About Me

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I am a 68-year-old gay disabled amateur part-time writer living in Slough, Berkshire UK. I have published around 50 articles in 20 leisure and lifestyle magazines. I live with a range of health issues including heart disease, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, atrial fibrillation and restless leg syndrome. (I'm working my way through the medical dictionary!). I'm a member of Slough Writer's Group which is interesting and informative. Latest News. 10th July 2023 Awarded 'The Sandy Lee-Guard Award for Endeavour' by the Slough Writers Group. 6th December 2023 Completed studying 'Writing for Magazines' with CityLit University. January 2nd 2024. Fell over in the lounge and fractured my left femur (whilst recovering from fracturing my right femur in July 2023). Recovery expected to take 6 - 8 months. May 2024. Completed studying ' National Centre for Writing' course 'Creative Non-Fiction - An Introduction'. You can see the articles that have been published in the 'LATEST WORK' section of my website.

Sunday 30 October 2022

Sunday 30 October

 I've been busy this morning with my head buried in my laptop. I've written about 1,500 words today and now packing it in for the day.

Yesterday, I tweaked my website (I think I mentioned yesterday). I've not done my ten minutes 'freewriting' yet today. Want to try freewriting? Go to http://richardhill.co.uk/freewriter/index.html

I should really have a shave, but am leaving it until tomorrow so that I'm clean-shaven for Slough Writers Group tomorrow. I've also got the 'Hershel's Writing Circle' on Tuesday night where I'm running a workshop on 'Writing for Magazines'. Busy couple of days! Want to read my mini-website on 'Writing for Magazines'? Go to http://www.sloughwriter.co.uk/

 That's all for now.


This evening. I've received this email from my OU tutor about my 'freewriter' web page:-

This is so lovely, Richard! You are a very proactive practitioner. I really enjoyed today's freewrite. Isn't it interesting how that whole memory cropped up, of running to church at your mum's pace? I found it rather poignant.

I am going to use the rainforest soundtrack for my morning freewrite in future: it will be interesting to see how that affects my chilly Pennine scribblings in my shed: perhaps some warmer imagery might stroll onto the page!

Do please consider the materials at the end of AXS001, about taking your creative writing further with the OU.

Thanks and best wishes,

Dr Christy Ducker
AL: A215, A111
Study Advisor: AXS001 
Royal Literary Fund Fellow
I'm quite pleased with that.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Saturday 29th October

 Once again, feeling like c**p this morning, but better later. Spent the afternoon revising and uploading web pages on my website http://www.richardhill.co.uk .

I'm looking for volunteers to read and record some of my poems. If interested, drop me an email at sloughwriter@gmail.com

All for now. 

Friday 28 October 2022

Friday 28th Oct


I've had a very bad morning this morning but am beginning to feel better now. I've worked out the html coding to put audio on my website. I've recorded a "Sorry, this poem hasn't been recorded yet." to put and play next to the poems that aren't ready yet. I've tried to record a poem myself, but it sounds terrible. I'm slurring my words (as I often do when unwell). So, I've put an 'appeal' on the 'Slough Writers Social' page asking if anyone would like to record one or more of my poems for me. They can do it from home and save it as an mp3 file which they can email to me.

I've also found a 10 minute recording of waves crashing on a pebble beach. This will go somewhere on my 'freewriting' page so that anyone wants to try freewriting for themselves. It will act as a timer.

Got a copy of 'The Sun' newspaper for the horoscope section. Have converted the required piece into a pdf file.

That's all for now.

Thursday 27 October 2022

Thursday 27 Oct

 I wasn't feeling too well this morning. Brighter late morning. I filed most of my paperwork.

This afternoon, I previewed next weeks studies.

Now, I'm simply playing around on my Chromebook while listening to Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds'. You can watch and listen too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6FOJ2z3FL0

I must write more poetry and short stories. I'll make a start this afternoon.

Watch this space!


This afternoon, I've been working out how to put audio on my website. I want to record my poems and have an audio player next to each poem. The poems will be recorded as an mp3 file. I've found the HTML coding to put a player onto a web page. I needed an mp3 recording to play, so I downloaded the BBC News music. I've combined these and as an experiment have uploaded it onto my 'FREEWRITING' page. Clever, innit?! All that's left to do is to record the poems, upload them along with the poetry page! I'll try recording them tomorrow.

Wednesday 26 October 2022


 I've done as much as I can of my Open University course for a few days. This is what my next activity requires me to do:-

  1. If possible, put the passage aside for a few days before re-reading it.
  2. Identify any moments when you have explained your characters’ thoughts or feelings. Now replace most of these abstract thoughts or feelings with lines that show your characters’ reactions through their behaviour. 

So, I'm leaving it aside until tomorrow. I'll then carry on until the end of the week.

Yesterday, and today, I have, and will, work my way through the 'Writers & Artists Yearbook 2023' and the 'Writers Handbook 2023' to find possible markets and competitions for my poetry and fiction.

All for now.


It's early evening now. I had a rest this afternoon after submitting 8 poems to 3 magazines. I'm listening to/watching the concert version of 'Chess'. When that's finished, I'll probably watch the concert version of Jeff Wayne's 'War of the Worlds'.

I must get down and write some more poetry and short stories.

That's all for now.

Monday 24 October 2022

Weekend News

 It's Monday 24th October. I haven't posted anything over the past few days as I've been rather busy. I've been asked to give a workshop on 'Writing for Magazines' to the Hershel Arms writing group I recently started attending. The workshop will be based on my 'mini' website at www.sloughwriter.co.uk.

I've been doing some research for 'RESPECT', my autobiography. I've completed the prologue and first two chapters which you can read at www.respect.pink .

On Saturday, I began studying Week 4 of my OU short course 'Introduction to Creative Writing'. I'm now studying 'Fiction'.

Tonight at Slough Writers Group, we have a speaker via 'Zoom', which should be interesting.

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Wednesday 19th October

 Today, I've been working on uploading my 'freewriting' to my website. I've rewritten the html for the 'Other Stuff' page with a link to the new 'freewriting' page and have uploaded three days of 'freewriting' pdf's.

You can go directly to the 'FreeWriting' page by following this link: http://www.richardhill.co.uk/freewriter/

This afternoon, I'm going to add my 'Tom' short story to the 'Fiction' page.

Might report back later...

UPDATE 15:47

A short while ago, while I was putting Lottie's lead on in the hall, I fell over backwards and banged my head on the (hard) floor. The back of my head's  been bleeding and I have a stinking headache at the front and back of my head. Last time I did this I had a bleed on the brain and had to go into hospital for a few days. I hope it's not that bad this time.

UPDATE 20:10

Much better. Back to 'normal'!

Books I'm using:

Positively Productive Writerby Simon Whaley

The Creative Writing Student's Handbook - by Cathie Hartigan and Margaret James

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Tuesday 18 October

 Last Night

I went to Slough Writers Group. Around 15 other members present. Lee gave a presentation on 'Feedback' and looked at how a writer should deal with praise, criticism, rejection etc. I didn't stay for the informal chat afterwards.


Spent the morning doing some work on Week 3 of my OU 'Introduction to Creative Writing' course. Working on 'Characterisation' finishing the week off at 'Activity 11: brainstorming your character'.

Last night, Simon told me that he thought I was doing too much studying (and writing). He suggests that it might make me unwell, both physical and emotionally. 

This Evening

Tonight it's the 'Innerverse' Writing Group in Slough (Hershel Arms). We'll be doing 10 minutes of 'freewriting' and then reading out our 750 word short story.

Monday 17 October 2022

Technology Troubles

Nightmare morning!

For some reason, at some point earlier, I lost the ability to print wirelessly from my laptop. I tried everything on the printer, pressed every button and combinations thereof! It worked from my PC and printing its' own test page. I even turned off the power for a couple of minutes - but still nothing. I couldn't see any printer settings on the laptop. So I did what I should have done earlier - turned the laptop off for a while and turned it back on again. It worked!

I need to lie down!

Sunday 16 October 2022

Announcing 'National Novel Writing Month'

 Good morning Folks!

It's 04.17 and I can't sleep. My RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) is playing up. It's not so bad whilst I'm sitting up.

Tonight, at Slough Writers we have a workshop - 'Who Knows Best' hosted by Lee. I'm not sure what this is about, but I'm interested to find out.

During 'New Markets' or perhaps 'A.O.B.' I'll tell the group that November is 'National Novel Writing Month' and will hand out the flyers I've made a copy of which I'm going to try and post below! Here goes:-

National Novel Writing Month

November 2022




National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.

NaNoWriMo is an international non-profit organisation that believes in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community, and encouragement to help people use their voices, achieve creative goals, and build new worlds—on and off the page.

NaNoWriMo Berkshire. We've seen a lot of change since the 7th Century, but we've always stood at the crossroads of art, literature, technology, and biscuits. From Hungerford to Slough and all in-between, welcome! Write well, respect all, and keep smiling!

1st November marks the start of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a competition where hundreds of thousands of authors race against the clock to complete a 50,000-word draft in just 30 days.

Although the project began in the United States, NaNoWriMo is an international nonprofit with participants around the world. You’re also welcome to write in the language you’re most comfortable with

Equal parts rewarding and challenging, NaNoWriMo is a perfect way to jump start your writing habit and complete your first draft. To help intrepid writers on this creative journey, author-based community Reedsy has announced Vancouver-based writer Shaelin Bishop and Jenn Gott, who’s author of a six-part epic fantasy series The Beacon Campaigns, and an open-ended superheroes series called Hopefuls, will be hosting host NaNoWriMo writing events every Thursday in November.

In their YouTube live streams, they will guide prospective writers through a series of writing sprints, giving you a boost of productivity and the opportunity to keep yourself accountable by sharing your progress with other writers.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Saturday 15 October

 I've started on the 'fiction' section of my OU course. I've been doing 'characterisation' of my character 'Spencer'.

I've made a list of his details:

Personal Details

  • Born: Sunday 02 June 2002 - Age: 20 years - Star sign: Gemini

  • Gender: Male - Sexuality: Straight

  • Place of birth: Landor Road, Stockwell, London SW9

  • Place of residence: Langley, Slough SL3

  • Occupation: Unemployed (Beggar)

  • Income: £15,410 a year (in benefits)

  • Pets: Jack Russell Terrier - ‘Poppy’


  • Height: 6’ (72”) 1.83 m - Weight: 11st 6lbs (160 lbs) 72.57 kgs 

  • Eye Colour: Brown.

  • Skin Tone: Medium.

  • Glasses/Contact Lenses: Glasses for watching television.

  • Prominent Features: Tattoo of old girlfriends name on inner forearm (Sally).

  • Distinguishing Marks/Scars: Scar and stitchmarks on left shin (Football Injury). 

  • Hairstyle/Colour: ‘Fade’ (short haircut that is tapered down to the skin on the sides and back.) Black hair.

  • Style of dress: Jeans · Branded Shirts · Nike Trainers · Bomber Jacket. 

  • Jewellery: Sun Rise Dial ring on right hand index finger. Engraved Pattern Hoop Earring in lobe of left ear

  • Health Conditions / Disabilities. Asthma / Slight limp in left leg (Football injury)


  • Parents: Father (Andrew): Electrician - Mother (Lynne): Health Centre Receptionist.

  • Siblings: Older Brother (Mark).: Younger Sister (Alison).

  • Best Friend: Steve Edmonds.

  • Other Close Friends: None.

  • Partner: Ann (Live-in girlfriend).

  • Enemies: Paul Thompson (Loan Shark). Gary (Dealer).


  • Catchphrases: ‘Geezer’ & ‘Bruv’

  • Pessimist.

  • Introverted.

  • Conflict avoider (except when drunk).

  • Detailed Personality Description: Likes to be liked. Dislikes confrontation even with his girlfriend Annette (except when pissed). ‘Confident’ when drunk. ‘Soppy’ and ‘Slushy’ when high. 

Traits and Interests.

  • Hobbies: Football (But doesn’t have mates to play with). Tropical fish aquarium.

  • Football: Supports Arsenal (The Gunners).

  • Dislikes begging but needs must.

  • Can’t cope with job interviews.

  • Sometimes shoplifts for alcohol.

Favourite Music

  • I'm Good (Blue) David Guetta, Bebe Rexha.

  • Left and Right (Feat. Jung Kook of BTS)Charlie Puth.

  • Shivers Ed Sheeran.

  • Levitating Dua Lipa.

  • Unholy (feat. Kim Petras) Sam Smith.

  • 2 Be Loved (Am I Ready) Lizzo.

  • The Motto TiĆ«sto, Ava Max.

 Favourite TV Programmes

  • Sex and the City

  • Friends

  • New Girl

  • The Carrie Diaries

  • The Big Bang Theory

  • 90210

  • The O.C.

  • 2 Broke Girls

  • RuPaul's Drag Race UK


  • Frightened of ‘medical’ needles.

  • Doesn’t drive.

  • Enjoys swimming but hasn’t been for years.

  • Sometimes unfaithful to his partner. Casual sex with other women.

  • Has unprotected sex most of the time.

  • Sometimes begs with ‘Poppy’ his J.R.T.

  • Has smartphone but doesn’t let anyone see it when begging.

  • Wears multiple layers of clothing for begging when it’s cold.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Thursday 13th October (Afternoon)

Today, I've been previewing Week 3 of my OU course 'Building Characters'.

I really want to build the character of a lad that sits begging outside my local co-op.

This is an image I got off the net that closely resembles him and that I'll use to create a 'spidergram'. I have loads of questions about him that would enable me to build a 'character profile' of him.

I wrote a poem about him (before I began this course). Here it is :-

Any spare change please?

A young man begs alongside the supermarket doorway.

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

Some fumble in their bags and rags and hand him some small change.

Who is he? Who is his father, mother, sister, brother?

He smiles with glistening, sparkling yet distant eyes.

A handsome young man, reasonably dressed.

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

One stops and declares “No cash, but anyway, you’re nowt but trash”.

Each day got through, means there’s more too,

Of beggars like this who ask for what we’ve earned.

But still this young man holds out his hand.

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

Whatever strife has shaped this life. What has he seen of pleasure and pain?

His politeness and pleading gives more meaning.

To this haunting, fascinating yarn.

He sits in weather fit for a penguin.

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

A difficult time he says he’ll be fine, despite interest rates arising.

Disturbing sight, but what of night. Where does he go to sleep?

Behind closed doors, he may be back where he started.

But what of the money he has raised?

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

Will he use it for food if he’s in the mood, or…

Maybe a smoke, or is this a joke, preceding something stronger.

He may have ambition, but what’s his position?

And one hands a sandwich to him.

“Got any spare change please?” he asks.

With regard to, it’s simply hard to give money you might spend on coke.

What you need is food, you’re not healthy dude. And so she went on her way.

The food set aside, hand open, he repeats his pleading mantra.

In the early evening, he’s nowhere to be seen. The echoes…

“Got any spare change please?”.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Wednesday's Ramblings


It's Wednesday evening. 21:59 

I haven't written anything for a couple of days. Although I shouldn't really, I've been taking a sneak look at the material for Week 3 of my OU course (Fiction: Creating Characters). I've become increasingly aware that I've not read anywhere enough fiction in my life. I read Enid Blyton as a young lad and then in my mid-teens I can remember reading a couple of books (fiction) about LSD. I'd like to read them again, but can't remember for the life of me what they were called!

I've written a 750 word piece for the 'Innerverse' writing group that I've started going to. It's about a 76 year old man living with dementia and his relationship with his daughter. I'll develop this into a longer 'short' story. You can see the 'spidergram' I created for it here: http://richardhill.co.uk/tomspidergram.pdf and the story is here: http://richardhill.co.uk/tom.pdf

Rob (Kibble) read out my short story 'Me and Leonard' on Monday evening. I suspect that many in the group may have thought that it was autobiographical, but it wasn't. See what you think: http://richardhill.co.uk/meandleonard.pdf

I've been listening to 'The Writing Game' and 'The Wench is Dead' on audiobooks. I prefer them to reading 'real' books. Is that lazy?

Anyway, that's all for tonight. Bedtime 22:19 Goodnight!