Friday, November 30, 2007

The Dubai 7's

This has got to be one of the highlights of expat life in Dubai. When we left three years ago it was one of the things we longed for most. I was afraid that this year ( the last year in exiles club) would let me down. Well, it's bigger, brighter etc and I loved the chaotic friendly family of the past. Today we sat in the new family section (dry - yes I watched the 7's without a drop!) and it was brilliant.

The 7's were my real intro to rugby and they suit my short attention span beautifully. The Dubai ones are a social affair as much as a sporting one. I saw faces i remembered and met new people. Kids are safe to roam and a sense of the world as it should reigns as the international field performs for you. I was on of the few voices routing for the US team but with the sevens and rugby in general I find - a good try is a good try no matter who makes it.

So I leave you with one of the real reasons I love the Dubai 7's :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Middle name Meme, Dubai 7's and Links

Rebecca tagged me for the middle name meme which requires that I list the rules first:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, just make one up...or use the one you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

M - Mother. I see being a mother the most important role in life. It shapes much of how I act and think although I wasn't sure I relay wanted to be one until I was one.

A - Angels. I believe in angels especially guardian angels who I particularly relying when I am flying because I am terrified of flying and with my life flying is not an optional activity.

R - Rejection. I am no longer afraid of rejection. I think when I hit 40 this passed and I don't really care what most other people think of me, my life and my work. I finally know and love myself so what others like really doesn't matter.

I - Imagination. Imagination is a special gift and I hadn't realized how many people lack it until recently. It seems to get lost somewhere between childhood and adolescence.

E - Education. Education is so important and it comes in so many many forms. We have an obligation to ourselves and other to keep educating our minds and sharing it with others.

Right now I tag JJ, Cally, Fiona, Nell ,Ray-Anne

Now the Dubai 7's start today, Thursday - despite what the blog says - and believe it or not it is cloudy which I am sure has the players worried as last year they nearly got rained out I here! So here's hoping it won't rain as we will be there tomorrow and Saturday. I am hoping that the 7's won't let me down as I have such wonderful memories of them from when we lived here last!

Now onto a few links for you. I tagged Fiona above but it worth dropping by her blog because she is doing one of her wonderful writing craft sessions. Her insight into writing is brilliant. I now forget who lead me onto this blog but it worth scrolling through his posts during NaNoMo. Here's a quote from his last post which hit home:

"That's because writing is about setting, and reaching, goals.

Stories don't write themselves. They take a considerable time commitment. Often that commitment is hard to justify. But writers, real writers, make writing a priority. They make the time and the effort. "

Ups and Downs

So goes the way of the world that with the highs comes a low......translation - I had a flat out rejection from one of the agents I subbed to last week ( not the one that nibbled but one I spoke to at the party). So onward and upward. However it made me smile that the things she disliked about the script were the things that others had praised in it - go figure!

This morning has been glorious as a fresh cool breeze was blowing west from the sea. I walked around a palace this morning enjoying the almost crisp air and enjoying the crunch of dried leaves under my feet. No I was not hallucinating. Leaves do drop here and in the morning it can be almost cool.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Jet lagged in Dubai. Thank you for all your good wishes. Fingers crossed here but not holding my breath. A post I wrote on Thursday last week in down below!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Nibble

In great haste as I am on a timed Internet know that emailed submission a few weeks ago. Well they want to see three chapters!

Be back on Monday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Meme and Weekend with DS1

I'm not sure where times goes. I sit here in the early hours of the morning loving my house here in Cornwall realizing that I left Dubai a week ago. In that time I have networked, met with friends, been to Dublin, loved ds2, sent two submission and cleaned my Cornish home. In an hour, I head to London to meet with ds1 for the weekend. I can't wait. Again it is such a treat to spend the weekend with my body guard. I say this because at 15 he towers over me (to be fair so does ds2) but ds1 has shoulders beyond belief and takes great delight that his mother is such a midget. So this weekend we will prowl a gallery watch a film or two and maybe see a show plus meet with more friends. I can't wait!

Now Leigh tagged me for this meme - so here goes:

Five Gentlemen I'd Like To Have Round for Tea:
Hugh Jackman
George Washington (childhood hero)
Pope Benedict
Cary Grant
(Strange mix I know and I suppose it wouldn't be doing to be having impure thoughts about Hugh while chatting with the Pope!)

Five Ladies I'd Like to Lunch With:
Queen ElizabethII
Dame Judy Dench
My Maternal Grandmother
My Paternal Grandmother

Four People I'd Like To Meet in Heaven (exc. family & friends):
Mark Twain
Bing Crosby
Jimmy Stewart
Katherine Hepburn

Four Material Things I Couldn't Live Without:
My puter
My car
My camera
My house

Four Things I COULD Live Without:
the cat scratching my furniture
the cat bringing me presents

Three Books I Would Save From a Burning Building:
The family bible
Regency Buck
Tom Sawyer

Three Books I Would Throw Into a Burning Building:
Spencer's the Faerie Queene
Anything by Milton
Can't remember any others

Five Songs That Make Me Happy:
Handel’s The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba
Mambo No. 5
Ave Maria
Hey Baby
Groovy Kinda Love

Five Songs That Make Me Cry:
Can't think of any at the moment but it could just be jet lag

Two Things I Wish I'd Invented:
Haven't a clue

So if you feel like it then let me know so I can come see your list!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dublin and Posted

Well the submissions went into the post an hour ago......I wouldn't have done both together except that I'm here and its easier. So fingers crossed.

Now to my fabulous weekend in Dublin with my middle son. It was a present for the both of us - time together without the other two interfering. We stayed at the hotel of my cousins which put us in the center of the city. It was easy to explore. The first place ds2 wanted to go was the Guinness Storehouse. DS2 has gift of scent - dh think he should become a sommelier as ds2 can detect the various aromas in wine with a sniff. Well, he loved the tour through the store house with the barely and the hops. He enjoyed the taste of the roasted barely and wondered if they would let him taste the finished product. I thought to myself - this is Dublin, no one will object. So when we reached the tasting room and I grabbed a glass - ds2 stuck his nose in and took a deep breath. He could smell it all. I told him to have a wee sip as no one was looking. He grinned from ear to ear.

After the storehouse we caught up with the wonderful Irish writer Abby Green ( check our her web site - the news section -for a great contest!) and she guided us through the day to finally land at a pub early evening listening to Traditional Music. DS2 felt this was the highlight of the trip (aside from being alone with his mother of course) - in the pub with a shandy and Abby and me. He quickly picked on the Irish ways of flattery - but it is in the blood of course.
Before the weekend was over we managed to squeeze in the Book of Kells at Trinty and a trip to Bewley's - so all in all DS2 had a great birthday.
Now i have been tagged by Leigh which I am looking forward to doing but not today. I need to clean the house!!!!
Here's a great link that set the light bulbs going for me

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

RNA Winter Party

Well, it's a crisp clear morning here in Cornwall and last week seeems a long time ago - even this weekend for that matter, but I must tell you about the party.

In truth the party began before I arrived at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers as half the attendees were staying at the New Cavendish Club. I had a brief chance to chat with the lovely Eileen Ramsayand Katie Fforde kindly treated me to a drink at the bar before we went. I had hoped this would help to keep my eyes open (what kind of fool was I to think that you should fly in the morning of the big party???) and give me courage. By the time we arrive at six forty there was already a good crowd.

Evelyn Ryle who writes as Joanna Maitlandfor HMB pushed me into crowd with the words, "There seven agents here today and as many editors. Go get one." With knees shaking I plunged into the crowd and fell at the first hurdle when I bumped into a familiar face. However after a few minutes I reminded my self this was a jolly this was business this time. At all the past events I really didn't have anything to sell but this time it was not so. It was do or die.

I am pleased to report after several fortifying glasses of wine I did in a few short minutes I will connecting the lap top to printer and submitting to two agents that I connected with at the party. They were both willing to look at August Rock - shock horror, no really its all a bit exciting and overwhelming.

The line up of editors were impressive. Represented in very healthy numbers were Orion, Transworld, Hodder, Harper, Piatkus, Harlequin Mills & Boon, and Severn House. It was a place to see and be seen. I was lucky enough to catch the moment when our chairwomen Catherine Jones, writing as Kate Lace, was handed her first copy of her second book for Little Black Dress by editor Cat Cobain.

I also have a very insightful chat with Gillian Green currently editor at Piatkus but moving on to the Ebury at Random House. She listened to me warble on as it was towards the end of the evening and gave me some sound advice - now it I could only recall it!

So who else did I see......Biddy Coady (who was being chased by Karin Stoeker, the editoral director of HMB to get her chapters in - so do it Biddy!) Fiona Harper, Judy Astley, Phillipa Ashley, Mary De Laszlo, Annie Ashurst (Sara Craven), Jan Jones, Jean Fullerton, Susie Vereker and my memory is beginning to fail me. I should have written this Friday morning but I didn't have time as I meeting Phillipa Ashley for coffee :-)

Then it was out to dinner which my body was telling was crazy but how could I turn down dinner with so many friends. I tried to keep my eyes open. At dinner it was a great chance to rehash the party and catch up.

At dinner (apologies as it's quite a list!) Kaite Fforde, Catherine Jones, Jo Thomas, Henrietta Gyland, Pia Tapper Fenton, Julia Williams(whose book Pastures new is out next month!) Giselle Green and Gilli Allen.......I struggled into the hotel and collapsed.

I can't say how wonderful it was to be with other writers and the bonus that they are friends will have to keep me going for a while.

As this is such a long post I'll wait until tomorrow to tell you about Dublin.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Greetings from London

It's really weird to be sitting in Starbucks on Oxford Street and writing a post......neat too. London is breathtaking - cool, clear and crisp. I'd almost forgotten.

Last night was Romantic Novelist Winter Party. Yet again it was another fabulous bash with loads of wonderful writers plus editors and agents. I did take a few photos which I will post next week when I have the connection cable for my camera.

I made contact with two agents that were on my lists and I will sending to them next week when I am Cornwall. Fingers crossed.

I'm off to Dublin with ds2 and I'm really a little kid. Enjoy the weekend all:-)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Settled and Off

Well, as you can see below, Snowy has settled into the villa well. We will we soon too.

I am off to the UK tomorrow with mixed feelings. I am so looking forward to the RNA Winter Party and meeting up with friends, seeing both my boys, and seeing my home in Cornwall but I hate leaving dh and dd here. The sofas arrive on Saturday and I won't be here. Life is a bit turbulent as my dh's new company went ipo and has been the subject of a hostile take since last Tuesday. Currently things are up in the air - not bought out but not really free. Just what this means for us as a family I don't yet. So I hate leaving yet I am looking forward. This is one of the times that I wish there could be two of me. At the rate I have been eating chocolate lately I having been clearly trying to reach this goal.

I don't know what my Internet connection will be like until I reach Cornwall on Monday so i may or may not be popping in. Keep well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Today I have been taking a much needed break for sorting and shifting to browse blogs. I have missed them but the weight of sorting the house before I leave on Thursday morning has been putting a serious cramp in my web time. So apologies if I haven't commented but I have been trying to scan through to catch up on people's news.

First there has been some excellent news from a fellow member of the RNA, Jean Fullerton. She won the Harry Bowling Prize last year and has just signed a two book contract with Orion. Well done Jean. Her first book was published by Triskelion who then went belly up so this is just brilliant news.

So in my scan, I came across to posts worth sharing. Aside from Ray-Anne's wonderful posts on men, she tends to hit the nail on the head for me. This post on positive thinking is great and I especially like the hat and crayon idea. I have just the Fez to wear for the activity.

Jumping to Steve Malley's post here ,it touched a little bit on same area. He is writing about the stages of writing. I think the crayons and hat would work particularly well when you get to steps Insecurity and Grinding. Just a thought anyway.

Finally Janet Gover sent me some of here photos from our great day out and this one of me made me laugh.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Goat Trees and Bag Trees

There is a tremendous amount going on in our lives at the moment that i can not share....but life has been put on a kind of hold. I am off to the UK on Thursday and will catch up with writer friends, celebrate my middle ds's 13th birthday in Dublin, visit Cornwall, and spend a weekend in London with my eldest. All of these are really exciting but my heart is gripped in a vice at present. Thankfully it is not illness but it touches all aspects of our lives.

Enough of that.......on our trip to the mountains it was wonderful to reacquaint myself with some things I had almost forgotten like the plastic bag trees. Unfortunately I didn't capture any of these on camera but they are a robust tree with a tap root that goes down as far as 60 metres. It is a real desert mountain sight and invariably they bloom with different coloured plastic bags left behind by the human population.

As for goat trees, I think the picture says it all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The villa is beginning to look like home. Everything is finding a place - not the right place but a place.
So on Friday we escaped to the mountains for a bit of perspective. It was good to leave the man made to see the God made. Here's a few photos. The extra bonus is that fellow member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Janet Gover, was in town and joined us for the escape. I was able to talk about writing for hours - have pity on the dh and the dd!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


In villa and unpacking. Chaos reigns but the Internet is connected!
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Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Villa in Sight

Dare I say it, we should be in the villa on Sunday night and with our things on Monday. I have reached that stage of the game where I can not face another room service meal or hotel breakfast. I hate smoked glass depriving me of the glorious day light and I want to kill snowy as he bounces off the walls doing what I feel inside.

We have been here in the hotel for two months and its's been too long. There is nothing wrong with the hotel except the dim lighting. The staff are lovely and dd has loved the pool but I need light and my things. The last time I saw my tpr pile was back in early July. I don't remember what was in it. Needless to say I have created another one here. It's just something one can't be without.

I know the madness of the move will set in a few hours. The stress levels will soar to breaking on Monday when things arrive broken and damaged but at least I will have them.

From tomorrow I am unsure of the access to the Internet so I will pop when I off to finished gathering up two moths worth of the debris of life........