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...

Monday, 30 April 2012

Scent - 30

sweet sugariness of chopped date mingled with bright tartness of kiwi
a sweet and piquant fruit pudding

Friday, 27 April 2012

Ends of the Earth....

I am so pleased! EOTE have published not just my musing and an abridged version of my review of "Better Off Dead" by Matt Rowe, but they've also printed my poem "Phantom"!

It is a sumptuous issue about Masks & Mirrors, viewed from all angles...

And my friends Claudia, Libby & JulesPaige also feature in this issue.

To find out more, visit EOTE Masks & Mirrors

I'm going to be offline for a few days but hope to be back in action mid-week. The scheduling for this blogsite has gone to pot (not ideal when I've been offline so much recently!) but at the moment, Pure Haiku seems to be working OK. So if you don't receive an email from Clippings, just hop over to Pure Haiku to see what I'm posting there!

Circle Spinner & Other Tales by Elizabeth Baxter

If you have a Kindle you may like to check out this collection of short stories by Elizabeth Baxter. Set in fantasy worlds conceived in Baxter's fertile imagination this is one to get if you enjoy exotic worlds and strong characters.

The Kindle version will be released on 29th April 2012. Don't miss out!

For more information, please visit Small Blonde Hippy

Scent - 24

evening dew tickles my nose, fills my throat with dampness
so quickly does the year turn

Scent - 23

nose running, oesophagus cleansing smell of chilli flaked heated, heating as I stir and cook con carne

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Being versus Doing...

I think I have been trying to do too much.

My motto for this year was supposed to be quality, not quantity...

But I feel as though I've been trying to cram too much in.

Life is meant to be lived, not crammed.

I am a human being, not a human doing.

I do too much doing and hardly any being.

And now all my scheduling for Clippings won’t work... Is someone somewhere saying something to me?

I think they might be...

So, what am I going to do about it?

I'm going to take some small steps towards feeling as though I have enough space in my head for everything that matters.

That means, not doing so much...

I'm still going to blog, because I enjoy it so much and meet such interesting and fascinating people.

But I won't maybe blog quite as much as I have been.

And for a couple of weeks I’m going to be on and offline so my posts won’t appear as regularly as they have been.

If you want to, you can pop over to PureHaiku and see what I'm doing there.

Here's to being!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday Words - A Stream of Small Stones

Today's Wednesday Words is a stream of small stones by Claudia Messelodi. 

If you follow PureHaiku you will already have come across Claudia as she kindly allowed me to publish some of her haiku earlier this year. Her haiku also appear regularly at a handful of stones and recently she has had a collection of her poetry published in Italy as well as winning an award. 

If you haven't yet visited her blog, I would encourage you to. a stream of small stones is utterly delightful. Each haiku is perfectly composed and acts as a small stone, allowing the reader to pause, think and meditate. Claudia's observations are a delight to read and I love mulling over her phrases, lingering on the words she's chosen. 

Pop over and see for yourself!

One of my favourite haiku by Claudia is: -

Swirls of autumn leaves
the wind urge stirs up the hill;
scrawls on a blank page.

You can read more like this at  a stream of small stones and at PureHaiku

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

My Most Beautiful Thing...

My most beautiful thing is light. 

I've only REALLY noticed light since moving into this little house on the side of a hill looking out over the undulating countryside that stretches south to the English Channel on the far horizon.  I noticed sunlight through trees and moonlight before but since I've been here...

It's the quality of light that impresses me. Here we are open to the prevailing wind and overhead the sky is huge. Even on a dull day there is light somewhere. When the clouds cluster thickly over our ridge sometimes the curtain lifts to reveal the flat silver sea on a winter's afternoon and I can see the hidden sunlight reflecting off the seemingly still surface of the Channel. 

And in the summer when the clouds clear, the sun pours out of the blue sky, raining heat upon the earth. The light is intense then, rich and vibrant; it's as if you could touch it with your hands... 

But at night, when the swelling moon lifts herself above the tree tops, the pale light drenches not only the ground but the air as well, making the familiar landscape a mystery....

Today I'm taking part in the My Most Beautiful Thing Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things - inspired by Fiona Robyn's new novel, The Most Beautiful Thing. Bloggers from all over the world are taking part and writing or posting pictures of their most beautiful things today. Find out more here and see everyone else's blog posts here.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Scent - 19

that warm comforting smell of bread becoming toast beneath the grill
the paleness of homemade white bread slowly turning golden brown
below the red-hot grill lines
becoming crunchy and toasty

Scent - 20

the hot-house smell of tomato plants gorwn together in a small greenhouse
the scent encapsulates livingness, greennes and ripening

Friday, 20 April 2012

Scent - 18

freshly turned earth
moist, rich, kind of dusty
with an overtone of onion
where I've stepped on the chives

Scent - 17

the rich meaty scent of chicken and bean casserole;
meaty without actually being meaty
chicken flesh saturated with vegetable flavours

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wednesday Words - Wrensong

Today is Wednesday which means it's Wednesday Words day!

Today I would like to introduce you to Wrensong, an amazing writer. Her words are lyrical and honest, they flow from her pen like a stream in full spate. 

This excerpt is one of my favourite pieces she's written - Wandering

"Where am I going in such a hurry I should miss the flock of red breasted robins in the snow, or the mass of pink spring beauties blooming suddenly over the February grass?  Am I in such a rush for sleep I should fail to hear the soft petals of rain falling thru the cold night? ..."

Another beautiful piece of prose can be found here at Full Listening Moon

"The half moon was rising last week when I drove out to the Ozark hills for a few days of solitude in the woods. I went out to listen to the earth whose stories are slow and faithful. I went to find stillness and maybe to write if some words were given..."

Please visit her blog at Wild Soul and read her words for yourself.

Scent - 16

approaching rain; sudden gusts of cold-wetness brought to me on the south west wind
promising showers
interupting my precious garden time

Scent - 15

the harsh-sweet smell of vanish as I rub it gently into my fleece where the oil drops stained the pale, pink material
makes my nose itch!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Scent - 14

sweet-sharpness of a hot honey and lemon drink
richness of "bee jam" as my niece calls it
with the bitterness of lemon
a perfect combination

Scent - 13

artificial flower scent dries out my nostrils and throat
a clean smell but chemically laden
what damage is it doing to my body?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Better Off Dead - Free on Kindle!

For those of you with Kindles, you might be interested to know that Matt Rowe is offering his novel Better Off Dead free of charge on Amazon this weekend - 14th & 15th April.

What he says about this generous offer...

"'Better Off Dead' is free on Kindle this weekend (by the US EST). Remember that most smartphones have a free kindle app so download that and get a free book too.

Plus, if you tweet a pic of BOD on your kindle device, I'll gift you my next title when it's released. You can't say better than that."

If you would like to find out more, please visit BOD Event and mattcannotwrite

To find out more about the novel you can read my review either by scrolling down to the previous blog, clicking on Older Post or by visiting Review

Review of Better Off Dead

Better off Dead by Matthew Rowe

Reviewed by Freya Pickard

Reading Better Off Dead was a bit like getting on a roller-coaster ride.... Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

It's a riot of colourful characters and fast-paced action. Don't blink, because you'll miss something.

Better Off Dead is a young adult fantasy with hints of science fiction and totally different from anything else I have ever read!

What I enjoyed about Rowe’s writing was the freshness of his approach. His novel does not conform to what is commonly (and I believe mistakenly) considered “correct form of writing”. And for this I am grateful. I don’t like reading “samey” novels and I certainly have never read anything like this before.

His style is quirky and comical. He enables the reader to see things his characters see. He doesn't tell at all. He shows. And boy, there is a lot to show in this novel.
He does things to the vampire and werewolf myths that no-one else has even thought of yet. His heroes are, on the whole, despicable and the tale rattles along at break-neck speeds. But there's something about his heroes that keeps you reading, makes you want them to win and come out on top.

What stops this from becoming pure teenage fantasy, is the character of Kenempti. Hers is a fully rounded character (in all senses) as a woman–goddess in a world of sex-mad, cat-hating, blood-sucking and human-slaying maniacs. Kenempti is the character I enjoyed reading about most; she can't remember things, she is the reason why everything goes wrong, she falls in love, she gets captured and frees herself, she is willing to die in order to put the world to rights...
I also found Rameses, the main character, to be of great interest and as the story developed I found myself laughing more and more as I discovered WHY he hates cats so much. He has a very good reason indeed…
Rowe has a strong narrative voice and I enjoyed his quirky use of language; so refreshing after reading too many books by people who’ve attended creative writing courses. I also liked his observations on plot and story development through Sergeant Bob.

Totally mad and totally readable, this one is definitely going to be re-read many times. If you're feeling down, tired or depressed you need to read this; it will make you laugh. And even if you're feeling fine and happy, read it, it will make you even happier!

Probably not suitable for hardcore feminists or cat-lovers without a sense of humour.

You can buy Better Off Dead at

And Matt always welcomes visitors at his website mattcannotwrite

Scent - 12

clean, dry smell of washing flapping in a hot wind
breeze-scented, sun-warmed cleanness surrounds me

Scent - 11

sweetness lingering in the kitchen and dining room
firm dough baked slowly to produce
crumbly, sugar scented, melt-on-your-mouth

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wednesday Words - EOTE

Welcome to my second Wednesday Words!

Today I'd like to introduce you to EOTE. It stand for Ends of the Earth because it goes out all over the world. 

EOTE is a free 'zine aiming to promote emerging artists, writers, photographers, painters; anyone creative in fact! Each issue is different and offers beautiful pictures, intriguing poetry and an entertaining story. 

I want to promote this 'zine because I have had a fair amount of poetry published in it. The blogsite is quite new but it is definitely worth signing up for the 'zine which comes out in April, August and December. And in April's issue they have printed one of my musings...

Pop over and have a look and see what you think. (They're always looking for new people to promote...)


Scent - 10

fresh compost smelling of greenness despite its dark appearance
scenting what it has been;
food, tree, plant and wormery leavings

Scent - 9

ripe tomatoes slowly cooking down with garlic, basil and oregano to make a rich, tomato sauce
sweetness induces mouth-watering hunger

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles Giveaway - Winner Announced

Once again, I invited Dracomagan to select the winner for the Giveaway and once again, she got distracted. This time she had words with our neighbour who insists on playing his radio in his garden, very loudly. There seemed to be a lot of gesticulating with the giant potato peeler, so I'm waiting for a visit from the police...

However, Sir Peagreen was again on hand to randomly draw the winner's name out of a spare helmet and I am please to announce that the winner of Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles is: -

Sue Bunting

Congratulations Sue! I have sent you an email requesting that you send me your address before midday on Thursday, 12th April. 

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in my second ever giveaway. It was, once again, a truly international giveaway - just take a look at all the comments  here

Due to work committments I'm taking a break from giveaways for now, but hope to have some more to promote in the autumn!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Comments on Clippings #4 from Linda Turner

Moments: I wish I could find the Paul Weller poem Ten Times Something Empty which had the same feel to this. Oh gosh, the hollow, beautiful lonelines he captures in that, which you manage too in this. Captivating depth of thought. Yours, I mean. 

The Kaerling; A really good choice of excerpt. The human emotions mingle in perfect harmony with the nature descriptions of where she is. The chant, as I would call it, slides in well into the pattern and feel of the narrative. And it finished at a very satisfactory point. 

Dragon Wind: What fabulous energy and vivacity this has. So effective in capturing the ferocity of the storm. 

Grey Matter: This has such dignity. I would in fact say, majesty. Such an unusual subject. Immediately attention-grabbing. Lovely. 

Aromatic Leaves: This is so sensually evocative that I could smell everything she describes. In fact, I nearly sneezed! What a beautiful background it is set against too. 

In fact, all the artwork is superb. Well done to all concerned. 

from Linda Turner

If you haven't yet read Clippings #4 please email me at
with Subscribe Clippings in the subject line

Scent - 8

hot sun on cut grass 
the fresh juices drying, dying
the scent of hay without the dust irritating me

Scent - 7

decaying corpse, rotting, waterlogged
not stagnant water but polluted by corruption
bloated flesh poisoning that which supports it

Friday, 6 April 2012

Giveaway ends today at midnight...!

Giveaway of Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles by Elizabeth Leaper (Libby) ends today (6th April) at midnight, British Summer Time.

To enter the Giveaway please visit Giveaway  and follow the instructions.

To find out more about Libby you can read her blog tour at this site starting here

And to read my review of her book click here

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Golden Visions # 17 – A Review

My short story The Rusalka Ritual was published in issue 17 of Golden Visions Magazine in February this year. Beautiful produced and professionally finished this is a magazine to support. If you like fantastical tales (whether in the past, present or future) then you should seriously consider subscribing when they come back online in September 2012.

Easy to read with a whole range of styles and content. I spent several, very happy hours devouring the contents – mentally, not physically. From dark tales of childhood nightmares to an Ice Queen besotted by power, the subjects also included a modern day Castle Frankenstein, a dreamscape story and an intriguing tale of weight and chocolate…

My favourite story in this issue was Neptune Rising by Edmund Wells. It was hilarious right from the start, he draws pictures of his characters with amazingly few words and I got to know the protagonist immediately. The scenes were vivid and I’d even got the Australian accent before he used the word cobber. Loved the play on Norse legend which melded well with the futuristic setting. And as for David…! He was the perfect side-kick, or was he actually the main man? Perhaps Logan was the side-kick after all… Whichever, it was a rollicking good tale and my only criticism of it was that it ended too soon. Hey, maybe that’s not a crit after all!

If you’d like to read my story The Rusalka Ritual  please contact Golden Visions

Scent - 6

cleanness; lung piercingly strong, surfaces scrubbed with detergent and warm water
staleness gone

Scent - 5

heavy dew; fresh, moist, promise of sunshine later and heat to relax me
cold smell that hints at the mist over the marshes and autumn

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Only 2 days to go...

Only 2 days to go until the Giveaway of Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles by Elizabeth Leaper (Libby) ends...

To enter the Giveaway please visit Giveaway  and follow the instructions.

To find out more about Libby you can read her blog tour at this site starting here

And to read my review of her book click here

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Wednesday Words - Pure Haiku

Wednesday Words is a new venture for me. Each week I am going to write a little bit about a blog / website that I enjoy reading and feel strongly that I should share with you. 

I'm going to cheat on this first Wednesday though and unashamedly publicise the other blog that I write; PureHaiku

I set PureHaiku up after my traditional (5-7-5) haiku were rejected by a magazine that specialised in haiku. The reason given for the rejection was that my haiku were too traditional. After I'd stopped laughing in disbelief I fell to thinking about this statement. If a haiku isn't traditional, shouldn't it be called something different? And if we let other forms of haiku supersede the traditional form, what happens to the skill of writing traditional haik?

Yes, traditional haiku are hard to write. That's the point! It's a discipline! So here we are; PureHaiku. What do you think of it?

Not only do I share my own haiku on this site but I also show case other people's haiku also, including Claudia Messelodi and JulesPaige. Pop over and have a look - let me know what you think of it!

Scent - 4

rain, cool and moist on the prevailing wind
high clouds threaten but do not release the promise
the wind increases, scent of rain grows stronger

Scent - 3

thick, musty, warm smell of gorwing tomato plants, leaves and stalks jumbled, jungle-like against the greenhouse glass

Monday, 2 April 2012

Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles...

Only 4 days to go until the Giveaway of Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles by Elizabeth Leaper (Libby) ends...

To enter the Giveaway please visit Giveaway  and follow the instructions.

To find out more about Libby you can read her blog tour at this site starting here

And to read my review of her book click here

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Comments on Clippings #4 from Claudia & Jules

Thank you very much for the link for Clippings! I enjoyed reading it very much. I'm so glad you put my poem on the cover page!!!! I think the new look suits perfectly to the name of the 'zine, it's really lovely. Well done! I particularly loved Freya's excerpt about Otta: descriptions there are so thrilling, exciting and, I would say, highly involving, you feel in a sense emotionally captured and moved.

Claudia Messelodi

I really enjoyed reading the different pieces.


Want to read Clippings#4 for yourself? All you have to do is email Freya with Subscribe Clippings in the subject line. 

Scent - 2

that yeasty smell of feshly baked bread, a warm and comforting aroma that makes you feel as though you're being hugged

Scent - 1

salt wind harsh on the air, cracks my lips, fills my nose with brine, seaweed and dead fish scents