Challenge in less than 100 words – so clever.

From the Blog of the lovely writer, Patricia M Osborne. Challenge in less than 100 words

Yesterday’s challenger was Karen Baker. Karen’s response to the challenge to ‘Write a story in less than one hundred words’ comes in the form of Skimming which you can read below.


It’s flat, smooth, shapely, sensual, and fits perfectly in my fingers, an extension of my right hand. Calm and motionless, I stand for a long meditative moment eyes closed.

Reminding myself of the Zen of this exercise with three deep intakes of breath, I turn sideways-on and take the correct stance, knees bent. Then raising my arm, elbow flexed, I lean with a slight sway that tests my balance.

My arm swing and wrist-flick catapult the stone across the water. One… two… three… four… five…


Still the same jubilation.

90 words

Today’s challenger is Anne Craig. Her response to the ‘Write a story in less than 100 words’ comes in the form of The Longing. You can read Anne’s story below.

The Longing

Each evening I took out my needle and dreamt of a daughter. I stitched pure white lawn, creamy calico and fine merino wool into garments. Gingham brought a tear to my eye as I imagined my little sprite going to school.

John took it hard but we never talked about it after the first few years.

I gathered my fabric store and began a quilt. The final border, purple, from my funeral outfit. I won’t wear it again. I have my memories and only have to spread out my quilt to see the whole of my life before me.

99 words

THERE IS NO GOING HOME. A stand-alone sequel to THE 9:45 TO BLETCHLEY

Front and back of the book cover.

There Is No Going Home.  A stand-alone sequel to The 9:45 To Bletchley.


THERE IS NO GOING HOME    A Bletchley Park Cold Case

London, 1958, Ena recognises a woman who she exposed as a spy in WW2. Ena’s husband, Henry, an agent with MI5, argues that it cannot be the woman because they went to her funeral ten years before.

Ena, now head of the Home Office cold case department, starts an investigation. There are no files. It is as if the woman never existed. Suddenly colleagues who are helping Ena with the case mysteriously die… and Ena herself is almost killed in a hit-and-run.

The case breaks when Ena finds important documents from 1936 Berlin that prove not only did the spy exist, but someone above suspicion who worked with her then, still works with her now.

Fearing for her life, there is only one person Ena can trust… or can she?


Coming Soon. Poster for promotion.

Kindle and Paperback – Promotion images





Jeanie Nic Fhionnlaigh 5.0 out of 5 stars. Totally Captivating 13 May 2019

Jeanie Nic Fhionnlaigh

13 May 2019

Having read the first book in this series(Dudley saga) I knew that I was in for another excellent book.
From the first few chapters I was hooked this follows Margot (Margaret) and her husband Bill it was truly fascinating to read Margot journey the highs and lows of theatre work there were times I actually felt as if I was on stage giving a performance of a lifetime looking forward to the 3rd book in the series I can’t praise this book enough and highly recommend.
Well, that review was the first for several months – and it was so worth waiting for. The joy it gives a  writer to know that a reader enjoys their work is priceless. You couldn’t buy it.  Thank you so much Jeanie Nic Fhionnlaigh.
Applause Book 2
This week there was another super review by the same reader. She read reviewed China Blue. I am over the moon. No reviews for six months and then two in two weeks.
18 May 2019

“Having read a few of this FANTASTIC author’s books I couldn’t wait to read China blue another cog in the wheel of the Dudley saga. I was not surprised at the outstanding amount of detail and research that had gone into this wondrous book I really can’t praise this book enough.  I can highly recommend this series.
Made my day?  A second review has made my month. xx

China Blue Book 3

Happy birthday, dear Will! … The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together…’ (ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL) yours and mine both, Will. Many Happy Returns!

Lynne McVernon, author and theatre director who director me in several productions at the Young Vic Theatre celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday. She is also very generously talking about other productions I was in, as well as those she directed. The Young Vic was a truly wonderful time in my life. Thank you, Lynne.

Lynne McVernon

Dear Will – whether on not you wrote the plays, you have been a major influence on all of us who ever read painfully aloud from A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at school or scratched furiously through an essay on ‘The significance of gender and power in Othello’, or some such spurious twaddle, at university. You would probably be appalled – or amused.

Three examples from schooldays stand out in my mind. My first was the reading aloud one. The second was playing Trinculo in a snippet from THE TEMPEST at an end of year drama competition. My best friend, Lesley, played the monstrous Caliban and won the school Drama Prize because of it. It was an all girls school, so not such extraordinary casting. That said, she was an olive-skinned, half-Italian beauty which made her achievement in convincing the audience of the creature’s lumpen ugliness all the more praiseworthy. Incidentally…

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What a lovely Easter Day this is turning in to.

The news about the killings of Christians in hotels and churches in Sri Lanka was devasting and upset me as it did millions of people. However, as I had planned, I went to the Easter Day service at St. Mary’s Church in Lutterworth. I felt sad before I went, but the service was absolutely wonderful. Not only was it moving but it was incredibly uplifting.  Afterwards, I took a stroll through the churchyard to see my mum and dad’s grave. The grass had been cut and although I had forgotten to take flowers it looked fine. I have no children or grandchildren so I can feel lonely on days like this. But not today. Walking home in the glorious sunshine I saw my friends Geraldine and David Tew in Costa Coffee. They beckoned me to join them and when they left another friend arrived. It was lovely to catch up with her and made what could have been a lonely time a really happy one. When I got home I had a sandwich and took a glass of chilled wine into the garden. When I’d fed the birds and the fish, I pottered in the garden before writing the backstory that was needed in my current novel.

As I said, what a lovely Easter Day this is turning into.

Oh, before you go. I spotted a beautiful white flower on a succulent that has never before had a flower. Fantastic.

One flower on the succulent.

Salford-born playwright and writer Shelagh Delaney is regarded as one of the pioneers of the ‘kitchen sink’ realism of the late 1950s-60s.

Asked which plays I liked and which playwrights had influenced me after I had auditioned for a place at E15 Drama College I said, without a second thought, Shelagh Delaney. I was lucky that, without realising it, Shelagh Delaney had connections with E15 through E15 director Maggie Bury who had worked for many years with Joan Littlewood at Stratford Theatre, London E15.

Shelagh Delaney

In 1958 at the age of nineteen, Shelagh Delaney wrote “A Taste of Honey”

A Taste of Honey script

Twenty years after Shelagh Delaney wrote A Taste Of Honey I used it as an audition speech. In those days we had to perform three audition speeches; a standard English, a Shakespeare and a working class. Most of Jo’s lines are short, so I had to be creative by putting them together. It worked for some directors but not others.

Rattle of a Simple Man

Another favourite audition speech of mine was Cyrenne in Rattle of A Simple Man by Charles Dyer. When I got too old to play Jo, Cyrenne became my working-class character. Happy Days.

I am now a writer. As well as articles and poems, I have written seven novels. They are all character driven as well as plot driven. The way I approached the characters I played as an actress in the theatre has greatly influenced the characters I write about in my novels.