ROW80 Check-In 12/01/2014

If you think reading is boring

Not such a good week as last week I’m afraid. Did my 750 words and worked on my novel The Bear In The Woods every day but I only blogged once and that’s today. Didn’t fit in as much reading as I wanted to nor did I do as much cleaning/de-cluttering as I wanted. Didn’t practise my guitar for two days but I did over forty five minutes of practise today to try and make up for that.

My guitar teacher really likes my new guitar so that was good and he was impressed with the progress I’ve made and joy of joys, he said I have the strumming pattern that I’ve been practising for the last six weeks to the point where it was driving me insane! I can’t play it at the right speed but he said I do play it right and I figure that playing it right is more important than playing it fast. I can learn fast later but better to get it right to begin with.

Bought five new books at Glastonbury on Saturday so they’ve all been added to the To-Be-Read list. And I got another book out of the library! Ordered two more books from the Oldfield Park Bookshop and have to pick them up tomorrow as well!

ROW80 Check-In 15/09/2013

Shut up and start writing

Gosh I haven’t done one of these in ages! It’s been so long I’ve forgotten what my original goals were! Never mind, that’s a good excuse to come up with new ones. I now have a list of daily tasks which I aim to complete. So far I haven’t had a day where I do all of them but I managed to do most of them. The tasks are:

1) Exercise
2) Write at least one page of my WIP
3) Practise my guitar
4) Work on my jungle/garden
5) Do 750 words thing
6) Do one blog post for either of my blogs (I have tow now!)
7) Carry on with all my with assorted reading

Today so far I have done one, three, six and seven. So I don’t think I’m doing too badly. I know full well that I’m not going to do everything every day; as I said I haven’t managed to achieve one day yet where I have done every task but if I’m doing most of them then that must be a good thing.

If I don’t do one task then I try to prioritise that one for the next day. Yesterday I forgot to practise my guitar so I made sure that I did that today.

Hope the rest of you guys are getting on okay.

Magnetic Poetry

poetry blog

Thanks to the influence of OctPoWriMo and the wonderful Morgan Dragonwillow, I was inspired to have another go at my magnetic poetry set and here is the result.

make believe woman is a monster/almost sweet on the hot hard morning/rain goddess bring me your night.

My first library card.


When I was a young girl I used to go to the library with my mother and she let me take out books on her library card but this one particular library trip when I think I was about eight or nine, she wanted to take out a lot of books and so did I. We were standing at the desk and the librarian was watching us and my mother said to me as I stood there with a stack of books in my arms, “I think you’ll have to put some of those back.”

Understandably my face fell and the watching librarian said to me, “Why don’t you take out a library card of your own and then you can take out all those books?”

I felt like I’d been given the keys to paradise and I remember being really excited. I remember it being one of the most exciting events in my childhood and certainly something I have never regretted.

So what about you? When did you get into libraries?

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 03/02/2013

Ultimate Blog Challenge
Had a good week! All my original goals are to be found here.

Firstly I have almost finsihed my numerology book. I wrote twelve thousand words of it in January which I’m pretty pleased with. Then I finished (successfully) the Ultimate Blogger Challenge. I posted a new blog post every single day in January so I’m pleased I managed to do that. I will be blogging less because a) blogging every day is a bit of a bind b) I was running out of things to say and c) I have other writing projects that are more important to me.

The reading is still a bit slower than I’d like but its coming along so I should probably stop fussing over it.

As far as putting my work out into the world goes, well I haven’t specifically put any more work out but I’m always moaning about how crap I am at marketing and how much I hate it. Well lovely hubby googled my name and between us we found four and a half pages of stuff about me! I was gobsmacked! There’s my blog, my Facebook page, some reviews I’ve done on Good Reads, blog posts I’ve done for other people; there’s just loads of it! I’m always saying that I can’t build an author platform and I can’t manage to make myself a brand and I seem to have done it without even knowing I’d done it!

But I’m still spending too much time on Facebook.

ROW80 Check-In 09/01/2013

Led Zeppelin 6

Right, first things first, Happy Birthday Jimmy Page!

Now on with the ROW check-in.

Have been still writing by numerology book and have almost finished the chapter of destiny numbers; that should be done in two days.

The reading is still moving forward, as usual I’m reading four books at the moment but I’m getting through all four so that’s good.

The getting my writing out there goal has had limited progress but I’m trying to organise more guest posts on other people’s blogs; have another possible one in the pipeline so that’s good.

Spending too much time on Facebook; err, well maybe a little bit less but not a huge amount.  Oh dear!  Still there’s always hope I’ll do better for the next check-in.

Well, that’s my check-in.  How did it go for you gujys?

Views about the storing and keeping of books.

There is no such thing as too many books.

My sister and I are both of the belief, stated above, that there is no such thing as too many books.  Now my sister got engaged last year and her mother-in-law-to-be, while being a lovely woman, is of the persuasion that once you have read a book you should get rid of it.

Now to my sister and I this view is little short of blasphemy.  Said mother-in-law-to-be is always asking my sister “You haven’t bought any more books, have you?” to which the answer is always “yes”.  Mother-in-law-to-be is not unkind or unpleasant but its just that she has a different view about the storing and keeping of books.

My sister and I do not keep every book we buy, we’d both probably need to borrow the storage space of the British Library to do that!  We both have occassional culls where unread volumes or things we bought that turned out to be dreadful are given to various charity shops.  But we do both keep a lot more books than we give away, meaning that space on our bookshelves is at a premium.

But we like it that way.  I know for a fact that we both enjoy re-reading favourite books and the idea of giving away a great book would be a crime to us.  My sister would probably rather give me away than a favourite book!  So while mother-in-law-to-be may have a lovely neat house while we have saggy bookshelves groaning under the weight of all the tomes jammed into them, we just wouldn’t change a thing!

What about you?  Are you a thrower or a keeper?

2012 in review

English: An aerial view of Mount Everest.

English: An aerial view of Mount Everest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 5 years to get that many views.


Thank you to everyone who read my blog and to everyone who commented.  I sincerely appreciate each and everyone of you!  Have a great 2013!

Click here to see the complete report.

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.