Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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More Writing Tips

Keep your manuscript professional

Two posts ago, I offered some handy writing tips which were well received, so I am offering more. I wish I could say the following list was compiled by me, but I received it years ago from someone whose name I cannot remember. Nevertheless, that does not change its importance to writers who want their manuscripts to appear professionally written.

Periods in abbreviations.

  • There are no periods between the letters in acronyms such as CBC, HIV, AA; nor in countries/provinces/states (US, UK, ON, BC)
  • There are no periods following: Mr Mrs Dr PhD but after Prof. there is a period.
  • There are no periods following measurement abbreviations: km m cm ft in
  • Use periods between abbreviations such as a.m. and p.m. and a.k.a.; also use between initials of a person’s name, such as W.C. Fields, W.H. Auden, or J.R.R. Tolkien, with no spaces between the initials.

Hope this helps you as much as it did me. Don’t forget to file this info somewhere close to your fingertips while writing. In the meantime, why not check out the first in my seaside series ebooks: Under the Shanklin Sky: only .99 cents (usd) and available from your Amazon or the following links. The second in the series: The Faring Foxglove, and the third: The Bathing Beauty, are also available. Please watch for my next three in the Series: A Hint of Spring, The Spitting Image, and Mann Overboard, coming soon in 2017.

Under The Shanklin Sky

Under The Shanklin Sky

Genre: Fiction/Adventure. Title: Under the Shanklin Sky

Milly Mullan is a retiree from London with delightful childhood memories of holidays spent at the scenic seaside town of Shanklin, located on the Isle of Wight. As an adult, she intended to vacation there often, but, with a successful career as an interior designer to oversee, and hubby being top chef at a popular up-scale London restaurant, time to holiday was denied them. Not until retired, did Milly return to Shanklin, by which time Harry had died from health complications. Their daughter, Rosie, had grown up and married. Still, Milly has only one regret: losing touch with a young boy, Jonathan, she had met when only ten-years old during one of her Shanklin vacations. When retired, her hope to see him again absorbed her thoughts until, one day, while tending her balcony flowers; she found a valuable silver fob watch in a flowerpot. Determined to find its owner, she begins a search and finally locates her lost love, but is it Jonathan? To find out, join Milly—Under the Shanklin Sky.

The first in the seaside series, Under the Shanklin Sky is available at your Amazon and the following links:

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Hamilton (ON) Writing Clubs

Be part of a writing group!

Joining a writing group, circle, or club, is as essential for published authors as it is for first-time writers. Benefiting from other writers’ support, tips, knowledge, expertise, reviews, along with writing exercises and prompts, is paramount to getting words down on the page.

In Hamilton-Wentworth, I am aware of two writing clubs. Professor Barry Gottlieb facilitates one at Neighbour 2 Neighbour bookstore on Athens Street. Viga Boland hosts another at Turner Park Library on Rymal Road. Both are free to attend, held during daytime hours, and open to both newbie and experienced writers alike.

For information on Professor Gottlieb’s writing club,


For information on Viga Boland’s writing circle,


In the meantime, why not check out my ebook, titled, Friday at 4:00, at your Amazon website, the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

Friday at 4:00

Friday at 4:00

Friday at 4:00. Genre/Women’s fiction. Price .99 cents (usd)

Meet Diane, Jane, Bev and Leigh living as neighbors in an affluent district of Brentwood. Like many neighborhoods, the four are ignorant of each other’s existence but unexpectedly meet up after their lives spiral out of control. Their meeting takes place at a most unlikely location in stark contrast to their prosperity, and they soon discover they have more in common than wealth. Each one is there to shed reminders of painful memories associated with their acts of foolishness, greed, bitterness, and lust. Although fiction, their lives shed light on the pain women suffer through adultery, age-gap relationships, marital boredom, and aging: hidden pains seldom revealed due to embarrassment, self-loathing, and a fear of ridicule. But when the four women finally meet, do they share their shame, or wisely stay silent? Only time will tell.

Available at your Amazon store, the following links,

and many more ebook distributors.



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Handy Writing Tips!

Getting it Right!

Writing is fun … punctuation and grammar, not so much. When I wrote my first manuscript, I admit, my punctuation was poor, and I struggled with corrections. Then, an author shared a page of writing tips with me, and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the source of the following tips, but hope they help you as much as they did me.

Using numbers in a manuscript:

  • Numerals from 99 and under are spelled out (twelve days, fourteen pounds)
  • Numerals from 100 and up are spelled numerically (100 days, 500 pounds)
  • Numerals of 1,000 and up are spelled numerically, with comma inserted (1,250)
  • Numerals of 1 million and up are spelled with both numerals and text (1.2 million)
  • Always spell out the word “percent” (52.5 percent). Do not use the symbol unless the section or entire book contains many statistics.

These tips are especially pertinent if you forward your manuscript to a publisher as they expect perfection. It is equally important if you self-publish as errors reflect on your ability as an author. I will share more tips over the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

My ebooks:

In the meantime, why not check out my ebook, titled, The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old: only .99 cents (USD), and available from your Amazon, the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

The Look of a Twelve-Year Old

The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old

Fiction:  The Look of a Twelve-Year-Old

Meet Claire Peters. From seemingly innocent youngster to evil conniver, she takes you on her journey from lowly Saturday Girl working at The Glass Stiletto located in small town Heatherly, to executive for a leading company: SLATES Inc. of London. While working at The Glass Stiletto, she set her sights on winning the Stiletto Award for achieving the highest annual sales. But, a nasty rival bent on defeating her, stood in the way. Refusing to be deterred from reaching her goal, Claire took drastic action against her opponent. From there, Claire Peters joined the ranks of executives but on the way to the top, lost track of who she was and what she hoped to achieve. Many years later, recently fired from her executive position at SLATES Inc, she traded common sense for the sake of bloody revenge against the team responsible for her dismissal.

Available now from:

Other fine ebook distributors


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Writing Circle.

Writing Circle in Hamilton (ON)

Are you a budding poet? Do you love to write fiction? Have  you been mulling over that memoir? Do you want feedback on your writing project? Do you live in the Hamilton-Wentworth, (ON) area? If yes, then Viga Boland’s writing circle and intro to memoir writing sessions are for you.

Viga Boland

Viga Boland

Viga has written several  memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and brings her experience to her writing circle and memoir sessions held at Turner Park Library, 352 Rymal Road East, in Hamilton, Ontario. Her new sessions begin in March of 2017.

Viga’s books include, No Tears For My Father, Learning to Love Myself, Love Has No Gender, and, Don’t write your MEmoir without ME!  All are available by visiting her websites, and, at your Amazon store.

Dates & Times of Writing Circle and Intro to Memoir Writing:

  • Wednesday, March 1st, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Wednesday, March 22, 1:00 pm/ Intro to Memoir Writing
  • Wednesday, April 5th, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Wednesday, May 3rd, 1:00 pm/ Writing Circle
  • Call Turner Park Library at 905-546-4790 for more details.

See you at the Writing Circle!




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Another of my Passions!

Studying Parables and Prophecy

Apart from writing books, and learning how to paint, another of my passions is studying the Bible, especially parables and prophecy, so, a few years back, I began a lineage chart connecting all the people mentioned in the Old Testament from God to Jesus. With all those “begat” connections, it took me over six months to complete the chart which finally filled thirty-one Word pages and, when pinned on my wall, was almost twelve feet wide by four feet high.

I have no idea how to print it out as one poster, but want to share it with others, so I am now attempting to minimize the whole chart onto a Word PDF to allow readers to zoom to their area of interest.

Here is a photo of how it looks pinned to my bedroom wall. It’s so long, it stretches along the wall and around the door, but I couldn’t get the whole thing in the photo. Wish me luck fitting it all onto a PDF! Or, if you know of an easier way, please contact me.

Bible lineage chart

Bible lineage chart

I’m not sure how long it will take me to minimize it, but, in the meantime, why not check out my ebooks on Amazon!



All my ebooks are available from your Amazon store, and the following links:


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Author, Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

A friend recently lent me a book, titled, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, written by Rachel Joyce. What a delight this book is. Just the kind I love to read. Set in Britain (well, I am an English girl), and emotionally driven, the story surrounds the lives of an elderly couple. The husband, Harold Fry, hears from an old colleague who is dying. Having kept secret that he had once betrayed this friend, Harold embarks on a mission to speak with her before she dies.

Knowing the British as well as I do, one of the wonderful aspects of the story is that Harold’s decision to walk the hundreds of miles to her hospital bedside, albeit eccentric, is totally feasible. The story had me laughing, crying, and page-turning to read more. If you enjoy a light, well written read, you will love The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

Update on my children’s picture book.

I recently mentioned that I am creating a children’s picture book, due to be released sometime in 2017. Recently, my friend, and talented artist, Heather Lamb, who is illustrating the book, showed me her initial sketches. Wait until you see them, folks, they are wonderful, and I am so pleased to be working with Heather on this project. More to come!

My Books

Meanwhile, you can view my memoirs and fiction at the following links.

Barbara Studham's ebooks

Barbara Studham’s ebooks

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Creating A Children’s Book

My latest project!

I am so pleased to be creating the story line for my new children’s picture book. Friend, and artist, Heather Lamb, is the illustrator and has perfectly captured the essence of my characters. As creating a children’s picture book is a first for us both, it is definitely a learning process, but exciting nonetheless. The story and theme will be released at a later date, as will the book in 2017. For now, we will continue to work diligently to perfect our work in the hope of pleasing children everywhere.

My efforts to date.

While I have much catching up to do before I could even remotely emulate Heather’s artistic talent, for those of you who have shown curiosity over how my art lessons are progressing, here are a couple of acrylic paintings I completed over the past couple of weeks. I’m aware there is a lot of practice in my future!

For anyone interested in picking up artist’s tips, a great link is:, where artist David Dunlop offers valuable information. He is a fantastic artist in many genres, and his blog is definitely worth a subscribe. He also offers DVD’s of works in progress.