All posts filed under: Blog

Updates from the day-to-day about various writing projects, special guest posts, and any other events that may come up

Shropshire Witches – Witchcraft In The Early Modern Era

Researching witchcraft in Shropshire is similar to panning for gold when the river has run dry. These days, there is a wealth of information regarding the ‘European Witch Crazes’ of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but Shropshire is rarely mentioned. Even when Shropshire does come up, it’s for no more than a sentence or two. This lack of history can perhaps be accredited to the narrowness of the field of study. Between 1563 and 1736, less than 500 executions were carried out for the crime of witchcraft in England.1 Europe on the other hand saw 100,000 individuals tried and less than 50,000 put to death.2 Accusations of witchcraft also rarely saw just one person implicated, resulting in numerous ‘suspects’ popping up once once the accused was questions. This resulted in localised pockets of witches being discovered in certain towns and villages, rather than nationwide witch hunts. It should perhaps reassure Salopians that there is so little to find regarding the history of witches in our county, and that the ‘historical accounts’ we do have are …

Poetry Inspiration – Ain’t I A Mug

If you look under the ‘poetry’ tag on the WordPress reader, you’ll find more posts than you can shake a stick at. (Or read in a lifetime if I’m honest.) A lot of it is personal poetry, and if you start reading through it, a lot of it uses the same sort of language and the same sort of imagery. Anyone who has written poetry knows that when you start out it’s very easy to write poems designed to ‘sound poetic’. The subject of your poem can quite often get lost in the writing of it. Finding your voice is the most important, and the most difficult part of being a writer. No one picks up a pen for the first time and magically finds it. Part of the way I found my own voice was through poetry workshops and lectures. So for those of you who are interested I thought I’d share one of the writing exercises I’ve scoffed at, and then found quite useful, in the past. Find an object immediately to your …

Trickle Down – Working On Writing During Lock-down

At the start of this year I was planning on which poetry events I wanted to go to in order to publicise my new collection ‘It’s All In The Blood‘. I managed a few local ones, and had a slot booked to perform at a Ludlow poetry night, right at the beginning of March. Then 2020 hit its stride in the UK.  Flooding meant that I wasn’t able to get to Ludlow, and lockdown meant no more poetry nights. What was supposed to be a year of poetry and readings, turned into four months of searching for new nooks and crannies in the house to reorganise. Of course I started off with the best intentions. I was going to finish my novel, work on my next collection of poems, and submit to every journal and competition under the sun. I did work on my novel, and I did write a few new poems, but I’m not close to finishing either project. Submission went very much the same way. In fact I’ve spent the last two …

April Speculative Fiction Prompt

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best. Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica) The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month. Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer. I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can. As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and …

February Speculative Fiction Prompt

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best. Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica) The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month. Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer. I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can. As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and …

New Year, New Decade, So What’s The Plan? #WeekendCoffeeShare

A few years ago I decided that I wasn’t going to bother making New Year’s resolutions anymore. The fact was that whatever I ‘resolved’ to do, I always ended up feeling like I’d failed by year end. So instead I set myself a number of goals that I wanted to achieve at some point in the year, and then periodically I would sit down and review my progress towards those goals. This year I had a few things that I really wanted to achieve, number one on that list was publishing my poetry collection ‘It’s All In The Blood’. The collection launched in November and is now available to purchase through Amazon, so I’m counting that as goal achieved. It’s even had it’s first review: Quietly powerful, heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time I’m quite chuffed with that as far as reviews go. My other main goal for the year was to complete my AAT exams, and on the 19th December I found out I’d achieved 87% on my Personal Tax exam which means …

January Speculative Fiction Prompt

The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and creative in whatever way suits you best. Please keep entries PG as this is open to all. (i.e no erotica) The prompt is open from the first of the month to the end of the month. Use pingbacks to link up to the prompt or leave a link in the comments section. Whichever you prefer. I try to at least read every entry in the prompt and I’d love to encourage anyone taking part to try and check some of the other entries if they can. As always, re-tweets, re-blogs, and …

November Speculative Fiction Prompt

Another month gone, and another month beginning. As we move into November, it is time for a new prompt. This month I want you to think about the wonderful speculative fiction of authors such as Neil Gaiman, especially works such as Neverwhere. Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters series is another that you could look to for this month’s prompt. Both of these writers take the modern, real word, and overlay the fantastical. Fantasy and reality woven together to create engaging stories that suck the reader in and have us wondering what really lurks in the shadows. The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about …

Self-Publishing: Planning A Launch, Holding The Proof

Back in June I talked about my plans to self-publish my poetry collection, in a post I called To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish? That Is The Sleep Depriving Question. In all honesty, it really was a tough decision to make, and I questioned myself every time I told someone I was self-publishing because I almost always got the same response. ‘Oh, why have you decided to go down that route?’ At that point in the conversation I could point them towards the blog post where I list all the reasons I decided to go down that route. Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing from writing that post to finalising the manuscript. There were moments where I wondered if I was making a huge mistake and if I had made the right decision to following this path. However, today I finally felt that it was all worth it. Today I got to hold the proof copy of my poetry collection in my hands.   There are still a few tweaks to be made before I’m …

October Speculative Fiction Prompt

Well September is over and October is here in full force. Leaves are on the turn, England has turned grey and rainy (well even more so than usually) and everywhere you look people are prepping for Halloween (or in some cases Christmas). This is the second month that I’ve had the honour of hosting the Speculative Fiction Prompt  and hopefully this month’s image inspires as much as last month’s. If you want to read the stories for last month then you can check them out at the September Speculative Fiction Prompt. The guidelines for those of you who are new are as follows: Speculative Fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements. [Oxford Dictionary] Use the image below to write a story, poem, perhaps even a script. There are no rules about form or style. If you would like to create a piece of art in response that is also welcome. This prompt is about being artistic and …