right place


Do you have a favourite writing place? So many writers say they love writing in busy places. I have read that J.K. Rowling and John Green both wrote in cafes. I don’t think that would work for me. I suppose being an introvert to start with, I seek quiet spaces.

I have imagined two scenarios of writers writing – one that would not suit me, and one that certainly does. I am writing this in that very spot!

Venue not suited to me:

She sat in the shopping mall café, surrounded by the pell-mell of human existence. The notebook was open before her, but her attention was focused on the coffee cup beside it, more that the blank pages. Every time someone walked into the café she looked at them, perhaps searching for inspiration, but finding none she would return to the coffee cup. Lifting it to her lips for the umpteenth time she discovered it was now empty. Lifting the hand with the unused pen in it, she signalled to the waitress for a refill. Obviously, this was not to be her writing place today.

Venue suited to me:

The bed was wide and she was the sole occupant. The day stretched before her and she has nowhere to be but there. One, two, three large pillows were lifted from the floor beside the bed and placed, just so, behind her back and head. Then the laptop and tray were placed, also just so, upon her lap as she lay back against her pillow bed throne. She knew she would get lots of work done today.

facts and some fiction


I have registered for a short online writing course through the Open University as part of my being creative year, my Red Shoe Project. I hope also that it will assist me in teaching my students creative writing.

The first task was to write a paragraph with three fiction elements and one fact.  Then, the task was to write a paragraph with three facts and one fictional element.

FICTION Paragraph.

I find peace in the rain. It drowns out the voices, and the memories of what went before. It is only when the rain falls that I also know that they won’t be searching the streets, sniffing the dark spaces where I might possibly seek protection. Chasing me. The rain is the one thing that halts their progression. I pray for rain, every day. Today, I rise to blue skies and sunshine. The pursuit resumes.


FACT Paragraph.

I lost my eye on Friday the thirteenth. By lost, I don’t mean that I forgetfully left it on the bus, or sitting on the bathroom shelf. I mean that it my eye was surgically removed on Friday the thirteenth. The next day, propped up in my hospital bed, a mile of bandages covering the right side of my head, a religious minister appeared at the door of my shared room to visit the old woman, slowly dying in the next bed. The sight of a young girl, for I was only eighteen, head swathed in bandages, must have prompted him to think he had to speak.

“Did you lose your eye on Friday the thirteenth?” he chuckled.

“Yes,” I replied.

He turned and fled the room.

“What about my dying?” asked the old woman.

sugar, cabbages and rabbit tales


It’s just after midnight, and I have tried sleeping, but I think I have ingested too much sugar this Easter and now it won’t let me brain rest. So, now it is Easter Monday and here I am, sitting in my bed, probably talking to myself.

I have probably told you this a long time ago, but I was actually born on an Easter Monday, and every decade or so I celebrate a birthday on an Easter Monday again (but not this year). My mother always said the Easter Bunny brought me and they found me under a cabbage leaf in the vegetable garden. I don’t know if my mother ever read Peter Rabbit, but I sense some appropriation in her tale!. I have to admit, I fell for the story for many years, and loved it even when I knew it was the birds and bees who brought babies and not rabbits.

We had a delightful day with my sister and her daughter’s family, at sister’s home. Petite Fille and her parents were with us as well. Petite Fille is not allowed sugar but was permitted a few “treats” today. She was amazed, and even enjoyed an ice cream cone. She kept saying she was hungry, but she only wanted a treat. Grandma made sure she got her treat – it is Easter after all and if a Grandmother can’t conspire with a granddaughter, well, what is the use of being a grandparent? Her Daddy was in a state of anxiety at the sugar dose, but her mother turned a blind eye. She knows a child has to join in and not be restricted all the time. Easter over, and back to her healthy diet. Grandma will behave too!

Thinking back, I think the last time we had a large extended family Easter was the year my mother became ill and sadly had to be placed in care. If does make it a little sad to gather when we all sense the absence of family.

My sister has a large photograph os her husband BIL who died a couple of years ago, and sitting at her dining teacher, he looked down upon us. I kept thinking, damn you should be here too – and my dear Dad, as well as poor old Mum, who lives in her confused world of dementia. The cycle of life indeed.

I wrote about 1200 words of my story yesterday, but now I think I will delete a chunk of it – too pedestrian. I don’t view it as a waste, as it helped me to develop a couple of characters, and I am forming an idea on how to make the story more edgy, so all has been worthwhile. It’s a process, as is everything creative. Well, life is in general, isn’t it – a process?

The sugar doesn’t appear to have worn off, as yet, so I foresee a sleep in on my horizon, if the dog and our granddaughter allow it.

Maybe a cup of tea in the meantime?

tea too

yesterday was yesterday and today is today, but this was definitely Saturday

dress 1

Saturday morning I was planning an early morning walk, but Mr FD, when taking Augie Dog outside for a dawn bathroom visit, spied a mongrel dog on our land. I didn’t fancy walking with a stick to ward off wild, stray dogs, so skipped the walk.

Impressive effort even if I do say so myself, and of course I do!

Impressive effort even if I do say so myself, and of course I do!

I did walk to the kitchen and created a superb breakfast for myself. My intentions were to follow breakfast with a little writing but after my gluttonous self-indulgence, all I wanted to do was sit and digest somewhere comfortable.

typewriter red

The little guy. Bottomly Mallard, whom I created while musing on my afternoon drive home, is slowly taking shaped. I knew he was small, hairy and ugly, but couldn’t quite get a sense of place for him. Then, one of my writing students suggested that Bottomly should be a domovoi, a house spirit. Now I know Bottomly intimately, right down to the apple seed sprouting behind his right ear! It helps to workshop things sometimes.

Maybe, I should workshop my entire life?

easter greeting


Character copyright full rights reserved  2016



The voice in my head


Bottom Mallard’s name was not really Bottom; for surely no parents would be so cruel as to moniker their offspring Bottom. No, Bottom Mallard’s name was in fact, Bottomly. Bottomly Aloysius Mallard.

“I chose Aloysius,” his mother was fond of explaining, “because it means famous warrior and I knew the moment you were placed in my arms that you would one day be a great and famous warrior.”

“And Bottomly?” Bottom had asked the once. “Why did you choose the name Bottomly?”

“It was your father’s choice.” Mrs Mallard, who was often rather verbose on most subjects, remained tightlipped on the subject there after.


The name Bottom Mallard popped into my brain as I was driving home this afternoon, and by the time I had driven the forty five minutes home, I had the character, if not the story.

I hope that Bottomly Aloysius Mallard speaks to me a little more. I think I like him already.


Copyright 2016.

Upon the theme of a being a roof walker too

Amsterdam Style Boat Houses with green roofs!

And should I not be able to shed my fear of heights, to walk the rooftops of yours and mine; it shall be but a small thing in the eves of time.

For I would travel to far off lands, to Amsterdam and its canals. There upon their houseboat roofs would be found my soft clad foot seeking adventure for me and mine.

Upon those roofs I could gather parsley, sage, cornflower and lavender to tie in bunches about my waist and leave upon the pillow of my midnight companions, to remind them adventures are not dreams, but do come true to those who but seek and believe.

a moment in universal time

shooting star through the trees in Edsbyn, Sweden

High on our hillside at night, the lights of the town below glitter like dozens of sparkling stars. I sit outside my house and know that I could just raise a hand to pluck twinkling lights from the branches of the trees.

True stars, brilliant in the clear, country sky above, are not intimidated by my thoughts of  paltry substitution.  They have glistened for millions of years, and will for millions more. Humankind and streetlights, but a blink in their light years; a moment in universal time.

words, Roxanne, words

type 1

I’ve been trying to write a novel for a few months now, and I just couldn’t get the voice right. I would write a thousand words but it just never felt right. It just wasn’t me, nor the character.

Recently, I have been doing some free writing – where I just sit down and write anything for 10 or 15 minutes. (Yes, sometimes with an image prompt – oh, you noticed?)

This week I started writing and suddenly I knew I had the voice for my character. I had the name, I had the personality, and more elements of the story just seemed to pop out of the neurones in my brain.

Delete, cut and paste, create and I had two thousand fresh words that I loved.

Happy, creative Flamingo Dancer,