Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Salvesen Sisters - Work in Progress!

During the last week I have found myself thinking about my story of The Salvesen Sisters no doubt as a result of your encouraging comments. 

The story is fictional, but it will revolve around Agnes Salvesen who was my husband's great Aunt.  In 1913 Agnes travelled to Asia on board the Nord and Trans-Siberian Express.  She kept a travel journal of her journey and it makes fascinating reading.    

I have decided to post the whole opening chapter (see new tab above entitled The Salvesen Sisters).  

My original plan was to set the story in the present day, written from the point of view of the elderly Agnes, who is putting her affairs in order and, in doing so, having flashbacks to 1913.  I then wrote a second version in third person, with just an opening paragraph set in the present day and plan to set the rest of the story in the 1913s.   

At the moment I am torn between the two so I have posted both versions (roughly 2,500 words long). I would be interested to hear which version works best for you.  Either way, I know I've got a lot of work ahead of me! 

Monday 20 May 2013


I first saw this photo several years ago when doing some ancestry research on my husband’s family.  It is a photo of his grandmother and two of her sisters – the Salvesen sisters.  The photo is faded with age and unfortunately someone has cut off the fourth sister.  As far as my husband remembers it has always looked like this.  I found the photo intriguing and used it to write an opening chapter as part of my second Open University course a couple of years ago.  My aunt asked me the other day how my "Salvesen" story was going.  I had to admit it wasn’t, but having looked again at this photo, I’m going to revisit it with the hope of developing it further so watch this space!  Here is the opening paragraph:

The old woman struggles to sit up and, with a shaking hand, she reaches for the picture.  Her gnarled hand claws thin air and frustrated she tries again.  She pulls the solid silver frame towards her, the edge scraping along the surface of the bedside table, like fingernails down a blackboard.  Three sepia faces stared back at her.  The right-hand side of the picture is tattered where it has been cut and, along this jagged line, the wispy remains of a fourth person can just be seen, like a shadow or ghost.  The women are beautiful, but that was a long time ago.

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Six Word Stories

Ernest Hemingway once wrote a story in just six words “For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

I found myself doing this exercise at the weekend to pass some time while I was in the car.   Here are some of the ones I came up with:

Congratulations Mrs Kray, healthy twin boys. 

She is twenty. I am forty.

The consultant looked at me sadly.

Doesn’t Hannah look like her uncle?

I can’t be pregnant, he’s sterile.

The sign had said keep out.

He said he would marry me.

My wife does not understand me.

She told me she was sixteen.