Sunday, October 2, 2011

Guest Post by Sheila Deeth

One of my earliest memories is of looking through wooden railings down on a narrow, dark staircase. Behind me is a bedroom and the stairs come straight up into the room. That may not sound so strange, but in my world stairs were separated from rooms by doors, so I used to wonder where the memory came from. One day I asked my Mum and she said I’d lived in a house like that when I was a baby—less than two years old. But of course, she added, there was no way I’d have been old enough to remember it.

I’ve read things since then that agree with her, suggesting we can’t make memories when we’re so small. But I don’t believe them and I find myself wondering if anyone can remember all the way back, to being born.

The child in my new story, Flower Child, is born too soon and doesn’t survive the journey through the birth canal. But her spirit survives, somewhere between ghost and angel, becoming real to her mother and to me. I talk to my characters when I’m writing, and they talk to me—I just hope no-one notices and thinks I’m mad. So when Angela told me the story of her journey through the birth canal there’s a part of me that said “Hey, you can’t remember that.” But she did.

“It started, the end or the beginning—I’m not sure which—while I was asleep, red warmth and people-sounds. The ocean’s roar grew violent and angry around me, changed its shape to waterfall. My body jerked in slumber as fluids flushed. My river gone dry, I struggled against my cage and started to fight.

The lights of my red world grew scary then, viciously bright. Something whiter than angels made brittle images on the air. Voices were sharp and fearful, mother singing but the tune all cracked like there was a hole in her heart, beating ragged and sharp. “My baby has gone down the plughole…” she laughed, her body, me, quaking and bent. I didn’t know what a baby or plughole meant, so I simply stored the sounds in memory.

When Mother fell silent, her heartbeat slowing, her thrashing flesh finding rest, then my own struggles dimmed and I fell asleep. Everything up to then felt like a dream, but somehow sleeping didn’t feel like falling awake. My body was sliding, squeezing, fighting its pain, but I had no control and no desire to control it. Flickers of green trickled over me, as though I were trying to rise, but the nightmare held tight.

The world went black at the last and there was silence for a while. Somewhere in the distance the mother-voice cried while Father soothed with words like heavy sap in the burgeoning dawn, but I wasn’t really there. Just a memory of listening, of feeling, seeing nothing, making no sound.”

I’m really grateful to Jenna-Lynne for inviting me to her blog. If you visit my blog: today you’ll find Jenna’s post and an excerpt from her novel Hurricane which promises to be the first in an exciting new series.

About Flower Child: When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

Where to find Flower Child:

About the author: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and sons, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Sheila describes herself as a Mongrel Christian Mathematician. Her short stories, book reviews and articles can be found in VoiceCatcher 4, Murder on the Wind, Poetic Monthly, Nights and Weekends, the Shine Journal and Joyful Online. Besides her Gypsy Shadow ebooks, Sheila has several self-published works available from Amazon and Lulu, and a full-length novel under contract to come out next year.

Find her on her website:

or find her books at:


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