Newsletter ~ January ~ 2023

Hope you’re all getting into the swing of this new year. I believe 2023 is going to be a fantastic year for creative writers, and readers. Let’s face it, we can’t be writers without being readers can we? Have you got a target for reading set this year, or do you just read at random and see how it goes? I used to be random, but now I’m aiming for at least a book a month, more if possible, but don’t want to overstretch like I’m prone to do and then let the idea dwindle.

My morning pages of free flow creative writing is going great. So far I have only missed a couple of days, and it really clears your mind for your own stories. I would highly recommend it – something I always did over the years, and of late it’s been neglected. Also, being on social media less is something I aim for, while still keeping in touch with my friends obviously.

I started knitting a poncho, quite a task, but who doesn’t love a big colourful knit to throw on in the springtime to keep the breezy April winds at bay? Another task I want to learn this year is how to knit socks. A few years ago, after casting on and mastering the one sock, it was simply a step too far to get the other one finished. Shame really as it was blue with a lacy pattern, and it took an effort to throw it away to avoid feeling daft. This is the year of the hand knitted sock, so if anyone has any tips, feel free to get in touch.

As I type, there are two trays of mustard and cress on the front windowsill. Sophie sprinkled one plate, I did the other. We put a piece of kitchen roll, soaked in water and a few of each, just to test whether they’ll grow. Today, only three days later, the mustard is sprouting, cress isn’t just yet. I’ll keep you informed.

I have some really colourful new Tarot cards. The Tarot of curious creatures. They’re the proper tarot symbols and names, but with animals included. They’re really special. I have a page on Facebook, if you want to know more about that. I’ve been reading the cards for over 40 years, and enjoyed learning all about them from a young age when my grandma let me look at hers. Now Sophie, my own little granddaughter is fascinated with the colourful pictures and loves asking a questing and pulling out a card. Sometimes I go out to an event where I read the cards and sell my books as well. Speaking of which, better get on with those.

Have a good week, more creative news next month.

Writing Sue @ Tarot Crystals Palmistry ~~~~~~~~

https://www.facebook.com/tarotsuzy

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Enjoy the moment

Hope you’re all getting time to relax and catch up with family. That’s what I like best about this time between Christmas and New Year. Reflecting on how it’s been. For me it’s felt like and endless year, and things that happened a couple of months ago, seemed like much longer than that.

Now, it’s coming to the end of 2022, I’m quite glad to be getting used to not going out to work in a 9 – 5 job, and being a full time writer. I’ve always worked for myself in one way or another, so it’s great to have more time to get all my ‘stuff’ tidied up and organised, which is turning into a job in itself, me being one who takes a bag of books to the charity shop and comes back with another few more.

Looking forward to March when my latest pocket novel will be on the shop shelves. And still getting into the habit of writing every day, whether on the keyboard, or with pen and paper, my preferred way. Somehow it feels more like it’s real if the words have gone into a written form first then to keyboard, even though it takes longer, the end result comes quicker.

Enjoy a country walk, coffee and chat with a friend, or throwing the ball for your four legged friend. Living in the moment can make us realise that small moments in time will become memories for the future. For anyone caring for loved ones, hold them tight, tell them you love them. Don’t have regrets, be positive and enjoy everything you have now. Todays moments are tomorrows reflections.

When you find an old shelf, and it changes into a guitar, rock stars are go

Following on from last post

Hello everyone.

Remember I was asking if letters and fillers were still a thing, and was it worth bothering with them. My research tells me it’s definitely worth having a read through latest magazines and replying with a letter or article idea.

Mostly I write longer fiction now than short stories as my stories as short ones are often a bit silly or rushed. But letter writing and funnies are really up my street.

In the November Writing Magazine, not only did they publish my letter, but I got Star Letter. Oh, joys of the writing world. Prize is a brand spanking new up to date Writers & Artists Year Book, to be delivered directly to me Writer at Home in Jonesy Towers.

Funny that as I was planning to get one as soon as I had the cash, so remember, wish for what you need and I firmly believe it will come to you.

And make plans. High on my list, apart from keep no writing, is to get a newsletter organised. And blog a bit more.

Keep writing and talk soon.

Getting sorted with blog and website.

It’s been a while since I came to my blog and website, so thought a hot weekend would be a good idea to clarify where these two places are. Yes, it’s so easy to hop onto Facebook and twitter, but the blog and website are more like having my own personal space ~ a bit like having your magazine to keep ideas and latest writing projects organised.

Working on my brand ~ a collection of published work over the last 7 years.

Not being the most organised of folk, it’s easy to let these things slip. But now, I have more time to dedicate to my writing, and here is a snapshot of things so far. Almost forgotten how to use WordPress, and to think it was my only way of communicating a few years ago.

I am chiefly a writer of romantic fiction, but the first book on kindle and the one that’s sold most, worldwide is this one, over on the right. Two English hero’s who should have lived longer, to do more good work. It’s sad, but they made an impression in their short lives and researching them both was both interesting, and something I’m glad to have done.

The next best -selling work of fiction is the one here below. Redington. That is a long story, that was determined to get published and has sold all around the world, and I am currently working on a third in the collection. Murder in the Village is Redington 2. Or Country Matters 2, in pocket novels.

Edith Cavell & Rupert Brooke
Sue’s Writing Board

Excited to say I’ve finished the Barbados story, and have a beautiful cover to show you. Also, there will be an excerpt of chapter 1 here later today.

So, this is the blog, and now off to see how the website is doing. Happy weekend, have fun.

Kindle version and paperback will be available

A story for the weekend

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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.

 

 

The House-Sitters

“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.
“Blasted dog.”

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.”

selective focus photography of puppy lying on green grass

Photo by Osmar Vasques on Pexels.com

Looking for fairies and tropics has arrived plus a great giveaway.

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.

Bluebell woodfairy huntANN = SOPH

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.

FAiry houseIt’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.smaller pic

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. PHOTO-2019-04-16-21-41-24PHOTO-2019-04-16-21-41-27Redington books

Enjoy the weekend, and get your name in the comments box if you’d like a free signed copy of my book.

Getting on with the writing

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. flowers

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. 

two pound coinbook fairy

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.

Books for charity

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,

 

Paws for thoughtYou can buy the book here…

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.

Until next time, byzie bye.

 

Hello from blogland

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.

The Angel and The Poet for sale here..

 

My collection of stories set in Norfolk are here on Amazon.

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.

 

In the Garden

 
Suzy

Having a relaxing Sunday in our garden. Me and Alan have been enjoying some quiet time smelling the flowers and doing not much other than having a chat and dinner on the courtyard round the back.

 

petuniaspurple petunias             Can you see how much I love petunias?

 

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Alan’s off to the back yard after looking around our colourful borders. There’s a table waiting in the Courtyard Café.

Whatever you’ve got planned this week, have fun and don’t forget to smell the flowers.