I got into a bit of bother for talking to the birds today.
She knows I have to, because I’m a bird-dog… it’s in my blood, you see. But she says that while she doesn’t mind me having a word, other two-legses prob’bly just hear me barking… and they won’t like it.
She might have a point… ’cause normally, it’s just the pigeons I talk to. But I don’t get owls in the garden very often… and it’s not my fault they come out at night when two-legses want a bit of peace and quiet! I’m only doing what I was born to do… sorting out the feathered things and guarding my two-legs.
But heigh ho, they have some odd ideas sometimes that we should be how they want us to be… not how we are…
I’m not sure that’s very fair.
Mind you, fair or not, I’ll have something to say if she puts one of the big birds on our tree…
The robin is bad enough!
Pearl, now, she’s fallen on her feet. Pearl is a storyhound…and she lives with a writer.
Sounds like a match made in heaven to me! And she’s going to share some pearls of wisdom with us too 😉
I won’t bark at Rudolph, though… promise.
Much love, Ani xxx
A Storyhound’s Hunting Ground
Merry Solstice, Ani! This is Pearly Greyhound, here to help rescue you from the fate of the dreaded antlers!
I’m a Storyhound, and my human, Annabelle, is a writer. Every writer has to visit Storyland to find story ideas and it’s a bit of a free-for-all, with everyone fighting over the best ones like in a Black Friday sale. Luckily, I can help Annabelle with this as I’m a skilled astral traveller and can navigate Storyland with relative ease. Also, being a hunting dog with a good eye for prey, I’m excellent at tracking down good ideas. When you see me lying on the couch with my eyes shut and my paws twitching, I’m busy hunting stories.
Once I’ve transmitted the ideas to Annabelle’s consciousness, it’s up to her to fine-tune them. The ideas I find in Storyland are still in their raw form, like vegetables, and raw vegetables aren’t that nice to eat. They need cooking and seasoning and serving up in a tasty sauce so people will want to eat them. In the case of a story idea, the ‘cooking’ is the writing of the first draft, the ‘seasoning’ is the revising and editing, and the ‘sauce’ is the marketing.
Sometimes a bunch of writers will all get hold of the same idea. This doesn’t have to be a problem, as each writer has her own unique recipe for turning the raw ingredients into a tempting dish. However, it’s best to start off with an idea no one else has thought of.
I work hard to find original ideas for Annabelle, and most of the time I’m well rewarded for my efforts. Occasionally, though, she suffers a lapse of judgement, as you can see from my photo. This kind of madness seems to affect a lot of humans at this time of year.
I’m praying for you, Ani, in the hope that you’re spared this indignity!
About Pearls’ Annabelle
Annabelle Franklin is the author of two children’s books, Gateway to Magic and The Slapstyx. Her short story Mercy Dog has been published in award-winning anthology Unforgotten: The Great War 1914-1918 (Accent Press), and her short story Haunted by the Future appears in the Circle’s horror anthology Dark Gathering. She is working on a series of fun supernatural stories for children.
Annabelle lives on South Wales’s stunning and magical South Gower coast, in an area of outstanding natural beauty that provides plenty of inspiration for fairy tales and fantasy. She shares her chalet home with Pearl, a Greyhound Rescue sponsor dog.
Find and Follow Annabelle
Books by Annabelle Franklin
Gateway to Magic: Gaming fanatic Steven Topcliff is trapped in Fairyland where tech is banned by law!
The Slapstyx: A greedy businessman and his grubby goblin helpers are endangering marine life with their dirty detergent!
Dark GatheringAnthologies resemble the very best pick and mix, something for everyone. This book compiled by experienced editor, widely published writer and Swansea Writers’ Circle member Gail Williams is exactly that. A rich medley of short stories, poetry and scripts, some penned by newcomers, others by well known writers, set alongside the work of the winners of our annual short story, script and poetry competitions. Swansea and District Writers’ Circle has proudly nurtured many to publication in its more than half a century. We hope you enjoy this book of horror stories. Inside may be the first offering of the next Stephen King. Like all of us, he had to start somewhere.
Antlers are for Reindeer!
If you would like to help save Ani from a fate (she says) worse than death, send your Letters to Santa, festive memories, short stories, flash fiction or poems to the Small Dog. She will post them every day through December until Christmas.
She would especially like to hear from her four-legged or feathered friends (she has a special place very close to her heart for turkeys)… but she says that two-legs are better than none, so she will accept submissions from humans too. To get in touch, please use the form on the contact page or email Ani at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’d like a Small Dog for Christmas…
(And okay, you can get her two-legs’s books there too…)