About Me

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United Kingdom
I've been creative writing all my life, though with various haitus(es) along the way. IFrom 2010 I started this blog and enjoyed sharing writing and other information with everyone. illness and bereavement supplied the more recent hiatus.

Friday 31 December 2010

Happy New Year

At the stroke of midnight"Auld Lang Syne" is sung to celebrate the start of the New Year and is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns and set to the tune of a traditional folk song.  It is well known over the world.

This year I am thankful for my special blogging friends, who are so numerous to mention, though I would like to pass on this award to:

Ellie at Ellie Garratt
Words Crafter at Rainy Day Wanderer
Old Kitty at Ten lives and second chances
Dominic de Mattos at Writes of Passage
Milo at In medias res
The Golden Eagle at Eagle's Ariel Perspective
Jingle Poetry for enjoying my novice poems
Jenn at You Know that Blog for giving me a forum to improve my haiku writing.
My special email pal Sharon Lucchessi.

And this award to:

Colene at The Journey
Karen at
Get On With It
Joanna at Bionic Writer
Jinksy at Pen is Mighter than the Sword
Michael at In Time
and Susan at Stony River for giving me a forum to flex my microfiction muscles.

Quirky versus Flawed

Now that I am back from visiting rellies I'd like to follow on another post to your fabulous discussions regarding Dysfunctional Protagonists.

So characters can be quirky without being flawed and vice versa. It's the quirky traits that stand out as endearing while the flaws are seen as stepping stones to maturity and awareness.

It is this that make the characters most memorable.

QUIRKY having or characterised by peculiar or unexpected traits /Out of the ordinary features.

e.g. Luna Lovegood

FLAWED marked, blemished or having other imperfections that createsa fault or weakness in a person's character/ personaity; mistake or shortcoming, making the characters much more real; more human.

e.g. Marvin the Paranoid Android suffers from extreme depression in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
One could also argue that as an android he is also quirky.

While both types of character stimulate our imaginations, our emotions and our interest, the trick seems to be in creating characters that the reader doesn't of tire too quickly and that they can still relate to and feel some empathy for despite any apparent flaws.

It is certainly food for thought when deigning one's characters for fiction.
Characters should have flaws to be well rounded and acceptably human, but how many of those characters we read are truly quirky?

Thursday 30 December 2010

Dysfunctional Protagonists

I've recently read an article in Writer's Forum Magazine by Vanda Inman suggesting that while we must be able to believe in our story characters as real people our heroes should be quirky .

It is said that to get your characters right, provides 50-70% of the success of the story. The right kind of sympathetic characters are vital to make the story believable.

This got me thinking about the personality of various popular children's heroes.

Of course while Harry Potter by J K Rowling wears glasses and has a lightning scar on his forehead, he's essentially an ordinary young boy and all-round-good-egg. Neville Longbottom is a great character, the likeable underdog, who comes into his own at the end of the series, which is heartwarming and empowering.

William in Just William by Richmal Cromptonseems to possess a bizarre logic that makes him appear as if he suffers from 'Semantic Pragmatic Disorder', but then maybe he was one of your favourites?

Then there are the eccentric and wild tomboy-ish characters such as Pippi Longstocking
by Astrid Lindgren and
Katy in What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge.

Having recently read three novels by a popular YA author, my feeling was that her MC's always apeared unbelievably self-absorbed, which doesn't appeal to me. While a protagonist should have flaws to make them human, surely it's the baddies we want our readers to hiss at rather than the goodies? We want our readers to love our main characters.

In adult literature I can think of Hercule Poirot as an acceptably eccentric, popular character.

Who are your favourite quirky characters?

Have you given your main characters eccentric and unique traits?

Are they human with relatable and interesting flaws ?

Hmmm, I shall have to rethink mine, perhaps!

Wednesday 29 December 2010

Frost Covered Haiku

Linkey with other entries here:                                                                     Life/ Beginnings http://youknowthatblog.com/                                                         Haiku Heights


Tuesday 28 December 2010

What did Santa bring you?

Here's a little peek at some of my loot.
Spot the writer's theme.

So, what writerly stuff did you guys get?

Celebrating Poetry

I am absolutely thrilled to say that I was nominated /voted to receive the above award.
Thank you so much.

This week's theme is Celebrations and Festivities,
though at the moment I think my brain is on holiday and my muse went along with it.
Do follow the link and enjoy the others' entries. 

The theme for 2 week's time is: 'A new Journey and the Road Ahead'

Monday 27 December 2010

Musical Micro Pigeons

Susan from Stony River sets a weekly
Challenge Picture each Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer.

On Brighton Beach the pigeons were discussing guano bombing raid tactics from as far back at the 1940's.  (104 characters with spaces)


"I Tourist here" said the visiting pigeon.
"Look see mate, I no can do Pidgin English." said his friend.

(106 characters with spaces)


Bert on the theme of pigeons:

Remembering others at Christmas Time:

What's this, a singing cat?

Saturday 25 December 2010



Passing around virtual gifts to all my blog friends/followers.
Grab a glass and plate and tuck in:

In our living room and in the conservatory

Friday 24 December 2010

Most Blessed Christmas

I was awarded this by  Jingle 
and would like to
pass it on to all those
who have commented
on my blog posts and followed me
in 2010
and thanks to Dom for giving me some better snow!

Bless you all.

Thursday 23 December 2010

Unexpected Plot Twists

Below is a peaceful drive scene for you to enjoy:
Click on the space below to view the clip

Do you try to add unexpected plot twists to your stories or keep them simple?

Best Blog Award

I am so excited, I've just received the Best Blog Award from Margo
Wow, awesome! Thank You.

Here are the award rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
3. Pass the award along to other bloggers who you think have the best blog.
4. Contact them to let them know about their award.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing this; if you are not anonymous, do you wish that you had started out anonymously so that you could be anonymous now?

I think if I'd been anonymous I would never have experienced the same level of support and great advice I have had since I joined blogland just this summer. It has been such a wonderful experience for me. I guess if to be anonymous would result in not enjoying the whole experience.

2. Describe an incident that shows your inner stubborn side.
Stubborn, me? That would be telling!

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
Someone who needs a decent hair cut and a good relaxing holiday! Oh and a lucky publishing break.

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?

Icecream Soda: just a dollop of ice cream with lemonade added.

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Read, watch DVD's of great films, go for long walks in the countryside, go to Costa Coffee. 

6. Is there something that you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I would love to be published one day.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?

I was a quiet, shy soul until I got to know someone.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what would you see?
Hmmm, the time I was pregnant for all of 5 weeks.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I'd say a little. My blog is primarily about writing topics, though I guess people like to see the personal touch as well and to share their own povs, like a conversation.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read a book or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

It depends on my mood. I think though I would enjoy the chat with the right person and save the book for later.

I am passing this blog award to:
Becky the

Wednesday 22 December 2010

Hooked on Haiku for Noel

Click blank rectangle to hear the enchanting voice of Ella
while you read the haiku below:

This week's theme: Noel or noël  (nowell) means Christmas,
derived from the French word Noël also meaning born.

Christmas Carolers
Good will towards everyone
Mince pies and mulled wine

Nativity Plays
Angel Gabriel grinning
Inn Keeper adlibs

Following a star
The Christmas story unfolds
Shared by all the world.

A star in the East
Turns to snowflakes in the West
Christmas is coming.

Decorations found
Resplendent pine trees sparkle
Needles everywhere

Snow falls deep outside
Kitties await Christmas treats
Will Santa make it?

The Winter Solstice
Turns short days into longer
Heralding rebirth

Oooh I just received this award from Kangaroobee's blog.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Reflecting on Poetry

THEME: ReflectionsInterpretations and Musings
I chose to reflect on dysfunctional relationships
Apologies, it's not festive or warm and fuzzy,
I'm afraid, but I hope it packs a punch!

Monday 20 December 2010

Well, Fair Dinkam

Well I am jumping for Joy because

I won a blog prize over at by Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs

ho is author of the 'Near Future' SciFi Thriller Breakthrough
and a copy of which he has awarded me.
I squealed so loudly that my hubby dropped everything to come and see (Hubby's been on call over the past few days sorting out the problems of UK railways in the snow) Thank you sooo much. I am dee-lighted! I can't wait for it to drop through my letter box.

And Ellie awarded me: BWS tips button
HUGE Thank yous!

By accepting the award I need to tell you what fair dinkum means to me:
While I believe the award stands for Friendship
I guess I've always thought Fair Dinkum meant:
'You've got a point there, I can't argue with that, that's fine by me'.
Passing on the award to other deserving bloggers, I nominate:
Michael @ In Time
Carolyn @ Serendipity

Melodious Christmas Microfiction

Susan from Stony River sets a weekly
Challenge Picture each Monday,
where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer
The Christmas party was through the woods to the Gingerbread House. Hansel & Gretel signed the note, though no-one had seen them in months. (138 characters with spaces)

Christmas MySpace Dividers

See also:


Don't you just love how Cliff sings 'fiayer'.


Friday 17 December 2010

So you wish you could Haiku?

So many people tell me they can't Haiku
and so many of them say they wish that they could.

Watch this great video clip. It helps understand the rhythm of poetry:
(click on rectangle to view clip)

To write Haikus there are just a few rules:

  1. The lines should not rhyme
  2. The first line has 5 syllables (e.g. Put on the ket tle)
  3. The second line has 7 syllables (e.g. Pol ly make a cup pa now)
  4. The last line has 5 syallables (e.g. Take it off a gain)
  5. Traditional haikus involve the seasons and nature.
  6. The second line usually brings the first and third into juxtaposition with one another, carrying two ideas for the same theme, the twist in the tale if you will.
  7. I prefer each line to stand alone as a sentence without enjambment.

Are you up for the challenge?
Or are you all shovelling snow, wrapping pressies and pouring more brandy over your Christmas cakes ? 
If not you could always write three lines about Christmas that have the 5,7,5 syllable structure and see how much fun haiku-ing can be.

This Wednesday you can link your Christmas haikus  to http://youknowthatblog.com/ who are also doing a Noel blog hop.
We'll do an impromtu haiku blog hop until Sunday 10pm UK time.
Don't forget to post up your entries by then.

1.Old Kitty 4.Roland D. Yeomans 7.i Zombie
2.Dominic 5.Ellie Garratt
3.Words Crafter/ Becky 6.http://greyscaleterritory.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-colours.html

Thursday 16 December 2010

Corporate Villains

CHECK OUT THIS GUEST BLOG HOP over at ELLIE GARRATT'S on the subject of Corporate Villians in your novels

by Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs
who is author of the 'Near Future' SciFi Thriller Breakthrough.


Are You an Unpublished Novelist hoping to succeed someday?

Maybe you've sold short stories to magazines?
Or perhaps you write purely for your own pleasure?
  • Do you stick to the word count exactly for short stories or keep it slightly under/ go slightly over?
  • How long do you sit on stories before you submit them?

What has been your best writing breakthrough?

What’s your next writing goal?

I’ve had non-fiction articles, bylines, letters and anecdotal stories to magazines published which has been great,

Getting a short story published in a Writing Magazine or Womag  is my next goal. 

I'm booked on a writing course in the New Year, which is exciting. Will tell more nearer the time, but I'll give you a clue here:
It's hosted by a successful short story writer whose name appears on one of the pages of my blog.

BTW Today is my 21st Wedding Anniversary. 

Thankfully my hubby doesn't need such subtle reminders!

Of course we haven't changed much ;O)

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Harmonious Haiku

What is it about Haiku that  draws you?
I love the fact that it encourages me to get reacquainted with words,
to encapsulate ideas in only a few syllables. How about you?

This week's theme: Harmonics

Click on blank box to see clip

Whale song echoing
Vibrations throughout the water
An eerie beauty.

Harmonica hums
Playing against breathy lips
A zithering sound.

An oscillation
Some musical overtones
melodious waves

Tuneful harmony
Exquisite dexterity
That strikes the right chord.

It's a haiku rap
I'm a versatile blogger
Harmonics my thang!