‘Say goodbye to Summer’ Saturday & hello to Orlando ‘Blue Beard’ Griffiths-Woods

So, you know me; I like to shake things up a bit sometimes…

This is me, really livin’ on the edge. I’m doing a post (wait for it) on a SATURDAY! *insert shock/horror emoji here*

Yup. A right Pantser, me. Always have been. A real rebel avec a cause. The Black Sheep and all that, and let me tell you right now, this ain’t my first rodeo. folks. I’ve been stirring this crazy pot of shit up for years now… 😉


It’s just how I roll.

Well, it’ been a mad, bad year and as the leaves fall and Autumn lays a gold and russet pathway for Winter I gear up for my fave time ever. Halloween, Bommy night (it’s a Brit thang) and the glittery run-up to Christmas. What’s not to love?

We’ve been blessed with the most glorious of Summers here in the most United of Kingdoms and even the moaniest of moaners cannot deny their watch-strap tan lines this season; hell, I’ve still got mine! We were sunbathing in Derbyshire not two weeks ago and that, my friends, is something we NEVER get to say in the Mighty blighty!


But as we all know, all that glitters is not gold. Every good thing must come to an end and looking out of my office window right now, with my beloved pooch giving me guilt eyes, I think it’s happened…

Oh, forgive me. Did I not mention our new addition? Our game-changing maestro of madness.


Allow me to introduce this little guy.

Meet Orlo.

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This was on his ‘Gotcha Day’.

February the sixteenth two thousand and eighteen.


The day our lives changed forever.

He’s gonna be one in a few weeks and I can honestly admit; I have never loved a fuzzy ball of fluff more than I do this little fella – he is amazing.

Yes, he barks sometimes when inconsiderate ingrates dare to pass by his territory and he insists on cradling his chin on the hammock of my jeans when I pee; staring up at me with those big, brown puppy dog eyes, questioning why I am performing a bodily function without his involvement, nay, approval, but I wouldn’t swap him for all the gin in erm, Gin Land.

I flippin’ adore this wee fuzzy brown bear.

He’s my little Wiggle bum Extraordinaire.

So this post is dedicated to him and all things nice, manic and wiry in the world.

Meet Orlando ‘CYNETKOY BLUE BEARD’ Griffiths-Woods.

His Majesty.


Talk about ruling the roost.

This Blue & Tan, belter of a best canine beast has totally over-taken our lives and I wouldn’t want it any other way; he is just awesomeness squeezed into a pup with attitude. Wonder where he gets that from? I think we were meant to meet…


He has brought so much joy (and chaos) into our lives that we don’t know which way up we are, but in a world full of madness, that can only be a good thing. He stabilises me, when the siren has gone off and all is lost at sea.

Or so you think.

This little Border Terrorist will keep you on an even keel.

He’s a very good buoy.

IMG_1551He defo keeps me afloat.

Because they all float... don’t they?

Enough with the platitudes. He’s our guy and what a guy he is.

I even deigned to sculpt him for All Hallows Eve; cos it’s what I do.


I leave you with a timeline of pics from my most precious boy and the thought of spiced pumkins and cinnamon; You don’t have to partake… just be nice.

Happy Halloween!






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‘Wave goodbye to Summer’ Wednesday

Okay, I am totally guilty of alliteration abuse to suit my own purpose, I know – so sue me – (Please don’t – it’s just a figure of speech) but I just had to find a way to share these wonderful pics that I was lucky enough to capture yesterday and it isn’t Sunday; so, guilty as charged, Your Honour. Do everyone a favour; take me down and throw away the key.

I mean, come on… this is Autumn on a plate right here, right?

As much as it saddens me that the nights are pulling in and the Swallows have all but disappeared to toastier Southern climes, I have to ‘fess up: Autumn/Fall is one of my most favourite times of the year. What’s not to love? Apart from the futile battle I have with the constantly-swirling leaves whipping up outside my front door like a mini red and russet tornado and kids splattering unfulfilled pumpkins down my driveway, I couldn’t love this season any more: Halloween, Bonfire Night, adverts promising the delivery of your new sofa by Christmas – you just know Winter is coming…

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No, not now, Jon; wrong blog.

Sorry folks. He knows nothing.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, Autumn and its plethora of colours and ability to assault the senses in every which way it cares to; don’t you just love it? I do.

Here in my little-but-mysterious home (fishing) town of Grimsby (It’s near Hull if anyone asks) we don’t have a wealth of scenery for us amateur ‘togs to practice honing our minimal skills: there’s the old pontoon/docks and seafront (where I have taken many a ghostly snap. Check out my sister blog Crimes in Wonderland) and some rather flat scrawling plains that doubles as Lincolnshire, but one of my most favourite places is Scartho Road Cemetery.


Look, I know it’s a bit macabre, but to me, it’s a place of peace and reflection and when the local council workers aren’t knocking over gravestones with their ride-on mowers, it’s a wonderful place to take a stroll and remember those we’ve lost; and to pay our respects to those that didn’t make it back.

My beloved Nana and Grand Dad are laid to rest there ; together. My cousin, Great Grandparents, friends and older relatives that I didn’t have chance to meet all sleep in the same place – as do many of my family and friend’s loved ones too – so  we visit often. Sometimes on our own, sometimes together, but there’s one thing you can guarantee when treading the dusty paths through this sacred place: you’re never alone.


When the sun is shining – which, granted, doesn’t happen all that often here – this place is a beautiful, serene, garden of ghosts that you can’t help feeling at one with; but don’t be scared. As my lovely Nana used to say: “It’s the living you want to be worried about, not the dead.”


There’s so many things to love about this local burial ground.

From its carefully manicured hedges that hide leaking taps for visitors to fill their moss-carpeted water bottles, to the sound of children’s laughter and frustrated ref’s whistles wafting across from the nearby school and playing fields (where I have spent many happy hours playing hockey and football and tormenting said frustrated refs),  I have half a lifetime of memories of this place; some sad, but mostly fondly recollected. And strangely, when I am feeling down, it’s my ‘go to’ spot.

It’s as if it’s calling me home –  or reminding me that I am still alive.


But in amongst the marble placeholders of mine and my fellow townsfolk’s history, lies another purpose. An inadequate-yet-well-intentioned tribute to the men and women that lost their lives – some never getting chance to return to their homeland – casualties from the First and Second World Wars.

563 persons are honoured here. Girls, boys, men and women – all too young to be resting in this beautiful place that most never called home – guarded by the ever watchful but always respectful flowers of peace; surrounded by grateful Grimbarians that probably owed them their lives.



This tiny fishing town on the coast saw more than its fair share of battles at sea, butterflies and bombers during both wars; killing many fishermen and service men & women, but also German Prisoners held at the nearby Weelsby War Camp and innocent civilians just doing their bit for the effort. We took it hard, we bear the scars, but we survived and still generations live on.


For those that don’t, we still remember.


And we thank you.

You might not be resting where you hail from, but to us, you can always call this place your home.



















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‘Say it ain’t so’ Sunday – Special Edition

Well, here we are again; another Sabbath –  they come around quickly these days, don’t they?

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This post is a Special Sunday edition. you’ll be surprised/pleased/relieved to hear that I am not going to moan about anything today. Yep, today is totally dedicated to honour, humility, peace, love and Dads.

You’d have to have been living underground without tv or wi-fi to not have witnessed what has been happening to our wonderful planet over the last month or so. Okay, I know that horrors and atrocities occur all the time, all over the world, every minute of every day, and yes, living in England, our tiny-but-glorious corner of the world, we are generally sheltered from the worst of it and tend to be blinkered when it comes to realising just how broken our planet is, but just recently – and against our will – we have been awakened.

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On the 22nd of March 2017 at 14.40, a fellow Brit drove into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge injuring more than 50 people and killing four. He then stabbed a police officer on duty outside the palace to death.

A few weeks later, innocent children and relatives were pointlessly murdered whilst leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. A single, cowardly attack by a lone, misguided monster. Blindly led by the pathetic scum known as ISIS, who yet again,  falsely claimed it was in the name of religion.

Just twelve days after that, three men (and I use the term loosely) drove a white van into crowds on London Bridge before jumping from it and randomly attacking Saturday night revellers in Borough Market, again, killing many more innocent people. Thankfully, our wonderful police shot them dead within minutes.

On Wednesday of the week just gone, I awoke to the news that a block of flats in London was ablaze and there were several fatalities, with more expected.

Our little isle is hurting right now.

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We are sad, angry, bewildered, dazed.

But there is one thing we are NOT and that is scared.

The UK has proved – yet again – just how resilient and precious its inhabitants can be. How strong, how brave and how determined we are as a nation, not to let hate win.

We went to that concert that you thought we wouldn’t attend, we cheered at the massive end of season football match and sang songs, we wandered the streets of big cities in step with the armed police that smiled as they posed for pictures and we stuck two fat fingers up at your stupid, weightless argument. We screamed: FUCK YOU!

Okay, we cried. We stood in silence to remember the victims and the tiresless work of our angel army that is the emergency services and we let our hearts break at our loss, but something else happened.

We got strong.

We got stronger than ever.

We got re-UNITED.

I visited St. Anne’s Square in Manchester before attending the Robbie Williams concert on June 3rd to pay my respects and as heart-wrenching as it was, it was also beautiful.

People who had never met put their arms around stranger’s shoulders and shed shared tears. They stood, sombre, reading tributes to the victims, no doubt collectively wondering what on earth it had all been for. They walked quietly around the memorial, hearts aching, but also bursting with pride. Pride for something you will never destroy.

Our country is reeling, it’s crying right now, but it’s also fiercly brave, and proud.

Proud of the way that we still welcome different people, different cultures and different beliefs with open arms.

Proud of the thousands of police staff, firefighters, military personnel, paramedics, doctors, nurses, surgeons, porters, receptionists, counsellors, cleaners, chefs, taxi drivers, reporters, news readers, politicians, volunteers and members of our not-so-ordinary public who have given their all or just a little over the past few months; whoever you are, you have made a difference and we thank you for it.

Hate will never win, because love exists.

So I dedicate this post to us all.

You can keep trying to knock us down, but we’ll just dust ourselves off and get right back up again, as we always do.

We are the United Kingdom.

We are England; God’s own country.

We are GREAT Britain.



PS. Happy Father’s Day. 🙂







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‘Say it ain’t so’ Sunday

I give up on Tuesday’s, they’re just too boring. Believe me, they have no use whatsoever; apart from to remind you that the worst day of the week is gone: dead and buried – a dim and distant memory – a bit like Liverpool’s trophy hopes, only with more teeth.


So, what’s a girl to do when the one day that fed her blog with its digital fodder, suddenly becomes so inane that even Wednesday shrugs its shoulders and shakes its head at it with a wry midweek grin on its chops? Well, I’ll tell you (not like on a Tuesday or anything)…

We effin’ ‘Say it ain’t so‘ on a Sunday.

Yep, you heard it here first, blog buddies: Saffi ‘Says it ain’t so‘ Sabbath-stylee.

A day of no toil, calm and dodgy dinners: so buckle up, you onesiewearing-yorkshirepuddingmaking-boxsetwatching-jobdodgers, Saffi’s coming to nudge you off the corner settee you spent the last three years paying for and make you wish you had shares in Alka Selzter; this Sapphicscribe ain’t for turning. She’s positively going Room 101 on your backsackandcrackwaxed ass!

I told you there’d be no holds barred didn’t I?

What does that even mean?

Well, I’ll let you in to a teensy-weensy secret: We gonna say what we want, when we want – and ‘when’ happens to be this goddammotherfrickinmoment right here, y’all. ‘k?

Yah-huh, thought it might be…



You hear that sound, you sorry excuse for Sunday Saviours?

“Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.”

The grains of hope are rapidly running out of the shattered timeglass for you feeble lot – we need the truth and we need it now!

So who’s gonna be brave and go first? It’ll only sting for a second – I promise.



Any takers?

Okay, I knew it’d be me. Afterall, that’s what I’m here for, right?

What grinds my gears? (apart from the euphemisms that people use to describe how angry they are?) What really makes my innards twist like an adder on acid and sends my crimson tide past boiling point? I’ll tell you.

You asked for it.

Empty fucking cups on soaps.

Recycled, Polyethylene corrugated drink holders with nothing in them. Why? Just, why?

They could fill them with water or cordial or something so that’s it’s slightly believable they’ve paid £2.40 for an Americanothatsnotanamericanocosithasmilkinit and haven’t suffered third degree burns to their perfectly manicured pinkies whilst carrying them back to the only factory/laundrette/pub/marketstall in the village. I mean, really? Would it take that much?

They lift them off the fake counters and they float in the air like Olive off of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and we’re supposed to believe that they have something in them. Do you honestly think we are that stupid? Seriously?

And how come there’s never any steam? Coffee’s hot, right? There’d be steam. So stop blowing on them and then slewing it back as if your throat’s made of asbestos – we don’t flippin’ believe you!

Enough – there’s nothing in it and we all know it.

By God’s! If I only had one of those guns from the cop shows with eighteen thousand bullets in it – I would totally use it to shoot those empty cup holders…and ten-times dead zombies.

Annnnnd breathe. Phew. It is Sunday afterall. It’s supposed to be peaceful – and harmonious – and… how come they never burn their collagen-filled lips? Huh?

Right, stop it, it’s not doing me or you any good. Nothing positive can come of this.

It used to be a Tuesday, now it’s a Sunday and there’s nothing to see here. Move along. There’s a good girl/boy/hapless village idiot.


Happy Dossday, you feckless soap-rakes: I wouldn’t want to be the intern that’s sent out for your invisible, Cinnamon-festooned Skinny Latte.

‘Say it ain’t so, Sunday.’









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‘Tell it like it is’ Tuesday – Guess who’s back..?

You wanted Shady and chopped liver, right?

Tough. On both counts.

It’s jus’ li’l ole me. And him. And them. And…Oh dear, I’m getting carried away with myself and my imaginary friends again, once more aren’t I? How do I manage it?


I honestly do not know.

If I could share my literary lunacy then I would, but popular that would make me not. And hey, everyone wants to be loved, yeah? Of course we do – that’s why we’re here, but Shakespeare didn’t make any friends by inviting ghouls to the feast did he? Nah. So let’s get back to the subject in hand – Telling it like it is, on a Tuesday. A Tuesday I tell you, who ever thought of that needs a lifetime of Monday’s… sigh.

Tuesday is the crappest day of the week – fact.

It’s nowhere.

It’s a misnomer: a waste of my time and most definitely yours.

TUE-your-foot-off-because you can’t be bothered-SDAY.

There can be no other use for this shit day.

Bin it.


However, if you don’t – do this with it:

Remember 9/11… Tuesday?


The day the music died?

Yep, a Tuesday…


Then there was this:

These excuses for human beings shot a school up – please….



They are someone’s boys, someone’s sons. Somebody somwhere is wondering what they did wrong. How did we all get it so wrong? Ask yourself. Seriously, ask yourself.

Take it on the chin, it’s Tuesday.


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‘Tell it like it is’ Tuesday – Two years on.

Holy smoke.

Has it really been that long?

WordPress is telling me that I haven’t posted a blog for two years but that’s just an outright, disgusting lie. Shame on you WP! It’s nowhere NEAR that, it’s…

Screenshot 2016-08-02 10.53.01


It’s almost been two years.

Twenty-odd months of me keeping shtum. Got to be a record.

Was it because I had nothing to say? Has some terrible fate befallen me or did I lock myself away in a creaky cabin cloaked in cobwebs at the bottom of the garden to finish another tome?

Nope. Nothing anywhere near as exciting as the above. Quite the opposite. I wish i was so deliciously interesting.

The God’s honest is: life just got in the way.

Work, family, people, things just kept on happening. Places to go, men to see about dogs in dingy pubs etcetera etcetera. That crap just kept putting its size nines right in the middle of my plans for world domination, and shaking it all about!

Hey ho. I guess that’s how the story (no pun intended) goes. But I’m back!

Yes, Siree, ain’t no keepin’ this bad-ass mo’fo down! (see how gangsta I got there? Uh-huh, you wanna be checking your sorry self out for my bootprint on your rear end, homie).

Screenshot 2016-08-02 11.22.56

Anyway, I digress.

So, what’s been going on then, dudes? Up to much? Any news?

Wait, I might have some.

The Saffina Desforges writing machine is now totally just Saffi.

Mark Williams and I have decided to call it quits, go our separate ways (words-wise) and cut the chord. It was inevitable really; two people slinging ink down on virtual paper across the oceans was never gonna work, was it? Besides, he’s way too quiet for my liking, it was always gonna end with me screaming and shouting and him cowering beneath his make-shift desk in his flip-flops. 😉

There’s been no (well, not much) blood spilled and I would like to think that we can remain e-friends, after all, if it wasn’t for our chance encounter, Sugar & Spice would never have seen the light of day and gone on to sell over a million copies, Cass ‘Red’ Rose wouldn’t exist and the original manuscript of a book titled Equilibrium that I started (and still haven’t finished) almost thirty years ago would still be keeping the spiders company in my garage. Oh, wait… 🙂

Nah, just kidding. Look, I have a real cover and everything!



So there it is, Saffina Desforges was and still is, my own alter-ego. She’s very much alive and kicking and very much writing more stuff thank you very gladly…coming soon to a Kindle store near you. Mark has re-published S&S under his own name and he’s even managed to finally get some of his scribblings about the paradise that is West Africa down on paper, see here. You might even find the odd short story about James Bond and some re-telling of Arthur Conan-Doyle’s ‘Sherlock’ classics on his page if you were to hop over and give it a squizz. That’s him, there.

As for me, well, I hope it won’t be another two years before I swing by this way again. REALLY.MUST.MAKE.MORE.EFFORT.

Seriously though, I used to love ‘Telling it like it is’ on a Tuesday, maybe I will again.

In the meantime, I suppose I should get back on the pantomime horse and stick some shit down on the page. These books ain’t gonna write themselves, dawg! 🙂

(Hopefully) Coming soon:

‘Beauty & the Beast’ – Rose Red crime thriller series: Book 3

‘The Sandman’ – A Rose Red Rhymes short story

‘First Blood’ – Equilibrium Trilogy: Book 1

Writing as Stevie Jordan:

‘Drawer Seven’ – a horror novella

‘Take it to the grave’ – D.I Andi Lincoln ~ ‘Crimes in Wonderland’ Series, Book 1











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‘Tell it like it is’ Tuesday – Is there anybody there?

So…turns out, I’m not dead. Phew!

I’m more glad about that than you might think. I’ll tell you why a bit later. But enough with the pleasantries, how’ve you been? Sheesh, it’s been ages. I mean, like, forever.


Well, it also turns out, that forever is a long time. Who knew?

Precisely, it’s about three hundred and thirty four days.

Hello, my name is Saffi and it’s been some time since my last confession…I mean, blog.

Yeah, yeah. Shoot me now. I know.

Good, so that’s that out of the way then. We wouldn’t want a huge grey thing in the corner, would we?

Soooooo, you look different. Have you changed your hair or something? New dress? Just can’t quite put my finger on it, but you’ve definitely done something…wait, I know! Yep, you’ve turned into something completely unrecognisable! How did I not spot it before?

Need a little help?

We’re on about the game face of the publishing industry of course.

Talk about trying to trap a firefly at noon with your granddad’s favourite pants! Just can’t make that critter say still long enough to see what you’re up against. And even if you do get lucky, the darn thing is bound to wriggle its way out some hole or another. My advice? Don’t bother.

Dead-tree route? Indie? Go it alone or pay someone else to upload your books to the internet of things? Get an editor/don’t get an editor? Use KDP’s new button and make your own cover. After all, no-one judges your work by that, right? It’s all just a big boat-load of reasons not to get on with your day-job.



There are a gazillion ways to allow a reader to feast their eyes on those little letters you’ve stained a blank canvas with – and let’s face it – they’re better off there than in your muddled brain. So do it. Hell, dare I even say it, do NanoWrimo if you feel you must! Whatever it takes to shut those whining protags’ up. Do it, and do it now.

It’s what November was made for.

Ooh, speaking of November, let’s not forget about its poor relation.


Two more days.

Two more days to Halloween, Halloween. Dontcha just frickin’ love it? It’s the night when the lost souls wander the earth and it’s your job to stop them stealing your breath and slithering under your bed. Baseball bats are NOT gonna cover it. So choose your side carefully… are you with me, or against? Come on, it’s Tuesday, got to tell it as it is.

Have a fabulous Autumn and never forget: it’s not the dead that’ll hurt you, it’s the living.

Happy almost Halloween.



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Thanksgiving ‘Tell it like it is’ ~ Why you should be thankful you didn’t call your cat Azzie

Right, let me just get this out there before my inbox explodes, okay? No one, but no one likes a big grey problem lurking in the corner…

Are you SURE you can see me at the back?

Are you SURE you can see me at the back?

Yes, I know: my last blog was July 2013… (Oh and yet again, it isn’t Tuesday, but what the hell. For today’s purposes, we’re telling it like it is on a Thursday)

There, I said it. But hey, guess what? Go and read it (here), it’s quite amusing and a LOT has changed since then. Not least, that my beloved country finally has a new Wimbledon champion! Yay! Great news for us Brits and what a deserved victory it was…

*insert picture of Andy Murray kissing said trophy here*

…however, the blob on the field scene, is that the twisted and futile battle between writers (also mentioned in the blog post) of all persuasions still has legs and is currently running around the ‘net like a jam-covered Twinkie at a wasp reunion. There’s a few interesting posts here and here if you can stomach any more of it. Personally – as I have said before – I would rather write, but it does make you feel better about said writing when you read them. *big smiley face*

Soooos, anyho’, let’s not allow that to scar this latest post. It’s Thursday not Tuesday, it’s Thanksgiving. You’re here, I’m here and we’re telling it like it is, right?


Let’s do this thing!

What is all this ranting in aid of today?

Well, it’s about a cat.

And little lockable mind- boxes where we store our deepest, darkest fears.

And bad people who want to steal your very life-essence.

It’s about good triumphing over evil.

Oh and some bloke who fancies himself as a horror writer.

Meet Azzie, the real star of the show…

Of course, I am referring to the sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. But beware – this is NOT a review. Okay, I will mention the book and what I thought of it (and possibly give some bits away, so go do something else if you haven’t read it yet and intend to) but that is not the purpose of this post, so don’t start bitchin’ if that’s why you came.

Here’s the actual cover (well, the Amazon UK version of it anyway. There are many more, but this is my fave):

Okay, so for me, as a die-hard SK fan, this book coming out was a BIG deal. My love for the master of horror has seen more ups and downs in recent years than a roller-coaster ride built by a drunken Tourette’s sufferer (no offence intended here btw before you start, I have been known to unleash the occasional uncontrollable barrage of profanities myself and share the odd bottle of wine or three) so I was skeptical – if not a little wary – to say the least. Would he really be able to follow up The Shining after all this time? Would readers be comparing it to the film? Are SK’s stories even scary anymore or does he just churn out books that he knows fans will buy because they have his name on them,  regardless of the quality of the plot or the writing?

Well, let me tell you, the answer is a resounding: I DON’T KNOW.

I am totally on the proverbial fence with this one. There’s always markers for me regarding whether I thought a book was good or not, first one being, did I finish it? In this case, yes, I most certainly did. And did I rush home to read it every day? Yet again: Yes. Did it hold my attention? Yup. Did the characters resonate with me? Aye and did I care about what happened to them? Most definitely. I thought the concept was unique and typically strange, and the members of the True Knot were not the type of retirees that you would enjoy sharing a natter and a coffee with at a rest stop. It was great to see what had happened to Dan Torrance and how his life had panned out (although no great surprise that after his experience at The Overlook Hotel he would become a messed-up, single alcoholic) and the supporting characters were as believable as they were lovable. All in all, it was a great story. It had everything you would expect. Suspense, weirdness, plausible fantasy that treads the fine line between real-life and what we all hope actually exists –  and a cat. You just gotta have a cat, right? According to numerous articles on the web (this one being my fave), the story about a real-life cat named Oscar, who reportedly knew when people were going to die, prompted SK to start work on the sequel in the first place, so why didn’t I love it, instead of just liking it?

I gotta be brutally honest – it didn’t scare me.

There were no shivers, no heart-stopping moments where I held my breath and stared in disbelief at my Kindle, nor did I switch the light off with reluctance when I had finished reading. It was good. That’s as kind as I can be.

I get the feeling, that A) Mr King was physically compelled to write the sequel as Dan Torrance was tapping him on the shoulder, begging that his story be continued and B) that this will undoubtedly make a great film and was written as such a book.

I found the parts where the MC and Abra (token tween who also had shineability but to a greater extent than Dan’s because hers hadn’t been dulled by booze) communicated telepathically,  jarring. They were written in italics and strangely, without punctuation, so were very difficult to follow and I found myself going back over what had been written frequently and also, I kept getting the peripheral characters mixed up. There was a doctor and family friend, and some other bit-part groupies who went to AA meetings, as well as Abra’s family, and this I found rather disjointed.

I loved the True Knot characters and the names he gave them and the fact that they disguised their true purpose as innocent oldies, wearing crap t-shirts and trundling around in sparkly SUVs, but aside from the odd arched eyebrow when Rose (one-fanged leader of the True Knot) got inside Abra’s head, I wasn’t too disturbed. Which is a little disappointing as a fan.

But here’s the sucker-punch. The big ‘but’. The golden ticket as far as a writer (or indeed, a reader) is concerned.


Some line/scene/character/throwaway comment nestled itself into someone’s psyche and settled down for the Winter, if not forever. Burrowing deep, laying its hat and calling that new, warm, cosy place home.

As a writer, that is all you could ever wish for.

Sure, I have no doubt that my fellow scribes would also have a NY Times bestseller chart position and a yacht on their wish-list, but when you sit back in your chair and type THE END (which is usually about ten years before the book is actually properly finished), all you can hope for is that someone reads the story and one little, tiny, miniscule mote of story-magic, is inhaled and sparkles for eternity.

How do I know that this happened with Doctor Sleep, I hear you ask?

A friend of mine is going through a pretty crap time of it just recently. I won’t name them, nor will I divulge the circumstances around said crapola period of their lives, but what I WILL do, is show you this.  This is a reply to a text I sent the other day, insinuating that even the super-humans among us have to admit that life and emotions can get in the way of being the incredible hulk sometimes. This was their reply to a comment I made suggesting that worry over a relative had possibly affected how they had behaved in the last few weeks:


If only eh? If only we could compartmentalize our feelings, anger and sadness and stick them in a little drawer in our heads, turn the key and leave them there until we were strong enough to deal with them or just set them on fire – blow the box up – whichever came first. How cool would it be and what would life be like? Much different methinks.

The truth of the matter is, we can’t.

So the point of the this post is two-fold (phew, Saffi, I can hear you say. We wondered when you would get to that bit):

Stephen King is still a great writer and is the undisputed master of mote-leaving magic in the Universe, even though he has probably made peace with his demons and that shows in his writing these days and…

No-one has the key to the aforementioned box.

Sure, you can put things away for a while and sit on the lid whilst they bounce around like a kangaroo trying to get out of a suitcase, but you can never really silence your fears. Not forever.

Things sting. Life is shit sometimes. Crap things happen to okay people. It’s the way of the world.

What you can do, is smile the next time you pass someone who looks like they could use a bit of extra help shutting that lid. Even if it’s just for a while. Just long enough to store that box in a filing cabinet, then blow the dust off and have a look inside at a later date.

Maybe Stephen King’s story has a deeper meaning. Maybe it’s just a good book that turns out okay in the end. Who knows? Not me.

All I do know is – whilst we’ve still got steam, we’re still alive and no amount of scary monsters can keep us down forever.


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‘Tell it like it is’ Tuesday – Anyone for tennis?

Ahoy there!

Well, it’s Wimbledon time again. The supermarket aisles are stocked with Pimms and there isn’t an uncultivated strawberry in sight. Oh and it’s raining!

But wait, it was also Glastonbury a few days ago. What did you expect? British Summer Time? Hell, this is British summer!


The clever boffins at the All England Lawn Tennis Club have finally (after some 136 years) decided to stick a roof on center court (and soon #1 court too) so that we can actually get through a match without the covers having to be brought on OR endure a Cliff Richard rendition whilst we wait as rain stops play. Yay! Thank *insert appropriate deity here* for that!

But hey, let’s hope they actually close it in time – unlike our friends in Donetsk at the Euro’s last year *sigh* when they delayed the decision to close the embarrassingly expensive roof until they were under three feet of water and then realised that it takes over an hour to shut, by which time, the referees were wearing waders and Roy Hodgson had defected to the England synchronised swimming team!

So, for all of our non-British visitors, I thought I’d give you a little sneeky-peek into one of our most visited events of the year and show you why it is so adored here in Blighty…

During the Wimbledon fortnight the following are consumed:

  • 300,000 cups of tea and coffee
  • 250,000 bottles of water
  • 207,000 meals served
  • 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s
  • 190,000 sandwiches
  • 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts
  • 135,000 ice creams
  • 130,000 lunches are served
  • 100,000 pints of draught beer and lager
  • 60,000 Dutchees
  • 40,000 char-grilled meals served
  • 32,000 portions of fish and chips
  • 30,000 litres of milk
  • 28,000 kg (112,000 punnets) of English strawberries
  • 25,000 bottles of champagne
  • 23,000 bananas
  • 20,000 portions of frozen yoghurt
  • 12,000 kg of poached salmon and smoked salmon
  • 7,000 litres of dairy cream
  • 6,000 stone baked pizzas

In the fourteen days of the tournament, some 378.8 million people will watch it on their televisions.

Almost half a million spectators will pass through the gates during the tournament.

At least one player will smash a serve in of more than 137 mph at their opponent and no-one will die. (hopefully)

660 matches will be played.

Over 40 miles of string will be used to re-string rackets.

6,000 members of staff will work for the duration.

25,000 households will be adorned with a new green and purple championship towel.

10,000 umbrellas will be bought and most likely, used.

And one man and one woman will be crowned Champions and have their name etched on that famous wall and trophy.

This usually leads to almost 63 million disappointed Brits – again.

But what about this year?

Federer – out.

Nadal – out.

Murray – still in (at the time of writing this)

…and possibly just one man stands between him and that elusive win. Will we be celebrating this coming Sunday in the sunshine, or will we be snarling a smile as someone else plants a smacker on the trophy once again? Who knows? But to us, it is summer, it is Wimbledon…

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????112898481_am_335114b imagesBut it’s just a game right?

Wrong. Very wrong. There can only be one winner.

So, you are forgiven for wondering what any of this has to do with writing and publishing (a-ha, you knew there was a reason you came!). Well, I’ll tell you.

I am soooooooo bored of reading posts/rants/tirades of abuse relating to the tennis that is the ‘traditional’ versus ‘indie’ grudge match.

I mean, get over yourselves already. ALL of you.

I staggered across one highly amusing post here the other day. I won’t offer my opinion on the poster, he does a cracking job of removing all doubt for you in his replies and his other vitriolic (and highly unsubstantiated) blatherations against ‘indies’. It seems reading his other posts that the guy is highly knowledgeable and offers some great news and insight into e-reading and publishing. but like the perennial loser at Wimbledon, no matter how well he plays up until the final match-winning point, everything else that comes before it is irrelevant if you’re not kissing the cup.

Then there was, of course, the equally-sidesplitting post by Melissa Foster some time ago. Add that to your handmade, obviously second-rate pipes and smoke your not-quite-as-good-as-Golden Virginia-tobacco you wannabe writer plebs!

At the other end of the manicured court, just in sight above the perfectly aligned net are the ‘indie is the only way’ ‘traditional publishing is dead’ naysayers. I detest them with equal venom.

Let’s just get one thing straight here, guys: whether you label yourself with the latest cool author tag (anyone else hate ‘hybrid’? I’m a writer, not a car) or you stand with both feet rooted in one happy camp and your one and only song on your iPod blasting out on a repeatable 24 hour loop, you are in this crazy sport for one reason and one reason only. To write the best story/book/poem/screenplay that you can.

There should only ever be ONE winner.

The reader.

Game, set AND match.


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‘Tell it like it is’ Tuesday ~ ‘Imagine me & you.’ Characters and why you have to shoot them in the head.

Okay, I know it’s not Tuesday and that is the whole point of this post. Please forgive me (or send your strongly-worded letter to the White Star Line slash Points of View)

They say if you have to get up in the dead of the night and write something down, you never forget it.

It’s a bit like that when someone you’ve never met before saunters into your head, grinds a fag out with a worn winklepicker and says: “There’s a hole where my heart used to be. My name’s Nate, by the way. ” (Or howdy, or hi, or greetings or whatever salutation suits). *watchthisspaceforanewsaffinadesforgeseries*

Can you imagine how J.K. felt when she made the decision to kill off Harry?

It's all downhill from here...

It’s all downhill from here…

Actually, she probably felt quite relieved… if you’re not a writer, you won’t get this. Sorry, don’t mean to exclude you from this conversation, but it’s true. Might as well leave now… 😉

Still here? Good. That means that you’ve earned your rite of passage (or you’re a bit wrong in the head).

So, where was I? Oh yeah, what to do when people that don’t exist take over your life.

Crazy? Yup.

It doesn’t matter how good you are at writing/explaining stuff/drawing with words, you cannot tell a muddle (that’s writer-talk for people who don’t write) what it’s like to live with voices in your head. You have no idea how it feels to close your eyes and know that when you sleep, all you will do, is borrow another persons’ life for eight hours (insert numbers here) and wake up and put it down on paper. FACT.

I tried explaining it the other day. #epicfail.

You see, as much as you muddles pretend to get it – you don’t.

I wouldn’t want to live with a writer. I wouldn’t want to live with a serial killer either, but sometimes, I think it’d be easier.

I’m sat here, at my desk (my favourite place in the world. Bar none) pondering an analogy. There isn’t one. But if there WAS it’d probably be something like that advert for colds.

Now I know how Damocles felt.

This week has been tumultuous for me.

This blog post is my therapy… some take drugs; Some pinch cars and drive them at breakneck speed.

Some assault a leather bag hanging from the rafters.

Some go out and do unspeakable things.

Me? I hammer my keyboard.

Go on. Give it your best shot.

Go on. Hit me with your best shot.

The greatest football manager that ever lived retires tomorrow. I am bereft.


I guess this post is in honour of him. It’s my tribute.

He got his trophy back

He got his trophy back

I’m also putting my dollars on the fact that he’ll never read it. Do you know what? It doesn’t matter.

The fact that I wrote it is enough. The fact that one person churned my gut enough to make me want to mention them, is testament to the legacy that he has created. And as much as you don’t know how it feels to be a writer, you also don’t know how he will feel on Monday when he opens his eyes…

It’s a bit like shutting the voices up. It’s a bit like confining someone you don’t know to the annals of time. Put them in the well and let them scream and shout and claw their way out, but they will never really be quiet.

THAT is how SAF will feel when he walks into Old Trafford and he isn’t in the red Recaro seat. They say he isn’t leaving – but he is. If he isn’t in charge, he might as well not be there.

THAT is also what it feels like to be a writer. Me and Sir Alex, we’re not that different…

I hate those books that tell you how to write a best-seller in 3 easy steps. (Please, Mand, stop me from ever writing one if I mention it).

The APS will be spinning in their tortured seats

The APS will be spinning in their tortured seats

I read a blog post the other day from a guy who was ‘jacking it all in’ because no-one paid for what he’d written.

You don’t do it for that. You do it because if you didn’t, you’d be dead.

Needless to say, I didn’t comment on his cyberic tirade. I think I have learned my lesson when it comes to not being able to undo what you have indelibly stamped on the twittersphere… I’ve also learned my lesson when it comes to characters.

The reason for this post?

Not SAF.

Not because I have a point (I have ideas crashing around my head like blind-folded dodgem cars in the dark, 24-7), OR because I wanted you to buy a book that would make you rich in a nano-second, no.

The reason I write this: is because I fell back in love with writing. (again)


Karin Slaughter – Criminal.

See here:

THIS is how you do it....

THIS is how you do it….

Will Trent reminded me of how to write. Will Trent is a CHARACTER. If I manage to make someone (anyone) feel like that – ONCE, I will have achieved my goal: I’ve shot you in the head. And that’s one you won’t get over. 🙂


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