Welcome to Dragonscale Clippings

Inside the mind of a writer...

My motto for 2012: Quality, not quantity

I am currently exploring the sensation of Sound...

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thank you to all my readers...

Thank you for reading Dragonscale Clippings. I have enjoyed your feedback and encouragement this year. 

If you have recently contacted me, please don't be offended if I don't respond until the new year. I am slowly winding down for Christmas. I plan to take a complete break from all things technological in order to detoxify my brain!

Clippings will be back in the New Year so if you would like immediate updates whenever I post, (maximum 3 times a week) please follow me and enter your email address in the box on the right.

Before I disappear into hibernation mode to watch The Lord of the Rings, I would like to point you in the direction of Fiona Robyn's new novel. You can find Woodsmoke Press here and read all about her book The Most Beautiful Thing

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. 


Friday, 23 December 2011

Moment - 24

Letting go of what I've been holding onto. 
Feeling free, yet grounded. 
Knowing I will not be abandoned. 
That everything happens for an eternal reason.

Moment - 23

The robin joined me in the herb garden when I was weeding. He sat on the orange bucket making trilling, contented sounds without opening his beak, vibrating his throat. I realised he was talking to me...

Moment - 22

The satisfied feeling of another short story well-crafted, complete, typed and double-spaced; undiluted by rejection for now.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Moment - 21

Feeling the knife-edge cut as my newest short story is rejected because "it doesn't work". Pain deep inside and indignation. What do they mean, it doesn't work?!!

Moment - 20

Waking just after 3am and hearing the random taps of rain on the roof and window grow to a steady downpour that keeps me awake in the dark.

Moment - 19

Rewatching Christopher Bruce's Swansong; the seemingly effortless flow of movement, playful, sinister, yearning for freedom. Testosterone fuelled contemporary ballet.

The River...

Would you like a 2012 with more colour, more juice, more clarity, more deliciousness?

During January, Kaspa and Fiona Robyn from ‘Writing Our Way Home’ will be encouraging you to pay attention to one thing every day and write it down.

You don’t have to be a writer to take part. You just need to have three minutes spare a day, and a notebook or a blog, and the desire to slow down and fall in love with the world a day at a time.

Do jump here to find out more, and Kaspa and Fiona hope to see you in the river. Here’s how last year’s small-stoners found the experience:

“I have to tell you, readers, I have loved writing a small stone every day for the last 31 days. It’s the most glorious exercise in mindfulness, in pulling yourself into this moment, and if you haven’t tried it yet please give it a go, if only for a week.”
~Rachel Hawes, writer of small stones

“My father was recently put into Hospice care and dealing with the imminent loss and pain and joy of his journey has become sweeter for me because I am paying attention. That is no small thing.”
~Lisa Haight, writer of small stones

“…I keep finding that [writing a small stone] doesn’t eat up time or mental space; on the contrary, time stops and a new space is created.”
~Jean Morris, writer of small stones

“Writing small observations daily was like a spiritual experience for me. I felt happy, joyous and free. I looked forward to my daily meditation. As a result, I feel awakened and alive; and I am truly thankful.”
~Laurie Kolp, writer of small stones

Monday, 19 December 2011

Moment - 18

I am here
I am alive
I have breath in my body
I have a soul within
I am being
I am breathing
I live
I experience
I choose
I am me

Moment - 17

Snug inside while the wind rattles the tiles and rain pours continuously, slapping against the window pane. Drinking nettle tea, watching the weather.

Moment - 16

Rewatching Star Wars; like meeting old friends. Incredible how much one forgets. Caught up in the detail, in the characters' adventures, lost in another world...

Saturday, 17 December 2011


I sang a song of Autumn green
In late October frosts began,
The dew was harsh, the light was strong
The robin sang his piercing song...

This is the first verse of my poem Octobersong which has been printed in EOTE December 2011. If you would like to read the rest of it, please visit EOTE

You can also find Linda Turner's comments on the entire poem here

Friday, 16 December 2011

Moment - 15

Feeling of gratitude and delight at getting a second payrise this year despite the difficult economic climate. I feel needed and wanted.

Moment - 14

Waking up in the gloaming and realising we're on holiday for ten days. No work, no writing, no regular routine. Thrill of excitement, drifting back to sleep, feeling relaxed...

Moment - 13

Satisfaction of digging over a weed-infested flowerbed, seeing the crumbled soil mixed with homemade compost, knowing the bulbs are hidden for now, until the Spring warmth awakes them.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Moment - 12

Getting completely absorbed in my ballet routine; feeling the flow and the rhythm to elavated arabseques, forgetting my writing, working my body, relaxing my mind...

Clippings #3 Comments from Claudia Messelodi

Thanks so much for sending the Clippings issue. I enjoyed reading it very much!!! And I thank you also for publishing "Connecting with nature" in it. I feel really happy! I find the photograph you put at its side simply stunning, wonderful. 
I enjoyed the exerpt of the Ice Maiden's Tale; found it highly interesting and involving. I particularly appreciated the amazing description of the image of the "river" conveyed through the girl's mind's eye. Where can I find the whole tale? Would be very glad to read it all. 
Also Heather's poem is very lovely, as usual. It spoke a lot to me, I can share so much.

Moment - 11

Wondering why some people had the audacity to defend the rioters in August. No excuses. No mitigating circumstances. Send the army in!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Moment - 10

Absorbing the sun that hardly ever shines hot on this exposed hillside. Enjoying the heat and warmth of Summer merging with Autumn in mid-August.

Moment - 9

Flicker of annoyance as in the Summer, yet again, the neighbour plays his radio loudly in his garden. 

You don't do that kind of thing if you're country bred. 

He is deaf. He must be. He's been asked not to, but still does it.

Clippings #3 Comment from Jenny Poulter

Thanks for Clippings 3 - interesting excerpts as always!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

How I managed to go all these years without reading this book, I really don't know. 

Much as I loved reading Bridget Jones' Diary, (it made me laugh so much!), I Capture The Castle wins hands down for diaries penned by women. It is funny and tragic by turns, clean and yet full of sensuality and suggestion.

Set in the 1930s this is the story of a 17 year old living with her eccentric family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. It tells of her hopes and fears, her dreams, her loves and how she discovers who she is over the course of a year. 

What drew me to the novel was the opening sentence. "I write this sitting in the kitchen sink." I read to the end of the first paragraph and had to buy the book. This doesn't happen very often with me but I'm glad I did buy the book. It is one I will re-read many times.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Moment - 8

Finding peace in the garden, doing practical things; tying up canes, tidying things away, stilling the conversations in my head, being free just to be...

Moment - 7

Laughing in disbelief when 15 haiku were rejected by a haiku magazine on the grounds they were too traditional. 

Apparently English language haiku don't have to conform to the 5-7-5 syllabic structure. So, what's the point?!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Moment - 6

Back in the Summer; a sudden chirping of an invisible grasshopper. Looking everywhere as he rasps, to find him perched on my book!

Moment - 5

Neat pile of ironed clothes. Sense of satisfaction. Clean, dry, pressed washing. A chore well done.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Moment - 4

Seeing green globes of swelling fruit from a plant I've grown myself. Mixture of satisfaction and impatience; wanting the the fruit to ripen to red so I can taste it...

Moment - 3

Afterwards; wrapped in velvet darkness of remembered pleasure, the reassurance of mutual love and unbreakable trust.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Moment - 2

In amongst the busyness of catching up, a moment of stillness and quiet reflection; reading Claudia's poetry, refreshing my mind, delighting my spirit.

Moment - 1

Utter stillness and quiet as I rest from writing. A peacefulness invades me as energising as inspiration. 

I wait. 

I receive. 

I take in, in order to give out.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Touch - 27

The soft damp feel of
autumn rain upon my face
not yet cold-damp 
but the wind blowing from the south-west
hints of winter approaching

Touch - 26

Wind hassled
rain beaten
autumn pounds at me
even indoors
stinging rain
chilling breath
the year decays

Touch - 25

October sun hotter than Midsummer heat
bearing down, awakening plants
quickening soil
giving me energy as the year

Clippings #3

The third issue of my newsletter is now available to view.

If you would like to read it, please send an email with Subscribe Clippings in the subject line to  H2M

It's only 4 pages long and contains an excerpt from one of my wintry, romantic tales as well as photography by Mick Turner and poetry from Heather Connelly and Claudia Messelodi. 

Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Nanowrimo 2011

Well, it was an experience!

A big thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported me, particularly my long-suffering partner!

I'm not sure I'd bother with it again though. I mean, I know I can write 50k words in a month without having a deadline. I thought there would be more interaction between writers but it's actually a very isolationist website. 

The thing that made me laugh was the amount of pep talks that were emailed to me. These were really lengthy monologues on how difficult it is to write (is it?) and how to overcome writer's block (what's that?) I skipped most of them. I was trying to write 50k words; I didn't have time to read pages of other people's opinions!

November is a really bad time for me to be committing to do lots of things. It's my busiest month of the year so I think I'll just put it down to experience. 

The novel, though completely unplanned, went really well. Loads of other things came out in addition to writing about how I cope with my partner who suffers from depression. It was very cathartic and releasing. I will leave the first draft for a few months and then look at it; I'll have forgotten what I've written by then and come to it fresh. 

Meantime, I'm really looking forward to January 2012 A River Of Stones. I love the WOWH community; people know how to encourage you there!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Touch - 24

The soft feel of tumble-dried towels;
all fluffed-up and huggable!

Touch - 23

The firm feel of the crust
beneath my fingers
as the knife cuts through 
into soft, springy bread flesh

Friday, 25 November 2011

Touch - 22

The slightly giving sensation
of something round and mobile
beneath my slipper feet.
Is it a spider?!
It is a small green tomato
that rolled off the window sill.

Touch - 21

Spiked stems of Greek alcanet 
look so soft and furry
but really are
quite vicious!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Touch - 19

Tickling fronds of fine fennel leaves
brush my neck in a friendly
teasing fashion
sudden sharp needle-pricks
of rose stab through my jacket
into my back

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Touch - 20

Rough skin on my first finger joint
I keep touching it
the skin is broken
worn by aggressive gardening
and in the split, dirt lingers
seeping into my skin

Friday, 18 November 2011

A Handful of Small Stones...

I'm so pleased! A Handful of Small Stones has published one of my stones!

If you would like to read it, click here and scroll down until you find 17th November!

Touch - 18

Warm lips pressed against mine
conveying his need of me

Touch - 17

Thin cold leaves of green
sharply pointed
leaning towards the light.
Catch the leaf awkwardly
as I pull it up - ouch!
Fine cut
like a paper cut
on my palms.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Touch - 16

Smooth petals like living silk
top a smooth stalk impregnated
with fine thorns 
that bury themselves
in my flesh
like tiny needles

Ideas for Christmas...

If you're a bit stuck on what to buy your friends and family for Christmas, or even stuck for ideas for yourself, here are my recommendations: -

A Year of Questions by Fiona Robyn 
It really does help you slow down and fall in love with life again. I really don't rate self-help books because they never help me. This one did. Even if you're not a writer, buy it! It really makes you think and find space once again.  

Pay Attention: A River of Stones
Back in January a whole group of us across the world joined together at A River Of Stones website to write a "small stone" every day. This anthology is a selection of the stones written during that month. (Mine is at the top of page 42!) A refreshing, relaxing and thought-provoking collection of bite sized poems and observations. Ideal for busy people or for those who can't concentrate for long. 

Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles by Elizabeth Leaper and Jack Williamson
My friend Libby has had an anthology of poetry published! This volume contains both her own and her late uncle's poetry. An absolute must for poetry lovers. 

Better Off Dead by Matt Rowe
Only recently released, this is a book that will get the teenagers in your life reading again. Actually, it'll get everyone in your life reading again so long as they've got a sense of humour! 
Dragonscale Leggings by Freya Pickard
Yes, I'm recommending my own work! If you need to escape from the dire deeds of politicians and faceless corporations, this is the perfect portal for you. If you're seriously depressed or even just feeling a bit down, then laughter is what you need - you'll find it in my tale of a strong heroine who (just about) overcomes against all odds. 

An amazing website for those finishing touches for all your gifts throughout the year. I think they only sell in the UK though. Everything is handcrafted in the UK - order your boxes soon!

Touch - 15

Fine moisture beading my skin and hair;
cool touch to its delicate fingers, 
morning mist on an autumnal day.

Touch - 14

Smooth-skinned red fruit, 
large plumpness filling
my small hand; 
warm from the greenhouse
slightly giving skin;
ripe, plucked tomato.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Nanowrimo - Halfway there

Thank you so much to everyone who's provided encouragement and advice. I really appreciate it! 

Halfway through the Nanowrimo Challenge and so far I've written only 19,767 words. I'm pleased with my progress seeing as most of this was written yesterday and today!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Touch - 13

The silky, clean feel
of new underwear;
unfaded, smooth
making me feel

Touch - 12

The dry, crumbly soil giving
way to my insistent
fingers allowing me 
to reap a harvest
of orange

Friday, 11 November 2011

Touch - 11

Softness of short, cropped hair;
it looks spiky and sharp
but feels almost 

Touch - 10

Soft, firm pastry;
coalescing into a flour-butter dough,
smooth coolness
as I roll it out thinly
to make crisp, crumbling covering
for egg and bacon pie. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Touch - 9

The firm, curved shape
of ripe fruit
red plumpness falling into my hand
as I gently twist the tomato
to release it from the stem;
slightly warm from the heat
of the greenhouse. 

Touch - 8

The silky feel of crumbled compost
sieved free of twigs and leaf
fresh scented
dark and mysterious
it runs through my fingers
like soft sand. 

Monday, 7 November 2011

Touch - 6

The sun's heat
on my skin
caressing, relaxing
yet invigorating; 
opens the pores
strengthens my bones
fills my heart with

Review: Out of the Silent Planet by C S Lewis

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started re-reading Out of the Silent Planet last month as I felt the need for refreshment rather than challenge...

It was delightful to re-engage with Lewis' spectucular approach to space travel. I love the sensation of light in this novel and the beautiful descriptions of the planet that the hero is forcibily removed to.

I know that some people have told me that they have struggled with the images on "Mars" but for me it is always refreshing and renewing to read Lewis' prose. I also enjoyed his discussions on arch-types throughout the universe.

If you enjoy space travel and discovering new worlds, this is one to try!

View all my reviews

Touch - 7

The harsh feel of the carpet
against my bare feet;
Summer is here
and the carpet needs cleaning. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

EOTE - Masks & Mirrors!

EOTE is the 'zine that publishes some of my poetry. They have recently posted that they're looking for submissions for their April issue in 2012. The theme is Masks & Mirrors and you can find more details here

Touch - 5

The cool breeze
stirring the hairs on back of my neck
like cold fingers
just caressing my skin.

Touch - 4

The gentle rap of rain
on my waterproofs
drumming rhythmically on my hood
like a drum-beat
accompanying my swift walk
past the windmill.

Touch - 3

Golden breakers
on the shores of my body
uplifting, delighting
taking my breath away.

Touch - 2

The firm, pliable texture
of elastic-like dough;
combined flour and oil
seasoned with yeast, salt and sugar
drawn together by hand
alive to my touch.

Touch - 1

The feel of soft tomato leaves
trailing over my skin
as I weave through the greenhouse jungle;
gone now 
with the fleeting summer.

Monday, 31 October 2011


For the first time ever I'm participating in Nanowrimo! 

Between 1st and 30th November I will try and write 50,000 words of a brand, new novel.

It's a bit daunting. I mean, I've written a novel in a month before but only because it flowed easily and I had it all planned out. I never intended to write it so quickly. 

This time it's a new subject and I only have a very loose plan. 

What inspired me to do this was taking part in both River of Stones challenges this year. I can write a short piece each day. So I know I can write more... I hope! 

If you'd like to see what I'm writing, please feel free to visit nanowrimo

Smile - 30

What would you think of the person who sent this auto reply to your email?

Thank you very much for your email. I'm out in the garden talking to
faeries right now. When I've found my way back to the house I will
send you a reply...

I've had this on my auto reply for 2 months now and no-one's commented on it at all. Perhaps people don't read auto replies?!

Smile - 29

Partner - There's mud in the dining room. How did that get there?
Me - The faeries put it there. 
Partner - Faeries my ****!

Smile - 28

My boss walked into reception today and announced he needed to get into the petty cash box. 

I told him I didn't think he'd fit. 

Smile - 27

Partner - Your brain works in a very strange way. 
Me - At least you admit I have a brain that works!

Smile - 26

Apparently we all have a fascination for predators. 

I am fascinated by the tax man. 

Does that make the tax man a predator?

Smile - 25

After watching a trailer for a series about people visiting dangerous places, my partner turned to me and asked: -

"Why do people decide to go to the most dangerous places on the planet? I can't even manage to get to Surrey!"

Friday, 28 October 2011

Hacked Off With Halloween?

If you're feeling hacked off with all this Halloween hype, why not treat yourself to something different?

Matt Rowe's novel "Better Off Dead" is due for release on 31st October 2011! 

To find out more about the book click here and select My Works

To buy the book, click here

Don't let Halloween get you down - have a laugh instead!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Hunt For Tony Blair

I really enjoyed this film and was perplexed as to why the media slammed it. 

My short review can be found  here

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Smile - 24

We went for a walk around the estates at Sissinghurst to enjoy the fresh air. 

But all we could smell were the scents of air freshener and toilet cleaner on the people who passed us. 

Smile - 23

Overheard at the end of a party; 

Female guest to male host - Thank you so much for having me. 

Host - But I haven't had you, yet. 

Smile - 22

The following week my boss came back from the pub before 2.30pm. 
So I asked him if the beer was off. 

Smile - 21

Me - I'm going shopping for a new bra today. 
Partner - Do you need one then?

Smile - 20

My boss returns from lunch early (2.30pm) one Friday. 
I ask him, "Did the pubs close early today?"

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Comments on Dragonscale Clippings #2 from Claudia Messelodi

Thank you very much for sending the last issue of Clippings. I really enjoyed reading it! 

I liked the excerpt from The Romance, found it very funny and intriguing..would really love to know how it goes on..:))

Linda's poem is amazing, it spoke to me so much. In my opinion the metaphor/image of the tree-tears is stunning (not only students figures are like tree-tears, but also the words of the poet). Through it is conveyed to me the tight relationship between Art and Nature (which consists both of natural elements and human beings).

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Comments on Dragonscale Clippings #2 from Enerico

Now I am not a reader as you know but....

OMG the poem is depressing!

Now that is not a bad thing because it forced me to read the observations which made me smile.

Then I took to the main text and it was totally captivating even for me. Well done you!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

# 2 - Why I chose...

Putting together my newsletter is as much an art form as writing a story or a novel. 

So, why did I choose an excerpt from The Romance, Linda Turner's Classroom Sonnet and Anne Baksteen's photograph of Big Ben?

The excerpt from The Romance was intended to make people smile (as were the blogs) to balance the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loss in the Classroom Sonnet. 

I find Sonnets very difficult to write and admire Linda's talent and wordsmithying. I liked the sense of loss and sadness and felt that Anne's photography linked tenuously with Linda's words. In her picture I saw old and new architecture that blended together harmoniously. 

Thank you to everyone who's got back to me already with feedback - I will be publishing it over the next few weeks! If you haven't yet let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you!

And if you would like to read #2 of Dragonscale Clippings, please email me at Freya
with Subscribe Clippings in the subject line. 

Stay creative!


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Smile - 19

Boss - Tea is my blood. I need to drink a lot of it. 
Me - I thought your blood came out of a wine bottle. 

Smile - 18

Wind farm; 
futuristic factory
where people with 
excess flatulence
energise the nation.

Smile - 17

I wondered how dogs managed to stick their heads out of a moving car window and pant, without their mouths becoming dry and losing their ability to bark. 

My partner asked if I'd like to try it. 

Smile - 16

I don't understand why vegetarians get so up tight about people eating meat which is dead and cooked. 

They eat vegetables that are still alive!

Smile - 15

My first encounter with a driving range on a golf course.

Oh! What are all those yellow flowers? There are so many of them. Oh, they're golf balls...

Monday, 17 October 2011

Dragonscale Clippings #2

At bit late I know, but here at last, is the September issue of Dragonscale Clippings. 

In #2 I give you a sneak preview of The Romance and introduce you to a poet and a photographer. 

Linda Turner is an amazing writer and I've included her Classroom Sonnet as it ties in with the theme of autumn. 

Anne Baksteen has recently had a photograph published by EOTE and I am really pleased to be able to display more of her talent in her Big Ben photograph. 

If you would like to recieve Dragonscale Clippings please email me at  Freya  to request the link. 

Let me know what you think of #2!

Featured Twice on WOWH!

Guess what?

I was featured twice on WOWH blog in September! 

The two blogs that featured can be read here

and  here

And if you want to find out what WOWH is all about, why not visit them  here

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Smile - 14.5

I'm not a pessimist. 
I'm optimistically pessimistic. 

Smile - 14

Knole Golf Course
I like the way they put sand pits at regular intervals so the children have somewhere safe to be while the adults play golf. 

Smile - 13

Me - Oh! A fly's just flown down my cleavage. 
Partner - It must have been a very small fly then. 

Smile - 12

After telling my partner about my dreams the night before I said, 

"My brain is weird."
"It is indeed," he affirmed fervrently.

Smile - 11

Partner - I hate being wrong. I hate it when you're right. 
Me - Why?
Partner - Because you're a woman and women aren't supposed to get things right as much as you do!

I took this as a compliment. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Smile - 10

Partner - It's amazing what a difference wheels make to a car. 
Me - Yes. Without them a car wouldn't go anywhere. 

Smile - 9

My partner got this email from his mate: -

"I've just emailed your wife and received an auto reply saying 'Piss off, I'm on holiday!'"

Smile - 8

Thank goodness I'm NOT a mum. 
That means I don't have to shop at Iceland. 

Smile - 7

The boss walks in late after a drinking session the night before. 

Employee 1 - He made it in then. 
Employee 2 - I think he's still drunk. 
Employee 1 - Really? I thought that state was normal for him. 

Smile - 6

When asked by a colleague how I was, I was truthful and told him I'd been ill with a stomach bug. His reply was: 
"Sorry to hear you've been ill. Hope it's all passed. Ha! Ha!"

Feedback - Clippings June 2011 - from Linda Turner

I always love Dragonscale as you know!

Book Two of the Future
Once again, a wonderful witty extract, the tone matching the dialogue perfectly. This is tantalisingly intriguing. I do think Tanek sounds quite hunky too. 

The Wilting June by Heather Connelly
So many lovely and wistful analogies. A leaving with the early blooms. I have no knowledge of flowers, I'm afraid, and always thought they bloomed in June, so this seems an alternative, upside down world where sadness comes at what should be a hopeful time of year. I enjoyed this. I especially like the fleeting glimpses of past joys and colours of them that make their loss all the more poignant along with the lonely sorrow of the leaving itself. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Why I Write Small Stones

I don't think my stones are technically true small stones. 

The way I write is peculiar. When I write a novel I am both detached and involved, but I am living my characters' lives as I write. 

So, for me, writing a small stone is not only a way of connecting with the world, but also a way of connecting with myself again. I have to find out how I feel and remind myself to be me. 

That's why I think my small stones are not detached enough to be true small stones. 

However, the practice has enabled me to stay sane whilst in the throes of creativity and give me a modicum of space whilst writing novels. (It becomes very exhausting hearing 3 or 4 different voices in one's head at once) 

Also, I think that small stones help improve my haiku writing.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Smile - 5

Me - Is there a reason you left the TV on?

Partner - Yes, I didn't turn it off. 

Smile - 4

Colleague 1 - Would you like a cup of tea?

Colleague 2 - No thanks. The boss has just made me one. 

Colleague 3 - And that's put him off for life!

Smile - 3

Me - Have you heard the latest guidelines about cleaning your teeth?

Boss - No. 

Me - Apparently you should now clean your teeth twice a day for two minutes with toothpaste.

Boss - Do you think three times a day with gin counts?

Smile - 2

My partner, whilst working on Clippings for me, asks - I did ask you if there were anymore blogs to be included on this page. 

Me - Did you?

Him - Yes!

Me - What, when I was in the room or down in the kitchen making tea?

Smile - 1

It's not what you drive, it's how you drive that intimidates people.

Virtual Fruit Cake

That's not implying I am one...

I'd like to share some virtual fruit cake with you. I made a large fruit cake for the week my partner and I took off recently. We didn't go away. We made furniture for the office, bought things we needed and I also did a lot of gardening. 

We were both tired. We needed to do something crative which tied in with practical things that needed to be done around the house. We ate small slices of my fruit cake for tea in the afternoons, drinking herbal tea with it; chamomile, blackcurrant or fennel. We listened to more music. We hardly watched any TV. Instead we re-watched the original Star Wars films in the evenings. 

The fruit cake was succulent and firm but it wasn't heavy at all. There were great chunks of dried fruit in it; fig, date, apricot, pear, apple. The texture was firm yet yielding. The taste was fruity-sweet, not too sweet. It was a treat. It gave us energy when we'd been working hard  physically all day. 

During the week I didn't write any haiku and only a few stones. I stopped thinking about trying to make money out of my writing. I stopped trying to decide what to write next; should I re-write my romace, should I write my planned novel about depression, should I work on my fantasy series or write the final futuristic tale, or should I write more poems and short stories to sell to magazines? 

I rested my mind. I enjoyed gardening. I made tomato soup from my homegrown tomatoes. I read three books; "Pay Attention - A River of Stones", " A Year of Questions" by Fiona Robyn and "Soulforge" by Margaret Weis. I stopped feeling tired. I stopped worrying. I enjoyed being.

Now I'm back in routine and I know where I'm going. I'm working on short stories because they're alive to me at the moment. And in November I'm going to participate in Nanowrimo for the first time ever in order to start my novel about living with depression. 

I love being focused!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Element - 30

keen breeze in sunlit air
chilling my skin
awakening my brain. 

Element - 29

being allowed outside
to see and feel the lightning dance
and to jump at the sound 
of chariot wheels 
churning overhead!

Element - 28

anvil cloud
and a fierce sun 
out of a solid-blue sky. 
Burning heat,
stifling air,
even the breeze is warm.
Scent of rain
out of the west.

Element - 27

fiercely caressing, relaxing
my skin, muscles
and mind.

Element - 26

light-fingered moistness chilling my skin,
white veil dropping before my eyes. 
Where is the sun?

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Something I've learnt recently...

Writing morning pages is like cooking with leeks. 

If you spend time preparing them and get all the gritty bits out before you start cooking leeks, it makes life so much easier. I've found the same with writing morning pages. 

If I get myself out of the way first thing, I can concentrate so much better on everything else during the day. It's as if all the stuff that usually whizzes round in my head, distracting me, gets poured out on the page. It doesn't solve any problems, but it does help me to concentrate on what really needs to be done. 

So thank you Fiona for inspiring me to come back to the habit of morning pages in both Lorrie's Story and A Year of Questions! 

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Butterfly Tree

My short story, The Butterfly Tree has been published online by The Absent Willow Review!

If you would like to read it, click here

Let me know what you think!

Element - 25

seeping, pouring all night
lingering into the morning
fine mist hanging over wood and field
concealing sky
moistening my skin

Element - 24

pastel white
blurred at the edges
on sky-blue paper
looks unreal

Element - 23

blue so bright
only glimpsed briefly
between shrouding clouds
of grey

Element - 22

gusting, grabbing
coolness diffusing the sun's heat
wreaking havoc 
on trees and fields

Element - 21

violent showers and gusting winds
soaking, drenching, trickling
off stone and earth
liquid life falling
from turbulent skies

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Element - 20

monotonous tap on plastic roof, 
dreary, irritating rhythm, 
much-needed water.

Element - 19

is moisture, fertile & rich
dark soil supporting tomato & pepper plants
nourishing, giving life.

Element - 18

fine shower suddenly falling
from high clouds

Element - 17

heavy with heat,
liquid gold in the air
benign, sovereign, joy-bringer, life-giver,

Element - 16

low & drifting
conccealing the far horizon
closing in
making an island of the hilltop
saturating air and earth
with welcome moisture.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Element - 15

backed by a flurry of windiness
cool drops fall heavily
soaking concrete and earth.

Element - 14

squeezing the air out of my lungs, 
lays his oppressive hand upon me, 
deafening me with his sudden roar.

Element - 13

heavy with the threat of rain
of moisture lingering in the atmosphere - 
warmth, life, hope.

Element - 12

grey looms, threatens
casts sporadic showers
but here no rain falls.

Element - 11

damp, holding water,
saturated after long, drenching rainfall.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Element - 10

Stone; jarring, inflexible, strong yet cracks weaken it. Natural bone of the earth, shaped by man to defy God.

Element - 9

Cloud; grey-wetness moisting the air, cool droplets clinging together, darkening the light.

Element - 8

Rain; spitter spatters on the greenhouse roof, flat drops of transparent moisture, pearl-like against the grey sky.

Element - 7

FireBreath; heat of the sun carried in the wind, burning from the south, holding dryness in the air. Summer heat with Autumn gales, a hot vortex of blue and gold.

Element - 6

Earth; dry, dusty, hanging onto every atom of moisture it can so the plant life it nourishes will survive.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Element - 5

Moon; new and slender piercing the night. Full and heavy, taking her time to rise and set.

Element - 4

Sun; glorious harbinger of perfection - heat, light, growth. On the sun you can depend to rise, to fill the world with light and heat. Dangerous, yet vital.

Element - 3

Wind; gusting tugging, playing, shoving, jagged dances with leaves and branches. Strong, irrestible, unseen.

Element - 2

Cloud; droplets of water congregate, make the air grey, mist sight, conceal all behind an impenetrable curtain.

Element - 1

Fire; burning, devouring, hungry heat. Vital source at my core, essential heat and light. Always changing, dancing, moving, flickering colours. Both death and life.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Gone In Search of Inspiration...

Well, not exactly, but I thought it was a good title for today's blog! 

I know I can't search for inspiration. It's like the elusive phoenix and unicorn. You can't find them. You have to wait for them to find you. (The unicorn used to visit me under the spreading chestnut tree. But now the chestnut tree has died, will the unicorn return?)

Am I mad? Possibly! I hear voices in my head. That's a sign of madness, isn't it? Or is it inspiration?

What I'm trying to say in a not very succinct way (that was really bad English!) is that I'm taking time out once again to make myself available for inspiration to come to me. 

I've really struggled to write this month; my Nan's death affected me in ways I hadn't considered. So it's time to pause and be and hopefully come back bursting with ideas next month. 

So please forgive me if I don't answer your email, tweet, facebook message, phonecall, letter, text... I will get back to you eventually. 

May you find your inspiration in unlikely places. 


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Emotion - 31

Happiness; a fleeting moment of pure joy, not to be hung onto but remembered with pleasure.

Emotion - 30

Tiredness; trying to relax. Too tense. Too tired. Too weary to even think...

Emotion - 29

Harmony; teasing, laughing, joking, serious, loving... We merge and swirl together, comfortable with each other.

Emotion - 28

Friction; an imbalance of emotion. We both think we're right. We disagree. Knife-sharp edge between us. Turmoil inside. Not too proud to say sorry.

Emotion -27

Languorous; heat, sun, pebbles and sea, gently walking, resting....

Emotion - 26

Remote; feeling out of it still, disconnected, hanging free. Floating. Can't focus. Trying to rest. Stop the thoughts congregating in my brain.

Emotion - 25

Stupor; relief from stress and ongoing routine, feeling out of sync, out of touch, numb with realisation - I haven't GOT to do anything!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Dragonscale Clippings: EOTE - August 2011 - Editor's Reasons

Dragonscale Clippings: EOTE - August 2011 - Editor's Reasons

EOTE - August 2011 - Editor's Reasons

This is an interesting posting at EOTE

Emotion - 24

Weariness; on the edge of collapse, functioning as an automaton, trying to get to the point of holiday starting and then...

Emotion - 23

Exhaustion; brain numb, thoughts jumping up and down, so much not yet done, muscles ache, just want to sleep...

Emotion - 22

Excitement; barely contained speech, a need to get the words out so quickly I don't make sense. Positive, warm feelings.

Emotion - 21

Delight; a poem published, beautifully presented in a professional magazine!

Emotion - 20

Tranquillity; composure and assurance in the face of adversity and challenging, changing circumstances.

Emotion - 19

Tired; drawing heaviness dragging me down. Eyes closing, brain a blur. All I want to do is sleep...

Monday, 22 August 2011

Ends of the Earth August 2011 - Now Available!

The August issue of Ends of the Earth is now available online! 

In this issue the photographer Jonathon B Hoyt is featured along with other photographers such as Anne Baksteen and Mick Turner. Anna Brock introduces us to artist and poet, Heather Connelly and there is also a beautiful poem by Claudia Messelodi. And yes, there is a small item from yours truly!

You can access the link here

In order to receive your own personalised link whenever EOTE is published, please send an email to H2M with EOTE in the subject line. 

Read and enjoy!

Emotion - 18

Relief; feeling drained and washed out but positive now.

Emotion - 17

Annoyance; why won't people buy my book? What is wrong with them? Feeling hot and spiky but not quite cross.

Emotion - 16

Nervous tension; too long a time feeling stressed. Relaxing and now feeling terrible; aches, pressure. Coping with a stressful lifestyle.

Emotion - 15

Boredom; apathetic disposure, can't be bothered, can't engage, nothing quickens my interest.

Emotion - 14

Placidity; transplanting marigolds and beans, tending tomato plants, sowing herbs while thunder builds.

Emotion - 13

Concern; feeling unsettled over their news, wanting to help, to make things better for them.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Emotion - 12

Uninspired; flat and grey kind of feeling. Have energy but no ideas, no flow.

Emotion - 11

Laughter; bubbling up and overflowing, genuine amusement in everyday activity.

Emotion - 10

Peace; something that comes from within despite adverse circumstances. Ask for it. It is a gift.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Ken Rockwell has been Paying Attention for Decades

For those of us who enjoy Paying Attention this posting is a must. 

Although it's written from a photographer's point of view, what he says, also applies to serious writers. Don't be put off by his initial discussion of cameras. Keeping reading and about halfway down the page you'll reach the bit about paying attention; keep on reading, it's interesting!

Read and enjoy!

 Ken Rockwell

Review of Dragonscale Leggings by Linda Turner

I have rarely bought a book that entertained me so much as did this one. The characters are delightful, and even the villains are funny. Not so much amusing as laugh-aloud, tummy-hurting hilarious. 

But the humour is merely the icing on a superb Fantasy story cupcake that the reader regrets having to finish. 

Freya Pickard is an adept of the genre and whilst her writing is richly vibrant, her plots intricately woven, her narratives are always immediately accessible to any kind of reader. Easy to get into, hard to put down. A most enjoyable read.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Emotion - 9

On the edge; slipping between peacefulness and anxiety. Wanting to be peaceful, erring towards worry.

Emotion - 8

Happiness; not something that can be held onto, but something that arrives at unexpected moments such as planting out young lettuces.

Emotion - 7

Unwinding; releasing tension I didn't know I had. Tiredness hampers me as I let go and release chattering thoughts, feeling my muscles relax.