Wednesday, 1 February 2017

IWSG Day and Photos from London and Telford

Back to photo form!

These are a handful of photos from our trip in November.


The Royal Stag pub in Datchet
Where we spent our last night before heading to Heathrow in the morning
(recommended, if you don't want to take trains or the Tube, and want a 20 minute ride to your terminal for £20!)


The British Museum


Argh! Upside down again! This was the view from Waterloo Bridge...



Argh...Sorry, horse!


Ruins of something in the town centre, right near a playground. There's no sign explaining what it is!

Back home! View from the office:
And old printing press on display at work:

Today is Insecure Writer's Support Group Day!

This month's questions is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

I find this one very difficult to answer because I've been writing for nearly as long as I've been reading. I hope I've picked up the basics by now from all the books I've read over the years -- the strength of story, the importance of voice, the foundations of grammar. One thing I do look for nowadays is to see if I can spot how and when the characters come to a moment of truth about themselves, and when and how the author raises the stakes for them. I'm still making things all too easy for my characters, and not getting them into enough trouble!

Speaking of which, editing is going well. I sent Druid's Moon to a handful of betas, and I've started reading The Charm of Time on paper. I'm going to focus a bit on getting the beats right in this story, since so many of my stories seem to ramble...

It's lovely to post some real writing-related updates once more, after such a long hiatus!

Are there any projects or hobbies you've come back to after a break?


S.P. Bowers said...

Wish we had known about that hotel back when we were in England. We paid a small fortune to stay at a hotel near Heathrow. Next time we travel internationally I'm calling you for advice!

Crystal Collier said...

I'm totally with you! It's all about the character arcs in my reading too. If essential elements are missing along the way, I KNOW I'll hate the book and should therefore put it down right away.

Ooh! Out to betas, eh? I love/hate that stage. Here's hoping you get some fabulous feedback!

Em-Musing said...

Beautiful photos. I've also been reading as long as writing, but until I got professionally edited, my eyes just glazed over errors. Now I am naive no more.

Eden "Kymele" Mabee said...

Becoming a writer has made me appreciate the cunning involved in leading a reader from place to place without letting them set the book down. However, it's also made it all to easy to become nit-picky. I keep seeing mistakes (both ones I make and ones I don't) and pouncing on them, allowing myself to be drawn out of the narrative. It's so very hard to turn off that internal editor once it's allowed out of its cave.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - it's great you make such good use of your time ... oh how I miss going up to London - but I'll get back there fairly soon. We used to go via Datchet on various routes as we lived when I was a kid not too far away ... before the M4 was built! Great you've found that hotel to stay over in - makes life easier ...

I notice errors more often and am frustrated because I think they shouldn't slip through in an author's work ... just shouldn't happen! Still I find my own too sometimes ... cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I hope you drank that sideways beer before it spilled out!
Just keep throwing stuff at your characters. The kitchen sink if you have to.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Deniz. Thanks for your London pics. Took me back. And that reading question is difficult in a way, isn't it? Seems to be a consensus that writing has spoiled the reading experience, but i think that's hyperbole.

Shan Jeniah Burton said...

I've come back to writing again and again. I had a very long hiatus, writing very little from the time my oldest was born until he was 8 and our youngest 5, which seemed to be the ages where I could get a few paragraphs at a time down fairly reliably - at least enough to win my first NaNo without disappearing for a month.

Now they're 15 and 12.5, and I have lots of writing time (and so do they, when they opt to do it).

Like you, I've been writing nearly as long as reading, but I'm far more aware of the underlying structure than I once was.

Nasreen said...

Hi Deniz!

I'm emailing you for all the tips and tricks. I'm planning a London tour in June. Loved all your photos.

Zan Marie said...

I love, love, love your pictures, but the Emily ones take the cake. {{{hug}}} that little one for me.

dolorah said...

I was in London so long ago I barely remember it. I'd love to go back and visit other area's of England.

Mostly, I think writing has made me more observant about story, and less likely to forgive a lazy author. But, good stories are not hard to find. Even when my inner editor shows up, she doesn't ruin every book.

Hope the beta feedback is favorable.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Those are great pictures, and you're so lucky that you get to do a lot of traveling! I've always wanted to visit London, and hopefully I'll get to someday. And you're right to pay attention to when the author raises the stakes. I once read two books by the same author that I hated, because it felt like the author didn't raise the stakes at all for the characters, or if she did, the situation was resolved way too easily and quickly.

DMS said...

Wonderful to see your pictures! Looks like a fabulous time was had by all. I can't imagine seeing the London Eye.

Awesome job on your writing goals! I loved hearing about the things you notice in books. Great things to pay attention to for sure. :)


Nicola said...

Glad you had a great time on my home turf, Deniz. Pleased to hear your WIPs are moving along nicely. Have a super productive month. All the best.

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments! Hope we all get to travel more this year :-)

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem;
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here
  • see the 2011 statistics on
  • see the 2011 list at
  • see the 2010 list at
  • see the 2009 list at
  • also in 2009 at
  • see the 2008 list at
  • also in 2008 at
  • also in 2008 at