Showing posts from August, 2015

Say "No!" to Camping!

*This is an article I wrote for the BBC a few years ago. Normal zany service will be resume next week along with an update on my self-publishing journey and some news relating to The Changing Room.*

Say "NO!" to Camping!
With the prospect of long summer evenings and some pleasant weather ahead I won’t be the only housewife fantasizing about lying on a beach, nibbling grapes, sipping Pina Coladas and being waited upon by a handsome young manservant.
Unfortunately, when I’m in the middle of these and other exotic fantasies a whining voice asking an annoying question often brings me back down to reality. A recent example of this was when I had my hands immersed in the washing up bowl whilst dreaming about surfing with Damien Lewis when suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by the question every mother dreads;

“When can we go camping?”

Now imagine the onset of acute postnatal depression combined with the news that Daniel Craig has quit as James Bond and you will have an idea how su…

Stairways to Heaven: The Lovely Bones meets The Shack

*It's the school holidays folks, so I am interspersing my normal mad posts with some ones I have written around the net. Don't expect the kind of sensible stuff below too much because next up will be my rant "Say, "No" to Camping!" *

Have you ever wondered how you will die? I suspect the most satisfactory outcome for most of us would be to slip away peacefully in our sleep after a long and fruitful life. However, in my experience, that is unlikely to be the case. In fact, when I look back at the lives of people I’ve loved and lost death has either been a long and painful process or sudden and dramatic. Either way, there was no easy way to come to terms with their loss. It was only the passing of time, the knowledge that natural death comes to us all and my belief in another existence that helped to ease my sorrow.

But what if death is unnatural? What if death is caused by a bizarre misfortune, a car crash or negligence? How does one deal with such a loss? How…

A Childhood In Fiction

Books played a vital role in my childhood. Forty years ago, before the advent of computers and game stations my days were spent drawing, making mud pies and, most significantly, reading. My world was one of fairytales and fables, myths and legends, witches and wizards. With no Sonic or Mario to distract me the open pages of a book were the places where my imagination took flight. Like Dorothy, I was swept away to a land of make believe.

My first school memory was being the second child drawn to the front of the class to read aloud from a newspaper, the reward for becoming a competent reader. I recall too that Sarah, my best friend, was first and though pleased for her I jealously noted that she was five months older and so must have received an unfair advantage.

Those early days were filled with Ladybird editions and picture books where simple texts were enhanced by pictures of handsome princes, hideous ogres and rosebud princesses. I remember too sitting in my grandmother’s high bed …

What are the Secrets to Happiness?

A couple of my new blogging friends, Wendy and Paula have been participating in a weekly meme called Wednesday Hodgepodge run by Joyce Daley over at From This Side of the PondIt looks kinda fun so I thought I'd join in once in a while. Today I am going to do last week's meme otherwise I'll miss out on all the great questions from last Wednesday and, conveniently, there's no meme this week as Joyce is on hols. Now I think the idea is that Joyce posts random questions (hence use of the word "hodgepodge") which then everyone answers. Easy peasey!

1. Four (supposed) secrets to happiness from around the world are:

a) overcome your fears by facing them head on

b) allow yourself to relax and reset

c) work to live versus living to work

d) find the good in life.

Which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

I think I am pretty good at A and D. In fact, sometimes I probably take A to the extreme to the extent that not being cautiou…

Why not? An interview with me by me!

I have been trying to organise my files on my PC this morning and came across this draft interview that I submitted to an ebook site ages ago which never got published. So I thought - why not stick it on your blog Mrs T and let your readers tell you what you did wrong!
Let me know what you think, folks. I have my own ideas where I went wrong but you can sock it to me any way you want. Answers in the comments please or you can mail me at
When did you first discover a love of writing? Is there a particular book that made you want to become a writer?
I first discovered I loved writing stories when I was at school and realised I could write stuff in them that I wouldn't be able to say aloud without being rebuked by teachers. You can get away with a lot when you write fiction; I'm currently planning a novel about a woman murdering her husband. Don't tell my husband.
No, there’s no particular book that made me want to become a writer. I do, however, suffer from t…