Friday 30 August 2013

Celebrate the small things

Hi everyone, just a few lines to let you know I am back from my blogging break. Had a lovely week with the family. There was little internet connection where we were staying so went 'cold turkey' on all things social media related. Apt actually as we were holidaying in Turkey except it was anything but cold!! So I'm celebrating spending time relaxing with family, trying some lovely new foods and swimming in warm seas. I'll try and catch up with you all over the coming days, in between loads of washing etc. To new followers, thank you and welcome.

Have a great weekend

Friday 16 August 2013

Sporadic Blogger and Celebrate the Small Things

I've been a bit sporadic with my blogging habits this last week or so! I think it is just that time of year, holidays, family visits and so on dominate and I know it is a similar story for a lot of you. Even though I am officially 'off work' till September there still doesn't seem enough hours in the day and finding any decent writing time is tricky. But I have managed a little so I am not too worried, sometimes other things have to come first. I expect my schedule to continue in this vain until the begininng of September so if I disappear offline for a bit don't worry, I'll be back! I'll try and get my WRiTE CLUB votes in as it nears the end of the first round. Interesting competition with some tough bouts this year. Still time to sign up to vote.

Before I check out of the blogosphere for a while here is this weeks post for the weekly 'Celebrate the small things' hop hosted by Viklit over at Scribblings of an Aspiring Author. Thanks Vikki.

I won a book in Nancy LaRonda Johnsons' giveaway
I caught up with some more friends I haven't seen in ages
My elderly cat, who has been poorly, is seeming a little better
I've been helping daughter No.2 draft her 'Personal Statement' to accompany her university application. It's an exercise in creative writing skills and editing but I think we are getting somewhere with it now!
Her AS level results yesterday were brilliant - 3xAs and 1xB. So pleased for her
I'm also looking ahead to later in the week when we are going away for a family break

Well that seems like a few good reasons to celebrate!
 Have a great weekend.

Friday 9 August 2013

Short break

Hi all, something's come up so no time for a proper post today I'm afraid. Catch you next week. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Once upon a time .... (IWSG post)

Once upon a time there lived a very insecure writer. She wanted to write a book. Her head was so full of words if she didn't write them down somewhere it would surely explode. But she was no one special, no one famous or important, it would be doomed to failure, so why bother? 

"There's no comparison between what's lost by not trying and what's lost by not succeeding"
Francis Bacon
- Francis Bacon
Eventually she stopped listening to those negative voices in her head, sat down at her laptop and began to write. She wrote and wrote. All the years of wanting and waiting turned suddenly to a flood. Words flowing from her fingers like water from a flume. She couldn't stop.

"When I'm writing, I know I'm doing the thing I was born to do."
Anne Sexton

Until one day the words dried out and she hit a period of drought. The words were not gushing from her fingers any more. She spent hours staring at her laptop, willing her muse to return. Often she would write a few lines only to delete them shortly afterwards. They were rubbish, she was rubbish, why would she ever think she could be a 'proper' writer? She should just give up now and forget about her silly dreams.

“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."  
   Thomas Edison 

Yet something inside her wouldn't let her give up. She was one of life's fighters, when she set her mind to something she didn't like to let go. But it was surely hard. She would often cry or scream. Lock herself away in a room for hours or walk to nowhere in particular, just to think. The stories invaded her dreams, her waking hours, her very being. She received ridicule from some and rejection from others. Life itself threw her various obstacles to obscure her path. She tripped and stumbled, deviated once or twice, but through it all, maybe even in spite of it all, she continued. The dream lived; if anything it burned stronger than ever.

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
- Albert Einstein

Then one day she typed the immortal words, 'The End.' She had done it! Despite all the odds she had finished her story. The proof was in front of her.

"If you've FINISHED writing a novel you are amongst the elite!!! You ARE NOT A FAILURE IF YOU CANNOT LIVE OFF YOUR BOOKS. You only fail by NOT TRYING."
- Nadia Cornier

She felt on top of the world, all the work, all the emotional pain had been worth it. She had won her small victory.

“Success is a finished book, a stack of pages each of which is filled with words. If you reach that point, you have won a victory over yourself no less impressive than sailing single-handed around the world.
- Tom Clancy

She basked in her little shower of glory for awhile. Comfortable with the knowledge that she had completed what she set out to do. But now what? The voices in her head began to chatter once more, nagging her until she gave in. After all, what is the point if no one ever gets to read the fruits of her labour? So she bravely decided to show her work to others. Opening her soul to criticism. The initial cocoon of satisfaction she had built around her self began to crumble, as self esteem toppled like a stack of cards. She realised it wasn't the perfect little baby she thought it had been.

“Books aren't written -- they're rewritten. Including your own.
It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the
seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it.
- Michael Crichton

But our heroine is a fighter, she doesn't give up. She pulled herself up and got down to work. And when she got knocked again and again, she did the same thing. 

"This is a stamina game, so don't despair if you run down a blind alley and have to start over, or if you get another rejection letter. Every successful writer has gone through that, but they kept writing and didn't quit until they made it happen."
- Tim Maleeny

And that is where we leave our heroine for today. Still knocking and waiting for the door to open, but more importantly still loving what she does and believing in dreams. 

"To be successful a writer needs two things. Belief and hope. Belief in themselves and their writing and hope that others share their belief."
Suzanne Furness

To be continued ...

With grateful thanks to all the authors of the above quotes. Their words can show us we are not alone, others have trod the path we walk today. This is a post for the IWSG. Click HERE for all the information and to join us. With thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting, assisted this month by  M. Pax, Karen Walker and Melissa Maygrove.

Monday 5 August 2013

Birthstone Unicorns - Peridot

August already and, if you hadn't guessed, the birthstone I am featuring this month is the summery peridot. Check out the sidebar to learn a little about the meaning and symbolism surrounding this gem.

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that is found in only one colour - green. Although the intensity and tint of the green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, because of this the individual stones can range from  near yellow shade, through lime and olive tints up to a brownish green. The mid tones generally being the most prized.

Peridot throughout the ages;

  • Since ancient times the stone has been seen as a symbol of the sun and a gift from Mother Nature.
  • The ancient Greeks belived it bestowed royal dignity on its wearer.
  • During the Middle Ages, peridot was pierced and strung on the hair from an ass. People attached it to their  left arm to ward off evil spirits. They might also place a peridot under the tongue of sick people to reduce a  fever.
  • The Crusaders confused peridots with emeralds and brought many to Europe, where they were often used  to decorate churches.
  • Ancient Eygptians considered them a very spirtual gem. Priests would brew a drink made from the crushed  stones. They would drink it hot during various ceremonies believing by doing so it brought them closer to nature.
  • According to legend peridot was a favourite gemstone of Cleopatra.
  • Peridot is thought to have magical powers to protect against nightmares, particularly when set in gold. 
  • The Romans referred to the stone as 'The Evening Emerald' as it could be seen by lamplight even at night.
  • In Hawaii peridots symbolize the tears of the volcanic goddess, Pele.
  • Napolean is said to have given Josephine a gift of peridot as a symbol of undying love.
  • And today the peridot is also the anniversary stone to represent 16 years of marriage.

The verse from the Gregorian Poem for August  is not my favourite as it seems a little harsh to me! But I've included it for anyone who is interested to read.

 'Wear a Peridot or for thee,
No conjugal fidelity,
The August born without this stone,
Tis said, must live unloved alone."

Finally, if you would like to read a short extract from my 'Birthstone Unicorns' story for this month click on the tap at the top and prepare to meet, Peridot the unicorn!

Happy Birthday to all of you celebrating this month.

Friday 2 August 2013

Weekly small celebrations

I had a lovely few days with my friend last weekend so I am still celebrating friendship this week. 

Also this week I went up to London to see the musical 'Les Miserables.' It was part of our daughter's birthday present and we have been looking forward to it since we told her about it back in April. The show was fabulous.

When I got back yesterday waiting for me was this;

which I won in a recent giveaway from David Powers King. Thanks David, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Happy weekend everyone.