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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