PictureThe Manciple
First things first: 'A manciple /ˈmænsɨpəl/ is a person in charge of the purchase and storage of food at an institution such as a college, monastery, or court of law.' So says Wikipedia. So I hope that's all cleared up.

Well, I haven't yet got a horror 'Lost' Canterbury Tale, so hopefully The Manciple's Second Tale will fill that gap. The story involves a group of vicious 'Medieval Ghostbusters' who act on behalf of the church as witchfinders / hunters of monsters. So far I've finished the introduction, though instead of iambic pentameters and rhyming couplets, I'm experimenting with quatrains. The rhyming scheme is ABCB and each two lines contain fourteen syllables. To make it clearer, the opening two stanzas are below:

Sir Leonard of Slovakia (A)
Was known throughout the lands (B)
Of Christendom, made famous (C)
By the blood upon his hands. (B)

With Papal Rome this mercenary (A)
Bartered and conspired (B)
To terminate God’s enemies, (C)
Whoe’er the Pope desired. (B)

So far, so good. I've finished Part One and will start on the main story tomorrow. Let's hope it lives up to my expectations.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!

 
 
PictureGone Fishing
My supernatural short story Gone Fishing was published this week in Australia's quarterly magazine Fast Fiction.

This was an unusual piece since it's more a ghost story (leaving much to the imagination) than a horror story (with everything spelled out) and was therefore less likely to hit the spot with a popular magazine.

Although I'm not writing much original fiction these days, I'm finding that those stories I do write are better thought out and more likely to get picked up by one market or another - which is a good thing, I suppose!

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!


 
 
PictureJenny Jones Celebrates
So Jenny Jones won Britain's first ever medal on snow in a winter Olympics - a bronze for snowboarding.

The news was somewhat overshadowed though by the media's obsession with JJ's age. At 33, she's apparently the oldest ever medal winner at a winter Olympics.

To celebrate JJ's achievement, I wrote the limerick below which, *ahem*, was published in the Daily Mail on February 12th:

Said Jenny, “Third place! What a thrill!
To snowboard in Sochi was brill.
And at age thirty-three,
You’ll have to agree,
I’ve proved I’m not over the hill.”

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!

 
 
PictureHarry Potter Saga
I read in an article recently that JK Rowling is - in hindsight - dissatisfied with the pairing off of Hermione and Ron at the end of the Harry Potter series, and wishes she'd paired Hermione with Harry.

This led to me wondering if JK Rowling was perhaps about to write an 'alternative' ending to the saga, and what other changes she might make - all of which resulted in the limerick below:

Said JK: “You might well have read
that Ron and Miss Granger got wed.
In the re-write I’ll marry
off Granger to Harry,
and maybe I won’t kill off Fred.

Occasionally, when I write such a topical limerick, I send it off to The Daily Mail's 'Peterborough' columnist. Until two days ago, no joy with publication - then, to my amazement, I was sent an email from a lady on the Peterborough column telling me the limerick had been published.

Well, that's my first piece of published work in a national UK newspaper - let's see if I can get some more.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!

 
 
PictureBlue Diamond
Well, four new limericks actually, so not quite 'Galore' as in the title.

Just before Christrmas (and after), Miley Cyrus was in the news with her 'lewd' gyrations and her tongue lolling out like a hound dog with two whatevers. Anyhow, that was the inspiration for the limerick below:

Said Miley: “I’ve many a quirk,
and some say I act like a jerk.
But between you and me
the fans like to see
a tongue hanging out and a twerk.”

Not to be undone, Miley's evil twin, Justin Beiber was also in the news. First off he 'egged' his neighbours house (allegedly), and when the police turned up, they spotted drugs inside JB's abode:

Said Justin: “I had such a ball
throwing eggs at my neighbour’s front wall.
But when the cops found
drugs were lying around
in my house, someone else took the fall.”

Then, taking a well-earned rest in Aspen, Colorado, JB hit the news again by writing his initials in the snow - if you know what I mean:

Said Justin: “I just had to go,
so I unzipped to pee in the snow.
Then using my wee,
I wrote out ‘JB’
By swinging my $@%> to and fro.”

Moving away from celebrity brats, there was an interesting story the other day about the discovery of a large 'blue' diamond in a South African mine. That led to the gem below - 'gem', geddit!

The miner felt bitter and glum
for the diamond was worth quite a sum.
But what use if you dig
up a diamond so big
if it can’t be concealed up your ...

That's it for this week, folks!

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!


 
 
PictureOld Bookshop
One of my previously published stories, More Books Upstairs, was published last month in the Australian magazine Fiction Feast. It was first published several years back in the Weekly News during the run-up to Christmas.

What with the demise of so many small bookshops across the UK, this story is now positively nostalgic, harking back as it does to what seems like a bygone era.

The story takes place in a bookshop - based on one I used to often visit in Uxbridge in England  where our MC is buying Christmas presents before being, metaphorically, transported 'down the rabbit hole' for a rip-roaring adventure.

Re-reading the story a couple of months back, I was reminded of why one critic believed Sherlock Holmes stories became so popular during Edwardian times. They reminded people of an era, not long before, when there were no cars on the streets and where genuine horsepower (unless travelling by train) was the predominant means of transportation if you weren't on foot.

Anyhow, not unsurprisingly, I say 'long live the bookshop!' - even if the game's afoot.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!


 
 
PictureThe Franklin
I got some pretty fantastic news last Friday. The Franklin's Second Tale, one of my 'Lost' Canterbury Tales has been accepted for publication in the 2014 Crime Writers' Association anthology.

The anthology is to be published by Severn House Publishers and will be titled Guilty Parties.

The Franklin's Second Tale is one of my shorter Tales and was originally written up as a prose piece. I wrote it on a bus that got involved in a traffic accident, and while we were waiting for the police to arrive on the scene I finished it off. The following day I wrote it out as a 40-line abridged Tale and the day after that fleshed it out to a lean 66 lines.

When the editor of the CWA anthology contacted me, I got down to writing a brief prologue and epilogue, so that it could boast it to be a fully-fledged Canterbury Tale. The editor liked the addition, so Bob's your uncle.

That's a third 'Lost' Tale either accepted for publication or already published. Hopefully in the next couple of months I'll have another success to boast of.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!

 
 
PicturePeeping Tom and Lady Godiva
I've finished editing my Lady Godiva Canterbury Tale, entered it into a competition, and yesterday gave it the final once over. Not wishing to appear smug, it's probably one of my better efforts. The pacing's good, it's earthy, but above all it's lean.

The actual story came out at 1,980 words, just right for the Global Short Story Competition with its word limit of 2,000 words. If it doesn't make the grade there, I'll add a short prologue and epilogue (some of the material not included in the actual Tale would be ideal for this purpose) and submit it to Writers' Forum's monthly short story competition - word limit 3,000 words.

All that apart, whilst writing my own Godiva, I realised the topic was ideal limerick material. Below are my two offerings. The former got turned down by a family-friendly limerick site (a bit of an oxymoron, 'family-friendly limerick'), though the latter tickled the site-owner's fancy. The site is linked after the second limerick:

Godiva, a young bit of fluff,
said, "I'll ride through the town in the buff."
And she did, at the cost,
of Tom's sight which was lost -
not to mention a saddle-sore muff.

Said Lady Godiva, “Take heed
and don’t ride in the nude on a steed;
for the skin of young maids,
gets chaffed and abrades,
causing much saddle-soreness indeed.”


http://www.funny-limericks-for-everyone.co.uk/

Anyhow, back to the grind.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!

 
 
PictureRobin Hood and Friar Tuck - Zombie Killers
If you’ve studied English literature, you’ve probably come across Geoffrey Chaucer. Writing two hundred years before Shakespeare, his language is even more impenetrable to the layman than The Great Bard himself – I mean, even the word England was spelt ‘Engelond’ in the 14th century. And in case you’re unfamiliar with Chaucer, he’s famous for writing The Canterbury Tales, a series of stories told by a group of pilgrims on their way to the city of Canterbury.

Fast forward six hundred years, and yours truly is writing the pilgrims’ return journey to London. No problem you might think, until you realize that there are 33 pilgrims - which translates to 33 stories!

Still not a problem? Well, what I haven’t mentioned is that Chaucer, aka ‘The Father of English Poetry’, told his Tales as rhymed poems, ranging in length from fifteen hundred words to fifteen thousand words.

So far three of my ‘Lost’ Canterbury Tales have been commercially published, the most successful one featuring my own rather bizarre take on that lovable swashbuckling rogue, Robin Hood.

In keeping with my goal of writing in as many different genres as possible (my ‘Lost’ Tales cover everything from Chick Lit, to Arthurian legends, to fairy tales), when the zombie-horror publisher Coscom Entertainment suggested I write an 18,000-word novella for them, I jumped at the chance.

“Medieval zombies,” the publisher assured me, “will be fine.”

Six weeks later, having knocked out 500 words of rhyming couplets per day, the awesomely titled Robin Hood and Friar Tuck, Zombie Killers – a Canterbury Tale by Paul A. Freeman was ready for submission.

The publisher’s response? ‘Wow!’

Part of the novella’s blurb – written in the style of the rest of the book – is below:

The fate of all--the evil and the good--
Was in the hands of Robin of the Hood
Whose outlaw men, along with Friar Tuck,
Against rampaging hordes of zombies struck.


There’s been much speculation as to why Chaucer himself never wrote a Canterbury Tale featuring that perennial English hero, Robin Hood. One possibility is that having been mugged twice on the streets of London, Chaucer didn’t feel inclined to romanticize a man who was probably, in reality (if indeed he ever existed), a common criminal.

Anyhow, the bottom line is that Chaucer’s loss is my gain.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!



 
 
PictureLady Godiva and Earl Leofric
Okay, so the picture's not quite what you were expecting. Well, to be honest the story of Lady Godiva's a bit more complicated than a naked woman galavanting about on horseback.

The painting's actually late 19th century and seems to be a scene from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, 'Godiva' (1842).

The original version of the Lady Godiva story has Lady G protesting to her husband (Earl Leofric of Mercia) that the taxes he's imposing on the folk of Coventry are too harsh. In response, Leofric says he'll repeal the taxes if his wife rides naked through the crowded marketplace at noon.

This she does - cue happy ending.

In a later, post-Cromwell version of the story, Lady G instructs the folk of Coventry to stay indoors to avoid her being ogled. The people of Coventry obligingly do as told, all except 'Peeping' Tom, who's divinely struck blind for his troubles.

I'm currently looking through the different versions and variations of the Lady Godiva story (her name means 'God's Gift', by the way), which will make up the bones of The Cook's Second Tale from my 'Lost' Canterbury Tales project. It'll be naughty; it'll be brutal; but I think I have the makings of a story with a few surprises.

So that's two new 'Lost' Tales on the go! Let's hope I can find the time to finish them both before the X-mas holidays.

Below are links to my Canterbury Tale published by Coscom Entertainment, my most recent Global Short Story Competition winner, my short-listed story for the National newspaper, Abu Dhabi's, annual short story competition and a story that appeared on the Every Day Fiction site - where you can leave a comment:

http://chaucers-uncle.weebly.com/index.html

http://www.inscribemedia.co.uk/assets/october-ebook.pdf

http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/short-story-a-day-for-decisiveness

http://www.everydayfiction.com/the-d-day-diorama-by-paul-a-freeman/#comments

Happy writing!