On accepting the inevitable…

The good, the bad (and the ugly) of ageing: Terry Tyler’s thoughts

I constantly remind myself to maintain a positive attitude on getting older because my older sister’s life finished when she was six years younger than I am now.  Something that never fails to shock me. Maybe there’s a new blog post in that. But for now, I’m focussing on women’s views on their own ageing process. I recently wrote a post for A Daydreamer’s thoughts blog. You can read it here: My thoughts



The Eliza Doll by Tracey Scott-Townsend

Thank you to Sharon Booth for this wonderful review of The Eliza Doll!

Sharon Booth

Ellie can’t work out whether she’s running away from the past or towards a future she always felt she should have had. She left university and had baby after baby without even meaning to. But it was her third child she blamed for ruining her life.

Now her children have grown and Ellie is on her own. She shocks everybody by selling her home and moving into a converted van to travel the country selling handmade dolls at craft fairs.

It can be lonely on the road. Ellie has two companions: her dog, Jack, and the mysterious
Eliza who turns up in the most unexpected places. At every encounter with Eliza, Ellie feels as if she’s standing again in the aching cold of a waterfall in Iceland, the sound of crashing water filling her with dread.

Ellie can’t change the past. But is it really too late to rectify the…

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A day in the life of author…Tracey Scott-Townsend

Thank you to Louise Jensen for giving me the opportunity to rave about my beloved shed, which I have now left behind in Lincoln *weeps a little*. But at least I have my lovely pseudo-shed at my new home in Hull…

fabricating fiction

Hmm writing in a ‘shed’ with no wi-fi distractions may be the key to being more productive. Tracey, do share more about your day.

For a good deal of my writing life (which began full-time in 2010) my office has been a shed in the garden. As it happens I’m currently packing up my shed in preparation for a house move so I’m having to work in the house. I find this distracting, due to my two captivating rescue dogs wanting my attention so much of the time. I also have other intrusive business going on at the moment, mostly stemming from the house sale.

At our new home in Hull I’ve created a cosy ‘shed’ by dividing an alcove off from the main part of the spare room. I hope I feel secure and isolated (in a good way) in there in the same way as I do going…

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Not Invisible 

In my young-adult days I was frivolous and needy
As a young mother I tried too hard to please.                  Now I’m adventurous,                                                 Successful and cheeky

And I have been for a while.

My motorcycle helmet has taught me                                That I don’t always have to smile.
She replaces the helmet on her steel-grey hair                 And sits confidently back in her chair.                        Beneath the visor you can tell her                                     Mind is on her next adventure.

Friday afternoons in my art college days                                I chose fabric from the market,                                             The next woman says.

I made a complete Saturday night outfit                          Right down to my hat and bag,                                     Without a pattern, Just my imagination.                                 I designed myself the way I wanted to be.

Like me, says another. I still have some of my curtain-fabric skirts, I loved the big, bold prints.

I travelled to different cities to see my favourite bands        I danced all night                                                                     And slept at railway stations                                         Because there were no trains home.

My younger self was restless and spontaneous.               Now that I’m older I don’t feel much different               Apart from the Arthritis!

I piloted an aircraft, solo when I was seventeen, the fourth woman tells.                                                                Now I’m seen as the village wise-woman,           Resourceful, reliable, helpful and calm.                              She smiles                                                                                   But that achievement was what made me feel I could do anything.                                                                                    She sits down.

I was a punk, says one.
I trekked up the Lost World Mountain, says another.      The rest of the women join in –

I took the magic bus to India,

I lived in a commune by the sea,

I abseiled down the Humber Bridge,

I was the one who climbed the highest tree.

Then they spent years known as Mother, known as Wife, As the woman at the supermarket till, As the one who organised the bills.

They were the accountant, the doctor, the solicitor, the receptionist. The bra-fitter at Marks & Spencer’s, The teacher, The nurse at the hospital, The door-factory manager.

They were the one who made sure your belly was full And you went to bed on time. You thought they’d be lonely when you all left home                                              And their retirement party at work was done

But now they’ve stepped out of their roles                  They’re on a roll.

They’ve started all over again                                               And it’s just like when they were young.

It doesn’t matter that their backpack’s now on wheels   And they have to remember to take their pills                 And they wear comfy trainers instead of heels               And they don’t drink as much as they did                  Because it goes straight to their head.

When their busy day is done                                                The best treat they can think of is to go to bed

With a book.


I said a book.

Tracey Scott-Townsend 2017

Nationality by Valerie Pate

A poem about belonging by my Friend Valerie. Courtesy of Celebratingchange.blog

Celebrating Change


The TV presenters are shouting.

Every line they deliver is accentuated by dramatic pauses and rising crescendos.

I scan the jammed airport terminal,

attempting to spy a man under forty not clad in a cap.

The voices are too loud; jarring.

I have returned once more to the U. S. of A.

“Welcome home,” they beam at immigration.

The stamp comes down upon the page of my passport,

signifying yet another Trans-Atlantic crossing;

but these alien surroundings no longer feel like home.

When had my alignment shifted?

My internal compass persistently swings me back to that island nation of

patchwork fields and cobbled cities,

cloaked in history and flush with culture.

I am gaping at my “light bite”;

freshly perplexed by the mammoth sandwich that spills past the plate’s edge,

as if boasting its own preposterous proportions.

My stomach turns as ruckus commotions ricochet around me; obnoxiously intrusive,


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Book Review: Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech

Maria in the Moon

Maria in the Moon is my favourite Louise Beech book yet. My primary concern for an enjoyable read is the believability of the characters. Story, although important, comes second to the author’s ability to immerse me in the truth of the world they’ve created.

Catherine-Maria, the book’s main character, is so tangible. She’s grumpy and difficult and all the more loveable for her evident faults and often unreasonable behaviour. She encompasses all those embarrassing times you’ve stormed out of a room and snapped the things you never meant to say during an argument. When all she really wanted to say was how lost and alone she felt. Her relationship with her mother (who isn’t her real mum) is painful and constricted and she suffers from amnesia of part of her childhood.

Every time I read one of Louise’s books I learn something. How To Be Brave taught me about Type-1 diabetes and what it must be like to be adrift on a raft in the ocean. The Mountain in my Shoe taught me about the intricacies of the Care System. Maria in the Moon brings vividly to life the aftermath of the 2007 Hull floods and how they continued to affect the lives of victims long after the waters had receded.

Catherine feels compelled to work the phone lines in a Crisis Centre for those affected by the floods. Catherine finds it impossible to talk about her own night-terrors and the reasons she feels dissociated from everyone around her, yet she longs to listen to the problems and difficulties of others. Perhaps it makes her feel that little bit more real.

Although she’s as close as she can allow herself to be to her flatmate, Fern, it’s Christopher, a fellow-worker at the Flood Crisis call centre who finally gets through to Catherine and helps her recover the awful memory that’s been blocking her emotional progress since she was nine.

I would recommend Maria in the Moon to any reader who loves a novel with emotional depth, strongly-drawn characters and exquisite writing.

The Blurb: Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’ Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges … and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…


About the author: Louise Beech has always been haunted by the sea. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She was also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show for three years.

More about Louise Beech here

Order Maria In The Moon here


Womanhood, motherhood, writer-hood #GuestPost by Tracey Scott-Townsend @authortrace

Massive thanks to Barbara Copperthwaite for publishing this piece on her blog today.

Barbara Copperthwaite

Women's writes logo

A short series of guest posts explores what it means to be a female author…


By Tracey Scott-Townsend

I was twenty-one years old, a university drop-out – a wannabe writer living on the dole with a wannabe musician, Chris. Our love-at-first-sight and living-together-within-two-months relationship was emotionally abusive. We were probably both depressed.

I became pregnant by accident, having visited my family at Christmas and forgotten to take my Pills with me. I received a pale-pink jumper from Mum and some bangles from my brother. My mum’s friend took me aside and told me Mum did love me. Dad was an incidental presence in the corner, as usual. When he wasn’t at the pub, as usual.

I returned to Hull. By now Chris and I lived in separate rooms in a shared house. His room was the attic. He’d built a tower of used teabags against the wall…

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