#FabulousFridayGuestBlogger – Judith Barrow @barrow_judith

Today’s #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger, Judith Barrow, has written a lovely piece, chock full of memories and interesting settings. This is a fun way to lead up to Judith becoming an author. Thank you, Judith, for sharing this glimpse into your life. I hope everyone here will remember to share it on their various social media sites, as well.


judith headshot

Growing into my Writing Life

My first memory is of my climbing over a backyard gate and running home from a party where I’d been told I would have to ‘do a turn’: singing or dancing. If I’d been asked to make up a story I would have been there like a shot. But singing or dancing…?

We lived in a in a place called Saddleworth, surrounded by hills, fields and moorland. To me it was just a large playground and, from the age of six, I spent whole days exploring; walking with my dog to a place called Chew Valley (this was well before it was transformed into a reservoir, now called Dovestones), where I paddled and even swam in the deeper areas and picnicked with bottles of water and jam ‘butties’ and wrote poems and stories. No one ever asked me where I’d been or where I was going. I was free to roam. And write.

At home, Saturdays were washing and ironing days at our house; if it was fine the clothes would be strung on a line, held high by a ‘prop’, a wooden pole, across the garden. If it was raining they would be on a clothes maiden around the fire and the kitchen would be filled with steam. I hated that and, more often than not, hid away in my bedroom to write. To coax me back downstairs my mother would make potato cakes. These were made from a mixture of flour, margarine and mashed potatoes, rolled out, cut into squares and baked in the oven. Spread with lashings of butter they were delicious! 

My mother was a winder in both cotton and woollen mills. When I was very small I was in a nursery attached to the mill. Later, well before the days of Health and Safety I would go after school to wait for her to finish work. I’ve written many times about how I remember the muffled boom of noise as I walked across the yard and then the sudden clatter of so many different machines as I stepped through a small door cut into a great wooden door. I can hear now the women singing and shouting above the noise, whistling for more bobbins: the colours of the threads and cloth – so bright and intricate. But above all I can recall the smell: of oil, grease – and in the storage area – the lovely smell of the new material stored in bales and the feel of the cloth against my legs when I sat on them, reading or writing, until the siren hooted, announcing the end of the shift. Continue reading

#New at #TheWriteStuff


I promised you guys some new ideas would becoming this month, and I’m finally ready to roll out a couple of them. Hope you’ll find them fun, and will participate wherever you can, especially by sharing with the Immediate World. 🙂

First, I’d like to bring back our #TWSWritingPrompt. I will try to post a prompt on the first (or very close to it) of each month, and you have the entire month to contribute something fun. It can be interpreted in any way you like, in any genre you enjoy. The point is just to have a fun writing exercise each month, with no restrictions on length or subject matter (other than the ones that always apply on this site–no religion or politics). As soon as I finish with this post, I’m going to put up the prompt for January, even though we’ve lost the first 11 days. I think most of you can still write a paragraph or two, if you’d like to participate, and I hope you will.

Secondly, it’s time to get going again with our #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger feature, so you folks who would like to be spotlighted this week, email me please at mmeara@cfl.rr.com and let me know. I’ll fill you in on the details. If this week’s spot is taken by the time I hear from you, we’ll pick another Friday. So give a holler! We’ll ask everyone to share your guest post, including your  Buy Links, Bio, and Cover photos.

Third, I’m planning to start a new feature next week called #MondayMeme. Just what it sounds like. Memes, humorous or not, but mostly book, writing, or reading related. Just to get your week off to a good start.

#WodinsDaySmile is moving to Thor’s Day. Why? Because I like Thor better than Wodin. 😀 So starting in two days, keep an eye out for #ThorsDaySmile. This doesn’t mean you can’t share jokes, cartoons, memes or other fun things on other days. Just that I’ll be sharing one for sure on Thor’s Day.

On the other hand, Wednesday will now become My #MidWeekPOV. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and it will be my chance to chat about things on my mind. Most will be book or reading related, though I can’t guarantee that all will. Hope you’ll enjoy my ramblings and will share them, as well.

I haven’t made up my mind about the remaining days of the week, yet. I thought maybe I’d try these things out, and see if I had the energy to throw in any more or not. 😉 And of course, we will continue to schedule regular #ExcerptWeek events, and anything else fun that comes to my mind.



Monday: #MondayMeme
Wednesday: My #MidWeekPOV
Thursday: #ThorsDaySmile
Friday: #FabulousFridayGuestBlogger



So there you have at least the start of some new things. I hope you’ll enjoy taking part when you can, and sharing with others. Now stay tuned for this month’s writing prompt. And happy Moon’s Day night. Hope all is well in your part of the world.


Coming Tomorrow…


Our first ever Fabulous Friday Guest Blogger! Tomorrow’s guest will be Callum McLaughlin, and I know you’ll enjoy his post as he kicks off this new feature of The Write Stuff. Spread the word, in traditional  TWS style, so all sorts of people can get to know a bit about Callum and his work.

If I haven’t yet written you, and you’d like to be a featured Fabulous Friday Guest Blogger, please email me, and we’ll schedule something. (You can reach me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com )