Marvellous day out with my son to watch the Test Match at Southampton – England v. India. We were sitting in full sun for the first session which was a bit much even with sun-hat, sunglasses, sun-cream and cover-up blouse.  What a wonderful atmosphere though which makes it so different from watching on television. I find myself listening in to conversations roundabout – a writers’ joy- not difficult when people are happily chatting away in-between the overs.  You hear bits about people’s lives, just a smattering and then they are gone but, as a writer, you never stop wondering ‘what if’ and before you know it there goes the start of another story.

Two of my novellas are now out as e-books, published by Lusciousbooks (cloudberry fiction). The Hills of Home and Love by Design to complete my three novellas – the other is Calculated Risk, all available from Amazon. I love the new covers.  These books were first published in 1990 and thereabouts and I really learned the craft of writing at this point in my career, working to a particular length as required by the publisher at the time which really makes you sharpen the writing.  As a follow on from the short story, novellas are excellent for the new writer.  When you eventually write a full-length it is still helpful to be able to tighten up your work.  I am enjoying the hot weather here in Devon, just been on a trip over the border to Cornwall to Liskeard – a drive full of windy roads dipping down to rivers and up again, trees in full leaf with the sunlight streaming through. Quite magical.

Lovely news. I am to be the featured author on the alfiedog.com short story website from 23rd July for two weeks. I started my writing career many years ago with short stories, never realising at the time how difficult a genre it is. A true short story should be just that, complete in itself, unable to be improved by lengthening it and that is something I learned over the years. It is an excellent genre for learning about the craft of writing and I would recommend it for a beginner.

I enjoyed leading the workshop at Chudleigh, Devon. What a pretty place it is and the sun shone. There was a marquee and after my talk on creating a character, I stayed for a very interesting session led by a performance writer, followed by lunch. I am always open to new ways of allowing the creative vibes to flow and my mind was therefore buzzing by the time I left. The peaceful feel of the place as we strolled around the churchyard looking across to the Devon hills will stay with me for a long time. As a writer, you need moments like these.

I have been busy preparing the workshop for Chudleigh Lit. Fest. on 9th July. I am talking about building up your characters, fleshing them out so that they are real to you and therefore will be real to your reader.  The weather here is lovely but a walk down a country lane a few days ago resulted in my being bitten by a horse-fly. Nasty but the swelling on my little finger is going down slowly. It is the second time I have been bitten by one of them so for some reason they must like me! I don’t, it goes without saying, have the same affection for them.