Tag Archives: Growing up in the 70’s

Questions on writing and life.

Thanks to blog friend Lynne for passing on these questions –  What me and Lynne have in common is that we both started with a letter in Woman’s Realm. Lynne’s was about two seagulls flying up the motorway; mine was about drying thistles to use in flower arranging from the garden. I have quite a bit of catching up to do, but I’m always writing and promoting, though I spend too much time promoting and not enough time writing. Sometimes I think I link from this to that and that to the other, I’m sending my readers round in circles. It’s all good though, so here we go…

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

A. Born in hilly Staffordshire, where you will find Cannock Chase and there’s lots of horses grazing in the fields and sometimes on the roadsides. Our family lived in a bungalow built by my Grandad; an old Gypsy called Sam lived down the road in one of those bow topped caravans. I found it fascinating to see him cooking and washing up outdoors. Now I live in leafy Warwickshire; home of Shakespeare and George Eliot and Susan Jones.

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or have you been based anywhere else?

A. I love England, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. We spent a year in West Africa when I was younger with Dad’s work in a gold mine. I moaned a lot asking Mom to send word back to England for ham and cheese cobs. I didn’t settle too well. I loved climbing fruit trees and hurling the guavas to the little children who were half-starved. They ran like ants to gobble them up. It taught me to be grateful for basics like food… On the way back we stayed at Las Palmas which seemed a sophisticated place back in the 60’s.

Q. Which is your favorite part of Britain?

A. I love Torbay, especially Brixham. It’s such an unassuming place and I love the multi-coloured houses and fresh fish.

Q. Does your favorite place feature in your writing?

A. I wrote a short story set there, a ghost one, but it hasn’t been published yet.

Q. Do you agree about the British stiff upper lip?

A. Absolutely; most definitely; oh gosh, tally ho – yes, what?

Q. Do any of your characters have the stiff upper lip?

A. I have such a lot of characters, but mine tend to be working class types. They usually wear a pinny, work in a factory or worry about money.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books.

A. I have a short story in an e.book. It’s on Amazon ‘Growing up in the 70’s’  There are four stories in the book. My story is called ‘High School Blues.’ A work of fiction about three girls who’re not sure what they’re doing, except playing around and listening to music.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. A romantic story ‘Hats off to Love.’ This came on the shortlist of the Romantic Novelist’s New Talent Award for 2012.  I panicked a bit and because I couldn’t make the award ceremony, I began wondering who could collect my award if I won!!! You have to be positive don’t you? No need to panic, I didn’t win, but it’s given me the confidence to complete it. It’s at around 30,000 words now, needs lots of editing, but I’m having fun with it.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

A. Gym, swimming, gardening, knitting, walking, talking, laughing, eating sweets, selling, oh…..writing…

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global one?

A. Anybody who’s interested in reading.

Q. Can you provide links to your work.

A. Yes, of course I can. Here’s the e.book with my story in.

Here’s my author page on Amazon. My story is in each of these books of short stories.

I have four stories on Alfie dog.

Entering competitions is also a hobby of mine. Thanks Lynne for nominating me, now I’ll put a couple of names of people who’s writing I like. I do realize that Lynne nominated Teresa, but she’s such a great story writer.

Teresa Ashby.

Patsy Collins.

Amanda Brittany.

Digital imageBuddha says tickle my tummy and you’ll get rich…

Author page.

I’ve got an author page on Amazon. 

I’m cheating a smidgen as I’ve got short stories in these two books, rather than being the author of the book itself, but it’s a start.

Both of these are the kind that you can dip into. My’ High School Blues’ story in the 70’s one is about three girls who drift through school

not knowing what they’d end up doing.

The Cafe lit one has those kind of stories that you read while waiting for an appointment, or during a coffee break at work. Each story represents a

drink. Mine’s earl grey tea and is called ‘My Special Earl Grey.’

Now I’d like to do more e.publishing. I have some ideas in mind, it’s the technology that I need to grasp.

Our shop is looking empty now and someone is calling for the shelving next week.

Another story has been edited and typed up ready for Take a Break. I love People’s Friend, but I’m not sure my stories are quite suitable for there. I won’t stop trying though. This one’s about a wannabee detective.

If anyone’s thinking of subscribing to Writing Magazine, I would say the books that come with it are brilliant. Funny, informative and great to dip into.



A review at last.

cover artIt’s taken a while, but at last ‘Growing up in the 70’s’ has had a review. It’s not as brilliant as I’d like it to be, and the reviewer has read story one and two, and is about to start on the third, which is mine. Obviously I don’t agree that the stories don’t set the feel of the seventies. The second story about the Welsh rugby is about that year of the grand slam. I’m married to a Welsh man, and I bought him the dvd of the same which is quite funny. That was around the time we met, so I do associate it strongly with the seventies. Also story number one was quite funny I thought. Oh dear, I wanted to review it myself, but I’m not a glove puppet, so thought I’d better not.

The reviewer also says that we don’t mention music and fasion. Obviously hasn’t read my story. I suppose we have to be open minded and take what people say as ‘their opinion’ though I still think they’re wrong, and it’s a lovely collection. Can’t win them all though can we?

I’m up to 19,500 wds of the novel, and it’s getting exciting. Along with other books I’m reading, like Middlemarch, by George Eliot, Paint me a Picture by Patsy Collins, and Careless in Red by Elizabeth George, my Hats off to Love story is brewing up lovely. I’ve got, a hero, boy next door,lovely old lady, neighbour who’s boy next door’s Gran. Main character who’s fabulous. A gang of factory workers who are extras. Possibly too many characters, but I’ll chuck them out if need be later, at the moment, they’re in the story.

Pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup?

The market field was muddy on Sunday, but luckily we have a nifty little vehicle that loves driving through muddy fields.  Best selling items were light bulbs, children’s pictures, diarys, we even sold some of our chrysanths from the garden.

I just can’t resist putting them on again they’re so beautiful.  I picked up a scented geranium, after paying for it of course.  Also a lovely china cup and saucer.  I do love a bargain.  It amazes me how much people need to handle something like a diary before buying it though.  A man flicked through once, twice, thrice, (well I’m studying Shakespeare remember) nay, four, five, me and Alan looked at each other wondering who would tell him first to PUT IT DOWN, but no, we smiled along, then he was tickeld pink to find that one diary had no ribbon to mark the pages, and ho so funny, another one had two of those ribbon markers.  Well blow me down how side splittingly funny is that.  He eventually bought one for himself and one for his brother.  Later a little boy started handling the diarys and said to me. ‘Don’t you think it’s too early to sell those.’  I answered. ‘No.’  Then he said. ‘It is.’ At the same time flicking through it, so I was happy to tell him to ‘Put it down then.’

Now I’ve bought our pumpkin ready to cut out a funny face, and up until now I’ve always thrown out the middle.  This year I’m going to make either pumpkin pie, or pumpkin soup.  I’m veering towards soup as I love onions and tomatoes and carrots and suede that would be tasty.  Or maybe pumpkin pie with a cheesy pastry would be quite tempting.  Especailly with some curry flavouring in the pumpkin mush for filling.  Which is your favourite?

I heard from the editor of Best of British Chris Peachment that my article on ‘Growing up in the 1960’s’ will be published in his magazine soon.  I made enquiries as to if they’d run a short story competition, so will let you know if I hear any more, he’s thinking about it.  I know I’ve done a story on growing up in the 70’s, but I took a while to grow up, not saying I have completely grown up yet.  I popped round to see Mum and Dad yesterday, and Mum is doing really well following her mini stroke.  She reminded me that she hasn’t seen my story on the twindle, or is it the tweedle?  So now when I’m on the computer Alan asks, ‘Are you on the tweedle dum and tweedle dee?  She means the kindle story, and maybe she’s thinking of tweeting and twitter.  I like the twindle much better, so what I’m going to do is make a folder of all the stories on the twindle and computer, so she can have a read and see what I’m twindling about.  I think it’s mainly because of the first paragraph in that seventies story where Dad refered to the make up wearing men as a load of *****, which is what you said in those days, but when I reminded him he looked horrified and said. ‘You can’t say that.’  It’s all fiction though, so nothing to be alarmed about Dad.  He’s collecting slugs now I could say what he’s doing with them, but I’m saving that for my next horror story.  So, pumpkin pie or pumpkin soup?  Or, how about pumpkin pasties???  Bake off, eat your heart out.  I think the blog bakers have better ideas and we’re not so fussy are we?  Who cares if your jam tarts are different sizes, I always make a small one for tasting.  My Gran’s mantra was – A good cook always tastes the food.  If you’d like to read my spooky poem it’s on my website on the poetry page.

Now available, September issue of The Great War.

Now available to buy, the September issue of The Great war can be found here.  I know I’ve been saying and saying and yes saying my article is in there, but now you can purchase it if you want to.  It’s a small press magazine, and you won’t be dissapointed if you paid the £6.00 that it costs.  The publishers used to run one on WW2 as well, but that one folded, seems there’s more interest in The Great War.  I also have an article in the January 2011 issue, Edith Cavell, Angel of East Anglia.  I’m proud of both these articles, I wanted to know more on Rupert Brooke myself, so writing the article was great fun, he was quite a funny man in an ironic kind of way.

In the Ocotber Writing magazine, I was thrilled to read your story Paula, the one that won the crime competition, and also Tracey Fells articles, and Julie’s article.  I showed our daughter, she follows my blog, and she does, and I know this lady.  She said, ‘Well why don’t you do an article for there then?’  I quickly flicked open the September one and showed her my letter in there.  Must work on some ideas though.  I love all those competitions that have great prizes.  I love the idea of being on a carousel Tracey, I’m with you on that…  It’s around now I start thinking up my slogan for the year ahead, still working on it, so that will be posted soon.  If I have a good slogan, I write better.  Sounds daft, but it works for me.  This years was ‘just write, right.’

We had a great family day today.  No work, no markets, a big fat lie in, until I won’t say until when as you might all unsubscribe to my blog and say ‘what a slob!!’ Then when we were up and dressed, in best clothes as it was raining, so no grass cutting or weeding, our two Sons arrived back from their weekend of Stag-do-ing with a mate.  That’s a treat, as we don’t see our eldest Son much as he lives in Torquay.  So he was chatting to his Sister, who was staying for the weekend from Melton Mowbray, and my Sister and her daughter arrived.  After about a minute, she said, ‘I’ve got some news’ she’s the one who got married earlier in the Summer, so it wasn’t a cryptic crossword to work out what she was going to say. She’s going to be a Mum.  So my Sister will be a Gran, her brothers will be Uncles, I’ll be a Great Aunt is it? Mom and Dad will be Great Grandad and Grandma…..  So now we’re all quiet and having a nice relax.

Growing up in the 70’s is now available on Amazon.  My story is ‘High School Blues’.  There aren’t any reviews yet, but the editor told me it’s in the top 100 of comedy e.books.  Not sure where you find that list, but I’ll find out soon.  The sunflowers have gone now, but I like the photo, the pink fairy lives on Blackpool pleasure beach with the doughnut man.

Live on Amazon.

Growing up in the 70’s is now live on Amazon.  You can find it here.

The school kids are mostly back to school now, so that’s nice for them, and fantastico for us at the shop.  No more sticky fingers, and questions about ridiculous things like ‘do you two live together!!’ No, they’ve been mostly lovely so can’t moan.  Isn’t September starting out great though, the month of smokey wood fires, berries and splendid sunsets.  Not sure about sunrises, I’m not an early riser.  That’s hubby’s department.  He’s the one who gets up and makes tea and pops off to our local bakery for smashing bread for our toast and sandwiches.  We went off to the market yesterday as the week before had been quiet.  A lot of the Romany travellers come round buying things.  A little girl said to her Mum.

“Mammy, I want some cards.”  Her mum answered.


“Mammy I want cards.”  This went on a while then Mammy said,

“Why do you want cards?”

“I WANT to play SNAP Mammy.”

“Here you are then.”  She got her money out.  Aren’t they cute, couldn’t you just eat them up.  Great for us that Mammy changed her mind.

We had a lovely few days as our daughter from Leicester and Son from Torquay came to stay, so for once in a while our youngest Son who lives at home had his brother and Sister to go around with.  They went to see their Grandma and took her some lovely flowers, cheered her up no end, then they went into Birmingham and came in sometime next morning.

Enjoy the sunshine, and back to school feeling.  Hark at me, my story in the 70’s collection is called ‘High School Blues’ I hated school from the day I started.  I was crossing the years off until I left.  I taught our youngest Son from home myself for his last two years, he passed exams as well, but that’s a story for another day. 

Kindle on the pc

I’ve just downloaded all at sea by Teresa Ashby from Amazon.  It’s free, so there’s a good offer.  So now I have a kindle on the computer, me who thought I wouldn’t like one.  Though I have a good reason now to be kindled.  Here’s the copy of the actual cover of Growing up in the 70’s, due to be published soon.

I had an outline of it before, this one’s got more detail in, should be ready next week.  It feels like I’ve been talking about it for a long time, but almost completed.  In among the swirly colours are bits and bobs from all of the stories in the book.  Hope you’re sorting out your platforms and bell bottomed trousers in readiness for this.  I’m about to get my pogo stick out of the shed and bounce around on the yard.