Friday, March 29, 2013

Derbyshire will be lovely by then

Are you writing a novel? Do you fancy a weekend away?
Yes? Yes?
Simon Hall is running a weekend course at the start of May in Derbyshire, called Novel Writing from Planning to Publication.  Learn more about Simon at -

For more details of the course -
Simon's new book – The Shadows of Justice – is published May 1st

Monday, March 25, 2013

More questions to answer and as I don't have a clue what to blog about - I'm sure you don't want to know all the horrible details of the Real Flu I've had for the past week - I'll answer these from Jane Wenham-Jones's blog.
Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?
A. I was born in Kidderminster, the carpet town where unemployment was then virtually non-existent. I now live in Malvern at the foot of the famous hills and I love it.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at present?
A. I have deep roots and need to be in Worcestershire to feel comfortable.

Q. Which is your favourite part of Britain?
A. I've been around the whole coastline and reckon the UK is fantastically beautiful. Devon and Cornwall are lovely but so it most of the Scottish coastline.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?
A. I used Mumbles pier in a story where a rotten husband's ashes are thrown into the sea but don't quite make it. I often use places I know in short stories.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?
A. I think it used to be but people tend to show their more caring sides now. And there's all this awful real-life stuff in magazines where there's no stiff upper lip at all, just a poor me story in lots of cases. My Gran, a Victorian, would not have approved.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books
A. Ghostwriting is my latest but there's a new one due out soon. Handy Hints for Writers. It's a sort of expanded version of my Handy Little Book for Writers which was only available through NAWG.

Q. What are you currently working on?
A..Too many things for comfort. Trying to update Racing Start as an e-book. It's about cycle racing and after the Olympics I'm hoping there'll be plenty of interest. Same with a comic novel that was praised but turned down. Lots of regular columns to write. Short stories. Articles. And the deadline for a local magazine, of which I am editor, looms.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?
A. Watching antiques programmes. Watching cycle races. Reading. Eating chocolate.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?
A. I'd like to think it was global. My short stories sometimes are and Writing From Life has sold in many countries.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?
A. Provide links? You're talking to a technophobe. You could go to my website, I suppose.
And now, should you choose to accept the challenge, I'm passing these questions on to Teresa Ashby, Susan Jane Jones and Julie Phillips.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Thanks to Wendy over at
for this award.

As usual there are questions to be answered and names to be nominated. It seems that everyone I know has already received this award so if there's anyone left out there do feel free to take it. There are some interesting questions:

If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I'd have been at the front of the queue when spines were being given out. Not at the back so that I ended up with a dodgy one.

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?
I wouldn't want to repeat any age. I keep trying to live in the present.

What one thing really scares you?
Being locked in anywhere, whether it be a tiny space or Wembley Stadium.

If you could be someone else for the day, who would it be?
I'm happy being me but perhaps I'd like to be one of those people who got lost in the Bermuda Triangle, just for the day so I could come home safely but know what the hell happens there.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A tear shed

Today the gas man came to call. He removed our fire because something had fallen down the chimney and was in distress. It was a starling (I'm almost sure). We managed to rescue it and put it on a warm blanket. It curled its claw around my finger and it felt strong. It even tried to take in some water. We did all we could but in the end it died. I think the horrors of its adventure were too much for it.

            We put it outside in the light. I wish it could have flown away but at least it died out in the open.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let me know if I do this, will you?

I started reading a library book this morning in which every other chapter is written in the first person. The I word was used so many times I began reading it aloud, removing the offending I's.
A little later the following sentence made me laugh and then wonder how on earth it got passed by the writer and editor.

Lucy shook her head and then put it down on the table. (Can you picture it?)
One of my favourites was passed on by a friend who read the following in a student's assignment.

He rolled his eyes at her and she rolled hers back at him. (Rather like a game of marbles.)
Have you spotted any gems?

Monday, March 04, 2013

News about superheroes

Susan Jane Jones is blogging every month about a giggle moment. See
My giggle moment came a couple of days ago. We were driving very slowly, due to traffic, through the shopping centre and I was telling the LSO how Robin was going to die next week, killed by his evil clone. That's Batman's Robin in DC Comics, in case you're wondering. And as I was imparting this interesting information I saw Superman walk past. Honestly! He was out delivering to shops, dressed in full Superman kit, underpants over the onesie, and complete with cloak.
When you've lived in Malvern for a few years nothing surprises you.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Is it an omen?

Just as we are selling our house, my story about selling a house appears in My Weekly. I'm taking that as an omen.
Moving house is supposedly a stressful experience. My take on that is it's only stressful if you allow it to be. Mind you, it's brought my memories of an aborted course on Feng Shui to the fore. Of course I need to clean the mirrors. Dirty mirrors = bad Feng Shui. Fresh flowers are good but dead ones are bad so my latest hobby is flower sorting. Anything with a brown edge to a petal has to go. Out of the huge bunch I bought a fortnight ago, three yellow heads remain from tiny carnations and they're in a titchy vase the size of a small egg-cup.

The LSO is suffering. 'What do you mean, you're going to the bathroom?' I shout. ' We've got viewers in five minutes. Don't you dare fart in there. And make sure you put the seat down.'
Get the picture? Life at home could become slightly frazzled if I let it. Actually, all these little things are being stored to use in a short story later. On reading this, before posting it, I realise that the LSO might feel a tad frazzled. I'll ask him when he gets back. If he comes back… Maybe he's gone somewhere to break wind in peace.

For my new followers - LSO is Long Suffering One, my partner of so many years.