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'Seagull' and Jazz!

I'm about to start the 6th edit of my 5th book in the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series! I love editing. I hope to have a book description to share with you soon. The draft title is 'Dying for Money'.

Below is a piece I wrote for a Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting. The words I had to use in the story are in italics.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

It's followed by some information on a wonderful jazz series that some of you might be interested in!


The waves unfurled and crashed onto the pebbles as a salty spray, whipped up by the wind, hit his face. The sharp, unforgiving edges of the cold granite rock dug into Mick’s behind as he watched the sea unleashing its fury. He could taste the salt and smell the tang.

He didn’t have any desire to move. He wanted to stay right where he was despite the discomfort. It was easier to forget when the roar of the sea rattled in your ears.

It was a mistake his mother leaving Mick with her father, a drunkard, all those years ago. She’d said that she couldn’t take him to the city, that it would be better for him here, on this remote, bleak, desolate island surrounded by the unrelenting power of the sea.

Mick was the opposite to the sea. He was quiet, calm—at least on the outside, and worst of all, he had no power. It was his sixteenth birthday and nothing had changed. The daily routine was the same: make breakfast for the two of them, fetch his grandfather’s paper and milk, sweep out the cabin, get his books out, and read the pages assigned the night before.

In the evening, he must recite one poem of his grandfather’s choosing from a list of twenty: the words of which were contained in an ancient leather-bound book

A seagull played with the wind, bouncing in the off-shore currents, floating then flapping. He faced Mick, and the boy imagined the bird mocking him, teasing him, challenging him to fly.

Mick shut his eyes. But the idea had already taken root inside him and swelled, nourished by the gull’s freedom, his apparent joy at being free. Mick knew that it was crucial for him to leave. It was not worth existing simply to learn from old, outdated, dusty, books. He needed a plan to escape this torment.

A month later, when the salty air had less of a bite to it and the thunder from the sea’s rollers crashing on the rocks had eased, Mick walked down to the dock. It was calm enough for the ferries to operate again. One of the boats was in the harbour, and a couple of men were unloading a cargo of cardboard boxes of various sizes and weights. They piled them up on the quay.

Mick had the milk money as well as the paper money in his pocket. His lips were dry and his legs wobbled. He reached the kiosk and asked for a ticket.

“Just one way, then?” asked the grey-haired, wrinkled man.


The ticket was in his cold, shaky hard as he found a seat and slumped down. He covered as much of his face as possible, with his collar up and his toque almost covering his eyes.

“Hello, Moo. I thought it was you.”

Mick’s stomach churned. His skin felt taut across his brow and around his mouth. He couldn’t breathe. It was the young man who worked in the dairy.

“You don’t mind if I sit here, do you?” His large grin revealed stained, neglected teeth, but his eyes sparkled. He called Mick “Moo” because he bought so much milk. Mick’s grandfather insisted that he drink large quantities of the white stuff. Mick would be happy never to have to smell or taste it ever again.

“I know what you’re doing.”

Mick slumped down further.

“It’s about time.”

Mick moved his eyes sideways to look at the young man. He didn’t know his name.

“Everyone knows about you and that bad-tempered, drunk of a grandfather you live with, but no one knew what to do about it. Good on you to get out of there.” He touched Mick’s knee for a fleeting second. “I’m going to get a job on the mainland and find a flat. We could help each other out. How does that sound?”

It sounded like a dream come true for Mick, and not a moment too soon. He had planned to jump overboard once they were out at sea.

Copyright Vicky Earle 2023

Jazz in Leaskdale!

Martin and I had a wonderful evening in the Leaskdale Church listening to live jazz. It was a great experience, and I thought I should share the information.

As you can see from the poster, two more evenings are planned.

Lucy Maud Montgomery lived in Leaskdale, Ontario, in the Leaskdale Manse, from 1911 until 1926.

The Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario

operates the Leaskdale Manse National Historic Site as a museum that is open to the public. The Society owns the historic Leaskdale Church (where the jazz sessions are held).

I hope to see you there!

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