Writer of historical fiction, blogger, mum, pet lover :)


October 2017

Friday Fiction : Hot Chips!



This is a short story I wrote as part of my writing portfolio on the Creative Writing course. The main themes of the story were: self, family, identity, and using the theme of Food as a metaphor for these ideas. It is inspired by the novel Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, an uplifting novel about Grief, Loss, and Family dynamics, set around the preparation, making and sharing of Food.

Enjoy your weekend, fellow bloggers 🙂

Hot chips!

She’s in the kitchen again. We can hear her searching for mum’s cooking utensils, pulling out the vegetable rack, throwing dirty spuds into the sink for scrubbing. The stovetop flame is set to hot, the kitchen warm and steamy. My brother and I peer through the kitchen window, giggle as we watch her ample backside waddle around, hands wet and shiny from being plunged into a mass of peelings. She’s dressed in a colourful flowered pinny and sensible Clarks shoes, the granny ones that she swears are good for her bunions. My brother’s best friend Pete is with us, as well as a handful of kids from our street, eager to taste the golden crunchiness of the fries, spitting happily in the frying pan. We are not allowed access, not until she’s finished cooking. But we don’t mind, our young bodies are tired and footsore, playing out all afternoon. We are happy to watch and learn, eager to taste her chippy supper.

Its Saturday night and my parents out on their usual jaunt to the local Social Club. My gran babysits us every Saturday, has done for years. She loves her time with us; we can tell by the swing of her hips, the cheery sounds she makes listening to Radio Two. We love having her over too, and so do the local kids. We are as excited as kids can be at that age, in a world of Action Man and Atari games, to see her struggling out of my dad’s car, arms loaded down with goodies. She always has a huge bag, colourful butterflies splashed on its side. She greets us with a big bear hug, almost encasing us in her bosom. She smells of cake and lavender talc, bought from the local Avon lady.

My mother knows her routines of old and frowns as she walks into our house, plonks her bag onto the sofa.

‘Mum,’ she’d say, with a shake of her head. ‘The kids won’t have a tooth in their heads if it was up to you!’

‘Nonsense,’ my gran would reply. ‘I always make sure they brush their teeth before bed. Now get along with you; enjoy yourselves. I’ll just put the kettle on.’

Then she would disappear into the kitchen and mum was none the wiser. We knew what she was up to though. Her mission was to peel as many spuds as she could, to feed us and any other kids that passed through. I swear the neighbourhood parents knew of her too. It was an easy ride for them when gran was at our house; no cooking and the kids out of the way until bedtime. She’d peel and fry, then peel and fry again, shaking the pan across the stove top to get a crispy coating on all sides. The chips would behave beautifully; warm and golden, smothered in salt and tomato sauce.

Then she would open the back door, step out onto the patio. The sun would be a deep red globe over the rooftops as she’d dish out the golden fingers, bread slices arranged around one of mum’s roasting plates. The salt and vinegar would fly off in all directions as we’d hunker down for our supper, safe in the knowledge that while our bellies were full, the world was a good place. We would huddle together if it was chilly, under the safety of my dad’s huge clematis, and watch the stars appear. The chips would be hot and sticky with tomato pulp as we shovelled them; fingers burning at the hot grease, mouths tingling with spicy sauce. Then we would giggle to ourselves, tummies bloated, knowing that we were way past our bedtime. But we were safe under granny’s watch. For it was her that let us be ourselves; to run around after dark, eat chips under a twinkly night, wrap our bodies in warm blankets while we watched the sun set.

Suzanne Bowditch, 2017

#writing #iamwritingabook #foodasametaphor #shortfictionstory #food #family


7 Elements of Historical Fiction

All about historical fiction

Inside HFAll writers of fiction have to consider seven critical elements: character, dialogue, setting, theme, plot, conflict, and world building. While every story succeeds or disappoints on the basis of these elements, historical fiction has the added challenge of bringing the past to life.

Since I work best by example, I’m developing an explanation of the seven elements in the context of historical fiction.

Character – whether real or imagined, characters behave in keeping with the era they inhabit, even if they push the boundaries. And that means discovering the norms, attitudes, beliefs and expectations of their time and station in life. A Roman slave differs from a Roman centurion, as does an innkeeper from an aristocrat in the 18th century. Your mission as writer is to reveal the people of the past.

Dialogue – dialogue that is cumbersome and difficult to understand detracts from readers’ enjoyment of historical fiction…

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Finding your writer’s voice #amwriting #writing #writerslife

So many good ideas here

My own Space PLUS Book Giveaway!

This is where we had dinner last night, Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast, Australia

My sister-in-law and her husband are over from the UK for their annual visit. Even though they love Australia, and can’t get enough of the weather, the laid-back lifestyle, the fabulous scenery… even though we enjoy seeing them …..I get hardly any work done! There, I’ve said it…from my creativity/writing point of view, they are a complete distraction!

So, let me give you a little background on my husband’s relatives. My sister-in-law is a retired art teacher who now paints full time from her studio at the bottom of a very English garden (you get the picture…lots of roses, hedgerows, oak trees bordering their moss covered wall). She loves her work and finds inspiration from travelling around the world, taking photographs of wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, cities, etc. Then she paints them, quite well actually. Her husband is a retired doctor, who used to run a successful practice in Hampshire. Now he trawls through travel magazines every few months, (no, I stand corrected…every few weeks, or even days!) looking for places to visit. He also has a model train set up the attic of their small English cottage (picture it; low wooden beams and hardly any space as theirs has a huge chimney stack in one corner!), where their four cats have also made their home (warm and cozy-like). He loves to read travel magazines, and their house is full of artifacts from their travels.

So, they have lots of time on their hands to visit folk like us. Their passports are bulging with the places that they’ve visited (bear in mind here that they have been retired just a couple of years!). They have visited most of Europe on mini breaks (Greece being their favorite place) plus France, Spain, Croatia, Italy (at least four times!) as well as safaris in Africa, Madagascar, Dubai, Egypt, Texas (where his sister lives), toured across the States, India, and Australia (heaps of times). New Zealand is next on their list, and they are currently on a mini cruise break to Papua New Guinea. They left our house this morning with battered suitcases and lots of suntan lotion!

Phew! It is an A-Z of countries, and that’s the countries I know of!

Me? I am back to the comfort of my studio room, in front of my computer, busily dreaming up more plots for my next book…! Back in my comfort zone, my safe haven from life and its realities! The places I visit are totally in my head (until I write my bestseller of course, then I will travel….dreams are made of this!)

Do I sound jealous? Of course not! Well, maybe just a little!

Anyhow, this leads me neatly into my own question, fellow writers/bloggers!

What distracts YOU from your writing?

Does anyone else feel the same? Please share if you are with me…even just a little bit!

PS Have a great weekend, and happy, creative writing y’all!

PPS My new book is now out! Please take a look at The Tourmaline Bracelet the third book of A Celtic Trilogy. It’s FREE all this weekend!


#writing #creativity #iamwritingabook #happydays #myownspace

Are Deadlines Necessary For Writing?

Nicholas C. Rossis

Corinne Ledling | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post by Corinne Ledling, a businesswoman who’s very passionate about her job. She’s a Content Manager at and in her free time, she loves to read mystery books and write short stories. When she suggested a post about deadlines, I just had to accept. Because, deadlines, right??

Are Deadlines Necessary For Writing?

Deadlines | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksI have been writing for over a decade, and have written hundreds of articles, eBooks, and even scripts during this time.

I am proud of the fact that I have never missed a deadline, but I often sit and wonder if deadlines are even necessary in this line of work.

Writing is a creative job at the end of the day, and creativity cannot be bounded. However, today all businesses have deadlines, and fortunately (or unfortunately) writing has become a business as well.

Writers are bombarded with tasks that are to be…

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Do you think music inspires you when you write?

Love these ideas, anything to get the creative juices flowing !

Jean's Writing

Or do you feel as to if the sound of music distracts you from your project?

For me, music is a distraction.

However, I’ve read a lot of articles from many writers about how music can set the tone and mood for their story.

Today one such post caught my eye and I thought maybe, just maybe I’m missing out on an important writing tool.

Read and tell me what you think.

8 Styles of Music to Help You Focus While You Write by DANA SITAR

I love music, country music is my favorite, although I’ve been known to listen to all types. From Bach to Jay-Z with lots of Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet in the mix. Yeah, my taste run wide. All depends on my mood at the moment, and of course the song.

Oh, one exception might be polka. Meh, not a fan. 

So, after reading this post…

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When is the Best Time to Write?

Inspiring…and true

Bernadette Benda

Writer’s need routine because…well, routines are just helpful in general. When we talk about routines for writers, the question usually comes up “when is the best time of day to write?” 

There is a theory (meaning: I have read a few “prestigious writers” that have said this) that the best time of day to write is in the morning, before you have done anything else.

They (the prestigious writers) say you should always write in the morning, because your brain is empty and closer to your unconscious because you just woke up. Nothing has yet happened to fill up your brain.

Is it true? Should you write in the morning??? Do I really have to become an early bird to get the worm??? Let’s take a look *dons spectacles*.

border for blog

To start things off, there may be actual science behind this, meaning, there may be a certain time of day when…

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Author Tips on Writing Historical Fiction

All about historical fiction

Historical Fiction Writing TipsToday I’ve selected authors’ tips on writing historical fiction from around the web.

From How to Write Historical Fiction: 7 Tips on Accuracy and Authenticity by Susanna Calkins author of A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate

  • Let the characters engage with the historical details – a variation on show don’t tell
  • Allow your characters to question and explore their place in society – doing so reveals the context of the times
  • Love the process, because readers will still find errors

From Seven Rules for Writing Historical Fiction by Elizabeth Crook author of The Night Journal: A Novel

  • Sweat the Small Stuff – small details allow readers to engage all senses in the past world you are building
  • Dump the Ballast – too much detail is a killer

10 Tips for Aspiring Historical Fiction Writers by Stephanie Dray author of Daughters of the Nile

  • Read historical fiction – sounds obvious doesn’t it but you…

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What do you always do? #Rituals #Editing #Writing #Editors #Authors #Bloggers

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