Superhero in training…

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There’s this guy that I’ve seen at the end of my road a few times and I’m trying to figure him out. He’s tall, good looking with little dreads and always wears shorts and a singlet. The first time I saw him was a few weeks ago, he was outside my house when I was on the other side of the road and he was sprinting up and down, as if in a very small race. The next time, a few days later, he was at the end of the road having a dance. There wasn’t any music playing, but he was boogying away. An older gentleman looked over as he passed and dreaded-guy gave a ‘Cuh! Funny old world, isn’t it?’ expression.

I saw him a few days ago standing on the steps of what I guess is his house, just up the road, which is a fairly normal thing to do. But the way he did it was just a bit too superheroey, you know? Hands on waist, scanning the street for trouble. It was spoiled briefly when a little old lady who I guess also lives there, asked him to move.

Then today I got a shock when I saw him four feet in the air. He was standing, steady as you like on a pavement bollard. I went to my doorstep and looked back and he was still there, but threw something (looked like a cape) to the ground and then leapt down.

Now bloggers, you’ve helped me before, what’s going on here? He doesn’t look distressed or unkempt in any way, in fact just the opposite. So is he:

  • A superhero in training?
  • An exhibitionist who is used to getting compliments, but is missing out due to covid?
  • A malfunctioning robot who’s escaped a lab?

 

 

Feebility and foxes

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I like how the cubs started trying to kill each other, while mum fox became super interested in a daisy.

Wallydrag  – feeble person or animal. Runt of the litter

While checking wallydrag, Google suggested:

Sneckdraw  –  a sly crafty person trying to worm his way in.

Housal  – belonging to the house

The last few days I’ve been chased by a migraine. I have intense dreams about dying and then wake up with my back all twisted up. It’s getting a bit shit now. Anyway, so this is a short little blog, with foxes and words. I hope you all staying sane and delightful, keeping the plague away.

A few things to stay safe the government haven’t suggested yet, but may work:

  • A rabbit’s foot nailed to the door (only if the rabbit is already dead, otherwise is cruel).
  • A sprig of rosemary under the doormat (unfortunately my rosemary bush died last year. Coincidence?)
  • Three left shoes arranged in a triangle in front of a mirror (this really works!)
  • A tissue soaked in bleach on your pillow (this may explain the bad dreams)
  • I believe some people are also using rainbows drawn on the pavement to ward off evil, but they must be drawn by a child at midnight and I haven’t been able to procure one yet.

Smile! No one can see it anyway!

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wondermonger – one who promises miracles

vincible – that which may be overcome

Tried wearing a mask out today, but no one in my part of London is wearing one. It means everyone stares at me and i feel as if I’m the outsider insulting strangers with my foreign ways.

Some of you might remember me writing about being on a journey to work last year and some guy started acting like he was going to punch me. I still see him around. Sometimes he’s following people. One time he waved at me, so I waved back. He can be a bit scary, but clearly has serious problems to deal with, so I always wish him well (in my head anyway).

Today I saw him sitting on a mattress with a lady friend (who also had difficulties to deal with). They looked like they were having a picnic in the park – a couple of cans, some snacks, plenty of sunshine. Except they were at the side of a busy road on a mattress in the middle of a pandemic. They looked happy.

It’s not an ideal situation, but take your smiles where you can, I think.

 

Supernice extract

Supernice cover
This is the cover! Do you like it?

For those of you looking for a free book to read who haven’t signed up for Supernice yet. Here’s the start of the book. It starts from a bird’s eye view, but actually follows the lives of Natasha and her dad Nick when a particularly strange alien invasion occurs.

The deal is if you write to me at petra_jacob @ outlook.com (remove the spaces) I will send you the first 12 chapters, and then 3 more chapters every 3 days (it’s not actually released yet). All for free, with no tricks or obligations. I just want people to read my book and those already reading seem to be enjoying it, now I want MORE!

Supernice by Petra Jacob

In New Delhi, Mr Patel was halfway through explaining Pythagoras’ theorem to class 12B when he fell asleep. He gently slumped into the white boards, smearing the bottom angle of a red triangle across his face, his blue-striped tie rumpling up to his chin. This would have caused delight to his students, except that they too were all asleep. Some gently snoring, some hanging from their chairs, but every one blissfully unaware of the world around them.

At the Zenith Heights Casino in Las Vegas, it was nearly midnight, but instead of the usual bustling drama, customers were folded and crumpled across fruit machines and tables. While Celine Dion wailed over the speakers, a young, balding man had fallen against a slot machine, his fingers around a pork rib taken from the buffet. Just out of sight of the machines, a hostess wearing a glittery costume, a peacock headdress and a thick coating of makeup was lying with her face in a line of coke, straw dangling from her nose.

Although most of Mexico City was asleep since it was two in the morning, the red-light district was still filled with punters. Car horns were blaring non-stop as sex workers had fallen back from the policemen they were straddling. Late night clubbers and early morning delivery drivers in London had all collapsed where they stood.  And fifty miles away, in Icking, near Worthing, Natasha had stopped getting ready for school. Halfway through putting on her socks she had tipped sideways onto her bed.

The minutes ticked by and the sleep continued. The insomniacs, the busy, the lazy – all united in slumber.

Outside Natasha’s house a light rain had started, speckling the cars. A black cat sat licking its paws at the side of the road. Then it stopped, looked at the ground in alarm, and in one graceful movement leapt onto a wall, making a low yowling moan, its tail waving as it sniffed the air. Nothing happened for a moment, and then with the faintest creaking the road lifted up and a small tarmac wave rolled down the white lines. The cat bolted along the wall and disappeared over a fence. Then another wave lifted and rolled beneath the cars parked along it. A large removal truck sailed down the road towards the battered Ka belonging to Natasha’s dad. As the truck hit the bumper, another wave lifted and carried it away.

Not only the tarmac was morphing. Cars wobbled and bulged, small bubbles of paint were popping and settling. Lampposts bent as if the weight of light was too much, bowing to the liquid road. With a slight shiver, and the smell of freshly mixed concrete, paving slabs shifted as if they’d been laid on molten lava. Then the slabs themselves became square pools of concrete with insects skating on the surface between stones that popped up and bobbed. Natasha didn’t wake when the mattress she was lying on bulged and collapsed beneath her, the material oozing into her mouth and around her eyes. She didn’t wake when the walls bowed in, squashing the furniture so it dented like marshmallow.

At the local supermarket, the shelves creaked as the metal struts puddled on the floor, then slowly rose again, leaving only a few packets of cornflakes spilled onto the now liquid ground.

The postman of Icking was leaning against a wall, three bills and a package containing a hairdryer still clutched in his hand, as the bricks against his cheek became as soft as dough and oozed around him. His nose was slowly sinking when with a pop he bounced back out, unharmed, still sleeping.

For three hours the streets, buildings and vehicles across every continent wriggled and floated as curious, intrusive intent took control, flexing and claiming. As the hours moved on, the movement slowed. All distorted objects came to rest exactly as they had been.

When everybody woke up four hours and sixteen minutes later, the world looked virtually unchanged, nobody suspected all life was now waiting to upend. Nobody knew that the Wave had begun.

 

Little bits of lives…

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penetraliain – most parts of a building or temple; innermost secrets

pismirism – hoarding of small or insignificant things

There’s a tradition round my way, that when you want to get rid of furniture or bric a brac, you stick it out on the pavement. Right now you can tell people are stuck at home, because the streets are full of evidence of their clear-outs. Over the last week, I’ve seen clothes, cupboards, kids’ toys (a line of cuddly toys on the wall like they were waiting for a bus) and now cassettes. I’m not sure it’s the wisest idea with the plague going on (I wonder if they did the same in the fourteenth century), but I guess it can all be washed.

AND…

I’m releasing up to chapter 9 of Supernice today. A science fiction story of a girl and her dad trying to survive a bizarre alien invasion. It’s got dad jokes, aliens that get inside your brain to change your personality, and lots of fake smiles.

Here are some comments I’ve received so far:

“I read the first 3 pages and was hooked!!!”

“Read the first three chapters last night and loving it. Looking forward to the next three – intriguing concept.”

“I am enjoying your book a lot! It’s veryyyy engaging and I honestly cannot wait to see where you take your characters next! Making this quarantine so much more bearable.”

“I am hooked! …And I love your way with words. Brilliant.”

So maybe it’s time YOU had a read. Or not if it’s not your thing. But if you’re intrigued, it’s free, involves no obligation and no spreading of germs. The ultimate Covid19 experience!

Just contact me on petra_jacob @outlook. com (without the spaces). Let me know what format you want it in (PDF, ePub, Word etc) and I’ll send the first nine chapters.

little Corona life

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The most interesting things of my day

Parent fox left the three cubs alone in next door’s garden where they climbed over each other for a while. I guess they’re getting big enough to be left alone.

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Went to the little Sainsbury’s since it’s the only one that usually has a combination of food and no-queues winding up the street. Which was the case again.

I bought some veg and bread and milk and although there was someone at the checkout, I figured the self-checkout is fairer because it doesn’t put the cashier at risk. Anyway, I happily beeped through my items until I got to my loose potato. It has no bar-code, so I pressed the Look up other items button and Veg. No sign of potato. I pressed the Popular items button. No potato. I pressed the help button and a Sainsbury lady cautiously approached, I did my best not to breathe and explained about the lack of potato options.

The cashier shouted over from the tills, ‘You can’t buy a potato at that self checkout till. You have to use that one.’ He gestured at another self-checkout that was occupied. ‘Or this one.’ He gestured at his own till. The Sainsbury lady gave me a Whoops, that’s foolish! expression and I had a chuckle and then bought the single potato at the front till. It cost 39p.

It’s these little moments of the ridiculous that make my day.

Oh and the foxes.

Life’s entertainment has got much smaller, but I don’t think it’s got any less entertaining, although that might be my simple brain.

How about you? Any small moments that made you smile?

 

Supernice – smile or else!

peering smile

When aliens invade the sleepy town of Icking, Natasha and her dad struggle to keep up with the increasing demands of their new overlords. They know that one mistake is enough to devastate their lives.

A story of family and friendship during an unfathomable crisis, when nobody knows the solution.

Note: I promise I am better at writing fiction than I am at writing blurb.

So the next three chapters of my book, Supernice are out! If you’re looking for something free to read, just drop me a line and let me know the format (PDF, MOBI, ePub or Word) and I’ll be happy to send the first six chapters, with three more released every three days.

petra_jacob  @outlook  .com (minus the spaces).

“Read the first 3 chapters of your book and I’m hooked. Your writing is amazing!”

comment from Lushlife    🙂

 

Good gravy! Can no one stick to the social distancing rules?

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So yesterday I went to get some crisps from the cupboard, because such is my covid diet, when I spotted a fox in the garden. And she wasn’t alone, she had the cubs with her! I watched them for a while skipping about, tumbling, playing tag, playing football with the two footballs left by the kid from downstairs. Meanwhile the mum hung out keeping an eye. Finally they all tumbled out through the fence. then two tumbled back in, kicked the football a few more times and ran out again.

I knew mama-fox wouldn’t be scared of me after I walked into that tree! Worth it!

note: It occurs to me I’m assuming that this is a female fox because they’re with cubs, but I believe both male and female parents stay with cubs, so one parent must have died. Which means this might be a male or female. And I am sexist, sorry!

Tomorrow I release the next three chapters of my book, so for those of you reading, I hope you’re enjoying it. And for those of you not reading, well, I shall be pestering you!

Right, so here’s the plan

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I woke at three this morning with a sudden knowledge of the best way to give my book to those who want to read it. I’m going to send it to anyone who wants it, but in large chunks (three chapters at a time). So it’s like a quicker serialization, straight to your email.

The process:

  • Anyone who wants to read Supernice can send me an email with information on what format they want to read it  in – PDF seems to be the most popular, but I can also do Word, Mobi and Epub.
  • My email address is petra_jacob@ outlook. com (remove the spaces to mail)
  • I will send the FIRST THREE CHAPTERS.
  • And then THE NEXT THREE every THREE DAYS.
  • It costs nothing, and I won’t use your email for anything else. Or sell it to anyone.
  • I’ll put up extracts on here over the next week too, so if you’re not sure, you can make up your mind when you’ve read some.

The book:

Supernice is a soft science fiction story about a bizarre alien invasion set in a sleepy seaside town in England. The plot centres around teenage Natasha and her dad Nick. They both want to do what’s right to survive, but end up on opposite sides of the battle. Meanwhile the aliens are laying down more and more rules, altering anyone who defies them by squashing their personalities so they behave.

Note: I can, in theory send the whole book in one go, but I prefer to do it this way. If you hate this idea, let me know in the email and we’ll sort something out.

So, my lovely fellow bloggers, are you interested? Then email me!

 

 

Me vs. Tree. I lose.

Red Fox cub
As you can see from the watermark, I nicked this from Warren photographic

I’ve been keeping busy in the lockdown.

I was hanging out at the end of my garden today. I pruned the apple tree in winter and I’ve been terrified it wouldn’t bud. However, it’s sprouting like a trooper, blossom abounding, so I was getting a close up look. Then I noticed a fox the other side of the tree, standing staring at me. So I stood and stared at her for a bit. And she stared at me. I thought, This is nice. We’re having a moment. Then she ran over to the fence where a small animal was trundling through a hole into my garden. It looked like a puppy, squat and dark brown, with a stubby tail. I’ve seen fox cubs before, but they didn’t look like that. The fox tried to nudge the pup back through the hole, and when it wouldn’t go she gripped it with her mouth to try and pick it up. I shifted around the tree to get a better look and saw there were four or five of these little puppies squeezing through the hole, ignoring the fox trying to get them back out again. They were crawling underneath her while she tried to sit on them so they couldn’t, all the while still gripping the one pup by the neck. She kept looking over at me warily, no doubt thinking I was up to no good.

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I decided I needed to get my phone to try and get a picture and quickly turned, smacking my face straight into a thick tree branch of my lovely pruned tree. I didn’t knock myself out, but had to sit on the ground for a bit with my head in my hands. When I looked later my eye had gone a bit purple, and there were scratches and bumps across the lid and up my forehead in a clear line.

Anyway, now I’ve looked it up, those dog-like pups are exactly what fox cubs look like when they’re very small. No wonder the fox was protective and suspicious. Hopefully, having seen me walk into a tree she’ll have realised I’m not even slightly a threat.