My Amazon Author Page

Find my Amazon author page via this link

"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

"I enjoy Kate's stories..."
"A fun and spooky read..."

"The characters are so involving and
loveable that you do want them to really exist. It does read like you've
stumbled across someone's long lost diary from and alternate timeline/universe.
I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Free Kindle Download this weekend

Sea Penguin Part One is free to download this weekend.  If you haven't got it already.  Still, you never know - there might be a few new readers out there....somewhere.....
You can find it via this link to Amazon here, or by clicking on the link to my Amazon page or by clicking on one of the e-book links down the side of the page.

New work will appear at some point.....probably quite soon......

Monday, 23 June 2014

Still very quiet at the moment, due to a lot going on and a lot on my mind - mainly money/income generation issues.  Once I get things clear in my head I'm planning a new, improved compilation of Seapenguin and hopefully some new work as well.
Meanwhile I've changed the header pic. again.  All artwork is by BW Nicol,  as ever.  Not the photos though - they're by me.

Silentless Movie / NOSFERATU in 4 minutes

This is very good.

meet on the ledge- fairport convention

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Today's Walk - the field near my house.


The field near my house is cultivated every year with something different.  This year it's potatoes.  Often it's barley.  I love when it's barley, especially when it ripens in late summer. Swallows fly very low over the golden field, so close in you can almost touch them, catching insects and preparing themselves for their September migration to Africa.
No matter what's growing in the middle of the field, round the edges is an absolute cornucopia of herbs and wild plants.  Cow parsley, nettles (I always mean to collect young nettle tops to cook, and never do), comfrey, and this massive thing which I only identified today.  Butterbur.  There is masses of the stuff.  It produces a flower first, a rather odd-looking purplish spike, and then huge rhubarb-like leaves, which apparently were used for wrapping butter in, hence the name.  It's widely used in herbal medicine, apparently, mainly as a migraine cure.
Barliman Butterbur was of course the landlord of the Prancing Pony in Bree, as all Lord of the Rings fans will know.  

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Walk of the Day - the Coral Beaches, Isle of Skye

 dunvegan castle cafe
Dunvegan Castle car park & cafe. I usually pop in here on the way to the beaches, just because.

 enjoying a 'fly cup'

 dunvegan head from claggan
Dunvegan Head seen from the path to the beaches

 mcleods tables
Looking back to the McLeod's Tables

 the coral beaches
Approaching the coral beaches

 at the beach
At the beach

 at the beach 2012

 mcleods tables 2012
Looking up Loch Dunvegan on the return - there's a seal colony and it's a good spot for otters 

 loch dunvegan 2012
Another view of Loch Dunvegan,  with the castle 

Bit quiet on the blog at the moment as I have a lot going on in my life at the moment.  Difficult to focus on things till I clear my feet a bit,  so I'm just treading water,  reviewing and recycling old stuff until I move forward a little.
Lots of plans.
Here are some photos of my favourite walk, meanwhile.  Taken in 2012.
The Coral Beaches walk was featured as one of the best walks in the UK in some magazine or other a few years ago, and it is really popular. People seem to make a day of it after visiting the Castle.  But don't let that put you off.
It begins on a very well-signposted track which leaves a car park about 3 miles past the Dunvegan Castle entrance, and it is nothing short of divine on a sunny day, truly.  You think I exaggerate - I do not.  Heavenly place.  The best part is, it isn't very long, just a couple of miles.  Now I think about it,  it might even be possible to get there in a wheelchair, if you have someone very determined to help!  I hate to think that anyone might miss out.  On the downside, the path is quite unpleasantly stony in places and occasionally muddy, and there are a couple of gentle gradients, and a stream to cross, and sometimes I have encountered unnerving cows.  It can be very windy. This is all nothing to the average and sensibly-attired fit and healthy walker, of course.  And when you reach the beaches, your spirits soar.
You can swim if you like. There are usually seals to watch, and terns and gannets diving.  Occasionally eagles.  

Saturday, 14 June 2014

More Stories to Read

I've copied another couple of my short stories on to the blog so that they are available to read here as well as on Shortbread Stories.  I wrote one of them about six years ago, so it's quite long and not quite what I'm doing now, but having read it again today (after not having read it for six years) I actually don't mind it.  That one's called The Cypress Tree and can be found here or by clicking on the page link at the top of the blog.  The other one's called Auchtermuchty Here We Come and can be found here or again by clicking on the relevant page link at the top of the blog.  I wrote it a couple of months ago.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Saturday, 7 June 2014

FLEETWOOD MAC - Oh Well (1969 UK TV Performance) ~ HIGH QUALITY HQ ~

I've blogged this clip a dozen times and I'm doing it again because it's great - the BBC4 subtitles aside.  I loathe music programmes on BBC4.  The ones about the 70s anyway.  They're depressing as hell.  There's something about watching it on the telly....years just feels wrong.

Peter Green. Marvellous.

Nukkel kraking

Have been neglecting my writing this last week or two, due to 'life' and stuff.
I'm expecting to have plenty spare time this week though, and am flexing my fingers and cracking my writing nukkels, ready for action,  so stand by, if you can be bothered.

daisies june 14 seapenguin
Daisies and chives in my garden

Monday, 2 June 2014

Sea Penguin Part Two is Free to Download from Amazon this week

Here's the link.

And an excerpt.....

'The engines purred away nicely and soon we were at warp speed . In no time, or should I say, less time, as we were really travelling backwards, we could see the hulks and the Infra Inn far below us. Tuppence zoomed down for a closer look and we were simply appalled at what we saw. We had been under the impression that the hulks were prison ships, used to accommodate unfortunates from ... Over There. But how wrong we were. Yes, there were some miserable looking unfortunates hobbling and skulking round the hulks, but they were acting as guards, not prisoners, and were carrying long sharp pointy spears and machetes. They were guarding large groups of sheep and lambs, all packed into crates and bleating piteously as they waited for... well, we knew what they were waiting for. Ships crewed by rats waited beside the hulks while cranes heaved frozen carcases high above the decks and then down into the tightly packed holds. Some carcases were even hanging from the rigging of the ships. We could see where Apsley and Cherry got their BarBQ supplies from. A container labelled BurgasRUS sat evilly by the forecastle of one of the ships. Tuppence managed some nifty flying manoeuvres and he buzzed the deck. The sheep all looked up as one, with tears of hope in their eyes, and we gave them the thumbs up as we passed. I rolled down the window and managed to throw down a mustard plaster or two - though that would be scant use to them. If only they could hang on! A rat aimed a machete at our propeller and sliced half of it off. That threw the steering off , and Geoffrey had to clamber out onto the wing to effect an immediate repair, else goodness knows where we would have ended up. He was extraordinarily brave, carrying the roll of Elastoplast in his beak and dextrously taping up the propeller while avoiding any injury to himself.
"If you're going to eat them, you might as well eat ALL of them," we heard one of the rats cackle, waving a blood-stained cleaver. By "all", I presume he meant every one of us, as well as every bit of us. We zoomed back to the Rocky Outcrop as fast as the craft would go. We had to think of a plan to release the sheep and lambs on the hulks , and fast. Lives were at stake.'

Smart, Kate (2012-03-02). Sea Penguin: Part Two - More Tall Tales from the Rocky Outcrop (Sea Penguin Selections) (Kindle Locations 160-169).  . Kindle Edition.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

An Excerpt from one of my e-books

'My conversation with the becoming-ever-smellier egg had become rather one-sided, as it continued its inevitable decline.
“I’m metamorphosing,” it explained, during one of its lucid moments. “Don’t be alarmed.”
“I’m not,” I soothed, reaching for another pipe of Tuppence’s latest find from the smugglers’ tunnels – a very soothing blend of extra-soothing Random Herbal Mix, made from a random mix of soothingly-blended extra-soothing herbs.
And for once, it was true.  I wasn’t in the least alarmed.  What surprised me more, was that I wasn’t feeling even slightly defensive; usually I would snap back at anyone who dared to suggest that I might be “alarmed”.  What kind of person did they think I was?  Soft?  Not me!  And who were they, to patronise and suggest and presume, anyway, when they were at home?  Nobody at all, that’s who.
“How marvellous life is,” I mused, as I inhaled a soothing lungful, and gazed out to the far horizon as the sun began its nightly descent into the blackness of the nether world.
Yes, Hereabouts we don’t believe in the tired old spinning globe theory of earthly existence.  No.  Why should we?  We believe that the world is flat, and that the sun moves from one edge of the flatness to the other, and has a little break at night, just as we do, unless we’re out on the rob, of course.    And that’s as it should be. 
After all, if we lived on a round planet, what would happen to the people on the bottom end?  They’d fall off!  No, it’s flat, and we live on the top, and the sun’s suspended on a string, sort of like a spider, and it rests in the darkness below in its cunningly woven web until it’s time for us to wake up and have our breakfast.  Which reminds me – I’m absolutely starving.
“Uncle Tuppy!”
Suddenly I was being shaken and shouted at, and cold water flung in my face.  The pipe was snatched from my trembling hands and thrown I know not where.  But mark my words, I’ll find out.
Seemingly, I’d inhaled too deeply, and had become somewhat “over-soothed”.
My nephew, Tuppence, had arrived with a super-sized shopping trolley filled to the gunwales with “munny” after flogging his wares to the rats “Overthere”, to find me raving in my pyjamas.

As I came to, I sat up and shouted “Where’s the egg?  Has it metamorphosed yet?”,  whereupon I had another jug of icy water (at least I think it was water)  flung over me.'