The video for The Fortune Seekers has been launched 

The video for my book has been launched.
You may view my video at the link below.
This is a recent review from Germany. An honest and encouraging appraisal. Thank you Andrew Griffith

It was hard going at the beginning, to be brutally honest. The Calvinist upbringing of the two brothers was mentioned a bit too often and I sometimes felt that their language was not consistent with their ages. Adult thoughts in a child’s head, if you know what I mean.

But I gradually got drawn into the story and by the time the boys had their seminal experience in the pub where Dave got laid and Dan got drugged, I was hooked.

I enjoyed the rest of the book. 

Some highlights: I loved your cameo appearance, ghosting through that Welsh graveyard! The descriptions of Dan’s life at sea and the gold mining section were quite convincing, obviously well researched. And, I have to admit, I shed a tear when Dan took Charlotte to the registry office to legalize their marriage.

In a nutshell. the book got better and better as time went on and I am sure your next work will be brilliant from the first page. Keep on writing!

The Fortune Seekers – Dan and Charlotte is available:below from three websites. In hard or soft cover and as an ebook. See below for ordering information.


The cover of The Fortune Seekers, released August 2016

Carcoar  NSW Australia – delightful town, authentic homes in 2016

Dressed in white…how did they keep their dresses white and clean?
Bottles and glasses, medicines and potions

The original Gundagai bridge today 2016  – The 1850 flood destroyed the town. Read of Charlotte’s experience in the remains of the old town in The Fortune Seekers.

Order your copy from

Enjoy.   Glennis Browne 

Tip from Colin the Ipad man- Record Videos horizontally on iPhones

Today I am posting a helpful tip from my friend and ipad/iPhone tutor- Colin Dunkerley. 

Hoping this tip will remind you as it has reminded me, how to successfully use our phones to video. It makes great sense.

Thanks Colin.
Record video horizontally!

Those of you that have attended my group course would have heard me go on about recording your videos horizontally. It still amazes me how many people film their children and grand-children in portrait mode.
You don’t have to look far for evidence of this, just watch the nightly news. Just about everytime the TV news uses footage from someone’s mobile phone it is in portrait mode and almost looks like you are watching through a door crack.

Please when making a video from your iPhone hold the iPhone (or iPad) horizontally! 

Remember – Record Video Horizontally 

I would like to once again thank you on behalf of Tianne, Darrin & myself for the wonderful support you have given our business. We couldn’t be happier helping you achieve more with your iPads & iPhones. 

Please remember that you are NEVER bothering us and that we are here to help so please call 07 5444 5338 during business hours or email whenever you need help. We are here for you!

Until we see you again.

Warm wishes from

Colin Dunkerley – The iPad Man, Tianne & Darrin.

#ColinDunkerley, #TheFortuneSeekers, # iPhonevideotip

Time Markers, by Mary Carroll Moore

Once again I am posting tips from Mary Carroll Moores’s weekly blog.  This week, the article attracting my attention is:- Time Markers: How to Keep a Reader on Track with Your Story.  

A few months ago, I began exchanging chapters with a writer who has an incredible skill with something called “time markers.” I feel very lucky to have her reading my chapters with time in mind. She has caught my natural sloppiness the way a good editor might, saving me and my reader from going off track and losing the story thread.

Are you aware of time markers in your story? They’re vital in fiction and memoir, even in nonfiction. They’re the little mentions of where we are in place, time of day, day of the week, even season, so that readers slide effortlessly through the sequence of events.

Many professional writers use timeline charts as part of their storyboarding or outlining process. They take each person in the story, for instance, and write a timeline of their events in sequence. What time of year it happens (season), then what day, then what time of day. It seems nit-picky when you’re in early drafts, and I don’t usually pay much attention at that stage, but in later revision it’s essential.  

A timeline chart might be as simple as the character’s name, the scene, and three columns for (1) season, (2) day of the week, and (3) time of day. If events are hourly in your book, if they are even day after day, your total timeline might span a week or a month or a year. But if you are covering huge swatches of time, you’ll really need this kind of time marking for yourself, so you know if three years have passed or a decade.

Once you have your timeline chart in place, there’s a great sense of relief. At least for me. But then, as we write, we often lose track of the chart and move time all over the place. A scene starts out in daylight then suddenly there’s a point where something is discovered by flashlight. Unless there’s a time marker, showing that we’ve moved into nighttime, the reader will stop, possibly go back and reread (never a good thing), or put down the book altogether.

I know this happens to me a lot. I have my timeline chart but as I move into later drafts, I ignore it. Hence, the need for readers to catch this–if I can’t do it myself.

Time markers can be obvious or subtle. 

 Obvious time markers might be “Three days had passed with no word from Ella” or “Had it only been yesterday?” Clunky when you’re writing them, but an instant relief for your reader. Now we know if the previous chapter happened two days or a week ago.
Subtler time markers – include a sense of changing light in a room or space, the beginning of darkness outside and need for man-made light, how a person is dressed (which can show time of day or season), sleep and waking moments, and much more.

Stuff like this is tedious to keep track of. Most writers dislike it and ignore it. But nothing stumbles a reader faster.  

Your writing exercise this week is to either try the timeline chart for one of your characters or scan 3-4 chapters or scenes to get acquainted with how you are using time in your story.  

My comment: 

I am looking through The Fortune Seekers, with an eye on looking for time markers. Hopefully I’ll discover enough to help my readers know where and what is happening. Without burdening and boring them with too much  description. 

Until next time, Glennis

How to Crisp Up Your Writing–Revision Tools for Wordsmithing

Once again I am reblogging one of Mary Carroll Moores’s writing tips. 

For over a year she has reminded me or taught me a lot  about writing. Mary and the AutoCrit Programme have been my teachers in the writing of The Fortune Seekers.

 Today’s article is on crisp writing – something quite new to me a year ago. Perhaps my readers may also benefit from this refresher.

 How to Crisp Up Your Writing–Revision Tools for Wordsmithing. By- 

(Quoted by Mary)

I’m a lifelong learner–there’s always so much new stuff to practice and absorb about making great books. I take different online classes for accountability and to keep up with new writing ideas.  

This summer, I took two classes on revision.  

We posted our writing for feedback. Writers were experienced and got mostly positive comments, but occasionally we’d see this: “I love your writing but can you make it a little crisper?”

Crisp writing. What is that? 

 Tight, toned, well paced, fairly bouncing off the page. Stands out to a reader, an agent, an editor.  

Easier said than written, I think!  

Crisp doesn’t usually appear in early drafts (if it does, you might be holding back too much, wordsmithing too soon!). Early drafts are about content and structure, exploring what you want the writing to say, what flow you’re after. It takes a while to get these two aspects solid. In books, even longer. I find about 80 percent of total time with a book, from idea to publication, is spent on content and structure. So if you’re still there, don’t worry too much. Take your time–you need to get this part right before you begin to work on tightening the prose. Otherwise you’ll have beautiful sentences that mean nothing.

But once you’re ready to crisp it up, here are some global searches that help me a lot:

1. Search for “was” and “were” and “are”–any form of the verb “to be.” E.B. White who coauthored the famous book The Elements of Style, talks about this being a blah verb, one that doesn’t provoke imagery or excitement in a reader. It’s true–and when you do a search for “was,” and begin to see how often you use it (was staring instead of stared, for instance), you’ll be stunned. Replace with more direct, active, vivid verbs.

2. Then search for “-ing.” Again, this form of the verb denotes progressive movement, rather than anything sharp and decisive. You’ll need it sometimes, but writers use it a LOT more than they should, IMHO. Replace where you can.

3. Look for repetitive sentence patterns. My unconscious pattern is groups of three actions in one sentence (they sat, ate, then left). Find yours–easier with feedback from a close reader. Then vary, vary, vary!

4. Watch out for your use of sentence fragments. These are great little punches every now and then but like any device, they can be overused.  

5. Cut some of that imagery, especially as “stage set” at the opening of a chapter or scene. Do you need to set the stage? Can you just jump right into action?

6. Search for “-ly” words, the dreaded adverb which Stephen King rails against in his writing-craft book On Writing. Delete whenever possible.  

7. Search for “suddenly,” “finally,” and “at last”–these can create melodrama, so be sure you need them when you use them. I’m guilty of three to four “suddenly’s” in one page!

There are more, but this should give you a good start.

Thank you once again Mary for your valuable tips. sales/TheFortuneSeekers-Dan

Http:// Fortune Seekers-Dan

Using Pause Breaks to Strengthen the Pacing of Your Story 

Using Pause Breaks to Strengthen the Pacing of Your Story , by Mary Carroll Moore 

Right now, I’m working with a writer who is studying pacing: specifically, how to pace her chapters. She tends to deliver too much–too many images, too many ideas, too much happening–all at once. It feels like a freight train coming at the reader.

So we’re studying the writerly device of pause breaks.
Very simply: in any genre of book, readers need time to absorb stuff. They hate not keeping up. They will vote by putting the book down, in all likelihood, if they get confused by too much coming at them. You’re not there to urge them to pick the book up again–“It gets really good in a couple pages!”–so as a writer you have to anticipate this. By putting in those pause breaks.

In fiction and memoir, these are reflective scenes. The narrator (main character) might take time to think about something, reflect on it. And the reader can do the same. If you’re writing a novel, memoir, biography, or other narrative story, you can use reflective scenes as your pause break.
Nonfiction has three devices to create pause breaks:

1. Story (illustrative anecdote)

2. Exercise or practical application

3. Visual change (sidebar, box, different font, cartoon, etc.)
In a chapter, consider the main event–action or idea–and ask whether you’ve incorporated any pause break. Maybe not in every chapter, especially in a fast-paced story, but soon enough that the reader can take a breath.  

If you have too many pause breaks, there’s a sense of stall-out. That’s something to watch for, as well.
This Week’s Writing Exercise

Look over two or three chapters in your current manuscript–they can be rough or polished–and ask yourself where you’ve placed reflective scenes or another device that gives the reader a pause to absorb what’s been delivered, what’s just happened. Do you need to re-flow any part of your chapter to allow for this?  

What the horrible word ‘Bastard’really means

Today I received my first ever review from someone who bought my book- The Fortune Seekers.

Tim Gurung, an author of a number of unique books, including ‘Redemption’ and ‘Afterlife’,  wrote the following review. It has encouraged me, and also made me aware of the power of words.

Here’s his review. 

This book is very nicely written, has black & white photographs to embolden …, August 28, 2016By Tim I gurung

This review is from: The Fortune Seekers Dan and Charlotte: Book One of a Series (Kindle Edition)

This book is not only a historical novel but also a history by itself and everyone who has roots from the British side must read this book. The book is very nicely written, has black & white photographs to embolden the story, and make you feel like you were traveling with them. I also learned a little piece of history, e.g. why it has anything to do with the word ‘bastards’ and I am grateful to the writer for clearing that as well. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but felt like I was watching those old Western movies when people were moving around and living a life of gypsies. It is definitely a very good book, easy but interesting reading and the highly recommended. The book is quite long though, so, prepare yourself for a long and enjoyable ride. I am not sure if it was based on true story but I genuinely felt that way.
The  Fortune Seekers.  Available. Booksales    And

I am grateful to Tim for highlighting a number of points. In particular the slang word ‘Bastard’ (or is it now a swearing word?)

 My generation consider it to be offensive, as the meaning is cruel, heartless and undeserved by those who it applies to.

The dictionary states the following-

  • bastard




archaicderogatory- a person born of parents not married to each other.

  • synonyms: illegitimate child, child born out of wedlock

2. informal – an unpleasant or despicable person.

  • “he lied to me, the bastard!”

synonyms: scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer.


1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.


  • a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person:
  • Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
  • a person, especially a man:The poor bastard broke his leg.

3.something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.

4.bastard culverin.


5.illegitimate in birth.

6.spurious; not genuine; false: The architecture was bastard Gothic.

7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.

8.having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

9.Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.

1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.


a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person:

Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.

a person, especially a man: The poor bastard broke his leg.

3. something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.

4. bastard culverin.


5. illegitimate in birth.

6.spurious; not genuine; false:

The architecture was bastard Gothic.

7. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.

8. having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

9. Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.

Origin of bastard

Middle EnglishAnglo-FrenchMedieval LatinGermanic

1250-13001250-1300; Middle English < Anglo-French bastard, Medieval Latin bastardus (from 11th century), perhaps < Germanic (Ingvaeonic) *bāst-, presumed variant of *bōst- marriage + Old French -ard -ard, taken as signifying the offspring of a polygynous marriage to a woman of lower status, a pagan tradition not sanctioned by the church; compare Old Frisian bost marriage < Germanic *bandstu-, a noun derivative of Indo-European *bhendh- bind; the traditional explanation of Old French bastard as derivative of fils de bast “child of a packsaddle” is doubtful on chronological and geographical grounds
See more synonyms on

6. fake, imitation, imperfect, sham, irregular, phony. Unabridged

Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.

British Dictionary definitions for bastard Expand


/ˈbɑːstəd; ˈbæs-/


1.(informal, offensive) an obnoxious or despicable person

2.(informal, often jocular) a person, esp a man: lucky bastard

3.(informal) something extremely difficult or unpleasant: that job is a real bastard

4.(old-fashioned or offensive) a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult

5.something irregular, abnormal, or inferior

6. a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one

adjective (prenominal)

7.(old-fashioned or offensive) illegitimate by birth

8.irregular, abnormal, or inferior in shape, size, or appearance

9.resembling a specified thing, but not actually being such: a bastard cedar

10.counterfeit; spurious

Derived Forms – bastardly, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French bastart, perhaps from bast in the phrase fils de bast son of the packsaddle (that is, of an unlawful and not the marriage bed), from Medieval Latin bastum packsaddle, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition

Word Origin and History for bastard 


“illegitimate child,” early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), “acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife,” probably from fils de bast “packsaddle son,” meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard ). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz “barn,” equally suggestive of low origin. 
Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as “William the Bastard.” Figurative sense of “something not pure or genuine” is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the “bastard” words in Halliwell-Phillipps’ “Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words” are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo (“a bastard’s bastard”).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Slang definitions & phrases for bastard


A man one dislikes or disapproves of, esp a mean, dishonest, self-serving man; prick, son of a bitch (late 1600s+)

Anything unpleasant or arduous; bitch: Ain’t it a bastard the way it keeps raining (1930s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.

Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.

bastard in the Bible 

In the Old Testament the rendering of the Hebrew word _mamzer’_, which means “polluted.” In Deut. 23:2, it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zech. 9:6, the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judg. 11:1-7). In Heb. 12:8, the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes those who do not share the privileges of God’s children.
Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary.

If you read this far, you will have learnt, as I have, the many uses, derivations, of the word.

Despite all the dictionary sources, I still find the use of this word to be unnecessary. It is not encouraging, uplifting, supporting or helpful in any way.

And as a word to describe the circumstances of a persons birth, it is horrible. Fortunately, today this meaning is no longer relevant. No longer are children accused in the same way.
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