My Copyright registered & protected

8 July 2008


So I’m going to begin by introducing the character, the setting and the plot, not very original but always a good place to start, so all the advice tells me.

Character - outline:

Joanna Louise (aka Louise Charles)

Female, eldest girl of five children (three boys, two girls and busy parents), born in 1963 in one of the harshest winters on record and a committed Piscean – dreamy, occasionally wet and exceedingly bad with cash.
In mid forties, blissfully and happily married (second time lucky) living with my soul mate of thirteen years. One son, four stepsons and two grandchildren (actually three as I have a step granddaughter, unbelievable I know, but I like to think I’m one of those glam grans).

Likes: writing fiction (often badly and un-publishable); growing my own vegetables; making homemade birthday cards (not quite Kellogg’s cornflake packet style but not far off) and swimming in the Adriatic.
Dislikes: writing poetry (don’t mind reading it); mosquitoes (see setting) and boorish art critics.
Favourites: Animal – dolphin; Colour – orange; Food – steak, strawberries and dauphinoise potatoes (but not all at once); Music – opera; Film – West Side Story; Flower – Peonies. This is not an exhaustive list and no doubt will be added to.


I have recently relocated to central rural Italy to a region called Le Marche tucked away over the hills from Tuscany and very unspoilt by tourism. Living in a small hamlet surrounded by a handful of Italian families with views across the Sibillini Mountains, we live a simple life and regularly observe the most wonderful sunsets.

We have a small agricultural dwelling, which has housed pigs, rabbits, and chickens and we currently occupy the top. The ground floor (the coolest part of the building) has a makeshift office (for writing of course) and a storage area and a long room (curing area historically) with a soil floor. I need to make some money writing so we can convert this part.

We have two acres of land, 50 vines (most are ancient), 32 Olive trees, walnut, apricot, apple, plum and a number of unknown trees and have turned our hand to self sufficiency in the Tom and Barbara style (remember The Good Life?). Currently we are enjoying the fruits of our labours, much of which hubbie documents on our blog at Casa Grotta (House with a Cave, yes, a cave).

There is very little to dislike here, apart from those annoying mosquitoes who love my other half and have left him with large pale raspberry-like swellings from head to toe. Occasionally they feast on my sweet blood but are less intrusive but still extremely irritating.


Well, there is the rub, not very good at plotting and planning. Procrastinating is more my style, but hence the blog. This is one way to start writing about writing… I know – tell me I’m kidding my self.

I have several writing projects on the go:

A daily journal – recently worked out that on average on account of this daily (well most days) muse of Wolfe-like writing I can churn out 5000 words per week. Not that a lot of it makes sense but well – I’m writing

A novel - The Flying Angels, about a woman and her experiences during World War Two. Recently I have dedicated my daily journal time (usually about half an hour) to this project. I have boxes of research (which I kind of like) but now need to get on and write the damn thing. A friend of mine (a published author no less) has given me a completion date of four months – that was last Friday and counting so here’s to 1st November - its in the diary!

Short Stories – Throughout my daily journal, I have lots of starts, stops and not going anywhere kind of writing which could be useful. Have started submitting these to UK market and have just received my first rejection letter – hooray!

Articles – have a number of articles published on Suite 101, mainly in my areas of interest: Italy; History; Biography and Personal Development. It’s helping with my procrastination problem (a little) and providing a bit of discipline.

So there we have it, oh and I am also an Editor for two international academic journals (health based) which provides me with a very small income and is something of value to put on my CV.

How was it for you first time? I feel good. Until the next time…

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