A broken hand, Dusting is out and Apple Pie

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Hello everyone, how are you all? Hope you are all well and had a good day today. I had the best day I’ve had this week, but more on that in a minute. Do you like the image above? Well, I happened to be scrolling through a free image site and stumbled across some lovely stone images. As the descendent of a stonemason (true), I really love carved stone. So, to celebrate the art of stonemasonry, today’s blog is dedicated to beautiful things carved in stone.

Right, why was today the best day this week? It’s because I am no longer in pain. And why is that? Because my right hand is not broken (as I thought it might be on Tuesday – aka extreme pain day – or even yesterday – aka very painful day) and is recovering quickly. Here’s what happened – I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night in extreme pain from the back of my right hand. I had no idea what I had done to it. I had not bashed it or hurt it that day. So, I got up on Tuesday in extreme pain (thank God for painkillers), got the kids to school and spent the day binge watching Grace & Frankie on Netflix (love that show, so funny) and debating whether or not to go to the hospital for an x-ray.

Any of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I have spent a lot of time up at our local hospital over the last few years what with my husband’s illness and an extremely accident prone daughter (my son, who is 10, has been up there for the Minor Injuries Unit twice; my daughter, who is 13, has been up there about ten times). Anyway, I was reluctant to go, but I eventually relented and went yesterday. One examination and an x-ray later and it’s not broken. Phew. However the nurse did ask how it happened and here’s what’s weird – the only time I hurt it was last week when a tin of beans (or something similar) fell on it from the cupboard. That was extremely painful and the air was blue with expletives. Anyway, it hurt for a while and then the pain went away. Then I went to Pilates on Monday and it felt sore, but only when I put some weight on it. Afterwards, there was no pain…until the middle of the night. I can only think I have ‘reopened’ (for want of a better word) the injury. The nurse thought that might be it too. She said when the can hit my hand I had essentially tenderised my hand.  Ew, the thought of that.

Anyway, it stopped any kind of writing for two days. Today is the first day without any real pain and that has been good.

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The hand injury has also stopped me from doing much else this week apart from watching telly. It’s also taught me how much I use my right hand. I was seriously slowed down and it was driving me nuts, especially as I couldn’t write.

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

Regarding writing, I am still studying how to be an indie publisher, how to promote and market my books, and anything else I find useful. Currently reading Joanna Penn’s How to Make a Living From Your Writing, which will be swiftly followed by her Business for Authors. I can’t tell you how valuable I find Joanna’s books and her website, The Creative Penn. If you are a wannabe writer for both traditionally published or indie published fiction and non fiction, I would really recommend her books and website. I’m not telling you this to earn money, this is my actual opinion.

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I’ve been making apple pie recently. A friend in the village I live in gave me a big bag of apples from their apple tree and I made a huge pot of pie filling. I made two apple pies – one for us and one for my friend (well it’s actually her and her husband) – and I have enough leftover for another. Yum!

I have also been getting into making sour dough. My starter is started. His name is Fred and I have been feeding him all week. Fred lives on the island of my kitchen in a large Kilner jar. He sits there and bubbles and froths and generally looks happy. I am starting to think of him as a living being, which I suppose he is being all wild yeast. I will give him a couple of more days and then I am going to make sour dough bread. Wish me luck.

Due to aforementioned injury, I have been unable to hold books to read so I am still reading Radclyffe Hall’s biography. I am enjoying it, but I am yearning to get on to another book. Sigh. Maybe tonight I’ll got to bed early and get through a couple more chapters. What books are you all reading at the moment? Do any of you have any recommendations? Please message me.

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Okay, I am going to finish up now. It’s 7.38pm GMT and I am about to indulge in a cup of tea and a couple of chocolate digestives. My Dr Who loving son is currently watching older episodes of Dr Who (Christopher Eccleson) – thankfully it’s not that Fred movie again, hate that movie – and I am about to throw him off to watch another Grace & Frankie.

Looking forward to chatting with you again soon. Til next time!

Dawnxxx

 

 

A small update because I have the Lurgy…again!

 

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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

A small death and some great books on writing

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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

 

I don’t know where the time has gone!

Hello everyone. How are you? Hope you’re all well. Just spending today (Sunday) recovering from a night out with a couple of friends last night. We went to the Helensburgh Ale and Gin Festival. I had a fab night. Such a good laugh. Apart from the ale and gin, the festival was a great place for people watching…there were some right sights there I can tell you! We went in the evening, but there was a lot of people who had been there the whole day going by their zigzagging gait and glassy eyes. They also had a live band and we had a great time boogying the night away and enjoying the dancers especially a young man who was doing some interesting dance moves (think marionette and you’ll get the gist)and every time he ventured near a young lady, she would grab him, lock him in a passionate smooch and then release him back to his dancing. Hysterical! The event took place at Helensburgh Sailing Club which is right on the River Clyde so lovely views. It was a nice night – the weather wasn’t very sunny, but it wasn’t too cold and it didn’t rain (always a bonus in Scotland). Ten out of ten all round.

I am sorry I’ve not been writing this blog lately, I have been very busy reading books on writing and the writing business. When I tell people that they look at me as if I am daft because I am already published, but I think you can always learn more about your craft. Plus I have picked up some great tips on things like blogging etc.

I’ve also been writing a book for adults. The one I was writing before. I had left it aside for a while there following Ian’s death (the first year after I just couldn’t see myself every getting back to writing}, then I had the extension and all the uproar that brought with it. Now, I have the time, the energy and the inclination to write again and I’m back doing it. I’m also going to get back into building on my writing blog, which has really been neglected. I’m going to relaunch it soon so watch this space for more details!

Another distraction has been family and friends. I’ve been doing a lot of lunches lately with various of them and it’s been great catching up. I need to cool it a bit though as I could do without the extra calories being already too curvy! 🙂

Books I’ve been reading: just started Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. I was never a King fan (although I think his book on writing is excellent) but I’m giving this book a go. I’ve heard it’s really good and I watched the film adaptation of it recently (starring Idris Elba…be still my beating heart, love him) and enjoyed it. Will let you know how I get on. Also been studying Joanna  Penn’s How to Market a Book, which is a great resource. Really rate this book if you want to self publish.

Right I am going to leave you here as have a bit of planning to do with regards to my writing.  Til next time.

 

Dawn xx