ROW80 Check-In 13/02/2013

Number Two

Hooray! The brilliant news is that I have self-published another book on Amazon, bringing my grand total of works available to three! My lovely shining new book on numerology is for sale at the extremely reasonable price of 99 cents or 77 pence. It’s only a short book which is why I’m selling it at such a good price. This is a fabulous wonderful momentous book and I should know because I wrote it! (LOL).

Have taken a short break from writing so since finishing “Numerology for Daily Life” I haven’t written anything for a few days. Am finally getting back into the reading again which is good. Have renewed my library books and been for a dentist appointment. Not a lot else going on in my life.

Oh the scaffolding has been put up and the builders are coming back next week to start repairing our roof.

Am I am still spending too much time on Facebook but that seems to be the way it is right now.

ROW80 Check-In 10/02/2013

Well back to the grindstone! Have started typing up the Christopher Lee interview for the book that lovely hubby and I are doing together. Have started (yesterday) on my Basics of Astrology book. So the writing part of my goals is going pretty well. I’m aiming for consistency of effort rather than huge word counts and hours at the keyboard. As long as I’m working towards my goals every day then it doesn’t matter too much how many (or how few) hours/words I do.

Have put my new numerology book on Amazon’s KDP. So the putting my work out there goal is doing well. Had a few problems with the cover which involved a great deal of swearing and intervention from lovely hubby but I think (!) its all fixed now. The book isn’t live yet and I won’t really be able to tell how it’s worked until it is.

The reading is progressing very slowly because I keep buying more books or borrowing more from the library which means although I’m reaing all the time my ‘to be read’ pile isn’t getting any smaller.

Still spending too much time on Facebook so no change there.

ROW80 Check-In 06/02/2013

snoopy happy dance

The good news is that I have finished my numerology book! Well I still have the proof reading and final spell check/edit to do but apart from that it’s finished. I am very pleased that I’ve done a book in just over a month. Have to decide what to do next but I’ll do that either tomorrow or the day after.

I have been reading one of the books in my ‘to be read’ pile so that’s a start.

Will be putting my numerology book out into the world when it’s all polished and shiny!

Spent less time on Facebook today; mainly because we were out most of the day.

Interviewing the fabulous Alberta Ross!


Today, as a first for this blog I am doing an interview and not just any old interview but an interview with the fabulously talented writer, Alberta Ross!

Alberta  spent the first part of her adult life travelling the world, the middle years studying and now has settled down to write. From the first part she has endless photographs, memories and friends. From the second  a BSc Hons, an MA and friends. Now in this part everything comes together.

Over the years her interests have expanded, as has her book and music collection. A short list would include reading (almost anything) science, opera, folk, gardening, philosophy, crazy patchwork, freeform crochet, ethics, social history, cooking (and eating of course) gardening, anthropology, climate change and sustainability.

Alberta says the best gift her parents gave her, apart from a love of reading and music, was an interest and curiosity in everything which, in itself, has become a total inability to be bored and for this she is always grateful.

Me: I love the title of your new book “The Fiddling Feline, The Flea and The Frog et al”; tell me what it’s about?

Alberta:  Although I call The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog a collection of re-worked fairy tales, they are not all based upon well known tales.  I have taken the magic, retribution, rewards and strangeness to spin a few of my own making:) This one, The Ancestor’s Avairy, is one such.  I think it keeps faithful to the folk tale format.

Me: Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

Alberta:  This particular tale was inspired by many aspects of my life. Another interest of mine is creating ‘art’ dolls.  Not cuddly dolls, no, mine are all a trifle strange and many of my friends find them unsettling.  Well that was invitation enough to weave a story around them. They were the main inspiration.

Me: I notice there is a ‘goth’ girl in the story.  Do you feel an affinity for ‘goths’?

Alberta:  Bringing this tale to life is the presence of  Amara a ‘Goth’.  Goths have a bad reputation but their ethos is passivity not violence.  They are bullied for their ‘weirdness’, however they are no weirder than any other fashion youngsters indulge in. Their style though, does fit my tale of secret doings.

Me: The old lady, Morana, is an amibigious character; is that intentional?

I am an old lady now and have a sympathy for the old I may not have had when younger, so my stories tend to make them more than the traditional crones – they have survived a long time after all, some, in my tales, longer than one would think.  They often have many secrets, Morana certainly has.

I wanted to create a tale of such longevity, a tale with magic at its heart, but dark magic? Or good magic?  Is Morana an evil old woman or no? is Amara corrupted or no?  I leave it to the reader to decide.

Me: Well thank you for your time Alberta and we all look forward to to reading the book!

Alberta’s books may be purchased

as print copies from

The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al will be available as e-book at beginning of December 2012


in all formats

and at

in the kindle store

Alberta can also be found at

Social Network sites:

Blogs:  web site for background to the writing of Alberta’s publications for whatever takes her fancy for all things writing

Alberta can also be found on:





The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al is visiting other blogs over the next two weeks

http:// on the 29/30 November TBC on the 3rd December on the 5th December on the 6th December on the 12th December


There will be six e-book copies of The Fiddling Feline, the Flea and the Frog et al up for grabs at the end of this mini tour – winners will be selected randomly from those who comment.  I can offer print copies only to UK residents. 


Showcase Saturday – The First Page of Emily Swann

Showcase Saturday is where I showcase some of my fiction or poetry.  I decided today to give you the first page of the novel I am currently working on, entitled Emily Swann.  The plot is that Emily, a ten year old girl, is an orphan and heir to her father’s estate.  Her late father was very rich and so the estate involves a lot of money.  But her uncle, Steven Swann, lathough rich in his own right, is a greedy and grasping man and he wants Emily’s money for himself.  The only way he can get it is if Emily is dead.

So he decides to murder Emily so that he can have the money all to himself.  But Emily is not stupid.  She knows what her uncle is like and she guesses what he is up to.  She turns out to be a more formidable opponent than her uncle ever realised.  Will Steven kill Emily?  Will Emily survive and defeat Steven’s evil schemes?  Wait and see!

Emily Swann

Emily Swann was furious and she did not care who knew it.  As a ten year old girl who was short for her age she was used to being ignored but that didn’t mean she had to like it.  Emily had dark curly hair that refused to be tamed by hair pins and had a habit of working loose from any restraints that anyone tried to impose upon it.  Right now it was buzzing around her head like a hive of angry bees.  Her face was pretty rather than beautiful with a nose that turned up at the end and a slightly pointed chin.  Without knocking first she marched straight into her uncle’s study.

“How dare you dismiss my governess!  Bring her back this minute!” she shouted.

Her uncle, Steven Swann looked up from his desk.

“How dare you march in here, you malignant little troll!  Get out!” he yelled back.

“I want my governess back!”

“I would not have that nasty American woman back if she were the last person on earth!  She called me a mean old skinflint!”

“You are a mean old skinflint!”

“Get out!”

“I have to have a governess and I want Marcie!”

“That woman was insubordinate; and she cost too much money.”

“She was my friend; friendship is more important than money.”

Steven picked up the inkstand and threw it at Emily.

“Get out!” he shouted.

The ink had missed its target but a few drops had spattered onto Emily’s dress.

“I hate you,” she shouted as she stormed out slamming the door as loudly as possible because she knew it annoyed him.

An almost shameless promotion!

Well after having my novel Blood Addiction on Amazon Kindle for over two years I’ve finally figured out how to promote it!  So until March 17th it will be free to download!

I’m hoping that lots of lovely people will download it and love it so much they’ll give me rave reviews and (almost) overnight it will zoom up the Amazon Best Seller list and make me oodles of money!  That’s the dream anyway!

f this stupid link doesn’t work, which right now I must admit I can’t get it to work, then you can just go to the main Amazon site and search for the title Blood Addiction and it will be there.

Don’t forget it’s free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ROW80 Check-In 11/02/2012

Had a very good week; on Thursday did three and a half pages of Emily Swann, Friday did three pages and Saturday did three pages so I’m really pleased with my progress!  Did the poems, diary and blog everyday thing.  Finished another book, The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker, for my 50/50 challenge.

Also started a newspaper called Janet Parfitt’s Writing Rag on Paper.Li

I’ve noticed today that to be successful everybody has to become a brand so this is part of my branding!  I still don’t have a website but I do have a domain and I was hoping to pester/persuade my prospective brother-in-law, the fantastic Andy Cater, to set one up for me!!!!  We’ll have to see about that one!  If not I might be able to get the equally fantastic Laurie Booth to do it for me.  I’m so lucky to know all these people with their wonderful technical know-how because I’m a complete dunce at that sort of thing!

Even managed to clear up the garden a little bit.  It certainly needs it because at the moment it looks like Johnny Weissmuller should be swinging through it shouting “On-gowa” at the elephants!  Did half an hour in the garden yesterday and another half an hour today.  I can’t clear it all in one day because it would be too much so I thought if I do a little bit everyday it should eventually get done!

Showcase Saturday – Wolf Woman

This is a poem that I wrote for an exercise where you had to imagine yourself as an animal.  I chose a wolf simply because i love wolves!  There’s something about them that really appeals to me.

Wolf Woman


Fur, teeth and bones,

Engineered by evolution;

Free from all constraints but hunger.

Together we listen to the sound of the stars.

Nature is our favourite gallery,

We view it through our bones.

I wish that like you

I could howl at the moon.


Showcase Saturday – Haiku



Blue grey dawn light creeps

Across the world stealing night

Away from the moon.


Traffic noise humming

And rushing past the window

Like urban thunder.


Snowdrops on the bank;

Flecks of white petals bursting

From winter’s prison.

Here are three haikus that I wrote when I was doing a creative writing course with the open university.  Before I did that course I always thought of myself as a poet who sometimes tells stories but I discovered that I got the best marks for my stories so now I tend to think of myself as a story-teller who sometimes writes poems.

As I’m sure you know, haiku is a Japanese type of poem where the first line is supposed to contain five syllables, the middle line seven syllables and the last line is five syllables.  A classic Japanese haiku should also contain a reference to the season.



Oh no! Not another poem!

In 2002 I started my history degree at Bath Spa University.  I wasn’t aware of it at the time but in the first year they like you to pick a second subject.  At first I didn’t want to and wondered if I could get out of it because I thought there was nothing else I wanted to study.  Then I realised that they did Creative Writing so I chose that.  One of my teachers on the course was a poet called Tim Liardet who as well as being a great poet is also a really nice man.  I took one of his courses and he gave me 70% for it!

One of the exercises he set us was to think of all the preconceptions we have about poetry and poets and write a poem embracing all of them.  This poem was the result.


In Order to be a Poet…..


You don’t have to be high brow, low brow or a cow.

You don’t have to be mad, bad or sad.

You don’t have to have a PHD, a GCSE or be an S.O.B.


You don’t have to be well read, well bred or dead.

Don’t have to be Greek, a geek or a freak.

Don’t need to be hairy, scary or a fairy.


Don’t need to be medicated, alienated or inebriated.

Don’t need to be poor, a whore or insecure.

Don’t need a Rolls-Royce, or to be James Joyce, just need your own voice.