Nurturing the seed

1) My novels, so far, have been prompted and grown from, firstly, a hook line from my early days in creative writing at Ormskirk College ‘Kathy’s hand trembled holding the knife’ started off ‘Loving in Fear.’  Loving in Fear
My involvement in Liverpool’s ‘Sea Odyssey’ in 2012 initiated ‘An Ocean Divide’; a family saga of love, hate, greed, regret, and sorrow told over three decades. And ‘Run, Amy, Run!’ evolved from stories of how a woman coped with living day to day as a partially homeless person when her benefit was stopped. An Ocean Divide
2) I think research is a must when writing about a certain area or era. To create authenticity, I download maps and search for street names to help me visualize. When I was writing ‘An Ocean Divide’ the time spanned from 1912 to 1940; lots of style changes and events happening (I almost left out the Great War, oops! My bad.) One reader commented on how impressed she was with the research. I only touched on things because the story is mainly about the family, but it was nice that it was noted. Even little things like the material of the wedding dress and the bridal bouquet and headdress, it’s easy to overlook these small observations.
3) I’m not disciplined in sticking to an agenda; I might start off with good intentions but become easily distracted; time management is something I’d love to be able to stick to, alas Facebook is just one of my downfalls. One of my other problems is editing, I edit every time I open a file, can’t just leave it until it’s finished, a bit like a scab, I have to keep picking at it.
4) I enjoy writing a scene as if I’m watching a film, I like to follow the actions of my characters as they play their parts; hopefully, it comes across as ‘show don’t tell’
5) I find playing a piece of music is a great help in catching the mood of the character. I listen to the piece that is affecting their actions and try to write that feeling into the scene.
6) Having a picture of a real person helps me engage with a character; I used Rob James Collier for Michael McBride in ‘An Ocean Divide’ and Adam Lambert was my muse for Adam in ‘Loving in Fear’ The characters from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ provided some of the people Amy came in contact with in ‘Run, Amy, run!’ Run, Amy, Run!
7) I don’t have any particular authors I follow. If I fancy a book I just buy it; I do like to try new authors, tried some of the established ones and not that impressed. I do love good literature (Can’t write it myself) but enjoy how some people have a way with words, but the story is the most important to me, it has to be something I can follow and enjoy.




I stole this notepad, well you couldn’t say stole exactly, because I didn’t take it from someone forcibly and not pay them for it. It arrived at my address along with a few other unsolicited mailings. Much like the type of post I receive more or less on a daily basis. Because I haven’t made the requested donation to the cause who sent the appeal, it has taken me over a week in deciding whether or not to write in it.

My problem is, I find that once I have replied with a donation, I not only become a regular on this charity list, but my address is somehow made known to all other charity requests – every charity – disaster – and appeal from across the globe dominates my mail. As I have set up small payments to a variety of causes and my chosen charities, I feel guilt-tripped for the ones that I don’t support, therefore I find that because I am unable to discard the items sent with the appeal, I have ended up with an assortment of Xmas and Birthday cards, baby socks, gloves and pens I am unable to use because I haven’t sent the £10 or £15 requested.

Besides not knowing where my donation might end up, I have my own problems,  worries, and a very personal funding interest. I fully understand why the genuine appeals are made but, as a pensioner, I can only face so much Misery and guilt.

Letters from Elsewhere: Ally

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Letters from Elsewhere

My visitor today is… well… I think I’ll leave it to Jennifer Young to introduce him.

Dear Reader

How strange it is to be writing a letter. We don’t do that any more.

We do all sorts of things instead. We use texts and we use Facebook messenger. If we’re feeling particularly in-your-face we might go public with our communications. (Twitter works particularly effectively in getting a prompt response from customer service, and even government, departments, or so I’ve learned.) But for all that buzz of digital information, digital communication and digital tracking, there’s still a place for letters.

You’ll be thinking love letters, or I imagine you will. And indeed, there’s little more moving than a thoughtfully-written note to cry out that it’s for your eyes only (perhaps with a few judicious crossings-out, with like changed to love). After all, nobody ties up their texts with ribbon and…

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Letters from Elsewhere: Ellen Dunne

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Letters from ElsewhereI’m delighted to welcome Ellen Dunne to my blog. Ellen, who comes from the pages of An Ocean Divide by Elizabeth Grimes Brown, lives in Ireland. Her lover, Michael McBride, recently travelled to New York to join his older brothers in their expanding family construction company. Ellen hasn’t told anyone that she is pregnant with Michael’s baby. In July 1912 she writes a letter to Michael that distresses him deeply.

This letter is sent with a heavy heart, Michael; you of all people will know how difficult it is for me to write the words you are about to read.

On Friday of last week, I became Mrs Patrick Lafferty.  Now I felt that I should be the one to tell you of my recent nuptials, and not out of any malice, Michael. I’m sure you will agree and understand that I would not stoop to that. I wouldn’t be wanting you to hear…

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