Saturday, 31 December 2016

How to write 200,000 words in a year

This time last year I made a resolution to write 500 words in every day of the year. Here I am on December 31st 2016 and I’m pleased to report that I’ve made it. My final total (adjusted when I finish writing this piece) is 209,803 words. That’s 26,803 more than the bare 500 words a day for 366 days.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Gingerbread & Cupcake Christmas

As a little Christmas present to my readers, here is a Christmas story featuring some characters you'll recognise. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 18 December 2016


“I don’t know why they’re making me bother with all this. It’s not like they’re actually going to let me marry whoever I choose anyway.” The prince waved away the attendant who was about to lift his foot to slip on his shoe. “Go on. Out! The lot of you. Yes, you too. We can do the rest.”

As the door closed behind the troupe of dressers and footmen, hairdressers and tailors, he flung himself down into a chair next to the mannequin that held his gold brocade coat. “Come on out, they’ve all gone.”

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

I WILL use the library

If you asked me how I felt about public libraries, I would tell you that I love them, of course. I think they are necessary and beautiful and egalitarian and one of the vital pieces of the puzzle that is social inclusion. As a child, I went to the library every week or so with my mother and I relished the browsing and the choosing of books. There they were, all these stories, all these ideas, all this information, and I could take any of it.

So my position in relation to the closing of libraries and the reductions in funding and the sacking of qualified librarians is – of course – horror and disgust. How can they do that? It shouldn’t be allowed. We shouldn’t sit by and them do that to our libraries.

But here’s the thing: I hardly ever use the library these days.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

SNIPPETS Dark and Stormy

The Queen shivered. The padded box of hot coals beneath her slippers didn’t seem to dispel the deep cold that had settled into her bones. She felt the heavy wetness of the bottom foot of her brocade skirt, soaked up from the wet straw strewn on the floor. The fur trim on her gown couldn’t warm the expanse of bosom that she was obliged to display for the sake of fashion.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The stockings were hung...

WARNING! If there are any children looking over your shoulder as you read this, you’d better move because they may discover SECRETS to do with CHRISTMAS that they are too young to be party to.

This week I’ve been putting together Christmas stockings for my daughters.

(I know – this is supposed to be a blog about books – but bear with me, the book is coming.)

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Snick! went the scissors. The girl felt the pain on her scalp ease on one side as the hair fell away.

“There!” Drops of spittle flew past her face as Mother spat out the words. “Not so beautiful now, eh?”

The girl kept her eyes on the end of her copper plait where it lay curled at her feet. It shifted slightly as Mother twisted another loop around her fist and pulled it tight so that the girl’s scalp burned.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


I’m going to tell you one of the reasons I love writing.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I’ll begin.