25,000 done, 25,000 to go!

You may be a person who looks at the title of this blog and knows exactly what I mean – or you may be baffled!

The 25,000 refers to words – since November 1st I have written twenty-five thousand (and 42) words as part of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge… it’s an on-line challenge, there are no prizes except knowing you have completed the challenge and achieved the goal!

So I am halfway through, and as you may realise today is the two-thirds mark… so I have ten days to write the remaining 25,000 (well, 24, 958 to be precise) words… Can I do it? I hope so, but it will be head down!

The thing is, as well as writing my story – which is about a woman with a mystery past who arrives in the small coast la town of Easthope – as well as writing about my mystery woman, I am also writing here every day, and writing for the blog I share with two friends, The Moving Dragon Writes… plus other stuff as well, of course! To be truthful though, during this stressful and busy time (I’m also doing an on-line course on submarine archaeology) I have shared some blogs which I wrote several years ago, with introductions and added comments, but some of the things I’ve written have been quite long…

So supposing each thing I have shared here over the last month (sixty of them) and the ones I have shared on the other blog, (say ten of them) was on average 400 words long (a conservative estimate) then that make an approximate total of about 28,000 words… so if I added that to my NaNoWriMo total… wow! I’ve made it, 53,042!!!

Obviously, I am going to try to complete the challenge by writing 50,000 words about my mystery woman, but ti just shows how much i actually do write… No wonder i don’t have tome to do the dusting!!

If you want to read the fruits of my labours, I have published thirteen novels (one in paperback), three reluctant reader stories, one writing guide, an anthology with my Moving Dragon friends, then here is a link – I’m sure you will enjoy them, pleasae let me know what you think!


and a link to the Moving Dragon blog:


Roar!!! The Moving Dragons speak!!

I mentioned that I have collaborated with two friends to publish an anthology of poetry,stories and other writings. We came together to form our small group from a creative writing class; we called ourselves The Moving Dragons and we started a blog with the idea of sharing not only our own work, but that of other people too (get in touch if you have something you’d like to share, with links and credits etc of course!)


From our blog, came the idea of an anthology – and we’re so delighted and thrilled to have made that idea a reality!

From the introduction:

For a couple of years, the three of us,  Lois, John and Richard, have successfully shared our thoughts with the world through our blog; The Moving Dragons Write is a medley of stories, poems and articles, a whole kaleidoscope of different writing. Our name came from the symbol of the county where we live, the Somerset dragon, and the well-known words ‘the moving finger having writ…’

Here are some samples:

… a poem from me –

The Thermos Flask

 Have you ever wondered,
You who abandoned your flask on a rock
Near Dunseverick Castle,
Have you ever thought about your flask?
Do you remember the times you used it, the picnics, the walks,
Or taking it to work?
Have you still the cup?
Because when we found it, standing all alone,
A sentinel waiting to be recalled,
It had no cup.

© Lois  Elsden 2017

 … the opening to a short story from Richard –

Saying Goodbye to Ouray

I first saw Łyżka when he was benching on Main Street, just along from the Post Office. Every store has a bench out on the sidewalk. It’s mostly oldsters and young Moms, with children in strollers, who sit there gossiping, so it was kinda unusual to see a black t-shirt. I checked him out with a passing glance and moved on, casually scored him as us gals do.

He came into the bar late the next evening and asked me for a table for one, upstairs in the restaurant. He was good-looking but in an understated sorta way. I liked the way he looked me in the eye when he talked to me. He said his name was Whistler, or something like that anyways. He had the most beautiful, liquid brown eyes. I think I was attracted to him from the get-go.

I’m from Ridgway, a few miles up valley. I left there because it was so stuck in the past. Yeah, sure, I have been to the other towns around the area. I quite like Silverton and Teluride, probably because they aren’t too big. I once went down valley to Durango but there were too many people, too many cars, and too many buildings there for a small-town girl like me on my own. I feel I know most of the eight hundred or so folks in Ouray, to nod and say ‘Hi’ to anyways.

The winter season brings outdoor types in their SUVs for the skiing and ice climbing while summer brings the hog riders along the San Juan Skyway before noising up and down Main Street. They clog the bars and generally seem to say, ‘look at me with my shiny Harley, ain’t I good-looking with my beard, shades, bandana and dangerous black t-shirt?’ I don’t like ‘em ‘cos they hassle me at work. I have figured out how to deal with them but there is a new crop every year that I have to get trained.

I’m Mary-Lou Ellis but everyone calls me Dish at work. I got asked a heap of times if I was the dish of the day so it was easier to give in and answer to the name. It’s printed on the front of my t-shirt now – that’s where most of the guys look first anyway.

I’ve been with my boyfriend, Rick, for a coupla years now. We’re saving hard to get enough dollars together to get married. I work all the hours I can get in the tourist seasons while Rick gets some good tips from his clients when he takes them out in the San Juan Mountains, either in his jeep or hiking, in the summer. He teaches ice climbing down at the Ice Park during the winter. With my long hours and him being away so much, we don’t see as much of each other as we would like

© Richard Kefford 2017

… a poem from John –


Why not move across, old chap,
Then I can pass and onward go.
It’s best to drive upon the left
It doesn’t impede the traffic flow.

You surely can’t wish to annoy
By fixation on a different place,
A missing chord, a family tiff,
A soccer match or motor race?

Can it be that mind so firmly set
On some great philosophic plane,
Means I must trail in your wake
With all behind me in your train?

What ultra careless arrogance
Prompts you to such calumny.
What super oblivious ego trip
Strangles half the motorway.

I can but muse, and dreaming see
Wild fancies. Could I but instruct
That mid-lane doddlers cease to be
And never ever again obstruct.

I could fly close upon your tail,
Watching cross-hairs drawing in.
Then rake you with a hail of lead
And see your deadly flaming spin.

Or joyfully, abaft the beam, set
Rolling fire from each gun deck;
Gloating as iron and grape hit home
To render you a splintered wreck.

© John J.C. Watts 2017

Here is a link to where you can get a copy of our anthology:


Day 12… NaNo update…

I was going to preface my update by saying it’s been such a busy time in my life… well, it seems these days all the time is a busy time! 2016 was the year of throwing things away – not into the rubbish (although some things did go there) but to charity shops, given to others, recycled… I cleared the decks of much clutter and our usually untidy home had some sort of order restored.  As with many families these days, children who fled the nest have, or are in the process of, returning – so suddenly all our lovely space is being filled up with … things! We are delighted to have them home but it just takes a little organising, to cram three households of stuff in together.

On the writing front I and my fellow bloggers on our Moving Dragons blog have been putting an anthology together, which is now published and available (and we would welcome your comments and reviews on Amazon), and I have at last made my reluctant readers books available on Etsy as actual books, and on Amazon as Kindle e-readers.

As well as my blog here, the Moving Dragons blog and the National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, which I shall tell you about in a minute, I am continuing to try to finish my next Radwinter book, in time to be published spring 2018… I am also hoping to produce my second Radwinter book as a paperback.

Oh, and there’s the rest of my life, including the creative writing classes I lead, the writing groups I go to, the French class and the Saxish class I attend… oh and meeting friends, going places… the usual stuff!

So… how has NaNo been going? I’ve mentioned that I intended to write about a long-standing character in search of a story… however he has wandered off, and instead I am writing about Milla who has come to my imaginary town of Easthope. She is a woman with a mystery past, which has not yet been revealed to the reader. Over the twelve days I have been writing about her, her character is gradually developing, especially as she is coming into contact with other people – the other people who live in the house where she’s renting a room, people in a café where she’s been working part-time, other people from around the town.

She has created what amounts a set of runes, which she is ‘reading’ each day, by taking one at random and bearing it in mind as the day progresses. In order to do this I do have a made up set of images which I am randomly picking out – so in a way the writing of the story is guided by chance. I have got to a point now, where I feel as if something has to happen… there has to be some action and movement to keep the reader engaged because otherwise this will just seem like the diary of an uneventful life – and even if there is some strange secret in Milla’s past, by the time it is revealed the reader won’t be reading any more!

Another thing has struck me which I must have a good think about – if I have time to think as I pound away trying to reach my target… Milla’s character. To be sure she is mysterious, but she is gradually changing into a stock female character without an actual character – she has no personality!

So that’s my task for the next few days, to discover her character, and make sure she is interesting and different!

Here is a link to our anthology:

The Moving Dragons Write:


And to my ‘Can read, won’t read series’:





Exciting dragon news!

I’ve mentioned a few times that I share another blog with two writer friends; w are The Moving Dragon Writes, and our blog is a real mixture of all types of writing and all genre. Not only so we share what we have written , we share other people’s work too. So if you have anything you would like to have on our site then we will post it with links back to your blog, web-page, Amazon page etc. Over the last few months we Moving Dragons (the name comes from Edward Fitzgerald translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, – ‘the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on’, plus our county symbol, the Somerset dragon) – we have been getting an anthology of a selection of our work together, and hurrah! at last it is published and available:.

This is how we presented it on our blog:

We have some very, very exciting news for you!!

It’s a big day in an author’s literary life when a book that has been thought about, created, written, rewritten, edited, formatted and finally, launched.

Today is one of those days, as we publish a book!! We have published books individually before but this is the first time that the three of us Dragons have collaborated to produce a collection of our work as an anthology, appropriately titled ‘The Moving Dragons Write‘.

This follows on from the success of our blog which has become a platform, not just for the three of us but also for our growing list of contributing authors.

We three ‘Dragons’, Brimdraca (Lois), Eorðdraca (Richard) and Fyrdraca (John) hope that this anthology shows that Aristotle was right when he said,  ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,. and  we hope you enjoy this first showcase of our work.

As with all of our books, The Moving Dragons Write is available from Amazon. Just follow one of the links below: