The Geese Are Getting Fat – Flash fiction for You – Tinsel Tale

The Geese Are Getting Fat won me a flash fiction competition on the old Writelink site in 2009. I think Maureen Vincent-Northam was the judge. When Rhobin suggested we put up a free story or extract for our readers in the December round robin, I remembered this series of competitions, Tinsel Tales, and having found a paper copy of The Geese Are Getting Fat, I’m going to type it out for you all.

Happy Christmas, dear readers. Enjoy this little gift from me.

THE GEESE ARE GETTING FAT by Me – Anne Stenhouse

Brenda watched the geese waddle across the farmyard enjoying their last day of a well fed life. The boss would start filling Christmas orders tomorrow.

She turned to the open wardrobe door and gathered the dress that hung there into her hands. Its satin bodice was sewn with sequins and the net skirts flared from a cinched in waist. She sighed. surely Will would ask her to marry him when he saw her in this sparkling dress? Red was her colour.

There were only seven days till Christmas. Had she done enough? Twice weekly trips to the gym and starvation rations had turned her country figure into a svelte picture of sophistication.

She glanced at the wedding photograph of the boss and his bride, Rachel. City slim and glamorous, she smiled into the camera. Brenda gathered her cleaning things before going down to join her for coffee.

In November, when the dress arrived after a shopping trip, everything in Rachel’s wardrobe fitted her perfectly. Today, she was most often seen in trackie bottoms and a sweat shirt.

‘I’ve brought millionaire’s shortbread this morning,’ Brenda said.

‘Anyone would think you were fattening me up like one of the geese,’ Rachel protested. ‘There’s no point in taking that red dress with me when we go to Mum and Dad’s for Christmas. I must go on a diet when we get back.’

Brenda smiled and toyed with the farmhouse keys in her apron pocket. She’d done enough.

The end


Marci Baun is next up in this round robin, but I’ve posted everyone’s link below in case you feel like dropping into several.

Now, if you enjoy my kind of slow, wry humour and would like to read more together with some sparkling ‘between the sexes’ dialogue, you may. Here are some links for your e-readers: Mariah’s Marriage UK Mariah’s Marriage US Mariah’s Marriage B&N Bella’s Betrothal UK Bella’s Betrothal US Bella’s Betrothal B&N

Ginger Simpson
Beverley Bateman
Fiona McGier
Diane Bator
Rachael Kosnski
Margaret Fieland
Helena Fairfax
Anne Stenhouse
Marci Baun
A.J. Maguire
Victoria Chatham
Kay Sisk
Skye Taylor
Lynn Crain
Rhobin Courtright

Connie vines


Christmas Presents: Curiosity killed the cat

Christmas presents are much on my mind at present as I try to source my DH’s heart’s desire, remember which books I bought for the family last year and sort out who likes what sweets/chocolate/Italian biccies…

I keep remembering a small incident from childhood and I thought I’d share it. It’s that time of year and I’m, you know, generous to a fault. 100_4512

Our church was a bus ride away. We had no car. One year some of the household went off to the Midnight service and my brothers didn’t. This was why all the parcels lovingly wrapped and placed under the tree had been opened and carefully re-wrapped by the time we returned. As all the sellotape had already been used, the paper was stuck together with flour and water paste.

Some of you will know flour and water paste has a noble history. In parts of Scotland it was used to hang wall-paper. So while curiosity may have killed one or two cats, satisfaction, and a little flour and water, brought them back.

Any similar smiles from your Christmas past?

Excitement – Nothing to do with Christmas

I can’t tell you how excited I was to open a mail from the lovely Sarah Quirke and discover she wanted Mariah’s Marriage for Ulverscoft’s Linford Romance line

I read Sarah’s interview on the Romantic Novelists’ Association blog  October 17th and was struck by her answer to who was her typical reader. She thought there wasn’t one as so many people have eye problems. Everything is considered and this chimed exactly with a family memory.

Diabetes left my mum’s sight seriously compromised but, after cataract ops, she was able to return to reading Large Print books. We found a box of discontinued ones at a church sale and I was truly surprised by her choices from it. If I’d simple bought some and taken them to her, she wouldn’t have had some that she turned out to be keen on.

So, a double celebration, because romance was my mum’s favourite genre. Large print and Talking Books were a Godsend for her in her later years. I’m really thrilled that one of my titles will be appearing in large print in due course.

London Girl

London Girl



Plot, structure characters, but the greatest of these is characters.

I’ve been struggling with a plot glitch for some weeks now and sinking into what’s looking seriously like writers’ block. I could not find a way to write the scene I saw so clearly in my mind’s eye. Why?


That’s why. You (generic writer you) can always tell that the plot is frog-marching everyone to a conclusion when the characters begin to grimace. Then they girn and then they go back into lurk and everything stops.

So why was this? The answer – and I really hope it is an answer- was in the structure. Cart before horse again and I saw it, but I didn’t see it. And now I do. So lots of hard work just when the Festive season is making demands.

Are you a writer? What stops you in your writing tracks? Mariah’s Marriage UK Mariah’s Marriage US Bella’s Betrothal UK Bella’s Betrothal US

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