New At the Carrot Ranch: What To Do When You’re Told Reading And Writing Are Not Your Friends

I have a new post up on my column, Diversity With A Twist, at the Carrot Ranch.

What To Do When You’re Told Reading And Writing Are Not Your Friends.

Click on the image below to be taken straight to the post.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background
Diversity With A Twist

Comments are closed here. Please leave any new comments on the original post.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

FROM SCRIBBLES TO SPOTIFY – THE UNCOMFORTABLE BIRTH OF A SONG

Not only does Paul share his new song with us, but he talks us through the process of how he wrote it. I’m sure many writers will connect with the process.

Check out Paul’s new song ‘New Day Coming.’ I’ve already streamed my copy of the song from iTunes and added it to my ‘Writing’ playlist.
And if you like the song, don’t forget to tell Paul over on his blog.

SONGS AND SCRIPTS AND DUNKING BISCUITS

The insecurity around releasing a song can be creatively traumatic. What if it’s rubbish? What if I’ve inadvertently stolen it? What if I love it and no-one else does? Can I still change my name and live in an igloo without any internet connection?

Putting a song onto streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music and possibly an accompanying video is the somewhat glossy, shiny end of an often uncomfortable process filled with errors and doubt punctuated with shots of exhilaration. My new song ‘New Day Coming’ took ten months from conception to release and is a perfect example of such a process.

The structure of the song changed several times. I loved it then abandoned it. The theme was clear then I felt like it needed more ambiguity. The lyric got written then re-written several times. Crossing out and insane scribbling that meant nothing to anyone but me…

View original post 314 more words

How Blogging and Rod Serling Helped Me Conquer Dyslexia – From My New Column At The Carrot Ranch

What does Rod Serling and Blogging have in common? They both helped me overcome my fear of being dyslexic.

I’m delighted to announce that my first post, ‘How Blogging and Rod Serling Helped Me Conquer Dyslexia‘ has now been published on my new column, Diversity with a Twist, over at the Carrot Ranch blog. Click on the image below to be taken straight to it.

Diversity with a Twist Banner showing some coloured straight lines and pens on a white background
Hugh’s new column on the Carrot Ranch blog

The post has received lots of comments, and you’re all welcome to come on over and join the discussion.

I’ve closed comments off here so you can leave any new comments on the original post.

I look forward to seeing you at the Carrot Ranch.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

This Is Why You Need To Enter The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic Competition

This competition has now closed.

Are you looking for a chance to win $100? Then the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is looking for you.

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is happening NOW at the Carrot Ranch!

Writers will have the opportunity to support Sue Vincent, a stalwart centre of our blogging community, as well as compete for a $100 prize! Click here to find out why we’re supporting Sue.

We’re trying to make this the biggest writers’ Rodeo yet and celebrate Sue Vincent’s work and writing in the process.

How do I enter the competition?

On the competition page, you’ll find a beautiful photo from Sue which is the prompt for the competition.

Write a flash fiction story of 99 words or a poem of 99 syllables – no more, no less – based on the prompt photo.

Go to the competition page and complete the entry form. You can submit up to two entries for the contest.

All entries will be anonymised – so everyone’s on an equal playing field.

Closing date for entries is midnight on Friday 19th February, 2021.

That’s not all

There are many ways to participate in the rodeo. Every Rodeo has multiple events, and the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic is no different. In addition to participating in the contest and donating to the cause, we have multiple events you can participate in!

  • The Sue Vincent Reblog Barrel Race – Check out Sue’s website or the website she shares with Stuart France. Find a poem, essay, or photo that speaks to you, and re-blog it. Feel free to include links to the contest and make sure to include a comment on the re-blog!
  • The Great Book Parade – Buy and read one of Sue’s books. If you’re feeling adventurous, leave a review or publish it on your blog! Click here to view and buy Sue’s books.
  • The Comment Riding Contest – The prize for this one is a fuzzy good feeling and the sharing of community. Like and/or comment on Sue’s posts, whether new or old.
  • Snack Stands – Share the contest on other social media such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or others! You can definitely follow Sue Vincent on Twitter.
  • The Prize Ceremony – Winners will be announced on March 21st, 2021 over at the Carrot Ranch blog. It could be you, but even if not, come see what Sue’s prompt invoked.

Who is Sue Vincent?

#author #authors #writer #blogger
Author, Writer and Blogger, Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanised by her posts about mythology, ancient ruins, medieval churches, and her daily midnight haiku.

Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her writephoto challenge prompts. In fact, some of my own short stories were written with the help of some of the prompts Sue published on her blog. She even inspired me to write about man-eating sheep!

Any questions?

Don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.

Good luck to everyone that enters the competition.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How You Could Win $100 In The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic

This competition has now closed.

Saddle up, everyone! It’s time for a Carrot Ranch Rodeo like none ever held before.

Not sure what the Carrot Ranch is? Click here for more details.

And this rodeo is being held for a special friend and blogger.

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic

Who is Sue Vincent?

#author #authors #writer #blogger
Author, Writer and Blogger, Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanised by her posts about mythology, ancient ruins, medieval churches, and her daily midnight haiku.

Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her writephoto challenge prompts. In fact, some of my own short stories were written with the help of some of the prompts Sue published on her blog. She even inspired me to write about man-eating sheep!

#writephoto #writingprompt
Logo for the weekly #writephoto Prompt challenge hosted by Sue Vincent

Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing the responses to the writephoto challenge to her 19,000 (and counting) followers. And she also supports bloggers and writers by reblogging their blog posts.

However, recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You can follow her blog to find out more directly from her.

The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection through self-imposed quarantine.

Now it’s time for Sue to receive something back from the blogging community

Sue has been a cornerstone of the writing and blogging communities for a decade. Now it’s time for us to bring the Rodeo into Sue’s house through her computer, and come together to help her and her family through this difficult time.

Join us for the Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic at the Carrot Ranch – a contest, parade, and celebration all in one!

How Do I Participate?

There are many ways to participate. One is to visit the prompt image, “Hidden“, at the Carrot Ranch.

The prompt image and entry form is now live.

All you have to do is write and enter a 99-word piece of flash fiction or a poem by Friday, February 19th, 2021, for a chance to win $100.  You’ll also be in with a chance to win a copy of one of Sue’s books.

The entry form will allow you to give a small donation for Sue and her family. You can also donate via a link on the contest page. The winning entries will be announced at the Carrot Ranch on March 22nd, 2021.

For more details, visit Charli Mills (Head Rodeo Person) recent blog post – Special Collection Flash Fiction.

I’ll also be publishing a new post here on by blog after the competition goes live on Monday 1st February, 2021.

In the meantime, click here to enter the competition.

If you’re not ready to rodeo, there’s always the “Parade”

Reblog one of Sue’s posts from any of her sites (Daily Echo or France and Vincent) with a comment about why you found it special.

Follow her blogs. Read one of her books, then leave reviews where you can. Several people are already gearing up for the parade – so feel free to check out other people’s blogs for suggestions.

Click here to view and buy Sue’s books.

Also, please fell free to reblog, tweet, and share details of the contest via your social media channels and blogs!

Toby and Austin, the Cardigan Welsh Corgis, wish you all luck with your entries.

#pets #dogs #corgis
©hughsviewsandnews.com

As this is a Carrot Ranch production, to get you inspired, they’re sharing a video of some Cardigan Welsh corgis herding sheep.

Good luck with your entries to the competition, and see you at the Ranch.

Copyright © 2021 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

How To Get Your Short Story In Front Of A New Audience

Marsha Ingrao (who blogs at Always Write) is looking for writers, authors and bloggers to submit their unpublished short stories to her so that she can feature them in a new feature on her blog.

Image credit: Marsha Ingrao

Story Chat

Not only will your short story be put in front a new audience, but Marsha will follow up with another blog post that sums up all the comments and feedback your story gets. So you and your story will get double the promotion.

Two Stories Have Already Been Featured

I was honoured to be the first to get a story featured. Marsha kindly followed up with a post that summed up the comments and what people thought was going on in my story. The discussions were an amazing experience and I gained a lot of excellent feedback on my writing. As the author, I also joined in with the discussions and responded to the comments that were left.

Click the following link to read the follow-up post.

Story chat: The People Under The Stairs

If you’d like to submit a short story to feature on Story Chat, click here for full details.

And while you’re there, check out Marsha’s own story, ‘Jenny’s Bumpy Start,’ which is the second story to feature on Story Chat. Join in the discussion and meet other bloggers, writers and authors.

Comments are closed here. Please leave your comments on Marsha’s post.

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 9) #AmWriting

This is the final part of chapter one from ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’, a book I started writing in 2012.

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

An update on Part 8

Part eight has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, I’m so grateful to you all.

What is Tales From Under The Rainbow?

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 9

Here are the final 502 words of chapter one. It continues on the coach journey to London with Danny. We get to know some more about two new characters (one of which will become a major character) which we had a brief glimpse of last week.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

Not really interested in what Jane had to say, Danny tried to look attentive.  

“Don’t worry, it’ll only take a few minutes,” she laughed. “A few minutes to take away the coach sickness I suffer with.” 

Fumbling around the plastic carrier bag again, she produced another bar of chocolate and offered it to Danny. 

“Fruit and nut? That’s my favourite. How did you know?”

“Oh, good. You and I are going to get on so well,” replied Jane as she extended her hand to Danny. “Did I introduce myself?”

“Yes, you did,” answered Danny, leaning across and hardly able to reach her outstretched hand.

“How nice,” came a female voice from the seats in front of Danny. Jane and Danny looked towards the voice. “Looks like this coach could be the ‘love coach’, Jack,” giggled the woman at the man beside her.  

Raising his eyebrows, Danny responded.

“The Love coach?” he blurted out. If only you knew that I’d probably rather sleep with your husband than Jane, he thought. 

Smiling, Danny thought it funny how she thought he was straight. Not a bad thing when faced with some situations, but not this one. She obviously had no idea, but then probably neither did most of the passengers on the coach.

“We’re celebrating our ruby wedding anniversary,” announced the woman as she held up a greetings card with the words ‘To my beautiful wife’ on the front. It immediately answered some of the questions Danny had about the couple. 

“This is my husband, Jack,” declared the woman as she looked down at the man next to her. “Stand up, Jack and introduce yourself to the young couple.” 

“Do I have to, Gwen? Leave them alone,” came a muffled voice.

“Yes, you do! Stand up and say hello.” 

Watching, Danny saw a rather rugged and handsome man stand up. Despite his age and signs of grey hair, Jack’s moustache showed no signs of ageing. Had he taken more notice of the couple on his way to his seat, he’d probably had tried making eye contact with Jack. He’d done it before, often with much success, and had always preferred older men. 

Gwen, on the other hand, looked much older than her husband, with a typical blue-rinse hairstyle and a face covered with crow’s feet from too much sun. The light-blue dress meant for women far younger than her was nice, but it was the string of pearls and matching earrings that made her look more her age.

“Nice to meet you,” said Jack, before quickly sitting down again. 

“He’s a little shy,” laughed Gwen. You’d never have guessed that he’s usually the life and soul of the party.”

Trying not to laugh, Danny and Jane looked at each other before offering Gwen some chocolate.

For the next six hours, some of the passengers on the coach got to know each other, while others slept or kept to themselves. New chapters were about to begin in all their lives, some of which would be life-changing.


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 8) #AmWriting

This is the penultimate part of chapter one from ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’, a book I started writing eight years ago.

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

An update on Part 7

Part seven has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, I’m so grateful to you all.

What is Tales From Under The Rainbow?

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 8

Here are the next 518 words of chapter one. It continues with Danny’s flashback of the breakup between Nick’s and him, but also returns us to the present time of the story. We also get a glimpse of two new characters (a couple), one of whom will become a major character in the story.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

The mark was in precisely the same place to the vodka. Nick had admitted everything to him without having set off the trap.

With the bottle of vodka in his hand, Danny walked to the kitchen and headed for the sink. Unscrewing the top of the bottle, he listened to the ‘gulp gulp’ sound as the liquid disappeared down the plughole. As the last drops vanished, he opened the kitchen waste bin, but something stopped him from letting go of the bottle.

Something red, just to the right of a packet of snacks, caught his eye. Moving the empty pack to one side, five small empty bottles of vodka revealed themselves; the kind found on most flights or in the minibars of hotels. The type of bottles Shaun would have access to with his job as an airline steward.

It wasn’t the trap that had caused Nick to tell the truth, but honesty itself. But that didn’t make what had happened any better. Vodka was the only alcoholic drink Shaun drunk, but how foolish Nick and Shaun had been at not covering their tracks.

As tears began to trickle down Danny’s face again, the sobs from upstairs continued to gently break the silence.

A sudden jerk of his body brought Danny back to the present. Hamble’s voice broke through, as did the current world around him. How long had he been in deep thought about what had happened a few weeks ago?

Dougie’s voice making an announcement made the past disappear entirely.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you are all on your way to London. London is the next stop. We will not be calling at any other stations on route, although we will stop for the occasional comfort break. So this is your semi-non stop service to London Victoria. Please respect your fellow passengers by not playing loud music or eating odorous food on the journey…”

Looking down the aisle, Danny chuckled to himself as he watched Dougie enjoying the sound of his own voice while occasionally glancing at the passengers in the rearview mirror. Danny decided to also check out who else was on board.

An older couple sat in front of him had their arms so tightly linked, it looked as if they’d been glued together. Danny’s mind went into overdrive with questions. Where, when and how had they met? Were they childhood sweethearts who had stayed loyal to each other, or had they only just entered each other’s lives? Were they having an affair with each other or with anybody else? Why were they going to London?

Along with a voice from his left, the couple suddenly kissing each other on the lips stopped the questioning.

“Hellooooooo. Earth too–. Hey, I’ve just realised I don’t know your name. I’m Jane, Jane Evans. And you are?”

With a glazed look on his face, Danny turned towards the woman he’d nicknamed Hamble and gave his name.

“So,” announced Jane, who had been talking non-stop to Danny while he’d been thinking about the past. “Did I tell you about the worst thing I ever did to another human being?”


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 7) #AmWriting

For the last six weeks, I’ve asked readers for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I have written.

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

For those who missed the first five parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.

An update on Part 6

Part 6 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, I’m so grateful to you all.

What is Tales From Under The Rainbow?

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 7

Here are the next 507 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, focusing on a flashback Danny is having as he analyses the split-up between himself and Nick.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

“Cat got your tongue?” asked Danny. “Just tell me the truth. Was Shaun here last night?”

“No, he wasn’t!” Nick shouted back.

For a moment, Danny felt relieved. Perhaps Shaun hadn’t been here.

“Really?”

A stony silence formed.

“Don’t lie to me, Nick! I’ve been your boyfriend for the last 7 years; the most important person in your life, or so I thought. Don’t lie to me,” cried Danny as tears trickled down his face.

Another awkward pause followed before Nick spoke.

“You know, don’t you? How do you know? Have you been checking up on me? I never thought anybody would come between us, Danny. I am so sorry. I never ever wanted this to happen.”

“But you allowed it to happen.”

Danny wondered if the stocky man in front of him was also on the verge of breaking down. Another developing silence in the house became something neither of them wanted to break. It was only interrupted by the sudden rush of Nick leaving the kitchen and the heavy thud of his footsteps climbing the stairs.

The loud noise of a door being slammed startled Danny. For a moment, the house was at peace again. Then the sound of gentle sobbing broke the air, making Danny feel guilty.

Wiping away the dried up journies of the tears on his face, Danny tried to make sense of what had just happened. It had all happened so quickly. Had Nick admitted to him that another man had come between them? Had another man stolen Nick’s feelings? Was Nick now a man who would no longer have any significance in Danny’s life?

Briefly, echoes of laughter and joy tried to furnish Danny’s head, but they were quickly beaten back by a dark cloud that strangled the happiness out of the last seven years.

Then he remembered the vodka bottle. Did it matter that he’d not checked if the trap had worked? Did he need to see if the bottle held the confirmation he so much did not want to witness?

Walking out of the kitchen with his head held low, Danny entered the showroom-like living room where everything was neatly in its place.

When he looked up again, the first thing he saw was the mobile-drinks bar Nick had so passionately wanted when they had first seen it in the department store.

Danny loved him so much that it never mattered to him that Nick had spent the whole holiday fund on buying it. After all, it made the man of his life happy, and that was far more important than any holiday.

Crossing his fingers, he walked towards the bar and hoped that the trap had not gone off.

Bending down, to grab the bottle, Danny placed it on top of the bar and checked for the mark he’d left on it the previous evening. For a moment, he thought the alcohol he had consumed the night before was playing tricks with his eyes. Wide-eyed, he moved his head towards the bottle and stood, shocked, with disbelief.


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 6) #AmWriting

For the last five weeks, I’ve asked readers for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I have written.

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

For those who missed the first five parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.

An update on Part 5

Part 5 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, I’m so grateful to you all.

What is Tales From Under The Rainbow?

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 6

Here are the next 496 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, focusing on a flashback Danny is having as he analyses the split-up between himself and Nick.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

Don’t put it off, a voice in his head said. Go down and face him. Put it off, and you’re fooling yourself

As a small tear rolled down Danny’s face, he knew this was the beginning of the end of his first-ever relationship with somebody he still deeply loved.

Grabbing his dressing gown and fastened it tightly, as if he was about to answer a knock at the front door from a stranger, he began the journey down. A horrible feeling of dread accompanied him.

Upon entering the kitchen, Danny’s eyes focused on Nick, who was leaning, crossed legged, against the kitchen sink. Smiling, he had one hand in the top pocket of his jeans while the other held a mug of steaming coffee. He looked as handsome as he had when Danny first met him at Paddington Station. His stocky 6-foot frame and jet black hair had always made him attractive to Danny.  

“Coffee’s over there,” said Nick while pointing the top of his head towards one of the kitchen worktops. “Did you have a good night out?”

“No, thank you,” replied Danny.

Looking bewildered by the response, Nick’s eyes gave off a puzzled expression. “Don’t you have a hangover? Surly a black coffee would help?”

 “Yes, I do,” answered Danny, “but I rather fancy a vodka.”

Danny watched as Nick’s jaw quickly dropped. He looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights of a speeding car. I bet he’s asking himself why I’m asking for vodka at nine-thirty on a Saturday morning, thought Danny.

“But you don’t drink vodka,” came a concerned response. “Why would you be asking for vodka?” A false smile appeared across Nick’s face. “You’re still drunk, aren’t you? You are, aren’t you?” laughed Nick

Smerking back, Danny watched as the laughter tapered off, and Nick’s face changed into one of concern and uncomfortableness. Danny had an inkling that he was about to hear something he didn’t want to hear. Not now, not tomorrow, not next week! Maybe in a year or even two, but not now. He wasn’t ready for this, was he?

“Was Shaun here last night?” asked Danny.

“No!” came a quick reply. Danny watched as Nick seemed to become more and more uncomfortable. “Why on earth are you asking me that?”  

Danny watched as Nick’s neck blushed. That only ever happened when Nick lied.

“I’ve noticed you acting differently recently. Acting as I have only ever seen you act once before,” responded Danny. 

A long pause followed. Danny knew that Nick was probably trying to think of an excuse. Any excuse. “So, you going to get me that vodka?”, demanded Danny.

“What do you mean…like you have only ever seen once before? I don’t understand. What are you getting at, Danny? Come on. You’re kidding, yeah? A vodka at–“, looking at his wristwatch, “nine-thirty on a Saturday morning? You don’t even drink vodka–“

“TRY ME,” Danny yelled back.

A look of horror planted itself on Nick’s face.


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 5) #AmWriting

For the last four weeks, I’ve asked for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I have written.

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

For those who missed the first four parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.

An update on Part 4

Part 4 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Thank you to everyone who left feedback for me. Once again, you all came up with brilliant suggestions, much of which I have implemented.

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 5

Here are the next 492 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, on-board the coach as Danny analyses a flashback in his life. In this part we delve even further into what caused the split-up between Danny and Nick. We’ll also learn a little more about Nick.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

Setting the trap had been straightforward. 

On a works’ evening out Danny was attending, Nick told him that he’d be spending the evening catching up on some work. As a trade unionist, Nick cared deeply about his fellow workers. He saw it as a way of showing how he cared for others without actually having to say anything. Unyielding with management, Nick ensured none of his fellow workers was ever bullied or sacked for no good reason. He organised strike action, and the workforce respected him for what he did. Even though some suspected Nick was gay, they still looked up to him. Many of the men he worked with never tolerated any homophobia allegations against him. Those that tried got dealt with quickly. 

Making a small mark on a half-empty bottle of vodka just to where the level of the vodka sat, Danny went out. It hadn’t mattered where they were going. If the venue played music, Danny could forget about everything and, for a time, dance the problems away.

At the end of the evening, after getting home, Danny noticed how untidy Nick’s usually clean and tidy desk looked. Union papers covered the entire surface. Had they been placed there to make it look like lots of hard work had taken place? It didn’t fool Danny. The vodka bottle held the truth, but it would have to wait until morning. All Danny wanted to do right now was cuddle up to Nick before they officially split up. He still loved him. 

Surprisingly, he slept well. 

‘Friday, at five past nine, but the evening, not the morning.’ Was that his Grandmother’s voice he could hear? Upon opening his eyes, Danny focused on the clock on the bedside cabinet. Five minutes past nine was the exact time he had been born. How odd that he’d just heard his Grandmother’s voice telling him the time. But she was wrong. It was morning, not evening. Given that she lived hundreds of miles away, he must have been dreaming about her.

He needed a drink of water but realised he’d forgotten to bring any with him to bed. A sudden noise of cutlery and dinner-plates from downstairs startled him. Turning over, he saw Nick’s side of the bed was empty.

One more minute, thought Danny, give me one more minute before I go downstairs and face being a single man again.

But the minute turned into two, which turned into five and then ten. Finally, Danny’s overfilled bladder forced him up and out of bed.

“Coffee, Danny?” called out Nick from the bottom of the stairs as Danny tipped-toed to the bathroom. 

Danny didn’t want to reply.

“Danny! Do you want coffee?” Nick yelled. 

An awkward pause was followed by what seemed an uncomfortable reply.

“Ah, yes. Better make it black, please.” 

Pausing, Danny wondered if he should shower first or just put on a pair of shorts and go and face Nick straight away.


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Help An Author – Tales From Under The Rainbow (Part 4) #AmWriting

Are you looking for help and advice for your current work-in-progress? Then look no further than the writing and blogging communities. 

Banner for Help An Author showing a pile of books with one pile having a plant piot on top of it.
Help An Author

For the last three weeks, I’ve asked for feedback on the opening chapter of a book I have written.

For those who missed the first three parts, ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow‘ is a novel I started writing in 2012.

An update on Part 3

Part 3 has now been added to the ‘Tales From Under Rainbow’ page. Click here to read the story so far.

Readers told me that this part of the story read a lot better than the previous two parts.

‘Tales From Under The Rainbow’ follows the adventures of Danny Johnson. Set in 1986, Danny is about to face life-changing events when he travels to live and work in London.

Part 4

Here are the next 501 words of chapter 1. It continues from where it left off last week, on-board the coach as it leaves Middlesbrough station. In this part we get to find out some of the background as to why Danny and his ex-boyfriend, Nick, spilt up.

Banner for Tales From Under The Rainbow - a new book by Hugh W. Roberts
Tales From Under The Rainbow

How disappointing. He could have at least seen me safely off, thought Danny. Seven years of life together and he can’t even be bothered to wave me off out of his life.

Earlier, the journey in the car to the station had been silent and tense. Danny was excited by the prospect of beginning a new life in London while Nick had thought about the future with the new love of his life, Shaun.

Shaun was younger than Danny. His blond curls, deep-blue eyes, six-pack and boyish good looks were something Nick couldn’t resist. He instantly fell for him.

A few years later, Nick regretted the moment he first set eyes on Shaun, wishing instead he had agreed with Danny to have a night at home. But the thought of watching another horror movie while eating a Chinese takeaway lost out to the urge of wanting to be out on the prowl inside a pub full of younger gay men.

It wasn’t long before Danny got suspicious. Nick was hiding someone or something. He set a trap to confirm if his suspicions were correct. On the night the trap was set, Danny’s worst fears came true. Not only had Nick admitted that he had affections for somebody else, but that he had also shared their bed with the new love of his life. It was a moment in the lives of all three men that none of them would forget.

For Danny, months of heartbreak followed. However, an advertisement in the local newspaper advertising for staff to live and work in London would eventually turn the heartbreak into something exciting.

For Nick, the rekindling of lust led to a slippery slide on life’s helter-skelter. As he hit the end of the ride, his final thought would be of the July day he drove Danny to the station and watched the only true love of his life set off on a journey which would not include him. But, thankfully, that wasn’t the end of being in Danny’s life.

For Shaun, life with Nick wasn’t all that Nick had promised. He soon found himself continuing another campaign of chaos and destruction that affected the lives of those he came into contact.

Think positive, Danny told himself. Ahead, lay an unknown but exciting future. Behind, life had been staggering, but the recent events had left a bitter reminder that everything happened for a reason. What was the point of dwelling on the past, and what might have been? The past was gone, and he was now on the verge of something completely new.

Nick was a thing of the past and had a new life with Shaun. No wonder he hadn’t stayed to wave Danny off. Shaun had probably already taken Danny’s place, by moving in and waiting in bed for Nick.

Feeling slightly jealous, Danny closed his eyes. He couldn’t help but think about what had happened between Nick and him. Had it been cruel, setting a trap which Nick fell into headfirst?


Now it’s over to you.

I’m looking for your feedback on this next part of chapter 1.

  • What did you like/dislike about this part?
  • Are there any changes you’d recommend?

All feedback is welcome. Please leave me your comments.

Thank you so much.

Click here to read more about why I’m asking for your help in writing ‘Tales From Under The Rainbow.’   

Copyright © 2020 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.