I’ve finally embraced the wordWriter” both as a noun and as a verb. I am a Writer and I write a blog. It makes me feel so happy to say it aloud that I want to run round the house shouting, with my jumper over my head in a weird scribbler goal celebration. My excitement about the future and the put-words-on-paper thing is such that I could explode at any second into a kaleidoscope of multi-coloured stars!

Stand back readers – she’s gonna blow!

When it comes to my dreams, I have spent so long procrastinating and coming up with unbelievably complex excuses. I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough energy, I don’t have anywhere to write, I don’t have enough talent (still not sure but working on it), The stars are not in the right alignment and my favourite – I am going to write just after I have done x or at the beginning of whichever month, week, minute, moment I wasn’t in.

3D panoramic view of Mount Everest. Picture ma...

3D panoramic view of Mount Everest. Picture made using SRTM data, freely provided by NASA. Do you feel sick yet? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blogging in particular has passed that little hurdle as if it were no more than an inconvenient speed bump. It has robbed me of the excuses because with the rather clever smartphones and the WordPress app, I am pretty sure I could do this stuff from the summit of Everest. I can write everywhere!

I’ve felt the force of READERS through WordPress. Here comes my little hover over the publish button and voilà: comments, likes and feedback. What other medium could you get that from? It’s been a little under three months now and this has single-handedly kept me on-track with my off blog writing goals.

Readers, when it comes to saying what I want on my blog, I am not someone you should put on a pedestal, I’ll only disappoint you. Sticking me in a room with a big red button saying “don’t push” would not be the smartest idea.

I will continue to write what I want to write, sometimes there will be humour, sometimes I will think there is humour and get it wrong. Sometimes people will actually laugh out loud and not just LOL. I hope sometimes to move you too, without sounding like a horrible human being, what’s it going to take to get you lot to start blubbing?

So, if you’ve stuck with me this far into the post, you are wondering when I’m going to get to the point, right? Well, you could be disappointed in this regard. Because that is the thing about blogging. I don’t have to have a point to post. I don’t have to be making a life-changing comment on the social inequalities on the Planet Zob or washing my guts out emotionally every five minutes.

I can simply talk about my day or post a poem, joke or quote. In short blogging can equal freedom if you let it.

I am still addicted to the world map on the stats page but I am getting a little more passive aggressive with the views bar. I only check it every five minutes hour now.

So i don’t have a point. I am a Writer and I write a blog. (Both a noun and a verb)

Thanks for reading, comments as always, welcome.


I have in the space of one week been befriended by a “hot” author and rejected by another!

Author 1

The first Author who approached me unsolicited for my friendship is famous. I was so convinced that she was an imposter, I demanded proof that I wasn’t being conned by a thirteen year old teenage boy. When this was duly provided, it left me feeling simultaneously star-struck and guilty. I may have written an unkind comment about this person resembling a chirpy librarian in another post somewhere on this blog…
Having a famous GOODREAD friend can be hazardous to your blogging health. Especially as I commented angry (which they will never know or care about) in the feedback section of a very popular blog. I read an article that was swimming with jealousy, literary snobbery and hypocrisy.

The article itself was a great idea and could have been brilliant. The mistake (in my opinion) was commenting based on other people’s opinion of my new GOODREADS BFF work, and not sticking to the facts or even giving a “personal” assessment.

I think my argument went something like “if you haven’t read the books then don’t write about their validity, language or quality content”.  I think the phrase that made me angriest from the original article went as follows:-

“But I do hope you’ll join me, fellow self-publishers, in being glad that this isn’t one of ours.
“I rolled my eyes at myself?” Don’t our books get enough stick as it is?

I was shocked and surprised to receive a response that picked me up on the grammar of my feedback.  It went a bit downhill from there.  I have to admit in all honesty that I am ashamed of my original comment and angry when I replied to the Grammar rebuff.  I should have waited until I had calmed down after reading the article and then given constructive points and not ranting – It appears however, that I am a very flawed and deeply opinionated human being.

Author 2

The second Author sent me a personal note saying that she would actually rather not, when I sent out a GOODREADS request from the look for your friends app. At first I felt slightly miffed, in a  “Who does she think she is?” Kind of way – I then totally got it.  How would having another wannabe author as a mate, help her get her work out there to readers? Especially as GOODREADS restricts the number of friends you can have to a maximum of five thousand. I ended up feeling happy and supportive of the author, after all she took the time to write me a note and her reasoning was sound. Who knows maybe that will be me one day…

Unable to accept a friend request because there are four thousand and nine hundred and ninety-nine other readers I want to reach out too.

A girl can dream….

Comments, as always, welcome.


I have a thing about food and absolutely adore all types and origins: Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Moroccan, Malaysian, Indian, Vietnamese, Mongolian, French, Spanish, Traditional English, Modern English, Austrian – I’ve never met a food style I didn’t like as my ever-expanding waistline can attest to!

So today was a rare treat! We have a bit of an annual date on the August Bank Holiday with the food show at Holdenby House in Northamptonshire. It was at one time the palace of King James the 1st and is now in private ownership. Every year they hold a fantastic food show with live cooking demonstrations and a range of organic and local artisan produce stalls. They also have an extensive choice of excellent wines and spirits which are not available from commercial supermarkets or grocery stores.

The kitchen gardens are especially beautiful and it also has a croquet lawn and a falconry centre.

So, the Food….

There is something about tiny bits of bread that you dip in stuff that gets my food motor going! It was a smor-gas-board of taste sensations. Olive oils, salad dressings, mustard’s and I can’t forget the cheeses and pickles. There were also cakes, cookies, fudge, sweets, fruitcake and fresh bakery breads. I think some of my love comes from the passion of these small craft producers. They live and breathe their products, selecting only the very best ingredients and ensuring they get just the right mix. In some ways it reminds me of the beauty of writing, all that want, preparation and finesse to craft something of value.

Now the Falcons….

They have a falconry centre at Holdenby which accepts rescue birds. I am always a little upset to see the wild behind bars, but I do understand that without the centre they would have a much worse existence. I’d rather they are able to inform and educate and not have to be put down (having been stolen from nests or bred in captivity their chances in the wild would be slim) or worse kept in tiny cages in private collections where they are not exercised properly.

Now of course there was another reason for wanting to look at the falconry centre. Hello, writer here! I have a character in the book that I want to give a sidekick… Wolves are so last season and I’ve always been fascinated with birds of prey, so this was a perfect opportunity to do some research into the different types of raptors.

I had a rare opportunity to talk to the experts about which breeds and species have the most distinctive personalities, I got a sense of scale and size and was able to ask about the sort of bond that develops between a hawk and it’s handler. The bigger birds of prey have very varied characters, especially the Black Eagle and the Eagle Owl. The latter has extraordinary Orange Eyes! Probably the winner but I have some more reading to do……

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Finally the Foul Play…

Well, I did mention the croquet lawn didn’t I. What do you get when you put two couples together on a “try croquet” session where the men are both super competitive? You get my husband gloating for the last two hours of the show, saying things like…

“We beat them six two, ha – I was never going to let him win. Was only supposed to be a bit of fun. Knocking your ball out the way the whole time and playing tactics. Ha!”

Oh dear…… Is it okay if I admit secretly I was quite pleased with my husbands chivalry?

Comments, as always, welcome!


Writer Wordart

Writer Wordart (Photo credit: MarkGregory007)

I don’t like the title “Indie” and never have. I didn’t like it even before I started writing seriously again and when I hear the phrase my gut reaction is negative.

I tend to make assumptions of quality and content.  Completely unfounded and probably flawed but I still make them. I make a negative supposition of “coolness” too. I think that whatever the content, it will leave me cold, it will be too out there or pretentious.

Why would you classify yourself as an “Indie” Author? Why are you not just an Author? Let’s face it in today’s modern publishing world, even signed with an Agent and a publishing-house; you are going to do the majority of things that a self-published so-called “Indie” author has to do anyway.

Why would you label yourself with something that has little or no “brand equity”. Look you may have written the next seminal novel, with perfect grammar and spelling, a great plot and no major issues and you may know several excellent other Indie Authors and that’s all well and good.

Now imagine you are selling yourself as an “Indie” author. Does the customer take a risk on your book when they’ve read something else “Indie” and have received a poor quality product? What about paying it forward you ask? What about supporting other writers? You can still support them without having to form a special club about it.

That’s the reason I will call myself a writer and not an indie writer. I am not a fan of clubs or labels or tags of any sort. When it comes to my work – it stands alone. I don’t care if you are into supporting other Indies, if you want to support my work and review it that’s great but don’t just support me anyway. Don’t just put me on your bandwagon without reading the work first?

I get so annoyed with all the support Indie Author dribble. What is different about an Indie Author, why should I choose to support them? What is it about that “Name” that makes it worthwhile? Don’t they whine an awful lot and get into arguments with their readers when they leave less than five-star reviews?

I do support other writers who are struggling with their journey; whose work I read and respect but not because they are an Indie. I support what I like to read. I support a quality product.

So please get down off your soapbox about being an indie and tell me about your work, your story, your characters. As a reader I am not really all that interested in you. However, I am interested in your novel.

But beware if you make a big thing about being Indie –I may just go read something else.

Hatemail – Comments, are as always, welcome.

EDIT* – May help you to know that I will self-publish – I am just not going to talk about being self-published. Because it’s not a badge to wear, it’s just the process I will use to get my work out to the readers. (If they’ll have me.)


Charming My Name!

Charming My Name! (Photo credit: jpellgen)

What do you call a forty-year old Gypsy who doesn’t exist, how about an abdicated queen with a sweet tooth or an assassin who never kills anyone?

Don’t know? – That makes two of us… (If you do know, suggestions welcome in the comments section. Full credit will be given in the book.)

The stories themselves are not an issue. Plots, themes and concepts tend to present themselves daily (I’m not gloating). It’s harder to keep track of them than to come up with them. There is always the part remembered good idea as you fall off to sleep. The plausible bridge in how a character has developed comes as your wrestling with early morning traffic both hands occupied and your notebook nowhere in sight.  I often find it difficult to reach for them again, as they fade into the other mental detritus of a work day or get overwritten by a new dream before waking.

But oh, for a name……. Why is it not so simple? My WIP now consists of a novel (nameless, half the characters called person a, b, etc.), two short stories (not so nameless but the characters don’t like their monikers: x. y and z). I thought I had found the perfect name for the book the other day only to discover that Ray Bradbury had got there first. Damn, those iconic fantasy authors with their striking and memorable titles!

Perhaps it’s because I have always associated characteristics with names. In my head, a “Jane” or a “John” acts like personal experiences made flesh. Any other traits or emotional effects/defects seem out of character somehow. Like there is a frozen vision of Jane, residing in my brain and now all beings bearing that appellation have to fit with my mental image.

I read a funny review the other day, where the reader had loved the book but couldn’t give it five stars because one of the characters is Kevin, and they didn’t think it was a proper name for a medieval swords and sorcery fantasy… I wonder what the Author was thinking when picking that name? – Crap, I’ve used all the unpronounceable ones, sod it, let’s just call him Kev? I’m surprised he wasn’t a “Dave”, after all, everyone knows someone called Dave or so the story goes.

So what is it about names and titles that resonates so strongly. More importantly how do you name?… Is it a flash of inspiration the name appearing in your mind’s eye? Do they look like a “Insert Name” in your head?

Comments as always, welcome.


There are periods of your life, where the smiles come easier and a feeling of calm and wonder pervades. Do not let these moments go, hold on with both hands if necessary, because you are blessed. How much of life passes by in a blur of forgotten small stresses? The shoes you can’t find. The train or bus you miss. The child that will not get dressed and is late for school. Being passed over at work. There are a thousand tiny things that fill us with thoughts of our own powerlessness and inadequacy and yet…

There are also the small times that shine a light on all the goodness and the greatness. They rarely involve mountains of cash or trophies, but they make you feel like you are exactly where you should be. That it really is, a wonderful and interesting world. That you can meet your dreams if you just reach out open-handed.

I call these the “perfect moments” and they last a lifetime. My life is made up of these small wonders; the bits in between – often fuzzy and out of focus. There is often a graininess to other memories, almost as if they begin fading out even as we’re making and storing them. A perfect moment can be recalled in a heartbeat, its freshness, the smells and sounds, retained in perfect Technicolor detail. I like to think of it as life in HD.

Today’s moment was walking in the sunshine at a hot air balloon festival.  My husband reached out to take my hand and pull me just a little closer. It wasn’t a statement of undying love or an expensive piece of jewelry. There were no diamonds and rubies in tissue paper. But that moment was one of the most romantic of my life. Because he wanted me in his space, to touch me in front of a thousand other walking spectators and he wasn’t even thinking about it.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico International Ball...

The Albuquerque, New Mexico International Balloon fiesta. (October 2007) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It made me feel loved, wanted and content. I’ll cherish it and put it away in a box of memories reserved for the not so perfect times.

Comments as always, welcome.