POEM: Counting to 20

counting to 20b copy

‘I can count to twenty,’ said Wilf

‘Go on then,’ said Mum

‘One, two, three,
Four, five, six,
Seven, eight,
Nine, ten,
Twelve, thirteen, fourteen,
Fifteen…fifteen, sixteen,
Seventeen, eighteen,
Nineteen, twenty.

‘What happened to twelve?’

‘I don’t like twelve.’


WRITING TIP 5: Hearing the Perfect

‘Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye.
You should hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken.’
– C.S. Lewis

Once you’ve finished writing your story don’t think your work is over. There is more to do. You have just finished your first draft. It is now time to do a bit of editing. How you do this is ultimately up to you but I have a tip if you find it difficult to spot errors in your work

The no.1 method is READ YOUR WORK ALOUD. Find a space; a nice quiet spot and let rip. Hear the flow of your narrative and dialogue.
Are there any parts that you found difficult to read? Fix it.
Are there any parts that just weren’t clear to you? Fix it.
Are there any parts when you wanted to stop reading and do something else? Fix it.
Are there any sentences that seemed to never end? Fix it.
Are there any parts where you are repeatedly repeatedly repeatedly repeating the same words/phrases? Fix it.
Are there any parts where a character is just stood still doing nothing for a while? Fix it.
Are there any settings you can’t picture? Fix it.
Are there any characters that only exist in name only? Fix it.

Your ear is your writer’s friend. Trust it. Use it.

POEM: The Spelling Test


OK children
It’s time for the Spelling Test
Remember: no talking
If I see you talking
I will tear up your paper for cheating
Susan, what did I just say?
That’s right, NO TALKING.
Question 1
Remember my clue:
Two cuffs, two sleeves
Michael, are you paying attention?

I’em a sawin bird in the ski
dragon wing tell mak me fli
a nite in rmer rides my bak
blazin sward helld hi for attak

Question 2
Here’s the clue
One cup, two sugars
Remember that
One cup, two sugars
Michael, have you got number one done yet?

The prinsess waits in her towa
walls of vine and flowa
a which chains her too a bed
kacklin lowdly makin dred

Michael! You haven’t even started!
How do you expect to write
if you can’t spell?

WRITING TIP 4: About Spelling…


I’m sorry to say but often spelling gets in the way of good story writing, along with handwriting. Parents panic about it, pointing out any ‘simple’ errors to their children. Teachers fret about it because it can influence Assessment scores.

This is bad.

By all this panic and fretting, you get very worried. You begin to believe that spelling and handwriting make a good story. That any story where it is a bit wobbly is not a good story.


When a writer is writing their story for the first time (first draft) there is only one thing they are worried about: getting to the end of the story. That’s right! You should only worry about getting your ideas down, following your characters as they go on their adventure in whatever world or place you have put them in.

That doesn’t mean writers ignore spelling, punctuation and that grammar stuff. It just means we check all that when we do a second draft. That’s a time to fix that.

And handwriting?

Well, a published work should be readable. But you only worry about that at the very end. And you could always use a computer.

So stop worrying for now about that spelling and punctuation stuff. Sit down. Dream. And get that story down – to the end!


After The Launch


Well, well, well the brilliant book launch went ahead smoothly and there was a good gathering of parents, children and teachers to hear my little speech and then extracts from the book, Wishbone Billy. The nice people of Big Green Bookshop are stocking the book and sales have gone well with little left of the original stock.

If you can’ t get to the shop and want a copy, the book is available on Amazon for only £4.99 and has received some great reviews:

Fantastic read for primary aged and young teens. Well-paced Dahlesque adventures will keep the kids gripped.   Doug

Great read. We loved it.   Andre

A fantastic read for children. Both my kids loved it. We all particularly enjoyed the scene with the cow and the bedroom scene with Cuddles is hilarious. Where’s the next book?   JL

What’s it about?
Well, it’s a  non-stop, edge of your seat ride with Billy on his magical journey in search of new, better parents. Have your parents ever annoyed you? Have they ever done something you could never forgive? Well, Billy has annoying parents. In fact, he has the worse parents IN THE WORLD! They are lazy, selfish and cruel. His life is terrible. What can save him? One day, something magical happens: Billy gets a wishbone and wishes for new parents. But as everybody knows: you better be careful what you wish for. This book is full of eccentric, zany characters that will have you laughing out loud.

If you want to get a taste of the book, the first few chapters are on here.


Book Launch


To promote the launch of my book 
Wishbone Billy the marvellous people at Big green Bookshop, Brampton Park Road, Wood Green, London will be hosting my book launch.

The event will be taking place on Sunday 16th July from 3pm to 5pm.

You are all welcome to come join me and have some nibbles and drink while listening to part of the book. I will even answer questions if you have any.

Look forward to seeing you there.

big green book shop


POEM: My Mum Don’t Come To My School No More








My mum don’t come
to my school no more,
saw the Head Teacher
hit him to the floor
said a lot of words
straight out the loo
punched and kicked him
black and blue

My mum don’t come
to my school no more,
she hit him with a right hook
to the ground
all the other parents
gathered around
they all enjoyed
a great good fight
but even they thought
“This ain’t right.”

My mum don’t come
to my school no more
she’s barred from the playground
not allowed through the doors
or all the teachers
will call the law
I wish she behaved herself
done what is good
instead of being
the talk of the neighbourhood.

POEM: Monkey Brains


My brother is a
little bit strange
For he’s got
monkey brains
He swings from the rafters
hangs from the stairs
He leaves his baked beans
ignores his lasagne
He just wants
squidgey bananas
Mother is cross
she is full of despair
As brother sits eating
nits from her hair
What can be done?
What must we do?
Perhaps we should send him
to London zoo.