Friday, 30 September 2016

Never Giving Up On Your Dream

    Next week will be the first anniversary of the publication of my second book, Salvation Hyperlink To Lost Souls. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

    I can honestly say I feel blessed in being able to do something that I love and enjoy each day. However, it hasn't always been plain sailing as any published author will know. For example, trying to promote myself went against the grain, as the nature of the beast is that writers are generally solitary souls.

    I'm not talking about promoting myself and my first book once published, but long before that. When as I did, try initially to get agents and publishers interested in my work. I quickly realised that I only had a small window of opportunity to impress and to do that I better make it good.

    Being rejected can feel personal and after ....ty-something rejection letter/emails I wanted to throw in the towel. But, why would I give up on the one thing that I really had fun doing? Of course, I didn't and like buses a few publication opportunities came along all at the one time.

    The publishing industry has changed over the last few years and self-publishing gives all authors the chance for their voices to be heard. Within the next few weeks I'll be publishing a book of small poems with KDP. It's the first time I've dipped my toes into the waters of self-publishing and I'm climbing a new part of my learning curve.

    That's one of the things that is fantastic about being a writer in today's world,with the push of a button your words can be read by all and there is no reason at all to think about giving up on your dream.








Monday, 26 September 2016

Farewell to Arnie

Looking towards The Swilken Bridge
     St Andrews in Scotland like the rest of the golfing world will  today be in mourning, after hearing of the death of Arnold Palmer yesterday.

    However, St Andrews and the British Open Championship have a lot to thank Palmer for. The golfing great visited the historic town in 1960 to take part in the centenary year of the championship and while he didn't win, he most certainly helped put the tournament on the map.

    St Andrews and its Old Course were of course already on the map. But the university there, recognised Arnold's sporting achievements and gave him an Honorary Doctorate in 2010.

    Three years later, on the university's 600th anniversary, they introduced their first ever golf scholarship. The golfer happily endorsed it and the, Arnold Palmer Scholarship, came to fruition. The university being one of only two in the world which can award students, with this prestigious titled program. This program allows both male and female students from all over the world to combine their talent for golf and academic studies. A great stepping stone for anyone.

    ARNOLD DANIEL PALMER September 10, 1929 - September 25, 2016

Friday, 23 September 2016

Freedom to Read


    Governments and individuals continually criticise countries who don't school their children. Lack of education we know breeds intolerance and bigotry amongst the population. So, why is it that amongst us there are people who want to and succeed in having books banned?

    Banned Books Week's annual celebration of the freedom to read, commences September 25 until October, and this year they are celebrating diversity. The authors of books being from diverse backgrounds because of their colour, sexual orientation, and even their disabilities are amongst those on the list.  More information can be found on

    Banning teenagers from reading books that contain offensive language, sex and violence most certainly does not prepare them from the world we live in. Yes, we may be hesitant for them to read material which we deem is inappropriate for their age-group, but banning literature is not the answer.

    Because, in my opinion  there will always be another kid in class that will happily tell their class-mates everything that we've been trying to shelter them from. In turn, this of course can lead to the teenager being totally misinformed.

    The word FREEDOM, is defined in Webster's integrated dictionary and thesaurus as, being free, esp independence, civil or political liberty, exemption from obligation and frankness.

    Frankness is the key word; we have to be able to be candid otherwise we are continuing to stoke the fire of hatred that is already burning in the world.




Monday, 19 September 2016

I Love to Boogie!

    Three teenage girls with permed hair, sit cross-legged on the floor, in front of a portable record player that is stacked with 45rpm vinyl discs. They chat excitably about the singles of their favourite pop-stars, they had purchased at the weekend.

    Each teenager is eager to have her idol's music dominate the evening, however tonight the threesome are in Joyce's home and she is a Marc Bolan and T-Rex fan. The walls of her bedroom are adorned with their posters, her wardrobe bulges with flared trousers, platform soled boots and velvet jackets as she is a dedicated follower of not just T-Rex but all that is glam rock.

    I was one of those girls that night and while I was a David Cassidy fan, I did love to dance to T-Rex's music. Last weekend I did have an excuse to have a little boogie to the music of the 1970's as it was the 39th anniversary of Bolan's premature death. Hearing songs such as, I Love to Boogie, Ride a White Swan, Metal Guru and Telegram Sam again, made me smile. Unfortunately, the man himself can't witness the pleasure he still gives old and new fans alike.


Friday, 16 September 2016

The Swim

I jump into the deep-blue sea

The water caresses my face, neck and body

Akin to that of the hands of a gentle lover

My limbs break through the mass

Each movement exhilarates

Acquainting me with my very soul

Monday, 12 September 2016

Splendiferous Words

    Every three months the respected, Oxford English Dictionary, updates its entries. According to their website, for September they have added 500 new words, phrases and senses.

    It never ceases to amaze me that there are many words that I use regularly, or hear on a daily basis that up until now weren't officially recognised words.

    There are four in particular on the list that caught my eye right away and thankfully I do use them in the correct context. They are card reader, casa, grandwean and witching hour. I think for anyone who isn't Scottish, grandwean meaning grandchild may be a word that will seem a little alien, however I think the others are easily worked out.
    If you want to drop by the OED website is the link.

    You never know you may find a new word that you can use in your new book, or even help you complete that difficult crossword puzzle.

    Have a splendiferous day!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Happy Anniversary Trekkers

    For Trekkers this month is an exciting time. Fifty years ago, Captain Kirk and his crew hit our screens and in honour of the sci-fi franchise, celebrations are being held in the next few days throughout the Universe. Sorry, the World to be exact.

    I can remember my mother had a crush on, James.T, but being a little too young to have crushes back in 1966, my super-hero was Mr Spock. So, much so that I wanted to be a Vulcan when I grew up. Thank goodness, I grew out of that notion and commuting to Vulcan daily for college was out of the question anyway.

    The characters were all larger than life and as the years progressed they had more depth. In any good story the reader, or viewer as it is in this case, wants to know a bit more about their favourite one. Scotty for example, as we know was Scottish; his accent told us that much. But, he had to have a home town. The writer chose Linlithgow, a historical town that I have featured in several posts, a place I believe he himself had visited and admired because of its beauty.

    Linlithgow itself a royal town, celebrates its connection to the Kings and Queens of Scotland regularly, however this weekend the town is lauding their son, Scotty. They will be showing, Star Trek II, Wrath of Khan in the 600 year-old palace, the first time such an event has taken place here. 

    For Star Trek fans, I think it will be an awesome experience and certainly they will be venturing into the unknown. 

    Live long, prosper and enjoy you celebrations.




Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Good Impressions!

    Apologies, my post is a little late. I've been entering some story competitions and unfortunately one size doesn't fit all.

    One short story I wanted to enter  into a 'Ghost Story' competition fitted into the requirements of the category, except for the word count. Should I forget entering, or do a rewrite?

    I decided to do a rewrite, because I like the story, however it took me a little longer than I expected, because I didn't want to lose the integrity of the piece.

    I carefully took it apart word by word, paragraph by paragraph. I do find it a little difficult to strip my stories back , however it's something that an author may be asked to do by their editor, or publisher.

    I was eventually happy with the revamped work, so let's hope the judges are impressed too!

Friday, 2 September 2016


    There are buildings you pass by most days and for some reason you just never seem to take any notice of them.

    Then one day, cha-ching. Suddenly you ask yourself, "What's that building there?" That's what I did the other day, when I noticed an old octagonal building dominating one of the streets in my local town.

    I can only think that I've been walking around with my eyes closed for years, because there aren't any other buildings like this in the town.

    On closer inspection I found that the shape of the building was not only different, but had an unique name too, The Tattie Kirk.

    Why it's called this, there are various explanations. (see picture below) Built in 1806 as a church (Kirk), the congregation of course has now departed and therefore the, Tattie, part of the name in my opinion will remain a mystery.

     The shape is supposed to keep the Devil away, and on reading this it struck a chord with me. A friend of mine who spent time based in Africa told me a story about a project he had been involved in. 

    He had been  helping to build homes for working communities who had been displaced due to war and the plans had to be strictly adhered to. The homes all had to be built circular shaped, for the same reason as this church is octagonal. No corners for any unwelcome spirits to hide in.

    It goes to show whether you live in Scotland, or Africa our superstitions are not miles apart.