Showing posts from August, 2011

Sunday Mornings Lost

My father worked long hours, Monday to Friday, leaving the house at seven or eight, returning long after the child I was had fallen asleep. On a Saturday, my mother would take advantage of his presence for a weekly shop, a drive in the country or a family visit to her friends in Leeds. Only on a Sunday, did my father have time that he could call his own.

Every Sunday, he would rise from his bed around six, pulling trousers and a jumper over his pyjamas, then he would leave my mother wrapped in her dreams. Downstairs he would turn on the stereo. Shaped like a sideboard, the stereo was large, teak and bore two in-built speakers, one on each side. Beneath a lid sat a radio and a turntable. He would click the switch to 78, choose a record from his collection, then while the music wound around the lounge, he would prepare breakfast for himself. While my mother and I slept, he would reintroduce himself to Ella Fitzgerald, Ma Rainey and Pearl Bailey. Louis Armstrong was always a favourite as…

Book Review: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Image via Wikipedia I was introduced to the writer, Wilkie Collins many years ago through his novel The Woman in White, a romantic, suspenseful mystery novel written through the eyes of a number of storytellers.

The Moonstone is written in a similar fashion, a record of events contributed by members of the family affected by the Moonstone's seeming curse, their elderly butler Gabriel Betteredge, the family solicitor and the retired policeman Sergeant Cuff. Considered to be the first detective novel, The Moonstone is in essence a number of witness accounts describing the days and events before, at the time of and after the theft of the fated diamond that lends its name to the novel.

Collins had a wonderful eye for detail, weaving an intricate pattern of clues that eventually lead to the discovery of the culprit. He skilfully sets up the mystery of the theft, surrounding the crime with hints, red herrings and an increasing number of questions

As a writer of murder mystery plays, I fou…

My Cast

I've talked to you before about using actors as visual blueprints for the characters in my novel. Just as a bit of fun on a Friday, I thought I'd give you my cast in pictures. There is one main character missing but I'm still trying to place her. Enjoy.

Appreciated Follower Award

I was about to start typing a new blog post this afternoon when I had a lovely surprise. I discovered that Laila Knight of the Untroubled Kingdom of Laila Knight blog had presented me with the Appreciated Follower Award. I've only recently been introduced to Laila's blog through her wonderful post Wonderland which I think a lot of writers (myself included) will relate to. Thank you, Laila - you've made my day.

The rules of the award are:
Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.Copy and paste the award on your blog.Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.And most of all - have bloggity-blog fun.
I'm incredibly lucky to have such wonderful individuals commenting on my blog but here are the five who drop in most often: Kelly Hashway of Kelly Hashway's BooksShelly of The Life of a Novice WriterKaren of Bibliophilic BlatherDawn of Dawn Brazil&…

When life races by

When the days, and the nights,
slip by in the pass of a hand,
and the details of your life
blur into a shade of mud,
search for these things -
the touch of the grass,
the breath of the sky,
and the reach of the trees.

Photo Inspiration for August

The photographs below were all taken at the weekend on our family walk in Hawarden in North Wales. Some have been 'enlivened' with extra colour but others are just as we saw them. Enjoy.

Follow Friday

Okay, I know that #followfriday (or #ff) is a hashtag on Twitter but I reckon it's an excellent thing to do on a Friday blog post too. So here we go.


This started out as a hashtag for a small community of writers to converse on Twitter and flag up their posts to each other. Started by the writer Johanna Harness, the small community grew, the hashtag won an award (2010 Christopher Al-Asward Prize) and now #amwriting has a physical online presence. This website is an excellent resource for writers with an author directory, the opportunity to see your blog posts online, and many helpful articles. Although I've been using this hashtag since last year, I only recently registered on the website. You don't have to be registered to use the website but I think the free registration on this site is well worth the time. Have a look.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a writing hero of mine. I was introduced to his writing through the novel Good Omens which was written jointly with T…