Words Catch Fire

My latest adventure…. An absolute privilege to feature in an anthology so packed with artistic talent! Devon authors, poets, painters and photographers all together in one book. I can be found on page 3!

If this sounds like your kind of read then grab yourself a copy…

These are the Days

These are the days that seem to vanish into clouds. Days when each past moment is forgotten and only now remains. Am I talking nonsense? Quite possibly, but as fellow writers will affirm the moment really is ‘the moment’ and on a good day it lasts forever.

I apologise if I have lost you, I am of course talking about writing. It has been the best of days, it has been the busiest of days and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Now time is precious so I won’t spend hours talking about writing, because the more I spend chatting the less time I can devote to actually writing or reading or doing whatever I’m supposed to be doing which is embarking on another adventure… So here’s a re cap…

Imagine – you have 1 day to go until your holiday, a holiday you have looked forward to, planned for, I mean really planned for. It involves the whole family, boats, lists, internet searches.

You finish work (your day job), you pack the dogs off to their holiday home, you pick up dinner and now its time to pack. But wait, what’s that? A thought, an idea? You shake it off because you don’t have time, not now, not today. Today is all about planning, being organised. The idea refuses to leave and renders you incapable of rational thought. OK, so it will only take 10 minutes to write down, then you can pack and feel smug. You won’t be the one holding everyone up, you’ll be ready…

The reality…

Six hours later, you crawl into bed. You’ve have 4 hours sleep and still haven’t packed. If you could go back and change things would you? Hell no! Because that’s what it’s all about, that’s what’s so glorious about writing and I love it!

So that was my day – how was yours?

Sign on the dotted…

Last week I took a slow boat along a lazy river, well sort of. I went on my first ever barge holiday. I was not really convinced it was for me, but I will try anything once! I am after all a five star girl and I was being asked to adopt a one star outlook – not easy!

That said, I agreed, all be it somewhat reluctantly. I blame wine consumption and a happy disposition! Late one evening 6 of us agreed it would be an excellent holiday and we should all go! I put my fear of confined spaces and dodgy toilets to one side and we all signed on the dotted line sometime last September. The deed was done – money exchanged hands – we were going!

So, how did I get on? Well, 6 go barging was never going to be easy lets face it. 6 people in a confined space for 7 days was I admit an eye opener. Would I do it again? emm…. maybe.

There was something almost magical about travelling at 2 mph silently along the river. Life slowed and became almost timeless. Kingfishers, herons, swans and even a terrapin (I kid you not) were our companions. We would ‘barge’ (I’m not sure if that’s the correct term…) for approximately 4 hours each day then moor up. Spending nights moored in the heart of both Bath and Bristol was inspiring. Stepping off of the boat and being in the centre of those beautiful cities was very special.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better it did! As we ‘cruised'(?) from Bristol to Bath and 4G was briefly restored, my phone pinged. In among the Twitter updates and supermarket offers sat a sparkling new email. A story I had written with a nativity theme had been chosen for an anthology. The publisher was asking for me to review and sign the contract and return it as soon as possible.

Well, as you can imagine I was excited, happy, delighted and shocked in equal measure. Getting a contract printed, signed and returned while on a boat with patchy phone coverage was going to be a challenge.

I have always loved libraries and even more so now. I can not thank the wonderful staff at Bath Central Library enough. They helped me to print & scan my contract so I could send it back via email. We are so fortunate to have access to such valuable resources – not to mention the limitless supply of good books.

I shall leave you with a few pictures of our wonderful home on the water and one of the very friendly Swan that adopted us.

Bye for now…

Hey Shorty!

This week I received an exciting piece of news. A short story I entered into a competition made the Short List. As a writer it is the sort of news that sends tingles down your spine and puts a smile on your face.

Rejection is part and parcel of the everyday when you write, it comes with the territory. So when you get a short list or long list placing you can be assured that your story has had an impact – it is a wonderful feeling. Some days writing is thankless and hard, it can feel as if you are wading through treacle. You try your hardest to make your story sing only to have it land flat. Moments that make you fly are so important. They serve as a reminder that sometimes, just sometimes you can hold a tune!

Thankfully I do not have to wait too long for the results.

The Big Share

Libraries have always been an integral part of my life. They are about so much more than books. They provide knowledge, ideas, creativity, space to think, time to breath and so much more. They are free to all, which is a rarity.

Today sees the start of ‘The Big Share‘, and I would encourage you, if you can, to participate.

Little Free Library is a non for profit organisation that inspires a love of reading. It is known that children growing up in homes without access to books are generally 3 years behind children in homes with lots of books , but Little Free Library is not just for children, it is for everyone. The free book exchange libraries help to build better access to books for everyone.

This weekend ( May 17th – May 19th) is a celebration of the organisations 10th anniversary.’The Big Share‘ is an invitation to book lovers everywhere to participate. Here’s how:

  • Stop by a Little Free Library (they are in over 90+ countries)
  • Take a photo of your visit
  • Share on social media with #LFL10
  • You’ll be entered into a prize draw for a $20 e gift card for the LFL store
  • Spread the word!

There is a map on the website of where the LFL’s are. If you can’t find one you can start your own!

Now more than ever I feel we need to find ways to encourage reading for all. Little Free Libraries are one way to improve social equity – in my book (pardon the pun), that is a very good thing indeed!

Read & Vote

This week I have a piece of flash fiction in AdHoc Fictions ebook. Issue 170, the theme is ‘need’. Try and guess which is mine – sorry, I’m not allowed to tell you! Why not pop on over and take a peak? Read and vote for the piece that you like., it really is that easy! Enjoy.

The Journey…

My current work in progress has been a long hard slog. It has danced fast and slow, and at times come to a halt. There were moments when I wondered if it was to be an ‘eternal’ work in progress, destined to be placed on the back burner and dusted off every now and again. But I have pulled myself together and viola!

As many of you know, I have been working on an historical fiction novel for the past few years. This has involved an enormous amount of research. I have read books both fiction and non fiction, spoken to historians, and tried to get under the skin of the time period. I have realised that amidst the changes brought on by moderisation and technology, hidden within the cracks of wars and disasters, lies a truth which transcends everything – we, ‘people’, we don’t really change that much. Certain aspects of who we are have remained constant. Like night following day we continue to love and laugh and cry. It has been a wonderful journey, full of so much richness and discovery. Quite what I shall do once I finally hang up the red pen on this one I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is that it has been well worth the ride!