Category Archives: Writing

Truth in Our Writing by Christine Duncan

It happened yet again, I was reading an article and caught a little twist. Not a big twist mind you. They didn’t out and out lie. But it certainly could affect a reader’s mindset.

The article was on saving for retirement. It was from a writer for a very reputable financial website. It is a name most people know and rely on. And the fact in question was simply this: they told you to save for retirement (the good part) and then told you what would happen if you did this in your twenties at a rate of 7 percent. The only problem is, no one on God’s green earth is earning 7 percent on their savings anymore. If you have a sizeable amount in savings, you might get 2.5 percent if you are lucky.

How do I know this? Well, I am a bookkeeper in my day job. But mostly I know this because I researched it.

To put it more clearly, savings might not keep up with inflation. And with the stockmarket on a roller coaster, investing there is not as attractive either. So instead, you might choose to pay down debt such as your mortgage, your cars and your credit cards.

Afer all, the interest rate on what banks lend you is significantly higher than what they are willing to pay you. You won’t have more income in retirement that way, but you will certainly be able to keep more of

what little you have in your pocket. The article skews the reader’s decisions and that make me think that financial website works more for the one percent than the rest of us.

This would hardly qualify as fake news. But I am tired of it, people! We as writers need to have some integrity. Now maybe this article was recycled from years ago when interest rates were higher. That’s possible, right? But some decent editing should have caught that error. And frankly, I think the writer should have been ashamed.

Journalism used to be an honorable profession.

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The PLR

Today the PLR payments come out. The PLR collect all the payments for library loans in the U.K. – roughly around 8 pence per loan. If you register your books with them, they can track the loans and pay you. They can also let you know how many times a book has been lent by a library.

Libraries are special places. They are the places our readers go long after our books have left the bookshop, or if they were never able to afford the books, or if they just want to try out our work before they buy. I’m always overjoyed to see how often my books go out of the library. It means my work is still being read.

It’s not a huge amount of money – but it’s good to get, and it’s good to see authors being paid. If you have books (and they’re going to include ebooks soon) register them with the PLR and make sure you get the benefits of all those library loans

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Quote for the Day by Christine Duncan

The new year makes us think of trying new things. We make resolutions and think of possibilities. We forget that every day is something new. I love this quote because it reminds me of that.


“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” -Mike Dooley

Not Then But Now

I saw a cartoon on Twitter today of a middle-aged man sitting down to draw and saying ‘why didn’t I do this ten years ago’ and the cartoon suggested rather than saying this he should say ‘at least I’m doing this now’

Some of us have been writers all our lives. Some of us knew we wanted to write but didn’t a chance, or inspiration, or time or freedom until we were middle-aged. Some of us never knew we were a writer until much later in our lives.

Awards schemes usually seem to focus in the younger writer – best young writer, best writer under 30 – that sort of thing. But many of us never became writers until long past that age.

Don’t think ‘I should have done this years ago’. Think ‘I’m doing this now. I have waited and now I have time and experience and knowledge and I understand and I am writing NOW.’

That’s what’s important. Not missed opportunities and regrets, but the opportunity to come, and hope.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Word for the Year by Christine Duncan

Define your year with one word. Can you do it?

I have tried for years now and odd as it sounds, I find it a comfort. When I feel as though I am overwhelmed, sometimes just thinking of what I want to do during the year helps. That one goal word can turn me around.

So I take seriously the choosing of the word. I’ve had a bunch. This year I think the word is choice. I choose to do what I’m doing. I am not stuck here. There is a plan. It’s my choice.

Only another writer can understand how important the right word can be. What is yours?

Going Wrong

Sometimes you start a story then a few pages in, you get stuck and can’t see where to go. There are three things to do when this happens
Quit completely

Put the story away for a while

Just keep pushing through and write it.

All have their benefits and faults. Quitting is good if you have something else to turn to, but there’s a danger you’ll just stop writing altogether if you give up on everything.

Putting it away for a while gives your brain time to think about it and you can come to it with fresh ideas but when you return to it you might find your forgotten everything about the story, including what you were trying to do with it.

Pushing through can feel like really hard work and you might wonder why you’re bothering. However, once or twice when I’ve done this, it’s ended up becoming some different and interesting.

I personally think pushing on is better than not writing at all, after all, the perfect story may never just come to us.

The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby

The Women Of Baker Street

Sent from my iPad

Happy New Year from Christine Duncan