Space stories

Following Tim Peake’s adventures in space there seems to be a pent up demand for space adventure stories tinged with realism. So frustrating to have a rejection from an agent at this time. Well, will just keep trying. Two books are already out there on AmazonKindle although it is difficult to publicise them.

Christmas gifts…

Chris Hadfield is to visit Monmouth for a book signing of his new children’s story… Why not visit Amazon to get hold of a Beyond the Horizon (or available in print form from me) in which there are no aliens, just stories sprinkled with information and facts about the Moon and the planets in our solar system.


Here is a little something that has been well received by Short Fiction Writers facebook group:

She checked all the machines. All were running nicely. No problems there. The day had been busy, busy. A lone worker. An isolated production unit. Washing now drying. Dirty plates being cleaned. Dinner prepared. She leaned back in her chair, savouring the moment as she sipped her mug of tea before leaving to do the same in her own house.

Meanwhile…Chris Hadfield is to visit Monmouth for a book signing of his children’s book.

Space adventures…

Following Tim Peake’s adventures in space there seems to be a pent up demand for space adventure stories with realism. Two of my books are on AmazonKindle although it is difficult to publicise them effectively. I am a writer, nearly full-time worker not a publicist! It is disappointing to receive a rejection from an agent for my latest story, about Planet Earth. Need to have a deep think…

….audience enthralled!

about to give a talk...

My talk about the history of the Norman Lockyer Observatory and a brief biography of Norman himself was very well received by an audience of about 15 in my local library. I also gave them some astronomy highlights such as the flyby of Jupiter, sizes of stars and some info about the Moon. One member of the audience actually put the Lockyer telescope back together in the 1990s and has a box of minutes relating to the period. I encouraged him to take these to John Ponsford. He said he would bring them to the Astronomy Fair on 13 August. Many friendly faces were in the audience – a nice lady from church and who sees me at the Mint in my Reception role plus two others from U3A, Sue from Tuesday Fellowship (who would like me to give a talk), Iryna from Stella Maris Trio and Roy with Gareth and Amy. Plus Dad and a Daughter from church who is a space enthusiast. Great time. Exhausted….


Well, life imitates art, is that what they say? A couple of weeks’ ago I sent off my new adventure story containing an episode with a creature who had an enormous eye…and my daughter produced a delightful painting of a giant squid to accompany the text. The characters had an interlude in Iceland and I used my own photograph of the geysir Strokkur about to erupt…and Iceland is all over the place having won a football game. Now, it just needs those pesky publishers to see the potential… 🙂

Small Planet

Still in shock at the result of last week’s referendum. So sad. Especially sad following the global excitment at Tim Peake’s adventures in space. And seeing those photos of the beauty of the Earth. Hope the politicians can untangle the mess.

Gosh, wow, what a week…

Well, at risk of duplication the week has been one roller coaster of highs and higher highs and music. Last Saturday we enjoyed the superb performance of the Gondoliers by the Southampton University Gilbert and Sullivan Society. They have expert actors, comic and serious, singers, designers…and lighting designers (my own son!). There was more music yesterday evening as we enjoyed a Mozartfest of beautiful singing by the Cathedral Choir plus some professional soloists. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to say hello to Iryna Illynska but she knew I was there and it is always a pleasure to hear her faultless mezzosoprano voice. She is also a very nice, kind lady who is very clever – fluent in several languages – as well as musically gifted. She also likes cake and extolled the virtues of healthy eating while indulging in a great big Danish pastry.
Today we took my parents to an Afternoon Summer Organ Recital with Afternoon Tea featuring John Draisey, an organist who is part of the Mint commmunity. It was a treat for Fathers’ Day which they both enjoyed. The music and singing were a delightful selection with an organ-related theme. Again, it was all of a very high standard. A particular piece I had looked forward to was The Lost Chord which was something I studied as part of the Arts Foundation Course at the beginning of my Open University degree studies. It is haunting both in words and tune.
Amidst the musical week was an astronomy talk I gave to a group of Year 5 children from the local primary school. They loved it and I had one or two interactive activities which went down very well. I began with a display of fruit to the scale of the universe.Fruit bowl solar system Real photo of fruit to be substituted once I upload it! It was a jaw-dropping moment though at the end when a teacher came over (he had just arrived to collect them) and mentioned, questioningly, ‘Whitegrove Primary?’ – he said his name and I just said “Gosh”, “Wow”, “Gosh”…it was 15 years ago back in Bracknell back several lifetimes…and I simply said to him that my life has changed so much since then. Then it was back to “Gosh”, “Wow”, etc.
And if that was not enough excitement, my son texted me to say he has achieved a First in his Maths Masters degree. Wow indeed. And he has been involved in theatre, amateur radio, enjoying life, enjoying gigs, and taking part in national coding competitions. Wow. And so to calm down…

Higher and higher…

What a week this has been! So full of nice surprises and excitement. Last Saturday we enjoyed a train ride to Southampton where we had a rest before meeting son for a meal. This was followed by another superb production of a Gilbert and Sullivan show, this time The Gondoliers. My son’s lighting was sympathetic to the set and we clapped loudly to him at the end. The characters were just great; expertly interpreted with great singing voices to match.

On Wednesday morning I gave a talk to a class of Year 5 children from the local primary school. This was very well received and I enjoyed doing it. I had been very nervous beforehand but once I got going I was fine. I took along a selection of fruit to represent the scale of the planets. And a ball of string to show the relative distance from Earth to Moon…and asked them to show me whereabouts the space station is.

And, there was a jaw-dropping moment at the end when a teacher approached me and said the name of a primary school followed by his name. He was a trainee teacher back in Bracknell at a school where I was working as a Specialist Teaching Assistant working with groups for extra maths and English support.

What a surprise! I think my jaw is still on the floor…seems a lifetime ago I was a TA in Bracknell. My life has changed so much since then and I said as much to the teacher.

And my son texted me on Thursday with news that he had achieved a First in MMaths. Looking forward to the Graduation next month – a huge celebration…and maybe some photos together.

I have still yet to come down from the ceiling.