Author A S Bielby

About me I was born in Stockton on Tees to a family living in Middlesbrough. We moved to a village near Whitby in North Yorkshire where I spent many years. I graduated from the University of East Anglia, worked as a Careers Advisor ending up as head of a university careers service. I have two children, two stepchildren and a lovely grandson. The children are grown-up with their own lives.

My husband and I came to Cyprus to live in 2007 after a hectic work life ‘to live the dream’, having finally retired from the property management business.

I have, for many years, wanted to write a book but I didn’t really know how to do it. Having met a member of the Paphos Writers Group, I decided to apply to join so have had a lot of practical help as well as encouragement to write. I am now slowly writing my novel as well as short stories. I met Glynis Smy (author of ‘Ripper, My Love’) recently, whose encouragement and help have given me a new lease of life..

My book ‘Payback Time’ is set in the North of England, as well as the south west of Cyprus. It is a romance/ family drama; how they meet and endeavour to overcome adversity, experience adventures on the way. Will they all make it intact through dark days? Time will tell.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Maggie's Child

Glynis Smy's new book
Ms Smy has written another superb period romance/drama. It was thoroughly enjoyable from cover to cover. I didn't want to put it down; really resenting the other daily commitments intervening in my reading time. She draws her characters so well they are completely believable as well as describing in great detail the situations in which they find themselves. Her main character, Maggie is completely absorbing. Born into poverty, sold into marriage/slavery she manages to find a way to keep sane as well as surviving. It was such a relief to find that she didn't lose her moral compass when she may have done. She remains true to herself. Her relationship with her son being the icing on the cake. A thoroughly good read with her usual twist to keep you guessing.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

My World: Frustration

These pieces of prose are usually written as homework for the PWG and often the title or genre is given. This one, Frustration, was a cathartic piece I just had to write. The machine is still on the table and I desperately need help. I will try again as being from North Yorkshire we don't give up without a fight. I'm nothing if not stubborn. Perhaps Taurus has something to do with it.

I feel rather upbeat today as have got back to writing my novel, as feel that I've learned a lot already from reading Jessica Bell's 'Show and Tell in Nutshell'. 

'Smile and the whole world smiles with you' is my positive thought at present.                                                            


My new flipping machine

            ‘Hells bells and buckets of blood!!!!!!!,’ I cry. ‘How can this piece of inert metal defeat me. I’m supposed to be a reasonably intelligent person having gained a good honours degree and postgraduate qualifications! What is more, I used to make clothes for my children, myself and my husband no problem. I even made a suit as well as an overcoat for the latter. I should be able to master this piece of modern machinery surely.’
            I turned to my husband for a solution and support. ‘No use looking at me love. Give me some wood turning machinery or other complex tools to do with shaping wood but a sewing machine is way out of my comfort zone,’ he strode off washing his hands of my problem.

            Little wonder that even my sister, who was proficient at sewing, had decided that when she bought a more modern up-date on her old model, she couldn’t approach it without first having a drink of sherry and taking a paracetamol! I’d bought one in a sale last year intending to make pelmets for the curtains we had made. The quote I’d had at that time for pelmets only, was almost as much as for making full length lined patio curtains. No way Jose! I decided I’d make them. I’d made curtains in the past no sweat. I was forgetting that was on my very old Singer which had been a treadle before being up graded by having a motor fitted. I’d bought it at an auction for very little and it was wonderful. It sewed fabric that was thick or thin: it didn’t throw a fit at anything it was asked to sew. True, it only went backwards and forward; none of the fancy stuff, but that was what I needed.

            This new machine has gadgets for button holes, can make embroidery and goodness knows what. I only want it to sew and fondly imagined that it would work in a similar manner to my old darling. I tried to thread it as I would have done in the past: was that good enough for it? You’ve guessed the answer. No! I fished out the instruction book and tried to carefully follow the directions to the letter but it was like trying to assemble a flat pack from MFI or IKEA. There’s always something that gets missed out in the process or in my case, the ‘take-up lever’. Where is it and why isn’t it marked on the diagram? I’ve tried every hole and lever and still although it looks quite good when threaded, as though it should work, it doesn’t. The cotton gets snagged on the mechanism under the plate.

            I’m torturing myself now as my husband has decided that at long last the pelmets are essential kit to have for him to be happy, as well as because my friend Sue, asked me ‘Have you got a sewing machine?,’ without thought I replied, ‘Yes. Well I couldn’t lie could I?’
 ‘Just run up these two lines of sewing on the throws I want shortened. You don’t mind do you?,’ she replied.

How could I refuse? She’s been very helpful to us in the past, so of course I said I’d do it. She’d duly delivered the throws in bags with cotton etc for me to do the job which I’d got out this morning. What I’d forgotton was that she’d included a much thumbed copy of a Catherine Cookson novel.’ That was much more my thing: reading I mean.. I can do that at the drop of a hat anywhere, loving being transported into another world. The more varied the books’ content the better. I‘d shoved it aside reluctantly, being resolved to tame the beast that is the sewing machine.

As I became ever more demented, trying all I could think of, my thoughts strayed back to the book. After two hours of being angry and humiliated, I threw in the towel. I felt exhausted. I made a cup of tea and curled up with the book.
Sorry Sue, I’ll deliver your things back together with the machine. If you fathom it out perhaps you’ll instruct me. I slowly relaxed.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Paphos Writers Group

We had our usual meeting last Thursday and I thought it may be of interest to let you know a little about us. We are a very diverse group of writers who are at different stages in their writing careers. Some have published one or more books; all are ready to share their experiences as well as help each other. We bring work to the group each week to read out and have critiqued. Often someone gives a tutorial on a topic of interest to the group so that we learn about different aspects of writing and are challenged to try other genres.
I find it inspiring and of great practical use. As a result my dialogue has improved as well as other aspects of my writing. I'm working on the 'Show not Tell' issue at the moment. We have several nationalities represented: Cypriot, British, Spanish, Thai and Chinese making readings very interesting.

I'm now encouraged to get back to writing my novel 'Payback Time' which has been on the back burner for the last year.

We are starting to plan a Book Fair to be held in Paphos as part of the Paphos City of Culture Programme.
I'll keep up dates on the blog but would like to hear anyone interested in taking part.