a bit of banter.

But I’d been successful! I had the house and the car to prove it. I was a success, even though they all said I’d be a failure – my parents, other kids at school, people in the street, people at work and people on social media. I’d proved them all wrong!

I saw their faces in the candlelight. All those people who had taken a small piece of me, bit by bit, carving me up, year after year, day after day, until all that was left was a shredded carcass. I was already dead. It was time for my cremation, so I held the candle to my clothes and let the fire take hold.


Red, orange, yellow, white – the flames consumed me. Yet I was not screaming. I was not in pain. I looked down at my hands. They were still my hands, holding onto the candle for dear life, but they were not hands of flesh and bone. They were hands of molten metal – gold. Kicking out my foot and seeing my leg, I saw the same process there. My whole body had metamorphosed into gold. Gold that was not yet solid, but was being refined in the fire.

Something new was being forged.


This is part of a piece I performed as part of a Mothers Ruin evening. A fantastically high standard of music, comedy and theatre.

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