Thursday, 14 May 2020

Queen of the May

Well, it's been a while! I just wrote a FB post and suddenly remembered my blog. So, here it is, polished up.

My new romance Queen of the May is available right now! HERE.

May Day, I thought... might write a book for May Day. So I did. As a few of my local friends might possibly remember, way, way back in the day the Devonport Choral Society put on the light operetta Merrie England. 1979, that must have been... May, that must have been. In Merrie England, there's a song called The May Queen Comes. I've always loved the music from Merrie England, and I got to sing some of it on stage. I'm not the best singer in the word by a long chalk, but Mum and Dad were musical, and my sister did the photography, and I got to be part of the chorus. So, I sang and danced and had a village maiden's costume. It was wonderful fun.

Mind you, I got married a week after the show ended, so that was a busy year.

I think all this was in the back of my mind when I was writing Queen of the May. This book isn't autobiographical in any way. Lucy isn't in Merrie England. She's NOT in a musical called Queen of the May, and that's the whole point. She could have played the lead, but she didn't. (No way could I have ever played the lead, or even a named part.)

Nevertheless, I got to invent a new musical, and play with costumes, and interesting china, and invent a loved series of children's books... oh, this book has all sorts of the things I love in it.

Queen of the May is part of a long running series, but it stands alone easily, because most of the characters are new or have appeared only once before, in tiny supporting roles. 

Saturday, 31 August 2019

2019 in Focus: August

2019 in Focus: August has gone to print. 
Every day in August I went for a walk with my camera and took photos. I chose some to represent each day and wrote accompanying verse. Every photo and all but one verse was created on the stated day (that one was done the morning after). The photos are not all in focus, but when I chose a fuzzy one it was for a good reason.

I knew I’d be away for part of August, so the theme is Home Away Back.

I made some of the photos into sets or collages. A few of them have been digitally altered to remove something ugly and intrusive or to create a flipped pattern. This was done in Paint. Colour, brightness and contrast are left natural and I didn’t use any effects. The coloured frames and text were mostly done using sampled colour from the photos.

 I managed to contain the size to 149 pages this time; let's hope I can keep September to a reasonable size too!

Sunday, 18 August 2019

Jigsaw Cards Remade

Jigsaw Cards Remade
Well, they never did turn up, so I remade them using three sets this time...
Here are a few samples.
Pick one from each set to get an idea.

 hat horse ink bottle statue ice ice-cream Jack jumpers joey kite
 kitten kettle bird computer dingo dog cake brumby lake tree ring

A strange A flying A painted An inky An ice Black Purple sparkling
An ugly An angry A shining A scary A dripping A weird A tiny

I want I need I don’t want Scared of Running from Looking for I found
The teacher asked for Hunting for Finding Losing Chasing Packing
Selling Buying Inventing Discovering I laugh at Racing Getting rid of

I want a strange hat...
Looking for a flying statue
Discovering an inky cake...

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Jigsaw Cards AWOL

Jigsaw writing... I'm holding some workshops in Townsville next week and (naturally) I can't find my jigsaw writing cards. I'll have a look in a few more places, and then probably give in and make some more. This time, I might try three different cards rather than two,  and make one set all objects, one set all subjects and one set all modifiers. Wish me luck!

Friday, 16 August 2019

Blossom Perspective

This photo was taken in the dusk looking up through blossom. Interesting effect... It's the kind of thing that inspires thoughts and makes you look at things differently

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Line 11 Page 111 2019 in Focus: June

Just to keep an eye to see
How long the nest would stay be-egged
I thought (you know) that roaming dogs
And kicking kids would have them pegged

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Line 11 Page 111 The Pixie Grip

Line 11 on Page 111 doesn't stand alone, so here's the paragraph.

"Peter, can I tell you something I’m scared of?”
She giggled. “Not while I have gingerbread in my pocket. Currie says if I ever see a bogle it’s probably someone with a bogle manifest, and gingerbread is bound to help.”
“It works on goats,” Peter G remarked

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Pearl 8

I'll be beginning work on Pearl 8 soon. I have an idea to use a different setting.
So far, we have books set mainly in the meadow, on the cliffs and an island, partly on a snowy mountain, in the forest, at Ogrefest, Big Rock and near the pond. The Kingdom, where all the stories take place, has lots of different landscapes and next time I rather like the idea of a desert.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Gravity Defying Rock

I saw the weirdest thing in one of my photos a few days ago. I didn't see it in situ, just later, when I went through my pictures. It was so odd, I went back today for a look and there it was... the gravity-defying rock.
I wonder what the story is behind that one?

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Slam Poem

For the poetry slam today I need a poem to perform in under two minutes. I had FOUR to pick from... These are below. DECISIONS DECISIONS


Kipper ham!
Don’t ask me whence
 that reference came
I remember it
I know
Vaguely up from long ago
But I confess
I do digress
Don’t you find
it funny how-
things-linger-in-the mind?

What the…
I don’t play basketball
At all
Although I’m tall…
I’m prone to fall
No co-ordination see
Balls are mysteries to me
I hardly give a toss…
(Well, that’s the nation’s loss…)

You sure?
I thought I heard it somewhere
Between the lemon and the salted hand
Bad for the liver anyway
I’ll take chocolate any day!

Stamp the floor
The door
No more please
Temper tantrums court disease
Yes I am
It was the wind in the door
For sure

It’s poetry?
I do believe…
You’re bamming me?
(D’you like my word? It’s out of Georgette Heyer)

Muse on fire!

You wanted verse?
That’s just perverse!


Oh, once I slept in a feather bed
With woollen blankets warm
Now I’m glad to lay my head
On a cloak that’s old and torn
Oh, sing with me a merry catch
As summer days will come
My love he is a soldier boy
And so I’m following the drum

With a patter patter tat
And a rattle and a scrap
And the beat of the marching song
I’m ragged and worn
And my hose are torn-
Yet I am following along

Oh once I ate from a silver plate
With sauces rich and rare
Now I’m glad if I’m not too late

To find some bread to share
Oh sup with me on a scraggy fowl
And dream of sugar plums
My love he is a soldier boy
And so I’m following the drum

With a patter patter tat
And a rattle and a scrap
And the beat of the marching song
I’m ragged and worn
And my hose are torn-
Yet I am following along

Oh once I wore a silken shawl
And a bonnet of ribbon trim
Now I’m glad if I’m clad at all
‘Twixt my ankles and my chin
Oh sew with me in a sturdy stitch
And do not prick your thumb
My love he is a soldier boy
And so I’m following the drum

With a patter patter tat
And a rattle and a scrap
And the beat of the marching song
I’m lame and tired before my time
But still I follow him along
Oh, I'm lame and tired but I still smile-
And still I follow him along

I’ve always liked the memorial hall
Rosy bricks in that soft blending
Penned between pale mortared lines
In that peculiar zone of pink and brown
I walked around the memorial hall
Observing every side, till, bending
I spotted dark and white; the signs
Of the pride of a younger, bygone town

I often admire the colour scheme
And my mind walks back to a funny scene
When I and a friend stood upon the stage
As angels in a Christmas play
Looking back, it’s like a dream
For who remembers it but me?

We wore, I remember, long white gowns
Nighties? Maybe. They came down
Right to our slippers (silent soled)
Stand there quietly we’d been told
Teachers smiled in the bygone town
At good little girls in flowing gowns

Stiffened wings of wire and gauze
Affixed to our shoulders… well, because
Good little angels must have wings!
Just as they must herald things…
Wired-on wings but wait, there’s more!
Oh! I remember kind applause!

The piece de resistance I recall
As we stood on stage in the rosy hall
Were tinsel halos made of wire
Above our heads; awe inspired!
There we were, standing straight and tall
Be-winged, be-haloed in the hall
But then- disaster almost struck
Two little halos tangled up!
There we stood tilting head to head
Would real angels feel our dread?
Gowned and winged with halos stuck
We  stood quite still and trusted luck

The curtain fell on our Christmas play
A teacher came while it still swayed
Briskly she untangled us
And praised us! Girls! You made no fuss!
And we felt special in a gratified way
‘cos we’d been angels for a day

So oh, I love the memorial hall
So many memories enthral
And when you read the sign you’ll see
The memorial hall’s older than me…

 Sweet Charity

Miss Charity Curtin
The locals are certain’s
a vicarage mouse to a T
She’s shy and obscure
and extremely demure
as she offers you scones with your tea
She lowers her gaze
and looks gentle and grave
in her grey Sunday hat and pelisse
When you come to the house;
she’s as meek as a mouse
and a typical vicarage miss.


Sweet Charity isn’t at all as she seems
when we meet after Matins is done
She casts off her grey
in her sauciest way
soon after the hymns have been sung
With hair pinned in curls
She’s the merriest girl
And her smile turns my stomach to water
With her arms brown and bare
She has laughter to spare
Not your typical vicarage daughter

Her father the vicar
Has no fear of snickers
He trusts what his daughter’s about
Such a God-fearing girl
tho’ her hair is in curls
does her duty with never a pout
There isn’t a rift
between papa and miss
 as he knows she’s a treasure for certain
And what about me?
oh, be sure I agree
for I’ll marry Miss Charity Curtin

And when she’s my bride and we’re off on our own
and the wellwishers left far behind
Then she’ll let down her hair
and happily share
whatever the future we’ll find
She’ll dance like a willow
and sleep on my pillow
forever the love of my life
I’ll be thanking the Lord
Mrs Charity Ward’s
not your typical vicarage wife

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
(Psalm 98)