May 17th!

a rose by any other name

Best news! I’ve got a publication date for my novel! The novel isn’t The Fairy Tale Asylum. It’s a novel I wrote a long time ago–The Blue Jar. But I’ve got a lovely UK publisher and now a publication date. October 12th. That just after my chemo treatments should be over and just before my birthday.

And I did write something today.

Nurse Meredith was still outside when the Asylum flooded with light. She cursed. Her failure was found out. Either they knew the boy was missing or they’d discovered the intruder.

She wished she hadn’t cut the rope now because she might be the one needing an escape. She ran to the back door. It was locked, so she decided the intruder must still be outside. Inside they had to be looking for the boy.

Once she unlocked the door and stepped inside, she was grabbed and thrown to the floor. “Stop!” came a rough voice. “She’s a nurse.”

She was pulled to her feet but light shined in her eyes. She couldn’t see who she was facing, and she knew that was a good thing. “I’m Nurse Meredith.”

“I know. What are you doing here? Why aren’t you on your rounds?”

This wasn’t a question she expected. “There were two young men visiting here earlier. I was just checking that they were taken care of properly.”

“Did you see anything suspicious outside, nurse?”

Meredith weighed her options. The truth could get her into as much trouble as a lie. Did they know about the intruder? They couldn’t. They had to be wondering about the boy. “No,” she said. Once the visitors were seen to, all was as usual.”

“You’re lying,” the voice said.

“Why would I?” she asked even though she knew arguing with him was useless. “What do you think I saw?”

“The question is why you have conspired against the place that has looked after you all these years.”

Meredith groaned inwardly. The intruder. They didn’t know about the boy. “I’d never conspire.”

“The individual you assisted is somewhere in the Asylum. What is your plan? Do you think that you have any power here?”

“I have no powers above my station,” she said in what she hoped was a meek voice.

“You will be questioned further.”

Nurse Meredith found herself dragged down the hall to the officer. She dreaded what waited for her there.

Kids, Art, and Plums

You may have read this over at writing in the water, but I’m covering all my bases.

My art at The Plum Tree

I’m now Head of Art for Youth-Tube at Plum Tree Books. We’re calling for submissions for art by children under 12.

If you’re interested in knowing more, email me at

marta (at) youth-tube (dot) co (dot) uk

We’d also love for you to visit the site, follow it, tweet it, fb it, or otherwise show your support. Thank you.

Remember, art is cool. And so are kids.

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P.S. Please note the Plum Tree has several other projects in the works–poetry, fiction, music, and photography. Go see for yourself.