Sunday, July 26, 2015

5 Ways to keep your kids out of the way during school holidays

1  Play Houdini. You get to tie up your kids and they have to escape. Make sure you use double knots, thick rope, maybe handcuffs if they are available (No, not the pink furry ones). Several strands of rope are best. Then tie them to the leg of a bed or a door handle. By attaching them firmly to something you get extra time to do what you want.

2  Get them to check a goat. Tell them that goats have to go back to the Devil for one minute in every 24 hours to have their beards combed. Several children can watch a goat by doing it in shifts. If there is only one child this means it will have to stay awake for 24 hours so you can expect it to sleep for at least 24 hours afterwards. Peace!

3  For a short break play statues. Get your child to strike a pose and see how long they can stay completely still. They are a statue. An added bonus is statues can’t speak. If they do speak they don’t get the wonderfully extravagant prize you have tempted them with. They don’t get it anyway because you always catch them moving or they give up being a statue before the (unspecified) time limit is up.

4  Play dressing up. Turn them into pensioners, borrow a Rover ticket (go anywhere on the bus for the day) and set them the challenge of seeing exactly how far they can go. Tell them you’ll pick them up when they text. (You can cross your fingers when you lie and then it doesn’t count as a sin when you don’t pick them up.)

5  Play ‘Adoption’. You send your kids over to stay with a friend and she sends hers to you. It’s a known fact that kids always behave better for other people. And while they’re away you can move house.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dragons, questions with multiple choice answers and useless information

This is my brother’s story but it doesn’t have an ending.
My brother walks a lot. His wife takes him out in the car and drops him off somewhere so he can walk home. The family joke is she keeps taking him further and, one day, she might produce his worldly goods from the back of the car and drop those off with him.
Anyway, my brother was telling me about a walk he had where he found a dragon. Naturally, him being my brother and not me, it wasn’t a real dragon. It was a clockwork toy and it was sitting in the entrance to a field. He picked it up and carried it for half a mile or so, then decided he didn’t want it so he left it sitting on a gate-post.
Next time he took that walk he saw the dragon again. It was sitting in the field entrance – it’s original place. He picked it up again, wondering if it had wound itself up and walked home. Half a mile further on he tied the dragon to a tree.
Next time he took that walk there was no dragon to be seen. Not in the field entrance. Not on the gatepost and not tied to the tree.
So, where is it?
A.    Did its owner reclaim it?
B.     Did its dragon mother come and fetch it?
C.     Did someone break the spell so that the key could be removed and it turned into a real dragon?
D.    Something else?

Did you know that dragon eggs only hatch during thunder storms? It must be true because I read it somewhere.
Seen many years ago outside a railway station – ‘If you thought dragons were extinct go and see the manageress of the buffet.’

The picture is of a dragon made by a friend in Wales. It is not a copy of my brother’s dragon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lynne's secret diary (Aged nine years, one month, one week and two days)

I had to choose between two diary entries today. I’m leaving the one about all the food until another time and have opted to go for the ‘sporty, good communicator and loving sister’ one.
Polly, that’s what Pauline called herself, lived at that address a long, long time ago so if you promise not to write to her I’ll tell you a secret.

I watched Rawhide because a certain Clint Eastwood was my first ever crush.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Author, Jane Jackson is a busy woman

Since Jane Jackson last featured on my blog she has been a very busy lady. I certainly cannot keep up with what she is working on so, over to you Jane. Tell us all what you have just finished.

Hi Lynne, and thanks for inviting me back. I finished the second in my Polvellan Cornish Mysteries series, ‘Fallen Hero’ which was released as an ebook in May. I’m thrilled that these contemporary cosy mysteries are proving popular, and not just among Cornish people, though feedback from them has been fantastic. The series grew out of a long short story (I’m a novelist. I don’t do ‘short’ very well!) written for Accent Press’s ‘Wishing on a Star’ Christmas anthology.

And what other projects have you been working on? Just stick to this year. Space is limited!

I started writing a sequel to ‘The Consul’s Daughter,’ my latest full-length historical
romance and 29th published book. I had to break off part way through to do the edits for ‘The Consul’s Daughter.’ Once those were completed, and as I’d stopped anyway, I decided – with my editor’s encouragement - to write the third in the Polvellan series. I’m a planner so I already had a detailed outline. Actually I have synopses for five more. I’ve been working on it since 1st June. It will be about 25,000 words – though I’ve probably written 60,000 - and the end is tantalisingly in sight. Once it’s finished I shall be going back to complete the sequel.

And what’s happening next?

Researching, planning and writing the first of a historical spy-thriller trilogy - and trying to fit in writing the fourth Polvellan story.

 Now you’ve exhausted us all can I ask what you would do if you woke one morning and discovered you were in the middle of an industrial town and could never go home to Cornwall.

That is a really cruel question! As long as I still had my laptop, Kindle, notepads and a supply of pens I’d cope. I would find the location of the nearest national park and the nearest bit of coast, and use my free bus pass to explore both. I would also visit stately homes/gardens. It wouldn’t be Cornwall, but I’d try to appreciate and enjoy their different kind of beauty.

You do so much research – I’ve seen it on your blog – ( that you must be a walking encyclopaedia of Cornish knowledge. Have you ever considered writing non-fiction about the county’s history?

The short answer? No. Why? I’m a novelist. My first love is fiction. Besides, I’m blessed - or cursed - with a butterfly mind. When I choose the background for one of my novels, I immerse myself in the location and period. I find out all I can about clothes and hairstyles, furnishings and colour schemes of houses, costs and methods of transport, the price of the food they ate, jobs and professions. Those details help bring the physical world of the story to life. But what’s even more important is to understand the social attitudes of the time. People’s aspirations and emotions haven’t changed. But how they expressed them was governed by the rules of society and what was considered acceptable. So, while I want the (non-fiction) world of my story to be as authentic as possible, the (fictional) people in my story and how they respond to the challenges life throws at them are what fascinate me most. There are so many books I want to write, and with time passing all too quickly I want to spend it doing what I love.

The Consul’s Daughter Accent Press July 2015

Ebook: £2.99

Paperback: £12.99