3 May, 2020
This weekend we’re all waiting to hear from the Government how and when the lockdown will be eased. So, as I’m still in limbo with nothing fresh to add – apart from how long my fringe has grown this week – I’ll share a bit more about the writing of my historical novel, Governor‘s Man.
It’s a sideways step, via a short story. Bear with me.
Very soon after my visit to Taunton Museum (as related in my blog of 26 April), I found myself standing on a bumpy muddy slope, looking north to the Shapwick nature reserve. The main fold of the Somerset Polden Hills was behind and above me. Under my feet were the remains of a Roman villa burned down in AD 224. As I stood there the image of a young girl sprang complete into my mind: adolescent, dark-haired, a bit on the thin side, horse-mad, bursting with energy. Let me introduce you to Aurelia Aureliana. Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #9: more on writing my historical novel”
26 April, 2020
The above quote comes from former US President Bill Clinton, and feels very fitting for our times. Or it did, till this week.
Continue reading “Life in the Time Of Coronavirus #8:”
19 April, 2020
In an effort to follow my own advice, I’ve been sticking to a Monday-Friday routine of normal work. As I am a writer of short stories and novels, writing is my work. (And attempting to market that writing, which is a whole other ballgame.)
Anyhow, I quite often get asked how I go about writing my stories. So as this blog is meant to be about my personal experience of the COVID-19 lockdown, I thought it might be fun to describe the process of researching and writing my current novel, a Roman historical mystery set in third century Britain. The working title is Governor’s Man: The Bronze Owl.
Here’s how I began the book.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #7: Filling in Time”
Saturday 4 – Saturday 11 April
I thought this blogpost would be my usual ramble through my life locked away this week. But I was reminded of something much more important, which I want to share with you. And, of course, it’s a book.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #6: Doomsday Book”
Mirror at Midnight
My latest published story. This tiny story is a flash horror, but no gore, I promise you.
Continue reading “In “Fear and Fables””
Saturday 28 March – Friday 3 April 2020
If last week was all about suddenly learning to live a very different life, this week has been about realising this new life could last quite a while.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #5: In for the Long Haul”
The Girl from the Workhouse by Lynn Johnson, published by Amazon
Imagine you’re a young girl aged eleven, Ginnie Jones by name. It’s 1911 in the Staffordshire Potteries. Your father works hard in Chamberlain’s pottery, but life is okay. You live in a tiny terraced house with your parents and your big sister Mabel. And today is your birthday. Even better, though you can’t read, you’re going to be awarded a book prize at Sunday School.
Continue reading “Book review: The Girl from the Workhouse”
Monday 23 – Friday 27 March 2020
We were still adjusting to life with social distancing when I got the dreaded text from the NHS. It seems I am one of the UK’s 1.5 million Rapunzels, “at risk of severe illness” and to be locked away in a tower for twelve weeks. Or until Coronavirus goes away. Whatever.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #4: Lockdown”
Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March 2020
On Friday this week, schools and colleges shut in the UK. This was a great relief to our pregnant teacher daughter-in-law, who had been agonising about going to work in her secondary school ever since the Chief Medical Officer indicated that pregnant women are at increased risk.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #3: Far from the madding crowd?”
Tuesday 17 March 2020
Of all the noteworthy events in my life caused by the Virus so far, one of the hardest to bear has been the sudden closure of our theatre. Sounds petty compared to losing lives, but let me explain. Regular readers will know that we live in the Malvern Hills, a short walk from the pretty Victorian spa resort of Great Malvern. We’re blessed with an unusually large theatre and cinema complex for a small town, attracting audiences from all over the region.
Continue reading “Life in the Time of Coronavirus #2: Testing times”