June newsletter

I’ve just sent out my latest newsletter. If you’re not on the mailing list you can still read it here – and if you’d like to sign up for future mailings, and get a free short story, you can do that here.

Wednesday word of the week – noggin

nogDid you know a noggin was a unit of alcohol? I didn’t. Apparently it’s 1/4 pint.

I’ve only ever used the word to mean ‘head’. My dictionary doesn’t mention that use at all so I’m wondering if anyone else uses it or it’s just one of those weird words my family use.

If I was to drink 1/4 pint of the stuff I’ve got in that glass I’d have a very sore noggin the following morning. (That almost hardly ever happens.)

Apples and cake

TZ50_1961his illustration is for a story I have in the current issue of Allas magazine. Isn’t it gorgeous? Their illustrations are often lovely, but I think this is my favourite.

The story is in Swedish, but here’s a different one in English for you to read.

Wednesday word of the week – yomp.

yompTo yomp is to march with heavy equipment across country. Cameras are heavy. So are lenses. And tripods.

I’m not complaining you understand. I love helping my husband with his work and I’m sure he’d carry my notebook and pen if I asked him to.

Going Medium Green

I’ve started writing herb and gardening articles for a website called Medium. Admittedly this is at least in part to give me an excuse to take lots more pictures, but I also find it interesting to do and there’s the possibility I might make a little money from it.

bflyThe website allows anyone to read up to three stories per month. If you’d like to read more you can subscribe for $5 a month.

Medium call everything from news reports, opinion pieces and factual articles to novel chapters, stories. They also call stories stories!


Here’s my article about the herb fennel. (That’s the feathery stuff shown in the photo at the top of this post.)And here’s one on roses.cowslips

I’ve also uploaded one short story, which just happens to have a gardening theme. You can read it here.

Wednesday word of the week – tepal.

flWednesday word of the week – tepal.

A tepal is an undifferentiated part of a perianth.

You’re welcome.

Oh, OK I’ll go on. You know what a flower petal is. You may have noticed that sometimes behind the petals there are little green things. Those are sepals (or the calyx).

Actually in some plants there are no petals, just sepals which look like petals but don’t worry about that.

In other plants there are both petals and sepals but they all look like petals and it’s impossible to tell petals from sepals. In this case all the pretty bits are called tepals to, you know, make things easier.

Another interview!

I was approached by NFReads.com to answer some questions about my writing. I don’t have many readers in the US. so it seemed like a good opportunity to get a little publicity there. Here’s the interview.

Happy Families

My latest collection of short stories is out today!

Happy Families is a collection of 24 family related tales, available as a paperback, ebook and through kindle unlimited.

HappyFamilies ebookHere’s the blurb –

Being a family is about far more than having a surname in common, but that one thing brought Lorna and Lucy Wainwright together. Their new friendship also helped them see their blood relatives in a more positive way. Daniel thought his son’s poor performance in a school play might discredit his own good name in the acting business – until he heard the boy’s lines. Charlotte Yonge felt like a failure compared with her famous namesake, but her brother kindly agreed she was an idiot.

Mattie ‘Super’ King has no intention of fighting now he’s left the military. Then he learns that his grandson Jack plans to follow in his footsteps and into danger. Veronica is battling against the relentless cheerfulness of her colleague and her mother – at least that’s what she tells herself. Carrie has tried to convince her friends and family that she doesn’t want a houseful of stuff. She thinks they’ve finally got the message until they give her a mountain of gifts for her birthday and she feels she’s never going to win.

Memories and shared stories can help hold a family together, even if sometimes the details do get exaggerated just a little. In the case of Gladys and Betty it’s their varying recollections of the very recent past which threaten to spoil a trip down memory lane – unless they accept they’re both wrong. Sara is reminded of her mother’s reaction to her own childhood rebellion, which helps her deal with her daughter’s bad mood and allows them to build a strong relationship and create a happy moment to look back on.

Families, whether we’re born or married into them, or choose them for ourselves, all have stories to tell. This collection contains 24 of them.

Get the book here, or order through you local bookshop or library.