Showing posts from May, 2012

Faberge eggs and other luxuries

Today is the 166th birthday of Peter Carl Faberge, the Russian jeweller who became best known for his glamorous Faberge eggs. These ornate eggs were made using precious metals and gemstones and have spawned millions of copies ever since. Moreover, they have inspired designers to come up with their own versions.

These luxurious items are beautiful and precious and incredibly expensive. Some have been known to sell for millions of pounds.

My mother was a magpie for all things glittery and beautiful. I can remember her oo-ing and aah-ing over a Faberge egg we once saw in a museum. I was the typical moody teenager at the time, grumpy about being dragged round a museum by my father and dismissive of my mother's enthusiasm for the costume displays. Still, even I stopped to stare at the beautiful ornament. It was gorgeous and decadent, and quite useless. For all it's grandeur, once I'd got over the initial glamour it held over me, I had to admit that it was just another ornament…

Tuesday Choice Words

The wonderful blog Magical Words is currently running a series of posts entitled Top Ten (Okay Eleven) Things You Should Know About Your Own Book. Taking a couple of the eleven for each post, this series of articles asks you questions about your novel such as your protagonist's motivations and what stands in his or her way. It's a fascinating series that makes you delve a little deeper into your creation. You can find the first five parts here:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five


When my father was seventeen years old, something happened to him that would change the course of his life. This was 1939, the first year of the second world war. My father, like many young men at the time, felt sure he would play some part in fighting for his country. Older men were already leaving the community to enlist. He and his friends all looked forward with mixed feelings to the following year when they would leave their small home town in Scotland.

Unlike his father who was employed on the estate of the local castle as a gardener, my dad was a lathe worker at a pipeworks factory. He had left school with few qualifications and saw his future as a continuation of his family's roots. He would work, marry, and have children. That was his path. The thought of moving away (other than to fight in the war) did not occur to him.

Then it happened. An obstacle fell across his path, an obstacle which refused to let him find a way round. Due to his work, his hands became infected wi…

Tuesday Choice Words

You Are What You Read written by Misty Massey of Magical Words talks about how the books we read can help us cope with our lives.

How To Be A World-Changing Writer by Copyblogger talks about what it's title suggests.

5 Things All Writers Can Learn From Taylor Swift from Write It Sideways builds an interesting connection between the singer and your writing.

How To Write Fast: 8 Secrets To Better, Quicker Content Creation by Maria Forleo is a a video episode on her site, offering advice that we can all gain from.

Cheerleaders by Lucienne Diver from Magical Words talks about those individuals who support us as writers.

Words of Wisdom from the World E-Reading Congress 2012 from Publishing Perspectives gives a wonderful insight into the developing future of publishing.

Tuesday Choice Words

This is the second in this series where I share links to writing advice, chat and news that I've received over the last week.

Look for the Odd One Out in your Fiction by Writerly Life, describes how to use a little psychology to make our writing more appealing to the reader.

Found Stories by Author Magazine, which is strangely about 'finding' your story.

And finally, an interesting article on earnings versus bestseller lists by author Bob Mayer on Manic Monday - Dollars and Good Sense.


Somebody Loves Me

Well, kind of. Today I received a joint award from the lovely Lisa W Rosenberg. The blogosphere can seem so vast and unfathomable sometimes that it's always good to find out that your voice is being heard (and your blog read). Thank you, Lisa. These are my awards:

Lisa writes about body image and identity on her blog so please do visit her site.

The rules for both awards are similar:
Thank the blogger who nominated you.Share 7 random things about yourself.Nominate 15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger and 7 for the Beautiful Blogger award.Inform the bloggers of their nomination.Include the award images in your blog post. As I've received the Versatile Blogger award before (although I'm always happy to have someone new award it to me again), I'll just follow the rules for the Beautiful Blogger award this time round.

7 Random Things About Me
My middle name is the same as my mother's middle name. It's also the same as my daughter's. I don't know how it…

Tuesday Choice Words

Today marks the first of a series of post in which I'll share some of the wonderful advice I receive from fellow writers and creatives, as well as mentors and generally bookish and publishing world peeps.

Looking for Inspiration? is an article in Psychologies magazine which discusses where inspiration comes from  and how we can search it out.

Instructions for a happy juice life is a blog post by Fiona Robyn of Writing Our Way Home and I think the title is quite explanatory.

Who needs a publisher? is an informative look at the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self publishing from


Photo Inspiration for May