Sunday, December 15, 2013

Celebrating my way. 3rd Advent Sunday

Are you sitting comfortably?
Then I'll begin...

And thank you to
for inviting us to share
our Winter celebrations. 

(Whenever I say 'Christmas' 
feel free to insert the 
Winter Festival
 of your choice.)

Part of what makes Christmas special
is the repetition of customs and traditions
that inspire feelings of nostalgia and pleasure,
building on happy memories of previous years.

When we talk about childhood Christmases
we tumble the best bits together,
and good things get carried forward
to become part of every Christmas.

One year, not long after we'd married,
Hubby asked me to read aloud to him.

Understand, dear souls,
I stammer. 
No one had ever asked me 
to read aloud to them before.

He wanted me to read him
A Christmas Carol.

Not us. Some couple by Renoir.

So I did.

Tucked up together on the sofa,
wrapped in a blanket and 
drinking steaming hot tea,
I read the whole thing.

I know him; Marley's ghost!

It took three readings
to complete the story,
and its transformative tale
of a man's redemption.

More ghosts.

I found I loved reading it,
and he enjoyed being read to,
so now it's part of every Christmas.

 We set aside evenings for it,
with cookies and cocoa,
and I have to have a hanky
because I get all choked up.

  He: Are you all right, my dear?  She: No! Tiny Tim just died!

It's a simple thing to do.
It costs nothing and
you can find the book for free on-line.

(Although we are considering buying a nice version
as my old paperback copy is getting very battered.)

Maybe one with Arthur Rackham's wonderful illustrations?

There's a wonderful intimacy
in reading aloud;
it's a shared experience
that's unlike anything else.

Also not us.  Paolo e Francesca

I look forward to it every year.

Not Krampus

If you want to try it
I'd set aside three evenings.

The first for Marley's visit

The second for Christmas Past 

and Christmas Present.

And the last for 
Christmas Yet To Come. 
and Christmas morning.

Provide nibbles,
light lots of candles,
and enjoy the role
of the Storyteller.

Links to making your own Marley Door Knocker can be found here.

To share in other celebrations,
hop over to Ms Misantropia's Blog
to join in

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Horny Hump Day

Blimey, it's cold!
Better get some hot action going, then!

Welcome to 

These are the further adventures
of the foul-mouthed Gretina the Skivvy.

Foul-mouthed she may be, but she is also bewilderingly innocent and horribly prudish.
Alone with a young man for the first time, she panics about what will happen.

Gretina wasn't sure what to expect, but Tilly Squint had assured her, with much giggling and gasps of horror, that men turned into beasts, that they ripped away all your clothing and threw you down on your back with your legs stuck up in the air, like rabbit-ears. Tilly had been vague on the details as to what happened next, but that it was terrible, that you were used; that was the word, used!  Tilly had explained that afterwards there was mess and blood, and then you had a baby, in agony. 

Hop on over to
and join in the party.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seven Minutes of Story

I write, because I love story.
I love the compulsion of the narrative 
and believe in the redemptive powers of the tale.

Heavy, right?

Ok, how about this?

If you have seven minutes to spare,
watch this.

And when it's done,
even though the story is complete,
you'll want to know more.

You'll want to know

It was made as a showcase
for a game developer's graphics.

So, there isn't any more.
You want more,
 you'll have to add story yourself.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dream Destination

Welcome to the
Dream Destination 
blog hop
courtesy of

Please fasten your seatbelt,
and return your stewardess to the upright position.

Where would I go
if I could go anywhere?

 Good question. 

I'm limiting the answers to
real places
because most of you are writers
and frankly, as writers
we can go ANYWHERE
 while still sat behind our keyboard.

And have tea with a faun
when we get there.

It's like this.

I'm English and
I've lived most of my life near castles.

Big, beautiful castles.

Like this.  

They are everywhere.

Some of them are lived in.

Some of them are still lived in 
by the family who built them.

 I love castles.


But sometimes
I'd like a different kind of fantasy.

Something splashy and trashy.

Something in high heels and false eyelashes 
and suspect gender.

That's a real kind of magic.

A city set aside for adults to play adult games,
to believe in the very real power of 
in its original sense.

I want to go to


Yeah, Baby!

They even have castles!

Hop on over to either 
and join in the fun.

Prizes too!

I went back and identified the castles,
so you can visit them,
at least on the page.

Most of them are in the north of England.
I've  been lucky enough to live near
all of them, except Warwick Castle.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo and me.

Well, I didn't complete my NaNoWriMo.

I got to 21,007 words, though,
so nearly half.

This does mean that my 44,000 word
fledgling novel
is now 
63317 words long!


Someone who did complete their
NaNoWriMo is

Well done, Magaly
and congratulations!