Sunday, December 30, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

It is close to the end of 2012.

A small flock of brown pelicans visited Victoria in December but when the temperature dropped they flew south. I enjoyed watching them flying in formation or singly. Yesterday brought an unusual sight. As I set out on my walk by the sea a swan appeared, swimming from west to east. Where it came from is a mystery since there are no swan ponds near by.

There are swans in Beacon Hill Park but if the swan came from there, it is way off base. I imagined a swan with an injured wing trying to get to the park and could not fly up over the cliff. I pictured it climbing up the steep slope. There is a little children's story here that I might flesh out. A courageous swan is lost and is determined to find her way home. I decided to make her a female.

She is beset by ducks when she swims into their territory. They flap their wings at her and hiss through their beaks. One or two peck at her but she fights back. She is bigger than the ducks and hisses back at them. But she is sad and wants her swan family. She has a mate at the pond and their cygnets are nearly full grown. A tall man standing on the breakwater raised his bow and shot an arrow at her that grazed her left wing. "Try again, Dad," a boy shouted. "Try and kill her." I'm pretty sure it is illegal to kill swans and an off duty cop sees what is happening and charges the bow hunter. Why would anyone want to hurt a swan?

Her wing is painful and she is tired from paddling in the cold sea water, her legs are weary and she makes her way to the rocky shore where great monstrous logs are piled up on the gravel beach. How can she fly over them?

And that is as far as I shall go to-day.

Have a happy and safe New Year celebration. Celebrate on Tuesday as the holidays wind down and buy my e-books. Have a peaceful read. Find my books at:


Friday, December 28, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

December 28, 2012.

To-day I have attached my new licence plate decal to my car. It's a fiddly little job. I wash off the place for the decal and make sure it's clean before sticking on the new one. And that is my excitement for to-day. I had a good long walk and the weather is grey and drear with a chilly breeze. I'm looking forward to spring already and winter has barely started.

However, there is a gorgeous rhodo bush in full bloom at the edge of Beacon Hill park. A treat for my eyes. I didn't see a single pelican to-day. If they had an ounce of sense they'd be flying south to warmer climes.

I am planning to comment on how south Wales seemed to me when I lived there in 1944. Nothing much had change in the small village of Penpedairheol from where my husband lived there as a boy. The mines were still operating and I was shocked to see teenaged boys coming home from the colliery covered in black coal dust. Pit head baths were a novelty, their eventual arrival was much appreciated by the miners' wives. No more bath tubs to scrub clean. If the house had a bath tub?

More of that another time. If any Welsh men and women read this, I'd like to hear from you. When oil was discovered in the North Sea the coal mines gradually closed. A huge life change for miners and their families.

I hope you are buying my books and making me happy. I'm not writing romance novels now and am  in a bit of limbo wondering what to write next. The urge to create stories is still there but finding the right focus is my problem.

If you are Welsh, do tell me your story. If you leave a comment I shall send you my e-mail address to read your story.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. 2014 is just around the corner. Time flies.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

December 25th. It's Christmas Day.

 Hello everyone from Vancouver Island where the sea is heaving in great swells and a strong wind is blowing. I shall not venture out. We have pelicans flying over the sea. They are new to the area and may, or may not stay for the winter. Not a sign of a humming bird though. I plan to hang up a feeder for them in 2013. They need encouragement for there is precious little for them to feed on during the grey winter months.

A small flock of robins passed by two days ago. Some stay but most cross the Strait and head for better berries and bugs to eat.

I received two books for Christmas. RIN TIN TIN by Susan Orlean. I am partial to German shepherds. We owned Kim, a German shepherd,  until she died when she was ten years old. A lovely animal and protective of the family. The other book, "TRUST YOUR EYES," a thriller by Linwood Barclay. With the books awaiting on my Kindle and a couple of print books in my bookcase I have enough reading material for 2013.

In a fit of reading madness, I have ordered from Munro's Books, "The Stardust  Revolution: The New Story of Our Origin in the Stars."

So, what are you reading? Is anyone out clinging to life? I'd love to hear from you. Maybe we can inspire each other to read even when our eyes are tired.

Google this: WHY CAN'T I OWN A CANADIAN? and prepare to smile or even laugh out loud.

Dreadful news from the States with killings to break the heart. Are there more crazy people in the States than in Canada? Or do crazy people have access to guns of every description? As for NRA! Their spokesman sounds insane. He advocates more guns, for God's sake. Who will be the next victims?

To change the subject to something a little more cheery. Keep buying my books either in book or e-format. A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, ISABELLE'S DIARY, ISABELLE'S STORY, RING AROUND THE MOON AND TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

TOO YOUNG TO DIE  is a page turner. Imagine a young woman, a nanny. She has to escape from killers and heads into the forest in the Cascade Mountains in Washington with a three months old baby in her arms - at midnight.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I live in a retirement community and our librarian asked us write about a memorable Christmas  I decided to write about my first Christmas in Wales.


After crossing the Atlantic safely in late August and early September, 1944, I journeyed to South Wales to stay with my mother-in-law, Mam, and my husband, Bill's two sisters, Betty and Dossi, until the end of the war.

As Christmas approached we decorated the two downstairs rooms with paper streamers. Instead of pine cones our house was brilliant with branches of holly trees gathered from the nearby woods. Their red berries glowed. We had no spare coal to light fires in two rooms. Coal was rationed. Bill was home on four day's leave and the rain had stopped.

Mam's neighbours, the Moss family, kept a small flock of chickens. Food for the birds was strictly controlled and the flock carefully monitored by the authorities but Mr. Moss managed to secure a fine, fat cockerel for our dinner.

The pudding in a china basin and tightly wrapped in a white cloth burbled and steamed in a copper in the shed on Christmas day. The mouth-watering scent of roasting chicken tantalized our taste buds. The stuffing, the vegetables and gravy were perfect and little was left of the chicken at meal's end.

We cleared the table; time for the fruit-rich pudding freed from its shroud. Bill drizzled brandy over it, struck a match and touched the brandy, a blue flame flickered briefly and we clapped our hands. It was a grand, joyful Christmas.

My parents in Canada had sent butter and and dried fruits for cake making. Mam made the cakes and other goodies. The Christmas cake was topped with marzipan and finished with white icing. Small figurines, tiny green trees and small colourful baby-sized boxes populated the top of the cake.

Mam's brothers, their wives and children visited later in the day to enjoy a piece of cake and cup of tea. The Birt and Kitt families had made me welcome on my arrival in September. I loved them dearly.

A month or so later I cut some holly branches to brighten the house. As I entered, Mam snatched them from my hands and threw them out. "It's bad luck to bring holly into the house when it's not Christmas."

Merry Christmas from Anita

Friday, December 14, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I read in the paper to-day about a man who can recall 59 decks of playing cards. I have trouble imagine any thing more boring than inviting this man to a party where he will demonstrate his skill. I'd have to drink myself under a table, clamp my hands over my ears and prayer for deliverance. There are worldwide contests where memory skills are tested. Who knew? To prepare for memory Olympics means practicing hours every day.

"It's your turn to take out the garbage, dear." Says wife in a caustic tone.
"Damn it all, you've made me lose my memory thread."
"Stuff your memory thread," says wife storming out the door. "I'm of to Vegas for a quickie divorce. The man next door is going with me."
"No, No," cries her husband. "I'll come with memorize the numbers played and work out the winning permutations."

Why remember numbers when learning speeches from a Shakespeare play is much more interesting. Or a poem. Or the Gettysburg address. My favourite poem at the moment is by A.A. Milne, "King John's Christmas."

"King John was not a good man,
He had his little ways,
And sometimes no one spoke to him,
For days and days and days."

I am on the fourth verse. Pick out something to learn. Something to refresh your memory. And let me know how you are doing. No prizes only Christmas greetings and a virtual hug.

You are, I hope purchasing my books. A book is a wonderful gift. Better than a box of chocolates! We won't go there. Or how about a book and a box of chocolates.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

This is a good night to stay home and read a book or watch an old movie (if you are older than  seventy or eighty!)

A howling wind is beating against my window and is threatening to bring down trees and cancel ferry sailings and whatever other nasty things this kind of storm brings. My bridge game was cancelled this evening because one of the players thought it best to stay home.

I am reading a book titled, "How to talk about books you haven't read." Very enriching. There are thousands of books I shall never live long enough to read so I shall pretend to have read "War and Peace," or "The Origin of The Species," etc.

I was playing Scrabble with friends this afternoon and put in the word, "eft," of which they had not heard and I couldn't remember the meaning but looked it up in my Oxford dictionary after they left. An "eft,"is a newt of some kind and if you happen to have copy of "Now We are Six,"by A.A Milne, you will find a lovely poem called "Down By The Pond," Second verse.

 " No. I'm not, I'm newting." Don't cough, anybody, don't come by! Any kind of noise makes a newt feel shy..." and on it goes.

 I shall now watch The Baltimore Ravens play against Pittsburgh.  After reading The Blind Side  by Michael Lewis, I like to watch big No. 74, Michael Oher play left tackle for the Ravens. I've talked about the book in a previous blog. You don't have to like or watch football to enjoy the book. It's a great human interest story that touches the heart. It touched mine.

Back to reading "The Soucouyant," Or "Sharp's Devil," or watching the news. There are peace overtures in the escalating violence between Israel and The Hamas. Let's hope peace will break out. There is enough killing going on in Syria. What a horror story.

Pick up a copy of my romantic suspense novel, TOO YOUNG TO DIE  and enjoy a page turner. My book is available as an e-book and in trade paperback.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Anita Birt';s Note Book

Buy it as a paperback book or read it on your e-reader, "In The Orchard, The Swallows," by Peter Hobbs. It is a beautifully written meditation on Love, Loss and the Joy of remembering.

I read it on my Kindle but have ordered a paperback copy so I can re-read it and mark places that touched my heart. It is set in Pakistan where jailed prisoners are brutally beaten and tortured yet one survived by remembering his beloved and has written his story of survival.

Another book I am ordering is, "The Annotated Archy and Mehitabel," by Don Marquis. I have a copy and want one for a friend who is an Archy fan. How can you not enjoy Archy, a cockroach, who was once a verse libre poet in a previous life? You can find more about Archy and Mehitabel on the Internet but the book is lots more fun and has gems of wisdom about ethics and morality. For instance, Archy would never drop into a blind man's soup for a bite to eat.

I hope you are buying my books and making me smile. Check my web site:

Bye for now,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Keeping you informed of happenings out here on the west coast is important. A cougar has been sighted about one and half kilometres from where I live. A sign has been posted at the front door of the building, "Be cautious if venturing out." I guess so!

There are hundreds of deer roaming wild in Victoria so this cougar may be an advance scout sent to have a look at the territory. If cougars move in, God help us, there will be a bloody slaughter of bucks, does and fawns.

We are enjoying very, mild sunny weather for this time of year and other parts of Canada are buried in snow - Edmonton, for instance.

 And that is all for tonight I have a couple of books on the go and must see what is happening.

My contemporary romance, Isabelle's Diary, is a ghost story (or is it?) and there are twists and turns until the end.  My story is set in Wales and Wales is known for its tales of ghostly moors and the like.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

"Sex and Violence Down The Mine." Oh goodness me, have you heard or read the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore story of Sex and Violence Down The Mine? Google it and start laughing. I hope the "Sex and Violence" words are not covered by copyright or I might end up in the poor house or jail or on Devil''s Island. Does it still exist?

In the meantime the fog horn has been blowing off and on all day. The weather is very mild and fog rolls in and out. It's a comforting sound. However, I assume all boats have GPS and should know where they are and where other ships/boats are. I don;t trust GPS it's not fail-safe and can take you in a round about way to wherever you are going. I'd rather trust a road map.

Read my books and let me know how you like (or dislike them) God help me, I'm dwelling on the past and should now creating new words on page after page. My books are still well written with great plots with twists and turns. You will enjoy reading one or all five of them.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Tonight in Canada we turn our clocks back - except in Saskatchewan where they remain on Standard Time year round. They don't "leap forward' in spring. Something to do with milking cows or digging potash or something. There's a lot of potash in the province.

In the meantime, I am in a quandary, should I or shouldn't I write a book, (fiction, of course) titled "Sex and Violence in an Old Folks' Home. " On second thoughts, I can't imagine a lot of sex and  violence of interest to the aged among us. I mean whose got the energy? But it would give the middle aged among us something to look forward to when they reach those golden years so beloved of those who are young and haven't a clue about getting old. Sex and Violence are featured in hundreds of movie. Why not give the old folks a break?

So what do you think? Pursue the topic or let it lie fallow until something more interesting floats into my brain.

In the meantime, my books are waiting to be read.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Did any of my many readers order my contemporary romance, Isabelle's Diary? It's a ghost story, a love story and a surprise ending. My historical romance, A Very Difficult Man is doing okay. I am such a little frog in a big, big pond filled with  multimillionaire frogs I am happy to sit on my lily pad and dream big dreams.

So my big dream is to have my blog readers (are you out there? If so, wave.) buy my books either as e-books or trade paper back. A Very Difficult Man, Ring Around The Moon and Too Young To Die are also available in trade paperback.

I am reading Julian Barnes' book," Arthur and George" on my Kindle. Last night at ten thirty I forced myself to close my Kindle and go to bed. I get up early. Of course, my head didn't want to go to sleep, too stimulated - not good. So. . . I shall break one of my rules and read the book in daylight!

 Read fiction during the day??? My  conscience (oh hell how do you spell it?) will prick me. I shall give in to my baser instincts and read Arthur and George. I think my Scottish Grandmother will turn in her grave at me wasting time when I could be doing something useful. Such as?

How do I get my blog out there in blog land? Does anyone know? If so, please tell me how.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I've been writing, turned to gaze out the window. In the field across the road a young buck stood quietly. He had the beginnings of a small rack. He was way out of deer territory we don't see them down by the sea. The deer have become a nuisance in and around Victoria. No predators to control the population. They eat farmer's crops, huge a financial loss, and can wreak havoc on city gardens.

I'm working at getting my creative muse back. I shall write a minimum of one hour a day until the days come when I'll do three and four hours as I used to. After my husband' death I have had many changes to work through. Finding my lost muse is becoming kind of fun. I know it's hiding and probably enjoying a respite. We shall see what happens. In the meantime, I shall discipline myself to do at least one of writing a day even if the writing has to be tossed and redone the nerxt morning.

My books are out there and available in e-format. Three are in e-format and trade paperback. They are: A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, RING AROUND THE MOON AND TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

I shall pack it in now and read The National Post, a major Canadian newspaper..

An aside. The Pope has proclaimed a new saint, a Canadian native, St. Kateri who lived a couple of hundred years ago. Her parents died of small pox when she was a child. She was ravaged by the disease, ruining her skin and leaving her with vision problems. She joined a Jesuit Missionary order and "lived a life of piety, purity and mortified the body by floggings and sleeping on a bed of thorns. She died age 24. I'm not sure what makes her saintly. Her suffering was self inflicted.

God help her. She never had a decent night's sleep.

Bye for now,'

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

How dark and drear it is outside with a light rain falling, enough to keep me in and restless. Restless because I am stuck or blocked or my creative muse has gone away. Oh woe is me. I have three chapters written of my latest venture and am not sure whether to go on or chuck the whole thing or go back to stories I have written in the past and see if I can start writing again.

Or should I do some editing of two romance novels already finished and send them out. But where? Something will come to me. Something is bound to turn up. Keep on writing. As wonderful Nora Roberts said. "You can't fix a blank page."

I watched the Baltimore Ravens play against Dallas for awhile. I wanted to see how Michael Oehr, #74 played as left tackle. I have read the book by Michael Lewis, The Blind Side, and wanted see #74 in action. Yes,  he knocked down an opponent trying to reach the Raven's quarterback. I didn't watch the whole game having other things to think about - writing creatively again.

If there is another human being out there with a brilliant thought to encourage me, please leave a comment.

Make me happy, buy my books. I adore the little royalty cheques that drop into my mail box once a month. And now if the rain has stopped I shall go for a walk. I need a change of scene.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I have just read an article in our local newspaper, The Times Colonist. It's copied from an article written by Katy Read, Star Tribune, Minneapolis, and the title is: "Happy Seniors Overrepresented."

How to define happiness is the first problem especially in an aging population, approaching eighties and beyond.? What is happiness and how do you know when you are happy? Good question that I can only answer from my Canadian experience.

Our health care system may not be perfect but I have no fear of the future should my health fail and I require surgery, hospitalization or treatment for cancer.  None of those will be fun but the costs are covered  by the health care system into which my taxes have been paid, and continue to be paid. My bank account remains intact.

Back to happiness. As an older person I'm thinking happiness is a chimera that can be broken down into bits and pieces. Listening to a bird song or the screeching of gulls. I know I'm alive when those things make me smile. Is smiling a sign of happiness?

Out walking by the sea this morning I saw some diving ducks. A log flowing in with gulls perched on it.The Pilot boat going out to take the pilot off an ocean going freighter. I met a friend and had a short chat. And the lowering clouds reminded me that autumn is here. Altogether a pleasant outing while breathing ocean-fresh air. I was happy to be alive and fit and well enough to walk a kilometre.

Back to something else I am doing to please me. I am memorizing a few wonderful lines from Macbeth having just seen the opera. Love it but I want to hear the words. I'm also giving myself pleasure in memorizing A. A. Milne's clever children's poem, King John's Christmas.  It is witty. The poem starts like this.
 "King John was not a good man, He had his little ways, And sometimes no one spoke to him for days and days and days.And men who came across him, When walking in the town, Gave him asuperciliousstare,Or passed with noses in the air.  And poor King John stood dumbly there, Blushing beneath his crown."

The decorations by the brilliant Ernest H. Shepard are priceless. The poems are made to be read aloud and I can't bore my friends by reciting them while trapped at the dinner table with me. They would not be happy, would they? The poem is in Now We Are Six. My husband bought a complete set of A.A. Milne's Christopher Robin's stories and poems for  my daughter, Lesley, when she was born in 1946. I still  have the books. 

What is happiness?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Seems no one is interested in ghost stories - not a single comment about my last post and a few paragraphs of my romance novel, Isabelle's Diary. Sigh. Why do I keep this damned blog going, it's no fun if not a single, solitary soul will add a comment.

Should I write about the lives lived by the elderly residents in a care home? Dull stuff really, although most of the old folk have had really interesting lives and only need a little encouragement to tell their stories or, at least part of their stories. When one has lived to be ninety, lived through wars and bombings and scarce food and concentration camps, there are enough tales to fill a book.

But to-day and tomorrow are for the young and middle aged and various degrees of aging and who has time for the old and infirm, and not so infirm?  Damn it all, we still have our wits and enough physical activity to keep our bodies in reasonable shape.

Yike! That was a rant and I apologize. I am frustrated and keeping a silly blog is bad for my soul.  What is more, I have arthritis in a couple of my typing fingers and they do dumb things when I type, like skipping up to 9 and sticking it in where it doesn't belong. Or  j will dart in and mess up a word. You see what I am up against and no one leaves a comment to cheer me up.

Autumn weather has sneaked in and the sky was grey and overcast all day. Rain is forecast for the coming days and is welcome. We have had a nasty drought and the rivers are low and the salmon have to swim up stream to spawn. Time for good rains to fill the rivers and make the salmon happy. And us who eat them.

Have you seen any ghosts? Have you ever played with an Ouija board?

Must go and read one or two of Christopher Hitchen's essays to sharpen my wits. They have lain idle for too long. Remember to purchase one or two of my books.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

About my ghost story, Isabelle's Diary - My story takes place in the Welsh town, Llandridod Wells; we know, of course, that Wales is a mysterious place. Here is how my story begins. Sally is in a cafe.

 "Sally lowered her coffee cup and stared at the oddly dressed young woman seated at a table by the window. When had she entered the cafe?

Intrigued by her unusual appearance, sally studied the stranger more closely.. Her braided dark hair was coiled neatly on top of her head. The sleeves of her elegant black sil jacket were turned back at the wrist revealing a lilac silk lining the tightly buttoned cuffs of a snowy white blouse. Her black silk skirt of some lighter silk, fell in graceful folds to the floor. Well polished boots peeped from beneath the softly draped fabric

She removed a book bound in maroon leather from a black  silk kpurse and opened it. Curiosity got the better of Sally and she craned her neck for a better look. The gold edged pages were hand written in black ink. Must be a diary.

Tears trickled down the girl's pale cheeks as she slowly turned the pages. Her hands trembled and her grief-stricken sighs tugged at Sally's heart. Should she try to comfort her her? Offer motherly help? Without warning the stranger's manner changed. She returned the book to her purse, closed the gold clasp and rose to her feet. Smiling slightly, she looked directly at Sally and for endless seconds her steady, dark-eyed gaze held Sally captive.

"Here's your check, miss. Care for more coffee?"

Startled by the waitress's voice, Sally bumped the table and tipped her cup spilling the dregs.

"Sorry, didn't mean tot give you a scare." The waitress cleared away the cup saucer and wiped the table.

"No more coffee, thanks. " Sally reached for her shoulder bag hanging on the back of the chair, squirrreled inside its jumbled contents for her wallet-t and for the umpteenth time promised to organize it. She counted out the unfamiliar English coins to pay the bill. When she looked up the stranger had disappeared.

"Do you know the young woman who just left?" Sally asked.

"Pardon. What young woman?"

"She sat at that corner table by the window." Sally stood and slung her back over her shoulder.

"No one's occupied that table all morning. I reserve it for my regulars."

"Of course, she was there, dressed in black and crying over a diary."

The waitress frowned and peered over glasses. "You are mistaken, miss," and turned to greet an elderly couple at the door. "There's late you are. I've some fresh-baked currant scones to go with  your coffee."

"This is ridiculous. I saw her." Sally pointed to the table. Why was the waitress being so dense?

"Miss, I have no idea what you're talking about. Please let me get on with my work."

"But she ..."

"There's been no one at that table all morning."

Rudely dismissed, Sally gave up, stepped outside and caught sight of the black clad girl hurrying up the street. "Oh no, you don't," Sally muttered and sprinted after her..

Dodging shoppers, mothers pushing babies in strollers, side stepping around small children on tricycles Sally was only a few feet behind the girl as she disappeared around a corner at the end of the street. Seconds later Sally caught up and skidded to a stop. The girl had vanished.

Where? How?

And that  is how Isabelle's Diary begins.  I would type out more but my fingers are giving me hell.  Better for you to buy my book and download it to your e-reader. Order from my publisher Ellora's or from, or Amazon.UK  I promise you a good read with many twists and turns as the plot thickens.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Do you like reading ghost stories? Many of us do, so it was a great treat to hear Dr. Stephen Ross, a professor at the University of Victoria, give a talk on The English Ghost Story. Back to the old Gothic tales set in ruined castles or remote areas where vampires might creep from their graves to frighten villagers. Ghosts aplenty were a constant in those tales. Moving on to England and Dickens Christmas stories. Telling ghostly tales on Christmas Eve went the children to bed afraid to fall asleep. The tradition of telling ghostly tales faded with the industrial revolution and the great leaps made in science.

Along came seances and tapping on tables and mediums were a big hit. Much was made of the occult and secret traditions of knowledge. Ghosts are not to be feared, if there are such things as ghosts. It's a fascinating topic. Having touched very briefly on the topic, here is a ghost story readily available as an e-book.

My contemporary romance novel, ISABELLE'S DIARY, is a ghost story.  It takes place in the present time in Llandrindod Wells, a small city in mid Wales. It is a bright sunny morning. My heroine sits in a small cafe sipping a cup of coffee. Sitting at a window table is a young woman dressed in Victorian black. She is reading from a diary and tears trickled from her eyes. What happens next changes my heroine's life forever.

All my books are available in e-format. Three are available in trade paper back, A Very Difficult Man, Ring Around The Moon and Too Young To Die.

If you like a ghost story, download, ISABELLE'S DIARY, to your e-reader and enjoy the tale until you read the last page. And a question still remains. Was the girl in black a ghost?

Anita Birt

Monday, September 24, 2012

What have I been doing? Not blogging, that's for sure. This blog is about books. I enjoyed reading Money Ball by Michael Lewis so much, I have ordered his book, Blind Side, and I am not a football fan!

I like baseball and the Blue Jays are causing me a great deal of distress this year. So why should I buy, Blind Side?  I truly enjoy Michael Lewis's writing. My son assured me it is an excellent book so I eagerly await it's arrival in my mail. Who knows, I may starting watching the NFL. I'd rather watch Rugby because it seems more sensible to me to see men dressed in simple shorts, shirts, socks and rugby boots rather than dressed in body armor and a helmet and cage to cover their faces and heads.

The concussion problem in the NFL is being taken seriously. What a terrible way to retire from a sports career and wind up with your brain bruised creating difficulties as you age.

Yesterday I was out walking the path overlooking the sea and bent down to retie my shoe lace when a a woman spoke to me. "Can I help tie your shoe lace? I'm a retired kindergarten teacher and spent a lot of time helping kids tie their laces." I laughed and shook my head. The woman was from Alaska and visiting  Victoria. I thought she was terrific.

On the same walk, three men approached me. They were arm and arm with the man in the middle. As they passed me I heard this snippet of conversation, "and no females are allowed." What do you think was the beginning and the follow-up of that little gem? A male friend of mine suggested they were talking about when they were boys building a tree house, with a sign. NO FEMALES ALLOWED.

Do keep buying my books. You will find find them at They are all romance novels. a mix group of historical,  contemporary, time travel and romantic suspense. Try one, you will enjoy a good read.

They ae available from my publisher, Ellora's Cave. com. Three are in trade paperback; A Very Difficult Man, Ring Around The Moon and Too Young To Die, and are available at book stores in the United States  or can be ordered from or or Amazon.UK All five books are also available in e-format, easy to download to your e-reader.

The cruise ship season is drawing to a close in Victoria, that means darker days and nights are creeping in. I hope the darker nights will awaken my creative muse that seems to have taken a vacation and I want it back. Now!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

Hello, whoever you are. Some one is viewing my blog yet only one person has left a comment. I'm considering putting one of my unpublished books on Wattpad and see what happens. I have several books that I have never sent out - don't ask why.  Perhaps I could not see myself earning any significant royalties and wondered if it was worth while sending out my books to the wide, wide world.

If any one out there who checks this blog would like to read my memoir of Being Six Years Old,  way back many moon ago, I'd like to post it. But. . . why post it if no one comments, good or bad.

I have been away visiting my family in the Toronto area and returned home a week ago. Then I had minor surgery last Friday. I am finally getting myself back together and will set to work on the new book I'm writing. Autumn weather has arrived on southern Vancouver Island with gale force winds and a sea rocking and rolling with white caps.

I am more inclined to work when the dark days arrive and I'm not tempted to go walking by the sea in the sunshine.

Remember to add my books to your "Must Buy" list. Buy them for Christmas presents. Three of my books are available in paper back. "A Very Difficult Man," "Ring Around The Moon," and "Too Young To Die."

Order from my publisher, Ellora's Cave. com or or in Canada. Amazon.Ca. You can order them in the UK. All my books are available in e-format as well as print.

Must have a look at one of my books sitting in my computer. I have almost forgotten the plot!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Anita Birt'sNote Book

by Anita Birt

I learned to think like a sheep in a never-to-be- forgotten lesson. Many of us have watched sheep dog trials on television or  in the field as the border collies  herd sheep through gates or hold them in small groups.Well trained by their handlers the dogs have a natural instinct to round up sheep. Years later I saw a border collie herding chickens as they squawked and cackled at such an indignity.

Several years ago my husband and I were visiting relatives in Usk, Wales. Their property sweeps down to the Usk River. Deep, wide and calm during the summer, it turns into a raging torrent when winter rains raise the river high and it overflows it banks.

On a bright sunny day we walked with the family along the river path. I hopped and skipped with five year old Christopher stopping every few steps to pick up stones and toss them into the water. Megan,  a black and white border collie belonging to the family joined us and  circled back and forth. Without warning she ran on ahead, turned to face us, flattened herself on the path and stared into my eyes. Unblinking.

The look in her eyes frightened me.  I felt menaced, afraid to move. .I didn't know what to do. For seconds I stood their holding Chris's hand. What did Megan want? I turned away from the river, walked into a field bordering the family property and headed towards the house. Megan jumped up, gamboled along side us and then ran off to join the rest of the family following behind.

And that's how I learned to think like a sheep. No sheep in its right mind disobeys a border collie. Nor did I. I recognized the menace in Megan's eyes and figured out what she wanted me to do., figured out what was troubling her. I was waking too close to the river with Chris. She was protecting  him.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

No comments on my last post. Nothing to continue wasting time trying to scrape up interest in my boring life.What if I write about the wild sex life of people who are way over he hill and sliding down the far side. Hmm. A bad idea. Save the sex for the young and leave the memories of great sex to the old folks.

Yes, Once upon a time we were young and remember joyful moments with our lovers. But that was then and this is now and I'm writing about truly fascinating older people. I shall say no more. This is my current project and needs care and attention if it is to survive. And if I survive! Time is fragile and spins into minutes, hours and days like a whirlwind. Sometimes I feel as if I shall never keep up to the turning wheel.

In the meantime: Tomorrow I shall tell you  how I learned to think like a sheep.

Step out and buy my books or download them to your e-readers.

Historical romance, A VERY DIFFICULT MAN. Contemporary romance novel, ISABELLE'S DIARY.

Follow that story as a historical romance, ISABELLE'S STORY.  Do you enjoy time travel tales? Mine is

different, the hero comes from the past to the present time, RING AROUND THE MOON. Following that

is my contemporary romantic suspense novel, TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

Enjoy them. I promise you a good read. (I can't delete the underline)


Monday, August 13, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


An explosion had rocked The Ariguani. September 8, 1944

I scrambled into my warmest clothing and grabbed my life jacket. I don't remember being afraid and hurried to the saloon as the ship still rocked from the first big explosion. There were no further big explosion but solid thumps continued to rattle the ship.

"Not to worry," said the chief steward. "It's the navy boys practicing dropping depth charges." In the next breath he said. "Captain's orders. You are not allowed out on deck."

No one asked why. We sailed on and docked in Liverpool on September 10th. We had been ordered not to carry much cash. Our RAF husbands had arranged to have money delivered to us on the ship before we disembarked. I lined up with the other women while the clerks called out names.No money for Anita Birt

. I left the ship carrying my suitcases and purse. I had a ten shilling note and a few unfamiliar English coins. My husband was "somewhere in England." I didn't have a clue where he was or how to find hm.

I was virtually penniless in a foreign country . . . may be continued

If you want to know what happened next, you must leave a comment!


NOTE:  From searching the Internet I have discovered: The Ariguani sailed in convoy HX 304. The ship was 425.2 feet long. 54.1 breadth. It could fit into a Canadian football field.

September 8, 1944, U-boat 482 attacked convoy HX 304 and torpedoed Empire Heritage, a steam  tanker. P:into, the convoy rescue ship came to pick up survivors and was torpedoed. The armed trawler, HMS Northern Wave picked up the remaining survivors. The attack occurred north-northwest off Tory Island.

Three months later, U-boat 482 captained by Graf von Hartmut Matursky was attacked and sunk by the Royal Navy. All hands lost.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


Assigned our cabins we were ordered to carry our life jackets at all times. Keep warm clothing beside our bunks. Leave our cabin door hooked open at night. Not allowed on deck after dark. In n emergency, gather in the saloon.

Our ship joined twenty other ships outside the harbour and picked up a few more before our small convoy sailed into a dense fog. Fog horns blew night and day. On the third day bright sunshine greeted us. To my astonished eyes I gazed at long lines of ship stretching to the horizon. It was as if a magician had swept aside the foggy curtain, waved his wand and prepared us for the next part of our journey in the company of other ships, large and small.

We had joined a huge convoy. Every night The Ariguani changed position but we were always close to the head of the lines and in and out of the first three port side lines. The north Atlantic heaved and rolled as oceans do but our little ship coped well with everything.

Royal Canadian Navy ships shepherded us across the Atlantic. Half way across, the Royal Navy took over. Days passed until we reached as point where the convoy separated. My part of the convoy sailed north heading for  the north channel, the other part sailed south.

Days passed  with only the sound of our ship's engines breaking the silence. Water foamed over the bow as we plowed through the sea.

Early morning, September 8, a huge explosion lifted me right up off my bunk slamming me down hard.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book


My husband, a member of the Royal Air Force, trained in Canada as  Navigator. We had been married fourteen months when he was posted back to Britain and left Canada in May 1944. The war in the Atlantic was winding down. As a RAF dependent I had the opportunity to travel to Britain. I jumped at the chance.

* * * * *
I received the telegram on the second week of August. "Proceed to Halifax. Stay at The Nova Scotian Hotel. Await further orders. Tell no one about  your travel arrangements." I had my Canadian passport, warm clothing and a minimum amount of cash.

On August 27, orders came to taxi to the Halifax docks. On the way I couldn't see any ships' superstructure over the sheds. Little wonder, the S.S. Ariguani was a small ship about the size of the ferries that plied between Toronto harbour and the Toronto islands. It didn't look sea worthy. A white clad steward stood at the gangway.

"Is this ship safe?" I asked. Assured it was I boarded with other women, many with small children and some with babies. We gathered in the saloon.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Anita Biort's Note Book

Tomorrow I shall start posting my story about crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1944 and the attack by German U-boat 482 on the convoy. Being close enough to a huge explosion to feel it rock the ship I was on was a shock, but I don't remember being afraid.

My romantic suspense novel, Too Young To Die is now available in paperback edition as well in e-book format. The sexy cover is eye catching but doesn't reveal the essence of the story. A male friend of mine thinks the cover will sell the book. Have a look and tell me what you think.

I am curious. Is there anyone out there reading my blog? Am I writing into a vacuum? Answer please.

It is late evening here and through my window I am watching birds flying around like crazy. Are they night jars also called goat suckers? They fly with their beaks open and scoop up bugs.

I have started writing a new book, not a romance, something completely different. Lots of possibilities with interesting characters.

Who remembers the Bob and Ray radio show way back when? How about Wally Balloo, their sports broadcaster? Sometimes they'd sign off, "Write if  you get work."


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

The Olympic Games are well on their way. Canada is hoping to win a few medals.  Our young athletes are full of energy and hope. In the meantime:

Through a glitch in the printing of my romantic suspense novel, Too Young To Die, instead of my story, inside the copies sent to me, the following appeared.  "1001 Legal  Words, You Need To Know." Published by Oxford University Press 2003.

I could not believe my eyes when I flipped open my book. The cover is beautiful. I have informed my publisher who is aghast and is chasing down the problem. Such islife.

I walked a kilometre this morning. Lovely sunny day but with a chilly wind. I am recovering from the radiation treatment I have had  and regaining my energy. The sound of waves lapping the shore is music to my ears. I am so lucky to live by the sea. The fog horns were blowing early this morning but the fog lifted quickly.

I must return to my creative writing lest I lose the urge.
If you feel a purchasing urge, please buy, Too Young To Die. You will eally enjoy it.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I live by the sea and the gulls are screaming outside my windows. Noisy things. Pretty barn swallows make their muddy nests in nooks and crevices of this building. Nestlings have hatched and are flitting around with their parents. Their peeping cries are joyful especially on a bright sunny day with a cloudless blue sky overhead.

Cruise ships come and go and anchor for various lengths of time.  The clip clop of horses on the road  drawing tourists in various kinds of carriages is a pleasant sound. There is a maritime regulation ordering ships leaving their  home port, i.e. Seattle,  must stop at a foreign port before continuing their voyage, that is why Victoria is the perfect stop-over for there is much to see in and around the city.,

London, England looks like an armed camp as it awaits the grand opening of the Olympic Games. Cops outside on the street carry nasty looking weapons and British soldiers from various regiments have been called in to protect the athletes and spectators.

Terrorist attacks! What have we come to that an athletic contest might end in carnage? Why the hate? Why the desire to kill and maim strangers? The horror in the movie theatre in Colorado last week was a nightmare for those who had come out to enjoy a movie.Who created the monster who  opened fire in a crowded theatre? Was compassion for others absent from his life?

It's hard to open a newspaper or listen to the television news without being immersed in mass killings. I can't imagine living in a country like Syria where a govenment is murdering its own people.


Buy any of my books to escape into a fictional world where there are good people and some bad ones who are duly punished. Reading fiction is good for the mind and the soul. You will benefit from reading fiction. I promise.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

My review is up on the Darkest Before Dawn site. Sadly I missed a spelling mistake when I posed it. My fingers sometimes act on their own and instead of writing "hoping" I have typed "hopping." Sigh.

I really need , faithful blog readers, if such there be, to purchase copies of,  TOO YOUNG TO DIE, my romantic suspense novel.

Ring Around the Moon is finding more and more readers and A Very Difficult Man continues to be a favourite.  Isabelle's Diary and Isabelle's Story make a good pair. Enjoy them on your e-readers.

A Very Difficult Man,  Ring Around The Moon and Too Young to Die are available from my publisher, Elloar's and many popular book stores. Wander in and buy copies. Books are comforting in e-published form or in trade paperback.

Stay well. Go for a walk if you can. Enjoy.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I am putting together characters for the book I am writing. Whether I can pull together a new book is a moot point. I am energized with a new project and that's a good thing.

John Peterson's book, Darkest Before Dawn, is important to me because I was there. The ship on which I was a passenger was close enough to the sinking of the Empire Heritage and Pinto to feel the explosions and the depth charges targeting U-482. For history buffs the book should find a place on your book shelves or on you e-reader.

His history of the German U-Boat campaign makes frightening reading since the U-boats ran rampant through the convoys sinking ships and killing thousands of men until the Allied forces learned how to target the U-boats.

Back to me. I have books awaiting your purchase! Make my day. I have five-books, A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, ISABELLE'S DIARY, ISABELLE'S STORY, RING AROUND THE MOON AND TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

A very Difficult Man, a historical romance, Ring Around the Moon, a time travel and Too Young to Die, a romantic suspense, are also in trade paper back. Buy from my publisher, Ellora's or at your favorite book store. Because my publisher does not market in Canada, Canadians can purchase my books at Simple. Easy. Try it.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

John Petersons's book, Darkest Before Dawn is a first class read for any of you interested in the battle of the Atlantic in the second world war. He focuses his story on the deadly threat of the U-boats launched by the Germans.The U-boats created devastation on the convoys crossing the Atlantic and lay in wait until their next victims came along

On September 8, 1944 the u-boat lay quietly beneath the convoy. During the night, the captain raised the periscope and decided to attack the Empire Heritage, a very large ship lying low in the water. I am reading the book on my Kindle and have to force myself to put it down and get to bed at a decent time!

I was there and lived to tell the tale. After the attacks on the Empire Heritage and the rescue ship, Pinto, the convoy was ordered to continue on its prescribed course; two other ships had been ordered to return to the devastation to pick up survivors.

To add a note of cheer to this blog; if you enjoy a solid romantic suspense novel. buy my book, TOO YOUNG TO DIE. I guarantee you will find it a real page turner. It's available as an e-book and in trade paperback.

I have started writing a new book, totally different from anything I have ever done before. I shall say no more until I am sure the story works - perhaps I shall keep it to myself until I finish writing the last page! At that point I shall need an agent or a thoughtful editor. That's for the future.

In the meantime what are you reading?


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I have ordered paperback copies of "Darkest Before Dawn," about the sinking of the Empire Heritage by a German U-boat off the coast of northern Ireland. This was the convoy on which I sailed. My small ship, The Ariguani, was rocked by the huge explosion when the torpedo struck the Empire Heritage. I was lifted up off my bunk and quickly threw on my warm clothes and grabbed my life jacket. I told my story and called it Atlantic Crossing.

 Reading about the sinking of the Empire Heritage gave me the shivers. While I was sleeping peacefully in my bunk, a torpedo was snaking its way through the north Atlantic to take down the big ship. Too close for comfort but the U-boat was looking for a big ship and The Ariguani was small and escaped destruction.

All this happened in September 1944 and I remember it clearly. I have an excellent memory and  have written a short memoir, ON BEING SIX, when my family stayed on the island of St.Vincent in the Caribbean where my brother and I had wonderful adventures.

I have three of my books available in trade paperback. My historical romance, A Very Difficult Man, a time travel, Ring Around The Moon and a romantic suspense, Too Young to Die. All five of my romance novels are e-published. All have had excellent reviews. Treat yourself to an entertaining read and buy one or two.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

I have ordered an interesting book on my Kindle. It's called, Soucouyant,  It's name comes from a demon of Trinidadian folk lore. The name rings a bell for me. My mother lived in Trinidad with her family and she heard all these tales as a child. She told the stories to my sister, brother and me and the story about the Soucouyant woman sticks in my head.

She was a demon who used to take her skin off at night and hide it under a bush, then she'd go about tormenting people and forcing them to pay to remove the spell she'd cast. But one night, a young man saw her take off her skin. When she was out of sight he filled a bucket with brine and soaked her skin in it, then he rinsed off the skin and placed it under the bush.

When she returned her skin had shrunk and she couldn't get it on. She went about crying "skin, skin don't you know me now...? Chant it aloud in a Trinidadian accent! My mother did when she told us the tale.

My romantic suspense, TOO YOUNG TO DIE is available in e-format or trade paperback. It's a real page turner and has had great reviews.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book

After reading in the paper recently about The Honest Toddler and his words of wisdom, I wondered if there was space in the wide, wide internet web for words of wisdom from "The Honest Old Lady," that would be me, of course. Have lived a long and interesting life. Lived in seven different countries. Had a long and happy marriage. Raised two interesting and challenging children. Had a mother who wrote adventure stories for girls. Have written five romance novels and one non-fiction book myself. 

I await a comment or two.

Change of subject. Check my publishers web site and have a look at the cover of my book, TOO YOUNG TO DIE. www.ellora's Easy to order with one or two clicks.

 How would you fare if you had to escape into the Cascade mountains with a three month old baby to avoid being tortured and then shot. Not a pretty picture. Buy my book and see how my heroine manages to keep herself and the baby alive.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book

I have been out of service for over a week after my computer crashed. I had technicians in to find the problem. Seems there was an obscure bit of software that had  been corrupted and caused the problem.

I have heard from my publisher to-day that my murder/mystery TOO YOUNG TO DIE is now available in print as well as in e-pub format. You can order my book directly from my publisher at www.ellora's or at (in Canada, Baker and Taylor, LS1/ingrams, and Barnes and Noble.

We are finally getting summer weather here on Vancouver Island after a miserable cold, rainy spring. There is always a bit of a chilly wind blowing because we are by the sea. We don';t get that awful sticky hot weather covering parts of the United States. I hope that soon gives way to clement weather.

About writing. I have finished my memoir, ON BEING SIX and it's ready to go to my family. If you'd like to read it, send me a comment at the end of this note. It all happened in 1929, a life time ago, but still fresh in my memory.

Life goes on apace. I am still mulling through a ghost story that takes place in a senior's residence. I shall keep my creative juices flowing and suddenly the first page will appear to start my book. A first line will also do the trick. I started one of my romance novels with these words: "Of course you will consent to marry me."
I am sitting on that book waiting until feel ready to do more editing. Various health problems have slowed me down.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book

ATLANTIC CROSSING  I can't upload my story about crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1944 and coming close to being torpedoed.



Friday, June 1, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book

I am writing a short memoir titled, ON BEING SIX. I am serious. When I was six years old in 1929 my grandmother, mother, my sister and two brothers travelled on the luxury ship, The Lady Hawkins, to the West Indies as they were known then.

Moymother rented a large house on the island of St.Vincent.The house overlooked a small bay. My brother, Douglas, was ill,. The valves of his heart had been damaged after he caught rheumatic fever. We lived in London, Ontario, and the doctor thought it would help my brother get well to spend the winter in a warm climate.

My brother, Harry was 18 months younger than I and we had wonderful adventures on St. Vincent. I have a remarkable memory of that time and decided to write them for my family. What do you remember when you were six?

The scent of afternoon teas on the ship. The drive through fields of lilies in Bermuda. The wonder of gas lighting. The bath house in the garden where a big tarantula spider lived high up in a corner. Dreaming of pirates and hoping they would come and visit.

I shall not go on. I have three single spaced pages of On Being Six already and not quite finished. Tell me what you remember about Being Six.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Anita Birt's Notebook

I am trying to copy my Atlantic Crossing story to my blog but haven't figured out do do it. My blog is sadly neglected. I flew to England to attend my Grandson';s wedding in April. In the course of my travels I flew the Atlantic twice in eight days thereby losing hours of sleep. Then I caught a horrible cold and was sick. Then I started radiation therapy. That is now finished so here I am.

I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in 1944 and came close to being torpedoed by a German U-boat. The u-boat sunk the ship sailing behind my ship in  the convoy and then torpedoed the rescue ship come to pick up survivors. I have vivid memories of the ensuing problems when the captain forbade us to go out on deck. The explosion that lifted me right up off my bunk struck at 5.30 am.  White clad stewards assured us all was well. The explosion and subsequent bangs  were navy boys practicing dropping depth charges. Not true but we didn't know that.

Had we gone out on deck we would have seen the debris of the Empire Heritage and sinking of the Pinto the rescue ship for the convoy. Because my ship was sailing ahead of the Empire Heritage we wee lucky to have missed the torpedoes. We were quite a long way apart. The convoy had 97 ships in long lines. We were two weeks at sea. The convoy could only travel as fast as the slowest ship.

I shall try and download Atlantic Crossing to my blog. There has to be a way.


I promise you will enjoy every one of them. Each story is quite different from the others,


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book

What do do when a company threatens to blacken your credit rating because of an unpaid small bill? When I had a working cell phone my service provider was KOODO. My phone died and I didn't replace it. Month after month I returned their invoices asking them to cancel my contract,. I thought I was falling down a rabbit hole until a gentleman phoned me from their office in Toronto. I told him I no longer had a cell phone and to cancel my contract. He agreed to do so.

But...I have just received an invoice that covers two month's service and if it is not paid by the due date they will send information to credit service rating agencies as a bad debt. I will have a black mark against my impeccable credit rating, as if I am a felon of some kind. I am so angry I could spit nails and hammer KOODO to the wall., But they are powerful and I am not.

I have sent letters to KOODO in Montreal and Toronto expressing my anger at their stupidity. Will anyone pay attention? Stay tuned.

In the meantime. The wedding was perfect and all went according to plan. Francesca's dress was fabulous and she looked beautiful and happy. My grandson looked terrific as well in his morning clothes. A hundred guests enjoyed the day.

I am still trying to recover from travelling through eight time zones. In the meantime, do pop into a book store or go on line toi buy one or more of my books. My historical romance, A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, is selling well. Pick up a copy and enjoy a really good story. Check out my other books at:

I shall return after a nap or two.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Anita Birts' Note Book

I am flying away tomorrow to attend my grandson's wedding in England. Enjoy the spring weather - if you are having any. The weather gods have sadly neglected us on Vancouver Island. Tomorrow will be better. Tell me ghost stories. A ghost that haunts a senior's residential complex.

Must go and finish packing.

Remember to buy my books. You'll find covers and short introductions to each book. Try one and you'll become addicted.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and possible rant

I wrote a romance novel several years ago and for reasons, know only to the gods, did not send it out to a publisher or an agent.Can't remember why but the book jumped into my thoughts recently when a friend mentioned she used to have a home in the Caledon hills in southern Ontario. Into my mind was a vivid memory of a scene in that area. It was so vivid I knew I had lived there. Not true what I pictured in my mind was the opening scene of my book, tentatively titled, Homecoming or Return Engagement. I'm thinking I should have a look at the complete manuscript and send it out.

So when I return from England and my grandson's wedding, I shall print it out. Lots of twists and turns in the plot that makes it a page turner. (author's opinion!) Here's how it starts:

Nick leaned on the window sill and gazed at the changed landscape in front of his parent's home. The maple tree shading the old-fashioned wooden swing had grown tall. A manicured terraced lawn, once a favorite tobogganing hill for him and his sister, swept down to the duck pond he'd dug with his father. Mallards paddled in the water.

Turning away from the window he smiled at the German Shepard drowsing in a patch op early morning sunshine. Kim had been a frisky pup eight years ago now her muzzle was more white than brown.

Eight years free lancing as a war correspondent had taken its toll. Afghanistan, Iraq, the Congo and the civil strife in the Philippines, he'd seen it all.

Home for a rest tp recpver frp,a gunshot would cou9tensy of a sniper in the Congo, he had the run of the house while his globe trotting parents were out of the country for two months.

The chiming telephone jolted Kim from her sleep. Mike grabbed it on the first ring hoping the call was from Joe.

Want to know what happens next? Send a comment. Ask me.

Remember to purchase an e-copy or the trade paperback of my time travel romance, Ring Around The Moon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and possible rant

Take me out to the ball game! Soon I shall be watching the Blue Jays' games to take the edge off all the horrible news from around the world. The murder in France of a Rabbi and his two children is heart breaking and the same gunman took out two paratroopers last week.

The "strike" of Air Canada pilots has me and my family on edge. We will be flying to England on April 7th,  we hope. This is so unsettling. And we are helpless to do anything about it.

We'd better start praying to the union gods who are making life difficult for thousands of Canadian travellers. I shall try to put it out of my mind and thing happy thoughts.

Smile at children and old people. Smile at teenagers and they may smile back unless they are using their I-phone to take pictures or chat or read a book. All the latest technology is taking people away from interacting with people, real honest-to-goodness people who enjoy a chat or a smile or a wave.

Lunch time now so will run along. Who likes ghost stories? Comments please.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and possible rant

I met a friend when I was out waking this afternoon and for reasons unknown we began talking about elder abuse. Three recent trends on television show three instances of elder abuse. It seems unbelievable to me that anyone would abuse an old person for any reason. The Federal government (Canada) is in the process of passing a law making it a crime to abuse an elderly person, be she/he a relative, friend or a stranger met on the street.

Let's face it, folks, we come from a different generation where abuse might have happened within the confines of a family home. Living with an elderly parent can be stressful.  That's why I firmly believe families should live separate but intertwined lives whenever possible. Not in the same space.

I tend to be a trifle bossy and have learned when to bite my tongue when I want to make a comment sure to irritate son, daughter-in-law or grown grandchildren. None of us is perfect but we don't deserve to be whacked or shaken or abused in some way. I have a wonderful family who lovedme dearly. I am truly blessed.

"When did  you last abuse your Grandma?" Silly question. However, if you know of anyone hurting an elderly person, male or female, report it to the authorities. A ghastly case of abuse came to light in Quebec a few month ago. The wife's elderly mother was confined to an unheated room at the back of the house and fed indifferent food. The poor soul was in dreadful state after a neighbour reported the problem.

On to more cheerful things. No rain to-day and some sun struggling to shine through light clouds but there was a cold wind chilling my head and neck. We have had so many huge storms over the part several months that there is hardly any beach. We have a log beach for hopping along on. I don't go down to hip hop but stay on the path edging the sea. I see a humming bird most days perched high on a twig. Always makes me feel good.

I need someone to motivate me to start writing a story set in a senior's residence. I have the arms and legs of a story and need to flesh it out. I I won't tell you another thing lest I give too much away and spoil the fun.

Have you ordered the trade paperback edition of my time travel, Ring Around The Room? Go to my publisher, Ellora's or from or, if you are in Canada, It's available as an e-book but I receive a bigger royalty for the print version.

Smile as often as you can. Speak to small children. Adore looking at babies. And smile at old people you meet during the day.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and possible rant

It cheered my heart to read some happy news in the local Vancouver Island newspaper, The Time Colonist.
 There is a coloured picture of a western blue bird that have been extinct for years, The Good News follows.
"The moving costs of Western Bluebirds are high. There's travel, paperwork and permits at the U.S border, temporary aviaries to be used before the birds move to well equipped nesting boxes; naturalists and biologists to help with the transition and ongoing supply of meal worms."

For bird lovers this is exciting news. The first three to five pairs of birds will be brought from Washington state later this spring. The plan is to bring in 90 pairs over the next five years. A critical mass is required to have them breeding.

That is what I call good news.  I'm surprised that bluebirds are thriving in Washington  and not here. I look forward to seeing them. Do you agree with me that the arrival of bluebirds is wonderful news?

You can find the article in the March 16th edition of The Times Colonist.

Happy birding.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Anita Birt's note book and rant.

Blogging isn't my thing. I can't think of a single thing to say to engage readers and have them beg for more. I am having a Book Launch for my time travel romance, RING AROUND THE MOON on May 16th. The PR manager in the complex where I live is doing all the work. An ad in the Vancouver Island newspaper, The Times Colonist. Wind and cheese will be served. That will bring hordes of people seeking a free drink and food.

I shall read the first pages of my gook. It starts with a really scary opening. Do buy my book either in e-form or in trade paperback. I hadn't read it since I wrote and was very pleased with the twists and turns in the plot and my writing as I read it. My publisher created a new cover that is quite beautiful.

I hope spring has arrived where you live. Here on Vancouver Island there has been one storm after another. 95 kmh winds and the sea heaving, rocking and rolling in white capped fury. Huge logs tossed like match sticks on the beach.

I shall be visiting England to attend my grandson's wedding. I have bought a hat for the occasion and have to carry it in a hat box on my flights.

Aging is taking its toll on some of the elderly residents where I live. Getting old is a risky business, like rolling the dice and hoping to come up a winner for a few more years. Coming from a good genetic background helps. You can't beat those good genes when the the hair turns grey and the joints stiffen. Walking helps a lot and I have fairly long walks at least five times a week or more. Can't get out when the wind is howling around the building and rain beating against my windows.

Would you like to discuss aging in all its manifestations? Life is a terminal illness. None of us can escape it so how do we handle the journey. I think Steve Jobs replied to a question about how he enjoyed creating new things. He said, he enjoyed the journey more than the outcome.

So enjoy your journey and share one or two of some of your favourite stopping places. I'd love to hear from you.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book and Rant

I am on a grammar kick about the use of words improperly. When to use "less" or "few." When to use "Who" or "whom." Those of us who went to school  many years ago had lessons in writing correctly. Paragraphs. Essays. Wicked tests thought up by our strict teachers fell on our innocent shoulders. But the lessons stuck!

In the Times Colonist our local Vancouver Island newspaper on February 18, 2012."The woman had worked at the post office for a relatively short time, said Sgt. Rob Webb of Shawnigan RCMP. The case involved "less than 100 items." Please don't do this! The officer should have said, "fewer than 100 items."

In The Globe and Mail one of Canada's two major newspapers this item. It appears in an article about the abuse of OxyContin abuse. ""Of the thousands who need treatment, she said, less then10 percent are getting help."

Concise Oxford  Dictionary: Fewer the comparative form of Few is correctly used with words denoting people or countable things, while less is used with mass nouns denoting things that cannot be counted. Below is a good example of how to use "less."

This from an article in The National Post regarding stifling rules wreaking havoc on the transportation industry in Greece. "It cost less to import a tomato from The Netherlands than to buy one from a Greek farm, less to rent party goods from Italy than from a neighbouring Greek town."

Lesson over. I won't go into the use of  "who" and when to use "whom." Sigh. Who is paying attention to my rant? Please comment and make me feel good. Make me feel even better by by purchasing the trade paperback edition of my time travel romance novel, "RING AROUND THE MOON."

Imagine arriving at midnight at the cottage my heroine has rented in Cornwall, England when a man appears from a nearby stand of trees and claims her as his wife who died two hundred years ago.

Enjoy life. Enjoy reading.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and Rant

I feel a rant coming on. I am an older woman, not in my dotage and still paying my taxes, income and on everything thing I purchase yet the federal government in my country is making noises about older people being a burden on society. Not quite in those blunt words but I get the message. We are over using our health care system and draining resource, etc. It goes on apace and I am tired of being blamed for the ills of society. I have been as healthy as a trout all my my life and now I am using the medical resources available to me. Either I use them or I die! Not  a desirable outcome.

That's my little rant. I am thinking of adding to my true story of crossing the Atlantic Ocean on August/September 1944. Not in  sailboat but on a small ship as part of a huge convoy taking food and other important goods to war torn Britain. Not that I did anything important but two ships in the convoy were torpedoed and the explosion lifted me inches off my bunk. It was close and I don';t remember being frightened.When you are young, dying is not part of your thinking.

I shall return. In the meantime, hustle out and purchase my time travel romance, Ring Around The Room. I hadn't read it since I wrote and am reading it now. I love it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book and Rant

I know there are real live human beings out there who touch base on my blog They are like ghosts not stopping long enough to leave a comment. Now is that fair? I want comments especially now with my e-book, RING AROUND THE MOON, now published in trade paperback. My publisher created a new cover for my book that is quite beautiful.

Where are you and why are you not leaving a comment or two or three? Take a minute to check out my  web site at:  Leave a ghostly comment and I shall love you forever - well for a little while as I digest your cmments.

Writing is a ghostly business in some ways. We sit alone at our computers or with pen and paper and create stories. It's dream time while I run the movie inside my head and solve problems when they appear. Or a new character intrudes on the story line and has to be dealt with creatively. I had a major problem in Ring Around The Moon and couldn't figure out how to solve it. I wakened in the dark of night and the answer came to me.

Writing is mysterious. A story line pops into my head and I am hooked. I am developing a story about an elderly lady who moves into a seniors' residence. Instead of finding peace and quiet she stumbles into a mystery waiting to be solved. A strange character is hanging around the edges of my mind. Why? I don't like him but he won't go away.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book and Rant

My e-book, RING AROUND THE MOON, has been issued as a trade paper book with a new beautiful cover.  Here are the back cover notes I wrote for my book when it was first published.

"It wasn;t supposed to happen like this. Not to her. Not to sensible Beth Ormond. She'd rented Quest Cottage in Cornwall to get away from the hassles back home in the States, and to think through her future as as single Mom.

Tired after driving from Heathrow Airport she got out of the car. A full moon glowed in the night sky. She hurried up to the cottage but stopped n her tracksd  as a man emerged from a nearby stand of trees and called out to her.

Alan Tremaine had traveled from the past to the present time with a story so bizarre Beth couldn't get her mind around it unless she disregarded her scientific training and believed in time travel. Could she? Did she want to?"

Americans can buy my book from my publisher, Ellora's, or and various book stores.
Canadians can buy my book from It will save postage.
In the UK: I assume it's available at Amazon.UK

Off you go to purchase my intricately plotted time travel romance. I had many difficult problems to solve as my story evolved, not the least of which was figuring out how to create a modern identity for Alan.



Friday, January 13, 2012

Anita Birt's Note Book and Rant

I've been having fun researching information about my Atlantic Crossing August/September 1944

I sailed on the S.S. Ariguani out of Halifax on August 29 part of Convoy HX304

On September 6 an explosion lifted me off my bunk. We passengers were never told what had caused the explosion and all the thumps that continued. The captain forbade us to go out on deck. I now know why.

The Empire Heritage a steam tanker was struck my torpedoes. The Pinto, a  convoy rescue ship came to pickup survivors and it was torpedoed. The Empire Heritage carried 59 passengers plus a large crew. Few survived. A trawler, HMS Northern Wave rescued those who survived.

German U-Boat #482 Captained by Graf von Hartmut Matursky did not survive long after striking convoy HX304.. Two months later the Royal Navy attached and destroyed the submarine.

 I found it hard to believe that all this information from 1944 was so easily available. Our ship docked in Liverpool on September 10. Convoys can only travel as fast as the slowest ships. I believe we were doing 10 knots that's why it took two weeks to cross the Atlantic.

Another bit of information. The Ariguani was a small ship.425.2 feet long. 54.1 feet breadth. It could fit in a Canadian football field.

I am waiting to receive the print copies of my e-book, RING AROUND THE MOON. You can order from my publisher, Ellora's Cave. or or in Canada,

Enjoy life

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Anita Birt's Note book and RAnt

I have news. My e-book, RING AROUND THE MOON, is now available in trade paperback! If you live in the States you can order my book from or It will also be available in book stores. In Canada it is more efficient to order from and save on postage. View the new cover!

Ring Around The Moon is a time travel romance set in magical Cornwall. My hero time travelled from two hundred years in the past to the the present time.  My heroine is an American, fourth month's pregnant with her first child.  She rented Quest Cottage in Cornwall for a month to rest and plan her life as a single Mom.

The "best laid plans," often go astray. I loved writing this book. The plot's twists and turns surprised me and I am the author