The Lighter Side of Writing – Thoughts from a Non-Writer by @ElaineRosemaryD #GuestPost

I have an amusing guest post by fellow Tirgearr author , Elaine Dodge.


I was on the bus the other day and fell into conversation with another passenger. It was a mistake. Never again. She asked, as one does, if I was married, had kids, etc. That was a very short conversation. No and no, respectively.

She then said I must be a career woman. I replied I was an author and filled in some detail on the type of fiction I write. Her response was a rather blank look. Steampunk as a word wasn’t something that registered with her, let alone as a genre.

It did, however, give her an opening to launch forth on the ease and delights of being a writer. As far as she was concerned I had it made. If that was the case, quite why I would be using public transport seemed to have completely escaped her.

By the time I got home, I had begun to doubt why I even bothered writing at all, until to cheer myself up, I sat down at the laptop, with a glass of wine, and wrote the next thousand words in the novel.

But what she said has been preying on my mind, feasting on my soul, as it were.

Shifting her sweaty bulk into a more comfortable position and in one breath, with an accent that could cut steel, Crystal drawled,

“Yeah, like I said, piece of cake really. Anyone could do it. If you can read and write you can write, right? I mean how hard can it be? There’s twenty-summat letters, couple of which are voles. And every English word uses at least one of them. You put squiggly things around the bits people say and end every sentence with a full stop. If you can’t think of anything to say just pad it out with stuff about the scenery. Make everyone an orphan, beautiful, rich and sleeping with everyone else and you’re sorted. Writing’s easy. It’s not even a real job. Scribble a few words down and you make tons of money. Just look at how much that woman…what’s her name…E somebody…James, that’s right. Look at how much money she made and her book’s rubbish. So they say. Never read it myself, waiting for the movie. Easier to handle than a book. Couple of hours and you’re done. Best books are always made into movies, so I just wait for them. Even old Oprah’s Book Club books get made into movies. Haven’t read a book in oh, about ten years. No, wait, I tell a lie. It was school. Had to read Pride and Prejudice. All that thus-ing and this-ing. Didn’t have a clue what was going on. Enjoyed the BBC thing though. Colin Firth in the lake, that was a good bit. Don’t remember that from school. But then I only read the stuff on the back cover to be honest. My Sal likes books. Always reading. Waste of time really.”

I’ve decided to make Crystal a character in my novel. And kill her, painfully.


Thank you, Elaine.

  • Here’s more about Elaine Dodge.
    Elaine Dodge 3
    I was born in Zambia, grew up in Zimbabwe and am currently living in South Africa. I did my first round-the-world trip when I was four years old, and have travelled a lot since then. When I can I’m going to visit countries for myself to do research for my books rather than rely on Google.
    Writing was an aspect of each part of my career – I trained as a designer, worked in
    Advertising and Design and then moved into local and international Broadcast Television when I emigrated to South Africa. Now, I’m a freelance Content Creator.
    Wanting to expand my writing skills, I did a romance writing course where I tried out scenes from a story I had been thinking about for years, At the end of the course, the facilitator took me aside and told me I must write the book. So, nights, weekends and the Christmas break later, I had written Harcourt’s Mountain.
    I realised that apart from white-water rafting down the Zambezi, I feel most alive when I’m writing. That’s what I want to do more than anything else!
    My first book, Harcourts Mountain, signed by Tirgearr Publishing, was launched 15
    August 2013. The reviews have been marvellous! Mostly five stars. And, Harcourt’s
    Mountain was nominated for the 2014 RONE Awards. It’s also one of the four highest rated books at Tirgearr Publishing. Because so many readers have asked for it, I’ve also begun the plotting and researching a sequel.
    My Social Media links:
    Publisher Link:
    Twitter @ElaineRosemaryD
    Spring, 1867 – Hope Booker is waiting to be sold off the ‘bride’ ship. Luke Harcourt happens upon the sale. It’s not love at first sight, but he feels compelled to save her from a life of slavery and prostitution. Battling their growing attraction to each other, they must learn to live together in the forests of the wild and almost unexplored mountains of British Columbia.
    You can buy Harcourt’s Mountain here:

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