Had a great time on Saturday in Leeds meeting up with other romantic writers. Glad to meet Jan again as well. Such fun to find my Robinson Crusoe pocket novel in the goody bags, and on the table in the reception area. Now I’ve got lots of plans to get on with the writing, and an article to write on one of the talks I went in to. Such lovely weather we’re having, makes you want to keep drinking something cool.
Great to meet up with my pocket novel editor, Maggie Swinburne and join the lecture on writing pocket novels. Really interesting, and learned a lot. All of the talks were excellent, and lots of people must have worked hard to put it all together.
I had the bag, as well as the tee shirt, well they say it’s all about promotion, nothing like having your book on your front.
Did I mention I have a pocket novel out? Yes I did, alright then, off to write the next one. Have a great week and thanks Jan Jones and the RNA for a great event at the weekend. Thanks, John for taking the photos of us.
This is what I’m off to read in the garden under the umbrella of course. It’s still hot here in Warwickshire, but before long I’ll be taking the plane journey with Serena off to the Caribbean. Better get a cool drink to go with it. It’s in the shops today.
Sophie had good news today as well, she got her first swimming certificate. Well done, little swimmer and hope it’s the first of many.
She looks as proud as Grandma with her books doesn’t she? Well done, Sophie.
This is the story that won Eddie Walsh’s final Emerald competition. Theme: – Nobody will ever know. I came first from 65 entries, so I was thrilled as you can imagine. It’s been a while ago, but it’s a story I’m proud of and thought you might like to read it.
When the cheque for £65.00 arrived it was a real treat especially as it came on my birthday as well. Eddie, told me that he read so many stories with bodies under the patio, that it was good to read something different. So, remember, when entering any competition, write about the most way out thing you can. It will get you noticed, if nothing else.
It’s a shame about Cliff and Binky, I think they would have had some good adventures as the house-sitters with Herbert, and even done a bit of sleuthing. I’m now going to work on a series of stories with the two of them.
They met at university in the sixties. Cliff was a vegetarian, that’s why Binkie was always with him. He loved animals, and did a lot for animal welfare, so it was a sad ending for him. Hope you enjoy the story, I wrote it while on holiday in Brixham. So, I think we should have another holiday so that I can write another winning story:
One of my summer projects is to publish a collection of my short stories to keep them all together and so that I can have a clean up with my files and get rid of lots of folders that are gathering dust but ones I don’t like to part with. Title will be The House-Sitters and other stories.
“Hey Cliff, I’ve let the canary out of the cage for a bit of a fly around the conservatory.”
“I wish you’d said, then I could have shut the Jack Russell out.” A flash of white fur dived onto the back of the rattan settee, and in one gulp, swallowed a mouthful of yellow feathers. Herbert and Cliff watched in horror as Binkie coughed and spluttered before smacking his lips in appreciation.
“My God Herbert, I can’t believe that. He’s eaten the canary!”
“We’ll have to cover this up Cliff. Nobody will ever know. We’ll say we left a window open, then the bird flew out.” Herbert bit on his lower lip as if to convince himself it could pass for the reason the cage was empty of canary.
Cliff turned, “I’ll go and feed Monty his rats. When the instructions said, three of them, did it mean daily or weekly do you think?” Herbert frowned, then ruffled his thick mop of white hair.
“Not sure, I threw him one in yesterday. I haven’t much idea on the diet of a python.”
“Me neither. We haven’t had one of those before have we?” Cliff made his way to the shed where a cage of live rats with pink piercing eyes darted with fear, or maybe anger, Cliff wasn’t sure. He made a grab for one of them by its tail. Binkie gnashed his teeth, trying to grab the wriggling rat from Cliff’s grasp.
“Blast you Binkie.” He tried kicking the dog to one side. “You’ve caused enough trouble for today. Move away.” Cliff opened the door to the spare room where Monty the enormous python languished across the top of a dusty bookcase. Hurling the screeching rat across the room towards the snake, Binkie flew like chalk dust onto the big grey rodent. Cliff just happened to see the rat clasped in the jaws of the dog when an even swifter move was made by the snake. For a few seconds he froze in time; to see Binkie’s head, body, then legs disappearing down the jaws of Monty.
“Herbert, come quick!” Cliff grasped Binkie’s back legs and tugged as hard as he could on the only remaining part of the dog that hung out of those elongated poisonous, fang sucking lips that opened even wider to pull in dog, hands, arms then head of Cliff.
Hebert entered the room just in time to see his friend being swallowed alive with one last gulp. With that final suck, Monty had feasted on canary in dog, with rat in jaw, followed by one slightly tough, though tasty all the same, human being.
As he shivered uncontrollably, Herbert could see the shape of Cliff lying inside the snake. Slowly closing the door on the horrific scene, he whispered to himself.
“Nobody will ever know.” The Peterson’s were due back in the morning. Herbert needed to act fast. They never left true contact details, always best to give false ones. He picked up the phone and booked a flight. “Thank you, first class travel to South Africa will be perfect.”
There’s nowhere like Warwickshire when the bluebells appear in the woodlands. Ann and Sophie have the same thoughts on a warm sunny April afternoon. Sophie is on the hunt for fairies.
You never know when they may appear and glad to see she found them. Good to see magic in the air. Hope you’re enjoying the Easter break and doing things you enjoy.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so to make up for that I’m doing a giveaway. Not one or two but three of my Redington paperbacks to give you some great sunshine reading. It’s a collection of short stories set in Norfolk, a mixture of happenings and characters to keep you entertained for a while. Obviously if you’ve read the book you wouldn’t want another one, so only for people who haven’t already got one can apply. Just pop a comment saying why you’d like one, and good luck if you have a go.
Other great news is my tropics skin-care storybook has arrived. It’s called the story book of skin care as it’s adapted to what you need. Here’s mine on the right, and a tropical day in Torquay on the left.
The complete boxed set has cleanser, toner, moisturiser, green serum for lovely skin, face mask full of natural products, see more here.
They really work well and if you want to know more about that, let me know and I can put you in touch with Ann, who will give you more information.
Enjoy the weekend, and get your name in the comments box if you’d like a free signed copy of my book.
Today I added to the story – or novel as it’s aiming to be. After finishing chapter 5 (yay) the word count is just over 11,000. Now for a writer, this is nothing, but for me who’s got a bit stuck lately, this is monumental. This is me getting back into it, and I have a few more characters now as well.
Are you writing and got stuck? How’s it going, and what helps you get back in the story? I knit when not writing, and making a throw over blanket for Sophie.
Remember, we have to love the characters and their journey ourselves because if we don’t how can we expect anyone else to care about them?
The bizzie lizzies are to remind you that spring isn’t far away.
Now off to read through the first 5 chapters and add some action and spice to keep it going through chapter 6.
Every time I pass another 10,000 words I’ll blog about it and soon there might be a story for you to enjoy. The two pound coin is to remind us of the industrial revolution and the beginning of the twentieth century an era during which my story is set.
The writing fairy says, “It’s okay to have some thinking time, then when you get back to it, the words will flow and you’ll have a masterpiece on your hands.
Have you ever given work away for free? Some people do, some don’t, but if you are in favour of a charity and want to support them with gifting a story to an anthology, then for me that’s alright. Speaking of which, here’s a book full of short stories that can be read during coffee or tea breaks.
One of my stories is in there also some other well known writers, like that Travelling writer, Patsy Collins, also Bea Charles, Fran Tracey,
Any money raised from this book sold goes to the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield and District Branch. The RSPCA do such a great job and need all the help they can get so I’m proud to sponsor the animals in some small way. Well done to Sharon and Keith for putting this collection together. It’s on my kindle and will be reading it tonight.
I also have two articles put together in the same book. The Angel and the Poet. All money raised from this book over the weekend will go to the Royal British Legion for the centenary of the end of WW1.
Rupert Brooke, Rugby poet and scholar and Edith Cavell, nurse and patriot are two of our English hero’s who gave everything for their country. It’s a booklet I’m really proud of as it took ages to research and gives a real insight to the lives of two unique people.
Hope you have a peaceful weekend and how fortunate are we that so many gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom? My grandad fought in WW1 and was burned and gassed in the trenches. Luckily for our family he returned home and formed a thriving plant and shrub nursery, also building a bungalow for himself and another one next door where I spent my early childhood. We have so much to feel grateful for, and it’s him and my grandma I’ll be thinking of during the coming days.
It’s been a while since I blogged, and it’s time I popped in to say hello to everyone.
In response to Hazel Williams who wants to know if the cat café series in People’s Friend will be published in book form, I’m not sure, but hope so as I enjoy the stories as well. If anyone knows the answer to that, Suzanne, or Pat, could you pop in and let Hazel know. Otherwise, Hazel, you could drop a line to the People’s Friend magazine, and they’ll tell you.
I’m having a relaxing day today, and working on the latest novel set in WW1 – finished chapter 4 and on to number 5 now, up to 8,000 words so far and will finish on 10,000 words for today.
As you would imagine, Edith and Rupert will have a mention in there seeing as I’ve studied them both in detail for articles that appeared in The Great War magazine.
During the daytime I’m usually creating mugs and tee shirts for personalised gifts. This week I’ve got some pink ones to do for a work conference. Not forgetting the Wolves key rings for the team from the Midlands who are roaring their way up the Premier league.
Have a great week, and hope someone knows the answer to Hazel’s question.
I now have a profile on the Romantic Novelists Association profile pages. If you want to have a look, it’s here.
Thank you to John Jackson for all his hard work in updating everyone’s profiles, and hope you see some other names you recognise from your favourite writers.
Hope the writing is going well with you all, or whatever else you may be doing. I’m busy reading up on WW1 and WW2, as well as having a lovely chicken dinner. We’ve got our four legged friend for company as well.
He likes to have a paddle whenever he can. Have a great week, talk soon.
Well, hello everybody. At last we’re back online after being with no internet for ages. Don’t touch talk talk with a bargepole, but that’s another story which will be going on my things to do list. Hope everyone is well, and thanks to the lovely people who have joined up for my newsletter. I will get one out in the next week or so.