Friday, August 31, 2012

Lynne's little piggie

One Big Sleep and I’m off to the NAWG Festival at Nottingham. I would have liked to have gone for the whole weekend but couldn’t manage it this time.
I may have to go barefoot. I split my little toe-nail – I don’t know how but it’s from top to bottom and it keeps bleeding.  All say Aaaah! I’m one of those squeamish people who can pass out at the sight of blood. Fortunately the LSO is made of sterner stuff. He’s checked my toe, pronounced it nasty – at which I had a fit of the vapours – and then informed me amputation is unlikely. That word, amputation, meant I had to lie down for half an hour and drink lots of tea for the shock. The LSO bandaged my toe, without an anaesthetic , until it was twice its normal size and won’t squeeze into any of my gorgeous shoes.
The weird thing is that I tried on some glorious boots in a sale and said I’d need to lop off my little toes to make them fit. (Be careful what you say. The Universe is listening.) And then Betty was telling me about the original Cinderella story where the ugly sisters cut off their toes so that the fur slipper fitted. Yes, it was fur, not glass.

Did anyone tell you that limping in stilettos is the new look?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Go on. Take it!

I’m feeling a bit of a fraud here because I was in a very uncreative mood and couldn’t think what to blog about when this award arrived via Susanjanejones’s blog. I’m supposed to pass the award on to six other blogs but I think it’s done the rounds by now so if anyone hasn’t had the award and you’re sensible enough to visit my blog then you deserve it! Go on, take it!
Now I have to tell you ten things about myself.
1.       I’m with Jane Wenham-Jones when it comes to writing. If you can use your own life instead of doing any research it makes things a whole lot easier. You can read about Jane’s opinions on research, and see a picture of her in the altogether, in the new Writers’ Forum in an article written by my friend, Anita Loughrey.
2.       This week I’ve read a children’s book, pre-teens, Racing Start by Lynne Hackles. It’s the first time I’ve ever actually read the book. It was published in 1991.
3.       In the past few weeks I’ve been asked by two different people to sign their copy of Racing Start. This is probably because I’ve been going out to cycle races, on the track and a closed circuit and I’ve been going because this summer the LSO became a commissaire for British Cycling. I’m so proud of him.
4.       At this very moment I’m pretending to be working whilst the LSO (Long Suffering One) is painting the living room. I’m updating Racing Start.
5.       I’ve got to hurry this because I missed Stargate last Saturday night and need to catch up and it’s on in 25 minutes.
6.       Currently, I’m working on two books at the same time. One I have a contract for.
7.       That one with the contract – it said to be delivered in two years so I’ve spent eighteen months doing nothing and am now beginning to panic.
8.       I found a beautiful white feather in the garden. It’s now on my desk and I use it to clean my keyboard.
9.       I often clean my keyboard when I’m stuck with the writing.
10.   Yesterday I saw a static home for sale and had this crazy idea about buying it and living there and selling all our belongings. It’s a good job the LSO has his feet firmly on the ground.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fancy a weekend away?

I’ve just been over to to check out what my mate’s been doing. Not a lot, as usual. Apart from promoting herself – something I’ve spent the afternoon doing by emailing loads of writing groups and anyone else I can think of who might like to listen to me going on about how to write.
Back to Jane. She has a clever thingy on her blog which is counting down the days to the NAWG Festival. In case anyone doesn’t know NAWG stands for National Association of Writing Groups. This year’s festival is in Nottingham and I am going to be there at some time over the weekend together with Jane who is the speaker on Saturday night.

There’s still time to join us. For all the details of the festival – tutors, speakers etc. go to
Only joking about Jane not doing a lot.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Four Writing Rainbows

1.       Yesterday I received a copy of Life-Writes by Suzanne Ruthven. Suzanne had sent me one because she mentions me in it. Not only does she quote me at the beginning of one chapter but she also mentions my books, Writing From Life and Ghostwriting. Aren’t writers generous?
2.       An email from Athens. A stranger called Sonia contacted me via my website to say how Writing From Life had inspired her. Aren’t writers kind?
3.       Lunch at Puccini’s with six other writers. Wonderful food, great company, non-stop talk. Aren’t writers noisy?
4.       A young man approached me asking if I would sign a copy of Racing Start. It’s been in his family for twenty years! Aren’t readers amazing?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Word verification OFF

Thanks to Patsy Collins for her blog about word verification and her instructions on how to get rid of it. I've been wanting to know how to do that for ages but keep forgetting to ask those who may know how.
I was told that I needed it so that only Real People could comment on my blog. Now that it is no longer there maybe I'll get some Unreal People comenting.
Now that could be interesting!

Friday, August 03, 2012

And it's time to go

The funny thing about Caerleon is you never want it to end and then, by Thursday night, you realise another night would be way beyond your capability. I always feel sorry for the tutors on a Friday morning because half the class are suffering from hangovers. Not me. I rarely drink. But I was reaching the point of total exhaustion. However, it was off to class where I wrote down my five aims for the future and then spent a happy ten minutes or so drawing Olympic rings and colouring them in, then adding my aims into each. And the reward was a gold medal. You can see me and the rest of the class holding up our medals if you visit the FaceBook page for Writers’ Holiday.

It’s always a bit upsetting, kissing and hugging everyone goodbye on Friday lunchtime. It would have been unbearable if this had been the last ever Writers’ Holiday but it’s not. Gerry and Anne have managed to organise another for 2013. If this had been the last we would have ended the hottest week of the year in a deluge of salty tears.
After 12 hours sleep I was raring to get going and did so for a couple of days before hitting a brick wall. I’ve had to have a couple of days resting but I’m ready to go again now and earn that medal.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Hot Thursday

Two more sessions with Solange and I was motivated and a bit hyper so told the class what my aim was and invited them all to email me and ask how I was getting on.

After lunch I was on The 2012 Panel Of Speakers, together with Simon Whaley, Kate Walker, Stephen Wade, Brad Ashton, Alison and Malcolm Chisolm and Irene Yates. Jane Wenham-Jones fielded the questions from the audience and it was a fun hour with serious and funny questions.
We all then had a couple of hours to rest and prepare for the final evening which is always a concert by the Cwmbach Male Voice Choir. This year it was so hot I chickened out as I reached the door to the theatre and opted to sit in the little courtyard garden to listen. Had a lovely chat with the kitchen staff who had come out for a break. They are all lovely and were great supporters when I was on Deal Or No Deal. I had to send them a postcard to let them know what date my show was so they didn’t miss it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What happened Wednesday?

What happened Wednesday? My tutoring stint came to an end. I was exhausted (after giving my all) and decided to go back to my room and do some work on my book for the rest of the morning but men were working outside, it was hot, I was tired… all excuses. What I really needed was some motivation so I went along to Make It Happen In 2012! Solange Hando led this course and she was inspirational. Since arriving home I have worked harder than I’ve ever done, and more methodically, thanks to Solange.

Wednesday afternoons are always quiet on campus because many delegates choose to go off on one of the three coach excursions. I stayed home and went to sleep. Correction. Had a power nap. The after dinner speaker was Jane Wenham-Jones, yet another lovely friend. I have so many since I’ve been going to Writers’ Holiday. Her talk, as always, was hilarious – A Strange Way to Make A Living – The highs and lows of writing today.