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The weather is so miserable and cold today that I have decided we need something to cheer us all up. So, throughout this post I have put in pics of cute animals. You are welcome.

Okay, the news from me this week. Well it’s been pretty exciting recently. I have been working a lot on my writing career and here’s what I’ve been  doing:

  • I set up a new Facebook page for me as an author. You can reach me at www.facebook.com/authordanelson
  • I hired a fab book cover illustrator to create the book cover for the newly revamped Dusting Down Alcudia. See more about her here.
  • and I’ve been doing a course on marketing books run by Nick Stephenson…it’s excellent
  • I’ve also set up a group called Dawn’s Diva who get free Advance Review Copies. If you’d like to join that group, email me: danelsonauthor@gmail.com with your own email address and I’ll add you to the list and send you a copy of Dusting Down Alcudia. After that, you will receive Advance Review Copies of future books plus the latest newsletters about my books. You can opt out at any time. Remember, it’s send me your name and email address to: danelsonauthor@gmail.com
  • I’ve been writing a new Young Adult book, but am about to edit the sequel to Dusting Down Alcudia soon.
  • I’ve also set up boards on my Pinterest account so you can see some of the inspiration for my books. See my boards here: www.pinterest.co.uk/danelsonauthor/
  • Phew, I have been busy!

So how have things been with you?  What have you been up to? I was through in Edinburgh last Tuesday to attend the AGM of the Society of Authors in Scotland, of which I am a member. I stayed for the lunch and got to hobnob with other authors, a couple of whom know a lady I know. We had a great chat and a good time.

Been out a lot walking the dogs without Bonya, our pug. Unfortunately, she had to get another cancerous lump removed and was housebound for about ten days. Now, anyone who knows our darling Bonbon knows she’s not a great walker anyway. She prefers to lie somewhere comfortable and snooze. However, because she wasn’t allowed to walk, she wanted to go. I felt guilty leaving her, but couldn’t risk burst stitches and infection. She’s doing great. She has recovered really well and is back to her happy wee self. However, apparently pugs are prone to these cancerous lumps and we expect her to have more of them in the future. That’s something we’ll have to deal with as and when she gets them. I hated having to leave her at the vets to her operation, just hated it. She looked so upset, but it was necessary. Hopefully we’ll not have to go through that again soon.

On a lighter note, as I said, she’s made a great recovery and was so well behaved when she got her stitches out. She’s an absolute trooper!

Finished all my  Sookie Stackhouse books. I think there’s one more I still have to read, but I don’t yet have it, so I’ll get back to Why Mummy Swears by Gill Sim and order Dead Ever After (the final Sookie Stackhouse book) from Amazon.

Right, I’m going to go now. Got 1000 words to write before dinner time. Until next time.

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

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Well, hello, how are you? All well I hope. I haven’t written a long post for a wee while and it’s because I have been really busy writing, doing repair jobs around the house (they are never ending), decorating my bedroom (pale blue, it’s lovely) and preparing for a small house party last weekend.

With regards to the small house party last weekend, I had some family, close friends and a couple of neighbours around as a kind of extension house warming. I themed it on Alice in Wonderland (hence the figurines and pics of flowers) and spent three days making food for it. By the Saturday, I was exhausted even before one guest had arrived, but once they all started coming and the wine flowed, I got my second wind and had a fab time. The buffet went down well, we had music on so there was dancing, it was nice enough for some to sit outside and when it got dark my dad lit the fire pit. It was a great night and I’d like to thank everyone who came and for all their gifts and  good wishes.

I’ve also been working with my editor, the lovely Graham, to finish the final draft of Dusting Down Alcudia. I am now in the process of hiring an artist to do the front cover and have three quotes to look at already. I am looking to launch the book in November.

***HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN HELP*** I am looking for avid readers who would like a free Advance Reader’s Copy of Dusting Down Alcudia. All I ask for in return is you give an honest review on sales sites such as Amazon. I am currently gathering names just now and if you would like to be included, please contact me at: danelsonauthor@gmail.com

So why read the book? Well, let me tell you about it…

When top archaeologist Nina Esposito finds a famed treasure hunters’ journal, she knows it will lead her to a long-lost Roman necklace.

But when an ex and a rival archaeologist come on the scene, things don’t go quite to plan as the pair battle out for the right to her heart. Added to the mix is the shady character of a local billionaire who will stop at nothing to snatch the jewels from under her nose.

Now she has to navigate through her confused feelings and concentrate on finding the necklace before anyone else does. Failure just isn’t an option.

Fancy reading the book for FREE in return for your honest opinion? Then send me your name and email address to: danelsonauthor@gmail.com

So what else has been happening? Well, our wee pug Bonya has another lump, this time on her stomach. Because she had cancer last year, we had to get it removed and it’s being sent to a lab to find out if it’s cancer or not. Hopefully it’ll be the latter. The poor wee mite is snoozing on the sofa as I write. She’s all woozy and spaced out. Hopefully she’ll be back to near normal tomorrow. She is currently sporting one of those plastic head cones and looks hysterical. The operation went well so we’re expecting her to make a full recovery.

What I am reading at the moment. Well, I was lucky enough to pop along to Gill Sims‘ book launch of her latest hilarious book Why Mummy Swears. For any of you who don’t know Gill, she’s the blogger who brought us the incredibly funny Peter and Jane blog and the Sunday Times’ best sellerWhy Mummy Drinks. This is the sequel and it’s great. Good luck with the book Gill. PS was delighted to get my copy signed!! PPS was also very excited to meet Judgy Dog in person. He’s a lovely wee thing.

The kids went back to school yesterday. I bought the boy’s school shoes on Monday. Talk about cutting it fine this year? I did organise getting all their uniform at the beginning of July, though so my late buying of shoes is kind of cancelled out in the ‘being a bad mum stakes’. And what did mum do when her beloved offspring went off to school? Well I met the aforementioned lovely Graham (my editor) for lunch to talk Dusting Down Alcudia (for about ten minutes) and other books/authors (including the Brontes who we both love, for about two hours). We went to Café Andaluz and had a lovely time eating and talking.

So, there you are, that’s been what’s happening (-ish) over the last two weeks. Of course, more has been happening, but I am sure you don’t want to know about all the housework and dog walking and talking to other dog walkers (for ages, much to the dogs’ disgust) that I have been doing.  😉

Right, I am off to make dinner tonight. I have no idea what I am going to make. Haven’t had time to do a menu for this week yet. Sigh.

Til next time.

Dawn xx

The white stuff, Bagpuss and Enid

I am not going to state the obvious and talk too much about the amazing weather we’ve been experiencing, so I thought I’d let the photos speak for themselves.  Above, my dogs have been loving the snow…well Millie and Casper have. The pug, Bonya, hasn’t been too keen on going out but as you can see from the photo above she has been out.

She prefers to lie on the back of our sofa against the radiator snoozing and snoring, dreaming happy pug dreams.

A wistful pic of Casper as he watches Millie from the comfort of our living room.

Footsteps in the snow last night. These are my kids’ footsteps and the trenches the dogs made.

Anyway enough about that, how are you? And what’s been happening in our household? Well, the extension is still ongoing and its finishing date has been further put back thanks to the snow. The flooring was supposed to go down yesterday (Thursday), but unfortunately the company couldn’t get here. Their van was stuck outside their office. They couldn’t have gotten into the house anyway as our estate is unpassable for cars. There have been a fair few drivers getting stuck trying to get out of the estate yesterday and today. One wonders: having witnessed others getting stuck why they bothered even trying? Didn’t they think it would happen to them?

Our local shops have already run out of about everything…once folk realised they were open there was a stampede (well okay not literally a stampede, but you know what I mean). We were okay because I had stocked up before the weather hit, but one of my neighbours popped round this morning with a loaf of bread and some milk anyway. I thought that was really, really nice of her. She stayed for a cuppa and we had a good blether. Every school in Scotland (just about) has been shut because of the weather since Wednesday, so it was nice to see and speak to an adult instead of my darling kiddies. Not that I don’t find my darling kiddies adorable and interesting (they read this blog), but it’s nice to have a conversation with someone who is nearer my age.

Me and the kids braved  the weather and walked to the local shops yesterday to get out of the house for a bit (we were a bit stir crazy although the boy had been in and out all day playing with his friend in the snow…they were soaking!) and to pick up additional supplies (crisps and sweets for them, crisps and wine for me). It took us a wee bit longer (we had to fight our way out of knee high snow to get to the main road which was, thankfully, cleared although the pavements weren’t), but we got there and back without injury or frostbite. There were quite a few folk out and about, but the village did seem a little too quiet and a bit eery.

Apparently, to combat the feeling of being stuck inside (and stuck in the village – the roads  in and out were all closed due to snow drifts today and yesterday), some of the villagers have organised a party in our local hall tonight…all welcome. BYOB. We would go if we lived closer, but we are at the other end of the village and I don’t fancy the walk at night, in the freezing cold.

Changing the subject, I have finally worked out who it is that Bonya reminds me of…

Bonya (above, lying on the back of the sofa as usual…I think she thinks she’s a cat) reminds me of….that saggy old, baggy old cat…

Bagpuss! Yup the resemblance is astounding especially the way she moves and gives me those sleepy eyes a la Bagpuss. Can’t understand why I didn’t see it before!

I sent in my first assignment for my degree course on Wednesday. I don’t know why but I was nervous about doing it. Hope I get a good mark. I really want to do well in it. Have started the second part of the module. The first part was about Reputations, this one is Traditions and Dissent. I’m reading about Plato and Socrates, philosophy and deductive arguments. It’s really interesting, very thought provoking.

For leisure reading I’ve been reading Looking for Enid: The Mysterious and Inventive Life of Enid Blyton by Duncan McLaren. It’s really quite different from normal biographies. It’s done in a part dreamy way, but it’s amusing. I didn’t know boys liked Enid Blyton too…I’ve never met anyone who read Enid when they were kids who wasn’t female, but evidently Enid fans were males too. Duncan is a huge fan and he goes to where she lived and fantasies what the Five Finder Outers would have made of the real life theft of two of Enid’s own first editions which were taken from her house. As a major fan of Enid, I’m really enjoying the book.

Quick flashback…

Here I am at the Enid Blyton exhibition at the Seven Stories Storytelling Centre in Newcastle a few years ago…I loved it!!

 

Right, on that note, I am going to end this blog here and go upstairs with a glass of milk (#livingawildlife) to continue reading aforementioned book. Keep safe in the snow. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

Meh

Hello everyone. How’s things? Hope you’re all well.  Well it’s another miserable day in the west of Scotland today, much to our pug’s disgust. Our Bonya, who has to be prised out of bed most mornings to go on our morning walk, decided she would not walk in the rain (it was only spitting, not too bad), but would stand still in the park, watch us walk around the park and then rejoin us when we were leaving (we had to walk by her). She’s such a lazy wee thing at times. She’ll be back on the lead on the next walk and made to walk, she needs the exercise.

This week has been a bit depressing because we developed two leaks in the kitchen ceiling. The plumber thinks it’s coming from the shower or possibly the enclosed sink unit. Anyway, he’s coming back to rip some things out so he can have a proper look. Meanwhile I have a large hole in my kitchen ceiling which I’ll have to live with until the builders start doing that part of our extension project. Sigh. My house feels like it’s falling apart at the moment. At least by early next year I should have my new extension (I hope…I say this because the extension doesn’t seem to be going at a fast rate, quite the opposite).

Anyway, enough of my woes. This week we’ve had guising for Halloween (last night, me and the boy and some of his friends and a couple of other mums), my parents’ dog Winston to stay while they are on holiday (they are home today, we will miss him) and I’ve finished my biog of Bess of Hardwick. I am now on to reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which I’ve only just started but am already enjoying. I saw the film, so the Cheryl in my book is Reece Witherspoon. Read the part where her mother dies of cancer this morning and it brought back a lot of memories. However, the rest of the book should be enjoyable and hopefully uplifting.

Spent most of yesterday cleaning the house and sorting things.  Today it looks like I’ve not even touched the house. Sigh.

What is it that causes an entire tv remote to vanish into thin air? And why does it happen on the morning when I want to watch Outlander? Our tv remote has gone walkabout and NOBODY knows anything about it. I actually wonder if my kids are getting properly educated because they never seem to know anything that goes on in the house! 🙂 Anyway, have been forced to order a new remote and it should come tomorrow. In the meanwhile, I am Jamie Fraser-less and feeling peed off about it. It’s just added to all the crap that’s been going on this week: wet weather, two leaks, a messy house, no Outlander….

Anyway, worse things happen at sea and I suppose if these are my only moans this week I am lucky.

Right, I am going to finish up here and go and do some work on future blogs. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

Lego, Goldman and a Deep Deep Trench

Forgive me readers for I have been bad. I have not written this blog for some time and the only two excuses I can give are: The Gilmore Girls and work beginning in my garden. The former because I recently bought Netflix and have been glued to the Gilmore Girls, all seven series of it and the winter special. Finally finished it last night after around two-and-a-half weeks of watching it in between mum and housework stuff. There were loads of episodes so I blame the tv company that produced it for a) making so many episodes and b) making it so compelling that I quickly became addicted. Am now feeling bereft because not only is Gilmore Girls watched all the way through, but Game of Thrones has finished for this year. Sigh. My tv watching has suddenly gotten very dull. The second excuse is because we’re getting an extension and I’ve been moving things around in the garden. I removed the old metal swingset, laid a new patio in its place (hark me laying a patio and it actually turned out) and then, with my lovely friends (you know who you are, thank you so much for your help, it was much appreciated) moved the potting shed over so that when the extension is up it doesn’t shade out the potting shed. It was a lot of heavy work, but I am so pleased I managed to do it. Been taking on a lot more things this year, things my beloved hubby would have normally done, including cutting our hedge which is a heavy, tiring job. Feeling that I can do most DIY things now (God help us!) and  quite proud of myself. Watch this space for more makes.

Talking of Game of Thrones. Oh. My. God. Was that not the best series EVER or what? If you don’t watch it, you are so missing out on one of the most fabulous telly experiences ever. Do you remember when it first began and no-one (except me, it felt) watched it and I was bemoaning the fact that I had no one to talk to about? Then it was repeated and  loads more folk started watching it and it grew from there. Can’t wait til next year and the final series.

Right, so apart from shunting things around the garden, I’ve also been doing the odd wee escapade with the kids over the summer holidays. Apart from visiting the Riverside Museum in Glasgow (which we Glaswegians will still call the Transport Museum until we die cos that’s what the old museum used to be called), we also popped into Clydebank Town Hall to see the Lego exhibition. It cost me £13 to get the three of us in and, although it was quite cheap, I still don’t think it was worth the money. Don’t get me wrong, the models were great, but there wasn’t that many of them, I expected a bit more. Anyway, here are some of the models…

There was also a massive castle which for some reason I never took a picture of which is a pity because it was really good.

Anyway, I have also been reading a lot over the summer and most recently finished William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood. I love reading about writing and am currently going through a screenwriters’ books phase. Goldman is famous for a number of film scripts and books including Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Marathon Man, the Princess Bride and Which Lie Did I Tell?  The book is well written and full of great anecdotes and musings on how Hollywood works (or worked when he wrote the book…it was published in 1982). If you’re looking for an up-to-date book on Hollywood this isn’t the book for you. Instead it talks about the golden age and how things used to work comparing it to when things changed as tv became more prominent and how studio management changed in the 70s (ie how they were managed). Goldman is bluntly honest and self deprecating throughout. He takes a very measured look at Hollywood and is often funny. He’s the type of guy I think would be a great raconteur at a dinner party. Yup, liked this book. Looking forward to reading Which Lie Did I Tell?

What else have I been doing? You won’t want to hear about the boring stuff, the futile attempts I’ve been making to keep the mud out of my house brought in on the little clippy cloppy paws of the dogs. Our pug, Bonya, had to undergo an operation last week to remove a tumour from her leg. The vet doesn’t think it’s cancerous, but we’re going to keep a wee eye on her. She’s made a great recovery and is, as I write, lying at my feet snoring at the same level of decibels as a full grown man. Delicate pugs ain’t.

Obligatory cute pic of Bonya making herself at home on my bed.

 

You leave your phone down and before you know it one of the kids has decorated a pic.

I have a confession. I have not been writing. Again because of the aforementioned reasons, but also cos I’m a bit stuck about how to end the book I am currently writing. I’ve also been writing up ideas for two more books which I will start writing once I have the other book’s story down. I’ve printed off the 65,000 words I have written so far to re-read in the hope that inspiration will smack me in the face and get me back to the laptop. I do have a strong hope that this will happen. I mean, look at me…I’m actually writing my blog again so that’s a good sign! Right?

Okay, I am going to end this blog here. I have three wee dogs to take out for another walk. Because the back garden is off limits and now open to the street,  I cannot let them run about the way I used to. Apart from the fact one of them will definitely make a break for the street (Millie), I fear one or all three of them will end up the trench that was dug for the foundations. This has already happened. It was my fault, I stupidly drank some wine and then late at night fancied surveying the back garden from the kitchen door. I opened it and before I could stop her Millie (our white Jack Chi cross) ran past me and sailed into fresh air. Luckily she didn’t hurt herself and my daughter managed to coax her into jumping (that dog has springs in her heels). The girl caught her and dragged her out much to my relief as I didn’t fancy climbing into the trench. Apart from the fact it was dark and muddy, I didn’t fancy my chances of getting back out having consumed some wine. I had visions of me getting stuck and having to suffer the humiliation of having the fire service come out to rescue me. Luckily that did not happen. The back door is now kept firmly shut and I haven’t touched a drop since! Damn you wine! Millie lost her lovely pristine appearance that night and it was a brown, mud caked dog that I put into the bath that night to shower down. Thankfully she was not injured and was quickly back to her bossy ways. 🙂

Millie – none the worse for her impromptu flight.

Anyway, on that note, I’ll say adieu. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

Holidays and it’s a pug’s life

Okay so I sort of haven’t been around that much recently. Basically, me, the kids, my niece and my parents flew out to Orlando at the end of March, had three full days in Florida before joining a cruise ship at Port Canaveral for a trans Atlantic cruise back to Europe. It was a fantastic holiday, thoroughly enjoyed it and I would have told you all about it last week (we came back mid April) except I wasn’t well…I had a stinking cold for the entire holiday (not that it stopped me enjoying myself – see pic above of me on the upper deck enjoying my daily Bahama Mama cocktail!) and it got worse when we got back. Had to go on antibiotics to get shot of it. I don’t like taking tablets, but I had had this flamin’ cold on and off for five or six weeks. The antibiotics finally cleared the cold at the beginning of this week.

Anyway, regarding the holiday, I have lots to show you and talk about so I’m planning to do it over the next couple of weeks rather than doing a ginormous blog about it.

The other exciting news is that we’ve welcomed a new furry family member. Her name is Bonya (she was previously owned by a Russian lady) and she’s just adorable.

Unfortunately her previous owner had to rehome her, but I’m glad we’ve got her cos she’s a lovely wee dog. My other two dogs were a bit scared of her at first (although she’s the least scariest dog I’ve ever met), but are coming round now. She’s a terrible snorer, loves to give you big face licks (ew…I hate dogs licking me on the face and it’s a fight to keep her from doing it…she’s very determined!) and is very cuddly.

In other news, I took a major leap of faith and gave up my job this week. I feel that life is too short and I want to write for a living, so I’m going to give it a go. I made the decision months ago and it really feels right. I don’t really feel I’ve stopped work yet because I never work on Thursdays, but I think it will start to sink in next week when I don’t have to go. Just want to thank all my friends and colleagues at work for their generous gifts and see you all next week! People keep asking me what I’m going to do with my ‘retirement’, but I don’t view it as that…I am going to WRITE!! I am taking a couple of weeks off to get the house and garden in order and to chill out. Then I’ll start back writing again. Can’t wait.

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m going to finish here. Til next time…and all the holiday tales to come!

Dawn xx