lizgoes

Writing moving into the digital world

Thursday March 5th 2015

Still in limbo.

Friday May 16th 2014

 

 Only a week to go to Finchley Literary Festival              http://greenacrewriters.blogspot.co.uk/p/festival-eventsoverview.html  

It has been fun getting involved and there is a great programme. 

Apologies poor neglected blog, I've been busy doing other things, like entering competitions and editing a manuscript for a spooky novel for tweenagers. I think I'm on draft umpteen with help from Greenacre/Finchley Writers' Finish thst Novel group! 

One story I wrote, which won a competition, began:  

From Bagamoyo to Zanzibar by Dhow

Was that ‘Sudden and Unexpected Deaths’ printed on the tattered red spine of that old, black foolscap notebook?  Even more alarming, our names were being laboriously copied into it. 

I love the adjudicator's comment (below):  if you want to read the rest of the story you'll have to buy a copy of The Greenacre Writers Third Anthology which will be launched on Sunday 25th May at Cafe Buzz

 

 

Tuesday December 3rd 2013

On the last day of our visit to Nairobi, bags packed and I've finally found some internet and a moment to type. There will be lots to write about when we get back; a wedding with Ismaili and Goan traditions, life in Nairobi and an 'interesting' fishing trip. Oops, time up!

Saturday October 26th 2013

We're back in Hendon after a magic week in the Moray Riviera. (Londoners don't always believe this.) One car every few miles beats 4 lanes of cars, vans and lorries nose to tail on the A41, that's for sure. And I had to share this picture of the crowded beach at Findhorn in the sun last Tuesday, October 15th.

 

 

It was a pleasure to visit Elgin Writers after a while. Thank you my sister Margaret for my birthday present of membership and thank you Stephen Leitch for choosing my Zanzibar story as the winner. The exotic setting helped I'm sure. All the stories were brilliant and it was good to see the club so vibrant, helped by President Keith Mitchell's amusing poems. I wonder what the third disaster poem's going to be about.

The SAW (Scottish Association of Writers) Write up North Workshop Day with Award Ceremony was uplifting too, helped by the beautiful venue, Inverness Town House and inspirational writers such as Maggie Craig, Keith Charters, Mandy Haggith and Rosemary Gemmell, all four excellent value. The day, the first in Inverness, was very well organised by the SAW committee and I'm sure 'Write up North' will happen again and grow in size and reputation.

Mandy Haggith's workshop - a taste of the joys of getting close to nature in, as she says, the most beautiful part of the world. 

 Write up North: Oct 19th 2013

Poetry Workshop: Mandy Haggith

(Mandy lives where the woods meet the sea on a wooded croft in Assynt, Sutherland and writes poetry, non-fiction and lyrical novels with a poet’s touch. Her first novel, The Last Bear, won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award.) See http://www.saraband.net/

Mandy brought a poetry ‘box’ filled with natural things from ‘where the land meets the sea’ such as shells, stones, seaweed, rowan berries, a buttercup, clover, different coloured leaves etc.

She then described the box as having a top and bottom, front and back and 2 sides = 3 pairs = 3 couplets in a poem. She believes in the need for structure and form.

We each chose an item and wrote down as many random thoughts about it as came to mind. Then we had to pick out phrases we liked to answer the following three questions – loosely:

·         What are the strengths and weaknesses of your objects?

·         Think about the origins of and ambitions for it.

·         What opportunities are open to it and what threats face it?

We then wrote a poem of 6 lines in 3 couplets. The results were varied and interesting but everyone produced something!

E J Goes 20/10/13

Another great venue for a Literary Festival. 

 Image Avenue House, donated by 'inky' Stephens (how appropriate for writers) to the people of Finchley will be home to part of the Finchley Literary Festival next May. WATCH THIS SPACE. 

Saturday September 28th 2013

Oh my giddy ghost, the protagonist in my last story took off across the world in my dreams last night. I might have to follow her! 

Here I am at home while he, often on the golf course, is on the golf course so I'm wondering what my heroine is up to so, with a few hours to kill ...

Saturday September 21st 2013

Phew. One big print off, one chapter at a time, each checked along the way, done! Best not look at the m/s again in case I find something that I think needs changing.Time to rest.

Thursday September 19th

I'm sitting looking at a very battered dictionary with pages falling out, warmed by a blanket round my shoulders( from Kathmandu incidentally, very warm and pretty) because I refuse to turn the heating on. I was going to put away my fine-tooth comb (refer to said dilapidated dictionary - is it one word or two or hyphenated?) but he, not on the golf course today, has found a to night on page 31 of the hard copy of my recently completed manuscript. Darn it, I've just double-spaced it so page 31 could be anywhere. Done! It is now tonight. Hey, writers, do you find it scary to press a button which is going to totally change the look of what you've been slaving at for as long as you can remember? For the life of me, I can't imagine how these early writers managed with a feather and an inkwell! Anyway, m/s (double-spaced on 1 side of A4 size 12 Times New Roman font) + synopsis + chapter by chapter summary + generic covering letter = the beginning of the hard bit.

Required reading: the Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2014 

Preferred reading: 'I Capture the Castle' by Dodie Smith - what a delight! How's this for an opening?Quote: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I'm really comfortable, and there's a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more.'

Don't you love 17 year old Cassandra who's writing this in a sixpenny book with a stub of a pencil? I know I'm going to love this book - again. There's always something new to find because every sentence is a gem. I'm sure the Lovely Ladies at the book group tonight will have enjoyed it too - and we'll talk about it for much more than 5 minutes before we tuck into our bring a dish dinner. Possibly. 

Tomorrow, the big print off and hunt through C W&A Yearbook. You have to try! 

Saturday August 24th 2013

Waiting for baby grandaughter to come so just enough time to say how much I enjoyed reading the proof version of 'Friern Barnet Library Occupied and Opened' a collection of perspectives edited by Rosie Canning of Greenacre Writers. This is an amazing story. 

Monday August 19th 2013

Where has the time gone? Swanwick, The MAGICAL Writers' Summer School is over and I wasn't there. However It was good to see Facebook pictures of old friends - and special thanks to Katy Clarke's virtual Swanwick, Elizabeth Dulcie's daily blog and the usual pix of daft, wine-soaked high jinks in fancy dress, or calm moments of meditation, I feel as if I was almost there! I missed you all, you lovely people - so roll on next year!

Despite busy times, I've managed to put scruffy pencil to battered notebook at odd moments AND NOW that's all typed up, I can say the 32,000 word story for tweenagers has been drafted - and now it must be crafted. It feels like a big lump of clay with a beginning, a MUDDLE and an end. (I can't remember who I stole that from but it's a good description.)  Now comes the hard bit: shaping it, cutting it, adding a bit here and there, making sure the bits all fit and remembering the rule 'Thou shalt not bore'. I'm sure if I took more time and care I could make a poem out of that lot - but not today; I'm off to 'murder my darlings', weed out the superfluous and knock the cliches on the head.

Then it will be the dreaded synopsis and concise covering letter and the long wait for the inevitable rejections. But, fellow writers, despite the ease of digital self publication, we have to keep trying! 

Saturday July 27th 2013

The Swanwick fans are getting excited and I'm going to really miss my annual injection of inspiration. By this time I'd be highlighting everything I want to do on the programme and beginning to make travel plans and decide what silly outfits would be needed for evening events - and of course, trekking through the internet finding out about all the famous speakers.

It looks like a great programme (despite no outing and no course run by Benjamin who will be busy 'ont cmmitty')- and I'm delighted to read that Sue Pettit from Watford has got a first for Childrens' writing!  I hope everyone has a lovely week.

Off to batten down the hatches as the thunderstorms are finally rumbling! 

 

Thursday July 25th 2013

Excited to note that the SAW conference 2014 is going to be at Westerwood Hotel and Golf Resort, Cumbernauld. It looks beautiful and I'd love to be there. Intrigued by the Write Up North near Inverness too. I hope it's at a time and place I can make (if my lovely sister can give me a bed and I remember to renew my membership with Elgin Writers.)

'New Moon Rising', a collection of poems by Anuradha Gupta is a beautiful publication and an uplifting read. It arrived yesterday and I've read it from cover to cover.

I'm afraid I didn't make the planning meeting for the 2014 Greenacre Literary Festival; the washing machine arrived at 7:15 p.m. but it was the wrong size so I was left with a space where the old one had been and a bit of clearing up (and a husband at a meeting). HOWEVER, dear readers, see greenacrewriters.blogspot for details of a short story competition, closing date 30th September! Winning entries to be published in The Greenacre Writers' Anthology Volume 3 

Must get back to the tweeny novel - the protagonist's family are on their way to Loch Ness via Gretna Green and heading for the past!

 

Monday July 22nd 2013

We woke up to thunder and lightning following by a short, sharp shower and a welcome drop in temperature. You could be forgiven for feeling as if it was more Mombasa than London. 

Tonight there's a feedback from 2013 and planning meeting for a 3rd Greenacre Literary Festival in Finchley in 2014. Have a look at greenacrewriters.blogspot.co.uk for details of this busy group run by Lindsay Bamfield and Rosie Canning. (I'm hoping to get there if my much needed replacement washing machine comes early enough in the 3pm - 7pm slot.)

Tonight Watford Writers watfordwriters.co.uk have invited writers to bring along their latest works to read out for their edification and delight (by John Ward). One of these days, I'll traipse along the M1 again to visit them but it's a bit of a drive - especially in the oldest car in the car park with no air con and a tendency to steam up in the cold and rainy weather.

Sadly the lovely little Monday morning writers group in Kenton has been disbanded due to the death of one of its founder members.

I am wishing that I was going to Swanwick Writers' Summer School again but family commitments won't allow that this year. (I haven't missed it for 7 years.) Have a great time lovely Swanwickers! See you next year! swanwickwritersschool.co.uk will tell you all about what they are up to!

STOP PRESS: I've just ordered 'New Moon Rising' by Anuradha Gupta 

The 'Literary Timetable' (mine) these days is pretty full and it will require discipline to make sure I produce some decent writing.

The TBR shelf is growing! 'Persuasion' by Jane Austen is on the list for one Book Group but luckily it was on the list for the other one (I've dropped down to two) so I have re read it recently. We are reading 'I Capture the Castle' by Dodie Smith for the other group. I'm not going to list the MANY books I've been devouring, now that I have the time in retirement but here are some more recent reads with my own star rating attached:

'Infinite Sky' by C. J. Flood - a young adult, debut novel ***** (beautifully written)

'May we be Forgiven' by A.M. Homes ****

'Black Diamonds' by Catherine Bailey *****

'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte ****

'White Mughals' by William Dalrymple *****

'Shirley' by Charlotte Bronte **** (underestimated) finally read after 'ahem' years; it was a primary school prize - how ridiculous!

'Cheri' by Collette *** (book club rather than my own choice but fun)

'Never Let Me Go' by Kazuo Ishiguro ***** (my choice)

Dear Lupin by Roger and Charlie Mortimer *** (very funny but I was the only one in the group of ladies who thought so.)

'Globish' by Robert McCrum and 'Globish the World Over' by Jean Paul Nerriere and David Hon (research)

'A Scots Quair' the Lewis Grassic Gibbon trilogy - re read again to take me back to my roots.***********

'The Poisonwood Bible' by Barbara Kingsolver ****

TOO MANY - PERHAPS MORE LATER.

(Someone's computer has crashed and they need this one!) 

 

 

Saturday July 20th 2013

Long time no connection. After many months of reading a lot and writing very little, it's back to trying again. Today, I want to share my Amazon comment on David Goodhart's The British Dream' :

 Mrs. E. J. Goes says:

As a Scot married to an East African Asian whom I met while we were both teaching in Africa, and as a teacher in a N W London Comprehensive school with all its wonderful diversity, I could not agree more with this balanced, hard-hitting, brave analysis of what's going on in Britain (and the world) today. Of course, like many others, I have a dream, no a conviction, that we are moving towards harmony and mutual respect, despite the horrible hiccups that are upsetting us along the way, right now. However, we need the dialogue and the metaphorical fisticuffs before that can happen. Thank you, David Goodhart, for articulating what I could only try to do; I'm not sure what I managed to get across through 3 volumes of fictionalised memoir. What I do know is that I simply couldn't NOT write the books: 'Fusion', 'The Cosmopolites' and 'The Not Quite English Teacher' by Eliza Jane Goes. Thank you for the food for thought. (By the way, my husband claimed not one penny in benefits when we came here back in 1977.)

(There, that wasn't so bad for a bit of an internetphobic! (Is that a word?) It is now.) 

 

I must add that, to get COMPLETELY away from memoir, I've chosen to write a spooky story for tweenagers. Guess what, your life and experiences still manage to worm their way in, no matter what you write. More later.  

 

 

Saturday, March 24th 2012

Why do we writers write? Perhaps it's because we can't not write.

Why do readers read? Perhaps people are looking for something more interesting or exciting than their lives.

I reckon we all need stories - at least one a day from books, magazines, newspapers, TV, Cinema and now e readers like Kindle, iPad + many more and mobile phones. Dickens serialised stories in the newspaper were the Eastenders of his day. Now youngsters (of all ages) are getting their stories on their phones.

An interesting statistic in these days of dwindling newspaper sales: according to Radio 4 this morning, The Daily Mail is the world's most popular paper on line (45 million downloads) beating even the New York Times by around half a million downloads. It's a Brave New Digital World.

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Why do printer cartridges run out at the same time, and just when you need to print out  IMMEDIATELY? Problem solved and the following is ready:

This page has some suggestions re self-publishing - advice I wish I'd be given.

Greenacre Writers: March 24th 2012: Notes on Self-Publishing

There has never been a better time to publish either a printed book or e book without having to find a traditional literary agent or mainstream publisher. Short stories, especially flash fiction, non-fiction articles and poetry are also being read by people of all ages on all kinds of electronic devices. A tidal wave of writing has moved into the digital age.

HOWEVER, self-published writing should be properly edited and proof read. Traditional publishers are quick to point out that most self-published writing is crap. Some is, but it is up to writers to produce the best work they can with help if needed.  There is always something new to learn.   

Writers need to avoid being taken for a ride by unnecessarily expensive publishers. Happily these are becoming fewer in number. The internet and writers’ magazines are inundated with ads for affordable publishing companies. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND MAKE YOUR CHOICE(S).

DON’T GIVE UP HOPE OF FINDING A TRADITIONAL AGENT OR PUBLISHER: IF YOU BUILD UP AN INTERNET PROFILE through Facebook, Twitter, your own or other people’s websites or blogs to display your writing, you may well be noticed.

Things to watch out for:

1.       Why do you want to write? If you want the best seller, read lots in your genre and think of a traditional publisher. If you just want to reach readers, you can publish an e book for nothing – through kindle. If you want a printed book and can’t wait forever, and need help, find a reasonably priced Print on Demand publishing company.

2.       Get a professional editor – even two, one for structure and one for copy editing (and/or join a Greenacre Writers Finish That Novel group.)

3.       Get a professional design – unless you’re sure you can do it yourself.

4.       Don’t let a publisher sell you a huge print run of copies without knowing where you’re going to sell them. Use Print on Demand

5.       Price your book competitively if you can. (Hard if you’ve got the wrong company.)

6.       Don’t pay too much for things you can learn to do for yourself.

7.       Be prepared to spend a lot of time on marketing, and keep on doing it until you build up a profile. Signings, launches, events, radio interviews, press releases, personal contact, email campaigns, promotional videos, your own or other writers’ websites and blogs, going to writers’ schools, conferences, putting ads in magazines, asking readers to review your writing on Amazon or in blogs …social media sites like facebook, twitter, linked in + anything unique to your writing.

8.       Keep writing other things while you’re marketing – if you have the time!!!     

Some useful websites with advice: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/      http://www.selfpublishingmagazine.co.uk/     www.wow-womenonwriting.com/46-FE3-Self-Publishing,html        http://www.completelynovel.com/                          www.underdown.org/self-publish = by a traditional publisher.   

‘A Step by Step Guide to Writing and Publishing your Book’ by John Smale of http://www.emp3books,com/  can be downloaded on kindle through http://www.amazon.co.uk/  

 

This page is about what happened to me. I'm hoping all is not lost.My Experience of trying to get published and how I self-published – Liz Goés

·         Went to Swanwick Writers’ School http://www.swanwickwritersschool.co.uk/  in August 2006 after retiring from teaching in July 2006.

·         Typed 120,000 words of fictionalised memoir in 3 months

·         Sent m/s to Rebecca Smith, Bloomsbury author and Writers’ Workshop editor found through Harry Bingham of http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/ and followed advice.

·         Sent polished m/s out to many agents and publishers, synopses, covering letters and 3 chapters printed off and posted, got several rejections but some with positive comments. Twice sent 400 pages + images for cover of ‘Fusion’ when requested to. When rejected again, decided to try self-publishing. Met a Trafford agent at The London Book Fair.

·         Sent CD and printed m/s of Fusion + images, author info, blurbs etc. to Trafford http://www.trafford.com/ in Oxford and very quickly was sent a proof copy which I was allowed to amend once. For £999 I got the copyright of my book + 50 free books (sold at £10 each), website coverage, posters, postcards, bookmarks, e mail marketing to major bookshops and internet sites, a book review in an American magazine and author copies to sell myself at cost price. Expensive but I liked what they did and I quickly covered the cost. Borders, W.H. Smith and Waterstones stocked copies locally and in Bristol, Leicester, Elgin and Nairobi where I had signings after press releases. I was helped by bulk orders from a few schools. Sadly Trafford are now part of author solutions in USA so the cost of buying copies and having them shipped is too high. Video promotion by Trafford has increased sales in USA but won’t in UK until I do some marketing myself.

·         Decided to go with a British middle-priced Print on Demand publisher http://www.fast-print.net/ for my second book The Cosmopolites  I like the product but the company had little time to communicate or meet deadlines and I haven’t used any of their marketing services. I organised a book launch and 2 signings only, and Amazon sales are ticking over. 2 book clubs have ordered copies. I feel the price is too high to buy directly from the FastPrint website but they wouldn’t budge. Also they want £250 for an e version.

·         My new book The Not Quite English Teacher is being published by emp3books http://www.emp3books.com/ after help from Greenacre Writers Finish That Novel group. John Smale is very approachable and will produce a printed book for £300, help to market it and add an e version for no extra cost. This is probably still a bit expensive but I need the support.

·         Now I am concentrating on trying to sell all three books through a launch, signings, press releases, advertising cards/flyers/bookmarks etc. + building up an internet profile through http://lizgoes.webs.com/  http://www.elizajanegoesahead,com/ other peoples blogs, facebook and twitter. I AM STILL LEARNING!

·         There are cheaper publishers like http://www.publishnation.co.uk/ 02082655930 who are creating a printed book from a word document for £75. They are part of http://www.lulu.com/  I also considered http://www.newgenerationpublishing.info/ 01933665340 - but there are many others.

·         If you want to make your own kindle e book, try http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or google the many sites which tell you how to - like http://www.smashwords.com/   – or iBooks Author for apple.

·         I believe a quick and easy free website can be built through http://www.moonfruit.com/ but again there are many others like http://www.wordpress.org/

But first, enjoy writing and editing those stories, poems or novels at a rate of _________ words a day. (You decide) 

                                         That's quite enough brainwork for today!.

A plug for my sister Margaret Woodward's book 'Kilbaddy' which is on http://www.authonomy.com/ . Please read and comment if you get time.

 

Tuesday March 20th 2012

 

The poem I mentioned yesterday is polished and sent; I may decide to share it with you after it hasn't won the competition.

Meantime here's another poem which is tucked into a suitable chapter in 'The Not Quite English Teacher'. An adjudicator made no mention of the pathos, liked its vibrancy as a performance poem but suggested it needed some changes to give it a better rhythm. Any suggestions?

Fade out the Bad and the Sad

Where have you come from my lovelies

Yout ebony skin so shiny

and your eyes so bright but so sad?

What on earth could have been so bad?

 

What in your world was the trouble

that brought you to freeze in this cold?

Distressed, haunted eyes - never glad.

What tragedy turned them so sad?

 

Your new, white, school shirts are perfect

but not your second hand blazers

Your papers say, 'No mum or dad.'

I guess that's why your eyes are so sad.

 

Two silent children, hand in hand,

not ready to join in the fray.

Those smouldering eyes still so sad

I so long to make them look glad.

 

Schooling it says, 'Non-existent.'

Level of English: 'Beginner.'

Where are the sounds that tune in 'glad'

and fade out the 'bad' and the 'sad'?

 

A tentative, 'What is your name?'

is answered with questioning stares.

Silence, no words, certainly no 'glad'

hovers in a hushed mist of 'sad'.

 

'I Hada, he Abdul,' she says.

I smile and at last they smile too.

Is this the switch to light up 'glad'

and turn off the darkness of 'bad'?

 

'She sister, I brother,' he cries,

his smile lighting up his new world.

'I teacher,' I say, feeling bad that

I missed out 'am your' - but I'm glad.

                        *

 

 

 

 

 

Monday March 19th 2012

 

Today is the first day of my new disciplined writing life. After a 9:30 Aerobics class at LA Fitness to kick start body and mind, I'll be sending in the final touches to 'The Not Quite English Teacher' to John Smale at emp3books, waiting for the paperback and e versions and taking his advice on how to go about marketing them.

I may give Watford Writers a miss tonight (mainly because of the journey) although I always enjoy their meetings when I do get there.

Instead I'll polish up a poem for Elgin Writers, prepare a presentation on my experiences of self publishing for a Greenacre Writers workshop in Finchley on Saturday 24th March, sort out a sponsorship form for an abseil I'll foolishly be doing (Sunday May 6th) to raise money for a young writer to go to Swanwick Writers' School and finish reading Victoria Hislop's 'The Thread' (brilliant) for a reading group which is probably more a bring a dish for dinner group. Is something telling you I've taken on too much?.

Then, with the decks cleared, I'm going to get on with that exciting new writing project -when I decide what it is. Right now I have several amazing first sentences ready to hook readers of various genres. Which one will it be?

But first I need to go to the gym.

Talk to you tomorrow.

  

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Wed. March 21st

Spent the morning reading magazines and blogs on self publishing and e books in preparation for the Greenacre Writers Workshop on Saturday 24th March.

Enjoyed 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' - loads of LOL lines and some tears too.

Liked 'When I want your opinion I'll give you it.'

We wondered, too, if we'd celebrate our ruby wedding with a minute's silence. Great Script.

 

STEEP LEARNING CURVE!

Building this site is proving to be tricky for a technowally like me. No idea where the pix went,  And I've only just discovered how to access it without going to the welcome e mail. Onwards and Upwards or into the ether!

Until tomorrow. (R these blogs getting shorter?) Must dig out some haiku - or write some more) Exhausted by technological tensions and insecurities. Kindle e book? Pff!)

 

 

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Thurs March 22nd 2012

Has anyone figured out how to get the latest diary entry at the top?

Feeling pleased with myself. I've told three people about this website. The first one (Janet) was by accident and it was a pleasant surprise because that was on Facebook. The second person had a block on me oh dear but got it via FB and the third person I told by e mail. None of these people are famous authors yet or likely agents or publishers but I hope they sign in anyway.

Today's offering is a bit of flash fiction which might be entertaining but probably wouldn't sell: Please tell me if you can see why. (Here I'm going to try to copy and paste. Let's see if it works. Yes!!) 

A Chip off the old Block?

‘So exquisite.’

She held the teeny-weeny foot between one finger and thumb running an index finger along the miniature toenails. Her fourth child and first son had crashed suddenly,   painfully and noisily into the world as Big Ben was ringing out midnight.

‘Look! His granddad’s long middle toe.’

The child was staring into his mother’s face as he lay propped up on her bent knees in the hospital bed.

‘He’s looking at me like he’s known me all his life.’

‘Of course he’s known you all his life, all eight hours of it.’

‘You don’t understand. I feel I’ve known him all my life. See, he’s smiling at me.’

‘You’re imagining it. It’s only wind – and he’s looking at the bright light behind your head.’

‘No. You’re wrong. He knows me - all about me.’

New Daddy decided it might be best to placate New Mummy. ‘Perhaps he does, dear,’ he said rolling his eyes to the ceiling. Yet there was a nagging doubt. Why hadn’t she reacted this way to her three girls? ‘He does have a very wise gaze about him.’

‘Like a little old man. And his ears – look at them.’

‘What about them?’

‘They’re exactly like my dad’s. See that kink at the top.’

The baby chortled from somewhere deep in his tiny throat.

‘More wind,’ his father added.

The baby continued to stare into his mother’s face, his enormous eyes twinkling for a second and then becoming serious.

‘Hello Baby,’ she said. ‘What’s your name? What about Darren?’

Baby’s face crumpled and he started to whimper.

‘Why don’t we call him James, after your father? ’

‘Dad would like that. Hello James, no, Jamie, I think.’

‘Jamie’ screwed up his face and yelled.

‘All right then, hello James.’

Instantly, James stopped crying.

Grandma and three small girls rushed in to meet the new baby as his mum and dad were still laughing at how the boy had seemed to choose his own name.

‘He’s told us his name is James, like his granddad,’ new mum said.

‘Can he speak already?’ wide-eyed, three year old Maisie asked.

‘Well, babies can always tell you what they want,’ said Grandma, ‘mostly by crying.’

‘This baby is something else,’ her daughter in law said. ‘It’s creepy.’

‘Your father will be thrilled you’re calling him James. When do they get back from holiday?’

‘Next Tuesday. We rang but got no reply so we’ve texted them the good news. Funny, we haven’t got a reply.’

After three little girls had welcomed their new baby brother and gone for a walk with Daddy, Grandma wanted to cuddle her first grandson.

‘He has a very intense stare for a newborn.’

‘I’m glad it’s not just me. I didn’t feel like this with the girls.’

A text came in to Grandma’s phone: ‘Sad news. James died 7pm heart attack.’

‘Your dad… oh no… 7p.m… where were they?’

‘New York… he’s dead, isn’t he?’

‘… I’m not so sure.’    

 

That's all folks. When does one ever get some writing done? 

 

Saturday July 20th 2013

Long time no see, folks. After a long time reading a lot and writing very little, I'm trying to get back to writing! Today, I want to share a comment on David Goodhart's 'The British Dream' which I posted on Amazon:   

 Mrs. E. J. Goes says:

As a Scot married to an East African Asian whom I met while we were both teaching in Africa and as a teacher in a N W London Comprehensive school with all its wonderful diversity, I could not agree more with this balanced, hard-hitting, brave analysis of what's going on in Britain (and the world) today. Of course, like many others, I have a dream, no a conviction, that we are moving towards harmony and mutual respect, despite the horrible hiccups that are upsetting us along the way, right now. However, we need the dialogue and the metaphorical fisticuffs before that can happen. Thank you for articulating what I could only try to do; I'm not sure what I managed to get across through 3 volumes of fictionalised memoir. What I do know is that I simply couldn't NOT write the books: 'Fusion', 'The Cosmopolites' and 'The Not Quite English Teacher' by Eliza Jane Goes. Thank you for the food for thought.

 

Monday March 26th 2012

Greenacre Writers' Get Yourself a Reputation workshop went well on Saturday afternoon. Rosie did a wonderful job on her ppp illustrating tweeting, facebook, and all kinds of digital sources, aids and publishing opportunities for writers. She and Lindsay put on a stimulating presentation and I hope Linda and I passed on useful information regarding self publishing. 

Thank you everyone for sponsoring my ABSEIL FOR CHARITY which I'll be doing at The Church Langley Water Tower, Harlow, on Sunday 6th May 2012 (Time to be confirmed later.)  The sponsorship money collected will go to Swanwick Writers School to pay for a place for a new young writer - and aso Friends of Valley Way respite centre, Barnet which supports families with adult disabled children. See www.harlowtyerotary.org.uk