The Point of Vanishing & Other Dreams


In my blog, I explore the themes that weave through my stories and dreams:

the need to belong, and the fear of loss; the longing for family and home and love; loneliness and the extraordinary power of the human spirit; depression - and hope; the clarifying presence of the natural world, and ways of being awake and alive in the only moment we really have: this one.

I hope you'll follow me beyond the storytelling, and join me on this very human journey....


"Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." ~Oscar Wilde

‘I dream my paintings and then I paint my dreams’. ~Vincent Van Gogh

The following little creations are taken from recent dreams, rough hewn and unpolished, mined directly from the unconscious. They are the raw material for future Wishing Tree tales, and they are very, very short .


Where does the real world end?  And where do dreams begin?
Dreams may take you to uneasy places...
Yet it is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.
                                                                                                                      ~Virginia Woolf

Each of the stories in the collection is inspired by one of my many dreams.  You can read some of the stories in full online (see links below and left) to decide if they are your sort of thing. The whole collection will, hopefully, eventually be available as a 'real book'. If you Like my page on Facebook or choose 'Follow by email' I will keep you updated (these links are on each page of website).  And please feel free to comment via my blogposts; I love to connect with people and have interesting conversations.

The Glass Maiden

(, February 2021)

She couldn’t tell them that she had lost her family, or that her family had lost her. That they had looked at her strange white hair and her long, sad face, and concluded she could not possibly be one of them.

'She tried to answer, but instead she coughed, and out of her mouth spilled tiny pieces of glass like broken teeth, skittering across the wooden floorboards, glittering in the firelight.'

Singing Wind

(, January 2021)

She was Nameless. And she began to fade, slowly at first, just a toe here, a fingernail there. Her skin grew translucent and strange, uncertain of itself. She had trouble seeing herself in the mirror. 

                'She sang the sound of the water, the gust of the wind, the clap of the pigeon's wings.
                She sang the leap of the mouse, the yellow of the primrose, the eye of the hawk.
                She sang the dark of the earth, the bright of the moon, the wet of the rain.'


(Winner of Writers' Forum competition, Issue 163, April 2015, early edition under the name Resurrection)

 Miriam’s shadow has a life of its own, until she meets a lonely young girl with whom she forms an unlikely friendship.
'Miriam couldn’t remember exactly when she first noticed that her shadow behaved differently from everyone else’s.  Tiny things at first: a finger moved when her own was motionless; a sudden tilt of the head at the very edge of her line of sight; a slight lag as it followed meekly behind at her heels.'

The Sea Urchin

(Published in Short Story Sunday on 31st May 2015)  Also, 'Author of the Month' for Short Story Sunday May 2015)

A hungry sea attempts to lure a young boy..
'He thought she was a rock.  Smothered in seaweed, motionless, her skin encrusted with salt.  But then she moved, and he leapt back so fast that he fell over and landed on the sand, which was not as soft and accommodating as you might think.'

time piece
All the Time in the World

(This story is available for download in Pennyshorts: The Best New Voices in Fiction, for FREE at )

A group of hikers are shown hospitality by a strange, ageless man who collects not only clocks....
'I never even had an inkling. I never knew that at that moment I had a choice, to turn away and pretend I had never seen the place, to return to my friends and wait in the woods all night long if we had to, until somebody found us. There was no sign from heaven, no wail from the wind, no sinister crow landing on the roof and staring me down. And so such choices pass us by, and our lives are never the same again.'

Wishing tree
The Wishing Tree

Two children find themselves running for their lives. Their only hope of rescue?  The mythical Wishing Tree.
'Months drift by, years slide past, and my roots grow bitter, buried deep in the parched earth.
But today, I turn away from the sky, and search the horizon.
For at last, someone is coming. 

I feel them, I smell them: the promise of fire, the promise of rain.'



Point of Vanishing

A boy learns how to become invisible, but has he truly mastered this power, or does it control him?
'Six hours and forty-three minutes.  That’s exactly how long it’s been since anybody noticed I existed.  Which maybe wouldn’t be so bad in itself, except that there’s only five people in this campervan, and that’s how long we’ve been sitting in it.'

The Shop of Curiosities

(Shortlisted for the Academy of Children's Writers award, 2013)

When a shop mysteriously appears in the town square, the twins decide to explore it.  But it is much more than simply a shop.   Meanwhile, time passes by.....
'It looked like something grown, not built. 
It looked like it had been there forever, wedged tight between the opticians and the bakers. The twins stood there, open-mouthed. They couldn’t quite believe their eyes.' 


Kokako Song

(Received Special Commendation in August 2016 for the Twelth International Short Story competition by

This story is also available for download in Pennyshorts: The Best New Voices in Fiction, for FREE at )

When a young family moves to live in a remote area of the New Zealand bush, they are excited about their new prospects.  But they are not the only ones wanting to live there...
'Then a single, haunting note echoed through the trees. It prickled the skin at the back of Alison’s neck. It was ancient, and lonely, and achingly beautiful. It came from beyond the skies, beyond the oceans; from a time before people wandered the earth, before wars and peace treaties and the division of the lands; before the classification of species and the discovery of penicillin. She felt small; like they had sullied something simply by being present to witness it. Harry’s mouth fell open. The call came again, floating effortlessly across miles of endless forest to where they stood.'

 The Forgotten Garden

(Inspired by the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall)

When you long for someone to love, you will do anything to keep them near.  The love of a garden is no different.
'I wait until the child has exhausted herself, and then, when she is curled up tight in a ball against the bole of a beech tree, I softly shake the tree until its leaves shower down upon her like a green fountain, and cover her like a quilt. Then I sing her a lullaby of sunshine and birdsong, of long waving grasses and clipping shears, of sweetly composted soil. 
 And I watch her sleep, and wonder how to make her happy.'


Together with a group of strangers, I take a train across the sea, to a strange and remote island. What happens next - well, you're not going to believe me.
'I look at the sky. It arches overhead, and tells me nothing. It feels like late summer; it's balmy and languid and lazy, like a drunken bee. I can't remember a thing. Not a thing.  I mean, how did I get here?  Did I sleepwalk?' 


A lone traveller is rescued by a family in northern Scandanavia.  But love, even the love of strangers, can sometimes be too much to bear.
'Once someone said to me, how would you explain the colour ‘purple’ to a Martian? I said you couldn’t, because they would have nothing with which to compare it, unless perhaps they already knew blue and red, in which case you might have a chance. And I always wondered how you would know if you were colour blind, if nobody told you​?

Well, it was as if I’d been colour blind all my life. Or a Martian. And now, suddenly, I wasn't.'


(Shortlisted by Writers' Forum 2014)

What would happen if it never stopped raining, year after endless year? 
'Eventually, fifteen years after the Rains began, he has found a sort of equilibrium, an uneasy truce between himself and the weather. He works part-time as a parking attendant. Although he will always hate the rain, the cloud is thinner sometimes and a yellow potato light leaks through, and sometimes this is almost enough.  Almost.'


Mr Death is a fine gentleman.  But he has no scruples, none at all. 

As you will see.

'Death is nothing like you’d expect.  He - I shall call him ‘he’, although strictly speaking he is beyond gender – is rumoured to appear in different guise to each of us.  Well, I don’t know about that.  All I know is, during the brief time I was in his employ, he was to me a tall gentleman with impeccable manners, dressed in immaculate tailored clothes of the finest quality linen and wool, polished black boots and hickory walking cane, and with the kind of ageless face you’d expect from someone who has been around since the beginning of Time and who will be around until well past the end of it.'                    


(Runner up for Oxfordshire Libraries e-book short story Competition 2016: available on Overdrive at until end 2016)

Maggie McLeod’s only friends exist in a painting that her mother bought from a charity shop to brighten up her room.  But their painted world seems increasingly far more real to her than her own.

'Maddy MacLeod bore an unfortunate resemblance to a fish. She couldn’t help it, of course; her eyes were enlarged behind her owl-shaped glasses, and her poor vision meant that she stared long and hard without blinking – which, in combination with her short stature, meant she was generally gazing upwards, adding to the overall fishy effect.'