Friday, 13 April 2018

Of mathematical limericks

Graham has posted a very clever - far too clever for me - mathematical limerick on his blog. I thought the limerick would be something like this:

A man from the island of Skye
Bad at maths, but determined to try,
Realised all of his fears -
After forty-five years
He still can't tell his log from his pi.

How wrong can you be 😩

Feel free to have a go yourself - either kind will be welcome!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

The problem of titles

Do you have problems choosing titles for your books or stories? Or problems remembering the titles of books you've read? I've recently had problems with both. Two of my novels have recently had to have new titles (the old titles were too misleading), and this has proved problematic to say the least, one at least being a compromise. I have just read a brilliant novel,  wonderfully written, and for the life of me I cannot remember its title. It just isn't memorable, and  I can't believe I'm the only reader who's had this problem with this particular title. On the other hand, some titles stay in the mind for ever. Who can forget "The hundred year old man who jumped out of the window and disappeared"? A long title, certainly, but not one that's easily forgotten.

 Choosing short story titles doesn't seem to matter so much as the reader will probably read the story once, and then move on, especially if it's a magazine story. But a novel takes its name on a long journey (you hope!), so it has to be a title that stays in the mind of the reader. Otherwise how can he recommend it to anyone else?

Do you have trouble thinking up or remembering titles? I'd love to know.

Thursday, 8 March 2018


This is a picture by my talented granddaughter. She did NOT get her ability from me!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Look where you're going!

Am I the only person who is disturbed when drivers in films turn to speak to their passengers for far longer than is safe? I find myself screaming at them to look at the road. I know it's all done in a studio, but they could at least add a bit of verisimilitude to the action.

And then there are the actors who run from the kitchen (to kiss somebody or shoot somebody) leaving a pan on the cooker, leaving me shouting :"the chips! You've forgotten the chips!"

And my third gripe is those who emerge from the loo and dash straight out, leaving me shouting:"you've forgotten to wash your hands!"

Does anyone else feel the same? Or am I being too fussy?

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Dead Ernest resurrected...

The new edition of Dead Ernest comes out today, and looks really stylish! If you haven't read it (and I know that some of you have, and I'm really grateful) please, please do! It's only £2.99 on Kindle - not much more than the price of a cup of coffee.

You can buy the new edition here from Amazon.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

A letter to Siberia

Dear Siberia

Apparently it's you who have kindly sent us the Weather we're currently having. Now, I'm sure it's well meant (after all, we get on with you as a country don't  we?), and it's always a pain sending things (wrapping it, queueing at the post office, wondering whether it's arrived, waiting for a thank you note etc.), so I really appreciate that. Thank you.

But. We are different from you. We are not ready for this kind of Weather. We don't have those furry hats and boots and the nice warm houses I'm sure you must have. In short, we are cold. I went riding yesterday, and I haven't been that cold since I was turfed off the school bus into a snow drift aged about twelve ( the bus has broken down, and I had to walk a couple of miles to get home).

So please, please take this Weather back. It's not that we're not grateful; we're just not ready. I've just visited an elderly neighbour (I too am an elderly neighbour, come to that), and she is cold too. We had coffee huddled round her gas fire;  me in coat, gloves, scarf and hideous but wonderful Uggs; she in an assortment of layers.

But in the course of our chat, I did come up,with a wonderful book title: Sunbathing in Siberia. What do you think? Now all I've got to do is write it. If it's published, I promise I'll dedicate it to you. Provided you take back your Weather 😰

Sunday, 25 February 2018

A poem I wish I'd written....

I find the poem Forgetfulness deeply reassuring. Funny, and oh, how true! It's four minutes into this clip.