‘Getting to Grips with the Novel – or a Book of Any Kind: poetry, short stories, memoir and On the Radio …’

13/06/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Getting to Grips with the Novel – or a Book of any Kind: Short Stories, Poetry Collection or Memoir and I’m on the Radio’
I’m going to be teaching this in one day: at Gerrards Cross for the Buckinghamshire Adult Learning on Saturday 6th July. Contact studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk A tall order, I know but I do my best.
Loved the Poetry and Life Writing workshops we’ve shared in the last month.
I’m on BBC Four Counties again – thanks to Leo Ulph. I’m reading from the newly re-published novel Blackberry Promises tonight, Thursday 13th June. Here’s the info’ …
The show is BBC Radio Berkshire (And also across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Oxford and Solent) – Upload at 6-8pm on 95.4 FM, 104.1 FM, on Digital, BBC Sounds and here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0805r6w

It will also be repeated from 6pm on Saturday.

Here are the links to my novels and audios on Amazon – narrated by myself.
Blackberry Promises – set in the fifties, a back street stabbing changes the lives of five young people forever.
Shakespeare’s Clock – a school bully re-enters in mid-life. The abuse of power.
Red Lipstick and Revelations – a poetry collection – Amazon number one in Loss and Grief poetry and Love Poetry for three hours, one September day in 2023.

‘D-Day’ by Ms Paige Turner

06/06/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘D-Day’ by Ms Paige Turner
I am two blogs behind because:
1. I’ve been busy finishing my eighteen-month project narrating and uploading my two novels and poetry to Amazon Audible. The novel ‘Blackberry Promises’ has been re-published by Creative Ink Publishing.

Blackberry Promises – a back street stabbing changes the lives for five young people in the fifites and promises prove difficult to keep.

Shakespeare’s Clock – A school bully re-enters in mid-life. A story of the abuse of power.

Red Lipstick and Revelations Amazon Number One in Loss and Grief Poetry and Love Poetry – September 2023.

 

2. The subscriber button on my blog is, apparently not working. This means that unless you come into my blog parlour, you won’t receive my blog missive. We are working on it.
I will try to make this up in the coming weeks.
Having done a Poetry workshop (how lovely it is to spend a day with poets and musing) I’m now gearing myself for ‘Life Writing’ this Saturday. I love hearing about people’s lives and in particular, where and whom they come from. On that note the BBC promised me last week that they would broadcast my parents’ photos as they were RAF wireless operators during WW2 and were responsible for guiding planes in and out on June 6th , 1944. My mother told me the story of how she was also responsible for clearing out the locker of a young, fated pilot on his 21st birthday. She found unopened cards, presents and a cake. One of the saddest stories I have heard. That’s life, I guess …
The BBC did not broadcast their photos or stories. That’s show business, I guess …

‘Voyager 2 and Jan’s Epic Voyage …’

27/04/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Voyager 2 and Jan’s Epic Voyage …’ by Ms Paige Turner
Voyager 2 left the Earth over forty-six years ago, in 1977, to travel to our distant ice planets 12.7 billion miles from Earth and collect scientific data. Just recently it has been sending back gobbledygook: maybe it had been knocking back some fine red. Amazingly, it took twenty-two hours for engineers to issue a series of commands rectifying the issue so that the scan platform can resume its function.
I have been recently tempted to knock back any kind of red. For some unbeknown reason Gmail (and subsequently I learn Hotmail is part of this group) have decided to throw all Tiscali emails into Spam. As previously stated, I have never phished for an email in my Internet career: all email addresses from writers have been willingly given to me. What a cauchemar it has been to send all, individually (running to hundreds) of my Gmail recipients an email from my rarely used Gmail account to ask them to find me in Spam, unspam my Tiscali email and add me to their safe senders’ list. Many Gmail recipients do not know where the Spam is, and if located, how to unspam me. I spent one-and-a-half hours on the landline (yes, we still have one) to TalkTalk whom we pay for all our Internet connections including the landline I was on. Every three minutes, someone would come back with, ‘Please hold for three to five minutes.’ The upshot being that my Tiscali line works fine (I knew that as Mr Justin Case gets my emails) and to phone Gmail on this given number: 866 246 6453. It’s an answerphone and no one gets back to you. It appears impossible for either TalkTalk or Gmail to ‘resume my normal function’.
I will say more. This week Mr Justin Case made the decision to keep his keys in the front door lock overnight as an extra precaution against a spate of recent neighbourhood burglaries. We were set for the gym and sitting in the car, he realized that he had left his door keys on the inside lock. I had my keys. They could not turn the front door lock. I had no back door key. We called the first locksmith that we googled: www.locksmiths-ltd.co.uk who sent a locksmith (subsequently we discovered from Wimbledon) to change the patio door lock so that we could gain entry. I was not present on payment as I had pressing matters (like getting to a loo) and my husband was on his own faced with a man with a mighty drill, who charged him £1122 for a thirty-minute job. Unsurprisingly, some several emails to the company DIYBEST ltd, several phone calls to the call centre and locksmith – whom I was told was forbidden to give the director Lukas Sumkas’s telephone number – there has been no response. We have contacted the police, the Trading Standards and the Master Locksmith Association to report this scam. Added to this, we have paid for the patio lock to be changed again at a reasonable rate for obvious reasons, having the leisure to choose our local locksmith with care and without panic.
Do I need to get to the point? Engineers can fix a problem 12.7 billion miles away but local issues seem impossible to solve. To finish this bi-monthly blog, Mr Justin Case wishes Lucas Sumkas and his locksmith could be sent to Voyager 2 …
Luckily, I have a brilliant sound engineer/editor who has finished work on my audio ‘Blackberry Promises’ which will soon go live. (There was a slight issue when uploading but he fixed it within minutes.)
These two books are available on audio and narrated by me.

Red Lipstick and Revelations

Shakespeare’s Clock

studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Poetry with a Pen and a Passion – Saturday 25th May, Highcrest https://bit.ly/3SGpcvZ
Writing your Memoir/Life Writing – Saturday 8th June, Beaconsfield.
Getting to Grips with the Novel – Saturday 6th July at Gerrards Cross.
Writing for Children – Saturday 9th November. Beaconsfield.

Undelivered Mail

07/04/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Undelivered Mail …’ by Ms Paige Turner
To my horror, I have just discovered that my emails are going into most people’s Junk Mail. This is easily remedied if one has a small mailing list but I have 700 writers on mine: 700 people who have physically (how else could they do this?) given me their email address for an occasional mail shot to highlight mine and other writers’ wares. I have never phished an email in my long years of laptop industry. Alas, my private email list has also been targeted by computer company algorithms. I did find it rather odd that no one had replied to my private or work emails but when my son-in-law was not receiving any emails concerning my grandchildren, I became aware of this, well … horror.
I am now discovering companies like Mailchimp. There seems to be a whole host of these writing tools which are making Word and regular emails obsolete. How does one keep up with it all? Having spent the last year narrating my poetry collection: ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ – available here on Amazon Audible  Red Lipstick and Revelations  and my novel ‘Shakespeare’s Clock’ available here: Shakespeare’s Clock – I discover AI is now moving in on that territory. And all my mail shots giving the info’ on my audios have obviously fallen on fallow ground.
And as if the universe is speaking to me, when clearing out my many papers, I recently discovered an air mail letter, written some forty-seven years ago and in Russian, which had somehow found its way into my suitcase when I left my job in Montreal in 1977. I plan to post this undelivered mail and will keep you posted about that.
I also plan to investigate Mailchimp. If I don’t, like my blogs I will be speaking to outer space. If you are reading this, please let me know if you received my March mail shot and …please check your Junk Mail!

studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
‘Poetry with a Pen and a Passion’ – Saturday 25th May, Highcrest https://bit.ly/3SGpcvZ

Writing your Memoir/Life Writing – Saturday 8th June, Beaconsfield.
Writing for Children – Saturday 9th November. Beaconsfield.

On the Radio …

26/03/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

My Amazon Audible excerpt of my recorded novel ‘Shakespeare’s Clock’ was featured on BBC Radio on Thursday 14th March. (Sorry about the delay but I have been busy recording the next novel ‘Blackberry Promises’ for Amazon Audible.)
The show is BBC Radio Berkshire (And it’s across quite a few counties) – Upload at 6-8pm on 95.4 FM, 104.1 FM, on Digital, BBC Sounds and here you can now listen on catch up:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0805r6w

I’m an hour into the programme. Leo Ulph says he ‘really, really likes this’ and promises to have me back.

Here is the link to my Amazon Audible of the novel and you can listen to a sample before deciding to purchase.

Shakespeare’s Clock

And here’s the link to the Amazon Audible of my poetry collection:

Red Lipstick and Revelations

 

‘Shakespeare’s Clock’ on Amazon Audio

08/03/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

Having written and recorded my poetry collection ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ published by Indigo Dreams and recorded the Audio to Amazon, I embarked upon recording my novel Shakespeare’s Clock published by Cranthorpe Millner and have now uploaded this to Amazon Audio.
This is the link. Shakespeare’s Clock
You can sample a free taster just by the cover before deciding to buy.
If you are in the business of ‘pencils and what not’ you will know how many hours it takes to write and in my recent case, record one’s words. And then of course, you hope someone will read them and so you set upon the marketing path and further hope that the sales take place: in a place crowded with books begging to be bought. If you’ve been on this journey, you will know the joy, when someone emails and says, ‘I bought it’ or ‘I downloaded your audio to my phone’. These words are to be cherished and I could kiss these people. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
These days, we are inundated with information and links, so, I will simply place a number of links before you and the chances are, if you know one of these writers or you see something that takes your fancy, you might just buy their book or download the audio. Let them know. And of course, if you can, leave a positive comment on Amazon or wherever the books live.

Here is the handy link to our When This Is All Over pandemic anthology. Let’s keep raising money for the Rennie Grove Hospice please. https://amzn.to/3xi8iay

Jan’s poetry collection on Amazon Audio for £5.59.

Red Lipstick and Revelations  (Free codes available in exchange for a review!)

Jan’s poetry collection book – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Red-Lipstick-Revelations-Moran-Neil/dp/B0CLC4XMCV/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1708102673&sr=8-1

www.janmoranneil.co.uk and www.janmoranneil.co.uk/blog

In order of submission:

Virginia Betts’ two poetry collections – Tourist to the Sun and The Camera Obscure https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=virginia+betts&crid=3U7BNARYEV4PA&sprefix=virginia+betts%2Caps%2C124&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_1_14

Jenny Hammerton Murder, She Cooked

Cooking With Columbo

Supper with the Stars

Cooking With Joan Crawford

Pat Abercromby – Song of Love. Book launch Beaconsfield Library – Tuesday 19th March at 2.00pm.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Song-Love-Pat-Abercromby/dp/1035836505/ref=sr_1_1?dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.ecjr-xjQFsgAbul4bPRGrA.6lgFBq9jC1f4fQXIullD4nih2x1T_ZOy6tPxTBsM_LU&dib_tag=se&keywords=pat+abercromby+song+of+love&qid=1708105364&sr=8-1

Jane Edmonds has had poems published here: poetrykit.org.
Jane Mackinnon was commended in the King Lear contest for her poem ‘Unforgettable’
Let me know if you have any publishing news.

studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

‘Poetry with a Pen and a Passion’ – Saturday 25th May, Highcrest https:

https://bit.ly/3SGpcvZ

Writing your Memoir/Life Writing – Saturday 8th June, Beaconsfield.
Writing for Children – Saturday 9th November. Beaconsfield.

‘Back on the Beat …’

07/02/2024 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Back on the Beat …’ by Ms Paige Turner.
This is a bit late as I have been wining and dining myself in good old, beautiful Cape Town and apart from a singular, one-to-one consultation, for the first time, I didn’t do a scrap pf work but I was broadcasting my poetry, during my trip, on Radio Berkshire. Here:
The show is BBC Radio Berkshire (And it’s across quite a few counties)
on 95.4 FM, 104.1 FM, on Digital, BBC Sounds and here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0805r6w

You can get the catch-up on this link, I believe. It’s a BBC upload for ‘creatives’. I think this is the new buzzword and presented by the lovely (from what I can tell of his profile picture) Leo Ulph. When I managed to upload the links to Instagram and Facebook, I saw that the first ‘like’ was from my niece who I was seeing for wine and dinner that evening at the Cape Town Waterfront. (South Africa is two hours ahead.) I wondered if she thought I was flying home to a Radio Berkshire studio. She said ‘no’ but thought I was recording from my hotel room (which I have done in the past). Amazing – I just uploaded from my Amazon audio of my collection ‘Red Lipstick & Revelations’ and I’m on the airways from 6000 miles. Check it out. And Leo promises to broadcast more of my stuff.
My ‘Poetry with a Pen and a Passion’ workshop has been moved to Beaconsfield on Saturday 2nd March and it’s definitely running with a couple of places left – so please rush to sign up.
Here’s the link to my Amazon Audio of my poetry collection which I am always plugging but my second novel recording is coming up fast when I get around to uploading it.
The audible narrated by myself is available here for £5.59. Red Lipstick and Revelations>

‘Peter Pan’ at the London Palladium Panto’ Review by Ms Paige Turner …

23/12/2023 // by Jan Moran Neil

‘Peter Pan’ at the London Palladium Panto’ Review …
My parents always took my sister and me to the London Palladium panto’. Sometimes we sat in the box, even though our origins were humble. So it was a ‘big thing’ and probably at that time one of the few productions rather than the plethora of pantos we get these days. When we took our two granddaughters to the Palladium yesterday, I said before the performance to Master Mind, our son-in-law, that when I was six and Dick Emery took his cat head off revealing Puss in Boots, I was disappointed: I wanted to believe in the cat.
To Peter Pan. I must be showing my age now. Those who were top-billed had one-man spots whilst presumably the intricate costume changes were taking place. Julian Clary was good, despite the relentless sexual gay jokes – when you managed to hear him above the equally relentless crash/bang from the orchestra. My senses were assaulted. How our four-year-old granddaughter slept through it all, I have no idea but my daughter did have to permanently cover her daughter’s ears. Jennifer Saunders as Hook asked where the children were as she ‘had seen more children on a Saga cruise’. If they were in the audience they certainly weren’t being heard, drowned out by the volume of the orchestra and the middle-aged hen party sitting behind us who were literally wetting themselves from the sexual gay jokes and their apparent pints of vodka.
The starring cast seemed jaded to be on stage, even before Christmas arrived. The one-man spots, advertising where they were starring next at each juncture had little to do with telling a story. Okay, I guess we’ve heard it all before, but have the children for whom I thought pantos were supposed to be for? In fact, numerous times the starring cast could be seen sighing when they mentioned: plot, plot, plot and saying, ‘Oh, should we get back to the plot? Is there one?’ There wasn’t really. Neither was there a murmur of ‘she’s behind you’ as that’s now probably old hat.
It was all very disappointing; but then I was showing my age as when I mentioned Dick Emery to Master Mind, the son-in-law, he said, ‘Who?’
2024 Creative Writing Classes:
Saturday March 2nd ’24 – Poetry with a Pen and a Passion at Highcrest.
Saturday June 8th ’24 – Memoir – a gift for your grandchildren and/or for posterity at Beaconsfield.
Saturday July 6th ’24 – Writing which Raises a Smile – The serious business of humour at Gerrards Cross. Saturday November 9th ’24 – Writing for Children at Beaconsfield.
Book through Buckinghamshire Adult Learning.
Contact: studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk
Red Lipstick & Revelations – my poetry collection is now available again in paperback on Amazon at £7.99. Since my publishers Indigo Dreams have ceased to print it, I have been able to do this myself. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CLC4XMCV

The audible narrated by myself is available here for £5.59. Red Lipstick and Revelations

Please leave a review if you are able and Merry Christmas 2023.

‘An introduction to Creative Writing at the Beaconsfield Adult Learning Centre …’ by Jan Moran Neil

26/11/2023 // by Jan Moran Neil

An Introduction to Creative Writing at the Beaconsfield Adult Learning Centre this autumn … by Jan Moran Neil
It’s been a strange and interesting return to teaching Creative Writing at the Beaconsfield Adult Learning Centre this autumn. After twelve years of running these courses I left in 2000 to set up my own Creative Ink for Writers’ classes. I returned as the present tutor fell ill – initially I thought for five weeks. The group was so lovely I ended up teaching a full course of ten and was touched by their comments on a recent observation. (Which was also strange to experience after 52 years of dinosaur teaching.)
“I have loved this course – I wanted to experiment with creative writing. This course has taken me out of my comfort zone, but that has been good.”
“I was inspired by a friend to do creative writing, but didn’t know where to start. This course and Jan’s teaching have been inspirational.”
“I have appreciated the little hooks to hang things off that Jan has given, so helpful.”
“The feedback I have received has been helpful and constructive.”
“I am learning the rules around writing, this has been very helpful.”
“The homework assignments have given me inspiration.”
(The observer uses double speech marks – single now seem in vogue.) So I now have agreed to four workshops for 2024 listed here:
Saturday March 2nd ’24 – Poetry with a Pen and a Passion at Highcrest.
Saturday June 8th ’24 – Memoir – a gift for your grandchildren and/or for posterity at Beaconsfield.
Saturday July 6th ’24 – Writing which Raises a Smile – The serious business of humour at Gerrards Cross. Saturday November 9th ’24 – Writing for Children at Beaconsfield.
Book through Buckinghamshire Adult Learning.
Contact: studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

Red Lipstick & Revelations – my poetry collection is now available again in paperback on Amazon at £7.99. Since my publishers Indigo Dreams have ceased to print it, I have been able to do this myself. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CLC4XMCV

The audible narrated by myself is available here for £5.59.

Red Lipstick and Revelations

Please leave a review if you are able.

Writing Dates for Your Diary …

07/11/2023 // by Jan Moran Neil

Writing Dates for your Diary … with Jan Moran Neil
Poetry with a Pen and a Passion – Highcrest Adult Learning Centre – Saturday 2nd March, 2024
Life Writing – A Gift for Your Grandchildren or for Posterity – Saturday 8th June, 2024 – Beaconsfield
Writing Which Raises a Smile – Humour – Saturday 6th July, 2024 – Gerrards Cross
Book
Book through Buckinghamshire Adult Learning.
Contact: studentenquiries@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

The present group at Beaconsfield this term is lovely.)
Red Lipstick & Revelations – my poetry collection is now available again in paperback on Amazon at £7.99. Since my publishers Indigo Dreams have ceased to print it, I have been able to do this myself. Here’s the link:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0CLC4XMCV

The audible narrated by myself is available here for £5.59.

Red Lipstick and Revelations

Please leave a review if you are able.
I am snowed under with recording my second novel ‘Shakespeare’s Clock’ for Amazon Audible.