Millicent Fawcett founder the National Union of Women’s Suffrage #suffrage #women #ourtimenow

Judith’s timely blog tells of a woman often forgotten, but now to be remembered for her peaceful role in the fight for women’s right to vote.

Judith Barrow

MillicentBecause Winifred, the protagonist  in A Hundred Tiny Threads is involved in the Suffragette movement, I researched the life of Millicent Fawcett. This was a woman of great courage. What follows is part of one of the talks I give to various groups:

The move for women to have the vote had really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage.
Millicent Fawcett believed in peaceful protest. She felt that any violence or trouble would persuade men that women could not be trusted to have the right to vote. Her game plan was patience and logical arguments. Fawcett argued that women could hold responsible posts in society such as sitting on school boards yet were not trusted to vote; she argued that if parliament made laws and if women had to obey those laws, then women should be part of the process of making those…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Reinventing The Printing Press by Janet Gogerty

Thanks to Sally for inviting me as her guest on Smorgasbord today. Since writing this blog last year more changes are afoot at Amazon. I have never used Createspace. If you have, are you happy with the changes?

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

There has been a publishing revolution in the last twenty years and more recently with the advent of eBooks. Janet Gogerty explores the options now open to us with this format and also Print on Demand. A way to print a limited number of books at a time to order.

Reinventing The Printing Press by Janet Gogerty

The printing press was invented nearly 600 years ago, Gutenberg credited with the birth of mass communication; but of course the written word goes back much further. Has the invention of the E-book been as important as the invention of the printing press? Not in terms of mass communication; radio, television and the internet surely qualify for that.

Have Kindle books revolutionised our reading habits? Real paper books have survived radio, television and the cinema so are unlikely to suffer a demise. But e-Books have brought new delights; reading in bed in the…

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Multi Media Muddles and Miracles

When I was four years old my parents got their first television; I thought the people on the screen lived in the cabinet underneath and I was too scared to open the doors. For all I know about computers, it could still be the case that the people who spring to life on Facebook or utube live under my desk, in the black magic box that is called a desk top computer, though it is sitting on the floor.

Even those exalted friends and colleagues who are in computers, do programming or the person who turns up in your office when you call ‘IT’ probably don’t know how the magic really works.

Until it stops working, writers don’t need to know how their computer works; they only need to know how to type and how to use the internet. Indie Authors come via many routes to arrive in the same virtual meeting room, but we have all been told along our journey that we need a media platform.

Ideally this is supposed to be in place before you start your novel, let alone finish it, but many of us would never have got our books written if we had jumped in at the deep end. Instead we learn by osmosis and help from fellow writers; probably once a month discovering some technical short cut that is second nature to everybody else.

My guide to computer technology should not be followed… Never click on any strange symbol in case you wipe out everything you are doing. If something goes wrong, switch off every piece of equipment and announce loudly that you are going downstairs to cook dinner. Then sneak back in when the computer least expects it, turn on and hope for the best.

Anything I have created that appears on line is more by luck than judgment, perhaps even a miracle. When I joined Goodreads my picture insisted on being sideways, it was a long time before I figured out how people put pictures on Facebook and it was only a few weeks ago that I managed to change from a snowflake to a human representation in those little boxes next to LIKE at the foot of Worpress blogs…

But as fast as we establish one base it changes, or our superiors tell us nobody is using that anymore. Hopefully WordPress will be around for a while. I was a latecomer, realising nearly everyone except me was on it. Domains, websites, Amazon Author pages, Facebook pages; whatever you use needs to be fed, nurtured and updated. Nothing looks worse than a website that even the owner has not visited since October 2016. Of course there is no guarantee that anyone will visit your website or blog among the millions out there in the ether. Every day, in cathedrals all round the country, choirs will be singing evensong; even if not a single member of the public turns up the service will go ahead. That is the cathedral’s main purpose. And if a single soul does turn up seeking God, they will be ready for him.

Our websites are unlikely to have such a high calling, but just in case someone finds themselves in our own special domain we want it to look good and grab their interest. My website does not have moving pictures, falling snowflakes or firework displays, but there are topical pictures and enough to read for your coffee break.

Not only is it a miracle that I am on the internet, the internet is a miracle.

https://www.ccsidewriter.co.uk/

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Music, Food and Spring Bulbs with Guests and Humour.

It’s cold outside so settle down to a feast of flowers, fun and food in Sally’s round up for the week. You can also find out why I need a llama or a labradoodle in this week’s archive blog share. Thanks to Sally for sharing what other writers are up to on Smorgasbord.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Many thanks for dropping in today to catch up on posts that you might have missed during the week. I am in full on ‘Going on a break’ mode, busily scheduling the Blog Sitting posts contributed by some of your favourite writers. The Blog Sitting begins on February 15th through to Tuesday 20th and I am sure that you will be right royally entertained.. I know I was when I read the posts.

Because I will be working my fingers to the bone…. aahh.. I am going to get you in the mood my sharing some of the Blog Sitting posts from this time last year. They are too good not to be shared and allows me to work out what I can pack in my carry on!

When I went to book my ticket it turned out that a checked bag was going to cost me £40 each way…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Llamas and Labradoodles by Janet Gogerty

Thanks to Sally for hosting the second of my archive blogs at her delightful ‘Smorgasbord’.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

This week Janet Gogerty explores the various writing muses that some authors appear to have time to walk, groom and pamper……

Llamas and Labradoodles by Janet Gogerty

Help, I need a llama.

Most writers would rather not be seen or heard, but just read. Unfortunately readers are unlikely to read your books if they don’t know you exist. We Indie writers are unlikely to be seen talking to James Naughtie on Meet The Author, BBC News or heard talking to Mariella Frostrup on Open Book, BBC Radio 4. But we do occasionally get interviewed on other writers’ blogs and are advised to tell the world about ourselves on our websites. This is where the Llamas and Labradoodles come into it; we cannot let the readers imagine we just sit at a desk in a dreary little room, they want to picture what sort of household surrounds the holy spot where…

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From News Book to New Blogs

Long before the existence of Blogs, long before I had heard the term, I had Writer’s Block. Every morning in my Church of England junior school we had to write in our news books, dinky little notebooks with lined and plain pages; one side for script, the other to draw a picture. One Monday morning I said to my teacher ‘I can’t think what to write.’

Did you spend all weekend in a cardboard box? Was his reply.

Sometimes it was easy, one morning at assembly there was an incident. One boy wrote for his news Tony was sick in assembly. There was a lurid picture, the puddle of vomit had become a lake.

Parents’ evening was the only chance mothers and fathers had to see what their little darlings had written. Apparently I wrote regularly that Mum and Dad had moved the furniture around at the weekend. My mother claimed the teachers were nosy and wanted to know what went on in our homes; she was amused to meet another mother who was mortified. Her child had written Mummy went out dancing with John’s Daddy, her explanation was that their respective spouses did not like dancing…

If we finished our news book we could not be idle, we had to quietly get on with a dictionary exercise, but I enjoyed doing that. Only when that was finished could you do free reading. One time my friend had a new plan. On my unescorted one and a half mile walk to school I would call for her on the way. Her mother would wave us off, once out of sight we would slow down. If we were late for assembly we had to go straight to the classroom and get on with writing our news; thus having an advantage over the rest of the class. I did feel guilty about this, our parents didn’t know, the teacher perhaps guessed we did it deliberately, but God, being Omnipotent, was sure to know we were absent from hymns and prayers.

Scripture lesson was a better opportunity for creative writing. We had a similar little exercise book, but horizontal. We would write that morning’s bible story in our own words on one page and draw a picture on the other. Illustrations were easy, flat roofed houses and people in long robes were simple to draw. I can’t remember how much I elaborated the story, but even then I felt there was not enough back story and character development in The Bible. Maybe if the disciples had kept a news book there would have been more detail in the Gospels.

The first part of my novel Quarter Acre Block is inspired by my four years at junior school.

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – U2, Blog Challenges, Literary Column and Letters from America

This week I was very happy to be a guest on Sally’s website ‘Smorgasbord’. Visit her weekly round up to see the terrific variety and sharing with other authors. Better than the Sunday papers, you are sure to find more than one item to match your interests.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to this week’s update of posts that you might have missed. As always very grateful to the contributors who put so much time and effort into preparing their columns. William Price King, Paul Andruss, Carol Taylor and this week joined by Jessica Norrie with the new Literary Column.

Late last year I mentioned that I wanted to evolve the blog towards more of a magazine layout and I am delighted with the way that it is progressing and I hope you are too.

I love writing my own blogs but I really want to showcase other writers and artists and provide a wide variety of subjects for the readers who visit here. In this next phase I am looking for someone to provide a monthly or even perhaps twice a month column on movies. Much as I love going to the cinema I am finding that with my own…

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Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – Into Infinity by Janet Gogerty

Thanks very much to Sally for inviting me aboard Smorgasbord, a place I have enjoyed visiting regularly since discovering it.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Delighted to welcome Janet Gogerty to the Archive post series and her first post, explores keeping diaries and the possibility that our writings might last forever.

Into Infinity by Janet Gogerty

Do you keep a diary or resolve to keep one every New Year? Many years ago I was given a five year diary which lasted at least a decade of good intentions and still has many blank pages, but it does record some major life events; if anyone can ever decipher the tiny writing crammed into the allotted space per day and year.

In more recent years I received a handsome note book blissfully free of dates. I vowed to keep a journal for the purpose of preserving the art of handwriting and recording family history. Released from the obligation of daily jotting I would devote several pages to important events and places and people visited. I haven’t yet…

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Frankenstein and the Forgotten

For the benefit of those who have not visited one, JD Wetherspoons are a large chain of British pubs where you can eat cheaply all day, take children and have refillable mugs of coffee. Some are in beautiful buildings with amazing toilets and we have visited them from Canary Wharf up to the top of Scotland.

One of the two Wetherspoons in Bournemouth town centre is a former night club with nothing distinctive about its architecture. It is called ‘The Mary Shelley’ and I wonder what a famous authoress and wife of a great poet, would have thought had she known she would end up as a pub, as a result of her final burial wishes.
The pub faces the lovely St. Peter’s church. Bournemouth celebrated its bicentenary in 2010, the church was consecrated in 1845 and was rebuilt from a little rustic church to boast the towering spire it has today.
Mary was the daughter of Mary Wollstoncraft, writer on women’s rights, who died soon after her birth, she was brought up by her father William Godwin a writer and liberal thinker. Percy Bysshe Shelley was a friend of her father’s; famously at the age of 23, he ran off to France with 16 year old Mary and her step sister, leaving behind a teenage wife whose life would end in tragedy. Perhaps these days he would have been accused of ‘grooming’ and there would have been an all ports call to find a vulnerable teenager. With Lord Byron as a friend, what parent wouldn’t be worried about Percy? But he was the love of her life.

It was a night like no other that would go down in literary legend. To be precise, three days in June 1816, the Year Without a Summer. Severe climate abnormalities were caused by a combination of an historic low in solar activity and major volcanic eruptions capped by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), the largest known eruption in over 1,300 years.
The five young people cooped up by the endless rain in the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva, could not have known the causes. They passed the time telling fantastical tales and challenging each other to create their own. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Godwin, not yet married to Shelley, are well known, Mary’s step sister and Lord Byron’s physician, less so.
Mary is most famous for writing Frankenstein and January 2018 marks two hundred years since it was published.

I have always felt sympathy for Doctor John Polidori finding himself in such a writing group. Was he eager to emulate Lord Byron? Apparently the others were dismissive of his poetry and stories. His painting shows a dark good looking young man resplendent in the smart clothes of that era. He was clever; university at fifteen, a degree in medicine at nineteen. Twenty years old in that summer of 1816. He is credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre, his most successful work, conceived in those drug filled nights. But his story ‘The Vampyre’ was at first attributed to Byron, published without the permission of either man. The theme was adopted by others and it is Bram Stoker’s name that comes down in history. Perhaps Doctor John Polidori should become the patron saint of sidelined and unrecognised writers!
Polidori was not completely forgotten, appearing (without permission) as a character in numerous novels and films inspired by Doctor Frankenstein, vampires and the scandalous romantic writers. His diaries were ‘redacted’ by his sister, so we shall never know all his thoughts on that summer.
In the true fashion of the romantics his life was cut brutally short. He died in August 1821, aged twenty five years. The coroner gave a verdict of natural causes, despite strong evidence he took prussic acid – cyanide. Perhaps if he had followed medicine and not Lord Byron things might have turned out differently.

Mary Shelley’s life was longer, but hard, only one of her children survived and thirty year old Percy was drowned at sea, his body recovered and burnt on a funeral pyre on an Italian beach. Legend has it his friend seized his heart untouched from the flames and it is only these remains that are in the family tomb.
Mary’s son Sir Percy Florence Shelley had moved with his wife to Boscombe, near Bournemouth, during her final illness and she requested she be buried there with her parents. This involved the building of a family tomb and the disinterment of her parents’ bodies from a Paddington cemetery. Percy Florence and his wife are also buried in the tomb.
Her family are also remembered in street names, but more importantly Percy Florence built a family theatre at his home, Boscombe Manor, which has now been restored. You can read more about the family history and the theatre at their website.

http://shelleytheatre.co.uk/article.php?sec=ABOUT&articleId=3224