Monday, 31 August 2015

History Holiday

This week, I am on holiday. 

Although I never stop thinking about my writing, even authors need a break from work sometimes. But it seems I can't get away from history. We are in Yorkshire visiting friends, and surrounded by the legacy of the cotton and woolen mills.

Dean Clough Mill Complex, Halifax
So here's a picture, but no writing this time.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 3.1

Captain Darrow gets a Priority One call and the Kestrel goes into action. To read the book from the beginning go here.
Darrow (Michael Sheen)
The next day, Captain Darrow was alone on the bridge when a Priority One call came in.  There had been an accident at a razor quartz mine on Pallas, an asteroid, and Kestrel was the closest ship for emergency response.  The mission seemed straightforward, but the details were encoded, which puzzled him, so he decided to open it in his office. He changed course then called Lieutenant-Commander Hoy to take over the bridge. 

Monday, 24 August 2015

My Stroke of Inspiration

On Monday I normally post about history, and today we’re looking at some very recent history, five years ago, to be exact!
My Stroke of Inspiration cover
In May 2010 I had a stroke at my desk in work. It came out of the blue and turned my life upside down. It left my body paralysed down the right side, but luckily didn’t affect my mind. I was in hospital for seven and a half weeks, and sleeping downstairs in the living room until August, when I could finally climb the stairs.

The hours are long in hospital, especially as I suffered pain and muscle spasms which made it difficult to sleep, so I started writing poetry, laboriously, one letter at a time, on my mobile phone. To take more time, I punctuated it too! I had written poetry since I was a child, but only occasionally. Now, it poured out of me, 22 poems in all. I wrote verse, doggerel, and blank verse, whatever suited the topic.

I wrote about my stroke, my treatment, my faith, and totally random things like the rain outside my window. I needed to learn to write left-handed, so I copied them out into a notebook to get the practice and keep them safe. I gave copies to the nurses and the therapists.

The poems talk about suffering and patience, therapy and faith. When I came home, I typed them into my computer and formatted them into a booklet with a commentary, which I had printed. Many people have found them a comfort, an encouragement and an inspiration, so I have finally made them into an ebook.

It’s called My Stroke of Inspiration and it’s available on Amazon UK for £1.99 and Amazon US for $2.99. You will enjoy them if you like simple poetry, but if you are a stroke survivor or know someone who is, these poems will comfort, encourage and inspire you.

Even better, between Wednesday and Sunday (26-30 August) My Stroke of Inspiration will be FREE! I’d love for you to download it, read and leave a review.

And don’t forget, if you sign up to my mailing list you will get four free gifts, one of which is A Poetry Sampler.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 2.3

Tabitha has now settled in on board the Kestrel, and calls home and writes in her journal. If you want to read from the beginning go here.
Tabitha Enns (swimmer Ellie Simmonds) cropped
Intruders chapter 2 scene 3

At the end of the day, Tabitha was allowed to call home. Chambers showed her how to log on to the external communications system from the console in the cabin and pick up the designated channel. Then he left her to it. She waited for the call to be answered and one of her parents to appear on the screen. It was her mother, who immediately burst into tears.
‘Oh Tab,’ she said, ‘How could you?’

Monday, 17 August 2015

Alina Pictures by Children

As promised last week, here are some of the drawings done by the children from Oystermouth Primary School.
2015-07-14 22.09.58
2015-07-14 22.13.58

This one says in part: Alina is the white lady. She lives in Oystermouth castle. She was 7 when she was married to a 12 year old boy. That was her big mistake! He never washed his socks.

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In this picture Alina’s ghost has her head under her arm!

2015-07-14 22.18.37

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 2.2

We're still with Tabitha, but she's better now. If you want to start from the beginning, go here.
Tabitha is like Ellie Symonds
Intruders chapter 2 scene 2

After a good night’s sleep, Tabitha felt much better.  She was starting to get the hang of the gravity.  She was hungry, having missed food the day before, and breakfast in the mess hall gave her a chance to meet two more of the crew.  The Second Officer, Daniel Hoy, was the smallest man she had ever seen.  She hadn’t noticed his size when she saw him on the bridge.  About her height but slim, he had almond-shaped eyes and pale skin.  Chambers introduced them.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Thank You Letters

Back in March I wrote about giving a talk on Alina to a class in Oystermouth Primary School.
2015-07-14 22.06.27
The teacher contacted me later to say how much the children enjoyed it, and that they had written ‘thank you’ letters and drawn pictures. There have been some hiccups getting hold of them , but I finally picked them up on the last week of term.

As you may imagine, they are delightful. Here is just a taster:


Saturday, 8 August 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 2.1

To start from the beginning, go here. We’re still following Tabitha Enns as she joins the Kestrel as a trainee.
Tabitha Enns (swimmer Ellie Simmonds) cropped
Intruders Chapter 2 Scene 1

Tabitha was so relieved someone was going to fix her, she relaxed onto the arm the doctor offered her.  He yelped and flinched.

‘Sorry,’ she mumbled, taking her own weight.  ‘I’m not used to this gravity.  It’s so light.’
‘It’s all right,’ he said.  ‘I’m Dr Robinson.  Sit here.’

As she complied, she noted the MO was an older man with a large nose and shoulder-length black hair gathered at the nape of his neck.  He was slim and looked very fit.

‘Space sickness, undoubtedly,’ he said after examining her.  ‘It’s most likely the gravity difference.  What’s the gravity on Alpha? 2.5G? Come over here and lie down inside this pressure pod.’

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Who Am I?


There's a change in the air!

When I started out as a writer, I didn't know anything about self publishing or self promotion. I didn't know about marketing or branding. The internet is full of good advice, but a lot of it is conflicting advice.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Intruders: Blog the Book 1.3

To start from the beginning, go here.
Tabitha Enns (swimmer Ellie Simmonds) cropped
Chapter 1 Scene 3

It was the first time Tabitha had been inside the spaceport.  She had spent many hours watching ships through the fence, but now she was inside, actually going on board a ship.  She spotted the Kestrel right away, with its green and gold livery and low, horizontal triangular shape.  Captain Darrow smiled as he saw her reaction.

‘I remember my first time in a spaceport,’ he said.  ‘I was only a child at the time.  I’m amazed you’re eighteen and never been in a port before.’