Monday, September 30, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book

A computer glitch has cut off the first letter of my name on my last blog. To all and sundry, near and far, my name is ANITA BIRT.

My romance novels, all five of them, are not a series. Every story is different. Historical, time travel, contemporary and a murder/mystery.

However, my not yet published, A GHOST WRITER MYSTERY will have a sequel, not written yet but in my mind. Instead of concentrating on that I've been caught up in the beginning of another story, nothing to do with anything in particular, but it has grabbed me. Will it be a short story? I hope so, I'm not in the mood to write 100,000 words without a publisher in sight.

I'm changing my website. My grandson, James and his friend, Ray will design a new site.They are specialists. Nothing but the best. My site won't be complicated but it has to be attractive and interesting and draw readers in. I have thinking to do.

No newspapers delivered to Vancouver Island to-day. The papers come from the mainland by the last ferry of the day. A huge gale blew in yesterday with the seas heaving as if a giant groaned and flexed his muscles down below. Ferry sailings cancelled.

All is calm this morning but it is raining. The giant has gone to sleep. The sea is calm.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nita Birt's Note Book

My goodness, I created a pretty frame for my blog. I wonder why I can't see it now. It has humming birds humming - quietly. Anna's Hummers spend the winter on southern Vancouver Island and take off south when the weather warms here. Don't ask, it doesn't make sense to me.

An interesting article by Robert Fulford in the National Post to-day about how common the use of "motherf..." has become as part of modern parlance. Not with me or my friends. Older people don't talk like that. When I was growing up I'd see the "F.." chalked on a wall or on the sidewalk. I turned my eyes away. Girls were so innocent then. We didn't have a clue what "fuck" meant and I never heard anyone say it, not even the high school boys who probably knew everything.My mother never explained "sex" to me. How times have changed. For the better? I wonder. We didn't have the scourge of unwanted teenage pregnancies either.

Now I pass by kids of various ages swearing like troopers using every bit of bad language they can fit into the conversation. My ears hurt. 

That's my rant for to-day. It's Robert Fulford's fault for writing the article about "motherf...."
It's not a word I want to hear. My aged ears would crinkle and my aged eyes would blink.

Comment if you dare.

Anita Birt

Monday, September 23, 2013

Anita Birt's Note book

Is it possible to have an attractive frame around a blog? I'll have to investigate. My blog is not much. I'm not famous. Or beautiful. Or clever. Or inventive. I am who I am for good or ill. I read this in one of the newspapers the other day.

"Be gentle with one another's efforts. It's just as hard to write a bad book, as it is to write a good book."

When I'm writing, is it good or bad? For instance, a scene popped in to my head two days ago and would not go away. I sat down and started writing. I'm not sure where it's going but it seems kind of creepy to me as if two characters are not what they seem to be. My protagonist is "normal," it's the two  characters who enter the picture I'm not sure of.

I'm also writing another story, normal in the sense that some of the characters behave badly because they are not nice people. When bad people are in positions of power, the powerless behave heroically.

I'm reading "The Ghost Map," The story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities and the Modern World.

We're talking about Cholera.

My historical romance, A Very Difficult Man, takes place in 1858, in London, England. While researching the history of the time I read about the cholera epidemic in London; that led me to Steven Johnson's book , The Ghost Map. It's a wonderful read, full of fascinating insights into cities, how they became cities and the problems facing cities as the population grows faster than the underlying infra-structure can cope.

Steven Johnson is a brilliant writer who brings the story of the cholera epidemic to life by describing how and when it all began. How London became such a large city in a relatively short time and the problems it faced. THE GHOST MAP is an interesting read. Mr. Johnson writes like a mystery writer. The Ghost Map is a page turner. Recommended

Anita Birt (still in transition)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book and other bits and pieces.

Weather news. We broke a heat record on southern Vancourver Island yesterday. It was 30.7 deg C. that's about 90  deg. F. It's cooled off a bit to-day.

Have you ordered, rushed out or otherwise purchased your copy of ISABELLE?

Here's how Isabelle's Story starts: Isabelle's brother tapped on her bedroom door the night before her fifteenth birthday and hushing her to be quiet handed her his gift. "I thought it best to give it to you now. If mother knows you are keeping diary she will insist on reading it." And so will father, Isabelle thought.

In the morning she smoothed her hand on the maroon leather cover of the precious diary, rested her cheek on it, breathed in the scent and slid her fingers along the glossy gold-edged pages. She had never owned anything so beautiful and hesitated before picking up her pen to write. It seemed a shame to sully the pages with her boring thoughts but she had the diary and boring or not she'd start writing in it to-day.

And so Isabelle's Story begins.

I've been doing a lot of editing to-day. It's slow work for me not being as swift as I once was. I'd love to have a new book published at my advanced years. Never give up. If I don't crack the publishing world I won't curl up and die or wither away or fall into a deep depression. I shall continue writing a second book I have just started. Writers write.

I have a free week-end. Except for playing bridge with friends tomorrow night I don't have to go anywhere or do anything I don't have to do.  Oops. I have some ironing. Can't keep avoiding it, I will do it first thing after breakfast then back to editing with a clear conscience.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Anita Birt's Note Book and more

Have you picked up a copy of ISABELLE to enjoy two romance novels, one historical and one contemporary?

I've been reading manuscript pages all afternoon and my brain is tired and so am I. I have printed off copies of my mystery novel, The Ghost Writer Mystery, to edit before sending the manuscript to a professional editor before sending it out to publishers and agents hoping to catch a break. My story if very different. The protagonists are two interesting characters working to solve crimes taking place in and around a retirement residence.

I have a beautiful brand new great granddaughter, Caroline. She is adorable and smart, of course. All grandchildren and great grandchildren are smart. Sadly for me, Caroline and her parents live in England so I have to rely on lots of photos sent by e-mail and wait for Caroline and parents to fly here to visit.

We are going to have a small marketing event where I live to promote ISABELLE. Writers are often asked how they get their ideas. I remember very clearly how I decided to write ISABELLE'S DIARY.  A scene in a small cafe in the town of Llandrindod Wells did it for me. I was sitting in a cafe with my husband, we'd been on a walking holiday in Wales, and stopped for a coffee in the cafe on the main. street.

I noticed an older teenager sitting at a window table. She was dressed in black. Girls were wearing vintage clothing at the time, a bit of a lark. The girl kept looking out the window as if expecting someone.

Here's the scene I imagined. My heroine, Sally Carter, has stopped for coffee in the cafe and noticed a girl dressed in Victorian black sitting at the window table. She holds a diary in her hands. She weeps  as she turns the pages. Sally thought she should off help but she was distracted. When she looked again the girl had disappeared and the waitress insisted no one had sat at that window table all morning.

Who did Sally see weeping over the pages of a diary? You must buy ISABELLE to find out.

Anita Birt