Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Responsibility to Readers

World Heritage Site - book signing.
With the recent IWSG post, about how much writers read, it was interesting to hear what others thought on the subject of their reading. I have mainly written for children, apart from some short stories and poetry, and have always been aware of the message my writing is giving to the young. This is something that concerns me, whilst striving to provide a good story, for I distinctly remember how the books I read in childhood supported or terrified me. Did your reading in childhood have a lasting effect on you? And are you conscious of this, if you write for any age group? 

Friday, 4 October 2019

Have you updated your mobile number on social media lately?

I didn’t. I think the number on one site was from the year 2000, and I hadn’t bothered to change it, although I now had a new number for a new phone. I know, I was thoughtless. Then recently, I was blocked from that site for ‘automated behaviour’ whatever that meant. All my supportive friends now lost. I was then asked to confirm my identity with the old mobile number. Hence the problem. Many emails later, I received an apology, apparently I had not been ‘automating’... and the first thing I did was to add the correct mobile number to all my social media sites. Just a thought... but you are probably not as careless as I am...

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

October I.W.S.G.


October 2 question - It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

It’s ‘that time’ again, the  I.W.S.G. and this month’s question is important to me.

I’d been an avid reader most of my life, but I’d read less and less as I grew older, preferring to stay loyal to a few authors. Then, recently, I decided to learn more about the craft of writing and complete a creative writing degree. During the excellent course, I realised that I had neglected the one vital learning tool available to me. Reading what others had written, I discovered so many wonderful writers and this opened a new and exciting world for me. 

I’d like to quote from Stephen King’s first rate book, ‘On Writing’, one of the best ‘how to’ books on the market. 

‘The importance of reading is that it creates an ease and intimacy with the process of writing... constant reading will pull you into a place where you write eagerly and without self-consciousness. It offers you a constantly growing knowledge of what has been done and what hadn’t, what is trite and what is fresh, what works and what is dead on the page. The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself... reading is the creative centre of your life...’

Monday, 30 September 2019

National Poetry Day

Any one a member of the Poetry Society, or going to enter the National Poetry Competition by the 31st October ? National Poetry Day is on the 3rd October, and the theme this year is 'Truth', an excellent subject to tackle. 

I'd love to enter, but Robert Burn's 'the best-laid plans of mice and men..' comes to mind.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

A creepy Halloween story, Thin Time!

Carving of the Green Man in Tong Church, part of my inspiration for my Halloween novel for children, ‘Thin Time’, together with many environmental school visits with classes to make music, paint, write stories, make models, and map the village. 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

The perils of the synopsis...

One of the lesser pleasures of sending a book out to an agent, I discover, is the necessity of completing a covering letter and synopsis. The easier bit, in comparison, is the book writing. I have now reduced the synopsis to six hand-written pages. Thinking this might be less when typed, I then remembered the line spacing... oh, well, I shall have to keep persevering until the thing fits two pages. As full time carer, I shall never be able to self publish again, although there is the eBook, I suppose. If the book sees the light of day, as a printed version, how sad that the cover design may never be used. Then there’s the premise to consider. Where’s the coffee...

Thursday, 19 September 2019

First Wolf - Chapter Two - Escape to the Forest

Inside the house, smoke from damp logs in the sandbox swirled around and made me cough, and through the gloom, I saw my lazy hound Bodo sprawled in the rushes and Grandmother huddled on a bench before the fire.  The goat lifted her head and bleated, hoping I’d give her stale cabbage stalks, and I worried what would happen to her when we were gone.

Mother was talking anxiously to herself as she shut the lid of the clothes chest and snatched up bread and cheese from the trestle table against the wall. Then quickly wrapping the food in cloths she pushed the bundles into her bulging reed basket and added a jug of her home brewed ale. 

I was pleased to see the food and ale, and waited for her to tell me what to do, but she was looking at me in a strange way and I suddenly remembered Father had left me to care for my family.  A sick nervousness filled my belly, I tried to speak, but the words stuck in my throat.  I swallowed hard, tried again.  This time the words came out in a terrible rush and I spluttered, ‘Grandmother, you must come with me to the forest, Eorl Uhtred is on his way to attack us!’

To my dismay, Grandmother took no notice of me and clung to the bench with swollen fingers.  ‘Let me be, I’m an old woman,’ she muttered crossly.  ‘I’ll not come with you.’

I didn’t know what to do.  I’d never given an order to my Grandmother in my life, afraid as I was of her quick temper and sharp tongue.  I looked down at her, took a deep breath, and said, ‘I’m not leaving without you, Grandmother – if you stay to be killed – then I shall be killed too.’

Wednesday, 18 September 2019


Snakeskin and Failed Feathers
Anyone else mad enough to be joining Nanowrimo this November?  It was mentioned on a blog, then I remembered doing this a few years ago. And trying to recall the book I’d started, realised it is the book I’m about to write over the next year or so. Serendipity or what?
So might as well make an early start! 
Oh, and I shan’t be obsessing over the daily word count - 1666 or something, I think it is - to reach the magic 50,000 words. It will just be a daily reminder to self to keep writing! 

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Slaying the Dragon

A long-time girlfriend reminded me that this coming week includes the most important day, the day when Himself and I met. Not that I had remembered the exact day, that was due to Himself being of a romantic turn of mind, thank goodness, and storing away these personal memories.
It was a bad time for me, but Himself, minus the white charger and lance, nevertheless slayed the dragon. We spent the late hours in a village inn, that crisp autumn night beside a log fire, chatting together until the owner politely said it was late and would like to go to bed. 
The Windmill Inn
Many years later, we returned to the old inn, the young girl from that evening was still there but now, like ourselves, elderly. We are thinking of returning to the inn on the day and renewing our acquaintance with the owner and her family, if Himself is well enough for the journey.
Do you have memories of the day you met your future companion? 

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Snakeskin and Failed Feathers to be Edited!

River Dark - Ironbridge Gorge Adventure
Finally completed the editing of River Dark. Now to complete a synopsis, send it out, and begin the book for adults, ‘Snakeskin and Failed Feathers’.
 A great challenge, but looking forward to this. Unfortunately, River Dark is a sequel to Candle Dark, therefore not of great interest to an agent. But I've written the second Ironbridge Gorge Adventure as a stand-alone book, so hoping it will be accepted. Now to complete the synopsis and a covering letter for River Dark, then work on Snakeskin and Failed Feathers and see what happens... and shall keep that vow never, as I'm now a full time carer, to self-publish again, even though it has been more successful than I'd hoped.... 

illustration by Sophie Corness

Responsibility to Readers

World Heritage Site - book signing. With the recent IWSG post, about how much writers read, it was interesting to hear what others thoug...