Posted by: writingwitch2013 | March 29, 2017

Ballroom, Ballet and Bucket Lists.

How often have we said, “I wish I’d done that when I was younger.” I know I’ve said it many times. Years ago I started a bucket list of all the things I wished I’d done in my youth.

Well, as I’m not likely to get any younger I thought it was about time I started doing some more of those things on the list.

When the physio suggested I try ballet I didn’t need telling twice.

I have been attending ballroom classes for over ten years. For six of those I had a partner for Argentine tango that wasn’t my husband. We jokingly called him my ‘Monday Man’. When Monday Man decided that he wasn’t being taught enough new steps to keep his interest, he stopped the lessons. This was a huge blow to me. There was no one else to partner me. We’d become a team and with all the years of dancing together we synchronised perfectly. The lessons after that became forty-five minutes of standing around and maybe the rest of the time dancing a quick sequence of steps with the teacher or another student.

Ballet for adult beginners was only half an hours drive away, and I was happy to discover that I wasn’t the oldest there, and more importantly, I could keep up with the youngest dancers.

I love it, and wished I’d discovered it sooner. A month ago one of the girls suggested I join the beginners Tap dancing classes, something I had never considered. Again, it had been something I’d wanted to do as a child, but in my youth, unless your parents were rich you had to choose just one hobby activity. I chose brownies, because you got to do badges and crafts.

I bought the tap shoes convinced that they’d end up at the back of the cupboard after the first class. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did I manage to catch on to the shuffle/ hop steps, I even got praise from the teacher. I may be old enough to be parent to each of them, but every week I have matched them step for step.

The result is, I have dance classes to look forward to that don’t require a partner. I feel fitter than before and have realised that you are never too old to try.

If you are thinking of trying a new activity, one you wished you’d done years ago, then just do it. If you don’t like it move on… but you’ll never know if it’s for you or not until you try.


How the sun got in the sky.

Freestyle Machine Embroidery

by Me

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | March 14, 2017

To be read at my funeral

Am I so very odd that I have a poem already at hand to be read at my own funeral?

Is it even more odd that I wrote it myself?

How many people truly know me? After my passing, could they sit together without arguing and say with any amount of certainty, what I would like as readings and music at my funeral. Well, after my cancer was diagnosed I busied myself with choosing music and readings for my funeral. Not because I feared I was nearing the end, on the contrary, because I was glad it wasn’t the end and thankful that I had escaped a worse fate.

In this day and age the person who performs the funeral, at the church or crematorium, usually has no inkling who you where. Gone are the days when the parish priest knew of every family by name and often reputation. How much easier it would be for the family to hand over a folder already prepared with snippets from my life, my choice of music and readings all ready for the big day.

Now that I am dead,

do not look for me at a grave

I am not there, I died.

In that grave is only a shell,

a body I borrowed for my time on earth.

I am not in the next room.

Do not look for me there.

That is someone else’s poem.

If you know me at all

you will look for me 
in the leaves that rustle on the trees,

in the birds singing and soaring,

in the waves that rush upon the shore,

or the water that falls over into a river.

If you look for me in a cemetery

you will not find me there,

and I will know you did not understand me.

If you find me on the breeze at the top of a hill,

in the quiet of the forest,

or the green of the daisy field,

then I will whisper to you.

And I will know you truly knew and loved me.



Posted by: writingwitch2013 | March 13, 2017

Gran’ s calling

FullSizeRenderGran’s Calling
My Gran was arrested again today.
Protesting above Lewis’s doorway,
she’d given Dickie Lewis a hat and scarf,
then sewed boxer shorts on his lower half.
‘I only want to hide his shame.’ She stressed,
‘It’s not a crime to be properly dressed.’
It was also the day Gran was due to appear
in court, for similar offences over the year.

Despite her ripe old age of ninety three,
the judge, who had a masters in art history,
deplored her acts of defacing arty stuff,
then telling the jury enough was enough
saw fit to impose a wide exclusion zone.
This meant she’d to leave her city nursing home.
They found a place for her near Blundellsands.
Relieved to see her go, the staff lent hands
to quickly help her pack and put her on the bus.
She spent the journey wondering, why the fuss?

All she’d done was save the human race,
from having male nudity shoved in their face.
Admittedly she had added to her crimes
by pinching undies from people’s washing lines.
And the breaking in and trespass charge
was probably just, but still very harsh.

After the journey had passed Waterloo
she looked out the window, to take in the view.
Her eyes lit up with pleasure, her smile grew wide.
Tingles ran through her with the sight she’d spied.
Gran sat bolt upright, rubbed her hands with glee;
… a line of naked men, all looking out to sea.

This poem was entered into a competition called Another Place. Based on Anthony Gormley’s statues at Crosby beach.

It won Highly Commended

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | March 13, 2017

….and breathe

IMG_0764It has been six months since my last post, so what have I been doing?

The big news is that Foxtrot In Freshby is edited and hopefully ready to leave home and start its journey.

I have finished the first draft of novel number two. It is a RomCom set in Pendle around Pendle Hill, and yes it invoves witches. I am in the process of editing it, but meanwhile I am half way through writing the first draft of novel number three.

Novel number three is based on the Pre Raphaelite paintings, and is set around The Walker Art Gallery. I am very excited about the plot, but that hasn’t always been the case. I read the first chapter, of what had been a completed novel, in a Liverpool novel competition last year and was met with stoney indifference by the judges. Had it not have been that the other ten contestants received hints, tips, helpful pointers towards other authors in their genre and generally some reaction from the judges, then rejection wouldn’t have hurt so much, but I recieved nothing. Just a comment by the main judge that I had cheated in writing about artists as that meant my book cover was already sorted.

Smarting from the humiliation from being treated differently from my fellow contestants I pressed delete on my computer and waved goodbye to a year and a half of writing and research. Yes, the full novel, gone in seconds.

Did I regret it? Yes I did. I should never have turned up that morning of the competition. I’d had a dreadful flare of Fibromyalgia for a few days and it had left me drained. The journey was painful and I’d almost turned back a couple of times. But, my name was on the list, they were expecting me and people were dedicating their time for free towards the running of the comp, the least I could do was turn up.

On a normal day, facing the reaction I got, I would have marched home determined to show him that the novel was worth at least a few comments and maybe, eventually some good reviews. However, the timing on that day wasn’t great .

What a difference a week makes!

I gathered together all the notes and scenes I had written on scraps and pads of paper and I started rewriting the novel. I was determined to write it again and edit it this year. I found my handwritten first chapter in the writing pad, the exact same piece I’d read out during the heats of the competition. I took it along to writing group and they loved it.

It is up to twenty five thousand words so far.

Could I end up with three novels written and edited this year to send out into the world of submissions?

Watch this space.

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | October 16, 2016

Absence makes the writing stronger?



I have some news, but as I have been absent from my blog, it is old news.

I am half way through editing the novel, and have the sequel playing out in my head. I am struggling to concentrate on the editing because I want to get on with the writing. Silly really, because I feel I should wait to see if anyone wants to publish the first before I write a second.

I have had my head down this year writing the novel. It is a different type of novel to my past attempts, and I am enjoying it.

You may remember, I joined the Romantic Novelist Assoc New Writers Scheme in January this year, and had to submit my novel for critique before the end of August? I wrote a romance novel between February and June and sent it off to be read before I went on holiday.

Just romance with intrigue. No magic. No faeries. No ghosts. Just normal people working their problems out the traditional way, without magic! It took a lot of restraint to avoid a little magic slipping in. I hope the only magic the reader will eventually feel is the joy of reading it.

I got it back in August and the verdict wasn’t bad, in fact I was really pleased. I have been editing and tightening it up since then.

Half way through now.

The end is in sight.

Head down again —

Am editing.


Posted by: writingwitch2013 | August 15, 2016

I’ve been busy



I started writing a novel in February to submit to the New Writers Scheme of the Romantic Novelist Assoc. I finished the first draft in June and sent it off.

The critique that came back pointed out the grey areas, and improvements to be made, but overall was very encouraging.

I am now in the process of editing, altering and hopefully, improving it.


Watch this space!



Posted by: writingwitch2013 | May 26, 2015

Burden (7) VisDare 98


Burden (7)

‘What in the heavens is all that noise?’

She questioned the tall man in front of her, dressed in a long robe with a wooden coffin strapped to his back.

‘Will yer stop banging that headstone with the stick and hollering like that, it’s enough to wake the bloomin’ dead!’

‘That, my dear, is what I am attempting to do.’

He surveyed her dress, a ragged outfit and almost translucent. Her skin was pale to the point of invisible, and he thought she almost hovered above the ground, she appeared so light.

‘This gentleman paid me to carry his burdens so that he could live life to the full. We had a contract. At the point of his death he was to take it all with him, but he has left me to carry it. I want him to honour his word.’

’Him?’ She howled. ‘Mr D’Evil never honoured nuthing.’

150 words

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | May 26, 2015

Burden (6) VisDare 98


Burden ( 6)

We all have baggage we carry around with us, some more than others. Some find ways of offloading their baggage, only to build up more.
Old Jim was one of these, he found a way around it.
He discovered a phone number in the local telephone kiosk.
He often phoned up to chat to her, he unburdened his soul, told her all his woes and she listened patiently and sympathetically, to all his problems. He felt much better after each phone call.
He called her his angel.
He knew he wasn’t the only one who phoned her, ‘Angel’ Brenda had an open phone line for any soul in distress, nevertheless it helped him offload his burdens.
Then the phone line stopped. Jim was no longer able to chat to his angel, and when the world became too much, he left it.
The Samaritan, Brenda, now carries that burden of guilt.

150 words

A note about the above inspiration.
In the 1990’s, the Samaritans opened a phone line called the ‘Brenda’ Line to deal with people having problems of a sexual nature. Any person joining the Samaritans at that time, would be given a different name to be known by if their real name was Brenda. The line closed when it was thought that men were using it as a cheap alternative to a chat line.

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | May 26, 2015

Burden (5) VisDare 98



They say we burden ourselves with all our past baggage, we carry it around until it suffocates us, wears us down.

Imagine having my job.

I love my job, I am a baggage collector. I take on baggage when people leave it behind. I carry it around and add to it daily. 
Have you never wondered where people leave their baggage when they die? Their souls fly after death, but need to be free of the weight of the living to do so.

That is where I come in. I collect it. 
Do I care that it is all negative energy, thoughts, and wrong doings? Baggage is never positive, but in my job negativity is a good thing.
Think of what you all call me, a psychopomp, The Grim Reaper, Death, Father Time, call me what you will, my job objectives are always the same.
I always unburden the dead.

150 words

Posted by: writingwitch2013 | May 21, 2015

Burden3 . VisDare98


The volunteer sat in the chair opposite and opened his book.

Jean liked Ken, he was a stocky man with little brain, but he was a friendly face in this prison called a nursing home.

‘What are you reading, Ken?’

‘Travels with my aunt. It’s about a quiet man and his eccentric aunt, who gets him into adventures on their travels. I wish I could have travels and adventures.’

’I’d love to have one last fling before I’m bedridden.’

‘You’ve got the money, why don’t you?’ 

Jean sadly pointed to her walking sticks.

‘Only way out of here is in a coffin.’

The next week Ken beckoned Jean to the door. Standing there was a homemade coffin, like a papoose.

‘I’ve put straps on it an’ everything, Jean. I’ll carry you on my back. Let’s have some adventures.
Jean chuckled with delight.

’I’ll get my purse. Where are we going?’

150 words

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