I LOVE READING….

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I love reading, have done ever since I was a child and cannot remember a time when I was unable to read. When the stories continued in my head after I’d finished the book, I thought I can do this—and proved that I could! However, there is a drawback to being a writer, a story-teller—I automatically read the novel on two levels. Firstly for enjoyment, of course, and like you, I try to second guess the villain, but my mind also takes a branch line and corrects errors, cuts unneeded words .and bits that don’t move the story on…and established writers are sometimes guilty, too. Or perhaps their editors!
You must all have heard the phrase “Show, don’t tell!” You know the kind of thing. Page after tedious page of description of surroundings, the heroine’s appearance and the hero’s feelings, when a few carefully chosen words of conversation would bring the most wooden of characters to life and set the scene. I sometimes wonder if the author has been told to get the word count up, hence all the padding!

Which brings me nicely back to my current novel Church Close, I’m still working through it again bearing all my advice in mind!

Another tip. Next time you’re on the bus, or in the supermarket, listen to the way people speak to avoid stilted conversation.

Regards, Betty.

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Ho-ho-ho…

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I REALLY AM FEELING HOHOHO TODAY

My latest novel HELP ME was published yesterday as a paperback…
So, those of you who wanted to give it as a Christmas  present, it’s now available.

A very satisfying end to a horrendous week of unreliable broadband [local fault] and a central heating breakdown in sub-zero temperatures didn’t help!  All fixed now.

Are you all ready for Christmas? Presents bought, cards written?

Still checking address for a couple of cards…and then I must turn my mind to food. Who likes what? Which puts me in mind of a character floating around in my head…not sure if she’s going to join the cast of Church Close, my novel in progress, or plague Chelsea and Hamid in their follow-up book of Wallace Associates…

Meet Peculiar Mary who seems to have a different fad every time you see her. Last Christmas she took everyone by surprise when she announced she was a  vegetarian. She didn’t looked too pleased when her slices of turkey were replaced with Brussel sprouts and a carrot substituted the sausage wrapped in bacon. She likes to be the centre of attention and is a constant challenge to everyone she meets…

Where would you like to meet Mary?

Would you like to be in the book? Send me your name and your reason why…

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CHRISTMAS IS ACOMING…

Christmas IS coming, much faster than I realised…together with a flood of birthdays…so despite it being Sunday, a day of rest, I have to get up to speed!

When I’m concentrating on my writing, I live in my character’s imagined world of Church Close…and real-world days pass by unnoticed.

Until yesterday.

Someone asked me when the paperback edition of HELP ME will be available….they want to purchase it as a Christmas gift. Short answer, never…But then I hesitated…and had a rethink! HELP ME is longer than my other e-books, so the paperback idea is viable…

Soooo…I’m going to tear myself from CHURCH CLOSE for the time being and rejoin Ken and Chelsea and Hamid and prepare their adventures for the printed page — but first of all I must  deal with the birthdays…

Here’s hoping that your Sunday will be more relaxing than mine!

Cheers, Betty.

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DECEMBER NEWSLETTER…

DECEMBER NEWS LETTER….

Good morning, friends, winter is sneaking in with a light dusting of snow. Pretty to look at through the window, but temperature is dropping below zero and I prefer to stay warm and cosy inside.

How age has changed me! When I was a child I loved playing in the snow, we got serious stuff then, not a few flakes, but waist high, and FUN! Building snowmen and romping with the dog, he loved it, too, first-footing and spoiling the smoothness of the garden. But, with hindsight, my parents must have loathed it. Wet clothes, snow-caked gloves and socks…and many times the bus couldn’t make it up the hill into the village. Happy days! Yes, they really were, for my friends and me…we didn’t even mind walking five miles to school when  the buses stopped running…it was an adventure, back in the day…

Anyway, enough of reminiscing…I’m deep in rewriting Church Close, the first book in a series…I’d thought it  finished, but preparing it for Kindle, I realised that there was room for improvement! So that is what I’m presently doing…adding bits here, rephrasing there, and giving more thought to how my characters react to the circumstances they are in. Which, in turn triggers how they interact with their friends…in other words it has a knock-on effect…and this carries through to book two in the series, which I’ve already started….

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to work!

Cheers. Betty.

PS.   Help Me is doing well.

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CATCH UP!

Good morning… from a grey and wet UK.

I thought I would tell you about the new book I am working on…Well, not exactly new, I was writing it at the same time as HELP ME and switched from one to the other…But Ghost Ken took over and insisted that I concentrated only on his story. That is out of the way now, although a follow-up is simmering on the back burner…

I am now free to tell you about Gina. She is a well meaning do-gooder, a bit of a romantic, who wants to help everyone, She lives on Church Close, a small development of six houses on the edge of the fictitious town of Thorpefield. She takes a close interest in her neighbours and considers there are too many long faces, and decides that they need cheering up. They need the companionship of a pet. What could be better than something that loves you, never judges, never argues…

She makes Disney-like plans to deliver one secretly to each unsuspecting household—

Unfortunately, her plans go awry…but when did anything go without a hitch?

Cheers, Betty.

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FAREWELL FIREWORKS

 

Last night, November 5th, was Bonfire Night in UK, when an effigy of Guy Fawkes is still burned on bonfires across England in recognition of his part in the failed ‘Gunpowder Plot’ way back in 1605 when he tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. So last night there were bonfires aplenty and noisy fireworks traumatising the nations pets! I’ve had several dogs and cats over the years, and each one was petrified of loud bangs and fireworks and did their best to hid away.

My present cat, Alfie is made of sterner stuff. He is fascinated by my computer screen, so perhaps that is why he sat on the windowsill watching the fireworks in the sky. But when nearby neighbours’ lit their fire and sent off screaming rockets he leapt across the room and onto my lap…and hid his face.

new 5 nov 2014 003Poor Alfie, maybe tonight he will be able to relax in peace…but I don’t hold out much hope. Someone always seems to have fireworks left over from The Night, and when darkness falls the bangs will start again. Maybe raising the TV volume will solve it!

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A DOG FOR CHRISTMAS

I love dogs, and felt quite envious when a friend said she was planning to adopt one for Christmas. She showed me pages and pages of dogs looking for a Forever Home…Such hopeful wistful faces…I could have adopted them all, I miss having a dog around the house, but sadly I’m unable to go Walkies every day.

A few days later she emailed me a link…”I’ve found you the perfect dog!” she said.  “It doesn’t need exercise, but it can stand, stretch it’s legs and sit by you to give light to read your book. And it won’t bark and annoy the neighbours!”

COOLIO 2      coolio

I was quite taken with it. It’s cute. What do you think?

It’s craftsman made, one of a kind and available from Yorkshire… www.coolio.me  They have lots of interesting unusual things…have a look.

Cheers, Betty

CLOCKS….

 

fb clockI’ve stolen this from Face Book…today Sunday 26th March the clocks in UK are put forward an hour…making everything later than you thought….My children always found this confusing and would argue black was white when I said it was bedtime at nine o’clock. It was only eight o’clock really, and not fair!

Now to alter all my clocks…

History of British Summer Time.

It was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916,  after a campaign by builder William Willett. His original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sundays in April and by the reverse procedure in September. This sounds even more confusing than the present system!  In 1916 BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October. Mr Willett never got to see his idea in action as he died early in 1915.

In 1940, during the second world war  the clocks in Britain were not put back by an hour at the end of summer. In subsequent years, clocks continued to be advanced by one hour each spring and put back by an hour each autumn until July 1945. During these summers, therefore, Britain was two hours ahead of GMT and operating on British Double Summer Time (BDST). The clocks were brought back in line with GMT at the end of summer in 1945. In 1947, due to severe fuel shortages, clocks were advanced by one hour on two occasions during the spring, and put back by one hour on two occasions during the autumn, meaning that Britain was back on BDST during that summer. During the second world altering the clocks gave farmers a longer working day, thus boosting food production.

Copyright © 2017 Betty Woodcock

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HELLO, I’M BACK…

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HELLO, I’M BACK…

Where have I been? Don’t ask!

Bogged down with writing and publicity and health issues…the days ran into each other and whizzed past, almost unnoticed, until my birthday arrived. Another year gone by. Where does the time go? A question I ask myself almost daily when To-Do list gets longer instead of shorter…

My new novel HELP ME, a ghost story, is coming along nicely, although the title may change, and I’m already seeking a good cover. Which brings me back to my last publication, TADPOLES, set in a war torn 1940…I’m now unhappy with the cover and plotting to supply a new one. That’s the trouble with writing…as I’ve said before, there are so many peripherals which need attention. Dealing with those cuts down on the fun of story telling…

Until next time, Betty.

Copyright © 2017 Betty Woodcock

PS See the little like box below the book covers? That’s right, keep scrolling down…Why not let me know if you like or dislike what you have just read? The larger box ‘Leave a reply’ is for your comments. I’m  always pleased to hear from my readers…

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REMEMBRANCE WEEKEND

river-somme-credit-paTHE SOMME     credit:PA

REMEMBRANCE WEEKEND

Back in 1918, The Armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, in Ferdinand Foch’s railway carriage in the remote Forest of Compiègne, north of Paris, France, at 5am on 11 November, and came into force at six hours later, at 11am.

(Little known fact: in 1940 Hitler forced the French to sign an armistice on German terms in the same railway carriage.)

French military commander Foch was in charge of leading the negotiations and signing the agreement which made it impossible for the German army to recommence fighting for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. It took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. This date is commemorated every year, and in many allied nations and coincides with Remembrance Day and Veterans Day.

In Britain, it is tradition to pause for a two-minute silence at 11am on November 11 to remember those killed in the two world wars and the British servicemen killed or injured since 1945.

Armistice Day is not to be confused with Remembrance Sunday, which always falls on the second Sunday in November

Schools, offices, and churches up and down the country usually take part in a two-minute silence at 11am and hold services at war memorials on either or both days. In my area, everything stops, even in the supermarket.

On a personal note, my father, a teenager in a Hussar regiment, was wounded on the Somme battlefield, recovered in a field hospital and returned to the trenches.  He was wounded a second time, a head wound, and eventually shipped to a military hospital in England. He completed his military service on English soil. My brother enlisted in WW11 and fought the Japanese in the Burmese jungle.

Nov 11 and Remembrance Sunday always brings to mind their fallen comrades and there but for the grace of God…

Copyright © Betty Woodcock 2016

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