12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood

The title of the post may have alerted you to the fact that this week’s photo challenge involves taking your phone and going out to take pictures of your neighbourhood.  The camera on my phone is a little bit rickety, and can only really cope with daylight (bright daylight at that) – so thank goodness it snowed this week.  It could have been a very grey-green old time without nature’s lightbox to help me out.

For an extra challenge I was told to tell you a mini story with my pictures, so without much further ado I give you the story of… me walking around a park in the snow.  I wanted to get a book in somewhere, possibly alongside a cheesy comment along the lines of ‘my favourite place in my local area is inside a story’ – but alas!  I only had a borrowed paperback on me when I went out, and I didn’t want it to get soggy.  So I didn’t.

P.S. When I say this is my ‘local neighbourhood’, what I mean is I actually live in the park.  I have a secret hole in the ground, sort of like the Psammead.  Do say hello if you’re passing – although like the Psammead I may respond with insults if I haven’t had my coffee yet.

Plodding On: January Pictonaut Challenge

Plodding On
Plodding On

Having not entered the Pictonaut Challenge (to write a 1000 word short story based on a picture found at The Rogue Verbumancer’s blog) for a couple of months, I thought I would get in a bit early with January’s one.  Initially the picture didn’t fill me with ideas.  ‘Cowboys,’ I thought, ‘and horse bums.  Oh.’  Then I thought, what about the person seeing the picture – the one watching them plod away.  Who is she?  There was never any question in my mind over the fact it was a she.

So I wrote about her, and why the others were leaving, and thought my tale quite OK (although over the word limit a bit).  Then, reading it back this week, it occurred to me it owes a lot to The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, which I read towards the end of last year.  That is a lovely book, which I would certainly recommend – particularly if you like my story and want to read something in the same setting and better written…

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Silent Sunday


Silent Sunday

Great King Street

I was going through half finished word documents from last year (there are a fair few with beginnings of characters and ideas started then abandoned) and found this.  It’s a poem I wrote for my brother in December which I considered making into a picture book before I got into the falcon idea.  Maybe I’ll get it done this year, though.  In fact, maybe I’ll do a collection of story-poems based on Edinburgh streets and illustrate the whole thing… if you think that idea has legs, please leave a comment!

The background to this one is that my brother and I were crossing Great King Street in Edinburgh and both slipped on a wee patch of black ice.  However, the temperature was a balmy 6 or 7 degrees and there was no ice or snow or anything anywhere else – so naturally we got suspicious.  Why was that bit icy, when everywhere else was fine?  Clearly the answer was magic.

Continue reading “Great King Street”

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