A Comfortable Racket ~ #FlashFiction

‘A Comfortable Racket’ ~ Flash Fiction

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flash-fiction-a-comfortable-racket-amy-reese

Photo copyright of Amy Reese

When the shutters opened again, they would provide comfort to the community.

Nobody needed that comfort more than Sonny.  He had come he from – well he wasn’t certain where he had come from.  But even this clinical, draughty, nuts-and-bolts, industrial shell of a corridor was luxury compared to that place.

Most of which he had pushed from his memory.

He had heard the unmistakable racket of the shutters going up and down oh, so many times.  They were part of his daily routine now.  Part of daily comfort.

But no one knew when the shutters would open again…

…which was not a very comforting thought.

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Main picture source: via FridayFictioneers

friday fictioneers

with Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt

Please do feel free to comment but likewise, please do note that I would prefer not to

receive constructive criticism.  

(This time anyway…)

Thanks in advance…

Carol Cameleon

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A Spectacle ~ #FlashFiction

‘A Spectacle’ ~ Flash Fiction

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flash-fiction-a-spectacle-point-of-view-perspective-roger-bultot

Photo copyright of Roger Bultot

He wasn’t sure what had brought him here.  In truth, he didn’t know where he was but looking at the window, he guessed it was an old converted church.

He hadn’t been to church for years.

Perhaps this was his calling?

Then, a distraction.

He could see a reflection in his glasses; they were lights that moved as he did and followed his every move.

Yet when he took his glasses off to see the source, the light was nowhere to be seen.

Was it a trick of the light or a trick of his mind?

A trick that resulted in him seeing things from a different point of view?

Ironic that taking his glasses off helped him to see more clearly.

He felt sure that he had lost his religion, as he moved to ascend the stairs.

~

Main picture source: via FridayFictioneers

friday fictioneers

with Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt

Please do feel free to comment but likewise, please do note that I would prefer not to

receive constructive criticism.  

(This time anyway…)

Thanks in advance…

Carol Cameleon

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not just a flash in the pen writing flash fiction short story creative writing blog literally speaking write imagination
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Square peg #FlashFiction

‘Square Peg’ ~ Flash Fiction

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square-peg-flash-fiction-writing-creative-writing-short-story-prose

Picture copyright of Shaktiki Sharma

The next clue was, “Take the key from ‘around’ the floor to be ‘this way up’ .”

“Unlock the round containers; next clue must be in the box on the windowsill,” the contestant thought out loud, head spinning, as he solved the clue.

You really had to think outside the box in this cryptic adventure…

but first you had to fit a square peg into a round hole…

The clock was ticking.

It was a lose-lose situation.

~

Main picture source: via FridayFictioneers

friday fictioneers

with Rochelle Wiseoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt

Please do feel free to comment but likewise, please do note that I would prefer not to

receive constructive criticism.  

(This time anyway…)

Thanks in advance…

Carol Cameleon

~

not just a flash in the pen writing flash fiction short story creative writing blog literally speaking write imagination

Step into the cafe ~ poem

It’s time this poem was shown the light of day again… inspired by a cafe menu made by our little girl, then about 3/4 (now 6 !)

step into the cafe poem creation parenting

Step into the cafe

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Step into the café,

And pull up a pew.

There’s something for me,

There’s something for you.

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It’s all listed here,

From left to right.

Just choose what you fancy,

If you’d like a quick bite.

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Our daughter asked me to spell

The words that you see,

Then wrote them herself

Easy as A, B, C…

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Now here’s the tricky part,

Nothing rhymes with orange, instead

We’ll choose a staple,

How about bread!

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There’s apple, sweetcorn,

Carrot, cucumber, grapes.

Not forgetting the milk

For those delicious shakes.

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Thanks for popping by

Our little girl’s café,

Leave a tip and next time

You’ll be offered a latte!…

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And here it is in its full glory! (without overlays!)

step into the cafe poem creation parenting

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Has your little one done something similar lately?  Have you got fond memories of your child doing something like this?  I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks.. 

The BFG by Roald Dahl ~ review and giveaway

Welcome to ‘The BFG’ review and giveaway!

BFG review giveaway win book roald dahl big friendly giant dream jar film movie puffin books exclusive material reading adaptation

If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that feeds the imagination of children and adults, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl is the book you need.

Why?

Well, where do I begin or I should say where to we begin, because our little girl aged 6 loved this book and read it page by page, slowly but surely all by herself.

I admit to being a little concerned about the weird and wonderful words that the BFG uses.  Our little girl was a little confused by them but when I explained the reason for these words, she simply said, “Doesn’t he [Dahl] know anything?”  There’s no answer to that!

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I had never before known the background behind The BFG and the foreword by Lucy Dahl (Roald Dahl’s daughter) gives us a beautiful, cherished insight into how Giant Country came to be.

A lovely touch in the book is an interactive section at the end, where you can learn how to draw the BFG and also draw your very own dream in your dream jar. Here is our little girl’s, which turned out to be a clown pouring water over a cat’s head… she was very proud of it!

BFG whats your dream jar 2 draw your dream 1 review book roald dahl big friendly giant dream jar film movie puffin books exclusive material reading adaptation

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Now on to the story:  If you’d rather not know too much detail, keep scrolling to the film trailor and giveaway at the bottom.

We begin at the orphanage where Sophie is wide awake at The Witching Hour (when giants snatch and eat human ‘beans’ (beings!).  She sees the BFG, who also sees her and promptly pops his huge hand through the open window and takes her from her bed.  He takes her to Giant Country to stop her telling everyone that giants really do exist.  The rational being (if giants have rational…) that if human beans find out about giants, they would be hunted down and Giant Country would be no more…

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The story unfolds and Sophie learns all sorts of weird and wonderful facts about the nasty giants.

It’s not too long until the BFG tells Sophie about the dreams he catches in his dream jars.  And Sophie has a wonderful idea.

To stop the giants snatching even more human beans, they decide to re-construct the giants snatching children from the orphanage that Sophie lived before meeting the BFG.

We are taken on an enthralling trip to London and Buckingham Palace, where the BFG ‘plants’ the dream that they hope will help them, into the Queen’s bedroom.  Then Sophie finds herself perched on the Queen’s windowsill until Her ‘Majester’ wakes up.

After realising that her dream of the children being snatched and the giants was in fact real, the Queen meets the BFG in an hilarious yet touching moment and they discuss the way forward over breakfast.

Helicopters are rounded up and follow the BFG and Sophie (tucked inside his ear) to Giant Country where the giants are all in a deep sleep… except one.  When the her ‘Majester’s’ Armed Forces attempt to tie a rope around one of the giant’s arms, he wakes and an unlikely weapon is used to stun him!

The BFG and Sophie are branded heroes and The Witching Hour ends forever….

Hurray!

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There are so many lovely moments in the story but here are our favourites:

One of my favourite parts was the chapter ‘The Author’ which I found so very clever and just perfect.  I won’t go into it any more here, but will let you enjoy the moment for yourself.

Our little girl enjoyed when the BFG meets the Queen:

Will it be repulsant snozzcumbers, Majester?, the BFG asked. [when The Queen asks him if he would like some breakfast]

We’re both looking forward to seeing this part in the film.

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Other favourite parts were:

Enjoying a beautiful friendship blossom between the BFG and Sophie.

BFG’s protection of Sophie.

Sophie sitting in the BFG’s ear when travelling around.

It’s endearing how The Queen is kept ‘regal’ in the story.

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In summary: Quite simply a perfect story which is everything a story for children should be ~ full of occurrences that are not explained because our imagination ‘explains’ them for us.  Like when the giants don’t wake up even when one giant is ‘stunned’ by a secret weapon.

In all honesty, I’m not sure who’s more excited about seeing the film adaptation more – me or our little girl.  But one things for sure – the film of The BFG offers the perfect solution for those inevitable cries of, “I’m boooored” in the Summer holidays (and beyond…)  and the perfect chance for family time.  Because children and adults alike will love the book and the film! 🙂

I just hope they’re not serving up ‘snozzcumbers’ at the cinema!…

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Don’t forget to go and download your Roald Dahl party pack now, ready for 13th September! 🙂
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Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 22nd August 2016. Good luck to you 😉

For future giveaways, subscribe to my blog.  Subscription box is in the right hand sidebar under ‘Follow my blog by email’ >>>>

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I was sent a copy of this book free of charge to review but all opinions are my own. 

Win a gem necklace from DeeBee jewellery ~ giveaway

Hello and welcome to another very exciting giveaway!

Yes, you can win this pretty gem necklace from deebee jewellery.

deebee jewellery gem necklace giveaway wellbeing spirituality win

I’m very proud to be a brand ambassador for deebee jewellery and am very excited to be giving away this pretty gem necklace to one lucky reader!  I’ve expressed before on here how much I love the look of their products.  And this gem necklace is no exception.

Don’t you just love it?!

But don’t take my word for it… you can visit deebee jewellery here and you can also find deebee on Twitter and Facebook .

Go and say hello! 🙂
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Now, onto how you can win this gem necklace from DeeBee!  Just enter by using the rafflecopter (below).  The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 17th August 2016. Good luck to you 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.

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Linking up to:

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Competition Database

The Prize Finder

Captain Pug book review #AdventuresofPug

Welcome to my ‘Captain Pug’  book review!

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulema

Here we have a lovely little tail tale which follows Pug and Lady Miranda on a  nautical adventure.

The first thing I noticed was that, given it’s a book for children, at 124 pages long, it doesn’t take long for the author Laura James to build up Pug into a lovable character.

You see, Pug is afraid of water and isn’t very keen when Lady Miranda turns him into a seafaring Captain for a day!

Nonetheless, he perseveres and we come to the point when Pug faces his fear of water.  A fear that Lady Miranda is unaware of.  This worries Pug.

We now learn that when Pug gets sad and worried, he gets hungry.  As luck would have it, his nose leads him to an unattended picnic basket, which he falls into…

And so the adventure really starts… with a Pug-napped Pug!

The story moves on at a good pace, which is great for children.  James’ story-telling kept the attention of our little girl (aged 6), who loves a good book.

And what good story for children is complete without good illustrations?  They appear on every page and help to move the story on.

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulemans literacy reading

One of our favourite parts was when Pug finds himself the captain of a boat in a rowing race.  He’s very worried about being on the ‘open sea’ but there’s no food to calm his nerves.  He barks and barks, which the crew take to be him ‘barking orders’ and row faster!

The speed worries Pug even more, but with no food on paw hand to calm him down, he barks more, which makes the oarsmen row even faster…

Will Captain Pug and his crew win the boat race?

I’ll leave it there for you to find out for yourselves!…

The final verdict from us?

A heart-warming, slightly farcical story for children; as we follow a pug who faces his fear.  Beautiful, colourful, quirky illustrations and endearing characters.

The right length to enable a good adventure to unfold.

A portable size too – perfect for little(ish) hands and to slip into a bag for an adventure on the move!

And a good price… published by Bloomsbury and available from Amazon
for £5.99

Join the conversation #AdventuresofPug

And include @AllSortsHere in the tweet!

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And in January 2017…

Cowboy Pug is coming!  Yeee-haaa!

We’re looking forward to reading a new adventure with Pug 🙂

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We were sent this book to review but all opinions are my own. 
Also, this post contains affiliate links.

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Linking up to:

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Whizz Pop Bang science magazine ~ review and giveaway

Welcome to THE Whizz Pop Bang magazine review and giveaway!

(with offer code too!)

whizz pop bang awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

Question: What do you get when you cross a 6-11 year old child with an “awesomely amazing science” magazine for kids?

Answer: Learning galore in an interactive environment.  Which means happy children and parents too! 🙂

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When our little girl (aged 6) showed an interest in science, we decided to try Whizz Pop Bang science magazine.  We had seen it advertised on social media and knew that she would love to get something just for her, addressed to her, through the letter box.

We felt that she would likely learn (without realising) and it would encourage her away from a screen.

It sounded like a win-win to us.

And it was.

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We were very impressed with Whizz Pop Bang.

whizz pop bang reading awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

Whizz Pop Bang is aimed at 6-11 year olds (and appeals to older readers too!).  The first issue that she got was about volcanoes.  This really appealed to me in all honesty!  They’ve always fascinated me and one of my favourite subjects at school was geography.  By reading this issue with our little girl, I refreshed my memory and learnt new volcano facts too!

In fact, I looked forward to reading the magazine on my own terms after her bedtime!

whizz pop bang volcano model awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

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 Our little girl is rapidly approaching 7 and some of the terminology needed explaining but she did really well with her phonics sounding out and blending and needed little help with the bigger words.  In my view, the longer words are a bonus because our children can never read too much and it has helped to expand her vocabulary as well as learn facts about science.

Another thing that I loved about the magazine is that it encouraged questions too.  In my view, our children can never ask too many questions (okay, maybe except at bedtime!..)  We tell our little girl to always ask questions.

whizz pop bang magnifier awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning

I’m not entirely sure how the creaters and designers have done it, but they have managed to create a magazine that’s fun, factual and age-appropriate to it’s target market.  Getting the balance right between keeping the age range of 6-11 year olds engrossed is tricky but they’ve done it.

Maybe it’s the regular sections the magazine has:

Puzzles

Competitions

Interviews with experts relevant to the particular issue

Activities (we were inspired to create an insect hotel!)

‘Ask’ Y – where robot Y answers childrens’ questions (our little girl has thought of lots already!)

Quiz (with answers on a separate page!)

whizz pop bang eggs awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

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When the Minibeasts issue came through our door, our little girl was at school but at home-time, the TV didn’t get a look in!  As soon as she saw that she had a new issue of Whizz Pop Bang to read, she wanted to get stuck in!

We really enjoyed the pepper experiment and she couldn’t wait to tell daddy all about it 🙂

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The magazine is a very welcome addition to our household and there are plenty of experiments to spread out over the month…. to keep you going until the next issue!  As the website says, the magazine contains:

✓  Hours of educational fun each month

✓ Exciting experiments to try at home (I’ll soon be blogging about the pepper experiment and the pitfall trap!)

✓  Expert science writers

✓  Engaging layout and illustrations

✓  Gender-neutral content

✓  Linked to the National Curriculum

✓  No advertising

✓  No screens

36 printed pages of good wholesome science fun!

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It’s very reasonably priced too, at £2.92 per magazine when an annual subscription is ordered.

And for one lucky reader of my blog, the amazing team at Whizz Pop Bang are giving away a 3 issue bundle (see the rafflecopter giveaway below).

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You can find Whizz Pop Bang on Twitter @WhizzPopBangMag,  Facebook and don’t forget their website. 

Go and say hello! 🙂
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Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 18th July 2016. Good luck to you 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. 

~

Linking up to:

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Competition Database

The Prize Finder

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Meet Kiki from Message in a Bottle ~ personalised book for children

Meet Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki sunset

She’s relaxing in front of the sunset, thinking about her travels around the world and looking for her next adventure…

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present world

But why is she going around the world? 

Because she’s got a very important journey ~ to deliver a message in a bottle to a very special person.  What a very helpful bird she is!

And you can help Kiki by getting involved and getting behind the launch team for Message in a Bottle ~ a personalised book for children.

Over recent weeks I’ve had the privilege of watching Kiki develop from a hand-drawn sketch to the wonderful colourful character that she is now 🙂

ttle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki splash

How can you not love Kiki?

During the launch process, I popped some colouring-in sheets under our little girl’s nose (you can get yours by pledging your support on Kickstarter.

Her eyes lit up and she began to inject some colour into the sheets.  As she coloured, we had a chat about what the sheets were for.

I told her about Kiki’s task and how the little bird was going to get a special message to a very special person.  I love the work in progress here, don’t you?

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present work in progress

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I’ve been excited to be able to show our little girl illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen as the book has been tweaked.  Myself and other members have given great feedback which has enabled the team to bring Message in a Bottle to what you see here on Kickstarter.

I love that Kiki (lovely little Kiki!) is ready for an adventure;

an adventure with an important goal…

Now we’ve got an important goal… to help Kiki get that message delivered.

Help her now!  You can even get a soft toy of Kiki… can you even imagine?…

Message in a Bottle has been produced with love by the very talented team and it’s now live on Kickstarter.  There are lots of different ways to pledge your support for Kiki and the Message in a Bottle book.

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki reading

And follow Kiki’s journey with Message in a Bottle across the World Wide Web!

Facebook

And you can spread the word by pinning from my Message in a Bottle board on Pinterest

As they say, ‘don’t delay, get involved today!’

*This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

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“It’s none of these, it’s a…” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

Flower garden poem it's none of these making outdoors sunshine imagination insect haven parenting free play nature

In our garden is a wall and a tree,

And right at the bottom, what will you see?

A teddy bear with a picnic, a fairy, a gnome?

It’s none of these, it’s a right Royal home!

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A home for a princess, a queen or a king?

With turrets, a staircase, a drawbridge thing?

A wicked witch, hair black as a raven?

It’s none of these, it’s an insect haven!

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What’s it built with, this haven of theirs?

Gingerbread for the roof? Sweets for the stairs?

Soil from the garden? And sap from the trees?

None of these; it’s built with twigs and leaves!

how to make how to build an insect hotel poem it's none of these making outdoors sunshine imagination insect haven parenting free play nature

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We got down to nature in our own back yard,

She led the way, balancing leaves so hard,

We foraged for stones, for twigs, a snail’s shell,

We made a house of memories ‘n the ants liked it as well!

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

The story behind the poem: After what can only be described as a dismal few days for weather here in the UK, the clouds parted and we built an insect hotel!  We had made a ‘flower garden’ previously and it was just beautiful to see our little girl (6) using her imagination to make a shelter for the insects 🙂

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

WonderfulWorldofWriting

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