Wednesday, 27 March 2013


To yomp is to march with heavy equipment across country. Cameras are heavy. So are lenses. And tripods.

I'm not complaining you understand. I love helping my husband with his work and I'm sure he'd carry my notebook and pen if I asked him to.

Here's a site you might like to take a look at; it lists lots of writing opportunities, saving you legwork.

Or perhaps you'd rather just sit back and read? I have a story in the April issue of Woman's Weekly Fiction Special too.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Rain stops procrastination

The weather has been so bad I haven't been able to get out in the garden, or otherwise find excuses not to work. As a result I've sent off some entries to competitions such as this one which could win me $150, and this one which could win me $100 and this poetry one with a $1000 prize and this one for a snazzy pen and I've had a try at winning tea with Alexander McCall Smith. There's still time for you to have a got at all of them.

(I haven't entered this one or this, but don't let that put you off having a go if you think the feedback would be useful.)

Then I made a cake. Lemon drizzle, it seemed appropriate. Do you have a weather appropriate food choice?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Did you know a noggin was a unit of alcohol? I didn't. Apparently it's 1/4 pint.

I've only ever used the word to mean 'head'. My dictionary doesn't mention that use at all so I'm wondering if anyone else uses it or it's just one of those weird words my family use.

If I was to drink 1/4 pint of the stuff I've got in that glass I'd have a very sore noggin the following morning. (That almost hardly ever happens.)

Those of my followers who live in the US or Canada might like to try this competition to win a copy of  Office 2013 and a copy of Stephen Kings 'On Writing' - with all the good parts marked! (Thanks to Marion for telling me about this one)

If you can write a story 'on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics (or their predecessor states), or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989' you'll probably like this chance to win £300.

Here's a competition for stories in any genre that's open to anyone and everyone. There's a theme of crime and a prize of £100.

One last thing - there are new stories up on Alfie Dog Fiction, including one of mine.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Keeping it Real

Inion N Mathair have nominated me for The Reality Award - thank you both so much.

The rules are - Visit the blog of the person who nominated you and link to them on your post. Answer the questions, nominate more bloggers and let then know. That doesn't sound too difficult.

If you could change one thing, what would it be?

The world, I'd make it fairer. If I had two goes at this I'd also change a 'thanks but no thanks' to a 'we'd love to publish'.

If you could repeat an age, what would it be?

I'll just stick where I am, thanks. 

What one thing really scares you?

Nothing. I don't mean I'm fearless; there are any number of situations which would scare me if I were in them but I don't spend time worrying that they might happen.

If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?

Whichever editor had the most of my submissions at the time. I'd quickly accept them all.

I'm nominating - Anne Rainbowmaker (poetry and writing info) Penelope Hellyer (lovely garden photos and planting tips) Teresa Ashby (her dog Indy, stories and other delightful stuff) Charlie Britten (book reviews, writing news) Vikki (cake, writing and cake) Carol (all kinds of writing stuff) Jane Risdon (uncategorisable) Sally Quilford (mostly writing) and Linda King (writing)

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


The word of the week is peck. You probably already new it meant to nip or pick up with a beak or a hasty kiss.

Did you know a peck is also a unit of measurement for dried goods? I did, but had thought it was a tiny and vague amount (like a pinch or a sprinkle). Actually it's 1/4 of a bushel.

Still none the wiser? That's two gallons or around nine litres.

Here's a short story competition with short story prizes and short notice!

And here's one of my short stories (which you can read for free)

Friday, 8 March 2013

My glamorous new life (Part 2 - The Catch)

Well that went well! And the good news (he informs me) is I can go on as many more photoshoots with him as I like.

I haven't been eating more cake than usual but I was wearing more clothes than usual - two pairs of trousers, three jumpers, a fleece, body warmer, padded coat, two hats and the lovely new boots and (high vis) jacket he promised me.

Anyway, on with the competitions ...

If you're LGBT and you've published three novels already you can enter this competition. It doesn't seem right to me that an author's sexuality should be a consideration but the organisers obviously don't agree.

If you can write the opening to the sequel of Navegator then you might win £100. First though you'll have to read the first book which costs £18 so although it's technically a free to enter competition it's not the best deal I've ever come across.

Here's a flash writing competition with $250 prize. Only 'catch' with this is that all the entries will be published on the blog. You might not mind that.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

I am a writer!

This is it, I have nowhere to hide. The day job is behind me (I was made redundant last week) which means I'm a full time writer. And that means I have to write - not just when I feel like it or when an idea strikes but for a fair amount of time most days. I'll have to promote my short stories and books too.

Am I insecure? Gosh yes. What if I don't have any more success than I did when I wrote in my spare time. What if I get blocked or bored and actually do worse than before? What if sharing office space with my husband causes friction? I'm so glad I have the support of my blog buddies and the lovely Insecure Writer's Support Group to help me. I'm sure there will be times when I need you.

I'm excited too. This is what I've wanted for a long time. Even if it doesn't work out and I need to get a proper job I'll have tried my dream for a little while. (btw, I have the new footwear now - might not be quite what some of you were picturing)

I hope that you all get a chance to experience whatever it is you really want. Is that to write full time, or do you have a different aim?

Here's a competition to win a copy of Office 2013. All you have to write is a caption for a photo.

Click here and scroll to the bottom to read one of my (very) short stories.

Monday, 4 March 2013

My glamorous new life

That's it then; I've finished the day job and am now a full time writer (for a while at least).

I've pictured several scenarios for this. At one extreme is me lying on a chaise lounge dictating my latest masterpiece to a minion who'll do all that pesky editing, proofreading and promotion while I drink champagne at glitzy book launches and award ceremonies. Unlikely. At the other extreme is me scratching away in a cold dark attic and then eating the manuscripts because I can't afford food.

Just because the first one is unlikely it doesn't mean it can't happen, right? (The picture shows me at the most glamorous event my writing has so far taken me)

In all my imagined versions of life as a writer I do have to actually come up with some stories so I'm going to get on with that straight away. Well, almost straight away.

My lovely husband suggested I might like to spend a couple of nights in London with him first. We'll be staying at this new place along the Thames and he'll buy me new boots, jacket and accessories. Sounds good, eh? I'm sure there can't possibly be a catch ...

When I get back I'm going to look at Gayle's competition list and see which of the 140+ I want to enter.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Have a drink on me

Not a Drop to Drink is now FREE! (US link) Please do download it. If you don't have a kindle you can read it on your computer or smartphone (if appropriate you'll be prompted to download a free app for this when you download the book)

Happy St David's Day! (The picture is from my garden but not taken this year - my daffs aren't out yet)