Resting up, Writing and the Lovely Lucifer

tired

So, this week has been a bit weird. I’ve been exhausted since Saturday. I either have been overdoing it lately or I have a small bug 🤒 that’s draining the life from me. I feel better today mainly, I think, because I’ve been slowly down over the last two days and putting my feet up a bit (well as much as you can with a house and two kids/three dogs/two chickens). On Monday night, we got a call from the NHS saying my son had been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid-19. Truthfully, I’ve been expecting something like this. The minute the kids go back to school, bugs circulate. Anyway, the boy is currently isolating in his room. Doing the test today. He’s fine. No symptoms, so fingers crossed he doesn’t have it. He’s only been back at school for two weeks, now he’s off for another two. Sigh.  His school have yet to let us know about work being given home, but I’m going to chase them up today. People, including my immediate family, in certain areas in and around Glasgow have also been told not to socialise with other people inside their own homes due to outbreaks there. It’s to last for 14 days from today, but who knows if it’ll be extended? Anyway, it means I can’t visit my parents or sister (I can’t anyway due to the boy’s exposure) and my poor niece can’t have her very much longed for birthday party/sleepover this weekend. That’s such a shame. Still, needs must. I think this is how life is going to be now. I can see this lasting into next year. Apparently Spanish Flu took a full two years to die out, so Covid might be the same. We’re just all going to have to get on with it as best we can, aren’t we? I’m just hoping we will still be able to meet up for Christmas 🎄🤶🎅.

So, how’s your week been? I know it’s only Wednesday, but it feels like a whole month has passed since the weekend. 😂 I have done no writing of my novel since last week – mid last week. I just can’t get into it for some reason. Going to have to read an inspiring book by a writer to get that back 📚! That always works for me. I have been scriptwriting and I have written a couple of things for Medium. You can follow me here.   I was planning to put new items up in my vintage knitting shop on Sunday, but felt too exhausted to move so I just spent the day resting. Thank God I’m starting to feel well again.

lucifer

What else has been happening? Well, as I have been telly watching a lot this week I have binge-watched the new series of Lucifer (pictured). Then got to episode 7 (or thereabouts) and there was no more. It took me a full ten minutes (due to a fuzziness in the head feeling due to aforementioned tiredness) to work out that Netflix was indeed working and that the reason why I couldn’t get the rest of the series was because they hadn’t put it up yet. Sigh. I’m shaking my head writing this. Can’t believe I was so daft. 😂

reading

I’ve been reading Lucy Worsley’s book on 👑 Queen Victoria. I am a big fan of Lucy’s tv programmes and her books and this one doesn’t disappoint. Lucy has a really lovely way of writing that draws you into the story of her book. She brings history alive and one day I will meet her and get her autograph. Some friends of mine (George and Raymond, love you guys❤️❤️) met her once at a book signing in London and bought a signed copy of her book for me. It was about Jane Austen and is a treasured gift. So thoughtful of them both.  Thank you guys.

Right, I am going to finish up now for I have two more blogs to write and some other things I want to do (including getting back into writing my SOS novel). Til next time,

Dawn xxx

 

Madam C J Walker, Stargate and the Chippendales

fb mandela

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.

fb successs

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.

The Jacobite's Share ebook cover

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! 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Madam C J Walker

Madam C J (Sarah) Walker, American entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist.

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.

octavia spencer

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.

Various

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.

Dawn xx

I’m so behind with everything

dick and angel

Jeezo this week has flown by and I feel like I’ve not really achieved much! I have been working hard at various things, but I still feel not much has been achieved – and I hate that.

Anyway, next week will be more productive, you can bet on that.

So how’s your week been? Hopefully it’s been good. I’ve had a good week despite feeling I haven’t achieved and here’s why…

On Monday night, my friend Tracy and I went to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall to see Dick and Angela Strawbridge on their tour. If you don’t know them, they are the couple who do Escape to the Chateau, a programme I LOVE. Anyway, they both came across just like you see them on telly: warm, nice, approachable. They were great and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. However, being out past my bedtime knocked me off my stride for a couple of days after – I was yawning and feeling tired. Such are the perils of growing older! I’m 50 at the end of this year!!! Scream!!! 🙂

google

On Tuesday, I attended training on how to decipher Google analytics, which was great. It was run by a lovely Dutch man called Rene and he really knew his stuff (although all the contractors who do this kind of work for Business Gateway all seem to). Anyway, now I feel much more confident in working out what’s what when I look at my analytics so that I can formulate what works best social media-wise and for my website. Exciting times!!

shopping

On Wednesday, I visited the new Lidl that’s opened in Dumbarton and it’s a lovely shop. It opened the week before and apparently people were queuing to get in on the morning of its opening. Well, they were giving out goodie bags! Anyway, it’s a nice shop and I look forward to getting my groceries there again. You know, when you’re a teenager or in your 20s you never think it would be possible for you to look forward to a supermarket opening. But you do and I did! 🙂

fridge

And once again here’s how exciting my life really is because yesterday afternoon I cleaned out the fridge. It needed done, but I am very pleased with it because I put down fridge protectors which will help me to keep it clean – got the idea from Mrs Hinch and it’s a good one. You can get them from Amazon. Basically, it means all you have to do is remove the dirty protector, wash it and return it to your shelving. It means you won’t have to be constantly pulling out shelving and drawers to clean them. Anything that makes my life easier is to be celebrated!!

BOOK NEWS – nearly there for the cover of A Jacobite’s Share. Watch this space for more details.

Not heard from ACX ref my audiobook so am going to try and contact them today. That’s been well over a month.

SCRIPT NEWS – have finished writing my script and have laid it aside for a week or so to ‘marinate’. I’m going to start going over it next week.

UNI NEWS – was so excited this week (and this is one of the things I was working on), we finally got to do some creative writing, so have submitted that for my next assignment. Am now worrying it’s not good enough, but I worked on it a lot, it’s the best I can do. Now worrying I’m not a good writer! 🙂

Right, that’s it for this week. Oh, the other thing I did (and I did it because it was taking up a lot of time for little return) was to shut down my book formatting and editing website. I will still do it, if anyone wants me to, but I’m going to concentrate on my author and PR/Social Media businesses. That makes sense to me. Til next time.

Dawn xx

Mills and Boon, Epictetus and Sarah Kendall

Timeshift’s How to Write a Mills and Boon – more about it later.

I cannot believe that tomorrow is October! Where did 2019 go to? Am I just showing my age here? Is the world speeding up because I am getting older? Or does it just seem so? Last week flew in. Must be because I have been working hard! Yeah, that’s it.

So, how are you? Hope you’re well. Got a few things to tell you, which is good. None of it seat-of-your-pants, diving off a huge cliff, bungee jumping exciting (NB I’d never jump off a cliff or bungee jump, not into that kind of thing… I will keep my feet firmly on the ground, thank you very much), but interesting and exciting in part as well.

Jacobites.

Okay, the exciting thing this week is that I have finished formatting The Jacobite’s Share (the second in the Nina Esposito series) and I have now commissioned a cover designer to do the cover. It will be in line with Dusting Down Alcudia and I can’t wait to see what she comes back with. This week I plan to get around to finally finishing the audiobook of Dusting Down Alcudia and hope to have that up for sale on Audible next week. I know I have been talking about this for months, but it’s been me who has been holding it up. I just haven’t had the time I’ve been that busy with the second book and setting up my business.

Last week, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for NaNoWriMo again this year. I have an idea for a book I want to write. I just hope that with all the other things going on in my life, I will be able to sustain the writing. Who knows!!

Talking of other things, my English Lit degree course resumes at the end of this week, which I cannot wait for. I have the books, I just need to get my head around to studying again. I loved it last year, so am looking forward to this year. This year should hopefully be focusing more on English Lit rather than the all round stuff of last.

Other news – I am continuing to work on my business (danelsonprsocial.media) and am starting to get more clients and business partners interested, which is great. I also did a really interesting training course about Developing Your Brand with the Business Gateway folk. It was really good and gave me some food for thought. I knew a lot about branding, having been involved in branding different services (etc) in past jobs, but I went along because I always think I could learn new things. And I did. Plus I got to meet some local business people and chat to them about their social media needs. I am going to follow up a couple this week to see if there is any business I can do with them.

Ashley Jensen (centre) is Agatha Raisin in the tv series.

What I am reading – bloody hell M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series it quite addictive. It’s highly entertaining and an easy read, which is what I’m looking for right now. I can read one in a day if I get the time to do it. Cranford has taken a back seat, I am afraid, but I will get back into it tonight. I just love it.

Sarah Kendall is Samantha in Frayed.

What I am watching just now – just started on the tv series called Frayed. It’s about an Australian woman who ran off to the UK, spun a web of lies, married a rich man and then her whole world falls apart. She ends up running back to Australia with her two kids in tow. It’s already hilarious. Can’t wait to see the next one. Binge watch? I think so!

Author Stella Duffy

I also watched a great documentary: Timeshift’s How to Write a Mills and Boon which had novelist, Stella Duffy, interviewing M&B fans and authors to find out what the fans wanted and how the authors wrote. And then she gave it a go herself. And found it incredibly difficult. It just shows you that although everyone thinks they can write these books, they are not as easy to write as you think. However, I thought Stella was an excellent presenter and the programme was highly entertaining.

So, what else have I been up to? Been tackling the garden over the last couple of days. Had a skip delivered to the garden last week, but because I was getting all gallus in Pilates and doing exercises I knew I shouldn’t but did anyway, I ended up putting my back out. It took til the end of the week – when the cold I’d been harbouring cranked up again – for the backache to subside. That’s why it took me til yesterday to start on the garden – there’s a fair amount of work needing done, but I’m getting there.

Right, I am going to finish here and go off and do something else. I will leave you with these immortal words by stoic philosopher Epictetus: “If you want to be a writer, write.” Never a truer word was said. So, that’s what I am away to do. Til next time.

Dawn xx

Shorn, vampires and Anne Lister

Hello my lovely followers. How are you all? Hope you are well. What have you been up to this week? Me? I’ve been really busy and there was a bit of sickness in the house – again! Brought in by one of the kids – again! But that’s what happens when you are a parent. They are little bug-meisters, kids are!

Anyway, over the last week, I have had my hair chopped into a bob. It was about time. Normally I wear my hair up and back away from my face because basically my hair annoys me. And I hate going to the hairdresser so a short do is out cos it would mean constant trips to the hair salon to get it cut. My hair grows like weeds. So, I keep it long so I can wear it up. However, as I am hurtling towards the age of 50 (next year), I wanted a softer hairstyle. Hence the bob. I quite like my new look. The pic below was taken a few days ago after I’d been out (on a wet and windy day) walking the dogs, so the style is not the best it could be.

What else have I been up to? Well, the girl was sent home last Wednesday after being sick. I had to go and get her and she was white as a sheet and green about the gills. Straight to bed for her. She was off the next day, but insisted on going to school on the Friday. By Friday, however, I was feeling exceptionally peaky and spent the day lying on the sofa catching up on television programmes and generally feeling sorry for myself. I should have been over at a friend’s house having lunch and drinking wine. Instead, I was feeling exceedingly sick. I was not a happy chappy that day I can tell you. Anyway, such is life!

Talking of telly, have any of you managed to watch What We Do in the Shadows? It’s a spoof documentary series following four vampire housemates in a city in America. It’s hilarious. Some of the things they get up to are incredibly silly, but silly in a way that’s really funny. Just watched the most recent episodes this morning as I was taking in my daughter’s dress (we’ve got a wedding coming up). I had to stop sewing to have a good old chuckle at it. Watched the original film (Australian vampires) last week and that was good too.

The cast from the original film What We Do in the Shadows.
Some of the cast from the tv version – it’s so funny.

I have also been hooked on the BBC’s new drama Gentleman Jack which is based on the life of Anne Lister. Suranne Jones takes the lead role as Anne with Sophie Rundle as her love interest, Ann Walker. It’s brilliant drama and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s also a fascinating story about Anne Lister – what a strong minded, independent woman she must have been to live the way she did at the time.

Suranne (right) and Sophie (left) as the lovers Anne Lister and Ann Walker.
The real Anne Lister.

Anyway, now I am going to have to buy a book about Anne Lister. I want to know more about this interesting woman who lived her life on her own terms.

What else? I have nothing else to report at the moment. I haven’t been writing recently. Been too busy with various social events, so I am getting back into it this week – I have scheduled it in! I’ve also been too tired to read anything when I go to bed at night. I have a growing bundle of excellent books by my bed, so I’ll be getting back into that. I know – my life is SO rock ‘n’ roll – not! I like it though.

Right, I am going to finish up here. I have a young man to pick up from school and another cup of tea to drink when I return. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

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

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 small update because I have the Lurgy…again!

 

achooo-1483515

This is me today: a grumpy old, sneezy old mama bear.

Ugh it’s been a snotty, sneezy end to the week. I woke up on Thursday morning with earache and a sore throat, and it’s all gone downhill from there. For the past two days I have been lying on the sofa feeling a bit sorry for myself because I have a nasty old cold. I’ve not slept very well over the last few days and am a bit grumpy, so I apologise if I am not my usual cheery self today.

I hadn’t written anything either until a wee bit earlier, when I began to feel a little bit better and so got 1000+ words down of my young adult book. That’s the thing about being a writer… because you feel compelled to write all the time, you have to do it even when you are ill. However, my (insert swear word here) laptop is running at a snail’s pace (I’ll need to defrag it again) and so is causing additional grumpiness…grrrrrr!

The only good bit about being ill was that I got to binge watch the new Jack Ryan series on Prime while the kids were at school. I should have been visiting a friend and doing the housework, but I had no energy. So, I did the only thing I could – I lay on the sofa with a cup of tea, some biscuits and a great new tv series on the telly. Jack Ryan is excellent, by the way, if you haven’t already seen it.

Book news and the new cover for Dusting Down Alcudia is close to being done, so I will show you it when it’s ready. The early drafts are fantastic. I am so pleased with them (thank you Mia, my wonderful designer). Watch this space for more news on the cover!

I have finally finished a great online course I was doing… Nick Stephenson‘s Your First 10K readers He’s a thriller writer, but also runs excellent online courses (many of which are free) for writers. Really recommend this course if you are going down the indie line like me. Pop over to his website and check it out. Also recommend The Creative Penn by Joanna Penn... another website full of great advice for writers.

Right, I am going to go. Time for a cuppa and some anti-cold drugs. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Writing, Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampires


I don’t know what’s happening to me today. It’s 7.35pm and I have been chasing my tail all day. I got up later than I normally would and I’ve been trying to catch up with myself ever since. It’s weird how being an hour later in your schedule can knock you off your stride. Sigh. Still, never mind.

How are you all? Hope you’re hail and hearty and enjoying the day. It’s been overcast here all day after about three weeks of non stop sunshine, so it’s been nice that it’s been a bit cooler. I am not a sun worshipper, I like variety in weather, so while it’s been nice to see the sun I am now bored with it. Plus I don’t like being too hot. It’s been too hot. I’m not moaning about it, I’m just explaining why I like today’s weather.

I have been really, really busy writing and researching over the last week or so. I have finished the rough draft of my sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I hope it turns out to be good. It’s not good at the moment because, as I said, it’s very much the rough draft, it’s me getting the story down before I go back and edit it. I’ll edit it a few times before I send it to my editor to tidy up and then we’ll publish it. Anyway, it’s nowhere near that stage at the moment, but I’ll let you know when it is. I’ve also started to do my first edit of my murder mystery book. So far, so good.

I haven’t been up to much. My kids are at the stage where they don’t want to hang about with me and poo-pooh any suggestions I make for activities we could do. I wanted to go and see Patrick. They didn’t. We didn’t go. I think we are going to see The Incredibles 2 soon though. I loved the first film, it was so well done, and can’t wait to see the sequel.

Here’s a wee sneak peek…

Just finished the first in Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire series (it was known as True Blood on telly, loved that series). Dead Until Dark was great. Loved it and am looking forward to the next one in the series, which is Living Dead in Dallas. Can’t wait to go to bed tonight to start it! I know, I sound like a teenager, but I do love a good story. Other book news and I recently purchased a copy of Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, a photographer who in 2010 decided to start taking pictures of 10,000 New Yorkers. His idea was to log them and he put their images online. I first came across him on Facebook. What he has also created is a fab book full of colourful and interesting human beings. There’s a little bit about their lives and where the pic was taken. Really interesting. I love things like that. People are so interesting. If you want to see some of the images pop along to the Humans of New York website.

Right, I am going to finish up here. I have dull housework stuff to do before I retire to the cosy warmth of my bed, snoring dogs beside me, to delve back into the life of waitress Sookie Stackhouse and the Southern Vampires! NB if you can’t be bothered reading the books (why that would be I can’t think because books are almost always better), try and watch the True Blood television series, it’s excellent.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

 

A small death and some great books on writing

Sam

It is with mixed feelings that I announce the passing of our guinea pig, Sam. Mixed because I was quite fond of the wee guy and am a little sad. However, being the sole caretaker and shoveler of his poo, I will not miss having to clean him out. RIP Sam…you were a good piggy, an excellent pet and a delight when you had your little conversations with yourself.

I buried him in the back garden next to my guinea pig, Darcy. The kids are untroubled by his passing, so we don’t have to deal with any explosions of dramatic grief, thank goodness. They basically ignored him, which is understandable on the boy’s part because he wasn’t his pig. He belonged to my daughter. Anyway, I now live in hope that he doesn’t get dug up by Millie – who has already tried to dig up Darcy. I’ve covered his little grave with a roof tile which is too heavy (I hope) for a small white dog to remove. We shall see.

So, how has your week been? Have you been enjoying the sunshine? I have and I haven’t. Being a northern person, I find the heat too much for me. Plus me and the kids were a bit unwell yesterday (Friday). I think the girl was suffering from a bit of heat stroke – her school had them all out doing PE in that horrendous high temperatures on Thursday. The boy was sick, I don’t know if it was a bug or the heat. I felt yucky yesterday – I think it was the heat. We are all fine now. Thank goodness. It’s a cooler day and we are staying indoors for most of the day.

I’ve been continuing to write the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia. I am planning to re-launch Dusting Down Alcudia before Christmas (watch this space) and the sequel quickly after. My murder book is still on the back burner and I will start my first edit of it soon. I’ve also been continuing to studying marketing e-books and recommend Joanna Penn’s How to Market A Book. It is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to indie publish. The Miracle Morning for Writers by Hal Elrod (Author), Honoree Corder (Author), Steve Scott (Author), S.J. Scott (Author), James Altucher (Foreword) is another great book for would-be writers. It gives you hints and tips on making writing an every day habit and has great advice on getting your book published. If you are wondering why I – as an already published author – am reading these books is because I think all authors should know how to properly market their books. My work background is journalism and PR, which gives me a great start, but I didn’t know enough about other marketing avenues such as how to reach potential audiences, using social media and other great tips.

It’s been too hot to do much of anything so I have been staying inside and knitting whilst I watch telly. Above is a little lamb I knitted for my daughter – well she’s bagsied it! I don’t yet have a name for her (the lamb, that is, not my daughter who already has a name!), so if you have any suggestions, let me know. 😉

Books I have been reading – just finished Eloisa James’ Midnight Pleasures book which is a bodice ripper and was great fun. I haven’t read any romance books for years (unless you count things like Twilight etc) and I loved it. It was a great read. Totally predictable but really enjoyable. Haven’t chosen my next book to read yet, but I have lots. It’s too warm outside to read a heavy book (I leave Dickens and Scott and even Austen to read in the cosy winter months), so it will need to be something lighter.

Plans for the summer – we have none except that we all want to go and see the film Patrick. Yes, it’s partly because we have a pug and know how funny they are. Yes, it’s also because it looks funny. Anyway, that is the extent of our plans for the summer holidays. We aren’t going on holiday this year, but are looking forward to the next six-and-a-half weeks at home. I have bought the kids a new paddling pool (it’s quite large), a slip n slide and other outdoor games in the hope that the weather will hold and the kids can be prised away from their electronics to go outside and have fun. We shall see.

Anyway, I am going to finish my blog here for this week and shall leave you with a still from the aforementioned film. Here is the lovely Patrick (I think his real name is Harley)…

Til next time!

Dawn xxx