Saturday 31 January 2009

By Popular Request

One Of The Few (thanks Troy for that idea).

Grumpy looking dapper in what J calls his pilot's outfit.

Grumpy taking a break from working with R.

R keeps this coat with his own high visibility jacket, just in case he takes Grumpy with him to work and he has to make sure that he can be seen.

I have to be honest and admit that he only ever wears his coats when it's freezing cold and he's recently been clipped. Otherwise we just let him race about as he soon warms up when we go for a walk.

Right, enough displacement activity for me. Now it's back to the (gorgeous) laptop and on with the redrafting, otherwise I may end up spending the next decade working on the same WIP.

Have a great weekend.

Friday 30 January 2009

Happy Faces

This obviously isn't one.

Poor Grumps was not at all amused when I put his coat on during the last cold spell, and although I left it on in the car on the way to the beach, I did take it off for his walk (well, run). He doesn't mind it too much, and as he has a sore back a lot of the time, I don't like him to get too cold.

The rest of the family, however, groan when I dig out one of his coats. Yes, he has three. This one, his fighter pilots one (well, it's brown with a fake sheepskin bit at the top)and his high visibility one. When J heard on the forecast this morning that we're going to be getting another cold spell, he laughed. "That poor dog, I suppose you're going to put a coat on him again."

Poor S is off school today. She had another visit to the orthodontist yesterday and I could see by the way his hand shook as he pressed on the new brace fitting that it must be hurting her.

This morning she feels rather sore, and after much pleading had been allowed the day off. When I asked what subjects she had today, she said, "Oh nothing that's going to be useful for me when I leave school."

I then asked what subjects they were, and she said. "Textiles PSHE, chemistry, and english." English, not useful?

Tuesday 27 January 2009

DJ's Lovely Book & Empty Boxes

One of my favourite things is to arrive home to a box filled with new books. And today, my kindly postman bought me DJ Kirkby's From Zaftig to Aspie.

I can't wait to start reading, and have already had a quick flick through, as you do. But I'm going to make myself wait until I've at least finished the book I'm three-quarters of the way through.

Talking of boxes, well, packaging and being eco friendly more to the point, we ordered a tube thing (yes, I can't think for the life of me what the damn thing is actually called) and it arrived the other day.

R came through to where I was tapping away on my laptop, and said, "Look in there."

So, not wishing to appear more switched off than I usually do, I duly gazed in to an empty box for a bit, then said, "They've forgotten to pack it."

"No they haven't," my very clever husband replied, lifting a flat piece of cardboard and indicating the tiny area at the bottom of the box where the tubing lay.

I couldn't believe it. I thought we were all supposed to be doing our bit to save the planet, and using as little packaging as possible.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

You Have To Smile When...

even after a tedious day of constant criticism, and unfair treatment by a senior member of staff, I arrived home, feeling rather deflated to find this (see pic).

Grumpy was trying to fit his rather large bottom into a new bed bought for him at Christmas by Grandma, who didn't realize that he is as big as he is. (He is supposed to be 'miniature' after all!).

It did cheer me up, and now I'm going to ensure that my mood stays that way, and go and eat chocolate and pour myself a glass of rose.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Procrastination & Progress

You Are a Bit of a Procrastinator

You tend to get things done in a timely manner, but you can't help but put off tasks you hate.

You have no problem getting the fun or easy stuff done. You generally enjoy taking care of responsibilities.

However, if a task arises that you dislike, it might get shelved for a long time.

And even though it's human nature to procrastinate, your procrastination is hindering your productivity.

Take a look at the things you are putting off doing. Do they really need to be done?

Complete any task that's important. The other stuff you're procrastinating is probably not worth doing.

My new baby has arrived, on friday in fact, and I adore it. Even though I was out for a dinner party to celebrate a friend's 40th on Friday, and a 50th birthday party on Saturday night, I managed to forge ahead with the redrafting. So, after weeks of procrastination, I'm now flying with it. I just hope I'm improving the novel and not flogging it to death.

I've promised myself that when I've finished this edit, I'm going to send the m/s out to agents. (Yeah, yeah I hear you cry. We've heard this old chestnut before). No, really, I am going to, because I now need to get on with the next book. It's in my head most of the time, and I need to tell it before it drives me nuts.

Thursday 15 January 2009

RNA Anthology & Bus Strikes

2010 is the Romantic Novelists' Association's 50th anniversary, and to celebrate this they've created this gorgous book, Loves Me, Loves Me Not, filled with short stories written by RNA members. It also includes a foreward by Katie Fforde and an afterword by Jill Mansell.

The hardback will be published this Autumn, with the paperback being published in February 2010. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy for me (not that I'm selfish or anything, and will definately be buying copies for friends and family for birthdays, Christmas, etc).

The local bus drivers decided to go on strike today, without any notice, as far as I can tell. I can't complain though, because they still covered the dedicated school bus routes, which is a relief as S still came home on the bus.

Mind you, some lout sitting near her was spraying Linx all over the place, and trying to set fire to it. S came in smelling of the stuff, and had to go and shower straight away. Not impressed (her for smelling like she did) and, me for the terrifying thought that the berk who was doing this could have caused the other children a lot of damage. When I asked why the bus driver didn't do something, she said he hadn't noticed.

I'm loving Trisha Ashley's book, A Winter's Tale, and if you're trying to think of what book to read next, how about this one. It's fab. In fact I'm off to read more of it now.

Monday 12 January 2009

Not Another Monday

Every year, R plants a few Hyacinth bulbs for me, and they never fail to delight, especially at this time of year when it's so cold and now rainy too.

He's rather useful in the kitchen too and enjoys cooking, so tonight I returned from work, with J & S in tow and we have a choice between chicken curry, or beef curry (I don't like beef, so he made both. I would have let me have soup instead, but then I'm a miserable bugger).

I was wondering if any of my blog pals are going to the RNA Awards Lunch in London on 10th Feb? I'll be going with a friend, but it would be nice to know to look out for people if I thought they were going.

Right, better eat, then I need to press on with this damn rewrite.

Saturday 10 January 2009

My New Baby

Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions regarding my new laptop/notebook, I've finally ordered a Samsung NP-NC10 (special thanks to Yvonne's partner for this suggestion). I nearly went blind checking out all the pictures, battery life, size of screen, reviews, ad nauseum, and finally picked one of these. It should arrive by 22 January, and I can't wait.

I actually submitted an article yesterday, so at least I have something 'out there' whilst I press on with this endless editing, re-editing, etc of this damn novel. Who knows, one day some kindly agent may decide that it's just what he/she needs in their life and take me on? One can but hope, and I'm nothing if not optimistic, unless I'm having an off day, that is. Although, don't ask my children, because they'll probably tell you that most days are off days with me!

Right, I'd better get back to my old, nearly being put out to pasture, laptop, and keep on working on HH&S, as I've spent the past hour or so mooching through my Writers' Forum, Writers' Magazine and Mslexia magazines, all of which arrived in the post today. Hurrah, fab post for a change, instead of the usual credit card bills.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday 8 January 2009

Getting Motivated

Your Word is "Think"

You see life as an amazing mix of possibilities, ideas, and fascinations.

And sometimes you feel like you don't have enough time to take it all in.

You love learning. Whether you're in school or not, you're probably immersed in several subjects right now.

When you're not learning, you're busy reflecting. You think a lot about the people you know and the things you've experienced.

I couldnt resist this quiz. Any excuse for a bit of displacement activity, and I wouldn't mind, but it's not like I've been able to write before now (work, school run, etc). So I really should get on with it while I can.

Finished, Devil May Care, and loved it. It isn't something I'd ordinarily think to read, but J insisted - well if your son buys you a book for Christmas, the very least you can do is read the darn thing. I've persuaded R to take it with him when we go on holiday later in the year. To say R isn't much of a reader (he'd rather go off and do things) is a bit of an understatedment. He started reading a book in May 2006 on a holiday in Rhodes, and is still only a quarter of the way through. When I suggested that he should forget about it and find something more to his taste, he insisted that he was actually enjoying this book!?! Who am I to argue.

I've now started, A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley. I've loved all of her books and this is going to be no exception by what I've read so far.

I signed up (yes, more displacement activity) with GMTV's Mr Motivator, and I'm hoping he'll inspire me to keep heading towards some semblance of slimness/healthiness, etc. One can but try.

Sunday 4 January 2009

Raring To Go

Well, the yellow snowman was duly eaten. The decorations have been taken down, packed away and shoved back into the loft. The boys have gone home/back to uni. My two are preparing (against their will) for their return to school on Tuesday, and I've written a list of what I need to do, in the writing department, for 2009.

1. Finish re-writing the last third of HH&S.
2. Edit HH&S - will it ever end! Send it out to agents.
3. Finish the rest of my assignments for my writing course - another 12 to do.
4. Take part in Sally Quilford's character building workshop - I can't wait.
4. Attend the Writers' Holiday at Caerleon in July - A generous birthday treat from my Mother. I can't wait for that either.
5. Redraft BS, TO&L once more, then send them out.
6. Finish S&S.
7. Write and send out short stories - hopefully the course, with the fab Della Galton, at Caerleon will help me strengthen my writing for short stories.
8. Carry on with my research for BF - I'm so looking forward to writing this, as it's a little different to what I've been working on for the past couple of years.

I'm looking forward to 2009, and although I've achieved very little over the Christmas period, I'm going to sit my bum down in front of my ancient laptop and press on, as soon as I've finished this post. However, (just before I go) I desperately need a new laptop, and one that's good to travel with, so I'd be grateful for any tips on good buys that I can look into.