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  • Writer's pictureLiza Stirlinglass

Happy Dance and Tummy Tingles

My debut crime mystery Murder on Morrison will be available as an e book on Amazon from Sunday 28th and the Paperback launches March 1st. It's a nail biting time as I read reviews from beta readers (all positive bar one - too many murders!) and fix copy edits. The one star was an ouch, but as other writers say, that's what keeps you real. So I am doing my Happy Dance, but I certainly have tingles as I let this new baby out into the world and hope the lovers win over the haters.

I have loved writing about Rose and her cohorts, and I'm looking forward to starting the next in the series, which will also be set in Edinburgh. Writing, as an introvert who likes a lot of alone time, has given me the opportunity to spend almost twenty four hours a day with other people's voices in my head as my characters join me through the night, are there when I wake, or when I'm listening to the news. They argue with me, make me feel confused when we are going in different directions and happy when the words on the page make sense. It's exhausting! And in this year of lock down and virtual isolation, they have been my saving grace.

I know some writers plan their stories from start to finish, but I am what the writing community call a pantser, literally writing by the seat of my pants as the story unfolds, told to me by the protagonist or antagonist. I don't think it really matters, I tend to read both types of writers and I am in awe of the plotters, how do they do that?

So, as the days tick by until next Sunday and I get down to the business of trying to engage and attract readers - independent publishing requires multi tasking - I realise I am feeling quite bereft of all those busy voices until I have the energy to begin again. Taking a break from characters and letting nature have her voice, as she did last year when I began writing poetry again.

Salad Days - Gardening in a time of Virus

The clay under the turf resists the fork,

Not wanting to be broken and shine light

Into the earthworms home.

A flash of pink slips away to hide once more.

The roots from plants of the past gardener

whose hands shaped this bed of potential.

There are secrets in this sod,

Where wanton weeds and wildflowers grow.

And who am I to think I can change the plan,

Whose time is long past her salad days

Yet wants to plant salad

to feast on and delight in the years left.

And in future days my salad will be redug

by younger hands with lithe limbs to tend it

And I will not cry

My heart felt planting will bloom beyond this virus.

cLiza Miles April 2020

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