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A Priceless Gift

A Written Legacy of Your Life is a Priceless Gift

A written legacy is not just a gift of words, but also a gift of the hours spent creating it. Not only can it reach across the miles to family and friends far away, but also across time, to the generations that follow. Whether it includes poems from the heart, stories from the memory or a philosophy of life, they will value those words as they learn about the person who wrote them and how their life was lived.

Why not begin today, to write your legacy? What greater gift could you leave your descendants than the benefit of your experience and the wisdom that comes from a life well lived? It is a priceless gift.

Imagine how wonderful it would be for this little chap if, years from now, he could hold in his hands a book written by his great grandfather; to be able to learn about his life, his philosophy and what kind of a man he was. What a truly precious legacy that would be.

When you have your stories, how best to preserve them? Digital storage is constantly evolving. Who still remembers the floppy disk? Surely, the best way to keep a permanent record is to turn your writings into a book. At Spellbrooktales we will be happy to create for you a permanent record in the form of a wonderful book that you can be proud of and your family can treasure forever and pass on to future generations.

Follow the link to our free guide: Creating a Written Legacy of Your Life

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It Seems Like Only Yesterday!

How often have you said that? I can clearly remember the day Mum took my brother and I to see Father Christmas in Lewis’s department store in Manchester. It seems incredible to me that nearly seventy years have passed since then.

Isn’t that the way of it, though? Memories can connect us in the blink of an eye to times, places and people long since gone, but who for us are all still part of our lives. To our grandchildren, however, it’s just history.  Of course, we know that each generation influences the next.  In a way, our experiences also shape our grandchildren’s lives too. Surely this is why it’s important to leave them the story of our life and the times in which we have lived. They may not feel this is relevant to their lives right now but I can guarantee that as they grow older and have their own children, they will become curious about the people who came before.

If you feel you would like to start writing your own life story but aren’t sure where to begin, our Life Story package will guide you step by step through the process, until finally, you receive a beautiful book for you and your family to treasure and then to pass on to future generations.

Marilyn Freeman

www.spellbrooktales.com/life-story

What legacy will you leave them?

 A drawing of a single tulip is the only thing I have that was created by my mother.  She won a prize in the Beautiful Oldham competition at the age of eight for painting that tulip, the only prize she ever won, as far as I know; but then again, what do I know?  I only know that she was still proud of that little painting when she died, aged 92.  From my father, I have nothing except the cap he wore and the pipe he smoked; nothing in writing at all. Of course, we have some photographs, fading now and the memories in our heads, also fading. When my generation is no more, the traces of my parents will vanish like the mist.

Memories cover

For myself, I have created a memoir, Memories of a Hollinwood Childhood in an effort to preserve at least some of the memories I have of the family and characters who peopled my early years. I was determined that those who come after will at least have some notion of what their lives and times were like. From my book of poems, they may come to understand what kind of a person I have been.

Perhaps you feel that your life hasn’t been interesting enough to write about? Well, I urge you to think again.  As Mark Twain so eloquently put it,  ‘A man’s experiences of life are a book. There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside the dullest exterior, there is drama, comedy, and a tragedy.’ 

Your written legacy is certainly a gift of words, but also, a gift of the hours you spend creating it. Not only will you reach out across the miles to family and friends far away, but also across time, to future generations who will come after you. What more precious a legacy could they receive from you? It is without price.

Whether you include poems from your heart, stories from your memory or the philosophy by which you have lived, they will value each word as it shows them the person you are and how life has been for you. Why not make today the day you begin to write your legacy? What greater gift can we leave to our descendants than the benefit of our experience and the wisdom that comes from a life well lived? It may just help them to make sense of their world.

When you have your stories, how best to preserve them? Digital storage is constantly evolving. Who now remembers the floppy disk? Surely the best way to keep a permanent record is to turn your writing into a book that your family can treasure forever. Spellbrooktale offers the Pen-a-Tale book creation package to do just that. From your writings, we will create a wonderful book that you, and they, can be proud of.

Marilyn Freeman

For more information, visit www.spellbrooktales.com/pen-a-tale or email to contact@spellbrooktales.com

Header image: ‘Arabella’s first visit’

 

 

 

The Hint of Wonder in the Everyday

shutterstock_358582475 (1)

You’d have to be a pretty vain old grandad gristle to imagine you could write a story that would suddenly stop kids playing games on their phones and soak up every word; maybe even asking for more!  Well perhaps that’s just what every author believes they can achieve when he or she sets their words onto the page of a new book.

I’m sure I do; that is until some kid asks, ‘Grandad, whatever is a rocker box cover?’ or some such question, whereas if you’d have written escape velocity plus factor two, they would have understood immediately what it meant.

That’s the time you ask yourself, perhaps I should pen the stories that kids ask for, the sort of flash-bang adventures you find in most children’s book shops, where the beautifully illustrated covers portray a futuristic world of heroes or giant airborne creatures reminiscent of dinosaurs or domesticated dragons.

Stories we would all love to have written; or maybe not. You see there are people like me who still believe in the value of triggering that hint of wonder that can still be found in the everyday world that surrounds us; the plaintive echoes of a world long gone escaping from a gramophone that has to be wound up, or images of Laurel and Hardy, flickering on a silver screen that still have the ability to make us laugh.

Please don’t gasp ‘that’s just nostalgia’, when perhaps you really mean memories, the true links that bind one generation to the next and without which, quiet moments would be shallow indeed.

For me, these are the building blocks for stories, searching out the tiny and sometimes insignificant pictures trapped within our memories and fashioned into a beginning a middle and an end.

Of course, tales that can transport a child into some wondrous adventure in the outer reaches of space, or create the brave immortal heroes that will save the world from destruction, are valuable stories that need to be told.

But so too are the chronicles of the quiet creatures that inhabit the ordinary world, even the strange inanimate objects that are given a voice by so many authors and find a permanent place in our memories, objects such as little blue locomotives or even a fork and a spoon that once, we were told, jumped over the moon.

There are no dragons to be discovered along the track to Crosswart, or evil wizards poised to cast a spell on the unwary traveller passing through Aaron’s wood.  Only a very sad snail.  Even the Companions collecting the magenta liquid from the wood violets offer no threat, but may just help us to understand how our memories may be triggered by the scent of violets carried on a summer breeze.

Working on this assumption it appears that I’m still a vain old grandad gristle who believes that such tales may just have a smidgen of value; simple stories that I love to write and very much hope will continue to be told.

Barry Freeman

Please visit my bookstore for more information on my latest books.

 

 

 

 

 

Quantum Leap

Pollution of one sort or another seems to make the news every day. Only this morning I heard that plastic can now be found at the North Pole, endangering the lives of the animals that live there.   Some years ago, polluted rivers in this country were of great concern and many still are. Much has already been done to clean up our canals, rivers and streams, which is great news but we must continue to look after these precious waterways at all costs.

Back in the nineteen nineties I felt so concerned about what was happening to our rivers, that I wrote a story for young readers pointing out how greed and mass production could so easily result in the destruction of our environment.   In this story Soapy Mellows had recently purchased an old flour mill. His only concern was to make as much money as possible by the automated production of bars of soap, while paying scant attention to the river and the wild creatures living thereabouts.     Finally, the computer enslaved by Soapy Mellows to control the machines making the soap and causing the pollution of the mill pond, made a bid for it’s freedom. Niac, as the computer was called, solicited the help of Tussel Fleabane. You may remember that Tussel Fleabane is an ‘agent of nature’ able to bridge the gap between our own world and the forces ruling the universe. This extract begins as Tussel is invited by Niac to take the quantum leap directly into his domain.

Other Dimensions

Extract from ‘Beyond the Goosebarley Bush’

“Over here,” whispered the computer, as Mellows rushed into the office slamming the door shut behind him, “Quick! Climb up here into the mainframe.”

Tussel looked up to see a small opening above his head where a loop of cables hung within his reach, enabling him to climb easily into the base of the machine where it was dark and very warm and full of tall thin panels with only narrow passages in between.

“Now don’t go touching things,” mumbled the computer, “just follow the yellow wire ’til I tell you to stop.”

Tussel soon became accustomed to the dim light as he walked along the slippery grey floor hanging on to the wire.

“Now,” said the computer at last, “change to the white one with the violet tracer, and don’t stamp so hard. It tickles! Then let me know when you get to a panel marked ‘Memory.’”

Tussel followed the machine’s instructions, pulling himself over all manner of obstacles, not daring to let go of the wire for a moment, convinced that if he did he would become hopelessly lost.

“That’s good. Now you must climb over the power supply, but be careful or you’ll end up like a potato crisp,” sniggered the machine…..(read more)

The Iron Forest and the Seaclown

Of all the inexcusable antics of human beings and there certainly is a very long list to choose from, polluting the sea with our discarded materials and waste must rank as one of the worst.  Plastic for instance, is currently one of our greatest concerns, not to mention other waste such as raw sewage and chemicals.

However, I’m sure that Rusty Nail and her companions from the Cobweb Curtain stories find that the endless tons of iron that man has dumped in the oceans over the last few centuries is something to which they can easily relate.

Whether through conflict, a desire for more and faster trade and transport, or shear superfluous inventiveness, we have certainly managed to dispose of a massive volume of iron into our oceans;  iron that in the first place required millions of tons of coal to produce, which in itself has contributed to the global warming the world is now so desperately trying to control.

It’s hardly surprising then, that in my final story featuring the Shed Gang, such an unlikely creature as the juggling Seaclown should be chosen as the keeper of man’s Iron Forest below the waves. Cries of despair can be heard as the human race charges on from one new idea to the next, only too happy to discard yesterday’s  obsolete creations for tomorrow’s ideas of ‘perfection’.  Could it be that the realisation of his own obsolescence drew the old vernier into the clutches of the juggling Seaclown?

Of course, as with all innovations on planet earth, whether through evolution or the creations of humankind itself, in the long run nature can be relied upon to create beauty from their decay, or as Rusty Nail remarked to Sprocket as she sat watching the tiny fountains of crimson iron oxide dissipating back into the dappled water of the sea, ‘How prettily it shines in the morning sun.’

In Search of Peter and the Seaclown.

(Extract from The Iron Forest of the Seaclown)

     ‘Why do we have to come down here!’ yelled Wingsey who was finding it almost impossible to stop himself spinning around in the fast flowing water.

‘Because this is where we’ll find Peter and what’s more…..’ gasped Rusty as the water began wrapping her hair tightly around her face making it difficult to finish what she was saying.

‘What’s more!’ yelled Sprocket, ‘that’s what Peter would have done if one of us had got lost.’

‘Gosh!’ gasped The Two Faced Nut as they finally emerged into a wide flat gorge, ‘just look at the huge ship.’

‘That’s not a ship!’ exclaimed the miserable face, ‘it’s a wreck.’

‘Well it was a ship once,’ blurted Rusty.

‘And so was that,’ interrupted Sprocket, ‘and that,’ he went on, pointing to first one and then another huge iron skeleton sticking out of  the seabed.  Wrecks of all shapes and sizes appeared to be growing like a forest of bamboos out of the sand as far as the eye could see in the dim, flickering light of the gorge.

‘There’s something very odd about this place,’  began Rusty, appearing to shiver as she clutched Sprocket’s arm.  ‘Look at those huge fishes up there,’ she went on, ‘they seem to be watching us.’

‘I hardly think they would be bothered about us,’ he replied, gazing at the great silver and black shapes as they slid silently around the jagged iron ribs of the wrecks.

‘And another thing, have you noticed there aren’t any starfishes or crabs,’ blurted Springaling, ‘just as Clawd said.’

‘But there are clusters of mussels clinging to the iron walls of the ships,’ said Rusty pointing to a massive orange hulk lying on its side with its rows of round portholes staring down at the sand.

‘Just look at the sea bed,’ she went on  ‘it’s littered with iron chains and twisted railings and not even one scarlet anemone or even an oyster to welcome us.’

As they walked further into the forest they soon found themselves standing beneath great gothic arches that stretched up towards the dappled surface where the tall masts of rusty iron draped in forests of wiry weed and mussel shells spread like a trellis over them, ……read more

The Iron Forest and the Seaclown

Of all the inexcusable antics of human beings and there certainly is a very long list to choose from, polluting the sea with our discarded materials and waste must rank as one of the worst.  Plastic for instance, is currently one of our greatest concerns, not to mention other waste such as raw sewage and chemicals.

However, I’m sure that Rusty Nail and her companions from the Cobweb Curtain stories find that the endless tons of iron that man has dumped in the oceans over the last few centuries is something to which they can easily relate.

Whether through conflict, a desire for more and faster trade and transport, or shear superfluous inventiveness, we have certainly managed to dispose of a massive volume of iron into our oceans;  iron that in the first place required millions of tons of coal to produce, which in itself has contributed to the global warming the world is now so desperately trying to control.

It’s hardly surprising then, that in my final story featuring the Shed Gang, such an unlikely creature as the juggling Seaclown should be chosen as the keeper of man’s Iron Forest below the waves. Cries of despair can be heard as the human race charges on from one new idea to the next, only too happy to discard yesterday’s  obsolete creations for tomorrow’s ideas of ‘perfection’.  Could it be that the realisation of his own obsolescence drew the old vernier into the clutches of the juggling Seaclown?

Of course, as with all innovations on planet earth, whether through evolution or the creations of humankind itself, in the long run nature can be relied upon to create beauty from their decay, or as Rusty Nail remarked to Sprocket as she sat watching the tiny fountains of crimson iron oxide dissipating back into the dappled water of the sea, ‘How prettily it shines in the morning sun.’

In Search of Peter and the Seaclown.

(Extract from The Iron Forest of the Seaclown)

     ‘Why do we have to come down here!’ yelled Wingsey who was finding it almost impossible to stop himself spinning around in the fast flowing water.

‘Because this is where we’ll find Peter and what’s more…..’ gasped Rusty as the water began wrapping her hair tightly around her face making it difficult to finish what she was saying.

‘What’s more!’ yelled Sprocket, ‘that’s what Peter would have done if one of us had got lost.’

‘Gosh!’ gasped The Two Faced Nut as they finally emerged into a wide flat gorge, ‘just look at the huge ship.’

‘That’s not a ship!’ exclaimed the miserable face, ‘it’s a wreck.’

‘Well it was a ship once,’ blurted Rusty.

‘And so was that,’ interrupted Sprocket, ‘and that,’ he went on, pointing to first one and then another huge iron skeleton sticking out of  the seabed.  Wrecks of all shapes and sizes appeared to be growing like a forest of bamboos out of the sand as far as the eye could see in the dim, flickering light of the gorge.

‘There’s something very odd about this place,’  began Rusty, appearing to shiver as she clutched Sprocket’s arm.  ‘Look at those huge fishes up there,’ she went on, ‘they seem to be watching us.’

‘I hardly think they would be bothered about us,’ he replied, gazing at the great silver and black shapes as they slid silently around the jagged iron ribs of the wrecks.

‘And another thing, have you noticed there aren’t any starfishes or crabs,’ blurted Springaling, ‘just as Clawd said.’

‘But there are clusters of mussels clinging to the iron walls of the ships,’ said Rusty pointing to a massive orange hulk lying on its side with its rows of round portholes staring down at the sand.

‘Just look at the sea bed,’ she went on  ‘it’s littered with iron chains and twisted railings and not even one scarlet anemone or even an oyster to welcome us.’

As they walked further into the forest they soon found themselves standing beneath great gothic arches that stretched up towards the dappled surface where the tall masts of rusty iron draped in forests of wiry weed and mussel shells spread like a trellis over them, ……read more