'Time is passing: yes. Don't waste it.' - Katharine Hepburn

Reading at the moment (in no particular order): 

 

The Nail Your Novel series by author, script-doctor, and blogger extraordinaire Roz Morris (whether you're aspiring to write or you've been writing for yonks, BUY THESE BOOKS)

 

My Eyes Mint Gold (a biography of Mervyn Peake, author and illustrator of the Gormenghast Trilogy, among many other brilliant accomplishments) by Malcolm Yorke

 

The Portable Curmudgeon by Jon Winokur (a must for funny quotes)

 

Alone With The Horrors by Ramsey Campbell (my antidote to Stephen King)

 

Magic and Showmanship: A Handbook for Conjurors by Henning Nelms (has an invaluable chapter for mystery writers on 'diversion [good showmanship] vs. distraction [bad showmanship]' i.e. playing fair with your readers vs. cheating them)

 

Writing and Selling Your Mystery Novel: How to Knock ‘em Dead with Style by Hallie Ephron (American writing royalty who highly recommends Nelms's book, above)

 

Pleasures of the Damned by Charles 'Don't Try' Bukowski (I like to go to bed laughing)

 

Hogarth: A Life and a World, by Jenny Uglow (all of my current protagonists have surnames of famous artists, or snooker players)

 

To find out more about the Write to Done Dream Team - click here

 

My (sort of) Cirruculum Vitae

 

Nationality:

 

Born in San Francisco, raised in Buffalo, in upstate New York. Moved back to San Francisco at 19, then to Lost Angeles at 23.  Back to Buffalo at 35, then three months later to London, England.  To Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire, in 2000, then Wales in 2002.  (Papa wasn't the only rolling stone.)

 

Of mixed race: Caucasian, West Indian (Trinidad & Tobago), African, Native American, German, and on both mother's and sperm donor's sides, Welsh. 

 

Now live in the United Kingdom where I have resided in North London, South London, North Lincolnshire, and Wales (Cymru).  Currently living in a seaside town on the Welsh Riviera.

Consider myself Welsh-American, though some say that isn't a legit nationality.  But Spike Lee, averring it's up to us to define ourselves, has the last word.

 

Previous Occupations

 

Actress

Admin assistant (yuck)

Artist's model 

Caricaturist

Cartoonist

Cleaner (a mind is a terrible thing to waste on housework)

Cultural Liaison

Doughnut maker

Illustrator

Senior library assistant

Pantihose saleswoman (buy eight pairs and get a free wig: packed it in when one caller explained she only had one leg!)

Singer (in various musical comedies at The Buffalo Showboat, The Packet Inn, and a San Francisco production of Let My People Come!; in LA with country, blues and jazz bands. Also sat in with Keb Mo, back when he was Kevin Moore)

Window painter

Taxi driver (almost; I was one of two people in my class [of one hundred] who passed the L.A. map test)

 

Current status: 

 

Divorced, living in nis with Capten Cariad.  In 1998 poleaxed by bloody ME/CFS, which, though managed, keeps me pretty much housebound. Its positive aspects include allowing me to withdraw from the hustle-bustle of the world (my overactive pre-ME life has given me enough material for several books), and remind me how important it is not to waste precious energy. 

 

Six years ago I suffered a nervous breakdown and couldn't write for many years after that.  Thanks to my boyfriend, various friends, and an excellent psychotherapist, not to mensch the writings of Charles Bukowski and Natalie Goldberg and Roz Morris (see you on Mount Olympus!) and the really cool writing site WritetoDone, I am not only writing again, but writing with confidence and joy. Writing is fun again.

 

And to keep me sane, when I have the energy I paint, in oils and acrylics, sporting paintings and portraits. 'Gwlad (Country)', above, a work-in-progress, is one of mine.

 

Beliefs: 

 

Whatever your circumstances as an artist, please do not give up hope. Never give up:  never, never, never, never.  There's always a way through, but not if you give up.  Enjoy life, because you're not going to get out of it alive. And if you are suffering, just remind yourself, it's grist for your writing mill. Hwyl fawr (Welsh, it means 'big spirit')!

 

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Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Spiky old beech near Bonn, Germany
Member WtD Dream Team
Member WtD Dream Team