Creative Writing Classes – Winter 2015/16

UPDATE: FIRST CLASS, MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER, 7.30pm-9.30m at The Canal Centre Tearoom, Linlithgow.

I shall be running my first season of classes this winter, for ten sessions initially, with a break for Christmas and New Year. The first class will be on Monday 23 November at the Linlithgow Canal Centre Tearoom, from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Cost: £15 (discount for all 10 classes £120 – normally £150).

The classes will be a combination of structured and informal (fun) participatory elements. The objective for this first season is that everyone completes at least one short story of between 2,500 and 5,300 words, which will be published in an ebook, to be made available free through Amazon.


Creating the story
Using The Hero’s Journey structure, you will learn how a story is assembled and the elements that go into making an engaging tale.

Creating Characters
An all important element of great stories is great characters. We will look at how to create complex, multi-dimensional characters with whom to populate your fiction.

Dialogue is not conversation. I’ll say that again: dialogue is not conversation. We will look at the purpose of dialogue, how it differs from conversation, and how to use it to best advantage in your work. And how to write it, naturally.

Point of View (POV)
Understanding point of view in a story and how the POV character draws in the reader. We will also take a look at tenses (and tension!). Third person point of view, first person point of view and second person point of view – present, past and future – yes, you can use any or all of these to great advantage.

Student choices. We can take a look at some of your favourite genres and see how you might begin tackling them: crime, romance, science fiction, horror and others.

Preparing and formatting manuscripts, editing your work, and submitting your work. Yes, I will be encouraging all of you to submit work to prospective publishers – short stories, poems or otherwise.

On the Night
Please bring along your writing tools – notepad and pencil, laptop or tablet. Laptop users, please ensure you have a fully-charged battery as there are no power points at the venue.

If you have any questions or wish to confirm attendance, please email me.

Thanks for your interest, and I look foward to meeting you on the night. And I hope you will let others know about the classes, too. Please note that there is scope to change the night of the class, subject to everyone’s availability.

Creative Writing Classes

I’m launching my first season of creative writing classes this winter.

I aim to start the classes around third week November, depending on numbers. The other way you can contact me to find out more is through my website contact form:!contact/c1kcz

I will be covering: story creation, creating characters, dialogue, short and long forms of story, and more, plus elements of style for different genres – those who attend can choose their preferences. First season, 10 weeks. The objective is that everyone will complete at least one short story (2,500 to 5,000 words) and peer discussion on the work. I also aim to put the stories into an ebook anthology.


A single-celled organism called Larry

Larry, a crew of cosplayers, a stray dog called Max and a bunch of insomniacs all feature in my new novel, out now for Amazon Kindle.

If you’re interested in reviewing, or rating and reviewing on Amazon and/or Goodreads, add a reply here and I will drop you a free copy.

Fcafe-insom-cover5ifty-something, struggling retro clothes shop owner Julie Bellwether has more than her fair share of problems. Not the least of them being insomnia. Still, she has the consolation of meeting kindred spirits in the Cafe Insomnia. Eccentrics, intellectuals, lovers, strangers, all converge here to find companionship, consolation or respite from their sleeplessness. But the Cafe proves to be a catalyst for a series of unstoppable events. Julie, a gamer geek, a homeless young woman, a judgemental best friend, a Rastafarian musical chef, and a unique stray dog called Max all collide in a serio-comic tale with shades of the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Calendar Girls, and perhaps even The Canterbury Tales. $3.10 / £1.99

Interview on Black Fox Literary Magazine

Black Fox MagazineA while back, Black Fox Literary Magazine got in touch to invite me for an interview. I was, of course, delighted that they had sought me out and asked such interesting questions. I especially enjoyed the one about whether any monkeys were involved.

You will find the interview on the Black Fox. I hope you will consider giving feedback, asking questions and generally supporting this excellent publication.

Under a Banner Rocks (or Folks)!

When I listened to Under a Banner’s free sampler, I felt I was hearing shades of The Smiths intermingled with Fairport Convention, The Saw Doctors and an indefinable other thing. In any case, I’m hooked by the music – which can be plangent or pumping, to suit different moods. I absolutely want to see them live.

The band, well known for their catchy and lyrical folkish rock anthems, have recently moved their sound into heavier territories.

“Our recent album Close to the Clouds hinted a bit at our more rocking direction”, remarks lead singer and guitarist Adam Broadhurst. “We’ve just gone that little step further this time.”

From the opening notes of the celtic-tinged Magic is Real to the Deep Purple-esque Leaving Here to the pumped up Foo-ish reinterpretation of fan favourite Summer Skies, every song is delivered with a drive, gusto and energy that is built for the live setting.

Get the sampler here. Better yet, go ahead an buy their albums.



Art Dolls an Italian experience

Originally posted on craftywoman:

Travelling to Italy with doll making on my mind,

I stayed in a Magical Art House, my doll to find.

Butterfly exhibits, markets full of scarves,

Italian wine and cheese, Italians do nothing by halves.

Trip to Niki De Saint Phalle sculptures all around,

creativity, inspiration and the Empress crowned.

Now back in Scotland with an alchemists  haunt,

I place fabric and colour from my Italian jaunt.

Empress here she is The Empress of the park

Fountainlady on the mountainPENTAX ImageIMG_20150403_145439591_HDRIMG_20150404_104006754_HDRIMG_20150404_102726284IMG_20150404_102850106

View original