Friday, 29 August 2008

Happy Birthday & the Lovely Christina Jones

Look what I received in the post earlier today. My gorgeous, talented friend, Christina Jones has generously sent me a copy of her latest wonderful book, Happy Birthday, with the most delicious cover I think I've ever seen. Isn't it glorious?

I've thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of Christina's books and was so excited when I opened the package to see this beautiful book that I think S-S#4 wondered what had happened. I'm going to dinner at a friend's house tonight and a small group of girlfriends are being treated to lobster and pink bubbles. I've been so looking forward to it, I just wish now that I could take the book along with me, as I know that as soon as I open it, I won't want to put it down.

I was going to tell you about my morning, but I'm now off to make a cup of tea and settle down to read, Happy Birthday. I can't wait, it's just the thing I need to cheer me up before having to return to work on Monday.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. X

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Disraeli Avenue & the Jersey Live Festival

The lovely Caroline Smailes has her novella, Disraeli Avenue, available to pre-order. There are a limited edition of 500 hardback books, which will all be signed and numbered and the pre-order will be available direct from bluechrome at only £10 and should arrive before Christmas, being dispatched on 1st December 08.

All profits from the sale of Disraeli Avenue will go to One in Four, the charity run for and by people who have experienced sexual abuse. So if you want to receive one of the limited editions before the official release in January, go here to Caroline's blog where you can immediately pre-order your copy. I've pre-ordered mine and can't wait to receive it.

This weekend sees the Jersey Live Festival 2008, where people who live in Trinity will no doubt see youngsters, and the not so young, make their way to enjoy the music over Saturday and Sunday. Edith Bowman (she of Radio One fame) said about the Jersey Live Festival, that it has "more pulling power than any other small festival".

So, whilst the youngsters are preparing for their weekend of sunshine (apparently the forecast is 27 degrees on Saturday & 21 degrees on Sunday) & music (definately), I shall be tucked away in the shed, trying to figure out how to make HH&S the best read it can be. I've not worked out a few bits yet and need to get a move on as I'm back to work (nooooooooooooooo) on Monday.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Happy Drizzly Bank Holiday Monday

So much for that great weather on Saturday, it lasted about two hours. Now, having just walked the dog on the beach through fine drizzle, so typical of our Bank Holiday weather, I now see that the sun is trying to break through.

The plus side to having the first week of my holiday with pretty non-descript weather is that I'm now over a third of the way through novel #4. I'm also working on the amendments to my NWS submission. It's always so much easier to get on with it when the weather is dismal and no one else in the family feels like going out either.

The 'almost there' part of my report requires quite a bit of thinking and work. My reader also suggested that:
- I remove two minor characters - Still to do, but working on it.
- Remove one chapter as it doesn't really move the story forward - Done.
- Make various small corrections - Done.
- There is a part of the book where the protagonist finds out something about the hero - I need to tweak this a bit. I'm thinking this through, but not quite there with it yet.

I've re-read the report and have to admit that I do agree with everything that's in it. It's wonderful to have something so detailed and useful, especially as I seem to be going in the right direction. Quelle relief.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Jersey Boys & Sunshine

I feel rather bad that whenever I post about the splendour that is The Tudors, I only ever seem to mention Jonathan Rhys Meyers, when there is a perfectly handsome Jersey boy playing his best friend, Charles Brandon.

So, to make amends, here is a photo of Henry Cavill, the new face of Dunhill, rather handsome don't you think?

The weather for my first week off work has been blustery and certainly not warm enough for me to take to my sunlounger, however, today the sun reappeared and looks like it will be warming up in time for me to turn relaxation into an art form and take to my bed, albeit the one outside, armed with several books, sunglasses and the odd glass of something tasty. Here's hoping.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Over You & The Brave Little Soldier

As soon as I finish reading Katie Fforde's, Wedding Season (loving it), I'm going to start reading Over You, by Lucy Diamond. I've been looking forward to reading this for a while and love nothing better than having my next book lined up to read whilst still enjoying one. It give me a strangely secure feeling (yes, I know I'm a little odd).

My brave little soldier is back home with me and sitting quietly having had her tooth extracted this morning. She wasn't at all nervous and thankfully enjoyed the song playing in the background, although I was too worried to hear it properly so can't tell you what it was. The only slight concern was when the nurse had to go and get bigger and then bigger plier things for the rather handsome dentist to pull the tooth out with.

S is now watching tv and waiting for the numbness to wear off. She was thrilled to be able to keep her tooth, and the lovely, bubbly nurse even put it in a little cushioned box and passed it to me. Personally, I wasn't that enamoured at being handed this great molar, but S is duly proud of her trophy and once everything has healed, she'll have her train tracks fitted.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

NWS Report & 100 Words A Day

Today I received my RNA New Writers' Report in the post and can only be grateful to my Reader (no idea who it was) for the detailed comments, advice and encouragement.

I've read the report several times and have begun with the simpler corrections, repetition of words and quick amendments and when these are done I'll redraft the novel completely, taking into account the advice received. I've been advised to remove two of the smaller characters and can see why I this would be a good idea and rethink one or two things, but apparently, "I'm almost there."

I'm now over 30% of the way through S&S and am enjoying it much more than I was at the beginning. My problem will now be what to work on first, High Heels & Scandals or S&S? I love my hero in HH&S and will be thrilled to get back to him again. I've also received my next assignment and need to get a move on with that too.

Thankfully, I still have a week and a half of my holiday left and therefore more time than usual to spend writing. Unfortunately though, I seem to be getting through Midget Gems at a rate of knots, which is not at all good for my waistline. I should really find something with fewer calories to eat whilst working in the shed. I can't think of anything that will taste as good though.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Sicknote & a Quick Quiz

While I was out this morning R phoned to tell me that the dog wasn't at all well and that he'd booked an appointment with the vet. By the time I returned home, G was bouncing around as normal, nose wet once again and looking perfectly happy, so I cancelled the appointment. Half an hour later and he was lethargic, lying down, dry nosed and feeling thoroughly sorry for himself so we rebooked the appointment. One trip to the vet, a thermometer put in a place that made G's eyes widen and S-S#4 and S giggle and he was declared perfectly fine. He isn't on top form but is seemingly recovering from whatever ailed him.

So on that delightful note, here's a quick quiz. As you can see I'm Comic Sans. I'm not sure I appreciate being called a goofball or overwhelming! So, what font are you?

You Are Comic Sans

You are a nothing but a big goofball. You're quite playful and fun!

You're widely known for your zany personality and your vivacious attitude.

To say that you stand out in a crowd would be a definite understatement.

Remember that you are overwhelming at times and that people appreciate you best in small doses.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Revenge of the Poppies

R went to check on his beetroot/toms/whatever else is in the greenhouse and came back into the house saying, "Go and have a look at what I've found in the greenhouse." There was a gleam in his eyes so I thought it would be a cute little toad or something like that.

Poppies. They had sprung up so tall that they were reaching the glass roof as if to say to him, "Hah, can't get rid of us that easily." Naturally I had to take a photo.

I've received an assignment back from my tutor and now I'm going to send two pieces out to magazines and see how they do. I still have another one to come back and am working on the next one.

Today I've done quite well on the word count with S&S, mainly due to the fact that R, S and S-S#4 have been working on the garden. Yesterday they trimmed a large tree and today it was the sawing of logs, putting other bits through the mulcher and spreading it around the borders. When R commented on being tired, I said, "Me too."
"How can you be tired?" he asked. "You haven't done anything."
Bloomin' cheek. "I've been writing," I said.
Anyway, I haven't been completely useless, I've also managed to fit in cooking some beetroot and hanging out a couple of loads of washing.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Just Say Yes

I've just received my copy of Phillipa Ashley's latest book, Just Say Yes and can't wait to read it. Visit Phillipa's blog here to read all about her party to celebrate the launch of the book. I loved her previous books, Decent Exposure and Wish You Were Here and can heartily recommend them both.

Just Say Yes was in a box containing five or so other books and unfortunately, I was so busy watching something on tv that I didn't hear them being delivered. R did and came back into the room holding a box of goodies before him. "How many books do you need?" he asked looking rather perplexed. "I thought you weren't going to buy any more until you'd read some from those piles near the bedroom?" I did try and explain that I'm always reading and that those piles would probably never actually go down as every book I read is always replaced by another.

Took S to the dentist today. She has to have one tooth extracted next week and then train-tracks fitted on her lower teeth. I asked the dentist what she should expect. "We need to aneasthetise the area so she'll only need two injections in the gum. It'll only take half an hour."
"There you are," I said doing my best to look as confident as possible. "Nothing to worry about." She didn't look convinced.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Battle of Flowers & Summer Holidays

It's the Battle of Flowers today. To those who attend it's a festival of flower covered floats individually designed in vibrant colours and painstakingly build over several months. To others it's an afternoon off work and to the rest of us, it's sitting in traffic on the way to work as the floats are driven (soooo slowly) to the park to wait for the afternoon spectacular and then having to get home along different routes as the main road, Victoria Avenue, is closed for the parade. (I sound just like that old chap, what was his name? Arthur Askey? No that wasn't it. Mildew, or something I think his name was).

Each year they appoint a Miss Battle and she is escorted by a Mr Battle. Last year this was Kyran Bracken, whose parents live here and who is over in the island putting together a dancing on ice show (I think that's what it is). He's just finished one, which I gather was excellent. This year Mr Battle is Christopher Biggins.

I've finally broken up for 17 days off work and it's such a relief, especially as my computer at work crashed just before I left, so typical, but I wasn't going to worry about it. I asked someone to tell the ICT department and left pronto. I had a back and shoulder massage at lunchtime as the company are subsidising these, so I thought I would make the most of the offer and pretty glad I was too. Bliss.

I've actually managed to reach 25% of novel #4, this is mainly thanks to Helen's 100 words per day blog. So I'd better get off to the shed and think of a few more words to type up.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Missing Poppies & Lost Cars

R cooked a lovely meal last night that included some of our carrots from his vegetable patch. After supper, I gaily trotted out to do my 100 words per day in the shed but as I stepped out of the back door, I noticed something was missing. Yes, my damn poppies. His lordship in his wisdom had decided to dig them up and tried to tell me that they had finished blooming. Yeah, as if I can't tell the difference between one that has bloomed and one that hasn't.

I marched inside, "You've dug up my poppies."
"They were finished and anyway I needed to get to the carrots."
"But you've dug up my poppies," I said, not one to be distracted.
"What is the place called where they were growing?"
"A vegetable patch," I replied not feeling at all like Felicity Kendall.
"I don't care, you've still dug up my damn poppies." With that I flounced out to the shed, passed the bare patch of ground pictured above and consoled myself with a few midget gems.

That wasn't the only thing to go missing. After years of having my own parking space, I recently gave it up due to the unjustified expense of having it and the distance it was from our new offices. This is the second week that I've been using the public car park and as I wandered in a confused state around rows of cars after work, a colleague came up to me. "You alright?" she asked a big grin on her face.
"I can't remember where I parked the car."
"Debs, you big tick," she said (she's a lovely Irish girl) as she walked off giggling.

I'm reading, The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it. Ah well, better get on, words to type, books to read, children to feed, bare patches of ground to stare at.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Grumpy Smiles For The Camera

Look at his lordship's happy face. As you can tell, Grumpy was clipped today and right now he's sulking in his bed feeling utterly sorry for himself.

I'm sure he'll feel better tomorrow once he's over the trauma of being clipped, although it's hot today and supposed to cool down tomorrow, so probably not. He has had a run on the beach and perked up a bit when he ran into a rock pool, hence the wet beard. I think he could be smiling in the first photo, not sure though.

I sat up until the early hours making notes in a gorgeous pink Pukka pad for my next novel, which happens to be the prequel to the saga I wrote a couple of years ago. I've been desperately trying to work out whose story I wanted it to be and how I was going to go about it, but thankfully inspiration did finally spark something into my brain and I feel much happier with it. Mind you, I still have to get on with the one I'm working on now.

So I'm going to get in a couple of hours before the good programmes start on the tv (yes, of course, it's The Tudors) as I've been rather lax with my 100 words a day this week, what with one thing and another.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Happy Birthday, Non-fires & Retail Therapy

Happy Birthday to my gorgeous God-Mother. I don't normally mention everyone's birthdays but it is a significant one for her today, though I shan't say which. Suffice to say that she is one of life's true gems and great fun with it.

Today, just before lunchtime, there was an awful electrical burning smell coming from our Chairman's office. Now I'm four floors up and naturally it was raining for the first time in days, so determined to be prepared, I made sure my bag (not allowed to take them but I could have said I was off to lunch and hope that no-one noticed I'd already been) and my umbrella were to hand . After various checks, it transpired that it was nothing much at all and duly sorted out. I wasn't thrilled as despite the weather, I was rather looking forward to leaving early.

I've had a bit of a writing break this week and I think that focusing on other things, namely J, S and S-S#4, has helped give me a slam-dunkin' (no idea what that is and hope it isn't rude) idea and am back on track. I think this was helped by a little retail therapy (mental note to self: get to postman before R sees box of yet more books being delivered) and Series One of The Tudors. I have a box of Maltesers cooling in the fridge and as soon as I get a second, I'm going to slouch in front of the tv and feast my eyes on J Rhys-Meyers and my stomach on chocolate. Bliss.

Monday, 4 August 2008

It's Sunny So It Must Be Monday

This is a picture of the Divine Miss M who bravely stood her ground yesterday when a wacking great mastiff launched itself into her garden. Such a brave little thing, defending her territory like that, well done Miss M.

After spending a couple of hours at home, J left for work just before 6.30 on Friday and then, together with S, went to spend a weekend with their father (lousy timing but hey, that's life). He finally returned yesterday, after several hours at work and now I know that his favourite part of his trip (apart from meeting Paul O'Grady) was a trek on an elephant. He's lost about a stone in weight and when I said how unfair that was, he said that if I had eaten little but rice and fish for five weeks and walked miles carrying a load of equipment on my back then surely I would have done the same. I think I'll stick to the tried and tested mode of...I was going to say eating more and exercising less but I don't do that either. Oh well.

I'm having a bit of a 'woe is me' day today, writing-wise. I'm sure I'm missing something - a brilliant idea for a plot/inspiration for characters that grab you/any talent at all for this flippin' writing lark. Take no notice, I'll be back with my bum on my chair in the depths of the shed by tomorrow after I've given myself a talking to.

Friday, 1 August 2008

The Wanderer Has Returned

J has returned looking thinner and very tired. Unfortunately I thought he was back in the UK yesterday - my name is Debs, I am a berk and don't know how to read flight details - and therefore confirmed to his boss that he would indeed be fine to work for three hours this evening. Poor chap actually only arrived in London at 6am this morning and at home at around 2pm so is exhausted. He had a brilliant time though and even though he only took a disposable camera some of the other boys have taken photos and will download them for the rest of us to see.

The boys were told to take a notepad and pen for when they were away but the only thing written on J's pad is Paul O'Grady's autograph when he met him at Gatwick. Apparently he's really nice. He bought his sister a top and was amused that she didn't miss him at all. Little bag. It's good to have him back especially as I gather that one boy on a trek with the same company but in Africa rather than Asia, died last week. I think it was an accident in a river. J missed two smaller treks as he wasn't well but didn't tell me until now, he knows me well obviously.

I finished Broken by Daniel Clay earlier this morning and have to say that I was transfixed right up until the very last word. Literally. Brilliant book. I can't think of a single criticism. I'm now starting to read the very lovely Katie Fforde's, Wedding Season.

It's been a trying week in several respects and tonight I'm going to sit back, enjoy The Tudors and a large glass of chilled Mateus Rose. Ahhh. Thank heaven's it's the weekend.