‘Tea and Tales’ with Samantha Henthorn

Libraries are so valuable, I remember spending hours in Bury children’s library with my mum and brother. And I even started writing when I had to give up work at the adult learning Creative Writing class, at the Library! Now they have kindly arranged to host an author event for me next Saturday, here’s the poster.

Library Reader Blog

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In July we are hosting our first ‘Afternoon tea and tales’ session with local author Samantha Henthorn. This is a more relaxed approach to an author event that we hope will prove popular with new authors who are just dipping their toes in to sharing their work with the public. Largely due to the enthusiastic work of Samantha – and her team of willing bakers – this event has been a huge sell out. But please don’t worry; you can see examples of Samantha’s writing by visiting her own blog site or by borrowing a copy of her short stories – Quirky Tales to Make Your Day – from Bury Libraries.

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Please watch Bury Libraries social media for future events. You can email your details directly to The Reader Development Team at Library.reader@bury.gov.uk to add your details to our priority mailing list.

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Pink.

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Eyelids unlatched, squinting at beckoning light, unfamiliar hotel bed

day one. Layers lost, flip flops on, colour me sun! bring it on!

Hopes pinned on that healthy glow, sun down, sangria flows.

Day two, water park local’s fluorescent swim suits, and tanned

cottage cheese skin. Hot dog legs, holiday photos, hoping still for

day three healthy glow, that looking slim and younger pretence.

Shakes start, sun stroke, even my goose-bumps are peeling.

Day four, the beach, a floating hippopotamus surfaces the sea

he has sunburn upon sunburn, wife’s laughter is forbidden.

Day five tight skin, tight clothes, throw the towel in. Foreboding,

inherited moles. After-sun lotion drained, long dress adopted.

Day six packed case, anticipating own bed and compliments

‘gone a lovely colour’.  Don’t want to leave, but ready for home.

Day seven the journey, the night flight’s bathroom mirror tells

a tale, there is no glow or colour for pink, pointless sunbathers.

 

Samantha Henthorn copyright 2017.

Drainers

Drainers

 

Who pulled my plug? Who turned my light off?

Two days of darkness just from one day’s work.

Moving trough concrete, life should be easy.

Someone’s at home, but the lights are all out.

A draining conversation in the pool, about world news.

Skull in a vice grip, inside sounds like a broken fridge.

Every second and every day has to be paced.

Who drained me? Do you want to swap? No?

Well shut up.

copyright Samantha Henthorn 201720170612_103918

 

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1962 (My Next Book on its Way)

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A productive weekend meeting up with my talented illustrator friend Lyndsey ( ellepeablog.wordpress.com ) planning the cover of my novel ‘1962’.  A fictional story about young Ernest Bradshaw from Bolton. Who, despite global uncertainty of threatened nuclear war, decides he absolutely must become a cycling champion before the world ends. The story follows Ernest’s journey, and the problems he finds himself faced with when attempting to execute his ambition. The events in the news are played out in the lives of the supporting characters. Although the backdrop is a true and serious part of history, without taking away from that, the novel has been written with my ‘sense of fun’ style. A story of strength and determination overcoming adversity. Which, in the absence of finding the right words at this time, strength is what we do best in this part of the world.

Aiming for a September self publication, snippets of chapters to follow.

Corner of a photo courtesy of my Dad.

Copyright Samantha Henthorn (2017)

photo 2Copyright ellepeablog.wordpress.com (2017) This took Lyndsey seconds to sketch out, she has oodles of creativity. There must be something in the water around here!

To Kill Two Birds

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Harold and Edith live in a 1970s bungalow in suburbia.

Climbing Ivy, they had planted years ago crept around their garden fence like regretful, parasitic life-suckers. They had quarrelled about it … but Edith had sacked the gardener. Their accumulative age is around one-hundred and forty-five. Harold is seventy-three and ten days old. Their morning routine is important to them, and every morning they would read the headlines in the ‘Daily Judgement’ newspaper.

‘BREXIT BRITAIN’, ‘BENEFITS BRITAIN’ , ‘BROKEN BRITAIN’ and best of all: ‘WHO’S TAXES ARE PAYING FOR IT?’

On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered. Harold’s goggle eyes darted about under his spectacles, he smacked his lips together and his neck wobbled like a turkey.

‘I see that ‘for sale’ sign next door says ‘SOLD’. I’ll be glad to see the back of Mr and Mrs Roscoe’

‘Oh! I do hope the new people don’t have CHILDREN!’ Edith’s fingers clenched around the neckline of her nightdress. Children were feared the most by Edith…

Copyright Samantha Henthorn 2017.

Illustration by Elle Pea copyright 2017.

 

Find out what happens next to Harold and Edith in the short story collection ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’ by Samantha Henthorn. Paperback and download versions available from Amazon.

Water the Flowers, Not the Weeds

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We’re reclaiming our garden, it’s our 2017 thing to do.

Ten years we’ve lived at this house,

the lawn fraying under the weight of next door’s tree.

‘I see you’re at it again? You can do mine next!’

Yes… I’m gardening, and why shouldn’t I be?

Little does he know in my pocket are a packet of pumpkin seeds.

Sleepless nights trawling the internet…

How to prune roses.

How to grow dwarf phloxes.

Husband shouts out with a start:

‘My Grandad used to throw used tea-leaves onto the lawn; Why? Is that a thing?’

We google it; turns out Grandad was a genius.

Barbeque upgraded to pizza oven, tis the season,

now we’re the noisy neighbours.

We’re reclaiming our garden, it’s gossip free, smoke free, a sanctuary.

I’m one episode of Gardener’s World away from becoming an expert.

Not that anyone’s asking my advice, but I know how to turn Hydrangeas blue-

(in theory)

The essence of gardening is to prune,

‘Let it grow!’ Husband moans, and am I glad I listened.

The tree that bent over in the snow of 2011, the one assigned for the chop,

turns out it’s a Bay Laurel! Producing leaves popular in a variety of Mediterranean dishes.

Ah! That was a good day…

Disappointing germination; Underestimated ground frost.

Empty planters; Slug diners,

No bulbs because of the dog.

‘The Mexican Orange Blossom has flowered’

I whisper when it dawned on me late at night.

He frowns, he said I sound like a spy, is that code for summat?

Garnishing the front path is proof of our whirlwind romance with the out doors.

A potted box topiary, pruned within an inch of its life.

March while August, we’ll be in the garden.

Husband in the shed, deckchairs for the wife.

 

Samantha Henthorn copyright 2017

 

Quirky Tales to Make Your Day

003Hello! My short story collection, ‘Quirky Tales to Make Your Day’ is now available from Amazon in e-book and paperback. Twenty six short stories that are almost guaranteed to make your day. Two crimes, two ghosts, aliens on the beach in Brighton, teenagers finding sweets in a lift, missing underwear. You get the idea…

I have published two of them in full previously on this blog (‘American Elevator’ and ‘V is for Victim’) here is a snippet of one of my favourites ‘Midget Gems’.

 

Midget Gems

I took a deep breath and knocked on the door. That’s what Shona told me to do, ‘Don’t let your nan or your mam see, they’ll be able to tell we’ve been drinking.’ That’s what she’d said, before she ran off down Coconut Grove. We’d ran and ran and then waited for someone to let me in with their fob key. Running for our lives, but I don’t know why. It’s tomorrow now and I’m not going to bed, but OMG! How fast could we run last night! Well funny… I don’t think I’m ever going to sleep again… I’d better breathe now… I’ve been waitin’ ages now… I’d better breathe… It’s a million years since Shona and Kelly and me ran down… ran down? Where did we lose Kelly? Oh shiiiiiii-ugar!

 

Happy reading! Samantha

 

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