Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My new web site is coming along. It looks fresh and interesting. Small changes from the old one. I was looking over my site and reading reviews of my books. Loved reading them. Now I really must have a new book to add to the mix. I await word from my editor. She might think it's not up to scratch, unlikely to be published and other ugly rejections.

Stop thinking negatively. Bad for the brain. Turn it around and think it's a really good read. How many mystery novels have a Ghost as one of the main characters. Working with a ghostly character who is neither male or female posed a problem or two. I kept referring to Ghost as a she or her and that just would not do. Not in the story I created.

The other character is a writer, Liz Stanley, who writes Lady Mary Mysteries using the name Amelia Blackstock.

Neil Gaiman in his recent lecture given at The Reading Agency. 'I'm going to tell you that Libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for  pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do."

So buy one or two of my books, buy ISABELLE. Lose yourself in a fictional world. Forget your troubles. Enjoy a good read.

Reading fiction is good for the brain. Better than any pill. There are millions of books waiting to be read by you and me. I have barely scratched the surface. How are you doing?


Saturday, October 26, 2013


Much ado about nothing. That's how I feel about writing in my journal this afternoon. With the sun shining outside I should be walking but I had my granddaughter, her partner and my darling great granddaughter Willa visiting. Willa runs everywhere. She knows the building where I live. Going for lunch? She runs into the dining room enchanting all the old folks with her smiles.

Let's see the fish. She runs to the fish tank. Let's see the birds. She runs to the two caged birds. By the time the family left I was pooped. I do love them dearly.

I don't like seeing cages birds. I read their bird minds. I know they want out to fly around and stretch their wings. But is that my fancy? When you're  hatched and live all your life in a cage that is all your know.

I shall not go all philosophical how all human beings live within the structure they were born into, within reason, of course. Life's journey is all I have and I live it as best I can. There's a big section in the National Post newspaper on dying and how we do it. Right now I want to think about something else.

Our librarian encourages us to write about our lives. A paragraph. A sentence. A book! She is dropping items/ideas around the building. Our task is to choose one of them and write about it. Imagination is the key.

Alas. How many people imagine? Create stories inside their heads? I suggested we first of all have a workshop titled.

Writers have vivid imaginations. They create stories from scraps of information. Or they make it all up!

Do you have an imagination? What do you do with it?

Comment Please


Sunday, October 20, 2013


Confession time! A senior moment struck me dumb while writing about Neil Gaiman's wonderrful. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

The names of the two ghostly characters who raised the little boy were Mr. and Mrs. Owens. I lived in Wales for many years the names Owens and Lewis were very common. So instead of thinking Owen, I thought Lewis.

Doesn't make sense, does it? Owen not Lewis. My brain plays tricks now and again. Forget a name? Make up another one.

Read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. I've read the beginning again. It hooks the reader into the story. Let your imagination roam free through THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

My new website will be up and running soon.


 I have changed my title from "note book," to Journal. Don't ask. It felt right to make the change. I keep a personal Journal, no earth shaking revelations, no philosophical musings, a simple recounting of my day.

I have discovered a new author and am delighted to share him with you. NEIL GAIMAN. I read THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE.  Had trouble getting into the story. I wanted a PLOT. When I gave up looking for a plot I discovered the magic in Neil Gaiman's writing. The nine year old boy thrust into coping with changes in his family found a girl living on a farm down the lane with whom he had adventures and to whom he could discuss the evil woman come to keep house while his mother worked. His magical thinking detailed in the book is wonderful. Reminded me of my own long ago childhood.

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is classified as a Child's Book. I could not put it down after reading the first few pages. A little toddler escapes from a murderous plot to kill his family. They are murdered but the kid makes  his way up the hill to the Graveyard. He creeps under the locked  gate, is picked up by Mrs. Lewis who cuddles him and persuades her husband to let her keep him.

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis died a few hundred years ago and live in a crypt but they come out with other graveyard residents to pass the time of day and discuss what to do with the toddler. They name him Nobody Lewis. He is known to all the residents as Bod. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is a wonderful read. Believe it could happen and enjoy the story of Bod as the story unfolds.

Unlike the wonderful story of ALICE IN WONDERLAND,  THE GRAVEYARD BOOK  has no political or clever references to nineteenth century issues popular at the time.

I lived with the story  of Bod from start to finish. I believed a live little boy was nurtured and cared for my people long dead who were able to live temporarily in the present. Bod lived in the comfort of their crypt. Ways and means were found to bring him food and eventually clothing. For years he contentedly wore a winding sheet.

Take your imagination with you and enjoy THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

Anita Birt

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Sad to say my Sitemarker has crashed and I haven't a clue who is viewing my site or not. I think the problem is related to the work being done on my old web site. I'll check it out.

I've had my royalty cheque. A VERY DIFFICULT MAN is doing well but not much doing for ISABELLE.  Only one copy sold. It's only available in trade paper back so that will slow down sales. So if one or two of you would order ISABELLE you will have two romance novels in one book! A real bargain. That's my sales pitch for now.

I began series of special exercise classes this morning to strengthen all the muscle groups and improve one's balance. I notice a slight change in my balance after having chemo-therapy and radiation 2011 -2012. Not masses of radiation but something changed in how my body worked. The cure is wonderful. The aftermath is manageable. There are so many new ways to threat cancers in people of all ages it's not the death threat it used to be.

I am writing  a sequel to A GHOST WRITER MYSTERY. It's not yet published, not yet professional edited  but I had an idea for a sequel and am working on that. Writers write even me. I'm a very tiny fish in a tiny pond in the giant publishing ocean but the urge to write is there so I write. Whether I publish another book is uncertain but I've paid my dues in the business and hope a contract will fall into my lap.

Anita Birt is under construction.
Save a visit for when the new site is ready. I will let your know.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Can't go out for a walk until the wind dies down and there are no white caps on the sea. There's a black cloud moving in, could be rain. Definitely not a good time to head out.

My brand new web site is being created. I feel like an expectant parent waiting for the web site to appear. I have rejoined Romance Writers of American and applied to join The Writers' Union of Canada. They may turn my down because my books are not considered "literary." They are well written with twists and turns as the story develops. But they are ROMANCE novels. They are classified as "Bodice Rippers," or some such nonsense. How can you rip the bodice from a young woman who doesn't have a bodice and who'd smack the first man trying to feel her up.

I'm hoping for good sales of ISABELLE. Two books in one volume. Isabelle's Diary and Isabelle's Story. When my publisher, Ellora's Cave decided to print the books she decided to put Isabelle's Story first and Isabelle's Diary second.

I wrote Isabelle's Diary first. It's a contemporary novel and reads like a mystery. Sally Carter is searching for her family tree in church archives in and around Llandrindod Wells, what she finds surprises her. The mystery lingers on until the last few pages of my book. Even though I'm the writer I get the shivers when Sally opens a box filled with family history and photos and comes across . . .

Buy my book and find out how  ISABELLE'S DIARY ends. You won't be disappointed.

ISABELLE'S STORY almost ended in a tragedy. Romance novels have to end happily but lots of difficulties abound for Isabelle until the final few pages.

I live with my characters when I'm writing. I visualize them. I sense what they are going through.

Writing is a lonely occupation but I'm never alone when I'm writing. I am living the story I'm writing. When the story ends I have to say good-bye to the characters with whom I've spent months. I grieve a little as I say good-bye but I've sent the on their way. They have a future! I let them go.

Bye for now. Leave a comment if you feel like it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

ANITA BIRT'S NOTE BOOK and sundry bits and pieces.

The weather has calmed and the sun is struggling to work its way through the clouds. I am pleased to tell you my new web site will be up and running in a week or so. Depends on the work load of the site planners.

As  I sent my thoughts to James and Ray who are creating the site it occurred to me that I have five romance novels languishing in my files and on my computer. One, a historical romance, dear to my heart. It's called, The Crofter's Daughter. or The Scottish Witch or A Long Journey. .I based the start of the story in the late 19th century when Scottish crofters who had worked and lived on small parcels of land for hundreds of years were driven off, lost their cottages, the few animals they had, so the wealthy landowners could raise sheep. Sheep made money.

During the upheaval my heroine, Ailsa Macrae, was wrongly accused of stealing sheep, a capital offence. With her father she escaped over the border into England but even there, the authorities were on the look out for the escapees. Ailsa and her father had enough money to pay for a passage to Canada but Liverpool  was out of the question, even there Ailsa and her father were in danger. So they travelled south. Wanderers in a strange land. Without friends.

Encourage me to send this book to a publisher. It's a tale of loss and courage. Ailsa's bravery makes her a true heroine. My family background is Scottish. My folks were not Highland crofters but the tale of their suffering is heartbreaking.

My other novels are all contemporary. I shall dig them out and have a look. What about "Marrying The Boss." The first line in the book is: "Of course you will accept." I leave you with that.

Must return to the creepy story I'm writing.