Monday 25 February 2013

Liebster Award

I was recently nominated for this award by the fabulous Charity at This is Life. Thank you for thinking about me Charity.

The rules for this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to that person's blog.
2. Answer eleven questions posted by the presenter, ask your nominees eleven questions, and list eleven random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate eleven bloggers who you feel deserve this award and have less than 200 followers.
4. Post the award on your blog.

Eleven random facts about me;
1. I love the smell of new cut grass. It reminds me of sunshine and summer days.
2. I admire people who wear hats, I wish I could throw one on and look cool and sophisticated but they just look ridiculous on me!
3. I don't like my handwriting. Is that weird for someone who loves writing so much?
4. I don't drink coffee.
5. I love jewellery, particularly bold necklaces and rings.
6. I renewed my wedding vows with 'Elvis' in Las Vegas for my 25 wedding Anniversary.
7. I like to light scented candles. I find them relaxing.
8. I enjoy looking at designer shoes. Note I said looking, I can't afford to buy them! Although I do own a pair of Jimmy Choos (they are second hand and two big for me but I own them!).
9. Favourite desert would be a nut and cream pavlova. Yum.
10. I am quite proud of my fingernails! They are long and strong. People often comment on them.
11. I hate things being crooked! I can't sleep if my husband has left his shoes unlined up or worse still crossed,  or if the curtains aren't closed right!

Here are the questions Charity posed for her nominees and my answers;
1. What's your favourite day of the week and why?  I really had to think about this one. I don't think I have a favourite day as any day can be good or bad depending on what you are doing.

2. What inspired you to become a writer? Writing is something I have always loved. I remember thinking as quite a young child 'I will write a book one day.' I love the idea of leaving something behind that people can read and enjoy, even if that only ever ends up being my family. I have this image in my head of some relative many years from now saying "This book was written by your great great grandmother, she was a writer you know."

3. Where is your favourite place? Why is it your favourite? One favourite place is somewhere I have only visited once. Lassen Volcanic Park in California. This place was amazing. We pulled up beside a beautiful meadow scattered with various wild flowers. There was a crystal clear stream running through it and a wood to the side. It is special to me as it is the place I think about when I write about the meadow and Mystical Lake where my Birthstone Unicorns live.

4. If you could have only one story published, what would it be about? Just one wow that's tough, I have so many I would like to see out there. But if I have to chose one I would say one of my Birthstone Unicorn stories. They have everything in them that I love, unicorns, magic, jewels, rainbows and happy endings!

5. Do you listen to music while writing? If so, what? Never, I find it a terrible distraction. I prefer peace and quiet so my characters can 'speak' to me.

6. What item can you not live without and why? If we are talking material items here I would say my laptop for pretty obvious reasons when you are a writer!

7. What is your biggest pet peeve and why? Rudeness. I just think there is no need for it. Manners and a smile cost nothing but can make all the difference to those around you. It also makes you feel better too.

8. What color describes you most and why? Easy one this, PURPLE! It is the colour that makes be feel happy and safe. Sometimes my family think I go too far with it!

9. What is your favourite number and why? Some may find this odd but I'm rather fond of the number 13! My eldest daughter was born on the 13. I've flown on this date too and it's one of my lottery numbers.

10. If you could choose one genre to define your life, what would it be? Definitely fantasy.

11. If you could change one event from your past, what would it be? Why? Another tricky one. Of course there are things I wish were different but surely if we change the past we effect the future.

My eleven questions are;

1) How long have you been blogging?
2) What's the best piece of writerly advice you've ever heard or been given?
3) What's the one thing you can't do without when sitting down to write?
4) Cats or dogs?
5) What is your favourite room in the house?
6) What are you reading at the moment?
7) Where would you like to visit and why?
8) What superpower would you choose?
9) Tell us about your favourite author and/or book?
10)Can you share a favourite quote?
11) Freestyle! Pick your own question you would like to answer.

I am not going to nominate any particular bloggers for this one, so many of you have already done it.  I've done it once already but it was months ago so figured I could run with it once more as the questions are different. Also I simply don't have time to check through everyone's blogs and find out but I happily pass this award on to any of my lovely followers who would like to carry it on. I hope someone picks it up and answers my questions. Have fun!

Wednesday 20 February 2013

One step at a time.

Have you ever got so tied up in an online life or allowed the lives of the characters and worlds we create takeover so that when 'real' life throws you a curve ball it can send you into a free fall? That's kind of where I've been the last few weeks. I'm not going to go into loads of details on my blog, it doesn't feel right and it's personal to my family but I woke up this morning and it felt right to write this post and let you all know that I'm still here. Down, definitely, but not out!  I've had some lovely supportive comments and emails and I truly appreciate each and every one of them, so thank you. I will try and visit a few blogs and catch up with you properly. If you are a new follower, I thank you, I will pop over and see you real soon.
I'm going to ease myself back into things gently and this post is the start of that journey. I know it will have it's ups and downs and there may be spells when I disappear offline for a day or two but I intend to try and kickstart my creative juices and continue to follow my writing dreams. Life, after all, is too short and precious to waste.
As I'm sure you will have all noticed it is February now! I did update my sidebar with details of this month's birthstone, the gorgeous Amethyst. One of my favourites as it happens, did I every tell you guys I'm rather fond of the colour purple?! Over the next few days I will post a sample from Amethyst's story but if it is your birthday this month can I take this opportunity to wish you a very 'Happy Birthday.' Here's the verse from the traditional Gregorian Birthstone Poem just for you.

The February born shall find
sincerity and peace of mind,
freedom from passion and from care,
if they, the amethyst will wear.
Your birth flower this month is the very pretty violet. Yay a purple flower as well!
You may recall that January's flower was the snowdrop. It is of European origin and several people commented on the fact that they didn't know this flower. Normally I have some in my garden and I wanted to post a picture but the weather had been so wet there weren't any around. However, I did go out for a lovely walk in the sunshine on Sunday and guess what? I saw literally hundreds of snowdrops. There were swathes of them in the woodland I was in, more than I had ever seen all together before, so naturally I took a couple of photos and to close this post I will share them with you.


Wednesday 6 February 2013

Cat and The Dreamer Blog Tour

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming the lovely Annalisa Crawford as part of her Cat & The Dreamer Blog Tour. Welcome, Annalisa it's great to have you here.


It's been a year since my novella Cat and The Dreamer was published! There have been lots of changes in my own life in that time, and I started to wonder what else had changed...

Thank you Suzanne for inviting me over today!

Today's topic: TV!

This seemed like such a good idea at the time, to write about TV - after all, I have a TV, I watch TV... It turns out, I don't so much watch it as have it on in the background. Hubby is the one who watches TV - I pick out of the shows he's watching. For example, in 2012 he watched Alcatraz, The Newsroom, Awake, Hell on Wheels and Arrow. And out of all of those, I watch Arrow.

If you haven't seen it, it's worth watching just for this:

That scene pretty much made my mind up!

Although it wasn't that guy so much as this guy:

See, I told you I don't watch TV much. My idea of a good TV day is Homes Under the Hammer followed by endless repeats of How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory... and not one of them is a new programme.

Sorry, Suzanne, this post is a bit of a fail...

About Cat and The Dreamer

As a teenager, Julia survived a suicide pact, while her best friend Rachel died. Julia’s only escape from her guilt, and her mother’s over-protection, is her imagination. When Adam arrives in the office, Julia’s world takes a startling turn as she realises reality can be much more fun than fantasy. Finally she has someone who can help her make the most of her life. But can she allow herself to be truly happy?

Cat and The Dreamer is available on Kindle UK, Kindle US, Kobo, Nook, iTunes/iBooks, and via Vagabondage Press.

Annalisa Crawford lives and writes in Cornwall with a good supply of beaches and moorland to keep her inspired. She finds endless possibilities in the relationships between people. Several new projects are on the cards for 2013.

Find her on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Annalisa, your TV watching seems very much like mine! I sit in the living room with the rest of the family, the TV is on and I flick my eyes to it every now and then but mostly I'm distracted by something on my laptop or I'm catching up with blogs! It works fine for most of the stuff we watch but isn't so good if the programme is a thriller or drama when you need to concentrate. I have been known to pretend I know exactly whats going on when in reality I haven't a clue!

Friday 1 February 2013

Imaginary Friend Bloghop

Today I am pleased to be part of the Imaginary Friend Bloghop hosted by Annalisa Crawford and Kyra Lennon to celebrate the first anniversary of Annalisa's book Cat & The Dreamer. Congratulations, Annalisa. I read the story recently and thought it very thought provoking so if you haven't read it yet I recommend you think about adding it to your TBR list.

When I saw this hop about imaginary friends I had to sign up. I didn't have just one imaginary friend I had several - a whole family in fact! I never knew for sure but I don't think my family knew about them. I didn't have to do things like set a place for them at the dinner table so there was no reason for anyone to know. Of course, they may have heard me chattering to them and just never mentioned it! I think I actually preferred keeping them to myself, going off for a chat or telling my 'other family' about some problem or other. It certainly helped me work through things in my life. I don't see imaginary friends as weird at all.

As well as imaginary family members I also had a stable full of world class show jumping horses! I could really 'see' them. A beautiful chestnut mare, a magnificent black stallion and a gentle grey. Yes I did always want a real horse but that wasn't an option so I guess I made my  own.

When I look back at it now maybe my active imagination is why I find myself writing so much fantasy. In make believe  people and animals can do and say whatever you want.

Wow, it was good to get all that off my chest! I look forward to hearing about all your imaginary friends.  Hope it's not just me!

Please note this is a scheduled post and due to current personal circumstances I may not be able to respond as quickly as usual, but I thank you all for visiting and I look forward to catching up with your stories as soon as I am able x