Showing posts from July, 2019


We had Miss Two (nearly Miss Three) here for the weekend and once again I was delighted by how much she loves books. Every night we read books in bed...and she had to have her special books with her in bed...just in case.

It's a great example of 'monkey see, monkey do.' In the nicest possible way.

Children are sponges, they listen to us, they watch us, and they learn through us.

Loved it when she settled down with Pa, who was reading a car magazine, and she had to find her books to read with him.

Another time, when her Aunty and baby cousin stayed the night, she found some books and read to them.

But she not only read with us all. I spent hours in the garden and my 'helper' came out with me. I potted up some  pots, and found later she'd added leaves 'to make them pretty.'

She picked me flowers, she stood on plants...she found monsters that we had to battle.

She also wrote the most wonderful letter to her family...

This letter, written on the fridge in …


Honestly I don't know what it is about deadlines but I miss so many of them. Writing ones that is. other ones.

At the moment we have a LOT of birthdays coming up. Little Guggle turns 3..yes 3!....Leobear turns 1....and Little Miss turns 10...I repeat OMG! Where has the time gone.

Thankfully I'm nearly there with the present department. Have Guggle's already (thankfully as her birthday is next week!)...have Little Miss's sorted as well...and have a bit of Leabear's.

A bit I say, as I intend to make something and is not finished.

Now with other deadlines I'm fine. Leabear recently had a Christmas in July and in 9 days I had knitted the cutest reindeer jumper.

Deadline met!

But this other deadline..hmmmm...I may make it (don't hold me to it). The trouble is I get so easily distracted.

There has been some amazing weather so of course I've spent weekends in the garden.

I mean how could you not?

I've also been away …


I just spent a glorious few days away with a writerly bunch of folks. My writing group and I headed off to Sorrento for a writing retreat.

It was a very typical wintry few days. We had wild winds (branches down and lights flickering), rain, lots of rain, very cold, hail, and more rain.

But there were moments when the rain settled to a drizzle or an almost stop and we ventured out.

The writing retreat is never a straight forward - go to your corners and write. NOW!

There is the settling in period, the which room is yours, what's for dinner, how have you been etc but then there are the discussions.

About life in general, but more specifically the writerly life. We discuss our goals and aims for the year, we chat about works in progress. We read and reread our work. We edit, we discuss.

Sometimes we do find a corner of the kitchen table or set up on a chair in another room and write.

It's amazing the stillness that comes over the house then. It's an almost palpable creative …


A few days ago I ran a writing workshop for children. Once again I was amazed at how creative and funny kids are. They love EVERYTHING  and think that ANYTHING can happen.

I gave them a quick exercise to get their brains ticking in the right direction and then we were plotting and planning.

We talked about the boring real life compared to the adventures found in stories. How you can escape life for a moment or thirty, how you can pretend to be anyone.

We looked at a photo (an elderly gentleman with the most amazing lived in face) and they all got to write about him. His life, his family. They created jobs and homes, created his character.

We did another exercise which involved two characters, a setting, two lines of dialogue and an ending. It was a fun game with many giggles as characters such as Chicken Nugget- out to get those that dare turn chickens into such things...were created.

Then they began to write their stories. I gave them some things to think about. Their setting, their…


I recently read a 'debut' author. Not their FANTASTIC BEST SELLING  novel, but their collection of short stories that also were given rave reviews, great write ups and WOW blurbs.
Frankly I read them, and if you asked me the next day what any of those ten short stories were about, I would not be able to tell you.

A setting to remember, characters that stood out, even a theme to tie them all in would have been delightful...but no.

Themes are almost a forgotten art. They shouldn't be. They really help to know what to wear if a friend decides to have a Charlie Chaplin themed birthday....

Or when another friend, had a Harry Potter themed party.

All those little details made it work.

And added a spark of fun to the festivities.

There were HP foods, decorations and games. Not to mention a team of wizards and a few assorted muggles.

Theme - 'an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature- really helps. If , such as in the case of the recently read short story…