A night at the pictures.

Hubby and I went to the pictures ( movies?) for the first time in many years yesterday. The cinema was showing ‘Stan and Ollie’ about the last tour of Laurel and Hardy in Britain. I’m glad I was warned in advance that it was sad.

We live in Worthing and part of the appeal was that a scene was shot in the town. In face it was a pivotal moment and the Worthing lido looked good. We weren’t so sure about the hotel in Newcastle. perhaps someone could tell me if that was a genuine place?

It really did feel like a slice of history, although a bit more of Stan and Ollie’s previous acts  would have been even more entertaining. The tensions between the two men, and between their two wives were beautifully portrayed.

I must admit to having a tear in my eye when it ended.


Writing Crime

Wow – how difficult is that! I’ve been reading a lot of crime stories recently and am amazed at the plots. I love watching Vera on TV and find police shows interesting but I’m not so keen on police procedural novels. I think I need to identify with the detective and when it’s a grumpy old man I’m not always on his side. It’s different if it is a maverick rebel. Robert Goddard is good at writing those.

I am really trying to watch which posts get the most views as I would like to connect with a few more people. I think giving the posts a good title is probably key. I’ll see if this one works. meanwhile, I’ve done the short story for the competition. That’s two this month.

I use the bookworm picture when I’m posting about books or writing. Is this a good idea?bookwormclipart

Writing stories

How do you find a home for your short stories? Some folk put them on a blog, some people go in for competitions and others look out for opportunities on line. Of course one could always collect them in an anthology, or try sending them to “Scribble” and a lucky few get accepted by magazines.

It can feel good to get them onto a website on line, but then one is exposed to comments, or, even worse, one may still be ignored.

I tried one this month and I’ll let you know the result. Meanwhile I have almost completed my new talk on Sussex in Fiction and will try it out on the Sea Scribes at the next meeting of our writing group. I really need to concentrate on verses for the upcoming anthology but Brexit is getting in the way. I don’t seem able to concentrate on anything else at present. I am trying to write a story for an American competition but it’s crime and I don’t know how to do it so that both sides of the pond have nothing to criticise. The use of firearms is so different that I’ll have to find another method!bookwormclipart

Buying books

I never used to purchase books. I always used the library, and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to read the same book more than once. Then I began to write reviews and found if I did not write them as soon as I finished a novel I forgot what it was about and if I had already taken it back to the library I could not give it a fair review.

Of course, there are some writers whose stories stay with you for ever, but not many, especially as I read about two books a week.

So I started to buy books. not from bookshops but from amazon and not when they were full price but second hand. There are books I mean to buy but they are too new and too expensive at present. I am happy that my books are still available as used copies, although ” A Lesson for the Teacher” ( the 1960’s romance) and ” Never Run Away” are also on kindle. I can see that the rarer they are the more the price goes up and I no longer post( as the publisher) to America.

I’ll try to ration my purchases this year as there is no more room on our bookshelves. I am now about to start thinning out all the magazines I have collected over the years to make a space. Wish me luck!img_0244

Book Review. A Portrait of Rosanna.

I have always enjoyed books by Elaine Hankin but this one gripped me more than most. It was fascinating to read how Rosanna interacted with the men in her life and how the whereabouts of the portrait was a constant mystery throughout. The descriptions of Italy were fascinating and the characterisations excellent. A thoroughly good read.

I did begin to wonder whether folk gave up on purchasing paperbacks when the book they required was on kindle. Knowing that my first book, Lane’s End is no longer available as a new book and was never an e book I checked on amazon to see if it was there. Happily there are second hand copies for sale, which is how I buy my paperbacks.

Since my kindle stopped working I have gone back to getting most books out of the library unless, like A Portrait of Rosanna, I want to keep them to read again.bookwormclipart


Writing Magazine came yesterday and I was hoping for a new Year Planner but there wasn’t one for 2019. However, there were a host of competitions and I resolved to enter some, even if they were not free!

I have started with a poetry competition but I had to find one that had not been published so I used one old one and wrote one new one – in completely different styles. I looked at the winning poem from last year and it was freestyle but I usually write in rhyme.

I started tearing up old papers, from as far back as 2015. I’m afraid I am a terrible hoarder. Being on committees meant I had loads of minutes. I don’t know why I kept them. I had to pull out the stories I had written and the reviews I had had and shred the rest.

I have left Twitter. If I can’t use the time saved writing I’ll have to use it trying out recipes from my new book, or tearing up paper! It’s better than tearing my hair out trying to think up a new novel plot. If I can convince myself that poetry is the way to go I might cheer up. What we all need is recognition. Hey ho!youth-active-jump-happy-40815.jpeg

Treading water

Now we are in 2019 I feel I should be starting something new. I have completed my talk and once I decide on the readings to accompany it I will be ready to try it out.

The other task I wanted to complete was to publish a poetry anthology, either on my own or with another member of the Sea Scribes but that needs finding and sorting an I’m not in the mood.

A twitter writer suggested turning Christmas cards into book marks, but my book marks are part of my marketing strategy so giving away alternatives wouldn’t work.

I wish all my followers from all over the world a Happy New Year. I am grateful for any comments and always ready to contribute to discussions if I know anything about the subject.bookwormclipart