Editing other people’s writing! My new career?

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!

I have set myself up as a copy-editor, general editor and ghost-writer. This is in addition to my part-time (at present)work as a private English tutor – and, of course, my own creative writing.

I enjoy all three – but today I am going to concentrate on the first!

Over my thirty years as an English teacher, I must have marked thousands of exercise books and essays written on A4 paper.

Although the sheer volume of books and papers to correct was challenging to say the least, I always loved the actual process of marking a child’s piece of writing – and, though I say it myself, I was excellent at it: Thorough, neat, extremely knowledgeable and often funny, the last of those taking away any sting which my need to use red pen so prolifically might bring to the child’s mind. I also aimed to increase confidence whenever, and…

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For anyone who loves dogs

A Letter from the Rainbow Bridge

Hi, Mum
Now that I’ve been across The Rainbow Bridge for a couple weeks, they said I should write a letter home. Sorry, mum, but I’m so busy ‘across the bridge’ that I haven’t thought of home much. They said it’s okay and that you would understand. I hope you do. (I think you will.)
Remember that night when I wasn’t feeling very well and we were all crying? I don’t remember much, but I do remember seeing and hearing all of you and feeling your touches and hugs…I remember hearing “we love you” and that one last command of “Go through”. I didn’t know what you meant, so I turned around and walked through the fog that was in front of me. I saw the biggest bridge I’ve ever seen! And so many friends on the other side of it! They were all playing with toys and balls! You were right to tell me to go there!
My feet kept moving forward, but my heart kept pulling me back. Your touches became lighter and lighter and I wanted to come back and nudge your hands for more love, but I was overcome by this feeling of curiosity for the happy place over the bridge! My feet started moving on their own, like a gentle breeze was moving them forward for me! I can’t explain it, but I had no doubt that it was the right thing to do!
So, I walked across that big, huge bridge by myself! I looked for you, because you’re always by my side, walking with me, but this was different. I didn’t have a collar around my neck or a leash connecting me to you ~ I was ‘free’! Even though you weren’t there with me, I never felt alone! I actually felt like I had a huge cape of love wrapped around my body and the more I walked, the easier it was to breathe! So, I kept walking! And I would feel more warmth in the big hug, so I kept on walking! I eventually made it over the big bridge – I did it by myself, mum!
When I got here, all of my new friends greeted me and helped me walk off the bridge ~ it was so cool! They gave me a pair of wings and said that I was now a Guardian Angel!
What I’ve learned over these past few weeks has been amazing and nothing like I’ve seen before! We’re all the same up here ~ we all have wings and we all have Forever People to watch over ~ that’s YOU, mum!You’re my Forever Person and I’m your Forever Dog! We had such a great life together and I do miss you a LOT, but please know that I am so happy in my new home across The Bridge!
I’ll send you another Earth Angel so you won’t be alone. Give them your whole heart, like you gave it to me. I’ll check in every so often to make sure they treasure your love ~ I always did! When you miss me, think of a rainbow and know I’m on the other side of it, waiting to walk with you again. I’ll always be in your heart. I love you, mum! Time for me to go play

Here i am……see me !!staafie1

This blog has been here just over 1 year

I started this a little more than a year ago after the inspiration of a friend, 12 months on and I sit here somewhat disappointed that I didn’t manage to keep the same momentum as when I started out.

Some may remember I started with gusto trying to post daily and like most things after a few weeks or months my musings came to a rather abrupt halt. Initially because of not having a reliable computer but also because I let fear in. Fear that I was boring people and that I had not much to say for myself.

I feel that still but am wanting to give this another go. My last postings were not so happy postings but 12 months on maybe things will be different just how I don’t know

Confessions good for the Soul..so they say…

Sat today knowing its your day. But without the projector of memories I dont see you. I hear you I feel you but just cant see you…

Our friendship was not always plain sailing but I still feel your love like a radiator on a bitter day. True friendship like yours is so missed, Even at my worst when pushing all away as I did you were and are always there no matter what, If im Honest my head didnt always allow me to reslise this at the time.

as I have got older and with the vGrowthalue of hind sight dear friend there is none like you sis,I will always carry you in my heart knowing you come with me but I really do wish Id shown more respect and love whilst you were here. Only you and selected few know me truly. Taught me wisely and above all taught me to take me for me.

Im aware I Havent mentioned a name but that don’t matter cuz I’ll love you forever.. Big hugs babe miss you so much Happy Birthday xxx 

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Counting Voices.”

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Counting Voices.”

What is a good number of people for conversation ?

What is a bad number of people for conversation ?

The worst is 0 and I mean 0 not even you no sound utter silence, no communication of any type at all. so a conversation needs to contain  1 person that person is you!! Thats right you read correct you !! 

you see to have the ability to speak in a vocal way requires hearing listening meditating,

even just people watching. 

2 people conversation is a good way to get to know some one well but 3 or 4 is also good and stimulating for the brain to turn a conversation from normal conversation into a space ship and off to anywhere were one subject leads to another and before long you are all on a journey of discovery….


Heavy heads, heavy hearts, untill the clouds begin to part from the brain, pour like the rain again and again feeling the pain- hunkered down for daylight wondering if all will be the same again.In the blink of an eye or heard in a mans sigh can change or, stay the same.

Depending on how you percive your right to be free as maybe the laws decree we should all be free at a fee thst many flee but really how can one see how it is to be freedownload (6)

Whats up Doc

After a few weeks of increased pain and spasms today I finally gave in and rang the doctor More naproxen and the introduction of backlafen for years I have battled to keep from being on said medication because in truth I forget sometimes I have Spastic diaplega and this is because Right fully so I have never been treated differently long may that continue but today I feel at a cross roads were I have no choice now. mostly will know over the years I have had a on going battle to keep myself mobile and this will not change but time to accept that at least for now I need to take it easy I’m already on long-term sick but today if you can be I have been signed off again and told to rest for 2 weeks.

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Morning 090415

This morning i sit and put fingers to keyboard not knowing were Im going or my point for this post. Sat here..Waiting…Cars zooming down the road one follows one follows another. Sitting on the edge of my bed with the remaining yet familier pain of hyper tight muscles pulling for all there worth leaving me feeling like I have little worth as I take the Pain killers perscribed knowing the pain is still there. feeling it still there. the world continues to go round and round with evidence of vison and sound.

Sat with the shakes my fingers chattering on the keys as the pain goes behind the knees all I want is to please those around and about me maybe bring some peace,a smile a laugh all desined for wilst on this path but with all this it must be said the indicator is pointing red so I go back to sleep 

Guest spot light may you shine

Lady s and gents, It gives me great pleasure to introduce my first guest to you, A multi talented gifted individual Thank you for the books…. Alienora Taylor.


Many thanks to Paul for giving me this space on his blog today (1) xxxx

Oh, if only…

…I could become a best-selling novelist overnight!

Ah! Wouldn’t it be lovely, World, if the act of publishing a book brought with it automatic recognition and sales?

Sad to relate, the two are not necessarily connected – and the vast majority of writers remain virtually unknown, no matter how talented they might be.

I know whereof I speak, being a four-times-published writer myself. Of course it was delightful and exciting to see each of my books in print – but the unvarnished truth is this: In the three months since I published ‘Come Laughing!’ (the first of the four), I have sold very few copies and remain as obscure as I was back in December 2014.

I won’t lie to you: this has been very disappointing, frustrating and, at times, depressing. But, you see, I am a writer first and foremost, and, being naturally shy, find it almost impossible to promote myself – and, of course, if you do not have an agent, this is what you have to do.

The irony of all of this is that I know I am a damned good writer. It is not lack of talent holding me back. I have had plenty of support from a small group of fellow bloggers (Paul included) – and this has been lovely.

I think the truth is that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to self-marketing techniques. I have, as a consequence, made every mistake a novice writer could possibly make – and more besides, I am sure! – in the process of trying to interest the general public in my wares.

I know – with total conviction and a confidence rare for me – that all my books are beautifully-written and totally worth reading, but I do not know how to persuade others to take the risk of investing in one of them.

I have plenty of determination; I am hard-working and organised; I have, as they say, a way with words – but Lady Luck has, thus far, passed me by.

I want to get out there because I think my vision, my imagination, deserve to be read by thousands. I think I have vast potential as a writer.

I just need a chance, the chance to prove myself, to show you readers what I am capable of – and, at present, and despite all my efforts, this simply is not happening.

I will persevere. I shall not give up – because the passion for words is in my blood, and to stop writing would be like ceasing to breathe.

My four novels are very different in terms of length and subject matter. ‘Come Laughing!’ and ‘Long-Leggety Beasties’ are both humorous (the former erotica, the latter set in a school). Both of these are over two hundred and fifty pages long.

‘Riding at the Gates of Sixty’ – a shorter book, at two hundred pages – is much more serious and lyrical; it deals with the death and life of writer, Virginia Woolf. ‘My Esoteric Journey, Volume 1’ is the shortest (sixty pages), most spiritual (and lyrical) of the four. It is a series of pieces, all of which have some connection with the Western Mystery Tradition, written after meditation.

People have downloaded copies of all four during the Free Download offers I have organised – and I am hoping that many of those readers will, eventually, write a review on Amazon.

I do have twenty-two reviews (in total) on Amazon –and, with one exception, they are very positive, predominantly 5 stars across the board. But, other writers have hundreds of reviews per book.

I have put in the effort, the love, the fire, the time.


If only I could wake up tomorrow and find that my beloved books had grown iridescent wings, taken flight and were soaring high, inspiring, amusing and touching readers all over the world!

Let it be so!


Black & white brownies

Black & white brownies



  • 250g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 50g plain flour, plus 1 tbsp
  • 85g cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200g tub cream cheese
  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line a 20 x 30cm tin with baking parchment. Finely chop 150g of the dark chocolate, and roughly chop the remaining dark chocolate and the white chocolate. Put the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl and melt over a small pan of gently simmering water, or in the microwave. Set aside to cool a little.
  2. Put the butter and 350g of the sugar in a bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Add 4 of the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and a good pinch of salt. Finally, stir in the melted chocolate and the chopped chocolate chunks. Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.
  3. Working quickly, tip the cream cheese into a bowl and beat to soften with a spatula. Add the remaining egg, flour and sugar, and mix until just combined. Spoon blobs of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie until all used up, and use the end of a cutlery knife or a skewer to swirl the 2 mixtures together to create a marbled effect. Bake for 30 mins until just set – it should still have a little wobble when it comes out of the oven, and a skewer inserted into the centre should come out with sticky crumbs. Cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares to serve.


Week 4 Chocolate Day 6 and 7 Catch up

Week 4 Chocolate Day 6 and 7 Catch up


Chocolate & spice hot cross buns


zest and juice 1 large orange

sunflower oil, for greasing

For the dough and crosses

225ml semi-skimmed milk

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

1 large egg

450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 tsp fast-action yeast

50g golden caster sugar

For the flavouring and glaze

140g raisins

100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp golden caster sugar

100g plain flour

Make the dough first. Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Remove from the heat, and drop in the butter. After a couple of mins, beat in the egg and half the orange zest. The liquid should be just warm for step 2.

Mix the strong flour, yeast, 1 tsp salt and the sugar in a large bowl, then tip in the liquid and stir to make a soft dough without dry patches. Flour the work surface and your hands, then knead the dough for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Use a stand mixer or processor if you like. Oil a large bowl, sit the dough inside it, then cover with oiled cling film. Rise in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Put the raisins and half the orange juice in a small pan or covered bowl, and either simmer for a few mins or microwave on High for 1 min until hot. Cool completely. Break the chocolate into a food processor with the cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar, then pulse until very finely chopped. Mix in the rest of the zest. If you don’t have a processor, chop it by hand or grate it, then mix with the other ingredients.

Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and press it out to a large rectangle, a little bigger than A4 paper. Scatter it evenly with the chocolate mix and the raisins, which should have absorbed all of the juice (drain them if not). Roll the dough up around the filling, then knead it well for a few mins until the chocolate and fruit are evenly spread. Some raisins and chocolate will try to escape, but keep kneading them back in.

Grease then line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into buns by pinching each ball of dough into a purse shape, concentrating on making the underneath of the ball (which will be the top) as smooth as you can. Put the buns, smooth-side up, onto the baking sheet, leaving room for rising. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for 30-45 mins or until the dough has risen and doesn’t spring back quickly when prodded gently.

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. To make the paste for the crosses, gradually stir 6-7 tbsp water into the plain flour to make a smooth, thick paste, then put in a food bag and snip off the end to about 5mm. Pipe the crosses, then bake for 20-25 mins until the buns are risen and dark golden brown.

Mix the rest of the orange juice with the remaining sugar and let it dissolve. Brush the syrup over the buns while they are hot, then leave to cool. Eat on the day of baking, or toast the next day.


Glad Im not alone

Up till a few days back I was posting every day with the Start of positive post and things like picture challenges and favorite recipe keeping me busy but ultimately the poetry and stories had dried up and to be honest I was starting to feel I had let myself down, Self doubt number one of life Little curve balls that comes out. Taunting my brain because I hadn’t posted anything really personal for a bit. Dont get me wrong I still was avidly reading thanks to amazon kindle app on my phone and the reader on word press but on the whole my productivity and input level had taken a break and I found myself playing Facebook games then giving myself a hard time for not being on here as much.

last night and tonight have been somewhat almost like a treasure map knowing showing me the way. As I sit here poised for another week I know that whatever happens I’m not alone

word study 1 Maverick

word study 1


Pronunciation: /ˈmav(ə)rɪk/

  • In the middle of the 19th century Samuel Augustus Maverick owned such a large herd of cattle in Texas that he left the calves unbranded. People in the USA noted this unusual practice and began to use maverick for any unbranded calf or yearling. From the 1880s the word came to signify ‘individualistic, unorthodox, or independent-minded’.Oxford english Dictonary explains

my first memory of the word is below

This song is Like marmite but in a true marvrick sense go on…

Positive Post

daily Positives

A bit like a jar of positives

Im setting myself the task of writting one possitive a day 


today I am thankful for muse and peace. I went for s drive through town and it did not rain


Today I’m thankful for family I attended my first visit to probation I was given a lift by my grand parents and have spent the day with good close friends


Today Im thankful for Music and its healing properties and the fact I can still play Piano 


Today I am grateful for the ability to stay warm on such a bitterly cold day I’ve had a duvet day


today i am thankful for my mum 


Today I am truly thankful for good friends and family my usual computer is working again thanks guys


Today I am thankful for the sun and how it makes everything seem better 


Today Im thankful for having a sense of humour 


Today i am  thank full for authors who take u a journey of the unknown 

Best foot forward

words cannot tell the relief and thanks I feel when the thought of being captive became to real. something or someone was watching over me i really do feel is it the support and the love or both that’s kept me so far this year to be sat writing this is more than I truly in my head felt  I would not be here to write this I am at a point beyond all doubt the time is now for a brand new start best foot forward because now its time to do more than try to prove that the fantastic barrister and judge were right to give  me this brand new chance. 

Paul xxx

Observation station

This page is for excatly that somtimes it seems observation is key to growth and destruction all at once causing my annalist side to go nuts the first post of its kind written only 4 weeks ago when Ibought my first journal for hand writing 


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My journal if im honset has been under used somwhat and this just seems being this blog I really am growing to treasure It and really enjoy creating. Im not great with keeping calenders and diarys birthdays have no sticking point and my journal bit the same

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This blog however seems to have and thats really down to the great welcome and wonderful rection this has been and is amzimg all from a guest post that is and has helped save me from myself already and give me focus 

Thank you for your support and love going forward startinng April 2nd 2015 recouring monthly a guest post host spotlight light night if you want to feature get in touch Paulxxx

You are invited to Moral comunity shchool and collage

Ffollowing your Interview we would like to offer you the position Please report to head office at 9 am on Monday 1st September,

Yours sincerely

Wil Il Find

head of governors  

My eyes couldn’t take it in after what was I thought an almost certain failure of an interview and was a huge long shot dream when I applied. Moral school was way above anywhere Id taught in my head at least and applied after being badgered by the staff at my old job because this had been a dream of mine to teach here. a pipe dream that untill this movement was supposed to stay that way, The department I WIll be joining has had quite a reputation due to one of their experienced head of department. Never did I think Id get the chance to work with them.

I read the letter Again . except this time from the top nit what I assumed was the top and well I felt sick 

When I applied for the teaching position we were told that there were 2 slots to fill me being fairly new to this than the other applicants didn’t even think id be in the running for the second opening so really didn’t even give it thought so you can understand when my weak stomach when I re read this for the second time and it still wasn’t sinking in that I was to be his replacement.

My feeling of Joy went very quickly to fear….to be continued On going story 

part 2

This will be my third school, The first was quite small and had been shaped originally in the shape of an acorn but with the extensions added looks more like a penis in the areal picture. It took only 300 and I was the first male teacher in years . The students were like they were being trained to be the next wisteria lane residents of the future..Some were a little peeved when I got the job as it’s not a school that encourages individuals and from the tails I was hearing at the newbie seminars and boy if I could even been described as lucky but for me was very restrictive as I would be hoping for a little bit of difference and honestly I might have been teaching the worlds most intelligent sheep .

although on my last day there it was fab I’d only been there 2 yrs and they got all the kids to wear t-shirts one does wonder if that was because I was being replaced by a straight man After I revealed not being attracted to woman. They on the whole were great but for a while I was like the villages new toy and before the selection I was instructed that the next man could be real. This went in there favour. but that coment stuck with me A real man – had I been a figment of someones Imagination who knows but it was one of those things that stayed in my mind much to my down fall  times in the first weeks of the next turm in new surroundings 

Part 3

The School I moved to was more norh of the country and after My first Place was some what larger holding 800 at the most well 750 but what can you do when most of the surrounding areas were remote and they had shut a smaller school and there 100 puples were then sent to us as we were going to be gaaining more classrooms that still havent been build on my departure and well when I resigned from from acorn high I was yearning for a little more varity more real I guess. the words of my father be careful what you wish for was somwhat ringing in my ears for  the first year as I got of a  Marygo round that goes reasably slowly straight on to somthing thaat goes 0-50 vertical drop.

I really enjoyed the more varity of colege tho and not being the only male had a definate plus In this school I was introduced to tutor groups and some kind of point scoring system. with the extra 50 this ment that on my first year I was also paired with a 1st year group which proved handy when none of us knew were we were going after our first esembly out norrmal room had has its roof changed and had leaked from the prievious nights storm- we were moved to a tempory pre fhat had once been the school libry had been compleatly left since the libry books were moved to the main building and well most people wwould have hated it but that was were I opted to stay. oN MY LAST DAY IT WAS DEMOLISHED DUE TO CONCRETE CANCER  said building was in perfect order once It had been cleaned rumor had it it was haunted and the librian refused to go in there and on her word they moved her and the books else were.

M plan 2

The above is sort of like it  although mine had steps leading up and more flowers and coulour once id claimed it  and looked like a real0 bad acid trip when I was talked into trying to teach art I started as a English teacher primarily in acorrn but through my time found that because of my outter intrest in the arts and music ment that I got utalized as more than a english teacherand here was know different it seemed because in my first term I was greeted in the stafroom ny a letter saying I would from next term be offered a post as the 3rd music teacher this I grabbed with both hands because I love musiu and made my abandonded building another reason to become visable

Tea break !!! was a big cup

Part 4

 The above school was named Bethel Taken from the biblical refrence secondry in its more formative years its ground had been used as a bible school that had been sold to the comunity trust me best not to ask to many questions as I often found out. ot turns out the  disused part I clamed looked like the sunday school branch but there was somthing rustic and warm about it. Heated by a large gas fire which had a cage over it  and a old roller black board. the head asked at numours times if i wanted new but no I loved it in ssome way I had created home away from home good thing as I was niles away frim anyone I knew. In some ways I used to feel like the pirate if a ship here I was In my pre fab Happy as Larry, at this point I might say larry was the schools dog that had wondered in the main buiuilding and got shoed out poor thing so I took it in.  then when the head found out I took him home and brought him in the children in bottom set were brilliant with him and the motto of the school was Keep them amused Money being short and all. I made good friends in time but the staff room forget what kids think it amazed me was a art deco style room with resemblence of a small cinama with delights of all kinds home made.

Part 5 

I was then to be told that this was not the staff room but just a place that had been swarn to secercy because the most used parts were somewhat more similar to internal bomb shelters and coming from where I had been was turely under prepared 

It was my first winter term that I was given the task of putting on a concert for the pupils and community and a way to get some money for the school with a roof to repair and new heating needed the head summoned us to a Urgent meeting which is were I found my arch nemesis a man named Dennis he taught in the main building and even students called him by his first name I found this to be odd I was new to the area and dint really know many till the spring term when I was appointed music teacher dispute the last night of our winter festive banana. With help from a local church I managed to borrow a electric organ and a pa system circa 1982 we would have sung acapella if it wasn’t for them and candle light wasn’t initially the theme but though the night became a necessity. See even the thought of another meeting there makes my brain wonder..So sat in this meeting I was and the Head pipes up righteo we need money and we need it quick Ideas and he chucked markers at us like a member of his class room and a collective discussion had been made because I started a Choir for fun tthat this would be a great time to se what they were made of then It was added on we should do a raffle of sorts and the school cook would bake fruit xmas cake and mince pies. with mulled wine. This sounded lovely a real festive treat so after lunch I took great delight at anouncing to my tutor group all had been in rolled with no exceptions for a Tutor group effort at Hark the herald sime shouts were made and I thought no more of it. The end of the school day approached and I was called top the reception office to take a telephone call.

to be continued.. tomorrows meet the Hard Men  and Savage cook from the job before Moral PJ

‘LLB’: Every Secondary School should have a copy!

Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!


Huge thanks to Julie for the promotional line in my title. What a brilliant idea! Equally huge thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of my writing generally – and, specifically, Sue Vincent and Chris, The Story Reading Ape, who so generously reblogged yesterday’s post and started the ball rolling once more, also Richard (of ReevePhotos) who downloaded a copy, and very kindly provided a link for US readers: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RZ49HKI.

I cannot begin to tell you how much this has meant to me. I was so touched, I cried.

So, yes, I now say this (courtesy of Julie) with pride:

‘Long-Leggety Beasties’: Every secondary school should have a copy!

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