Thursday, 16 December 2010

The World of The Tiger Princess Presents... Paul Trembling!

Sexy Deep Voiced Announcer: Welcome to the legendary literary land lead by the Lady herself, the one, the Only… Tiger Princess!


Tiger Princess: Mr. Announcer, I do believe you are starting to repeat yourself!


Sexy Deep Voiced Announcer: I’ll ask the writer for some more opening lines for the next series then.

Tiger Princess: Good idea. TURNS TO FACE THE AUDIENCE. As Mr. Announcer said, this is the last show in this series of The World of the Tiger Princess presents.


Tiger Princess: Well it’s nearly Christmas and I need some downtime with my family and friends… presents to open, food to eat, alcohol to drink, you know the score!


Tiger Princess: The last Flash Story Showcase contest was a really tough one. I’d like to thank Renaissance Man Award winner, Gereg Jones Muller for his prompt.


Tiger Princess: On to today’s guest star. This gentleman has won the Flash Story Showcase Contest twice. Once in the distinguished company of John Booth and Suzannah Burke, and again in November 2010, all by himself this time!


Tiger Princess: Please welcome the writer of “The Deed” – Paul Trembling!

Paul is the one on the right


Tiger Princess: Welcome to the show, Paul.

Paul: Thank you for having me here.

Tiger Princess: We’ll get straight on with the questions…

Paul: Fire away!

Tiger Princess: When, Where  & Why did you start writing?

Paul: I was making up stories in my head before I even learned to write! And actually, I’ve never stopped – the number of stories I have in my head far exceeds the number I’ve written down!

Actually writing stories (as apposed to just day-dreaming!) probably started at school. To the frustration of my teachers! They’d ask the class to write a short story in one lesson – several weeks later I’d finally hand in my massive epic, complete with illustrations! Flash stories hadn’t been invented then!

As for why – I’d love to know! Perhaps because my Dad always read to me when I was little, and I never wanted the stories to end. (In my head, they never have). Perhaps because I’m basically dissatisfied with the real world, and want to live somewhere else!

Tiger Princess: How much writing do you do on a daily basis?

Paul: My writing schedule is too erratic to describe it as being ‘on a daily basis’! In between juggling my various other commitments – family, work, church, etc. – and a certain degree of natural laziness (which gets in the way of doing what I want to do, let alone what I ought to do!), the end result is that I don’t do as much as I’d like to do.

If something inspires me, though, I make time to write it! And as many writers will know, when you get in that perfect place where the story unfolds in front of you and the words just flow – then there’s no sense of time at all! (Of course, you still have to go back and edit the thing, which isn’t as much fun!).

Having a deadline is good for me. The FSS competition has been good for me, in that it provided both inspiration (thanks to everyone who set the prompts) and a deadline.

Still, it’s probably a good thing I’m not a professional writer. I doubt if I’d have the self discipline to stick with it.

Tiger Princess: If you could meet any writer (living or dead), who would it be and why?

Paul: This is a tough one, because there’s a great many candidates – and it would be good to be able to sit and talk to almost any writer, just to find out their perspective on things.

However, thinking about it, one writer I’d particularly like to have met is C. S. Lewis. Not only was he a brilliant fantasy and SF writer, he was one of the deepest and most original thinkers of his time. And, even more importantly, he could communicate his thinking effectively, which is a rare talent.

Though not his level intellectually, I’ve often felt in reading Lewis that I’ve made a connection with him, that we are on the same wavelength. It would have been nice to have found out if it’s true.

Tiger Princess: What is your favourite music to write to and why?

Paul: I don’t write to music. It’s a distraction, and when I’m writing, I don’t want distractions!

I tend to listen to music when I’m doing something else that doesn’t need 100% concentration. It used to be washing up, before we got a dishwasher! Now I mostly listen when I’m driving. Since I’ve got a 50 mile commute at present (each way!) that gives me plenty of time for listening, and I listen to a wide variety of music. I keep thinking that there must be some inspiration in there, but so far I’ve never developed a story from listening to music.

Tiger Princess: Just out of interest, why did you choose that piece of music as your theme tune?

Paul: I was thinking that my theme tune should be something grand and inspiring – the 1812 overture, perhaps, or maybe something from Handel. But I made the mistake of asking the family, and they said ‘the theme tune from Monty Python’ (i.e. Liberty Bell)! Well, that’s probably more me!

Tiger Princess: Which do you prefer – Paper & Ink or Computer & Keyboard and Why?

Paul: Definitely computer and keyboard! My handwriting is terrible – so bad that they gave me a laptop at work to do my reports on, as no one could read them otherwise!

Tiger Princess: And Finally – if you won the Booker Prize, how would you celebrate?

Paul: Hey – I won the FSS, who needs the Booker?!


Paul:To be honest, I’ve no idea how I’d celebrate. Such dizzy heights of literary stardom aren’t even on my horizon!

(And with sentences like that, they never will be!)

Tiger Princess: I hope you’ll be entering the new competition in January?

Paul: Wouldn’t miss it for the world!


Tiger Princess: Thank you to everyone who has ever entered the FSS Contest and answered my inane questions in this studio. The World of the Tiger Princess Presents... will return in January 2011 with a brand new contest and more guests to interrogate… I mean interview!


More stories and poetry from Paul Trembling can be found here -

Go look!!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Christmas is coming...

 Warning: Gentlemen this is an article aimed at the Ladies. You may get bored...

It's the fifteenth today. There are officially ten days left until Christmas Day!

From what I can see of other people (hey, I like watching people - it's one of my favourite hobbies) this is about the time when everyone starts to panic. Have I got all the presents? I haven't sent my cards yet. Oh, my word, I forgot to get a beef joint for the Christmas Eve Dinner Party... You know, things like that.

It's also the start of the Office Christmas Party Season. So people start worrying about their outfits and hair / makeup. It's this that I was thinking about as I walked home from dropping the kids off at school this morning.

I can understand wanting to look your best, but why buy a new dress unless you need to? I thought. (Maria K, stop shaking your head at me - you can tell me off later) I understand the need for new makeup; after all it does have a shelf life and can cause skin problems if you use out of date makeup (been there done that). I can understand getting your hair done; I never feel right when my hair is terrible, in fact you can pretty much gauge my mood by the state of my hair.

Freshly washed = Happy
Messy = Content
Greasy = Stay as far away from me as possible.

Nails are things that get in my way, so I don't understand them or bother with them. Shoes - well, they are a weakness with me; if I like the shoes, I will buy the shoes: it doesn't matter if I have an occasion to wear them to or not...

But all this fuss over a dress for an office party? And it's not fussing over the material or the design (that's what I look for in clothes) or even the comfort. Everyone is obsessed with what size they are! They go on crash diets which make them cranky and unfriendly, just so they can get into a size 12 when they know that straight after the party they'll be a 14 again!

So, here are my tips for dress shopping. Please bear in mind that I know nothing about fashion - go see my friend Maria Kuroshchepova if you want fashion advice - but I do know a couple of things you might want to take into account:

1) Make sure you are wearing the right size bra.

Get yourself measured (wearing the right size will make your clothes hang properly) and buy new underwear to go with the dress. Why? Because if you are going to get drunk and dance on the tables, you do not want your boss or the CEO seeing your comfy, grey, granny pants as you fall off and your skirt flies over your head. It will also make you feel better about yourself.

2) For Goddess' sake, don't worry about the size of the dress!

Sizes are defunct. Many manufacturers are still using the same sizes that they used in the 50's and haven't changed them. There are a few more factors that you need to take into account than just size:
  • Shape - if the dress is the wrong shape for your body it will not look right and you will not feel right.
  • Colour - Some colours will suit your skin, eyes and hair colouration. Some won't do not pick a colour that doesn't suit you. Get a second opinion if you need to. I cannot wear colours that are too light, but jewel colours suit me down to the ground. Black doesn't always suit everyone, white, when used in the wrong way can make you feel fat.
  • Material - certain material drape better over bulges. If you have sexy curves (like me) then you need to go for a material that drapes over them rather than clings.
  • Comfort - If the dress is too tight, go for a bigger size. Cut the label out if you have to, but being comfortable in what you are wearing makes you confident. Confidence is empowering.
 3) Make sure when you look in the mirror before you go shopping you tell yourself. "I am Beautiful. I am Sexy. I am Confident".

Stay that three times. Say it out loud at home and whenever you look into a mirror in the changing room, repeat it in your head. Make yourself believe it. Especially when you find a dress you like and your shopping partner (mine is TOH, yours might be your BFF) says something inadvertently nasty like "Your bum looks huge in that."

4)  Don't believe everything you are told - even by your shopping partner!

I bought the most gorgeous summer dress last summer, swingy and sexy and just the right colours. I bought it because TOH said I looked great in it. When we went through my wardrobe in the autumn, I tried it on again and we realised it was the wrong shape for me. It's empire line and I need a bodice that hits the edge of my ribs before it flares out in a summer dress. I still have it though - I'm going find a decent seamstress and get it re-tailored to suit me.

5) ABOVE ALL - When you wear the dress it must make you feel good!

Feeling good in what you are wearing makes you confident, feeling confident makes you stand tall. Self Confidence + Good Posture = Looking Good in the Mirror which makes you look and feel damn Sexy!

What is important when you are in a stressful situation like an Office Party, isn't how much wine you can drink, but how in control and confident you can be. If you feel sexy inside, you'll be able to network that much better and possibly even impress the boss! So that third glass of wine before you eat or before you even go to the party probably isn't a good idea...

I hope that has gone some small way to helping you choose this year's Party Dress. I haven't got any parties to go to, so I will stick with wearing what I am comfortable in... *grins*

Monday, 13 December 2010

High, Creep and Uselessness

I’m apologising now.  I swore, several months ago that I would look at everything positively, but today I can’t – for more than one reason.  If you don’t want to read further, then go away and come back tomorrow.

Physically, I am feeling ill.  Why?  Well, this poem I wrote this morning should explain it a little better than I can articulate at the moment…


Head spinning, stomach churning,
I try my best to walk upstairs.
Is this really preferable to being blue?
To wondering what I should do?

Prescription in, just have to wait,
Breakfast gurgles in my tummy.
Will I really be this sick?
If I stop the tablets quick?

I remember the feeling of High,
Staring at the stars and trees.
Colours melding, sounds so thrilling,
I could listen for hours to dentists drilling.

I wish my tablets would take me there,
I wish they could be nice, not nasty.
When I came down from being free,
I felt good from what I'd seen.

But Anti-depressants just even you out,
They take you from black to grey.
They don't let you see the world,
In the way it was first unfurled.

Tears come easily when I'm down,
The lack of drug making me iller.
Why can't they at least try,
to make the come down feel like a High?

I hate taking the anti-depressants; sadly they are the only thing that is keeping me sane (I think) and when I don’t take them, I feel like I have a hangover.  A proper, three-whole-bottles-of–white–wine hangover, you know how that feels; the room spins, you feel like throwing up, you can’t walk straight and your eyes blur and seem to cross of their own accord.  I get the shivers as well and a headache – and it doesn’t go away until you take a tablet. My own fault for forgetting to put the prescription in, I suppose…

Add to that, the pain in my lower abdomen that won’t go away and the Doctors can’t find a reason for.

They’re blaming IBS. I have had IBS for eight years, I know what it feels like and the pain is there, even when I am not having a spasm, but because they can’t see anything inside my bowel, they still blame the IBS. I've got to have blood tests next...

*sighs painfully*

Mentally, I am having a terrible day. I went for a job interview on Friday. It was one of those jobs that the Government made up to get people off benefit and the funding has been cut to the programme, so that was my last chance for those jobs.

I heard from the department I went to, this morning.  They have taken on someone more suitable for the job.

Never mind it wasn’t the job that I went for in the first place, or that I could have walked out when I realised that fact and stayed because it sounded like an interesting job to do.  I did my best to win them over and left the interview thinking that I was unlikely to get it, but hoping I did.

I hope that the person that did get it was an IT trained professional at least. That way I would be happy that someone deserving got it.  If some teenager with no proper experience in IT, other than playing games and mucking around on the net, got it , then I would be incredibly angry.

*Sighs unhappily*

I feel useless. In fact there is one song that pretty much sums me up today –

Creep by Radiohead

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
I wish I was special
You're so fucking special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice when I'm not around
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell I'm doing here?
I don't belong here

She's running out again
She's running out
She runs runs, runs

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep
I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here
I don't belong here

I feel like I don’t deserve to be on this planet. I’m useless as a teacher (according to my references from the last school I worked in), I can’t even get a simple admin or retail position and my writing has lost its sparkle.

On that last point, I feel like I can’t write anything. I started a rhyming children's story about Christmas last week.  It isn’t going anywhere. I left it alone and did some crafting.  When I tried again, it still didn’t work, so I went back to my knitting.

Yes, before you point it out, I know I am writing this – I’m talking about writing fiction not feelings…

Currently there doesn’t seem to be much hope for any of my careers at the moment. I can’t write, so I won’t get published.  My webzine is obviously so stupid that no one wants to submit anything unless I badger them (and I hate nagging anyone), so I might as well get rid of it.  I can’t Teach or get any job.  All I can really do is whinge and moan… 


By tomorrow I should be feeling better (I’ll get the tablets this afternoon and take one as soon as I can) and I hope everything will be back to normal.  So if you managed to get to the end of this pity-fest, this lack-of-self-confidence party, this depressing and stupid waste of megabytes, I applaud you for your tenacity and thank you for your friendship.  ‘Coz only a true friend would even read past the poem.

Excuse me, I’m going to go and lie down…

*Walks away in a wobbly fashion, in search of chocolate.*

Edit:  Same day; 9pm...

I've had my tablet and the world has lightened to a dull grey. I've managed to get some sort of stomach bug that is making me feel really yuck. I do hope that I feel better tomorrow...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas Present List - Part Three

Yes, it's the final part of my recommendations for your gift buying this Christmas. You'll have noticed that a few of the books are available on digital format. If you have a gadget mad member of the family, why not buy an e-reader for them and download some of these books onto it?

That will keep them quiet for a few hours...

* * * *

Christmas is the time for fun and laughter and I can guarantee that “Banana’s Bumper Xmas Book” by Michele Brenton will provide plenty of both.

“Banana’s Bumper Xmas Book” comprises over 200 poems from Banana’s first three Alternative Poetry Books plus a preview of the fourth edition due in spring 2011. Michele also shows off her prose prowess with a Christmas themed story and an anecdote of how she and her family towed a boat across Europe, with pictures no less!

Michele’s poetry reminds me of Pam Ayres with a little Roger McGough mixed in. Her stories are hilarious and this is one book sure to cheer up anyone’s Christmas. But don’t take my word for it, pick up a copy for your friend’s Kindle and enjoy it together!

Available in digital form from Endaxi Press
* * * *

Yes, I know, this the second book I have reviewed by Poppet, but believe me, her writing is worth it! “Seithe” is the story of what can happen when you allow your emotions to get the better of you.

Storming out of her boyfriend’s house one evening, Phoebe finds her way into Pravus, seemingly a gothic nightclub inhabited by various strange looking individuals. One of them, Seithe, is seemingly obsessed with the senses. One date after another, Seithe leads Phoebe from her incredibly blind human existence into a world of sensation and danger.

Poppet’s writing is highly erotic and massively sensuous, taking the reader in an intellectual and emotional roller coaster through the reality we live in. “Seithe” is a book to be devoured over and over again, it’s beauty and power drawing you back for more… This comes on the highly recommended list, so go forth and buy it!

Available in Digital format from Sony and Barnes and Noble,

* * * *

That's it for now - if I come across any more books that I think are worth shouting about, I will be posting them on a Tuesday...

So, if you want me to review your book, drop me a line!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Christmas Present Book List - Part Two...

Time for the next set of books on my Father Christmas list... oops, I mean my recommendations for your gift buying...

looks around to see if anyone has noticed...


Poking a gentle stick in the eye of traditional fantasy, “The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire” by Raven Dane, is a hilarious romp around the stereotypes.

Morven, the Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire, is the on duty seer.  She’s been on duty since Angharad, the Extremely Knowledgeable Unless it was Questions about the Weather, retired from the trade to go and live with her sister.  Then the feast of St. Epiligia, patron saint of pointless journeys and voles dawns and Morven finds herself inundated with pilgrims.  Demonica, daughter of the ruler of distant Darkness and Despair, is bored and looking to cause some hellish Havoc. Can Morven assemble a team to stop her?

“The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire” is one of the funniest books I have read recently. Its gentle satiric humour and stunning writing remind me of Tom Holt and Terry Pratchett. Suitable for adults and older teenagers, this is one book that is on my Christmas wish list… um, I mean, my highly recommended gift choice list...

Available in Print from Endaxi Press


Do you like Dragons? There have been plenty of films and books about dragons recently (How to Train your Dragon immediately pops into mind) but none of them are quite likeDragon Academy by Diane Nelson.

The last greywings on the planet have been sent to New Jersey, along with Nick in an effort to conserve them. Nick has to contend with the other trainers Keith and Maxie as well as the female students of his aunt and uncle’s riding academy, not to mention the overwhelming egos of the dragons themselves. Nikita and Michael are not going to make things easy.

Diane has a smooth writing style that blends fantasy and reality into a believable story. By the end of Chapter One, you really do believe that dragons exist and are flying around the countryside.  Dialogue, descriptions, and humour all bound into the story making it highly entertaining, funny and action packed.

Dragon Academy would make a great film. It would also make a wonderful present for anyone who likes Harry Potter or Eragon… like me... Did I say that out loud?

Available in Digital Format at ireadiwrite Publishing and Amazon. Soon to be available in Print


Matty and the Computer Crooks by Annabelle Page is a wonderfully fun book that makes the reader feel that you are really there with Matty and his friends, as they work their way through the adventure that ensues after Matty overhears two crooks discussing how to steal the computer’s from Matty’s school.

Aimed at children from the ages of seven and up, Annabelle’s writing style doesn’t talk down to kids, but “Matty and the Computer Crooks” is easy to read and highly enjoyable. A perfect present to encourage your younger gift receivers to read!

Available in Print from Endaxi Press


Well, that's the end of part two... part three will be around later I should imagine... Toodles!

Christmas Present Book List - Part One...

I've got a lot of writing friends around the internet, (some of whom are even nice enough to say that my writing is pretty good) and they all seem to have had a seriously amazing amount of success this year.

No, I'm not jealous... well, yes okay, I am. But my time shall come...

Anyway - For those of you who are hunting for presents to buy for various members of family and friends, I am going to edify you and possibly even inspire you, by presenting my best Christmas Present Picks..


First up is Wizards by John Booth.

John’s style of writing is highly entertaining and Wizards would make the perfect present for the older teenager in your life. In fact I will go so far as to say that you will probably be fighting over who gets to read it first!

Jake is a kid when he discovers that he can use Hopscotch to jump to different worlds. And that he can use the same power to find people. So, when at eighteen, he is asked to find Jenny, he agrees reluctantly. Within a few months all hell has broken loose and not just because of his unusual pet!

“Wizards” is an entertaining, funny, light-hearted and serious look at growing up into your own powers, be it magic or muscle, something that many teenagers will be able to empathise with.

Currently only available for Kindle - Soon to be available in Print


Exploits by the highly talented author, Poppet is very definitely for the adult reader only.

Written from the point of view of Stef, you are taken on a graphic exploration of her descent from Good-Girl to Love Slave. All of this is in pursuit of the goal of a man.  The story is so engrossing, it doesn’t matter if you’re reading an electronic copy or a print copy, you’ll be sucked in and carried along for the emotional rollercoaster ride.

Perfect for any female friends you might have, reading “Exploits” is just like having a bottle of wine accompanied, in-depth talk with a friend you haven’t seen for ages; and like one of those conversations, “Exploits” leaves you with a happy smile on your face.

This is book is highly recommendable – I had an electronic copy and I had to drag myself out of it to write this review…

Currently only available for Kindle


I shall return shortly with my next two scorching reads - Happy Shopping!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Time for a catch up!

What have I been up to all month? Well, of course it's been NaNoWriMo and I've been writing my fingertips off in an attempt to make the finish line...

... so you'll be glad to know that I slipped in under the tape with seconds to go! The first draft of the second book of The Secret of Arking Down Series is finished! I'll leave it alone until Easter and then I will go back and start editing and retouching it.

What else happened?

We had a sad couple of weeks in the middle of the month. TOH's Grandfather died in his sleep and we had to attend a funeral. I'm pleased to say that PT and NOS behaved themselves impeccably almost all day. I was very proud of the way they handled it and although Granddad will be missed dreadfully, we remember him with happiness.

I had some good news this month. An anthology that I had submitted to several months ago have confirmed that I am in the book! The money from any royalties will be going to various charities and I will give out more details about the anthology and  where you can pick it up closer to the time of publication.

I also slipped a story into a House of Horror anthology called "A Woman Scorned". I say slipped, because I submitted the story late and I wasn't sure if it was going to get in. I am glad that it did get in though - "Red Riding Hood Bites" is a good story and fits the title perfectly!

I've done a few crafty things this month.

I finished a couple of presents for friends and family - a knitted glasses case and neck strap, some fleece lined mittens, a beaded hairband to name a few. I have a pair of Pinnies on the go (and before you say anything, I still don't get on well with thread!) blue with white butterflies ... very pretty and hopefully just what the recipient would like.

Most importantly, this site is now my official Author site. Anything to do with writing (and a few things not to do with writing) will be appearing here. The weebly site was getting too cumbersome and I needed to streamline my operations.

"Welcome to Wherever..." is my foray into the world of publishing. The November edition went out on time and although I haven't yet had the chance to check the stats, seems to be well received. The December edition... alas... shall be slightly late. Mostly because I have been so busy this month - I haven't had time to start putting it together... *looks sheepish* I'll post again when it is live on the net, just so you can check it out!

Most of the pages on the site here are now up and running. You'll find the winner of November's FSS Contest on the Competition Time Page and the runners up are available to read on the Flash Story Fun Page - I'm sure you'll agree that the stories are all worth reading, so please do enjoy!