Diary of a Writer -November?

With the help of the knitters of Mayfield Salisbury Parish church, the above box of blanket squares is now on its way to The Sunday Sock. It was on that blog that I discovered the OCS (Operation Christmas Sock) blanket square pattern. The national charity, Crisis, accepts socks for distribution to clients. Because of their different arrangements this year, blankets are also being distributed. Because a blanket is large, the Sunday Sock Blogger was looking for others to knit a few squares. The knitters of Mayfield Salisbury did not disappoint. Thank you all.

Knitting has always been one of my passions.The passion flower was photographed on a recent meander around Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden. What an asset the Garden is.

I should say writing, or story-telling, has also and is one of my passions, but what with one thing and another…

Still working on that serial. Still cudgeling the brains for a prompt or theme or even the glimour of an idea for the next pocket novel. Or even a short story.


One I wrote earlier is The Cemetery House and its in Dark Stories by Capital Writers.


Diary of a Writer – December writing prompt – When is that project too big?

Colourful Tree Decoration

Colourful Tree Decoration


When is that project too big? I’ve always loved knitting and have dabbled with crochet, too. I find, despairingly, that I sometimes set knitting aside when I have worked out how to complete a repeat of the pattern. The challenge has been met and the garment might never be finished.

On the other hand, I have a fairly responsible outlook and try very hard not to let people down. So, would I have crocheted this engaging tree decoration? Why did anyone do so?

It certainly brought a smile to my face when I encountered it in Argentina – so maybe that’s the answer to why. It did make people smile.

Many well known and much read authors also write stuff for fun that is out of their recognised genre. Or write in several genres. Shakespeare for instance wrote his wonderful sonnets as well as the plays. Thomas Hardy wrote novels and poetry. Georgette Heyer interspersed her Regencies with detective fiction.

A great many writers will just be taking a deep breath marking the end of their NaNoWriMo effort. I did that a couple of years ago and had to set the MS aside when December arrived. It’s a busy month.

However, I did go back to the unfinished MS and completed BELLA’S BETROTHAL which is the first of my historicals set in Edinburgh.

Bella’s Betrothal

I still love the energy and humour I read in Bella’s story and think it’s probably down to writing under pressure and also to writing about a city I love. I’ve come back to Regency Edinburgh for

Courting the Countess and the wip is also set here.

So are you into decorating random trees – or only the family Christmas Tree? That’s a whole other story and I might share some of it with you after the decorations come out of the attic.

How big was your biggest project? Are you writing an alphabetical series? A trilogy?

I heard recently that courting the Countess was recommended to a book group in Aberdeenshire. Hope you’re enjoying it, ladies and would love to know what you thought.

Fascinating I Am

Amy Winchester, Press Officer at Harper Collins, said recently that authors ought to pay attention to what is interesting about them as a person because nobody wants to interview a book. The full post from the online Romance Festival is here. So what’s interesting about me? Can I find five things you didn’t know, Dear Reader?

Fascinating Fact One:  I’ve been able to knit since I was four – taught by my granny.

The colour of romance Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The colour of romance
Image courtesy of Gregory Szarkiewicz / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Fascinating Fact Two:

I’ve swum in the sea off Stromboli.

Fascinating Fact Three: I have medals for Highland Dancing prowess.

Dancing shoes with medals

Dancing shoes with medals

Fascinating Fact Four:

Food is my favourite food. Oh, all right, spinach soup with a dash of cream and sprinkling of nutmeg.

Fascinating Fact Five: I have been interviewed on telly. Lasted maybe ten seconds, so there’s opportunity for the other fourteen minutes and 50 seconds. Thanks, Andy, something to aim for.

So there you go. What is it that the reading/writing public doesn’t know about you? Share it here.

http://goo.gl/pASdjp Mariah’s Marriage amazon US

“Oh, Mariah, let us not quarrel. We will be married within the month. At least your papa’s house contains plenty of books. You may practise throwing them.” anne stenhouse

http://goo.gl/NxYxj5 Mariah’s Marriage UK

http://goo.gl/PKptQg Bella’s Betrothal US

 …a solitary figure ahead among some gorse and shrubs. Charles thought she made a beautiful picture in her riding habit with the exquisite hat Jenny Menzies wished to inherit. He thought the girl might get it sooner rather than later if he followed his instincts. At that precise moment, he wanted to shake Bella hard. Then he would lock her in the castle in Strath Menzies and hold her forever. anne stenhouse

http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Bella’s Betrothal UK


html https://www.omnilit.com/product-mariah039smarriage-1173550-149.html



Writing, Just Writing

A secret garden

A secret garden

Some people will recognise this wee chap. He sits guarding the entrance to a ‘secret’ garden somewhere in the north-east of Scotland. I’ve visited there on several occasions and enjoyed peace, spectacular scenery and warm hospitality. It’s a place where I’ve retreated to write and written. I have fond memories and I’m grateful.

Back at the ranch, it’s not so easy to carve out the time to write and once you do there’s always the pull of what else is going on around and about. As the days and weeks pass online marketing becomes more of an issue and other things, like writing the next novel or story or play, have to fight even harder for attention. I mention this for two reasons.

First up is having just deleted around 6,000 unwanted spam e-mails from the my post office box I use. As hardly anyone ever sends me a bona-fide e-mail to that box, I rarely go there. This turns out to be a huge mistake. Why do people send, over and over, e-mails about floor mops, accounts I don’t have with banks, pharmaceutical preparations for the enhancement of an organ I don’t have? So, in trying to be accessible to people who might want to ask a genuine question, I’m deluged by rubbish that has to dealt with and steals my time.

Second in my problems’ list is the unwritten. I was replying to a FB post when I realised I’d probably written a blog post about the same subject. I can’t track it down, but the gist was this: I hate finishing anything once I’ve worked out the puzzle. So, my husband should think himself lucky that there’s all those jars of marmalade downstairs. I can’t think how many times I’ve made it. When it comes to knitting, same problem. After I’ve seen how the pattern looks, I find it incredibly hard to complete the garment. That’s the insidious attraction of FB and Twitter. Every post brings something new and interesting. A challenge. A puzzle to unravel.

http://goo.gl/NxYxj5 Mariah’s Marriage at amazon.co.uk
http://goo.gl/pASdjp Mariah’s Marriage at amazon.com
http://goo.gl/3yj8U1 Bella’s Betrothal at amazon.com Australia
http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Bella’s Betrothal at amazon.co.uk UK
http://goo.gl/PKptQg Bella’s Betrothal at amazon.com

Keeping on going with the regular is so hard, but in the end that’s what creates. I need a deadline. Is there an editor out there? Even just a little chap to wave me in and guard the door of time would be a help.