Monday, 19 March 2018

Thoughtful and Determined

Found a new artist to admire on recent travels in Italy - Vittorio Corcos. I stood for ages gazing at this young woman who in turn regarded the painter, those passing through the gallery, and me.

The green ribbon of her hatband and pastel pink blossoms at her feet give the painting its dreamy mood - here is a woman caught in a moment of thought. Utterly feminine, yet the yellow of the books and sky blue scarf pull the observer up short. This is a woman who does not care if she is noticed. Her posture is defiant and calculated. The arm across the bench is not so relaxed. She could rise easily and lightly and argue her corner. 

Reminiscent of the poet 'Thinker' created by Auguste Rodin in the previous decade in neighbouring France, I feel that this study offers a challenge. Beauty and Reason vie for attention. Delightful and gorgeous in her reverie, the subject possesses great energy and determination.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Looking Three Ways

Usually the Roman god, Janus, who gave his name to January, looks two ways - to the old year and the new ... Not sure what we have here. 

Rather than beginnings and endings (so important to get right: the hook to draw the reader in, and the ending to satisfy,) this ancient relic I snapped in Florence, suggests the three dimensions of time. 

The present, the future, and the past have to be handled with care. There is always a backstory that informs the present and the present is the springboard for the future. I am experimenting with chronology in my latest book and feel like a juggler. I am enjoying the back and forth - a linear anything can feel like a straightjacket.   

Sunday, 25 February 2018


A cold but sunny day in February as the light returns to wake the countryside - just the day for a walk on the Somerset Levels. Flat, watery, reclaimed land from the sea in SW England. King Alfred's stronghold in the ninth century as he pushed back the Danes. Wild and lonely - full of birds. Fields of swans, egrets and starlings feeding off some freshly-cut silage. 

Twisting and turning, funneling and shape shifting like a shoal of fish, the small birds form fast-moving clouds. 

From Middle English meaning grumbling. Got me thinking how we use the verb today:

  • murmuring sea ... murmuring crowd ... murmuring grasses ...murmuring bees ...
  • The diners murmured in appreciation as the main course was carried through.
  • The murmur evolved into screams of panic as the petit pois became hailstones the size of conkers.
  • 'Where did I put the USB?' he murmured as he shuffled through the papers.
  • 'Turn the light out, darling,' she murmured.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Fat and Sleek with a Lightsaber Tail

I've heard say that squirrels are vermin - all in the eye of the beholder. What a glorious creature vibrant and alive in the northern hemisphere's dull January. 
Paws firmly planted toes spread - poised to move quickly if needed. Looks ready to do a vertical take-off. Ears pricked, nostrils open, tail bolt upright. What a tail. A rainbow of furry colours. Bristling with life and light.
Nimble on the move: a climber, a jumper, almost in flight as he flings himself from branch to branch. I've never seen a squirrel fall or slip. Neither have I seen a squirrel swim come to that ... 
Herbivores, on the whole. they are a good advert for a plant-based diet in vegan January. However, when choice food is scarce squirrels will snack on the odd insect or two. 
I'm like the toddler in the park. Instantly cheered and transfixed when I see a squirrel. I have to stand and watch. 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance


The problem is the man she desperately wants and needs is not interested in her. He was once, but ten years ago she threw away their chance of happiness. Together again, Marielle and Peter discover how they have both changed and how much they have in common. Their attraction for each other is intensified, but can their love be rekindled? Can they risk everything for love? Affairs of the heart prove to be no match for the darker powers of Fate as Marielle’s very survival hangs in the balance.

Friday, 3 November 2017




By Alicia Stone

A review by Jeffrey Ross

5 Stars

This is a world-class piece of literature—a finely crafted book that combines several genres successfully. On one level, June functions as an academic or campus novel—much of the text revolves around the detailed, complicated, scholarly world of Professor Perry’s anthropological research and love affair machinations. It also has robust elements of a detective story when super-sleuth David outs a cheating husband. But June most significantly and boldly illuminates a woman’s “sensual” coming of age (somewhat like Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening) as heroine Cassie begins to unshackle herself from a life of emotional servitude and learns to love again. As a writer, I was humbled by the workmanship and power of this novel. Read June—you will never forget the story.


Living a lie in a web of deceit, Cassandra finds the courage to challenge her controlling husband. She sets in motion a tragic chain of events that leads her across Europe from the medieval city of Tallinn to the showboating glamour of Nice. Cast aside and the victim of cruel revenge, Cassandra fights for her future and discovers she is not alone. Her new-found strength is tested to its limits, for where love is concerned there is often a reckoning.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Stretch in the Sun

Movement is life - so they say. Sitting at the computer longing to go outside and walk, I offer myself a compromise. In the muddle of photos, mementos, and references scribbled on scrap paper by my desk, I have a list of exercises to do - part of a  stretching routine.

  • Shoulder rolls;
  • Back stretch;
  • Wide back and shoulder stretch;
  • Forearm and bicep stretch;
  • Forearm stretch;
  • Dynamic neck stretch;
  • Twisted shoulder stretch. 
This will have to do until I can get out later.