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'Weird' and Update on Book #6!

Photo by Martin Earle

My story is a piece I wrote for our recent Uxbridge Writers' Circle ten-minute on-the-spot writing challenge. The prompt was the word 'weird'.

I explain how this photo is relevant at the end of the (very) short story.

Some of you may want to know how book number six in the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series is going!

Recently I have found some time to write and I've reached page 101 of my rough first draft, about one-third of the book, perhaps.

There is a lot of editing ahead (which I enjoy).

I include an excerpt from the new book at the end of this post (remember, it could change - this is a rough draft!).


Jake was seated in his worn leather chair with a sullen look on his face. That was nothing different, Tim thought, as he tripped over Jake's walker and dropped his book.

"Finally reading a book, eh?" Jake growled.

"I read books."

"All I see is you playing games on that awful contraption over there." Jake pointed to Tim's laptop on the coffee table amongst the empty cola cans.

"I'm not playing games, I'm working on stuff."

Jake grunted, heaved himself up, pulled his walker towards him, steadied himself, and shuffled towards the door.

"Where are you dashing off to?" asked Tim.

"That's what you call a facetious remark."

"I know. I meant it to be. But you take everything too seriously."

"Just go back to playing your silly games. I'm getting the paper."

"What do you want the paper for? You always grumble about all the bad news."

"I want the sudoku and crossword."

"Ah. Those are games."

Jake stopped and stared at Tim.

"You're right. But I'm retired and I can do what I like."

"Well, I'm weird, so I can do what I like."

Jake couldn't swallow back the laughter that was erupting inside him. Tim smiled. He picked up his laptop and showed Jake what he was working on, but the old man couldn't figure it out. It was some complicated stuff on the photoelasticity of light.

"I agree," Jake said. "You're weird."

They both chuckled.

Vicky Earle Copyright 2024


In my haste to write a story in the required ten minutes, "photoelasticity of light" invaded my thoughts. My husband Martin completed a project on this phenomenon while studying mechanical engineering at Loughborough University (England). When I mentioned to him that I needed a photo for my blog post, he remembered he had taken one as part of his project and, what's more, he knew where it was - in our wedding album!!! (We've been married for over 51 years).

Now, that's weird!!

The Sixth Book

No, I have no idea what the title will be!

When I read the first two paragraphs, I don't want to reveal them yet.

So, I'm starting at paragraph three.

My mobile calls to me. Neal, my racehorse trainer, is trying to connect.

"Hi, Neal."

"Meg, I need your help." His voice sounds agitated and raspy. He can't be asking me to assist with chores in the backstretch. "Linda's being questioned by the police."

"Goodness. Whatever for?" Linda is the most valued groom in Neal's barn and is assigned to my five thoroughbred racehorses. She's an excellent horseperson and a caring woman. I can't imagine why the police would be questioning her.

"You must have heard. That awful trainer Barton Woking was found in a ditch."

"No, I haven't."

"He was hit by a vehicle. Linda told me he suffered brain trauma and died in hospital about an hour after he was loaded into the ambulance."

"But why is Linda being questioned?"

"Perhaps 'cause she's been vocal about him."

"Well, he's widely thought to be a cheater and he pushes his horses too hard. He's had a couple of fatalities this racing season, hasn't he?"

"Yeah. He's not liked by anyone I know."

"Even one of the television guys mentioned on air Barton's surprising results. He made it clear he thought Barton was a cheat."

"But nothing came of it."

"What about Linda? I still don't understand why she's being questioned."

"Can you come?"

Vicky Earle Copyright 2024

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