Tag Archives: #TBSU

…txtg nd riting n d mdern way is hrd… I’m 2 old 4 dis sht…

…it’s a given that each successive generation as it ages has occasion to shake its communal head and mutter, ‘wasn’t like that when we were growing up’…  or other such epithets… the continuous search for the elusive ‘balance’ between ‘progress’ and retention of the ‘old and trusted ways of doing things’ is never going away… Twitter and the advent of mobile communication devices have spawned a whole new generation with a language all of its own… textese… the art of crucifying the English spoken WURD on a wee screen…


…the almost virtual obliteration of the vowel has made it clearly an endangered species… interchanging numerals for real phrases and WURDS is sum’thing that used to appear only on gimmicky quiz shows decades ago… acronyms replace entire paragraphs… and I dare say at some stage ‘War and Peace’ will be reduced to a couple of hundred squiggly characters on some Blackberry genius’ hands… intelligible only to those who have grown up with the art of decimating our speech skills… it certainly defies my wee grey cells… so, I’m wond’ring… have I also become part of an endangered species?… the instilled teaching methods of 50 and 60 years ago rammed the three ‘R’s into my brain, and try as I may, I find it very difficult (read ‘impossible’) to ditch the learning of a lifetime… oh, I know, Mabel, I sum’times mess about with WURDS on the blog here, but I’m still a happy slave to putting full spelling of my messages on tweets and text messages… and don’t forget, full stops and capital letters for new sentences, too… and while I’m at it… what bluudy mastermind thought that equipping school kids with pocket calculators would improve their numeric talents?…


…I’ve lost count of the number of times when, for example, I’ve handed a ten-denomination banknote to a store check-out clerk for a purchase of, say five, and watch them tap into the till to calculate the change back… whatever happened to the ability to do fractions and decimals via mental arithmetic?…txtg nd riting nd nmbrs n d mdern way is 2 hrd… I’m 2 old 4 dis sht… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

….laff?… nearly passed me blogs round…


…there’s only about a squillion gazillion blog posts thrown onto the Web every nanosecond… so, when yeez become ‘a blogger of intent’ (my phrase, Mabel… bound to be quoted soon in Wikipedia, I’m sure), there’s a wee bit of competition for eyeball attraction for yer own posts… the advent of the ‘net’ has exacerbated what I term ‘the newspaper cartoon strip attention span’… if a reader doesn’t get ‘hooked’ by the blog’s heading, first sentence, or opening phrasing, yeez’ve lost them already… pretty much like we quill-scrapers attempting to produce a knockout, ‘pull-‘em’-in’ opening page in yer novels and other masterpieces… I s’pose offering money or other favours may have its attractions, but as most of us are not possessed of massive funds to ‘persuade’ folks monetarily to pick up our off’rings, resort to literary technique is the order of the day… from this ol’ Jurassic’s perspective, among the myriad plethoric blogging cornucopias (what a bluudy phrase,that is, eh, Mabel?) that swim across my ken, I most enjoy those which follow my ‘E’s ROOL… those which Educate, Elucidate, Encourage, Entertain, Elaborate, Extend-my-knowledge, and which I Enjoy-for-their-own-sake… having a good laff is always to be applauded… sum’times as a scribbler, I can be tempted to take myself too seriously (heaven forfend)… so laffing at myself first of all, takes pride of place… taking the p*ss out of those whose delusions of adequacy tumble before them is also right up there… when in need of the occasional cheerful fillip, I resort to clips of my lifetime comedic God, Master Billy Connolly, or old reruns of Tommy Cooper… never fails to improve my mood… sum’times it’s Celtic music (which I’ve shared with yeez ad inforeverum), or the pick of superb voices blasting from the past… whatever raises the spirit has to be in yer favourites… I exhort yeez to find a few of these ‘happy triggers’ for yerselves, then share them from time to time with yer followers.. here’s yet another slice of Master Connolly for yeez to enjoy (with Tom Cruise in there for good measure, too) … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

… ‘LOOKING FOR A REASON’..? …then seek no further… my Guest Blogger today is great Authoress, Frances di Plino…enjoy!…

Lorraine Mace, Frances di Plino

…one of the great ‘buzzes’ yeez get from being part of the universal quill-scraper family is to acquire marvellous new pals… and they just happen to be wunnerful scribblers into the bargain… today’s Guest Blogger is high on my ‘favs’ charts… meet Authoress, Frances di Plino… she has a new title launching on October 28th… LOOKING FOR A REASON

LFAR front cover-2

…it’s the fourth in the Detective Inspector Paolo Storey series… the courageous Ms di Plino (p’raps foolishly) agreed to allow me to throw a few kinda ‘wobbler-type’ questions her way… if D.I. Paolo is able to react as ably as she has done, we’re all in safe hands… here’s the gig:

Hi, Frances,

  1. Your main character, Inspector Paolo Storey is a highly credible personality. Is he crafted on anybody (or anybodies) in real life?

He is a composite of several men I have cared deeply about over the years – which is why I’m more than half in love with the man.

  1. Your novels are gripping and psychological in certain aspects. On a scale of 1 (low) to 10, how unhinged are you? Reasons for your answer?

I would say I’m about a 15 or thereabouts. I always tell my husband as long as I’m writing crime he doesn’t need to worry, but the moment I hang up my keyboard he should run and never look back.

  1. What was the first book you ever disliked as a read?

I can’t remember the title, but it was one of Georgette Heyer’s detective novels. I’d devoured her entire Regency and historical list and discovered she also wrote detective fiction, so bought one and was really looking forward to it. I hated it – one of the few books I couldn’t finish.

  1. Do you see the eBook phenomenon as the Big Baddie or a Heaven-sent development for you as an authoress?

As a writer, I think it’s a wonderful invention as the vast bulk of my sales are in that form. The only downside would be if I couldn’t sign copies and interact with readers out there in the real world, which is why I’m really pleased Crooked Cat Publishing also has my novels in paperback.

As a reader, I love my kindle, but there are still a few authors where I buy the paperbacks.

  1. The 64-trillion dollar question—how much balance do you give to the actual writing of your works versus activity on the social networks?

I probably don’t do anywhere near enough promotion on social networks – mainly because I find it hard to shout out about myself. I find it much easier to help other authors with their promotions. So, to answer your question, I would say it’s 80% writing and rewriting and only 20% social network activity. Must try harder!

  1. How long between finishing your first novel until publication? Any teeth-gnashing or hair-tearing-out during that process?

Bad Moon Rising, the first in the D.I. Paolo Storey series, was finished in 2009 and made it as far as the acquisitions stage in a publishing house before it was rejected. I then submitted to Crooked Cat Publishing in 2011 where it was accepted almost immediately and published in 2012. So, no, I think I had a fairly easy ride on that one.

My children’s novel, Vlad the Inhaler, was a completely different story. Finished in 2005, eventually found an agent in 2008, had near misses with the top houses for the next few years, went almost bald from tearing out hair on a daily basis, parted company with agent in 2011, submitted to US publisher in 2012, accepted in 2013 and published in 2014.

  1. What are the most difficult areas in doing a ‘series’, and the easiest?

For me, the most difficult aspect is feeding in the backstory of the characters and events from the earlier books without giving away any important plot points. I hate it if I read a book in a series out of sequence and I find out stuff that spoils the earlier books for me.

The easiest part is character development. The more I write in my series, the better I get to know the characters – what they will and won’t do or say. I know exactly how each of them would react in any given situation. They are very real to me and seem to be to my readers as well, judging by the feedback I get.

  1. How often do you catch yourself talking to your characters in public?

See question 2! It’s one of the reasons I’m a 15 on the madness scale. I talk to them, they talk to me All. The. Bloody. Time. The buggers won’t shut up!

I once wrote in my Writing Magazine column about an experience I had in France talking to some frozen peas about the best way to cut up a body. I looked up to find I was being observed by a nervous looking woman on the other side of the frozen food aisle. Fortunately, I don’t think she understood English. Had she done so, I would now be in a nice padded cell parlez-vousing to the walls.

  1. How do you define ‘being successful’ with respect to your writing.

Having people tell me they enjoyed the books. I was at a business event last night and a delegate came up to me to say she’d bought the first in the series for a friend, who’d finished it in two days and was raving about how good it was (or maybe she was just raving). Anyway, that kind of feedback is how I measure my success.

Of course I want to earn megabucks (so please buy my books) but it is genuinely more important to me that readers love the series.

10. Your first television series detective you can recall? What traits of that detective stuck out?

I’m going to show my age now. As a child I know I watched Dixon of Dock Green, but can’t remember too much about the storylines. I think the earliest I can truly recall was Starsky and Hutch. I loved the humour and interaction of the main characters.

11.  Chewing gum for the brain’ or ‘complicated plot line’ movies?

Yes to both. There are times when I simply want to be entertained – make me laugh or make me cry, but don’t make me think. At other times, I want to watch something that requires concentration and thought.

12.  What’s your ‘go to’ comfort food and drink?

Fish and chips. During the years I lived in France, fish and chips were something I longed for, but couldn’t have. Fish in batter with chips? Sacre bleu! Then we moved to Spain on the Costa del Sol, where there are probably more Brit restaurants than Spanish, so I can indulge my weakness when feeling low.

13.  This is question ‘13’. Do you have any superstitions?

Yes, I have a phobia about that number. In my children’s novels I number my chapters 12, 12A, 14.

14.  Favourite male and female film stars?

Idris Elba and Philip Glenister

The dames: Judy Dench and Maggie Smith

15.  When you win the Booker prize, who will you thank first?

All the people I bribed along the way.

16.  Worst and best subjects at college?

Dreadful at French – although after the years in France, where I arrived barely able to say hello and goodbye, I ended up able to hold conversations on quite complex subjects.

Good at English and maths – still okay with the English, but anything to do with maths now fries my brain.

17.  Do you play or watch sports?

I used to play league tennis and am still a great tennis fan, but now more to watch than participate. In the summer I swim for half an hour most days and the rest of the year I walk and/or run.

18.  What’s your idea of a fun evening?

Now you’re getting personal! Hmm, it would depend on the time of year and my mood. I love spending time with family and friends, so going out for a meal with lots of laughter around the table is the absolute best.

19.  Things you would not do over again?

Agree to answer interview questions! Seriously, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do over again. There are plenty of things I would hate to have to go through over again, but I’d still do them because I really like where I am right now and if I changed an element in the past, I might not arrive in the same place.

20.  How long until the subsequent novel after Looking for a Reason?

I’m already well into number five with a proposed publication date in August 2015. Working title: No Easy Sacrifice

Frances di Plino is the pen name of Lorraine Mace, children’s author, humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She is a former tutor for the Writers Bureau, and now runs a private critique and mentoring service for writers.

Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of the crime/thriller series featuring D.I. Paolo Storey: Bad Moon Rising, Someday Never Comes, Call It Pretending and Looking for a Reason

…well fielded on my ‘wobblers’, Frances, now the rest of yeez, get cracking and catch her novels here :



Bad Moon Rising: http://bit.ly/UxKo83
Someday Never Comes: http://bit.ly/1xfLdiy
Call it Pretending: http://bit.ly/1orA0pB
Vlad the Inhaler: http://bit.ly/1vlGmwl
…and connect with Frances here, go on, yeez know yeez want to…



Writing Critique Service






Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…it’s my ugly mug on them there shelves…and I LUV IT!!…

Brad_Pitt…for those of yeez who may have difficulty in telling the difference, at the side here is Master Brad Pitt





kilt 2


…and this is not Master Brad Pitt

…in my parallel universe, running ‘long side my quill-scraping endeavours, I have my own company troubleshooting firm… boring business-y stuff like restructuring divisions, realigning management structure and all the other corporate Master-Of-The-Universe gobbledegook… in the pursuit of that (and it’s kinda handy when it comes to paying-the-monthly-bills time), I’m currently shuttling regularly twixt Abu Dhabi and Bahrain… when I arrived in Abu Dhabi this time, I chanced by W.H.Smith’s outlet at Terminal One at the airport… and behold and lo, gleaming away proudly on their shelves are the only two of my crime thrillers I currently have in print, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK (pride of place in their ‘Books You’ll Love To Read’ tableau)…



…and THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY (number 12 in their bestsellers, fiction section)…


…the third in the Jack Calder series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, is still only available on the Great God Amazon Kindle… now, usually this ol’ Jurassic is not enamoured of the Web’s ubiquitous stream of endless ‘selfies’… the modern-day nemesis of the Professional Portrait Photographers Union… but how easily I slipped into that mode with my wee literary masterpieces… of course, they are infinitely more photogenic than I… and I DO have a mutual understanding with Master Brad Pitt (see above)… he stays out of writing crime thrillers…and I stay out of the movies… and, bless him, he’s kept his end of the deal… yeez never see him on the W.H.Smith author hoardings do yeez?… now, the good news is that  yeez don’t have to grab an airline ticket to Abu Dhabi to get a hold of my wee babies, they’re all right here:

wall copy 2


Savage Payback                :  http://amzn.to/1oyHNah

Vengeance Wears Black    :  http://amzn.to/W59BB3

The Violin Man’s Legacy    : http://amzn.to/10wnMXB

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!





Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…my incomparable Author compadress, Ailsa Abraham, adorns my blog today…enjoy…

…there’s sum’thing compellingly attractive about a Literary Lady of *cough* *a-hem* vintage who attempts manoeuvres a la Cirque de Soleil… on a motorbike!… triple somersaults from two-wheeled transport at speed without a safety net tends to cause, at a minimum, a slight dent in one’s personal immediate diary schedule… m’Lady Ailsa Abraham visited her local hospital in France where she currently resides, but without an appointment, and, more to the point, without her conscious awareness… it appears, pro tem, that a mild slowing-down of m’Lady’s activities has taken place as a direct consequence of her imitation of the Human Cannonball stunts… I for one, would not bet a single sou against m’Lady’s enforced leisure being reversed in early course… be that as it may, I’m honoured to have Author, Ailsa Abraham pen a few bon mots for our quill-scraping perusal… enjoy…


Reb 2 - Copy
My serials’ killers.

Many thanks to my dear friend Seumas for inviting me to scribble a little something for the blog. Obviously I turned for my inspiration to his latest publication   Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales.

At the moment I’m not self-published but don’t take that as cast in stone. The sales problem faces all of us. One of the vital things is productivity. Now I sound like I’m equating the author with a story-factory. Well, yes, in a way we have to be. If readers like our stuff, they will want more and if none is available they will go elsewhere. Rather like your local store not stocking your favourite brand any more.

So one of the most glaring answers is “I know! I’ll write a serial.”

There are advantages to this. Mostly they will fit into a convenient niche or genre and some time is saved by establishing the basics in the first novel. Main characters, locations, jobs will be familiar to the readers by Book Two. Apart from development, there is nothing to do but tell the story. That is what we are supposed to be good at.


Great – let me at it.

Except that “being organized” is vital. Having enough time and a tidy mind help enormously. Oops! I screwed up on that by writing Book Two first. I didn’t mean it to happen but readers clamoured for more and wanted the back-story, so Book One got written pretty quickly. Yay! Characters were popular with readers, they wanted more, so all that remained was to keep up my sales of the existing books while writing Book Three. Previously I had started with a real quick-read and had to produce a full-length in double-fast time, so another Book Three was needed in another series!

This is where Fate stepped in and shoved a few sticks in my wheels. In the last year I have managed to be severely injured twice and an operation which I was assured would put me out of action for six weeks, ended up being six months.

If I had been writing stand-alone books, I could perhaps have completed one but noooooooooooooooo. I was writing two series because that was the accepted wisdom. That meant that I needed to link back to the previous stories, remember my characters’ particularities and generally make it gel. Having had a stroke this proved awkward.

Both Book Threes are now back in production and I have had many ideas of other, stand-alone books which will be my next WIPs when I get through.




Ailsa Abraham is published by Crooked Cat Publishing under her own name and as Cameron Lawton (who masquerades as her twin brother) by MLRPress. You can find her books on Amazon 

She has lived in France since 1990 and retired from teaching English to adults due to ill health.  An animal-rights activist and shaman, she enjoys knitting, cooking and until recently motorcycles.

Her web page is here and she can be found on FB and Twitter too. Please get in touch, she loves chatting and has a group on FB – Ailsa and Friends.


…many thanks for these wisdoms of pearl, Ailsa… up and at ‘em, m’girl!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…how can an Authoress miss with a name like hers?… Guest Blogger, Wendy Anne Darling…

…sum’times yeez just don’t see the obvious… my LUVLY Guest Blogger today, Authoress, Wendy Anne Darling, carries two of her three names with ease in the Land of Quill-Scrapers… ‘Peter Pan’ come to mind, emb’dy?… whatever her handle, m’Lady writes exceedingly good stuff… I’m delighted to let her talk for herself… enjoy :

cropped WENDY HEADSHOT 3 copy

‘I was born in Somerset, England and lived in the south of England until my dad left the navy and got a job with South African Airways when I was 12. We lived in Kempton Park, which is where Jan Smuts Airport actually is, right near the end of the runway. 747s taking off filled the sky overhead quite often, forcing all conversation to a halt! One of the best things about where I lived was that there was a public library about a two-minute walk away – I got some good exercise carrying large piles of books back and forth!  I lived out most of my high school days there, returning to England when I was 17. My family moved to California when I was 31 and have lived in the States ever since.

I was one of the ‘quiet ones’ growing up. I had a couple of friends, but most of my friends were characters from books who I had long conversations with in my head. Loopy, I know, but I think that’s just the way it is with shy kids! When I wasn’t reading, I was writing poems or stories, and drawing pictures to illustrate them. I don’t think it’s very surprising that I’m a sci-fi geek… I was reading Asimov by the time I was 13 and am now addicted to Doctor Who! My long-term goal is to invent a whole new world and write books about it. Something like my all-time favourite, The Lord of the Rings.

I read aloud from an early age too; reading the entire Lord of the Rings to my sisters when I was 14, so it’s not surprising either that I have recently started narrating audio books for Audible.  That’s another thing I should have started a long time ago, but there’s no time like the present, right? Quite honestly, there really isn’t ANY time BUT the present – not without a TARDIS anyway! You can listen to my narration if you click the link at the bottom for ‘The Big Blind’, authored by Nicolette Pierce.

It’s amazing the things that can put you off of publishing your first book. My parents both wrote but their ‘voices’ were eventually muffled under piles of rejection letters. Right now, I’m encouraging my dad to finish a novel he’s been writing for years by promising to help him get it out there when he’s done. He can type 130 WPM so it shouldn’t take too long! My mum wrote most of an excellent sci-fi fantasy book that I will be finishing for her posthumously and publishing as a tribute to her immense creativity. I am so glad that the publishing landscape is changing and so many people are taking advantage of publishing themselves! Go, Indies, GO!

My debut book, SILVER LIGHTNING, is mid-grade fiction with some magic at its heart. It is based on a dream that I had some years ago – a dream that was so vivid that it has stuck with me ever since, demanding loudly in my head to be my first. The cover artwork is my own – Lightning flatly refused that I let anyone else draw him, and he’s a wizard so I do what he says! It’s about a boy who finds a motorcycle that changes his life, and the lives of everyone he meets. OR… it’s about a motorcycle that finds a boy. A boy it has been searching for for a very long time. I hope you enjoy it!



SILVER LIGHTNING: http://amzn.to/1D5BUqc

Blog: http://wendyannedarling.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WendyAnneDarlingAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorWDarling
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/AuthorWDarling/
Amazon.com Author’s Page: 

Amazon.co.uk Author’s Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wendy-Darling/e/B00O3DJTQ6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Narration: ‘The Big Blind’ by Nicolette Pierce (1st in a series of 4): http://amzn.to/1yKczDl

…there yeez go, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… a real product of a scribblers’ family… give her a follow, good people…thanks for coming aboard, Wendy…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the Authors’ literary SOSYAL NETWURK equivalent of ‘WURKIN’ THE ROOM’…


…the distinguished author, J.M.Barrie is the first person credited with the immortal lines, ‘…there are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make.’… and he was Scottish himself… it says a lot for how comfortable we Scots are in our own skin… lift that idiom on to the universal diaspora of all we quill-scrapers, of whatever nationality… and particularly as it applies to the constant barrage of presences (plural) on the SOSYAL NETWURKS as we clamour to have our authorial voices heard amidst the din… it is by now a well-established given, our scribbling is merely the beginning of the journey to Nobel-ic fame and fortune…the need is ever-present to be available on the Web circuit, peddling our masterpieces to all and any who care to take heed… in a parallel life, this ol’ Jurassic spent several decades in the international financial arena, where part of the ‘game’ involved attending endless functions, cocktail parties, and events in order to ‘see and be seen’… most industries have similar carnivals… but, I posit with yeez that we of the global virtual candle-lit garret planet have a head start on all of these… we are enabled to do it all sitting in front of our computers and laptops…


…access to yer favourite SOSYAL MEDYA channel poisons of choice is so simple… also, no belly-to-belly finger-food and cocktail-spilling occasions that I attended ever had in excess of a couple of hundred people in the room/hall/hotel chamber at any one time… on here, yeez can plug into gazillions simultaneously… it’s the Authors’ literary SOSYAL NETWURK equivalent of ‘WURKIN’ THE ROOM’… and it’s fun when yeez get immersed in it… yeez can plug yer priceless periodicals… yeez can nominate yer narcissistic novels… yeez can blazon yer books brazenly… and, like all the best news feeds, yeez can do it 24/7… good is that… see yeez later… got some plugging, nominating and blazoning to get in with… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff