Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Readers of Tomorrow...

It was way back in the mists of time, all the way back to when I was a little girl - so many, many moons ago - that I first developed my intense love of books and reading.

Nothing gave me greater pleasure than the weekly visit to our local library where I exchanged a handful of clammy library tickets for a teetering pile of storybooks. Heaven!

The Secret Seven. The Famous Five. The Rilloby Fair and other 'R' Mysteries (Enid Blyton was a major she-ro of mine! I was absolutely gutted when I found out she was dead!) These were the books I devoured, often well into the 'silent watches of the night'* (* Shamelessly snaffled(!) from  A-Pony-For-Jill.)

If we want our children to choose books over today's vast range of electronic gadgetry, then those stories had better be Harry-Potter-H. O. T.

However, (You sensed one of those was coming, right?) if, on the other hand, we'd prefer our children to turn away from the written word forever and plug into the matrix, instead, then school home-reading books are definitely the right way to go.

For little folk, the love of reading can be a fragile flame, all too easy to snuff out...

So here's an example of the stimulating[/sarcasm]reading matter I retrieved from my daughter's school bag tonight.

She's eight, in case you were wondering. Eight!!!

'Find out what scaffolding is made from, what else it's used for, * and what it's like being a scaffolder...'

(Er, let's not, eh?)

Remember that episode of Peppa Pig where Daddy Pig keeps banging on about a book about Adventures With Concrete? Yes, it's THAT dull!

Sunday, 10 September 2017

On Writing On ...

While writing isn't the hardest job in the world - not by a long shot - it's not all Barbara-Cartland-swanning-about-whilst-dictating-wearing-a-floaty-pastel-chiffon-gown, either.

Honestly? Sometimes it's a flipping hard slog.

So do I have advice for any would-be authors? Indeed I do. 

Always show up at your keyboard/notebook at the same time every day, especially on those days when you're just not feeling 'inspired'. Few of us can afford to wait until that elusive Muse decided to put in an appearance. In my case, she usually shows up a few minutes after I do... and what a glorious rush that can be. Sheer bliss!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'll get up and happy-dance about my kitchen - with the cat, poor thing! - when I've managed to nail a particular sentence/paragraph/chapter. Oh, yeah, baby! 

On some days I might hammer down 3k words, on other days I might only manage 300, but that's fine. Any forward momentum is good momentum, imo. You just have to keep your wagon rolling forward at a reasonable clip so that the uphill stretches are that much bit easier to tackle.

Keep on keeping on. That's the key!

That mountain is miiine!!!

The Winners of This Month's Giveaway...

Once again the mighty Randomizer has spoken. 

Congratulations go to ...

Deborah Hill 
Kitty Garley

Nice work, ladies. You've just won yourselves a signed paperback copy of one of my books. Easy as pie, wasn't it?

More exclusive subscriber giveaways very soon.

Have YOU signed up as a super secret subscriber yet?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

You Have To Be In It To Win It...

Hello, everyone.

Just to let you know I'll be giving away two signed paperback copies of my books this month to two lucky newsletter subscribers.

To be in with a chance of winning a copy, simply sign-up HERE.  Not only that, but you'll also be able to download a couple of free stories. Just my small way of saying thank you!


Sunday, 27 August 2017

More photos of Orkney...

Edge of Heaven...

When I was a child - long, long ago in the mists of time! - my family and I spent many happy holidays in the north of Scotland, right up there on its most northerly coast.

John O'Groats, Scrabster, Thurso, Cape Wrath. These were always such magical names to me, places that have always felt like home - more so, perhaps, than some of Scotland's more popular tourist spots. Granted, The North might not have the massive picturesque mountains of the Highlands, but its bleak, windswept vistas possess a savage beauty that have always fascinated me.

During those long-ago childhood holidays, I often stared out to sea, from the place where the land ended and out to where the horizon met the sky. In the distance, the looming grey hulk of a distant island beckoned in the distance.


Part of mainland Scotland but worlds apart. Belonging, but not quite attached. Almost like loose pearls that have rolled away from the main strand of a necklace. The land where the ghosts of Vikings mingle with our older neolithic ancestors. A place of standing stones and brochs, of ancient settlements, and endless acres of sky.

Sorry for waxing lyrical, but Orkney can make a poet out of the most unimaginative person.

Orkney. The place I'd always longed to visit but had never quite managed to get there...

Until now.

So, was it worth the wait?

The Old Man of Hoy

Hoy from the ferry

View of the Ness of Brodgar from our kitchen window.

Solitary Standing Stone. Birsay.

Bay of Skaill



Beads found in Skarabrae

Standing Stones of Stromness

Ring of Brodgar

The dig at Brodgar

Brodgar dig.

The dangerous Eynhallow Sound

The distant hills of Hoy, and low cloud over Brodgar

Evie Sands

Oh, yes, my lovelies. Definitely!

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