A mess and a muddle to sort:)


I have been missing from this weekly check-in for the whole summer at least for which I apologise.  Life has loomed large. Great political upheavals and continuing morality issues around the world have all threatened my new found relief from long term depression. My arthritic wrists have become so painful the amount of work I can manage, involving them, has been reduced dramatically. Unfortunately I am allergic to anti inflammatory drugs and really don’t want to be taking painkillers all and every day.

I have been using my hands in the garden. I began last year to re-jig my outside space to enable me to cope as age continues its inevitable journey, I think, I may, just get it finished in time.

All the beds have been replanted with shrubs, bulbs and hardy perennials. Vegetables , time consuming if delicious, have gone. Fruit bushes and trees relocated to the wild garden; I no longer make jam or chutney – so  am giving up the yearly fight with the birds, I have given them to wildlife complete with no strings attached:)

The wilderness was mostly tamed last summer, this summer has been about a massive pruning programme and also filling the beds with lovely cottage garden and wild flowers. Next year – fingers crossed I get to sit and enjoy:)

Now I am in the process of closing the garden down for the year I will have more time to concentrate on the writing/editing.

Mostly The Children’s Tale was written, but over the course of three or four years of illness and depression, it had been written in many guises; several POVs, several frameworks, started-put aside-started again, time and time again.

It was a mess and it is with that muddle I have been struggling all this summer.
At last it is taking shape – I hope the final shape:)

So what for THIS ROUND  of ROW80

Yes, I’m finally back! Hi there everyone:) I hope nothing goes wrong – the children are growing more insistent their tale is told:)


Editing, editing and yet more editing! I cannot in all honesty say it is my favourite occupation but it is happening. The Children’s Tale marches forward apace and is becoming cleaner every day.  I also have to locate what’s missing and write fillers/connections. The slowness of the whole process this time around is about changing the tense and rewriting some scenes entirely to fit the new structure. Not quite a major overhaul but pretty well near.

Blogs: They have been non existent for months so am hoping to get back into the flow. Not committing as it depends on hands; do have lots of ideas and topics I want to write about. I have posted on albertareads for Musing Monday

Reading: Have read a great deal this summer complete with pillow on my lap so I haven’t had to hold the books. On my Goodread challenge I am up to 100 out of my challenge of 110. About the only aim which has been achieved!

Others: I did start a Pinterest board for The Children’s Tale, an idea I picked up here on ROW80. I will need to create cover and trailer for The Children’s Tale later in the round, have thought about it during the summer and have some ideas – good I hope.

Otherwise life progresses, a little to fast for my liking, but it is still fun. All the best to other ROWers.

You are never to old to dream:Writers Quote Wednesday

set a dream

You are never to old to set another goal or to dream
C.S. Lewis

I like this sentiment but find it increasingly difficult to abide by.

When I was younger than cutting edge I had dreams. Big dreams Larger than I was. I wanted to travel. Travel to India,I knew Mowgli didn’t actually live there but still. . . to the Balkans, that was due to Katie of the Balkans and other books. To the Far East and to Africa, I had read the books I needed to see them for myself.When I was ten an expedition to Antarctica being launched and we had to make a scrapbook of the event.

I added Antarctica to the list.

Then I grew more ambitious

I also wanted to fly a hot air balloon. Jules Verne, obviously, began that train of thought when I was young. Then Georgette Heyer reinforced it with Frederica. In a day when few civilians flew in aeroplanes I thought it would be a good dream . I was the first in the family to do so.

The cinema put the Americas on radar and they were duly added to the travel list.

As I progressed through my teens, I learnt how to ride horses and thought maybe trekking would be good ( a small ambition, first I managed to fulfil) I filled the boring hours at school with small dreams, stupid dreams such as going to University – I had been chucked out quite a few classes by then and had not a hope in hell of achieving it – still a dream is a dream.

Maybe I’d grow rich and have my own abode, a country cottage perhaps, with roses and a couple of cats, I’d be a scary old crone who terrified the local kids. Or I could be a half starved writer and hide in the gloom hunched over a typewriter. Maybe. . . .

All these dreams were ridiculous for the time. Girls didn’t often go to university back then, travel just after a world war wasn’t the norm especially for girls. Only scientists and explorers got Antarctica. Hot air balloons were for books.There was no way I’d be rich unless I married money and as I had decided very early in life that was not my path in life that was out as well. Ah well!:)

But they were my dreams and I was determined to make them come true.

I left school and began my travels. I went to the Balkans, to the Soviet Union, travelled over the Himalayas, didn’t see Mowgli in India but I never thought I would:) however it was a magical place. I visited the Far East and Africa – not all of it but quite a bit. Then one day when I was forty I went up in a hot air balloon. I spent a week learning how to fly it, to dismantle and put it up, the history of the sport and had an exciting hours flying or chasing it over muddy fields.

I thought I would try and write a book decided if I set it in USA I could travel over there (for research of course!:)

Empowered by travel and age I decided I must go to University – so I did. I was on a roll. I finished the book and tucked it away in a box in the attic – took my exams collected my degrees, half way through the courses my sister inherited some money and sent me off to Antarctica – Yay – the continent was open to visitors nothing, would have stopped me and I took in South America while I was about it.

I did think to be rich meant lots of money but I discovered over the years that there is far more to it than pounds, shillings and pence. I consider myself rich beyond any dream, just a little short on the cash!

Only the cottage, roses and cats left. It’s not a cottage but a bungalow, cats and roses of course. I had ticked everything off my list before I retired.

What to do?

New dreams were needed.

I wouldn’t just write a book I would publish one. By now it was possible to self publish. I had to learn a great deal about computers and the Internet. Okay, new dream ticked off, five times. Now what to do?

I need new dreams or is it time to smile sweetly and be content?

No wait!

I still need to be an old crone and terrify the neighbourhood children:)

This quote is part of Silver Threading’s  Writer’s Quote series. Writer’s who have helped inspire my writing and my life. Pop over and follow other quotes there are many inspiring posts

I do like the letter O: alberta’s words

o is a versatile letter

The letter O is a wonderfully versatile letter. Apart from the look of it; so clean, so eternal it is from a child’s point of view so easy to pen:) To my mind, the friendliest looking of all the alphabet.

Think of all the sounds that originate with O
Pot and No
Do and Son

Four simple words and four different pronunciations. Short O in the first, a long O in the second.

A double OO in the third and even a short U in the fourth.

We can have the different O sounds in boat, toe, neon, riot and youth depending on which letters surround this neat looking letter.

How about meow and Mao or Noel.

Try doubling it – coot and foot, one becomes longer, the other shorter and more of a u sound, only one letter different in this case. How clever we are to even remember a half of the variations in English.

O stands in for ‘the descendant of’ in names such as O’Driscoll and for ‘of the clock’ in time keeping

That is not the end of O, it stands on it’s own to spell sounds.


With or without the ‘h’ dogged my poetry lessons as a child – modern poets are not keen.

Many O’s as in Ooooo can be excitement or praise of looks,  add a letter or so and it can be ouch or ow both pain of some kind.

And of course do let us forget how satisfying a plain unadorned O can be to a child or a doodler, a face, body part of rabbits, dogs and cats. How satisfying it is to fill it in with pen or pencil when bored. To add ears and tails.

Doodlers love the double O, it can be decorated with lashes, a pupil and voila we have eyes.In ancient Egypt (ancient in like 4,000 years ago!) the O was a hieroglyph for ‘the eye’. Semites took it and then Phoenicians diminished it to a small outline of the eye and hey presto our O was formed still meaning eye. Then it changed and became a letter.  I still make eyes out of mine:)

I do like the letter O:)


with a great deal of help from David Crystal and Michael Rosen