A.J. Walker


A #ThursThreads Return

As I was off this week, and relatively unencumbered for some of the time, I managed to write a wee bit for Thursday Threads. It was Week 592 of the weekly challenge, which I haven’t entered for almost two years (I think the last time was Week 503). It’s a short challenge of between 100 and 250 words and is based around including a specific line from the previous week’s winning story. Hence the name of Thursday Threads and the tagline of to ‘Tie another tale.’

Usually I work Thursday’s and as it doesn’t go up until the afternoon I’d have to write it at some time on Thursday evening—which doesn’t always fit with me. I’ll definitely keep it in my mind though to keep an eye out for it now that I’ve reacquainted myself with it. This week the line that had to be included was, ‘
What if I don’t do it?

250 words is not a lot to get stuck into and it took me a while to come up with an idea that wasn’t too unwieldy to tackle. In the end though I got into it and wrote it pretty easily—even without the need for any editing to get down to size (which is not always easy once you’ve written something too long). As it happened my tale was tied before anyone else had tackled it. In the end there were a few entries by people I’ve not seen online for a while, but have evidently kept #ThursThreads in their diaries for as long as I’ve been away. It was good to see those names once more.

And the surprise for me the following day was that my tale was chosen by Mary Decker (another familiar name) to be this week’s winner. I’ve won a couple of times before in years past. I wonder if I’ve created some kind of record in terms of time taken to score a hat trick? Happy days, great to pick up the winners badge anyway.


With Microcosms currently (or permanently?) stopped and #ReadMeSpeakMe off the schedule too maybe I’ll be popping into follow and create more threads soon. I do need to keep an eye out for challenges around the weekend me thinks.

If you fancy giving it a go the click on the Winners badge above or then again just
here, and get directed to the website at Siobhan Muir. Would be good to see you over there.

The Reading Year '23

Last year I made a plan to read 31 books. Not because of anything in particular other than it would match the previous year's achievement. If achievement is what it was. I hit it on the head. I guess that's what goals are for as I suspect I wouldn't have read that many if I hadn't set the target. That said if I'd been over ambitious I'd probably have not shot for it.

Needless to say it was largely the usual mix of SF & F with plenty of Pratchett, Powell, Tolkien, Le Guin, Yoko Ogawa, Pullman, and even a George RR Martin that had nothing to do with Game of Thrones. I also read some great non-fiction with books about; the demise of the dinosaurs, mosses, and whole Otherlands (which took in even more history than the dinosaurs). Threw in a couple of interesting biographies for good measure (Agatha Christie and John Betjeman).



The target for 2024? Well I've made it more of a stretch goal by adding exactly 1 and making it 32 books. Two and half books a month. Come on, I can do that. Surely, Or maybe it'll be 31 again. Once more I'm going to try not to buy too many more second hand (or new) books as I try and tackle my TBR pile. And once again I will fail miserably and end up in Oxfam, British Heart Foundation, and Henry Bohns again before too long. It's inevitable.