A Feast Of Fun?

A Matter Of Taste - Sue's new short story to be published 31st October, 2014

A Matter Of Taste – Sue’s new short story to be published 31st October, 2014

Well that largely depends upon what tickles your funny bone! If you like your humour on the dark side, liberally dosed with a generous helping of plunging temperatures, flashing lights, shape shifting walls and the astonishing materialisation of a hot air balloon in the middle of a commercial airport runway then you will definitely enjoy my latest Kindle short story … A Matter Of Taste! It’s central character, Julian has drawn the graveyard shift at the commercial airport where he works as an air traffic controller. Unfortunately for him, the locals have stopped all night flights so he has very little to do except let his imagination run wild!
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Folky Pickled Beans

Pickled beans ready in two weeks!

Pickled beans ready in two weeks!

One of the best things about folk clubs is you never quite know what you might pick up during a rousing chorus of John Barley Corn or a top tapping session of Winster Gallop. Granted it might be ‘flu or a dose of the trots or it could be a super recipe for pickled runner beans which is what I came back with from a recent visit to one of our local clubs.
Thanks to Shelagh Bentham of Shepshed storytelling club our huge glut of runner beans are now going into jars instead of turning out in force at every evening meal for the past month!

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Beetroot & Horseraddish Chutney

beetrootchutney

Beetroot & Horseraddish Chutney long gone now, but simply delicious at the time!

I discovered beetroot and horseraddish chutney last year when I stumbled upon a fantastic farm shop just outside Axminster.  I was actually doing a River Cottage, ‘pig in a day’ course, but that’s another story!
The farm shop was in the village where we were staying and had a huge selection of locally made pickles and chutneys including this unusual combination which I can assure you is absolutely delicious!
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The Healing Hand Of Nature

A wonderful display of bluebells growing where once there was pit spoil and desolation

A wonderful display of bluebells growing where once there was pit spoil and desolation

It lies on the edge of the Coleorton valley, 30 acres or so of  woodland surrounding a green hill that can be seen from far away. A quiet and pleasant spot that is just one of several such sites reclaimed from old colliery workings and forming part of the National Forest.
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Conversations With Annie

annieandgrandma2Looking after small children is hard work, but there can be unexpected rewards. My little granddaughter was about three years old when this conversation took place and grandma er … just a bit older than her teeth.

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Kindle Direct Publishing Free Promos Are They Worth It?

amazonFor those that don’t know, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform allows you to join its Select programme which basically means you agree NOT to sell your ebook anywhere else and in return are given the privilege of giving it away FREE for up to five days over a three month period.
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Create Your Own Kindle eBook Cover

coverLOWreghalfsizeYou may have heard the old adage which says you should never a judge a book by its cover, but the publishing world knows that Old Adage is wrong!

Readers do judge books by their covers. Until they dip inside, the cover is the only information they have to go on and if you don’t grab them with an enticing frontage they will quickly move on!

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Keep Write On To The Final Stop!

write a novel in a day workshop members

The team of writers who took part in Ashby Arts Festival ‘s Novelettathon.

The killing tree

A novel written in just one day
by a team of arts festival writers!

It’s amazing how many writers you talk to who admit that they have at least one unfinished novel in their drawer.  I currently have three, but I’m well on the way to finishing them after being forced into an arts festival project which called for a novel to be written in a day.
This is how it came about.  Knowing that most novel writers never get beyond chapter three before their initial burst of creative enthusiasm fizzles out like a damp match I hit upon the idea of organizing a novelettathon which involved writing a novel in a day.  This formed part of the literary events at my local arts festival who were delighted with the idea as they realized that this would be something the press would get excited about and which would generate some free publicity. Continue reading

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A Plate Of British Stew …

beef stew

Beefy British White stew made with
an assortment of root vegetables

Wouldn’t do us any harm!  According to the  song, Nelson’s Blood, it’s Irish stew, but I can’t have that since I’m a breeder of British White cattle.  In my emphatically biased opinion, there is no better beef on the planet and probably the universe if the boffins were ever to prove the existence of parallel universes!  I will further add that beef from any of our native breeds is the creme de la creme of beef and here’s why.
Almost all native and rare breed cattle are naturally reared on little more than grass, hay or silage.  They are allowed to mature in their own time, typically between 30 – 36 months and when butchered, the meat is hung for between 2 and 3 weeks or even longer.

british white cattle

British White cow with twin calves and a visiting playmate!

root veg

Typical ingredients of a hearty, winter stew

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Not Yer Average Creative Writing Workshops!

Not only have I run creative writing workshops, but I’ve attended a fair few as well.  They are enormously beneficial for writers of any level, but they are often hugely entertaining in quite unexpected ways.

Fire!
My very first ever creative writing workshop almost proved to be my last as half way through the course the building had to be evacuated when the fire alarm went off!  It was a fiction writing workshop held, along with other courses, in a former old people’s home.
One of the exercises involved drawing a character name from a hat and then giving a verbal portrait while holding a lighted match!  You can imagine how this concentrates the mind!  In spite of extreme care, there were one or two nipped fingers!  To her credit, our tutor was quite safety conscious and made us hold the matches over a small bowl, which alas, did not contain any water.  If it had the partly spent matches would not have ignited during our lunch break and triggered the smoke alarm!
Oblivious to the drama, our little group sat happily in the sunshine munching our sandwiches and wondering which classroom was burning down!  A slight exaggeration as the only damage was a heavily scorched table and the loss of our morning’s writing prompts.  I often wondered if that little episode robbed me of a best seller!
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