A Breather: 2013 365 Challenge #291

My smart son

My smart son

As you may have noticed, I ended up separating the ‘top part’ of my two-part daily blog challenge today and publishing it on its own. If you didn’t spot it, I wrote this, all about the news that the likes of Kobo and Amazon are deleting e-books they consider to be inappropriate.

It ended up being rather long (over 1000 words) and emotive and didn’t sit happily with a Claire installment. It also ate up all my writing time this morning (darling hubbie has taken our daughter to school and our son to the barbers so I can have some time to catch up, but they’ve just got back).

So, I’m off to find something for Claire to do today, while my boiling brain comes down from researching and writing about e-book censorship, and my son watches a DVD.

In the meantime, here’s a lovely picture of my son proudly wearing his new Red Sox baseball top, courtesy of his auntie and uncle. Doesn’t he look smart?


Below is the next installment in my novel Two-Hundred Steps Home: written in daily posts since 1st January as part of my 2013 365 Challenge. Read about the challenge here.You can catch up by downloading the free ebook volumes on the right hand side of the blog:


Claire drove along the twisting tree-covered lane and let her mind drift, enjoying the empty car and empty roads. She wondered how Kim was settling in at her parents’ house and hoped her friend wasn’t holding any grudges.

I guess that’s probably too much to ask for. If she’ll forgive me when she’s better, that will be enough.

The sense of freedom filling her spirit made her heart ache with a mixture of joy and guilt. It was good to be free of the coach and the schedule, and – if she was honest – free from Kim’s constant misery. Did that make her a bad person?

As if running through the events of the year, her thoughts turned to Josh. She hadn’t heard from him since his return to Fiona, and she hoped it was because he was pouring his energy into making his marriage work, and not because he had found his escapism elsewhere.

I really should send him a note, make sure he’s okay.

She added it to her list of things to do and tried to push it out of her head. Another face tugged at her mind, someone else she hadn’t contacted recently enough. Ruth.

Damn. I meant to call in and see her before I left for the south. In all the confusion with Kim and not having a bloody car, I forgot.

Remorse twisted at her stomach and she vowed to ring her sister as soon as she got to the next hostel.

That’s assuming I ever get there.

Claire pulled the car around another sharp bend and tried to rein in her frustration. On the map, the tiny white road along the edge of the county had seemed to promise stunning sea views or at least beautiful scenery. So far it had delivered mostly urban roads and tree-lined lanes. She knew the sea was somewhere to her left, but it didn’t show itself very often.

I think the first thing I need to do is buy a new guide to Britain. Goodness only knows what happened to mine.

It was hard not to feel like her life had come full circle, as she followed the SatNav’s directions into town. It had been less than four months since she’d driven to Berwick-upon-Tweed with little idea of what the future held in store for her. In all those weeks she’d stayed in so many different places, home and abroad, that they were all beginning to merge together.

The hostel, when she arrived, looked like just another Victorian terrace in a wide street of cream houses. It didn’t feel particularly touristy, but she could at least see the sea in the distance as she pulled up outside.

With a sigh, Claire found somewhere to leave her new car, grateful that it had travelled the short distance without breaking down, and went to check in.

Inside, the building felt more like student digs than a hostel. The website had suggested it was a good base for seasonal workers, and Claire figured that probably explained most of the residents. It gave it a strange feel, as if she were intruding; coming to crash on someone’s sofa. More than anything, it made her yearn for a place of her own.

Forcing a grin, she strode up to the reception and dropped her bag. “Hi, I’m here to check in.”


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