Saturday, 24 September 2011


I have decided to give some of my time to a very charitable cause.

Red Balloon Learner Centres, rescue severely bullied children who have removed themselves from mainstream school, because they can no longer cope.

Red Balloon Centres provide a safe leaning environment with specialist teachers, so that these children can study until they are ready to return to main stream school, take exams, or get a job.

The founder of Red Balloon Learner Centres set up the first school in her home in Cambridge fifteen years ago. There are six centres open at present in the UK.

Red Balloon is the only organisation in the UK to actually provide a academic tuition for the GCSE and A Level syllabus and exams, as well as counselling.

My time is spent in a most interesting way, and for a very useful cause.

I am involved in raising awareness of this Charity, but also involved with fundraising for this brilliant cause.

For more details and to donate -

Saturday, 10 September 2011

The New Novel

Since my return from Trinidad and Tobago I have got 1/3 of the new novel finished. To date, 27,483 words. All these are new words and do not belong to the start of the previous novel God of the Cocoa.

This WIP is called Granville Girl, or maybe, The Jeweller's Daughter. 
I'll have to see as time goes on....

It is about the dilemma of a devoted mother who is torn between traditional practices and modern ways of thinking. It is modern - 1919! Why does a mother arrange a marriage for her 10 year old daughter? It goes against all wants for her daughter, and she knows that she is breaking an understanding between them both. Why has she done it? And will it come to pass?

                                                   It is about arranged marriage vs education.

It is about new opportunities, or old traditions.

              It is about the diversity of religion - Hindu practices and Christian teachings.

It is about similarities in religion, and freedom of the individual.

                                             It is about childhood and innocence.

       It is about broken promises.

                     It is about the bond between mother and daughter.

       It is about the power of pride and shame in a family.

                            It is about truth and honesty.

It is about lying for a good reason.

                                                       It is about immaturity and innocence.

It is about abuse of vulnerable young people.

                        It is about growing to understand - maturity.

It is about the process of taking responsibility.

      It is about knowing when bad can be good, and good can be bad.

It is about making the biggest decision of your life.

                                           It is about friendships.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Deadlines are a really good idea. You might have one already imposed on you by an outside body, like dates for entry to competitions.

But self imposed deadlines are also effective. However, they should be realistic, otherwise they might not be achievable. They should be there to motivate you to reach the goal post, achieving the target, or at least close enough to the target.

A Birthday is a good deadline. If you have an important birthday, that can be a huge motivation to finish a piece of work by that time. But any birthday, yours or a close family member's birthday can also have a similar motivating effect.

My first attempt to write a novel, was completed within 13 months of a big birthday. At least I got the 120,000 words down. That was an achievement all by itself.