Calling All Poetry Lovers!

Solitary Secret Paths is on offer at Amazon in both kindle and paperback format at only £1.16 again at the moment (RRP £5.45). That’s a huge 79% saving!!!

If you haven’t had a chance to buy it yet, or know someone who enjoys poetry and deserves a thoughtful gift, the you can find Solitary Secret Paths via the link below.

Also, please remember that honest reviews are an authors lifeblood — the more the merrier!!

Have a wonderful holiday all.

Solitary Secret Paths

The Old Lone Tree

Go ye down to the old Lone Tree
Leave ye an offering and proffer your plea
Perchance the Fair Folk will answer thee
Down at the old Lone Tree

But place your offering on the floor below
Nary on the branches, or the Fair Folk will know
Disturb their slumber and your peace will go
Show respect at the old Lone Tree

Cut ye no branch, nor pluck ye no flower
Or else beware of the Fair Folk’s power
They’ll torment your every hour
Then return to the old Lone Tree

Behind Closed Doors…

I’d like to encourage you all to check out, and wish a happy book birthday to, ’Behind Closed Doors’ a fantastic new anthology of literary works from talented authors right across the globe.

This collection of short stories, essays and poetry has been painstakingly compiled and edited by the wonderfully talented Casey Laine.

It also features a piece of poetry by yours truly!!

You can find the 188 page anthology in e-book format for an introductory steal (at only £2.25) via the following link…

Recommended Reading: The Witch’s Touch

Having been given the privilege of reviewing this soon to be released short story by Rosie Wylor-Owen, I can whole heartedly recommend it for anyone who enjoys the urban fantasy genre. Nice characters, fantastic imagery and all in all a great little story!

Criminals are going missing. Felons or not, Detective Meeks is duty-bound to find them, with little to go on but a suspicious encounter between the latest missing person and a local business owner. As the case unravels, Meeks struggles to make sense of a world he thought he understood. Yet this twist of fate could be his chance to truly making a difference to the community he holds dear.

Amanda Solanke is used to making waves, but never with the police. The last person to see the latest missing criminal, she is dragged to the heart of a police investigation. A small business owner in the eyes of the community, behind closed doors Amanda and her partner Leona guard a magical secret. The closer they are watched, the closer Amanda and Leona come to facing the ultimate danger: exposure.

This short story will be released on 22.03.18 but is available for pre-order now for the bargain price of £0.99!!

Amazon link:

The Witch’s Touch

Poetry Updates

Due to publication rules on Amazon KDP, I’ve had to remove some of my poems which were previously published on this website.

Don’t worry though you can still find them all in ‘Solitary Secret Paths’ the first volume of my new poetry collection, for sale on Amazon in both paperback and e-book format. Currently the paperback copy is on offer at £3.62 and the e-book is £1.99.

Every purchase is incredibly appreciated and goes towards keeping my rescue animals and I ticking along happily, so thank you sooo much. Don’t forget to leave an honest review on Amazon to tell others what you thought of it!! 😉

You can find Solitary Secret Paths by clicking on the following link…< em>Solitary Secret Paths

Morality vs the Written Word

Today a question was asked in one of my writing groups and as it’s not the first time I’ve seen a question of this nature when thumbing through the posts, I decided it merited an article of its own.

An author had used the word ‘lame’ in the context of a character replying to a proposed idea as such.

Character 1: “I’m going to skip the party and just chill in the library.”

Character 2: “Lame.”

The author in question had then sent their work on to beta readers, one of whom came back and informed the author that by using that word they were in fact being ableist.

[Ableism: discrimination in favour of able-bodied people.]

The author was addressing the writers group to get further feedback to ascertain how other writers viewed the issue so that she could make the decision on whether to remove the word from her work as the beta suggested.

Many of the group agreed that within the context of her work, the use of ‘Lame’ was perfectly acceptable and that for it to actually qualify as ableist, in any real sense, there would have to be the proper intent behind the use which was clearly absent in this case.

One member was brave enough to challenge the overall opinion, however, citing that people shouldn’t use the word because it could cause offense and went on to describe an occasion where a friend of hers had used the word ‘crippled’ in her presence even though she herself was wheelchair bound for much of the time.

She cited that language evolves alongside empathy and that we have a duty to bear that in mind when writing, and that she herself would never use the word ‘lame’ in her work for this very reason. Several of the points that she made were completely valid and in one sense I applaud her bravery for coming forward and defending her beliefs.

The word ‘lame’ is most often used in today’s society to describe something that wouldn’t be good or enjoyable. When you take into account that it used to be the most widely used description for anyone with mobility issues that does sound pretty bad doesn’t it?

I must admit that in my real life I usually choose to err on the side of empathy and common sense wherever possible. That being said, in my opinion it is also important as writers to understand that the worlds which we write and our real selves/lives often lie miles apart in many ways.

One of the hardest things for any writer to accomplish is the formation of three dimensional believable characters. Without these, stories are little more than a block of uninteresting text on a page.

If we all only wrote characters with our own moral values then stories as a whole would become very dull indeed. Basically, we would spend our days either writing stereotypical superhero’s or every story would end up containing miniature versions of our most pedestal-living selves.

Let’s face it, were that the case, no one would want to read a single word we penned down at the end of the day, no matter how much blood, sweat and tears we poured into the endeavor.

The key to a great story is to have a wonderful array of colorful characters who cover the whole spectrum from truest good to darkest evil. That being said our characters also need to be as realistic and true to their natures as possible, including when it comes to swearing, crossing the moral and ethical line etc.

In conclusion

Should you use ‘lame’ when referring to another human being in your day to day life, down at the local supermarket maybe? Or in the schoolyard?

Certainly not in my personal opinion. To do so could be hurtful and rude in the extreme.

In that case, should you worry about putting the word, in the not enjoyable/not good context, because your character happens to be a teen and that, like it or not, is the language frequently used by real life teens?

Not even remotely! Be true to your characters, warts and all, as realism above all is one of the building blocks of a fantastic story!!

Happy writing all 🙂

Miraculous Illusions

Miraculous Illusions
Our way to manage life
Our self-enforced delusions
Insidious and rife

The mask we show the world is thin
Slender as crystal glass
It doesn’t take a heavy blow
To make its surface crack

Between the cracks, our truth shines through
Unsure and insecure
No matter how we shore them up
They only fracture more

Our best recourse in face of this
Is find our central truth
Present instead – this – to the world
It won’t engender proof

Miraculous Illusions
Appealing though they are
Can’t replace the peace truth brings
No matter who you are

Inky Imaginings

Pour forth
Words on paper
My creativity unlocked
I marvel at its artless grace
flow out upon crisp new pages
inky imaginings
dream-like, hopeful

Goal determined
I push on, revelling
Awash in cathartic release
Pen to paper is my true state
my intended mantle

But then
Like smoke it comes
Stroke of the pen ceasing
Hollow, Yawning, the Wasteland pulls
I find myself adrift, empty
No spark of invention
Silence, Nothing

Time Waits For No Man

Time waits for no man
So they say
But is it really true?
I could have sworn
That in my life
He’s paused a time or two

They say he flies
When life is fun
And this I know is real
It seems that Time
Is fleet of foot
The better that I feel

Time heals all wounds
Or so I’m told
And helps a heart to mend
I’ve seen that statement
Proven false
In grief, he’s not a friend

With Time
The heart grows fonder
Least that’s what people say
But to forget
Seems easier
The longer you’re away

This entity
We label Time
It seems we know him not
His true intentions
seem benign
But only he knows what

How to Become a Passionate Full-Time Writer

Storm Constantine was one of the first authors who inspired me to throw myself into writing fantasy. She also happened to be local to the area where I grew up which was part of fascination because she was just a local girl like me and if she could do it, well then why the heck couldn’t I!! 🙂
Many years ago I worked for a wonderful friend of hers in the ICT training centre at Staffordshire County Council.
Far more than just a boss, Karen made it her mission to encourage me to get my E.C.D.L qualifications and provided huge encouragement when it came to my fledgeling dreams of becoming a serious writer, including putting me in contact with her writer friend, Storm.
Shortly before resigning from my post at Creative Writers Facebook Group, I suggested to the group’s founder that an interview with Storm could give the group’s members some amazing tips on how to become successful in the craft.
The resulting interview, kindly provided by Storm, covers exactly what I consider to be the most important aspects of becoming a fantastic writer, so be sure to go and check it out at the link below.
If, incidentally you are looking for a fantastic writers group which focuses only on helping its members become better writers and in how to get published then check out my friend Greg’s group Writers Lounge
Writers Lounge also works in affiliation with my other friend Kristen’s professional but affordable editing business Your Editing Lounge, meaning that the group is a one-stop-shop for writers looking to progress from the early stages of planning a story through to getting it publication-ready. I look forward to seeing you all there!! :}

In the meantime here is Storm’s take on exactly what you need in order to turn your dreams of writing into reality…

How to Become a Passionate Full-Time Writer! — Creative Writers’ Blog