No, this isn't about the world cup. Blue Remembered Heels - the German translation is now released and already I have a lovely review on the Amazon Deutsch site. My middle belle, Miss boo, is also off to Germany in just over a weeks time. She's going to be staying in the area where I stayed when i went with my school when i was her age. She's really looking forward to it and i know she'll have a fabulous time. Thanks to those of you who emailed to tell me things you especially wanted to know about using secondary characters. It was good to know I'd covered the pointers in my preparations. I'm really looking forward to the conference now and seeing everyone. There are some great workshops listed and I always come back feeling really inspired.
The first draft of Me, You and Him is done. The ending is pants and I know I need to add lots of bits and juggle some stuff around but it's done - finally - and on schedule. Now to let it sit for a week or so before I do the first read through from start to finish and the aditing begins. Next job is to make a lovely powerpoint thingy to go with my workshop at the RNA conference on writing believable secondary characters. Apparantly there are over 40 people booked to listen to me wittering on so i want to make a good job of it. I suppose I'd better decide what I'm saying. What would you all like to know about secondary characters?
Today is eldest Belle's prom day. Her nails are all done and looking shiny and this afternoon I've got to take her and her tiara for her hair appointment. In my day we had a leavers disco and if you were lucky you bought new jeans and a top from Etams or Dotty P's. Personally I think we probably had more fun. Lets face it, you can't really sit on the floor and do 'Oops upside your head' in an evening frock. The upside is that they all get to feel posh for a night - I have several teenagers and their assorted families arriving later today to take pictures of them with the limo and once we've waved them all off I'm laying on drinks and nibbles for the adults. So, in between cleaning - more cleaning (teenagers - mine - are untidy) I need to shop, get her to the hairdressers, do her make-up and lace her into her frock.Then get the shopping and put on the food. Wish me luck! PS Did I mention Me, You and Him is still expanding - argh - must finish the book!
Me, You and Him is almost done - well the first draft anyway. This book is turning out to be a bit like Animal Instincts in that it keeps growing and I think I might need one or two more chapters than I originally planned. I'm determined to get it finished by the end of June but with the eldest belle's prom, her pre op appointments (she's having surgery next month on her wonky toe) and middle belle's upcoming trip to Germany, life is just a tad hectic. The day job is frantically busy too as our funding for next year, as with most of the third sectors funding, looks a shade wobbly. This means that if I'm to remain in gainful employment we have to send out huge numbers of applications for bids and grants, try to find sponsors and generally fundraise like crazy. Eldest belle has finished her exams and is busy cleaning the house for me, so it's looking much better and I think I've found all my paperwork and put it in one file ready for the dreaded tax return which I usually tackle in July/August time.
It's the first eviction tonight from the Big Brother house. What? Did you think I was going to talk about the football? Sunshine - the least sunshiney person in the whole world. Even Marvin the paranoid android was more sunny than she is after veruccagate. Scabby,the posh squatter, who looks like a cross between Worzel Gummidge and Boy George and Racheal, Miss I love Me, I'm so beautiful and don't you think I look like Beyonce? Interesting watching the house start to divide into the little groups and camps so early on. My favourite so far is Josie - she reminds me of 'I love blinking I do,' Helen from one of the earlier series. She has such a wonderful Bristolian accent. I suppose Davina 'shouty' McCall will be wearing another of her binbag outfits and gurning at the camera. The big dilemna is do we barbeque or not? It's a bit mizzling here and can't seem to decide if it plans to turn into proper rain or just give up and go home. Oh well, there's always the grill I suppose.
Those of you who know me well are aware that I'm what the Celts call fey. I have predictive dreams and I have the ability (sometimes, on a good day with the wind in the right direction) to tune into things as an empath. For me this means being able to feel vibrations from buildings and sense things that others don't always find. Last night afriend kindly allowed me to accompany him and two mediums to a privately owned cottage where the owner had been experiencing some strange events which are very much like the ones in my story Me, You and Him. I was very keen to talk to the house owner to ensure that my details were correct and also to see what happened when psychics did this kind of visit. I wanted to see how they picked things up and what they did. Wow, the house was built in the seventeen eighties and as soon as you walked in there was something, the feeling got worse when we went through to the kitchen and for me it felt bad on the stairs. The owner had experienced strange noises, her daughter felt as if she was being watched, she'd had mist materialise in her lounge and all of her electrical equipment would behave oddly. The house had had frequent tenants with noone wanting to stay. I was very interested to watch the two mediums go through their stuff. They shared some of their thoughts with the house owner and did some cleansing activities and reiki. My friend told them about my empathic abilities so they invited me to see if I could get anything. Double wow - I felt the vibrations in the bad place on the stairs and while the house owner was outside in the gardentold the two mediums that I had heard/seen the phrase 'there should be a door on there to keep them in there place'. I assumed this referred to the foot of the stairs which was open from the kitchen and which probably had been closed off before the house had been extended and altered. An hour or so later when the house owner came in and we were chatting generally about all kinds of things and not even about the house she mentioned her daughters temper. She laughed and described how her daughter would fly at her from the foot of the stairs when she was having a tantrum and joked 'I think she'd hurdle a barrier if there was one there'. The others just looked at me and told her what I'd said - spooky!!!
Eldest belle has just one more exam to go and then she's done. Today though I have to run her to her make-up lesson for her prom make-up, go to my annual eye check, take her to see the foot specialist who may be operating on her toes later this summer and tonight I'm hopefully going on a ghost hunt. The ghost hunt is at a private house where the occupants have been bothered by weird stuff - a lot like Me, You and Him. There are alleged to be three separate spirits there so it'll be interesting to see what happens and to talk to the owner about her experiences. I've just over three chapters probably (don't tell anyone but it may be more) to wrap the story up and the ghostbusters scene is my next chapter so I'm looking forward to learning more. I must fit in a trip to the post office and pick up more grocery and do laundry today too so it looks like being another running around day
Just under five chapters to go before I finish the first draft of Me, You and Him. Hopefully on Wednesday night I'm going on a real proper ghost hunt. It's at a private house and invitation only so should be brilliant for my research ready to write the ghostbusters scene. Eldest dd is on her final week of her GCSE exams - geography and French left to go and then it's preparation for the Prom. House is still a tip - it looks worse now than it did before I started the annual clean out because of all the displaced stuff while we're sorting and cleaning. Never mind, it'll get done eventually. I feel a little better - hip and back is still fragile and I still feel tired but not quite as bad as I felt last week. I promise I'm slowing down - really, truly I am. New series of Big Brother has started and yes, you guessed it, I'm watching. I love Big Brother in every cringeworthy moment. Loving the mole. Not keen on Scabby, Beyonce and Corin. And finally my other big news - Be My Hero is going to be available from Audiolark as a audiobook. I am so pleased about this as this is the book closest to my heart. It was a very personal book that tackled a difficult subject. Nathalie the heroine, doesn't get the convienient standard solution to her problems but she does get a man who really is worthy of her. I can't wait to hear it.
This is a meme from Michelle Styles and since I love any opportunity to talk about books especially books which captured me when I was young then how could I resist?
Name at least one book that you read as a child (ie 11 or under) that still exists in your memory as a perfect story. You can say why if you wish, or simply give a list -- your choice. It can be a story that you are now uncomfortable about having loved or were uncomfortable at some point and have now come back to or alternatively just one that you have always loved:
1. Catseye - Andre Norton. This opened up a whole world to me. The story of a boy with the telepathic ability to communicate with animals and his strange world triggered my imagination and led me to The Witch World series. Books I still love reading even today. 2. Little Women - This is still one of my comfort reads - even now it still makes me cry when I read about Beth and oh how I longed to be Jo. 3. Enid Blyton - I read all of them but the ones I loved best were the Adventure series about four children and a parrot. 4.Drina Ballerina - Jean Estoril - I loved ballet books and the story of this girls battle to become a prima ballerina spanned over eleven titles and gripped my imagination. 5. Just William - Richmal Crompton - wonderful hilarious books that I absolutely adored. The forerunner of Horrid Henry. Who can forget Violet Elizabeth Bott? 'I'll scream and scream until I'm sick, and I can you know.' I could go on and on, my list would cover The Chalet school series, Ruby Ferguson's Jill the Pony books, Jean Plaidy, Agatha Christie, Folklore, Myths and Magic and tons more.
I'm tagging Julie Day and Phillipa Ashley to do this too. I'd love to see what books you loved.
I'm still exhausted from the last few weeks. Yesterday was another full on day although the kids were great fun. Their faces when we informed them that they would be tasting cooked nettles was absolutely priceless. As tonight is another late night with the day job I'm going in later. Hopefully the being flattened by a steamroller feeling will wear off later and I'll get my bounce back. I'm taking it easier though for the rest of this week as I think my joints are going into rebellion and I don't want to end up in the same place I was a couple of years ago, unable to work, sit, lie or do anything for months on end.
My hip and back are just about recovering from Saturday. I can sit now without feeling like someone has stuck several sharp blades in my lower spine and my limp has almost gone too. My mind keeps whirring about on the ending for me, You and him and although the words aren't flowing onto the page yet at the right speed I'm starting to get a feel for the right framework so hopefully if I can carve out the space to just sit and write then I can get on and finish the draft. The mammoth annual house declutter and clean is still underway and I'm busy trying to get bits and pieces of that done as I go along. If you came in my lounge though you wouldn't think I'd even started. Every corner is piled high with textbooks, shoes, and general teenage bits and bobs that can't go upstairs until the belle's bedrooms are decluttered and tidied. It has to be done by June 24th however as that's the prom day and several teenagers and their families are coming over to get dressed and ready and to start the party from here. So, I need to write a book, clean the house, fulfil my critting commitments and do all the day job stuff as well as prepare a workshop and help eldest belle revise for GCSE's. Easy-peasy.
Well the open day went pretty well, about 350 people came. We made lots of cups of tea and coffee, hundreds of cups of squash and sold lots of cake and strawberries and cream. Everyone seemed to enjoy the day. Today though I'm feeling distinctly achey - where I compensated for my hip, my back is now in two halves. Hopefully with some rest and high doses of painrelief it'll go away again. Tuesday however my jobshare partner and I are dressing up as landgirls to teach Dig for Victory to a class of ten year olds. Life is never dull! The belles are back, complete with washing, suntans and lots of stuff to clutter my nice clean house up. Already the place rings with the sounds of Disney channel and sisterly quarrelling followed by MTV. I haven't done much on the book but I'm constantly thinking of the shape the end needs to be so hopefully I'll be able to get back into it soon. My target is to have finished the first draft by the end of this month to give it time to rest before I adit it next month ready for my agent to read.
Lots of running around to do this weekend. My day job is holding an open day with face painters, the Animal Man, bug hunting, pond dipping and a tombola plus of course refreshments. This means my jobshare partner and me have been racing around like mad women organising everything. Today means more running around, collecting cakes, the floats for the stalls, the last bits and pieces, finding where some of the stuff has been stashed. I'm also trying to get the house straighter too before the belles get home tomorrow. So my washer is still going and I'm still picking up and clearing out. I've just under seven chapters to go now on Me, You and Him, the last section so I'm having to think carefully about tying up the ends and building up to the finish. I know I won't be happy with the first version of this and this will be part of the book that gets massively polished up in my aditing process but I have to have a framework to start from. Although finding the time to write at the moment is proving a little tricky.
The belles are still on the Isle of Wight and we get regular texts from one or other of them complaining about one of their sisters. We had a nice time visiting Castleton (lots of rocks and holes), Buxton (lots of water), Leek (lots of bacon sandwiches). We also visited Trentham which was nice, and the Emma Bridgewater pottery - this was a huge disappointment - terrible parking - no signs. Bad layout for the shops and tour arrangements. The staff were very nice but the prices were dearer than i've seen in some of the shops so not worth the bother.
Nell is an award winning author living in the heart of the Black Country with her husband, three children, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo called Teddy and whatever is left of her sanity. Welcome to her world...