“What’s the matter?”

“Jim’s dumped me again.”


“I know.”

“That’s got to be the… fifth time?”


“For good.”

“I think so.”

“Well, you can’t take him back even if he crawls…”

“But I love him.”


“I know, but I can’t help it.”

“You’re a doormat.”


“You are, you know you are… and just before your birthday. Last time it was Christmas.”

“I know.”

“With his birthday in between. Cheapskate.”

“I know.”

“I told you you’d been too generous.”

“But he said we’d be together for ever.”

“No ring or proposal though was there.”

“I know.”

“Plenty more fish in the…”

“Sea. Yes.”

“Just look around. What about him?”


“Nice eyes though.”

“Look at his teeth…”

“Fair point. What about him?”

“Walks funny.”

“It’s a limp, that’s all.”

“Bet that’s not all that’s limp!”

“Ruth Anne Murdoch!”

“Josephine Marie Willis!”

“So what are you going to do for your birthday now Jim’s not taking you anywhere?”

“Thought I’d go to the beach.”


“What to come?”

“Love to. Bus?”

“Thought I’d treat myself.”



“That’s my girl.”

“Well, you’re only 80 once.”


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You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internetview my Books (including my debut novel!) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers.

Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) 🙂 on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are fortnightly episodes, usually released on Sundays, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.