Books, Dog bed, Trailer carpet and Nylobone

book, fiction, novella, Uncategorized, women writing, writing

For sale: two signed copies of Filled with Ghosts, (Book 1, Spanish Spectres series)…Eight signed copies of Ghosts Treading Water (Book 3 Spanish Spectres series)
Not for sale: my copy of Ghost Train Leaving (Book 2, Spanish Spectres series….unsigned), dog bed, Nylobone and Trailer carpet. Cardboard to be recycled.Ghosts treading water

Progress to Date

book, Collating poems, discovery, poetry, Pondering, Uncategorized, women writing, writing

Sixty-four poems remain in the folder I’ve confidently sharpie-penned ‘1st Collection’
It has found a title, which I’m keeping under wraps. Five or six poems are hanging on by the skin of their teeth and will probably be weeded out during the next ruthless round of decision making. I have been very ruthless to date: many a ‘favourite’ has been unceremoniously dumped because it isn’t what this particular book is about. Discovering what the book is about is a big step for me, as I’ve not thought about it while writing individual poems. I’ve never looked at them as a group before and wondered what my obsessions are outside the confines of the poem I’ve been working on. I realise that isn’t how it is for many writers: they write to a theme when working towards a collection. But it hadn’t occurred to me I was……..

I’ve been Thinking (unedited)

book, Collating poems, discovery, poetry, Uncategorized, unedited, women writing

I’ve been thinking how discovering one tiny thing, one obvious to anyone who has done it all before, can make a huge difference. Yesterday I had several files of poems (the physical kind, in poly-pockets. I like things physical) lurking, filed by date, 2012 to the present. I submit poems quite frequently, so the published ones are all highlighted so I don’t send them elsewhere; I note down where and when published, because that’s useful. But, now I’m getting a collection together, (it already has a home, so it’s a matter of deciding the order, chucking out or grabbing back others if I realise they don’t work together.)

So, the small but mind blowing  discovery? Collate the poems like a book. Have them face each other, find where they are happy to partner up with another poem. So damn obvious, but what a difference it’s made 🙂

New Book Out

book, fiction, novella, Spain, story, Uncategorized, women writing

This little fella, Ghosts Treading Water, book three in the Spanish Spectres series, is now out on Kindle, and should be out in paperback any day now. Maybe even today….

Full list of books available at


Ghosts Treading Water

book, Spain

On 27th October the third novella in my Spanish Spectres series is released. Ghosts Treading Water completes the story that started with Filled with Ghosts, shortlisted for the novella Saboteur Award in 2016.

I remember one good party at the farmhouse. Dad made benches and tables, painted them green. I found twin, gold slow-worms under a stone, and in the early hours a badger loped up the path, bigger, more bear-like than I’d imagined them.

The stream at the end of the garden turns into a river, which eventually becomes the sea. There’s a jetty with some planks missing, and you can sit on the remainders, slippery with moss, dangling your feet and viewing the mud below. During fake tides, the brown water rushes over gulls’ footprints and obliterates them. Stiff legged gulls, their footprints spiky like snowflakes.

Leading towards the mud is a grassy embankment carved into by exceptional high tides; the soft earth is washed over and under, the water secretly burrowing, so deep chasms appear. Shallow depressions in the bank fill with water that freezes in winter; stamping on them, cracking the ice, makes a snapping that leaves a satisfying echo in your bones.

Swimming in the river feels incredible; it’s broad and fast-flowing, with no bridges spanning it. Barges crammed with refuse and leisure-boats compete for space in the deepest part, the middle stretch. Hundreds of gulls follow the barges as they push the oily water ahead. Towards the edges, water barely covers the mud banks and the narrow, pebble shore is dry except at high tide. Wharf mud is grey, and objects solidified by it look fossilised, ropes still wait stiffly, though the boats they once restrained are long gone, either sunk, rotted, or taken away. I recall Mum’s favourite expression, “I’m at the end of my tether.”



Olivia’s Story

art, book, story

This drawing is one I made for Olivia’s Story, which appears in my book:

Art of Rescue, Various Authors, Ed. Karen Little

The dog belongs to my editor Eve Arroyo, and this is her story:
Olivia is a mini-schnauzer. She’s white so there may be some other genes in her pool. Her story is that when she was about one-year-old she fell from a second story roof and broke her leg. Apparently, her owners just abandoned her.

Eventually, she ended up at a private animal shelter where her leg was repaired, but because of nerve damage, they had to amputate it.

We arrived at the shelter, coincidentally two weeks after her surgery, with specific wants: female, young (preferable a puppy), non-shedding, and small. After losing my big dog earlier that year I was ready for a lapdog.

The young man showed us several big dogs, but I was clear I wanted a small dog. He went to talk to someone and came back saying he had the perfect dog: female, four-months-old (it turns out she was actually a year old), ten pounds, doesn’t shed, and, oh, yeah, she only has three legs!

It was love at first sight! She is a very happy, and loving little girl. She’s practically glued to my side or lap when I sit down. She’s very well behaved, and is so happy when we have company. She just loves everyone she meets.