Tag Archives: life skills

Who’d have thought it? ~ 60!

images3As I approach my 60th birthday, in between a dream of a lifetime trip to Venice and a quiet celebration with my husband, mum and dad up here in Scotland (God willing), I have been reflecting on my ‘path’ to this moment in time in my writing life.

I have penned stories and poems since my teens for my personal pleasure, much inspired by Mrs Yates, my English teacher to A Level. However, it wasn’t until my late forties, the first time in my life I was made redundant, that I was inspired to write my first novel Riduna, (the Roman name for the Channel Island of Alderney) which was finally published in 2009.

cropped-fort-albert.jpg

Fort Albert, Alderney

It was on a family holiday to the island of Alderney in fact, that I learnt about my wayward Great Grandmother Harriet. She tragically lost both parents at sea when she was eight, then in her teens she became too much to handle for her grandparents, who ran a public house and guest house, and was shipped off to live with her aunt on Guernsey. Her misdemeanor was allegedly too much fraternising with the soldiers stationed in the newly built forts of this ‘Gibraltar of the English Channel’!

norman-and-family-2-001.jpg

My family history inspired its sequel Ancasta Guide me Swiftly Home (Ancasta is the Goddess of the River Itchen, Hampshire), which was published in 2012. Then a series of chance remarks in emails led me to write Murder, Now and Then (published in 2014)a book which linked where I lived in Bedfordshire to the Channel Islands in two time zone murders 100 years apart.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nellie Rault’s grave in Haynes churchyard, Bedfordshire

That same year Fife beckoned us, with a work transfer for my husband simultaneously to me being made redundant for the second time in my life. The Healing Paths of Fife naturally transpired from this life changing move north to Scotland. It is  a special book for me and a way of saying thank you to my new community, friends and the lovely Kingdom of Fife, which has welcomed us.

…and so in the months leading me up to my 60th birthday I have been writing once more in earnest. This new novel is a very different venture. It is a mystery inspired by social areas of need pertinent to our age, all of which we are all struggling to address. I hope it challenges perceptions but also that the reader warms to the colourful characters.

I will say no more at this stage because it has a few stages to go through before publication, but I am very excited about this project and feel full of hope for my 60th year.

For a more personal reflection on my 60 years visit http://www.selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com in a few days time.

Thanks for all your support!

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Channel Islands, Fife, Southampton, Writing

Selkies, Seals and Seafield Tower ~ Diana’s virtual tour of Fife continues

If there is one chapter of my fantasy ~ memoir ‘The Healing Paths of Fife’ that has ended getting me into trouble it is the walk to Seafield Tower!

It happens to be one of my favourite walks, it being closest to home, running along the Fife Coastal Path from just above Kinghorn Harbour, behind the caravan parks and on to winding paths and craggy slopes. Here are some photos. They were taken on my phone and so are not the best quality I’m afraid.

20171227_110359.jpg

Kinghorn Harbour

20180320_133854.jpg

Back towards Pettycur

20180320_133632.jpg

Up and down paths and steps

20180320_135226.jpg

To Seafield Tower

20180320_135216.jpg

seals on the rocks

… if you can spot them on this picture, but I assure you that they are there!

So why am I in trouble?

Picture this. I am researching places, people, saints and legends as I walk along The Fife Coastal Path, and they abound in plenty. I stumble across selkies; a cross between a seal and a person with magical powers. Each of my chapters reflect on an issue we all face in our lives and my selkie deals with ‘love’. All of us, or most if we are honest, have a lost love or a past love in our lives and, however happy we are with the present, at times we need to let go. As a writer I loved the symbolism and it allowed me a huge amount of creative licence.

And so, if you are a man I know down south please, please don’t think this chapter is about you because it isn’t. There are no other men in my life other than my husband and  my father at present, so if you know me if Fife then please don’t ask, ‘who is the other man?’

After all, you didn’t ask me if I really spoke to St Margaret did you? Tell a lie, one friend did! tee hee hee 🙂

There’s a better photo of the seals on my video on you tube if you’d like to watch it.

If you continue further to Kirkcaldy, about three miles, the walk along the sea front is pleasant too and you could walk on to Dysart. (my last post)

20180320_111231.jpg

Kirkcaldy sea front

 

5 Comments

Filed under Fife, Fife Fantasy, Memoirs, Scotland, The Healing Paths of Fife, Virtual tour of Fife

‘What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other’ or ‘A Truly Social Media Free Holiday’

For two weeks every year I like to leave Twitter, Facebook and my blogs behind me and have a total break. I’m getting more and more content with this as the years pass. At first I panicked. I wrote blog posts to schedule automatically and tweets to appear through Hootsuite. You can do all of this if you:

a) pay an expert to do your marketing for you

b) have the time to do so

or c) just cannot bear being silent for a couple of weeks or more.

I used to ask ~ Will my followers get bored and desert me? Will I have to start again when I get back? Will the world still turn without me?

It is strange for the first couple of days. I am tempted to turn on the internet using my smart phone. You may laugh here but I have never had Facebook or Twitter or even email on my phone. Too intrusive on real life. The man in the phone shop raised his eyebrows when he saw that I hadn’t even discovered the App Store.

I resisted temptation for the first couple of days ~only just.

By the third day I started to relax ~ to forget the pull of all of these time sucking activities and then I noticed something which made me smile and frown at the same time.

At restaurants while hubby and I were learning to talk to each other again we noticed whole families who sat at their table glued to their phones, sharing the occasional joke or two they’d read from friends back home. On buses and on the beach too! By the end of the holiday we were even feeling quite smug about it.

In fact, we enjoyed talking so much that we have vowed to turn the TV off during supper each night back at home, to sit opposite each other and chat about our day. It’s been so refreshing for our communication skills and our relationship as a couple. You should try it.

What a novel idea ~ to talk to each other!

5 Comments

Filed under Social Media Networking