Posts filed under ‘The Ghosts of Misteldown Hall’

Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

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October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Chapter Three – Questions, Questions!

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I have written a couple of short stories on the blog so far but am now working on a larger project. This will take me some time but I wanted to share a little of this with everyone to get their opinions and any feedback you may feel like giving. This is a book for children and this is Chapter Three, Chapters One and Two are already out there. Please be honest with me…..

The Ghosts of Misteldown Hall

Chapter Three – Questions, Questions!

Charlie’s mother was waiting for him as he returned to the house with his Grandfather. As his grandfather went to his study, Charlie looked at his mother closely as she took him to the kitchen to prepare lunch. Did his mother know? Had she known all along? Is that why she had been so determined to come to Cornwall? Was this all planned by his parents before his father left for the war?

Charlie wasn’t sure what to say or do. Was the secret so secret that his mother didn’t and couldn’t know? How could his father have kept this all to himself for so long. Although Charlie was quite excited by what the afternoon would bring he was also confused and angry. All of this new information was buzzing in his head like an angry swarm of bees. And of course there was that background of whispers. Charlie felt like his head would pop!

Charlie bolted his lunch and escaped from the concerned gaze of his mother. She had talked to him during lunch and he knew he hadn’t heard half the words. Charlie knew he had to be alone for a while and think, he had to think! He wandered up to his room and sat on the edge of his bed. Sitting quietly he suddenly realised that the whispers were getting clearer, he could hear his name being called. It was very faint, it sounded as if it came from the next room but Charlie knew he had to sit still and listen. A minute passed, then two. Charlie kept very still, he tried to empty his mind and concentrated only on the whispers. They seemed to say ‘Welcome Charlie, welcome’. ‘Thank you’. Charlie spoke out loud, he wanted to know if they could hear him. Very faintly the reply came back, ‘Wonderful! The lad can hear us at last. It is nearly time.’ This was clearer, Charlie knew it was one voice only this time. ‘Don’t worry, young Charlie, it won’t be long. Go to your grandfather, go now!’.

Charlie lept from his bed and ran down the stairs as quickly as he could. He raced to his grandfather’s study and stopped short. He was scared now. They had said it was nearly time but time for what? He thought back to his father, he wished he was here to ask. As Charlie thought of the Major, he knew in his heart that his father would not hesitate, now was the time and he had to act. If he was to get the answers to all his questions he had to be brave. Charlie knocked on the door and opened the door. There stood his grandfather, smiling broadly.’Come Charlie’, said the Colonel, ‘come and meet your ancestors’.

They stood there, they were faint but Charlie could see them. Seven figures, some in very strange clothing, stood around his grandfather. They were all smiling, some chatting excitedly to each other as they pointed towards Charlie. ‘Let me make the introductions’, said the Colonel, ‘we must do this properly’. ‘Oh do hurry up young Arthur’, said one of the figures, ‘can’t you see the poor lad is waiting’. Charlie realised that his grandfather was ‘young Arthur’ to this strange group and this made him giggle. The Colonel coughed to get the attention of them all. ‘I think you should sit down Charlie, this may take some time’……..

End of Chapter Three © Lesley Miller 2010

So, there we go. I hope that Chapter Three has interested you and that you come back to me with any comments you may wish to make:)

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

December 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm Leave a comment

Chapter One – The Old House

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I have written a couple of short stories on the blog so far but am now working on a larger project. This will take me some time but I wanted to share a little of this with everyone to get their opinions and any feedback you may feel like giving. This is a book for children and this is the first chapter! I am very nervous about this; it is a real departure for me but I know that regular readers of the blog won’t be afraid to be honest with me:)

The Ghosts of Misteldown Hall

Chapter One – The Old House

Charlie tossed in the lumpy old bed. He wanted to be back in his own house and in his own soft bed. His mother had taken him away from London in such a rush that Charlie’s head was still spinning. His whole life had been turned upside-down over the last month. Firstly, war had been declared on August 4th, 1914. The announcement had been talked about at school and he and his friends agreed that their parents couldn’t talk about anything else. The annoying thing was that every time one of them walked into the room the conversation would stop.

The day after war was declared, Charlie’s father enlisted. He had of course joined the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry as he was Cornish born and bred. He was now Major Charles Simpson-Hoy and had waved goodbye to Charlie and his mother only two weeks ago. Charlie missed his father, he was scared that he wouldn’t get to see him again. Charlie knew that he and his mother were now in Cornwall at his father’s insistence. Major Simpson-Hoy wanted to know that his wife and child would be safe with his father, the old Colonel. So Charlie and his mother had made this rushed journey to Mistledown Hall or the ‘old house’ as it was known.

Charlie thought back to the conversation he had with his father the night before the Major left. His father had come to see him as he got ready for bed. Charlie hadn’t wanted to go to bed, he knew his father was leaving early the next day and wanted to spend every last moment with him. However, the Major was firm and escorted Charlie to his room but rather than kissing Charlie goodnight he sat down.

‘I need to talk to you Charlie’, said the Major. ‘I want you to listen very carefully to me, this is very important. What I tell you now will be confusing but you must remember this for me’. Charlie saw that his father was serious and nodded so he would continue. ‘I know that you would prefer to stay in London but I need you to go to Cornwall and be with your grandfather. You need to spend time with him, you need to get to know him better’.

Charlie was puzzled by the expression on his father’s face, it was very sombre and perhaps fearful? ‘I don’t understand Father, does Grandfather want to get to know me? He scares me a little, he has always ignored me when we have visited’.’Your grandfather loves you Charlie, you may think you have been ignored but he has watched you closely. This is what he does and what he has to do. Now is the time that he will want to get to know you. I have written to my father, he knows you are on your way and he will be waiting for you’.

‘What do you mean Father? said Charlie. ‘I am sorry I can’t say more Charlie’, said the Major. ‘I am going to war, we both know I have to. War is a horror and many will not come home. I may not come home. Please just know this, our family is not like others. There are secrets you will learn and secrets you will have to keep. Sleep now and know that I love you and will always have you in my heart’. With that his father kissed him and left. Charlie lay quietly for a long while before he slept.

The next day his mother had been sad but determined and had organised the packing up of the house. Within two days they were on their way. Charlie wanted to talk to his mother about his last conversation with the Major but somehow he knew he shouldn’t. So he just tried to help with the packing and to make his mother smile.

The old house was almost 300 years old, a large manor house. There were 12 bedrooms, 6 large reception rooms and servants quarters at the top of the house. There were corridors and passages and even some secret stairways. It was a great house for exploring when Charlie went to visit but living there for years was going to be something different. Charlie missed his friends and his own room in London. Charlie was about to start the local school and he was nervous. He was the boy from the ‘old house’ and he knew the local boys and girls would think he was ‘a toff’. Charlie knew he wasn’t but he didn’t look forward to convincing everyone else of that.

But there was something else that disturbed Charlie most of all. The whispers. Everywhere Charlie went he could hear something or someone. It was like an echo of a whisper, every time Charlie thought he could just make out what was being said it would disappear as if in a breeze. Charlie wondered if anyone else could hear the whispers? The Colonel had a staff of 8 in the house and Charlie had known them all his life. His favourite person was Hitchings the butler who had always been very kind to Charlie. Charlie wondered if he should talk to Hitchings but was worried that he would think Charlie was quite mad. So Charlie kept quiet but he listened and watched, especially if the whispers began when he was with someone else………

End of Chapter One © Lesley Miller 2010

So, there we go. I hope that Chapter One has taken your interest and that you come back to me with any comments you may wish to make:)

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

November 18, 2010 at 11:06 pm 7 comments


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