Here you’ll find extracts from my novel, my articles and my poetry.
This excerpt from “A Woman of Noble Wit” sees Katherine and her husband Otho Gilbert sail down the River Dart aboard The Trinity in the Spring of 1538
A week later, Katherine set her foot upon the well-scrubbed deck of the three-masted vessel. She felt light-headed, dizzy with delight, her legs suddenly weak as water. She really was on board the Trinity! Messengers were speeding to Uncle Gawen, to her sisters and to Johnny. What a family reunion it would be, and, oh, the thrill of it! She would see London for the first time. Perhaps they’d even see the King!
She had dressed with care, selecting a blue-green gown that was more comfortable than fashionable. At the last moment she donned a bead-trimmed headdress. It would not …
A poem................on crafting a historical novel
Dare I dream that I can weave the fabric of a life lived long ago?
The warp, strong cords fixed firmly to a frame
Battles, wars, the deeds of Kings and Queens
Dates, players, actions; these the record can proclaim
A firm foundation for my cloth
The weft, names plucked from a family tree
Robust yarns that twine neatly through the warp
With many knots that cannot be untied
Lives well known, their imprint sharp
They build the structure of my cloth
Woman’s lives, silken webs stitched down
Marriage contract, heirs …
An extract from "A Woman of Noble Wit"
May 1536. All is calm at Greenway Court until Katherine's husband brings shocking news.............
May Day came. Katherine no longer went out early to wash her face in the morning dew as she had as a girl at Modbury. But Bessie had picked armfuls of spring flowers, and they were trying to encourage Katie to help weave them into garlands with hawthorn and woodbine.
“When you’re older, Katie, I’ll take you to the May fair at Modbury,” Katherine said with a bright smile.
But Katie was not to be won over with promises. She soon wandered off, to be found later pulling the heads off the primroses in the orchard.
Unbeknown to them all, …
The Court House seemed full of unfamiliar sounds as the guests slowly retired to bed, feet echoing on the stairs, voices and laughter slowly dying away. All night long the sound of pots and pans banging and rattling drifted in through the open window as, in the kitchens, the cook set everyone to work on the wedding feast. But it was not the unusual nocturnal activity that kept Katherine awake. It was her struggle with the demons of the morrow that held her rigid into the small hours, sent her eyes flitting toward the still-dark window, and kept her mind …
Over the years countless scribbles have found their way to the back of a drawer, never to emerge. I found this poem folded away in the lid of my grandmother's jewel box. It brings back memories of a bright summer's day in the early nineteen eighties as my son played in the garden..............
Dimpled cheeks and laughing eyes
Chubby knees and a small trusting hand
Thrust into mine, holding, oh so tightly
Small things, small achievements bring such delight
The sudden heaviness of his sleeping head
Complete, unquestioning love
I am the centre of his small world
Mine, but never mine