PROSE IS ARCHITECTURE…

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… NOT INTERIOR DECORATION – so says Ernest Hemingway. And, how right he is.

Note the thick lines of the outer walls that shore-up the building, and, I’d to think my novels hold up their stories like the beams, joists and building blocks that will hold up the house. I’d also like to think it isn’t the inconsequential detail and the padding that sheer-up a novel, but the outline of a good story, well-penned characters, non-cliched dialogue, and short descriptive passages that will strengthen the structure, not adorn it.

It’s been 2 years this December since I published my first novel. Since then I have released 4 more novels, but only one was written after that first release of TALE OF TWO WOMEN, and one, which was written 20 years before, sat in my drawer until I felt it the right time to publish. American writers call these Trunk novels, and I had several in my trunk.

I am, by no means, an overnight success, as it’s only recently – the past week in fact – that I found all of my books are now being bought, which is very satisfying.  It is also this week I discovered I had reached a grand total of 40 countries with my blog, which again is an encouraging sign.

After a very stressful July, due to the loss of a family member, and a Hubby who was seriously ill, I am now ready to finish the half-written crime novel I had to leave for a while. But, once a writer, always a writer. I did manage to conceive two more novels which are incubating in my brain until I can give birth to them in print.

So, to all who have been reading my books, and following me on my blog, a BIG, BIG, thank you, and don’t forget, your comments – be them positive or negative – are always much appreciated.

SHEEP, LEEKS, DAFFODILS, AND ODD SHAPED BALLS.

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I’ve been to Wales for a weeks’ sojourn – a country also synonymous with Male Voice Choirs and the Big Red Dragon. But, low and behold, there was no Wi-Fi. “No Wi-Fi?” you are shouting. “Correctomundo,” I respond, “No Wi-Fi.” To top this, as the cottage we rented was halfway down a mountain – or if you were standing at the bottom, halfway up- we only had spasmodic phone signals, unless we climbed to the top of a mountain every few hours. So for a whole week I was separated from my laptop along with a mobile that was awake only some of the time. Ideal, you might be thinking – and it was. The only downside was when I arrived home I had 119 emails and scores of Facebook posts to trawl through. Another upside, though, I had the chance to proof-read the first half of my 6th novel, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, which should be out for Christmas 2015.

Living, if only briefly, in a ‘real’ rural setting – I say ‘real’ because the cottage was attached to a working cattle farm – was bliss, experiencing breath-taking views, no noise apart from the cock crowing at the crack of dawn, and the odd sound of gun-shot, it was an idyll. But observing how hard the owners worked – up at the crack of dawn letting out the chickens, traipsing across fields to feed the livestock – I got to appreciate how dedicated these people were. I learned a lot that week about livestock and the countryside and came to admire these farmers who greeted us with a warm Welsh welcome, fresh laid eggs and home-made Welsh cakes.

Although this holiday was not taken for research purposes, it was useful for finishing my 6th novel which is set in mid Wales. As I’ve said before, I do not write for one particular genre, and UNFINISHED BUSINESS is my first foray into writing a crime/detective story. Although, to some extent, I have planned all my novels, this one has to be plotted, so I hope it will be well-received when it’s published on Amazon. One thing I can say, though, is that I do not plan to continue writing crime novels. This one came about when the protagonist in my 2nd novel TO THE EDGE AND BACK, was sent on a mission to Northern Ireland in the late 1960’s when the troubles were at their height.

 

 

 

 

 

MY BIG BANG THEORY.

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Rudely awakened the other morning at 5.30am by a loud bang, I shot up thinking Hubby had fallen out of bed. No, he was still there, but we decided to investigate the noise that had awoken us both. After a search of our premises where we found nothing untoward: the roof was still on, all walls were still standing, and the furniture was still upright and in its proper place, we decided to go back to bed. It wasn’t until we rolled up the blinds a couple of hours later we saw what had made the deafening noise. There, imprinted on the window, was the form of a dive-bombing wood-pigeon.

I had to capture the image on camera as the pigeon appeared to have belly-flopped onto the window and not attacked it, head first, like the kamikaze kestrel we once had flying at a rate of knots that left it reeling on the grass below for about half an hour before it finally flew off with an enormous headache. As you can see, at the time the pigeon hit the glass it must have been thinking its sat-nav was faulty because, if you look closely, the expression on its little face was one of total surprise. What was more surprising though, was the fact there was no body on the patio when we ventured outside.

We have lived in a heavily wooded conservation area now for sixteen years and are used to seeing a varied species of bird and wild-life. We have pairs of woodpeckers visit us once a year to settle in a tree opposite. Owls can be heard and seen along with bats, foxes, hedgehogs and squirrels: and once we even saw a badger walking down the road in the middle of the night. Wood pigeons, though, abound, and if we sit with the patio doors open we can hear them billing and cooing on the fence post. I’ve noticed they spend an enormous amount of time in foreplay before the actual deed, then you can hear feathers being ruffled and  claws scraping the wooden fence. I must say they appear voracious in their appetite to pro-create.

I am leaving the imprint of that pigeon on the window for all to see, and eventually will clean it off when the window becomes so dirty we can’t see through it.