Koen De Bouw and Writing Tips

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

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

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

Koen De Bouw as Professor T

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

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

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

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

Dawn xxxx

Those links:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A whirlwind three weeks, TRNSMT and living like the Amish

So

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Darling Buds of May

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

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

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

Dawnxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two videos, The Nevers and flexing my writing fingers

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

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

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

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

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

The Nevers

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

Sex in the City

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

My writing

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

General Life

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

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

Dawnxx

 

Jeezo! I haven’t sat still

Well, it’s been a crazy kind of time in Nelson Towers lately. Since we’ve been easing out of lockdown in Scotland, my social life has rocketed. I’ve been able to see family (in the garden and in unseasonably warm weather, thank goodness) and friends. The friends part was last weekend when I went for a drink round to our local pub with my friend from next door and a couple of others. Then on Sunday, I joined two others for a socially distanced lunch in La Lanterna (great food btw) in the west-end of Glasgow and had a Zoom call that night with two women I’ve known since school (one I’ve known since I was four, the other since I was about 13).  It was busy, it was mad, but it was great. It killed me that I couldn’t hug anyone, but it was still so nice to actually be around people again.

So how’s your week been? What have you been up to? Are you guys finally getting back some normality in your lives? I hope so. Terrible news about India. My heart goes out to them. I’m afraid we’ll continue to see people dying from Coronavirus for some time yet.

Line of Duty

Anyway, let us move on to better things. Firstly, what was that last episode of Line of Duty all about? It just all felt so flat. I was one of the many disappointed fans. I can get that they were trying something different, but I don’t think it worked. Never mind, the rest of the series were amazing.

I also watched Shadow and Bone. I ‘ve never read the books, they are aimed at children (although that never puts me off, some children’s novels are amazing) and they were brought out well after I completed my childhood! 🙂 However, I did watch the series on Netflix and really enjoyed it. The first episode was a little meh for me, but I stuck with it and am glad I did. Ben Barnes (who as Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia) is still gorgeous and did a great job, as did the rest of the cast. I don’t want to go into it too much as I don’t want to spoil anything, but it is good.

Talking of good, anyone know when Carnival Row’s second series is coming out? I’ve now watched it about five times (something I rarely do) and I just love it.

Some of the cast from Shameless series 1.

Other tv I’ve been watching includes the UK (and better version) version of Shameless. I’m coming close the the end. There are 11 series and I’m halfway through series 10, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s funny, quirky, dirty and a damned good watch.

Reading – currently on my bed stand is still Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher. It is similar but different to the tv series (pictured), but very very good. I am halfway through it and thoroughly enjoying it.

What else have I been up to? Well, I’m continuing to write the script and I currently have a novel with beta readers. I’m a bit nervous about the latter, I really hope they enjoy it. Won’t be long till they’re back with their comments. Gulp. No matter how many books I write or how long I do this, I’m still worried that no-one will like my books. It’s the curse of the writer, I’m afraid!

Right, that’s me for this week. I’m actually focussing this entire week on my end of module assignment for my uni degree. But I’ve taken a break and snuck out to chat to you for a bit. Back to the grind.

Til next time,

Dawn xx

Two books down and Volker Kutscher

Hi everyone! How are you? Hope you’re all well. How’s your week been? Well, I’ve got a couple of exciting things to share.

Firstly, I finally finished editing my Sisters of Sin novel. It’s called Greed and is romantic suspense story about a female assassin. As it’s part of a series, it won’t be published until early next year, but I’ll keep you posted. I have another one to write – about an assassin code-named Envy – for the series and plan to start on it next week.

Secondly, my Paisley book is finished and, as part of it, I’m just about to draft up a short graphic novel depicting one of the historical facts from the book. Once I have some images to show you, I’ll do that. The illustrations are being done by my very good friend and fab illustrator, Mandy Sinclair.

It’s so nice to have some good news to share. Something different from the norm. It still feels like Groundhog Day, but at least now I’ve had my first vaccination, I can see a tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel!

On to TV and film. Well, I have just finished binge watching Call the Midwife and thoroughly enjoyed it, although Barbara’s demise did leave me in tears. The thing I like about this series is that it’s gentle, you don’t have to concentrate too hard to enjoy it, and the styles and music are fantastic. It’s one of my guilty pleasures and I can’t wait for the new series which starts very soon.

On to books, I’ve been trying to read, but I’ve been so busy lately that I’m shattered by the time I crawl into bed and switch the light out. I normally go up at 9pm and read for a while, but I’ve been going up at the same time and going to sleep.   I’ve had a couple of extra clients for my business plus I had to complete an assignment for university, so that’s probably why.

I have got a book to start which is Babylon Berlin by Volker Kutscher. I really LOVE LOVE LOVE the tv series, so wanted to read the books. Got the first one to start and I can’t wait.

I’m also reading Bruce Block’s ‘The Visual Story’ which is about creating the visual structure of film, tv and digital media. It’s useful to know this stuff for my scriptwriting, but it should also feed into my novel writing and maybe even other parts of my working life. Only just started it and am hooked already.

Right, so you are up-to-date on everything at the moment. I’m sorry I’ve not had much to tell you. It’s so difficult to be exciting about writing when most of it is hard slog. However, I’m getting there with my novels and have already started planning my next series – a steampunk, fantasy set in Victorian Glasgow. I’ll tell you more about that in the future, it’s way too early just now.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx

Resident Alien is my new favourite tv show

My new favourite tv show Resident Alien.

Do you ever have one of those weeks where no matter what you do you are always playing catch up with yourself? This week is one of those. And I hate it. I love it when you plan out your day or week (in my case) and it all gets done. However, my inability to get up early (ie at 7am) means I have been chasing my tail all week. Sigh. Never mind.

So, how has your week been? Hope it’s been a good one. I’ve been struggling to keep positive this week. I’m so fed up being stuck in. I yearn to go into Glasgow and meet a friend for lunch. It is a little thing, but I miss it. In saying that, I am extremely lucky. No-one in my family has been seriously ill with Coronavirus, no-one has died. I should be counting my blessings, but it is hard to keep on going.

However, I will. Onwards and upwards as they say.

This week, I have mostly been scriptwriting. I honestly thought this script would be done by now, but it’s nowhere near finished. It’s complicated. And exciting. And funny. And I really hope it gets made one day. If it never gets made, I’ve still learned a lot. I’ve learned more about storytelling, about not overwriting, about cinematic techniques. And it’s been really good fun. I’ll be back into it later today.

I’m still editing my Sisters of Sin book. I hope to have that finished for beta readers next week. In fact, I’m saying it now. I’m going to make sure it’s finished by Saturday next week. Not tomorrow, but a week away. Shit, I now have a deadline to keep.

I’ve finished binge watching Line of Duty and feel bereft. Really enjoyed it. But, oh joy, a new series starts soon.

Have you been watching Resident Alien? It’s on Sky 1 in the UK. It is brilliant. So funny. Really recommend it. It’s about an alien, played brilliantly by Alan Tudyk, who crash lands on Earth. He has to piece together his ship and find his weapon with which he’s been tasked to destroy the Earth with. However, those pesky humans keep coming into contact with him. He likes them. He’s getting emotions.  He’s having relationships with them.  Watch it, it’s brilliant especially the dialogue he has with young Max (Jason Maybaum) and his bestie, Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke). TV perfection.

Right, that’s me for this week. Until next time,

Dawnxx

 

Ten Top Tips for Writers

Okay, so I’m thinking my blog is getting really dull due to me not doing very much. With that in mind, I’ve decided to try and make it more useful to other people who want to write. So, this week I’ve collated some top tips for people who want to be or who are writers.

Before that, a quick roundup of what’s been happening chez moi. Firstly, I’m getting new roof insulation put in today. My old insulation is shot to pieces, so it desperately needs replaced. I’m getting foamy spray stuff put on the inside of the roof. It’s non toxic and extremely good at insulating, but expensive. However, it’ll last for years and should cut my heating bills down, which would be good because it’s been snowy and freezing in Scotland for the past few weeks.

Secondly, I’ve started editing my Sisters of Sin novel. If you remember, I joined up with a group of international writers last  January/February with the intent of writing a book series together. However, the series hasn’t materialised yet due to the circumstances of the individuals within the group (lots of stuff has been going on) and the pandemic which side-swiped everyone (as it’s done for everyone else). The series was put on hold until now and it’s now we’re starting to pull it together with the intention of getting it out next January. I’ll keep you updated. It’s good to be getting back into writing. I’ve hardly been doing anything recently, just didn’t feel like it.

Thirdly, before I forget, how are you? Hope you’re all well. We’re find here, thank goodness, but getting a little stir crazy. The whole of the UK is still in lockdown again, which isn’t great, but it is what it is.

Fourth and final before we move on: did anyone watch It’s A Sin?? It was written by Russell T Davies – who is my favourite tv scriptwriter – and is set in the 1980s. It’s about a group of young gay men and their female flatmate and the impact of the AIDS epidemic. It sounds like it should be an horrific storyline, and it is harrowing and heart-breaking at times, but it’s such a good series. I highly recommend it. Plus the soundtrack (all 80s pop songs) is amazing – am hoping they put it out as a soundtrack you can buy! I’d forgotten how terrifying it was (as a heterosexual woman) when we were told about HIV and AIDS, so I can’t imagine what it was like for gay men at the time who were losing friends or dying of it themselves. I know there are still stigmas  attached to people with HIV and AIDS and prejudices against the LGBT population by some areas of society. However, I am so pleased we are not back where we were in the 80s. What happened then in terms of prejudice and hatred and fear was horrible. Anyway, watch the series, it’s amazing.

Right, now I’m going to go on to the writerly part of this blog post. Hold on to your hat!

  1. Carry a notebook and pen with you wherever you go so when inspiration/ideas strike you’ve got something to write them down in. You can also use your mobile to note down thoughts either as a note or as an audio piece.
  2. Write every day – set apart a time every day, even ten minutes, and write down something. Anything. This will get you into the habit of writing. It will also allow you to practise and develop your writing voice.
  3. Plan your writing – I know there are people out there who like to pants it (ie just write without planning) and I applaud those who can do that. However, I find that I can write every day and stick to a writing schedule if I have planned out what I’m going to say. You can plan your entire book or plan each chapter as you go. It’s up to you.
  4. Read, read, read – people ask me what’s the best way of learning how to write and I will always say read. That’s for fiction or non-fiction. I believe the only way of learning how to write well is to read exceptional writing. Then putting it into practise. Read everything: newspapers, magazines, online articles, short stories, poetry, fiction etc.
  5. On the subject of improving your writerly knowledge, research writing. There are lots of excellent blogs out there full of great tips and, seeing as how you’re reading everything anyway, why not read some of the great books on writing? My favourites include Stephen King’s On Writing, The Writing Gals, Craig Martelle, Save the Cat and  William Zinsser’s On Writing Well.
  6. If you are a fiction writer, write the story that you want to read. There’s no point trying to copy someone else. The best writing comes from a writer being passionate about their subject. The same holds true for non-fiction writers.
  7. Use strong words when writing. Passive, weak verbs make for weak prose. Instead of saying something was done to something (eg The girl had her hair done by the top stylist.) make is stronger by saying the person did the deed (The top stylist did her hair.)
  8. Don’t use cliches. Try to come up with  new ways of describing something.
  9. Get your story or text down and THEN go back and edit. And edit it some more. And edit it again. Don’t waste time by trying to get the perfect turn of phrase on your first go. Get the text down and then go back and zhoosh it up. 
  10. …believe in yourself. You can do it. So, what are you doing reading this blog? Get on with it!

Right, I am off to do more writing. Til next time!

Dawn x

 

 

 

Nothing new to report…sigh

Royal Exchange Square – stunning at night. We were here today wasting time before the appointment.

I would love to be coming to you today to tell you about all the exciting things I’ve been doing since I last wrote a blog. However, like everyone else I have been stuck inside at home, working, doing housework and moaning about the rubbish things that are on the telly.

The most exciting thing I’ve done recently is take my daughter for an orthodontic appointment in Glasgow. We went this morning (it’s the first time I’ve been in Glasgow since last February, been avoiding it like the plague due to the Covid levels) and I was actually surprised how busy the city is. It’s not as busy as it is in normal times, but there are quite a lot of people walking in the streets or driving its streets. The other thing I noticed is the number of people not wearing the masks correctly. I shall say this only once: WEAR YOUR MASK OVER YOUR MOUTH AND NOSE YOU IDIOTS!! Anyway, we just went to our appointment and then went back home. I’ve spent the afternoon doing social media and watching the second part of Finding Alice.

Keely Hawes in Finding Alice

Talking of Finding Alice, I can’t make up my mind whether I am enjoying it or not.  The storyline is a bit close to home in the respect of the main character’s husband dies prematurely following an accident. As you may or may not know, my beloved and much missed husband died aged 52 of cancer nearly five years ago. I was a bit worried watching this might bring back too many painful memories, but that side of things has been fine. I just don’t know if it’s supposed to be a thriller or a dark comedy (there are comedic bits to it – maybe it’s just my weird sense of humour!) or something else. Anyway, I love Keely Hawse, she’s usually is superb programmes so I’m sticking with it to see how it ends.

Currently reading: Dorothy L Sayers’ Whose Body? It’s a Lord Peter Wimsey mystery and I’m enjoying it. I tried her books before and didn’t enjoy the one I read, but this is good.

Currently watching: apart from Finding Alice, my series of choice at the moment is the UK version of Shameless. So funny.

Right, I’m going to say cheerio right now. Got dinner to make, hungry dogs to feed and then I’m putting my feet up. Til next time.

Dawn xx

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! 🙂

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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