I decided that in this post we all need a bit of cheering up, so I’m filling it with sunlight and flowers. Well, the images will be that. How are you all? Hope you’re all fine.
So, first things first, let’s talk about Ukraine. I’ve felt so horrified about what’s been happening and have been giving to charities helping people on the ground as much as I can. A friend of mine basically spent her entire life savings helping four families escape. They are the families of people she has been working with and they are currently in the Netherlands. They’re hoping to get them to the UK at some point. When I say life savings, I’m talking five figures, nearly six. My friend is amazing. I don’t have that kind of money, but I have been involved in a fundraising anthology to raise funds for Ukranian children in need.
Here’s the details (they were in the last post, but here you are again):
I’ve already submitted my short story and I’m looking forward to seeing this fly off the shelves (metaphorically speaking). Well done to the ladies of the Romance Cafe who organised this, including my friend Sofia Aves (who is a superb author).
Right, moving on. What else has been happening? I managed to actually go out last weekend. I met up with three friends who were up from London. We had dinner at Babs (really nice Mediterranean food) in Glasgow and then drinks at The Anchor Line. I had a fab night. I’ve known the three of them for more than 20 years and being with them again was like no time had passed. Yes, we’ve all gotten older, but our sense of humour stays the same. Thanks for a great night guys.
Over the weekend, I also caught up with my parents and visited my niece and her wee boy who is around five months old and totally gorgeous. So, busy weekend.
What I’ve been watching: I am totally loving the new series of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. It’s superb. So funny, so stylish, so beautifully written. I’ve also been watching the newer version of Das Boot (I remember the original series) and it’s also really, really good. Gripping storyline, brilliant characters and just all round excellent series. It’s mostly in German with some French and English. Talking of German programmes, I cannot wait until the new series of Babylon Berlin comes out. I believe they are working on it now. Cannot wait! Also cannot wait for the new series of Outlander and I’m hoping there will be a second series of Carnival Row, which is in my top three all time amazing tv series along with Babylon Berlin.
Films – I watched the majority of Marley & Me the other night, but had to switch it off when Marley got old. If you know the film, you know the outcome and I couldn’t bear watching it again, especially as we have an elderly pug, Bonya, whose legs are starting to go and who has issues with incontinence. She’s an old girl, we love her and it’s unbearable to think she might not be around soon. I’m hoping we’ve got another year with her. Keep everything crossed for us!
Yes it’s another image of tulips, but they are my favourite flowers – equal billing with peonies. Ooh can’t wait til peony season!
Right, so that’s us up-to-date so far. Please preorder the anthology and, if you’d like more information about Sisters of Sin, other authors and freebies, please sign up to my newsletter. Til next time,
So, the excitement grows. The Sisters of Sin series is being launched this year 🥳🥳🥳and over the coming few weeks, I’ll put up the links for the pre-orders so you can be the FIRST to get the books. This is set of nine romantic thriller novels about a group of kick ass female assassins and the hot sexy men in their beds. Over the coming weeks, I’ll share information about seven authors behind the series, do cover reveals and give you more info about the books themselves…including sneak peak chapters. Watch this space for more!
So, how are things with you? I’ve been busy as usual running around like a blue arsed fly trying to keep all the plates spinning. Hopefully once the books are launched, things will be a bit quieter. I’ve been mostly doing domestic stuff, writing Envy (one of my two Sisters of Sin books) and working. I’ve also had a busy time with my degree course. I’m currently reading The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy as part of this year’s course. It’s a really great book. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, I love the way Roy writes. It’s about a family from Kerala and how tragedy in the past affects them in the future.
What else have I been doing? During the odd times I have some time, I’ve been watching telly. I finished watching Wandavision on Disney+ recently and I really enjoyed it. The first couple of episodes were odd and I wasn’t sure I liked the series. However, I stuck with it and I’m glad I did because it really took off. After that I moved on to reruns of Castle cos it’s highly enjoyable. Nothing taxing, just a good watch.
Due to the pandemic, I had to cancel a whole load of things I had planned over the festive season and as Covid is still raging here (although it’s mostly the Omicron variant which appears to be not as nasty), I’ve not managed to reschedule those yet. So, it’s been pretty boring around here. I’m desperate to meet friends for lunch or just get a change of scenery. However, I’ll need to be patient. This weekend I can’t go out anyway as I have a big uni assignment to write: 2000 words on Ali Smith’s Hotel World. I hadn’t read Smith before I did this uni course and I thoroughly enjoy her writing style and storytelling. I’ve now also read her Girl Meets Boy and it’s really good, beautifully written.
Right, I’m going to go now. Got housework to do 🥱🥱🥱 (I hate doing housework, it’s such a bore) and my uni course work. I also want to get 2000 words of Envy done if I can. So, I’ll say adieu for now and see you soon.
Good morning from dreich and overcast Scotland. And no the pictures used in this post are not recent ones taken from the lovely scenery around about me. Unfortunately, we’ve not had any snow yet. 🙁 I love the snow. However, we’ve had a bit of rain and there was a smattering of snow on the hills overlooking Port Glasgow. Anyway, to assuage my desire for snow I’ve decided to enhance this post with pictures of it that were taken in Scotland.
Firstly, the exciting news. The Sisters of Sin books are in production and the first one is due out at the beginning of June. Woohooooo!!! I know I’ve been talking about this for two years now, but we’re ready to go. We have a core group and we’ve recently invited two guest authors to join us. I cannot wait to get this series out. Watch this space for more details!
So, how was your Christmas? Hope you had a good one. As the rest of my family were away doing other things, it was just me and my two kids, three dogs and four chickens for Christmas this year. I spent the day watching crappy movies on telly, flicking through the numerous books I got and eating chocolate and we had stuffed chicken and veg for dinner. I much prefer chicken to turkey which is why we had that. Turkey is okay, but I much prefer the taste and texture of chicken. We had chocolate log for afters. Was a nice, quiet kind of day. On Boxing Day we just had buffet type nibbles for dinner. Easy peasy.
I’ve just realised I haven’t posted anything for quite some time and, to be honest, the reason for that is partially because I have nothing to tell you. I’ve been working and because of Covid I had to cancel several nights out I had planned. This included an ABBA tribute act, a lunch with my besties and a night out at the Barrowlands to see Goodbye Mr Mackenzie on their 30th anniversary tour. I was not happy, I can tell you. However, I felt in the circumstances (ie the Omicron variant is running rife in Scotland) it was the best thing to do. It’s meant we couldn’t enjoy our Christmas break as much as we’d like. I had also planned to take the kids out to dinner in Glasgow. We love going to see the Christmas lights and then getting something to eat. Sigh. Never mind. Surely this bloody pandemic will be over soon!! They say the Omicron variant isn’t as dangerous, but what it is doing is forcing people in key jobs to take ten days off work which in turn is putting pressure on the health service, police, supermarkets, their supply chains and public transport. We were already seeing the effects of the variant on public transport before Christmas. Anyway, all these events I had to cancel will be rearranged…that’s a promise!
On to books. I’ve been reading Ali Smith’s Hotel World (superb book) and Edmund Blunden’s Undertones of War (also excellent) as part of my OU course. I’d never normally read either, but this course has opened up a whole new avenue of writing for me. Ali Smith is a brilliant writer and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Hotel World. Blunden’s Undertones of War is also good, but, and maybe it’s just me being tired when I read it in bed at night, I’m having to reread the odd passage or paragraph to ensure I get the full meaning of what he’s saying. The first read often leads me to go: what? What’s he saying here and who’s he talking about? So, I have to reread it and sometimes I get the meaning and other times I don’t so I read on. I think it might be the language and the text tends to jump about from scene to scene to scene. Anyway, I’m still enjoying it. I’d better get it finished because I’m supposed to have done that by now!
What else has been happening? Have you been watching A Very British Scandal? Watched the first one last night and was hooked. The Duke of Argyll’s behaviour towards Margaret is really nasty, but then she’s not really a nice character either. It’s highly addictive watching. Going to watch the next one today.
We’ve been watching all the Harry Potter films and are now halfway through the first Deathly Hallows. Such great books and really enjoyable films. My daughter is a huge fan, so talks all the way through which is annoying. However, I’m still enjoying it. As a Terry Pratchett fan, of course, I watched the Hogfather. Love that version. Mark Warren as Mr Teatime is superbly creepy. I’ve also recorded a few Christmas films to watch, including Elf and Scrooge (the musical), although I am hankering for a bit of Muppets Christmas Carol so may dig that out the Christmas DVDs box this afternoon.
Right, I must love you and leave you. I have a couple of thousand words to write for my second book in the Sisters of Sin series, my first one having been completed already, and I have to catch up on my uni coursework which has been sadly neglected recently.
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 Novelis 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!
So the start of this week kind of started a bit slow mainly because I’m getting on in my years (I’m 50 this year) and I can’t hack it when my son wants me to take him to the Carnival.
In my defence, it was the big Irn Bru Carnival at the SEC in Glasgow, we were there three-and-a-half hours, the noise was deafening (lots of competing pop tunes played at ear splitting intensity) and there were loads of flashing lights – everywhere. I’ve never been one for the carnival. I did go to our local one in Neilston a few times in my teens, but I never truly enjoyed it. This one is indoors, in a big echoing shed type structure and there were loads of visual and aural stresses.
The boy was there with his friends who met us there, so, while the boys went off to enjoy the carnival, me – Methuselah that I am – went to the food court to sit and wait for them. And wait and wait. I bought myself a very ordinary hotdog with very ordinary chips and some tasteless chilli on top. That plus a bottle of water set me back £11 – daylight robbery if you ask me. It wasn’t that nice, but I ate it anyway. Then I tried to read my book, which was impossible due to the aforementioned noise and people and noise and flashing lights – oh yeah, and the noise.
So, I sat on my tod for three hours waiting for the boys to get fed up and want to go home. They didn’t, but thankfully the boy (with whom the others had come with) had contacted his father to come and get them. So we had to wait another half an hour for him.
Anyway, I digress, back to sitting dolefully people watching on that hard wooden bench at that sticky drink laden bench table. The only good thing to come out of the event (apart from my boy have a ball with his friends) was the people watching. Oh my God, there were some sights there I can tell you. I don’t know what it is about some Glaswegians, but they wear summer clothes in the middle of winter. Sunday afternoon was really cold and, although the hall was warm, I wondered at folk coming out without proper winter clothes on.
And the fashion was fun too. There were lots of very young women, plastered with makeup, glossy hair scraped back in a ponytail or worn long, wearing the latest fashions. Some had their children with them or a gaggle of friends or their young looking boyfriends. One in particular, a young mum pushing a white pram (they always have white prams this type) was an attractive girl with too much makeup and eyebrows drawn into pointed perfection. At her side was a wee girl of about four in designer clothes complete with a dummy tit in her mouth and a huge bag of pink candyfloss which was almost as big as her. The mother was sporting a pale pink, fake fur skipcap. I’ve never seen one before. I didn’t think they existed. Anyway, the pair plus small baby in pram (I think, she had the hood up so you couldn’t see it), wafted past me en route to meet a young man I can only presume was dad. He had on long shorts, no socks, trainers, a t-shirt that showed off his tattooed arms and sported an earring in one ear. He was perma-tanned – like his partner – and his hair was rigid with some sort of wet look hair gel. Neds R Us.
Anyway, I eventually left the SEC around 4.30pm and we got home just after 5pm. The boy, who claimed all I had done was sit and do nothing all afternoon, couldn’t understand why I was so tired. Just wait til you’re doing this with your kids, I thought smugly, then you’ll see.
Anyway, enough of my tirade. How was your week? Was it busy? Did you get loads done? I am permanently busy. Last week, I took some time away from studying and writing to go to a 4N networking meeting at the Hard Rock Café in Glasgow. It was really good. Everyone was really welcoming and it was good to meet new people – two of whom live nearby! I handed out some cards and connected with a few folk on LinkedIn so we’ll see what happens.
I’m still making my way through the Agatha Raisin books and recently finished The Haunted House one, which was a fun read. I really like the books. They are a nice easy read and I enjoy the stories. I was sorry to hear that their author – and creator of the Hamish MacBeth books – M C Beaton (above) died over Christmas. Apparently, she was a lovely lady. Anyway, I look forward to starting the next one which is Agatha Raisin and the Deadly Dance.
Still reading the Pompeii book. It’s taking so long, not because I’m not enjoying it (I am), but because I’ve been binge watching Bones until late so haven’t had the time or energy to read when I go to bed. Plus I’ve been reading those Agatha Raisin books in between.
What else has been happening? I’ve been continuing to work on my script plus the finishing touches to the book blurb for my next in the Nina Esposito adventure series, The Jacobite’s Share. I sent that over to my book cover designer this week and hope to launch it by the end of March. Watch this space for more details!
Am still struggling to get the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out. I’ve made the changes required by the company who will upload it to Audible, so hopefully I’ll be able to launch that soon.
Right, that’s it for today. Due to a glut of hen eggs, I baked over the weekend, so am going to have a cup of tea right now along with a fairy cake. Til next time.
Look at this small haul of beauties. Picked these from one of my plum trees this year. A plum tree – one of two – which was ‘cut back’ more than a decade ago by my late husband who had no clue what he was doing. It’s taken them all this time to recover. And I think tree number two has not produced any fruit. Anyway, I’ve picked this lot and hope to get some more. Need to take the step ladders out to get up to the higher branches, but I’ll do that tomorrow. This is a start.
And what do I plan to do with them? Make plum jam again. Last year, my friend Jane gave myself and our other friend, Tracy, a huge amount of plums from the trees in her sister’s garden. I made them into jam and it was delicious. I couldn’t get enough of it. So am hoping for more plums from that source again (if that’s okay, Jane!) and will add them to my small haul. Will share the results once the jam is made.
So, how are you this week? Fine and dandy I hope?? Hopefully, if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know that I’ve finally finished editing my latest in the Nina Esposito series. The Jacobite’s Share is the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudi and is set in Perthshire, Scotland. It features our favourite archaeologist and treasure hunter, Nina, her sexy beau, Jay and a whole host of other great characters. There’s an ancient castle, attempted murder and a whole lot more. I am aiming to get the book out early next year, so watch this space!
What else has been going on?
Finally finished the above book. It was really interesting and Anne’s personality shone right through it. However, I was a bit sad that it ended before she met Ann Walker, whom she went abroad with. Would love to read those diaries especially as the TV series is based on her later life with Ann. Still it gives a lovely glimpse into her life in Georgian England and all the manners and expectations someone of her class had.
She lived most of her life in Halifax, which is just over ten miles away from Haworth, home of the Brontes. It is unlikely they ever met. I believe the Brontes would have been too far down in terms of class for Miss Lister, who was keenly aware of whom she should be consorting with.
The Brontes did not print their first book until 1846 (a book of poems by all three), which is some six years after she died. And then Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey came out the following year catapulting these young women to literary stardom. It saddens me that Anne Lister never got to read these amazing books and I would have loved to have read what she thought of them. She was a keen reader and was keen to learn at every opportunity.
Anne Lister died at the age of 49 in what is now the modern country of Georgia, with her ‘wife’ Ann Walker at her side. Her body was brought back to Halifax in April 1841 where it was interred within the church.
I feel quite sad that I have finished it now. Oh well, on to my next book which will be Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, who did know the Brontes. Charlotte Bronte was a particular friend of hers. Elizabeth also knew Charles Dickens. Anyway, having enjoyed the TV adaptation of it, I cannot wait to start the book.
So, what else have I been up to? Well, I’ve been forging ahead with setting up my small PR and social media marketing business and hopefully have more jobs coming up. My OU course starts soon, but I’m going to get a head start on it by beginning this week (cannot wait!). I am in the process of writing another stand alone book about the havoc a genie wreaks on an unsuspecting young man. I have a murder book to edit and a young adult book to go over again.
On top of that, I’m busy trying to get the garden in order. The weather has been dry enough and cool enough for me to work on it. However, as I have a back that hurts at every opportunity, I have decided the best way to tackle the garden is by doing a bit every day. And it’s been quite enjoyable except for the fact that Millie keeps trying to escape into the neighbour’s garden due to a hole in the fence made by some stupid young guys cutting down some branches for me. Humph.They knocked some slats off and didn’t even tell me. I only found out about the hole when I heard Millie’s plaintive yelp coming from my neighbour’s garden. Being a small, quick dog she was impossible to catch. We got her eventually. Sigh. Won’t be getting those guys in to do the branches again.
Right, I am going to finish up here and wish you all adieu until next time.
Best news ever this week! Myself and the lovely Graham, my editor, have finished the final edits of the new book.
And now I can reveal its name!
The Jacobite’s Share is the latest Nina Esposito adventure and sees our heroine heading home to Scotland to search for a hidden Jacobite treasure as a would-be murderer is at large. The action takes place in and around Dundow Castle in Perthshire and features our favourite archaeologist, Nina, her lover Jay and a cast of new characters.
I am just working on formatting it just now – I literally just finished for the night – and will be getting back in touch with Mia, my book cover designer, to do the next cover. Cannot wait!
In other news, I have finally learned how to make proper tablet. Tablet, for my non Scottish readers, is a very sweet treat made from sugar, milk, butter and condensed milk. It’s incredibly good and very, very bad for you. Put it this way, there’s so much sugar in it, your teeth vibrate when you’re eating it! It’s delicious and can be a bit tricky to make, but I managed it!! Whoohoo!
Finally about to finish the biography of Miss Anne Lister. It’s not the book. I am really enjoying it. It’s been several nights of not reading because I’ve been too tired interlaced with evenings when I’ve been binge reading M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. They are quick reads and highly enjoyable. And funny. Next on my list is Elizabeth Gaskill’s Cranford.
This week has been very busy as I’ve been working on building my social media marketing business and formatting The Jacobite’s Share. I’ve really enjoyed networking and meeting other folk in small businesses. Have also signed up for a number of free training courses run by our local Business Gateway. Got a few coming up in the next couple of months, so that should be good.
Right, am finishing up now. Got a book on SEO optimisation to look at. Til next time.
Getting the story down – often, a story will be whirling around my head for days or weeks or, occasionally, years. It’s like there is a little person with a pointy stick prodding my brain every now again saying: “Hoi! When are you going to write me down?”
Getting to make things up and letting my imagine run away with me.
Watching the story unfold in my head – I see the stories in my head and watch the characters and their situations rather like I’d watch a film on tv. I watch and I write down what I see, hear, feel etc.
Choosing names for the characters – I love it when I come across a truly fabulous name that I can use for a character. It might be something that’s just popped into my head, something I’ve seen on a street sign or a car number plate, or a name I’ve heard or misheard. Then a character takes shape around the name quickly followed by the start of their story.
Drinking tea and eating chocolate digestives as I write. This is one of my favourite things to do. I don’t know why, but when you get a chocolate digestive and dunk it into a perfect cup of tea it just goes so well with writing. You dunk it, then you take a bite and enjoy the melting chocolate and suck the liquid from the crumbling biscuit base and it melts in your mouth and it’s somehow just perfect for those moments when you are thinking about what you are going to write next.
Organising the printing and cover design. I’m not a fan of editing my book because I have to do it at least four times before I am happy with the novel, but I love the next bit. And that is getting it ready for printing (ie formatting my book – I do this myself) and then getting a designer to design a cover. This latter part can be a bit nerve wracking because I am always desperate to like what the designer comes up with, but it’s great when you are presented with amazing designs… as I was. Thankfully.
Getting the book up and ready for sale, and finally getting a copy of the finished novel. This is great for both traditionally published and indie published book. You spend months and months writing the book, then there’s all the editing and organising of various things (such as promotions and marketing) and then finally you have the book in your hand and it just feels lovely.
Sharing my book with friends, family and the general public. I love presenting my parents with my latest novel. It’s the same delight I used to get when presenting them with something I had made in primary school! I love it when I can share it with my friends and with fans. In case you didn’t know, I run an Advance Reader Copy group whereby readers can get free and early copies of my new books. All I ask is if you put up a genuine review of the book on a book selling website. If you are interested in joining my current group, nicknamed Dawn’s Divas, email me your name and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Talking to other writers and people who love books about writing and reading. Discussing favourite books and recommending new things to read.
Making new friends via writers’ groups, book bloggers and with people who have become fans. I just love chatting to different types of people, especially if they are as passionate about reading and writing as I am.
Hello everyone, how are you all? Hope you are well. Welcome to the new subscribers who have joined up since Christmas. Hope you enjoy my posts. Can’t promise scintillating conversation as my life is pretty mundane most of the time, but I’ll do my best to entertain you and the folk who have been subscribers for a while. Hello to you all too!
Right, onwards and upwards. Firstly, I’m just letting you know I am officially launching Everything She Wants next month. I’d like to do something online… like a question and answer session or something like that. Would that be something you guys would be interested in? I could do a live session. Fill in your comments below and if enough of you want it, I’ll do it. I’m just worried that if I set something up on, say Facebook, no one will want to chat to me and I’ll sit there like Billy No Mates, drinking my tea and feeling sorry for myself! 😉 I may even have to bribe a few friends to come on just to make me feel better. 😀
So, what have you all been doing over the past week? I have been very busy getting back into writing. I am just going through the agonies of editing the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I say “agonies” because this is part of the process that I don’t like. It’s hard work and I always think the book is rubbish. Then there will be at least another three edits before I pluck up the courage to send the manuscript to my editor. Then, for a number of days, I will wait, chewing my fingernails with anxiety, whilst awaiting his verdict. Actually, the sequel isn’t too bad, but needs a bit of work on it. What I am editing is the rough story. That’s how I write. I get down the rough story and then go back and edit and re-edit it until I can look at it no more (all my author friends know exactly what I mean here). Eventually, I get a book I can be proud to publish.
I have also been getting back to proper, made-from-scratch cooking. After Ian died, my ability to cook seemed to fly out of the window. I always find my cooking suffers if my mood isn’t good so it’s not surprising that I: a) haven’t felt like cooking, b) didn’t cook much (ie properly) in the first year after he died – we lived on bung-in-the-oven stuff and takeaways (hey, at least my weans were fed! We’re all still alive thanks to that!), and c) tried to get back to my cooking last year, but failed a lot… I think I was still trying to get back on my feet properly. That’s what happens when a loved one died, especially your soul mate. The rug is completely pulled from under you and you spend a helluva long time trying to get back to some sort of normal self. Anyway, I am wittering on again. The point of this post is that I felt like making pizza the other night. So, I made pizza, with a recipe courtesy of my mum (for the base) and the pizzas I made were delicious. Here is proof of how professional they looked (this one is mine):
Can I just say – it was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. I feel happier now I have made something good (like I used to). Next up, tonight we are having home-made burgers. Will let you know how I get on.
Talking of cooking, I recently bought a half price panini grill from Aldi (love that shop) so me and the boy have been happily making toasted sandwiches in it – not paninis. That will change tomorrow, for I plan to make my own panini rolls using a recipe from the excellent Mortgage Free in Three blog (once it is back up and running properly). If it’s not, I may need to contact Elaine who runs the blog and ask her for the aforementioned recipe. No matter, I will make my boy a proper panini tomorrow. No doubt, he’ll just want cheese as the filling, but that’s okay. That’s my favourite filling too!
The book I am reading just now is Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, which is an odd, but enjoyable urban fantasy, sci-fi, Steampunk novel.
Will let you know how I get on with it, but so far so good. I’m only at the beginning of it, but enjoying it so far.
Oh my God, but I have wasted a helluva lot of hours watching my latest obsession. The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is fab. I love it. If you have Prime, I would really recommend you watch this. It’s about a 1950s New York housewife who decides to become a stand-up comedian. It’s really funny. Her family are nuts, she’s nuts and it’s just all round great entertainment. Unfortunately, because I have been binge watching both series, I have now finished them. I am now bereft. Thank God I have today’s Outlander (also Prime) to watch tonight.
Okay, I am going to finish up here, but I will be back again with you soon… promise! In the meantime, here’s another wee bite from series 2 of Mrs Maisel:
Hello everyone, how are you all? Hope you are all well and had a good day today. I had the best day I’ve had this week, but more on that in a minute. Do you like the image above? Well, I happened to be scrolling through a free image site and stumbled across some lovely stone images. As the descendent of a stonemason (true), I really love carved stone. So, to celebrate the art of stonemasonry, today’s blog is dedicated to beautiful things carved in stone.
Right, why was today the best day this week? It’s because I am no longer in pain. And why is that? Because my right hand is not broken (as I thought it might be on Tuesday – aka extreme pain day – or even yesterday – aka very painful day) and is recovering quickly. Here’s what happened – I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night in extreme pain from the back of my right hand. I had no idea what I had done to it. I had not bashed it or hurt it that day. So, I got up on Tuesday in extreme pain (thank God for painkillers), got the kids to school and spent the day binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix (love that show, so funny) and debating whether or not to go to the hospital for an x-ray.
Any of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I have spent a lot of time up at our local hospital over the last few years what with my husband’s illness and an extremely accident prone daughter (my son, who is 10, has been up there for the Minor Injuries Unit twice; my daughter, who is 13, has been up there about ten times). Anyway, I was reluctant to go, but I eventually relented and went yesterday. One examination and an x-ray later and it’s not broken. Phew. However the nurse did ask how it happened and here’s what’s weird – the only time I hurt it was last week when a tin of beans (or something similar) fell on it from the cupboard. That was extremely painful and the air was blue with expletives. Anyway, it hurt for a while and then the pain went away. Then I went to Pilates on Monday and it felt sore, but only when I put some weight on it. Afterwards, there was no pain…until the middle of the night. I can only think I have ‘reopened’ (for want of a better word) the injury. The nurse thought that might be it too. She said when the can hit my hand I had essentially tenderised my hand. Ew, the thought of that.
Anyway, it stopped any kind of writing for two days. Today is the first day without any real pain and that has been good.
The hand injury has also stopped me from doing much else this week apart from watching telly. It’s also taught me how much I use my right hand. I was seriously slowed down and it was driving me nuts, especially as I couldn’t write.
Regarding writing, I am still studying how to be an indie publisher, how to promote and market my books, and anything else I find useful. Currently reading Joanna Penn’s How to Make a Living From Your Writing, which will be swiftly followed by her Business for Authors. I can’t tell you how valuable I find Joanna’s books and her website, The Creative Penn. If you are a wannabe writer for both traditionally published or indie published fiction and non fiction, I would really recommend her books and website. I’m not telling you this to earn money, this is my actual opinion.
I’ve been making apple pie recently. A friend in the village I live in gave me a big bag of apples from their apple tree and I made a huge pot of pie filling. I made two apple pies – one for us and one for my friend (well it’s actually her and her husband) – and I have enough leftover for another. Yum!
I have also been getting into making sour dough. My starter is started. His name is Fred and I have been feeding him all week. Fred lives on the island of my kitchen in a large Kilner jar. He sits there and bubbles and froths and generally looks happy. I am starting to think of him as a living being, which I suppose he is being all wild yeast. I will give him a couple of more days and then I am going to make sour dough bread. Wish me luck.
Due to aforementioned injury, I have been unable to hold books to read so I am still reading Radclyffe Hall’s biography. I am enjoying it, but I am yearning to get on to another book. Sigh. Maybe tonight I’ll got to bed early and get through a couple more chapters. What books are you all reading at the moment? Do any of you have any recommendations? Please message me.
Okay, I am going to finish up now. It’s 7.38pm GMT and I am about to indulge in a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate digestives. My Dr Who loving son is currently watching older episodes ofDr Who (Christopher Eccleson) – thankfully it’s not that Fred movie again, hate that movie – and I am about to throw him off to watch another Grace & Frankie.
Looking forward to chatting with you again soon. Til next time!
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