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Monday, 30 March 2015

This Writing Life...

I'm on holiday this week, lazing around the beautiful Costa del Back Garden. Although I might not be chained to my desk, the writing never stops. I've just sent out my spring newsletter, so if you'd like to read an extract from my current work in progress (working title, Love On The Run) get the recipe for Jamaica Orange Cake, or hear some great news about one of my street team, join my mailing list by signing in to the box on the right of this page.

This week I'll be reading through the extracts submitted for the workshop being run by the local chapter of the Romantic Novelists' Association. Each of the eight people taking part sent a piece of writing to the co-ordinator, who circulated anonymous versions of all the samples. We read and make comments on each one, which we then discuss when we meet up at the day-long workshop. It's a really productive exercise. We've all picked up loads of ideas and improved our writing after holding previous events, and I'm really looking forward to this next one.

I write up a few nature notes nearly every day, and today it will be all about choruses: dawn and frog. Every morning I'm out before dawn, either running, or checking the greenhouses. This morning a dunnock fell out of bed to join me with an alarm call at about 6am, but the robins and other birds didn't join him until about 6:15. The territories of five singing thrushes overlap in our garden, and I waste a lot of time standing and listening to them. You can get a taste of their song here. It's hard to believe such lovely sounds are really war cries and warnings to rivals!
By Dick Daniels

Our wildlife pond has been alive with frogs, newts and toads for weeks. The water boils with amphibian action,  but spawn has only just started appearing in large amounts. The pond needs an overhaul. It's the ambition of every small body of water to become dry land (or at least bog), so it's an endless struggle stopping it silting up. That's going to be a long, wet and muddy job for somebody. Maybe I'll book a holiday away from home when that crops up on the "to do" list!

If you're on holiday this week, I hope you can manage to get out and about in the fresh air. What's your favourite sign of spring?

PS: If you fancy trying out my Jamaica Orange Cake at Easter, don't forget to sign up to my mailing list, in the box on the right.