Writing, of all kinds…

You do remember what I do, don’t you?

Other than eat chocolate, drink G&T and try to ignore the kids while I am trying my hardest to actually work…

Well, what do you know, it turns out there are more kinds of writing than just novel and poetry!

Yes, I know… shocking isn’t it…

I have a friend reading one of my books in the editing pile. It happens to be the one that I was trying to write as a police procedural which morphed into a SF Fantasy. My friend doesn’t usually read that kind of story – I was quick to reassure her of the change…. but she said it would make a great screenplay.

Screenplays are one of the forms of writing that I haven’t played with. I’ve done poetry, flash fiction, drabbles, essays, novels, short stories, novellas, plays… but not screenplay. I’ve thought about it and I may well try it, but to me, it feels incomplete – the three plays I have written (none were performed by the way) were during my pre-apprenticeship in my teenage days.

I’m currently studying Cartoon illustration / Writing.
If you were paying attention you’d know that I did this a while back (about 3 years ago now) when I was doing that art course – the results are through the link below if you’re interested.


That time I worked from dialogue only stories that I had written as posts on Facebook, so they were more about the layout / art styles than the stories.

This time I am doing cartoons using screenshots from a game I play. Lemmings is a puzzle game on Mobile, but I played it when I was a teenager on an Amiga attached to a TV (yup, I’m that old…) and I was playing the game one day and thought… Can I make a story out of these?

As normal, it doesn’t take me much pushing to work on a new idea and “Lemmings. Saga of Dave” was born. The first comic has one page and was much more just me taking a plethora of screenshots, arranging them so they made some kind of sense and then adding dialogue.

Lemmings is an Exient Game. This is my Fan Art.

The Lemmings game community received it well, and it was fun to do… so I came up with another one…. even though this time I was trying to actually design / write it properly and that and some memes. Dave the Lemm is oddly sarcastic and pessimistic, but fun to play with.

So I am going to create a page to put the Lemmings fun on. I hope everyone enjoys them. It will be accessed through the Mandy E. Ward page. Go visit the page or Dave will get lonely…

I might play with Interactive Novels as well – the thought of being able to play with the readers a little is intriguing. So watch this space….

Competition News….

I assume that you remember the writing competition I announced in my last post… sadly, I had absolutely no interest in the idea. Probably because I wasn’t offering any payment or a proper prize… which I can understand – I am a writer after all.

However, it’s not a big problem. I’m not exactly the best person at organisation (something I am working on) and without a lot of advertising, I’m not going to get a lot of traffic through here. Maybe, one day I will be earning enough to have someone to deal with that side of things for me, but until then, I have to do it myself, just like most authors.

On to other things…

Coming Soon… in 2021!

I am trying my hardest to make sure that the world of books and publishing does not forget about me. I have published 11 books since I started, 5 of those in collaboration with the art of Maria Kuroshchepova and her company TSK. The rest are my own, tiny publishing imprint of Teigr Books.

So, I thought a quick roundup of what’s going on in my world might help…

Currently I am 32k into the first draft of “Curious World” (temporary title) and for some reason I can see the end fast approaching… I suspect this one will be a novella. However I do have a couple of short stories with this character, so I might make it a story collection…

The “Where are My Socks” picture book is still being formatted, but this time, (with the aid of a decent graphics laptop gifted to me by a friend and supporter) it is much closer to being published! The illustrations are by Amy Wingfield and really pop off the page!

“Curse of The Jade Cat” is still in editing. I am currently waiting to hear back from my editor on this one.

“Alethdar’s Daughter” is at a standstill at the moment – I am a little hung up on Curious World and The Secret of Arking Down Books.
There are two of that series that need proofreading /editing before publication and I need to raise the money to pay for the rebrand of the first book “The Angel’s Crown” – Cover and edit – and the covers for the next two books in the series. The current cover of “The Angel’s Crown” was designed by Maria Kuroshchepova and while I still love it, it’s looking a little dated. So I am in talks with a new cover designer.

So if you would like to help me out with funding the covers, I would be grateful. You can do this by buying my existing books (available on Amazon and other E book platforms) – just search for Kira Morgana or A. E. Churchyard.

If you want to help even more, then come become a patron through Patreon. I will also be releasing OOAK merchandise through Patreon (on my to do list).

I will put the link to my Patreon page and other important links in a list below.

Thank you for reading my words, be they on this page, on my website blog, or in my books. I am always appreciative of any and all support I get.

Thank you for being with me on my journey.

Pens at the ready…

At one point I had a webzine, and one of my favourite things about it was running writing competitions.

I found so many good writers that way – many of them went on to be successful in their work as well. I was only a step along the way…but it was so satisfying to see them move along like that.

I am half toying with the idea of reviving the webzine – it actually depends on if I go and do this Masters Degree I am looking at – however I thought that I would revive the competition aspect.

Below you will find a story prompt. It’s quite detailed. Use the prompt to start your story and then continue on from there.
This is a “for the fun of it” challenge, whatever you submit will be completely yours to do with as you will, all I ask is that I be allowed to publish the top 5 entries on my site for a month.

The Rules
Word Limit: 5,000 words in addition to the prompt.
Deadline: 31st March

The Prompt

The house on the edge of the village had been empty for over thirty years. The roof was half caved in from an oak tree that had fallen in the last big storm and the garden was more like a jungle than the meadow that the house stood in the middle of. The local kids would play in the meadow, dare each other to climb the apple trees in the back garden and throw windfalls at the house itself. None of them ever went closer than the weed choked pond that lay a couple of metres beyond the back door.

A faded For Sale sign emblazoned with the logo of the only Estate Agent in the village stood beside the large front gate.

One morning, a sold sign replaced the For Sale sign. The village rang with the sound of gossip and rumour; especially when the sold sign was joined by steel link fencing around the house and the meadow was cut for the first time in thirty years. Portacabins were parked at the front of the house and slowly the area around it filled with supplies and equipment. The day that the workers arrived, a group of villagers gathered just beyond the safety fence.

“So what are we supposed to be doing, Mike?” a youngster in a too big hi-vis safety vest and well fitting hard hat asked as the large group of workers walked toward the house.
“Boss said that the whole place is being pulled down, kid. The trees and shrubs are being moved further out and the rest will be ploughed under. Our crew’s job is to clear the place of squatters or anything that might be wanted. The old lady who sold the house said that she left a few items of furniture when she moved in with her daughter and they never got round to picking them up again.
“So it’s just a walk through then?” the kid sighed, “That’s always the creepiest part of the job.”
“Never mind, Kid. I’ll stick to you, get you out of any difficult situations.” Mike patted the kid’s shoulder awkwardly.
“Cheers, Mike.”

The workers split up into smaller groups to do their assigned jobs. Mike, the Kid and four others headed into the house. The front door was already unlocked and had been shoved back against the peeling wallpaper in the hallway beyond.
Pausing in the hallway, Mike read off names and gave them areas to work in.
“Where are we going?” the kid asked as Mike led the way back outside.
“We’ll do the Garage. It’s just round the side. The Estate Agent says that it’s locked up tight, the way that the Basement and Outhouse are. We might have to break the door down.”
The kid absorbed this information silently.

The main garage door was padlocked and none of the keys that Mike had on the ring worked. “Guess we’re breaking it then. Go and grab a crowbar, kid.”
The kid dashed off and came back with a crowbar.
Mike inspected the padlock, hasp and door carefully, “The wood’s rotten. This should be easy.”
He slid the crowbar into the gap behind the hasp and pulled the bar toward him. The wood splintered and cracked. Mike tried again. There was a bit more splintering.
“Third time’s the charm, Kid.” Mike muttered and pulled on the crowbar.
The screws holding the hasp to the door pulled out of the wood and Mike stepped back abruptly, “That’s the ticket. Open the doors wide.”

The sunlight flashed off dusty metal and glass.
“There’s a car in here, Mike.” the kid said.
“Good, something to sell for the old lady and her daughter then.” Mike stowed the crowbar in one of his trouser leg pockets and followed the kid inside.
The kid wandered around the car, looking into the boxes stacked around it, “Lots of stuff in here. Should I start hoicking it outside?”
“Good idea.”
The kid selected a box, picked it up and ignoring the tiny spiders that spilled from the gap behind it, carried the box outside.

Mike looked at the car carefully, “That’s a vintage car I reckon. Probably worth quite a bit to the right person, especially if it doesn’t need much doing up.” He tugged on the door handle. “Locked.”
Checking the keyring, he found one that looked like it would fit and tried it. The door opened silently, with a billow of dust that set Mike coughing.
“You all right, Mike?” The kid came back in, dusting cobwebs and spiders off themselves.
“Yeah, just a bit of dust…” Mike peered into the front of the car, “…Looks like this baby is in pretty good nick.” He twisted and looked in the back seat.
The keyring dropped out of his hand and he stumbled backward…


So, start your writing brains up and have fun with it – there’s no genre to stick to and “The Kid” is deliberately description-less other than the safety equipment.
No age limit or any other stipulation either.
I’ll be doing the same thing – it’ll be fun to see what different people come up with.

I’ll post the submission details later in the month – just concentrate on writing for the moment!