Hakuna Matata and Miss Anne Lister

 

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Do you ever get days or weeks where you just feel a bit flat? I’ve been experiencing that over the last week. Thankfully it lifted by Sunday, but it meant I didn’t get a whole lot done last week.  In saying that, I did take the kids out for lunch and then we went to see The Lion King (more on that later). And I did a fair bit of work around the house. So, it wasn’t so bad. Plus I edited my next Nina Esposito book. Actually, last week wasn’t the wash out I thought it was!

So how are you this week? We’re all good at Nelson Towers. I am looking forward to seeing the kids back at school next week. I love my kids, I’d die for my kids, but I still feel the summer holidays are WAY TOO LONG! The pair of them have spent an awful lot of time in their rooms watching telly or playing games. I’ve had to drag them out to go and do stuff with me. It’s their age. The girl is 14 and the boy 11 – he starts high school next week – so, I suppose they don’t want to hang about with their old mum just now. Sigh. Still, I have my dogs. Bonya, our elderly pug, is lying on the floor at my feet happily snoring away. After seeing The Lion King last week, we have sort of renamed her Pumba on account of her deadly, but silent dog farts. You’d have to smell them to believe them. I had to open both my bedroom windows one night because I seriously felt afraid I was going to die from the gas that emanated from her little furry body! Thankfully, we all survived! 😉

The Lion King

Talking of The Lion King. If you loved the animated movie, do go and see this one. It’s ‘live action’ and beautifully done. All the favourite songs are there and it really sticks very close to the original. I would recommend it. I was relieved that I didn’t cry through this one as I did the first time I saw the animated version (you know the bit!). The kids enjoyed it too.

What else has been happening chez moi? I’ve been trying to do a bit of work around the house and garden. I tell you, owning a house is just constant work. Apart from my normal housework (including mountains of washing… my kids have too many clothes, that must be it!), I painted the living room, sorted out the attic, repaired bits and pieces around the home. And that’s only about a third of my to-do list: I’ve still got carpets to wash, some filler to put into a hole, finish clearing the study, cut my front hedge, sort out the back garden and more! Jings, I am going to be busy over the coming months. I’m not worried about it, it’ll get done when it gets done.

secret diaries of miss anne lister

Reading: I am currently reading The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister by Anne Lister and edited by Helena Whitbread. I really enjoyed the BBC series Gentleman Jack which is based on the diaries. It’s set in my favourite time period (well, one of them), the Georgian era and it’s about a woman, who happened to be a lesbian, running her own life, being her own person and not putting up with the societal norms of the day which dictated that women must be married, bear children and not manage their own money. I admire Anne Lister for her courage in pushing for an education for herself, for being a superb businesswoman and for loving the women she loved. The book is fascinating. You get a real glimpse of Georgian life for this extraordinary woman (who has to rely on her father, aunt and uncle for money), her thoughts on some of the issues of the day and her determination to live life as she wants. She’s a really strong personality and that sings out of this book.

Right, I am going to finish this post here and get back to editing my next book. Not sure when it’ll come out yet, but will let you know soon. Til next time,

Dawn xxx

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It’s Been One of Those Really Nice Days

Today has been one of those days that has worked out really nicely. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I arranged to meet an old work friend for lunch. I hadn’t seen my friend for a long time and it was nice to catch up.

We arranged to meet at Epicure of Hyndland for lunch today, but when I got there, the restaurant – which is in Hyndland Road in Glasgow’s west-end – was undergoing a refit and, therefore, closed. I was half an hour early so I wandered up Hyndland Road a bit and my eye was, of course, caught by the lovely little Hyndland Bookshop. I cannot resist a bookshop, particularly the independently owned one and I swear I was only going in to pick a few birthday cards for future birthdays of friends and relatives. Anyway, I picked up these lovelies:

I like them so much I am thinking of framing them rather than giving them away (sorry, friends and relatives). Anyway, whilst perusing the books, someone called my name and there was a friend I hadn’t seen for about four years standing behind the cash desk. We’d kind of lost touch. So, I spent a happy ten minutes catching up with her and promising to do lunch soon and I handed her the cards and this book to pay for them:

However, she gave me the book as a gift because we haven’t seen each other for ages. How lovely is that? Thank you my dear friend. I greatly appreciate it.

I was still a little early for lunch when I left the bookshop so I went next door to the Marie Curie charity shop for some treasure hunting. Hyndland is a very nice area in Glasgow, so you get great stuff in that shop and I picked up this Paul Costelloe leather bag for £20. Bargain! Apologies for the poor picture quality.

Then I went to meet my friend and had a lovely lunch. So, there you are, a lovely day. Plus it was sunny and warm, so you couldn’t have gotten a nicer day.

Things took a wrong turn, however, when it was time to go home. Well, I took a wrong turning…several times. I was aiming to get to Hyndland Rail Station to get my train home, but couldn’t find the bloody thing. I Googled it and somehow went off in the wrong direction. Had I only continued walking the way I was originally walking I would have gotten to the station quicker. Anyway, several wrong turns and then a few right ones later and I eventually got there. Phew! I don’t know what it is about that station but I can never find the bloody thing!

So, how was your day today? In fact, how’s your week going so far? Isn’t the weather lovely here in the UK this week so far? It makes everything seem so much cheerful. Hope you’re having a great time.

Right, and on to the most important point of this blog – Game of Thrones. What did you think of yesterday’s episode? I was so disappointed Cersei didn’t meet a nastier end. And what the hell was Dany doing? What’s gotten into her these days? She was so nice before and now she’s just awful? She seems to have turned into her mad father. It was a ‘phew’ moment when Arya and Jon survived. Cannot wait until next week’s final episode. Cannot wait and dreading it at the same time for it will be the end of Game of Thrones and I will miss it. I’m also a bit worried it will be rubbish. We shall see next week, won’t we?

Right, I am going to finish up here. The kids have the Queen/Freddy Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody on the telly just now and I can’t help but sing along…it’s a bit distracting. So to the strains of We Are the Champions, I shall say goodbye until next time.

Dawn xxx

Ten Things I Love About Being an Author

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  1. 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?”
  2. Getting to make things up and letting my imagine run away with me.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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: dawn@danelsonauthor.com
  9. Talking to other writers and people who love books about writing and reading. Discussing favourite books and recommending new things to read.
  10. 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.

A Furry Visitor, Uni and

Well the house is full of doggy kisses and hugs just now as we babysit this week cutie (the white one above). Yes, my parents’ dog Winston is visiting and we are just loving it. The kids don’t want him to ever go home. He’s pictured above sitting on a chair next to his best friend, our Yorkie, Casper. The two of them love each other, which is lovely.

At this precise moment, both are fast asleep (as are my girls) and Winston is sleeping under the table:

I just love dogs. They are great creatures.

Anyway, how are you all today? Hope all is well in your world. This week has been really busy for me as I worked to get my first big assignment done for my university course. It was a tough one, about tradition and dissent. Anyway, it’s done and I sent it in and I can do nothing more now but sit and chew my fingernails whilst I await the results. Really hoping I do well in it. I am aiming to get a First for this course. That’s what I really want to get. So, although this is only the first module, I’m aiming to get as high marks as possible. I’ve done really well so far, but was a mark short of a distinction last time so fingers crossed I pass that mark this time. I hate waiting for results, it’s so nerve wracking.

Anyway, enough of my moaning. What else have I been up to? Well, really the assignment has taken up a lot of time, but I did managed to do some editing today on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I am still aiming to have that out in spring – late spring, but spring none-the-less. Also spoke to the lovely Jenny who is doing my audio book of Dusting Down Alcudia. That’s now at the editing stage and will be ready in a few short weeks. I am so excited about it. Will let you know when it’s available on Audible.

Last night was the first night in ages I managed to get any time to read, so continued with my book on the teenage brain and did a bit of Pyjama Profit, both of which are interesting books. See here for more info.

That’s it really. Sorry for being a bit dull today, but a writer’s life really isn’t that exciting (unless you are a travel writer, I suppose!). On that note, I am going to say adieu until next time. Got a son to pick up from school.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

I Hate it When a Book Defeats Me

Hello and how are you all? Hope you’re all well. How was your weekend? Did you get up to anything interesting? I didn’t. Spent Saturday afternoon at our local hospital – nothing serious, just getting one of my kids’ eyes checked out. Yesterday, I woke up unable to open my right eye… conjunctivitis is back with a vengeance. No idea how I got reinfected, but I look like I’ve been punched. 😉

The pictures in today’s blog have no relation to what I actually plan to write. I just liked them. Just thought I’d share that.

So, what else has been happening at Nelson Towers? Nothing much to be truthful. I’ve been doing a lot of clearing out and putting things in the attic. We got attic stairs put in (I love them, I know: it’s sad! When I was a younger woman I never ever thought a set of folding attic ladders would have given me so much joy! It’s the little things that bring us pleasure!). I haven’t done any writing over the last couple of days – to be truthful I am struggling with a it a bit. I basically need to just knuckle down and get on with it. This morning I have an hour’s writing schedule in. If it’s on the to-do list, it will be done.

Love that photograph above. It’s so colourful.

Anyway, I have set Perdido Street Station by China Mieville aside as I am really struggling to read it. I am finding the writing challenging because there is just so much description in there that I am finding it’s getting in the way of the story. I’m not afraid of a difficult book – some of my favourite authors are Victorian and they weren’t shy about writing description. However, sorry China, but I am not enjoying the great detail you put into your world. Anyway, I have promised myself I am going to give it one more try and if I can’t get into it, I will set it aside or give it to my local library for someone else to enjoy. I hate it when a book defeats me. I hate it when everyone else raves about a book and I find it ‘meh’. I go into reading every book with the view that I will enjoy it, so when I don’t enjoy it, it annoys me. Anyway, rant over.

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So, talking of books, do any of you have any books you’d like to recommend to me? Always on the look out for a good story! Leave your recommendations in the comments below.

So, last week I returned to my exercise classes. I do one Pilates and two Zumba classes per week (didn’t manage to go swimming this week due to dodgy eye). Anyway, I started back at the classes last week. I have a Pilates and Zumba class on one day. I went to the classes. I sweated. I felt like I was going to collapse from exhaustion and muscle soreness. That lasted for two days until I did my second Zumba class and then I felt much better. Honestly, I really need to keep my exercise up when the classes are off (in this case due to the Christmas break) cos I felt like I’d been run over after those first classes! 😉

Right, I am going to end this blog here as I have a young lad to take to school and three small dogs to walk. Til next time.

Dawn xxxx

Book launch, China Mieville and the Marvellous Mrs Maisel

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:

You are welcome! Til next time,

Dawn xxx

It’s like Widow Twankie’s in here! Plus some book news

Hello, how are you all? Hope you are well. I’m good, well, better. Was a tad unwell yesterday which meant missing out on a night out, but am so much better now.

So what’s been happening in your world? I’ve been busy with house stuff and trying to do my degree course (OU, English Literature and Creative Writing), so my writing had fallen by the wayside recently. However, I did do some editing on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia and hope to have it out in the spring. So excited about it. Bit stressed that it’s good enough, but I feel this way with every book I write. I think it’s a thing most writers fear.

Anyhoo,  moving on. Tonight, was working on getting Dusting Down Alcudia in other formats so those of you with Nook or ibook can get copies  of it. Those should be available very soon… watch this space for more info. Everything She Wants’ cover is still with the designer, but I am aiming to publish it on or before December 10.

Home has been very busy. It’s amazing how much time I don’t have. I thought that when I gave up work a year-and-a-half ago I would have oodles of time to relax and do what  I want, but it hasn’t worked out that way. As they say, the Devil makes work for idle hands, well my hands are never idle. I am constantly cleaning or washing up or fixing broken things or shopping for food. Then there’s dental appointments, doctor’s appointments, orthodontists… anything I need to take the kids to. It’s endless. And don’t get me started about the dirty washing. I do not know how two kids can produce so much washing. It’s like Widow Twankie’s (for my non-British blog readers, Widow Twankie is the laundrette owning mother of Aladdin in the pantomime Aladdin) at my house! However, I am finally getting to the end of the washing mountain, but I’m trying not to be too pleased about it for I know that next week another mountain will mysteriously appear and my heart will sink and I’ll start stuffing the washing machine.

Pictures. Do you like them? I haven’t been taking any snaps myself lately (too busy up to my elbow in washing suds!), so I decided to get some free ones on the theme of Scotland. You are welcome.

I am reading…now on to the third of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and loving it all over again. It’s called The Book of Life. If you haven’t already read these books, please do so. They are amazing.

Right, I am off to do something else now. I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

Somewhat windswept and interesting, plus book news

Yes, that’s me looking somewhat bedraggled after taking the dogs out for a walk this morning at our local park. Boy was it windy and a bit wet. As I write this, the wind and rain are rattling against the windows. It’s really cold outside and I am glad I am inside in the warmth.

So how are you today? Hope you are all well. This week has been a busy old week for me what with various things happening at Chez Nelson. Let’s see: the boy went away on Monday for a five day holiday with the school to an outward bound place in the Borders. He’s back home now, dragging a full suitcase of dirty washing with him and happy to be home. I missed him.

I have been out for lunch four times this week and it was great. I loved it. Was nice to catch up with everyone.

We took delivery of a new fur baby in the form of my parents’ dog, Winston. We have him for a week whilst they are away on holiday. He’s adorable. Below he’s pictured with Millie and Casper at our local park (Bonya, our pug, isn’t in the pic because, as usual, she was lagging behind):

Book news!!  I’m aiming to bring the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia out before Christmas if possible. The ebook is currently only available for Kindle, but I will make it available for Nook, ibooks and others in the New Year. Watch this space for more information.

Everything She Wants is my brand new book which is due out in December. The cover is currently being put together by a designer and I’ll share that with you when I can. In the meantime, you can pre-order the book here. If you want to know more about it, here’s the blurb:

“A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down. Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped. Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.”

Other book news – I am about to start my first edit of the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. It doesn’t have a title yet and I’m aiming to get it out by the springtime. Watch this space for more!

Book reading news!! Just finished the second in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Shadow of Night is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches. I am about to embark on the third, The Book of Life, and have the new one, Time’s Convert to enjoy after that. I love these books. I read them years ago, but because of the tv adaptation, I brought them out to read again. They actually belong to my mum, but she’s not getting them back!! Hee hee.

They are amazing books, check them out.

Right, I am going to end this here as it’s after 9pm and I am desperate for a cup of tea. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

Wham! A New Book, A Discovery of Witches and a Night Next Door

 

Hi! How are you all? Hope you’ve had a great week.  Mine has been extremely busy which has left me really tired this week and feeling under the weather. However, I did get a lot done.

Announcing my next book!!! My next book is called Everything She Wants (the book with the working title Ham) and I’m aiming to get it out before Christmas or in January at the latest. Depends how everything goes with the cover and other bits and pieces you have to do to get books released.  It’s about a very put upon housewife who runs away from her horrible family to join a Wham! tribute act. Here’s the blurb:

A new dark comedy from the author of Dusting Down Alcudia. This book is rude, full of swear words and definitely not for the faint-hearted!

When Susan decides there’s more to life than housework, her cheating husband puts his foot down.

Ignoring his protests and those of their selfish teen daughter, she runs away with a Wham! tribute act to find herself and, hopefully, fame and fortune.

Along the way, there’s the chance of happiness with a new man, but things go awry and he turns out not to be the knight in shining armour she had hoped.

Now Susan must decide whether to forge ahead with her new life or go home with her tail between her legs.

Will share the cover once it’s done. This is nothing like Dusting Down Alcudia, but I hope you enjoy it. While I’m waiting for the cover to be done, I’ll be working on the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia which is due out early next year. Yes, I have been a busy bee this year with the writing!!  Watch this space for more details!! Picture of the real Wham! below.

So what have you been up to this week? For me it’s been finalising Everything She Wants and typesetting it so that it’s ready to be formulated into a print book.  I’ve also been doing a lot sorting out cupboards and rooms around the house as when I am fully into writing, housework and such like kind of go by the wayside. Let’s face it, I am not one of those people who love housework. In fact, I hate it and look forward to the time when I can afford to pay someone else to do it for me! I wish! 🙂

I’ve also been attending my exercise classes. I don’t know what it was but I found my two Zumba classes really hard work this week. I thought the more you exercised the easier it’s supposed to be, but it was a struggle. I still went and still participated, but came out with a face the colour of a tomato streaming sweat in my wake. A lovely image for this time of night, I know!

This weekend I am having a quiet time, but last weekend I was really busy. Well, to be perfectly correct, I was really busy on the Friday. I was hardly home. I met some friends for tea and buns in the morning, another friend for lunch in the westend of Glasgow for lunch (we went to the famous University Café and I had my favourite: macaroni  and chips, yes I am a classy burd!). Then in the evening, I popped next door to my neighbour who is 90 soon for a wee glass of wine. My neighbour is lovely and a very interesting man.  We have always been friendly and he got on really well with my husband. Unfortunately, my neighbour’s wife died about a year after we moved into this house more than a decade ago, so I never got to know her. He is the man our Millie always escapes to. She loves him because he’s constantly feeding her meat. Anyway, I had a fab evening with him. We chatted about everything and had a good laugh. We are going to do it again because we get on so well. So, I had intended going round for a couple of hours… I was having such a good time, I ended up staying until midnight.  Was a great night.

I always find older people so interesting. When I was working as a journalist for a local newspaper in Paisley, I got to interview some residents of Erskine Hospital, which is a hospital for former military people. I was sent there to cover the visit of Princess Diana, but I found chatting to the residents (including my late grandfather who was a resident there at the time) so much more interesting. I met one of the first policewomen in Glasgow and men who had been fighter pilots and ground troops in the Second World War. They were fascinating people. I feel really lucky that I was able to do that. Seeing Princess Di was okay too, but she wasn’t as interesting… not to me anyway.

Finished reading the biog of Radclyffe Hall. I really enjoyed it. She was an interesting woman, but I hated the way she treated her long term partners. I must try and find a copy of one of her books to see what they are like. I can’t help but be curious now I’ve read her life story.

Matthew and Diana from A Discovery of Witches.

I am currently re-reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I am loving all over again. I’ve been watching Sky One’s adaptation of the book (picture above), which is great. I am really enjoying it. However, the book is so much better.  Can’t wait to re-read the sequel Shadow of Night and then the third in the trilogy, The Book of Life. I cannot recommend these books enough. They are fantastic.

I’ve also been busy this week with my uni course. I signed up to so an English Lit degree with the Open University and I am loving it. It covers a lot of different areas of the arts and is really interesting. I am feeling so much more “cleverer” than I did when I started. 😀  I’ve just completed my first assignment about Cleopatra and Antony, and Cezanne. My next area of study is about Joseph Stalin.

Right, I need to go. I need to pick the boy up from his school’s Halloween Disco. He went as a zombie. I helped his costume come together by cutting up a pair of trousers and an old jacket and throwing flour over him so he looked pale and zombie-like, and his clothes looked old and dirty (as well as fraying). He looked great. Hope he’s had a good night.

Til next time!

Dawn xx

PS I am still looking to add people to my Advanced Reader Copy group. If you sign up, you’ll be given early copies of my books and all I’ll ask you to do (and this is not compulsory) is provide a genuine review of my books on sites I’ll give you the addresses for. If you’re interested, email me: dawn@danelsonauthor.com or sign up in the top righthand corner of this blog.

 

 

 

A broken hand, Dusting is out and Apple Pie

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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.

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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.

However, thanks to me setting things up…Dusting Down Alcudia is now available on Amazon here in both paperback, ebook and large print. If you haven’t already get your free character book from here.   Right, enough of the sales speak.

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.

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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.

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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 of Dr 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!

Dawnxxx