u believe


in order and method

bully for you

i believe

in a last-minute reprieve

in incredible strokes of luck

in wing it like a bird

© Alex Ankarr 2016

Image Jeff Sharp, public domain.


Poem: …dandelion


pleased with pleb vitality

contempt for hothouse blooms

I was a dandelion, she thought

from under tons of concrete, tons

broke anyway

through a hundred metric tonnes of rock

a smiling flower at the tip

poking through

© Alex Ankarr 2017

Image – Orest Ukrainsky, public domain

Poem: …matrimony and the man II


Doves shot upwards

Snowfall in reverse

Confetti burst

the groom, and his groom

fine handsome catch

every bit his match

waiting on a promise,

all dolled up and fine

forever be mine

Vows are made

Doves are flown

Fizz all downed

Rings exchanged

Dance in dreams

flowergirl screams

(Too much cake. Allowed a sip of fizz
Parents, parents, why d’you do this?)

hand in hand and

husbands now

one last vow

wedding day done

cake’s crumbs,

Listen, grooms:

It begins now.

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2017

Image – Ludovic Bertron via Creative Commons Licence

Zumba for the Soul, week 5

Are we in week 5 already?  (I suspect we’re in week 6 already, actually.  Late, late, for a very important date!)

Aaaand the Zumba tasks for this week, assigned by Ms. Grout:

a) make a hat out of newspaper.

Ehhhhh.  MORE ORIGAMI?  Can I just cut a circle out of the middle, plonk it on my head and call it a sunhat?

b) then, to write 500 words.  About someone you hate.

Yuck, that’s not a nice task.  Must I?  Well, I suppose it need never see the light of day.

c) Plan a beach holiday, make cocktails for it, get straw hats for the sun.


But hey?  With my newspaper-with-a-hole cut out, I’ve got the sunhat all ready!  (The boozin’ bit I’ve got down.  I can do that all right.)

‘If you like pina colada, and getting caught in the rain…’


image – chris Goldberg https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisgold/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ and not modified.

Zumba for the Soul, week 4

Week Four!  We’re back again!

Task One:

Eh.  Three instructions for this week, and the first is to catch fireflies or make snow angels.  Uhhhh…  I don’t know where I could catch fireflies.  I’m not sure it’s even the time of year for fireflies.  And no snow here, bud.35082682316_f7f9615c71_k

image – Bernd Thaller https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernd_thaller/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I think this one’s a bust.

Task Two: wear all one colour, yellow or purple or blue.

Well, my sis gives me so many cloes that I could probs do this one.  Will go and poke about in my wardrobe and chest of drawers.


image Vladimer Shioshvilir  https://www.flickr.com/photos/vshioshvili/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Task Three: remember as many Christmas carols as possible.

image – Nick Amoscato https://www.flickr.com/photos/namoscato/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

…timing much?  Ooookay.  Just remember ’em, though, right?  I don’t have to actually sing?  Because that would be cruel and unusual.  (For everyone around me.)

What I’ve been reading – On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

On Writing: A Memoir of the CraftOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read it a long time ago, and to the best of my memory I just didn’t agree with at least half of King’s assertions. But you can’t argue with his sales, and The Dead Zone is one of my favourite books ever. He’s got to know what he’s doing!

View all my reviews

What I’ve been reading – ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ by Pam Grout


image – Matt https://www.flickr.com/photos/berger787/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ no changes

Yes, yes, I’ve only just begun working through the projects – but I actually finished reading the book itself a little while ago.  And I think it says something, that I had such a good time with it that I decided to actually put it to work and do the weekly projects.  Right?  How often does a book actually inspire you to action, including ones that are designed specifically for that purpose?

I have a print copy of the book (and it’s a lovely object, well-designed.)  It’s structured on a weekly basis for a full  year.  Each chapter has an essay linked to the main project assigned for the week.  Then there’s the ‘Zumba for the Soul’ section per week, three more random activities/tasks/suggestions.  And an inspirational quote/biographical tidbit to sign off.

I think – and Ms. Grout herself notes – that it would be easy to read the book purely as inspiration, to feel good and get lit up with enthusiasm and then…  move on and forget about it.  That would be a shame, though.  I forget who I’m quoting when I invoke the law of precession – Buckminster Fuller?  Things happen, when you take action.  Things you couldn’t have predicted.  Many more than you would have expected, all flowing from your original act like a fountainhead.

But it was pretty probably Goethe who said something about action having ‘genius, power and magic in it’, and how therefore actually getting off your arse and doin’ it – whatever magic act of creativity you  have in mind – was probably the best thing.

The results you get in life – good, bad, indifferent, astounding – depend on how much you engage.  Engage 10%, get 10% results – i.e. results that you’ve actually brought into being as a result of your interaction.  Engage 90%, get 90% results.  If you don’t engage – get out there, interact, create, ask, try – then you’re not getting results at all.  You’re just a null object, having no effect on reality whatsoever.  You’re a bit of flotsam, along for the ride.  You might as well not exist.

Lemme quote Taylor Parkes: ‘Activity is king’.

What would happen if you engaged 100%?  I’d like to find out, personally.

This book is terrific. But the results if you follow its prescription, if you treat it less like a pretty recipe book, and more like the actual contents of your food cupboards that you’re gonna cook and eat – could be truly astonishing.

Zumba For The Soul: Week 3

Wow, here we are in week three of this adventure I’m sharing with you, courtesy of Ms. Grout!  And the random, mercurial, downright mystifying tasks for this week are:-

i) Invent a new drink.  A boozy one.  Not just a beverage.  Hey, this is my kind of challenge!  Ooh, lemme see…  I know.  Lager and peppermint cordial.  As boozing goes, that’s the kind of disgusting that tests your resolve and your dedication to the bottle.  How much do you really want to get hammered?  That much?  Wow.

ii) for this, you gotta paint some old trainers, sneakers, somesuch.  I don’t know if I’ve got any.  Old ones tend to go in the bin!  But if I can find any, I’ve got some silver spray paint…

iii) ‘Eat breakfast somewhere you’ve never eaten before.’  What, like a sandwich out at the local pond with all the froggies in spring?  I could do that.


image – Benny Mazur https://www.flickr.com/photos/benimoto/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Pammie, you’re making my brain hurt with some of these.

Wolf Slave 11 – Alex Ankarr


Photo in the public domain by Jack Kurzenknabe

Complete ebook available for download FREE! at https://www.books2read.com/u/bOrRxQ

Wolf Slave 11 – Alex Ankarr

It seems enough, for Hotstaat says, ‘Then go choose a book, and come sit by me and read to me.’

‘What manner of book might you prefer, sir?’ Penn does ask, for it seems wisest not to annoy the man with ill-choices. But he gets an impatient gesture of the hand in reply, and so moves off to make a decision himself. Better not to annoy with ill-received questions, also.

Out of a library of thousands and tens of thousands of books, to make a choice for a first impression upon a new owner, for a first reading… Damn, it’s not going to be easy. The classics, Penn decides: and fiction, definitely. Out of all safe choices, it’s surely the safest. Dickens, Voltaire, Tolstoy… His eyes run over them as he walks down the stacks. Then his eye falls upon Jane Eyre, and he picks it up. Mostly because he’s right by the appropriate shelf, and he can’t afford to aggravate Hotstaat by keeping him waiting any longer. This is it, this is the one.

When he goes to sit down by Hotstaat – as invited, not as if he would take the liberty off his own bat – he begins to announce his choice of book, mention its history, and seek approval of his choice. Or at least he would, but even as he begins he gets another impatient shooing-at. ‘Just read,’ Hotstaat says, journal on his lap and staring at the fire.

So Penn just reads, and he just reads for a good long time. By the time he has come to the point of the French child, Adèle, and Rochester disclaiming parentage of her because, after all, she is not a werewolf, and if she were his child then she would most assuredly be wolf-born – well, he has almost forgotten that he has an audience.

He remembers, though, when Hotstaat interrupts the flow of his narration, turning his head and speaking to him abruptly. ‘Annoying child, simpering miss, isn’t she?’ he says to Penn. ‘One can hardly blame Rochester for wishing to disown her. Do you remember, Penn, when we were that age? I am sure we were never half such little moaners and complainers. You might have whined a little for attention when you were in a snit: but you did not continue excessively, and when you were comforted you paid heed and quieted yourself.’

And Penn is transfixed: so much so that he cannot clear his throat to speak, not even when Hotstaat abruptly rises from his seat, and exits the library with a smooth despatch that leaves him gaping. The reading is at an end, then, at least as far as this late afternoon is concerned.

That is what he thinks, left sitting there with a great gape on his face, and quite a number of thoughts chasing each other through his head. One is that Ree’s hair has darkened quite a lot, since they were kids together. Another is along the lines of well, well, so it is Ree after all. He is Ree. Another says, well, there’s a piece of my childhood gone. From beloved childhood friend to distant master, and isn’t that just the way it goes.

He remembers clutching a hold of his Ree’s neck, as they’d torn him away, the day he’d had to leave with his mother. He remembers wetness on Ree’s cheek, his lips clamped together, sturdily being a little wolf-man. Well, they’ve certainly come a long way from those days.


© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2013  All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Read the sequel to Wolf Slave immediately, available on Amazon and free to read to members of Kindle Unlimited! Find out what’s next for Ree and Penn, and if love or freedom are in Penn’s future, in Wolf Runaway, 2nd in the Wolf Wars quintet!