A story to tell

As you know I started to work on my first serious writing project a few months ago. It was a struggle to find inspiration for my plot. Eventually I came up with an idea and began to write. My friend who had encouraged me to begin the process in the first place offered to edit my first 5000 words. This very kind lady had a look at my work, pointed out what was missing and made some encouraging comments about what I had written. Since I began writing some years ago I was proud of my ability to describe places and feelings, so that the reader felt as though they were there. I found conversation awkward. This time however I concentrated on the conversation and forgot about the rest of it.

Since realising my error with the help of my friend I have been going over in my mind what I want to do. Do I work on what I have and make it right? Do I go ahead with it as a screen play or do I start all over again with something else.?

Unfortunately life has also got in the way over the last few months so no progress has been made in any direction with my writing.

Today I am home alone, I am taking the time to consider my options. One option I have started to look back at is a story I began back in 2008 (I can’t believe it was so long ago) according to the date on the document. This was an idea I had for a children’s book aimed at girls aged about 8 or 9.

Having revisited it I know that if I decided to take this path it will need a lot of work but I can do that. My mind is mulling over so many  possibilities that I just know there is a story in there waiting to be told I just need to work out which one.

Here is the first draft of the first 2 pages of chapter one.

Granny’s Tree




Katie and Harry are putting on their coats and scarves.It is the half term holidays and they are staying with granny in the country for a few days while mummy has to work.

 Granny lives alone now with just Jasper the old yellow dog with his shaggy hair and Tiggs her old grey striped cat. His name is really Tiger but everyone calls him Tiggs for short. He spends most of his day on the window seat catching the sun.

‘Come on Katie hurry up’

Harry calls to his big sister as he runs out of the back door.

I’m coming wait for me I just need to finish getting my wellies on.

Granny has told the children to be careful as the paddock is still muddy after the rain last week. Granny will watch the children from the kitchen while she is busy cooking their dinner and baking fresh scones for a special treat to have later. This morning they all got in a mess when Harry wanted to help with the chocolate fairy cakes.

‘Harry put on your pinny if you want to help Katie stir the mix.’

‘ Granny can I lick the bowl can I can I’

He had pleaded. When Katie was carefully spooning the mix into the little paper cases on the tray.

 Now Katie pushes the door open and races out to join her brother, Katie loves her little brother even though he is only seven and still acts like a baby sometimes. Next week Katie will be nine then she will be even more grown up than she is now.

 Harry must be hiding as Katie can’t see him anywhere. She sits down on the bench in the middle of the field.

I don’t care where you are I am just going to sit here and wait for you

She shouts.

The sun is shining but it is still cold and the leaves are falling from the trees. Katie watches them for a while. Harry comes out of hiding to kick the leaves around where they have fallen in piles under the trees at the edge of the field. Then Katie notices that the big tree on its own, granny says it’s an oak tree has still got most of its leaves.

She wanders over to the big tree. There are a few leaves on the ground some brown others still a bit yellowy but there are other things too. Granny told the children when they were little that fairies live in this tree and they use the acorn cups to drink from. But that was just a story for little kids wasn’t it.



Katie looks up into the branches thinking Harry must have climbed up there while she wasn’t looking. But he isn’t there she can see him over at the fence now talking to the old brown horse in Mr Cartwright’s field. Nelson must be getting old now, he’s even older than Katie is.



There it is again, that whisper almost as if the tree was whispering her name, but trees can’t talk.

Who are you and what do you want

Katie is trying to be braver than she feels now, she thinks of calling Harry over here or maybe she should run to him.

Katie it is me, I won’t hurt you, I have been watching you. You are a kind girl, I see you feed the birds and stroking the animals.

But who are you and why won’t you let me see you

She peers up into the branches looking for a clue.

Katie you can see me, I have been her for more than a hundred years, you have climbed into my arms I mean my branches. My little friends the fairies want you to become one of our friends.

But you have to promise not to tell anyone our secret.

Katie tries not to jump up and down with excitement

I promise I promise

Can I tell my granny though cos she told me about the fairies and I thought it was a story.

Katie your granny knows our secret but as she got older she forgot about us and now she just believes we are a fairy tale that she remembers. We don’t need her to remember that we are here.

If you promise to keep our secret we can have lots of fun and adventures.

Shhhush now Harry is coming over. I will tell you more when you are alone.

Could this be my story that I need to tell?

Boxing Day Anniversary

It’s Boxing Day here in the UK. I gather from my step children that this is not celebrated in USA.

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses[1] or employers. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December. It is observed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and other Commonwealth nations.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland and Italy, the day is known as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (IrishLá an Dreoilín). In many European countries, including notably Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.[2]

However my reason for this post has nothing to do with Boxing Day Holiday except that it was a year ago today that I first began this blog. In other words I am celebrating one whole year of this blog.

During this year I have made new blogging friends. Renewed other online friendships and shared my world with people in my every day life who have learnt more about me and my life than they would do normally.

I have married my Owl.

We had our honeymoon in California which I was then able to share with you through this blog.

I have celebrated my sons’ achievements.

I made a start at serious writing (on hold at the moment but watch this space)

We have shared the extremes in weather from the harsh cold long winter complete with unusual amounts of snow to the unexpected un British heat in the summer months.

We have also mourned the passing of our faithful cat.

Ending the year with various preparations for Christmas.

2013 has been a year of extremes, extreme happiness as well as extreme despair.

In a few days we will be celebrating the start of 2014 which I hope will bring with it a more relaxed year.

Maybe I will even manage to write something that I can do something with.

How would you describe 2013 for you and what are your hopes for 2014?

more words

update on  progress

I didn’t get as much writing done as I wanted over the weekend.

I also wanted to transfer what I had written on the ibook to my pc but the only way to do this was to rewrite it so that has taken some time but I did also edit it as I went along.

Weasels  =  4407

Slugs   =  1655

Helen  = 1289

Running Total  = 7351


So here are a few of today’s songs from the golden hour on our local radio, can you guess the year from these?

first there was this which of course I remember as if it were yesterday

Then we had this little piece of magic to which I sang along effortlessly

I won’t go through the whole hour but it was completed with one of my favourite stars of the time. My friends and I all adored David Essex.

I have been feeling a bit depressed this week.

On Wednesday I had an appointment at the hospital to see the anaesthetist who feels that I am fit for surgery and will recommend this to my surgeon. On the upside he did describe me as ‘slightly overweight’ I guess it is all relative and he said I am young. I told him I like him 🙂

This week I shall be back at the hospital for an MRI scan followed a few hours later by my first mammogram. Neither of which I am looking forward to. I had my only ever panic attack during my first MRI scan. The second was a better experience, both of these were way back in 2001.

I am now awaiting the letters giving me dates for my pre op consultation followed by my op. (Nothing major just something that requires either an epidural or a general).

Anyone who knows me will be aware that I love my job, except lately it has been getting harder to be enthusiastic. We are going through a period of transition and it is making our job very difficult and quite disheartening, Yet our manager has high expectations that are not always possible to attain.

On the upside I did apparently manage to impress the ISO auditor who sat by my desk on Friday (whilst I was feeling unwell) so that I could explain our processes to him, so that put a smile on my face.

Yesterday Owl and I went down to the beach. This is the first time I have attempted to upload a video to Youtube.

see it here

Secrets of No 15 is making progress although slow this last week, I have not been in the zone for various reasons. However I have had an offer to edit what I have written at a discounted price. Thanks sweetheart 🙂

The last piece of magic is that we have new visitors to our garden, Mr and Mrs blackbird have been visiting in the last few days.


I have been keeping track of the word count on my debut book but until now hadn’t given a lot of thought as to what my final word count target should be.

I have begun following this blogBreezy Books I found this post quite amusing. I’ll be dead by then

It got me thinking about my word count so here goes


Secrets of No 15  

Chapters as they currently stand

Helen   1259

Slugs   1419

Weasels   3864

running total  6542

Now if I set myself a target of 80000

That leaves me with  73458 words still to write

If I am to submit my work for this competition Richard and Judy search for a Best Seller I need to get writing to get the first 10.000 words completed in time .The deadline being 1st January realistically means before Christmas.

I shall endeavour to post an update of my progress weekly.


Here is a taster of what I have written so far:


Billy arrives at The Cricketers in an flap.
‘Hi Matt, sorry I’m a bit late, you would never guess in a million years what just
happened to me.’
‘Ok tell me but first what are you drinking? First round is on me.’
‘Umm I’ll have a pint of, no I can’t, it’ll have to be orange and lemonade heavy on the
ice please Jack.’
‘What ever is the matter with you drinking that on a Saturday?’
‘It’s only because I dropped Jake off in Chichester, and as it’s still raining I decided not
to take the car home first especially as I was already running late.’
‘Never mind you’re here now, sure you won’t have a half?’
‘No best not, Katie would kill me if I did.’
‘You could always leave your car here you dolt.’
‘Ok ok I know but I don’t fancy walking back today, any other day I would as you know.
I usually do walk. I might add.’
‘There’s an old couple sat in our normal corner shall we sit by the front window and
watch the idiots walking their dogs in the rain.’
The pair move over to a round table beside one of the four large bay windows
overlooking the village green.
‘What was it you were going to tell me?’

“What? When? I thought you had something to tell me.’

‘I do but that can wait, what were you going to tell me before I interrupted you with my
generous offer to buy you a drink.’
“Was I?’
‘Yes you were Billy, what is up with you today, you came in all excited saying I
wouldn’t guess what had happened to you. So?’
‘Oh um I don’t think it could have been that the weasels are having their practice in our
garage. Or that I had to take Jake in to town to meet up with some of his school mates.
Ah yes that was it. On the way here after dropping Jake off that’s when it happened.’

‘You got the weasels practising in your garage how did they sound now? Danny says
they are playing a gig at school on Friday in their lunch break, 50p entrance.’
‘I don’t think the band get any of that, it all goes into the school fund. I think half goes
towards new music equipment and the rest goes into the school charity fund. Any way
that was why I was late, I had to stop and call the police. Do you know how difficult it is
to get through to the right person to tell them to be quick. You get asked all these
questions about who you are and where you are. Heavens if it had been a real emergency
everyone would be dead before they got off the phone even.’
‘So what happened? Why did you need to call the police?’
‘What do you mean peacocks?’
‘Oh come on Matt you do know what they are don’t you?’
‘Of course I do, but what about them?’
‘In the road, two of them calm as you like just walking about in the road, never mind the
traffic. That’s why I stopped put my hazards on and called the police. Had to wait for
them to arrive, that’s why I was late.’
‘Where did they come from?’
‘I don’t know they weren’t talking peacocks so I couldn’t ask them’

‘Very funny ha ha, did the police have any idea?’
“Nope but they were calling RSPCA to collect them before they come to any harm, then
they were going to call all the big houses in the area to see if they knew anything.’