Showing posts from January, 2011

Burns Night

Image via Wikipedia My late father, Charlie was a Scot. Whenever I say that it always raises a question in my mind. Do you stop being a Scot when you die? Although we had plenty of Scottish relatives, we never celebrated Burns Night in our house, probably because my mother was English. However, Burns was a constant literary hero of my father and two poems in particular attracted his attention because, with his interest in family history research, he wondered how much they reflected his ancestors' lives.

Tam O'Shanter tells the tale of  the demise of Tam despite the warnings of his wife Kate that his drinking will be the death of him. My father used to love this line in particular, "Where sits our sulky sullen dame. Gathering her brows like gathering storm, nursing her wrath to keep it warm".

The second poem paints a completely different picture. The Cotter's Saturday Night tells how the cotter (a peasant who lived in a cottage in exchange for working for the owner,…

My husband recently pointed me to this website. Designed to bring together all your onlines profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, websites, blogs, etc.) into one place, offers a number of standard backgrounds or the opportunity to upload your own image. It's quite easy to set up and although still a relatively small community compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, I can see the number of users growing rapidly. Oh and by the way, this is a free service.

You can find my profile here. Tell me what you think.

Wisdom has a voice

This is my mum and me. It wasn't always the easiest of relationships but by the time I was an adult, we'd put our differences to rest and now as a mother myself, I understand her so much better.

Wisdom has a voice is a multimedia project which aims to gather, record and express daughters' memories of their mothers. Stories of these memories will be compiled into an anthology due for release in October 2011.

"We are looking for personal narratives that demonstrate the art of storytelling and possess a story arc with dramatic appeal. We will select stories that weave the significance of the unique experience into the storyline. Each selection should adapt easily to the spoken word as an audio version.

"We will look for the wisdom or lesson learned from mother to be expressed in an authentic voice with originality and resonance."

If your story is included in the anthology you will receive:

a complimentary copy of the anthology with the option to purchase extra co…

Photographic Inspiration

Here's your image inspiration for January.

7 ways to get back into your writing routine

We're almost two weeks into the new year but I'm still finding bits of tinsel behind the armchair and recovering from Christmas noshing. The festive holiday is gone in no time but two weeks of children at home and celebrating have knocked my writing routine into the nether regions of time and space. Here's how I plan to get back into the writing habit.
Mark out a regular slot for your writing and guard it fiercely. Now the children have returned to school and the house is back to relative normality, I have made a promise to myself that I will write every week day morning, be that a blog article, a play for my business or working on my novel. I put on a wash when I'm getting the children ready for school. The rest of the housework can wait until after lunch. Between returning from the morning school run and fixing myself a sandwich, I write.Get an A4 or, if you can manage it, an even larger piece of paper and divide it into two columns. Label the first column 2010 and th…

Jungle Red

Jungle Red brings together eight published murder mystery writers,
Julia Spencer FlemingJan BroganRoberta IsleibHallie EphronRhys BowenDeborah CrombieHank Philippi Ryanand Rosemary Harristo talk about their books, their motivations and their writing process. There's also news on book signings, interviews and general discussions about the world of publishing.
Well worth a visit.


One of the main incentives for starting this blog was to write about the process and progress of writing my novel. I've written about so many things here that the novel news has taken a back seat so I thought I'd take this opportunity to bring you up to speed.

Firstly, the title of the novel has changed. What started out as 'Split' is now 'There is a Dark Divide'. The new title is a direct quote from one of the characters in the novel. It speaks of not only the central storyline but also the world in which the storyline takes place.
Secondly, in writing the novel (I'm halfway through the first draft), I've discovered a number of things that I didn't know from my original notes.The characters have told me things about themselves, details of their past and their attitudes on life (especially Hartley, he's very vocal). 
I decided to keep one of the first characters you meet in the novel alive (rather than killing her off in chapter three). This has ad…


What does it mean to you? Integrity? Self respect? Belief? To me, it means all of those things, especially as a writer. 2010 has seen me take great joy in accepting that I am a writer and becoming comfortable with telling people that. I don't usually make new year resolutions - spring always seems a better time for new beginnings - but over the Christmas break I got to thinking about where I wanted to take my writing career in 2011.

As you know, I earn a living from writing murder mystery plays and I'm more than happy to continue with that. Writing plays gives me immense satisfaction, especially when I hear how much enjoyment (and profit) they provide for my customers. I have four murder mystery plays lined up to write in 2011. I have several non murder mystery full length plays that I want to write and a couple of theatre groups I can offer them to for their debut performances. I also plan to write an e-book that I hope will make the experience of performing one of our murder…