Saturday, December 30, 2006


Today we lunch at the wonderful New Yard Bistro at Trellowarren. As always the food was fabulous and it gave me a chance to show friends the chapel that used in my mind for the chapel in Trevenen in August Rock. The one at Trellowarren is large but in Trevenen it is less than half the size.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Today I dragged dh and eldest out to the setting for A Cornish House. We walked along ancient paths and heard the wind howl above us. Inspiration was almost tangible :-)
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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Cornish House

My mind is running through the missing elements for A Cornish House. The key one missing is the period of history from which the two women come. They provide Serena with the insight into life beyond her reality. Their stories are vital and where I place them in time makes their stories more poignant.

So I think my mil is speaking from the grave. Bless her. I was waiting for dd in the bath flipping through the rotating bookshelves and I came across A. Rowse's Tudor Cornwall. Could this be the answer? Maybe. I'll let you know when I finish reading the book!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Christmas

Hope you a happy Christmas. We did:-) Although the weather is a bit grey this photo captures what I think Christmas morning in Cornwall should look like.

My children and dh surprised me with a lap top so now I am mobile and not hogging their machine.

Happy Boxing Day!

Friday, December 22, 2006


Yesterday I woke to my Cornish garden frosted white with the sun climbing through the trees. This morning I can not see the end of my garden. Normally i rejoice at this sight too but not today. Today I must drive to Bodmin to collect eldest ds and hopefully Newquay for dh. I say hopefully as whether he will get to leave Gatwick at all is open for debate. Christmas doesn't really begin here for me until he is with us. The village is missing him as our house is not covered in white lights.

Our first Christmas here the village laughed a bit at the yank's white lights and wreaths on every window but the next year one other house had lights. Then at year six we didn't come home for Christmas and the complaints rolled in! Yesterday in the shop the complaints were also arriving. Where are your lights and wreaths???? Still in the shed is the answer. Although the American and the one who wants to recreate my New England Christmas where I am, I don't do the work. Its my long suffering English dh who does. If the fog doesn't lift then this might not be a white light Christmas......also no tree as I can't find the base for it either!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


It's taken me over a week to get to this....Christmas!!!! Jessica Raymond tagged me. I reallly enjoyed reading her list of things that she had to "bold up to". But I haven't got time for that with getting everything done (at least that is the excuse that i am sticking to!) I have also been tagged by Nell Dixon and i think I can just about handle it!

Here goes:-)

Four Jobs I've held:
1. waitress
2. gift wrapper
3. insurance agent coordinator schlumberger spouses association

Four Places I've lived:
1. Boston, MA
2. Calgary, Alberta
3. Moscow
4. Jakarta, Indonesia
I could keep going on this for a bit more :)

Four favorite foods:
1. ice cream
2. chocolate
3. steak
4. lettuce

Four Movies:
1. Lord of the Rings (all three!)
2. Kate and Leopold
3. High Society
4. An Affair to Remember

TV Shows
1. Spooks
2. The State Within
3. Dr. Who

Four Place I've Traveled
1. China
2. Oman
3. Jordan
4. Mexico

Four places I'd like to Visit
1. India
2. Austraila
3. New Zealand
4. Spain

Four Websites I Go To Daily:
1. Julie Cohen
2. Jessica Raymond
3. e-harlequin
4. Dantu Kean

i won't tag anyone as it is now to close to the holidays!!! Back to organizing Chrsitmas :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


It's been a week since I last had time to post! So much has happened. The party, finishing August Rock revisions, not doing my Christmas cards, Christmas lunches, Carol concerts just to name a few of things.

August Rock went into a padded enveloped to the esteemed Hilary Johnson today. It is my Christmas present from my DH and my parents. It could mean the end of my literary aspirations but more hopefully it will provide the guidance I need to get August Rock in publishable shape. Here's hoping anyway.

The best thing about shipping August Rock off is that it clears the decks for A Cornish House. I have been dying to start writing. I have never been patient and I have had to learn that skill. In past years I wouldn't have bothered to rework August Rock it would have been shoved in a drawer and the next project begun. So now with a clear conscience, until AR comes back, I can begin. YAY. Doing a happy dance :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Star Rising

As I mentioned, I am having a drinks party on Saturday. Yesterday I bought the tree. Snowy our beloved cat thought this a brilliant wheeze - his own personal plaything! Once decorated it lost some of its appeal but he still wants to be top cat!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

White Hot

As a treat for finishing the major re-work of August Rock I slipped into the bath with Trish Wylie's White Hot. Well, the bath didn't need extra hot water. The book sizzled. I forgot to look and admire the skill of the writing and got lost in the emotion of the story and the heat between the characters. Wow. I loved the Irishness of it too. Of course I'm very partial to all things Irish:)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Finished in-putting all the changes on August Rock and now must sit on my hands to stop from beginning all over again - YET.
Thursday I will read the script as a whole and hopefully not find too many holes!

The rest of today is for Christmas Prepartions :) Can you hear the carols???

The picture is the one of my chicks for the Christmas Card. Now to make and write the cards. The first three Christmas Cards arrived in the post this morning! Suddenly feeling behind!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tomato Soup

The good news is that I finished with this re-write of August Rock. Now I just need to input on the 'puter the last sixty pages of changes. Sleep on it a few days then start again!!!!

I did these edits while killing time at Blackfriars Crown Court. No, I was not in the dock but a witness. Over a year ago a friend was mugged quite near our home. I had picked the middle ds up from his cooking class and I was parking my car when three men watched me rather closely. I had parked badly and had to re-park. All this is rather boring and it sounded even more dull today in court and maybe that is why it slipped out that I nearly throw my son's tomato soup at the two men who attached my friend. The tomato soup urge was not on my statement but somehow in court it came out much to the defense barrister's amusement and the jury's. There went my credibility in one go. I can hear them now.......the tomato soup woman.

On a sobbering note we won't know the verdict for a few days.........Now to start inputting the changes on August Rock:)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Trouble with Boas

I am sitting here looking at hands that are orange and my neck and the lower half of face is strangely tanned. I looked like I ran out of self tan half way through the process!!!! The reason was the 60's dance at the eldest ds's school. Parents were reluctantly invited and I didn't want to miss oportunity to embarass the boy so I donned black mini, boots and boa. The boa was procured earlier in the day at Anne Summers - where else does one get a boa? However the Anne Summer's design team clearly didn't expect you to wear it all night as the die on the black feather has turned my skin a wonderful shade of fake tan orange!!!

On the boa subject I took my dh to the London chapter of Romantic Novelist Association lunch yesterday. He had a ball meeting Jenny Haddon, our esteemed chair woman. He was still trying to reconciled that she had written 45 Mills and Boon romances when he met one of the latest Mills & Boon authors, Fiona Harper and her dh. His head was spinning and it wasn't the wine. When Jean Fullerton came and asked him what he thought. He was smiling when she commented that there wasn't a boa in the room! Well his smile broaden as he knew the newly acquired boa was in my handbag:) Of course he didn't want to own up to having been in Anne Summers with me!!!!

The week has been very productive. I pushed past the crap (its ten pages of crap - the rest was OK) and have seventu pages left in the re-write! So this week i will put this re-write to bed amd reread the Sol Stein's Solutions for Writers then give it one last rewrite. Yes I am being annal.

The high note of the week, I was catching up with all my web stuff and saw this wonderful comment from Anna on the eharlequin Struggling Writers board "Liz - you were just lovely to me at the RNA Winter Party! I'm still smiling from your compliments and good wishes. And blushing from them, too! Folks, Liz is one of those people who make other people feel wonderful, and that's a precious thing." Wow!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I have begun the revision process again today after the Thanksgiving break and its crap. Each sentence sounds so stilted to me. I hope its my mind being over critical but I want to shread it again. I know I have already reworked these pages and I am wondering if the original was as stilted as this sounds. I guess I need to go look at the earlier pages. Can on over work something too much???

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I am alive. So much has happened since I last posted that I don't know where to begin so I will begin with the best bit. My best friend Doz is here for Thanksgiving. I haven't seen her in the flesh in seven years but it hasn't mattered. There is no one aside from my own parents who has known me longer. I am on such a high having her around. It is a wonderful touchbase on how I have changed and how I haven't changed.

Writing.......well none. Thinking lots. Turkey? Not until Sunday.

I am so excited. Doz hasn't had the opportunity to spend more than a few hours with my eldest and her Godson since he looked like the picture above and now here's a photo of him playing rugby this weekend. And people think I've changed!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Athens and Teaching

Arrived home late last night from a weekend in Athens. The last time I was there was twenty three years ago. The city has changed but I think I have may have changed more:) I found myself traveling down memory lane suddenly sure that Janet and I ate in a particular square in the Plaka and wondered why now how we found the waitors so interestingback then. Maybe they were better looking twenty odd years ago. However I loved watching the brava of the men. They catch your eye then preen a bit. It did make me smile and then I thought of Kate Walker's Greeks which made me smile even more. No wonder they were preening!!!

I think the break away from writing was great. This morning I gave a workshop on mind mapping to dd's year three class. It is wonderful how simple and magical story telling can be. Now I must get back to the magic but I leave you with a photo of the weekend(more will follow when I have my camera back at the end of the week).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Romance on the Up

Romance is blooming according to The Book Standard (the article). What a relief to know that its on its way up. I have thrown my writing career in its path I am relieved to see its not dying. Not that I ever thought it was. I have been a romance reader all my life. I have read it in all its forms and enjoyed everyone which is why I want to write Romance. I am pleased and lucky to be a member of New Writers Scheme of the Romantic Novelist Association.

However it was interesting to hear an acquaintance who has worked in the publishing trade in the US rubbish romance. I could see her face fall when I said I was writing romantic fiction. I fell to the bottom of the pile in her view. Thankfully it was only her view and the buying public don't share it!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Eating - Rant

There must be something about tackling revision that makes me binge. I haven't done any revision in three weeks and my diet was just fine thank you. Now trying to get back to the grind I am eating out of control again! What is the connection. Is it the feelings of inadequacy that make me eat two bowls of crunchy nuts when I don't really like them but they are there??? Reeses are calling me from the corner store. I know they are there. I am not physically hungry but it doesn't matter.

I don't want to revise any more. I don't want to write in a vacuum feeling its all shit and why do I bother. I am staring at page 57 wondering how to make Tristan more edgy when I don't know if I want him more edgy. I find him delicious as he is but if I don't make him more edgy or something then the end of the book will not feel as good. It sucks and I am ranting. Help!!

Blind Date Marriage

I have been waiting a year for this book, Blind Date Marriage. It was alomst exactly a year ago at RNA Winter party that Fiona Harper won and award and most importantly heard the news that her manuscript was going to be published. I was thrilled for her. She had been my buddy at the conference in Egham. We were both 'virgins' to the conference and her friendship make it easier in the sea of faces that I didn't know. So a year ago I felt almost as if I had won with her.

Then the Summer Party rolled along and Blind Date Marriage won another award. Fiona's face was a picture. I was so chuffed for her. But I had to wait until Monday to get my hands on the book. Was it worth wait? You bet. I have just finished wiping my eyes. I should have been revising but the book kept calling to me. I had begun it last night and tiredness overwhelmed me. Their story wouldn't leave alone until I read through to the happy conclusion but what a ride to get there! Great story, wonderful characters and hero that you could kill but his turn around was so satisfying that you are glad you haven't actually killed him in the end :) Bring on the next book in March!!!

Now I must check back to work and stop mooning around with a silly grin on my face!


Yesterday was very hard going. Three weeks was too long away and trying to get back into a good routine is painful. I had to read from the beginning and not take up half way through August Rock. I still have all the great ideas swilling about in my head but trying to layer them into the story is proving hard. I find myself self slipping into the word by word edit when right now I need to focus on the big picture.

On an up note I began Fiona Harper's Blind Date Marriage. Great book to lift one out of the doldrums. Love the pacy dialogue and I am having to stop myself from diving into it right now rather than REVISE. The crows of doubt are circling and if I don't get my act together then they will be plucking my flesh soon.

On another note I had to speak sternly with the seven year old dd this morning. Over half term I vaguely remember a conversation with her brothers 14 and 12 on the actual meaning of bitch and bastard as one does. Well little ears took this all on board and she announced this morning that so and so was a bastard!!! I stopped in full stride. What? No, mum he really is. She then when on to explain the child in questions parentage and by definition she is correct! We then spent the remainder on the walk to school saying that one does not use these term even if they apply as they can be very hurtful. HELP!!!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Computers Make Me Scream

I have spent the most frustrating day trying to get my computer to behave as it should. I have done this instead of writing or revising. The later two would have been a more productive option. I am writing this from the kids computer.

Yesterday I finished An Old-Fashioned Arrangement by Susie Vereker. I enjoyed the book start to finish. It appealed to me as at its heart is the vulnerable existence of the ex-pat spouse. Having led a global organization of expat spouses this book hit home. Despite many people's preconceptions its not all gin swilling and shopping. Quite the opposite in most cases. The heroine, Kim, is so very much like many of us who have trailed. It highlighted the problems that can arise if you have don't have a plan for the future, left your career behind, or have a spouse who leaves a lot to be desired. Kim finds herself in a bad spot with some interesting choices to get her out of it. I loved the humour in the book. It wasn't in your face but underlined the whole work. The pace of the story never let me down and I was kept glued until the satisfying last page. Even if you haven't lived an expat life I think its an interesting question posed in the book about how far from your 'normal' will you push yourself to survive.

Yesterday I spent a wasted morning in court or more sprecisely waiting to be a witness in a case. Being the promt law abiding soul I am , I arrived early. The longer I waited the more I felt like I was about to be grilled rather than the bloke who mugged my friend. After girding my loins for the experience it all came crashing down as the case was postponed until 4th December. Joy.

Finally rounding out today the writers bursary I was applying for was cancelled for no apparent reason.....

Hopefully tomorrow will dawn bright and I will remember the car is going for a service and that I must begin again the life of a writer in the revision cave :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Five Things About Me

The wonderful now in print Fiona Harper (her blog) has tagged me to post five little know facts about me! Hard one.

But first I must write about the other person she tagged, Liz Fielding (her blog), as yesterday I read her book The Sheikh's Guarded Heart. Wow. What an amazing book. As I have said before I don't really like sheikh books but when a favorite author writes one I succumb. I am so glad I did. Liz took the area and made it come alive and her use of Persian history and gardens evokes such a sensual background for a compelling love story. I loved the characters and never had a moment when I felt their actions weren't justified. I wept. I sighed and as another writer I was green with envy. What a book Liz!!!!

Now on to the task of Five Little Know Things About Me!

1. I have hold a RYA Level 2 in Power Boats (very useful as it means I too can use the DH's mistress, a 15 ft. dory) when he's not around.

2. I was first runner up in beauty contest too many years ago to remember!

3. One of my first jobs after leaving university was selling cosmetics for Clinque

4. I receive pre-natal care for my dd in three countries (Russia, US, and UK)

5. I was an extra in the movie It Happen One Summer with John Cusack and Demi More

A note from Sharon, the creator of People Collection (which seems to have originated this "Five Things..." list), says: PLEASE LEAVE THE FOLLOWING IN ALL ‘PEOPLE COLLECTION’ POSTS:Remember that it isn’t always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it! :)

Now I have to tag two people which will be tough as Jess has already done her five things as had Nell. I am sure I rember reading Julie Cohen's a while back. So I also read Bernardine Kennedy but she is on hols but I will have to tag her and Michelle Styles

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

First page Challenge - Book Two

I have been astounded by the feedback on the first page of August Rock. So taking a bit of courage I decided to look at the first draft first page of A Cornish House and do the same exercise. I must state that I have only written two pages as I promised myself I would finish revising August Rock but this exercise had me thinking.........

The car coughed to a halt and lurched as the trailer pushed it further on the dark road. (creates a sense of tension - dark road and dead car)
“Shit.” Maddie hit the steering wheel. (Heroine frustrated and not afraid to express it)
“What?” Maddie turned to see Serena rubbing her eyes. Double shit thought Maddie. They couldn’t be far from where ever the hell ---------- was but now that Serena was awake she could hear her complaints already. She turned the key but no sound emerged form the engine. (conflict already emerging between Madde and Serena which will be crucial through the book)
“Are we at this God-forsaken place?” (Serena doesn't want to be there)
“Errr, no. The car died.”
“The car died.”
“I heard that but where are we?”
“Don’t know.”
“Mind your language.”
“Hah, fine thing to say. I just heard you swearing. What’s wrong with Christ anyway?”
“We’re been down this road before.”
“Oh, no we haven’t.” (Building verbal conflict showing difference in age)

The question is are you curious to know where there are? where they are going? who there are to each to other? I must confess that I have whetted my own appetite to get into the story but August Rock must come first and with things I have been mulling over in my head and the insights on the first page I am counting the hours to get back into my writing routine:)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

First Page Challenge

Over on Julie Cohen's blog she issued a first page challenge so I am taking it up! Albeit nervously. So here is the first page of August Rock and my thoughts in italics.


Centerville, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 4th June 2005

Judith sat watching the incoming tide lap over her red toenails and wet the brilliant white lace of her wedding gown. Tears caused it all to blur to pink. She didn’t like pink. Not that anyone cared that she didn’t like the colour. The church was filled with pink flowers. Hundreds of lilies to be precise and their scent still filled her nostrils despite the brisk breeze coming in with the tide. We know that Judith is in a wedding dress and crying on the beach. Why?

As she stood in the doorway of the church, all she could see were various shades of pink. Flowers and ribbons adorned every pew. The altar was barely visible for all the massed blooms in every shade of the wretched colour; particularly pale pink. Her fiancé, John, stood among them; tall, blond, perfect yet even he had not escaped the colour with a waistcoat matching the flower girls spinning around her knees clothed in pink dresses with pink stinking lilies clutched in their fists. We know that she had little or exerted little control over her wedding by the choice of her least favorite colour. What does that say about her?

The heat of the early June afternoon intensified the cloying scent of the lilies to overwhelming levels as the soprano in the choir loft hit high notes on some hymn she couldn’t remember. In her hands, she held a decadent bunch of lilies, carnations, roses and other pink flowers which reached the floor in their cascade. She saw her hands tremble and sweat so much that she dropped the candyfloss mess on the floor.

The salty water of the Gulf Stream took the stiffness out of the lace so that it collapsed on her legs. Now she felt at peace with the damn dress; wet and shapeless. A seagull dive-bombed in front of her forcing her to wipe her eyes so that she could see if he was successful. He was and she smiled. At least someone got what they wanted. What had gone so badly wrong at her wedding that she was alone on the beach and not with her perfect fiance? Why hadn't she got what she wanted?

I hope that introduces Judith in a way that makes one want to know more. What do you think?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Reading Again

Still no writing taking place but I have snuck in two books so far during this half term. The first one by Nicola Cornick - Deceived. I am a sucker for a historical romance. I think it is where my heart truly lies as that is what I cut my teeth on as a young reader and this one was brilliant. The heroine was feisty and not about to let the world defeat her. The hero was delicious and I wouldn't mind him for myself. The plot twists kept me glued to the end. A great read.

Next on the list was a new author to me, Marion Lennox. I read her romance Princess of Convenience. It was a delightful escape from the housework that was beckoning. I loved her characters and was willing to jump on the bandwagon of disbelief willingly with these two.

The end of half term holidays is in sight. I will miss my boys but I look forward to making progress on writing again. I bumped into friend and writer Mary de Laszlo who was happily on her way to the post office to send back her latest work revisions done. It will be out in May she said :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fallow Time

I am in my children's three week half term time. This means that writing doesn't exist in my life. I should say that active writing doesn't exist. I have noticed that I fall asleep thinking about my characters and wake up with new ideas. My mind wanders during the few quiet moments in the day when they are not killing each other to plot twists and if I have layered enough in before I screw the punch. I still have another week and a half before I can seriously tackle August Rock again. I hope that I won't lose all this idea making in this enforced 'quiet time'.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Me and My Balls

Much to the mortification of my dh and 14 year old ds, last night I insisted on watching a programme on ITV 2 called Me and My Balls. The premise for the programme was a light hearted romp on a serious subject of testicular cancer. This was the reason I insisted we watch it. I will maintain it had nothing to do with gorgeous men talking about their bits and some time displaying them in various attires. (See photo of ever cute Craig Doyle and his gorgeous dimples) I maintain my innocence.

However much the dh and ds squirmed through the programme, I feel the point of programme did reach its target. Men check your nuts regularly :)

The whole subject of men and what goes on in their minds is still a mystery to me. Not surprising really as an only child who went through an all girls high school followed by an all women's university. However since then I have been married fifteen years and given birth to two of the creatures. Nothing should surprise me about them but daily I come across the different ways their minds work and think. I must say the programme above enlightened me a bit on men's relationship with their bits but I still feel I am in the dark and therefore must research more!!!!

Revisions have ground to a halt as I am in the middle of three weeks of half term holidays. I have been keeping notes of the changes I need to make and they are big picture things and not words here and there. Hopefully this is the right way forward.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Having read Any Human Heart by William Boyd this summer I feel closer to the protagonist more now than ever. Through out the book you get a sense of his never growing older inside even though he sees the external changes. In my mind I am perpetually 28. However the external signs of aging are arriving quick and fast. The latest is a real outward marker. Thanks to my endless hours on the computer the natural deterioration of my eye sight has spend up. No surprises there but when the optician tells you the vari-focals are the answer what do you say? In side I yelled "Hell no. I'm not that old." While I politely said, "Do I really need them?" So despite my ipod and current play list, despite my none agey clothes and hair style I am old.

On a brighter note thanks to author Michelle Styles (her web site)insight on eharlequin message boards I have had a light bulb moment. I think the reason that I had come to a grinding halt on my revisions is that although I was making the writing tighter I wasn't upping the tension as much as I felt it needed. The critique by my NWS reader mentioned that she didn't care for Tristan. He wasn't strong enough. In my heart I disagreed strongly but then I know Tristan inside and out. I clearly haven't put that on the pages.

So with Michelle's illuminating words I suddenly saw how I could up the tension and show some of the internal conflict that was happening in Tristan and highlight the external conflict with Judith at the same time. The only other problem is on a personal basis I am not one for conflict in fact I have spent my life avoiding it unless I was fighting for someone else. So I have to let go of my own feelings and let the real Tristan show through.

So crows of doubt you can fly away while I ramp up the tension in the book before I go back to making the writing tighter :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Having lived outside the US for a large number of years now I have been able to resist the call of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. They have been safely 3000 miles across the Atlantic. Why they have suddenly turned up in my little corner convinience store here in London I will never know. Somehow fate has conspired to drag me back into the undeniable addiction of these wicked little morsels. I can't get enough. I am hoping that their presence in the shop is a fluke; a mistake that will never occur again! However at the rate I am buying and eating them the owners will think they are on to the next best thing. However they don't realize that only American can find the mixture of peanut butter and chocolate irresistible.

For the last two days I have done everything but revise. i should be doing it now but no I am rambling here. I need to refocus but in stead i will go watch my dd's fun run on this glorious day and hope that with renewed peanut bitter energy i can tackle August Rock again.

BTW I finished The Thirteenth Tale yesterday. I loved it. I was gripped start to finish. It is a beautifully written book. Maybe the only criticism I can give is that she ties things up at the end which I loved but I know others might prefer she didn't but I am glad she did. It is a book I will read again.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Being a Bad Girl

I have discovered that I am a corrupting influence on my book club. They diligently try and remain high brow and discuss the chosen books. What do I do? Introduce far off topics like Julie Cohen's book Being a Bad Girl. I spoke persuasively enough about it that the book is now being passed around (why does on think of naughty books at school) and will be discussed at our next meeting along with The Thirteenth Tale (which I am loving). I was asked to read out some of the er um more interesting bits of Being a Bad Girl but I am afraid to said I could not. Although I had the courage to raise the topic I could not read aloud the scene with the strip go fish.......... I guess the divil in me only goes so far:)

My revisions of August Rock are moving fairly well but I find revising more exhausting than writing. I don't think its my nature to examine every word so it is taking a chunk out of me to do it. I will finish this first go at revising then re-read Sol Stein's book again. Currently the crows of doubt are circling.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gorgeous Men and Dogs

I have visited a new world thanks to a friend and her new puppy therefore I want a dog so I can stay in that world. Not that my life isn't full enough with dh, three kids and one fat white cat but as I discovered a dog would add a dimension to my life that has been lost for a long time......Gorgeous young men.

While having coffee with a friend and her puppy, Tilly, the most amazing drop dead gorgeous man with exquisite child on hip and black lab in pursuit stopped to chat to Tilly and my friend. I'm afraid my mouth hung open. He was young and fit and perfect. Even though a writer I was at a loss for words in the presence of man could only exist on the pages of glossy magazine. My friend of course was cool as a cucumber and took it all in her stride. I was speechless until he left. That doesn't happen often. So I want a dog.

On the writing front I am working away on August Rock. It is slow but I am loving the revisions. Long may it last.

I have started The Thirteenth Tale and it is so beatutifully written even in the first ten pages I am green!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Light Has Been Turned On

Sorry I haven't been back for a few days. I have finished Sol Stein's Solutions for Writers and I have seen the light. I couldn't read it quickly enough. With highlighter in hand and notebook I felt empowered and inspired. I am attacking the previous revisions and I'm excited about it. I never though I could be excited about revisions but it feels great. Best of all - it reads better!!!!!

On Saturday I went to the RNA London chapter's meeting. Julie Cohen gave a great talk on US contest and how they can work for you. I am not sure yet if I can make them work for me or not but I did learn a great deal. Also caught up with Fiona Harper. I can't believe her first book is out in December, Blind Date Marriage!

On the reading front, I devoured Kate Walker's At The Sheikh Command. Great read and as always Kate keeps you on the edge until the last minute. Love it but I am still not sold on sheikh books. Bring on your Sicilians Kate :)

The book beside my bed now is The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Back to my exciting revisions - well they are to me :)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Empty Feeling

Over lunch I treated myself to reading Lesley Cookman's Muder In Steeple Martin. I thought it would give my burning brain a break from Sol Stein and all the notes I had been making. After my sandwich I stretched out and thought I would take just a half hour. Well two hours later I have finished the book which was wonderful but I have that awful empty feeling when you have finished a book and left the characters behind. I enjoyed their company so much. I love watching crime on tv but don't often read it. this book combined my joy of Midsommer Murders with a bit of romance. It would have been gripping with out the romance but the romance make the book for me. Great book. Looking at her website it looks like there's another one oout in May 2007 :)

However I needed to settle back to Sol and my note book and I just have that restless feeling....


The long awaited book from Amazon arrived yesterday. This book is to help with the revisions on August Rock and was recommended by an agent so I couldn't ignore the advice. I went straight to Amazon an ordered it back in August.

Now with Sol Stein's Solutions For Writers in hand I reworked some of the 80 pages I had just finished. I have much work in front of me but I have to say it all makes sense and isn't changing the essence of the novel but strengthening it. I hope so as that is what it is supposed to do :) Back to the book and back to work.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Who would have thought that I would be finding as much joy cutting words as I did writing them a few months ago. Instead of looking at the word count to see how many words I have written I am checking to see how many I have cut. I am hoping that this will make the writing tighter and the pace faster although no one has critized the pace of August Rock. So as of now I have reworked 75 of 375 pages of major revision one.

This morning reading the emails I did a happy dance for another struggling writer who has just crossed sides to the published side. Anna celebrates her first sale on her blog. So that's two this week. It does happen. Hard work makes dreams come true.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Why is it so hard to get started on a Monday. I woke at 5:30 thinking I would clear the depris and get straight into revisions once I sat to the computer. Hah, I have found a millions other things to do like make soom room on my C drive which keeps flashing a low space warning. I have checked all the blogs I read to make sure I haven't missed anything.

Today I would have as Jessica Raymond has just sold her first full length book. It lifts the heart hearing news like that.

So no more procratenating..........

Friday, September 22, 2006

It's Begun

Yesterday I took the plunge and began the revisions of August Rock. Didn't get too far but at least I began :)

I also went to the Romantic Novelist Association meeting in London. I enjoyed the talk by Anita Burgh who has had one interesting life. Will now need to put one her books onto my tbr list.

I am loving Lesley Cookman's Murder in Steeple Martin haven't finished yet - not enough hours in the day.

Oh and I forgot I read Catherine Alliot's Old Girl Network this summer too. Great beach read and I enjoyed all the references to familiar things in Cornwall.

Off to some more revisions!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Summer Reads

As I wasn't doing any writing this summer, I read pretty widely but not enough as my to be read pile is still huge as growing daily!

First book off the self was by Nicola Cornick The Larkswood Legacy. I love regency so I devoured this with great enjoyment. It was a real escape form the hell of moving house. In fact it was so good I now have too more of her books sitting in my too be read pile - Lord Grenville's Captive and her latest Deceived.

Sitting beside pool at the Le Mas Candille, I read Katie Fforde's Life Skills. I love the characters and chuckled away between dips in the pool and eating the most amazing meals at the Michelin starred restaurant. This treat away with out kids was in honour of our 15th wedding anniversary. So, I had the Dh to myself, good food and wine, sun, and great reading! Looking forward to diving into Katie's next book Paradise Fields.

The next book was Kate Mosse's Labyrinth. I began this was while waiting for our delayed flight back to the UK. It had me gripped until our plane eventually touched down at Gatwick in the small hours of the morning. However when I picked it up a few nights later my pace at reading slowed as I got to the middle. I loved the history but at times struggled with the characters motivation. However the end was a gripping get away from me until I finsh this book read!

Liz Fielding's Five Year Baby Secret was a stolen delight when I was plodding through the middle of Labyrinth. There was no putting this one down. It was a pure escape. I have her latest The Sheikh's Guarded Heart sitting in the tbr pile although I am not a fan of sheikh books.

Having said that I have another one by Kate Walker sitting in my tbr pile, At the Sheikh's Command. Both Kate's and Liz's bookes have landed in the tbr pile purely because they write un-put-downable books. I read Kate's Antonakos Marriage and couldn't stop the book once I started. I waved the kids aside and ignored the glorious sunshine outside. Fantastic book - I can see why it won an award!

Then I moved onto my nephew's favorite book, William Boyd's Any Human Heart. I can't agree with the nephew that it is the best book I have ever read but I did enjoy it although it left me a bit low at the end. Would I read Boyd's latest yes. I found the way he followed one life fascinating and also enjoyed the insight into the male mind even if it was fictional. His latest is about a woman and I think I will find how he looks into the female mind interesting.

I mentioned Julie Cohen's Being a Bad Girl a few days ago and I still smile when I think about the book. I have two of her books in the tbr pile - Delicious and Married in a Rush. She also has out Spirit Willing Flesh Weak and this is on my to be bought list.

Finally, I picked up Lesley Cookman's Murder in Steeple Martin last night and cursed Lesley as it was very hard to turn out the light and leave the book until tonight. I let you know if it continues in this way :)

I am geering myself up for the big revision on August Rock. The Dd has been home sick from school the past few days so work on writing has been limited but hopefully all will return to normal tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Research and Nostalgia

Reading Trish Wylie's blogthis morning I realize I have a hefty bit of research in front of me for A Cornish House. Not that I mind research in fact I enjoy it but my mind is ichy to write. I am actually holding myself back from the process. Hopefully this means it will flow willy nilly when I begin. Let's hope so anyway :)

I am also quite excited to meet my best friend's neice this morning. She is over as an exchange student. I can't recall the last time I saw her in person but have a picture of her in my mind. She is wearing a sweater I made for her to match the one's I made for her parent's wedding present. You see her mother was like a big sister to me. So because I knew she was in the country this weekend, I found my self thinking about my childhood. Frightening - no. Interesting to me yes. Many images came to mind of screen doors, lilacs, tea, and piles of leaves. All good images really........I am also looking forward to sharing with my kids a bit of my history. They really know nothing of my life pre-England. So here's to C bringing on more memories and linking my kids to my past.

On another note, I have figured out how to add pictures to the blog! My technological brilliance, hah, never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Setting

This weekend we ventured down to Cornwall again. I could say that it was purely for research purposes but that took a back seat to the glorious day out on the water. Saturday began with a bright blue sky that remained untarnished with clouds all day long. The Dh positively hopped as he prepared to take his mistress, our boat, out for her last spin of the season

The Helford River sparkled as sailors of every size headed out river as we bombed past. Once out into Falmouth Bay I waved to the bouy marker at August Rock which reminded me of the revions waiting on that manuscript. However as I looked as the coastline whizzing by I felt the huge desire to write more about my adopted home. Each time I look at the landscape it inspires me and I find my head buzzing with stories and new twists on the work in progress

We spent a few hours wandering through Falmouth which was baking in the September sunshine. Again as I peered down alley ways I felt the history and began to wonder if i should write purely historic fiction but the thought of all the research overwhelms me

After coming back to Helford at full tilt, we gently cruised to Frenchman's creek so I could 'feel' the atmosphere again. Unfortunately the tide was already too far out for us to venture beyond its beginning but as always the beauty lingers long after you have left

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Hero

Yesterday I took up the challenge of Trish Wylie on her blog to follow along and write with her for this next book. Yesterday's assignment was the Hero. Well Mark my Cornish architect from August Rock gets his own book this time with A Cornish House. The hardship of the day was that he physically looks like Hugh Jackman so I have to search the web looking for images of my hero. I know sympathy abounds for this difficult task. The DH rolled his eyes when he asked what I did all day.........

Having mentioned Bernardine Kennedy's blog yesterday another author Jan Jones stated her favorite quote:

'A mind is a terrible thing to waste on housework'

So today I will try and work on my heroine............and happily forget the house and try not to search for more pictures of Hugh.

End of the Dry Spell

Well, I did stop procrastinating long enough to put a mind map together for the next book currently called A Cornish House. Not having written in so long it practically exploded onto the computer........not a pretty sight but clearly my mind had been working over time. I even wrote the first three hundred words but I am going to stop there before I run away with myself. For this book I need to be more organized and fully flesh out my main characters before they start changing on the pages. I have promised myself I will keep better track of what is happening in the story so that I don't find myself at 50,000 words in wondering what colour so and so's eyes were!

On a delightful diversion, I finished Julie Cohen Being a Bad Girl. What a fantastic read if a triffle tricky to read and not squirm while sitting next to my seven year old. I loved the book start to finish and had the added extra of discovering on Julie's blog that she had Hugh Jackman in mind for the hero Oz. (Oh and the DD did wonder why she was being a bad girl girl!)

I'll end by pinching Bernadine Kennedy's quote of the day:

'I understand the concepts of cooking and cleaning, just not how they apply to me'.

It is so me :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Geting Started

I am hoping this will get me back on the road to writing. I am always thinking about writing but recently I am almost afraid to take the plunge again. Yet the new characters are begging to be put on a page and live. Keeping them in my head isn't fair really.

So enough with starting a blog and off to plot and write character descrition of The House for lack of Cornish house name at the moment.