Of Writing, Gardening and Hope

After years of work, of living the story rather than merely writing it, my family saga Where ‘People Still Dance’ is closer to being read by others. Originally, ‘Where People Still Dance’ had the working title of ‘Where People Once Danced’ but the long and sometimes turbulent story of the Craighall’s turned out to have a happier ending than I thought it would, and so ‘Where People Still Dance’ became the title. Whether the saga that involves four generations of the Craighall family, and moves from late Victorian England to present-day Zululand, South Africa is as fully realised as it needs to be is a matter of which I am not entirely sure, but I am confident that the Craighall’s, those living and those no longer with us, will let me know if I have left out anything that still needs to be told. I am sure they will communicate if needs be. My journey with them has been a fascinating and, often, an exhausting one.

At the same time, Craig Carden’s intimate love story ‘What the Sun Saw’ which unravels in Oman, India and England, looks as if it is nearly done. It has its brilliant, happy moments under the sun (and the moon too) but also its deeply sad ones. Has all that needs to be told been told. Craig Carden is not entirely sure and merely says, “We shall see.” In between writing, the garden gets attention. As four of the photos show, winter in KwaZulu-Natal can still be colourful. This large orchid (seen here during the day and at night), the poinsettia, the crassula, and the azalea are all flowering now. The Indian Hawthorne and the amaryllis tend to flower in early summer. In time, may ‘Where People Still Dance’ and ‘What the Sun Saw’ come to bloom just as brightly.  I live and work in hope.

To those of you who write and, indeed, all who create – Happy creating.

Andrew Pender-Smith and Craig Carden

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Miss Whoop Whoop! and the Jumping Pumpkin

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‘Miss Whoop Whoop! and the Jumping Pumpkin’ by Craig Carden. Set in two of the most buzzworthy nightclubs ever invented, ‘Miss Whoop Whoop! and the Jumping Pumpkin’ is a wild romp of unusual characters, fun and games, and catch-me-if-you-can theft and deception. As the partying goes on, including dancing, gaming, talent contests and much more, a brilliant mind is at work. Someone extremely clever is outwitting the owners of the Jumping Pumpkin and the Ice Castle. Crime after crime takes place and the identity of the thief becomes an increasingly frustrating mystery. Just who is this most bizarre of thieves and how are they managing to crack the club’s security codes?

In reading ‘Miss Whoop Whoop! and the Jumping Pumpkin’ you will find yourself on a mind ride like no other.  See where it takes you. It has also been made available through Draft2Digital to ten other publishing platforms. I hope you can join me and Craig Carden in wishing the story of Miss Whoop Whoop! good fortune.

 

 

 

In Poetry

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In poetry I have found many teachers. Yes, I have. Over the years I have read a tremendous amount of poetry. These have included poems from centuries ago to poems recently written. One of the reasons why I have gained as a reader, thinker and communicator is because I have not restricted myself . I have spent years enjoying poetry in different genres dealing with a wide variety of subjects. Reading and discussing poetry has helped me to think better and express myself with greater accuracy. How much reading of poetry are you doing? If you haven’t read many poems, I urge you to start now. You will grow. 

BIG in the Big Top

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Dropping Down and Becoming Excited

Linda the potato and Sylvester the carrot were clinging tightly to Big Bruce the blue balloon’s thick, blue hair as they dropped through the star-filled night. There wasn’t so much as a breath of wind and Big Bruce could no longer float. They were going down, down, down. The three friends were becoming more and more excited because they were heading towards a brightly coloured circus tent. Lots of happy music and clapping was coming from the huge tent. It was made up of so many colours that Linda the potato was sure it was almost impossible to count them all.

“We’re going to land on top of the tent,” Big Bruce called out. “Just where the pointy bit sticks up.”

“That’s right at the middle of the very top,” said Sylvester the carrot, as he pushed some of his long purple hair away from his face so he could see better.

“No. No we’re not going to land on top,” said Linda the potato. She was bending over the side of Big Bruce while clinging on tightly as they came closer to the ginormous tent. Her blue eyes were wide behind her pink-framed glasses as she tried to work out where they would land. “There’s a hole close to the top of the tent and I think we’re going right through,” she said.

“Whoopee! This is cool,” Sylvester the carrot called out, and he clapped his long-fingered purple hands in excitement. “We’re going to land in the middle of the circus.”

Copyright: Andrew Pender-Smith

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CCJMPPZ

‘Big in the Big Top’ is the fourth and final story in the ‘Be Brave’ series involving Big Bruce the blue balloon, Linda the potato who loves singing and everything pink, and Sylvester the carrot with long purple hair who lies to dance. You may find the series on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THAT’S FANTASTIC!

 

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Hip Hip Hooray! THAT’S FANTASTIC!’ the third children’s story in the ‘Be Brave’ series by Andrew Pender-Smith has just been released. I encourage you to take a  look by clicking on the link http://www.amazon.com./dp/B078HF378N

The others in the series are ‘Floating into Happiness’ and ‘Singing and Clapping’. 

The photo at the top of the page was used to create the cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gift for Life

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A Gift For Life

To every mother and father,

and gran and grandpa, too.

Here’s an important message

that’s meant just for you.


If you want the child in

your life to get ahead.

You need to expand his mind.

You need to feed what’s in his head.


Read aloud to your child

every day of your life.

Read stories about anything,

even those that are fantastic and wild.


You’ll build his vocabulary.

Help him to think.

He’ll be able to visualise

and become very wise.


As readers are leaders,

help him become one, too.

Let him learn of this.

Let him learn of that.


Start reading him a story.

Begin right now.

Go adventuring.

Go exploring.

One word at a time.

Whether it’s prose,

or whether it’s rhyme,

you’ll give him a gift for a lifetime.


PS. I didn’t mean to offend.
I truly did not.

Don’t think of me as a beast

as this doesn’t come least:

If your child is a girl,

of course you’ll read just

as much to her, too.

 ©  Andrew Pender-Smith


















 

 

Singing and Clapping

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This attractive photo was used for the cover of ‘Singing and Clapping’  a story for children in the 7-9 age-group. ‘Singing and Clapping’ sees Linda the potato who loves everything pink, Sylvester the carrot with long purple hair, and Big Bruce the blue balloon share another adventure. The story is the second in the ‘Be Brave’ series. The first story is called ‘Floating into Happiness’. Both stories can be found on Amazon Kindle. 

Singing and Clapping  – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0765RB1QH

To find out how these three characters came into being, you can scroll down to visit an earlier post called ‘Creating Characters from Objects’. 

To those involved in the arts, ‘Happy Creating’.

Andrew Pender-Smith