Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Resolutions & Builders' Tea

I received a text from my sister yesterday asking what resolutions I was going to make for 2010. I didn't have to give it much (any) thought, because they will be the same next year as they were this year and all to do with writing. I may add in the odd one about eating less chocolate, but know I won't keep it, so what's the point. (See how I quickly discounted that one?)

I do know that I'll be spending my time (when not with the family, or walking his Grumpiness) in the shed with a cup of tea by my side as I tap away at my shiny laptop in an effort to be as creative as my brain and determination can possibly make me.

Rob is a coffee drinker, but I drink copious cups of tea daily, and was thrilled to find out that I'd won six months supply of Builders' Tea. I can't wait to try it out.

There's a strange scratching/tapping sound coming from behind me. I'm going to have to go and investigate, but if I find something small and furry - that isn't the dog, or next-door's cat on a suicide mission (Grumps hates him) - you'll probably hear me scream from where you are.

PS, it was a mouse caught in a humane trap that Rob put there when he recently suspected we were being visited, but because it's behind boarding (like a false cupboard around the boiler) I didn't know anything about it. Panic calls have been made to Rob and wonderful step-son has now taken the poor mouse out to the field and let it go.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Christmas is nearly here and apart from the last few bits I need to wrap - I'm sure I've forgotten someone, I usually do - I'm almost there.

Every other year I cook lunch for approximately 17 people, this year though is my quiet year when my two youngsters enjoy Christmas lunch with their father and Rob's boys spend Christmas with their mum.

On Boxing Day mine will be back, Rob's youngest arrives (weather permitting) on 27th and his oldest soon after, so it will be back to a pretty full house once more with Divadog yapping at their heels, chasing them up the stairs and generally getting on their nerves.
Talking of the grump, here's a picture of him watching the Strictly Finale last Saturday. You see, he's just as addicted to it as I am, well almost.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Nearly Christmas

Here's a picture of the wreath on my front door. It's actually made up from two old ones, but looks rather fetching I think.

We've had snow showers on and off for the past three days (coming up from France I think) and it looks lovely, though more green than white now that the sun has been shining today.

Yesterday driving to the hairdressers was nervewracking (one snowflake and everyone goes in to panic mode over here), people were phoning and cancelling every few minutes, but nothing can hold me back from my regular 'blonding' appointments. Even the dog was clipped, but we shan't focus on that as every time he sees me glancing at him he immediately starts shivering. I would worry, but he stops when he thinks I'm not looking. Such a diva.

The children are at their fathers this weekend and the husband (so wonderful) has just phoned asking me what I want for supper. He's a great cook and so I know that whilst I'm sitting in front of the fire with a glass of something cool in my hand, gazing trancelike at Strictly Come Dancing Finals, he'll be cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Bliss.

Right, I suppose I should go and finish working on my damn synopsis because much as I may wish it, the words won't magic themselves on to the page and write itself for me.

Monday, 14 December 2009

RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010

The Romantic Novelist's Association have announced their longlist for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2010 with the winner being awarded this beautiful trophy.

The complete longlist are as follows:

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison - Alma Books
Passion by Louise Bagshawe - Headline Review
Beachcombing by Maggie Dana - Pan Macmillan
Fairytale of New York by Miranda Dickinson - Avon (Harper Collins)
Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon - Hodder & Stoughton
A Single to Rome by Sarah Duncan - Headline Review
A Mother's Hope by Katie Flynn - Arrow (Random Hse)
A Glimpse at Happiness by Jean Fullerton - Orion
10 Reasons Not to Fall in Love by Linda Green - Headline Review
Marriage and Other Games by Veronica Henry - Orion
The Glass Painter's Daughter by Rachel Hore - Simon & Schuster
It's the Little Things by Erica James - Orion
I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk - Harper
The Heart of the Night by Judith Lennox - Headline Review
The Italian Matchmaker by Santa Montefiore - Hodder & Stoughton
The Summer House by Mary Nichols - Allison & Busby
One Thing Led to Another by Katy Regan - Harper
The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks - Little Brown (Sphere)
Last Christmas by Julia Williams - Avon (Harper Collins)
The Hidden Dance by Susan Wooldridge - Allison & Busby

The shortlist of six novels will be announced on 11 February 2010 with the winner being announced at the Award Luncheon at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington on Tuesday, March 16th 2010.

So, if you're trying to think of a good book to add to your TBR pile, how about one or more of the above. I know I've added a few to my wish list.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Coming Home, More Shopping & Pukka Pads

I'm so excited, the happy wanderer - aka J - returns tonight from his first term at uni and I can't wait to see him. He hasn't been home for 12 weeks and although I'm used to my two travelling without me with their father, the longest I haven't seen him until now was five weeks and that was bad enough. So, his bed is made up, favourite food being prepared and I'm about to go shopping (well, after I've walked his grumpiness on the beach) and fill up the fridge and cupboards with all the things he loves to eat.

Yesterday I fought through the hoards of Christmas shoppers to WHSmith and bought a new Pukka Pad, which means that I'm about to start my next book. Now, I know that it's all well and good writing these damn novels - this will be #6 - but surely the point of writing books is to submit them in an attempt at getting published. I have promised myself that I will do this, but when do you know if your work is good enough to submit? It's scary stuff. I think for Christmas I should be asking Santa to bring me a hefty dose of self-confidence.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Parties, Decorating & Loft Stairs

Cally Taylor is having a book launch party today for her brilliant book, Heaven Can Wait, and unfortunately much as I had hoped to be there, I won't be able to go (flights/hotel bookings) so will miss all the fun (sulk). I will, however, be attending a friend's 50th birthday party tonight, Happy Birthday Abbey, and hope that by then I'll feel and look rather more acceptable than I do now.

Ours is not a festive house at the moment, with S full of cold and having been kept awake last night with her constant coughing - this is not the happiest of teenagers. R is upstairs in bed - having already been to work - as I think I've generously (!) passed on to him what I've been suffering from for the past week.

I still need to get the Christmas decorations down from the loft though, but remembering Heaven Can Wait's fiestly heroine, Lucy Brown and what happened to her when attempting to retrieve something from the loft, I'm going to take it easy.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December Already?

Oh no, it's nearly that time again. I can't believe it's only 24 days until Christmas Day and 20 shopping days left. Groan.

I haven't started shopping, in fact I've only got a vague idea (an understatement if ever there was one) what I'm going to buy people.

As far as my writing is concerned I have detailed lists of what I'm hoping to achieve including writing/editing a few short stories for submission to magazines and a few competitions (well, one can only give it a try), sending out HH&S into the big scary world out there, and plotting and researching for the book I'm going to start writing on 1st January, as well as piles of books I want to read in the next few weeks.

Now, if only I can muster up the same sort of enthusiasm for Christmas, I'd soon be sorted.