Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Win a three-book publishing deal!Contact Publishing (www.contact-publishing.com) is a boutique of independent publishers, with a mission to nurture fresh writing talent; bring fresh ideas and news format of books to the readers. The Page Turner Prize is our annual competition to invite budding authors to submit their work to be considered for publication. We would like to invite your group to take part in this competition. Further details of the competition are below and on our web-site www.pageturnerprize.com
Monday, December 13, 2010
Could you donate a signed book? Do you have any writer/publisher friends who might be willing to donate? Raj needs as many donations as possible! Perhaps you could pass the word along together with Raj’s email address? Rajklal1@aol.com She will then give you an address to send books to.
If you would like to authenticate this fundraising venture and student anthology, please contact the MA in Writing course leader Maureen Freely at firstname.lastname@example.org
Raj says to thank you all and send warmest greetings for a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Friday, December 10, 2010
and go to the News page (I think, if not have a look around) for a competition entry form. It's an open theme so no need to write anything new. You've probably got some really good stories lying around and are wondering what to do with them. Now you know.
Give it a go. Good luck.
I entered a competition to win a copy of Catherine King's new saga and heard a couple of days ago that I was a winner. I found the competition on http://patsy-collins.blogspot.com/ where Patsy gives lots of information about competitions.
Friday, December 03, 2010
I was sent this link instead of a Christmas card and it's so good I wanted to share it with all of you. Do take a look and, if you are like me or Teresa Ashby, have some tissues at the ready.
Friday, November 12, 2010
'I've got a present for you,' said the LSO. He'd been for a walk and he could have passed shops but this wasn't from any shop.
It was a tentacle. I can't call it a branch because it doesn't look like one. Tentacle is far more suitable and it had been blown off a monkey puzzle tree.
Here's a close up. Brush it one way and it's quite smooth. Try in the opposite direction and you know why it's the only tree a monkey can't climb!
It's the best present I've had in a long time. I love it. Now all I need is a monkey.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
While I was working on it I wrote every day, even weekends, and now I've got into the habit of writing every day. I took one day off after completion and tidied my writing room. That's when I found a children's book that needed revision. So that's what I'm returning to every day now. I don't want to lose the habit so I must keep feeding it.
By the way, the book, Ghostwriting, is out in February, can be ordered from Amazon and gives loads of way for writers to ghostwrite and make extra money. It's not all about celebrities and their life stories.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
The Universe sends me the perfect message - Visualise, Show up, Happy dance. Lynne, you can do this. (That arrived on the day I was so nervous about having the MRI scan.) You too can receive messages from the Universe by signing up at www.tut.com
A duck sits on the tree stump sticking out of the water. Her feet are huge and dayglo orange.
Friday, October 29, 2010
2. The mist outside lifts and the sun comes out just as I start printing out the pages of my book.
3. The tightness in my shoulders disappears, like the mist, as the printer churns out the final page. It's going to be all right.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Yesterday I found myself in the park, tip-toeing past the pond because the ducks were all fast asleep, heads tucked under wings, and I didnt want to disturb them.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Frances, me, Pat and Ivy, from left to right. New friends made over the weekend spent at the Lucy Cavendish college, Cambridge. While I was there I led two sessions on 'Using Personal Experience in your writing' which is what my book Writing From Life is all about. And now I'm off to Titchfield in Hampshire, followed by Hastings for more workshops.
Next week I get my MRI scan and I'm not looking forward to it but the doctors need to know why my back won't hold me up for more than a few minutes. 'Then we'll know what to do with you,' I was told. For my many friends who have wondered the same thing, watch this space.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Now I am smiling. I'm back online. There are hard working and reliable new innards in my computer and I've rewritten everything I had lost. Now it's over to you. One fatality was my address book so if you think you were on it before, or want to be on it now, email me so I can keep you. Please!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Fear no more. I have great news for you.
At Writers' Holiday a lovely young lady called Katey was selling spreadsheets of the most popular names through the years since about 1860 (I think), right until present day. She was asking the astronomical sum of £2 for these and the money was to go to a charity to help young Ethiopian girls. These girls are married at 12, have children and because they're not fully formed themselves they sometimes become doubly incontinent and are then thrown out by their husbands. £400 pays for an operation for one girl. £400 gives them their life back. Katey was hoping to make enough money for one operation but has now decided to aim higher so spread the word.
If you want all those names, and I don't see how any writer can not want them, then go to
It takes you through to a justgiving donation page. When you donate (and do you really think £2 is enough?) it automatically sends you an email with the download link.
This is a great tool for all writers. Spread the word.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The good news is that he managed to rescue all my files. The bad news is that all my email files disappeared, apart from the address book. This means that the sub-folder labelled Competition Entries no longer exists. The LSO cannot pick a winner today as planned. I am going to have to ask you all to resend your emails to me so we can pick a winner in a week's time. Next Sunday, 8th August. No need to go through the rigmarole of going to the website to discover my pen-names. You've already done that. Just send me an email or leave a comment here saying you want to re-enter. It's Sod's Law, isn't it, that the file I most wanted has disappeared?
Sorry for the inconvenience. I was intending to reply to any questions you'd asked or comments you'd made in your emails so do try again now my 18 month old pc has a new memory.
And if you didn't enter last time Fate has given you another chance to win a copy of the second edition of Writing From Life together with a copy of the Handy Little Book For Writers.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Writers' Holiday at Caerleon, near Newport, South Wales. (www.writersholiday.net) There's still time for a last minute booking if you want to join me. Gaynor Davies, from Woman's Weekly, is going to be there. Plus Simon Whaley, Catherine King, Irene Yates, Alison Chisolm, Stephen Wade, Jane Pollard, Marina Oliver, Brad Ashton, Janet Laurence, Susan Moody, Kate Walker, Myra Kersner, Simon Hall (tvdetective), James Nash, Trisha Ashley, Hugo Summerson, Elizabeth Hawksley and Lionel Fanthorpe. Sorry if I've missed anyone. Andrew Earney is there too, being very patient with people who want to paint or draw so you could drag a partner along and send them to him to be creative.
I am soooo looking forward to it. And don't forget that, while I'm gone, you can still enter my simple competition to win my book. (see previous post)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
No bamboo here. There are trees and various shrubs in the communal gardens but the neighbours might get concerned if I start pegging multi-coloured scraps covered in writing on them and I don't want the neighbours reading my wishes, or the birds using them for target practice. So I've customised Tanabata to suit me.
There's a palm plant in the dining room. That's my bamboo. It looks very pretty today. The splashes of colour give it an extra beauty.
Will my wishes come true? Of course they will - if I believe enough.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Oh, you gotta get a glory in the work you do.
A Hallelujah chorus in the heart of you.
Paint, or write a story, sing or shovel coal
but you gotta get a glory or the job lacks soul.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
TWO OLD CODGERS IN A CAMPERVAN
Our only previous experience of camping had been when the kids were little. We’d borrowed a tent from neighbours and set off to Cornwall.
‘There’s always a Know-All around to give advice,’ the tent-owner had assured us, ‘so, if you’re stuck, don’t panic.’
We got stuck. Practising tent erecting on a flat lawn in the shelter of our back garden was slightly different to coaxing canvas into a recognisable structure in the middle of a sloping field in a Force 8 gale - until the Know-All turned up all togged out in green cagoule and matching wellies and a beard, which wasn’t green.
‘Easy,’ he announced as he kicked at a tent-peg. ‘My wife and I camped for years.’
‘Is she with you now?’ I remember asking, as I searched the field for a woman in matching gear.
‘Oh, no. We got divorced.’
It sounded like an omen to me.
Things got worse once the tent was up and we began organising dinner. We weren’t about to experiment with the camping stove because I’d sensibly brought salad, cold potatoes and a cooked chicken with us. Doing my Pollyanna stuff I announced brightly that dinner was imminent. A red gingham cloth had been placed over the dandelions and thistles. It looked really pretty with the white plates on it and the food laid out enticingly. (This was around the time I’d been reading Superwoman by Shirley Conran. The Waltons, a happy family who always seemed to be sitting around a large table covered in gingham, eating loads of interesting food, had also affected me.)
A solitary crow swaggered by. It reminded me of a tramp in top hat and tails. I smiled at it and, wishing I was the owner of a dinner gong, turned to shout the family.
One second with my back to the feast. Maybe less. When I turned it was to see the ragged tramp hobbling along its grassy runway, trying to achieve take-off with our chicken in its beak. Like a Hercules transporter, one of those huge impossible flying machines, it finally left the ground and sailed into the sky. Twice the chicken attempted to escape and parachute down to the red gingham landing pad but the zealous crow pounced and retrieved it.
We ate salad and potatoes, filled up on bread and went to bed to discover that our son had a snoring problem. A full bladder woke me in the middle of the night. The toilets were miles away and Colin was called upon to do his dutiful husband bit and wait by the open tent flap, waving a lantern, so that I could find my way back to the right tent in the dark.
The next morning we packed up and set off in search of a caravan. It had to be an improvement. It was school holidays and the only cheap accommodation available was two delapidated caravans in a field. ‘The bedrooms,’ the farmer’s wife proclaimed before leading us, as she probably led lambs to the slaughter, into a dilapidated outbuilding housing a sink, an ancient cooker and a sagging sofa. ‘Living room cum kitchen. Three pounds, ten shillings for the week. All in.’
I wondered if that included the spiders dangling from the dusty beams, and the snails who were dawdling along a gulley which ran from the sink to the door and which was the only way for the water to escape once the plug was pulled.
Surely things had changed since then, I told myself. But even if they hadn’t we were committed. Colin had announced our intentions on television in front of millions of witnesses.
We had to do it.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I'm renting my house out as a holiday let while I'm living away and it's at half price (£300 per week or £50 per night) for anyone who wants it if you come via my blog or website. Go to http://www.lynnehackles.com/ and email me via the link.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Lamin went to school there but now lives in Worcester. He wants other children to have the opportunities he has had so he began his Fresh Start Foundation. His latest newsletter had a section on school meals. I'll quote -
'FSF's first school meal appeal has been a success with all children at Kwinella Lower Basic School guaranteed a meal until the end of the summer term. As a result of the appeal the school has seen an increase in its enrollment figures which means more children learning and less working on the streets. Now FSF want to feed more children. We are appealing for support to feed 770 hungry bellies and the funds will be allocated between 3 schools and 1 nursery. Schools and nurseries charge 2p as a contribution for a school meal. However, for some families living in abject poverty this amount is simply too much to pay. As a result some children go the whole day without food.'
What's 2p to us? Could you tip all your tuppences out of your wallet/purse into a jar and collect them for FSF? Could you ask your family to do the same?
If you've got this far perhaps you'd like to direct readers of your blog to this one. Perhaps blogland could help Lamin feed his 770 children.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
He reckons he could see himself rubbing down a young female.
We both love reading the small ads. There are so many weirdly worded ones around. How about ' Pensioner wants someone to cut parrot's toenails.' Or our all-time favourite, under For Sale. 'Very old black lady's bicycle.' We were tempted to phone and see how the old lady was.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Busy? I decided to clear all the paperwork that's been waiting for attention. I've ploughed through it all this week, at the same time as interviewing authors for a forthcoming article. Life is going to get busier as the new book is getting started on Monday. Not sure when the deadline is yet but I want to get well ahead in case we get a buyer and move house in the middle of writing.
Now the decks are clear I actually feel like working. That paper wasn't just clogging up my office. It was clogging up my brain.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I loved him for a while and then he got boring. It wasn't that my affection towards him cooled, rather that it got too warm. His epitaph has possibly been heard before but here goes -
Now he's dead and gone away
Let's hope the bugger's there to stay.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I'd grown used to the first cover with its blue sky with little white clouds, like ideas, sailing in it. This one is beginning to grow on me now. Change is always hard for me. Jane Wenham-Jones and I once got quite faint because the table in our kitchen at Writers' Holiday, Caerleon, had been moved so that it faced North to South instead of East to West. (www.writersholiday.net)
There is another change going on and this is one that I've looked forward to. The THAW!
Green looks really strange now. Instead of staring out of my window at white hills, white valley, white garden, there are now patches of green and they look very very bright. The snow has made me lethargic. Hibernation was appealing. Perhaps with the return of green my brain will re-awaken.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Over the years I've got used to rejections, celebrations, tears and wails and all those calls of 'Colin, Colin, I've forgotten the word I want, can't find the disk with the photo, lost the file, can can you read this, check that, do you know this, that and the other.' And the one most often used - 'Are you putting the kettle on?' Apparently this is Venusian for 'I want a cup of tea.' Lynne once gave me Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus to read. It didn't tell me where writers came from.
I also didn't reckon on becoming sort of famous. Apart from being on telly when I was in the audience while Lynne played Deal Or No Deal, I have become a character both factual and fictional. I've made an appearance in a children's book, many short stories, and an unpublished novel (Hell, the stress that one caused me). She's told all and sundry about my parents, my jobs and even my heart attacks. Is nothing sacred? Thankfully, so far, she's not got involved in erotic writing.
And what does she say if I complain. 'But darling, no interesting woman is easy to live with.'