WIP Wednesday… Ghost of a Chance…

I thought I had better update my progress today before my muse and/or madness put an end to my struggles.

I think I mentioned last week that there was a serious problem with the plot of my work in progress, Ghost of a Chance. Despite all the patience in the world and several brainstorming sessions, I don’t think I am getting anywhere. Fast.

In fact, the more I study it, I keep finding other problems too. Of course, none of this is supposed to be happening before the end is written, but probably better now than later. At the close of play yesterday (I am joking by the way) there seems to be three muddles. The major one, where a crucial moment seems to have happened far too late in the story, and second, I seem to have written the same conversation in at least three chapters. Added to this list is a character I seem to have forgotten all about.

I almost concluded that the bin was the best place for it, but luckily, my stubborn streak wouldn’t let me do it.

On a more positive note, I have managed to isolate one particular chapter, and if it can be sorted out, will point the way to a satisfactory outcome.

So, this is my target for this afternoon… and unbelievably, I am looking forward to it!

This is the working cover for Ghost of a Chance…

Jaye’s Week…

November first and winter is snapping at our heels.

Fed up with the pervading chill, we gave in and turned on the heating yesterday and the warmth was very welcome.

The leaves are falling in earnest, but I refuse to sweep them up every blessed day as it seems soul-destroying to see them gathering again the minute I put the broom away!

Maple, Fall, Multicoloured, Nature

The bonsai seem reluctant to shed their leaves, but as the temperature continues to fall, I know they will join in eventually.

Christmas lurks at the back of my mind, and I hope it stays there a while longer. Everything is changing so fast, I try not to make any predictions, hopeful or otherwise as actually having a Christmas of any kind is looking doubtful.

This year has been difficult, to put it mildly. Plans have had to be put on hold or abandoned completely while life continues to mess everything up. I continue to do what I can when I can. Any kind of movement is good, I think.

Finishing the WIP is foremost in my mind, as Ghost of a Chance (Book Four of the DI Snow series) is turning out to be the hardest story to write. Although I am enjoying it when life leaves me alone long enough!

This post should have been a newsletter, as we have been derelict in this department for a while, but until I finish (trying) to switch to MailerLite, there doesn’t seem to be any point…

Here’s hoping November will be a good month for all of us…

One Good Lie a Day ~ or Make Believe?

The following is a work in progress from Anita, possibly the start of a novel. We would welcome any feedback from our friends and followers as to its future…

Make Believe

I decided it might be fun to make up one good lie a day about my past.

So the next time someone asked me about my parents, I said they had died in a car crash when I was five years old. When in fact, they are alive and kicking and on holiday in Gibraltar.

Instant sad face.

‘Oh God, I’m so sorry…’

‘No need, it was a long time ago.’

That one lie led to many more.

‘So who brought you up?’

‘An aunt. Ancient I might add, so life was a little stale, compared to my friends. Old fashioned, I ran away when I was sixteen. I’m only back for the funeral and will reading. That old mansion of hers is mine. You must come to tea sometime.’

As I walked home, not to a mansion, I might add, I wondered how I could stop this rolling stone from gathering more moss…

Today’s lie has taken on a life of its own.

One minute I hear myself telling someone, ‘my father is an airline pilot.’ Next, ‘he’s a backing singer for the Rolling Stones. My mother is starring in a movie with David Tennant,’ when in fact my mother works in M & S, my father drives a black cab.

Is that more lies?

‘I have been married for three years. It’s our anniversary tonight. Mark, my husband has bought a new car for me. One I have dreamt about. Imported from the USA, a red mustang convertible.’ So I must rush home, ladies. I want to be there when it arrives.’

I heard a little voice in my head say, one of these days, you’ll trip over that tongue of yours.

I had to admit, the lies did explode that day, like a bomb going off but somehow, I managed to keep up with it and sound convincing. At least I could see no trace of doubt on their faces.

All that, and I had forgotten to tell them where Mark had taken me when he proposed. Never mind, there’s always tomorrow.

I’m not married, never have been.

One day, Mark or someone like him might come into my life. I could find myself driving down the high street in a red convertible mustang, don’t you think?

I have one of those faces people like to talk to. I sit in a café, before my coffee is half drunk, someone sits opposite me. I send them home with a story to tell their friends. That way my lies go further than my reach.

I have joined two book clubs, need to keep a check on which lies belong to which club. I know I can’t keep this up for too long, however you’d be surprised by how many people I managed to speak to. Some, in the strangest of places.

Ladies toilets for instance. Standing in a queue, I have found bumping into someone’s trolley in a supermarket to be good for a quick chat. Especially if you manage to make eye contact.

Apologies spoken, you pass each other in the next aisle, as if fate has thrown you together you end up at the same check out. I have even been lucky enough to snag a date on one of my shopping trips…

©anitadawes 2020

The Dying of the Light…



The Dying of the Light

The trick is to avoid all the things she knows she cannot do anymore, but this is easier to do than keeping her hands out of the biscuit tin.

She is becoming an expert at ignoring the elephant in the room. She sees him, watching her with that wise knowing look in his eyes, but if she doesn’t acknowledge him or admit his presence to anyone, she can go on pretending that everything is fine.

Pretend that the painful, spiteful remarks don’t slice her soul to the bone, making her want to curl up and die in a corner, or scream louder than the pain, in an effort to keep her temper from overwhelming and drowning her.

Somehow, she maintains a humorous attitude, something she has carefully cultivated. Smiling at her tormentors, even laughing at their cruel jokes and the things they say. She has learned that to show the damage they do only increases their enjoyment at her distress.

She knows they are waiting for her to die, to be finally rid of her and the elephant in the room, the constant reminder that they too will grow old.

She must ignore them, for she cannot find the will or the strength to walk away from them. One of these days she hopes she will manage to summon some vestige of effort, before her time runs out. She dreams of spending her last days in peace and tranquillity, far from all the hatred and cruelty and the critical gaze of the large grey animal in the corner of the room…

Anita’s WIP, explained…


In a land called Summer, lived a man named David.

Who sold his soul back to God to save the life of an angel whose wings had not yet formed.

Whose life had not yet been lived…


When we posted this last week, I had strict instructions.  Instructions I either didn’t fully understand, or promptly forgot!

However, this did not escape Anita’s eagle eyes…

She wanted me to ask all of you, (those who might like the idea) to add a few lines of your own to this snippet of an idea. And I was to run it again… getting it right this time!

If you would like to add something, jot it down in the comments and I will keep adding them to the post! I will be the first to admit this is one crazy idea, but Anita gets them all the time…and sometimes they create something really special.

It could be interesting to see what happens, don’t you think?



Work in Progress… or Plain Sailing!


I have been sticking like glue to my routine with this new project, determined to finish it no matter what else is going on.  See previous post here

I write at least 1000 words first thing every morning, regardless of any other work, research or queries that I do later in the day. Although this might seem like ‘baby steps’ to some writers, I am more than happy with the results.

In the previous post, I remember saying that this project would be comparatively easy, as I had the journal to go by.The journal that I kept, with all the dates and information about the journey we undertook almost 40 years ago.

That seemed to be true at the time, but having started to write it, I find it won’t be easy after all. On the surface, all the facts seem to be there. But when I decided to use a map to keep track of the routes we took, I discover gaps in the entries, leaving no clue as to how we got from A to C. Sometimes we seem to have jumped from one location to another with no visible clue as to how we got there! My memory is no help either, for how many of us can remember in specific detail, what we did 40 years ago?

So no, it won’t be plain sailing after all. A good title there, though, I think.

Despite all the drawbacks, I am enjoying myself, which was the reason for undertaking this project in the first place. I am thoroughly enjoying the walk down memory lane (even though the route is full of potholes!) We were all so young and optimistic back then, none of us with any idea of how our lives would turn out.

This new book, apart from being a light-hearted account of a family journey, will stand as a testament to the enduring strength of our family. For, despite life’s turmoil, we are still united as a family and well deserving of this tribute.

That’s if  I manage to locate and fill all the pot holes!


PS:  One of my favourite authors, Valerie Poore,  has just published a similar journey, “Faring on a shoe” and I have already bought a copy to see how an expert handles this genre!


A travel51oroymmfil-_ac_us218_ogue about a dream come true. After seven years of owning their barge, Hennie-Ha, seven years involving catastrophe and crisis, Val and her partner finally go ‘faring‘ to France for the first time.

This travelogue is about the places they visit and the people they meet along the canals on their route from the Netherlands, through Belgium and into northern France.

It tells a gentle story about how they experience their life on board during the four weeks they spend cruising.

Written as a journal, the reader joins them on their travels through rain and shine and reveals how day by day, Val learns to cast aside the stresses and demands of the real world and to appreciate life’s simplest of pleasures to the full.

There will, of course, be a review forthcoming!

My Latest Project (or self-inflicted nightmare!)



A long time ago when I was younger, I kept a journal. Just the one you understand, which is why it has always stood out in my memory as being more than a little special.

The occasion it covered was special too. A family holiday,  something we hadn’t done before and would never do anything quite like it again. Although we didn’t know that at the time.

I have carried this tattered little notebook with me through all the years, kept it safe when not much else survived the journey. I always intended to develop it into a proper story.  As a journal, it is hardly more than a collection of observations, made in the midst of all the glorious chaos of that magical time. It does, however, chronicle all the dates and places, which will guide my memory down that almost forgotten lane.

As yet is has no title, and rummaging around in the darkest corners of my mind is slowing the creative juices down to a trickle, making writing difficult. It seems so much harder to write a personal memoir, than creating something out of nothing.  Looking back, it is hard to believe that our mainly dysfunctional family did any of those things and lived to remember them during those two special weeks in that long ago summer.

I can feel the memories awakening, each one beginning to grow, eager to be remembered. It will be an emotional experience, reliving all those wonderful moments.  Moments that were never to happen again. So many of our dreams are only realised the once, and although this is better than never happening at all, they are so much more emotional for their brief life…