Nine Eyes Cover

Out now in e-format. Satisfyingly bleak.


Just received this from Severed Press…



I am incredibly chuffed with this. Oh yeah!

Not long now… watch this space for release details 😉

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The Fear (Or How I Can’t Stop Worrying and Love Publishing)

She’s done it again.
Looking forward to this new book from the friendly, neighbourhood fruitcake!

Anxiety about the book equates to caring about it which equates to it being worthwhile which equates to it being bloody good!

Yes, Claire, I’m talking to you!


It’s that time, folks.

Time for a new book.


(With any luck, a couple of people reading this might be feeling something that approximates this)

And with it, comes dun dun duuuuuuuun… THE FEAR


This is me. Second book jitters have now bedded in, and the thought of letting this new book out to gambol amongst the daffodils is making me feel rather ill. Mainly because if you looked up a definition of ‘Neurotic’ in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of me (or at least a cartoon of me, because I don’t like having my photo taken… which makes me sound *even more neurotic*, if that was ever possible), but also because Second Book Syndrome is a Thing and whilst I ended up enjoying writing it enormously (come on, it has lake monster legends AND occult weirdiness AND life is pointless, so why bother in it… seriously, it’s one…

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Battling the Black Dog

I’ve suffered with depression to one degree or another for some years now.

Probably more than I’d care to admit.

The last couple of years have been particularly hard and have put a strain on all aspects of my life.

The Black Dog has loomed large over everything I’ve done and has not been a benevolent observer.

The support and understanding of my cherished and much loved partner, and the kindness of a few close friends, has helped me work through it. As have the drugs and therapy!

Coming to the end of 2014 I feel more able to cope with the darkness that still tries to push its way into my life, more able to push back – hard – and let the light in.

Bad moods and anger are slowly fading; at least I feel they are. I may check on that. (I’ve been told yes).

We are six in total, my family and I, and with that comes a lot of love and fun and laughter, lots of hugs and snuggles, toys to play with, stories to tell, places to explore and so much to learn!

My imagination and enthusiasm are fired up for the New Year.

My 2015 is going to be amazing!

I hope yours is too.

The Word Cloud

The Word Cloud is an online writing community.

After many months of being signed up to The Word Cloud I eventually started looking and interacting.

After some consideration I recently posted the first 2300 words of ‘Legacy’ for critique.
It’s pretty much as I typed it from the handwritten original. It’s rough and ‘sketched’ in places but I decided to leave it as was and see what kind of reaction I would get.

A lot of people have viewed and hopefully read my post.
Several have been kind enough to take the time to give their thoughts, ideas and corrections.

Some of what has been said now strikes me as obvious. It wasn’t when I was writing, and wasn’t until I read the comments.

I have been nudged in the direction of expanding what I’ve written to give more detail and to ‘show’ as well as ‘tell’.

Other remarks have sparked further ideas which I will try to expand upon throughout the story.

That’s the great thing about this site. It gives you a chance to place your work in front of people with no preconceptions of what you’re writing to give critique from a completely impartial position.

I haven’t yet finished re-working the 2300 words I posted but I have added over 800 words to the page and changed roughly half of what’s left!

Thanks to those who have given their advice and ideas so far.

If anyone is looking for constructive criticism and friendly feedback on their writing then you could do worse than take a look at The Word Cloud.

I’m sure you’ll be warmly welcomed.

Yesterday and Today

On my way to work yesterday morning, detouring to a supermarket for supplies, I passed a charity shop. In the doorway were several bags which at first glance seemed to be a donation left out of hours, even though a sign asks people not to do this.

As I glanced down at them I realised one of the bags was a sleeping bag with someone inside. I paused, took a couple of steps whilst checking my pocket for change. Not much there. Another pause then I opened my wallet and took out £5. I had found £20 a few days before and this was the remains of my good fortune.

Laying my hand on the mans shoulder I gently roused him and asked if he was OK before proffering the fiver.
His first words were ‘Are you sure?’ followed by ‘Yeah, I’m OK. Thanks’.

He told me he’d be moving on in a few minutes. I think in his sleepy state he thought I worked at the shop and wanted him to clear the doorway. After wishing him well I continued my journey.

For a few minutes I felt good. I had given some money to someone in need. I had passed on some of my lucky find to another person. Then I felt sad for his situation and then angry that this is still happening in our society.

Looking back I wonder how many others took the time to stop and check on a fellow human being or at least to pass on a little kindness.

And how many times have I passed by with barely a glance?

Stopping to talk and passing on some good fortune is a simple way to make someone else’s life a little easier, even just for a little while.

This morning I called in at a corner shop. A man and his young son were ahead of me at the counter.

On getting his change the man queried it. Not because he thought it wasn’t enough but because he thought it was too much. He insisted on his transaction being double checked to ensure everything had been paid for and, even when it had been confirmed as right, he still insisted that if they were £4 short at the end of the day he’d owe it to them.

It was nice to see some honesty towards a small, local business.

We’re all in this life together and if we can all be a little nicer to each other and show some kindness to one another it can be much better for all of us.

And it costs nothing.

Eating chocolate = Creativity

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Another short story submitted in August. Fingers crossed….

I have come to realise that ‘Legacy’ will not reach novel length. I can’t see any way to make it longer without unnecessary padding.

On the plus side I’m more likely to have a fully finished first draft before the end of the year.

Just before writing this I opened a notebook and found four more pages of notes for ‘Legacy’ that I haven’t used yet.

Time to review and compile the unused and extra notes before reading and re-writing/editing.


Oh well….

Be excellent to each other…

It’s never ok…

A friend of mine makes a stand for a child being physically threatened by her mother.
Because it’s never ok……


It’s never ok to physically threaten your child (or anyone else’s for that matter).

I’ve wondered for the last few hours if I should even write about this anywhere. I worry that someone might read it & recognise who I am writing about. That it might get back to them. That I might have to look over my shoulder…

What is the big deal?

I wasn’t prepared to stand by and say nothing as I watched a parent verbally and physically intimidate and threaten their child…

I was in a playground with a very trusted, much loved friend and our children playing nearby. For over an hour we had listened to shouted & screamed commands and watched arms grabbed & kids yanked or pushed about…

And then I watched a child already frightened, clearly distressed & sobbing, pushed to a seat and screamed at and heard the words “I am…

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