Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist

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We All Have Our Own Journeys

Today’s gospel, the parable of the generous vineyard owner (Matthew 20: 1-16), is a message sure to ring true with a lot of people. How often have we been stuck in a dead-end job whilst those on par with us rise to greater things? How often have we received a lower grade from a teacher than a friend with almost the same answer? How often are we surrounded by couples and babies whilst we linger alone?

It’s easy to feel cheated when someone puts in less effort and receives the goal you’ve worked so hard for, and to say ‘it’s not fair’ when things don’t go our way.

This is especially true in the world of art, or, in my case, the world of literature and writing. Whilst I love reading stories of authors who’ve snagged an agent or a book deal, twinges of envy attack me as I read of another’s success.

Some authors are lucky enough to get both in short time after submitting. Understand this isn’t the norm – but when these stories crop up, it’s hard not to notice the level of success the particular author has had, compared to your supposed lack of achievements.

Too, every author has their own style, and it’s easy to criticise their style and berate them for being so successful with it. Remember how subjective reading (and life) is. And there’s probably a lot more to their success story (including previous losses) than they care to share publically.

But think of this, and take from today’s parable the simple idea: they’ve made their journey, and perhaps it’s not the route that would have suited you. Some authors have to go through self-publishing before they can attract the attention of an agent/publisher; others are ready to let certain books go, whereas you might have a confidence in an unusual book regardless of its place in the market.

In the end, you must judge yourself only by your own levels and not by how other people, whose circumstances can never mirror yours (and circumstance and luck/timing plays a major part in art careers), not thinking of what others are getting, but looking on your own pay as a worthy prize. In terms of writing, this means trying to stay away from comparing yourself with another, ‘successful’ (whatever that word may mean for you) writer, and respecting what you have already done on your own journey to ‘success’. Though many people say this, it’s worth reiterating: if your goal is to finish a book and you do so, that is worth celebrating. It’s a step many writers do not make. If you gain a new goal whilst writing to publish said manuscript, good for you to have such a goal. However, do not disregard how far you have already come; whilst ambition is commendable, it is never equal to achievement of the present.

Try not to fall into the camp of thinking ‘it’s not fair’. When someone’s journey may look as if it were lighter than yours, it may have been full of pitfalls you cannot see. Everyone is unique and their experiences reflect from how they’ve lived their life so far. Everyone has their own journey to take and we must trust that the Lord will guide us there in His own time, not what we think is the best time.

Roll on Palm Sunday...I need a new cross.


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You’re right. It should be free.

Alexandrina Brant:

Fauxpocalypse, in which I have a short story, is free on Story Cartel for the next couple of weeks. Download it, [hopefully!] love it, review it. Please. ^.^
The post on the official blog: http://fauxpocalypse.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/free-book-download/

Originally posted on The Matticus Kingdom:

And so, for a limited time, it shall be FREE.

Fauxpocalypse is currently being featured on Story Cartel, and you can download a copy of the book… for…  FREE!  That’s zip, zero, nadda, nothing.  Did I mention FREE?

All those stories.  All the drama.  The love.  The action.  The mystery.


Your money is no good.  (“Nobody drink the beer, the beer has gone bad.” – Can’t Hardly Wait.  Anybody?  Anybody?  Okay, moving on.)  We don’t want your money.  Though, we wouldn’t mind a review or two or twenty, anywhere and everywhere you can post a quick word about it.

Oh, and before I forget, have I already said it is FREE!?

So, pop on over to Story Cartel (http://storycartel.com/books/fauxpocalypse) and pick up your FREE copy of the book.

What are you waiting for?

Do you need…

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You Can Buy Fauxpocalypse in Print!

The not-end of the world is now available to read as a hard copy (and, yes, I’ll be posting when I get a copy myself! Keep an eye out on my blog and the main Fauxpocalypse blog as well as the other contributors’ for other promotional ideas we’ve in the works). My very own story, REVELATION, is the third in the collection.

What does one do when the world has, effectively, given up on itself? The supplies are less than low, the religious fanatics are praising, and of the population…some survived – some are still on their way to surviving. Now they must press through the failed end of society to whatever lies at the other side of the Fauxpocalypse.

This collection of twelve short stories by eleven authors tells of fire, revenge, family, change and, ultimately, hope.



Amazon Kindle copy (this link should take you to the correct .com or .co.uk site relevant to you)

Amazon Paperback! 

Smashwords for Kindle

Our Fauxpocalypse ‘Webstore’

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Unwrapping Fauxpocalypse

Alexandrina Brant:

Dave unwraps the print proofs of Fauxpocalypse, heralding the print not-end of the world. It is nigh, bloggers! Keep an ear to the blog-ground! :)

Originally posted on The Fauxpocalypse Project:

Despite the twin obstacles of many public holidays and flooded airports, the proofs for the paperback edition finally arrived from CreateSpace.

And I made a video of myself opening them. So you get a sneak peek at what Fauxpocalypse looks like as a physical book:

And, as several people have already kindly pointed out, at what my hair does when I am not watching it closely.

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An Interview with Alexandrina Brant

Alexandrina Brant:

My interview with fellow Fauxpocalypse author Debbie Manber Kupfer, in which I talk about the inspiration behind Revelation, novel When the Clock Broke, music lyrics and Quidditch.

Originally posted on Paws4Thought:

Welcome Alexandrina. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m eighteen, a student of Psychology and Philosophy (which means I alternate between writing lab reports and dismantling arguments), and will be officially confirmed as a Catholic in July. Non-academically, my interests range from Italian culture and good wine to astronomy and temporal paradoxes the like seen in Doctor Who and Back to the Future. And I’m dreadfully English, in case that wasn’t obvious. Some of my favourite authors include Lewis Carroll, Agatha Christie, and Lemony Snicket.

Tell us about your story in Fauxpocalypse. How did you come up with the idea?

My story, Revelation, finds an orphaned student of Oxford University making a last-minute prayer deal in a chaplaincy; if God saves them, they’ll become a Catholic. When the comet soars over the chaplaincy, the student must face the intellectual consequences of their wishful thinking, and consider…

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The World Failed To End For Christmas (AKA Fauxpocalypse is Live For Buying Now!)

Guess what! Yesterday, an anthology in which I am published went live on Amazon. In time for Christmas! :D Whilst the print copy won’t be available until January, the ebook version about the failed end of the world is out now. (This is the point where the voices in my head yell “now!” and do crazy dances. As for real life, I’ve only told one person yet.) Originally an idea by Misha Burnett, the Fauxpocalypse collection brings together authors from around the whole world with the same theme of life after a proposed death. Look!

The Fauxpocalypse Project

Fauxpocalypse: A collection of short fiction about the end of the world that wasn’t. Collected by Dave Higgins. Buy here!

Life on Earth is predicted to end on 15 July 2015. But the oncoming megatons of rock and ice break up shortly before impact. Now humanity must live in a world most believed would not exist. Across the planet, people are haunted by the future they did not fear, and even those who did not embrace death must face the consequences of others’ decisions.

A collection of twelve stories about rebuilding hope.

In case you’re curious, here’s an extract from my own story, Revelation:

A man crawled out in front of me.

“Spare change? Buy a Big Issue from me, madam?”

Life went on as it normally did. Now we had survived some explosion from the heavens, the poor no longer lounged with the rich. I looked up at the house from which he had been evicted. Typical Oxford house: nice furnishings, expensive, probably a Don’s.

I shook my head at their whitewashed windows. “Here.” I rooted around in my jeans; I had some money left from my last purchase of the chips. I lifted a fiver from my pocket and crumpled it into his grubby hand. “Keep the Big Issue.”

I didn’t normally give alms, but something about this night…maybe it glistened, maybe it was the magic of… I wouldn’t say ‘faith’. Not yet.

“Thanks. Penny for your thoughts?” he asked gruffly as his paws folded away my note.

“It’s nothing,” I replied. Why was I even talking to this man?

“Crisis of the conscience?”

I rubbed my nose. “Existential crisis, more like. We’re still here – now what? Who do we thank – a science that has let us down before? A god who only just rescues his people? Or maybe ourselves for being a human race to tolerate its own mistakes?”

The other contributors have come up with other brilliant stories and the collection is so diverse. See their blogs for snippets and hints:

Kate I Foley

Kim Plummer

Jane Thomson

Dave Higgins

Schevus Osbourne

Adrian George Nicolae

Debbie Manber Kupfer

Matt Blashill

Dacia Wilkinson


Fauxpocalypse Teaser

preliminary cover

In the run-up to the release of Fauxpocalypse on the ebook world, we are each posting teasers and little snippets of information on our various blogs. I’ll be doing a proper, informative you-can-buy-this-here (!) post when I have the definite release date. For now, here’s an extract of my story from the collection about the not-end of the world, titled ‘Revelation’.


“Outside?” whispered the man from the pew in front. He crept out of the chapel and into the foyer, halting a metre from the front door.

“Careful!” cried his companion, a woman with tearstains across her cheeks, but the man ignored her. He stepped into the street.

I edged to the door, too. Comet phenomena hadn’t the habit of being late. Ergo, the chance of the comet striking was less. As I put a hand to the glass door, my heart thumped. Every logical possibility never accounted for the random. I might die – but what much had I to lose?

I pushed through.

Outside, the sky rested as dark as ever. The light previously from the comet had faded, but a dull hum still resonated through the air. The early-morning chill had remained, and I wrapped my arms around an ill-chosen t-shirt.

“Come on,” called the man. “It’s safe out here.”

He gestured to the other Christians crowding the entrance. Hands reached out to him, but he drew away. I knew this game: he’d only celebrate with his friends if they joined his side. Before tonight, I would have said the same thing about religion.

I smiled at the woman in the burqa and she, after the fragile moment of hesitation everyone took, stepped outside. The wind threw back her headpiece and her long, jet hair whipped at her face. Eyes in wonder, however, focused too much on a world not burning to fiddle with her garment.

People trailed out after that. Even the priest donned a coat and stepped into the street.



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