The Right (Write) Angels

Angels come in many guises, and they tread so gently you might not recognise one until something prompts you to stop for a second and just think…

It’s been a challenging few weeks. Losing a lifelong friend, and shortly afterwards a lovely client; being dizzy more often than not; having only enough money to choose between the bus fare and a light bulb. And life’s not a novel, you can’t just play God and change the plot to a happy ever after!

With a cosmic smirk, the boiler then broke. It didn’t only break down, it was deemed unsafe and was switched off forever. Now, I can wash in cold water in a big bucket, but that’s in Bangladesh. Here it’s minus 1 inside and out, and the biggest receptacle I have is a cake-mixing bowl.

Okay, okay, even the patient amongst you are asking what on earth has any of this got to do with writing? Bear with me because the point is, that it, er, hasn’t. (But hang on for the angels).

Writing, in fact, was very much limited to To Do/What Shall I Do? lists, whilst I tried to cobble together enough money – legally and ethically – to pay a decent gas engineer who wouldn’t scare me*, to install a new boiler. Was this finally the tipping point at which my so-called writing career would have to make way for something more practical with a regular income?

This is where the angels float in.

In January, I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Denise Ersahali Erguler, author of the children’s series, Shifting Jack, and the adult novel, Essence. We were still editing her work in progress, and Denise never lost her talent or her humour. Continuing to work alone on ‘Jack’ I could hear her voice keeping me on track.

As I finished, I received an email from a stranger. She had been reading one of Denise’s earlier books, really enjoyed it, saw my name in the acknowledgements and wondered if I could do an immediate editing job on her own novel. I would earn enough for my boiler deposit.

Finding the gas engineer was a Google maze, and there, I got really lucky. Fodil arrived on time, with a smile, endless patience, and had it all sorted out with such kindness, skill and grace that I never knew having a boiler installed could be such fun! And, he told me it was great I knew nothing about boilers etc etc or he’d be out of a job, and by the way, he knew nothing about writing, so we were evens. Suddenly, I felt great. And warm.

So, the reason for such self-indulgent rambling? Well, WriteRight and the writing career lives on for another day for which I’m deeply grateful. It’s also a reminder for me that there are always positives in a trying situation. Most importantly, it’s to acknowledge that people come in and out of our lives at different times and for different reasons. We don’t know how long they’ll stay but their effects are important – and we probably don’t tell them often enough.

So, Denise and Fodil, this is dedicated to you; my WriteRight angels. I’ll do my best to pay it forward!

Anne x

angel shadow on grass

*Until now, and the advent of my angel, all gas/electricity/builder/plumber-type people have scared me. Not because they are scary people per se but because I’m in awe of their skills and I can’t answer their simplest questions about the simplest appliances. I can see in their eyes it’s not just said appliances they want to deem unsafe, it’s me.

Find out more about Denise’s books here: and

And for excellent heating engineers and plumbers, here:


This Editing Thing
Second Life for Bengali Wife


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Saturday, 27 November 2021

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