Monday 16 January 2012

Ghosts of Essex

I discovered an excellent book called "Ghosts of Essex" by Becky Puttick.I thought I'd share some of the stories with you.
The Manor House at Weeley is said to have a helpful ghost. It would appear that this ghost would tidy up whilst residents were out. Once a complete dinner service was taken from the kitchen dresser, cleaned and returned. Also this ghostly housekeeper gave the whole kitchen a good Spring clean. Several old-fashioned hairpins were found scattered about the place and some occupants said they saw an old lady drifting about.
The Essex County Hospital at Colchester is also supposed to have had a ghost in the children's ward. A man, a patient there when he was small, saw a nun a black habit coming towards him. She spoke to him and gave in a toffee from a brown paper bag; he ate  the toffee and watched as she walked down the ward and vanished.
Another ghost was often seen in Clacton's old Kinema. The tale went that a projectionist committed suicide there many years before and it was he that was haunting the building. After the cinema closed the building was turned into a wallpaper shop and a girl working there had a terrifying experience. She went up to the store room on the top floor and returned screaming she had seen an old man up there. From his description it would appear that he looked like someone from an old gangster film. This apparition was seen by several other shop assistants. In 1993 the shop was remodelled and two workmen decided to camp out in the building to save on hotel costs; after one night they changed their minds insisting that they were kept awake all night by the ghost stamping about the upstairs rooms.
I'm pretty sure I've never seen a ghost - but visitors to the cottage I used to live in when a child insisted they heard someone going up and down stairs.
I have an open mind about such things - like most people I've definitely stepped into a house house and felt a decided chill. I've also picked up happy vibes; perhaps these emotions are somehow stored in the walls of the building - rather like the negative from the film– and then subsequent inhabitants are able to access these images.
until next time

Saturday 7 January 2012

New Year - New Writing?

I'm not a great believer in new year's resolutions but I think the idea does help to focus the mind on what one wants to achieve in the next 12 months.
 2011 was not as productive as my previous years as far as new writing goes. I usually write four Regency romantic adventures of varying length and one longer book. Last year I wrote a young adult  urban fantasy, which is almost ready to be sent out to a couple of agents and editors. I edited five books for Aurora Regency and wrote one long novella for People's Friend. Certainly not my usual prodigious output.
I think this was down to two things: Moving to a large  riverside village means that I'm finding there's far more to distract me then there was when I lived in an isolated farmhouse.The other, that my health has been rather precarious since August.
Therefore this year I'm setting myself some achievable goals. I intend to place the five long historical novels that are languishing on my computer and am prepared to do as much rewriting as necessary to make them desirable. If I can't find a print publisher then I will go indie, or digital only. I also am determined to find the first of my Young Adult, Urban Fantasy a suitable home.
As for  new writing– I wish to complete at least the next in the Young Adult series and another Regency adventure. A modest output– but the rewriting is going to occupy a fair amount of my time.
How many of you have made resolutions? Do you think you will be able to keep them?
I suppose if I was pushed I would say my resolutions are these- write more and eat less!
Happy New Year