Thursday, 7 May 2015

Dream on …

I always feel a bit disappointed if I wake up in the morning and can’t remember my dreams. Aren’t dreams the main reason for sleep? A dreamless night feels like a wasted night.

Mind you, most of the dreams I do recall are of the nonsensical variety. I have no idea where they’ve come from, and I certainly don’t want them to come true.

For example, there was the one in which I was standing on a house roof in the pouring rain. Someone shouted at me to come down but I calmly explained I was testing a new umbrella and the roof was the best place because the rain was harder up there than on the ground. Crazy! In my waking life I don’t like heights, so I’d need a much better reason than umbrella testing to get up on the roof!

In another dream, I had to guide an airplane that was trying to land in a small, suburban garden. Left a bit, right a bit, mind the rose bushes … Luckily, I woke up before the plane reached the ground!

But last night, I had the strangest dream of all. I was sitting in a posh office – lots of wood panelling and shelves of leather-bound books – and someone gave me a document to sign. It was a book-publishing contract. I was just about to sign it when the door was flung open and a man rushed in shouting, ‘Noooo!’ He slammed another document down in front of me and told me it was a contract for the film rights to my story. Book or film? Film or book? I had to choose one or the other – but I was still dithering when I woke up.

I wonder what it meant?

Have you had any good/ weird/ inexplicable dreams lately?

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Word of the week (24)

The writer was singing along to the old songs on the car radio:

                    Wild thing
                    You make my heart sing
                    You make everything

‘That’s what the world needs today,’ she said. ‘More grooviness! (I wonder if I’ve still got my embroidered flares?)’

What outdated word or phrase would you like to bring back?

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Butterfly alert!

I don’t mean the real butterflies that have made a welcome appearance in the spring sunshine, but those jittery, flittery ones inside me.

And what’s got me all in a tizz?


It’s my first assignment for the Illustrating Children’s Books course that I’m doing with the London Art College. I had to do a double page illustration for the rhyme 'Row, row, row your boat'. I’m enjoying doing all the exercises – and I’m sure I’ve learnt a lot already – but I’m sooo nervous about showing my work to the tutor. 

It’s ridiculous! I know my artwork is far from perfect, that’s why I’m doing this course. I want some professional feedback and advice on how to improve it. There’s no logical reason for this swarm of butterflies, but here they are!

I can’t remember when I last felt like this.

Oh, yes, I can. It was the first time I plucked up the courage to send a little children’s story to a publisher. I had nightmares about them suing me for wasting their time. But that episode resulted in my first publishing acceptance, and those butterflies of apprehension turned into butterflies of excitement. Here’s hoping the same thing happens again.        

What gets your butterflies fluttering?

Monday, 23 March 2015


Another first! I’m the featured writer over at Alfie Dog Fiction.

(Does this make me a celebrity?)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

That was the year that was

The only thing wrong with our holiday in Scotland last year was that it was too short. We wanted to see so many places but only had enough time for brief visits to a handful of them. Even before we packed to go home, we decided to treat ourselves to another holiday there next September.

As we’re barely into spring, I hadn’t thought about looking for accommodation yet, but my husband found a holiday cottage on the Internet that ticked all our boxes and booked it.

So, that’s September sorted.

Thinking about summer reminded me of a summer holiday story I began writing for People’s Friend last year, only to abandon it when I realised I’d left it too late to submit to them. I found the story and dusted it off, but before I set to work to finish it I checked PF’s fiction editor’s blog. Good job I did, because I discovered she was buying summer themed stories back in February and is now looking at autumn/ winter tales.

Plan B – I’m now busy writing a Christmas story. I’ve also made a note in the back of my diary to submit the summer story in January 2016.

How was your 2015?

How far ahead do you plan?

Monday, 2 March 2015

One for the readers

What would we do without readers?

     Writers would have to talk to themselves all the time (instead of just most of it).
     Publishers would go out of business.
     There’d be no need for bookshops or libraries.
     Even Amazon’s profits would tumble …

Which is why I was so pleased to see this competition for readers.
Alfie Dog Fiction is offering £100 for a very short – 30 to 50 words – review of one of its titles downloaded during March. Not bad for an investment of only 39p, the cost of its short story ebooks.

If you want to have a go, but can’t decide which story to choose from the 1,600 currently available, may I humbly suggest you take a look at my stories? I promise I won’t be offended if you write a less-than-glowing review of one of them, but I will be delighted if you win the prize!

Pass it on …

Monday, 23 February 2015


Isn’t it wonderful when you don’t have to spend ages trying to invent a clever plot and interesting characters because you suddenly find a ready-made story right in front of you? One such serendipitous moment happened while I was doing a spot of late night shopping, and it didn’t take much creativity on my part to turn it into this 75-word story for Paragraph Planet

With much thanks to an anonymous, middle-aged shelf stacker and Aretha Franklin!

Have you ever been given a story?