So the rain came today. And it rained and rained.
I was going to use some images and quotes from authors to illustrate this post today and the above image somehow went beautifully with the torrential rain Scotland experienced today. We had flooding and everything. It was horrendous. Typical Scottish summer!
So, how are you all this week? I know I haven’t posted for a few weeks, it’s the usual excuse (busy), but I really haven’t a lot of news to share. I’ve barely been anywhere that interesting to tell you about. Although Coronavirus levels in Scotland are low (apart from a few clusters last week), the country is only just starting to get back on its feet.
So let me share with you some things I’ve been up. I’ve been writing for Medium. Please follow me (https://medium.com/@dawnnelson_46858) and give me claps if you like my stories. The more reads and claps I get, the more money I’ll make. I’m only just at the start of my Medium career, so hopefully I’ll make something from it. I’ve also been attempting some Haikus. Bloody hell, they are more difficult to write than you think!
Still writing all the things I’ve been writing. Also, finally managed to watch The Wrong Mans tv series. It’s excellent. I like both Mathew Baynton and James Corden, they are both great actors and screenwriters, and it’s a great series. Watched the second series too, it wasn’t quite as good, but still highly enjoyable.
Watched 1917 again recently. What a film that is. That’s the third time I’ve watched it and I’m still flinching and jumping when things go wrong. It’s beautifully shot – the scene when he runs into the ruined city and the flares go off is amazing – brilliantly written and wonderfully acted. It deserves more accolades. Here’s the official trailer if you haven’t seen it yet. I’m not going to give away any of the story. Get the movie, watch it.
Right, that’s all I’ve got for today. Going to start giving out writing advice in future posts. If there’s anything you’d like to know, get it touch.
So, I’ve been working hard for the last two days and I’ve achieved so much. I love that feeling. Yesterday, I got up early and took the dogs out, wrote 1000 words, did a week’s worth of social media posts for a client, took the boy for a haircut and then went food shopping. In the afternoon, I did a four-and-a-half hour stint scriptwriting with my scriptwriting buddies. Then I made dinner. As well as all that, I did some washing and emptied and filled the dishwasher. Phew!
Today, I wrote 2000 words, did social media for my author platforms, did a three hour scriptwriting stint, did a post for Medium (click here ) and did some work for clients.
This is me now:
Anyway, how are you today? Hope you’re all well. This week is shaping up to be yet another busy one, but that’s okay I like it that way. It’s tiring, but I feel like I’ve done something with my life rather than frittering it away watching tv. Don’t get me wrong, I love tv, but I’ve been cutting down how much I watch in order to write.
So, what’s new? ACX, the people you put audio books up on for Audible, finally came back to me about the Dusting Down Alcudia audiobook with yet another issue. I swear I could scream. It’s been such a hard slog sorting that bloody thing out. I will work on it tomorrow.
Still working on my assassin book, but at the rate I’m writing, I should have the first draft of it done by early next month. So excited to get it out. It’s part of a book series I’m writing with international authors.
My Paisley non-fiction book is trundling along. I’ve finished the first draft of it and will be editing some time this week.
I’ve also sent off a couple more short stories to online magazines. Fingers crossed they take them.
Just got my results back today for my OU degree course and I passed that module. Yay me! So pleased as the last couple of months of it were quite difficult – they occurred during the initial weeks of the Covid 19 outbreak. Anyway it’s done and I look forward to resuming my studies again at the beginning of October.
What else? That’s about it for today. It’s after 9.30pm and my energy levels are seriously beginning to flag. Gonna gather up the dogs and get to bed now. Til next time.
So the week started as usual with me getting up, feeding the animals, taking the dogs out and then getting down to work. My sister visited on Wednesday with her kids and we had a lovely time. I even made banana bread, shortbread and sponge cake. It was lovely.
However, come Thursday morning I felt unwell and I’m still a bit yucky today. I don’t know what it is, but I’m exhausted and my throat is raspy and my ears ache. I suspect I’ve just been overdoing it recently and this is my body’s way of telling me to slow down. Anyway, I’ve spent the last couple of days lying on the sofa watching telly. First, I watched Operation Petticoat, one of my favourite Cary Grant/Tony Curtis movies. I LOVE that film. It’s funny and exciting and a great way to spend a Thursday afternoon when you’re feeling ill.
And then I moved on to an old favourite. I find watching familiar tv series and films comforting, so I dug True Blood out of Sky and I’ve been watching it ever since. I really LOVE this series. It’s so good and the books are great too. It feels like I’m back in the presence of an old friend.
I’d forgotten how good this tv series is. I’m in heaven right now. I still feel a bit yuck, but I’ll have a good night’s sleep tonight and hopefully feel better tomorrow.
Right, this was just a quick post to say hi and I’ll post again soon. Til next time.
Has it really been four weeks since my last post? I used to be so much better at posting than this. I think it’s because we’re still on lockdown in Scotland and have nowhere interesting to go to just now. We can meet with another family so long as we are socially distancing, but there’s no going out for lunch or meeting friends at the pub or going to the cinema or theatre for us at the moment. Still, those things will return eventually and I can’t wait.
In case you are wondering, most of my images will be of rain this blogpost and this is because I am reflecting the weather in Scotland just now. It. Is. Pouring. We haven’t stepped over the door once today. The poor dogs are desperate for a walk, but it’s too wet outside. Even if I force them outside, they would refuse to go anyway.
So, how are you anyway? Hope you’re all fine. We’re good at Nelson Towers. The kids are a bit bored – my teenage daughter is being a stroppy mare today – but there’s not much I can do about it. We have lots of options for watching tv, there’s board games, loads of books they can read and they both have mobile phones, so there are plenty of things for them to do if they really thought about it. Me? I’ve been busy writing my series book, my history book and writing my script. In between those, I’ve been trying to keep up with the jungle that is my garden, the washing and housekeeping. I’d been feeling bad about it – I write from 9am til 6pm, so it’s a long day and I’m shattered at night so the house and garden have been slightly neglected – until I read a quote from J K Rowling who said that when she was writing the Harry Potter series, her house was a mess. She basically said she couldn’t do it all. Well, Joanne, thank you for that. You made me feel less of a failure. So what if my house isn’t spotless or the grass cut yet? It’ll get done eventually.
I’ve just finished a book by Linsey Hall called Trial by Fae which was a fantastic fantasy book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was a quick read and I was sorry to finish it – always the sign of a good book with me. I may now have to buy the rest of the series! Oh no! More books! How will I cope?? 😀 What I loved about this one is that it was based around Kilmartin in Argyll, near where me and the kids holidayed last year. I knew exactly all the places she was talking about because we visited them all. I love when you know a place in a book. I think that’s why I put some many places I’ve been in my books.
What else have I been doing? Laughing a lot at the chickens. Our Yorkie, Casper (see below), is the biggest wimp out, but likes to bully other dogs. Anyway, he tried to bully the chickens, but Merriweather and Nugget were having none of it. They chased him across the garden and he raced through the open patio doors of the living room like his tail was on fire. It was the funniest thing I’d seen in a long while. That’ll teach him!
So, what have you been watching on tv lately? I watched the modern tv series of Mildred Pierce a few days ago. Kate Winslet was great as Mildred and Rachel Evan Wood played her horrible daughter, Veda, brilliantly. Really enjoyed it. Kate Winslet is always good in whatever she does and played the put-upon Mildred beautifully. Guy Pierce played Monty and Brien F O’Byrne played Bert Pierce. Recommend it. I’ve only just realised it was out in 2011 – why am I only seeing it now? Hmmm.
I have just looked out of the window and it’s still raining. Sigh. Feels like it will never stop. We had lovely weather only a couple of weeks ago. Bring it back!! 🙂
Right, on that note, I will wish you all adieu til next time. Hopefully, I’ll have something more interesting to tell you then!
I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I last posted. That is so not like me! I’m a post a week kinda gal! 🙂 I’ve been a bad blogger! Anyway, I’m going to fill you in on what’s been keeping me busy – in a nutshell, it’s been writing.
I’m still writing a series with some international authors. That’s going really well and I’m about halfway through the first of two books. I’m also writing a history book for kids with my friend and illustrator, Mandy Sinclair. We’re both desperate to get out and do some research in person, but because of Corona Virus, we’re having to do it all at home. Still, hopefully we’ll get out and about at some point.
The third thing I’m doing right now is drafting up a script for a new tv series. I can’t tell you too much about that yet, it’s too early, but I’ll let you know once I have some more to tell you.
My poor laptop has been taking some battering recently! I’ve been working on it every single day for months, my fingers flying over the keys! It has also literally taken a battering: I dropped the bag that containing it, opened the laptop the following day and discovered I’d smashed the screen. Luckily, I can still use it, but I will get it fixed once we’re out of lockdown!
So, what else have I been doing? Like most people, I’ve been stuck indoors. The weather has been nice recently so I have been out in the garden mowing the lawn. About four weeks ago I spent several back breaking hours weeding the driveway. The weeds are back and far worse than before so I’ve decided to use weed killer on them. I hate the thought of using it, but I just can’t keep weeding – I don’t have the time.
I’ve also been watching telly. My favourite TV series at the moment is a German one called Babylon Berlin. You’ll get all three series on Sky. It’s set in 1929 Berlin and is amazing.
Right, I’m away to dig some grit out of one of the dog’s eyes. My life is so glamorous!! Hahahaha! Til next time,
Hello, hello, how are you all? Here’s another blog from lockdown. Not that I’ve that much exciting news to tell you. Above is an image I took of the River Clyde the other day. Not only proof that we’ve been having gorgeous and unseasonably warm/dry weather lately, but that the Clyde can look blue sometimes. The tide it out in this image and that’s Port Glasgow across the way, but it gives you an idea of how nice it’s been around here. Thank goodness, because I think if the weather had been dreadful things would be a lot more depressing for all of us who are having to stay indoors at the moment. People are already complaining of boredom and feeling depressed, awful weather would have made that worse for them.
I’m not going to ask you what you’ve been up to because, let’s face it, no matter where you are in the world, you are more than likely staying indoors to help stop the spread of Corona Virus. Instead, I’ll just ask you what you’ve been up to. Have you been watching copious amounts of telly? Started a new hobby? Baked until your fingers bled? Gardened until there’s barely a green bit of the garden left? 😉
I’ve been watching tv, but in small amounts. I’ve taken to watching Carnival Row again. Yes, again, for the fourth time. I love it that much. I’m also considering watching Game of Thrones again too. You see, apart from Killing Eve (which is bloody brilliant), there’s not much on the telly I want to watch right now. There haven’t been any decent history programmes or documentaries, I find a lot of comedies dire and I don’t watch soaps. So, it’s back to old favourites. I’m loving Carnival Row all over again and seeing things I didn’t notice before on the three other times I watched it.
Here’s a pic of two of my dogs on a local beach. It’s a riverside beach and not the nicest of beaches, but it’s great for dog walking and the dogs don’t seem to mind the stones and detritus thrown there by the river.
What else have I been doing? I am writing, writing, writing. Just finished 2000 words of my assassin book plus did another few pages of my non fiction book. I’ve sent a tv programme I wrote to a scriptwriting competition. Not sure if it’s good enough, but we’ll see what happens. I’ve also been doing bits and pieces around the house – you know, the wee things that need done but never get done because you’re so busy. I have a whole list of those to do. Sigh. Well, I’m not going anywhere soon so I’d best be getting on with them! 🙂
A big hello to any newbies who are following this blog. Welcome and thanks for joining us. I’m please to say I have 831 subscribers to this blog and a few more subscribing to my newsletter. If you want to receive the newsletter, add your email address to the Mailchimp signup form to the right of the page.
Right, depressingly, I have nothing else to tell you. I dream of going out for lunch some time soon with friends or taking the dogs and kids up to Oban for the day or going to my parents’ house for dinner. And I keep telling myself ‘It’s not forever, we will get back to normality soon.” I hope that’s true!
On that note, I wish you all a good week ahead. Stay safe and stay sane. Til next time
PS big shout out to my aunt who turns 70 this coming week and to my friend Mark who has a birthday too. Happy birthday to you both.
Well another week has gone by and the world is still on standby. We are stuck in a routine that is the same day in, day out and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I am so thankful that no-one I know has been killed by Covid 19 and so sorry for those who have lost loved-ones. It’s a nasty, horrid disease that is still so worrying for everyone. Thank God for the key workers who are doing a fab job!
Right, I once said this blog is a space for happiness and so I will try to cheer you all up with my goings on this week. 🙂 How has your week been? I’ve been incredibly busy writing: writing my first book for our book series (we = the international writers I’m working with on an exciting new book project series) and I’m more than 13,000 words into it (woohoo!), writing another project with a friend (6,500 words down – there’s a lot of research in it), and writing up notes on my uni course. I do it every single day and, while I enjoy it, it is tiring. However, I gave writing the boot this morning to do a bit of work in the garden and managed an hour of weeding before my back got too sore. I intend to be back out later tonight to put out my garden ornaments in the back and will continue weeding tomorrow. I am so loving this good weather we are all having – it’s so nice to have warm, dry weather in April. That almost never happens here! As I write this, the heating is off (as it has been for days now), the patio doors are open and I can hear a neighbour cutting his or her grass.
So, what else has been happening at Nelson Towers? Well, let me see! Hmmm. I have been keeping up with my Zumba class, which has been brilliant. Our teacher is doing the classes via Zoom (ironically!) and, although the connection is sometimes a bit flaky, it’s still good to be exercising.
I watched the first in the new series of the Great British Sewing Bee. I LOVE that programme. Can’t wait until next week for the next one. Talking of watching telly, have any of you been watching the new Killing Eve series? It’s already magnificent. I think this programme has got to be one of THE best things on telly, that and Fleabag (who could forget the sexy priest?). And, of course, I’m watching Outlander although I’m a bit disappointed that it’s not as exciting as previous series, but hopefully it’ll pick up. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it and I still watch it avidly, and I will love it forever.
So, that’s really what I’ve been up to. Of course, we’re all still socially distancing ourselves in Scotland, so I’ve been keeping up with friends and family via Zoom. Thank God for technology. If this had happened ten or 20 years ago, things would be so much worse in terms of keeping up with family and friends. We would only have the telephone, which is good, but it’s not as good as seeing your parents laugh or your nephew do something daft or your sister’s gorgeous home-made fairy. Well done, V. I’ve also been having conversations with friends over wine or tea or sometimes just a glass of water. And my kids pop in in the background and wave at them all or have a conversation. Well, when I say ‘kids’, I really mean my daughter. My boy is too glued to his games machine upstairs! 🙂
Talking of kids, I am lucky in that both of mine are at high school and, therefore, I don’t have to help them much with their work. They do it themselves and come to me if they are stuck and (in the case of the boy) to prove that he has done something. How are you all getting on with home schooling?
Right, that’s it for me. I’m away. I’ve got a webinar to attend with one of my all time favourite authors, Joanne Harris who wrote (amongst many excellent books) Chocolat. Until next time.
PS in case you’re wondering, all pics in this post are not of my garden. I wish my garden was as nice! Maybe one day! 🙂
Buy it here: https://geni.us/iqZ82Zf
Hey everyone! How are you all? Hope you’re all well and keeping safe! Here at Nelson Towers, life is pretty dull and monotonous, but everyone is in the same boat so we are just getting on with it.
Last week, I did feel really down at the beginning of the week (I’m definitely not alone on that, I know), but that soon lifted especially when a friend sent me a short video of a Chippendale dancer dancing with a pile of toilet paper. It was so ridiculous I couldn’t stop laughing and it brought me out my funk. I think I was feeling so down not because I’m in the house all day – I work from home so that’s not a problem – but because I was worried and feeling out of sorts because I wasn’t in control of my own destiny. The thing about Corona Virus is we don’t know who has it, we don’t know if we have it and if we do get it, we don’t know how severe we’ll get it. On top of that is the worry about family members who are more vulnerable. I like to be in control of my life, so all this not knowing was doing my nut it. However, after the said video, I felt a lot better. Just shows you that having a laugh can do wonders for your mental health. Plus I have great friends who have been a real support.
Right, enough of the ‘Rona as I’ve seen Corona Virus referred to on social media, and on to my writing life.
So, being stuck inside hasn’t been all bad. I’ve started writing my new book project which I can’t tell you too much about yet – it’s too early – but that I will give you small bits of info every now and again. I’m a member of the Romantic Suspense Writers group on Facebook and nine of us have come together to produce a series of books under the R S Wilde author name. That is all I can tell you right now. All I will say is that this collaborative has been amazing so far. The girls – most of whom are from America, but there’s two of us in Scotland and one in Australia – have been brilliant to work with and we’re all really enjoying the process.
The sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia, The Jacobite’s Share (see image) is now out and available on a range of formats and in a range of shops including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and others.
I am still waiting for ACX to sign off the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia. Sigh. This has been a long trek. It’s mainly to do with my not understanding stuff about audiobook production, but is now at their end. Hopefully, they’ll sign it off soon and it will be available on Audible. Then I will crack open the champagne and celebrate for this has been a long and harrowing road! 🙂
News on my other secret project with my illustrator friend, Mandy. I’ve started writing it and am about a third of the way through the first draft. It’s a really interesting project and I’m loving doing it. More on it later.
Other news, I’m still doing my OU course, but because of Corona Virus, our end of term exam has been cancelled. I am not devastated by this as I’m one of those people who never does well in exam conditions. They’re going to look at our year round assignments to get a mark.
I’ve been spending a lot of time watching telly – as you can imagine – and I stumbled across a very good drama series on Netflix called Self Made based on the life of Madam C J Walker (1867 – 1919), America’s first female self-made millionaire. Sarah had a rough upbringing being born to former slaves near Delta in Lousiana and she was the first in her family to be born free after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Her parents died when she was a child and she suffered hardship growing up. Life got better after she set up a hair and beauty business for black women with her third husband, Charles Walker, in the early part of the last century. Although they divorced in 1912, Sarah continued to build the business, opening salons and factories across America, and went on to employ thousands of (mainly) women. Apart from being a hair care entrepreneur, Sarah was also a philanthropist and political activist. She died in 1919 at the age of 51 from kidney failure. She’s buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.
Octavia Spencer, one of my favourite actresses (I loved her in Hidden Figures), takes the title role in the show and Tiffany Haddish plays Madam C J Walker’s daughter, A’Lelia. It’s really good, I’d recommend it. Other cast members include Blair Underwood, Carmen Ejogo and Kevin Carroll among others.
Other things I have been watching include Witness with Kelly McGillis and Harrison Ford. I’d forgotten how good the film was. I don’t think Kelly McGillis is a particularly great actress, but it was still an enjoyable film. Also watched the Stargate film starring James Spade and Kurt Russell. I used to watch the TV series, being a huge sci-fi fan, but had never seen the film. It was actually really enjoyable. The sets and the way the film was shot was stunning and it was a good old fashioned sci fi adventure. I kept looking for French Stewart who plays one of the soldiers in it. I’m used to him being Harry Solomon in 3rd rock from the Sun, so it was a nice surprise to see how attractive (and manly, let’s face it Harry Solomon is not manly) he really is in another role.
I am still ploughing my way through the Agatha Raisin books and loving them. They are so enjoyable to read and so easy, just perfect for this weird time.
Right, I am going to say adieu here and wish you all a good day. Please stay safe my friends and we’ll talk soon.