Inspiration for writers and other creators can come from dreams, we are told.  So  sleep with a pencil and paper beside the bed, when you wake up from an interesting dream, write it down–or write key words down–so you can remember in the morning and make use of the dream input.

That sounds helpful, but no matter how hard I try I cannot bring myself to raise up from a comfortable position, fumble for a light and the writing materials I thought were conveniently placed, and after becoming fully awake, write down the dream that by now I can’t remember!

I don’t remember my dreams.  I know they are good, because when I do wake from one, I “feel” it was a happy one–I don’t think I have many really bad ones.  Last night, however, I had a good one–an interesting one.  I know that because when it was over, right on the point of waking up, I thought I must remember that, I’m meant to remember that.  So I went over it in my mind in detail, puzzling about it’s meaning–and went back to sleep (I was so very comfortable.)  Because I had re-played it in my head I felt sure I would remember in the morning.

Of course, I couldn’t.

Keep Calm and Carry On



Here we are again with some things that really bug me.  This one is in two parts: a) When watching television, they stick preview information about upcoming programs either on the bottom , or in one corner, of the screen.  Very distracting.  And b) At the end of a movie they usually show the credits–the names of cast members, the location where the movie was filmed, the music and artists etc.  The Husband and I argue throughout a movie, about who played what and where it was made.  We watch to the absolute end hoping to discover the answers and see who won the bet—but the credits shrink up and move to one side so as to advertise the next night’s movie.   I defy anybody to read them–oh, and they fly up the screen so fast…

And that’s all for today.  My new knee bothered me last night, enough to stop me from having a good night’s rest, and I am so sleepy I can’t keep my eyes open.

Keep Calm and Carry On

The Husband and I have been married for over 4 decades, we get along quite well, he lets me be me, and I try to let him be him.  However, after this length of time I it has finally dawned on me that I am married to—a teenager!

I have often said that he is a great husband, that he will happily do anything I ask him to, but that I am fed up with having to ask.  After all, by now he should know enough about the workings of the household (and me) to be able to initiate actions on his own.  Do the dishes need putting in the dishwasher, if so, does he put them in?  When I ask him to set the table, does he notice the table needs wiping off first, and do it?  Do the dogs’ dishes need picking up ready for their next meal–in fact, does he notice it’s time to feed them?  When the dogs are at the back door barking to come inside, does he let them in?  The answer to all those questions, and similar, is NO.

He will sit on the couch in front of the television, hypnotized by even the commercials, fingers glued to the remote–the equivalent of our granddaughter’s fingers being glued to her cell phone.  I mention a light bulb needs  replacing–“I’ll do it later .”

There is one difference between The Husband and a teenager–he doesn’t have an attitude, thank goodness.  But I do feel as if I am nagging when I have to repeat requests, even though he doesn’t seem to notice.  I listen to myself and realize I sound like my daughter fussing with our granddaughter.

I wonder, should I keep on with the “nagging”–or simply ignore him and do everything for myself?  I really don’t think he would care which I did!

And with that, I’m off to put the dishes in the dishwasher, pick up the dogs’ dishes, and look to see if we do have a light bulb of the correct size (make that two light bulbs–another one just went kaplooey) and set them out for when “later” gets here.

Keep Calm and Carry On







My cousin in England sent me a link to an amazing live web-cam  shot.  High on a Church in Sheffield, (in Yorkshire, England) a nest-table had been set up.  A pair of Peregrine Falcons made it their home and hatched three chicks.  The web-cam was situated to view the nest, for two reasons:  to guard the nest and the chicks, to make sure nothing and nobody interfered–Peregrine Falcons were, until recently, on the endangered species list;  and for viewing by those who might be interested among the general public.

Tony warned me I would need patience, because the chicks kept themselves “private” by huddling in the corner out of sight of the camera.  I watched for a few minutes and could see nothing.  I was about to click off the site when suddenly here comes Mama Peregrine (or might have been Papa) carrying a dead bird in her talons.  Immediately one of the chicks pokes its head around the corner and Mama proceeds to shred the dead bird and feed morsals to her chick.  She did this for quite a long time, during which I did not see evidence of any other chicks.  Then the other two showed themselves–but did Mama feed them?  No, she continued to feed the one hungry child, which did seem to me to be bigger than the other two.  She completely ignored them.  When Number One Favorite child turned away, appetite apparently satisfied, Mama finished the rest of the carcass herself!  The smaller two chicks gave up and stepped back out of sight, no doubt to huddle in the corner again.

Everything from the dead bird was eaten–the only things left were the wings and legs!  Mama dragged the remains to the edge of the nest table and slid them over the side.

Staff and volunteers from the University of Sheffield along with the Sheffield Bird Study Group were the ones responsible the nest table and the wonderful visual experience.

…There being nothing further to report, I hereby declare this meeting adj…Ooops, sorry forgot where I was for a minute.

Keep Calm and Carry On










Just thinking

I found the bodies of the final two baby birds–one under each of two trees in our back yard.  They looked to have been partially eaten (sorry for the unpleasant image) and to have been dropped from up in the branches.  I found them Monday morning–they weren’t there Sunday night.  I imagine one of the local wandering cats got them, though I haven’t seen any cats actually inside our yard; I don’t know what else could have done this.

So sad–four eggs, four hatchlings, and none survived.

I watched a video by Jon Bard (Children’s Book Insider.) He suggested that even while watching television we could be “writing”–by analysing what we were watching, thinking about how we might change the scene or dialogue, for instance, if we were writing the subject matter.  It brought back memories of my dates, in a long ago life, with a stage manager.  It was when I worked for the manager of a chain of theaters in England.  I hated going to the movies with him, particularly  musicals–throughout the show he would nudge me and say things like “I would have used a different backdrop there…” or “Oh no, not red curtains behind the lead dancer–with the dress she’s wearing, it should be purple…” and “That scenery is all wrong…”

And thinking of long ago friends; I am intensely curious about what has happened to all the friends I worked with forty-odd years ago in England, and have tried to trace many of them through the Internet.  I suddenly realized that the majority of them were male, then felt guilty, wondering what The Husband would think about that.  Thing is–men don’t change their names, so tracing them is (should be) easy, whereas the women I worked with have long since married, thus changing at least their last names.  Not only that, most of my jobs have been in a majority-male work environment, so obviously most of my friends were of the male persuasion (that’s a silly expression, but I just felt like using it!)

Keep Calm and Carry On




I go out into the back yard and no bird scolds me–my fledglings have flown.  I don’t know what happened to all of them–first four, then three, then only two remained.  Friday there were still two, but yesterday I could only find one, and the parents were only fussing in the area where that little one perched.  This morning–nothing.  No parent bird shouting at me–all is quiet. Usually even when the babies have grown enough to be flying around, Mama bird still feeds them.  Alas, I fear the worst–something got all of the babies; probably a cat.  Or a hawk.  Oh well, that’s nature for you.

Bit by bit and slowly, the middle of my paranormal, other-world, novel is coming together.  Sadly, I learned yesterday that my English friend, one who lives in my old home town, and who was a huge provider of Pendle Witch information for my research, passed away last week.  She was ninety-three years old, and her demise came after a short and sudden illness.  Her daughter emailed me, told me the end was quick and Joan died peacefully with her family around her.  I shall miss her–her letters were a breath of fresh, English, air.  RIP, Joan, thank you for all you gave me.

Now I need to collect together, in a more coherent fashion, the clippings, magazines, newspaper articles, and photographs that Joan sent me over the past few years.  I did have a question about a mysterious tunnel with a bricked up entrance located close to the farmhouse I was raised in–I never did know the why’s and wherefor’s of the tunnel, and I intended, in my next letter to Joan, to ask if she knew anything about it, or even if it was still there.  I suppose I will never find out–unless I win the lottery and can afford to make a flying visit “home”.

I carry a mental picture of that bricked up entrance, and will use the scene in my novel–I’ll make up my own reasons for it being there and being sealed off.

The fact that I didn’t question the reasons for the tunnel when I was living there as a child, makes me realize just how little we do question things around us;  we live with them,  accepting them as a fact of everyday life, without question.

Keep Calm and Carry On






Empty Nest

Well, the babies have left the nest.  They’ve grown  so quickly.  Yesterday morning they were still in the nest, by late afternoon all but one had disappeared; by sundown the final baby had left home!  I’m talking about the Mocking Bird family that lived in my rose bush.  Four eggs hatched, but now, twenty-four hours later, only two fledglings are accounted for.

I have to go out ahead of my dogs to trace the birds’ whereabouts so I can keep the one dog, Mini, away from them.  It’s like playing hide-and-seek, the louder and closer the parent birds “chack” their warnings, the closer I am to the babies.  As soon as I spot one, I leave the area and look for the other one, and when I know where they are, then I let Mini out and watch her carefully.

When I first spotted a nest being built in the rose “tree” I thought it looked too flimsy to hold eggs.  However, on looking at it closely, now that it has emptied, I can see how intricately the twigs and strands of fiber (from an old carpet piece I threw out) were woven together.  Our recent high winds didn’t hurt it at all.  I wonder where the birds will build next year–and if the two survivors will stay around here.

Some thoughts on my writing.  I have the first part of my novel drafted–I have the last chapters in my head.  The middle–nothing!  The middle of my story takes place in a parallel universe, and I wanted to make it very scary.  However, even with my imagination and my Celtic (Welsh) and Witch (Lancashire English) background, I can’t seem to come up with really scary stuff.

So, instead of continuing my writing from chapter  five, I’m going to forget all that and simply write the middle.  I can think of individual scenes of scariness, but need to tie them all together somehow.

You see, I tend to think with humor.  I want one of my scary characters to be a mysterious being who pulls a ferry across a fog-shrouded river.  He is dressed in a dark, monk’s habit, has no face or hands that can be seen.  Then I think of him as telling my protagonist, in a sad voice, “I came up with the way to make myself invisible–unfortunately I can’t make it work on clothing.”  But that’s not the atmosphere I want to convey!

Maybe I should rethink the whole thing–and make it a spoof on horror.  No, that’s not what I want to do.  Let me think about it.

All for now.

Keep Calm and Carry On