Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A News Flash...

Just had an e-mail to tell me my submission to Cafelit is up on the website and blog, so you can read it here.

It's called 'A Tight Squeeze', as you'll see why when you read the story.

It actually started out as a 200 word story for the One Word Challenge competition, on the Talkback forum of the writersonline website. The judge that month gave me some useful comments, so I did a rewrite of the first half of the story- a great improvement.

It's been a long month waiting, but it's wonderful to see even a short piece of my writing out in the world for people to read.

On target
I hope you enjoy reading it...

image courtesy of http://freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, 26 August 2013

My Holiday Visits-Part 1...

The issue with holidays is how long it takes to get back to normal once you return home- in my case a week...

Last Saturday I was in York. The weather was a bit iffy, so we decided to visit York Dungeons.

This took about an hour, but in that time you went through history, and audience participation was requested from simple booing to 'volunteering'.

The actors in a few centuries were scary, the odd one or two OTT, but it was fun.

Unwisely one of my sons heckled the judge and ended up in the dock charged with despicable crimes- fortunately he was allowed to go free after that...

But if you do go, I'd advice staying at the back unless you want to get harmlessly splattered, and or volunteered...

As it was raining when we came out we went for coffee, and then a book browse in York Waterstones- not much choice in the romances I was looking for- the ones I found, I already had. :(

There were a lot of people going up Clifford's Tower, but having been right up to the top of the building many years ago, I gave it a miss. It's a great view, but I'm not great with heights any more...

Now I'm leaving you with a picture that relates to the next place I visited and will be showing you some photos from.

At last, a cut out display that makes me look regal.

And I got to do some weaponry research... :)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Festival of Romance- win tickets...

I've already booked my tickets for this exciting weekend in November- it's the week before my birthday, so it's an early present to myself. :-)

This year's Festival of Romance is taking place in Bedford between Friday evening on the 8th and Sunday the 10th November- finishing mid-afternoon.

The Saturday is busy from morning until night. See the programme here.

I've booked to go to the Irresistible Heroes Workshop in the Central Library, led by Sue Moorcroft and Christina Courtney.

And I couldn't resist booking a ticket for the Festival of Romance Ball. I have the shoes, the make-up and the jewellery, I just need to find a suitable dress... :D

You can do as much or as little as you want. There are a few free events, but you still need to get the ticket from the bookings page. It is sent to your e-mail address...

Now if you would like to enter to win tickets for two, courtesy of the Romantic Novelists Association, pop over to this page, fill in the form and keep your fingers crossed. And enter by the 30th September. You will find all the details of what the prize covers on that page too.

Good luck.

Thursday, 15 August 2013


This time I'm talking about the real type Butterflies, not the tummy type...

My office window looks out onto the side of the house and over the years a buddleia bush has grown. Every spring it gets cut back, and each summer it grows huge and produces long purple flower spikes.

The last few summers there have been very few butterflies to use it, but this year WOW.

I've seen anything from 7-10 of them on the flowers at the same time- all bar one, are Peacock's.

Now it's also started to get a few bees feeding on the flowers too.

So I took a few pictures. Surprisingly I was able to get quite close up to them, but they were so intent on feeding that I think they weren't bothered I was there.

The one on the right kept folding it's wings up as it moved around, and it took a couple of attempts to get it with its wings open.

The second picture required some contortion, ducking under the branches to get in the right position...

Some of the flowers had two or three butterflies on them at a time. This one had had a third one, but it flew up onto one of the other flowers just as I got into position for the picture, so I only got two of them together...

It's been fascinating to look up and see them climbing around, folding their wings together against a rush of wind that has the flower spikes bobbing up and down as they hold on...

Hopefully the good summer will ensure we have plenty of butterflies next year.

Have you noticed an increase in butterflies where you live, or any colourful insects?

Logged in at last!!!

I couldn't get into my blog at the weekend.

Now I had changed my password a few weeks before but had no problem remembering it, except suddenly it was gone.

Tried every password that I'd ever used on the blog sign-in, but it wasn't any of them.

Then with my OH being home and starting the sorting and reorganising that had to be put off when I had the accident 2+ years ago, I've only today had the time and quiet to use the speedy verification code system.

Had to do it twice to get it to work properly, but I'm now signed back in and can start posting again.

I'm glad to be back...

Monday, 5 August 2013

My Characters Are Calling...

Some of my characters in waiting have started getting impatient, reminding me they are there and they are waiting for me to get on with their story...

Unfortunately I can't handle two different romances at the same time. Each hero is different and it won't help continuity if characteristics from Marcus (from my Dorset novel) start transferring themselves to Hugh (in my Nottinghamshire novella).

I may have to assign different days of the week to each story just to keep them happy.

At the moment another couple of characters are popping into my mind, so I think I need to do some brain clearing- writing down all the ideas/characteristics that have developed since I first started to give them reality (at Sally Quilford's Pocket Novel workshop a few years ago).

I'd like to attend Sally's next workshop in September, but I won't be able to; but do go if you can, you'll learn a lot and enjoy it.

You can find out more on Sally's blog, here. It's titled 'Recipe for Making Love Stories'- and if you book now, you get it for less.

I've just finished reading Sally's latest My Weekly pocket novel, 'Take My Breath Away'. It all starts with Cleopatra- at least the making of a film about her... :-)

I was so near the end of the story, and didn't want to wait until the following day to finish it, so I stayed up until nearly one o'clock in the morning.

Right, I have to go. I need to start recording my characters' latest revelations...

Do your characters-in-waiting start trying to interrupt, when you're writing something else?