Wednesday 24 April 2019


To go withershins means to travel in a direction contrary to the sun's course and is sometimes thought to be unlucky. Another meaning of withershins is anticlockwise.

Withershins can also be wrtten as widdershins. I'm not sure which version I like best – do you have a preference?

Did you leave a comment on this post to be in the draw for a paperback copy of Escape To The Country? You have until midnight to try.

Wednesday 17 April 2019


Cosy, as I'm sure you know, means comfortable and warm. It can also mean friendly, as in a cosy relationship

Less favourably the word can be used to imply complacency. It probably is a good plan to leave the cosiness of the easy and familiar to try something different occasionally.

A cosy can be a canopied seat for two, or something intended to keep something else warm – usually a pot of tea or a boiled egg. My friend Anne Rainbow gave me this lovely tea cosy.

Cosy crime is a genre of writing, which although it may deal with terrible crimes avoids gore and gruesomely graphic details. I think this book qualifies – it's warm too.

The prize for this free to enter short story competition is a cosy pair of writing gloves. I've absolutely nothing against cash as a competition prize, but I have a soft spot for those which offer something more unusual. Perhaps that's because my first ever writing success (17 years ago!) earned me cake and books tokens.

What's the cosiest thing you can think of?

Wednesday 10 April 2019


To assuage is to calm or soothe a person or issue. It also means to relieve or appease an appetite or desire. 

My wish to travel around in our campervan and visit castles and stuff can only be assuaged by travelling around in our campervan and visiting castles and stuff. If Gary reads this post and takes the hint then he'll be an assuager and the resulting trip will be a form of assuagement.

If like me you enjoy travelling, then don't forget the 'Just Back' travel writing competition. It's free to enter and there's a weekly £250 prize – winning that might assuage your guilt over how much you spent on ice creams!

And if you fancy trying other non-fiction writing competitions, you'll find lots here. (Unlike the ones I feature here, not all these are free to enter.)

I'm not at all keen on promoting my books, but having them on price promotion helps assuage my reluctance. Keep It In The Family, a collection of 25 family themed stories, is currently available for 99p/99c. 

Wednesday 3 April 2019

Scene and IWSG

A scene is a place where events (real or fictional) take place. It can also be a description of an event, or a continuous portion of a play, film or book  – those are usually what we mean be a scene in writing.

If you display strong emotions in public then you could be accused of making a scene. The view or landscape can also be considered a scene. Is the photo a tranquil woodland scene, or about to become the scene of the crime?

A scene can also be a way of life, subculture or interest.

Today, I'm one of the Insecure Writer's Support Group co-hosts along with J.H. Moncrieff Natalie Aguirre and Chemist Ken who're all supporting our Ninja Captain Alex.

This month's optional question is –  If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be? (examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

I have several free to enter writing competitions for you today. Whether you enter this sci-fi/horror short story competition, these stage and radio play competitions, this one for prose up to 17,000 words or even the monologue competition, you'll probably need scenes in your work.

Is entering writing competitions your scene? (If it is, keep coming back – I add more free entry ones most weeks.)