A short story for Remembrance Day

THE ROSE

by Suzan St Maur

story for Rememberance Day

The gravel hitting the window caused me to wake with a start. I curled back the curtain and looked out. Silly lad. I silently raised the sash.

“I thought you were going back to the base tonight!”

“I was. I did.” Will stage-whispered. “Then I went out again. Back door, so to speak.”

“Ooh, naughty.”

“It gets naughtier. [Read more…]

Granny, là voilà: a true story for Halloween & All Saints Day

A true story by Suzan St Maur

Her raucous breathing had been rattling the room for nearly 24 hours. I lay back on the garden sun lounger chair beside her bed and dimmed the bedside light. Just as my eyelids started to flutter, the clattering stopped. Started again. Stopped. Did not start again.

article about death

She was talking to my long-dead grandmother.

I got up and kissed her forehead. “Là voilà,” I said through my sobs, without looking behind me.

“D’accord, there she is…” said the voice.

“Granny? C’est bien toi?” My voice faded to a whisper, but it didn’t matter. [Read more…]

Want some help to write your next book? Here’s a useful update

Do you have a great idea for a book, but don’t know how to go about writing and producing it?
Does writing a book seem a lovely idea, but as such a large project is a bit scary – especially if it’s your first one?

Get your book written and published - without the scams

That wonderful feeling when your new book is actually published and out there…me with my latest. (And over-bleached hair – apologies.) Photo by Kate Everall https://www.kateeverallphotography.com/

The help you need to write your book and get it out there

[Read more…]

Should we still “write” business presentations, or go more ad lib?

Have you ever been on a public speaking or presentation course? I just got back from “Dynamic Delivery” with the one and only Ali Moore, and what a fab day it was. Despite having written scripts for countless speakers over the years, when I get up there myself I can get a little tongue-tied. But not any more.

Article about making presentations

Whichever approach you choose, good preparation is key to a great presentation

There is no magic formula for good public speaking

One of the main takeout points of the day for me, is that there are far fewer rules and rigidly-followed customs in good public speaking now, than there were 20 years ago. In fact to get up and speak to an audience, these days, while seeming to be reading from a script, is often seen as an amateurish no-no. [Read more…]

How to write about The Queen … of horses

“Canadien Horse?  Never heard of it,” said the magazine editor down the phone to me, “but write it up and we’ll have a look.” I had just read an article about the breed in an obscure Canadian historical magazine and had fallen in love with these tough, hardy, talented “little iron horses” as they’re known.

Article about the Queen's horse

HM Queen riding her famous horse “Burmese”, given to her by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 1969. Burmese was ridden by the Queen at every Trooping the Colour ceremony from 1969 to 1986. Many thanks for this image to Leonard Bentley.

Being Canadian myself, I was particularly enthused at the thought of introducing British readers to a Canadian product that’s lot more interesting than maple syrup, lumberjacks, or Toronto’s CN tower which once earned itself the dubious accolade of being “the largest free-standing erection in North America.”

I was also fascinated to learn more about what I imagine is, if not the only one, certainly one of the few North American “native” breeds not descended from horses left behind by the Spanish. [Read more…]

How to write political spin

You really can’t fail to admire the ways in which political journalists and politicians manage to write accounts of events and issues which, though vaguely accurate if you stretch your imagination, vary hysterically and often hilariously in how the subjects are portrayed.

political spin

Spin description of a prison sentence: a “holiday paid for by Her Majesty.”

What exactly do we mean by “political spin?”

According to our beloved Wikipedia

“In public relations and politicsspin is a form of propaganda, achieved through providing a biased interpretation of an event or campaigning to persuade public opinion in favor or against some organization or public figure. While traditional public relations and advertising may also rely on altering the presentation of the facts, “spin” often implies the use of disingenuousdeceptive, and highly manipulative tactics.[1]”

[Read more…]

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