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Posts Tagged ‘FrancesMacaulayForde’

Anna Jacobs, a lady I’ve proudly called a friend since the 80’s, has had phenomenal success in the UK. She’s just been voted the 10th most borrowed author in the British Library  of Adult and Children’s Fiction but the 5th most borrowed author of Adult Fiction.

Mind you, Anna’s worked extremely hard for it!

We met weekly as members of the FAWWA (Fellowship of Australian Writers, Western Australia) Romance Writers Group in the 80’s.  Anna had novels all ready in her drawer waiting and while generously sharing her expertise and enthusiasm, signed a contract for three books with a major publisher.  I remember how thrilled we all were – how we celebrated, swelling with pride.

Janet Woods was the next member of our group to achieve mainstream publication and again, we were all so proud.  Unfortunately, I fell by the wayside; divorce soured my feeling for romance and I steered well clear of it for the next few years.  Even in Romance Writing only the strongest and most talented survive…

2000SherryAnneJacobs 001W

Romance Writers Conference in Perth, 2000. Photo © Anna Jacobs. (I’m 6th from right.)

Georgette Heyer was a favourite writer growing up in hot, equatorial Africa.  Anna’s richly detailed Historical research and cleverly relatable characters, reminded me of those books I’d read and enjoyed so much, as a teenager.

And yes, I admit, I also used to read Barbara Cartland who was famously accused of plagiarism by Georgette Heyer in the 1950’s.

Of Barbara Cartland‘s 700+ books, I know I read a lot.  The recommendation is; “If you want to write Romance, you need to read at least 400 Romance Novels!”  Although, she was Princess Diana’s  step-grandmother, I believe in quality over quantity writing.

Georgette Heyer as the better writer of the two but my very favourite (and my sister-in-law Mum’s favourite) Romance writer is my friend Anna Jacobs who (so far) has 77 thoroughly researched and carefully plotted books under various names and genres.

When I heard Anna had won the top Australian Romance Writers ‘Ruby Award’ for ‘The Pride of Lancashire’, I had to send her some ruby flowers and lots of congratulations.  Her hubby kindly took a photo for me…

me_ruby_smile_outW

© 2006 Anna Jacobs ‘Ruby Award’

So if you aspire to write Romance, may I recommend you get hold of a copy of Anna Jacobs’  ‘An Introduction to Romance Writing’ and follow all directions.  If you then buy and study ‘Plotting & Editing’,  you’ll have learnt from a Mistress of Storytelling – and have one or two complete, well-edited manuscripts ready to send out.

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AnnaJacobs  #No5BritishLibrary  #No10MostBorrowed  #RomanceWriter  #2006RubyAward  #JanetWoods  #IntroRomanceWriting  #PrideOfLancashire  #GeorgetteHeyer  #BarbaraCartland  #WAWriters  #WestAustRomance  #RomanceWritersOfAustralia

 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joondalup_railway_line#/media/File:Mitchell_Freeway_100_N_Stirling_Civic_with_train.jpg

Mitchell Freeway photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The train I catch to the city rides on a railway line between the North and South lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.  I loved gazing at the cars streaming on their way to or from work.  Comfortable in the air-conditioned, clean and very fast, with someone-else-driving carriage, I filled my notebooks as other commuters wondered what I was saying about them.

Short stories and poems written on my train journeys between Edgewater Station and Perth City, appeared in my book  Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey  and later  separately, in my Rail Tales chapbook. (Both books are sold out.)

Trips into Town.

However, there is a game I play on my way to work. Wearing my HBF corporate uniform, another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons.

When the no-name monotony gets too much, I shrug off that persona and step into my imagination.

On the most normal and usual of journeys to and from work, strange things happen because I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday. It seems that when I touch it, caress it, the cold metal seems to warm.

I can actually feel his love, the time he took to find exactly the right broach, the money he saved and his joy when I opened the wrapping, laughing and smiling with obvious delight.

A different me seemed to take over: moveable me, a nebulous entity able to drift like an invisible tide on air thick with wanting. I could change my life – become someone else by feeling envy or wishing for what others seemed to have…

Though the first time it happened, I was terrified.

Work at the Bank held no attraction that day.  In fact, I had finished up the previous day out of balance, fully expecting my pretentious I-play-the-game supervisor to take me to task.  Not a workday to look forward to.

So with the announcement “Next station Perth”, I was focusing my energies on someone who seems to have it all.

As we squealed into the Leederville Tunnel, the lights flickered then dimmed. I don’t know why but in that fraction of black, a thrill of anticipation ran through me.

The last person I concentrated on wore a lot of good jewellery, expensive clothes, bag and shoes.  She was attractive, with immaculate nails.  When the lights burned fully again, I was wearing the expensive clothes, lots of jewellery and immaculate nails. I had shed myself, metamorphosed into this perfect being.

What next?

Unlimited credit cards, meeting a friend for lunch on The Terrace, more shopping – check out the bank account and then, pop into the Italian jewellery for a new bracelet. I would of course decline dinner at the Hyatt because I have to get back to feed my cat.

Do I still have a cat?  Who’ll feed Soxies?

This dream couldn’t last and I had to try to return to my own skin but first, I had to find myself.  A creature of habit, I make sure I get the same train every night, waiting in the usual place on Platform 2 with sore feet and tired stance.

Just managing to board before the doors swished shut, I gratefully sat down. As the carriage pulled away from the station, I placed ‘her’ handbag between my feet.

We swayed to the left and the lights flickered then dimmed. There’s the fraction of black again and I concentrated, staring at ‘myself’ two seats away, firmly clutching Angela’s purchases.

It couldn’t really happen. My family would wonder how I managed to acquire such gorgeous clothes and new jewellery on my wage. They’d think I had a secret admirer and why weren’t they told?

They don’t know about the games I play to relieve the boredom. 

It’s all in my head of course…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Prose&Poetry  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #TrainStories  #RidingTheRails  #TrainWriting  #TrainStories

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Wise words from MLC’s Patrick Cotter – one of the best festival organisers in the writing world: 

How to Put on a Poetry Festival: Patrick Cotter on the Cork International Poetry Festival 2016

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #PatrickCotter  #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry  #CorkInternationalFestival   #GO’DPoetryComp

 

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Munster Literature Centre puts their journal “Southword” on-line – treat yourself to some excellent poetry and short stories…

 

http://www.munsterlit.ie/Southword/Issues/29/contents.html

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #MLCPoets  #MunsterLitCentre  #CorkPoets  #GerryMurphy  #AfricMcGlinchey #IrishWriting  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #IrishPoetry

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My friend Jessie Lendennie, the founder (31 years ago) and editor of Salmon Poetry – Ireland’s premier poetry press:

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #SalmonPoetry  #SalmonPress  #JessieLendennie  #IrelandsPremierPoetryPress  #PremierPoetryPress  #IrishPoetry  #Poetry

 

 

 

 

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EFrangi0011

So I thought I’d start with some favourite flowers (everywhere at the moment) and another poem from my old notebook, this time from 1986 when I found myself having to face the end of my marriage with two young children:

LOVE

Love, when you’re young

is so special ~ a promise

for eternity that has no limits.

 

Heart, soul and mind

devoted to just one person,

~ so innocent and pure.

 

The second time around

can be as good but you

must remember youth

~ how you felt so long ago.

 

And it’s possible to be unlucky

but the third and fourth and fifth

time can be learnt all over again.

 

You just have to be resilient!

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 1986

Those two young children turned out to be my saviours ~ they taught me so much, kept me going when I wanted to just lay down and give up.  I am so proud of them both; they have given me the ultimate gift ~ beautiful grandchildren.  

And for those of you who suffered, like I did, it IS possible to love again although it took me 17 years of being on my own to believe it.  

Even though I actually predicted a second time for myself, in this poem, I didn’t believe it at the time ~ I think I was trying to give myself hope… in 1986 I swore off romance and love for good!

After 28 years the man I was in love with (and should probably have married) in 1975  and on another continent (Africa) found me ~ we’ve just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary.

So with my returned love and a family full of love, I look forward to what 2016 will bring.  I know it’s going to be all good!  

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #Happy2016  #Poem:Love  #1968Notebook

 

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140320AlexMcCallSmith

20th March 2014 ~ AMcCS entertained us at UWA, in Perth.

Alexander McCall Smith posted a note on Facebook to his fans today and I’d like to quote the last bit:

QUOTE:  May I conclude with lines from a poem I wrote some time ago. I have included it in a small pamphlet I published this Christmas, “The Heart of Each of Us”. It talks about love and about Agape, that form of selfless love of others that is so strong and so important. Here are the lines:

“What we lose, we think we lose forever,
But we are wrong about this: think of love –
Love is lost, we think it gone,
But it returns, often when least expected,
Forgives us our lack of attention, our failure of faith,
Our cold indifference; forgives us all this, and more;
Returns and says, “I was always there”.
Love, agape, whispers: “Merely remember me,
Don’t think I’ve gone away forever;
I am still here. With you. My power undimmed,
See, I am here.”

Happy Christmas!

Alexander McCall Smith : UNQUOTE

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AlexanderMcCallSmith  #LovePoem  #MerryChristmas  #FavWriters  #Poetry

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