Freda Warrington's Blog

Thoughts about writing


An article I wrote, about the writing of Elfland and thoughts on writing in general, has appeared on the BSC Review website… you can view it here.

I’ve been working on my vampire short story today, getting incredibly distracted when a bit of information I needed (about inheritance laws in 1800s Ireland) took way too long to discover… I’m not even sure now of the answer. With the whole net at our fingertips, why is finding out a tiny snippet of information so darn difficult?!? I was also distracted by the appearance, during a downfall of rain, of a great big frog on our lawn. Beautiful!

So Henry Allingham, one of the last WWI veterans, has died. Sad, sad, sad. Apparently he was the world’s oldest man, and it’s strange to think that if my gran was still alive (she died in1984) she would have been 109… still four years younger than Henry Allingham! Last Remembrance Day I saved the picture of the three surviving veterans from the paper, because I knew it was a historic scene that wouldn’t be repeated. I think there is only one British veteran left now, Harry Patch.


July 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Birds, and other stories

Anyone who follows my blog may get the impression I’m obsessed by garden birds. Well, this is true to an extent! After all, they are beautiful and provide top-quality free entertainment, right outside my study window. Correction – hardly ‘free’, as they are all eating their body-weight in bird food every day. A couple of weeks ago, we replaced our ancient bird table with a new bird feeding station and it’s been a roaring success! Or should I say a squawking, squabbling success, where the starlings are concerned. We had to stop hanging up fat balls in case the neighbours complained about the noise…

I’m feeling smug, though, because I’ve managed to entice goldfinches to the garden by providing a special feeder full of niger seed. We’re also getting greenfinches and lots of sparrows, as well as a healthy number of blackbirds and way too many starlings. It’s fantastic to see so many sparrows, because their numbers have declined and, only a few weeks ago, we were seeing none at all. Just a few minutes ago I counted fourteen, most of them fluttering around the edge of the birdbath! I’m a little concerned that our robin has disappeared. Nor have I seen a wagtail or chaffinches for a long, long time. But the goldfinches and greenfinches are fantastic, and I hear a thrush singing most mornings.

Meanwhile, what was I meant to be blogging about? Oh yes. Writing! Well, I’ve written a piece about ELFLAND for the ‘BSC Review’ site, and I’ve also been asked to do one for the Tor newsletter. I’ll post links, when I have them. I’m also chipping away at this vampire short story, which is based on one of the characters from The Dark Blood of Poppies, Sebastian. He’s appeared in a couple of other stories I’ve written, too. He just seems to lend himself naturally to short fiction as he wanders through the world, brooding and getting himself into tangles with humans.

And I got my tooth fixed. Took ages, didn’t hurt though.

July 17, 2009 Posted by | Authors, Books, Fantasy fiction, Urban fantasy, Writing | 1 Comment

Summer so far

It has to be said, I’ve had a pretty good summer so far. Mum and I have just made our annual pilgrimage to Ragdale Hall, where we had three days of total relaxation. I’ve yet to persuade Mike to come with us, as he insists he would be ‘bored’. Well! I’ve tried to persuade him that there’s no need to be bored since, if he reached saturation point with massages and other pampering treatments, exercise classes and gym, walks around the lovely gardens and countryside, the incredible swimming pool and spa – not forgetting the yummy food, no starvation diets here – he could sit in any one of umpteen lovely places and read a book. Which is exactly what he does at home anyway! Ah well. One day. The only slight problem was the weather, which was just TOO hot – our bedroom, although lovely, was impossible to get cool – but we survived. Although I was happy to come home after 3 days, I look forward to going back. Such a lovely, soothing atmosphere there.

Oh, one other small problem. Broke a tooth eating a Ryvita. B****cks! Have to phone dentist and get it repaired – but it doesn’t hurt, so didn’t spoil the stay.

My dear friend Stephanie, on her LJ, wrote a fabulous list of ten ways to beat writer’s block. Here’s an eleventh – a visit to Ragdale! With my mind completely empty as I sipped a coffee and stared at the sky, I suddenly saw a direction for this vampire short story I’m meant to be writing. Later I sat out in the gardens in a swing seat, with birds chirping and ducks quacking all around me, and scribbled seven pages of notes. Result!

So, we came home on Friday, and on the Saturday (yesterday), Mike and I went on a guided ‘Deer Walk’ in Bradgate Park (my special and favourite place in the world). I mainly wanted to do this in order to visit the ‘deer sanctuary’, an area not normally accessible to the public. We were lucky with the weather as the threatening rain held off, and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL – a wild, unspoiled area of hills and rocks, covered in oak trees and bracken. The head ranger took us around – only 4 of us; apparently they had 22 people last week so I can only assume everyone was watching Wimbledon – and gave us the benefit of many years’ experience managing herds of fallow and red deer. We even glimpsed a few, including some youngsters, but my main interest was in seeing a part of the Park I’d never set foot in before. The ranger certainly gave us our money’s worth as we were walking for at least two and a half hours. I took masses of photos which have come out wonderfully. Everything was so green and lush – in fact, the ranger told us that this part of the Park, because it’s so well-preserved, still appears as it would have done five hundred years ago! Five hundred years. We were walking through an authentic medieval landscape.

July 5, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment