Wednesday word of the week – Pipedream

pipedream is an unattainable or purely fanciful hope or idea. You know, like the hope that when you upgrade one thing on your computer you won’t discover your printer, working practices, hair colour and country of residence are all incompatible and need to be changed before you can do so much as open an email.

Compared with that, becoming a successful novelist seems a perfectly reasonable plan.

I did know the meaning of the word pipedream, but not its origin. It comes from the visions or hallucinations experienced by people smoking opium pipes. Obvious when I think about it – presumably I never had before.

Here’s an opium poppy, I grew. I don’t need to smoke them for them to raise my spirits.

Southsea Market

The Portsmouth Authors Collective will be selling books by local authors at the Love Southsea Market in Palmerston Road this Saturday – 6th April. Drop by to see us and browse through our books.

A Clean Bill Of Health

I have another short story collection out. I actually published it right at the end of March, which means I’ve published a new book every month this year. I’m not guaranteeing to keep that up – although there will definitely be at least one more as the second in my Little Mallow cosy crime series will be out in July.

A Clean Bill Of Health is a collection of 24 short stories. As you may have deduced from the title and cover, these all have a medical theme. Here’s the blurb –

Our health is important, we all know that, even if we sometimes take it for granted. There are so many factors which can affect our health. Things we can help, and things we can’t, from infection, smoking, depression and anxiety to excess weight, accident, injury or conditions we’re born with. All can take a toll on our mental or physical wellbeing.

Lynne doesn’t seek prompt help due to embarrassment over the position of her boil, George worries the strange rash is a result of being bewitched and Emelie thinks she’s the cause of her sister’s avian obsession. Mr Thirlwall’s imagination is running away with him. Helena’s family are a pain in the abdomen. Jack is his own worst enemy. Things do get better for all of them – once their issues are diagnosed and assistance is accepted.

No matter what ails us, there are treatments, coping strategies and cures. The characters in this book explore a few and find ways to feel better, no matter what their medical situation. Whether sick or well, making things worse, helping ourselves or others, we all have stories to tell. This book contains 24 of them.

As with all my books, A Clean Bill Of Health is available to buy as a paperback or ebook, can be read via kindle unlimited, ordered from bookshops or requested in libraries.

Wednesday word of the week – Slight

Slight means of little consequence, barely perceptible or scanty.

If a person is described as slight they’ll be slender or frail looking. If you refer to someone slightingly you’ll be treating them as though they’re insignificant. I think that’s more than slightly rude.

Historically castles were slighted to make them useless for military purposes. This kind of damage can be seen in this photo of Kenilworth.

With Love And Kisses

The ebook version of With Love And Kisses is currently on sale for 99p / 99c.
Here’s the blurb –

Isabelle was dared to go in search of love, Julia attempts to win it, and Beverly searches in the small print. Anne puts on a lavish dress, Angie dons a nice new waterproof jacket and Tracie removes her clothes. All of them want the same thing – to love and be loved. Others use more extreme methods in their quest for romance; marriage brokers and weird dogs, historic ships, even stolen magic dust.

Andrew has proposed to Jemima many times, as part of plays they’ve acted in together. It never meant anything, although when she accepted, he always wished it did. Now it’s her asking him and he doesn’t see the words on his script. What’s going on?

Whether they’re together forever, broken-hearted, or still trying to make it work, anyone who has loved has a story to tell. This collection contains 25 of them.

Get it for 99p / 99c or read through kindle unlimited here.

Wednesday word of the week – Monologue

monolgue is is either a long speech by one person, a dramatic work for one performer or a scene within a longer piece where just one person speaks. I’m not sure if that means anyone who talks to themselves is a monologist whose monological habits cause them to monogolize from time to time, but I expect it’s something like that.

I tried chatting to this chap, but that turned into a monologue.

Wednesday word of the week – Pie

A pie is a baked dish with pastry on the top and bottom (just on the bottom is a tart, just on the top is a gastro pub cheat). Easy as pie means very easy (so why can’t those over-priced pubs get it right?). A pie chart is a representative circle divided into sections.

Pie in the sky* is unrealistic expectations or promises (possibly made when pie-eyed which means drunk) A pie can also be a piebald (black and white) animal or bird, a chaotic mess of printers’ type or a former currency unit in India.

*Not to be confused with pie in Skye which is a picnic on a Scottish island.

Friday phrase – Balls up

Saying someone has made a balls up is a rather rude of saying they’ve made a terrible mess of things. You might well have known that, but do you know the origin of the phrase?

When ships do pretty much anything, intentional or otherwise, they’re supposed to let other vessels know. Often this information is signalled through the ship’s horn and by displaying the appropriate flag(s). In the case of running aground, which really is messing things up, one signal is to display three balls in a vertical line.

A lovely review

Someone has posted a lovely review of my novel Paint Me A Picture, over on Facebook. I particularly like the phrase ‘beautifully undulating’ in the post – at least I do when it’s about my book. I might not be so keen if it referred to the author!

Paint Me A Picture is available here as a paperback, ebook or audio book. You can also request it in libraries.