The Writing Life

I ferl relaxed already.


Campbell River Spit

Each morning, I start my writing session by opening a document called Warm-Up Pages. I put my fingers down on the keyboard and type without stopping for five minutes of wild writing – anything and everything that comes into my head. The wildness of that opening exercise kick starts me into serious work. Before I know it, I’ve got my draft document open and I’m on my way.

My current work in process – book five in the Crater Lake series – topped out at 21,500 words this afternoon. I’ve got most of the first two chapters written and seventeen of the thirty characters I want to hear from our now on the written page.

I thought I’d share a few excerpts from my warm-up pages. I can type a lot in five minutes chunks everyday but most of it is as you would expect warming up and stretching to…

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Searching for the Perfect Writing Spot

What an interesting writing life! Thanks for the photographs.


Emma at the desk

There is no such thing as the perfect writing spot. We all know that. Though, I must say, granddaughter Emma looks almost perfect right where she sits at my desk. And my son, Doug, looks pretty productive, too.

Doug at my desk

There are simply writers who sit down and write. Wait around for the perfect spot and you won’t be writing much. And yet … periodically, I disrupt our whole house as I attempt to fulfill this most illusory need.

Our cabin is somewhat unconventional. Right angles and doors are rare. Open concept is taken to the limit. Finding my perfect writing space has been a challenge that is as much about my personality as it is about the house. I like a change now and then. Over the years, I have had my desks in at least eight areas of this small cabin. I’m sorry to tell you that the first few…

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A January Blog


Blood Moon.

Darker grows the moon,

A blood red rose entwined.

Deeper in its heart,

Strange within my mind.

A winter combination

To set your dreams adrift,

Following into nightmares,

 So swift, so dark, so swift!

Deeper is the moon,

Red is seeping through,

Soaking up the golden,

See what she can do.

The light she shines is dimming,

A tarnished silver thread,

The shaking of bare branches

As the light she sheds has sped.

Her journey round our planet

Takes you through a shadow grey,

But only for a moment,

When our dreams depart, for day.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward. January, 2019.

A January Blog   24/28-1-19.

The month of January is whizzing away.  Christmas is a long gone memory and now we have had a touch of snow, here in the south, near London, UK, typical for the weather of the last few years where we have had much warmer temperatures than these islands used to have in winter, but we get cold sharp spells in January or February.  Bulbs send up shoots often in November rather than in early  February  ( like they used to do in the years of colder winters) , often to their detriment.

I can remember frosty Christmas Eves, when Dad, finished from his work, would take  me on a bus ride a few miles away.  It was a shopping trip to get the fruit and vegetables to last over the holidays.

The stretch of shops contained several greengrocers, eager for your cash, who would ply you with  quarters of oranges, to taste, in the bitterly cold mi.  A ploy indeed for you to buy from their shop front, rather than all the others.

I remember, we got on the bus to home loaded down with carrier bags chock full of oranges, apples, tangerines, sprouts, potatoes, plums etc.  We almost didn’t make it without a bag bursting sometimes.  Our hands felt numb from the weight and frozen from the cold, even wearing gloves.

How the temperatures have changed, certainly, in the south of England.  Is this a result of Global Warming?  I am not sure.  I think this globe has had changes throughout its life.  Admittedly, they have been over longer periods.  At one point, these islands were mostly covered in ice.  

In my opinion, we, human beings and more recently, our inventions, put together, of first steam trains, motor vehicles, factories using coal to power their engines and now powered electricity ALL play their part in filling the air with emissions that must affect weather conditions.  Not to mention erupting volcanoes, both on land and under the sea, tsunamis, hurricanes.

And then there were wars!  Lots of junk filling the air.  And of course, atomic weapons.  Then in later years,  the odd reactor breaking loose.  All  these events  must play a part in disrupting the winds, if nothing else.  This, in turn, causes all kinds of global changes.  It is, of course, only my opinion and you can totallly disregard it, call it bunkem.  Your choice.

 Would also like to mention that, at one time, we were noted for our rain.  Summer 2018, we had a whole two months of hot sunshine, which, I will point out, is quite unusual.   In times past, there have been the odd very long cold and snowy conditions.  But, yet again, they are in the past, and I partially quote ‘the past is a different country’!

Thank  you for reading my dabbles into this and that.  Do keep safe out in this ever changing world.



What an interesting blog! We all do it, dream, I mean. Some never remember, others only part of dreams and some we would rather forget. The ‘nightmares’ I means. All in all, a fascinating subject

The Silent Eye

Six a.m. on a Sunday… I groaned and turned off the alarm clock. I hadn’t been sleeping well, or enough, and did not want to obey the imperative summons… especially not on a day when, historically, most folks get to sleep later. As I clawed my way through the fleeing remnants of a dream in which I had been dreaming about dreaming, I wondered about the whole sleep thing. We are supposed to spend about a third of our lives in slumber. Is that a design flaw, a superb bit of physical engineering or a gift? Maybe it is all three, or perhaps that depends on where you are standing.

There has been a huge amount of research done on the need for and benefits of sleep, from both the physical and psychological perspectives. We have identified the stages of sleep, the way the mind solves problems and the body…

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2019. 3 Comments

Going Silent and Coming Back

For those bloggers/writers who have hit that wall, lost their Amuse.


Jar Room Wonder

Well, WordPress followers … if you’re still out there … I’ve gone silent since September 18th, 2018 with my Lady Ashburn Mustard Pickles post. What a post to go out on. By the way, those pickles are so delicious! Okay, all kidding aside, months can fly by when one is filling non-writing time with food preservation, road trips, holidays and sock knitting.

Happy feet

There are about a hundred good posts in the above activities, but this blog is supposed to be all about writing. If I come to a dry spell again, I might start an all about non-writing blog. Then again, not writing really meant not writing. I have been hard pressed to put something as short and simple as an email together.

Let’s talk writing blocks. Every author has them. Getting my last book () out in 2017 was a huge effort – faster than usual…

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First December Blog

First December Blog  5-12-18


There is no snow around me,

No frost or freezing air,

It’s dismal, cloudy and rainy,

But really  I don’t care.

I’m happy that the weather

Is mild as it can be,

Even though December

Should be colder than you see.

And great to have a Christmas

All fluffy white with snow,

But isn’t it a bother

As round the stores you go? 

Now twinkling lights are pretty

With Santas, stars,so bright,

Windows in the shopping Mall

Are filled with brilliant light.

It is the fifth of December,

Only twenty days to go,

We’re stocking up for Christmas,

Cup of Cheer, and Ho Ho Ho.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward.  December, 2018.

Yes, a rainy damp and dismal day.  But quite mild for this time of year.

England’s winter has been mild for several years.  We, here in the southern part, do not get much snow most winters, so that when snow does visit us, it is unusual, and it does not last very long.  We are all surprised when it does happen.  Last year, we had a couple of days worth.

There have been odd times when the white stuff has come, and stayed for a week or two,  but that is rare now.

Last season, the spring bulbs started growing very early, October/November because the weather was so warm.  I think they are later this year.  I 

wonder if this is a portent?

My tree is now up, it is strung with pretty lights.  I slight change from last year when I had pastel coloured lights.  It has no other decorations at the moment.  I did buy some sparkly pine cones, but in the journey home,  huge amounts of sparkles left the cones to cling to the plastic box.  So, guess what?  They are going back for a refund.

All my cards went a couple of weeks ago.  Surprised myself at how organised I am this year.  (Normally I am a ‘tail-end Charley).

How do you all celebrate the Holiday?  Mine will be very quiet, as always, watching special films we  like at Christmas.  No plans as yet, as to which ones, there are so many.  The old b/w A Christmas Carol, Elf, The Christmas Good Life, Christmas Porridge, Home Alone, there are many others.

This fills up time, so the holiday goes fast.  At my age, I like peace.  I have been to lots of parties in my time.  My wider family always came to us at Christmas when I was young.  Dancing, singing into the early hours.  Mum and dad used to buy several ‘gas mantles’ as, ‘when we all let our hair down’, hands accidentally touched a ‘mantle, insitu’, breaking the delicate object and leaving us without light, until it had cooled down and new one set in.  Happy memories.

Football played a part at Christmas.  The men went to the local football club, both Christmas Day and Boxing Day, whilst the sisters ( my mum, aunt Annie and aunt May were in the kitchen getting the meal ready and having a good old ‘chinwag’.  I do not have many photos of those years, most of my family have gone now, only the odd one or two photographs to remind me.  The pictures are all in my head.

I have other Christmas memories, they are a comfort, when I pass, they will be lost to time.  Not maudlin, just thinking!

Be careful out in this world, be you driving a vehicle, getting on a bus or just walking, or any activity.  Life gets hectic around this Holiday and if you are not on your toes, things can happen.  There are mad people in this world doing just what they want, no matter if they hurt others.




This entry was posted on December 6, 2018. 1 Comment

Whispers of Babylon

What wonderful vision! Enjoyed thus blog immensly. Evelyn.

The Silent Eye

It is unlike anything you’ve seen before. If you were raised, like I was, on sci-fi, you’ll recognise the soaring structures that look like other-worldly trees; whose job is to be a framework for a vast array of green life embedded in the vertical lattices.

Those paintings were by Christopher Fosse, whose futuristic artwork graced the covers of many of the sci-fi novels of the 1970s and 80s. Yet, here, they are made real and carry a message far more important than most found in that genre: they speak of botanical science made hope…

We’re at Gardens by the Bay, on Singapore’s southern tip. It’s a vast set of interlinked gardens and walkways with the combination of these ‘trees’ and two vast domes dominating the skyline. If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Singapore, you will know how ‘green’ the city is – in every way. The founder of modern…

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A Walk with dogs, The Lune and St Michael

Beatifilly shown and recounted. Evelyn

The Silent Eye

The Lune Valley is always worth exploring. The river Lune rises as a stream near Ravenstone Dale, Cumbria, and gathers momentum and volume as it winds towards the sea at Lancaster and its one time port, Glasson Dock. Devil’s Bridge, above, is, perhaps its most famous landmark, and was once the main highway between Yorkshire and the north Lancashire region – prior to the rejigging of the ancient counties that created Cumbria from Westmorland and bits of old Lancashire.

It is near Kirkby Lonsdale that the Lune Valley is at its most beautiful. We jumped at the chance to be part of a sponsored walk along the river and duly met up with the other participants in the Sun Inn, in the centre of the town, where we began the day with the time-honoured breakfast of walkers: the bacon butty…

The landlord of the Sun Inn, himself a dog owner…

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First November Blog


First November Blog. (7-11-18)

A Song of November.

The sky is misty, coloured grey,

More leaves fall from the trees,

And darker evenings are here,

A chill in the air, and some freeze.

Daylight is shorter, in November,

We’ve lost the summer sun birds,

Meadows are quieter it seems,

Cows are gathering in herds.

Sheep bleat on crag and moreland,

Shivering as wind blows strong,

Bare beaches braving winter waves,

Crashing on sand, all along.

A weak sun tries to break through,

A yellowing light over all,

Stillness descends in the garden,

Portent keeps us in thrall.

Trees have a greenish brown aura,

Soon branches appear, stick thin,

Winter will soon be upon us,

Endure it, we must, with a grin.

Copyright Evelyn J. Steward.  November, 2018.

A Look Back In Time.

A few days ago I had to go to a London hospital.  That was o.k., I had transport.  What I did find was hiw much the area had changed.

I used to work at Paddington, not a million  miles away.  It took me back to those days when I was fifteen to seventeen years of age.  I worked in  a building just across from the end of the platforms, as a Tracer.

There were several of us young people working in the same department, tracing dicuments of goods thaat had ‘gone astray’.   Some of the guys were a couple of years older but around the similar mark.

We had some fun.  It was the 1950s.  High-heeled shoes, bouffant or slim skirts.   Not sure what music was on at around that time.  Thought it was Cliff Richard eith ‘Living Doll’.  But I just checked it out and that was published in 1959, so it could not  have been.

We girls used to go get the bus, during our lunch our, past St. Marys Hospital.  Then we got another bus into Oxford Street, where we looked at high-heeled shoes, fresh off the boat, supposedly from America.  With hindsight, they may not have been.  You must realise that the second world war had only just finished a few years previously.  But these shoes were not in boxes.  They had holes in the top of the heels where string held them on racks.  I was drawn ta specual mettalic pair, and had them a long time.

Our lunch hour stretched to two by the time we got buses back to work.  But our boss was very good about it.  There was a good canteen, two floors below our ground level.  Someone would send out the word that they had cherry pie or pineapple tart. We would send down an order and pick them up for everyone later.  Good times.

Occasionally the home train was late, but not often.  It was a bit of a drag.  Could not do that journey now.  But would not work up there now if I had a job

What I found, on this recent trip to London was, the tall buildings enclose the city, as never did when I did workeup there.  I almost frlt as uf I coukd not breathe up there.   So busy, more so than a few years ago when I took my friend up to do shopping.  Like ants scrabbling around.  Tall buildings situated almost higgldy piggdly, looming over the roads.  They felt threataning!

London has lots to offer.  I used to like going up different parts.  Harrods has so many departments, wonders untold.  One year we found their Christmas Hall ( quite small then) and saw  of all colours, including PINK.  The decorations were fabulous too.

My friend and I would wend our way through, what i presumed, was the main entrnce.  There was a piano, iften being played, and then through thoerfime and makeup halls.  Oh, and the chicolate hall, yummy.   As I said before, would not like to do that now.   Is it just my age?  When buildings were shorter, I felt it was the London I knew.  Now, I am a stranger in a strange land.

Be safe out there.  Be as happy as you can be.








Too much light…

I see your point and, how do we know? Only time may revel this, or not.

The Silent Eye

The soft colours of dawn were painting the sky as I left for work. The village streets, preternaturally quiet now that the schools were on holiday, were, for once, easy to negotiate. Parked cars take up half the width of every street and, on a school day and with oncoming traffic, getting out of the village becomes a slalom exercise in courtesy and patience.

By the time I reached the long stretch into town, the sun was cresting the horizon, setting fire to the skyline and casting long shadows across the road. Another mile, a bend in the road, and the brilliant disc had revealed itself in all its golden glory. I, and every other motorist in the now-queuing traffic, hit the brakes, dazzled by the low-lying orb on a road that runs due east.

There is, I thought, such a thing as too much light.

As the traffic crawled…

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