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If at first you don’t succeed …

It was at primary school that I first heard the quote: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.’

I believe it refers to King Robert the Bruce of Scotland watching a spider build and rebuild its web while he was hiding in a cave following defeat in a battle against the English.

He watched the spider persevere until it completed the task and determined to do the same, and so did I.

I am now pleased to confirm that a correct and fully working epub version of my new poetry collection Finding Sanctuary is available as a free download through


A Chaos of Delight

A Chaos of Delight was the working title for a collection of poems recently published under the title of Finding Sanctuary at

The working title refers to Charles Darwin’s description of New Zealand when he briefly stopped there in 1809 and is also referenced in my poem In Godzona.

I am beginning to think that I should have retained the title for the eBook as the publishing of a polished version is proving to be ‘a chaos of delight’.

My fault entirely as I mistakenly uploaded an earlier version of the manuscript which I had spent several hours bookmarking, hyperlinking and linking back to the list of poems in the table of contents.

As soon as I realised the mistake I tried to rectify it by uploading the correct version, which works beautifully as a word document, only to find that it has failed to convert. I am now in the process of trying to find out how to put that right.

The poems and the words are all in the right order even though the technicalities are proving to be more challenging than I remember.

So, in the meantime, if you would like to read the collection and feel you can forgive a few formatting issues, please download a free copy from

Surprised by ‘A Quiet Passion’

I was recently surprised  to hear of the film ‘A Quiet Passion’ which portrays the life of 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, one of my personal favourites.

Although the film was scheduled for release in the UK in September 2016 it was being reviewed by Mark Kermode when I happened to switch the TV on the other night.

This was the first I had heard of the film, but the timing was serendipitous as I had only just finished rereading my copy of The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson produced by The Wordsworth Poetry Library.

The poems are collected into four ‘books’ on the themes of Life, Love, Nature, Time and Eternity from which come the lines: ‘The world is not conclusion, a sequel stands beyond…’

Very few of the poems were published during her lifetime. In many ways Dickinson was a poet before her time and her work only gained recognition after her death.

One can only hope that in the world beyond she was able to return to the more vivacious, outgoing version of herself as shown by director Terence Davies rather than the reclusive person that she became in later life.

I leave you to ponder what she has to say about a book:

There is no frigate like a book                                                                                                               To take us lands away.                                                                                                                     Nor any coursers like a page                                                                                                                 Of prancing poetry.                                                                                                                                  This traverse may the poorest take                                                                                                     Without oppress of toll;                                                                                                                          How frugal is the chariot                                                                                                                      That bears a human soul!

n.b. The unusual placement of the lines is computer generated and something that I seem unable to alter. It does however create an interesting new layout for the original words.

View from the Poet’s Pavement


Unlike centuries of poets and painters I was not struck by the muse  so much as struck dumb by the view and shaky legs on a recent visit to the limestone pavement above Malham Cove.

Also called the Poet’s pavement after the poet Thomas Gray, and the location for a scene in the Harry Potter films, the area did inspire my husband Ian to take many creative photos such as the one above.

The pavement and cove continue to draw huge numbers of visitors to the area each year, and while not all will find inspiration, it is impossible not to feel a sense of achievement when reaching the top.


Will writing robots encourage us to become more creative?

By Nadia Sotnikova As someone working at an indie publishing agency, reading about robots that write news articles is terrifying and exciting at the same time. I am not a writer; I am a marketer, so the prospect of another major shakedown of the publishing industry makes me hope if not for a better […]

via Robots Will Change The Way We Write — A Writer’s Path

Reflections on Bowie’s creative journey

by Maja S. Todorovi In January 8, 2017, we celebrated David Bowie’s 70th birthday and marked a year of his passing. Let us remember how great artist he was: Ever since I was a little kid, as a great fan of gothic and mythological stories, my first recollection of David Bowie has to do with […]

via 4 Creativity Lessons We Can Learn from David Bowie’s Rich Artistic Career — A Writer’s Path

Writing and reading and reading about writing

by Kelsie Engen The moment you think you know everything about writing, that’s the moment your writing plateaus. Last week I talked about why writers should read voraciously. But that was a post focused on fiction. You know, reading in the genre you write. For instance, if you write fantasy, you ought to be familiar […]

via Why You Should Read About Writing — A Writer’s Path

Thoughts for the mature writer

by Lauren Sapala Age can be a touchy topic for artists of all types. There’s a glamorous myth that says all the geniuses come into their talent at a young age, and by the time they’re 30 they have already reached astonishing heights of prowess. But like so many other sexy tales that figure […]

via Becoming a Writer in Your 40s, 50s, and Beyond — A Writer’s Path

Tips about Self-Publishing

by J.U. Scribe It’s been over a year since I published my book, Before the Legend. This past year I’ve learned so much about self-publishing and marketing. Although I’m thankful for the little successes and milestones I was able to reach, there were several things I wish I could have done differently before and after self-publishing my […]

via 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Self-Publishing — A Writer’s Path

Till Life Do Us Part published at Smashwords

Till Life Do Us Part is the title of a short story I have recently published at Smashwords who are the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks to both retailers and libraries.

Inspired by the idea of an ancient culture arranging for people to be married after death, the story is set in the realm of Death, a dark vacuum in deep space.

At only 700 words long the story is meant to be as mentally portable as a poem and invites the reader to consider the consequences of such a tradition.

It is also my way back into epublishing which I am getting to grips with again with the help of free tools and support provided by the distributor such as Mark Coker’s Style Guide.

I first discovered Smashwords in 2012 and chose them as my edistributor for many reasons including the ethos of the company and the freedom to publish across a number of genres.

To find out more about this eplatform or to read Till Life Do Us Part go to


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where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

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A Rhyme and a Reason

original poetry by yours truly, all copyrighted.

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Crime Author, Blogger and generally nice person :-)

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