Lockdown lessons

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It’s not quite a been a whole week since the lockdown, but already I’ve learnt a few things which I will list here. I’m sure as the weeks pass, I’ll learn much more…

Since going to the gym is no longer possible, I now follow the classes online, and I discovered I need a longer warm-up session than given in the video (so my body let me know the following day), and I need to use my thicker yoga mat to protect my bony prominences.

Unfortunately, I need my eyes tested as the glasses I’m using no longer give me the sharp clarity I like when typing, reading or watching TV.

I had forgotten how delicious soya milk was. When cow’s milk was unavailable, I bought soya milk instead and discovered that my morning porridge and hot chocolate are even more scrumptious! I will continue buying this once life returns to normal…whenever that may be.

Hoovering is still a boring chore.

Alfie (photo above) enjoys chilling all day as he stills goes out at night – he has more freedom than we do!

I’m seeing less of hubs, as he’s a bank nurse and is having to cover more shifts than usual due to Covid-19.

As hubs is a keyworker, I do all the essential shopping trips to protect him as much as possible.

Following from the above two, I’m making so many packed lunches for him, I feel like he’s at primary school.

Our front and back gardens are now weed-free!

Doing the housework is still not my top priority – apart from a clean kitchen and bathroom. The dust has a nasty habit of returning not long after I’ve removed it, so it’s rather soul-destroying.

Since when did large (and even small) bars of Galaxy chocolate become so popular? I have two squares left and it won’t be pretty when I run out…

Well, dear reader from wherever you may be, I do hope you are keeping safe, sane and are finding the headspace to do plenty of writing and reading. Let us all stay indoors until the world becomes safer and healthier, then come out on the other side being a much kinder and cleaner world.

Listening to my novel

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Alfie and I have been enjoying listening to the beautiful voice of Marie-Pierre as she narrates The Reluctant Mother.

As this is my first experience of having a novel turned into an audiobook, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t realise that I would be sent a few chapters at a time to listen to check all was okay. What I didn’t expect to happen is I would listen to it as though it was a play on Radio4  and get sucked into the story. As I wrote this a few years ago, I had forgotten some parts of the story, so I’ve enjoyed being immersed in Colette’s world once more.

I’ve attached the YouTube link as Marie-Pierre has posted the first few lines there for you to listen to. I will let you know when it will be released.

Hope you enjoy listening to the short video and maybe you’ll find you want to find out what the future holds for Colette and Finn and their baby, Dylan.

Happy Word Flow One & All

I’m not sure the link has worked – tut – so I’m sharing the YouTube video on FB and Twitter.

The Reluctant Mother

Exciting news!

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I have just heard from my publisher, Winter Goose Publishing, that they have signed a contract with a narrator and are set to start recording The Reluctant Mother for an audiobook. I’m so thrilled as audiobooks have become so popular, so it will be exciting to be a part of that arena.

I’ve been listening to auditions from potential narrators over the past few months and have been dying to tell people about this, but agreed to secrecy with the publisher until a narrator was found and a contract was signed.

I will, of course, keep you informed of the release date, and for those not familiar with the novel, I’ve put a link in for you to peruse. Thank you for being here and taking an interest in my work.

Happy reading One & All

 

Merry Christmas

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Alfie is rocking his Christmas bow tie to help me wish you all a very Merry Christmas – hoping you all have a peaceful, fun and loving time.

This year has been busy with redecorating, exploring our beautiful county – Suffolk – and neighbouring Norfolk, attending four gym classes a week and completing a writing course. I’ve written and rewritten a novel and commenced another one, and I plan to take another writing course next year – there’s always something more to learn and improve on in the writing arena.

I have much to be grateful for and am mindful of those with ill-health, bereavement, floods, fires and poverty to contend with over this festive season. So, however you spend this time, I hope it will add to your reserve of treasured memories for the years to come.

 

 

5 Things I’m Grateful For

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I always enjoy reading posts from @MarinaSofia8 via Twitter and in one of her posts, she wrote about five things she was grateful for. So, with her permission, I will do a similar post.

Graduation of both daughters

This year, our eldest qualified as a vet and our youngest became a computer scientist. We were immensely proud to attend both Graduation events and were even more delighted they both commenced work in their chosen fields straight away. We are empty-nesters!

Alfie

Thanks to my eldest, we became parents to a rescue cat over two years ago. Having always been dog people, we were surprised how much we came to love Alfie. He has compensated for not having the girls at home in many ways, although he doesn’t show love for us in the same way or depth – he’s a cat after all.

Moving to Beccles

We moved here 19 months ago and it’s been the loveliest place we’ve lived together in our 21 years together. Before I met hubs, I lived in other gorgeous places such as Norwich, York and the south of France, but when I met hubs, when we were both community nurses in London, I began a journey of living in places I was never happy with – and I don’t let him forget it!  Finally, we’re both happy in this vibrant market town on the Suffolk/Norfolk border – our forever home.

Having a room of my own

I finally have a room to write in, where I can hide away, surrounded by books and clutter we have yet to find places for. It’s wonderful to have a pin board to keep track of writing issues and a desk I don’t have to keep tidy as it’s in the lounge – as in the previous house. Alfie often joins me and naps in one of the 3 beds in the room – yes, he’s a spoilt cat. Sadly, hubs will often pop his head around the door to tell me the latest joke he’s read on Twitter, but as long as he makes me mugs of coffee, I can’t complain too much.

Local writing group

I joined a local writing group and we meet once a month in one writer’s gorgeous summer house. I was never a fan of writing short stories and was surprised to find I actually enjoyed penning them, even though they are always quite dark. Much as I try to lighten the mood of the story, it always veers towards the darker side of fiction, even though I’m a happy, sociable (within limits) person. I have met a lovely group of women and learnt things regarding writing and the local area along the way.

So there you have it, five things I’m grateful for, although I have more which I will save for another post. I hope you can also find five or more things you are grateful for in your lives.

Happy Word Flow One & All

Overthinking my writing

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I’m currently in a phase of overthinking my writing and it has rendered me emotionally blind through being over-analytical about every word and idea I pull from my head. The whole thing is driving me doolally.

Although crime/psychological thriller and contemporary women’s fiction are my go-to genres, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about the current squeeze, up-lit – uplifting literature. Think along the lines of ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. With all the political and social upheaval currently in the world, readers are seeking escapism through up-lit novels about kindness and empathy.

I thought I’d try to write one and see where it takes me. I came up with a quirky title (no, I’m not telling you yet), a diverse cast of characters, likeable but with flaws, and a goal for those within the story to strive for. So far, so good. Only, 16,000 words in and I’m searching for the darkness, the mental health issues, the knife twisting in someone’s back, and it’s not long before I feel myself being dragged towards a psychological thriller.

I know that old adage banded around ‘write what you know’, but I’ve never stabbed someone (unless giving an injection) or poisoned someone (well, sorry about those prawns…) and yet I can research the topic to then write about. I love researching even though that can be dreadfully distracting.

So, I’ve put the up-lit novel on the back burner and am now planning a psychological thriller, and I already feel at home.

I’m not giving up on the up-lit WIP, but perhaps I need the summer weather to lift me out of the murky swamp winter finds me in.

Happy Word Flow One & All