Summer Time and The Living Is…

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Writing Week…

Only on day two of that – struggling a bit with the slow progress I am making – was reminded it is three years since I was on a friend’s fishing boat when researching a Viking Time Shifty YA I had the hots for – hasn’t made it off the note pad as I directed my focus at my most finished stories and designing this site etc – THREE YEARS? Still none of the work is done – yet I work most week days way longer than 8 hour days, don’t garden, sold my sheep, gave up off farm contracting, and rarely ride my horses and the physical strength , fitness and health is disappearing… will it be THIS year? No  earliest I can get HO out there/ up here is next Spring and The Quest series could start going out the following Autumn and that is if we get the house rebuild finished and I don’t stop working at the rate I am – beggars the question why? Why am I doing this?

I look back and I can see how far I have come since I doodled to stop my self going nuts here alone on the farm, I can see where I got my focus and went for it – but now it feels as if those goal posts are moving – I move faster, work longer hours, have started talking a different language than my friends and family  and my previous life is ‘another land’ – on another planet.

So wondering if I live my life in an alternative universe now ? No I am not wondering – I KNOW I do. 🙂

So do I know why I do this? No I just do it is overwhelming – I just do it.

If it is overwhelming why do I keep doing it? I don’t seem to able able to stop.

Proving a point? Not so much – no one says to my face that they think I can’t do it – though I debate the opportunity cost of spending my life on this suddenly rather narrow, stony goat track-  just to see what is on the other side of the mountain range of my imagination – I don’t doubt that one day a finished book or more will be able to be down loaded from this site and others – free or For Sale.

It’s the ‘one day’ bit that could do with being ‘that day’ ‘this day’ ‘today’ – can only re make date and aim for it baring in mind that I don’t want to miss my life staring at a screen and that  S..t Happens. 🙂

I am lucky to have only such small problems and really ‘this Old Goat is not for turning’ so I will pick my way onward  while I still can. 🙂 When I can’t then I will do something else.:)

Perked Up…

Scrivener is going mobile – Yippee!

Drew out a WIP/Body Of Work/ Catalogue Of Work  To Do to try to give my self an overview of  My Big Plan So Far…

When I looked at what I have already written – some finished first draft and some a few ideas and a rough plot but something tangible on each I cheered up as I am in the learning phase now – what takes me a long time now will speed up and each achievement will in it’s self teach and enrich the next – also in having a Big Plan – WHEN I get the first thing live and flapping – I can let it go and move to the next and can hope to avoid the dreaded ‘Now what?’

Scrivener App arrived – and that mean’t an opp to re try Dragon – which I have rechristened Nuisance Software Dragon Elsewhere. I am not complaining – I can’t imagine the hours that go into making soft wares like these that folk are screaming for – in my case my Dorset accent provides more than a few howls and howlers – Oooo and Arrrr 🙂

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Paradigm Change…



This is about a 12 month now I have been in this phase of building and learning with my writing  – I noticed right from the start of 2016 that my Mentors were changing in terms of their ability to influence me – this was largely because I wasn’t in their demographic long term – their loss – but also because some of the ‘courses’ AKA Face Book groups of  other student clients initially disappointed me and then I realised that these people were great reciprocal beta testers and had a huge knowledge of diverse ‘stuff’ – I may even re join a couple of these as they time out – but if I do it won’t be for the fronting personality input as there is none.

An excellent resource I still use is Darren Rowse site Pro Blogger, I am still a member of my original online writing and crit group Write Words and use that several times a day if I can. I still take Writing Magazine once a month – and read it.

I am very active on Holly Lisle’s sites and I go through and re go through any of her courses all the time with my WIPs – I don’t imagine that will change – she is dynamic and the site reflects her energy and force of will against some heavy odds – and the other students and moderator students are a hugely talented  international bunch who are at various stages of their writing careers.

New influencers though are moving away from the ‘how to in 10 easy steps’ brigade and I am noticing I am running with a bitch pack by and large – and a clever bunch of women they are too – Holly obviously, but Liz Gilbert, Joanna Penn and Orna Ross are featuring strongly as my ‘go tos’ – I suppose I have been looking at  the ‘how’ and thinking about the ‘why’ in a very practical manner – rather like I approached my career in farming – head down and boots dug in – I expect there are those who might say I ride my horses much the same.

The Parelli gang, Kelly Marks and Monty Roberts remain inspirational and have undoubtedly changed the horse world for the better – including my part of it.

I would always have said – in the past – that the only creative thing I did was cook. I some how missed the point that farm, orchard, gardens both veg and flower are creative in their essence and productive at their core, that forming relationships with livestock, horses and dogs – being self employed full stop –  also requires a subtle open creativity to get to a place where harmony exists and symbiosis occurs. I am suddenly realising that my writing is creative – it may seem laughable that to me it wasn’t an art but a job but then I am often accused of taking things too seriously by those who don’t look twice at me where as those who do a double take see the humour in that fact.

It has been a fight to get myself to lighten up – not hold the reins if you like – and use all of me to get where I want to go. Accepting that I am as creative a other members of my family despite not having applied myself to learning to knit etc is a revelation and though I still feel I am a student I am starting to see the blank page as a blank canvas and admit I want to paint all over it with words that come out of me.

Seeing the farm – as stockless as it is now – ought to be driving me nuts – scruffy unproductive grass etc – instead I see new shapes and textures, colours and movement – I see the wild life much more clearly – the deer, the small hedgerow birds and the hawks and buzzards, the fox and squirrels.

I am not sporting a floaty frock nor espadrilles – it is still jeans and boots -and if I occasionally wear a big straw hat with scarves on the crown? Well I wore it before I discovered I was Creative!

I am a dreamer of sorts – I dream of learning to get this right so I can get out of my own way and write adventures to go on – just like I dream of getting out of my horses’ way and  riding off to adventures with them. – for both I need to find a flow of ideas and action that come together to create and produce. – as ever that means Work In Progress or Please Pass Wide, Slow – and Smiling Quietly 🙂


Dog Day Chronicles…

Took A Week Off –

Well  worked on Open House Surgery  – but it turned out that  the week – 10 days  I had planned for – was only 5 days including the weekend.:)

Gave me a chance to play with sound recording on my dog walks – many reasons and it turns out to be Good Fun 🙂 I have never enjoyed walking much as I tend to chunder on about things and come back depressed – running doesn’t let me get away with that but neither the dogs or me are up to a lot of running right now..

The sound recording keeps my focus on ideas and constructive thoughts – now I VERY much doubt I will ever link this in to Dragon and be dictating my fiction – and any jokes about me being a Dragon and a Dictator WILL get The Finger. Anything that keeps the mental Black Dog from following us  on our excursions is good – I do all the mindfulness  Black Dog crap collecting techniques I can – but the fact is just like dog walking anywhere these days you come back home with a stinking bag of something you wish you didn’t have to deal with…

Been reading and listening to Joanna Penn ‘Successful Author Mindset’ – really good – but then I like her style. Still reading ‘Barkskins’ -Annie Proulx – that is a delicious long read in a ‘savour every word kind of way’. I thrashed through Lorelie James latest and much craved ‘Unbreak My Heart’ the conclusion of her Sierra and Boone story that fans were waiting for  – bliss 🙂

I have picked up the threads of my rewrite earlier than planned and am pleased with progress.

Bit Of A Dry Update…:)

Hell – This Time we are living through is interesting though – may we all survive long enough to see it through.




Flies Flies Flies….

THAT time of year has arrived!

This weeks excuses for not riding are – long grass every where, horse flies as big as Rhino – honestly – they are 🙂 – and rain. Buddy threw a shoe and as yet it remains at large as a ‘tractor trap’ – Dan the farrier has been and re shod Rufe, and Bud and decided Flax hadn’t grown enough foot to trim and given the assault of flies we all endured  I could only feel MORE guilty that I have been working on the books 24/7 and not ‘used’ the new shoes. 🙁 Not sure this month will be any different either.




Well That’s Done It Then!

So the UK flames around us –  one giant beacon representing the feelings of a nation – and like most writers I want to write about it – there is a danger for a start that many Works In Progress have been over taken by history and are now irrelevant or decidedly de trop  🙂 This type of schism has never happened before and what ever does happen the world as we know it has changed – and change is hard…

It has been a difficult week  for all of us.



Bizarrely last Wednesday I decided to rectify that mistake I made when I set up the blogs and website so last Thur pm – to Friday  spent most of the time on the phone to Blue Host in USA. Just as well really – it took my mind off everything else – or gave me something else stressful to do so got it all over in one go – well on the web site front anyway.

What ever happens to England – I am committed to three more years of this 🙂

I have FINALLY sorted out the extra accounts so reducing my costs by 2/3! Or saved £400-£600 /year – so the whole lot costs now about £110/year.

I then used the continuing turmoil around me to work out how to use and sync one of the calendar /time management app/programs I use – I discovered a few ‘husks’ of diaries etc were confounding each other and me  so I spent most of weekend unpicking the information and setting up one ‘cross platform’ and ‘cross equipment’ system that avoids the need for me to be a ‘Cross Writer’.



I HAD to get on with the re write this week as we have ground work to do on the house next week but what I thought were four clear days this week – are is today ( Tues) – as the rest have 8am-5pm power cuts planned by Electricity Co. A fact I had missed inserting in my posh new shiny schedule….:)

I am NOT risk losing momentum on the books now…

Which is partially why I persevered with the calendar stuff so I could remove the Jan 2016 goals and replace them with new ones in light of having completed Holly’s How To Revise Your Novel Course with Hacked Off  and made the decision  -based on the small amount of time I actually spent working on the printed out MS in the course – not to continue with the seeming never ending type up of both Q3 and Q4 it isn’t worth two years of my life to type up something that is likely to need a heavy re draft. Q1 and Q2 are typed and all new stuff is also typed to Scrivener and Word  – so it IS only those two MS that are lagging and at the moment publication of either is way off – I would rather write new stuff TBH in the allocated type up time as I have a back log of ideas in my head and in notebooks 🙂 🙂



And in my opinion – as I said before – Things Have Changed and that is always the beginning of any story …

Been listening to Joanna Penn Podcasts and watching them on UTube plus a live FB Q and A she did at the weekend – her latest book The Writer’s Mindset is great I have the audio playing  at the moment.

I worked on the Re Write of Hacked Off  – despite having no power – and am now up to Chapter Three of the main story and I am pleased with that –

Working through like everyone else in these somewhat Titanic like times in a week that saw England trounced by Iceland, and marks 100 years since The Battle Of The Somme, and find myself wondering if Baldrick and Blackader survived if they might have descendants – who might like to run for office – they always had ‘A cunning plan’…



That has been My Writing Week 🙂