7 Days to go

I don’t have that much time off normally. That’s the thing with writing, you never know how it’s going to go. I don’t suffer from writers block, fortunately, and I have a rule that if I’m not in the mood I don’t write. There’s always something else that needs attention, advertising, promotion or editing for example. I had achieved two thousand words in first draft mode already, when the feeling to stop and chill, for a while, washed through me, and I decided to do take a few hours off.

I headed for the top of the hills above Folkestone, a favourite spot of mine. The view is special, Romney Marsh to the right, France to the left, unless the mist rolls in. There was no mist and I just sat back allowing the peacefulness of the place to wash through and clear the mind. Two buzzards flew above me, circling tirelessly on unseen thermals. The rapeseed in the fields behind me, now in full bloom, contrasted the amount of green that enveloped the town below. Yes, it’s a good spot to relax.

I don’t know how things work for others but with me the mind operates differently when I’m here. No longer immersed in worlds I create, I can contemplate the real world, my world. Sometimes my distance past and sometimes the more recent. There was a lot to think about and the future was definitely a focus for once. I try not to plan too far ahead, I’ve learned that things rarely go how you expect, but my hopes and plans for the near future are about to change one way or another.

The pendulum of life swings and can offer unexpected opportunities but by the same token it also shuts doors and can snatch those opportunities away. It seems that sometimes you have little say in which way the pendulum swings; what happens might depend on others and is out of your own control. Now and again, you have to wait to be directed or have a decision made for you. It’s hard not having the control for yourself. Waiting for it can seem never ending and yet is just a small drop in the ocean of time in our lives. Life though, is for living and the need to move forward is strong. We often know what we want and yet it’s not always obvious how to achieve it. Sometimes we can only leave it to others, and are left with one thing that is ours to control: Hope.

If you are contemplating change in your life right now, why not drop me a line on the contact page of my website and share.

Happy reading


8 Days to go

I was back in my home county of East Sussex yesterday, at the primary school in the small village of Hersemonceux. The children gave me a great reception and I had a great day with them doing time travel workshops.

I’m never quite sure why I feel so at home in Sussex but as soon as I cross the border at East Guildford I always feel like smiling. Something pulls me to it, draws me in, the friendly people, or the beautiful countryside, or maybe a combination of both.

Speaking of beautiful country, my sat nav took me across country on my return trip, miles of it, sometimes down to single track lanes and for a while it seemed as if I had gone back in time just like the characters in my book. Much of what I saw hasn’t changed for years and on one road I was stopped by a farmer who wanted me to give way to a herd of cows he was moving from one field to another. The process took five minutes and it was quite surreal sitting in a small car and being completely surrounded by cows; they seem even bigger when you’re sitting down. While they passed I spotted a heron standing non one leg by a stream and a woodpecker giving the trunk of a tree hammer time. The scene was one that could have taken place 2,3 or 400 years ago, a reminder of the simple things in life that haven’t changed.

I spend much of my day in fantasy worlds that I create, engaging with characters I’ve invented and dealing with situations I’ve developed. Although the amount of driving I do around the country is a pain, it’s also a time where I can find my way back to the reality of the real world. When I experience places like this I ask the same question time and time again. Why are the solutions to our countries problems so easy to see and yet so difficult to implement.

And while I’m in this philosophical mood, why do we as a people get caught up in the race to accumulate more than we really need, overshadowing the needs of us as a country. We can’t take our accumulations with us so wouldn’t it be more worthwhile trying to preserve what we have as a country and ensure that those who come after us will have a chance to see and appreciate it too.

It would be better if we also started to think more about how we treat other people too. Be kind, considerate, gentle, honest, true and caring towards others, not just our own, and forgive those who may have acted the opposite to us. Our time here is short, make the most of it, look around, see what is really important and embrace that.

Happy reading


9 Days to go

Another early start, and I particularly like this time of day, right through the seasons. It’s become a ritual of mine to think about what I have to do and to look forward to the simple things that make my life special.

Every now and then though, you see or hear of something that happening which reminds you of how fragile life can be. Throughout your life people come and go, some mean more than others. Promises are broken, trust ruined and you can never look at the person in the same way again. Feelings grow and wither like plants through the season and some find a perennial that can last a lifetime while others are destined to find what they are looking for just short periods of time.

Some focus completely on the long term while others just want the thrill of a short term, often moving on before completing the previous journey. Everyone wants attention but some thrive on it more than others and use it because they are incapable of managing something more meaningful.

Yes, relationships are difficult at times with peaks and troughs like waves on an ocean but there is a word that comes to mind that all should adhere to whatever path they follow. Integrity! Without it you become just one of the millions of faceless non-entities that mean nothing to anyone, the millions that will never have a true friend or a true partner. Maybe that suits some, maybe others apply it more easily; maybe some can’t.

Welcome to the plot of my new adult novel, a story of life, feelings, friendship, trust and above all integrity.

Happy reading

10 Days to go

Ten days to go before the launch of Walking with the Smuggler. It is the first book that I’ve written based on a true character and real places in my local counties.

Thomas Kingsmill was one of the most notorious smugglers of the 18th century. It was said that he could amass an army of five-hundred men within an hour which, at a time when the fastest thing around was a horse. Imagine trying to do that today without the use of modern technology and modern roads.

My main characters appear in uniform for the first time and face a task so daunting that it causes both of them to wonder if they can pull it off. Not only is it daunting it causes them problems with the rights and wrongs of what they are doing. In the end there has to be some sort of compromise and they deal with the situation in their own unique way.

This book was written entirely at Warren Bay Folkestone where the opening of the book is set. It’s a remarkable spot with a beautiful and virtually unspoilt view of the bay and when you look at it from high up on the cliffs it’s easy to see why the place was used for smuggling.

I’m really pleased with this book and can’t wait to see it alongside the other five in the series.

If you want to share something you know about smuggling during the 1700’s drop me a line on the contact page of my website and share.

Happy reading


11 Days to go

I was getting my morning coffee, waiting patiently in McDonalds for my number to come up when I was greeted by a friendly individual who seemed to recognise me. I sort of recognised him too and we fell into a casual conversation while we waited.

It turned out that this individual has suffered from something that has caused him no end of problems through his life. Medical experts have always tried to tell him that he can’t do this and he can’t do that which is enough for this man to fuel his attempts. To his credit most things he has tried have been successful but the illness he suffers from has given him as many lows as highs and prevented him from doing anything at all during the periods of low.

I listened to him recount some of the many exploits he had achieved and couldn’t help admiring what he told me. This was a man that would not give up on living life to the full, or the fullest his illness would allow.

He asked about my work and was interested in the fact that I wrote books, before he asked me to write a book about his life. At first I’m thinking that a biography is not the same as a novel before I smartened up and realised that it might be a different style of writing but it is still essentially a story. Tonight I am going to research his illness, discover what I can and think about how I could do this. Everyone likes a challenge and this could be a good one for me. Time will tell.

Have you met an inspiring person recently? If you have, why not drop me a line on the contact page of my website and share. www.csclifford.co.uk.

Happy reading


C.S. Clifford

Author writing for all ages
Copyright © 2018 C.S. Clifford - Author writing for all ages. All Rights Reserved.