Saturday, 30 June 2012

How we met Blog Hop

Today it is the 16th Wedding Anniversary of  Melinda Dozier. Congratulations Melinda. To celebrate she is hosting a blog hop to share our 'How we met' stories. Why not join in?

The rules are as follows:
1. Sign up on the linky below.
2. Share the story of how you met your significant other, be it your husband, boyfriend or partner, in 100 words or less.
3. Post a picture that was taken around the time you met.
4. Link back to my blog somewhere in your post. or add the blog button at the top.
5. Please consider adding the blog hop button to your blog somewhere, so others can find it easily and join in too Spread the word!
Visit at least three other links on the day of the hop and leave comments.


First time we met I was about 15. He was the friend of my friend’s older brother so we ran into each other from time to time over the years. When I was 17 he called me up, out the blue, and asked me out. Think I stalled him a couple of times, I had  a lot of other personal stuff going on in my life at the time. But eventually we went out for a drink and the rest is kinda history.  We married a few years later and are still together. Celebrated our 25th Anniversary recently in Las Vegas where we renewed our vows!

Aww don't we look so young - excuse the very 80's hairstyle!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A little bit of magic

“If you don't think there is magic in writing, you probably won't write anything magical.”
- Terry Brooks

I read this quote today and it got me thinking about magic. Not the traditional sort, pulling rabbits out of hats or the cool stuff we write about in our fantasy stories, but the natural sort of magic that is all around us.
So here are a few things that I think are magic:

Rainbows - I mean how beautiful are they? We wish upon them, look for pots of gold at the end of them and of course my unicorns travel on them!

Spiders Webs - Took these pics this morning outside our house. It was damp and foggy and I could see hundreds of webs all over the place, yet not one spider!  How busy must they have been? 

Sunsets and sunrises - I love pictures of sunsets, the variety of colours and patterns fascinate me. Nature's kaleidoscope!

Where do you find magic?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Fabulous Blog Award!

Fabulous Blog Ribbon

Heather at Random Interruptions has presented me with this award. Many thanks, Heather!

In order to accept you must:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Name five of your most fabulous moments, either in real life or in the blogosphere.
3. Name five things you love.
4. Name five things you hate.
5. Pass the ribbon on to five other bloggers. (Leave them a comment to notify them of their win.)

Okay. Here we go!

Five things I love:
  • The colour purple.
  • Milk chocolate, especially with nuts in.
  • The first cup of tea in a morning.
  • A full days uninterrupted writing.
  • A glass of champagne, just because.

Five things I hate:
  • Marmite
  • Coffee
  • Rudeness
  • Heights (see most fabulous moments!!)
  • Shoes that look fabulous, but pinch like mad.

Five most fabulous moments:
  • The birth of my two daughters.
  • Renewing my wedding vows with 'Elvis' in Las Vegas!
  • Getting my very first fabulous blog follower (thank you, Sara).
  • The day I first believed in myself as a writer.
  • Walking across the Grand Canyon Skywalk - without the need for a blindfold and oxygen. Yay!

And five fabulous people I'd like to pass this award to are:
Check them out if you don't know them already, they are all Fabulous.

Sara at
Kate at
Sharon Bayliss at
Ashley Nixon at
Catherine Noble at

Thursday, 21 June 2012

On your marks ...

This week, a lot of schools seem to be, trying, to hold their annual Sports Day. I say, trying, because I know several have had to postpone events due to the good old British weather! Anyone else out there growing webbed feet yet?

Anyway, it got me thinking about some analogies between these traditional school events and the writing and publishing process. I thought I'd share some of them with you as they cheered me up today.

Egg and Spoon Race - This was always one of my personal favourites. Carefully balancing that little egg as you moved as quickly as you could towards the finishing line. You no doubt dropped it many times but you always picked it up and continued on your way. Occasionally, (if your school was one that used real eggs!) it broke and no matter how hard you tried you were never going to scoop it up and make it to the end, BUT, and this is the really important bit, it didn't stop you trying again next year did it? Isn't this exactly what we do as writers? We write, we nurture and protect, we move out into the big wide world of agents and publishers. We get a knock back and another and probably another but we keep going. Even when our precious 'egg' is broken by agent after agent, we don't let it stop us trying again.

Sack Race - This one reminded me of being stuck at the bottom of a slush pile, desperately trying to bounce my way past all my competitors and into the lovely agent's hands.

Obstacle Race - Erm, probably not much explanation needed here. You want me to jump through a hoop and balance on a narrow beam? Of course, I'm up for that!

100m Sprint - At last your chance to shine, you're ahead of the field. You've had a request for a full. Nothing can stop you now, that lovely gold medal is in sight. You reach the tape, victory is yours!! Yay, they love you, the crowd cheers as you secure your very own agent. 

Now all you have to do is run a marathon - secure a publisher, edit some more, promote your book etc etc. But never forget to smile, this is fun remember.


Sunday, 17 June 2012

2nd Edit complete - YAY!!

Well, I have finished my second edit of my young teen fantasy, Arrosay. I know it still needs work but at least the story is there and complete. I struggled midway with a couple of characters. My female protagonist, Emily, changed her voice and wasn't coming across the way I wanted her to. Mind you, she is rather a mixed up character anyway! And then I ended up killing off a character, that originally I had no intention of finishing off! But it felt right and I think the story is much stronger for it. There can't be a happy ever after every time can there?

I'm going to read through the whole manuscript again and check for any plot flaws and tidy up punctuation etc then I think I would really like to get someone else to read it. Scary, but totally necessary. I don't have a critique partner at the moment but I would really like to find one. Someone who can tell it like it is (hopefully without totally crushing me in the process!), and who I can help in return. Only trouble is, I have no idea how to go about finding someone! So if any of you out there can help or point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend and if you're celebrating 'Father's Day' today hope you have a good one!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Minack Theatre

Today I visited one of the most unique and interesting theatres in the world!

From above, The Minack Theatre (in Cornish, Minack means, 'rocky place') is reminiscent of  some ancient Greek ruin carved into the cliffs above Porthcurno in Cornwall. Actually, only eighty years or so ago there was nothing there apart from gorse bushes and seabirds!  The theatre was the creation of a determined woman called, Rowena Cade, who from 1931 until she died in 1983 planned, built and financed the project.

The production today was an adaptation of Roald Dahl's ,The Twits. Thankfully, the good old British weather was kind to us and apart from a short shower during the interval it remained fairly dry.  Performances are only very rarely cancelled and it is always worth going fully prepared for the elements!  Black bin bags are a good choice - you can sit on them, stick your legs in them or form them into a makeshift coat. This is not a theatre to attend in your evening dress and heels! As you can see from the photo it is a stunning place to enjoy a piece of theatre, the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and the passing boats is a natural production in it's own right. If you ever get the chance to visit, be sure to take it.

                                  View from cliffs above Porthcurno

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Pearl - The June Birthstone Unicorn

Hi everyone, today I am posting an extract from this month's birthstone unicorn story. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave any comments.
Pearl’s hooves sank into something warm and soft. “Sand,” she whispered, pawing the ground. The rainbow had brought her to some sand dunes. Peering over the top of the nearest dune Pearl saw a wide golden beach. Sun glistened on a blue green sea, and the rhythmic sound of the waves lapping at the shore made Pearl shiver with delight.
     Whilst most of the jewels in the birthstone unicorn’s horns were mined by gnomes who lived in the valley beyond The Enchanted Wood, Pearl’s jewel had originally been formed inside an oyster. Her special pearls had been gathered by the Merpeople who live in the ocean.
     Tossing her head from side to side, Pearl saw that there were many people on the beach, some were splashing around in the sea or surfing on the waves. She took a deep breath and tasted the salty air. It was wonderful; Pearl hadn’t visited the sea for a long time.
     Pearl wasn’t sure where the child who needed her was, she could feel that there was more than one child nearby with a birthday today. 
     Pearl remained invisible, she didn't want to show herself to anyone. She needed to find out which child had summoned her before she decided what to do. 
     Suddenly, she spotted a family by the rocks. She could see a little girl, who looked upset. There were two adults with her and they seemed to be shouting something and looking around. Pearl’s magical powers told her the girl had a birthday today, was she the child who needed her help? Pearl decided to move closer and see if she could find out.
     As she got nearer, Pearl began to sense that something was very wrong. She trotted quicker, her ears twisting from left to right as she tried to hear. Suddenly, her sharp ears picked something up and she began to run as fast as she could across the soft sand. But Pearl galloped past the girl; she was being pulled toward the sea.
     Skidding to a halt at the edge of the sea. Her legs tingled with anticipation as the salty water lapped over her hooves. At first she couldn’t see or hear anything, but then the song of another magical creature reached her. It was a voice Pearl knew very well. Oceanna, the mermaid, was singing, calling to her from her watery home beneath the waves.
     The world under the sea is huge. It is home to many wonderful creatures with magical secrets of their own, including mermaids and mermen. Their ruler, King Neptune, lives far beneath the waves in the deepest part of the ocean. His palace is made of coral and adorned with rare and beautiful shells collected from all the seas and oceans in the world.
      Her watery birthstone meant Pearl had always had a special link with the sea and she knew many of the creatures that lived there.
    Now, as she listened to the mermaid’s voice drift on the wind, her heart missed a beat as a flash of glittering silver and green touched the surface of the water. Oceanna’s head appeared above the waves; her shimmering blond hair glowing in the sunlight.
     “There’s danger here Pearl,” Oceanna sang, her soft voice could only be heard by Pearl. “A boy has fallen; banged his head on the rocks. I cannot get to him, he is stuck out of my reach and is unconscious. Please help.”
     Quick as a flash, Pearl leaped into the sea and started swimming towards the rocks. The water was cold but she swam on, following Oceanna’s voice. The water got deeper but Pearl was a strong swimmer and she reached Oceanna quickly.
     “Over there,” the mermaid pointed.
     Pearl saw the boy lying motionless on the rocks; hidden from the beach by an outcrop of spiky rock that jutted into the sea. The waves broke close by sending spray and foam crashing over him. The tide would soon cover him. She must act quickly.
      Swimming as fast as she could Pearl tried to reach the boy, but the currents were strong and they kept pushing Pearl back out to sea. She watched helplessly as a large wave splashed over the rocks, washing the boy into the sea.
     Oceanna dived headfirst beneath the waves, her silvery green tail flashed as she disappeared from sight. Oceanna couldn’t climb the rock to reach the boy, but she was an expert swimmer and diver!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

I have been out of the 'blogosphere' for a few days because I have been to London to visit the Queen! Well me and a few thousand others! My family, together with a bunch of our good friends, decided we wanted to be a part of this momentous piece of history.

On Sunday we took our place along the Thames, waiting for six hours for the flotilla of boats to pass us. This was a relatively short time compared to some of the lovely people we met on the day, some of whom camped over night.  As the first boat passed us, in true British style, the rain started again and by the time the flotilla finished we were all soaked. But it was so worth it. The atmosphere and sense of pageantry can only be experienced first hand and it was incredibly humbling to be part of it. I'm sure it will be something our children will tell their families about one day.

We had applied for tickets to the concert on Monday but were unfortunately unsuccessful so we headed to Hyde Park to watch on the giant screens. Again we arrived several hours early to secure a good spot but the weather was, thankfully, much kinder and it was nice to laze around on the grass, enjoying a picnic and a glass of Pimm's. As the time of the concert drew closer the crowds flocked and we soon found ourselves surrounded by people all happy and eager to celebrate.  If anything the atmosphere was more electric than the previous day. The concert was fantastic, my particular favourites were, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and Madness, who played on the roof of the Palace.

I was a child when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee, yet I still remember the day well. The village I lived in at the time held a fete on the school field. There was sports and a fancy dress parade. I went dressed as Queen Elizabeth the I and won! I wore a beautiful outfit my mother had made.

The Golden Jubilee I spent in a field with friends and members of the local community. There was tea and cakes and some rather unusual musical entertainment and a first aid display. But it was memorable and we still talk about it now.

It seemed only right that we should actually see The Queen commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. 60 years is an amazing achievement. Just think of all the things that have happened in the world during that time. It is an occasion that has given a lot of people a chance to celebrate, to relax and enjoy themselves and this in itself can only be a good thing in the tough world we all live in.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Pearl - The June Birthstone Unicorn

Wow, where did May go!

As promised I have posted June's birthstone details in the side bar for those of you celebrating a birthday this month.  Hope you find it interesting. You lovely folks have a pearl as your birthstone gem. A watery jewel for the hot summer months, very appropriate I think. Certainly my Birthstone Unicorn story for 'Pearl' is set by the sea. I'll post an extract later in the month. Meanwhile, the verse for June from the traditional poem.

June Birthstone poem - the Pearl
By her who in June was born
No gem save Pearls shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity