Round Robin – 2023 starts here

A new image from the talented Connie Vines

And the topic is: New Beginnings – how do you motivate yourself to get back to writing when life has interrupted your flow and/or, how do you begin a new writing challenge?

We’re under new management and I feel the first thing I want to do is thank the departing organiser, Rhobin Courtright. Her sterling efforts over a long period have prompted many interesting exchanges and made us think below the surface of our writers’ exteriors. Thank you, Rhobin, and all good wishes.

The second thing is to welcome the incoming organiser, Skye Taylor. I’m looking forward to continuing with these posts and thanks to Skye for takng it on.

A Quality Product

The celebrations around Christmastime are joyous but they are time-consuming. I hardly ever manage to write anything between the 3rd week of November and the 3rd week of January. This rules out participation in the competitions for a conference I go to. Yes, I know the competitions are the same or similar every year, and no, I cannot get organised to write entries in advance. However in early 2022 I did write an advent story about a Christmas tree and sent it in to the People’s Friend magazine. They bought it when seasonal stories were being read and it was published in December.


Next up, in the disruption stakes, is the annual marmalade extravaganza. The pic above is of an earlier year’s activity, but you get the idea – I nearly said flavour, but you’d have to taste it for that.

So, what now? Well, I think writing this post will help as it steers the mind back into work channels. Also, a little success goes a long way. The serial proposal I made to my editor last autumn has been accepted and I’ve been reading up on my character outlines and their story arcs. I’m gradually finding my mind full of what they’re gong to do next and that helps enormously.

In addition, the writing world’s social side has started up, too. Coffee with my friend and fellow Capital Writer, Kate Blackadder sparked a good exchange about our current projects. Early in February there’ll be an RNA Scottish chapter lunch so that, too, will be a stimulus. There are so many talented people in the RNA.

What is not helping is this new keyboard. It’s sticking. Hence I’m having either no letter depressed or three copies of it. The shift key is seizing and the ‘Enter’ one is sending the next para all the way down a page. It may be a visit to the accessories shop is on the horizon.

Below is a list of other robins and their approach to picking it up again. I’m sure there’ll be interesting tips to be learned.

best wishes for 2023,


Dr. Bob Rich   

Anne Graham 

Connie Vines   

Diane Bator     


Victoria Chatham

Fiona McGuire

Skye Taylor

Marci Baun


Welcome 2023

Happy New Year dear visitors. The image above is from my collection of ‘photographs I might find useful in the blog’ but am unikely to have noted where or when I took it. Ah well! Some things never change. I suspect it’s in a corner of the wonderfully Gothic Manchester Town Hall and I thought it would make a good set for Harry Potter filming.

Yes! I have set aside GH as the go-to comfort read and am re-reading the HP books from the beginning. This was a book group prompt. As the book group marked 25 years, we chose the first HP which was also marking 25. What a consumate story-teller Joanne Rowling is.

Let me explain about my new keyboard. It has brighter easy to read letters but I’m finding it difficult to establish a typing rhythm. So – we have the missing letter and also the repeated letter. Sorry, I’m hoping it improves or I may have to revert to the old one and buy a stronger light.

Contrary to the image of Scots at New Year, I was in the land of nod before eleven last night. However, I did cook a slighlty special meal this evening and again turned to an old and reliable cook book. My battered copy of Rosemary Hume and Muriel Downes -Cordon Bleue Cookery falls open at favourite recipes but also turns up trumps when some basic information is needed. How to stuff a pork fillet? was the question. You could use the paté leftover from the family card game lunch on Friday was the answer. Togeter with roasties using leftover goose fat and leftover brie, It was pretty satisfactory.

No resolutions here. They don’t work for me. However, I did clear the detritus from my desk and walked 15 mins to church and 15 mins back.