Trying to relax, but not managing it

 

Woman relaxing on a couch at home

So the kids are off this week and what I should be doing is relaxing, but that’s not easy when you are used to going at a hundred miles an hour. Plus there are extenuating circumstances as to why I can’t just sit back and relax like the lady in the picture above.

Firstly, the girl is doing work experience at her uncle’s law firm. And she’s loving it. But it means there are no lie-ins for me as I – being a good mother and all that – get her up in the morning and see her off. I hate the idea of not seeing her off. I have been going back to bed, but it’s not the same as waking up later, so while I have been reading I have been unable to get back to that warm and cosy state of being that you are in just before you wake up naturally.

Secondly, I rather stupidly decided it would be a great idea to clean out the linen cupboard which was overflowing with old duvet sets and sheets as well as the newer ones. Now my kids are 11 and 14, so why was I keeping an old fairy duvet set of the girl’s or the boy’s Thomas the Tank one from when he was three? Jeezo I can be sentimental sometimes. But, yesterday, I just pulled them all out, put back the ones (ie the more mature bed sets) I wanted to keep along with my own bedsets, and took the old ones downstairs. They are mostly in great condition so I am currently working my way through a mountain of them with the view to washing them before donating them to charity. At the very least, the charities can get the money from rags. Hopefully, they’ll be able to sell a few of them. There was even my son’s Dr Who duvet set in there which I, for a brief moment, considered keeping for sentimentality then I gave myself a shake and threw it in the washing basket to go out.

So, how’s your week been going? My two are off school this week and next for the October break. It’s quiet this week with the girl doing work experience, but no doubt next week all hell will break loose when the pair of them get back to their usual arguing and bickering.

Anyway, my OU course resumed this week. I am doing a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. This module we are studying the life of objects first. It’s really interesting, all about archaeology and anthropology, which is right up my street. Been enjoying it so far.

Been gearing up for NaNoWriMo which begins next month. Thought I’d get off to a flying start by planning the book right the way through before I start writing it. Started that today. Had already gotten some ideas for a book down before, so went back to that and fleshed it out. I’ve gotten up to chapter four in the planning. Will get back to it again tomorrow.

Tolkein

Watched a great film recently about JRR Tolkien (pronounced Toll-keen). Tolkien, for that is the name of the film, charts the famous author’s early life from childhood right up until he begins to write The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It’s a lovely book and Nicholas Hoult is great in the title role with Lily Collins playing the love interest. I knew Tolkien had been a soldier in WW1 but I had no idea what a tragic childhood he had. Good film, recommend it.

Watched the latest Men in Black film starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thomson in the lead roles. Men in Black International is full of action and quite good, but it’s not a patch on the original movies. Sorry. Plus I’d guessed how it was going to play out at the beginning of the film. I knew who the baddy was from the word go. Sigh. Not a great film. It’s okay, but just okay.

What I am reading. Still working my way through M C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series. Am now on to the Curious Curate. Can’t believe how addicted I am to these. Then again, I was the same with the Southern Vampire series written by Charlaine Harris, the books that the True Blood tv series was based on. Was totally addicted to those too. I love it when you get a book or a series of books to read that you just can’t put down and you are desperate for the next one. I am afraid poor old Cranford is lying on my bedside table abandoned for now. I think I may give Agatha a short break and go back to that. I also have a number of non fiction books to read in relation to my course, but I’ll get through them in due course.

Right that about sums up my week so far. I need to get back to my washing Monro, so I will say adieu until next time.

Dawn xx

 

 

 

 

 

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How I Make Myself Write Every Day, Fife and Indiana Jones

Hello, how have you been? Hope you are all well. It’s been a busy old time for me lately. I’ve been battering away at the old laptop like typing was going out of fashion and I’m now nearly 20,000 words into a new young adult book I’m writing. I am so loving it. Eventually, I will screech to a halt and it will take major willpower to get back into it. This happens to me for every book, I get maybe two-thirds of the way through and then hit a wall. I sit and can’t think where the story is going, but I force myself to keep going and eventually I get back in my stride.

This book is about a teenage girl and is set in rural Fife, Scotland. Fife, if you have never been, is just lovely. There are loads of lovely wee fishing villages all over the place and it’s a great place to visit. So, in honour of Fife, I have decided to show some of Fife’s attractions (in pictures) on this blog.

Here’s my favourite place in Fife, Culross where Outlander is filmed.

And again…

We have some spectacular places in Scotland, we really do. So lucky.

Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, the blog. Well, what do you want to know about this week? I’ve been busy writing…I got back into it some months ago using tips from Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning for Writers (also cowritten by Steve Scott). It basically gives you a way of focussing your attention on the project you are doing. I have been following it, then I fell away, but kept writing and now I’m back on to it. I worry that I’ll lose my focus. Plus I like the structure of his ‘miracle morning’. It’s all about setting aside time to do certain actions, and using visualisation, meditation and affirmations to further support your decision. I don’t want to get into it too much as it’s all in the book, but if you are desperate to do something, whether that’s write or start a new business or even be better at your job now, I’d suggest looking at Hal’s books. They are really good. If you want to succeed at your chosen thing then you have to ditch procrastination and get this book.

If you don’t think it can help you, look at what I’ve achieved this year: I have re-edited and am about to re-publish Dusting Down Alcudia (it’s even better than before); I have written the rough copy of a sequel to aforementioned Dusting Down Alcudia; I finished a rough of a murder mystery; I re-edited Ham; and I’m almost halfway through a book for Young Adults. Focus is not a problem I’ve been having this year and it’s thanks to things I’ve learned via the Miracle Morning.

So, what else have I been doing? Well, at the moment I am writing on my dining room table despite the fact I have a lovely study (the former dining room of our house) in which to write. The problem was I couldn’t even get to my desk because of all the boxes that were still there following the building of the extension. So, I have cleared away a good bit of it and will finish it today. I can now sit at my desk…just need to clear that now! 🙂

Finished the Sookie Stackhouse books and went straight on to Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, part of the The Mortal Instruments series. It’s aimed at young adults, but I don’t care. I’ll read anything. Thoroughly enjoyed it, may have to start watching the tv series now!! Am about to start the sequel, City of Ashes. Is he really her brother?  Will the other come out? Will they get the cup back? (Sorry this is a bit cryptic, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone). I need to read on.

Watched Raiders of the Lost Ark yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was on the day before, so I recorded it and watched it yesterday. Love the Indiana Jones. They are fab stories, plus Harrison Ford is just yum. I have always loved him, always will. He’s still a good looking man. So, to celebrate the films, Indy and Harrison (whaddaya mean there were other people in the films?), here’s a couple of gratuitous pics of the man himself (can’t you just hear the theme tune in your head right now?):

 

 

Okay, now I have salivated over Harrison Ford, I am going to end this blog post. I hope you have a lovely day. Now I am going to do something incredibly exciting (not!), I am going to attack the pile of ironing that is currently piled up in a basket in my living room. It’s been calling ‘iron me, iron me’ for a few days now, so I need to do it. Such is the glamorous life of a writer! 🙂 Til next time.

Dawn xxxx

Get free books, new FB page, my boards on Pinterest and much more!

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

 

 

 

 

Mamma Mia! There’s lots about dogs in this blog post

 

Hello, hello. How are you? What have you been doing this week Hope all is well with you all. I had a pretty busy week last week, but it’s been great.

Okay, so, here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to:

  1. I continued editing my second edit of Dusting Down Alcudia. I am nearly finished it and am now looking to get the cover done and the whole thing professionally typeset. I am so excited about this. I am aiming to re-launch the book before Christmas.
  2. It was my dad’s birthday this week, so we had a family party at my parents’ house on Saturday. I ate and drank way too much, but had a ball. Nursed a nasty hangover on Sunday, but it was so worth it! Happy birthday dad!
  3. Me and the kids went out for lunch last week with my lovely friend Jane and her daughter. Then we went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and it was fantastic. I loved the film. Okay, so it’s not the most taxing of storylines, but its a great film if you want to escape the world for a little while and soak in the magic of Abba. We had a fab lunch, saw a fab film and had a fab afternoon. 🙂

Above a gratuitous shot of Bonya looking peeved that I was taking her photograph yet again. You may be wondering why I always show her picture and not so many of my other two dogs. Well, it’s simple. She’s the only one that sits still for long enough to get photographed!

Here’s another of her doing her Princess and the Pea impression on the piled up cushions on my bed:

So, what else has been happening? As usual, I’ve been inundated with washing and housework. The boy and I built our new firepit. Here it is with Casper staring at the flames. He’s nursing a sore paw at the moment. We had him down the beach yesterday and he was running around all full of the joys of summer when he must have stepped on something. He was yelping and limping and holding his paw up. I cleaned it all out when we got him home and it seems fine. Just keeping an eye on it. I have not walked the dogs today to give the cut time to heal. If I went out without him, Casper would spend the entire day depressed!

Was out weeding the front drive this morning. It was starting to resemble a jungle. I can only do it in one hour sessions as my back gets really sore. I haven’t finished digging up the weeds, but I will get back to it tomorrow. Hope they don’t grow back so quickly this time. I would put weed killer on the driveway, but I have green sensibilities and I can’t abide the thought of putting something so poisonous down in my garden. So, it’s manual weeding for me every time! 🙂

What I am reading: I am continuing to read Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books and loving it. Am now on Definitely Dead and it’s great. If  you love great stories, with a little romance, suspense, humour and some supernatural beings, I would really recommend this series.

Right, I am going to finish this blog here. It’s lunchtime and I have lots to do around the house today, so I’ll say au revoir. Til next time,

Dawn xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Incredibles, True Blood and Celebrating a 90th birthday


Well it’s been a very busy week this week at Nelson Towers! We’ve been to the pictures, went out for lunch (twice), visited a well-known Glasgow museum and helped my father-in-law celebrate his 90th birthday (Happy Birthday!). Plus have been knitting whilst binge-watching Foyle’s War (love that series, can’t think why I never got into it before!). And I’ve been writing…finished the first edit of my murder book. Phew.

So, let’s start at the beginning. At the start of the week, I took the kids out for lunch before we popped into the local cinema to see Incredibles 2, which was fab by the way. I loved the original movie and was not disappointed by the sequel. It was great. Love Jack Jack and the new baddie was great, although I’d worked out who it was about halfway through…mainly because it couldn’t have been the more obvious choice, but the other one. I know this sounds garbled, but if I put in the character names it may spoil the film for some. And I don’t want to do that.

This week I also met my talented illustrator friend Mandy Sinclair for lunch, which was lovely. We don’t often get time to meet, so it was good to catch up. We went to Bar Soho in Glasgow, which in my younger years used to be called The Fixx (I used to hang out there), and had a lovely lunch. It was the perfect place: not too noisy, good music and the food was nice. The boy was with us – he’s too young to be left at home – so after we parted ways with Mandy, we went to the Riverside Museum (which is the new name for the old transport museum) for a look around. I do love that museum, it’s full of such interesting old things such as steam trains, trams, old cars, old motorbikes and much more. It was pretty busy and we got around it within an hour. He then hit the shop and bought himself a lot of tat. I picked up a new mug for myself with an old poster on it denoting the joys of Saltcoats (an Ayrshire town next to the sea which has a fabulous beach). The last time I was in Saltcoats (I used to go there a lot as a kid) was with Ian and the girl, when the girl was still a baby. It was a hoot because she insisted on paddling in the sea (with us keeping very wary eyes on her) and her nappy got wet thanks to the waves and swelled up to about three times the size. She couldn’t walk any more because of that and had to be rescued. Happy days! Anyway, here’s the image that was on the mug (that’s me in the swimming hat…only joking!):

Yesterday, we helped my father-in-law, Edward, celebrate his 90th birthday. There were few family members there and some of his friends and it was a lovely afternoon. Myself and my brother-in-law did a small buffet and it was a good afternoon. Apart from my kids and my niece and nephew, I was one of the youngest ones there at the tender age of 47 and my brother-in-law in his 50s, so there was a lot of talk between the rest of them about their childhoods and reminiscing about this and that. Was interesting to listen to.

Today I am having a quieter day. Was exhausted yesterday evening because I’d spent a few hours in the kitchen making up the buffet, then we went to the party. We didn’t get back til after 5pm and by that time I was tired with a capital ‘T’. Anyway, I’m glad everyone enjoyed it.

What I am reading right now – I have now completed three of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris and am looking forward to going to bed tonight so I can get on to book 4, Dead to the World. I am loving the series. Am not surprised because I loved the tv series, True Blood. So, so good. Favourite characters? Eric Northman, the big blond Viking vampire closely followed by Alcide Herveaux, the werewolf.

 


Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman.

Joe Manganiello as Alcide Herveaux.

Right, on that note, I must leave you here.  I’m away to have some tea in my new mug and a slice of cheesecake that is whispering ‘Eat me’ in the fridge! 🙂 It truly is the simple things that make life so nice!

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