Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Looking forward to 2016

Once again I have to apologise for being such a bad blogger. My only excuse is that I haven't had a lot to tell. Still haven't but I thought that I would check in before the end of the year.
I've been spending much of my time just sort of coming to terms with what happened in the summer and I am feeling better now. I'll miss them forever and do so every day but I have learned to live with it because it is the natural way of things.
On the writing front I have been working on NRIMH and that currently sits at around 28k words. The last few days have been a bit tricky because I've written and deleted several times but I think that I am finally happy with what I wrote last night so I can now move on.
I bought my self a pink laptop to go along with the pink pen and even a pink diary to set deadlines in. Think there's a bit of an obsession forming.
So its that time of year again and I gave up making resolutions years ago but I will say this. Personally 2015 has been horrible or rather the latter half of 2015 has been horrible but in the writing front its not been so bad. Not a lot has been published but I have got the love back and I m writing more than I have in years. I have to put what happened behind me and moving forward to 2016 I feel pretty good.
In case I don't get back before tomorrow night - happy New Year everyone.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Help with information

I haven't been here for a while but thank you everyone for your kindness during the last few weeks. It has meant so much to me.
I'm here today to ask for help with some information.
Can anyone who has experience with book contracts tell me what should be in one.
I need to know this for a writing project that I have going on at the moment and having no experience of one I have to ask the question.
thanks in advance

Sunday, 27 September 2015


Some of you may already know this but for those that don't, since I was here a few weeks ago I have lost both of my parents. My dad died 4 weeks ago today but we couldn't bury him until this last Wednesday. That was the day that my mum died. She hasn't been well for a bit, hasn't got over my dad's passing (they had been married 65 years) and had been in hospital since last Saturday. I got to her on Monday and as we sat she held my hand and told me how much she loved me and how proud she was and regaled the woman in the bed opposite with tales of "what this child of mine has been through."
Dad died very suddenly and without any warning. He'd had a really good day went to bed and died. At least with Mum we got the chance to say goodbye. My sister, brother and I ran to her bedside after Dad's funeral and were with her all afternoon, holding her hand, talking to her, stroking her hair, anything we could just to be in contact with her for a s long as possible. We all knew what was happening even her and she was happy. She was going to my dad, her beloved Johnny who she had been apart from too long even though it had only been 23 days.
I just wish they could have lived a bit longer but they already know. They don't need me to tell them anything now.


I haven't been around much because there was something I wanted to say and I couldn't. I still can't but will be able to soon.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

What is it about August?`

I'm feeling in quite a reflective mood this morning so I thought I'd have a look at what I was blogging about in the past at this time of year. I thought I'd go back to the beginning which was 2007. Turns out I was filled with fear and terror about that "dark stuff" that was happening and was actually the worst time of my life.
So I thought I'd go to last year - I'd just found out that Himself was not a compatible match with me so couldn't donate a kidney. That actually was quite pleasing for me but he was very disappointed - like he had let me down some way. Just as well though that it turned out that way given that I got enough kidney function back in November to come of dialysis and am still going strong 9 months later.
I didn't bother going to the year before because that was when I was just out of hospital and I wasn't doing much more than sitting in a chair in August 2013.
I thought I'd give the rest a miss because I'd had enough of reflecting.
This August its my mum who has her own health issues which is not surprising given that she's 85 but she's having a test on Tuesday and fingers crossed its not what she fears the most. Logic tells me that its not but as we all know when you are the one in the situation logic doesn't come close to cutting it.
Think I might give August a miss from now on.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

As promised....

...I am back sooner this time. It's only weeks I've been away this time not months.

Summer seems to be doing what Summer does and pass by at an alarming rate of knots. I heard in the news this week that Selfridges has got their Christmas department up and running and I think I heard that ADSA were selling Christmas trees. Ridiculous!!!

My mum has had a health scare which has been at the front of my mind for the best part of two weeks and we won't know if she's out of the woods for a few more so fingers crossed.

I had an email a couple of weeks ago from an editor who was rejecting the article that I had submitted but wanted to see some other examples of my "style" so that they could decide if we would be a "good fit" or not. That was about 10 days ago and I haven't heard anything so I guess I didn't set their world on fire with my prowess. Do I leave it a while and ask or just leave it? That has just reminded me that some time ago I was asked to submit an article to a specialist magazine by an editor who said that they were interested in my pitch. They said that they would look at the space available (the article was a bot long at around 4,000 words) and I haven't heard from them either. Maybe I should give them a nudge too. I appreciate that editors are busy people but, well, without putting too fine a point on it so am I.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Don't worry

Its been a while - well a couple of months anyway. This has been due to there not being much to say. Well no, that's not true actually its due to me having other stuff that just got in the way. Mundane every day stuff that just gets in the way.

Just thought I'd drop in to say that I am still fine. I didn't want anyone worrying that I was ill again. Will not many days in July left I'm hopeful of getting through this one without a spell in hospital;. I saw my nephrologist a month or so ago and he sais that while he can't guarantee that I'll be off dialysis until I get my telegram from the Queen in the short term he doesn't see any problems and that my function has settled at around 25% which is more than enough (his words not mine).

I'll be back sooner next time.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Small Comfort

I had my first rejection in ages today. Not because I've enjoyed a remarkable success rate but because I haven't really been submitting. It came from a magazine that has rejected me more than once before but at least I got a letter this time telling me why it had been rejected rather than just a compliment slip. Small comfort I know.
Think I had a story called that published once. No hang on a minute that was Small Difference.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Dropping in

Not a lot happening round here so nothing to really blog about. Just wanted to say hello though. So the election came and went since the last time we spoke and thank goodness for that. Same old same old in that department.
I'm writing more now. I make my weekly "to do" list and so far I'm sticking to it. I'm writing for fun though without any real expectation.
Health wise I'm feeling great and I think I'm getting my head around things at last. I'm not dwelling on what happened as much these days and that's helping. I go for my check up in mid June so fingers crossed.
Won't bore you anymore, just thought I'd drop in.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Sorry if this is a dim question but I'm not sure and I know that one of you will know the answer.
Is it okay to submit two stories in one envelope?
It's not something that I've needed to worry about before.

Something's got to go

 I came across this post on womag's blog this morning. Being one of life's eternal procrastinators I thought I'd give the book a read. It reinforced what I already knew i.e. that I do (probably) make excuses not to write. I do have a lot of restrictions on my "writing" time but I'm now determined to make more of an effort.
Oh BTW - I actually enjoy ironing so it might have to be something else that has to go.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Couple of pictures.

Don't want to bore you with loads of pictures (lovely as they may be - to us anyway) but here are a couple that I took while we were away. The first one is just a few of the thousands of sheep that we saw and the second needs no introduction.. Very disappointed that a video I took of our surroundings was lost when my tablet met a watery end on Friday. Thank goodness for the memories that we keep in our heads.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Change of plan

Remember when I said that I was going to post my "to do" list? Well I changed my mind. I'm still going to make the list I'm just not going to bore you all with it.
had a wonderful week last week, just what the doctor ordered. I've been busy since then writing and editing an article that an editor asked for two days before we went away. That was a bit fraught but it's gone now.
Photographs mat well follow when I finally get chance to download them.

Friday, 10 April 2015

This week I...

...managed to do all of the things that I set out to do. It was mainly thanks to having an extra day off work and in future I might need to be more realistic.
Anyway bye for now. see you all in a week or so.

Monday, 6 April 2015

BTL 1st chapter

I've thought long and hard about this (well a bit at least) and I finally decided to share this with you. Goodness knows I have banged on about BTL often enough and I thought I'd share the first chapter with you all. I don't know why I'm doing this I just am. I just think that I would like at least a few people to read a bit of it before I give up on it.
Hope you enjoy - but please make allowances.

                                                          BTL - Chapter 1

One minute I was fine and the next…well I’m not sure what I’d call it exactly because I’d never felt like it before but I was shaking and I could hardly breathe and all I could think was, Oh my God!  What’s going on? Well to be honest there might have been the odd expletive in there as well but, oh my God! What’s going on? was the gist of it.

Surrounding me was what I can only say was an incredible light. It was like when there’s been heavy snow and your eyes struggle to adjust to the sun shining off it. You know, like when your eyes can’t really focus on anything because everything is so white. It was just like that, except whiter. My eyes instinctively screwed up to protect themselves like they would do on a really sunny day but this light wasn’t like a sunny day, not even a very sunny day. This light physically hurt my eyes.

 I tried to open them a couple of times but it just hurt so much that I was forced to close them again and I was in complete panic.

I was breathing in short little bursts which I took in, held for a bit and then let out in stages. I didn’t know what was going on or what was wrong with my eyes but I knew that I was panicking. I’d never had a panic attack before in my whole life and I couldn’t understand what as making me have one now. I just knew was that I was having one.

But what on earth was that light all about? I asked the question over and over in my head. What is that light? What is that light? What is that light?

I also asked myself why it was so noisy. There was noise all around me. Loud noise like when I’m watching TV at my grand-dad’s house and he hasn’t got his hearing aid in.  People were shouting. Lots of people were shouting and someone even screamed. I wanted to scream myself but couldn’t. It was taking everything I had just to breathe.

Oh my God, what was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I breathe properly? And, why were my teeth chattering?

The answer to all three questions had to be the same. I was scared. No, I was more than scared, I was petrified.

I tried to think.

Somehow I knew that no matter how much it hurt, I would have to open my eyes. It was the logical place to start because I knew that I would never work anything out unless I could see. I thought that rubbing my eyes might help so I gave that a go but it only made things worse. So now, as well as the light, there were circles flickering inside my eyes as if I had a migraine coming on. Ah, I thought, that’s it; I’ve got a migraine forming. It would be worse than any other migraine that I’d ever had before but that was the only explanation that I could think of. Oh great, not only would I have a blinding headache in a minute but I’d have the vomiting later. Yippee!

But that would have to wait. Right now I had other things to worry about. Slowly, a millimetre at a time I forced my eyes open and I blinked them rapidly in some desperate attempt to get them to adjust to the light. They hurt like hell, but I’d managed to get them this far and I wasn’t going to close them again so I forced myself to stop blinking by holding my eyes wide open. My facial expression was probably freakish but I didn’t care and anyway I doubt that anyone even noticed because when my eyes eventually did open properly I was able to see that I wasn’t the only one panicking.

 To the left of me was a woman,

“Help,” she shouted. “Someone help.”

“What’s wrong?” I had to yell because the noise was suddenly deafening.

Apparently I didn’t yell loud enough.

“What’s wrong?” I said again, moving closer and shouting even louder.

But there was still no response so I turned around to look for someone else to ask. There was a man running towards me and I held my hands up in a gesture that made it obvious I wanted him to stop but he didn’t. He just kept on running straight at me and I had to jump out of the way as he passed by.

“Oh well thanks anyway,” I shouted, adding ignorant bugger under my breath.

I looked after him, stood on my tip toes to try and see where and what he was running to that was so important. I couldn’t see a thing. There were too many people in the way. Heads were bobbing up and down all over the place and the bodies were packed too closely together.

I looked around for someone else to ask but everyone seemed too preoccupied to even notice that I was there.

Hang on a minute, where was I anyway? Now that I could see I needed to work out where I was. Maybe then I’d be able to work out what was going on? But why didn’t I know where I was? How could I not know where I was? Oh my God, maybe I’d had a black out. Shit! I knew that I should’ve got those headaches checked out. I’d just dismissed them as nothing but it looked like they might be something after all. Okay so I’d ring the doctor in the morning but right now I had to work out where I was and what was going on.

What was the last thing that I remembered?

I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to calm down enough to think straight. I remembered being at Mum’s house. We’d popped round to check on her because she said she wasn’t well. She’d looked alright to me though and I was a bit huffed that she hadn’t picked Na……Oh my God!

“Naomi!” the scream almost burst my own eardrums but no-one else seemed to notice it. “Naomi,” I shouted, “where are you?”

I whipped my head around, desperately looking for my little girl.

“Naomi,” I screamed again, “Naomi, where are you?”

But there were so many people around and Naomi was just a little girl. I couldn’t see her anywhere.

“Have you seen my daughter?” I asked anyone who would listen.

But nobody answered me. No-one even noticed me.

But that didn’t stop me asking anyway, “Please, have you seen my daughter?”

Eventually one woman did speak. “God help her,” she said, “she never stood a chance?”

“Who?” I asked. “Who never stood a chance?”

But the woman was looking off into the distance beyond where the crowd had formed and I realised that she had been talking more to herself than to me.

So now I had another question to add to my list. In addition to:

What was the light?

            Where am I?

            And the most important question of all,

            Where’s Naomi?

            I now had,

            Who never stood a chance?

Who never stood a chance? Oh my God no! Please anything but that. Please don’t let it be Naomi.

I may have been panicking before but now I was in overdrive. Thoughts of Naomi and what might have happened to her rushed through my head and there was a nightmare scenario starting to form.

 Was she the reason for the pandemonium?

Had something happened to Naomi? I almost didn’t want to know the answer to that one because part of me knew that the truth might be more than I could bear.

But bear it or not, I had to know. I had to know what everyone was looking at and what had made the colour drain from the faces of the people nearby. I had to know what had made a woman scream in the street in the middle of the day. I had to know the reason but I was terrified of what the answer might be.

I forced myself to take some more deep breaths. I pushed my chest out as I took them in and puffed my cheeks as they came out. I didn’t do this consciously, it was like my body was working on auto-pilot and it did what it needed to keep me functioning.

I knew that the answer, whatever it was, was at the front of the crowd, and for the first time since the whole light thing had happened I was focused. I knew that I had to get to the front of that crowd and I wasn’t worried about who I upset to do it.

Surprisingly though, I didn’t upset anyone. I expected that I would have heard at least the odd grumble as I barged my way through them but no-one said a thing. In fact I met no resistance at all. It felt like everyone was moving out of the way so that I could get through.

 “Naomi,” I shouted again and I heard a sob in my voice, “Naomi, I’m coming.”

And there she was.

Back to Basics

Following on from my post the other day about my head being a bot all over the place and dwelling to much on stuff I'm making a concerted effort to get back to the way that things used to be. And one of the things that I used to do was write. I may not have been very successful (apart from in 2009 or was it 10 when I had a lot of success and thought that there was a chance I could do this) but at least I did it. I did it because I enjoyed it - getting things published and especially getting paid for it was just a bonus.
So I've decided to go back to basics and pretend that I am starting out again which in effect is what I am because it's been that long since I wrote anything of note or had anything published that I can't really call myself a writer anymore. Not that I ever did because - well just because I never did. One of the things that I used to do right back when dinosaurs walked the earth was to post on here my writing intentions for the week so I think I will do that again or at least give it a try. I think it will help me to focus better. I use a "to do" list every day at work so why not a weekly one here? I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure out of ticking things off a list.
One of the things that I need to be aware of this time though is to make the list "achievable" because my writing time is very limited.
The plan is that once a week I will post what I am going to do this week and the following week I reflect on how well (or badly) I have done and post what I'm going to do the next week. This is maybe not the best time to start this as this time next week we'll be away in a cottage in the middle of nowhere without wi-fi (not sure it has running water) so I won't be able to astound you all with my productivity. If I get chance before I go on Sunday I'll try and let you know how things are going
Here goes.
W/C 06/06/2015 I will
1.Type up SS called PP
2. Edit SS called PP
3. Type up SS called HH
4. Edit SS called HH
5. Contact a specialist magazine re a possible article.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Random waffles

I've done a fair bit of procrastinating since my last post - nothing new there then - but I have finally dipped my toe in the water writing wise. I doubt anything will come of it. STOP IT!!! That negative attitude will get me nowhere. But hey what if it doesn't come to anything at least I enjoyed writing it and that's why I started doing it in the first place. I just wish I could stop dwelling on things well "it" as it were.
Anyway, made bread this morning and looking at it I think it may well be my best yet. The proof of the pudding etc. so we shall see once it cools down a bit. Thinking of making apple and cinnamon scones on Monday. I was going to make them today but there is still carrot cake to eat and I hate waste of any kind but especially food. Monday's an extra day off so maybe I'll bake them then.
Think that's all the news from the land of the pink pen so I will bid you adieu.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Light bulb moment

I haven't done much of anything recently and I'm not just talking about writing and blogging. There are lots of things including writing and blogging that I want to do but its just not happening and I think I've realised why.
I had a light bulb moment today when I realised that I'm spending so much time worrying that my kidneys are going to fail again that I'm not enjoying the fact that they are working now at least for the moment.
I haven't had dialysis for 4 months now and I've done sod all with it since I got my life back.
That has to change.
I'm going to try and not swell on what might happen.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


I'm sure most of you know that Charles Dicken's novels were originally published as weekly instalments in the newspaper that he wrote for. Well I am not for one second saying that my work is as good as if (I wish) but I thought I might pinch his idea - well sort of anyway because I don't write for a newspaper (again I wish).
I thought I would publish BTL (Oh God no - not that again I hear you cry) in bite sized pieces, maybe on Amazon or similar.
I have spoken to a couple of people about this and they have said that they thought it was a good idea. But they would wouldn't they because they are my friends. You lot are also my friends but I think you can be a bit more objective about it.
I currently have 8 bites finished and they are generally about 12-13k words each.
If I decide to go ahead there are the logistics of it though a) I've never published on Amazon before so I don't know how to do it and b) I thought I'd give the first 2 or 3 away to create interest but after that what would I charge? I'm thinking not a lot because it isn't a large piece of writing.
OKay so these are my wild thoughts and any comments would be greatfully received.

Monday, 9 February 2015


I'm trying to be a better blogger but the truth is that I have absoloutely nothing of interest to tell you so I won't bother. I have been thinking about you though and just wanted to say hello.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Random writing

I was talking to the person that I refer to as my marketing director earlier and she suggested just writing randomly. She said just start writing and see where it takes you. She reckons it'll get the juices flowing and form a habit if I do it every day. I know she'd right about the habit forming so I'll give the other thing a go sometime.

What I did

I decided to send a couple of queries. One was to a magazine that I have never worked with before and I have to email them an idea and the other was to a magazine that I have  worked with in the past but the editor has changed. The new editor does write lovely emails though. I have to work on something specific and send it to her.
Something to focus on at last.

Thanks for listening.

This could well turn into a bit of a waffle but I'm feeling the need to purge my thoughts.
Remember I started the year off so well? Two submissions and work on the project that I've told my marketing director (JW) that I'll have finished by mid April, well its kind of stalled since then. In fcat, its probably more of a stop than a stall apart from that children's story I worked on last week.
You see, I get filled with self doubts. Am I good enough? Is what I write good enough? Is there a point to it? you know the sort of thing - so I haven't written mainly due to the last question I mentioned. But then I tell myself that unless I write and submit how will I ever know the answers to any of those questions?
And then there's the question of what I write. I have notebooks  full of things that I have written with the pink pen that need to be typed up, edited etc so what do I write first? Do I try a short story or one of the article ideas that I have? Maybe I should just concentrate of the project with JW but then what happens to the rest? My writing time is very limited  due to the day job and the fact that  I do actually want to spend some time with my family so how do I use it best?
I have a couple of hours today because I'm home because of the snow (every cloud etc) so I'm going to use it. But how?
No more questions - I'm just going to go and do something - other than procrastnate that is.
Thanks for listening.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Advice remembered

Many many years ago, I wrote a children's story which while it wasn't taken up by anyone a lovely person at Bodley Head wrote to me telling me what was wrong with it and giving me a bit of advice. I've not really "written" for children since, I mean I made stories up for my children but it was generally done as I was going along and not written down. I started to think about the original story for children recently and thought that I would give it another go. I remembered what the agent said and hopefully done it right this time.
It's not quite finished yet but not far off.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Not my fault.

So I may have got off to a flying start but this week I got a stitch and have been walking. I've done a bit of editing but not much more. I could tell you that it's because I've had a cold but that wouldn't be true. Well it is true I have a cold but it's not stopped me going to work so it wouldn't have stopped me writing either.
No my only excuse is Game of Thrones.
Never watched it before and just said that it wasn't my cup of tea. Husband and sons both all watch it though and so I thought what the hec I'll give it a go, I won't like it. WRONG!!!!
I downloaded the first series which I was able to watch t my leisure only to find out that by the time I'd finished that the other two series were no longer available. Lucky for me Number One Son came to the rescue with the box sets. I only have series 2 at the minute, he's going to get series 3 back off his mate and buy series 4 when it comes out in February. However I feel obliged to watch them as quickly as possible (nothing to do with how much I am enjoying them) so I have spent much of my hour and a bit writing time a day watching those. Poor excuse i know but the only one I've got.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Off and Running

So far I've blogged twice (if you include this one), made two submissions and worked on a project that I've told my Marketing Director (aka as my dear friend JW) that I'll have finished by mid April. And its not even lunch time yet.
However when I've been looking at what's out there already I see that Norah has a couple of things that were sent to her at he end of September and I just wondered what the turn around time was like at the moment. Is there still hope? Like I say its been a while since I did this seriously so I'm a bit of a novice, well I always was but even more so now.

Not a resoloution

This is not a New Years resolution - I gave up making those a long tome ago but in 2015 I do intend to be a better blogger. First of all apologies to those of you that left comments to previous posts because I've not been here for ages and have only just read them.
I'm not going to go over the past two years but I'm sure you'll all appreciate that writing - be it stories, articles or even this blog have not been top of my agenda. Now that I have got my life back and got Christmas out of the way, I hope to change that.
I'm making no promises but that is my intention.
happy New Year everyone