A note from an aspiring neologist

According to WordPress this is my 500th post, which to me seems like something of a milestone for a self-styled ‘accidental’ blogger, even though it must seem modest to many.

I’ve always been happy writing. I even enjoyed writing up insurance inspections and composing reports for council committees. Words, I’ve come to realise, are just ‘my thing’.

‘Once I’ve written something it does tend to run away from me. I don’t seem to have any part of it – it’s no longer my piece of writing.’
– David Bowie

This quote, from the late and great David Bowie, is very apt. Words run away with me too. Especially in the mouths and actions of my characters. You’ve heard how some of them go on, even outside their own story.

Which brings me to the term for ‘my kind of writer’ that I’m not very fond of… Pantster!


I’m not alone, as discovered last week after I read an interview with fellow author and blogger, Liz Gauffreau. I’m always interested to read about other writers. This brief(!) exchange followed:

I got to thinking after that. What about a new term to replace the irritating ‘pantster’?

I mulled over some alternative words for pants: braggas (Spanish); breeks (Scottish); broekies (South African); but knowing that Liz is a Latin scholar, I came to braccas. I have to admit I had to look it up. My schoolroom Latin is too distant to recall, besides it wasn’t a word to feature much in Caesar or Cicero, although I’m sure Liz will correct me if I’m wrong!

And so here *drumroll* is the first mention of a new word – a neologism

Braccaneers of the world unite, you’ve nothing to lose but your…

A pair of Queen Victoria’s silk bloomers sold for 1000 UK pounds at auction (Clevedon Salerooms)

Remember, you heard it here first!

Secret Santa?

My puppy wears a Christmas hat
is there something wrong with that?

He stares intently back at me
by the light of the Christmas tree

Two dark eyes and round back nose
what he’s thinking no one knows

But I think that I can guess
okay, boy, more is less!

Written in response to Sadje‘s What do You See #62 photo prompt.

Image credit: Rhaúl V. Alva @ Unsplash
The image shows a puppy wearing a Christmas hat, sitting in a bed. You can see the Christmas tree lit up in the background.


The image shows a boy standing next to a Stegosaurus dinosaur in a park.

was apt
to make up
It got

to a point
when no-one
believed anything
he said.
Until one day

we followed him.
Who would have thought it?

Charlie really had
a pet dinosaur.

Written in response to SadjeWhat Do You See #33 photo prompt.
Image credit: DianaZG on Pixabay

100 Silly Words

The picture shows two brown bunnies hugging each other. There are a couple of brightly coloured eggs next to them.

I have a mirror which makes

me look thinner.

Not quite svelte

but at least I can loosen my belt,

to allow the occasional treat.


So bring me chocolate and sweets

and sugary treats

and promise not to tell


That the width of my waist

when sucked in with haste,

isn’t as large as I think

when approaching the sink

to wash up the debris of sin.


But here’s to the spring

when each living thing

starts to frolic and dance in the sun.


I’ll be hidden away

with the stash of today:

chocolate bunnies and eggs

and a book.

Written in response to SadjeWhat Do You See #25 photo prompt.
Image credit: Annca on Pixabay

On Getting Older

on getting old by chris hall lunasonline

Labelled now, that strange old bag
Not all aging is a drag.

No more for you the daily grind
Use purple hair dye, who’s to mind?

Every day is just the same
No need to go out in the rain.

Catch a film, hit the beach
All of a sudden life’s a peach!

Dress for comfort, not for style
That hat you wear stands out a mile.

But come the evening, shut the door
Fill your glass and say, ‘no more’.

The eyes that dim, the ears that strain
The knees that crack, the joints that pain

Time’s the one unbreakable law
And getting old is such a bore!


Christmas Hamper Challenge

0Christmas Hamper

What’s not to like about another little gift challenge!

Originating here from Rory at A Guy called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip and gifted onwards to me here by Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith.

This is the challenge:
Pick five items for five bloggers and put them in the hamper. Then explain what you put in and why.

0Bettys Tea Rooms

My first pick is Afternoon Tea at Betty’s Tea Rooms in York where I went to school. 

This is for Teresa, The Haunted Wordsmith, to thank her for her gifts to me this year as well as for all her wonderful posts which keep us busy reading, writing and admiring her work. And it will be another little learning experience for her about us weird Brits!


0the-gin-boxWhile I was in Betty’s, I noticed this rather splendid Gin Box for my second pick.

Now I’m rather partial to a nip of this stuff myself. However, I immediately though of Ellie Scott, a self-confessed gin drinker.

For all those awesomely witty short stories we’ve enjoyed throughout the year.

Cheers, Ellie!


My third pick is an Illustrated World Atlas

This is for Foster and Panda at Nana’s Whimsical World, so they can choose where to go on their next adventure!

Have fun little guys! (I won’t tell Debra).



0map of worldSo while I was picking out the atlas, I came across this Outline World Map. This was perfect for my fourth pick.

It goes to Mickey & Yunni at Freja Travels  so they can colour in all the wonderful countries which we’ve enjoyed hearing about on their travel blog. Thanks for sharing with us!

It really was an excellent book shop, because I also found this for my fifth and final pick.

The latest edition of Roget’s Thesaurus, I was tempted to keep this for myself as my copy is so old and battered.

However, it goes to J.I. Rogers, just in case she runs out of words for her Six Word Challenges, as if you would, Jenn!
Keep ’em coming!


I hope you enjoy your virtual pressies.

As ever, you can pick this up and roll with it or not!

0happy hols




Daily Writing Challenge, Dec 10

Written in response to the prompt by The Haunted Wordsmith:
Hotel, breakfast, caught

breakfast with Boris lunasonline
Photo courtesy of The Haunted Wordsmith

Breakfast with Boris

Boris always enjoyed his hotel breakfast when he was working away, even if it was sometimes difficult to obtain proper British grub. Not for him was bacon from Denmark or sausage from Germany. But today was going to be champion; a proper start to his day.

He rubbed his hands together as the waitress laid the groaning plate before him. He turned the pages of his copy of ‘The Times’ to the political section and propped the folded newspaper against the condiment set.

Tucking his linen napkin into his collar, Boris prepared to eat. He pierced a generous forkful of Cumberland sausage, stabbed a piece of Wiltshire bacon and dipped it into the golden yolk of his free-range Gloucestershire egg, before popping it into his mouth.

Then he started to read. The opinion piece was appalling. How dare this jumped up journalist decry his efforts to restore the autonomy of his beloved country! Boris drew a sharp intake of breath. The large piece of north-country sausage caught in his throat. Boris coughed. He tried to breathe in, but the prime piece of spiced ground pork was firmly lodged in his windpipe. He tried to cry out, but only a whisper of a bark came out. He attempted to attract attention by waving his newspaper frantically in the air.

British reserve to the fore, his fellow breakfasters ignored the disturbance. The waiting staff were absent from the room. No-one was coming to his aid. Boris’s face turned a delicate shade of puce. He struggled to his feet, cartwheeling his arms in a caricature of buffoonery.

But his efforts were to no avail. His face turned grey. He slumped back into his seat and keeled forward, his nose burying itself in the runny egg in the centre of the best Worcester plate on which his breakfast had been served.

Hoist on the petard of his Great British Breakfast, Boris breathed no more.



Six-Word Story Challenge x 6

Written in response to J. I. Rogers’ Six-Word Story Challenge

12 days of Christmas lunasonline

Norwegian Blues you say, all dead?

This one? From husband number five.

The biggest omelette in the world!

The lake was still, they’d flown.

Sour milk? That was her face.

That’s a big pile of handbags!

Daily Writing Challenge, Dec 8

Written in response to the prompt by The Haunted Wordsmith:
gingerbread, town, catastrophe

gingerbread house lunasonline
Photo courtesy of The Haunted Wordsmith

The county news station is reporting from the town of Gingerbread.
Recent storms have caused extensive damage to a large number of houses in the area. When interviewed the mayor  commented: ‘We have run out of the sugar, corn syrup and ginger, and consequently rebuilding efforts have had to be halted. We have declared the situation a catastrophe.’

NaNoWriMo – update

nanowrimo 2018

The first week is almost over. Well, it’s been a week and a day, strictly speaking, but since my Thursdays have been too chock-full of ‘other stuff’, I’m not counting them (or on them).

I am enjoying it. I’m having fun. Maybe not getting quite the word count… but I have (mostly) finished my first five chapters. I’ve allowed myself to miss bits out: not worry about names, or particular locations. I’ve left notes to myself to look up this and fill in that. It’s working, at least in the context of my own particular goal for a short novel for children.

Oh, and the planning has mostly gone out the window. I’ve discovered I can’t write that way. Although I do still have the end written. It might change , I’ll have to see what my characters do. And I’m loving them!

So, my writerly friends out there who are busy with this little adventure too: may your words flow fluently, your plots thicken seamlessly and your characters give you joy! (Was that too many adverbs??).

On with the journey…