Author, Barbara Studham

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

My painting of Mrs Beech's view from her window overlooking Hope Bay on the Isle of Wight. This is how I imagine her place to be: tatty curtains, cats, and old rattling windows. Poor Milly Mullan, her neighbor, who has to listen to those windows rattling on stormy nights. A description from A Hint of Spring, by Barbara Studham. www.barbarastudham.com


Leave a comment

Bringing fiction to life, by Barbara Studham

Using My Imagination!

My painting of Mrs Beech's  view from her window overlooking Hope Bay on the Isle of Wight. This is how I imagine her place to be: tatty curtains, cats, and old rattling windows. Poor Milly Mullan, her neighbor, who has to listen to those windows rattling on stormy nights. A description from A Hint of Spring, by Barbara Studham. www.barbarastudham.com

I painted this picture with Mrs Beech in mind. As an elderly resident of flat number 4 in the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach on the Isle of Wight, she has spent most of her life looking out over the bay. During the fifties, net curtains (sheers) grew popular as people could spy on others without being spotted. I’m certain Mrs Beech picked up these tatty green curtains with red dots from a thrift store, along with the, almost matching, yellow glass vase. As the seasons change, she picks a flower from her neighbor’s yard (what harm can one do?) and places it in the jar. Never without less than two cats, her current felines Shadow and Tibbles, love to laze on the sill to catch a few rays. Her windows, however, could do with an upgrade. According to her neighbor, Milly Mullan, of flat number 6, Mrs Beech refuses to update her windows, and so poor Milly is forced to contend with the endless rattling on stormy nights. Milly Mullan and Mrs Beech are characters in my book, A Hint of Spring. The following is the opening paragraph of the first chapter which brings light to Milly’s stormy nights plight. A Hint of Spring, by Barbara Studham http://www.barbarastudham.com


Milly Mullan and Mrs Beech are characters in my book, A Hint of Spring. The following is the opening paragraph of the first chapter which brings light to Milly’s stormy nights plight regarding Mrs. Beech’s old windows.

Chapter 1 (copyrighted)

A furious winter storm screamed inland, whipping up the waves of the seaside town of Shanklin located on the Isle of Wight. The ancient windows of the Old Stone House situated only yards from the sea on Hope Beach vibrated from the gale force winds.

Before turning in that evening, Milly Mullan, a widowed retiree who recently moved from London to purchase flat number six in the old building, locked her balcony door against the storm’s wrath. She closed the curtains and went through to the kitchen to make a cup of hot chocolate.

Having applied her many years’ experience of interior design to renovate her flat’s décor, which included installing double-glazed windows, she resented her neighbor, Mrs Beech of number four, who staunchly refused to alter the character of the Old Stone House by keeping the original, ill-fitting windows. Therefore, every windy day and, worse, every stormy night, a ceaseless rattling echoed throughout the building.

Though Milly adored the soft breezes of Shanklin summers, she was not a big fan of dreary English winters. Given she was travelling the road to seventy years of age, she resented being holed up in her flat for several months every year while waiting for spring to arrive; a waste of what short time she had left that could otherwise be spent actively socializing outdoors.

Checking the balcony door one last time, she finished her hot chocolate and climbed into bed. Snuggling into the covers, she held her hot water bottle close. To drown out the clattering of Mrs Beech’s windows, she did what most people would do; she sunk her head deep into her pillow, pulled it tight around her ears, and thought happy thoughts. One of those thoughts was the upcoming fundraising gala she was soon to attend…..

A simple gala, you might say, but you would be wrong! Discover the ups and downs and insides and outs, including embezzling and murder during another Milly Mullan adventure in The Hint of Spring.

A Hint of Spring is the fourth in the Under the Shanklin sky English seaside series by Barbara Studham. . Milly is a retiree from London England who moves to Shanklin on the Isle of Wight. Soon after moving, she is caught up in the locals’ activity and finds herself sleuthing her way through her golden years by the sea. Available from AMAZON.

A Hint of Spring, by Barbara Studham. Part of the Under The Shanklin Sky series. Available from Amazon.

A Hint of Spring is the fourth in the Under the Shanklin Sky fiction series, and offers Milly Mullan a new adventure. Rain, hail, sleet, gale; the petulant, English winter reluctantly gives way to spring by mercilessly battering the town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. Conversely, spring ushers in a new adventure for retiree, Milly Mullan, resident of flat number 6 in the Old Stone House situated on Hope Beach. Anticipating an upcoming fundraising gala, she is shocked to discover the host, Evelyn Scott, is embezzling funds from its charitable agency: Triple-F. With little evidence, Milly drags her obnoxious daughter, Rosie, into the fray who witnesses Evelyn Scott’s murder and joins the list of suspects, all of whom hated Evelyn. For a while, Milly is at a loss as to whodunit. Was it Crystal, the receptionist at Triple-F, who holds a long-standing grudge against Evelyn; or, perhaps Evelyn’s love affair, married man, Fred Barker-Ford, of Barker-Ford dog foods, and suspected collaborator in crime. Or, was the killer Tom Fielding, a local health and fitness business owner who, for personal reasons, detests Evelyn Scott. As Milly delves deeper into the case, she inadvertently saves scores of seniors from Evelyn’s scheming and their financial ruin. Given that, and her eventual solving of Evelyn Scott’s murder, she is abruptly elevated to bees’ knees status in the eyes of Shanklin’s locals.


Barbara Studham’s bio.

For over twenty years, Barbara Studham has parented grandchildren diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, describe her challenges during their toddler years and teens. She has also written fiction, including a six-book series titled, Under The Shanklin Sky, set in the seaside town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. She is currently creating a children’s FASD picture book series Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now available is the first two in the series titled THE SCHOOL DAY, and, FIDGET!

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

 

veggie dish www.barbarastudham.com


Leave a comment

A Veggie Dish and a Crazy Lady, by Barbara Studham

Food and Fiction!

Ingredients for veggie dish www.barbarastudham.com

Ingredients for veggie dish

Watching documentaries on the abuse of farm animals wrenched my heart. Now I am doing my bit to cut down on meat by substituting entrees with vegetable dishes. Not an easy decision as I had no recipes for meatless dishes but, after scouring the Internet, it appears I now have access to thousands.

 

Meatless Recipe.

veggie dish www.barbarastudham.com

veggie dish

Check out the photo of my meatless pasta meal I cooked with a few ingredients. I changed the recipe to suit my taste, but it consists of lots of veggies, pasta, pasta sauce, and herbs. It is not over spicy and, therefore, a great introduction to veggie meals for children. Call me crazy, if you will, but I am pleased to find a way to do a bit toward my bit in reducing the suffering of animals.

A Veggie Dish and a Crazy Lady.

Not My Type, by Barbara Studham www.barbarastudham.com

Not My Type, by Barbara Studham

Another woman you might call crazy is Lisa Paige: the main character in my ebook titled Not My Type. A perfect addition to your meatless meal, and downloaded in minutes from AMAZON, Not My Type adds just the right amount of spice to your meal. You might be surprised to learn that the story for Not My Type arose out of a conversation between a friend and I. Short and sweet, this is how it went.

“For the life of me I can’t write fiction,” my friend said, shaking her head in disappointment. “Non-fiction I can, fiction never.”

“Instead of overthinking the process,” I suggested. “Why not sit quietly at your laptop and let the characters come to you.”

While she overthought my advice, I imagined that scenario actually happening. What if, while a writer meditated on a story, the characters literally appeared and wrote the book. Hence, Not My Type. Okay, I admit the story is as outlandish as my decision to become a vegetarian, but keep an open mind and try it. As food and fiction go so well together, you just might enjoy it. 

Not My Type book blurb.
Lisa Paige, is a respected non-fiction writer who envies the accolades bestowed upon her fiction-writing mother, Madge Paige. So much so that, while desperately trying her hand at fiction, writers’ block hits, and Lisa begins to hallucinate, causing fictional characters to come to life and visit her home. Frantically offering her bribes in return for inclusion in her book, the characters explain her refusal would result in their deletion within the fictional world. As characters compete for billing, murder and mayhem ensues, as each are in conflict and equally determined to be forefront in Lisa’s novel. But is there an alternate motive for their brawling? Does Lisa complete her work of fiction and find the fame she so desperately yearns? In Not My Type, discover how her fictional characters’ skirmishes bring a life-changing twist to Lisa’s future.

Well, there you have it: A Veggie Dish and a Crazy Lady, by Barbara Studham. Meatless dish recipes are found for free all over the Internet; Not My Type is available in ebook format from AMAZON for only $0.99 cents (usd). So treat yourself to FOOD and FICTION, by Barbara Studham.

Barbara Studham’s bio.
For over twenty years, Barbara Studham has parented grandchildren diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Her two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, describe her challenges during their toddler years and teens. She has also written fiction, including a six-book series titled, Under The Shanklin Sky, set in the seaside town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight. She is currently creating a children’s FASD picture book series Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Now available is the first in the series titled The School Day. The second in the series titled FIDGET! is soon to be released.
Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Twitter: @BarbaraStudham