Shortlisted for an Award

As a writer, you learn to expect the unexpected.

Me with bookI discovered, almost by accident, that I am on the shortlist for an award…

for my non-fiction book
Walking the English Coast: A Beginner’s Guide.

The International Rubery Book Award is designed specifically for small independent  presses and for self-published writers.

I notice that the winners for of the 2015 and 2016 non-fiction awards were both books about the coast. For that reason, and because the standard seems very high, I don’t expect to win. But it’s wonderful to be shortlisted.

Here is what they say about my book:

Walking the English Coast: A Beginner’s Guide 
Ruth Livingstone
A book written by a GP who decided to follow her own advice about fitness and embarked on the ambitious project of walking all 5,500 miles of the British Coast.  Written in a deceptively straightforward style, it offers practical advice that you feel you ought to know, but actually don’t, from what shoes to wear to how to deal with cows.  It’s the kind of book you glance at, intending to pick out a few sections, then can’t put down.

It’s been a dry period for my writing.

dry period for writingI’ve entered several short stories into competitions with no luck and continued my fruitless quest for agents for my two novels, again with no luck…

It’s been a long time since I submitted my book and, to be honest, I thought it had been rejected. What a great way to start the week! And it’s funny what some encouragement will do… it spurred me on to find a developmental editor for my sci-fi novel.

Time to move forward and get my next book published.

Is Christmas the right time to buy a book about walking?

Stuck for Christmas presents? Try buying books.

Gift ideas for Xmas?

buying books for ChristmasI really don’t know much about selling, but I’ve shifted a few copies of my non-fiction book, Walking the English Coast, in the past few weeks.

People are buying copies as presents for other people, or even as presents for themselves.

In the New Year we start thinking about exercise and make resolutions to get healthy. So, in January I expect demand will go up! Continue reading “Is Christmas the right time to buy a book about walking?”

Desperately seeking a final story

Yesterday was the last day of NaNoWriMo

desperately-gif-500

Apart from one day of panic, when I thought I might have sucked my brain dry of inspiration, I’ve done pretty well during this NaNo month.

30 short stories in 30 days is no mean feat.

Yesterday, it was time to come up with my final story and I turned to a wisp of an idea that’s been gentle wafting through my mind for some time.

It involved a woman searching for her tortoise. And finding love instead.

Anyway, that’s it. #30days30shorts over and done with. Now follows the most important part of any writing spree: the dreaded editing!


Illustrating the stories

Somebody asked me where I found the illustrations I used in this series of NaNo posts.

  1. I searched for Creative Commons Zero images (CC0) on sites such as Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels,
  2. opened them in my Corel PaintShop Pro programme,
  3. modified them with line drawings on my Wacom pad,
  4. and experimented with various photo manipulation tricks.

It’s been great fun finding suitable images and converting them for each piece.

Creating the illustrations took almost as much effort as writing the stories themselves. Should have really called this project #30days30shorts30pics Anyway, here’s a gallery of them all:


Are fortune-tellers really con artists?

Or simply excellent interpreters of psychological ‘tells’?

fortune-teller-gif-500 What if a fake fortune-teller suddenly discovered her fortune-telling wasn’t a trick after all? What if she discovered she really could see into the future?

That was the starting point for yesterday’s NaNoWriMo short story.

But… as usual, the story ran away from me and insisted on becoming something different. So, instead of my fortune-teller being in possession of a supernatural talent, she turns out to be just really, really good at sniffing out the truth.

Sigh. I do my best to write about magic and the paranormal. But I guess this proves you can take the woman away from the science, but you can never take the science away from the woman. Or something!

Anyway, only one more day of NaNo left and one more story to go in my #30days30shorts challenge.