Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Day of Distractions!

Charlie-dog is a lot better so today was earmarked for finishing the Christmas story I started last week.

Distraction the First (well, it could have been one but I was good and didn't let it be):

My book from Lucy Diamond arrived. Over You has a fantastic cover and the blurb on the back cover is intriguing. But I didn't dare open the book because I knew if I did I'd never get my story finished.

Distraction the Second:

A sudden and very heavy downpour. A neighbour, his 2 greyhounds and his gorgeous son (almost a year old), dressed for a walk in the sun - well, the neighbour and his son were dressed for a walk in the sun - in need of shelter. The delightful distraction of a house full of dogs, a baby to read to and play noisy games with lasted an hour.

Distraction the Third:

When the rain stopped and we waved our unexpected visitors off, another visitor arrived. This time a half-drowned hen. Yes, a hen! If you've seen the picture of our house up the hill, you'll have noticed we've no near neighbours. So heaven knows where the hen came from.
She was very tame and walked into the house and through to the kitchen as if she owned the place. I made a couple of phone calls but the 2 families way down in the valley who keep hens hadn't got an awol one. We couldn't keep her, the fox and her cubs come into our garden every night. Phoned someone who is known for giving a good home to stray hens, ducks and even a turkey found wandering on the main road.
An hour later he and his wife arrived to collect the hen (not showing much surprise when I said it was in the kitchen eating cornflakes) and, naturally, stayed a while for a brew and a chat.

Distraction the Fourth:

Waved off the hen and her new owners, came into the study to finish the story. A few minutes later, husband knocks on the window and tells me to 'Come outside, quick'.
This time it was a lamb who'd fallen down the narrow gap in front of the barn door. It's such a narrow gap, impossible to work out how the lamb fell down it. She hadn't rolled down or she'd have been on her back (no room to turn herself over and stand) but she was on her feet.
Somehow I lowered myself down and managed to lift the lamb so husband could get a grip on her and pull.

Luckily, that was the last of the distractions.
I've finished the Christmas story! Can't let it sit as long as usual, am sending it off tomorrow.

And also tomorrow... I'm going to start reading Over You.

Don't know how to get the time to show GMT; it's now 22:40

Saturday, 26 July 2008


I entered a competition on Lucy Diamond's blog - had to make an anagram from Lucy Diamond Over You.
And I won! My prize is a signed copy of Lucy's book.
Lucy now has a 'write a limerick' comp on her blog with a fantastic prize for the winner, so hop over to her blog and enter. http://beinglucydiamond.blogspot.com/ Hmm, you'll probably have to copy and paste that - I haven't mastered the link thingie yet.

When I read about that comp, it reminded me of the first prize I ever won. It was for a limerick and I was 8. And, yes, I can still remember it:
I thought I saw an elephant
Floating in the sky
I looked again
And saw it was
A red and white bow-tie.

Friday, 18 July 2008

How Time Flies!

It’s almost three weeks since I became a blogger and, OK, I haven’t blogged very often so I guess I’m not a real one yet.
I have been writing, though. I now have 8 short stories out at different magazines and 2 more written. I’ll let them ‘sit’ for a few more days before re-reading them – then off they’ll go.

What are your favourite things about Christmas?

I’m asking because over on "Writing and Stuff", Annie mentions Christmas stories.
That brings me back to the title of this post. Time does fly and if I don’t get a move on I won’t have time to write and sub stories for the Christmas-time issues.

Oh, and I bet time seems to be flying for Sara Hantz, too. It’s her birthday so why not pop over and wish her Happy Birthday?

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Source of Inspiration

Womag made a comment on my previous post that reminded me of how often I use the area I live in as a source of inspiration. In my novella 'Prescription for Happiness', Rose and her little niece lived in my ‘house up the hill’. A story I’ve just sent to one of the women’s magazines has a local moorland setting.
The strange thing is, more often than not it’s a character – or characters – who appear in my mind first. Then when I get to know them, whether they are old or young, married or single, alive or a ghost, they so often end up living here. Sometimes it’s here as it is now, other times as how I imagine (or know from research) it was in earlier times.
Although my Pebbledown Bay series for children is set in a fictitious seaside area, things that have happened here sneaked their way into those books and, similarly, some of the animal happenings in the books I wrote in the Animal Ark series were based on experiences I’ve had here.
It isn’t as though I’ve always lived in this area, I was born and lived in Middlesex for eleven years and I’ve lived in a few different parts of Cheshire and Lincolnshire and in three different places in Lancashire as well.
So, referring back to Womag’s comment – I guess I do find living here a source of inspiration.
Who else finds inspiration from the area they live in or visit regularly?