about writing and life and God

Daring to start

I’d planned to start writing the new book on the first Monday in the New Year.  I thought it was a good plan, but… I couldn’t wait. Because people who have read Mizpah Ring are all asking when the next one will be out. And since the next one is Mizpah Ring book 2, The second generation, I reckon I’d better get on with it!

And I really want to. The story is pressing to get out. The characters alive and kicking. I know the start and the end of this book, a couple of great scenes in the middle, but I need to write it to find out the rest!

So this morning – the first after the Christmas holidays – I got to my desk shortly after 9 o’clock and settled down to writing. Blue skies and sunshine tempted me to leave the work and go out… But I want to get back into my writing routine so I wrote till 10.30 then stopped for a break and a walk round the garden.

Even though it’s still December, the birds were singing and there are signs of new life – of spring.

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image

Digital Image


And I feel my early start on the new book is a hopeful sign too. Though the pessimists among you may point out that the tender young flowers of daffodils and winter jasmine won’t fare so well when winter finally grips the land in its icy clutches!

Maybe doubts and fears will also slow my enthusiasm and my early start will stutter. But for the moment I’m going to enjoy the process.

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’Romans 15:13



Down and Out

I think many of us have projects shelved, completed and set aside for one reason or another. Projects that nag from time to time, demanding a revisit, a rewrite, a fresh chance.

A couple of summers ago I did a major clear-out – pulled all the old manuscripts from their boxes and dumped them in the recycling bin. But I didn’t get rid of everything. Lurking on floppy disks (remember them?) were a few that remained to nag me.

And one has been doing just that for the past few days. I wrote it during a particularly ‘interesting’ period in my life back in 2006 and named it  Tea for Two. It went out to one publisher who thought the humour was too dark for her list. Two friends read it and loved it. And then life moved on and I wrote other books.

But as I pondered what to give friends and family for Christmas, I began to wonder about dusting down Tea for Two – or Annabelle as I nicknamed it, after the main character – and letting one particular friend read it.

So I found the disk for Mark 1 and the first few chapters read ok. Then I found the disk for Mark 2 and yes, I thought that would do nicely. So I printed off three chapters and delivered them, with the request that if she liked them she could have the rest.

And I went home and got to work on editing and polishing Mark 2 and putting it onto a flash drive for her.

But… Annabelle is indisputably autobiographical. Writing it was cathartic – and necessary at the time. But ouch! didn’t I tell the truth, and the truth is now a little close to the knuckle, the raw skin that there was back in those unhappy times.

I’m not that person any more. I’ve moved on. And I’ve forgiven the folk I wrote the book about. We’re all in a different place in our lives and with one another. So I don’t want to peel back the years and revisit those bad times – or the person I was then.

So I carefully deleted both versions, checked the disks were now blank, and dumped them in the recycling bin.

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Digital Image

I don’t need Annabelle any more. But I do need another Christmas present for my friend!







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