Journeys we never realised we had tickets for

I was talking to a friend about writing, history, writing history, and was telling him about my latest diversion from the straight NaNoWriMo route (National Novel Writing Month – an online challenge to write 50,000 words of something new in November). I wrote her a couple of days ago that in my exercise in writing my life story and those I can remember of my family, I have used the device of following rivers. I have always lived near and been involved in things to do with various rivers, the Cam, the Granta, the Axe, the Mersey, the Bann, the Bush… I also mentioned that I have, deviated off into other stories – a skating accident, a drowning… gloomy stuff but real stories about real people.

The person who drowned was Edwin Hoskin Clogg, originally from Cornwall, who died not a mile from where I’m sitting, trying to save save a young boy from Bristol from drowning. I was interested to know more about Edwin and discovered he was a conscientious objector in WWI; I was telling my friend, the historian and author, Andrew Simpson about this, and he had some great suggestions about where and how I could find out more about pacifists in the “Great” War.

I messaged him to thank him for some things he had sent me:

L: Oh thank you!! Isn’t it great how we are taken on journeys we never realised we had tickets for?!
A: Just as long as there is a return!
L: Oh heck… that could be a whole different new fantasy novel for me… the researcher who never came back, lost in the annals and archives!

I’ve been reflecting on how true that is – about the journeys we take as writers and how we never know where we, and also, we hope, our readers will end up!

Here are links to my books, and to Andrew’s:

You can pre-order Andrew’s book on Manchester and the Great War:

… and links to his books on Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Didsbury in Manchester and Hough End Hall in Manchester:



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