Allow me a little hoot!

In my June post #Tanka 33 — Light and Shadow (plus some scintillating “shades of”), I mentioned the Highly Commended awarded to me in this year’s University of Winchester Writers’ Festival for the first three pages (+synopsis) of my unpublished 90,000-word speculative fiction work, Counting Magpies. Since then, I have gained access to a working scanner, hence the images I’ve shared below.

It’s possible that a few of my blog followers have already clicked on the new widget in my sidebar titled “Latest News” and arrived at the relevant page, but for those who usually access my blog through WordPress Reader, or are email subscribers, you may have missed a chance to see the two fabulous certificates mailed to me by the competition organisers.

Four months on, I’m still touched and humbled by the feedback I received from the judges. So thank you, judges, whoever you are, for giving this author a much-needed boost to her confidence 🙂

For those who missed my three Friday Fictioneers’ posts, with adapted standalone 100-word excerpts from Counting Magpies, here are the links.

Snow Baby

The Ancient School at D-wh-n-e

A Rare Specimen

Pirate’s Appreciation: an award in disguise!


He who doesn’t accept awards, ye pirate, has just said a very lovely thank you to fourteen of his blogging friends (me included). What we have in common is that we’ve ignored his warning shots, and, hearing not a shout of “shiver me timbers”, we’ve earned ourselves a pirate’s admiration 🙂

To find out who else has been spared his cutlass, you can cross the choppy waves to

And in the words of ye pirate: “The rules are simple – put on something frilly, and tell a blogger you desire to admire that a Pirate admires ya, and yer passing that admiration to him or her to be plundered, if you so desire…”


I think men are spared the dressing in frills, unless they possess an early eighteenth century white shirt, but a bow tie should do! Below is a rare sight of me wearing something with frills — albeit subtle. This was taken after the Christmas concert of medieval and renaissance carols performed by the early music choir to which I belong. I’ve had to crop the picture not to include the others, as I haven’t yet had a chance to ask their permission to post them on a public blog. Hoping to put a music page up in the future, so will post the whole picture then.

So now I offer my appreciation to those who’ve offered me awards that I’ve accepted, like gold from a galleon, and hope to see you in your frills (or, for one, a fancy collar!) You can find these fine folk at …

#   (3 awards!) (2 awards!) (2 awards!)

The sunshine award: yay, I’m basking in its rays :-)

Thank you so much, Christy, for nominating me for the happy, smiley Sunshine Blogger Award. Christy is a freelance writer and poet whose words radiate warmth, so do check out her blog — especially her special sunshine post at

The Sunshine Blogger Award is customarily bestowed upon bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others — a thing to be valued most highly in a world dominated by negative and destructive reportage.

The rules of the award are as follows:

  1. Post the sunshine award logo.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer the eight set questions (as listed below).
  4. Hand out awards to other sunny bloggers.
  5. Link to sites of nominees and leave comments to notify them of their awards.

The questions and my answers:

  1. What’s your favourite Christmas movie?  “The Snowman” (based on the children’s book by Raymond Briggs).
  2. What’s your favourite flower? This one is so difficult; I just love flowers. Give me a summer herbaceous border or a meadow filled with wildflowers and I’m floating. But if I must choose, it’s wild climbing roses, followed by tulips, cowslips, and cornflowers.
  3. What’s your favourite non-alcoholic beverage? Freshly filtered water.
  4. What’s your favourite passion? I don’t get too passionate about anything, as I think that passion can have a flip side, which is intolerance, anger, hatred, and an unwillingness to consider other people’s viewpoints. There are things I care about deeply, such as truth, justice, peace, environmental sustainability, and family life.
  5. What’s your favourite time of year? Late summer, through to early autumn.
  6. What’s your favourite time of day 5-5.30 p.m. which is when I chill out with my family in comfy chairs to share a pot of tea and homemade cake, and discuss what sort of day we’ve had.
  7. What’s your favourite physical activity? Walking around beautiful gardens with plenty of rustic benches for rest breaks.
  8. What’s your favourite vacationI’ve not been on holiday for twenty years, but, if I could, it would involve peace, quiet, and wild landscapes of the Celtic or Nordic variety, or a pilgrimage to a remote shrine.

And now for my sunshine bloggers 🙂

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