Tag Archives: editing

… sunshine ☼ parties between rain drops …

Last weekend I stepped out of my recluse bubble. It’s been a while, and I truly enjoyed a spell of rich socialising.

My editor visited and stayed over, enticing me to celebrate the release of ‘Course of Mirrors’ into the world. She brought along an excellent bottle of sparkle. I wish every writer was blessed with such a generous editor friend.

Truth be told, without Zohra’s editing support I would not have reached the confidence to publish my first novel, to continue writing a sequel and even start a third book.

Saturday’s party was to celebrate another friend’s birthday, once more with champagne, and a feast of the most delicious food, prepared by his partner, Ruthie. The afternoon was crowned by the appearance of an auspicious rainbow.

to greet the party – in a sky like rippled silk – a blessed rainbow

For the Sunday occasion a bunch of friends gathered in gratitude, giving honour to the memory of Rahima (Elspeth Milburn-Spottiswood) – a remarkable woman, painter, Sufi and Jungian psychotherapist.

The venue was a beautiful old barn in Surrey, surrounded by green lawns and lush, colourful gardens. We listened to recordings of our friend’s resonant voice reciting poetry by D. H. Lawrence and Rumi. And we watched film clips that brought back into awareness her kindness, knowledge, and her inspirational insights during seminars on archetypes we co-facilitated for many years. Stories were told, readings were offered – and music played. Among the gathering were strangers, new contacts, friends of friends, in the way networks grow.

The sun was warm enough to have a nap on the lawn. Family members, and some of the younger generation attended the day, which was heartwarming.







Rahima is sorely missed. I wrote about her on this blog before. In 2012  – October 2016 – and in January 2017

Miraculously, the weekend had only the occasional short shower between long spells of sunshine, augmented by the warmth of friendships.

I feel deeply nourished, and am left with the pleasure of knowing that Course of Mirrors is now travelling across the world, and readers, some of you among them, will already be immersed in the story, and hopefully post reviews.

The light in green shoots encapsulates the weekend.

Information on my first novel is on my book page here.




Filed under Blog

… editing saga on a windy day …

A cup of coffee is the answer. I mull over the problematic paragraph while the kettle sings. It’s the word that doesn’t chime … back to the screen. I pull up Thesaurus. There – a more succinct term. With a warm, tingling feeling of satisfaction, I replace the word and read like for the first time. Still not right. The whole paragraph is flawed. My mind goes blank. I stare at the screen. A sudden comprehension animates, turn things around. I begin to cut, paste, type …

The telephone rings – I can’t ignore the telephone. It could be a client, it could be a friend, it could be my dad saying he has need of me after all, it could be … no, can’t be a publisher. I haven’t sent out queries yet, have I? I press the green button on the phone – the sound of a fax machine. Arghhh, one of those, back to the screen …

Damn, I lost the thread. Ah, the coffee. Didn’t I turn on the kettle a while ago? I return to the kitchen. While the water hums I may as well wash the white shirt I mean to wear tomorrow – done. I take it out to dry on the washing line. I grab three pegs because there’s strong breeze today. I clip on the first peg and have a fantastic aha-moment about the paragraph. I missed an opportunity to engage the reader.

I rush back to the screen and insert more dialogue. Excellent, now it flows, why hadn’t I thought of this before? On to the next sentence, this is easy, just a comma out of place. Commas should be done away with, allowing the reader freedom to imagine pauses. Full points, yes, but commas – I could call it experiential. Stop messing about, get back to your protagonist … I woke in semi-darkness to the scent of mint. Tuck busied himself over a small fire. I wondered why, having poured boiling water over the sprig of herbs, he went on pouring the tea repeatedly from one vessel to another …

A drink – coffee! I knew something escaped my memory. It won’t take long to make the kettle sings again.


Filed under Blog