The next part of The Gone. Bitsy feels like she’s been poisoned, but does Max know what he is doing? #amwriting #thegone

Originally posted on The Gone:

“This might hurt,” Max’s voice rumbles and I nod. I don’t trust my voice. “It’s because you have taken so much blood. When it bit you the poison worked its way into your system.”

I place my head against the cold tiles of the shower as I feel the slice of the blade. Immediately I feel as if something has been released. It’s almost a high and I feel my legs start to quiver. Max seems to understand because he pushes my body into the corner, using his closeness to keep my upright.

“It’s just got to drain.”

I don’t want to know what it looks like, but I can feel a sluggish liquid tracking down my arm.

“I’m turning on the shower.”

The next minute the water hits us. It is like a balm; the water is warm and I briefly wonder why they have power, but the simple…

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Bat caves…


A bit of a problem on the illustration front today… #amwriting #art #illustration #picturebooks

Originally posted on Rachel Mcintyre:

I’ve got to the point in the picture book that requires me to create a bat cave… But I’m suddenly at a lose on how to continue.

Up to now the illustrations have been whimsical drawings of the sun and moon, but now I’m looking at creating an ecosystem. I still want it to be whimsical but look like what it is meant to be – a bat cave.

So do I go cartoony or realistic?

Or a little in between?

I’m not certain…

I think I may have to get the sketchbook out and do some experimenting. Last thing I want is for it to be blocky. It would just look wrong with the other illustrations…

I think I need to aim for whimsical and realistic.

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Not a good start…

I’m a late riser. In fact, I’ll hold my hands in the air and say that I’m a night owl. Not that I’m out there partying all night. No, my addiction is the quiet and darkness. It’s not a time for writing but it is a time for the ideas to be born. During the day, short stories and illustrations can sneak up on me, but at night it is almost as if they queue (I have very orderly ideas).

So when I was woken at 5 am this morning I was not pleased. I have a cold so at the moment I’m snatching sleep in couple of hour blocks, so the interrupt of the first long stretch was annoying. I’m afraid to say that I came awake with a growl. The growl turned to a roar when I saw my adolescent cat peeing on my bedding that sits on the chest in the corner of my room.

It is an ancient laundry chest, although I think it looks more like a treasure chest. It holds my bedding but at this time of year, where we can get temperatures in the teens and, the next day, snow, the extra blankets I may need sit on top. It is this that the delightful bundle of fluff was staking a claim on.

Now Alfie has been showing signs of stress and had messed in the house (my blanket in the front room that I use is I get cold). Still I was surprised. Jack had looked up from his perch on my bed and then at me. Meg, my dog, who sleeps at the foot of the bed, shot downstairs, obviously aware that I was about to blow a gasket.

Alfie looked at me and ran. I don’t blame him. At 5 in the morning and after only 3 hours sleep I must have looked a sight.

I got up and cleaned up the mess. The whole time raging and growling.

Then I went on the internet. Turns out my cats may not be happy to share a litter tray now that they are becoming adult. In his own way Alfie was just letting me know. So I grumbled and went back to bed. The litter tray will arrive tomorrow and Alfie will have his own convenience with carbon filter. Hopefully that will fix the problem.


And I’m hoping that I can get past the ‘bear-with-a-sore-head’ feeling. At the moment I’m just growling and scowling at all. Maybe today is a good day to hole up on the workshop and write. I wouldn’t want to be in my company at the moment.

A Hangover…


Bitsy wakes to find herself sick… And in the background she can hear people talking. The next part of The Gone… #amwriting #thegone

Originally posted on The Gone:

I come awake slowly, almost as if I’m crawling out of a deep hole. In the background I can hear voices. I try to open my eyes but for the moment they won’t obey.

I can hear Max and Colin. I prise my eyes open, worried that they feel glued together. I don’t think I have been asleep long but then again it feels colder. Could it be night?

My vision swims at first and is blurred. I can’t see the guys, but their voices sound close.

“You two alone?” someone asks.

“Maybe,” Colin answers.

“I saw a girl.” This voice is different from the first and has a slight lisp.

A rumbling growl reaches me and I can’t help but grin. That is Max and he sounds pissed.

“Don’t worry, big guy,” the first says. “We don’t want to hurt her, we just need to know if she is…

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I have a favourite pastime that isn’t writing or drawing. It’s a hobby that has become a necessity.

I love baking.

I used to do it for fun. Then it was all cakes and biscuits but now, as my nut allergy has become more sensitive, I have found it has become a necessity.

I had thought that it would dampen my enjoyment, having to make my own bread and biscuits all the time. But it doesn’t.

Instead I look forward to it. Some things are annoyingly tricky, like hot cross buns, but I feel myself relax as I get out the ingredients on the side and grab my pinny. (Yes, I wear an apron… I’m a messy cook and I get very floury…)

It is so different to writing and drawing. Bread is my favourite but I love having a box of goodies on the side waiting to be munched.

Of course you could argue that I have a weight problem because I bake, but since I have been making my own bread I have lost weight. Although that probably has more to do with the fact I eat less. If I eat more I have to make more… My bread consumption has gone down…

I don’t know if I will always love baking but for the moment I still do. But then I’ve been writing since 2011 and I still love it, so I have a number of years to go before it becomes a chore.

Now, do I go make some easter biscuits or do I write some more of the novel?

Reality and dyslexia

Reality has been encroaching on my week. In fact, it pretty much took over…But now the bills are paid and reality has disappeared to an annoying but persistent hum. So, I can start to write and draw again.

Course if it had been a break then I would be rested and raring to go… Instead, I feel as if I’ve been working 12 hour days in order to make ends meat. Oh… I have been.

So It’s going to take a couple of days before I’m back in full swing. I know that if I didn’t have my dyslexia I might have been able to carry on writing, but I just get too tired. I can write and draw but only if that is my job. When I have to work at something else I fail.

But the good news is that I can go back to the writing and drawing for the next two weeks. Hopefully I will finish The Gone soon, although it does seem to be growing… And the picture book is coming along great.

Good news too that I’ve had a blog post published by Dyslexia Improvements. It’s a memoir rather than a story and it has made me wonder if I ought to write my experiences with dyslexia down. I’m not certain. I was wondering if it would help anyone but then it just might, and surely if I can help just one person I ought to try…