Travelling, Uncategorized


Recycling a story is not unusual, it can be very satisfying revisiting a story written years ago, picking it apart, revamping it, even polishing it up to submit for a current writing competition. You might marvel as you go through your files and acknowledge how much you’ve actually written over the years. You might see how your writing has developed or changed with time.

One story I keep returning to was inspired by a journey I took in 2011 with three good friends. the four of us had recently retired from demanding jobs and decided to team up for an adventure. Leaving our partners at home, we flew to Los Angeles, hired an SUV and drove up the West Coast of California, exploring as we went. We called the first part four trip ‘On The Road’ and on reaching San Francisco we visited the fabulous Beat Museum to learn more about Jack Kerouac and his friends.

From San Francisco we took an Amtrak train across America to Chicago, before moving on to meet a friend in New York. We were due to take the California Zephyr but as I recall, it was rerouted due to floods and we ended up on the Southwest Chief to Chicago. We called this part of our adventure ‘Girl Guides on a Train’, as it felt like camping. On the Chicago to New York train we found ourselves travelling alongside survivors and relatives affected by the awful Twin Towers attack of September 2001. They were on their way to memorial events, marking the 10 year anniversary in New York, and we stayed up all night listening to their harrowing tales.

The ‘On the Road’ section of our adventure has however been at the heart of various pieces of writing ever since. The journey crops up in my novel ‘How They Met Themselves’ when two young men travel to California after graduation. They take the Pacific Coast Highway and meet some extraordinary young women along the way. Both men later make an appearance in ‘Lawn House Blues’ and one of them even plays a small part in ‘To Be Frank’. I obviously became so fond of my characters, I couldn’t leave them behind.

I couldn’t let go on my California journey either, so as well as writing a travel journal for myself, I wrote a short story for one of my writing groups. It’s been adapted and edited a number of times since, and submitted to various writing competitions. In its fourth submission, the story, by then called ‘Crossings’ was finally accepted for Robert Fear’s 2023 Anthology ’15 Fascinating Fictional Tales’, which is now available for purchase from Amazon . Perseverance paid off in the end.

I suspect my memories of travelling through America have had their day now and it’s time I pulled another old story apart, or maybe take some new journeys.


Seasons greetings

This time last year To Be Frank secured a publishing contract with Blossom Spring Publishing and since then it’s been quite a year. The book was launched in April 2022 at a wonderful event supported by Wivenhoe Bookshop and since then Frank’s story has been enjoyed by many. I hope even more readers will appreciate it in 2023. Meanwhile I send Christmas greetings to all involved, readers, family and friends, in the hope the world can start to rediscover some balance and peace for the future.


I’m back

Real life has got in the way of my creative writing in the last few months but I realise it’s now time to get back to it. Happily Frank is doing well after the launch of To be Frank in April, even though I was unable to give him the publicity he deserved. A few glitches in the first print run have been resolved and To Be Frank is now up and running once more, so if you haven’t yet read it, treat yourself to an early Christmas present from or directly from Amazon.

To get myself moving again I’ve been concentrating on short stories, much encouraged by my writing groups and resulting in a couple of acceptances for publication. A travel related story called Crossings is soon due to be published in Robert Fear’s 2023 fiction anthology ‘Fiction Showcase’ so watch this space for more information or see

Then today my little 75 word paragraph about age, energy and plastic recycling has been the chosen paragraph of the day on Even small steps can make one feel more positive; maybe give paragraph planet a try yourself. In the meantime, don’t forget to recycle your plastic.