Sunday, 31 March 2019

Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday?

Mothering Sunday is a date in the Christian calendar. It is the middle Sunday in Lent. This year it falls on 31 March – the date I have the privilege and responsibility of posting something here on the More than Writers blog. Mother’s Day is celebrated on various dates, depending on where people live. In the USA and many other countries it is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Other Sundays in May and another one in March complete the list on one website I visited. Only the UK and Gibraltar are listed as celebrating it today.

Some people hold very strong views about what the day should be called. My mother has always maintained that it is Mothering Sunday; to her Mother’s Day (like Father’s Day, which seems to be marked in at least one country in every month except January) is "an invention of the greetings card industry".

Mothering Sunday cards
It is increasingly difficult to find Mothering Sunday cards.
The history of Mothering Sunday is interesting. It is about the mother church and has traditions of people working away from home returning to visit their homes. They would attend a service at the church where they had been baptised.

Nowadays special services are held. Usually posies are given out for children and others to give to their mothers. With many families being separated by long distances, it is not possible for everyone to see their own mothers on this day.
A Mothering Sunday posy

In most services there is sensitivity to those members, who for various reasons find the day difficult. The Mothering Sunday service ranks with Harvest Festival for attendance where I live. 

I have my own tradition for 31st March. For many years I have recorded the names of the plants in flower in our garden plus those which have already flowered and are no longer in bloom. Some of my lists appear on Sue’s Trifles as my ‘garden survey’. It is a tiny research project.

For this blog post I have done a small amount of research in order to check my facts. (I have learned a lot about Father’s Day in the process.)

Writers are authors; we should write articles, stories, blogs or whatever, which are authentic. Being accurate increases the authenticity. Even fantasy can be authentic, by adhering to a consistent imaginary world and having characters, who behave in self-consistent ways.

In case you are looking for some writing inspiration, here are a few ideas to choose from:-
Write about your mother or a mother figure in your life.
Write about your earliest memories of Mothering Sunday or the first church you went to
Write a description of the signs of spring in your neighbourhood (perhaps researching the names of plants in a park or the countryside)
Or if you are looking for a blogging challenge, Blogging from A to Z in April begins tomorrow (1 April). Annmarie Miles wrote about it earlier this month here.

However you spend the day, I hope you will enjoy it.

Susan always wanted to be a writer.  In 2012 she revived her interest in writing with a blogging project to collect the kinds of sayings, which were much used in her childhood.
Susan experiments with factual writing, fiction, humour and poetry.  She does not yet have a book to her name. Her interests include words, languages, music, knitting and crochet.  She has experience of the world of work, being a stay-at-home mum and an empty-nester.   She is active in her local community and Church, where she sings alto in the choir. She and her husband live in the North of England. 

Follow her on Twitter @suesconsideredt

Saturday, 30 March 2019


How often do we write about touch? A gentle stroke, a slap, a hug, a crush? Often.

But what's the science behind it? Why do we feel the way we do?

In his book, 'Touch - The science of the sense that makes us Human', David Linden goes into fascinating detail about how we feel, both physically and mentally.

I won't go into the fine detail (mostly because I can't remember it, partly because it is complex), but there are several types of cells, nerves and chemicals that cause our reactions.

Some 'touch' signals travel relatively quickly, others more slowly, which is why we feel some things quicker than others. He gives one example of a reaction in a giant to hot water: If your head lay in New England and your Feet in South Africa, the sensation of your toes being bitten by a fish on Monday, would reach your brain by Wednesday, and the brain's signal of reaction would reach your toes by Saturday.

The larger you are the longer it takes to feel things.

He also writes about the science that shows our mental feelings and our sense of touch are intimately linked. It's why soldiers can run about even though they're wounded, and why the fear of an injection heightens the pain. It's also why being mentally abused 'hurts'.

There are many other facets covered, a fair bit in dense science, but I recommend it if you want to really understand the sense of touch.

Friday, 29 March 2019

When Writing Is Difficult

Do you find writing harder at certain times of the year? One advantage to the winter evenings is they encourage staying indoors. The thought of staying in to write appeals a lot when the weather has been rotten! (I write this in the week of Storm Gareth).

When writing is difficult and your mind seems completely blank, give yourself a break.  Pixabay image.
It can be harder to write during the summer months when it is easy to want to be outdoors and away from the desk. P.G. Wodehouse’s maxim of “applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair” is good advice to follow here.

Give yourself the time to dream, the courage to keep going, be open to being inspired by others.  Pixabay image

When writing is difficult, what can you do to overcome that?

I’d say firstly be easy on yourself. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I do believe there are days when the words just don’t flow so well. I see that as a normal part of being human! We’re not machines. There are bound to be days when the prose or poetry flows and other days when they don’t. There is no point in beating yourself up for this. It is a temporary glitch. If the words came easily once, they will do so again.

Sometimes the words don't flow, they leak out slowly!  Pixabay image
 What can be useful in annoying times like that is to make notes. Have a brainstorming session on any subject. Allow yourself to free write away from your normal material. Let yourself write “just” for fun. This is for you only.  Enjoy it! (It can feel like playing truant. It’s what I like about this). The great thing is you can return to these notes later and hopefully find sparks of inspiration for stories, articles or what have you. This kind of writing is never wasted.

Brainstorming is useful (and fun!).  Use it to take the pressure off yourself.  Pixabay image
 Another useful tip is to increase your reading, in terms of how much you do and in varying what genres you read. Reading feeds the mind. Maybe in the difficult times, your imagination needs some TLC. What better than to feed it a wide range of stories?

Remember there is no such thing as the perfect first draft!  Pixabay image
 I’d also recommend reading non-fiction as that too can spark ideas for stories. One of my favourite Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett is Raising Steam which shows how the locomotive came to Ankh-Morpork. What historical or scientific discoveries could you use to inspire your stories?

There are few writers who haven't experienced this feeling.  Pixabay image.
Vary the length of stories that you read too from the short to the epic sagas. What makes you love these stories? What is it about the characters that draws you in? How can you apply that to your own creations?

If you are working on a long project and you are getting bogged down (and frankly it would be amazing if you didn’t at times), can you work on shorter pieces to give yourself a mental break sometimes?
Give yourself time to read and feed your own imagination.  Pixabay image.
It’s also helpful to remind yourself why you wanted to write in the first place. For me, it’s all about the love of playing with words. Going back to first principles here can and does give my imagination a much needed boost at times.

Happy writing (and reading!).

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Places For Inspiration by Trevor Thorn

Launde Abbey, Leicestershire
Photo credit Peterborough Diocese

This last weekend, I was privileged to join in a retreat at our local retreat house, Bishop Woodford House in Ely. Although it is not nearly so photogenic as the above house in the heart of Leicestershire it is a place that makes visitors very welcome and it proved a very special place to be - with two new poems emerging. As these short poems grew, I was reminded of just what excellent places Retreat Houses are for authors if there is space when you want it. 

In my earlier career as a fund-raising director, together with my management team we would travel round the country meeting our local supporters, which, whenever we could, we arranged to hold in one of the Christian Retreat Houses, so for a while I could have undoubtedly produced a ‘Good Retreat House Guide’. It was that experience that resonated with me as I thought about this ACW blog entry.

There are very considerable benefits  that such places offer to a writer. It is the aim of these houses to provide a place apart in an atmosphere of peace and calm. Most have a chapel and rooms to encourage reflection. Many of them have sizeable gardens which, during a warm spell can be just about perfect for ruminating on stubborn pieces of text. That might, for some, sound enough, but in addition the guests are fed by the staff, so it is possible to spend the maximum of time on the thinking or writing task in hand.

Perhaps one of the biggest decisions to make is how far to travel. Is your preference a short journey or would you prefer to find a place deep in the heart of beautiful countryside? Both options will be available to most people in the UK and if you are particularly well placed, you may get both in one centre. Some run short or week long courses on creative writing

Prices vary but some houses have bursaries to make the experience of being there within the reach of as many people as possible. The practical details of most of the UK’s houses can be found in the annual ‘Retreats’ booklet published by The Retreat Association or calling up their website. There are some overseas options too. All of them will have someone to discuss your hopes of such a place and describe how individuals are welcomed. In some, individual retreat ants eat alone, in some eating is round a common table which, of itself might prove a place of helpful ideas.

Many houses have optional prayer-times led by their staff. These can be very helpful in establishing a gentle routine for the duration of a short stay. If you felt joining a gathering of other writers the Creative Arts Retreat Movement offers excellent opportunities in various locations.

From this entry, it will be clear that I am an enthusiast for taking short breaks in retreat houses and I am grateful to our local Cursillo Group for allowing me to join in their weekend.

If you decide to take time out in this way, you might also like to read Embracing Silence, a short prayer I have written which will give an idea of how you might prepare to spend time in such peaceful places. And if you do decide to explore any of these options, may you be richly blessed as I have been in such places. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Being Shaped; Shaping others by Tracy Williamson

When I was a child and other children were finding their excitement in visiting adventure playgrounds and theme parks, the library was the place to go for me.  To be surrounded by shelves of books that I'd be free to burrow into, search out, discover and possess was a joy that I'd anticipate all week. I didn't realise it then but I was tapping into the awesome power of words to shape us, to create a path for our minds to tiptoe along, to put form on nebulous ideas and to provide a wonderful escape.
Shaping us, developing our understanding, our awareness of things we do not know or have not experienced....
Being a 60's child I was born into the Enid Blyton era and soon learnt to immerse myself in the lands of adventure and fun.  The Magic Faraway Tree became my own way of escape from a chaotic and scary home life and I would go to our little corner of Epping Forest and try to climb into my own magical worlds where there would always be a solution to a moment of danger or misadventure.  The fact that the children were meeting and becoming great friends with such characters as MoonFace, The Angry Pixie and Saucepan Man instilled in me the beginnings of an awareness that people can be different yet still be wonderful friends.  Our society rests on an unwritten rule that people need to fit in and be alike and those who stand out as different are often on the fringe.  I was on the fringe myself and bullied at school for being slow learning although I was in fact deaf but that was unknown then.  Through Enid Blyton's books I found not just escape but hope, hope that there would be note worthy things I could do just as the Famous Five and Secret Seven managed to do.  Hope that one day I would be part of a group that accepted me and that there would be a happy ending.  As I grew older, Arthur Ransome's stories of the Swallows and Amazon's and Willard Price's of the two young naturalists Hal and Roger all had an impact.  I was so sheltered on one hand and so exposed to crushing rejection and abuse on the other, that I had no concept of the fact that I was destined to grow into someone who could take on responsibility and discover life  and influence others. But these stories began to shape that desire that I could indeed become such a person. 
  At a time when I had no understanding of God and my moral awareness was becoming skewed because of my home life, the Chalet School books became a new source of growth and shaping. God, faith and moral, ethical solutions were part of the fabric of these wonderful stories and gave me a more far reaching view and a budding yearning for such a faith myself, whether that was in goodness or God I didn't know, but God was definitely using these works in ways I only later understood. Similarly classics like The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Little Women, Heidi and Dickens all had an impact.  Windows began to open within me, an awareness that yes life is hard and can be very cruel and yet there is love, goodness, faith, adventure, respect, hope, selflessness, care, trust, and the possibility of a good ending.
I guess some of the profoundest influences came through the Narnia stories by CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien's Middle Earth. It was through these that the knowledge kindled within me that I too, just like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings or Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund in the Narnia stories had a destiny and a choice.  I could let myself be overcome by the evil I had known or rise up and be an agent, even in my weakness, of seeing evil conquered by good.  A passion was born within me to be a defender of the good and the lovely and to believe that I did have a part to play in the great cosmic battle between good and evil.  When I became a Christian at 19 and discovered that the battle between good and evil is real yet through Jesus I am on the winning side I felt a great joy and a kind of clicking into place of all those earlier influences.
I am full of thanks to every author of the written word in both my childhood and adult years and for the immeasurable impact of their works on my life and the lives of countless others.
Let's never forget the power and responsibility we have as writers to affect, even to shape the lives of others, our children, our communities even our world. I would love to think that something I have written has provided a safety net or given a budding understanding or hope or a new perspective or drawn my reader closer to God.  It may feel sometimes like just another deadline to meet, just another blog that no one will read, but God sees the bigger picture and if just one person is helped by something I've written then something beautiful for the Kingdom of Heaven has been released.  We are all shaped by the words we read and all destined to shape others by the words we write

Tracy Williamson lives in Tonbridge, Kent with her great friend and ministry partner Marilyn Baker and Tracy's Hearing Dog, Goldie.  Tracy is an author and speaker  working with Marilyn for MBM Trust an itinerant music and teaching ministry.  Tracy's latest book The Father's Kiss was published in Sept 18 by Authentic Media and she is currently completing a 40 day devotional A Desert Transformed.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Imperfection, by Eve Lockett

Nebuchadnezzar by William Blake
I’ve been thinking about imperfection, and whether we should see it as a problem or part of the way we’ve been designed. It’s so easy to focus on where we fall short, as if that’s a true measure of our lives. 
So what do we mean by imperfection? To be perfect is to be without flaw or fault; but there’s also another sense to perfection – the sense of something finished or complete. As a Christian, my understanding is that God is leading us by his power and grace to our ultimate transformation into the perfect likeness of Christ. But that is our destiny. In the meantime, we live with imperfection because we are not yet what we will be; we are changing, developing, growing. 
As writers, we’re told that the characters we create should go through some transforming experience, to become what they could not have been without it. Characters that don’t change or develop are superficial, ‘cardboard’, caricatures. Even the old and wise need to grow, otherwise they are just dispensers of wisdom without demonstrating how wisdom is gained. 
Of course, one can deliberately create a character who refuses to grow, and whose entrenched manner and attitudes distinguish them as an individual. In his novel Bleak House, Charles Dickens introduces us to Sir Leicester Dedlock – reactionary, stuck in his ways, intolerant and self-deluded, as his name implies. He begins as a comic character, but by the end of the book he is a figure of pathos, deeply shaken by the onslaught of realities he has sought to avoid and yet meeting his ordeal with dignity, with compassion and gentle grace.
In the book of Daniel in the Bible, we read about Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. He is ruthless, arrogant and boastful. Surprisingly, for the most powerful man in the world at that time, he learns his lesson. The story of his transformation takes him from tyrant to mindless beast to humble worshipper. It is an illustration of God’s power to transform the human heart, even with the most unpromising material.
So are we as writers content with the process of development and change in ourselves, or are we discouraged by our own imperfections?
I was planning this blog post when one of the grandchildren came over to do her homework, and brought with her a teen magazine called TEEN Breathe. She opened it at an article entitled The Perfectionist Trap. I snatched it from her and said, ‘You can have this back in two days!’
The author explains that perfectionism can make us so anxiously focused on our goal that we never enjoy the process. Equally, it can stop us from acting at all, because we are so intimidated by fear of failure. Of course we want to do our best, but not to be robbed of the joy of doing what we love.
Here’s a suggestion from the article – buy yourself some colourful felt tips and keep them in a jar, points upwards. Then place your favourite colour pen upside down, as a reminder to you things don’t have to be perfect in order to work, to be vibrant and wonderful. 
Being liberated from the perfect allows us to journey towards it. Imperfection is an adequate vessel in which to set sail for the farther shore. If we rejoice in it, we can take pleasure in the voyage, and joy is a good companion to have on board. 

Monday, 25 March 2019

WhatsApping Great Grandma

When my ninety six year old mother fractured her pelvis (by falling after a jamboree at the retirement block) I found myself stranded solo in Leeds and under bombardment from our large extended family for news.  

So we set up a WhatsApp group and invited three generations of family to come on board. The interaction was brilliant.  Why hadn’t we thought of it before?  Photos of our beloved matriarch in hospital gown solicited much sympathy, with promises of prayer – mostly from the older generation I noticed.

Mind you it wasn’t for everyone.  One sibling had opted out of the electronic age on retirement and a brother in law left the group, unable to cope with the volume of traffic. 

Things settled down with steady news updates from me.  On day two I visited to find Mum in adversarial mode, refusing all pain relief and eating a hearty main course followed by steamed pudding.  This was good, came the responses.  But I was not so sure.  I was right. 

Our teflon coated WW2 veteran bride found that former coping strategies served badly in the current crisis.  Fighting spirit great: pain management zilch.  It took several agony wracked nights to convince her.  Morphia offered relief – along with undesirable side effects like hallucinations – but intensive rehab was now underway.

Under normal circumstances, mother found time to read her Bible and pray down the long list of family members.  She had undertaken this in tandem with Dad until he died just after wedding anniversary number seventy two.  Faithfully, over the next five years, she continued alone, alongside a hectic social life that trumped mine. 

Now, the same prayer targeted recipients responded by WhatsApping photos of various family antics, including those of the great grandchildren.  They brought a smile to her face and helped through the grim, pain wracked weeks of getting back on her feet.

Once home, with 24/7 family support, it became evident that managing in her flat was no longer an option.  Could we really be talking residential care?  If so, which home, where?  The WhatApps continued to allow an interactive  conversation through a series of falls, paramedic call outs and challenging personal care issues.  Some of the younger family members were now offering prayer.  We were in it together.  This was one special, much loved, senior family member.  Everyone could recall being rescued by her in time of need.  We all owed her the best.

After prolonged and intensive family research, Mum chose placement in a state of the art care home with an overtly Christian ethos. Back on home ground she has settled in well and enjoys visits from four generations of her precious family. 

The WhatsApp group has served to bring us together in new ways and kept our beloved matriarch in the loop through sharing photos and news.  With social media getting such an adverse press, how great to be able to tell a more positive story.

Eileen Padmore has retired from a life spent in health care and academia, having worked in Sierra Leone, Zambia, Eire and Northern Ireland (in the troubles) as well as inner city Birmingham and Leeds.  She has had articles published in Woman Alive, Christian Writer and contributed to the popular ACW Lent Book.  Last November she claimed NaNo 2018 winner at first attempt.  Married to a professional musician, the family includes a feisty springer spaniel and a large African tortoise. 

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Tribute books

How do you feel about the writing of a new Narnia adventure, fifty-six years after C. S. Lewis’s death? Apparently, it fills in the gap between the events of The Magician’s Nephew, when Narnia was created, and those of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and, among other things, explains the origin of the Stone Table. It was written by the Christian apologist and historian Francis Spufford, but because he has not received the go-ahead (or indeed any response) from the Lewis Estate, it cannot be published. He has circulated copies to friends, and some who’ve read it say it’s very good and captures the authentic spirit of Lewis.

He wrote it because his children wanted more about Narnia. And the desire to hear more about much-loved characters and scenes is one we’ve all felt. It’s reflected in lots of different kinds of book, so diverse that I’m not sure whether or not they form a single genre. So, there are the books that give us another story about X. At least one of our own ACW members, Adrianne Fitzpatrick, writes stories set in the world of the much loved Chalet School series. David Benedictus recently wrote Return to the Hundred Acre Wood, a sequel to the Winnie the Pooh books. P. D. James wrote a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, called Death comes to Pemberley. Moving a bit further from this model, Jo Baker wrote Longbourn, an eye-opening retelling of the same Austen classic from the servants’ point of view, and a little group of well-known authors reset the Jane Austen stories in modern times, including Alexander McCall Smith and Joanna Trollope, who respectively retold Emma and Sense and Sensibility.

Travelling in a slightly different direction, but still, I feel, with a similar motivation, we have the many reimaginings of biblical stories as novels. There are more than could be listed, but a very famous example is Francine Rivers’s retelling of the book of Hosea, Redeeming Love. And because there are such wonderful personalities and inspiring events in Scripture, we all like to read novels with an invented story placed in a biblical setting and featuring some genuinely biblical characters. This type goes back a long way: in 1880 Lew Wallis published his best-seller Ben Hur: a Tale of the Christ, said to have been the most influential Christian book of the nineteenth century. (And I do wonder whether perhaps this is what the so-called pseudepigraphical lives of the apostles and saints from the second, third, and fourth centuries really were.) Today we have the exciting Pilate’s Daughter, by our own Fiona Veitch Smith, and the enthralling Phoebe: Pauline Christianity in narrative form, by the leading theologian Paula Gooder, which, through the eyes of a member of St Paul’s circle, brings to life the early Christian community in Rome, as they read the letter she has brought from him to them.

These all — from children’s book to ‘tribute’ classic to biblical reimagining — have a strong motive in common. I think we could call it love. We love these people we have read about so much that we want more of them. In this very ACW blog a year or so back I stumbled into the genre myself. I wrote about how much I loved the letter of St James. I soon realized that some of the teachings in this letter seemed to contain little stories, so I decided to make them explicit, and suddenly I had a character and a background into which the rest of James’s teachings could also be placed in a narrative format. The result was The Wisdom of Yakob the Elder, which I trust will be published by Hodge Publishing later this year!

Thanks to Clare for inspiring this post!

Friday, 22 March 2019

Words Uneclipsed by Emily Owen

Last month, a friend and I celebrated our birthdays and Christmas. Neither of our birthdays is in February, nor is Christmas, but February was the month we finally got around to celebrating them together. We went to Stratford upon Avon and had dinner, followed by a Shakespeare play.

Being deaf, I need to go to plays that are captioned - spoken words appear on a little screen, like subtitles on a television - so, when booking our tickets, I ensured we had seats that would give a clear view of the screen.

I’m very grateful for the screens which allow me to access theatre, but it turned out I’m not the only one. As far as I’m aware, I was the only deaf person sitting in our area of the almost at capacity theatre, but conversation in the interval showed that I was not the only one reading the captions. Hearing people were glad to read the words, as it helped them follow what was being said.

As Christian writers, dare I suggest that the words we write help people – and ourselves – follow what God is saying, follow His heart? Yes, I do: It’s a privilege God gives us.

I recently had an email from a reader: ‘It’s like you’re inside my head and heart.’ 
I’m not, of course - but God is. And by His grace, the words He gave me reached this person deep inside.

So I want to encourage us in our writing. We never know who might be glad to read our words, or who might find them helpful in their walk with God.

In the same week as the theatre trip, I received a text from my mum, dictated by her little granddaughter. Apparently, my niece was desperate to send me the message ‘I love you, Aunty Memem xx’, followed by her choice of emojis: a wink, a shocked face, a puzzled face, and a kiss.
I thought this was quite funny, and posted it on Facebook, stating that I’d decided to focus mainly on the words.

As we write, it can be easy to focus on the tantalising wink of a nearly-but-not-quite contract, or the shock of dashed hopes from a rejection letter or a poor review, or the ‘why’ of no book sales, or the…   

Let’s focus on the words we write, place them back into God’s hands, and pray that He will use them to draw people closer to Himself.

The wink and the shock and the puzzlement can eclipse our words.

They can also eclipse God’s words.

Don’t let that happen…

Thursday, 21 March 2019

In the midst of disappointment, despair and decision...

"the people who 
know their God 
shall prove 
themselves strong 
and shall stand firm 
and do exploits [for God]."


As Christians it is good to know that despite the shaking of the very fundamental principles and foundation of our Parliament that whatever happens on 29th March our God is still in control and will bless this nation.

I’m always looking to do exploits for the Lord, and don’t always receive the hoped for result. But just as the Lord loves a cheerful giver, He loves us to step out in faith, and see every failure as a learning curve and step to success.   

In my latest exploit I’d a sense I might be disappointed. As I waited to see the outcome the Lord alerted me to look again at the cruise we’d seen for my husband’s 70th birthday and discovered there were only inside cabins left.  An advert  for the cruise on appeared on Facebook so I contacted them. They had a possibility of a cancellation in the cabin class I wanted, I prayed, and next day it was mine at £300 pp cheaper than anywhere else! Minutes later another cruise company rang back about their reduced Rhine river cruise I’d seen over Brian’s birthday this year. Transport was included from Bristol to and from Heathrow, drinks and internet were now added!  It was a no-brainer, and just before I paid for it the price dropped another £50 pp.  I was now in no doubt of the Lord’s favour and blessed by the chaos of Brexit!

Then came the disappointment over my offer of a free download my latest book. The highest download in one day was 53, and hit 245th in the Kindle charts, although five books in the series were purchased.  Friends on Facebook didn’t receive my four newsfeeds about the free offer, and any boost from the US and Australia markets was thwarted as they couldn’t download it free.

Despair arose when readers reported that although caught up in the story, they’d found mistakes. I’d spent weeks with corrections, but had just made more. I talked to the Lord  and awoke the following day with the name 'Laure' who years ago told me she did editing and proof reading.   

At the ACW meeting in Bath I felt Wendy Jones was the star of the day when she talked about her marketing techniques.  However, both paid speakers stressed the need for professional editing and proof reading!  Laure I later discovered does that professionally.  She'd downloaded 'Rosie' because she loves my books and was halfway through reading it.  Before I could ask, she told me the Lord said she should offer to go through the book and was also willing to correct them for me.  I'd decided I'd pay whatever she asked, but was taken aback when asking she replied, ‘nothing’. My rejoinder was every labour deserves his wages, her answer, 'If you want to reward me, ask the Lord what that should be.' Wow!

I know the Lord is in my writing exploits, yet when a day later in the middle of the night I’d ideas for Book 5 in my head. I said, “Lord if this is of you I’ll remember it in the morning”.   I awoke, wrote down the major points and typed for two hours making a skeleton of the whole book which ended where Book 6 begins.

My exploits may not yet be great, but His are!                                Ruth Johnson