5 Senses

Taking inspiration from NevilleGirl’s post, of the 5 different senses in writing. Whereas she listed examples of senses to use in writing, I thought I’d challenge myself further by writing a little piece of description for each that could be relevant in my novel.


In amongst the soft chugging of steam from the device’s motor, the smell clouded the air. Faint at first, but only more pungent the more she angled her head upward, the steam clouded the air with a metallic stink. She stifled a cough (as much as she was able in the headrest), and concentrated on the basement’s usual odour of rotted wood and fresh copper wire. It was not much better, but it was better at least.


She sunk her front teeth into the wad of fabric, and very nearly heaved. She would’ve spat it out if she’d been able. It tasted like damp straw and the back of a fireplace.


Against her bare skin, the crushed velvet soothed like a bandage with extra padding—another gash zigzagged from her right elbow to an inch from her wrist-bone—and that was not the only surprising element to the rented outfit.


In the air, everything was muted, or muffled as if the world above the clouds blanketed the world below. Or both silenced the other. Amelia’s boots scuffed along the deck as she moved back and forth, map tight in her fist; a whoosh of air skimmed the bow from front to back as if trying to shush Cathy’s thoughts; and even the wheel squeaked little as The Cloud-Chaser’s faithful captain ploughed her through the dense atmosphere.


Cathy gazed over the plateau, shivering a little, despite the midday heat that curled off the building structures below her. In this hamlet, where the tribespeople worked like ruthless cattle and their ‘Queen’ was no better, a figure was conspicuously absent, no matter how far Cathy strolled.

A certain man with pince nez halfway down his nose and a stack of papers tucked in his arms.

Alexander had not crashed in Italia.


And, on that note, thanks for reading! Feel free to continue the 5 Sense tag in whatever way you think will help your fab writing!

Fire, Not Fireworks

There is nothing like an evening Mass to perk up the spirits. I am blessed to be able to attend the UCL student masses with Father Stephen (I might even reblog the audio of the homily if it goes online), the topic of which somewhat thought about keeping the faith, keeping being a practising Christian, including keeping a circle of Christian friends.

I am lucky to have many Christian friends and Catholic friends who support me and share my faith, which is a great feeling. One part of the homily that resonated with me was this idea. The spirit as a fire, an effort to maintain yes, yet warming and persistent, not a firework, a once-off flash*. Of course, it’s easy to say that one has support, but harder to really use that support to be a good Christian.

Fire, Flame, Burn, Hot, Brand, Inferno, Light, Torch
I have never been a great at praying. It is my human failing. In the Thursday Sycamore (think Alpha but for Catholics) group I am helping to facilitate, we discussed prayer. It’s easy to forget that phrase ‘pray as you can, not as you can’t’ or to have it lost in translation, but it is essentially suggesting that the best prayer is not that of structure and length and monotony, but of heart. Don’t like the repetition of the Hail Mary? Pray by voicing your own thoughts, or pray in silence. Don’t like to sit and pray at once? Go for a walk. Find God in nature, praise him through your eyes and your feet. Pray by verbally punching the air! Even witnessing to God by recognising His role in our lives is prayer.

For me, I like to notice God during the day because it reinforces His presence in my past, present, future. He’s done so much for me already, but it’s easy to get swept in the worries of materialism that I forget to remember his good deeds.

For instance, I have always been one for spotting the times of providence and God’s work, and this weekend was no different. I was with the girls, doing some wedding dress shopping and one appointment down and midday having past I’d seen lots of lovely dresses, but none The One. The thing is, I’d been looking for a certain type, not realising that the dress was right in front of me, just waiting to be found. Isn’t it funny how some things just catch our eye at the right moment, where we might have missed them if it were not for some blink of a moment?

Anyway, to tie my two points together, and without all the fluff an explanation would give, I prayed and God answered my prayer, just as He has always been doing, regardless of whether I’ve been paying Him any attention and grace or not. I was worried and he soothed me.



*Coincidentally, this is what I’d have at my wedding: a nice hearth welcoming and no dark skies with loud explosions in them.

Cover Reveal for RULES FOR THIEVES by Alexandra Ott

I am excited to share the cover reveal for RULES FOR THIEVES, the debut Middle Grade novel by Alexandra Ott. I interviewed her on this blog a little bit back. Did I mention that I am incredibly hyped for this novel, and you should be too? Not that I’m biased by her being my Critique Partner or anything.


Here is the shiny shiny cover in all its bazaar (no pun intended!😉 ) beauty. I love how it doesn’t give anything away, and yet emphasises the scenery and the fantasy of the novel. And of course, that pendant. So focal. If I’m honest, (being a non-MG writer) I’m rather jealous of MG cover designs at the moment. MG covers are rocking the market!

Interested? It’s a great book. See the rest of the cover reveal over at Middle Grade Minded.

Photo of the Week: The Varieties of Matcha

I’m sure you know of matcha tea, that blend of leaves that are green and rich in energy and antioxidants. What you may not know is that it is actually delicious, particularly when blended and served with the right amount of milk in a latte.

Okay, I’ll admit: this is a Starbucks one. I have an excuse: I’ve been unwell this past week, and with the additional thought of workload added on top of that, how do you really expect me not to blow off some steam and relax in Starbucks?

That is, however, not to say that I haven’t tried other match lattes, and this week has been better packed with them. So this image is only one of what I could have done (but the better, visually).


Acknowledging differences, Francis and Welby send out bishops to work for peace and the poor

Catholic Voices Comment

Pope Francis, left, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, arrive for vespers prayers in the church of San Gregorio al Celio, in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)Pope Francis, left, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, arrive for vespers prayers in the church of San Gregorio al Celio, in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

[Austen Ivereigh] At a joint prayer service this evening at the church in Rome from where Augustine set forth to evangelize England, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, marked the 50th anniversary of their predecessors’ historic meeting — the first since the Reformation. (For background, see CV Comment here.)

The music at the Vespers at St Gregory on the Caelian Hill — whose prior, later known as St Augustine of Canterbury, was sent by Pope Gregory the Great to England — was led by the choir from Canterbury Cathedral together with the Sistine Chapel choir. Among the congregation were Anglican and Catholic bishops from around the world who are in Rome this week to…

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