10 things to do to get away from all the hearts and flowers - it'sValentine's Day again and for all you single people out there -

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Ten things to do
to get away from all the hearts and flowers everywhere you look, if you're not in a relationship and in no hurry  to be ...

1.  Go to your nearest bookshop and spend time browsing holiday books to help decide what country you're going to visit next. 
2. Check out on Google the cheapest flights and accommodation in the places you fancy travelling to. 
3. If you work from home - take a walk in the nearest park. No dog to take?  Join BorrowThat Doggy and hook up with a local dog owner who needs the dog taken out occasionally while they're at work.
4. If you're at work, in your lunch break, find the nearest open space, wrap up until you look like a Yeti and walk around - look at the sky a lot.  If it rains take shelter in a good café and order a hot chocolate with marshmallows.
5.  Shopping therapy - go after work or take some time out.  Buy something frivolous. No money? Go to Poundland gadget section (OK OK but I love it) or buy a notebook there to write hopes and dreams in.  .
6. After work or later on go to a bar where the focus is NOT on Valentine couples - there are a few - order a cocktail and a bowl of fat chips with mayonnaise.
7. Write a letter to your future self (in 5 years time) telling him/her that you had these five goals for yourself and that you're glad that now they've come true. Picture yourself living that life with your goals come true.
8. Look up Meetup.com and join an activity at the weekend which involves doing something unusual, creative or active - you get together with a group of people for the activity. .. local walks, art classes, baking, quiz nights, writing groups, bird watching.  You never know ,you might make a new like-minded friend.
9. Go to a movie in the evening (with or without a handy friend) - make sure it doesn't involve any romance. It's actually fun going on your own, you choose what you like - cartoon, action movie whatever, bring your own snacks. Or get your favourite takeaway and either watch a movie or 6 episodes of a box set on Netflix.
10. Think of what you could treat yourself to - a special girls night out with friends or (for guys) watching a football/rugby/ snooker match in the pub with your mates? Send friends an sms and see if you can fix it up for tonight or if not at the weekend.

Just remember - it's only one day and the whole of the media will switch to another event tomorrow.

Out now on Kindle soon to be in print -
Memoir Writing.  How To Tell a Story From Your Life
by Anna Meryt
Got a true story from your life to tell.  Want to know how?
Read this book.

 My new book, published January 2018.

Writing Memoir.  How to Tell a Story from Your Life.

You can buy it on Amazon.   [25th Jan 2018 - Hold that thought - I've currently had to suspend print book sales due to problems with the cover.  These are being fixed and will be back for sale on Amazon very shortly. - meanwhile it is still available on Kindle - KDP  - CLICK HERE

And here's a taster from the book:

Ten points to remember in the art of story telling

and narrative, in memoir writing.

1.  A good plot and well-defined characters, brought to life by dialogue.  Structuring a narrative is the most important thing you’ll do.  There’s the narrative thread, unfolding   story, for the whole book.  Then chapter by chapter, building to climactic moments, creating dialogue and developing characters.
2. Emotional content Think about the emotional impact of what happened to you. You really want the reader to ‘get’ that, to be involved from the start.  The emotional content for all the other characters involved comes next and how they interact with you and each other.
3. Starting point. Begin at a really interesting point in your story – a pivotal moment. The story should grip the reader from the opening sentence. Then work back, showing how the story got to that point..

4. Empathy with the narrator/protagonist – in memoir, that’s you.  This is vital to keep up reader interest in carrying on reading so they really want to know what happens to you. 

5. Mood changes – that’s not your mood, it’s the mood changes of the story.  If you have something dramatic happen, which carries on for a few chapters until it’s resolved, maybe you need a chapter where everyone calms down, here and there.

6. How to end a chapter?   Each chapter should end in such a way that the reader HAS to turn to the next page to find out what happened next.  The links between chapters should flow smoothly

When I wrote my first memoir, my editor told me. ‘It’s like a series of anecdotes’. So I went back and re-wrote beginnings and endings of chapters so it flowed more smoothly.

7. Your story is unique, whatever the genre. Build the reader's involvement slowly, take them down a few tangents. Don’t reveal it all straightway, so it's not clear where the story’s going. Keep some surprises for the end.  Build the reader's anticipation.

8. Setting is important, culture, country, rural, urban. Your story will start/end in a specific place.  Think about the place and how the characters move around the objects – it’s like writing a scene for a play.

9. Colour, sound smell. Make your references to these unusual and un-clichéd.  Don’t for example refer to the sparkling turquoise sea, or the white glare of the sun.  Try and think of unusual ways to say these things.

10.Endings:  If you set up a puzzle or conundrum or mystery about what’s happening in your story, keep teasing the reader about how it’s going to end. The story should move towards some kind of resolution, some kind of satisfaction of the plot that ties together the whole story. You can do this just as well with memoir as with fiction.

Halloween, witches and ghosts stories and poems event at The Little Green Dragon Ale House...

I wrote a long  poem called The Spriggan for Halloween and I'll be performing live as a witch with two other witches Rosie Canning and Lyndsay Bamfield - they'll be reading haunting tales ... woooo woooo! ... and other story tellers at

The Little Green Dragon Ale House 

928 Green Lanes
Mason's Corner
Winchmore Hill
London N21 2AD

Buses 329 (from Enfield and Palmers Green) and 125 (from Southgate, Whetstone and Finchley) stop right outside the Little Green Dragon.   The nearest train stations are Winchmore Hill or Grange Park (5 to 10 min walk).  The nearest underground station is Southgate (Piccadilly Line), then catch 125 bus.

Tuesday Night 31st October 2017 -  7 pm

Here's an extract....  The Spriggan is a faerie/Green Man figure from Cornish folklore - who guards ancient sites and ruins...

The Parkland Walk is an old railway track that closed down in the 1950s when Mr Beecham decided that many small railway stations were no longer economic.  There was a huge outcry but they closed anyway - stations that closed along The Parkland Walk were such as Crouch End and  Muswell Hill.  Many years later it was rescued from brambles and oblivion by a conservation/ permaculture group, who commissioned a statue of a 'spriggan' to be made by a sculptress.  She built it into the side of one of the arches beside a short tunnel, made of brick.

The Spriggan

Dusk is falling on the Parkland walk
the last remnants of walkers quicken their step
they’ve heard the rumours, and the rumours are right.

The goat man’s eyelids open a tiny crack.
The woman pushing her pram hurries past. A low growl
starts deep in the throat of the black dog tied to her pram …
the dog knows, oh yes he knows…
he keeps his head low, stiff-legged as they scurry past,
down the path and out onto the lane.

The last train chuffed its way down this track in 1954.
Nature took over and time stood still. Until in 1984,
the Parkland Walk was born.  Banks of weeds and brambles
were cleared, now Nature was to be conserved but controlled.

High up, where the walk crosses a wide bridge
near Muswell Hill, the lights of London are flickering on,
in a sea of twinkles across to the Thames and beyond.
It’s a clear cold crispy night and a full moon is rising.

The goat man lifts his grey green head, stretches out
cold stiff limbs and looks to the rising moon.  He cocks his head,
listening …‘Can you hear it? Can you hear it? His croaking voice,
rusty as old iron, speaks in a hoarse whisper, to himself.

More to come ....  on Halloween