Monday, 27 August 2012

Pause for thought.... or a few thoughts really!

I'm in a reflective mood.

Taken by my late aunt on a trip to New Zealand

Please feel free to stop reading this now if sentimental, personal stuff isn't your thing. I shan't be offended - just as I hope any of you continuing to read this won't be offended by my sudden need to write this down and get it off my chest! Maybe my kids will actually stumble across it one day and take something away from it.

Both of my wonderful daughters have received excellent results in their respective exams this summer. The eldest will now start university next month and the youngest will begin her 'A' levels.

You have both worked hard and deserve your achievments so far. You probably won't read this for years (your usual jibe going something like, "Oh Mum's blogging again, lol,") but when you do, know how proud Dad and I are of you. Keep it up and you will go far.  Reach for the stars and follow your dreams. I can't promise they will all come true or that life will always be a bed of roses but as you may have heard me say before, 'the only failure in life is a failure to try.' Look at me, as I write this I'm still chasing my dream of publication and the opportunity to share my stories with the world!

It's a daunting yet exciting stage of life isn't it? I've watched them grow and develop from little girls, reliant on us for everything into wonderful independent young ladies ready and able to make their own decisions and follow their chosen paths. The scary thing is it seems to have happened in the blink of an eye! So my message here, for those of you with young children, or expecting babies soon, is this; enjoy every minute, takes loads of photos. Most importantly, make time to do stuff together and build memories that will last a lifetime. It's strange what they remember years later and it doesn't have to be something that costs a fortune. Our kids laugh about camping trips we had ten miles away from where we live and our own sports days we held in the back garden!

31 years ago today my own father died. Struck down with a heart attack at a young age. He didn't even get to see his own children finish school, let alone meet his grandchildren or share in any of their success. Barely a day goes by when I don't feel regret for all the memories we have been denied. Perhaps it's one of the reasons I believe it so important to share as much with our children and families as we can. Time is precious.

The photo above was taken by a dear aunt of mine (Dad's sister), who sadly passed away last year. She loved to travel and experience new things. Spending many happy trips with her husband, and later, when she was widowed, she would often travel alone. This photo she took in 1994 in New Zealand, whilst visitng family as part of a round the world ticket. A strong, independent lady whom I admired very much. I think it is a beautiful photo and echoes my mood perfectly.

Anyway, enough for now, I just wanted to pay tribute to a few special people.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Be Inspired

Recently, Peggy Shumway at Fragrance of Thought tagged me for this meme. Thank you Peggy.

This meme gives us the chance to share some information about our current projects by answering some questions.

What is the name of your book?
I am still working on a final title but at the moment I am going with, ARROSAY KEY OF ESMELDA. I might try and shorten it as it feels a little wordy.

Where did the idea for your book come from?
If I'm being honest I can't quite remember! The seed of the story definitely started with the image of stumbling across a bridge that seemed to serve no purpose. I kept wondering why it was there and the temptation to cross it was too great!

In what genre would you classify your book?
Fantasy. Written for the teen market.

If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition who would you choose?
This is tricky. I can see my three main characters so clearly in my head when I write that I'm not sure I can pick anyone at the moment!

Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book?
Two worlds, two families - joined across time and generations.

Is your book already published?
Sadly no.

How long did it take you to write your book?
About 8 months to get a first draft and to run through it again on an initial edit. Additionally, the last 3 months have involved editing and rewriting sections following feedback. I think I have about another month of edits to do before I am ready to send it out into the world.

What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or readers of which books would enjoy yours?
Although I would never wish to compare myself directly to anyone else's work I guess this story may appeal to lovers of, 'The Narnia Chronicles' by C.S. Lewis.

Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Probably every author of every book I've ever read! Seriously, I think anyone who writes, whether published or not, is an inspiration.

Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book?
There are dwarves, goblins, hairy trolls and stone gargoyles that come to life. A super cool talking rat and labrador dogs that row boats! An orb that can foretell the future and a whistle that can freeze time. Evil swamp creatures called, Aswang and the magical, Borah who live above the clouds. Oh yes, and if that isn't enough, there's a beautiful princess and her snow cat!

I hope you enjoyed finding out a little more about my WIP, now I have to tag 5 others to participate.

My apologies if you have already been tagged with this one or it isn't relevant to you at the moment it is hard to keep track of these sometimes.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A day at sea...

I have been working very hard the last couple of days, trying to grab an hour here and there for editing between family stuff and visitors. I like to get up early when the house is quiet to work before everyone else starts moving about. The weather, sadly, hasn't been great and today is no exception! It is dark and gloomy more like November really so to wake me up this morning I flicked through a few holiday photos and reflected on my recent trip in the sunshine. Thought I would share a few random thoughts.

The first day of our cruise was spent at sea. Having never experienced this before I was unsure how I would feel. Would I feel sick? Would I be bored. Would I simply want to get off!? What I actually experienced was none of these, so I was unprepared for the total sense of freedom that washed over me.

As I stood on the bow of the ship with the wind in my hair and its gentle sting on my face, I felt myself relax. Of course there were lots of fellow passengers with me, but their presence was briefly erased and, for a moment, I felt alone with my thoughts. With no distractions I started to look closer, spotting things that I might so easily have missed. The way a seabird expertly flipped over the waves at the side of the ship, exposing a flash of white underbelly. It reminded me of a game of tag as a group of them danced and swerved missing each other by a feather! I felt almost tearful as I caught a glimpse of a dolphin skimming the waves, a mother with a baby at her side, they seemed to be having so much fun.

How easy it is for us to miss things in our busy daily lives? Sometimes it's not till we stop that we can truly appreciate the world around us. Its beauty, its frailty and even its harshness. I look out the window now I think, I'm warm, I'm dry, I've got a cuppa, and I start to feel more positive.

Yes I enjoyed the opportunity to step off the rollercoaster for a while, to relax away from phones, the Internet and the regular stresses of life. Sure when you get home all those things are still there, but for now I feel ready to return to my WIP with a new set of eyes. I hope the feeling stays with me - for a while at least.

I hope you all have found a few moments to relax and be inspired this summer.

Sunset from the deck

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Magic 8 Ball Meme

Before I went on holiday the lovely, Heather at Random Interruptions tagged me for The Magic 8 Ball Meme. Thanks Heather.

In short, here are the rules:1. Post the button and link to Jaycee (following would be nice, but not required).

2. Share an excerpt from your current WIP, perhaps something you're struggling with, are stuck on, or just can't "get right."

3. Ask a question about your excerpt. It can be something easy such as "What do you think?" or something more in-depth, such as "Can you suggest a better way to word such-and-such," or "How can I make the emotions in this scene more realistic?"

4. Tag 8 people.

As regular followers of my blog will no doubt know I am frantically editing my teen fantasy, ARROSAY, at the moment. The following is a section that I have been working on recently. It is the opening few paragraphs!  So basically, does it draw you in? Do you like it or hate it!?Any help or thoughts gratefully received. 

Excerpt removed for editing. Thanks for all your feedback.


Thanks so much for taking time to read it!

And finally to tag eight more people. Sorry guys if you have already had this one.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Best laid plans...

I know a week ago I announced I was back and I know that since that time I have been pretty absent again! Apologies. My well laid plans, as is so often the case, got scuppered and chances to switch on my computer have seemed scarce! I had to go away for a couple of days to family and now I'm home with visitors. One or two other family matters have cropped up as well so I am expecting this week to be a bit hit and miss too.

Husband went back to work today so I decided to get up early this morning while the house was quite and try and have an hour to myself before everyone else surfaces. I don't know about you guys but I always do my best work and thinking when I have peace and quiet.We watched the closing ceremony of Olympics last night so I expect they will all sleep in a little. Some great music, quite a spectacle I thought. Did you watch it?

I have got a couple of posts half prepared so may get to them during week, will just see how it goes.

Nice glass of refreshing mint tea anyone?

Tasted this on holiday. It was delicious! And such pretty glasses.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

I'm back!

Hello everyone!

Returned from a lovely weeks break with my family. We took a cruise off the coast of Spain but more on that later. I will try to catch up with everyone's blogs over the next few days but apologies if I take a wee bit longer.

To do list reads:
  • Write post for blog (check!).
  • Catch up with any blog related matters and emails.
  • Continue with edits of ARROSAY.
  • Investigate a couple of competitions that sound interesting.
  • Write up some notes that I made whilst away - some new ideas.
  • Catch up with all the washing! Although raining here so don't think there is any rush to get everyone's summer clothes ready.
  • Prepare spare room for visitors.

Well that's all for now I'm going to start on my to do list. First stop I think better be WRiTE CLUB and catch up with the action there. I'll leave you with a pic of the view from my room the last week - awesome or what?

Monday, 6 August 2012


I know, I am supposed to be away for a few days but I promised to give a shoutout today for our fellow blogger Kyra Lennon.

Kyra Lennon is officially releasing her book 'Game On' today - Yay congratulations Kyra.

Game On Synopsis
After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

Game On Buy