Monday, 13 November 2017

CTST update: book launch

You knew it was coming and here it is: Nine Lives: Monologues and first-person stories for reading aloud is now available to buy online from the Amazon Kindle store here or in paperback direct from me. I was going to share this on Friday, but I didn't have the books in my grubby little hands and didn't want to tempt fate.
Here's the back-cover blurb: 
Meet the cast: a no-nonsense woman in her 60s who has a brush with authority; a down-at-heel private eye; a weary young mother from times past; a Victorian businessman afraid of progress; an Edwardian woman with her heart set on romance; a young man struggling with life; a teenage girl badly let down; a very special make-up artist; and a young mum who gets the last laugh. Each has a story to tell.  
Now, I don't mind if you read these stories aloud or keep them in your head. Either way, feel free to be creative with the voices. You might hear something different from the ones that were on my mind when I wrote the stories
As always, I'd love to hear your comments.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Celebrate the small things 10/11

What can I say about this week? There are potential celebrations on the horizon, but it's too soon to share them with any confidence. I'll let you know when I know. 

Instead, I'll just tell you this. Coming out of yoga on Tuesday into the pouring rain, a couple of us grumbled about the cold. One woman put us all in our place: 'I don't mind it,' she said. 'I'm just glad to be alive.'  Will that do for today?

Have a good weekend, folks.

Celebrate the Small Things  is a blog hop co-hosted by Lexa Cain at: Lexa Cain,  L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge , and Tonja Drecker @ Tidbits Blog. (You can go to any of these sites to add your name to the links, if you want to participate. )

Sunday, 5 November 2017

A story for bonfire night

Some time ago I wrote a 100-word story for a competition organised by writer Morgen Bailey. If you're not familiar with her, I strongly recommend you pop over to her website here. In fact, if you visit today (5th November) you can download one of her books free of charge. Anyway, my little story was highly commended, so I won one of Morgen's online courses. Since it was on the theme of fireworks, it seems appropriate to share it today:


She clutched his hand beneath the canopy of colour and light, as the explosions illuminated families and friends, and other couples just like them, their gasps visible in the autumn chill. They felt the energy poised to be released, hanging in the air and eager to be tasted and absorbed. Then at last it exploded in unexpected and delightful ways. The next morning, the damp grass was littered with debris where expectation had come down to earth. She picked her way through the empty tubes and fallen rockets, avoiding soot and scorch marks, reminders of last night’s anticipation now spent.

*A type of firework. An effect that hangs and trails in the air not unlike a willow, often strobing or twinkling. Commonly used in finale sequences to fill the sky with long-lasting effects that often persist to near ground level.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Celebrate the small things

I have a rather surprising celebration today. About a month ago, I took a phone call Geraldine from the Nectar Points helpline. She wanted to check my address because, she said, I'd won a prize in one of Sainsbury's Swipe to Win competitions.

In case you're not familiar with this, every so often Saisnbury's will send out marketing emails about various promotions and to take part all you have to do is click 'I'm In' or somesuch and put in your Nectar card number. Then when you buy the qualifying product in store you are automatically entered into the draw. I generally click to say I'll enter regardless of what I'm expected to buy and then think no more about it.

Anyway, Geraldine told me I'd won a 40-inch Samsung TV. Yeah right, I thought. This must be a prank.  But no: a TV has been delivered! I must have bought a Cadbury's product at just the right time. I'm not really a material girl, but I'm not sending the TV back!

Have a good weekend, folks.
If you would like to join this bloghop, send your details to  and she will do the necessary.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Lights, camera, action!

I had a bit of fun this morning when I popped into town to record a video interview for a colleague's website. He runs a company that helps author's self-publish and asked me if I'd do a little testimonial for him, which I was happy to do.

So notwithstanding that I'm desperately in need of a haircut and received wisdom says a middle-aged face doesn't look its best until noon, I was there at half-nine doing a Q&A in front of the camera. I can stand up and speak to a room of yoga students without a script, but was quite nervous about the prospect of answering some basic questions about a subject I know well. Anyway, I did it and the chaps seemed pleased, so that's that.

Only about 30 seconds will be used and I'll wait to see the results before I decide whether or not to post a link.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Another year on planet earth

I'm delighted that this year the clock's have fallen back on my birthday, so I have an extra hour to spend celebrating. Mr Thorley is cooking me homemade pizza and lemon drizzle cake, and this evening we are going to the Royal Theatre in Northampton for a ghost walk. Spooky!

Every birthday is an opportunity to reflect, as well as look forward. Here are five things I thought I'd be able to do by now:

  • Slice bread without creating a triangular loaf
  • Choose wine by its label, not its price
  • Check my car's tyre pressure
  • Walk down stairs in high heels
  • Peel an orange using just my fingernails without getting juice all the way up to armpits.
I am still a work in progress.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Celebrate the small things

I've only had one work deadline this week, which was to write an article for the Christmas issue of  Smallholder magazine. Once that was done, I was able to catch up on a few bits and pieces that I had set aside 'for when I get a minute'. I am celebrating efficiency.

My online FutureLearn blues piano course is up and running. Despite the blurb saying we need a couple of hours a week for this, it's clear I need to work much harder than that if I'm to keep up. I've recorded and uploaded my first attempt at improvising for the comments of my fellow learners. They have been kind. This week's challenge has been to play 7th 10ths, which means putting my little finger on a C and stretching my thumb all the way up to the E that is ten notes away, while also putting a finger on the flattened 7th note, B-flat. Still with me? Let's just say it's a bit much for my small hands. I am celebrating determination.

Mr Thorley and I were invited out for a meal last Sunday with some Bahai friends to mark the bicentenary of the birth of their faith's founder, Baha'u'llah. I'm not a follower, but amongst its key teachings is 'The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens' and 'So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.' Isn't that sensible? I am celebrating tolerance.

Have a good weekend, folks.

If you would like to join this bloghop, send your details to  and she will do the necessary.