Usually I have a fair idea what to write about when I do my Monday blog post but I had no idea what I might write about today so I have decided to do something I don’t often do:

Indra's Net coverI would like to remind you about some of my recent books, after all if I don’t advertise them I won’t sell them. You will find out about them all on my Books page here (with the exception of “Indra’s Net” which isn’t strictly one of my books) but for now I will just mention the three most recent.

First comes the just mentioned “Indra’s Net”. As I said, this is not exactly one of my books but some poems of mine are included in it. The book has contributions by many poets from all over the world and is published by Bennison Books. It is being sold in aid of the Book Bus project and is available to buy on Amazon. You can read a more full account of this book here.

Simp;y Elfje coverNext comes my own book “Simply Elfje” which also includes contributions by various writers who submitted little Elfje poems to my blog of the same name, on which the book has been based.

This book is also available on Amazon and it is also my intention to produce it as an e-book. Unfortunately, due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances and life in general getting in the way, this has not yet happened but it is still on the plot and I am ever hopeful that this will be achieved before too many more months have passed! I will remind you again when the e-book is ready.

The Thirsty Flowers coverThe third book that I would like to draw to your attention once again is my illustrated children’s story book “The Thirsty Flowers” with its delightful illustrations by art student Kerrie Mccauley. I have had some very pleasing feed-back from children who have read it or, should I say, have had it read to them. Unfortunately this is not available from Amazon but can be purchased from my own website, Silverburn Publishing, which you will find here.

I also mention in passing  my two poetry collections, “Collecting Cobwebs, Gathering Brambles” and, for children, “Barking at Nothing”. You can also read more about these on my Books page and on my website via the links above.


Wild Woman

I am an avid reader, I read voraciously, I devour books. Fact or fiction if I set out to read a book I need to absorb the information/story as quickly as possible, get outside it. One downside of this is that often I remember something I have read, and possibly which book I read it in but, particularly in the case of non-fiction, I haven’t a clue where exactly I read it; a bit of a nuisance if I want to find it again. Usually  if I start a book I finish it, there are very few books that I have abandoned part-way through.

Cover 'Women Who Run With The Wolves'Several years ago I came across a copy of ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola  Estes in a local charity shop. Now I had heard about this book with its glowing reviews, tributes and so on – I quote The Times: “…undoubtedly one of the most widely acclaimed and most influential books of recent years.”  The  Irish Times states “This book offers a life-enhancing way to make contact with our deep feminine instincts: the wild woman within.” In fact, due to its reputation, it was on my ‘to read’ list, so I bought the book.

I began to read it in my usual fashion, trying to get all the information inside me as quickly as possible. I got as far as page 54, roughly the middle of chapter 2, put it down one day and didn’t pick it up again. I found it long-winded, unnecessarily verbose, (why use only 10 words when 100 would do?) and at times boring. It seemed to speak the obvious and laboured each point to exhaustion. Certainly no page-turner.

Since then I have glanced at it on my bookshelf several times and thought I might give it another go. I decided that perhaps the way I read was at fault, since others praised it so highly. So about a month ago a began again. I decided this time to take it more slowly and intersperse it with other light reading that I could race through in my usual fashion.

It seems to be working, I have now got to page 197, the beginning of chapter 7. I am still finding it tedious, laboured and unnecessarily verbose but I am making progress – or was, I haven’t actually picked it up for several days now but I am reading an exciting Fantasy tale. Will I continue with it? Well I am enjoying the folk tales within the book, some of which I have never come across before, and there are a few interesting points made in interpreting them, even if I do still think it frequently states the obvious (at least to me) so I don’t know. I would like to finish it this time, even if only as some sort of challenge!

This isn’t intended to be a book review as I haven’t finished reading it yet.  I’m  just saying how the book seems to me. Is it just me? Am I missing something?  It would be interesting to know what other ‘ordinary people’ like me think of it.

Stocking Up

Book swap
at the charity shop,
stocking up
for my holiday.

Old Friends

Taking books
to the charity shop
is like parting
with old friends.

Charity Shop

Charity shop visit. Books bought;
light reading for a relaxing weekend
away on the boat.

Book Review!

“This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.”

Dorothy Parker.


I have bookshelves galore that stretch from the floor
almost up to the ceiling,
some not so tall and others quite small,
and I’m telling you this with some feeling
just so you know what vexes me so;
whenever I look for a particular book,
where do I find it?
The last place I look!


My bookshelves are overflowing
so I collect up quite a stack
and take them to a charity shop.
Why, for every two I take,
do I bring at least one other back?


“I reckon it’s best…..
to sort of believe nothing
and everything, in a way.”

An old man in Lincolnshire.

* * * * * * * * * *

I came across this quote in a book of folks tales from East Anglia and the Fen Country called “The Old Stories” by that master story-teller Kevin Crossley-Holland. It is published by Dolphin Paperbacks, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group (, ISBN 1-85881-753-6.


Books, books, books,
all with so much to say.
How can I possibly hope to read them all?

* * * * * * * * * *

I spent yesterday at a successful local authors event for World Book Day, signing copies of my book of children’s verse, “Barking At Nothing“, which is being sold in aid of The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust.  I was in the illustrious company of R H Stewart (Bob) who can be found at Merlyn Books and at “The Devil’s Creature“, Ken Ballantyne (Laundry Cottage Books), and Catherine Cooper, winner of the 2010 Brit Awards with her book “The Golden Acorn”.  The sequel is now out and you can find out more about Catherine and her books at Pengridion Books.

The focus on World Book Day reminded me of my anxiety as a child, on weekly visits to the library with my Dad, that people write books intending them to be read but there were so many of them that I would not live long enough to read them all.  Since then of course millions more have been published – I don’t stand a chance!  (But I try not to let it worry me any more.)

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