Wednesday 27 June 2018


The word gizzit isn't in my dictionary and I'll be surprised if it's in yours. Does that mean it isn't a real word? Not in my opinion. I reckon if it has meaning to the person who uses it, and at least some of the audience, then it's a real word.

A gizzit is a freebie, usually given out for promotional or marketing reasons. The word is a shortened form of 'give us it' which I suppose is the reaction those who're offering them want. Not A Drop To Drink is a freebie, and I hope people want to download a copy.

My friend Susan Jones made these key rings and fridge magnets for me, to help me promote my books (see here if you'd like her to make you some). Aren't they nice? Actually they may be a bit too nice to use as gizzits, so I'll have to think of other ways to use them. Susan suggested attaching a keyring to any bags I use, so it will always be on display. Any good suggestions for other ways to use these, and where to display the fridge magnets?

Now you know what a gizzit is (or maybe you knew already) do you agree with me that it's a real word?

Wednesday 20 June 2018


Obviously air is the mix of gasses we breathe and which birds, planes and balloons fly in. It can also refer to our manner or behaviour e.g. at times Patsy has the air of a romantic writer (I believe it's the pink scarf and celtic clip, which do it) and we can put on airs and graces, in the hope of making an impression.

To air the laundry is to warm it (usually done inside, not out in the fresh air). We can open windows to air a room, or open our lungs (or tap away madly on social media) to air a grievance. Melodious music can also be referred to as an air.

My latest short story collection is In The Garden Air. I've dedicated it to my late grandparents, all of whom were very keen gardeners who encouraged me to develop that same passion. I'm lucky in that the three of them lived long enough to see me create gardens of my own (sadly I never knew the fourth).

My current garden contains plants raised from seeds, cuttings and divisions which were once in their gardens. Whenever I'm in the garden, it feels a little as though in some way they're still with me – my memories of them really are in the garden air.

Granny and Grandma were both great readers. They'd have been delighted to hold books I'd written, and thrilled to see my stories in the magazines they read, so I know they'd have been pleased to see their names in the front of In The Garden Air, which is the fourth of my plant and garden themed collections and contains 24 stories.


Wednesday 13 June 2018


A nugget is a lump of gold, or other precious substance, as found in the earth. It can also mean anything else which is valuable for its size, particularly something abstract such as a useful nugget of information.

As I lack both lumps of gold and the skill to photograph abstract concepts, here's a picture of Hev-Ock. She may be small, but I treasure her. My oldest (yet still incredibly youthful) friend gave her to me for luck and since then she's been a little nugget of inspiration.

Wednesday 6 June 2018


It's summer – and there are plenty of distractions from writing. I mean the definitions of 'something that distracts; an interuption' and a relaxation from work, amusement. Those are good forms of distraction and for me involve being out in the garden, or away in the camper van.
 Being distracted is often associated with a loss of concentration on the job in hand. Another, far less pleasant, meaning of distraction is confusion, perplexity – even a frenzy of madness. For example, trying to promote my latest book of short stories drives me to distraction

If I was suffering in either of those ways, I'd definitely be needing the help of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, who'd no doubt reassure me that I'm not alone in often being distracted and probably offer advice on overcoming the issue. They're good like that!
For a writer, being considered distracting is an excellent thing. We want to make the reader forget the reality around them and immerse themselves in the worlds our words create. I've had readers tell me they've been so distracted by my novels that they've missed their stop on a train, let the dinner burn or continued reading long after they'd planned to stop.

I'm sorry about the spoiled food and hope they weren't late for anything fun, but otherwise very pleased by such comments.

If you've written a really distracting unpublished novel, and live in the UK then you might like to enter it in this competition and be in with the chance of winning £30,000. Gosh, just planning what to spend that cash on could keep me distracted for hours!