Thanks for your kind messages.
Penance by Jane Risdon: I really enjoyed this one, Jane Risdon isn’t an author whose books I’ve read before, but I loved this ghostly Christmas tale. This one also gave me goose pimples, but they were mostly caused by a feeling of dread as Gabrielle looks for his missing wife and daughters. Christmas should be a time when families get to spend precious time together, and yet Gabrielle missed these special days, putting work first, leaving him full of regret. There’s something sinister about reading a story based around Christmas and the big man himself, especially when a crime's committed. I was impressed with how well-written this short story was, the author creates a spooky atmosphere with an undercurrent of tension and unease, but ultimately it’s a touching story that pulls on the heartstrings.
What I hadn’t expected was the cathartic effect my writing would have on me! During my time with the police, I had to witness and deal with the worst of what society is capable of. In fact, my own life was put in serious peril on nine occasions – I’m outliving a cat! And, as one advances through the middle and later years of life, I have found that I am naturally less resilient. Things I would have shrugged off in my thirties sometimes replay in my mind and make me shudder.
I enjoy wandering with my camera. Sometimes I use the locations I visit, for my stories, other times I just enjoy taking photos and making memories.
I thought I'd share some photos with you. Every year I spend a lot of time taking photos of gardens, woods, villages, churches, cathedrals, and other places and items of interest.
Writing from memory should be easy, you'd think. After all, we all have memories, and putting them down on paper or onto a computer screen should simply be a case of organising one's thoughts, and getting on with it
The Innocence Project is a non-for-profit organisation, based in New York, New York, USA, committed to exonerating individuals who have been wrongly convicted - through the use of DNA testing - and working to reform the Criminal Justice system to prevent future cases of wrongful conviction.
The studio where the photo (below) was taken faced Ringo Starr's then home across the canyon, It was possible to hear them entertaining their dinner guests if the studio glass doors were open to allow fresh air in.
A few years ago, shortly before he died, I had the joy of seeing David Cornwell, aka John le Carre, in conversation about his writing, and it was manna from heaven for me. I didn't want it to end. What a writing career he had, not to mention his career as a spy.
I love writing short stories. It's a challenge to get a complete and satisfying tale over to a reader within a limited number of words.