All posts by daveynorthcott

About daveynorthcott

Hi! First and foremost I’m an author. But into the nitty-gritty, I am an estranged Englishman living in Spain in the heart of the wine growing region of La Rioja. I moved to this stunning region after having lived previously in possibly the two most beautiful cities in this country: Salamanca and Toledo. When I’m not writing I, with my beautiful Spanish partner, Sara, spend my time teaching English, walking, cycling, drinking wine, eating, reading an endless and ever growing pile of books, etc. etc. To find out more about me and have some imAgination FuN at the same time, visit my blog.

Awake

The sun-lines splice me,
Casting light into my mind.
I can see you now.

©Davey Northcott December 2014

If you enjoyed this, check out my ebook: ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’

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Memories lost

A pastel smudge of colour
Paints a watered iris-eye,
An echo
Of a something almost lost;
Half remembered.
What do you remember, eye?
What have you seen,
Eye?
A pupil of a life
Arduous and long, now
Lies in forgotten recesses
Of a dusty mind’s shelf.
And when I speak to you
You hear me; do you listen,
Though?
And when you speak to me,
I hear you, too.
But am I listening?
A cyclical repetition
To enrage a saddened shrine to
Age and Me; I am saddened too.
And My memories are all that remain now.
For yours, I cannot find anymore.
A sudden flash illuminates your
Loch-like expanse
What are you recalling now,
Eye?
Excitement flushes through
Me, a chance of you,
And we smile for a while
Before the vinyl scratch
Screams out its domination
Once more.
And the eye is again
As a pastel, a dim-washed
Colour, nothing more
Again.

 

Written as a memory for someone who lost theirs …

©Davey Northcott March 2014

If you enjoyed this, check out my ebook: ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’

Dragons, Me & You

She hadn’t believed him when he told her what he’d seen; it seemed stupid then. Why would you believe a thing like that, no matter how much you loved him?

‘A dragon, up there on the hill last night,’ he told her, a new light sparkling in his eyes, the low sun reflecting from his hair, blond from the still recent summer.

She’d smiled then, and stroked his blond hair that spread sprawled out over her knee as he lay and she sat on the sofa in the shared flat. Stroked his hair and wished he’d stop talking.

But he didn’t

‘It was a big one today.’

She’d said nothing.

‘It was bigger than the ones before. I told you the other day it was a big one but today’s was bigger.’ His words were faster now, excited.

She stopped her stroking and made to stand up.

He must have felt the movement. ‘Where are you going?’ he’d asked, the light illuminating the innocence in his child-voice. He wasn’t a child.

‘Just to get some water,’ she’d said. She remembered it had seemed forced at the time. She hadn’t wanted water — but they only had water; he couldn’t have anything else, apparently.

His head made a dull pumpf as it hit the softness of the sofa cushion; she was standing, swaying slightly. She went to the kitchen. Maybe water would make her better.

But her mouth stayed dry.

And the next day his eyes were dry too.

And the rest of him.

There were no hills near the shared flat. Just other flats; and a rubbish tip in the distance where the gulls circled.

She looked out towards the gulls now, their faint cries carrying on the dirt-scented breeze through the window. She closed the window. She didn’t want to hear the gulls anymore; their crying made her sad.

And she thought, how would she face a future without him?

‘We’ll take Mr. Wills away now,’ they’d said, the men with the dark clothes. They told her to stay in the flat. They’d call her. She wasn’t strictly family; but she was and the dark uniforms didn’t understand that.

She knew where he’d hidden the phone number so she pulled it out and dialled. It rang. Someone picked up; a rough voice, though his words didn’t sound old.

After the boy had left she picked up what he’d left. She wanted to see the dragon too. She wanted to know it hadn’t been a lie.

And so she in-streamed what the boy with the rough voice who’d known her love had left, into her deepest self. And then she knew he hadn’t lied.

There was the dragon and there was the hill. And there he was, blond hair streaked behind floating graceful in the clean breeze. And she ran to him then. And he took her up. And she knew he hadn’t lied.

 

©Davey Northcott September 2014

If you enjoyed this, check out my ebook: ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’

A Fortune’s Fate — a short, short story by Davey Northcott

Susan stared into the dark, mirror like eyes of the fortune teller. Wisps of scented smoke were drifting up to her from an incense stick burning in the corner of the small room, the heavy curtains that adorned the walls rustling slightly in a breeze, from somewhere invisible.

‘Give me your hand, my dear,’ said the teller, soft but unnerving. ‘Let me see your palm.’

Shaking a little, Susan did as the woman asked. She didn’t know if it had been a good idea to come here–could she just get up and leave …? A friend had talked her into coming after Susan, a critic of all things supernatural, had seen the shadow-dark stranger following her home, yet again, from the train station. The stranger, who always seemed to hover across the street from her house, watching, until she had closed the front door and been greeted by Burtie, her dog.

Suddenly a wrinkled hand shot out from a thick, black sleeve and grabbed Susan by the wrist. The shock made her jump, leaving was not an option now as the iron grip of the head-scarfed gypsy held her arm pinned down to the wooden table that separated them.

‘Give me your hand, I said, my dear. Don’t be afraid. Mama Iracia won’t hurt you.’

Something about the woman’s words sent a chill running through Susan’s already fast pumping blood.

‘I’m…er…I’m sorry, ok…’ she stammered, fighting to control her nerves.

She felt the old woman’s eyes boring down into her soft, sweaty palms. Then the teller’s skeletal finger rose and fell, softly tracing the lines that criss-crossed Susan’s hand. The sensation was strange, almost a tickle but with the ominous threat of something unseen behind.

The gypsy lady continued like this, in silence, for what seemed to Susan an eternity. Nothing sounded other than the occasional rustle of the curtains but despite her fear, Susan felt a curiosity to know the fortune teller’s verdict.

Would the old woman tell her about the strange shadow that appeared to float behind her along the street? Would she tell her it would be ok, or not? Would she tell her what to do?

All at once a shrill wail pierced the air! The stillness of before was broken and the tension rose, as if emanating directly from the old woman’s now panicked eyes. She pulled her hands back from those of Susan, as if Susan’s palms were burning, and began scraping her long, dirt encrusted nails down, again and again, over the black, lace headscarf.

Susan panicked! What was happening? The incense smoke seemed to suddenly come alive in a frenzied dance like that of a dying snake. It whipped around the room, shooting up to the ceiling before racing down and curling around the head of the accursed gypsy. The old woman scratched her nails from her forehead down to her chin and moaned in despair.

Susan sat frozen to her seat, an evil sensation of acidic bile rising up her throat and threatening to explode out over the now screaming woman in front of her.

And then, just as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. And stillness descended once again on the room.

The fortune teller’s heavy breaths were now the only thing to be heard but although Susan could feel an increasing asphyxia taking hold, the tightness in her chest didn’t allow her to breathe.

‘You must go.’ The teller’s words reached Susan. They opened the gates to her lungs and scented air rushed in, the words relieving the pressure inside her, for the moment at least. ‘You must go,’ the gypsy continued, quiet. ‘Go, but be careful. You will not come back here, that I can see. You will not see other places again in your life; that I also see. You must look behind you. You do not have much time, my dear, so take care of that which remains …’

After that, the fortune teller’s brown skin turned white and a look of fear mixed with sadness rushed, almost imperceptible, across her face.

‘What do you mean? What do you mean I don’t have much time? And the dark stranger, the shadow? Who is he? What should I do about him?’ Susan heard her own alarmed words as if they came from another.

The old woman stared hard into her eyes. ‘There is nothing you can do,’ she said. ‘You cannot hide from him. You cannot escape …’ Her words faltered as if there was something she left unsaid. ‘You must go now. It is not good that you are here.’

And so Susan stood, shaky and confused, and made her way out of the small room.

Outside the heavier dusk of late evening was already falling as she made her way to the tube station.

Later, as she ascended once more from its dark interior into her neighbourhood, she felt in a daze. Half of her told her to forget what the old woman had said. However, the other half could not and kept remembering the wild look in the black eyes and the way the bony fingers had scraped white lines down the leather-skin face.

As she left the station she felt the now familiar rush of cold as the shadow neared her.

But today was different; it was coming faster, faster than her, speeding towards her down the street-light illuminated pavement.

She dropped her bag to run, but her legs felt like lead. Her feet as heavy blocks of stone that refused to move, the tarmac as a quagmire of mud.

And then the shadow was upon her. She screamed and fell to the side from the pavement into the street. And she did not see the van as it came hurtling around the corner, smashing into her side and leaving her blood splattered and lifeless in the street.

Susan was above the scene now, looking down. She saw a shocked man stumble from the van and make his way over to a bloody heap on the road; to her. And she saw the dark shadow creep off down the street, away from her and everything. And at last she felt relief: the thing would bother her no more. And then the images below her became faint and she felt tired and all she heard in the background was the old woman’s voice and the barking of Burtie from behind her front door a little further up the road.

 

Always make the most of what you have, live each day as if it were your last, look forward and never back …

©Davey Northcott June 2014

If you enjoyed this, check out my ebook, ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’, FREE today, 21st July!

FREE EBOOK GIVEAWAY ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’, TODAY & TOMORROW

The Path Through the Eye of Another

It’s FREE GIVEAWAY day! … or DAYS!  Today and tomorrow (20th-21st June 2014) click here to get your free copy of ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’.

‘A lyrical book, full of emotions and a passion to survive, and a ‘good fight for what is right’ kind of story.’ http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/would-you-write-for-free/

‘A compelling story which was hard to put down. The narrative was a complete surprise but very well written. The background research was very thorough. This is a story for our time. I look forward to the next book.’ RAD Amazon Review.

 

‘A very complicated story … told in an amusing style. Clear in his direction and kept me coming back for more. I shall not tell the story as that is for the reader to find out but I highly recommend this…’ Anon Amazon Review.

 

Enjoy! Happy Reading 🙂

 

 

FREE EBOOK GIVEAWAY! ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’ 20th-21st June

The Path Through the Eye of Another

 

 

It’s FREE GIVEAWAY time again! So, on the 20th and 21st of June click here to get your free copy of ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’.

‘A lyrical book, full of emotions and a passion to survive, and a ‘good fight for what is right’ kind of story.’ http://damyantiwrites.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/would-you-write-for-free/

The only thing I ask is that, after reading, you leave a short review with your honest opinion of the book on amazon so that others can see what you thought.

 

Thanks all, and enjoy! 🙂

The Writers’ Blog Tour

As part of a fun way to get to know some new bloggers I’ve taken part in The Writers’ Blog Tour. The task: to answer four short questions and include a biography of another great writer. Good fun and brill to meet Tezrah, my great writer whose bio you can see below.

So here’s about me:

 

1. What am I working on now?

Having just published my first book, ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’, the story of soldier’s journey of self discovery, wounded in a revolution and told through the eyes of five different animals who aid him on his voyage, I am now polishing several short stories that will be published as a compilation.

The first and main story is that of ‘George’, and follows his own awakening to the world around him after having lived his life with eyes closed. Opening with the words of John Lennon, ‘Living with easy with eyes closed’, the story plays on the concept that most of us go through life without really noticing what is around us and when at last we do ‘open our eyes’, the world can seem a foreign and sometimes frightening place that needs all our strength and resources to conquer. This story is followed by several short pieces that follow the theme of looking past the obvious, one on a bus ride, another a sunny afternoon on the balcony and the final piece walks with a shepherd from the Spanish town of Toledo as he takes his sheep in for the night.

 

2. How does my writing differ from others of the genre?

Well firstly, what is the genre? I see most of my writing as fitting into the genre of literary fiction with elements of action, romance and plain good old fashioned story telling.

How does it differ? I try to add a personal element to everything that I write so that every reader can identify in some way with the characters and their stories. Is this different to other literary fiction? Probably not, but it’s the tack I take and it seems to work.

 

3. Why do I write what I do?

I write because I love it. I love words, I love to read, I love the sound of a beautifully constructed sentence that bounces and flows, sweeping you away in its melody to places unknown.

 

4. How does my writing process work?

My writing process usually starts with an idea. Sometimes this idea comes from someone I see in the street, others from a word, others from mind wanderings. I take that idea and think about it, usually a lot, and then start to construct the story in my mind using a mix of brainstorming in my head and on paper to develop it into the semblances of what could be a story.

Then comes the exciting bit! The first draft! It begins as an exciting adventure, research mixed with imagination and construction that sweep away the characters and leading them sometimes to take quite unexpected turns – for me I mean! Towards the middle, as every writer will have experienced, comes the hard bit. The ‘oh this is useless, no one will ever read this, I’m a terrible writer and a worse human being!’ But then you come through the other side and the sun bursts through the curtains once more as you pick up speed and finally type those final words.

I say ‘final words’ in a somewhat loose sense of the term. Undoubtedly with the second and third and fourth and fifth and … etc. drafts, reading, editing, rereading, reediting, editing by others and so on the story can change hugely. But the bare bones, the original message, always remain.

This is what I would say to writers. Though the story may change, characters may be wiped, changed, added, your original idea is the important thing. You had that idea / message for a reason and you have to tell it. Stick to that and keep it strong and in the end your work will be worth it!

 

‘Great Writer Bio’

 

Terzah Cain

Terzah would have happily stayed a wallflower if not for a “military-brat” upbringing.  Survival required she expand her imagination and become a master of disguise.  Brash in one setting, mature and respectful in another, this lead to character development in the artistic sense.  Her “superpower” is sociology.  She can read people brilliantly, and isn’t worried about making up the illegible stuff.  This developed into a strong craving for ink and paper … and a false mustache.  She currently lives in an inconspicuous hideout in Idaho while finishing up her career in youth-work.  Her ultra-supportive wife awaits her return to their home in Washington State where she will devote her attentions to writing full-time.

Blog: http://inturruptingcow.wordpress.com/

 

 

My invitation for this project came from another brilliant writer, Siobhan Daiko, blog: http://siobhandaiko.wordpress.com/ , and you can follow the links back to the roots of this initiative, which originated as an offshoot of a Bookmark Book Festival in Scotland. It’s a growing international community of writers working to introduce each others’ blog to a wider audience.

 

Enjoy all!  🙂

Down the Cliffs and Along the Beach – Robin Hood’s Bay, East Yorkshire

SONY DSC

The salty sea air rushes up your nostrils at the same time as your legs encounter the burning sensation synonymous with a steep descent. You feel liberated with the wild, rushing wind in your eyes and the crashing of waves in your ears. Then, beneath your feet, you feel the sticky gelatinous mass of the wet sand, conjuring up images of rainy childhood holidays spent shivering under an umbrella or hood, eating gritty hard-boiled eggs.

Venturing further along the meeting point of land and sea, you find yourself amid a mass of shiny, squelching rocks. It takes every available element of concentration not to fall while travelling over their treacherous forms.

            Occasionally, the cold water of the ocean rushes upon your reddened feet, sucking at your heels as it tries to first push you from its path before endeavouring to force you further into its mysterious realm.

A sense of longing takes hold with the waves and an urge to run-swim for the far off horizon creeps over you. All you can think is: ‘I want what is out there. I want to see what’s beyond that never ending line. I want to be there, astride it and behind it.’

But you don’t move. You stay, with your cold white calves deep in the mushy kelp and think about what could be.

 

©Davey Northcott 2014

If you enjoyed this, check out my new release, ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’

The Importance of a Review

As a writer nothing gets my heart beating quicker than the email or message that says ‘you have received a review’. What will it be like? Good? Bad? Suggestions? One star or five?

Those are the things that always run through my mind.

Obviously, the hope is that the review is a good one; but is a negative review always a bad thing? The answer is no. Any review, as long as it is the truly honest opinion of the reader, is positive for the author. Bad reviews can help writers progress and build on suggestions and, what’s more, a few bad reviews mixed in with the glowing ones show that a book is a force for argument. Not everyone enjoys the same thing and not everyone is enthralled by the same literary style or genre. So, negative reviews don’t worry!

The most important thing for any writer is feedback; i.e. that the reader leave a few words and some stars after reading. It is a selling tool for the author and, as I’ve already mentioned, a tool for self-reflection.

So when you next download a book from Amazon, Smashwords, or wherever, please, as an author I implore, please leave a few words. Those words mean so much.

 

Davey Northcott

‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’

Available on Amazon. Click on the link. Thanks. Enjoy.

Meet Tania … moving house.

 

Packing up a box of memories; that was how the young girl felt. She didn’t have much, hadn’t been long in the home, but the memories were there. She didn’t know if they would all fit into the shoe box with its coloured elastic bands around it to stop the lid from coming off, but she would try and force them in anyway.

‘Tea’s ready,’ came the shout from downstairs. ‘Hurry up Tania, you’ll want ya’ fish fingers before you ‘ave to go.’

Tania smiled as the last swirls of the kind lady’s voice spun their way up through the part-open door to find her. She would miss this lady. There had been others she didn’t miss, that was for sure, but this one … yer, she’d miss her. And as she gathered up the last of the memories from the crowded bedroom that, for the last three months, she’d been sharing with two others—they were staying, lucky them—she crossed her fingers, nails bitten down to the quick, that the next place she went with her memory box would be like this.

In the kitchen she pecked at her tea. Maybe, if she ate slowly time would slow down also, maybe the spindle arms of the austere clock face would take pity on her butterflied stomach and hesitate. Just for her.

‘What you thinking ‘bout, love?’ asked the kind lady.

Tania smiled up at her through a few fish-crumbs. She didn’t reply, she never did, she never spoke to anyone apart from the memories that she carried in her box.

And then the clock hands did their work and dragged the sound of the glass-muffled car engine to her door.

And she left with a hug from the kind lady, crossed fingers and her box of rubber band-wrapped memories; her friend.

 

©Davey Northcott 2014

Check out my latest novel, ‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’, available on amazon:

‘The Path Through the Eye of Another’