Scatter my Ashes

It’s almost exactly 22 years since my Mum died. She was only 65 years old, which is the age that I have reached now.

Today is St Valentine’s day, a day when love high on the agenda, so I thought that it is an appropriate day on which to reblog this post as an expression of my love for her.

Write to Inspire

Open Mic 01This is a poem that I wrote last year and recited during the Poetry Open Mic Evening at the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School 2018. It is about the scattering of my Mum’s ashes.

I posted it on my blog, but it has had no hits. That is probably because it is hidden away under my Titbits tab. If you’d like to read more of my poetry or you are ready for a few COL (chuckle out loud) moments, you should take a few minutes to explore some of the short items in the Titbits section.

Please leave comments to let me know what you think.

Hint: You’ll “hear” it better if you read it out loud.


The Bonar Bridge Rock

incorporating lines from Elisabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnet 43

Scatter my ashes on my rock,
On my rock where I played.
With Grandpa at the back of our croft,
On…

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The Old Mill – Released!

Intriguing! Added to my TBR mountain.

Trent's World (the Blog)

A stench lies on Avebury, New Hampshire. It isn’t something that one can smell, it is more of a psychic soot polluting everybody’s mood. No one recalls when it arrived, but there does seem to be a connection with the Old Mill and its mysterious new owners.

*

Following the trail of the local legend, the ghost of Martha Goode, Gill Baxter is driven to discover the truth behind the events of 1821 and, hopefully, prevent another “time of dying.” That trail, though, leads directly to The Old Mill.

***

The Old Mill was released today! You can find it on Amazon with the links below:

Kindle
US
UK
France
Canada
Australia
India

Paperback

US
UK
Canada
France
Germany
Italy


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Book Review: Perfectly Flawed: Living with Genetic Illness by Molvia Maddox

Don’t miss this great opportunity!

I have just hard from my friend, Molvia, who is the author of this inspirational book. It is no surprise that she is finding life to be very difficult since Krystie died.

She is selling off her stock of “Perfectly Flawed” on eBay. You can get your hands on a signed copy of this excellent book for just £10. I promise you: that is GREAT VALUE!

Click on this link to make your purchase.

Write to Inspire

It is with great sadness and heavy heart that I report the death of Krystie, a very courageous and inspirational young lady. I worked with her mother, Molvia, at the time that she published this book, which you must read. I was one of the first to review the book on Goodreads and Amazon and on BBC Radio Oxford.

Molvia and Krystie have continued to inspire me over the years.

My heart goes out to her family today as I re-post my original review in memory of Krystie. The bright flame of her spirit will burn forever in Molvia’s heart and in the hearts of many of her friends and family.

She may even be remembered by members of the musical group McFly. You can find out why by reading the book. I commend it to you.


Perfectly Flawed: Living with Genetic IllnessPerfectly Flawed: Living with Genetic Illness by Molvia Maddox

My rating: 4 of…

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#Writing tip: flashbacks (and how I avoid them)

At the moment, I am with Sue on her opinions on the use of flashbacks. She is a much more experienced and successful author than I, so you should read her original post.
I have recently been watching the TV series ‘The Serpent’. It makes me dizzy! It jumps back and forth in time and I spend my time trying to figure out where and when I am and putting effort into retro-fitting the current scene into the timeline that is in my head. I am determined to see it through to the end though.

I tried to make the second chapter of my current WIP novel a flashback. The first chapter is full of action, tragedy and strong emotion. The second chapter is the main protagonist’s reflection on her very happy times with one of the characters who dies in the first chapter, a whole decade back. I just could not get it to work. It bored me, so it would slay my readers!

Anyway, I recommend that you read Sue’s blog post. It is guaranteed to make you think.

Sue Moorcroft blog

I always think carefully before utilising flashbacks to reveal backstory. There are other techniques available.

A flashback gives information about backstory to the readers and usually involves a complete change of scene as the incident from the past takes centre stage. It moves the narrative back in time from the point it has reached – ‘flashing back’ to a prior point.

FOR: Flashbacks can be a fabulous way to manipulate a timeline – or two or more timelines – if your novel involves that structure.Or the storyline can be suspended for the flashback to take place at a point that creates a cliffhanger. Frequently, flashbacks are used to tell the readers the backstory. Some genres use them so much that their readers must enjoy them.

AGAINST: A flashback halts the action, so any momentum my story’s building up is lost. Even if it’s exciting and crammed with intrigue, a flashback…

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A Very Special Carrot Ranch Rodeo

estherchiltonblog

Many of you are familiar with the wonderful Carrot Ranch contests. I’d like to share this very special one with you and encourage you to enter:

Sue Vincent is one of those special bloggers that inspires people all over the world. Readers have long been galvanized by her posts about mythology, about ancient ruins and medieval churches, and her daily #midnighthaiku. Even more have participated in and grown as a result of her #writephoto prompts. In addition to posting her prompts, Sue has tirelessly supported other bloggers by sharing others’ responses to her 19,000 and counting followers.

Recently, Sue has been faced with a new and difficult challenge: lung cancer. You can follow her blog to find out more directly from her. The Covid pandemic has served not only to pose a specific threat to a person with a severe respiratory illness, but it has caused loss of human connection…

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Book Review: Naked Truths by Karen Botha

Naked TruthsNaked Truths by Karen Botha
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was OK and it was an enjoyable read. It could have been so much better though.

The ideas behind the plot were good and, like any good crime thriller, there were a few possible suspects. However, the conclusion was implausible and the police were nowhere near to having a viable case to take to the CPS. Even if they’d got to court with it, the defence lawyers would have ripped the evidence to shreds.

I can’t say too much more without giving any many spoilers. I’ve take the trouble to give the author plenty of valuable feedback though. I hope that she takes it in the spirit that is intended. She is very imaginative and creative and I am sure that she will produce many great crime thrillers in the future.

I also agree with some other reviewers that there are far too many grammatical and punctuation errors. I have noticed that there is an update available on Amazon for Kindle readers which may have eliminated these irritating errors.

What works very well is the way that the narrative alternates between the points of view of the three main protagonists.

Firstly, there is Lucy, a masseuse who is never shocked by the revelations of her clients in the privacy of her therapy room as they submit to the beneficial pressures of her knuckles and sharp elbows.

Then there is Giles, one of Lucy’s clients who has been seeking somebody like her to fill the gap left after his wife, Steph, died in suspicious circumstances from a heart condition. Steph had been a firefighter and a woman of action and spontaneity. To Giles, Lucy seems to be the perfect replacement.

Finally, there is Paula, Lucy’s best friend and a former police officer who turns her detective skills to trapping fly-tippers for the local council. Paula knows that Giles was the prime suspect in his wife’s death but she is afraid that revealing his past to Lucy will endanger their friendship.

I was also impressed by the brilliant writing of the sex scenes. They are very hot, authentic and certainly had my pulse racing and my temperature rising. The book could have benefited from a few more such scenes without negatively impacting the main storyline. They were relevant and I am sure that other readers would enjoy such interludes as much as I did.

I look forward to this author’s future offerings. With better proof-reading and a good police procedural advisor, she shows great promise.

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Free writing – Lights Out

What a beautiful piece of writing.
The reader has no choice but to be wrapped in the emotion.

E. De Sousa

When the light goes out – not the light in the bathroom or the upstairs closet – no, the light in your eyes; that dim orb of humanity, the apex of my focus, my lighthouse. When that fades, will I be gone too? Will the memory of my touch, those living kisses we shared under the moonlight – will they go too? Never to be remembered. Never to be mentioned. Never?

Am I invisible without your existence? The closeness of living our shared life bears that question. We sat and ate, breathing in and out, side by side, bearing the highs and lows like waves billowing against the sandbanks till our efforts waned and the tide drew out. The carnage of our choices remain dented in the sand, only to be washed away by the next generation and the next, the endless cycle of invisibility.

Your eyes are closing now…

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Dark Nightmare to Bright New Dawn

I watched a lot of the inauguration day on various TV news channels in the UK.

It made me feel very happy. The biggest moment for me was the presidential visit to Arlington with three former presidents standing in the background. It was very dignified and respectful. My heart was filled with pride and respect for my US, British and international comrades in arms, living and dead. I was very impressed by President Biden’s humility and his obvious connection with the citizens of America and their daily problems.

Finally, what a huge breath of fresh air is brought to the USA and to the world by your new Vice President. She is wonderful and has one of the warmest, most genuine smiles I have ever seen.

I am not stupid. There will be things that this pair do that I might disagree with, but the anger and frustration that I felt from across the Atlantic with the previous administration is gone.

The darkness is lifted. I am awaking from a gruesome nightmare into a new dawn.

Tomorrow is already a better day!

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TV Series Review: Death in Paradise

Rating: 5 out of 5.

It is hard to believe, but we, in UK, are already two episodes in to Season 10 of this wonderful series!

It is such easy viewing. There is nothing challenging in the story lines, so it is good to sit and relax to. It doesn’t get as dark as many modern crime thrillers that appear on our screens these days.

The lead character (four Detective Inspector actors so far) is always slightly flawed, which adds comedy value. They all do their best to blend in with the local culture, but they fall gloriously short. The latest DI struggles to stray from his habitual diet of fried chicken and chips and he seems to be allergic to everything.

Ralph Little as DI Neville Parker (Photo credit: Hello! Magazine)

Officer JP Hooper, recently promoted to Sergeant, is always over-trying to please everybody and he often succeeds, which surprises himself more than anybody else. He is such a likeable character.

The DS (three actors so far) is always the most sensible member of the team and is also very sexy.

Always on the periphery of any enquiry is Commissioner Selwyn Patterson. He usually appears to be a bit grumpy but adds wry humour and a smattering of wisdom to the end scenes.

I miss the Commissioner’s scatter-brained niece, Officer Ruby Patterson, in this series. She is hilarious.

As I said, this is great, comfort viewing. The bonus is that you can feel the Caribbean warmth of both the climate and the culture. The series is also a very welcome release from the depressing news streams which saturate our TV channels in 2021.

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