Happy New Year!

I hope you’re all well.

I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year. May 2017 bring you good health and happy writing.

For me, there will be no goals set for 2017. No proclamations of doing this or that. No targets or deadlines.

2016 brought pockets of activity. The odd burst of editing. Day by day I’ll try and improve for 2017.

Take care.

New Year

Posted in Writing | 3 Comments

Wait, it’s nearly April?

My good intentioned plans for posting in 2016 dried up as quickly as it started. My writing/editing of the novel I began writing in 1923 (seems that long ago) almost started. Almost.

Over the lasts few weeks I’ve given myself a good talking to. Where did I want to go with my writing/blogging? Was is time to shelve my plans? Drop the dream?

My levels of motivation have been low for a couple of years when it comes to the “sit down and write” part of the process. I can still talk a good game, still plan editing or writing. Planning for tomorrow is always easy.

I’ll start editing tomorrow …

First thing in the morning I’ll …

You know the drill. Live in the plan and not the present. For me, the present is being lazy and doing something requiring little energy like watching TV or playing Clash of Clans!

The conversations I have with myself return to the same answer:


So rather than plan for tomorrow, today I decided the only way to make the fresh start was to live in the moment. To do it and not think about doing it later. I read a great post today by Kate, the 4am writer on the 5 Wrong Reasons to Quit Writing. One of the reasons included the phrase: if you want it badly enough.

My mind will not leave the stories alone. It won’t let me forget about the characters and step away from them for good. I do want to do this so I have to take action.

So, this morning I ploughed through my inbox for the first time in months. Cleared out the clutter, visited a number of bloggers, wrote this post, but more importantly …

I spent over an hour editing! Actual time in front of my laptop editing. AND I LOVED IT!

One session does not put everything right. I know I need to keep at it and back it up with more hours, more scenes and chapters. Find a routine that works for me again. This is a small step, I know, but at least I made that step.

Spring has sprung and I want to look ahead.

How is your 2016 shaping up now we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the year?

Thanks for reading.

Completely unrelated, but this picture helped me!

Posted in A to Z Blogging Challenge, Camp Nano, General, Novel In Progress, Writing | Tagged , , | 32 Comments

Have you eaten all your bananas?

On my non-working days, I spend my breakfast time catching up with news (okay, I start with sports news before hitting the serious stuff) and I came across an article on the good old BBC website.

The title of the article grabbed me straight away: Bananas on the brink.

Brink of what? Global domination?

Now, I like my bananas. I like them when there is the merest hint of green left on their skin. When they are firm and definitely not when they look like they’ve gone 10 rounds with a prize-fighter. Not battered, bruised or mushy. No thank you!

Over 100 billion are consumed each year so it sounds like the whole world likes a banana. Some like them more than others as the little fella below demonstrates. (Apologies for not keeping my blog a minions free zone. They are everywhere and I buckled.)


Image taken from http://detechter.com/

You don’t know the history on your own doorstep sometimes. As the article starts:

Buy a banana and it will almost certainly be descended from one plant grown at an English stately home. But now we face losing one of the world’s best-loved fruits.

Sitting in picture-perfect Peak District grounds, Chatsworth House seems an unlikely birthplace for today’s global banana industry.

But practically every banana consumed in the western world is directly descended from a plant grown in the Derbyshire estate’s hothouse 180 years ago.


Chatsworth House – image courtesy of http://www.chatsworth.org/

No. This is not a picture of our house!

We don’t live too far away from Chatsworth and I drive through their estate half a dozen times a year. I had no idea the history of my breakfast accompaniment linked so close to home.

Tangent time, if you are ever in England and near Derbyshire then this is a great place to spend the day. Lovely historic house. Very nice gardens and estate to wander around. Once you’ve paid your entrance fee, obviously.

Back to bananas.

In the 1830s, the head gardener, Joseph Paxton, managed to grow a banana plant brought over from Mauritius. Then the missionary, John Williams, exported them over to Samoa. Others introduced the Cavendish banana across the Pacific and Canary Islands. Soon they were everywhere!

Now the Cavendish banana faces a fight against a new strain of Panama disease also known as banana wilt. They wiped out the popular Gros Michel variety in the 50s. Time for the scientists to save the day and our bananas.

You weren’t expecting a history lesson today were you? 🙂

They will not disappear tomorrow, or even next week or month. NO PANIC BUYING!

So, make sure you eat up your bananas while you can. The world would seem a strange place without them!

Do you like your bananas?


Posted in General | Tagged , , , , | 24 Comments

Space. The Final Obsession …

If you’ve been here a while then you know I have an obsession a fascination with space.

Whether it be the Mars One project, which my wife would probably still like me to try to gatecrash or the current fascination amongst the British media: The International Space Station.


Not sure who to credit for this image. It is from http://www.blastr.com/2015-5-25/nasa-astronaut-films-breathtaking-view-night-sky-iss and photo is possibly from Terry W. Virts during his time on ISS

You see, we have a British Astronaut – Major Tim Peake – on board and it’s created a bit of a buzz over here in UK’land. The first time we’ve had a UK funded astronaut in space.

Our news programmes and papers are reporting on everything and anything that seems to be going on whether it be his arrival, yesterday’s spacewalk or even when he rang the wrong number from space and said, “hello, is this planet Earth?”.

After his spacewalk yesterday, he tweeted a selfie (as you do) taken while waiting to do the planned repairs.

You would think that being interested in Science Fact as well as Science Fiction, I would read or write in that genre. At least write the odd short story, or have plans for an epic series of novels based on the happenings in a galaxy far, far, far, far away…

For some reason, I don’t have ANY plans to do either.

I last read a science fiction book about 4 years ago. I’ve never written anything in the genre and doubt that I ever will. I prefer my science fiction feasting to be in televisual format.

Is there a particular interest/obsession in your life that would neatly suit a particular genre that you don’t either read in or write on? Or is it just me that’s weird?

Btw, three Saturdays into 2016 and I’ve managed to post on each of them so far. Go me 🙂

As always, thanks for reading.

Posted in General, Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Out with the old …

You might think, who has this shiny new blog?

You might not!

When I started blogging back in 2011 I asked my writing group which platform I should choose. A couple of them had been with blogger, didn’t like it and recommended the big W.


I feel like an old man when I type this, but back in the day (you know, when I was a young lad back in 2011) you picked your theme and everything updated.

If you wanted to change your existing theme you didn’t know how things would look. You had to commit fully as the big W changed everything as soon as you clicked the button.

There was no middle ground or testing zone. After changing the theme you’d then have to fiddle about with the widgets, what was available, what to include, what to ditch. Only to decide you didn’t like the new theme and then take another hour to switch things back.

old blog

That’s my excuse for not updating the theme for the last few years anyway 🙂

I’m no technophobe. I fully embrace technology as my wife often comments on the amount of gadgets I have on the go at any one time. When I started afresh this month I thought a shiny new blog would help me forge ahead and not look back.

Imagine my surprise when I saw you could now do a “Live Preview” of how your blog, with your widgets, and menus and whatever would look like. There were 304 themes (I’m cheap so only looked at the free ones) and I took about 35 out for a test-drive.

There’s two hours I can never get back 🙂

I narrowed it down to a couple and I’ve picked the Twenty Ten theme. I know that it is not exactly new, but it was the best one I viewed that gave me everything I wanted.

I’ve finally been able to add an image to the top of the blog though I’m still deciding whether I like it or not. It also felt like the right time to remove much of the clutter.

Let me know what you think? Particularly if you find it too difficult to read or navigate.

How did you pick your blog theme? Any itchy feet to swap things around?

Posted in General | Tagged , , | 25 Comments