Monday, 26 September 2016


I'm wanting to keep in touch with readers and writers alike and learn how they cope with how to focus on one piece of work at a time. I have ideas coming out of my ears and so different topics and medium. There is a TV show I am trying to work up ready to pitch. This is a real toughie. There is a new book to get working on and ideas for a film I am co writing with three other fabulous people. ALL of which interest and enthuse me. And how do I stop my over active brain from thinking "Oh what a story there must be there", whenever I see an unusual event or person. Being ever curious about the world at large is sometimes a brake on creativity with the thought processes stifling the actual physical work of writing.Hmm, I clearly need a deadline, none of which are present. SO, without a deadline how to focus? Well, I think it is something my Gran called discipline! Oh what a tough word this can be. One I must give more time and effort to. Any suggestions would be welcome.
In the meantime I am giving you a sample extract from one of the short stories in my latest book, RIDING THE FATE TRAIN,  a Collection of 37 Short Stories.

Extract from: Etched in Marble.

At Police Headquarters Detective Inspector Collins waltzed into his boss's office. The file was already open on the Chief's desk. A pair of steel grey eyes stared up at him over metal rimmed glasses. "What am I supposed to do with this? The case is closed. "I think, sir, I've discovered a connection." "To what?" "Eastern Europe. Mafia. Illegal weapons. Murder." The Chief groaned. "Any concrete evidence?" "Not exactly concrete evidence, sir. Not yet."The Chief slammed shut the file."You know what new evidence means. It means new concrete evidence!"

The Inspector shrugged helplessly. He had a gut feeling about what an informant had told him but so far that was all it was. His boss picked up the file. "You know how it is with resources."  Indeed Collins did know how it was with resources. The office had to account, in triplicate, for everything, including their annual box of bloody paper clips. The file was pushed towards his face."Anyhow, what connection can there be? He was a dirty alcoholic git." "An ex Army alcoholic git, sir. He was into weapons. " "So? I am ex Army. I was into weapons. Does it follow that I have connections with the Russian Mafia?"  The Inspector wouldn't be at all surprised if it did but he wasn't about to say so. The boss's final retort had an edge to it."Come back if and when you have concrete evidence."

Grabbing the file Collins marched back to his desk and flopped into his chair. Bloody resources he thought. Most of the budget was spent on technology. Good policing needed more than computers. It needed individual brains and good snouts and absolute piles of bloody paper clips! He'd show that four eyed boss of his.

Hope this wets your appetite. There is a link ready for you to purchase. And do please let me know how you enjoy the stories and a review on amazon would be most appreciated..

Thursday, 15 September 2016


Yes, I am guilty. I confess. I have procrastinated for over five days about what to talk about next. But now I know. It is about procrastination, which could be said to be the enemy of progress. What would get done if everyone procrastinated for ever? Would the world still be waiting for the wheel to be invented? Or was the wheel discovered rather than invented? Nature has many examples of circular movements...However I digress. Procrastination would not have helped the first form of written communication being made and continued to be improved and broadened..Has this made for the best possible world? Has the rapid progress of the last century been for the good of all humankind? The answer will depend upon a personal point of view. I consider that procrastination can be foe or friend, And so it is in my case. I am champing at the bit to begin the next book in the Day and Knight series. I have the basic premis of the plot. I already have my two main characters, Holly Day and Lucy Knight. I know what mystery they will uncover and I  am desperate to start. Yet, I wait and wait. I procrastinate. For what? That beautiful incredulous spark of  creativity? Awe? A perfect plot layout? Days slip by into weeks and still I procrastinate which would seem to be my foe. And yet, experience tells me that if I do wait until it feels right, in both my head and my heart then the story will be a much better one for my readers to enjoy. So in this sense procrastination is my friend. Of course this waiting does not stop me from thinking about the story and my characters. It does not stop me jotting down ideas and scenarios. I am working towards the book and one day soon, I hope, the spark will drive me into the usual frenzy of writing when I am sufficiently excited to write the full story.

 What started this theme off was my procrastinating about what gift to buy a friend for her birthday. I almost grabbed a dozen different things that would have been 'alright' and yet I could not make that leap to the cash registrar. I procrastinated for days and days and then, one day, I happened to see in a shop window the perfect gift. Excited, I rushed in and bought it. She was thrilled. So glad I procrastinated!

Sunday, 4 September 2016


A much better week for me. I have just finished reading The First Casualty by Ben Elton and it has made me feel humbled and very lucky. Plus green with envy at his writing skills. The Elton book is about Word War One, the so called Great War, which was, like all wars, a total disaster. So many people killed for a few metres of ground, on both sides of course. The ordinary man sent as sacrificial lambs to the slaughter. The fascinating thing about Elton is his power at writing satire. In the novel he shows clearly the obscenity of war, the soldiers living and dying in mud and water, men covered in lice and sores and living with rats in the trenches. Dead men  trampled over by the next wave of men sent 'over the top' to be machine gunned down by the opposing army and yet he also manages to weave into it stories of love and friendship, plus a little sex, but also a couple of scenes of Monty Pythonesque humour. A scene where ordinary soldiers discuss how WW1 started sums up the stupidity of it all. The satire is superb. (I confess that as I did my MA on political satire I have a special affinity with this genre.) Truth is of course the First Casualty of all wars...look at the current fiascos around the world. This now extends to the war on drugs, the war on terrorism and the war on refugees. Truth is so often hidden beneath the rhetoric. It's enough to make a person wonder.
And so I get down to wondering how to improve the first scenes of my next book.Not satire exactly but a little tongue in cheek, like Day and Knight was.