Showing posts from June, 2021

Reasons to love bookshops

It's Independent Bookshop Week in the UK so I thought I'd post a poem I wrote in celebration of bookshops. It was published in the Bookseller magazine recently.    To bookshops (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)  How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love the jingle-jingle of the bell announcing my arrival with a smile: ‘You’re in a bookshop. All will now be well.’ I love the spines of books upon the shelf that promise romance, laughs and mysteries. I love the smell of paper, print and ink, the rustling of pages in the peace. I love the ‘Recommendeds’ and the ‘New’, the joyous promise of that corner chair that tells me I should choose a book and rest - convinces me that I have time to spare. I love, I love, the beauteous books you sell. (My bank account does not love thee so well.) What do you like best about bookshops? Do you have a favourite one? Tell me why. 

Reasons why Fran has been absent without leave

Apologies for a long absence. I suspect this blog post will attract between three and five readers as blogs are like tender plants which, untended, droop and wither. I should know, as I have murdered plenty of plants in my time. I am hoping I haven't similarly asphyxiated my blog.  All Fran did was look at it. If you are here and reading this and are neither droopy nor withered, I thank you, and you are most welcome. Do come again and bring a friend.  Honest, m'lud, I have been slaving over a hot keyboard, writing a novel, and today I wrote the last chapter. I didn't know at the time that it was the last chapter until I looked back on it and realised that the story was finished. Sometimes stories don't ask proper permission; they just do their own thing, like recalcitrant toddlers, wonky shopping trolleys and viruses.  If you write yourself, you'll know that having finished a first draft is just one step on a long journey of edits, rewrites, plunges into pits of des