Wednesday, 29 June 2016


A heath is an area of flattish, uncultivated land with low shrubs. Heath can also be used to describe those shrubs and is generally used for Erica or Calluna (types of heather).

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Summer's Coming

Yes, I know midsummer has come and gone, but I'm not referring to the time of year. A poem of mine called, 'Summer's Coming' has been selected as a star poem with Kishboo magazine.

I was runner up in their short story competition too! If you're one of the people who voted for me then thank you very much.

Saturday, 25 June 2016


Helen Yendell is running another of her fun competitions. Your task is to write a 100 word story incoporating the words provided. There's a £25 Amazon voucher prize.

The competition is to celebrate the release of Helen's new short story collection, The Sunshine Board.

Talking of sunshine, I'm enjoying a few days in the company of one of my brilliant writing friends and her talented artist husband (a certain marvellous photographer is with us too).

Wednesday, 22 June 2016


A sphinx is a creature with a woman's head and lion's body. Sometimes it has wings too. Sphinx-like means an enigmatic or inscrutable person.

When people refer to The Sphinx, they generally mean this one at Giza.

Monday, 20 June 2016


Thanks to Kathy Schilbach for reminding me about this rather good competition. The prize is a six day Arvon retreat in Shropshire. All you need to do to win is write 500 words on the theme of 'retreat' and be exceedingly lucky.

I'm going on my own writing retreat in the van soon. Today I signed the contract for a book which I've not yet finished writing, so I'll be busy. Will probably find to take a few pictures of castles and stuff though.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Just playing

If you write plays and would like £2,500 plus guaranteed production of your work, take a look here.

For everyone else, here's a big pot in amongst the ivy. What would you most like to discover in there?

Wednesday, 15 June 2016


Concretize means to make something concrete rather than abstract. Concrete in this case meaning 'existing in material form' not a mix of sand and cement.

Actually getting on and writing your story, as opposed to just day dreaming about seeing it in a bookshop, will concretize your brilliant idea into something you can submit for publication.

Concretize may also be spelled as concretise.

(This is an old photo of the booksigning for my first ever published book. It's now available in a newer edition.)

Sunday, 12 June 2016


On The Premises are running a free to enter writing competition with the theme of darkness. You have until September to come up with between 1,000 and 5,000 words and could win $220. Anyone can enter. Unpublished stories only.

The same organisation also hold regular mini contests, with smaller prizes. These are free to enter too.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


If you're writing a thriller and would like to win £4,000 then this competition is for you! As long as you can get the first 3,000 words and a plot summary done by the end of the month, then you're in with a chance. UK residents only.

Thanks to Sheila Crosby for telling me about this one. Sheila's writing her own thriller, set in a similar location to the one pictured and from what I've seen of it so far, it's going to be good.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016


Altruism is unselfishness, concern for other people or regard for others. An altruist is a person who behaves altruistically.

Btw, running this blog isn't simply an altruistic action on my part. You're supposed to be suckered into buying my books!

p.s. I've switched over to summer weight hair. Don't blame if it now rains for two months.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Way back when

If you fancy blogging about education, you might like to enter this competition and be in with a chance to win up to $2,500.

The themes are here.

At school (see - that links to education) the subject I got the highest grade for was history. I got an A and back then, that's the highest grade you could get. I digress and have forgotten where this was going, except that I intended to end up with another excuse to post castle pictures. Let's just pretend that happened, OK?

Thursday, 2 June 2016


Popshot magazine are currently looking for submissions on the theme of hope. They don't currently pay (but are attempting to gain funding which will allow them to do so). Contributors copies are offered though, which is something.

Thanks to Nicola for bringing this to my attention.

They accept illustrations too. Dn't think I'll send any, but I will pop a few shots I've taken recently into this post and hope you like them ...

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

IWSG - June

June already! That means it's IWSG time.

There are a lot of emotions connected with writing fizzing away inside of me at the moment. Insecurity is in the mix, but largely drowned out by the others.

There's excitement over a potential new project, optimism about that and my short stories. Anticipation of trips away in the van (my mobile office) where I hope to meet up with some of my writing buddies.  There's also a touch of doubt that I'm going to fit in everything this summer.

I'd much rather be busy than bored though, so it's mostly good. How about you?