Saturday 29 November 2008

Richard Armitage, Flu & Bright Ideas

Sorry about the gratuitous photo of Richard Armitage (looking rather divine, I think) but I thought I should tell you about a new five part series exploring the incredible impact that costume dramas have had on tv history over the past fifty years, called "The Story of the Costume Drama". It starts on Monday 1st December on ITV3 at 8pm and is on each evening this week. The third programme called "Affairs of the Heart" (on 3rd December) includes an interview with Richard (though apparently it's possible he might turn up in any of the other episodes). Thanks to Annette, I would have missed the first two episodes if she hadn't left her comment.

R is feeling much better - thanks to all of you who wished him well - and has generously passed his germs on to me. I shivered until 3.30am this morning before being able to get off to sleep, and for most of today, thought that I wouldn't be able to make it for dinner with 'les girls' tonight. However, never one to be put off by a bit of a shivery cold/cough, I've dosed myself up and am going to get going soon, leaving R with Grumpy to have charge of the remote control, for once.

I've been struggling with how to change the last few chapters of HH&S, as apparently most of the book was great, but the last 30 pages seriously let it down. I've been wracking my brains for a way to bring everything together, and wasn't getting very far for ages, then yesterday, it hit me (BAM!) I started writing notes, and now know where I'm going with it. The relief is great, I'm a happy bunny, and no cold (nor hangover, no doubt tomorrow) will dampen my mood. Have a great weekend.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Bubbles, Cake & Man Flu

After a bleak start to the week, I arrived at my desk yesterday to find these sitting waiting for me. It took a little prompting before I worked out that it was one year since our company moved to our new premises. In the past year, four companies have been brought together and although it's been stressful at times, we've all integrated rather well. I thought it was a lovely gesture to have these waiting on each member of staff's desk.

I've achieved very little on the writing front this week, though I have managed some research, and now that a big lunch that I was supposed to be going to on Saturday has been postponed, I should have more time for writing than I'd expected. Mind you, I'm out that evening for a girly get-together, which will entail bubbles, and a sore head for most of Sunday, if past experience is anything to go by.

It's poor R's turn to be ill now, and unfortunately for the rest of us, he's suffering from man-flu. To be honest, he really isn't well, and has a ghastly cough as well as all the other symptoms. I'm hoping he gets better very soon, for both our sakes :)

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Headaches, Hell & Parent's Evening

Well, after my earnest intentions to spend the weekend working on HH&S, I ended doing far less than I'd expected to. On Thursday, my head started pounding and my back hurt, it was worse by Friday and by Saturday, I felt like a cross between someone having gone several rounds with that Hatton chappy who was fighting the other night, and enduring a humdinger of a hangover. I did do some work on it, but not nearly enough, and even ended up sitting in front of the fire on Saturday, watching Henry V with Kenneth Branagh, and taking intermittent looks at Della Galton's wonderfully helpful book.

I felt fine on Monday morning - to typical of my timing - but the first two days of this week have been hellish. T, one of our hard-working filing team - said today, "It's watching you lot, that convinces me that I'd never want to do your job." She asked me how I was, and when I muttered, "I really hate my job." T replied: "That's what I love about you, Debs, your consistency." I obviously moan more than I'd realized.

Anyway, after a sleepless night (pretty much) last night, and waking up in a state, I've managed to sort out and courier out the documents that were stressing me out, and tonight, despite having to go to (yet another parent's evening), I'm in a jolly mood. Coming home to one of R's delicious chicken curry's has helped too.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Jeff Rivera, Protecting Your Work & Happy B/d

I recently won a book on Liane Spicer's wordtryst blog, by (the very handsome) Jeff Rivera called, Forever My Lady, which was, as you can imagine, very exciting. Today, I received my copy in the post, and would have started reading it immediately, if I hadn't just begun Just Say Yes, by Phillipa Ashley, and I adore Phillipa's books, so won't be able to put it down to start something else, but will be reading this soooo soon. So thank you Liane, very much, for my book.

If you've ever worried about protecting your work - and let's face it, who hasn't - Kaye Manro has an extremely helpful guest blogger today, Rhonda Dove, who knows all about this. Why not pop over and have a look.

It's my neice's third birthday today, she is a delight, and R & I will be going to her house to take her presents and wish her Happy Birthday. Here's a pic of G, she's such a cupcake, and adored by us all, and typical of all the women in my family, very strong-minded.

For the rest of the weekend - as I've worked out that it will probably be my only quiet weekend until the New Year (frightening thought) - I have decided (through necessity) that I have to put the WIP on the back-burner (I won't enjoy doing this as I'm loving writing it) and concentrate on finishing redrafting High Heels & Scandals, because I need to send it out to do the rounds.

I'm never going to get anywhere near my publishing goal, if I don't at least send the darn manuscripts out! So, having given myself a stern talking to, I've now prioritized - I don't know why this was so difficult, I do it all the flipping time at work - and will focus on this until I'm happy with it. Have a great weekend.

Thursday 20 November 2008

My Weekly & Memorable People

I'm in My Weekly this week (so exciting). I bought my copy, as usual, and as I flicked through the pages, I came to Page 43 and thought, 'I know her from somewhere", I then noticed the picture of my shed next to the one of the woman's face, and realized (duh) that it was me. Only I can recognize my shed, before a picture of me. There's also a photo of Grumpy, and one of me sitting in the shed (I didn't realize my paperwork was so untidy).

This week started off with tragic news of the death of the youngest Funeral Director in the Island, Alex de Gruchy. He was only in his mid-twenties, when the plane he was piloting on Sunday evening, crashed in the sea off the coast of France (something that happened to my father thirty years ago, but happily, he survived). This wonderful young man was in charge of my grandmother's funeral, four years ago (when he was only 21) he had such a presence and great dignity, especially for one so young, that I couldn't believe his young age.

There are people that make their mark on others lives, and he certainly made his. I can't imagine how many devastated families he helped by making the funeral of a loved one so special. My condolences go to his family and colleagues. He'll be sorely missed by so many in Jersey, but especially by them.

Tuesday 18 November 2008

17th Lancers, Mug of Tea, & Lovely Scarf

After spending six hours on Sunday desperately trying to find a photo of my great-grandfather, who was in the 17 Lancers, I needed a strong cup of tea, and a good sleep.

I've spent several years searching for a picture of him, but to no avail. He was in the Boer War, then India (where my grandmother was born), then in 1914 was deployed to the western front as part of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division, spending the following three years taking his turn in the trenches and at the end of the war was posted to Liege in Belgium and from there to Cologne.

It's so frustrating finding various pieces of information, but no photo. The reason the family don't have any, is because my great-grandmother burnt all his photos when he died! Why? Who knows. She could have kept one surely.

At work yesterday, I was told that my portfolio of clients was to be increased (today) from 39 to 69, however, I was soon cheered up when I arrived home, by finding a brown puffy envelope at home, containing my lovely scarf in various shades of green, from the very talented, and kind Yvonne. So thank you very much Yvonne, my scarf is much appreciated.

Right, I'd better go and save the supper from burning. Have just gone to get sweet corn from the freezer in the garage, and a humumgous great black spider climbed up the side, so no veg for them then! EUGH!

Sunday 16 November 2008

Poppy, Bubblecow & Christmas Presents

I couldn't believe it when I found this in the garden earlier today, doesn't it realize it's mid-November? So pretty though and cheerful in a border with little other colour on display.

Thank you to everyone who wished S a Happy Birthday. I'm relieved to report that the sleepover went well. I can't believe how much these (skinny) teenage girls can eat.

They came home by bus, stuffed their faced with various nibbles that I'd bought and several cartons of fruit juice, changed, ate three courses at Pizza Express in St Brelade's Bay (my sister, Rach and I sat well away on a table of our own, which was great fun), then we came home and they ate more food, and settled down for the night. Well, they were up half the night, of course, but all enjoyed it.

I haven't done nearly as much writing as I'd like to this weekend, but I have entered a brilliant competition on Caroline's site for a 'free in-depth edit and report' at Bubblecow, well worth having a look.

If you're looking for ideas for Christmas presents, or simply want to spoil yourself - like me - then why not buy a copy of DJ Kirkby 'From Zaftig to Aspie'. You can look here to read more about this fascinating book. DJ writes about, "Growing up in Canada during the 60’s and 70’s, with a hippie mother and an undiagnosed Autistic spectrum 'disability'". Somehow I know this is going to be a fascinating read.

Friday 14 November 2008

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday & More Books

It's S's 14th birthday today, and I can't believe that this longed for child that I never thought I'd be lucky enough to have, has grown up to be so lovely, and tall! Happy Birthday, S x

I have to admit that I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning, when her friends (who will be out for a meal with her tonight, then home for a sleepover) will have been collected, and I can start restoring the house to it's former state.

My second, Happy Birthday, is for Christina Jones' fab book, which as you probably know, I loved.

This week saw Happy Birthday's launch party, and if you'd like to read Christina's hilarious post about how her day went and see photos, please go here to her blog. It sounds like a truly fun day all round.

My copy of Della Galton's, How To Write & Sell Short Stories, arrived the other day. I've started reading it, and just hope that everything, or at least, something, registers in my brain. I need all the help I can get when writing short stories (if my attempts for Slingink are anything to go by).

I've read the blurb on Christmas Wishes, Mistletoe Kisses by the lovely Fiona Harper - poor thing was at my first RNA Awards Lunch a couple of years ago, and kindly chatted to me, which was such a relief as I had no idea what to talk about (books, one would assume) or who to, and pretty much must have looked as terrified and gormless as I felt.

So, as well as being a kind and thoughtful person, she also writes great books.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

A Winter's Tale & Harrowing Research

I seem to be going round in circles at work at the moment, so this morning, as soon as I'd escaped from a meeting, I pulled on my coat and went in search of books. Okay, so I know I keep promising not to buy any more until my tbr piles are reduced significantly, but I couldn't help myself today, when I spotted this, A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley.

If you do see this, or any of her other books, treat yourself, because I've loved every book of Trisha's that I've read and only wished that I could write characters that were half as good.

I've been making notes on Novel 5 recently. I know, I haven't finished writing #4 yet, but pretty much the entire plot came to me, like some sort of dawning, and I just had to go with it. This book will be more like my first one, still with a romance through it, but far more harrowing and indepth than my other books. It will also entail a lot of research, which I've begun in earnest, but I'm slowly building everything up, so that as soon as I'm able to, I can get going with it. I can't wait.

Better get on, have been redecorating S's bedroom this weekend, and now have to make sure everything is back where it should be for her sleepover on friday night - 6 teenage girls, arggghh. Grumpy will hate every second.

Sunday 9 November 2008

Lest We Forget

I've tried to think what to write today, but have come to the conclusion that we probably all have relatives who fought and suffered due to war.

I'm sure we'll never forget them.

I certainly never shall.

Friday 7 November 2008

Lovely Books & Embarrassing Moments

A couple of weeks ago, Susie Vereker gave away ten free copies of her book, An Old-Fashioned Arrangement, and I was lucky enough to be one of those ten people to receive one. Mine arrived in the post today, thanks Susie, I can't wait to read it.

Susie's next book, Paris Imperfect, is out on 1st December, but available to order now. I love the cover.

Whilst working through High Heels & Scandals earlier today, I reached the point where my hero and heroine spent the night together. I'd forgotten that I'd let my mother and sister read the manuscript a couple of months ago (my mother writes too, and both she and my sister enjoy the same genres that I do) however, apart from NWS, they were the first people to read the novel.

Anyway, I digress, there I was deep in contemplation, making notes on my pink flashcards, when I noticed (couldn't miss it really) a pencilled note (by mother) saying, "Excellent, sex scene great. Well done." I have to admit that it brought home to me that people (I know) will be reading this. Rather a surreal moment, and one that gave my sister an enormous amount of amusement when picturing me reading the note.

Thursday 6 November 2008

Celebrations, Giggles & Relief

Work has been a struggle this week, but despite nearly going mad, I only partook of two Celebrations yesterday, and today. One colleague, another Debs, sent me this. I think it was an attempt to get a smile on my sulky face, it worked too.

Last night, Grumpy spent most of the evening in hysterics, barking at anything and everything each time a firework exploded. When I let him out to carry out his ablutions before going to bed, he didn't know quite which way to go as fireworks were going off in pretty much all directions around the house. I think there'll be more on Saturday, so shall have to take extra care of him then too.

I was supposed to go out to collect J later this evening from some school thingy (??), but he's just txt me and told me that he's getting a lift from a friend, such a relief. Now, I can light the fire (it's flipping freezing) and catch up on my word count, as I haven't added to it for a couple of days (I've been editing, so I haven't been not writing, as it were).

I shall stop waffling now and let you have a look at the AA advert above. I'm still giggling.

Tuesday 4 November 2008

One Night Stand, Chocolate & Eggheads

The only areas of my life that lack self-control are my need to indulge in chocolate, and having to buy new books. So far this week, I've had three deliveries from Amazon. I daren't tell R that I've just received another email announcing that my order has been despatched, what another one?

Yesterday, my copy of Julie Cohen's, One Night Stand arrived. I'm already about a third of the way through another book - and loving it too, but decided to have a 'quick peak' inside the delicious black covers of One Night Stand. Needless to say, I'm now half way through, and as with all Julie's other books, I'm loving it.

I'm happy that I've now reached 75% of the way through S&S, although, to be honest, I think I'm going to end up with a higher word count, and may have to change the counter thingy.

Work has been a massive effort the past few days and not being able to comfort myself by stuffing my face with the usual chocolates hasn't helped, especially as a member of my team has bought (and opened) a tin of Celebrations. Okay, I'll admit it, I did have two, but for an out-and-out chocoholic that really is very restrained.

I thought the Romantic Novelists, Melanie, Catherine, Julie, Judy and Phillipa did marvellously well against the Eggheads on TV yesterday. Well done ladies.