Flying Ducks

Enjoyed a most inspiring meeting at the Smiths Arms, Beckwithshaw, near Harrogate, with the Flying Ducks. We’re a group of writers who have been meeting for at least 15 years, supporting each other through the ups and downs in the publishing world. Whether it’s advising a new writer what to do about a rejection, or an established writer seeking information on research, promotion or self-publishing, this is the place where one can be sure of getting the right kind of help. It’s a great resource and support group.

On this occasion inspiration was the theme of the meeting, and we heard all about the spark that had inflamed the idea for a book, quotes that kept people going through the tough times, must-buy books to turn to when needed. It was all fascinating and most useful.

And of course we were able to share our latest news, whether it was a new release or new contract, we could all join in the celebration. Ken McCoy was actually celebrating publication that day of his new saga Perseverance Street. Well done, Ken! Leah Fleming told us of the number of German copies of The Captain’s Daughter that had dropped through her door because it went to 9 reprints. Brilliant! Julia Stagg was celebrating her new book The French Postmistress, which has a lovely cover. And these were just a few of the success stories.

Here we all are, about to be served lunch, in a higgly-piggly collection of tables in an attempt to fit us all in. A few are out of camera shot, unfortunately.

And here is the little poem I offered which had been my own inspiration when first starting out back in the early 80s.

I will succeed I simply cannot fail.
The only obstacle is doubt.
There’s not a hill I cannot scale
Once fear is put to rout.
Don’t talk defeat, don’t think defeat,
The word will rob you of your strength.
I will succeed, this phrase repeat
Throughout the journey’s length.

The moment that ‘I can’t ‘ is said,
You slam a door right in your face.
Why not exclaim ‘I will’ instead,
Half won then is the race.
You close the door to your success
By entertaining one small fear.
Think happiness, talk happiness
Watch joy then coming near.



  1. What a truly inspirational poem, Freda. I just wish I could have been at the meeting. I missed you all!

  2. A very inspirational poem. Glad you all had a great time.