Saturday, May 18, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book and other bits and pieces

I have a cold that has settled in my nose. Not very pleasant but it's okay. As for my mystery story, I am in a dilemma. What to do next when I wrap this it up and send it off for editing and, I hope, to an interested editor.

Writers are ever hopeful for the big break that may or may not come, mostly it doesn't come. At my advanced age I'm not sure if I want to start a new novel of 65,000 words. I may not live long enough to finish it. I imagine a future great, great grandchild searching through my files and finding a partial manuscript. Will she or he finish it? Make much of finding it? A future dream of which I will have no part.

Sunny spring is eluding us again and I fear the strawberry crop will suffer. I desperately want our wonderful fresh strawberries. They have a luscious taste that melts on the tongue.

As for aging. Is anyone interested it what it feels like to grow old in a society catering to the young, middle aged and early sixties/seventies. I wish some clothing store would feature an advertisement showing older women, looking elegant or cool. No spike heels, for  God's sake. If I dare to put on such a pair I would fall and break my hip! We need smart looking sensible shoes. Smart looking clothing. I love long skirts with a swish and bright colours.

Bright colours are in this spring. Lot of splashy flowers. I shall see if I can find such a thing.

I'm applying to renew my passport and have had my picture taken. I look as if I've been disinterred and might fit into a zombie movie.

Tell me, what is the appeal of zombie movies? Creepy and scary and really dumb. You'd have to have a secret weapon to kill someone who is already dead. Do they smell?

Enough already. Go buy my romance novels where real characters live real lives, struggle through adversity and score a happy ending. A VERY DIFFICULT MAN, ISABELLE'S DIARY, ISABELLE'S STORY, RING AROUND THE MOON, TOO YOUNG TO DIE.

 Order from my publisher, Ellora' or at,, Amazon.UK or other Amazons around the world.

Anita Birt

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book and other Stuff

The "other stuff" is about writing and killing a character I didn't like. It was a bloody, nasty scene even to the point of getting rid of the body. I went to bed. I thought about the scene in the morning and decided it didn't fit  my book.

My novel is a mystery. There are difficult characters involved in illegal activities, drugs, dealing drugs and maybe, dealing in illegal diamonds from the Congo. So I cut out the murder scene and felt better. There is an accidental death to work around.

Living with my characters makes them very real to me. I am glad for them. I worry when there's trouble on the horizon. I like it when one of my characters makes tea properly, in a warmed pot. I like the German shepherd, the guard dog/pet for my tea drinking character.

It's easy to write a bloody murder and figure out how to get rid of a body. Not pleasant. That's why I cut it out and re-wrote the scene.

I have come across a Canadian poet, James Pollock, who is short listed for the Griffin Poetry Prize to be awarded in June. Pollock was interviewed in the National Post. I loved the poem presented in the article. It begins, "I sailed a boat to Babylon,
                             and rowed home lonely in the rain,

Look it up on the Internet and enjoy the whole poem. I'm reluctant to print it here because of copyright restrictions.

One of the things I liked about the poem is how the words feel in my mouth as I say them. I do say them out loud! To myself. I have memorized the poem. A good test for an ancient woman trying to dodge the dotage.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book and other stuff

It's Mother's Day tomorrow.Hard to miss with all the articles about mothers, especially young and pretty mothers, or actress mothers or famous mothers, i.e. Jackie Kennedy but not a single wrinkled old mother like me. Boo Hoo.

Life goes on. We can't stop time. We can't stop the changing seasons. We can't stop dying. It happens to all of us. "Life is a terminal illness." Don't like that, it assumes we are sick, sick, sick at the end of days. Doesn't always happen that way.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY tomorrow no matter what your age, weight, height or status. We are here. Enjoy the day. Quaff a glass of wine. Eat a piece of chocolate cake. Sit back with a hot cup of coffee and think how lucky the world is to have you living in it.

My mystery novel is progressing as it should. I'm pulling together evidence. Drug smuggling seems to be part of it. A side operation in diamond smuggling. What the hell! Why stop at drugs. Diamonds are much prettier and last a lot longer. Most women love diamonds.

On our sixtieth wedding anniversary several years ago my husband asked if I wanted a ring, a necklace or a bracelet with diamonds. I said no. Diamonds are not my thing. On the morning of our anniversary my husband handed me a brown envelope. Inside were twenty shares in a diamond mine! Worth a fair amount of money then but have dropped in price. I treasure the shares and will never sell them.

 I miss my clever, thoughtful husband but I sense his presence. A loving human being doesn't disappear after 65 years of marriage. I'm not talking about spooks, I'm talking about a feeling. You either have it or you don't.  My Celtic blood knows.

Make my Mother's Day a treat by ordering my five romance novels on your e-reader or in trade paper back. Order from my publisher, Ellora's Cave or from,, Amazon.UK



Saturday, May 4, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

Shall we talk about aging? Shall we think about it? Like it or not it is heading your way and my way. Life is a terminal illness. Have I said that before? Who wants to think such a thing when we are young or sort of young or very old.

I am old and lucky to have made it this far. What is old? A state of mind? A fear of the future? I have inherited my aged health genes from two tough Scots women, my grandmother and mother. Did I tell you my mother was a writer. She wrote The Maxie Books for Girls as Elsie Bell Gardner. Maxie had terrific adventures in various parts of the world. Trinidad (my mother lived there as a child) Venezuela, Australia, Spain,  American cities and boarding schools. The books were written in the 1930's and early 1940's.

The books are hard to find even at ABE books. I have the seven Maxie books and treasure them. Their covers are faded and torn here and there so I keep them safely on a book shelf.

I am continuing my mystery novel. I've pulled together a list of  "persons of interest," and work with my two protagonists to wind up the story. I still have 20,000 words to go but time is flying by and summer is coming in. I'm not wild about sitting at a computer when the sky is blue, the sun is shining, the sea is rippling quietly and the snow capped mountains in Washington State add to the beauty.

I'm off. Comment when you feel like it.
Buy my books for your e-readers or in trade paper back.