Friday, 31 August 2012

Poem: I Forgot To Say 'I Love You'

I Forgot To Say 'I Love You'

I watched you drive away that night
From the open window on the landing.
The one you said you'd always paint,
But hadn't yet got round to.
I watched you drive round the corner
And I hoped you'd be back soon
Because I missed you already,
And needed you home again.

You went out to get a takeaway -
Chinese, I think. You wouldn't be long.
So I ran myself a hot bath to relax.
And then the phone rang.
You went out at twenty to,
And the call came in at eight,
Making me jump because it was
Unexpected; no one calls on Friday night.

They said there'd been an accident,
And you were just about hanging on.
I ran from the house and drove to you,
But by them it was too late.
They said you hadn't suffered at all, 
But I was barely listening; all I 
Could think as I sat, watching nothing move,
Was that I forget to say 'I love you'. 

And now I sit alone on Friday nights
Imagining you walking through that door,
Bag of food in one hand, wine in the other,
And a ready smile on your lips.
The window still needs painting, but I
Haven't got the heart to do it.
I sit and pick the old dead flakes ff,
As I listen for the sound of your key in the door. 

©Lisamarie Lamb 2012 

Friday, 24 August 2012

A Roof Over Their Heads - Project Update

For a year now, a group of six writers from the Isle of Sheppey have been meeting in order to put together a book entitled A Roof Over Their Heads.

The idea behind the project was to choose a building on the island - and there are so many to choose from, all with so much history to use as inspiration (see the 7th century Minster Abbey, or the Victoria Club, or what about HMP Elmlea?) - and to create a story based around it.

We researched, using the local library in Sheerness, looking at old copies of the Sheerness Times Guardian, taking to locals, and visiting the Blue Town Heritage Centre.

And then we wrote. And rewrote. Ad edited. And read to the group. And rewrote. And spoke on BRFM. And finally, finally, we put it all together!

To download from

To download from

To download from Smashwords (all formats):

The paperback will be available from Amazon soon, but can currently be bought through

Friday, 17 August 2012

Review: Hailstones in May by Laurie Maitland

Can a free-spirited, punk, goth girl really be friends - best friends - with a middle-aged mother of two going through a painful divorce?

Yes, she can, if Laurie Maitland's Hailstones in May is anything to go by. And why not? Although at first the two women seem an odd combination, and the reader may well ask what they could possibly have in common, as the novel unfolds it all becomes clear. Despite outward appearances, we are taught that shared experiences, lost love, the ability to laugh, all these things are more important than piercings or the lack of them! It's a good lesson. It's about not judging. It's about understanding.

But Hailstones in May is about more than that.

This is not my usual sort of book. I'm more often found reading a horror or a murder mystery. I downloaded Hailstones in May on the recommendation of a friend, and I'm so glad I did.

I felt drawn to the characters and the situation. It was all very real, it could have been happening at that very moment just next door or down the road. There were no overly clever tricks, no twists or turns that make the reader question the story, that bring you out of the novel's world with a jolt; it was simply the tale of a woman and her life after a messy break up with the man she had spent half of that life with. The fall out, the decisions she has to make, the changes she goes through. The friends she makes, and the friends she loses.

Heart breaking and heart warming by turns, I found that I was always eager to get back to the story, making time during the day to have a five minute read if I could. I don't often do that. I don't often find a book that keeps me interested enough to be desperate to find out what happens next.

The Kindle book can be purchased through Amazon here: and is currently just £1.26 - worth every penny (worth more, in my opinion - this is incredibly cheap for such entertainment). 

My only criticism is that it is not available in print, so I can't buy my mother a copy. I know she would love it too. In fact, I know many people - family and friends - who would enjoy the book but who don't have eReaders, and who wouldn't read from their computer screen. It seems a shame not to allow a large section of people the joy of this book. I'm sure that if Laurie Maitland sold the book in print she would be a household name by now... Just a thought. 


Friday, 10 August 2012

At Peace: 1/3 Complete (2nd Time Around)!

Not that long ago, I recorded an image for posterity. I had reached an exciting and momentous point in my novel, At Peace With All Things, and couldn't quite believe it - I had written 100,000 words. 

That was really something. My previous novel (Mother's Helper) had been just under 70,000 words. My short story collection (Some Body's At The Door) was more like 60,000. My flash fiction collection is around 55,000 words... 

So to have written 100,000 words on one project was something new and exciting for me. It also meant I was almost finished with the first draft. And just under 10,000 words later, I was done. It was done. My first foray into literary fiction, and two years of work (sometimes hard, sometimes not so hard), and now it was over. 

That was a strange feeling. 

What would I do now? 

Of course, I hadn't only written At Peace for the past two years. I'd written my blog, numerous pieces of flash fictions, dozens of short stories, and even a few poems. But this was the big project. This was what people asked about when they wanted to know how my writing was going. "How's The Novel coming along?" "Have you finished The Novel yet?" "When's The Novel being published?"

Always The Novel. Never the novel. It was too important for that. 

No, I had done other writing, other more successful writing, but The Novel was my first love and now that it was finished, I was at a loss. My plan was to leave it alone for a month, maybe two, and come back to it fresh and look at it was different eyes. 

One email changed those plans. It was an email I sent on the off chance, thinking I was too late, but determined to be able to say I tried. 

But I wasn't too late. 

I was just in time. I got an email back which included an e-ticket and a time slot to meet with a Very Important Person. 

Now, thanks to a friend of a friend in a Facebook group who posted the link, I am attending Foyles' Discovery Day, and meeting with an agent from Curtis Brown. Oh yes. I have 30 seconds to pitch The Novel, and six minutes to talk with the agents.

So I wanted to get At Peace edited. Not because I'm expecting the agent to suddenly leap up from his or her chair and grasp my lapels and beg me to hand over the entire book. No, although such a scenario may well feature in my happy dreams between now and 22nd September. I simply want to have The Novel finished, in its entirety, so that I can walk in there with confidence, knowing the book back to front and inside out. Knowing it is correct, that the timeline works, that the characters are consistent, and that it is as perfect as I can make it. 

I've got just under six weeks, and I'm one third of the way through the editing. 

I think I can do this. 

Wish me luck!