An excerpt from a new story

So, I’ve published an early excerpt from a Steampunk fantasy historical book I’ve been working on. See it here:

https://vocal.media/fiction/esther-abercrombie-and-the-legend-of-loch-ness?utm_campaign=Your%20story%20has%20been%20approved&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Sendgrid

Koen De Bouw and Writing Tips

So I’m writing today feeling all mellow having spent last night in my friend’s hot tub in her back garden looking up at the stars and drinking wine. It was amazing. Magical. Thank you A for having me over to enjoy the tub. I did, however, fall in when I tried to get in which had us all laughing. Typical of me!

Anyway, how are you all? Hope you’re well and have been having a good weekend.

I’ve not a lot to talk about this week as I have been mainly writing. The Sisters of Sin series is definitely going to come out next year. We’ve set new deadlines and we are sticking to them. I’ve written one book and have a good plan of the second book. I just need to sit down and write it. My tv series script is moving forward at a faster pace now and we’ve put in some amazing plots developments. I’m so excited about it. I’ve also been writing and uploading a load of articles on to Medium and Vocal media, and have shared their links in my social media posts. However, I’ll slot them in at the and of this article if you’re interested in reading them. I hope you do. Please give me a clap on Medium and heart on Vocal if you enjoy the articles. Some are older, but I’m promoting them again.

Koen De Bouw as Professor T

Last week, I also watched the entire third series of the original (Belgium) version of Professor T and, I hate to say it, but the British version is not a patch on it. I like the British version, but the original is far quirkier and sharper. It stars Koen De Bouw as criminologist Professor Teerlinck who helps the Federal Police solve murders. It’s a comedy and highly entertaining. De Bouw is excellent as the oddbod Professor T. It’s on Channel 4 boxsets and is part of the Walter Presents series, which is also excellent. I’ve downloaded several other of those series to watch and I’ll let you know how I get on.

My Open University course started yesterday, but because I was so busy (I also met other friends for a late lunch), I’ve not started it yet.

In other news, I’m currently attempting to hatch some Silkie chicks. Not from my own girls, but fertilised eggs I bought of Ebay (you really can buy anything from Ebay). I’ve got another two weeks to go and I’ll let you know how I get on. It’s looking hopeful for two of the eggs.

Right, that’s me for this week. I’m away to make lunch and start another Walter Presents series. Til next time,

Dawn xxxx

Those links:

The tragic story behind the creation of the Morse Code https://vocal.media/fyi/the-tragic-story-behind-the-morse-code

The truth about the Battle of Hastings and how Harold really died. https://vocal.media/fyi/the-truth-about-the-battle-of-hastings

Ten of the best quotes for when you feel like giving up writing https://dawnnelson-46858.medium.com/ten-best-quotes-about-writing-3e2c07493d2b

The Chinese Pirate Queen https://vocal.media/fyi/the-chinese-pirate-queen

Ten quotes about writing https://dawnnelson-46858.medium.com/ten-best-quotes-about-writing-3e2c07493d2b

The things I’ve learned as a writer https://dawnnelson-46858.medium.com/the-things-ive-learned-as-a-writer-68d8940c99b5

Five online tools to help with your writing https://dawnnelson-46858.medium.com/five-online-tools-to-help-you-plan-your-novel-982aed39a1dd

A whirlwind three weeks, TRNSMT and living like the Amish

So

So, how have you been? Hope all is well with you and yours. It’s been a mad few weeks here at Nelson Towers as life opens up again in Scotland. We have all fully recovered from Covid-19, which is a relief. I have been out every weekend for the last three weekends and I loved every minute of it.

Firstly, I went to a Queen tribue night at Glasgow’s O2 theatre with three great friends. It was a band called The Bohemians and they were superb.

Secondly, I attended TRNSMT on the Saturday of the festival. TRNSMT is an annual music festival and we – me and the same friends – were supposed to go last year, but it was cancelled. My ticket was bought for my by aforementioned friends for my 50th birthday last year (thank you guys, it was bloody brilliant). Due to Covid, the festival didn’t happen until two weeks ago and it was superb. I love live music. I saw Keane, Primal Scream and Liam Gallagher to name the music acts I actually knew! 😉  I’m not a fan of Liam Gallagher or of Oasis, but he was really good. Anyway, it was brilliant, but I was shattered the next day. Totally worth it.

Last weekend (and another 50th birthday present from a different friend), I went to see Chicago at The King’s Theatre in Glasgow. What a brilliant production. I first saw the live show in London eleven years ago for my 40th and this one was for my 50th last year. It was superb. You know how your heart sings when you are somewhere you just love being? That was me watching Chicago. Thank you V for the ticket and the great company (along with J).

Okay, so this weekend, I am at home and putting my feet up. I’ve had a lot of events recently, time to have a quiet one I think.

So, what have you lot been up to? Hope you are all doing well. Unfortunately, Covid still rages on in Scotland. Cases went up when the kids went back to school in mid August, but seem to be going down again, thank goodness.

Okay, on to the important things. What have I been doing? Apart from scriptwriting (my God our script is complicated, but it’s so goooood. I really hope it gets made one day) and my social media business, I’ve been working on another Sisters of Sin book. And watching telly and reading books.

The Darling Buds of May

TV – I just love nostalgic series, so have started watching The Darling Buds of May again. I just LOVE it. It’s easy watching and well, just nice. I’ve also been watching Vigil on BBC. It’s the only BBC programme I’ve watched in a long time and it’s good. It’s quite gripping, the storyline is good, but I’m finding it hard to like the main character.  Suranne Jones is a great actress, I love her in Gentleman Jack, but I’m just not warming to her. Anyway, we have one more to go of this series to find out who the baddies are.

Books – still on my love affair with John Boyne and reading his The Thief of Time. I’ve got about three chapters left to read and am loving it. He’s a superb writer. I also recently read Living Without Electricity: Lessons from the Amish by Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pelman, which was a very enjoyable books about Stephen and his wife’s time living in an Amish-like community for 18 months. It’s not a book on how to do things, but about their experiences. Really interesting and a great read.

Right, I am currently getting pestered by a hungry elderly pug and her two doggy peers who know it’s around their dinner time. So, I must go and I will see you again very soon. Til next time.

Dawnxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve had Covid 19, binge watched telly and read lots of books

So, I’m back at the keyboard today after a couple of weeks absence. The reason? Well, the nasty-cold-verging-on-flu we all thought we had turned out to be Covid 19 and me and my two kids have spent the last ten days trying to get over it. I’ve been double vaccinated and I think that’s why I didn’t have such a severe case of it as the kids did. My poor daughter got it worst and was pretty ill. She’s much, much better now. She had it since a week last Wednesday, I started having symptoms on the Thursday. My son, who only started showing symptoms last Sunday, still has the nasty Covid cough. Anyway, the main thing is we’re all getting over and it and are fine. Thank God.

It’s set me back a fair bit though. I have stuff I need to do around the garden and in my home. Anyway, it can’t be helped. Emma and I spent about four days lying in the living room binge watching various films and tv series. I watched The Defeated on Netflix. It’s excellent. It’s set in 1946 Berlin and there’s a serial killer on the loose. Really good. We also watched Cruella, which I loved (watched it again last night) and loads of others including Clueless (still good to watch) and Meet the Fockers (Emma hadn’t seen any of those films before and is now a fan).

Xander spent at lot of time in his room playing online games with his friends until he was felled by Covid. Then he spent three days in his bed and only emerged on Tuesday night. He’s not a big lover of watching tv with me, but we did enjoy Beetlejuice last night. I love a Tim Burton film!

During my confinement in Covid jail, I also read a number of books. Most of them were on writing:

The 5000 words per Hour book is by Chris Fox and is his take on how you can improve how many words you can write in an hour. Sounds boring to anyone but writers, but I enjoyed it. Going to incorporate some of his tips into my writing so I can be more productive.

A Glasgow Kiss is a chick lit novel by Sophie Gravia about a trainee nurse in Glasgow who is looking for love. It’s a highly amusing tale, some of it quite disgusting, but very enjoyable. It is the perfect book to read when you want something light and easy. Thanks to my nurse friend, Jane, for loaning it to me.

Outlining Your Novel is another great book for writers. I’m about halfway through it and it sets out why it’s a good idea to not be a pantser, but to actually plan your books. I have taken the suggestions on board and planned out a rough plan for my current work in progress. I was always a bit of a planner, but this has made me be more strategic about it.

Finally, I’m nearing the end of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. I’m reading it as part of this year’s uni coursework, but to be honest I’ve been wanting to read Angela Carter’s work for some time. I  loved The Company of Wolves film which is based on one of her short stories (which is in The Blood Chamber) and just love her take and twists on fairy tales. If any Angela Carter fans out there can suggest which of her books I should read next, I’d be most grateful!

Right, I am off to write some more of my novel. Til next time!

Dawnxx

My love affair with John Boyne and why I’m buying ethical chocolate from now on

Hello from rainy Scotland. Now today’s weather is more like what we normally have for summer. In case you weren’t aware, for the last couple of weeks we’ve been experiencing hot sunny weather…which was nice, but not normal. Global warming at its best. Today, it’s cooler and raining.

Anyway, how are you? Hope you’re well and have had a good couple of weeks. I’m currently nursing red eyes having peeled and chopped a large bag of onions this morning to put in the dehydrator (dehydrated onions are lovely rehydrated in soups, stews and sauces). Anyway, despite wearing onion goggles (yes those exist), the onions still managed to get into my eyes and I had to run out of the kitchen, blinded by tears, to the downstairs toilet so I could wash them out. Yes, I am looking adorable right now!! 😉

My love affair with Irish author John Boyne continues. No, I’m not actually having an affair with him, I just love his books. I’m currently reading The Heart’s Invisible Furies and it’s an amazing book. I’m desperate to know how it ends, but I don’t want to finish it either. Sigh.

He’s the guy that wrote The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

I’ve never read that book nor seen the film as I know what happens in the end and I don’t think I could bear it. Anyway, this is my second John Boyne novel and I am now a lifelong fan. He’s a superb storyteller.

What else have I been up to? Well, I was going to cut our front hedge this morning. It’s a large hedge and desperately needs cutting, but the hedge cutter needs charging. I had actually charged it yesterday – or so I thought. What I had actually done was set it up to charge, but didn’t push the battery into the charger properly, so when I went to start up the hedge cutter, it was dead. Pan breid! So, the battery is back in the charger and I hope (fingers crossed) it’s charging. To my lovely neighbours: yes I know the hedge is a mess, I’m doing it tomorrow. Promise! It’s raining now anyway, so I can’t do it now.

I met up with a couple of friends last weekend for a late lunch. We ate at La Lanterna which is an Italian restaurant next to Central Station in Glasgow. The food was great (I had the mussels followed by lasagne) and the chat hilarious. The two ladies I met – Laurina and Carol – are friends of mind whom I used to work with. We’ve not seen each other for months due to the pandemic and it was great to catch up. We had a right laugh. Can’t wait to see you two again sometime soon.

Glasgow, by the way, was jumping. There were so many people in Buchanan Street (I had to walk down it to get from Queen Street station where my train comes in to Central Station) was heaving. It was so bad, I put my mask back on just to get through it. A few other people did the same, but basically it was back to a normal type Saturday afternoon for everyone else. I’m still concerned about Covid, so I’m still doing my best to socially distance from others particularly in a crowd. What was nice, though, was seeing how happy everyone looked. Just hope this is us on the final stretch back to normality.

I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past week for  my Sisters of Sin second novel, Envy. I want to do something on the impact of business on the environment and, when looking into it, discovered to my horror how bad the chocolate industry is. There are people, children, working on African cocoa farms who are basically slaves. This is going to be one of my themes for this novel. I had no idea things were still so bad. And the cocoa is bought by large companies whom we all know and love. I’m going to  buy ethical chocolate in future. I can’t keep buying chocolate that’s been harvested by people in forced labour. It’s just not right. Here’s a Washington Post article on it from December last year if you’re interested in finding out more.

Okay, so that’s me for this week. I’m off for another cup of tea and maybe a wee biscuit. Hmmmm. Til next week.

Dawn xx

Why I Want to Stick My Head in a Bucket and John Boyne is My New Favourite Author

So, how’s your week been so far? It’s Wednesday and I am truly suffering from hayfever today. Although the weather has got slightly colder and it was raining last night (so welcome – that heat last week was way too much for me), my allergies have gone into overdrive. I just want to dunk my face into a big bucket of cold water. That’s what I feel like doing.

Well, I’ve gone and did it. I actually started writing Envy over the weekend, my second book in the Sisters of Sin series I’m writing with international authors. I have about 4000 words written already. My plan is to write a minimum of 2000 words a day so that I have my first draft finished by the end of next month.  Wish me luck!

Just finished reading John Boyne’s A Ladder to the Sky:

It’s a superb book. I really recommend it. It’s about a handsome writer who will stop at nothing, including murder, to make it as a writer. Just when you think he can’t stoop any lower, he does. Even the ending is just him all over. I was glued to it, truly gripped. It is told from the point of view of various unfortunates that the protagonist, Maurice Swift, comes into contact with. This book was leant to my by my lovely friend Jane, who also leant me four other John Boyne books. Thank you Jane. You’ve made me a John Boyne fan. Can’t wait to start the next one.

I am also in the process of reading Craig Martelle’s How to Be a Successful Indie Writer:

It’s full of great tips on running your own indie author business. I’ve had this book for a while, but not read it. I decided recently that if I every want to make a go of being an indie author I better get my head down, learn everything I can and just do it.  Part of that is reading this book and three others in the same series, and I also wrote down some aims and objectives. You gotta have a plan!

Right, I am going to finish up here. Til next time,

Dawn xx

 

How to Keep a Pug Cool and the Delights of Silkies

So, it’s been just over a month since I last wrote and that’s because I’ve been trying to sort out the house to leave me free to write more. I’m nearly there. Got a couple more things to do in the garden and that’s it.

Plus the heat this week has been draining me and making me too tired to write. I need to get back into it…I know that.

So, how’s your month been? If you’re in the UK, no doubt you have been enjoying the fabulous weather we’ve been having lately.  Being Scottish, I have to say that I am not enjoying the heat and my poor pug is suffering. We have been sitting her under a cold water tap and soaking her to make her comfortable. We’ve tried everything else and this is what works best. She woke up panting this morning, so I soaked her again. It was 6.30am so I just got up. Poor Bonya. My other dogs are fine. BTW I am sitting on my Chesterfield sofa (green) in our living room watching a documentary about Gertrude Bell and Bonya is sleeping peacefully on the sofa beside me. Sleeping peacefully, snoring her head off and farting. We love her despite the farting. 😉

Exciting news – I bought three Silkie chickens recently to keep my one remaining rescue hen company and I’m in love. They are gorgeous. Nugget (aforementioned rescue hen) has been bullying them, but seems happier to have the company. I have one white one called Luna (like the one above) and two like this…

…called Buttercup and Zoa. They are softly vocal, like little squeaky toys, and I love them.

What I’ve been reading lately: I’ve read a couple of Mills & Boon Blaze books to see if I could write one. I really enjoyed reading them. I expected them to be much racier, but they were good. Now to choose a new book. Oh joy! I have a TBR pile that would kill me if it toppled on my. My friend Jane has leant me some of hers (I forget the author), so I’ll probably start on one of those.

What else have I been doing? I’ve been doing up my bedroom. It still has woodchip wallpaper on the walls (whomever invented that stuff should be shot – it’s bloody awful), which will have to stay put until I have a good week free to get the stuff off the walls. I remember it from the 70s and how hard it is to get off walls. I have, however, put up some new curtain rails and curtain hooks, bought a new mirror and researched some curtain material. I want my room to feel sumptious so am going to buy some dark blue velvet to make curtains and a bedspread. I do like some Art Deco curtains in red and gold, but my walls are currently blue, so blue curtains it will have to be until the offending woodchip is scraped off.

Right, I am going to love you and leave you now. I really want to see this documentary. Til next time (promise it won’t be so long).

Dawn xxx

Two videos, The Nevers and flexing my writing fingers

Hi, how are you all? Hope you’re well. Today, I’ve got a couple of videos to share with you. The first is just an awkward hello from me. Here it is…

That’s my very messy study in the background. I have loads of books and loads of bookcases, those behind me are a fraction of what I’ve got. It’s a bit of an addiction I’m afraid.

The second video is a wee advert for me and my books. What do you think?

I made it on a site called Boosted by Lightricks. I had a lot of fun doing it and plan to do many more. You have been warned!

Right, so what have you been up to over the past week or so? I’ve been really busy doing a few training and business development sessions. Plus, I also set down a plan which involves getting up earlier so I can write 1500 words of my latest novel. The aim was to get up at 6am and was supposed to start today. What time did I get up at? It was 7am. I must have hit snooze several times. Sigh. Anyway, tomorrow I plant to rise earlier.

The Nevers

Have you seen the new Joss Whedon series, The Nevers? It’s showing on HBO, stars a number of well-known and not-so-well-known British actors and is very good. I was hooked from the start. Disclaimer: I should point out that I am a huge Joss Whedon fan and loved Firefly, Buffy Vampire Slayer and Angel. God love them, but the kids have been indoctrinated into Joss Whedon’s genius from very early on and are also fans of his works. Anyway, please give The Nevers a look, it’s good.

Sex in the City

Apart from that, I’ve been binge watching Sex in the City. I was an avid fan of it in the 90s and early noughties, and hadn’t seen it since it finished (apart from the two films). I’d forgotten how funny it was. I watched it and was back in my 20s again. It was heaven. I love being nostalgic and Sex in the City brought it all back. I’ve completely finished the tv series and am now going to watch the two films. I never thought they were as good, but we’ll see.

My writing

Okay, the important stuff now. My writing. I’ve done very little lately so busy am I with my social media/PR work plus I had to do my end of module assignment for my uni course. That is now finished, so I have no excuses for not writing. Flexing my writing fingers as I type.

General Life

It’s been great lately. I’ve managed to see a few friends and relatives over the last three or four weeks. It’s been such a long time since we got together, it was fantastic to just be together. Scotland is hopefully coming out of this pandemic. However, the Indian variant of Covid is on these shores, there are cases here and I’m worried we’re looking at another lockdown. Fingers crossed that isn’t the case.

Right, I am going to finish up here and say goodnight. Am away to watch more of the The Nevers. Till next time.

Dawnxx