Monday, 30 April 2012

Z… is for… ‘Z’s’

Z the final letter of the British alphabet & the final letter of the ‘a to z blog challenge,‘ which I have successfully completed despite terrible planning skills. A holiday mid way through the challenge almost knocked me off course but I survived.

Z. One letter that has significance in many fields: chemistry, & physics as an atomic number & mathematics, I mean how many of you recall hating algebra, ‘if x + y = z’ questions?

And as a slang expression to mean to catch some sleep. But now I think I can catch a few Z’s before I start the next challenge:

My personal goal in May is to submit short stories to several platforms.

And finally to all my fellow participants I think we can safely give ourselves a pat on the back for this super nuts to soup event!

And my sincere thanks to the organisers as I’m sure it was no mean feat to organise and monitor the blogs & bloggers during the challenge.

off to read a few more blogs...

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Y… is for… Yours truly – Thank you

These lovely people listed below visited my blog during the ‘a to z challenge’ while I was away in (last week) in the wi-fi wilderness heaven, known as Stout’s Hill. I’m grateful to all of them listed below for taking the time to read my blog posts and leave comments while I was absent from the internet because their observations keep me encouraged, keep me going, despite being behind on so many projects!
did you ever kiss a frog

Thank you for taking the time to drop, I really appreciated it.


Friday, 27 April 2012

X… is for… ‘X-factor’

No not that one on the telly!

What is your X-factor as a writer?

What special ingredient do you bring to your writing?

The reason I ask this is: for the longest time I doubted my ability to write, yet when I started to share my work with my writing group friends I discovered that they heard or understood parts of my writing in a way that I did not intend, or had not recognized.

I’ve been told I have a good ear for dialogue and that’s odd because I never thought dialogue was easy to write, in fact early on I did not write any dialogue, in any piece of work as I was so afraid of it! And I only ever wrote in third person past tense.

Once I learned that sharing my work gave me back solid information that I could use to improve my writing I became more adept at sharing. Now I often edit other peoples work because again I find that this benefits my own writing.

If I’m honest I’m not sure what ‘X-factor’ I bring to my novels yet. However, I intend to find out by submitting more and more of my work and asking for feedback.

So just like a sales pitch: What is your X-factor as a writer?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

W… is for… Wedding gift!

Well this post had been written well in advance and then a funny thing happened.

I hadn’t done my homework for writing group (bad girl, slaps own hand!) so I took this drafted blog piece in place of my homework. My work received a good reception and I was pleased with the positive responses and then our chairperson, the lovely Ruth made a suggestion. In her opinion she felt that this piece would be exactly what a large chain store would like for advertising!

I’m going to be brave and offer them the piece: ‘W… is for…Wedding Gift,’ and see what response my offer gets! So I will send my original drafted piece to this store…

Wish me luck

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

V... is for... Victories

1. Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
2. Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
3. The state of having triumphed.

It’s funny but I don’t think of myself as victorious and yet, as I reflect on recent events, perhaps I should.

I’ve come to realize that I’ve moved forward passed several obstacles. I keep writing and I keep submitting my work and I keep hoping that the submitted work will be warmly received. This for me represents the small victories, because I have defeated my own reticence.

And yet I should be getting the bunting out, stringing it around my computer and work desk area… perhaps drape it around my Blog and Twitter account for all to see that I have achieved another small success:

A fanfare of trumpets…

A roll on the drums…


I am published in paperback!

In an Anthology of work from my writing group and some of my short stories form a part of this anthology for which I complied the manuscript, edited and pushed forward to Troubador as part of a small dedicated team – and we made it!

Ten Minute Tales will be officially launched on May 12th at Hove Library.

So in the meantime I have to find ways to promote this book and event. It’s the start of a new learning curve, a struggle against a new obstacle, overcoming nerves of reading in public… and promoting this lovely new book.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

U… is for… Undefeated & unfriendly.

If I described a man as ‘unfriendly bacteria…’ would that conjure up an instant image?

I had a recent run in with man. Ungrateful. Pig-headed. Arrogant. You know the type and he shall remain nameless.

Over coffee with a good friend she confided her nick name for this man, for she too knew of his antics, and this made me curl up with laughter.

It was what I needed, another person’s point of view and opinion. Name calling isn’t something I usually recommend resorting too… but her version summed up my annoyance and anger. Now I don’t hold with the idea of labelling people but this notion of describing him somehow released my pent up frustration.

This unpleasant male of the species from now on will be known as… 'unfriendly bacteria' and I’m certain that when I need to write about an unsavoury character he may feature in a cameo role as a baddie, but only a bit part in a short story.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Ten Minute Tales on World Book Night

I’d like to announce the publication of an Anthology: Ten Minute Tales.

I played an active part in compiling this manuscript for my writing group and it is my first attempt as an indie publisher. I learned a huge amount during this lengthy process and at one point I even doubted it would reach the press due to outside interference.

However I am very proud to report that we made it. Gosh that sounds grand but I’m pleased with the production to date.

You can find it for sale in Brighton bookshops and we will be touting out book at the World Book night alongside NWS, our original sponsor.

The link on the side bar of my blog will take you to our publisher, Troubador, who will be only too happy to send you a copy in the post.

T… is for... Titles

This post I had intended to label: Great Tit Activity.

Can you see the immediate problem with that?

Search engines in their droves would clutter my timeline on Twitter with spam bots and god knows what else – I dare not investigate that idea, posting this absurd title.

It is an accurate title. However it is an inappropriate title.

After another brain storming session I settled upon: ‘Nest building skills.’

A Great Tit clung, with a firm clasp to the cable of the lawn mower, inspected the large orange carcass and disregarded it. Sat on the rim of an earthenware pot and this tiny creature inspected the contents. This darling birds head twitched from right tot left before it hopped inside the flower pot. Then disappeared from view. Suddenly bits of detritus, as light as a feather flew, crumpled old leaves, thrown out with great force over the rim to land on the patio.

Oh the disappointment my original draft title could have delivered to a wrongly directed piece of traffic!

How important are titles to you… and do you judge whether to read by title alone?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

#Lucky 7 – Extract from: My Manuscript

My thanks to Jackie Buxton, @jaxbees who has challenged me to join the #Lucky7 you can check her out her book: ‘Glass Houses’ at

‘Life turns on a Silver Sixpence,’ is my manuscript that is as yet unseen by anyone, and is progressing at a pace I’m happy with, so this short section below is page 77, line 7, the next 7 sentences:


The counsellor handed her a box of tissues, Constance took a tissue and dabbed her cheeks dry, and kept a firm hold of the damp tissue between clenched fingers, ‘Are you able to continue?’

‘Yes, I’m fine,’ but patently she wasn’t, the counsellors’ voice was calm and soothed her jangled nerves. Talking, being honest wasn’t easy for Constance but neither was this meeting quite as tough as she’d imagined it might be, before she arrived. For the first time in ages she felt listened too and even guided in a good direction, but her words backed-up and crashed into the front of her mind, hoping to be released, yet she didn’t feel brave enough to share. It was a peculiar sensation, inside the silence screamed louder than any cry, tired and angry she remained speechless.

'It can be difficult to find the right work life versus home life balance these days especially for working mums… do you work too hard?’

Constance nodded, she wasn’t sure if she looked to this meeting for forgiveness, but she did want a solution, one that was viable for both of them and why did she feel so ambivalent towards him?


That was really lucky as the sentence prior to this passage gave away what has happened to my heroine…but now I can and shall leave you guessing! Mean of me I know…

This is my ‘draft synopsis’ for my manuscript:

All she ever wanted was to be married, ‘Mrs Somebody.’ Constance grows and changes through a series of events that happen in quick succession and these new and frightening challenges that are set in motion test her emotional limits. The pain and distress she experiences is almost beyond endurance. Ultimately she comes to accept that these trials may be beyond her control. However, she finds ways to overcome these obstacles, and learns that despite being tested, nearly to ruination, she recognizes that what she values most, is important to her. After all the betrayal she finds acceptance and unity in the foundation of her family, however dysfunctional her life may appear to outsiders. These are her choices and this is her life.

It's now my turn to invite and challenge 7 more bloggers to share this experience:


Ladies there is no pressure here… Join in if you wish and good luck with the adventure.

I’m now going to pop along to the other six authors who were challenged at the same time as me and find out what they are doing, *wanders off into Blogsville… smiling*

The other six in my #Lucky 7 group were:

Gillian Smellie @GillianSmellie
Gerry McCullough @Gerry1098
Kelly Byrne @KL_Byrne
Catherine MacLeod @silentnovelist http@//
Jane Alexander @exmoorjane
Martha Williams @Martha_Williams

I can’t wait to read these extracts ...

Saturday, 21 April 2012

S… is for… Senses

As a writer I try to use the five senses in my work: hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch to give my writing depth. But are there more than five senses to consider?

Every mother has checked a child’s fevered brow to sense if a fever has increased or decreased in temperature.

The last time you were giddy, and sensed a loss of balance that lead your body to stretch your arms out to protect your face from a fall? And could you include a sense of acceleration and a loss of the horizon that brings on nausea!

When pain strikes you sense severe discomfort. Able to tell where the pain is but not necessarily know what is causing the stabbing, burning sensation. And a child often claims to have tummy ache when describing pain, not knowing what is wrong.

Perhaps you recall experiencing ‘Déjà vu,’ that feeling when you’re positive you experienced that exact same sensation earlier, even a feeling that someone has walked over your grave.

Does belonging need to be regarded as a sense? Or perhaps you might consider a sense for the passing of time? And should we include hunger or thirst? Conceivably we should regard these vital reactions as senses?

And don’t get me started on extra sensory perception, regarded by many as the sixth sense. I know that I have an innate sense of when something is wrong. I regard this sense as my personal self preservation, because on rare occasions I’m certain I’ve avoided danger. I have known when to run, flee.

There maybe as many as twenty one senses and animals have other senses that we do not share and some people have a union of senses, seeing colour and music combined. How frustratingly wonderful...?

Did you know a butterfly has taste receptors in its feet? What an amazing ability, wouldn’t that be a fabulous addition – I quite fancy the idea of taste receptors in my hands! Imagine knowing what something would taste like before consumption? Would that work for you?

Finally a sense of being cherished is important to me. I have a deep desire to scoop up children to protect them; encourage them to thrive with positive emotions that allow them to be curious and experience joy. The Japanese call this sense: “Amai.”

I'd love to know which sense you would adopt given a chance to add one.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Lucky Seven update

The lovely Jackie Buxton, @jaxbees challenged me to join the #Lucky7 and I want to take up this challenge... however I can’t write or complete this post before April 22nd… there just aren’t enough hours in a day, as I'm going away for a week.

The #Lucky 7 post is drafted and will appear here soon… promise #Lucky 7

R… is for… Romantic Novelist (Fri 19.4.12 posted early)

Am I a Romantic Novelist writer?

The reason I ask this question out loud is simple…I’m not sure. I write about women with family lives that fall apart, events that drive my heroine towards the breakdown of her marriage, mostly caused by external events impinging on the characters lives.

When I write it out like that it never sounds remotely romantic, far from it!

However, my collection of short stories are always about people finding new beginnings. Looking for love, yet not necessarily finding love or their version of love they may have envisaged when embarking on a date.

I refer to my books as: ‘Kitchen sink dramas,’ because quite oddly all of them have started out in the kitchen in Chapter One! Again not romantic…finally I twigged that it might be wise to make a change at the start of my latest manuscript. This change has been implemented!

But to date I don’t feel I have written a soft cuddly ending… I wonder why that is?

Q… is for… Queen for a day (Thur 19.4.12 posted early)

In the run up to the Queens Diamond Jubilee I wondered what special treat you might award yourself if you were ‘Queen for a day?’

I think I’d like to be pampered. Manicure, facial, and a special up-do of a hair do… then I’d like to spend the day at the races, preferably F1, Silverstone or Monte Carlo, if push comes to shove, and if that’s not possible then I’d settle for Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival.

But then again I may be fickle and decided that I would like three wishes, as part of my ‘Queen for a day’ deal. And I’ll happily share my three wishes with you, if you’d indulge me and share yours… I’ll look forward to hearing from you.

P… is for… Positive Feedback (Wed 18.4.12 posted early)

Thank you to all the Bloggers, Writers and Readers who have taken time to drop by and leave a comment. I love reading the feedback you offer. It keeps me motivated, encourages me to be braver and move forward with my goal.

However it took me a long time to learn to accept a compliment. And even longer to learn how to pay a compliment!

During this A to Z challenge the people listed below have taken time to drop by my blog:


O… is for… Objects of desire (Tues 17.4.12 posted early)

A toilet block!

On Sat 7.4.12 I read that Thomas KinKaide had died. This lovely creative artist had passed away from natural causes. He was 54. No age at all and certainly not old.

I had the pleasure of watching him paint around twelve to fifteen years ago. I was lucky enough to be in Carmel, CA on the day Thomas chose to paint on the lawn. As he daubed paint on the canvas he talked, told us a story. I was mesmerized.

From a sketchy start this picture developed into a beautiful image, a warm inviting ambience emanated from the canvas. The building he had chosen to interpret was a toilet block, purpose built, ugly and utilitarian, surrounded by low shrubbery.

The result was fascinating. I wanted to own the picture. Even though I knew its providence, his brush strokes transformed the real world into a magical vision.

I only hope that my words can achieve a similar transformation… for readers.

RIP Thomas KinKaide He was a known as ‘a Painter of Light – to me he shall be remembered as a painter of magical words, exquisite ideas and miraculous thoughts.

1957-2012 gone but not forgotten

N… is for… Now (Mon 16.4.12 posted early)

It's time I conquered my nerves. But what am I nervous of…?


What if my book is no good? Poorly received? Rejected?

I decided early on in 2012 that it is time for me to test the water and find an agent. See if an agent will take me on if they like my story telling skills.

But here is the first hurdle… where do I start? How do I find a good agent?

Ideas please, would be much appreciated.

M… is for… Micro fiction. (Sat 14.4.12 posted early)

Why? Because micro fiction is magic.

It has taught me which words are most important. I have discovered how to use shorter alternative words than long complex overpowering ones. And it has encouraged me to be braver. To tighten up my use of words, to loose the flabbiness. If only I could apply the same procedures to my body mass. (Sighs!)

Twitter is a great place for Micro fiction. Also know as Flash Fiction!

140 characters is a strict limit, this includes all letters and spaces.

141 characters won’t cut it, the message will not send. Twitter is where I dabble with ideas. Test out my random thoughts on my followers, and I use hashtags to denote a topic:

#seenwhiledriving – literally the view that unfolds from my driver’s seat!

#smallstone - my daily mindful exercise to capture a thought, idea, something of note.

#thingsthatmakemesmile – self explanatory

#foundwhilewalking – my friend @kaysexton writes very good ones!

Perhaps you have favourite ways to share micro fiction. Share them with me here?

AtoZ challenge – update

I’m almost half way through the alphabet and I’m going away for a week and not sure if I’ll have internet connections that I will be able to rely on, so I’ve posted my posts early. M. N. O. P. Q. & R! I think I’ll be back in time to post ‘S’ on Saturday 21st April! (shakes head at own bad planning skills)

L… is for… Lust for Life #atoz

I lust for life, I do!

I want to squeeze luscious moments from each day, and build on them to extract and extrapolate my thoughts into meaningful passages for my books.

Why? Because I write about family life. Those daily obstacles and complexities that drive us to do what we do. People are important to me, what they do is my life line, my business. They fascinate me.

I’m quite sure that I’ll only get one stab at this life, so I am going to grab it large!

Live it - Love it - Laugh with it. Do you lust for life?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

K… is for... Kindness

If I could be granted a superpower it would be this:

‘The ability to make people kinder, in actions, words and deeds.’

Hero’s don’t wear capes… they wear... dog tags
Oh so true ♥

If I could grant you a super power which super-hero power would you chose?

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

J… is for… Journey

I get to pick and choose. I know I am lucky. I have five beautiful nieces, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, eight and six. All surrogate daughters, on a part time rota basis.
Fabulous fun.

It’s Easter holiday time and I have the middle niece to visit for a sleep over, a couple of nights with her mad giddy aunt.

Car journeys are usually solitary times when my mind is free and I can relax, unwind and think. Not last night, when I collected her. Something surprising happened.

She talked non-stop! Not even to draw breath. I couldn’t get a word in edgeways. If I tried to respond and break into her conversation, she kept going. Talked louder, drowned me out.

At first I thought it was endearing, charming. After ten miles I was fit to scream…

Until she said, smiling: ‘dry rain would be better.’

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I… is for…If

If: the biggest word in the English language.

Let’s go back in history to one of my all time favourite English Kings: Henry VIII

If Henry knew that his daughter, Elizabeth, would be his legacy. Be the strongest heir, become the greatest queen of English history, would he have beheaded her mother? And declared Elizabeth illegitimate?

History has written the ending for these complicated events and I will never know if there could be an alternative answer to the question I’ve posed.

Looking back I can view and interpret Henry’s actions with hindsight. But while Henry lived these were his decisions, based on the limited information he possessed at that time. Guided, aided and abetted by those men in grey that held the power behind the throne. I can see Henry, the flaws that made this man, a king, a very real person, loved and loathed.

But perhaps the art to good storytelling is not to give away the ending before the story has begun. So when I write my characters I need to know where they are going to end up but not necessarily need to share this information with the reader too soon?

Monday, 9 April 2012

H… is for… History & Happiness versus Hung-over

Recently I discovered the joys of a Gin & Tonic.

Odd that I’ve never tried this tipple before, and now that I’ve found it, I can’t think why I never drunk one before. But I’m converted to Gin, despite it’s historical name of: Mother’s Ruin!

In 1700’s England, the British government supported gin distilling while banning and discouraging imports of wine from France. So the poor drank gin because it was cheap to produce, and often mixed with turpentine!

Hogarth’s famous cartoon of drunken debauchery in Gin Lane is graphic. But consider this... if Gin was drunk for breakfast and dinner and tea and supper. A soporific alcoholic addiction and drug induced state was virtually impossible to avoid, especially as gin houses established a strong link with prostitution. A means by which to pay for your addiction.

Drunkenness in the streets and back allies become common place.

Over the centuries good Samaritans charged with rounding up drunks would take these poor souls to large warehoused areas, cold, unheated, strung with washing lines. Drunks were ‘hung over’ the lines to let the side effects of alcohol wear off.

Think I limit my intake of Gin!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Running ragged…

It’s the end of a hectic week, one where I agreed to complete the blogging A to Z April Challenge.

What was I thinking…?

Last week was the first week of the Easter holidays which coincided with the end of the tax year so all hell broke loose here. As the maddest giddy aunt known to my many nieces I’d been commandeered into becoming a temporary taxi driver, personal shopper and waitress! And carer.

Monday I raced up to Kingston, picked up middle two nieces and dropped them at my mothers. Then rushed to collect eldest niece from work, followed by a dash to pick up second eldest from school, poor lamb despite being on holiday she’s attending revision lessons, as if securing a prediction of 14 ‘O’ levels (mostly grade +*) isn’t sufficient - she needs extra lessons!?

This set of bonkers escapades was repeated over the next four days as nieces stayed between my house and my mothers. Including shopping trips to Brighton Laines and Horsham. It was fun. It was mad.

I take my hat off to all the mums here who run households and blog and write and juggle kids because this week my writing took a bit of a nose dive. I managed to keep the challenge on track and dip into Twitter occasionally but the novel is on hold until May… probably!

I’ve realised that this coming week may be a another challenge as I shall be away the following week so I need to get a double set of posts drafted, written and posted before I go away - if I want to remain part of the challenge…so no pressure.

I started out as number 1916, out of a field of around 1,940 and then I moved to 1914. To start with I thought I’d got confused but my number changed to #1881 and now I’m at #1805 so it appears that bloggers disappear off the A to Z challenge list at quite a high rate – *gulps*

So if I don’t respond to your lovely comments on my blog, I’m not ignoring you, really I’m not, just running ragged for the second week of the Easter holiday mayhem.

Will be awfully glad when normal services can be resumed week commencing 23rd April – St George’s day – ‘World Book Night’ oh and I have to organise a book launch too!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

G… is for… Games

Which games did you play as a child? Monopoly perhaps.

Or maybe Mousetrap, was your favourite board game?

The funny thing about board games is I never got bored as a child. I loved playing games, except… when I lost! I was a sore loser. But, in a very competitive family it made it inevitable that at some stage I might lose.

My mum had an uncanny knack of adding to, amending or changing the rules as the game was in progress and bless her, she still does this, to this day. It does not matter if it is Canasta or Mah-Jong. A couple of weeks ago, after an enormous scrumptious Sunday lunch, we played Monopoly with her grandchildren. They all know her wiles and did not let her escape; the competitive streak runs through all of our family – to be the best and to be a winner.

And the funny thing was…I re-read the rules that afternoon and still learned rules I didn’t know!

When was the last time you lost your competitive edge? Or played a game you lost?

Friday, 6 April 2012

F… is for… Flash Fiction #atoz

'Marriage Proposal?'

George knew she was his damsel in distress, an English rose needing to be saved, protected from the false knight’s armoured horse powered truck.

Dairy farmer by day, George was asleep in his bed when Estelle knocked on his door, her car broken down.

Wanting to lay down his life for a chance to make her happy he invited her to use his telephone.

Proffering tea, a warm chair by the aga, he wondered, could he win her heart?

An old knight at 59, past his prime, but if asked, Estelle would have lain beneath the stars with him forever.

(100 words excluding title.)

Thursday, 5 April 2012

E… is for… Elation #atoz

Elation: That sense of ‘euphoria’ which floods my body, mind or spirit when nothing feels this good, sounds this sensational, feels this wonderful, tastes this sweet or looks this fabulous!

That moment of joy that places you,‘In seventh heaven.’

When your spirits rise and make you feel,‘Tickled pink.’

Which left you happy,‘On cloud nine.’

Or,‘Happy as a clam.’

You get my drift here: when was the last time you felt elated?

I’ll share my joyfulness here if you’ll share yours… I’d be ‘Cock-a-hoop!’

Can’t wait to hear what you might share: ‘With bells on.’

And I hope you’re all – ‘In fine fettle’ today.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

D… is for… Disappointment #atoz

I’m a girl who adores butter.

Margarine – I spit at the idea.

So imagine my disappointment to discover that last weeks food shop yielded a blend of mixed vegetable fat that was wrapped to look like butter! I’d rather go hungry than eat/use it!

I felt robbed. Cheated and swindled. Talk about disappointed.

When was the last time a book disappointed you, as a reader?

Last month I came to: Mary Anne by Daphne Du Maurier, with a level of expectation for a good read that sadly was not met, despite this novel being well crafted. At reading group I discovered I was not alone in my disappointment.

So what does a new reader expect from a new author?

I was not disappointed by new author, Isabel Ashdown, who in my opinion, has delivered. Her first book ‘Glasshopper’ is a poignant and insightful read. And I would recommend it. I have not, as yet, read her second novel, ‘Hurry up and Wait’ but I have high hopes for another good read.

Disappointment can come in all shapes and guises. What disappointed you today, this week, this year?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

C… is for… Colour #atoz

Does colour influence your life?

It does in mine. I adore stained glass windows; the way light diffuses through the glass and can light up a dull corner of a church with a glorious rainbow. I used to make stained glass panels as a hobby. My shed is set up with my tools and the last glass panel I was in the process of making, sits & waits for me to return to it.

The depth of the richness and the clarity of glass pulls me toward it; I lust after owning jewels that sparkle brightly. Rich iridescent colours sing to me.

As a photographer I was taught that the sky is my best friend, and to use it as a backdrop. It is forever changing, never constant.

So as a writer should I use the weather to set a scene? Or mislead the reader with a deliberate sign that takes the reader away from the impending disaster?

Yet strangely I wear a lot of black for ease, and comfort as I’m never keen to wear too much colour in the winter. But once the summer is here it’s good to peel back the layers and suddenly I’m happy to wear pinks and purples and oranges.

But my skin, fair, white and pale doesn’t love the sun.

And I know if a stranger touches my arm and simply asks; ‘are you feeling okay?’ I know that the colour has drained from my face and that my ghostly pallor frightens people. The art of fainting stopped occurring after I turned 26 but I still pull off a remarkable trick of a spectre like apparition, a translucent impression on a bad day when my body dips.

But my characters need colour, in their language, like a truculent teenager disagreeing with his mother, or describing an old man across the road, rude and curmudgeonly. I need these impressions to jump off the page in the dialogue so that my reader can imagine each detail I deliver and yes it’s nice to know their eyes are green but not until I’m well into the story. At a suitable juncture. When it’s more appropriate to include, minor detail.

What colours your judgment? Your life? Your writing?

B… is for… Belief #atoz

When I was a young girl I came face to face with one of those treacherous teachers who denied me, my belief. I was told categorically that my English was atrocious and that I’d never amount to anything. Ever.

Harsh words for a developing teenager. I trust those teachers are a breed that have died out now.

I forgot about writing and went and got on with my life. Then I hit my 40’s and had a yen to write. I never showed anyone those early pieces, because I'm certain those pages are full of grammatical errors.

But undaunted I forged ahead, because I derived personal pleasure from the exercise of committing my thoughts to paper and then… one day I did show my work to a very close friend.

That was the best moment when she yelled: ‘oh my god, you’re a dark horse!’ Made me smile from ear to ear to have such magnanimous praise thrown in my direction.

Encouraged I joined a writing group. I was nervous. For months I never shared my work, but I listened intently to other writers until my confidence grew and then I shared my work with them. Again I received praise. To me this was a revelation.

Inside the safety of this group I grew as a writer, grew braver, and became more discerning. I trusted these people because they did not trample on my thoughts. They helped me to believe that I did have a strong writing voice.

How has your writing developed? Especially if you are a new writer… And naturally I would love to know what inspires you to write?

A… is for… 'Adventure' #atoz

What does ‘adventure’ mean to you?

Perhaps you think might of Captain Scott as a hero who attempted to conquer the Antarctic or Neil Armstrong for the first walk on the moon.

For me adventure means exploring ideas, my ‘what if scenario’s’ and then finding a way to write about them, that I can share.

Does an adventure have to be really big, or very brave, and cost a small fortune?

Because a day filled with smaller explorations into the mind of characters may be just as satisfying for some individuals.

Over the years I have participated in some mad things, some of which I’m proud of and others that have pushed me out of my comfort zone. But recently I have derived the most pleasure from sharing my work with readers.

And when and if these readers choose to leave a comment and offer feedback because my writing resonates with them, I get great a huge boost of contentment, because it’s good to know that someone understands what I have attempted to explain.

So I shall continue my modest adventure in writing until I discover if I can secure my aim: to find an agent who will promote my book which will win a publishing deal on its own merits.

Wish me luck, in my real life-size adventure… Because I wish you all that you wish for yourselves in your adventures.

A to Z Blogging Challenge #atoz

There is nothing quite like arriving late to a party so here I go and make my clumsy entrance, falls over own feet and knocks a few things to the floor, nothing new there then…

I signed up for the A to Z blogging challenge in the wee small hours of this morning –it seemed like an awfully good idea - just before the deadline loomed and closed so I’m around 2 blog posts behind the rest of the gang.

My thanks to the lovely people for organising this shin dig of an event which has gathered a huge crowd of bloggers together… I'm number #1914 – yikes so a fair bit of reading available here alone, reading other entrants blogs.

And I’ve already had some wonderful bloggers show up at my own blog and leave a lovely comment so thank you, much appreciate your early participation.

That said:

Aim to be caught up and on top of this lovely exciting challenge by tomorrow (that’s Wednesday – phew what a relief) so that I appear to be nicely in step by Thursday and all I have to do is conjure up a few ideas.

A… is for…

Hmm, now let me think – back to you later with a morsel of an offering.