Friday, 22 May 2015

Celebrate the small things

I ran out of time and energy to post last week - apologies to anyone who visited expecting to read a post. However, I do have several things to be thankful for, so without further ado, this week I am happy to celebrate:

* A Bank Holiday weekend and the start of a week's half-term holiday (UK). Looking forward to extra time to do some writing and spend some time with family. Not quite so appealing is the list of household chores to be done, but hey that's life!

* Youngest daughter is home in a few days for the summer break from university. Whilst the eldest has just finished her Advertising degree and considering what comes next. Honestly, I do not know where that three years went. Seems like only last week I was saying she was about to start!

*In a few days hubby and I will be celebrating our 30th (Pearl) Wedding Anniversary. Once again, it hardly seems possible that all those years have gone by. I was young when I got married, but I think we are proof it can work. Not sure how we are celebrating but I understand there is a surprise planned for next week. Exciting ....

Thanks to our lovely host Lexa and her team of co-hosts

 L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge

Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Friday, 8 May 2015

Anyone for croquet?

Another week zipped by and time to think about the small things that have put a smile on our faces over the last seven days.

I am not celebrating the fact I had a throat infection last weekend which made me feel a little rough, but I am celebrating the fact it didn't last too long and I am feeling much better now.

It was hubby's birthday recently and I bought him a croquet set. It is something he has been wanting for a while now, so it was well received. We managed to invite a few folks around on Monday and had a rather jolly game between the rain showers. It was fun and enjoyed by all. I think it is definitely going to become a firm favourite to play around here. Anyone else ever played?

As I wandered round, desperately trying to perfect my technique and correct swing, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland and her, rather strange, game of croquet. I must say I had some sympathy for young Alice! (Please note: no hedgehogs, flamingoes or other creatures were harmed in our game! Although there may have been some bruised egos flying around!)
"The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up into her face with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing...."   From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll 
I was delighted to see a Greater Spotted Woodpecker in the garden for the first time this week. We have a Green Woodpecker who visits sometimes, but it is lovely to know another species is close by too. Sadly I didn't have a camera to hand when I saw it, but hopefully it will pay another visit soon.

And finally ....

Happy Flora Day Helston. 

Thanks to our lovely host Lexa and her team of co-hosts

 L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge

Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group (May)

Thanks to Alex and this month's fab co-hosts
Eva Solar, Melanie Schulz, Lisa-Buie Collard, and Stephen Tremp

The first Wednesday of the month can mean only one thing - time for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  The place where writers can express their doubts or concerns without fear of ridicule. It is the 'one stop shop' for a confidence boast, and who doesn't need that from time to time!

Recently I've been thinking about how my writing life co-exists with my non-writing life. Some days I feel like two separate people. In my head and heart I am a writer, yet that is not how I earn a living, so do I have the right to call myself a writer?

Sometimes it feels like having a dirty secret, something to be embarrassed about even. I mean, who am I to think I can write something good enough to be published? So I keep my writing hidden from most people. Quite honestly I don't want the extra pressure or to field the avalanche of inevitable questions that would arise from voicing my dreams to all around me, so I keep it locked away. And that can be hard, because it feels like I am stifling my true self.

If I ran marathons, played in a sports team or was a member of the local amateur dramatics society, would I feel as reserved about talking about my interests and aspirations?

If  When (I'm being positive here!) I realise my publishing ambitions, I know I will feel differently. It will be affirmation and I will feel worthy of the title of author. Then I will have to be taken more seriously. I expect they won't be able to shut me up! But until that day I keep my secret.

Maybe it is just fear holding me back, a form of self preservation. I wonder if it is just me who experiences this limbo state, or is it more common? I suspect the latter, but would be interested to hear how others cope.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Celebrate the small things

How can it be May already? I am sure I am not alone in thinking the year has flown by so far!

Regular visitors may have noticed I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. It wasn't planned, but I seem to have had an unofficial blog break! So many of you were involved in A-Z during April that I decided to step back and watch from a far. 

So what am I celebrating this week? Firstly, making it to Friday in one piece! It has been busy at work, and I must confess I am quite tired. Hurrah for it being a Bank Holiday weekend in England so an extra day off on Monday.

The bluebells are starting to appear in the local area. I love to see them carpeting the woods. Such a wonderful colour and an important flower in our particular town. Next week the town celebrates Flora Day. Shops are decorated with greenery, bluebells and yellow gorse to mark the official arrival of spring. 
The picture above shows a Spanish bluebell. These, slightly paler blooms,have flowers all up the stem giving them an upright appearance. They are somewhat of a threat to the native bluebell whose flowers are all to one side of the stem, giving them their characteristic droopy appearance.  

However, not all associations with bluebells are joyful  ...

Also known as 'fairy flowers or thimbles,' the bluebell was said to be used by the fairies to trap passing children (they would have to be quite small I think!). Some legends suggest that it is unlucky to pick a bluebell or bring it into your house. As they are a protected species they should not be picked anyway. The blooms do not last long when cut so it is much better to leave them in the woods for all to enjoy. I believe special permission is granted for Flora Day to allow a certain amount to be picked.

Another legend states that wearing a wreath made of bluebells will compel the wearer to tell the truth. Or, try turning the flower inside out without tearing it and you will find your true love!

Happy weekend

Thanks to Lexa and her co-hosts
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge

Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Friday, 17 April 2015

Celebrate the small things

Last weekend we went to London to visit our eldest daughter. She has spent the last few weeks there doing some work experience at the end of her Advertising Degree. It was her 21st birthday, quite a milestone, so we wanted to celebrate with her. It was only a short visit but we still managed to fit in a lovely Italian meal, a wander around Portobello Market, a trip to The National History Museum and a stroll in Regent's Park. In actual fact the celebrations continue as when she gets home in a few days we are having a party with family and friends. I still don't feel anywhere near old enough to have a daughter of 21 though!

In other news I managed a little writing. A few hundred words were added to my latest project. 

Finally, I have to mention the weather. The last few days have been glorious. It has been lovely to be able to leave the house without the need for coat and boots! I don't know how long it will last, but will celebrate the sunshine whilst it is here.

Happy weekend

Thanks to our lovely host Lexa and her team of co-hosts

 L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Katie @ TheCyborgMom

Friday, 10 April 2015

Primroses and Fairies!

Just a short post to let you know I will be away from the blog for two or three days. I will be back around by Monday so until then I will leave you with a picture of some primroses I took in my garden today. So pretty ...

And just because this is my blog, and most of you probably know by now I have a fondness for fae folklore, here are some interesting little legends surrounding this pretty and delicate flower.

*Primroses were believed to grant fae the power of invisibility. 
*By hanging a small posy of primroses on your front door you are extending an invitation for the fae to enter your house and scatter their blessings. However, should you not be so keen to have fairies in your home, try scattering primroses outside your door. It is said that this may provide a barrier that the fae cannot cross.
*Happen to know where to find a fairy rock? Well, you could try touching it with a posy of primroses and see if it opens the door to Fairyland!

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Dragon of the Stars Release and Scavenger hunt!

SCAVENGER HUNT! Comment to win an autographed copy of Dragon of the Stars, tons of bookmarks & postcards, and a $20.00 iTunes gift card–where is Mini-Alex? Visit Alex for a list of the participants. (Open through April 11 – winner announced April 13 at Alex’s blog.)

So ..... where is mini-Alex hiding here?Think you know? Leave a comment for Alex below then hop round the participants to find out all of his hiding places. Have fun!

Available today!
Dragon of the Stars
By Alex J. Cavanaugh
Science Fiction – Space Opera/Adventure/Military
Print ISBN 9781939844064 EBook ISBN 9781939844057
What Are the Kargrandes?

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. Poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter, he’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?
Purchase and links:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

Congratulations Alex!