Sunday, 1 March 2015

A new endeavour.

It's a very long time since I have been here and I am looking forward to getting my blog back on track and catching up with some long-lost blogging friends!

The sun has come out, the buds are starting to appear on the trees and the sap is rising... After a lull of over a year, I can feel my own sap rising too and with it has come a little epiphany. I have been somewhat directionless, always feeling that the ideas I had were only 'half-ideas'. Suddenly, things - as they so often do - have fallen into place. I work with children, I love the company of children, I still think like a child (maybe!)... I should be writing for children. I teach children to read and spend time listening to them read. Why not write something I think they would enjoy?

Watch this space! Work has yet to begin, but begin it will!

Have you ever had an epiphany-type-thing? Writing related or otherwise?

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour

Thanks to the very talented Jane Ayres for inviting me to take part in The Writing Process Blog Tour, a blog relay in which each author discusses their individual writing process, and then passes the baton on. I've been a bit of a slow runner on this one due to being away on holiday and not posting when I said I would, but I hope I won't have held the team up too much!

I've followed Jane's blog for a few years now. She writes, among other things, equestrian-themed novels and I have a real nostalgia for those sort of books, having been a huge fan of pony stories as a kid/early teen. The number of books she's had published makes me gape... I'll never catch up! Please do follow the link above to check out her blog, The Beautiful Room (what a fabulous name for a blog) where you can find all her titles, including her latest release, The Perfect Horse, and the cover reveal for her latest book 'Beware of the Horse 2: Angie's Revenge'. 


The Perfect Horse
You can read Jane's stop on The Writing Process Blog Tour here.

Now I have to answer 4 questions and pass the baton on:

1. What am I currently working on? 

I have been taking a break from writing (see previous posts) due to family and canine commitments (!) but I will be properly back in the writing saddle at the end of September. My brain has, of course, still been working whilst my fingers had a break and my current project is a supernatural time-slip novel set in a stately home that's being restored. I love history and the sense of layers of time in old buildings.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It's difficult to make short stories for women's magazines differ very much from others
as there are certain requirements. I don't suppose my work does vary very much from anyone else's really! As far as writing the novel goes, there seems to be a definite formula for time-slip work. I will be doing my best to find some way of making my story in some way different from others in the genre. I like stories with a lot of threads, and that's what I'm aiming for.

3. Why do I write what I write?

I am mostly influenced by sensory stuff - feelings, vibes, sights are what usually get me started. I began writing short stories because I felt it would be a way to build my confidence and perhaps become published. Now I have achieved that and my inspiration has (hopefully temporarily) run dry on the short story front, I want to concentrate on my novel. The trouble is, short stories provide a quick fix - quick yes or no, quick payment (!) and that becomes a bit addictive. I think having had a long break will help me chill out and take my time with my novel. At least, I hope so!

4. How does my individual writing process work?

This is something I definitely need to work on. I am very undisciplined! When working on a short story I tend to get up early and do an hour before work, then a bit more after work if I can. I think on my feet and re-write as I go along. It's a bit hap-hazard, to be honest, but fine for short pieces of work. I think that for the novel, being a larger body of work, I will need to write it more or less without editing and then go back over it, otherwise I'll never get to the end! (It's happened before - I have several that I stopped half way through because I'd lost heart and interest.) Wish me luck!

And now for the passing on of the baton...

The fabulous Patsy Collins will be the next in line, although I think, like me, she isn't going to be running especially fast!  
Click the picture to visit my Facebook author page
Patsy is a fellow writer of short stories and has also published several novels. Her blog, 'Words about writing and writing about words', is always witty and interesting - no pressure to keep that up, Patsy ;-) - so do pop across and have a look. You can pick up her free e-book of short stories - 'Not a Drop to Drink' - by clicking the link. 
Not a Drop to Drink


Well, that was fun! Thanks for popping in!



Thursday, 3 July 2014

IWSG July

Another month gone:
busy, tired, jelly-brain,
words stuck in my head.


But I'll get writing again this summer. It may have to be a 'school holidays' occupation in the interests of avoiding exhaustion, but I'm looking forward to the joy of releasing my thoughts onto the screen again.

Hope you're not too insecure this month!

Thanks as usual to Alex J Cavanaugh for giving us all this opportunity to vent and commiserate or encourage. The list of participants is really too long to put on here, but you can find it over on his blog.

Wishing you all a productive month :-)


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Our Beautiful Child


Congratulations to Annalisa Crawford on the publication, today, of...



         Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press
Available from Amazon


I'm always terrified about reviewing because I can never put into words why  I've enjoyed something. I feel what I'm reading, live between the pages, float off into another world... and that's definitely what happened while I was reading My Beautiful Child.

I LOVED these stories and have already read them twice. They positively delighted me! The three in this collection are linked by a pub, The Boathouse, although each is a perfectly formed tale on its own and each managed to surprise me with its twists and turns. The stories are moving and the characters fully formed, quirky and interesting; not a caricature  in sight. Annalisa’s style is easy to read – spare yet expressive and descriptive; the words flow easily from the page. Nothing is contrived. She delves into the dark recesses of human nature and writes a satisfyingly complete short story without any hint of ‘twee'. If you are not a fan of short stories, these will change your mind. If you love short stories, you won’t be disappointed!  


“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.
Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!


Annalisa's Links:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

IWSG June

I missed a couple of these while I was bogged down with life-stuff (see my previous post) and I'm afraid I didn't get time to hop around and read many blogs, either :-(

Thanks, as always, to Alex J Cavanaugh and those who assist him each month so that the rest of us can have a moan or offer words of comfort and encouragement.

I don't know whether I can be bothered to feel insecure this month. I haven't written anything since the end of January, although I did tweak and re-submit a short story this week. I think it will probably ping back to me, but as the editor said, it's always worth another try!

A break from writing has been very refreshing. I feel detached rather than agonisingly stressed about it and have realised that it isn't the be-all-and-end-all it had become. I really hope this feeling stays with me and I don't become consumed by the need to write and frustrated by the lack of time.

To anyone who is reading this and feeling that writing is no longer exactly a pleasure, I would like to say I know exactly how you feel. I was forced into not being able to write by circumstances, but am feeling that it was basically A GOOD THING and that a break doesn't mean you will lose your ability to write or never write again.

Happy first Wednesday of the month to you!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

May Haiku

So much for good intentions! At the beginning of this year I intended to post a Haiku for each month, but that flew out of the window when my mother-in-law fell and broke her wrist and pelvis, and then the window slammed shut when we got the puppy and I realised JUST HOW MUCH HARD WORK A PUPPY IS!

She's now nearly 4 months old and is much better at laying patiently while I fiddle around on the laptop, and the MiL has had to accept that she's almost completely recovered and can't have me on call all the time, so I am thinking it's time to put the fingers on the keyboard, or pen to paper, again.


How did that happen?
Time flies, they say, and it's true -
of this year, at least!

Spring sprung secretly.
May - I blinked once and missed you.
June - please knock loudly!

Thanks for visiting!

What do you prefer - fingers on keyboard or pen on paper - and why?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Cover reveal - Our Beautiful Child

It's high time I got back to blogging. A sick mother-in-law and a new puppy have stood between me and writing / blogging for too long now! The MiL is on the mend and the puppy is an angel, so no excuse. 

I'm absolutely delighted that my fabulous writerly friend Annalisa Crawford has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks. I love her quirky style and I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy of this! Watch this space for a link when the time comes, but for now... isn't the cover lovely? The story sounds intriguing, too!


Release date: 10th June 2014         Publisher: Battered Suitcase Press

“The Boathouse collects misfits. Strange solitary creatures that yearn for contact with the outside world, but not too much. They sit, glass in hand, either staring at the table in front of them, or at some distant point on the horizon.”

… so says the narrator of Our Beautiful Child. And he’s been around long enough to know.

People end up in this town almost by accident. Ella is running away from her nightmares, Sally is running away from the memories of previous boyfriends and Rona is running away from university. Each of them seek sanctuary in the 18th century pub, The Boathouse; but in fact, that’s where their troubles begin.

Ella finds love, a moment too late; Rona discovers a beautiful ability which needs refining before she gets hurt; and Sally meets the captivating Murray, who threatens to ruin everything.

Three women. Three stories. One pub.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I live in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep to keep me inspired. I live with my husband, two sons, a dog and a cat.
Despite my location, I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along a deserted beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!


Links: