Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Monk, Books and the Anthology

I finished writing 4000 words yesterday, this week's target on the novel. I've been working on the Anthology sales; decluttering the house and  a new poem has also appeared.

I have had a number of repeat orders for the Anthology to send out, which has been good news. Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy.

I've also been asked to give a talk next month to a local supper group on how I compiled it, and  have been thinking about what I'll say. I'll definitely mention the  many wonderful stories and poems entered in the writing competition I ran last year, with  lots of different interpretations of the hope and dreams theme, and that I enjoyed reading them all.  

Then, quite unexpectedly a couple of days ago, the plot for Book 2 of the Monk's story came properly to mind.

I wasn't intending for it to happen as I already had another storyline for my second novel, set in Cornwall in the 1840's, and which I've been writing sporadically for the last few months. I've been unable though to get beyond the idea, intangible as it was, that there's more to happen in the Monk, Durstan's life. 

I guess his stature has grown as I've been doing historical research into the eighth century, early Christianity and the spirituality of the Celts. And it's a love story too, which was a little easier to write!

It came to fruition this week however when I decided to sort through my book collection as part of the house declutter, and donate a few to the local charity shop. When I started to look through the ones I'd accumulated for the novel, I was lost! How could I dispose of these when the story wasn't finished? More ideas presented themselves as I looked, and I now have a workable plot for Durstan Book 2.

I'll find some different ones tomorrow to pass onto the Charity shop. I hope they won't mind.

Inspiration often comes when least expected. What has inspired you this week?  

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Leibster Award

A huge thank you to my new blogger friend, Beverley Fox
at for giving me a Leibster award and explaining the rules, which are:

1. Answer the 11 questions sent to you with the award.
2. Post 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Pass the award onto 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers each.

Beverley asked me these questions:

1. where was I born - in London.
2. where do I live - the West Midlands, England.
3. if I was a crayon what colour would I be - probably green although my youngest son, Tom, was a yellow one when he went to a 21st birthday party last year with his University friends. They went to a nightclub dressed as crayons and the birthday boy was the box.
4. what was the last movie I watched - Casablanca, it's an old favourite.  
5. what book am I reading now - The Artist's Way, a spiritual path to higher creativity by Julia Cameron. I have it on kindle.
6. if the power went off and was out for several hours what would I do - as I don't like to be in the dark, I would light a lot of candles and probably still try to read or scribble in my notebook. 
7. what am I listening to right now - I don't have any music on so it's quiet to write but I can hear the birds singing in the garden.
8. what has been my greatest struggle as a writer - having the confidence initially to share what I had written with other people, submit my first poems and stories.
9. what is the one book I think everyone should read - there are too many good ones to be able to answer this, but I love poetry and think there is at least one poem written for each of us. 
10. If I could be one of the Greek Gods who would I be and why - Poseidon, God of the oceans, because I love the sea.

11. what is the weirdest thing I've ever been told by a fortune cookie - I can't remember, sorry! I haven't had one for a long time. 

And the 11 random facts are:

1. I love being a Mum best of all.
2. I wish I had started to write when I was younger as I think sometimes of all the words I've missed.
3. I've always thought that giraffes are amazing. 
4. When I was in my twenties I adopted a ginger cat. He had been abandoned by his owners when they moved away.
5. I like marmite.
6. I bought a beautiful aquamarine ring a few years ago and wear it every day.
7. I can't watch horror movies as they scare me too much. I imagine they're real. (How sad is that?!)
8. My eldest Son is teaching English in Taiwan.
9. I love Jack Vettriano's paintings.
10. I would like to have met Ella Wheeler Wilcox; Byron and Yeats.
11. I think Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and I love the art in Florence.

I would like to award a Leibster to:
Paula at
Cara at

These are your questions when you have time to answer them:

1. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you?
2. What is your favourite food?
3. Which place do you like best in the world?
4. Who is your favourite author or poet, and why?
5. Do you believe in ghosts?

6. If you had, or could have a pet, what would it be?
7. What was your favourite toy as a child?
8. What are you most afraid of in life?
9. What is the strangest dream you have had?
10.What is your favourite season, and why?
11.Describe the place where you write.

Thanks again, Beverley, for the Leibster. I've had lots of fun writing this post.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Words for a Dream

If there were dreams to sell,
Merry and sad to tell,
And the crier rung the bell,
What would you buy?

Thomas Lovell Beddoes

I expect there will be a lot of different answers including publication; writing 1000 words on the novel every single day; finishing a poem or story; a holiday; plenty of money and maybe, for some, having enough to eat.

We all have dreams but a thought once put into words can change life, if we continue with it. As writers we tell each other constantly not to stop writing and if it's publication we seek, submit our stories and poems for that success to be in sight.

My dream list changes from day to day except for the important ones. For the last couple of years my thoughts have been with the Ifakara Bakery Charity and are currently to sell all of the Anthology copies I've ordered from the Publisher.

I am thinking too of more orders so that writers and readers will be able to send as much help as we can to children in Tanzania, those who have so little.

If you would like to join us by buying a copy of the "Hope and Dreams" Anthology, then please send a cheque for £5.00 (£6.00 overseas), payable to S. Bradshaw, at 28 Belle Vue Terrace, Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull, West Midlands B92 0AR. 

Thank you to everyone who has already sent a cheque and/or donation. All monies received for the Anthology, less printing cost and postage, will be used to buy bread.  

And another dream... This weekend I sat in the garden writing and enjoying the sunshine. My thought was, I'll need a trip to the garden centre for flowers, as I'm hoping for something like this in the summer.

What do you dream of? A thought could be the first step to it happening.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Ifakara Charity Anthology is being printed

An enormous thank you to everyone who entered our writing competition last year, and supported the Ifakara Bakery Project Charity. I received some wonderful stories and poems, and  enjoyed reading them all.

The winners have been notified and are:

Mary Daniels: First Prize for "Hope and Dreams".

Peter Caunt: Second Prize for "The End of School".

Josephine Grinham: Third Prize for "Our Children".

The Anthology has been published by Park Publications with the support of David Howarth, the Editor, and is currently being printed.

If you would like a copy then please send a cheque for £5.00 (£6.00 overseas) payable to S Bradshaw, at 28 Belle Vue Terrace, Hampton-in-Arden, Solihull, West Midlands B92 0AR.

All of the monies raised after payment of printing costs and postage will be sent to Africa to help the children.

If you want to read more about the work being undertaken in this  part of Tanzania then please visit Margaret and Eugene at  
The Charity gives a lifeline to so many by providing bread for the local kindergartens; the Nazareti Leprosy Centre;  Bethlehem Centre for young people with learning disabilities; the St Francis Hospital and many more.

We need to raise £30,000.00 in 2013 to continue the existing supply of bread.

Please buy a copy of the "Hope and Dreams" Charity Anthology to help us succeed, and give your support to the children.

Thank you.