Finishing the Dang* Story

So hey there, what happens when you just struggle and struggle to finish a story you were so passionate about a few months ago.

I love my characters – Ella is as feisty as ever and Roman is still the complex dreamboat he always was but maybe I’ve fallen out of love with them.  They’ve done everything, I’ve split them up, put them back together, changed things around, added family drama but maybe it’s time I retired them and worked on something new?

I know that half of this angst is due in part to people not reading the stories like they once did. It’s hard to get new readers when you’ve developed the fan fiction characters beyond the scope of the original character, even harder getting people to relate to it.

I’ve just written a chapter that should have been fun but each word felt like I was pulling teeth! Hard, complex, difficult. That’s been how it is to write these days.  And without writing, I’m sitting here, kind of broken.  Kind of lost. Very alone.

So, do I finish the dang* story or just move on?

Also, NanoWriMo, the write a novel in a month challenge, is fast approaching and so far I’ve failed at every attempt. I remember writing two full novel length stories consecutively inside three months and I just want to get back a little bit of that creative juice.  My head is buzzing with ideas and I jot down bits and pieces but nothing sparks my interest long enough to develop it into a story.

I’m pretty sure I want to write.

I enjoy writing (for the most part).

But, am I done?


Cover models

So as I was thinking about releasing one of my stories it will need a cover right?  It’s got a little bit of sexiness in it, lots of forbidden sighs and longing looks and just a hint of the type of attraction that has you panting for more.

Sound good?

Why is it then, that all the cover models I’ve seen just don’t match up to my hero or heroine? Having read a number of stories and receiving any number of author’s newsletters I know there are a bunch of hot men and women out there adorning the covers of books.

But they are too hot.

Of course, a guy with a perfect six-pack looks amazing and the female counterpart has gorgeous hair and perfect legs (amongst other perfect attributes) but they just aren’t realistic.

My characters are from the real world, sure he goes to the gym and likes to run but other than that he leads a pretty sedate life.  Stuck to his desk, for the most part, he left the rippling muscle-bound body of a 20-year-old in the past.  Now touching 40, he’s still attractive but in a whole new way.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m tired of seeing the same type of model on the cover of books.  Tatts and muscles.  Shirt open. Jeans pushed low on the hips.  Do we seriously all fantasise about the same kind of men?  If so, what am I missing?


Okay, hands up, I’m guilty!

I have been neglecting my blog.  I’ve been behind with my writing.  I haven’t drafted a poem for the longest time.

There’s this thing, it’s called ‘Real Life’ and unfortunately, once you get it there is no cure.

In the UK we’ve had the Referendum, Brexit, and finally, an Election.  When you are campaigning it’s very hard not to let things fall away and get neglected.  My blog is a case in point and the other, my writing.

All of these is in conjunction with my personal circumstances.  I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say I’ve been completely swamped with negativity.  I want to write, I’ve re-engaged with my Rola characters but actually sitting at the keyboard and getting it done is a different matter.

Now that I’ve taken a step back from the political stuff I want to get more time writing again.  I’m also behind on posting on the various sites where my stories are.  It feels like I’ve got a giant game of catch-up to play… watch this space!

The Fairy Cottage





The fairy cottage appeared in the distance, surrounded by flowers of every hue. Their perfume drifting up to meet the late summer breeze, a breeze that was promising rain.
Local folklore said that if you offered the one inside the stone cottage a present of a silver coin or small treasure then they may grant you one wish.
The well-trod path leading to the blue-painted door stretched out before her and without a backwood glance, she moved up it, somehow taking comfort that many had also walked along the same path before her. With a timid hand, she knocked once, and once more at the door. It opened before her allowing the sun to highlight dancing dust motes.
“H… hello,” she called softly.
“Come in pretty one,” a voice answered her.
“I’ve come to ask a favour,” her bravery made her say but her fear kept her rooted to the doorstep.
“Let me look at you,” the voice, although pleasant sounding, gave her a feeling of fear made sharper by the shudder that ran down her back.
“I brought you a present, see,” she held her hand out to show the silver token she’d brought with her.
“You are too far away, my pretty, I can’t see.”
Sarah looked down at the coin in her hand and slowly took a tiptoe step forward entering over the threshold. The darkness of the cottage swallowed her up and she felt herself grow cold.
“H….here…” she whispered looking at the coin shining in her hand as she held it out.
“And what is the wish that you want my pretty?”
A match struck and the flash of light startled her making her jump back before it was used to light a candle. Not that it offered much in the way of illumination, highlighting instead all the dark shadows that danced around the room.
“I have a love…”
“Lucky my dear, there are many that wish for true love to come,” the crone laughed.
“He is at war,” she continued.
“And you wish him home with his boots under your bed,” the crone muttered with a salacious laugh.
Sarah felt her face flaming and pressed her lips together to stop the hasty denial that rushed to be spoken. “My wish is not about him,” she felt her anxiousness rise as she thought about what she was asking. “No, it is the harvest that is coming. All signs are that there is rain coming and we will fail to get it in in time and with no harvest, we will starve this coming winter.”
“So your wish is for the harvest to succeed child? That is a lot of wish for such a small token!”
She felt the weight of the crone’s sneer directed at her as she looked at the small coin in her hand. “I wish…” she began. “For the sun to shine long enough to get the hay in.”
Sarah closed her eyes feeling her last smidgeon of bravery deserting her as she uttered her one wish, her hand closing around and clutching at the silver coin. This was silly. No-one could change the weather, no-one could alter the fate of the harvest. Why had she come here? What foolishness had prompted her to believe in folklore?
Her eyes shot open at the crone’s word and she opened up her hand to offer the coin only to see her hand empty. “Wha..” she cried out.
Sarah uttered a hasty thank you before she spun around and darted out of the cottage feeling bright sun meeting her as she ran back up the path and past the bright flowers.

The crone watched the slip of a girl dart out of her cottage, running as though she was being chased her long skirt whipping around her legs as she ran, before glancing at the silver coin in her hand. Just yesterday someone had been at her door asking for their wish and soon another one would come along requesting something else. She didn’t have the heart to tell them that she was just an old woman in a cottage with no magical powers. Until the next visitor turned up she’d just rest a while in her rocking chair with her cat on her lap.

Have finally…

written something!


It’s been a while, I’ve had a number of things going on.  This blog got neglected just because I was busy with so many other things and then, after a long absence my characters started talking to me again.

I’d put my main character into a coma.  I wasn’t even aware that I was going to do it but there she was lying on a hospital bed and….. then came the problem of how I did it, how was she going to recover, what was going to happen next…!

But then sitting down at the laptop I started plotting out the next chapter.  Once I started working it the words flowed, albeit slowly, on to the page.

So finally, Chapter 42 of my Rola story ‘Ghost Sight’ has been posted.

Who knows the way this is going I just might start on Chapter 43!

Writing Woes!

What do you do when you have half a dozen story ideas but cannot sit down and start writing?

It isn’t exactly writer’s block because woah, am I used to that.  No this is just finding the peace in my own head to focus on the story.

Or in this case stories.

I have one plotted, thought I was going to get some of it written for NanoWriMo, but I found I was doing anything except sitting at the laptop and writing and so the tale of the three brothers languishes inside my head waiting on my fingers to get typing.

I wish there was a way of downloading my brain to the page.  I’d have about a dozen manuscripts ready to go.

In the faint hope that I can get something written by the end of the month I’m setting out some goals here.

  1.  Luke’s story from Three Brothers.
  2. Finish Ghost Story (A Rola fic).
  3. Finish my manuscript of poetry.

Check back with me at the start of April to see if I’ve accomplished anything!



Listening to Music


Some people can’t write without listening to music. Others need complete silence. For me, it very much depends on my mood.

When I get into a scene  I can be transported into the moment with my characters and suddenly after frantic typing, of course, only then notice that my music had stopped.

It’s not just music, I also will have the TV on, or a show playing on my laptop, almost like I can’t bear the quiet surrounding me.

I’ve got playlists and artists that are my favourite to listen too.

Big dramatic scene – rock and roll, heavy metal.

Fight between hero and heroine – definitely, play me some Anastasia or country.

If it’s an action scene involving my soldiering hero then I might listen to a lot of sixties tunes, in particular, those that were played as a soundtrack for the soldiers in Vietnam.

You Tube is brilliant for random tune selection. Click on a song and it will have connections to random fan videos or other artists who have released the same song.  It becomes this rabbit hole of distraction when you really aren’t in a writing mood but the rest of the time you can click on a song in there and type away.



Have you heard about Pinterest? Are you secretly addicted to Pinterest?  Do you hide it from your friends?

Pinterest is a scrapbooking site where you can save pictures, fashion trends, decorating tips, hairstyle ideas, inspirational quotes, memes  – just about anything you like really!  On each picture, you save you can write notes or add information to it.

A number of author friends use the scrapbooking website to post inspiration topics and pictures for their writing and I thought it would be fun to use mine for my fan fic stories.  I’ve started adding pictures of things that are in the stories. As I get it up to date with the stories I might even add small excerpts from the stories themselves!

Check it out:



Thought I would post a snippet from my current work in progress….. 

New England Town – USA

It was fast approaching fall in New England town where Magwith Howe lived in the Victorian house that her parents had left her. The leaves on the trees were beginning to turn all the various hues of copper, bronze, and gold ready to cascade to the paths and roads below.  Soon it would be the Autumn Equinox and then All Hallow’s Eve, the time of witches and magic.

For Magwith, her day had begun just like every other day with no portents about what was going to happen.   She had attended her job at the library, enjoying the peace and quiet her day job brought her. The tall mahogany bookshelves were filled to the brim with various genres of books. Some well-read and loved and others just acquired dust as they waited there to be opened.

She stacked shelves, putting books back in order as sunlight streamed in through the tall windows but really she loved dealing with customers, presenting them with just the right book they were looking for and hearing their joy as they returned the book and told her how much they loved it.  Magwith had a gift for finding the exact right book for people. A self-help book when they were feeling low or that latest steamy romance. It was like she had a gift for knowing what her customers needed and because she loved her job she didn’t even mind when she had to return old dusty reference books to the back of the library where the dark corners somehow made her nervous.

On this day Magwith could cheerfully say that she’d had a really good day and maybe that was why when she was walking the way back home she ignored the flickering street lamps.  It was the also the reason that she also ignored the occasional growl emitting from the gathering shadows.  Like something was trailing her. Stalking her.

Turning up the drive towards her house she paused to look at the grand Victorian mansion that had been in her family for a hundred years. Painted a pale cream to match the rest of the neighbourhood houses she loved the small porch, the front windows that gleamed with a mystical shine and never needed cleaning, thanks to a great Aunt who had despised housework and cast a perpetual spring cleaning spell.

Magwith came from a long line of magic folk, wizards, warlocks, and witches of all kinds littered her family tree and each generation born appeared to have magical gifts. It came as a shock to her parents that at the age of 13 when she should have been beginning to learn all about her gift she developed what can only be described as a reluctance to do magic.

The simple spells that novice witches cut their teeth on were too much for her.  She couldn’t make a feather fly or a candle ignite no matter how much she practiced.

Good meaning fellow witch folk just said she was a late bloomer and that the magic would come.  Her parents tried not to be disappointed in her but she could tell they hated that their gifted child was a magical dud.

Worse, instead of her magic getting better or improving, no, now she had another entirely bad situation.  Magic gave her headaches.  And sneezing.   Her eyes would stream and her nose tickle until she couldn’t hold back the sneezing.  It managed to get her into a lot of trouble.

She was on her own in the family home, her parents had died in a car crash leaving just her and that housework-hating great-Aunt, who was doing something archaeological in the desert, something about finding a lost manuscript.

Placing the key in the lock she gave a sudden gasp as a shadow near her morphed into human shape and wrapped strong arms around her. A hand covered her mouth and her eyes blinked at the sudden coldness shuddering through her body.

“Don’t scream,” he murmured near her ear his voice soft and melodious.

“I wasn’t going to…” she mumbled against the hand over her mouth.   It sounded like she was talking underwater but he seemed to understand as he removed his hand.

“I need your help,” he stated.

“Funny bloody way to ask for it,” she muttered flexing her body getting ready to fight.

“There are other… beings out here…”

“I know,” she rolled her eyes at the sarcastic note that had entered her voice.   Coldness. Shadow.  A voice that made her want to do things.  And a strength that… she stopped her wayward thoughts and focused.  “You’re a vampire,” she hissed out.

“I am.”

Again that voice melted something inside of her.  She wanted to turn and see his face, see his eyes and… nothing.  Vampires were bad news.  Really bad news.  There were very few things in magic circles that were despised; vampirism was one of them, though.

“What do you want?”  Magwith was proud her voice didn’t waver.

“I need your help.”

“If it’s magic you need help with you’ve come to the wrong witch.”

“Magwith my ‘situation’ is… desperate.  You need to help me.”

“I don’t need to do anything and stop using that voice on me,” she muttered elbowing him sharply in the ribs. The resulting pain in her arm convinced her that was a bad idea the moment she’d done it but it didn’t stop her struggling against the tight bonds his muscular arms were proving to be.

“What voice?” he asked in the same voice.   The one that made her think of sunny days and cute kittens. The one that appealed to every single part of her and most especially the tingling female core inside of herself that had been berating her for her total lack of dates recently.

She sighed before lowering her head in shame that she was even going to ask the following question.

“You know my name, how about yours Vlad?”

She knew her sarcasm had reached him when his arms tightened momentarily around her.  Vampires hated the comparison between themselves and the original Vlad Drăculea.  Here she was with a vampire practically wrapped around her standing on the front porch of her house.  Her shod foot scrapped at the black and white tiles in the criss-cross pattern in her front porch as she waited for his response before she spotted something she should definitely have remembered.

Vampires had to be invited in.  Everyone knew that, however, there was another caveat to the rule, in that you didn’t have to do the inviting, objects could do it.  Such as the welcome mat that the tip of her foot had just touched.  Or even the small welcome sign that inside just near the door that she suddenly hoped he couldn’t see.

“I am Luca,” he said quietly.

“Well Luca you need to let me go,” she muttered.  To her surprise, he did just that and she hastily stepped forward pushing open the door.  “I’ll bid you goodnight,” she muttered unable to think of anything more pointed before she stepped forward and into the house.  She slammed the door shut behind her and raced over to the nearest seat collapsing down into it with her head lowered and her eyes covered.

A heartbeat, one –two- three… then, “You saw the mat didn’t you?”

“I did.”

That voice was making her insides melt it was so good she thought with a groan before lifting her head and looking at the tall vampire in front of her. Now he wasn’t just a shadow or a pair of muscular arms wrapped around her, now he was a tall slim built man with sapphire blue eyes and long collar length blond hair that had a startling tendency to curl. Although he certainly had more than enough muscles that he could sweep her off her feet and carry her up the stairs to her bedroom where… wait, could vampires read minds?

“Let’s get this over with,” she muttered leading the way out of the room and up the two sets of stairs towards the attic room where the family’s spellbook was kept.

….If you want to read more drop me a comment below….