The idea of this anthology is simple – each writer dedicates their work to a relative killed in WW1 or one of the millions of other soldiers who died in the conflict.

Your story should be set in 1918 and feature a returning serviceman. Please note that he does not have to be the protagonist or British. Many non-Europeans fought in WWI and I would like the anthology to reflect this.

LENGTH: 2,000 – 3,500 words


DEADLINE: 1st June 2018.

RESPONSE TIME: I will acknowledge all submissions and contact authors with a final decision by 1st July 2018. 

NO: reprints or simultaneous submissions.

NO: erotica or excessive gore.


  • Subject Line should be formatted as follows – WWI Submission: Title of Story/word count e.g. WWI Submission: Poppies/2,700.
  • Please paste your story (in the body of an email) to: rspyne[AT]btinternet[DOT]com
  • If you would like to commemorate a fallen relative or relatives in the anthology, please include names and any other detail (dates, regiment etc) in your brief cover letter (optional).


 All stories published in the anthology will generate royalties for a period of two years from date of publication, with monthly statements sent to authors and automatic payment whenever outstanding royalties exceed £10.

I look forward to reading all submissions!



Icicle Garden II

Icicles in a Trefeurig quarry – March 2nd 2018 – picture credit © J. C. Pyne

Cut off again – can’t get out of the village at all but still managed to take the dog for a walk and play snowballs. The icicles in the quarry have grown and are even more spectacular today. With the sunshine glittering off the frozen crystal needles, it was a magical sight.

even more icicles.JPG

Icicles in a Trefeurig quarry – 2nd March 2018 – picture credit © J. C. Pyne



On this day on the 12th February 1809, one of my greatest scientific heroes came into the world. There is no getting away from it – his inclusion on the Beagle voyage would not have happened if he had been a labourer’s son from Machynlleth or Talybont. His family name and money admitted him to the fellowship of gentlemen scientists – a conveniently open door that would have been slammed firmly shut for anyone with fewer connections.

Many people now think he may also have been on the autistic spectrum; some of his well- documented character quirks fit Asperger’s profiles. It doesn’t really matter. If it is true, it only confirms that people with ASD can make a monumental contribution to science and our understanding of the natural world.

Let’s hear it for the earthworm-botherer extraordinaire and barnacle obsessive hypochondriac Charles Darwin!

Veganuary 2018

I had been thinking about going vegan for a while after being a strict vegetarian for well over twenty years. This seemed like the next logical step.

Within a week of cutting out all dairy, my chronic asthma had dramatically improved and my sinuses cleared for the first time in years. My peak flow measurements are much higher with use of the reliever inhaler (salbutamol) cut by eighty-five to ninety percent, despite having the dreaded lurgy.

In conclusion, I decided to continue Veganuary for another month = VEGRUARY!!! It will be interesting to see what happens in the hay fever season.


This photograph was taken in August 2016 and shows my black tortoiseshell cat in relaxed mode. Black Torties are commonly viewed as lucky or ‘Money Cats’ in the folklore of several different countries. She was originally a stray but rescued herself, appearing one cold winter evening two years ago and moved in shortly afterwards. She inspired a short story called ‘The Canticle of Grimalkin,” published in the In a Cat’s Eye anthology (2016 Pole to Pole Publishing).

Pictures from Sony 184 ESME

Esme – how to demonstrate the concept of Tortitude without even trying!



The object is small and made of leather: a single child’s shoe with a flat heel, rounded toe and a single strap fastened with a round button. Bent out of shape but still relatively well preserved; the worn sole has been mended more than once with a leather patch. Another small hole had been left before being sealed in the chimney to ward off witches and evil spirits, and guard against ill fortune.

It now lives in a clear plastic box close to where it was uncovered, found by the builders during renovation work to my old cottage in rural West Wales about twelve years ago. There it will stay … just in case.

My shoe is unlikely to be later than 1900 in date, based on an almost identical one pictured on (December 2017).  Most finds date to the 18th and 19th centuries; they are everyday objects that carry a lot of history with them, a fascinating window on past superstitions and customs.