Finding Gnosall

I’m not certain but think Gnosall (No-Sull or Knows-all) is the only place beginning with GN in the UK. We had a wander along the old Stafford to Wellington (Telford) railway line yesterday. Its a fantastic walk through open countryside and the walk also takes in a pretty section of the Shropshire Union canal.

Looking west to Shropshire
Bridge and track cut into the sandstone ridge

This area has the wonderful name of Plardiwick. There’s a farm here and an ancient lordship but little else. Plardiwick could be the name of a corn trader in Dickens.

Cut into the sandstone
The Navigation Inn on the Shropshire Union canal
Looking south towards Wolverhampton

‘Roll the Dice’ published

Readers of this blog will know that I’ve written about Beacon Hill before. To those passing east of Stafford or visiting the nearby County Showground it may appear an unexceptional hill rising above the Sow valley on the outskirts of Stafford.

It’s an interesting place with a lot of history, including a battle fought to a stalemate in the English Civil War.

I’ve included some of its history and topography in non-fiction pieces and the odd short story.

I’m grateful to Platform 4 Prose for publishing ‘Roll the Dice’ which contains several of these elements.

Happy New Year – Writing in 2023

Happy New Year to all of you out there and I hope you have a wonderful 2023.

I haven’t posted for a few weeks as I’ve been very busy. I was working in London in early December and brought back Covid19 unfortunately.

After recovering I was busy tying up loose ends at work to have a few days off over Christmas. I hope you were able to spend some time relaxing with family and friends.

After a patchy year creatively I had a stronger end to 2022. My ghost story ‘Outbreak’ came second in the Crowvus Christmas ghost story competition and I also had a piece about Anglesey published on a travel website.

In the coming weeks a piece I wrote about the Birmingham suburb of Digbeth is to be published in a new anthology and I also have flash fiction scheduled to be published in Missouri.

I’m currently working on a radio script and really enjoying it. More on that in the next few months. I hope a change of creative direction will finally lead to a breakthrough in 2023.

Good luck with your creative endeavours this year!

‘Outbreak’ published in Phantoms for the Festive Season

It’s always a great feeling seeing your work in print. I’m delighted to be published online too but perhaps as an ex-journo there’s nothing better than ink.

A few weeks ago I learned my short story ‘Outbreak’ had won second prize in the Crowvus Christmas ghost story competition. It’s published in this festive anthology that landed on my doormat today.

The book

The story is set in present-day Stafford (my hometown) and features real buildings such as St Mary’s church and the Ancient High House. It links an outbreak of typhus in the past with current sickness. Perhaps a doctor who dealt with ‘jail fever’ can help a man struck down in 2021?

Back cover

Thanks to the publishers for selecting my piece and the other writers including winning story ‘Last Christmas ‘ by Keith Porter. Congratulations Keith!

Susan Crow, publisher, wrote of my piece Outbreak: ‘Not only does this story have everything a ghost story should have but it is also thought-provoking in terms of recent world events. A cleverly crafted short story. ‘

Copies are available here