Tag Archives: blogging

Review of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven, Book 4, Still Hanging On.

 

 

BLURB

Yet another volume in the Stairlift to Heaven series. Terry Ravenscroft is still at it, accompanied by his faithful friend Atkins (although Atkins shows distinct signs of being unfaithful on at least one occasion). Similarly aged readers, and those approaching old age, will do well to heed the advice offered in these epistles. They will learn, amongst other things, how to deal with Men from the Orient who constantly plague you on the telephone, people who ring you up tell you there’s something that needs fixing on your computer if you don’t want your bank account to be emptied, General Election canvassers who arrive on your doorstep uninvited and unwanted, how to ensure that tarmac layers carry out their jobs in the manner promised and at the agreed price, and how definitely not to behave at a football match if you are seated amongst the opposition’s supporters. And lots, lots more. And, whilst doing all this, have a bit of FUN.

MY REVIEW.

I have recently finished reading Book 4 of Terry Ravenscroft’s Stairway to Heaven books. He has been writing these autobiographical books about his life and escapades for a while now, and they are very funny.

Terry Ravenscroft was, until he retired, a scriptwriter for many well known TV comedians and sit-coms, including such names as Les Dawson, the Two Ronnies, Morcambe and Wise and Ken Dodd as well as Alas Smith and Jones, Not the 9o’Clock News, The News Hudlines and many others.

This book does begin on a sad note when Terry tells of the sad death of his wife, The Trouble, from the earlier books. It is very clear he misses her immensely, and at first, he said he did not think he would write this book. I’m very glad he did,

Terry relates his escapades with his friend, Atkins, as well as tells of some letters he wrote to various pompous organisations. From trying to get Atkin’s neighbour, who has designs on him, to desist from her advances, to an incident with a letter Atkins wrote to David Beckham and Terry replied in Beckham’s place, we are kept laughing throughout the book.

I do not want to spoil it for anyone wanting to read it by saying too much of the events and escapades this book covers. Just let me say it is very funny and well worth a read.

This book is titled, ‘Still Hanging On.’ Keep on hanging on, Terry, long enough to write the next episode

I give it *****

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Some of my Christmas Cards.

Each year I make all my own Christmas cards. On Sunday 3rd December I finished the final one for this year and am pretty pleased with them.  I thought I’d let you guys have a look at some of my endeavours as it’s the Tuesday before Christmas.

 

VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY FOLLOWERS AND VISITORS.

I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL 2018 WHERE ALL YOUR DREAMS AND HOPES COME TRUE.

 

Punctuationg Dialogue

Today I’m going to talk about punctuating dialogue.
First of all, let me begin by defining some terms. I find writers, like many other professions, use their jargon so often they forget that new people may not know them. So here goes.
1. Tags. These are the words used to indicate who is speaking. They are things like ‘he said’, ‘Judith whispered’ and the like.
2. Beats, These are words telling you what someone is doing. e.g. Fred paced to the window. ‘Are you sure she said that?’ he asked.
Here, ‘Fred paced to the window’ is a beat.
Now we’ve got that out of the way, lets continue with our punctuation.

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I admit that when I started writing, I was unsure about this. I did not know what punctuation to put after the speech and after the tag. I learned by reading books and other writers’ blogs. Not a bad way to learn. In fact, a very good way to learn.
The first thing I should note is that US English and British English use quotation marks the opposite way round from each other. As I am British, I use British English, and the dialogue in my books is the British Standard.
In British English, we use single quotation marks for direct speech and double quotation marks for speech quoted within that speech. (Not very good English there. I apologise.)
Mary said, ‘Jaqui, go and see who rang the doorbell.’
and,
Jaqui said, ‘It’s John. He said, “I’ve come to return the book you lent me.” Do you want to see him?’
In American English it’s the other way round. The above would look like this:
Mary said, “Jaqui, go and see who rang the doorbell.”
and
Jaqui said, “It’s John. He said, ‘I’ve come to return the book you lent me.’ Do you want to see him?”
The quotes, either British or US go round direct speech only. If it is indirect, then there are no quotes.
This would be wrong.
‘John said that he came ‘to return the book you lent him’.
Whenever we write ‘he said’. ‘she whispered’, etc, we always separate it from the quote using commas. See the above examples.
Now should the punctuation be inside or outside the quotation marks? That depends on whether it is part of the quotation or not, Here are some examples.
‘How can he return a book’, said Mary, ‘when I never lent him one?’
‘Said Mary’ interrupts the sentence she is saying, which is, ‘How can he return a book when I never lent him one?’ The comma goes outside the quotation marks.
But if the quotation mark is part of what is being said, then it goes inside.
John said, ‘Did you not lend me this book then?’
The question mark is part of John’s speech so it goes inside the quotation marks. If it was a full stop (period if you are in the USA) then, as it ends John’s speech, it would go inside as well.

John said, ‘I’m sure I borrowed it from you.’

The punctuation goes outside the quotation marks if it is not part of the quoted material.

Now, if you have a beat, then that is completely separate.
Susan walked to the window and looked out. ‘Tell John to come in and bring the book up.’
There is a full stop (period) after the beat and not a comma because it is a separate action. I would say that we only put a comma after or before a tag, not a beat.
That’s enough for now, Hope I’ve not confused you.
Please feel free to make a comment of any kind.

A New Offer.

First, a reminder that the offer of The Wolf Pack for only $0.99 or 99p finishes tomorrow, so if you’ve not got your copy yet, head on over to http://mybook.to/TheWolfPack to get it.

 

Now a new offer. From today The Stones of Earth and Air, book 1 of Elemental Worlds is on offer for $0.99/£0.99 until next Sunday, 10th December. This would make a good Christmas present for a family member or friend who loves fantasy novels.

Get your copy from amazon by following this link.

http://mybook.to/EarthandAir

 

My Visit to New York

In April, my husband and I went to New York for the first time. I thought I would share some of the photos with you all.

We had a wonderful time, seeing all the sights. It was very exciting being in the city we had seen so often on the television, in both films and news. My only regret was that we did not have enough time to visit all of it, but spent most of our time in Manhattan. Perhaps another time?

We had a wonderful time. I’ll post some more in the future.

 

Please feel free to add a comment to this post. I love to hear what you think.

An interview with Kado from Renee Scattergood’s Shadow Stalker books

Renee Scattergood, the author of the Shadow Stalker books, has agreed to interview one of her characters, Kado, the guardian of Auren.

Welcome, Renee and Kado.

 

 

 

Hello Kado! I want to thank you for joining us all the way from the Dark Isle today. I know it’s just a leap through the shadow world for you, but we’re so glad to have you here.

Kado: I’m honored to be here. Although, I should add that we do not leap through the shadow world. We move through it or more to the point it moves around us. It’s called a shift.

That’s good to know. Leaping through the world of spirits is probably not the best idea. So, the first thing I’m sure everyone is wondering is, were you born on the Dark Isle?

Kado: I was.

What was it like?

Kado: Life on the Dark Isle is difficult. It’s a dangerous place to live with all the venomous plants. The villages are kept safe enough, but outside the villages it is quite treacherous if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Also, there’s life as a shadow stalker which is equally difficult.

How so?

Kado: Training starts pretty much when we are old enough to walk and talk. Learning to shift into the shadow world is scary when you’re young. It’s also risky when learning to deal with the demons that protect the borders of the shadow world. They recognize fear as aggression, so you can see how that might make things tricky at first.

Yes, very much so. Is it true that shadow stalker children live with a foster family who trains and raises them from the time they are born?

Kado: Yes.

Why is that?

Kado: Well, as I mentioned, the training is difficult and often dangerous. Parents form a bond with their children that makes them want to shelter and protect their children from danger. Over time, we learned it’s more effective and less stressful on the parents to let someone else take that responsibility.

That makes sense. So, you didn’t know your real family growing up?

Kado: Oh no. Shadow stalkers value family. We maintain close ties with our families while we are growing up. Most often children remain in the same village as their parents. In some cases, when they are raised in other villages, they visit with their parents several times a year.

So, are you still close with your family now?

Kado: The only surviving member of my family is my daughter, Shai. And yes, (smiles) we are quite close.

Oh, I’m sorry to hear about your family. How did you lose them?

Kado: Most of them died when the Galvadi invaded the Dark Isle over twenty years ago. My niece, Calista, and wife, Raven, were the only survivors. My wife died several years later, on a mission to rescue Auren’s father from the Galvadi. Cali died a couple years ago as a prisoner of the Galvadi.

So basically, the Galvadi killed your entire family. How awful.

Kado: (deep breath) Yes, it is, but things are turning around. At least I hope they are. If Auren is successful, the Galvadi will be no more.

That’s good to hear. Well, that’s all we have time for today. Again, thank you so much for joining us.

Kado: (nods) It was my pleasure.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. You can buy the Shadow Stalker books on Amazon. They are well worth a read.

Here is a link to the first book.

 

Book Offer

Starting tomorrow, 17th November, Viv’s Family Recipes will be on sale for only £0.99 or $0.99.  This offer will last only until 23rd November, so be quick and don’t miss it.

vivsfamilyrecipecover

The recipes in this book are from Viv’s family and friends. It is not only a recipe book for today, but also gives insight into how people cooked and ate in years gone by. The recipes date from 1909 to the present day.

There are also little anecdotes telling of the people whom the book mentions.

 

Get your copy by clicking on this link.

http://mybook.to/FamilyRecipes.

2 more words that cause confusion (and are driving me insane)

 

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Last month I talked about the words NUMBER and AMOUNT. Today I’m going to talk about some similar words that get confused.
These words are FEWER and LESS.

I say they are similar to the previouys words because the same rules apply. So many people will say something like,
‘There were LESS people at the match this week than last week.’
This is WRONG. IN this case, it should be FEWER.
Just as NUMBER refers to things we count, like people, goals, sheep in a flock, minutes in an hour, items in a shopping trolley etc., so FEWER also refers to those things.
FEWER is a digital word. It refers to things we COUNT.
LESS refers to things we MEASURE. Thus we would have something like,
There is LESS snow today than the same time last year.
or There is less flour in this cake than that one.
BUT There are fewer eggs in this cake than that one.
We MEASURE the flour, but we COUNT the eggs.

Please leave a comment on this post. I love hearing from you, and reblogging would help get the message across to more people and save me from continually shouting at the TV and radio.

Addition of a new page.

Hi, Everybody,

I have been writing historical novels under the name of Emily Littler. I currently have one pubished, called Vengeance of a Slave. I started a website in order to promote it and get it known that it exists. However, I’m finding it well nigh impossible to keep up with both this site and that one  so I’ve decided to add a page here dedicated to Emily’s novels.

 

 

Horselords 5

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They rode into the camp to be greeted by Chief Andrid, Davrael’s father.
‘You were gone a long time, son,’ he said.

Davrael slid from his horse and embraced his father.

‘We had some problems,’ he replied. ‘We found some of the Prowling Lynx on our territory. We followd them for a while, then approached. They attacked us, so we had to retaliate.’

‘Were any of our men hurt?’

Davrael shook his head.

‘Those Lynx are no match for the Swooping Hawks. We easily defeated them. But they had stolen some horses from the settlers at the far side of our territory. What’s more, when the settlers tried to regain their horses, the Lynx took a young woman captive. We rescued her.’

‘Well done, son,’ Andrid said. ‘That’s typical of the Lynx. What were they going to do with the girl? Ask for ransom?’

‘No. The chief was going to make her marry his son.’

Andrid’s face grew red and he clenched his fists at his side.

‘What!’ he exclaimed. ‘That is against all our laws and customs. The Tribes do not force marriage on anyone.’

Davrael then brought Kimi forward and introduced her to his father.

He smiled at her and said, ‘We will make sure you are returned to your family, but we need you as a witness to what these men have done. We will begin the trial tomorrow.’

Davrael gave Kimi into the hands of his mother. She smiled warmly at the girl and told her to call her Mimola. Kimi smiled back and soon found herself telling Mimola all about her ordeal with the Prowling Lynx. That night she slept in Mimola’s tent. the best night’s sleep she had since her capture.

The following morning, true to his word, Andrid sat on the only chair in the camp, on a raised dais made of wooden planks laid across tree trunks.

‘Bring the prisoners forward,’ he commanded, and half a dozen of the Swooping Hawks led the Prowling Lynx warriors to the space before the chief.

Around this space stood the rest of the Swooping Hawk tribe, all agog to see what was happening. All kind of rumours had been circulating during the previous evening and night, and the people wanted to know what was going on.

Kimi stood to one side, with Davrael. His presence reassured her as she did not know what was going to happen.

As soon as the Prowing Lynx arrived, they stood, hands tied, before Andrid.

‘You have been accused of trespass and stealing horses,’ he said, ‘but what is worse, of kidnapping a young woman with the intention of making a forced marriage. This is against our laws, as you know, and so you must face this court.’

The chief of the Prowling Lynx stepped forward.

‘I do not recognise this court,’ he said, and stepped back.

Andrid laughed. ‘You may not recognise it, but it is perfectly legal. You are a chief and are being tried by a chief, as the law insists. Your men should be tried by your own chief, by rights, but as you are on trial, too, for the same crime, then that is not possible. I will try them also.

‘What do you have to say?’

The Prowling Lynx Chief said nothing.

‘Then I will ask a witness to come forward. Davrael, what have you to say?’

Davrael stepped forward and gave an account of how he and his men had been patrolling their territory when they came across the Prowling Lynx men. They challenged them, but were met with an attack. When they finally beat the Lynx, they found Kimi in one of the tents.’

The young man who Kimi understood to be the Prowling Lynx chief’s son shouted out.

‘We were not trespassing. We were just on our way back to our own lands. We had to cross yours. We had no intention of doing any harm, notr interfering in any way with your horses.’

His father gave him a stony stare, but he continued.

‘We only took horses from the settlers. Everyone knows they’re not proper Horselords. and ;the girl asked to be taken. She came after us and attacked. What were we supposed to do?’

Davrael stepped forward.

‘You should not have stolen their horses in the first place. Then she and her family would not have followed.’

‘They’re settlers for the gods’ sake. They aren’t proper horselords.’

Andrid scowled at the young man.

‘Settlers or not, true horselords or not, although on that point I agree, we do not steal.’

Andrid then turned to Kimi.

‘Kimi, come forward and tell me what happened.’

Then it was Kimi’s turn. She told how she had been captured and how the chief had told her she would be taken to their camp and married to his son. She told of the abuse she had received at the hands of that son, and how frightened she was. then, with a smile at Davrael, she told how he and his men had rescued her.’

The trial continued and lasted all day. Each of Davrael’s men gave evidence, as did the Prowling Lynx men, and eventually, their chief.

As the sun began to set over the plans, Andrid gave his verdict and sentence.
‘You are all guilty because not one of you stood up to say what happened is wrong. However, I accept it is difficult for warriors to go against their chief. Therefore, you warriors I am going to allow to return to your territory. However, if any of my men see you within five miles of our territory, then you will be recaptured.’

He turned to the chief and his son.

‘As chief and probable next chief, you have more responsibility for what happened. I cannot allow you both to go in the same way I did your men.’ He turned to the chief. ‘You hold great responsibility as chief of your people. You uphold the law and are responsible fora keeping it. Therefore it is doubly worse for you to have taken part in this theft and kidnapping. I sentence you to be beaten and kept in custody for two full years. Every day you will receive four lashes.’

There was an intake of breath from the crowd at the severity of this sentence. Andrid then turned to the chief’s son.

 

‘You were fully complicit in this. You could have had some influence over your father. but instead, you used the situation to frighten and abuse a young girl. You I sentence to be kept in custody for only one year, but because of the way you treated a young and frightened girl, each day you will receive six lashes.’

Andrid then dismissed the court and the Prowling Lynx warriors mounted their horses and rode off.

As he as taken away, the chief of the Lynx shouted, ‘What is going to happen to my tribe? They will be without a chief for two years.’
Andrid turned and said, ‘Your problem. With any luck, they’ll decide to reject you and choose a better leader.’

That evening, Kimi and Davrael talked long into the night. The next morning, his father had told him he was to accompany Kimi to her home. He chose a few warriors to accompany them in order to drive the horses, and his mother to act as chaperone.

How will Kimi’s family respond to her return?

Find out on the first Tuesday of December.

Please add a comment to this episode. I like hearing what you think.

You can find out more about Kimi and Davrael in their adventures with The Wolf Pack;

Follow this link to buy, or click on the book image at the side of the page.

http://myBook.to/thewolfpack

http://myBook.to/NeverDying.