2015 A to Z Challenge: J is for JOURNEYS

A-Z Challenge 2015

Two very different sorts of travelling could feature in your story.

The characters will probably need to get to other places at some point – places that are too far to reach on foot. The time and place will determine the mode of transport they use. Obviously they won’t travel by car or bus or train in the sixteenth century. But it’s not enough to plonk your characters in a carriage. You have to know what the carriage looks like, inside and out. You have to know what it feels like to ride on the roads of the time, and how often they stop to give the horses a rest or to leave the horses behind and continue with refreshed horses.

By Sipyardbelize (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By Sipyardbelize (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons
They might ride on horseback. In another part of the world, they might ride on camels or elephants. Have you ridden on those animals? I have. When the camel gets up, it feels as if you’re at a fun fair and about to be turned upside down.

Then there’s the other sort of journey that traverses time. For some reason I haven’t managed to find the answer to this question: in a time-travel novel, who or what does the travelling? Is there one character (or more) who starts off in one year and find herself in another? Or does the story do the travelling by showing two or more different eras in which the characters are connected in some way? Could someone explain, please?


Book review: Vultures Overhead



With vultures of our own overhead, I was happy to let Jo Carroll transport me to a place I’ve never been to and might never see. Even if I do go there, this book won’t reflect my experience. Jo makes this very clear. The book describes her journey around Cuba as a lone traveller in January 2014. Another visitor, travelling at a different time, in a group or even with one other, hiring a car, staying at different places, meeting different people, will experience something completely different.

Having read two of Jo’s previous travel books, I expected to be entertained, captivated and enthralled. I wasn’t disappointed. I was taken for rides on old buses, a horse and a bicitaxi. I met a wide variety of people – Cubans and tourists. With her usual perception, Jo paints a vivid picture of all she saw, peppering it with the thoughts and feelings of a brave, sincere and articulate woman.

You can find out more about this book here.

Blogging Books

My Blogging Year

In 2013, I blogged about

  • memoir writing, from which I learned a lot
  • my three trips abroad
  • writing courses
  • various aspects of living in Jerusalem
  • a couple of books in review
  • social anxiety
  • snow

and more.

And I tried various challenges:

  • 100k in 100 days
  • A-Z challenge
  • 100 word challenge
  • NaNoWroMo

WordPress sent me my stats for 2013:

  • I posted 91 posts. This must be number 92.
  • My visitors came from 79 countries.
  • My 5 most active commenters were:


Thank you, Angela, Jean, Rachael, Rosalind and catdownunder and all the other commenters and visitors. Without you I wouldn’t be here.

And so, as 2013 draws to a close, I have to make a decision: will I attempt the 100k words in 100 days challenge again, starting tomorrow? If I do, I’ll have to come up with more ideas of what to write. Hmm….

What I’m sure about is that I will continue blogging in 2014 as long as I still have visitors.

Happy New Year