Tuesday, 14 August 2018


This is Part Three of a series of blogs I should have been writing from 1st June.

Over the years I have learnt that sometimes finding the right words isn’t always easy. Even as a writer we often struggle to express that moment or feeling in the way we want our readers to feel or understand what is happening. And, it’s even harder when you want to explain to someone personally, knowing that you are doing so in order to help them. Especially when that someone is a young adult. But more so when it is someone you care about.
Throughout my life I have always tried to offer suggestions or ideas to my children rather than telling them what they should do when a situation has arisen or where advice is required. My mantra has usually been: If you come with a question or problem I won’t tell you what to do. What I’ll do is give you a variety of paths with possible solutions and consequences. I can only listen and make these suggestions on how I think things might work out if you take a certain type of action. The decision as to which path you choose well, that’s down to you.
Besides, I never wanted to be the one who would say I told you so or was told why didn’t you make me do this. The decisions we take in our life affect us first but also many others around us. And it’s not easy.
I suppose that is why I write. Choosing the right words is far easier when you can write it down and then rub it out if they don’t make sense or its doesn’t sound right. Haven’t we all often wished we could have done the same in real life?
Unfortunately, with today’s modern social media we no longer have the option to delete. Once its out there in cyber space you are stuck with it. So, the decisions you make and what you say does affect a multitude of people. The damage you cause cannot be undone.
It’s also harder to accept when it’s being done to you. People who don’t think carefully before saying, writing or doing things that hurt others are uncaring and often selfish. And the closer to home it comes the more spiteful and hurtful the the perpetrator is. At least in the victim’s mind.
And so, just as you would when writing a story, think before you speak. Stop and read out loud before you click the send button as unlike the word document you cannot delete once it’s gone. 
And remember you may have had a few seconds of satisfaction but the hurt lasts and in the long run you will be the one who will suffer. From loss of friendship, loss of love and loss of self-worth. If you can’t respect others then you don’t respect yourself.

Friday, 10 August 2018


This is Part Two of a series of blogs I should have been writing from 1st June.
Being ‘down under’ for nearly three months visiting family means filling my time when they are working or doing their own thing. This year I decided to make some pre-arranged meetings with local Gold Coast authors and members of Queensland SCBWI – the Society of Children’s Book Writers & illustrators.
Having made my links prior to leaving the UK I was delighted to meet up with a few of the ladies from The Ten Pennies writers’ group. They have been around a few years now and have written a collective of short stories for young adults with some success. One of the ladies, Marion, invited me to join her at Broadbeach Library where the Australian writer Ally Blake was giving a Romance Writing Workshop.

Ally has been a Mills & Boon UK author for some time, having just written her 36th book and regularly does these workshops. She is a very popular speaker and at only $5 (approx. £3) the two-hour event, with a cup of tea/coffee was well worth the visit. I was, along with all those attending, fortunate enough to receive a copy of the workshop notes.
The workshop was open to all and was sold out very quickly with a waiting list. I was fortunate to attend but then I did plead the cause that I was a UK author visiting Oz. Maybe that helped a little?

                          ALLY BLAKE & MYSELF               LADIES FROM THE TEN PENNERS GROUP

As a SCBWI member I regularly attend similar workshops in Cardiff with the members of the Welsh faction and find them both enjoyable and informative. Whether you are an experienced writer or a novice such events are a benefit. So, check your local library and internet for similar workshops and go along. Apart from learning a few things you also get to meet some fabulous people.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018


This is Part One of a series of blogs I should have been writing from 1st June.

Not having blogged for some weeks I thought it time to do a bit of catching up. The reason for my sloppiness is that I have been or at this moment in time still am  in Australia visiting my family. And even though I had planned on blogging while travelling the best laid plans of mice and men etc somehow never seem to work out.

My husband and I left for Oz at the end of May. The idea was he would stay for 3 weeks  during which we would celebrate the grand-daughters 18th birthday. She’s the youngest from my youngest daughter from  a previous marriage. I have to admit that I am currently on husband number 3. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment! Who knows? Either that or I’m  just living a future novel - my life story. And what a life it’s been. However, I digress.

The first 3 weeks went well and in due course my husband returned to the UK where he quickly settled into the life of a bachelor for the next 2 months. That and visiting the two step-grand-children and doing all the grandfatherly stuff one does.

And so I duly moved in with my youngest daughter and her two, now young adults, kids. Knowing their would be times when they would be busy working or doing their own stuff I pre-organised some meet ups with local authors and members of the Queensland SCBWI Organisation. SCBWI stands for Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. I’ve been an International and UK member for sometime and thought it would be nice to link up. 

This year I didn’t get a hire car as my daughter had lots of hours owed her from work so we had planned on spending time together doing girlie things. Everything was going to plan. Or so I thought.

First thing to go wrong was one of grand-daughters having a car accident. Luckily she wasn’t hurt but it meant her car has been off the road now for over 4 weeks. This means my daughter has had to run her to work and collect her in the evening. Then a couple of weeks ago the eldest daughter flew off to the UK as their father has recently come out of hospital and needs some care. This means I have limited means to see my other two grand-children who live some distance away. And finally my youngest daughter has been head-hunted for a National Managerial position. This gave her two weeks to hand in her notice and pass over all responsibility to the next person.

Despite all this excitement we did manage to get some jobs done such as a visit to the opticians, got youngest grand-daughter to an interview at TAFE (equivalent of UK after school college) and managed to fit in a couple of trips to IKEA.; My  youngest daughters favourite shop. And it didn’t cost me very much this time either!! Not to mention the odd meals out and celebrating the other grand-daughters boyfriends 21st and hers in advance as I will be back home when she turns 21. We also managed to attend to Teddy Bear’s Picnic with Teddy’s in attendance. Boy what a life they lead here down under!

And in between all this I have been reviewing and editing a very long manuscript. Hang on aren’t I supposed to be on holiday??

At the end of the day I have now decided to give up organising anything unless it’s absolutely necessary. At my age who needs the stress or worry of it? I think I will just go with the flow.