The Manuscript Tattlings : A Writer’s Prescription & Surprise Discovery

A Greek Matinée on the brink! Literary Fiction. As wind whips in through my open door I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky nor Péter Esterházy until… but how can I resist!

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Tattlings Menu:
∴  The Romance  ∴   Manuscript Progress Tattlings  

A Writer’s Prescription
  Surprise Discovery  ∴  Clicks 
∴  A Writer’s Prescription: 

♦  Words Carefully Chosen 

  marvel at♦  Sentences  ♦   Images  ♦  Considerations ♦  Insight ♦ 

  ♦  Examine each movement, action, trait  What motivation behind each character? What drives them?  Linking past, present, future ♦  Foreboding  ♦  Tension ♦  Intensity, insight, expression (Pear M22 III) ♦  Beauty ♦ 

  ♥   Each ChapterFind Beating Heart  ♥


Surprise Discovery:

Click here to see the Fossils mentioned in A Greek Matinée. How surprised I was to discover after I’d written them in, here they were on display. Thank you Scott. What were they? Frog? Crocodile? Some other reptilian? Something else?

20200124 Fossil cores Plant Snail Fish Croc-vert 400 mauve 3





Manuscript Tattlings : Progress

A Greek Matinée on the brink! Literary Fiction. As wind whips in through my open door I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky nor Péter Esterházy until… but how can I resist!

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Tattlings Menu:
∴ PI  Restart
∴ PII  The Romance
PIII  Manuscript Progress Tattlings 
∴  PIV  A Writer’s Prescription 
PV  Surprise Discovery  
∴ PVI  Clicks 

Progress Tattlings – Backwards Order ∴ (2019 to date)

Oh, how many times have I been finished A Greek MatinéeHow many drafts has my little printer trembled with? I like to sit with a cup of tea, pencil in hand as I review each page. Full clean copies? Probably this is my eighth, no, more I’m sure, with numerous freshened page-drops between. But I really am finished. Really! Or am I? What will Carole unearth?

Ψ  Tattlings AFTER midnight 2022 April 04 – jumps :

Ψ 2022 April 30

Ψ Tattlings  BEFORE midnight 2022 April 04 through from 2019:

Ψ 2022 April 04  Ah! some time ago Carole read the first 50 pages of A Greek Matinée. Now, magnificently, she is reading the whole manuscript. I value her comments for she is truly an avid reader of books, member of a book club and impresses me with her insight. Thank you sooo much Carole, I’m indebted to you. As a reader, she challenges me with questions.

PS   Wordcount is 113,280. Maybe Carole will see where I can nibble out a few more words!

22 March 30
  As I said above, it’s settledA Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

Ψ 2022 March 28 At each check for current definition of Contemporary Fiction,  Literary Fiction and Genre, I found subtle changes. And changes country-to-country. Initially I thought my ms Contemporary Fiction. But I was mistaken according to some definitions. The story is not set WorldWarII-ish.  A Greek Matinée is set 2016 contemporaneous with Greece’s economic difficulties, aftermath of the failed military-coup in Turkey, war in Syria and arrest of xxxxx xxxx xxxxx – no, I won’t give you a spoiler!

*But imagine my astonishment when this happened while I was on Greek soil! – I’d already plotted this into the story months and months before! Nor is A Greek Matinée popcorn. And it’s not formulaic. Characters drive the story… And now I twitter.

Ψ 2022 March  Ah-ha 😊  wonderfully, I  have gained another beta-reader, a critical reader. Her first question was, ‘What genre?’ Second question, ‘Who is your target audience?’

Ψ 2022 February 01   Today my manuscript stands at 113,320 words (31 chapters in 355 pp double-spaced of course). The last page has 2 lines only.

Ψ 2021 November 21  Into my stable I’ve wonderfully gained another Beta-Reader, a get-up-and-go lady who surprised me with her proclamation that she’s an avid reader, is caught up by my brief, wants to read on. Oh, Happy Day! And her friend who overheard our talk, volunteered also, another avid reader with keen interest in history. Thank you so much 🙂

Ψ 2021 November 01  I’ve become fanatical. And I’ve moved rooms to where I can recline on the daybed with one hand on the manuscript, the other hovering by keys, a pencil or grabbing fresh-brewed tea steaming by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons. The computer’s now on a wooden-seated high-stool next to me whose legs stretch out on a Tibetan blanket-cum-poncho draped over the camel-patterned mattress cover of the daybed. My eyes scan for a better turn of phrase, Subjectivity, or something that could well be deleted. Yes, I went back to earlier chapters although two weeks ago I mentioned I had but three chapters to go to the end of this round of fine-toothcombing. I’ve caught up. Now I have two to go!

A change of room has proved a good idea. The front door is open allowing wind to whip in. I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky until done, nor Péter  Esterházy. But I will go out with a friend for coffee on Friday to discuss books!

Q: Do I or don’t I include the Appendices originally determined worth their salt?

Ψ 2020 February 01 Manuscript Margins for A Greek Matinée are now set at 30mm. Hummm, that shoots up the pages – just as the Appendices shot up the overall wordcount! I play with words in my old version of Word because Word ’97 is logically organised unlike Word 10 which I find a beast to use and seems untameable. When I need to put the manuscript into a pdf format (for a Pre-sub Reader) I copy the document onto a flash drive, take it away from my isolated laptop (best firewall – Old Faithful never goes on the internet) and plug it into the modern machine to suck the file into that hideous-but-sometimes-very-useful-program which can save it to a mod pdf file. Of course I then have to scan the flash-drive to ensure no virus has infected the carrier pigeon!

Ψ 2020 late January A surprise discovery at “The Museum” after checking out Spiders – The Exhibition! Click Fossils to see what these are – already an element in A Greek Matinée (even before I went to Greece to feed this tale).

Ψ 2020 Am I truly ready to float my baby? Carmel magnificently completed her reading, made good suggestions and challenged the grammar of some of my “sub” clauses!

Ψ 2019 is closing fast! But hey! Carmel is now reading my manuscript.  A great surprise when she asked me if I’d like her to do so. Thanks a mill Carmel! I’m so pleased I joined the Ancient Civilisations classes with you and Yuri our good leaders! Throughly enjoyed being enlightened about Egypt then passing through Greece and now, Rome. How time flies when we’re doing what we enjoy … delving deeper with our curiosity and insatiable thirst for knowledge.

Ψ And now it’s 2019. A mighty thank  you to Robin who for the second time has read hardcopy of the full manuscript and discussed it variously over coffee. THANK YOU so much Robin for that and particularly asking me this year if I’d like you to read it again (that second time). I still tremble at having made a few spelling errors and a convoluted sentence or two = thanks so much for picking them up!

And thanks to Julia, my ALPHA-READER, for your full reading and comments (happy fishing!). And Nicole, Deanne, Irene and Sally for your various readings of bundles along the way. All so encouraging. I’m indebted to you.

Last year:
And now, A Greek Matinee revisited this April is posted (hummm, flipped, emailed, sent) to friends. What will they say? What will they think of it?

Of course I think it’s a good read and very much would have liked this work of fiction to companion me as I travelled in Greece nineteen months’ ago. Eccentric, yes. Challenges thinking? Yes. And with undercurrents of something sinister afoot, it is loaded with mythology that swings travelling-characters into edgy exchanges, psychological shifts and singular events some, flirting danger.


Lela seemed paranoiac, as if a Party-State black Volga would edge down the street, pull-in close, from its curtained interior a chill-complexioned thug make for…


∴   The Romance  ∴   Manuscript Progress Tattlings   ∴   A Writers Prescription  ∴  Surprise Discovery  ∴  Clicks  ∴



Tattling A Greek Matinee March


Ψ 2022 March 28 At each check for current definition of Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Genre I find they subtlety change. And change country-to-country. I thought my ms Contemporary Fiction but I may be mistaken. The story is not set WorldWarII-ish. It’s set 2016. A Greek Matinée is contemporaneous with Greece’s 2016 economic difficulties, aftermath of the failed military-coup in Turkey, war in Syria and arrest of xxxxx xxxx xxxxx – no, I won’t give you a spoiler!

*But imagine my astonishment when this happened while I was on Greek soil! – I’d already plotted this into the story months and months before!

Nor is A Greek Matinée popcorn. And it’s not formulaic. Characters drive the story… And now I twitter.

And I’m holed-up trying to whittle 113,310 words to 110,000

Jump to main Manuscript Tattlings where you’ll find random Tattlings, The Romance, A Writer’s Prescription and A Surprise Discovery


Site Updates 2022

Direct link to New Stuff or Update of earlier Posts and Pages. Hope you like ’em.

Ah! The Year of the Tiger! I feel I should be promoting a different manuscript but there it is, A Greek Matinée whistling in the wings.


Dear Visitors, this page gives you links to latest posts and alterations on my site. I’d be delighted if you would leave a Comment and/or Like on pages you visit 🙂 Easy-peasy! The menu above leads to all sorts of things. I’m interested too, what you think of my encounter with Lela. Thank you.

Here’s an easy link to become a valued >Follower

2022 April 30 April 30 Tattling Update (New) with Tweeter

2022 April 09 Early April Tattlings (New)

2022 April 01 It’s settled! A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

2022 March 29 Tattling A Greek Matinee (New) Manuscript Tattlings (Update)

2022 February 20 papilio aegeus (New) My butterfly is now identified.

2022 February 15 Wind, Dreams & Butterflies (New) and another recipe for you to try: Chili, Grape, Hazelnut Porridge (New)

2022 February 06 The Journey Begins (Update)

2022 February 05 Parsnip, Blueberries & Salmon (New) A recipe for you.

2022 February 04 Heavy Reading & Marshmallow (New)

2022 February 02 Simon’s Books & Boots article on Mary Beard’s A History of Ancient Rome (New)

2022 February 01 Manuscript Reader Comments (Update)

2022 January 27 Manuscript Reader Comments (Update)

2022 January Genre (Update)

Below are a few links from the end of last year’s page.


Expanding Our Brains Menu

Brain work and plunging into the deep with Aristophanes

 Expanding Our Brains  – bright fruit, leafy greens, walk and Aristophanes

 Expanding Our Brains iiMeta-Tags and the Ocean

 Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs Aristophanes Frogs Βάτραχοι. Don’t you just love him? – Brain Food

 Expanding Our Brains iv Ken  – a puzzle

 ♦ Jumping with Hoopsoh those Meta-Tags and Keywords – learning computer stuff

and of course there’s reading BOOKS    Book Hop

and learning to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs or a foreign language particularly with unfamiliar script like Greek, or translating books by Ioana Pârvulescu or Dostoevesky or Ovid!

So where does  Anna and Freg, and Saving My Olive in a Gale fit?

What are you doing to keep those little brain cells jumping?


Beta-Reader Cues & Prompts

Utterly too early I approached a Literary Agent…

Updated 2021 November

Truly, utterly too early I approached a Literary Agent – hey, Writers, don’t rush into a submission, ensure you’ve had a good selection of Beta-Readers first – and, considered what they’ve said. If two point out an area to address, like finding a hole in the plot or some other hiccup, that needs a revisit! Fortunately I’ve been sailing on well but early this month I re-arranged a sequence for more logical flow and chopped a few more words.

This year I’ve refocussed, taking onboard late critiques, acting on them as I see fit and resuming the generously given comment from an agent two years before. A single word. But truly important for a writer of fiction. Subjectivity. This was my initial stumbling block after years of industrial writing and journo stuff. Photo-journalism, newspaper and magazine articles.

Thanks to you all, my Beta-Readers. And my Alpha, dear Julia. Your support and encouragement is seismic.

And here are questions to consider!
  • Does A Greek Matinée have clear commercial appeal?
  • The story should appear marketable like, who do I see as the potential audience for my work?
  • Is A Greek Matinée unique? Of course I reckon it is!

What should a Beta-Reader of a manuscript look for in their reading? What do I want from my Beta-Readers?

I appreciate heavy critique. Honest critique. (I’m way beyond needing my back stroked!)
Although I’m thin-skinned, I won’t take offence. I need to know the faults, weaknesses:

  • Does the opening draw you, my Reader, in (should it be pushed higher?)
  • Does the writing create strong (emotional) impact?
  • Do scene ends tempt you to read on?
  • Does the end of a chapter satisfy you to want to read on?
  • Do sequences of conflict and resolution flow smoothly?
  • Are holes in the “plot”? Is something missing?
  • Are the characters well-rounded (even the er, naughty or unpleasant ones)?
  • Is anything superfluous? – a word, a phrase, whole scene?
  • Does any part of the story not make sense, is confusing? Why so? I need to know the why-sos so that I can reconsider a better approach – without giving away where a herring (red or not) may lead.
  • Characterisation: Actions are consistent with personalities? Personalities well-rounded?
  • Dialogue: Natural and intune with character-personalities? Advances the scene?
  • The end is satisfying?
  • How do you feel after reading the manuscript?
  • What stood out for you?
  • What are the weaknesses?
  • What did you most get from the story?
  • Did it deliver its promise? Its promise from the beginning?

I’ve read my manuscript so many times I’m blind to even small mistakes like typos, an inadvertent pronoun or tense switch. My brain lies to me because it interprets what my eyes see into what it believes a better way to go, being all too “knowing”!

When giving hard-copy of the manuscript to Pre-Submission Readers, my Betas, I ask them to feel free to make notes on manuscript pages as they read, that they can put their thoughts and comments there (even if “Oh! I like this!”) but also I give them pen, paper and sticky-labels as some like to write longer (oh so appreciated) feedback as they progress 🙂 (I read somewhere that another writer was given chapter-by-chapter feedbacks predicting what they thought would happen next!)

Happy days!

Hemingway said: Go after sensitivity not perfection. Control subject matter. Make it beautiful.

Now, two questions for you: What are you presently reading? and, are you writing?

But first, see some Visitor Comments below, perhaps leave one yourself and, give me a Like! Tee-hee heeeee!


Site Updates 2021 2020

Direct-link to New Stuff or Updated earlier Posts and Pages – Hope you like ’em!


Dear Visitors, your Likes and Comments lighten my world and can trigger conversation. Leap to a piece to leave a Comment or Like of its own 🙂 Easy-peasy!

And now it’s Christmas! Season’s Greetings to you all and let’s hope for a fabulous 2022. Site Updates turn a page.

This old page will be accessible from Site Updates 2022

2021 November 28:

2021 November 21:

2021 November 17: Quickie Snacks (New) includes Walnuts, Medjool Dates, Cumin infused cheese and Feta and my take on Tzatziki. On my Chess Day, we all bring a contribution for Morning Tea. Recipes Updated with listing the new four with Buttons. And, tomorrow’s tomorrow, Me & Books tweaked.

2021 November 02: Rain (New) A poem as rain fell and a baby huddled on a frond inches from the sodden ground. “The Manuscript” Tattlings (Updated)

2021 October late: Me & Books (Updated), Asemic Writing in Wet Sands (New), Eclectic Readings from My Stash (which is under construction but does have some Button-Jumps to several authors including Peter Esterhazy (New), Anstey Harris, Di Morrissey, Kayte Nunn, Jodi Picoult. And, perhaps sussed, how Smart-Phone users and non-WordPress visitors can become a Follower with ease: Go to page In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows and scroll down to the pink form and you should be able to “sign in” through your familiar platform 🙂 Welcome! Give it a whirl!

2021 October 15 Tech Prob: Follow from Phone not triggering (New) despite 2 hours of effort! It does seem to work if you are a WordPress Site holder.

2021 October 14 Eclectic Readings from My Stash  (New) Four titles so far commented upon – Anstey Harris, Bertrand Russell, Geraldine Brooks, Di Morrissey

2021 October 12 In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows   (New) and herewith update on Follow button problem: now it may be working properly 🙂

2021 October 11 Asemic Writing   Asemic writing written by trees, the wind, seaweed on the sand, termites and me. (New) Thanks bluebrightly for the word! I’d not known my “writing” and squiggles in my art had a name 🙂  And Thanks to The Metropolitan Museum of Art –  for the five pics of cuneiform writing 🙂

2021 October 10 Tech Prob: Follow Button not triggering (New because several people have not had their efforts to Follow trigger. I’m trying to suss out what I’ve done wrong to the site. Maybe you can help?);  My Genre (Updated); And coming soon, Asemic Writing. My manuscript editing is up to Deeds of Men.

2021 September 27  My Genre (Update with pics and jump for the fabulous bookstore in Romania – at their site, scroll down for heaps of pics of the restored building). Now I’m off for more editing of my manuscript – I’m honing in on Chapter 23 Guilt and Honour.

p34 8 bks of p38

2021 September 26  Today, tidying, compacting, fixing, updating. Some menu items now leap to sub-menus to give you better paths like [Poetics] and [Book Hop]. [Brain Expanding] zaps to the new Expanding Our Brains Menu which gives links thus (but listed tidily):   Expanding Our Brains  – bright fruit, leafy greens, walk and Aristophanes   Expanding Our Brains ii – Meta-Tags and the Ocean   Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs  – Aristophanes Frogs Βάτραχοι. Don’t you just love him? – Brain Food   Expanding Our Brains iv Ken  – a puzzle   Jumping with Hoops – oh those Meta-Tags and Keywords – learning computer stuff. Now I’m off for a much-needed cuppa and shelter from the wind that’s shaking the door.

2021 September 24  Books 21+ (new) **  Book Encounters tickled.


2021 September 18  Poetics …. now I’m off to tend garden, body and that ms!

2021 September 17  Book Encounters  **  Fennel   A quick easy recipe. Great either hot or cold.

2021 September 14  I’m back! **  “The Manuscript” Tattlings  **  Beta-Readers  **  AGM QUESTIONS – Can you help?

2020 May 01 Page (child of Art Endeavours): Seas to Red Centre 19plusOne : Painting Explorations From the Sea to the Red Centre amongst Trees and Creatures. Turtles, Fish, Crabs, Forests, Plains, Mountains, skeletons and saints, tigers and snake.

2020 April 07 Post: My Genre

2020 March 31 Post for My Garden: Golden Orb-Weaver & Jumping Spider and,  Some Books I’ve Read This Year 2020 up to March 31  which includes books currently I’m reading.

2020 March 08 New Page: Some Books I’ve Read This Year 2020

2020 February 25 Updated: Words and Phrases regarding BC/AD vs BCE/CE, retaining historically used characters BC / AD which now can be interpreted:  Backwards Counting / Advancing Date means databases remain unscathed.

books selection

2020 February 23 New Page Eclectic Collection: Books, Authors, Words & Phrases which is parent of:



Writing and Reading with sand between my toes … Orhan Pamuk, Peter Esterhazy, Harry Sidebottom, Umburto Eco, Ioana Pârvulescu, Delia Owens, Ovid, eclectic collections and, sobering thoughts as I flew over Roumania…

About Me, Books & Things, Quick Sketch in Flight, The Manuscript, Contact Me
  • A Greek Matinée is a work of fiction which obsessed me for several years right up to this moment which swells and shifts as if I’m possessed. Of March 2022 the manuscript is finished and I’m setting off on the road of finding a Literary Agent! I know it can be long. I’m ready! Oh what joy it will be when you can read your own copy all nicely bound by a great publisher! Who will it be?
  • A Greek Matinée is a tale set mainly in Greece. In 2016 I’d travelled there to immerse in things most Ancient, walk streets and pathways of our “cradle of western culture”. Prior to flying to Greece I’d been plotting A Greek Matinée, poring over  Greek histories, tragedies, comedies (link to Some Books and Stuff Pored over for A Greek Matinée), “sorted out” gods and, hoping to decipher even one word on an ancient stone, I attempted to learn to read Attic Greek one of the ancient languages spoken in some of the then City States. What a thrill when I actually recognised some bits of inscriptions! I’d swum in the Mediterranean Sea too! Seen Poseidon in a whirling fury soaring to the sky.
  • Yonks ago I’d finished an umpteenth fine-toothcombing and reduction of another story: Tigers in My Teacup which deliberately I put aside for A Greek Matinée which further developed and confirmed my style. My knowledge expanded in great leaps too and maturity blossomed – well, I think so! Tigers and another manuscript now badly need revisits! Maybe those two mss along with all my short stories I wrote as a member of a writing group were my next-level trainer-wheels having long-outgrown the baby-rollers.
  • I’m a member of Friends of Antiquity at University of Queensland, Royal Queensland Arts Society, Queensland Writers’ Centre, Probus and U3A where in 2019 I attended classes “Ancient Civilisations” as well as poetry and playing chess. Oh yes, and energising-socialising through Greek Dancing. For years I’ve been playing chess – although you’d not believe it if you were to play with me! ASA logo 100And now I’m an associate member of Australian Society of Authors.
  • Sometimes with pleasure I still labour with learning to read Attic Greek and almost daily – joyfully – Roumanian which has some similarities to Turkish of which I’d gained a smattering to survive travelling alone along the Black Sea coast where English seemed mythical after thriving on a marvellous tour and attending calligraphy (Arabic) classes in Istanbul – with the Master Calligrapher!
  • Oooh, here are Rough Travelling Sketches made inflight to UK 2016 before my adventures in Greece and second splash in Turkey – a military jet roared past but also I saw a plane smoking low down.

160904 An Eerie Silence over Turkey 400 and Sobering Thoughts p02

  • Had it been shot as we passed?
  • Nervously I ask: what will I encounter in Roumania soon!? (Some of the books I’m reading prior to departure are noted below.)
  • 2021 Update: Roumania? last year? this year? Oh dear, due to the ongoing pandemic sadly gripping the world, all overseas travel from here is banned. My paid-up fares and stuff are fluttering as coupons as thousands of other travellers drift in the same predicament. I do hope EVERYBODY, from the stranger on the street to the teams of front-line workers keep as safe as they possibly can – and have access to The Jab, roll up their sleeve for their shots, now that it’s been developed against this deadly virus.
  • During lockdown 2021, blow me down! I bought online  Viitorul începe luni by Ioana Pârvulescu which is printed in Romanian. So, what fun to try to translate it into English, find the right word and concept this fabulous author crafted in her own language. Ioana Pârvulescu is the award-winning writer of Life Begins on Friday.
  • I’m an avid reader. If the book is of an ancient non-English author, I’m a fan of having the original script opposite English translations like Apollodorus The Library, Ovid Tristia, Ex Ponto, The Art of Love and other Poems, Hesiod The Homeric Hymns which includes Works and Days, Theogony, The Shield of Heracles and other works. But as you see in the above para, not always an English translation is available.
  • I also enjoy more modern authors, Ioana Pârvulescu, the remarkable Delia Owens, Christian Cameron (I’m really sorry I turned down his invitation to join in an historical re-enactment in Greece prior to my planned trip there), Harry SidebottomUmburto Eco, Giles Milton, A.S. Byatt (though I struggle with Possession), of course Orhan Pamuk (got five of his books – did you recognise the right-hand pic of the montage at the top? I took that pic when I visited his … yes … Museum of Innocence); and after Peter Esterházy’s Celestial Harmonies, I loved Jack Faust by Michael Swanwick . And I’ve read The History of Bees by Maja Lunde (which I gave to my daughter-in-law – she’s an apiarist). At first I wasn’t sure what was going on as the first scene is in the future. Deeper in as I slid into the third time-frame going backwards, it clicked. A jolly good read. And there are these:
An eclectic mix – my library contains over a thousand books not to mention archaeology magazines and now, Christmas pressies!! due to my pending trip – Yes, Roumania with a flit in Budapest: Peter Esterházy again.

Books for AGM 2 4B


  • My Interests: Writing, Reading, Gardening, Swimming in the Sea, Art: painting, drawing, printmaking (intaglio, lino cut, woodcut); Travel, Ancient History, Archaeology, Playing Chess and of course, Family.



  • There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life. Ambrose Bierce
  • Did you like the photos I took in Athens and Istanbul for my signature strip?
  • What are your thoughts on all this? Below there’s a slot for you to leave a Comment [Leave a Reply] I’d be delighted if you left me a comment 🙂 
  • I do hope you will become a “Follower” of me, my site. Someday you may will find a novel of mine on the shelves of a bookshop 🙂 perhaps your favourite!
  • If you had difficulty becoming a Follower I apologise. The [Follow Elizabeth] button now works. On a computer it’s at the top right. On a Smart-Phone it’s way down the bottom past Comments! If you’re not a registered WordPress person, the pink form in my In Wet Sands – Ebbs and Flows is easy and works from a Smart-Phone! As with Life nothing stays the same, things change, sometimes at an alarming rate. Sometimes Good. Sometimes Bad. Progress gallops into an even more technical age. Let’s hope the world heals quickly from present chaos. And that people continue to read books, finger Real Paper, hardcopy… oh dear, there is a generation risen, and netting in others, who prefer on-the-go-electronic-versions. But I like the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands…

Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoy my site. Have a browse through menus. You can jump to pages like,  Contemporary Fiction, Genre – A Perspective, and considering A Greek Matinée   or,  Book Encounters   and,  Beta-Readers, perhaps  Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs  or even consider one of my Recipes or Paintings.

A Few Manuscript Reader Comments

“A Greek Matinee, I can’t put it down … The archaeological sites enable the past and present to entwine. Females are empowered.” comment from a beta-reader.

An enormous thank you to all my readers.

2022 January 30  Two sessions with yet another beta-reader of the first 50 pages of A Greek Matinée. Since I gave the pages to Carole a month-or-so ago we’ve talked about it but yesterday got to the nitty-gritty of two words. We meet regularly and talk about books, analysing, dissecting, criticising, recommending over an extended lunch. Yes, I think four hours could be seen as extended!

And she wants to read the rest. Particularly after perusing the Synopsis that is neither sales-pitch nor blurb that may appear on the back of a book but a piece of writing in which the publisher or agent is introduced to the main character, the where and when of the story, core conflict and how the main character deals with the conflict (or fails to), how the conflict is resolved remembering of course, emotions and feelings.

2022 January 27  Yesterday I met with another beta-reader who generously read the first 50 pages of my manuscript. Good session. Important. Now I have the perspective of a vibrant 27-year old. Vanessa gave me several solid suggestions. Initially she thought Anna was “ageless” insomuch that she could be any age but then saw a speech pattern a mod-bod may not use in 2016, the period of the story. Ahah, a generational thing! She thought the character’s age should slot in earlier because of that. So now with Anna’s age on page 1 of Chap 1 instead of p7, everything falls into place 😀

I’m pleased to say that Vanessa is enormously enthusiastic about A Greek Matinée. She says it’s like reading poetry.

Weeee! I want to say. On 2022 January 23 I was feeling flat. But this week I’ve been enjoying tickling my latest editing round. Good coffee with friends does it! How are you other emerging-writers doing?


The Journey Well In Hand.

In this Log for your interest, I’ve placed some comments from my Alpha-Reader and some Beta-Readers. Currently I’m super-fine-toothcombing my manuscript. Do I move on to Gamma-Scrutineers? Or are they too, Beta-Readers, third wave of pre-submission readers?

* After reading just the first page of A Greek Matinée (that was before the manuscript gained a preceding “Preamble”), Nicole said she liked it as it gives good idea of what the story will embrace. Particles immediately got me interested and having read the first 16 pages I want to read more”. Nicole is a down-to-earth, strong-minded young woman.

* Carmel, retired university lecturer of sociology, throughout her complete reading kept saying: “I can’t put it down … The archaeological sites enable the past and present to entwine. Females are empowered ” and suggested I include a map. Her husband said she’d disappear with the manuscript for hours! We still tango with “sub” clauses!

* Robin, a retired General Practitioner who read a late manuscript of A Greek Matinée a year after an early draft (on his request! 🙂 ) also enjoyed the story and said Chapter Of Teeterings and Toasts is a “good sharp hit”. He also said that first page Particles is a good addition… and we had heaps of discussions and going over notes together – he even caught me out on several spelling mistakes and grammar! Mighty efforts! Thanks a million Robin. His wife interestingly said their grandson would want to read it also!

* Others too including my daughter (who suggested I change the earlier working title Anna Amongst the Gods – she “really” likes the new one A Greek Matinée) have been so supportive and encouraging giving positive feedback and suggestions.

* And Julia! my Alpha-Reader! with our long discussions over home-brewed coffee! In her notes she’d written: “I want to read on – I am now at home with Anna and enjoy her thoughts and plans.” After her full manuscript reading Julia wrote: “It is a good read and believable“.

* And Beatrice whose first language is not English, read aloud early chapters to me bringing up a few issues to address. A very interesting exercise to hear someone read their “baby” to them – particularly with a robust accent.

* And Deane, retired teacher/Headteacher at coffee and cake, “really” likes the title and says it gets her interested. Deane also suggested certain commas!

* And Em.Prof. Bob says not to forget to invite him to the launch! Bob had helped me with some of the Greek. Any mistakes are entirely my own.

 How lucky I am to have such support from all these people. Dearly I treasure each of you. Thank you.


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“The Manuscript” Tattlings

A Greek Matinée on the brink! Literary Fiction. As wind whips in through my open door I must discipline not to touch Dostoevsky nor Péter Esterházy until… but how can I resist!

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. And I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Tattlings Menu:
∴ PI  Restart
∴ PII  The Romance
PIII  Manuscript Progress Tattlings 
∴  PIV  A Writer’s Prescription 
PV  Surprise Discovery  
∴ PVI  Clicks 
∴ PI  Restart:

 As a story of loss and recovery – oops! Generic remark! Restart:

The plot of A Greek Matinée takes Anna, an ageing woman,  amongst ruins, tourists, smugglers, legends and secretive manoeuvres. At this stage I will not reveal more as that first should be pitched to an agent. I’ll only quote from the manuscript when the character Camille is talking of Goddess Demeter and Persephoné: ‘There are three phases here. One, Descent. Two, Search. Three, Ascent.’ Camille’s comment could be taken as a motif in A Greek Matinée.

∴ PII  The Romance:

The working title of my manuscript is A Greek Matinée.

“Matinée” is a play on an afternoon’s light entertainment, perhaps made heavier with dramas; the matinée of a political era or endeavour; maybe, the matinée of one’s life before eventide ambushes.

The genre of A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction crossed over from Contemporary Fiction. Some readers may also say that this story skirts Road Fiction, an American coining. According to WorldCat Genres, Road Fiction is used for works in which a journey as a life-changing experience is a central part of the action.

But A Greek Matinée is more than that. Anna, the main character, in the thrall of ancient Greece with it’s far-reaching history and rich mythology succumbs to psychological shifts. Is she being followed? (For what reason?) Or is she paranoiac,  perhaps going mad?

**2022 March  It’s settledA Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction. What a journey to this momentous declaration! For long I’ve considered rafts of definitions  words from NYBooksEditor, looked at novels on Pan Macmillan’s Literary Fiction list and, discussed the matter with my latest beta-reader.

Yes, got it! A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

Eh! When A Greek Matinée is published – I’m perpetually The Optimist – travel to Greece without leaving your seat amidst undercurrents of something sinister, flirts with danger, psychological shifts and historically held views unashamedly questioned. Or, maybe A Greek Matinée will be a book for you to tuck in your pocket as you tread where ancients trod, debated, sang praises, tripped with beauty, comedy and tragedy.

Ece Temelkuran’s Women Who Blow on Knots, a fearless tale of female solidarity during the Arab Spring is Road Fiction. And I elect Péter Esterházy’s The Glance of Countess Hahn-Hahn (down the Danube) although it’s down a river but one aspect of the story is the young boy on a life-changing experience travelling with his distant-uncle.

After you’ve visited the Tattlings of Progress, A Writing Prescription and Surprise Discovery, here’s a jump to Péter Esterházy, and to Lela  (a true little story of my encounter with a lady from Roumania).

A Greek Matinée is more than a story of loss and recovery.


∴ PVI  Clicks:

  A Few Manuscript Reader Comments   • Here’s a tempter from one of my beta-readers: “A Greek Matinée, I can’t put it down … The archaeological sites enable the past and present to entwine. Females are empowered.” – click link for more.

♦  Beta-Readers •  Writers! ensure you’ve had a good selection of beta-readers before submitting your work to an agent. Consider…

♦  My Genre   •  A Greek Matinée is set in contemporary times with characters who are thrown together on a journey, swivelling through personal and social problems. Boundaries are extended to…

♦  AGM QUESTIONS – Can you help?   • In the past, Titanide (daughter of Sky and Earth) `Ρέα was translated from original Ancient Greek to Latin then to English as Rhea BUT because a rough-breathing aspirant precedes the rho, should that not read Hrea?… Ah hah! resolved. Thankyou Ces.

♦  A Greek Matinée is born

Jumps for next pages:
PIII  Manuscript Progress Tattlings 
∴  PIV  A Writer’s Prescription 
PV  Surprise Discovery

Lela seemed paranoiac, as if a Party-State black Volga would edge down the street, pull-in close, from its curtained interior a chill-complexioned thug make for…


Expanding Our Brains ii

Ah! Perhaps today my brain truly is expanding! After a lovely swim in the ocean…

Ah! Perhaps today my brain truly is expanding! After a lovely swim in the ocean, I tried to digest about meta-tags. They’re those secret words in the html code specifically designed for search engines. I do wonder however, if I’ve got them right! But I had a great swim. The ocean’s calmed. And today, absolutely heavenly. I even managed fifty strokes against the current and easy fifty with it. Backstroke: I have to keep my eyes peeled in case the Hydra – `Υδρα – comes, you know, that nine-headed water-serpent monster-offspring of Poseidon and Ekhidne; in case Herakles’ penance has not been entirely detailed, his penance for killing his wife and children in a fit of madness conspired by the vengeful queen of heaven, Great Goddess, Hera, wife and sister of mighty Zeus. But hey, the water was gorgeous with good breaks between waves which I tried to body-surf – except for the ones kids screamed, yelled and bellowed out (depending on age), ‘No! No! (scream) Under! Under!’ Gulp. Plunge. Crest high. True fun in the sun.

Expanding Our Brains

Brain work and plunging into the deep with Aristophanes

How many times are we told to Expand Our Brain? Exercise, eat a balanced diet, exercise, eat brightly coloured fruit, leafy greens, walk….. Walk? Not run? Yes, walk, and under right load: small backpack with water, sunscreen and an apple. That’s good for the bones, I’m admonished. But walk? Not run as if training for a marathon, er, even half-marathon as my daughter does. You see, I’m not young. In fact my doc graciously tells me, ‘You have to face it, you’re old.’

Oh, I see. But hey, I can plunge into the ocean and do battle with “cheeky remnants of cyclones” and two days later in “hairy conditions – don’t go beyond waist-deep.” Good God! On Thursday I was bowled out for a six by sand-papered backwashes only thigh high – no hiding in white trousers there. Scrambled to my feet, gamely I plunged through and on dumpers which sent teenagers screaming. Surely that was brain expanding! beyond shrinking in fright! Then I too took flight away from rolling monsters bent on ripping off an arm or my head….. and just in case that expansion was zapped, I munched a bright red apple and read another chapter about Aristophanes Frogs.

PS: and now 2020, my daughter does Ultra-Marathons!

Expanding Our Brains ii    Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs   Expanding Our Brains iv Ken   Time for a Cuppa    Welcome Winter – a Poem!    Spiders Chasing

And what about trying this yummy-fluffy: Recipe Moussaka


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