Friday, 29 July 2016

Another writer's home

We're still on our travels - which is partly why I've not been online as much as usual. The other reason is that I've been busy writing, but I'm having trouble convincing people of that one ...

Anyway, here are some photo's of Rudyard Kipling's home.

That is his actual (reassuringly untidy) desk.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


A proclivity is a tendency or an inclination. For example, I have a proclivity to eat cake and wear purple. So much so that I even did both at our wedding - which was a little over four years ago! Doesn't seem so long.

I was able to stand unaided, we were just pretending that even wearing heels I'm considerably shorter than Gary. Why we were doing that I have no idea. Perhaps we just have a proclivity to be daft?

Care to share any of your proclivities with me?

Thursday, 21 July 2016

A writer's home

We're on our travels in the van again and have been to some fabulous places. Here's one with a literary connection. It's Sissinghurt Castle, formerly the home of Vita Sackville west and Harold Nicholson, both of whom were writers. In the tower is the physical Hogarth Press which Virginia Wolf used to start her publishing company and later gave to Vita.

 Admittedly I went mostly for the flowers, but that's not the point. (For more of them see here)

It hasn't all been sightseeing. I've been writing too - honestly I have.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


A flintlock is an old type of gun which requires the spark from a flint to fire.  It can also mean the device used to produce that spark.

There were flintlock rifles as well as much larger guns which could fire shots weighing up to 32 lb on board HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar.

I didn't get to keep any description of gun (nor that hat, sadly) but I do have the jacket and a piece of flint just like those which would have been used in a flintlock.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Be heard

Bibliphone are running another It's free to enter and the prize is to have your story produced in audio format.
1,000 word short story competition.

I entered last time and although I wasn't the actual winner, they liked mine so much they went ahead and did mine too. You can listen to it here or download a text version here.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Double Latin

We're currently touring in the mobile writing retreat. One recent visit was to Lullingstone Roman Villa. The ruins and artefacts were interesting of course, but there was also something which captured my writer's imagination - Latin.

I was aware that some people still studied this language and that Latin terms are used for plant names and mottos (in my last day job I sometimes had to say 'honi soit qui mal y pense').

What I hadn't realised was that so many Latin phrases are still in common use. If you've ever drone on ad naseum  about the dramatis personae acting on an ad hoc or de facto basis, inhabiting terra firma, et cetera in your magnum opus, then you were speaking Latin!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Working really hard.

We're away in the mobile writing retreat. Hmmm, looks like I might be gone quite some time...

Because I have a book to write - not because I'm giving in to distractions. Nooo.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Things I must get better at ...

For this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group post, I'm listing a few things which I'd like to be better at.

1. Keeping cake crumbs out of the keyboard.

2. Not writing pratice when it should be pratise (and vice versa).

3. Avoiding getting distracted by the internet and then convincing myself I was working hard all day.

4. Having my photo* taken without blinking!

5. Focusing on my weaknesses instead of strengths and therefore feeling insecure.

Do you have bad habits you'd like to break?

*Taken on Monday and yes, that is HRH.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Guest Post by Charlie Britten

Today I have a guest post by Charlie Britten (who in real life is Rosemary Johnson)

One of the best things about Patsy’s blog is the free writing competitions which she finds for us every week.  Comps are great for new writers, and not-so-new writers, struggling to get their work out there, but, although the individual fees for each competition may not be steep - £5 here and £10 there – if you enter a lot of comps, it can mount up.  

I enter a lot of comps because I need to find markets for my short stories and I’m planning shortly also to get my Nano novel into shape for novel and first page comps.  I’m also (unpaid) Competitions Manager for the Association of Christian Writers.  Our current ACW comp is almost free.  In fact, it’s a snitch at £3 for a first entry and £2 for subsequent entries.  All you need to do is write a thousand words (1000), fiction or non-fiction, about someone (or several people) putting Christian ethos into practical action.  The first place prize is £20, second place £15 and third place £10.  All three winners will also receive a Street Pastors mug and the winning entry will be considered for publication in Christian (our ACW quarterly magazine.  For more details, visit

You don’t have to be a Christian to enter.  Anyway, who could check, apart from Him upstairs?  And He’s not one of the judges (of this writing comp anyway).  The comp judges are actually a professional editor and published author of short stories (and, no, I’m not naming names).  

In my ACW role, I’ve discovered that there aren’t many Christian writing comps this side of the pond.  There are loads in North America, although some of them tend to be pricy, even if they do present big prizes, and some adopt a political stance which British Christians are not comfortable with.  So I feel ACW is filling a gap in the market, and we’re hoping to develop it.

I really enjoy blogging, on writing, the books I’m reading and occasionally on everyday life, at  Do drop in.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Picture this

This post is either news of this free to enter non-fiction travel writing competition, or a thinly disguised excuse to post more pictures of our recent trip to the west country ...

For more lovely images of the area, do take a look at the work of artist Stephen Thomas.