The story I sent to Lorraine Mace was not my usual village tale but a historical novel, or at least the start of it and,as expected, it had holes in it. Lorraine asked questions about things that seemed obvious to me but before I got depressed or annoyed, I saw the wind blowing the trees outside. The trunk of the older trees stood solid but the twigs and leaves were being blown about just the same. The trunk of the young birch was bent over but not breaking and I thought that’s how I must treat criticism; I must change and modify if I want to get on in this writing business. Lorraine always suggests thinking it over before changing a story and even in the few days I’ve had her comments, I’ve realised, unusual for me, I’m cramming too many ideas into too short a space and need to loosen up and make the historical points about how Scottish profits were invested elsewhere and the Government’s involvement in the 1820 uprising in Scotland, part of the tale, not background issues. It makes it all more complex to write but what a challenge! I’ll go back to my short stories and my villages, Oakhaven and Cairndhu, for a bit as I work out a new approach to 1820.