Thank you for visiting this blog site. It's mainly writing-related posts including thoughts, tips, info and psychological aspects of writing. If you felt like following, well that would be great.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic

They say writers should keep reading; I've just started Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown; it's her debut novel and has won a top award. I follow Isabel and number of successful writers on Twitter. Next on the shelf is a book of short stories, Diamonds and Pearls, with profits going to a cancer charity; some well-known contributors, so I'm looking forward to reading what's considered top short story writing these days, as well as pure entertainment.

Writing-wise, I await the evaluation/critique of my novel for children. Dismayed to find that the name 'Beans' for a dog has already been used in a children's book, so have to alter it. Maybe Boris, not sure.
Also entering two writing competitions, one for a story, one for a humorous poem, and have submitted several comic verses for greetings cards, all with a common theme. I've pitched to an Australian family magazine for a short story and a read-aloud fast-faced animal poem. Can't say I don't try.

In the past I've occasionally written humour, and had some modest success. Wondering now whether I might pursue this as a strand in my writing; there are often references to it in competition advice.

There are now at least three Twitter accounts held by Larry, the 10 Downing Street cat. In my opinion, @DowningStCat is the best laugh, but they're all good fun. So are the accounts of the Downing Street Rat, seen in the TV news clip scuttling across the doorstep. Best is @No10Rat but he seems to have little time for tweeting for his followers. Bad rat. Dirty rat. In your bed.

'Rithmetic? Lots of Sudoku Killer puzzles, and totting up the miserable return from my suite101 articles!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

You'll find me in an Anderson shelter

Finally sent off my novel for children for a critique/evaluation; can't just keep picking at it forever. Opinion expected within a month max. It looked lovely I thought, all beautifully double spaced and wide-margined. This is not what it will look like when I get it back, however.

Spoke with the vet yesterday about Minnie's yowling all night and apparent anxiety about being away from us. Thought maybe I was being a bit melodramatic but no, I now have some gel for her, for "cats suffering from anxiety caused by separation from their owners"! The pack claims 'delicious salmon flavour'. As instructed, put a dob of the gel on her paw last night - eventually she deigned to lick it off. Where are we today? She woke us about every two hours for food/company, but was very quiet and calm about it! So that counts as success so far. We'll continue with the gel, and leave more food in her dish overnight.

Had lunch in Winchester with an old boyfriend - we hadn't met for 40 years. John OK about it, too. Recognised each other instantly, and so much to talk about. Chatter, chatter, and lots of fun. He still has twinkly eyes.

Excorticate has a meaning not unlike excoriate. And daedal means skilful or artistic. Who'd have thought it?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Step by Step

Well the HowTo Books site ( accepted my second piece, How to Edit Talking Newspapers and it is now on the site. Sadly I didn't scoop that month's prize, but may try again later.

The main draft of my book (junior fiction) is now ready, with the working title "Millie, Beans, and the Diamond Ring".  It's about 12,500 words.  It's been proofread, and there are just a couple of very small additions needed to clarify the plot and round it off at the end; I plan to send it to flair4words this coming week for their opinion and advice. I have a draft front cover, too. A short extract appears on my website - - in the samples section. When I get the appraisal, if it's not too negative I'll fess up with a summary on this blog.

In other news, my carefully constructed potato growsack was duly planted some while back with proper seed potatoes and loads of compost. After the recommended time we have just up-ended it onto the veg patch to find just six teeny potatoes. Perfectly formed but the size of a thumbnail. Can't decide whether to boil them or frame them.

Just bought a couple of books - Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown and Want to Know a Secret? by Sue Moorcroft - both authors I follow with interest on Twitter.

Minnie is being very naughty, yowling several times a night for food and possibly also when she doesn't know where we are. Vet says she could just be senile. As if! Otherwise she is well, and out of every 24 hours getting much more sleep than we are.

Thought for this day: What did Andy Gray say to his mate Keyes? "She said I was a misogynist. I said, 'That's a big word for a girl.'"