A Victorian novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, famously started a book with the words ‘it was a dark and stormy night’. Ever since poor EBL wrote that phrase, people have been giggling about it. To be fair, it’s not all that bad, but it has become a byword for lazy and cliched writing. In the wonderful Snoopy … Continue reading
Author Archives: margimca
Norway, Scotland, and a Story
I love Norway, I love Scotland, and we all love stories. So here is a story as a present for your imagination. In the thirteenth century, Alexander III was King of Scots. He’d been king since he was eight years old, he was popular and good at his job, and he and the queen had … Continue reading
The Stars Can Stay – Margi McAllister
Does this happen to you? The Christmas decorations have been taken down and put away, the fallen pine needles have been vacuumed from the carpet, the wrapping paper has gone for recycling, the cards are being made in to bookmarks. It’s more than a week since Twelfth Night. In some parts of the country this … Continue reading
Some years ago, when I lived in West Yorkshire, I put together a Christmas play with the kids at our local church. It was all about taking the o’s out of Christmas. The idea was for economy, to begin with. In some places, the average household spend on Christmas was £620.00. Take out those big … Continue reading
What so funny?
I’m writing this in advance, otherwise I’d end up staying up late on Wednesday night wailing, ‘I don’t know what to write!’. I’ve just read Eloise’s post from 11 November, and I thoroughly understand what she meant about the need to retreat into a good book sometimes. In those books there are children who don’t … Continue reading
The Apple Tree Story
Today I was up a tree. I love apple trees. They are very significant to me, and an apple tree is first thing you see on my website – margaretmcallister.co.uk. I once lived in a place called Appletree Lane. (We didn’t have an apple tree, but it was close enough.) But finally, him and me … Continue reading
Name Games, or Teresa Tiplady
If a character walks into a book bringing his/her own name with him/her, it’s a good sign. Kazy Clare marched into Hold My Hand And Run carrying her name like a banner. I knew she was going to have a hard time and I wanted to fight her corner for her, but I didn’t get … Continue reading
Grannies and more!
You know that thing about buses? You wait for thirty minutes and then two come at once? It’s frequently the same with books. I have two coming out just around now. Woo-hoo! One is Forgotten Bible Stories. There’s one about a runaway slave. I always wondered why he ran away in the first place, so … Continue reading
Plot Holes, Pot Holes
When JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter she had the whole thing worked out, across all seven books. For five years, she created the Harry Potter world. She used spreadsheets to keep tabs on the various plot lines. Agatha Christie wrote down ideas, then started with the murder. Charles Dickens would fold a sheet of … Continue reading
Baby. Hiccups. Holly.
I have just met somebody really quite amazing, a little Welsh chap with golden hair and very expressive hands. He is my brand new first grandchild, Joseph, and I’ve just bought him his very first book. A few years ago I did a text for a picture book, ‘Fifteen Things Not To Do With A … Continue reading