Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Kelpies Prize 2018

More than pleased to find that I've been short listed in the annual Kelpies Prize a wonderful competition run by Floris Books in Edinburgh, which champions children's and young adults stories with a Scottish feel. Fingers and pretty much everything else very crossed that my novel Haunted Tide can make the final hurdle!  It's been long in the writing, actually, had many edits and rethinks but it's a story I really like and believe in. So obviously I'm delighted that somebody else really likes and believes in it too! Here are the other two shortlisters and what a pedigree!  Hannah Foley and Robin Scott-Elliot. Look them up on and you'll see what I'm up against! 

                Hannah and Scott   

Whatever happens, I'm sure all three of us find it great that someone out there appreciates the work we do. Hard slog, that's what it is and it's nice to feature on a list! Anyway, it means a day trip up the road with my little band of supporters to meet another little band of supporters. If you're going to be at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and you've got space in your schedule, the award ceremony takes place at The Party Pavilion at 7.30pm.  Can't wait! Thanks for stopping by and reading my exciting news!

Monday, 2 July 2018

From under the piles of stuff

Like a mole I've come out blinking and shrugging and realise that over a year has gone by without me noticing it. How on earth did that happen? Anyone's guess, I suppose. Being busy is my usual excuse so I'll stick to that because, folks, it's true!  Travelling, singing, running workshops, writing songs, writing stories, shovelling away rejection emails. You know what, it was much easier when rejections were just bits of paper smacking the mat. Now it's cheery emails. Ever tried shovelling away cheery emails that aren't cheery at all? Even a mole can't do that. Anyway. Not to be discouraged I'm working on a number of things, from picture book texts for wee ones to novels for older ones with bits and pieces in between.  Birds are featuring largely. Not sure why except our garden is full of bird feeders. If my husband puts up any more we'll have a forest.  Our feathered pals do get themselves into all sorts of scrapes, I've noticed, watching them while I'm thinking through stories. Some even fly themselves into my stories. Now, though I don't profess to know so very much about them I recognise a few and so can, with all confidence, let our growing bunch of little people know what the names are.  On the subject of little people, our lovelies surprise and delight me at every turn but especially when they want to hear one of my stories. 'We can't sleep without a story out of your head,' they say. Of course it's a ruse, after three stories from books, and I'm on my knees wishing they'd close their eyes, yet, blinking and shrugging, I snuggle up and tell them something from my head. Sometimes they fall asleep in the middle, sometimes they don't. Sometimes they say, that's a funny one. Which is good enough for me. Right. I'm off, under a pile of something. See you later. 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Piles of stuff.

I know, folks. Over six months. Don't fuss. I'm a busy person. Piles of stuff to do. Mind you, I seem to have been very, very busy and with little to show for it in many ways. For example, my writing room still looks like a  hurricane slipped under the door without knocking. I may have mentioned the state of play years back when I first started this sporadic Blog. In other ways, though, being busy has produced some new songs, which I've gigged and which people seemed to have liked. So not all bad. Written lots of stories, too, sold them and had them published. Edited lots of novel pages. What's a pile of stuff in a corner? OK. So there aren't so many corners in a room so things tend to spill over into other, less angular places such as the middle of the floor, or under other heaps, or on top of other composting stacks. I just step over what I can, like a bloke does (rather refreshing actually) or  hide them with another mound of paper. Hamster like.  Easy-peasy. And it's called being creative. So I'm allowed. And so to the Olympics, the annual accounts (more hills of litter) and a recent song writing experience with the wonderful Gretchen Peters. Some things are put there in front of you and you Just Have To. Full stop. Rather like Wimbledon. You Just Have To. I've noticed leaves falling. Has anyone else? Do you think that's why August and Autumn share some of the same letters? Something to ponder. I've been given an amazing new computer screen. It's the size of a small wall. Great for hiding piles of stuff behind. Which is where I'll leave it for now and possibly for ever, Amen.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Happy New Year everyone. Yes, I  know it's February already, but things have been busy, I've been away and came back to a pile of stuff, not all of it pushed through the letter box, which had to be sorted, things on a list which had to be ticked off and just a bit of jet lag thrown in. Crikey. Wears me out just reading that. But here I am again, bright eyed, bushy tailed (honestly) and ticking off The Blog. So where am I this very windy February day? My house is still standing, bits have not blown off, for which I am truly grateful and blessed, and my family still love me. As for everything else... Still writing. Most important. Still getting published. Most important. Waiting for other writerly things to  happen. Most important.  OK so three things in a row all of which are most important? Yes sir. If people can get away with apostrophes all over the place (or should I say apostrophe's -yuk yuk yuk) and the oddest spellings of things (because some greater nation than ours indulges - guess which one) then I can get away with three mosts in a line. Because as you know writing is my job. To date I have written four novels, a whole pile of songs and heaps of short stories. And now I'm thinking about novel number five. Keeping at it. Most Important. One of these days I might be able to boast that novel number two is heading for the shelves in a good book shop near you. Patient. Be patient. No, no, that's a note to me. Anyway, as I say, Happy New Year to everyone. It's only February. There's time.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

November 11 comes round. I'll be wearing my poppy tomorrow no matter that people seem to be fussing about such things. I think there's more to fuss about, frankly, but hey ho. So poppy and two minutes silence. Meanwhile working hard, waiting hard, and hoping hard that the planets are in alignment and lady luck is on my side. Fingers crossed that people like my novel, that people like my songs but mostly that people start liking each other. That's the biggest hope of all.

Friday, 9 October 2015

May Day 1916

OK so you may not know this but I've always loved reading about and researching into the Great War. Why? You loyal folk might well ask and it's nothing to do with the centenary. It stems from childhood, in fact, stems from finding big fat books sitting on the shelves at home, obviously belonging to my dad, and being curious about them. One book which particularly grabbed my attention was called 'The First Day on the Somme.' I remember the cover which was black, white and red, but not the author. Sorry. However, though I didn't read it all, being young, I was very moved by what I did read, and the biggest shock was the number of soldiers who died on that first day. It's this which is behind the lyrics of my band's new single, 'May Day 1916'. It's about the letter sent by one woman to her husband who's on the Western Front. She knows nothing about The Somme and what's to come. Her letter brings a little piece of home to her husband, a little something about the children, the garden, that day's celebration. Nothing about what she really feels, her fears, her loneliness. She has no idea what's going to happen to her husband, or if he'll ever come home. Probably he doesn't. The letter is written with love. Anyway, we like it so much we thought we'd try to sell it and raise money for the Royal British Legion in the run up to Remembrance Day. So we're trying really hard to push it. We release the single on October 14. Available on download or on CD (one of four songs). If you're interested have a look at it on Youtube and wish us luck. Thank you.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

whoah, time's winged chariot

Seems to me that time just slips away, like someone pulling the mat from under you. Please stop and give me a breather, why don't you? Ah well, some requests are made to be left ungranted. But here I am anyway. Lots going on , very little of it to do with writing and that's OK because it's needs must and it doesn't stop my head from filling with stuff which will be consigned, sooner or later, to the page or the screen. Having said that, still writing to earn a meagre crust (let's face it, some crusts are lovely, especially with butter plastered on top) and working on the novel. Apropos that, changed the sex of the main character which has given me immense freedom. Should have done that ages ago I reckon. Living and learning. This writing lark. Still singing, by the way, squeezing in the odd gig, still thinking about new songs. Wish me luck, you canny folk, drop me a line if you feel the urge.