What’s new?

My internet is back on again now. The modem died, and I was panicking a bit, because it’s time for me to send in my latest Redington story to

Creative Frontiers. It should be published next week. Will keep you informed on when it’s up there.

This latest one is Redington 111 and it’s called ‘Murder at Brook House Farm.’

Hope you can pop over and read what’s going on there. It’s been good fun to write, and now I’ve started on the next one.

Murder stories are catching to write, once you’ve done one, you want to do another.

Now I have a kindle…… so I can catch up on all those e.books lurking around on my computer. In my snazzy green covered kindle.

I’ve been promoted to supervisor at work. Not just an ordinary visor, a SUPER..visor. You have to watch Mrs Brown to find that remotely funny.

So, I still drive the van, and help anyone out, or tell them what to do if they’re stuck. On the same day I found out I’d been promoted, Alan listened to my news for ages, then said, ‘I’ve got some news as well.’ He’s got more hours at his job, and now he’s happy with the amount of work he’s got. So isn’t that funny, at around the same hour of the same day, we were both being told that we’re appreciated for what we do….

There are some great giggles coming up for August, and a People’s Friend interview with Samantha Tonge; call back soon.



A Writing Retreat/ I’m versatile.

Here’s my latest writing retreat.

That’s because I’m a versatile blogger, it’s official, Jan Banham says so. Now I have to tell you seven things about me.- That’s my writing bench, so there’s one…


And this is the view from there, which I love, that’s number two.

Digital imageAnd the castle gardens are looking great at this time of the year as well.

Digital image

I finished my early morning job, and the sun was shining, so I had a few hours, before Alan finished his cover work for someone who was off.

Now where better could there be to find a bench, after having a cup of coffee and a cake, to write. This wonderful spot is between my work and his. Aren’t we lucky? The castle and the bandstand are to the left of the gardens.

I’m working on Redington 111 for Creative Frontiers. It’s coming on quite well, and I got lots done, with the sound of children’s laughter coming from the play park, and the peaceful ducks and swans gliding past were great to see as well. Not surprisingly, my characters are at at pub, with a wide river at the bottom of the garden, with swans gracefully gliding past.

Tamworth is in the line up for Britain in Bloom, and I’m sure they might win. Will keep you informed on that. Funny how you can be busy working, driving around, and not take time to find that bench, and have a few hours to relax.

Hope the new story goes down well with C.F. Editor. It’s called ‘Murder at Brook House Farm.’

With lots of help from my writing buddies, writecritical, it might be in shape on time for the deadline.

Here’s one more photo….

Digital imageOh, and one more.Digital imageWhere’s your outdoor writing retreat?

The fourth thing about me, is that I love going to the gym. That’s where you’ll find me on a Saturday morning, or the library.

Fifth item is that one of my favorite foods are peaches. Which reminds me, must look for some.

Number six, is that I love anything funny. I recently went to see someone regarding an article for a local magazine. I noticed that it was a barn type building, in a rural setting, lovely. All the doors were open, and as I tried with a bit of difficulty to get in the one that was open, I realised I’d gone through the window not the door. Made me feel like a female version of Johnny English. (Rowan Atkinson) To make it worse, I made a big fuss saying, ‘oh, did I come through the window, not the door?’

Number seven is that I like music, and sing as often as I can. Here’s one I love, and especially the reggae version.



If any of my lovely followers, and welcome to the new ones, want the versatile award, please take it. I don’t like passing them on. It’s summer time. Too much to do, like listen to the above:))

Welcome Wendy Clarke.

It’s a great pleasure to welcome the writer who has taken People’s Friend by storm. Wendy has become a regular writer, with a story published in most issues, and the specials and seasonal issues of the Friend as well.



Hello Wendy, thanks for taking time to share some of your writing experiences with us on my blog.

It’s lovely to be here, Susan – thanks for inviting me.

S/ Have you always written short stories, or is this something relatively new you’ve started?

W/ Unlike a lot of People’s Friend writers, I would be lying if I said I had spent my life writing short stories. In fact, until I was made redundant and started an online writing course three years ago, I hadn’t written a story since I was in school. I was lucky to have an amazing English teacher who I wanted to please and he was very complimentary about my writing – my mother still knows him and recently gave him a pile of my magazines to read and he said he wasn’t surprised I’d become a writer – I was so proud! When I became an English teacher myself (in a primary school) I was always saying to the children, “Ooh, I wish I could write that…” whenever I set them a story. Now of course, I can’t imagine stopping – it’s part of my life!

S/ You have recently started writing under a different name. Is there any special reason for this?

W/ I write under my own name but my editor at The Friend wanted to use two of my stories in the Summer Special and they don’t like to have a name used twice, so asked if I’d have a pen name for this occasion. It’s only happened once so far but I felt rather pleased to be asked. The other magazines I write for are happy to have multiple stories by the same author using their own name (my record is three in one issue). The only downside of having a pen name is that if you particularly like the story, you feel as if your fictitious author has taken the glory!

S/ You are a great help to me, and other writers with your informative blog. How important is social media to you and your writing?

W/ Thank you, Susan – that’s lovely of you to say so. I started my blog, Wendy’s Writing Now, when I had my first sale at the end of 2012 and I wanted it to chart my journey from that day to wherever my writing career would take me. I also wanted it to be helpful to other new writers – when I first started writing, I spent a lot of time reading other writers’ blogs in search of answers to my writing questions and wanted to give something back. Also, writing can be a lonely business and without social media, I wouldn’t have been able to meet other lovely writers such as yourself . As for Facebook, I avoided it for ages and then succumbed in April of this year – but purely for writing purposes. I have to say it has been immensely useful for information. I expect I shall have to join Twitter soon as well. Anyone tell me how?

S/ How does writing for the People’s Friend differ from the other popular magazines that you write for?

W/ I write for Take a Break fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly as well as The People’s Friend and enjoy the different style of writing required for each. If I’m writing a twist story, I’ll probably send it to Woman’s Weekly and if I have written something more contemporary with say a teenager as my main character, then I would send it to Fiction Feast. Romances and historical stories, I always save for The Friend. Having said that, there is definitely a cross-over between the magazine. What I particularly like about writing for The People’s Friend is working with my editor. He has been like a mentor to me, encouraging and guiding, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that my writing has improved since I started working with him two years ago.

S/ I know you’re working on a novel. Do you see yourself writing a pocket novel for People’s Friend? If so, in which era would you set the story?

w/ Ha ha -don’t mention the novel… I haven’t started it yet! After saying on my blog that I was thinking about writing one, I started writing a serial instead… and then another one. I’m not good at doing two things at a time. I don’t think I would write a Pocket Novel because if I’m going to write that many words, I may as well write more and do a whole novel. If I did, though, it would be historical – probably set in the mid nineteenth century. What I shall be doing in the near future, though, is putting together a collection of my published stories – watch this space.

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your lovely blog, Susan, and for being such a big supporter of my own.

It’s been a pleasure hearing more about your writing journey Wendy, and keep those lovely stories flowing….



Wendy on Facebook.


July Giggle blog.

A couple of giggles to keep you going. Sometimes, things are funny to you at the time, and they might not sound that funny, so here we go.

I’ve recently published The Angel and the Poet, and I needed a lovely front cover, which I found on a site called fiverr… It cost five dollars, which works out at £3.80, which is quite a bargain as it is exactly what I wanted. So, when I’d done that, up popped a question, ‘do you want to place a gig of your own?’ Each thing someone does is a gig. So I thought I’d put a gig on there. I’ve got four gigs. The first one, write a short story for children, 500 words is a fiverr, and in a few days, I’d had three gigs to do, so I was rocking and rolling with my gigs… As I sat telling our Son in the garden, I explained there’s a website where you can do all sorts of things, anything for a fiver. His face took on a look of horror….

He said, ‘tell me you’re not on the internet saying I’ll do anything for a fiverrr….’ I said, ‘nooooo, story writing.’ He didn’t look convinced.

More on fiverr in another post. It’s not all the sweetness and light you might think. Good job Mr Sensible asked me the copyright question.

Anyway, giggle number two came when I was out on my early morning cleaning round….

We turned up at this ancient old mill, that is converted into offices, and has three floors. This one office had lots of paper rubbish in a pile. Like boxes of brochures, and leaflets. Talk about waste of paper, and they’re a company promoting no waste! It was so heavy, and so much that my lady boss said, ‘let’s put it all on the trolley and in the lift. We’re not carrying all that down the stairs.’

Ten minutes later, a lady wearing stilettos came dashing in to where me and the bosses Son were working and stated, ‘is that your rubbish in the lift, because if it is it will make the lift smell, and we can’t use the lift?’ He directed her to where his mum was standing. She gave out the same statement. My boss answered, ‘no, actually it’s your rubbish and it doesn’t smell, because it’s leaflets and brochures.’ She also told her to go straight to her with problems and not come moaning to us…… (funny eh?) The Son took the rubbish, and dumped it all in the skip, as it was too heavy for me or his Mum to lift.

Then we were half way to the next job, and the bosses Son piped up. ‘Oh, I’ve just remembered, I’ve left their trolley in the lift!’ His Mum said, ‘oh, I’ll have to ring them up, they’ll think we’re taking the mickey. Can you imagine me in the back having fits of laughter…..

I’m sure the lady in stilettos was only peeved because she couldn’t use the lift and she had to use her little legs and walk up the stairs.

skunkblue vanI drive the van now sometimes. It’s a diesel engine, and sounds like a tractor. That’s the end of giggles and talk about gigs for July, more next month.

Coming soon, People’s Friend author, Wendy Clarke in the interview chair. It’s a good one, watch out for that around 8th July……

Keep giggling, there will always be something, and if there isn’t, you just aren’t looking hard enough!

Books I’ve read lately.

I’ve read some great books over the last fortnight. Here are some of them.


Night on the Orient Express.

Orient Express coverAll to say is, ‘a must read book’ and Veronica Henry has done Agatha Christie proud. She’d love it!

Vivien’s heavenly Ice Cream shop.

by Abbey Clementsice cream_One tip… get ice cream in before you start reading, because it makes you fancy some.

Death of a poison pen…

poison penHamish is on the trail of a malicious letter writer. As well as fighting off the ladies. Another funny read by M.C. Beaton.

Bones under the Beach Hut.

by Simon Brett.

Bones beach hutIf you haven’t read any of the Feathering mysteries with Carole and Jude, then I’d recommend the duo who are as different as chips and cucumber…. A great relaxing read for the summer.

When you walked back into my life.

By Hilary Boyd.

back into lifeGreat read, I liked it a lot. Plenty of twists and turns, romantic and worth reading.

A spoonful of poison.

spoonful of poisonAgatha Raisin is on the case, and getting into trouble again. M.C. Beaton has done it again.


Hope you’re reading good books. Now I’m going to read A country Affair, by Rebecca Shaw…..

country affairSet in a Vet’s practice, great characters, and lovely setting……..



Great news…

We had some great midsummer news….

Ann and PaulOur daughter and her boyfriend called in and after lots of looking at each other, and smiling lots and lots and lots more, while we were chatting, she told us she’s going to be a Mum……  I’m so thrilled for them both.

So now me and Alan are looking forward to being a Taid, (Welsh for Grandad) and Gran. Both her brothers will be uncles as well, so they’re pleased.

I’m amazed that she hadn’t screamed it down the phone, or come running up the drive shouting, so now looking forward to when they become three…..

My latest Redington serial is up on Creative Frontiers for the week.  Part one is here… hope you enjoy reading.

And if you need some stories for children aged 4 – 8 ‘Tales from Paradise Patch’ are a collection of animal stories.

Or for older children aged 8 – 12 this one, ‘Summer Holidays’ would fit the bill.


For Ann and Paul

On a day in June, you called to say,

There’s going to be a new life on the way.

A cuddly boy, or a graceful girl,

Or maybe two, you never know.

All I know is, whichever it is

They will be love love loved every day…..