Tag Archives: coffee

Monday Coffee

Steam floats over the bustling crowd waiting to order their drinks; the crooning voice of Stevie Wonder provides the background noise to the chatter of bloggers, artists and musicians. Yes folks, we are back in our favourite hang out: the coffee house in the ether.

If I were a gambling person, I would have thrown a couple of notes against my appearing in the coffee house tonight. You see, this week is the Enrichment week at the school where I work and I have written their missions for a week of travelling through space. Minute details are still bugging me, so I am committing more of my writing time to sorting out these problems than finishing off books and blogs. So far, the feedback has been very positive and I’m striving to get a connection to the National Space Centre for later this week to make our little space cadets feel as though they are truly immersed in space travel.

charlies angels

Charlie’s Angels

Not far from the table filled with cakes and tempting delicacies, I spy Ellen, Sherri and Julie standing together like Charlie’s Angels, discussing Ellen’s award-winning story called The Connection.

Joanne and Alexina are interrupted during their catch up by Susie, who is recording soundbites from various bloggers in preparation for her future podcasts. It’s hardly possible to capture the voices, let alone hold a conversation as everyone is set on outshining each other in their pursuit to be heard.

Caught amidst this cacophony of voices, two distinctive merry cheers break out. Image may contain: 3 people, people smilingLance and Lucy have discovered each other and share a celebratory dance (similar to frolicking pixies freed from Jack Frost’s hold over spring) and whoop with delight. Icy is kind enough to join them and soon they are discussing Lucy’s award-winning blog along with future projects for the year.

The ever-increasing line of hungry and thirsty writers deters me from going towards my friends, so instead I move towards the front of the cramped room to find Hugh, who is fiddling with the camera on his phone. Loaded with recordings of all the bloggers and their speeches, he giggles as he watches some of the footage from the Bloggers Bash held just a few days ago.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, close-upAfter stealing his attention for a quick hug, I deliver the warm messages sent from Colleen ,who couldn’t make it to the Bash. Unlike any super-bad villain she’s written about, Sacha swoops in like Batman with her helpful and somewhat pink-bearded sidekick, Geoff and the gorgeous Ali, who, without so much as a bellow, move the crowds into an orderly fashion, clearing the congested spaces in the coffee house within minutes. Still whirring with delightful plans for next year’s bash, Sacha draws everyone’s attention to the next Bloggers Bash. With baited breath, silence fills a once rowdy room and only the hiss of the coffee machines can be heard.

“The next Blogger’s Bash has been booked for the 9th of June!” she declares.

The riotious noise and resounding applause drowns out the laughter and cheers, and I even notice Adam and Graeme smiling in the corner, nodding their heads in approval. Ritu grabs her notebook and starts listing recipes she knows will tantalize and titillate the taste buds of the bloggers attending the shindig.

As I slip out into the cool evening, the sound of chatter follows me down the deserted lane. The scent of coffee still lingers on my clothing and I take in a deep breath, enjoying the heady mix of coolness with caffeine. All is right in my world as I return home to bed.


Monday Coffee

Tonight, we are sitting on a wet log near the warbling stream, keeping an eye on the wet, grey blanket of skey above us. It’s cold; it’s muddy; however, for those of you who prefer the creature comforts of home, I’ve brought some black coffee with a dash of brandy to warm your cockles.

To be honest, I needed the air and an escape from the confines of domestic bliss. Losing us in the frosty embrace of the shadows of the forest felt like the best way to do it. Option B was tequila shots off a hairy barman’s chest until we were drunk enough to use him as a salt lick. I think you’ll be happy with my choice of Option A.

nominated blogThere are only a few days left to the Bloggers Bash in London this weekend and I’m a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Meeting new people in an unknown setting talking about books and blogs might sound appealing, but the fact that I have to hold conversations for a whole eight hours feels excessive. My only consolation is that this will be a meeting of many introverts, so I should be able to slip into a corner every couple of hours for some quiet time if necessary.

Hats off to the great committee/organisers of this event. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of blood, sweat and tears they have shed to make this event even bigger and better than last year. Plus, to top it all, Fahrenheit Press is sponsoring the event with prizes and goody bags for winners and attendees. Now that’s what I call an unexpected bonus!

As if the weekend ahead isn’t exciting enough, I have a radio interview booked for tomorrow with the lovely Annette Rochelle Aben, internet radio show host and author of Angel Messages. Since it is my first radio interview, I am very excited and can’t believe my luck! Finding a great host to interview you is always an advantage to any public speaking event and I’m sure after you’ve followed a few of her podcasts, you’ll understand why I feel as though I am in safe hands.

IMG_3718.PNGNow, before we finish off the flask of coffee, I need to push my agenda again: book reviews. Last week, I sent out a message on my Book Tuesday blog asking my readership to send in their reviews of my books. So far, I have found a few on certain sites, but there are many more readers that have not given feedback on the books. If you feel unsure about voicing your opinion, please don’t worry. Whether it is good or bad feedback, I would like to hear from you. It also helps other readers to find my books – otherwise they tend to disappear into the ether where books go to die. I’m a terrible marketing person and this is about as good as it gets, so please, if you do enjoy reading my work, leave feedback!

On that note, the weather is taking a turn for the worse and I can see your fingers are turning a tinge blue. I don’t want you getting sick before the Bash on Saturday. Watch your step as we slip through the darkness, back to the house at the edge of the forest.


Monday Coffee

20160606_121010000_iOSThe cat is scratching at the door, hoping for someone to stand there and watch as he takes a moment to decide whether or not to venture out into the wilderness. While he sits there contemplating life, come on into the mess and join me for a cup of coffee and some packing.

As you sidestep the boxes lining the passageway to the kitchen and take in the ambiance of plastic containers blocking the dishwasher, tell me about your weekend. Did you manage to get all the writing done that you needed to or finish off the project that has been waiting to be tackled? I spent the weekend celebrating my littlest sprog’s birthday and cleaning out the shed. Both seemed satisfied with the results asI have a happy sprog and empty shed.

Here’s your mug. Be careful, it’s hot!

As the shed spewed out its contents into the garden, my happy little workers (aka my sprogs and hubble) became rather distracted by the interesting boxes littering the area. Toys and photographs that had survived a year in the dark recesses of their forced solitary confinement in said shed dazzled them with their memories and soon all work came to a halt. 20160604_070908000_iOSExclamations of joy could be heard by my lovely neighbours when a cuddly bear received long lost kisses and a few tears were spilt over the discovery of a journal dedicated to the first born. The unlucky sprog that found the journal was so unimpressed with the effort made, she burst into tears and had to be consoled. You see, I started writing this special journal back when the sparkle still glinted in my eye and I thought the world revolved around my only child.

Of course, when the other sprogs descended on my rosy, ecstatic world, time became a rare commodity and technology had moved on from paper journals.

Trying to reassure her that she has her own special journal saved on a disk somewhere seemed to stop the waterworks and the extra mummy hugs and kisses hopefully sealed away the pain of thinking she was less loved. Being a mum is tough and convincing each child that they are unique and special is really exhausting.

After settling them all back into their chores, we managed to clear the garden, pack everything back into plastic boxes and start on the garage. What an incredible amount of junk we keep in our storage areas! Moving has its own good purpose – cleansing the soul and the clutter!

Now that most of the troublesome areas have been sorted, we can breathe a sigh of relief and let the removals people do the rest. From next week, I will be reporting to you from a different town/village. I can’t wait.

Until then, thanks for joining me for our last coffee together in this house.



The view from my desk.

Monday Cooffee

Notice the cooffee instead of coffee. I was in desperate need of some French roast tonight and nipped over to Trent’s for a decent cup. Lucky for me, Teagan was already there, taking a break from her fantastic stories and having some downtime, so we got to talking about writing books and the unforgiving process of editing!  

There was a loud bang at the door and Chris walked in, dragging poor Colleen in his wake! The mention of editing sent them both straight to the kettle to brew a cup and we discussed how exciting it was for Colleen who is in the process of editing at the moment.

After a delicious cuppa, everyone settled on the rather comfy sofas and listened to some of Trent’s music. I felt a bit peckish but didn’t feel it would be polite to ask Trent since he was busy entertaining us. One quick text and a five minute wait brought in our next guest. The smell of freshly made Christmas mince pies followed him in and a lot of interest was shown in the wicker basket he carried in his right hand. 

Trent jumped off his seat by the keyboard to give Hugh a big hug. The basket was uncovered and the scrumptious mince pies were handed out. Just as we were starting to argue about Christmas pressies and whether or not the bloggers should have a Christmas bash, Colleen reminded us to tune into Anette’s Tell Me Story programme as Jo Robinson would be on tonight. 

We spent the rest of our evening nibbling on our early Christmas confectionary as we listened to Jo’s interview.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Jo also started out as a reporter many years ago. It was interesting to hear her ideas about the process of creating a book, enjoying the nuts and bolts of putting it all together.

All too soon it was time to head home.  Hugs and promises to meet up at Trent’s were made before we disappeared into the ether, back to our respective countries, back to our respective homes. 

I love the Internet, don’t you?

Ouch! Monday Coffee

Words can’t describble the whomping pain of removing an unwanted tooth. It’s hard to imagine not requiring said troublesome creature, but in certain circumstances we deem it necessary to remove the rot! Needless to say I’m happy to announce that I’m still alive! 

Thank you for offering to buy the coffee today, but I have to politely decline.  The gaping hole in my gum is rather sensitive and I’m sticking to drinking from a straw for the time being.  The Hubble has tried to be sympathetic but his comment during my trauma still haunts me…”If you can have four kids, this is a walk in the park!” He’s still refusing to look at the wound.  Huh! If you’re going to throw around free advice, back it up with a bit of spine.

Yes. Yes.  I’m being unfair.  Please refer all your complaints to Pain: she is now in charge.

I do think it’s time for some pain killers so I will cut this monologue short and retire to my cosy corner with a book.  

Enjoy your coffee.

Monday Coffee…It’s too hot!

The heat is unbearable tonight and in the midst of this humidity, I was trying to find costumes for my two sprogs to wear to school tomorrow.  You see, it’s a special day: Roald Dahl day.  All his characters from his books come to life and parade around the school to delight all present. What a thought…all my characters coming to life. That might be a bit scary!

It’s too hot for coffee, so would you like a soft drink? I do know that a cup of tea is quite refreshing too – I’ll leave the choice up to you.

After a lovely weekend with mixed weather we have managed to move all our winter gear towards the front of the storage room and slowly integrate summer wear to the boxes at the back.  The cats are not too impressed and insist on sleeping on the boxes in protest. I feel it was a wasted process as we are still delving into the box with every seasonal day that passes.

On the writing front, I have started contributing to a new site where I am using a more satirical voice, giving my characters room to breathe.  It’s great fun and good practise as I prepare to write another book.  Flexing the crazies roaming in my mind helps sort out the wheat from the chaff. Some will survive the cull whilst others will probably be removed from my mind and put back into the dark space where things are forgotten.

Have you thought of something you would like to achieve this week?  It’s pretty silent out there each week and I do wonder if you feel shy to add your comments.  I don’t bite – let me know what you think.  After all, you’re quite happy to enjoy a cuppa with me, so why not share a little more? Tell me what you got up to this weekend or what’s planned for the week ahead. I have just ordered the anthology of stories I have put together for the children at school.  I’m hoping they will enjoy seeing their hard work in print and have the joy of giving it to family members.  What an achievement by such talented students.  I do hope they keep writing as they definitely have it in them.

Since I have less time to write during the week, I tend not to post threads written by me as often as I’d like to.  I will try to change that in the near future, but it all depends on workloads, life and time.  I’m sure you all have to perform the same circus act as I do: juggling all the different balls until the end of the week and starting again the next week!

Fancy another drink while you update me on what’s been going on in your life?  I’ll throw in some cake!

Monday Coffee

Yes, I know.  It’s Tuesday! I blame the public holiday yesterday.  It threw me and I assumed I was still in Sunday mode.  So, let’s pretend it’s still Monday and have a quick cuppa before tackling Tuesday.

I have been mulling over the stories I have written over the past few years and have made the firm decision to mix a romance/thriller that has been sitting idle with my two intrepid detectives, Perkins and Jones.  For those of you who haven’t had the chance to meet them, I’m shocked.  The Iron Pendulum has been out for a while now and I can guarantee you will enjoy it.  Plus, it gives you a chance to meet Perkins and Jones on their first case that highlights their personalities. With this in mind, I shall start stirring the story pot and see where the book wants to go.  Watch this space for tasters.

Judith emailed me yesterday to give me some amazing news: I won second place in the Tenby Bookfair Short Story Writing Competition.Needless to say, I was bouncing around the house, squealing with delight. My lovely sprogs and hubble gave me huge hugs and we had a mini celebration.  It’s not often I enter competitions or come anywhere close to winning, so that was a big deal to me.  Please, raise you cup and lets give a toast to the person who inspired me to enter this competition in the first place – Hugh!  Through the process of joining WordPress and meeting incredible artists from different genres, we have the opportunity to meet the most inspirational people who will keep us going during the dark times and push us to go further, try harder; to succeed.  Hugh is one of those amazing individuals that I am lucky enough to know.  Thank you, Hugh.

Some more exciting news.  A few of my other incredible blogging friends are preparing to send their books out to beta readers for a last check before releasing their babies out to the big wide world.  Have you ever thought of becoming a beta reader?  If you’re an avid reader who enjoys receiving releases before anyone else has had a chance to read them, then you should get in touch.  We are always looking for good beta readers who will give feedback to our special creations and would love to share them with you.  Get in touch.  It might be fun!

Have a lovely Tuesday and we will catch up again later this week.



Monday Coffee

Wow!  I didn’t realise how late it was.  Grab your mug and I’ll fill you up. The others are still awake so let’s escape to the bat cave and chat.

How was your weekend? Mine was spent with family and loads of food! As much as I love socialising, I do enjoy the relaxation of returning to my writing…when it’s not a blank page staring back at me, that is.

I promised to show you a print of Moofy and Flo, my new children’s book that I’m illustrating.  Now, I know I’m no great artist, but I’m having so much fun with acrylics and I have to say, it’s all due to Rob Lewis.  He’s a children’s author who visited our school a while back. He inspired me to try painting and illustrating in a different way.  His books are fantastic: not only do they rhyme, they are humourous and have great story lines.  Check him out when you get a chance.

Anyway, put you mug down for a minute and take a walk with me to the darker side of the cave.  I’ve got a torch, so please don’t worry about the things that you can’t see! That squeaking you are hearing is just the end of a record on the gramophone – my new addition to the bat cave (apart from the coffee maker next to the tequila bottles!) and becoming a fast favourite.


Okay. Take a look at this…

Meet Moofy. He’s a bear of sorts and loves getting into trouble.  He’s big, he’s furry and as cuddly as a bear can be. Lucky for him, he has Flo.  

I would show you more, but I want it to be a nice surprise once he’s complete. I am not setting a deadline to finish this book as it is a fun task, but fingers crossed, it will be complete before Christmas.

Come on. Let’s go back to the old sofa and finish our drinks.

There is enough for another mug each.  Shall we top up? What do you have planned for this week ?

Monday Coffee

I missed you!  Last week was very busy and I wasn’t able to join you for a coffee.  Instead, I posted a Monday Motivational from the wonderful Rose B. Fischer, to keep you company. Hopefully, it had the desired effect. I hope you’ve had a chance to visit Silver Threading’s Mindful Monday post to discuss ways to improve your health and well-being.

Why don’t we make our way to the coffee house tonight so that we can catch up with some friends.

It’sGoodToBeCrazy is handing out cupcakes and holding a Lifestyles link party at the moment.  It looks like quite a few interesting people have been linked.  Might be worthwhile going over for a quick coffee and meeting some new folk in the group.  Of course, there’s the advantage of those lovely cupcakes too!

Now that we have hobnobbed with the Lifestyle bloggers, let’s move onto another table. Ooo! Let’s go see Existentiallens‘s photogallery.  Nathaniel Gough has a wonderful selection of photographs capturing life in a most beautiful way. Kev from kcmusicnbooks is playing his new song, Elaine, that has been released on the 10th February this year.  That beautiful music is the perfect accompaniment to the photographs.

Right, shall we go sit with Teagan and Alex?  There is a special reason for this.  As you might know, my Hubble doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  The whole, “It’s a commercialized holiday” and “Why say it on one day of the year when we can say it any day we please?” are his usual responses to this special day.  Teagan and Alex have written posts that remind me why it’s so important to take any moment you get to celebrate your love for someone special. And I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the extra slices of cake we are taking to the table too!

Coffee or tea for you?

There are a few seats left.  Come on.  Let’s go!



Monday Coffee

Wow!  What a busy night.  Thanks for coming to join me at home.  We have had a hectic schedule with prospective buyers breezing in and out for the past couple of hours.  Needless to say, I was like a mini-Hitler, threatening my children in case they mis-behaved or messed the house in between viewings.

As a reward, I shared a Youtube video with them just before bedtime.  It’s a lovely, informative video about things I fear most…a spider.  I stumbled upon the link whilst looking at houses (don’t ask me how!) and couldn’t stop watching.  The following video might make some of you want to jump and hide behind the sofa, so I shall hold your tea cup whilst you watch it.  Help yourself to a biscuit and click on the link below.

Would you like your teacup back or do you need something stronger after that?  My favourite line is, “Hi baby, did you crawl on my face?”


Well, as you can imagine, my children were very impressed with my vidIMG_2713eo choice and decided to make bedtime interesting.  Hugs and kisses were given and as I tucked them in, my youngest whispered, “I’ve left you a surprise under your pillow!”  Now, in my house, if someone says that to you, check your pillow with very tentative hands!  Can you guess what was hidden under my pillow? This lovely plastic scorpion.  Thanks kids!

Thank goodness all the excitement is over.  We would have been searching the sofa for more ‘suprises’ if they weren’t fast asleep after a very long day.  By the way, check the bottom of your teacup for a surprise.  *grin*

Apart from the shenanigans of cleaning, screaming, cleaning and prepping the house, I’ve been busy editing my friend Lance’s new novel debuting on the 28th of January on Amazon.  Knitting Can Walk is a fascinating story about a young man’s adventures in Hong Kong and the most incredible achievement of his life.  The stories have a hint of truth to them as Lance delves into his past for inspiration, embellishing stories to add humour and fantastic adventures for his main character Callum.  Due to a lack of time, the editing might not be completed to our expected high standards, but we are working hard and fast to get the job done.  No pressure.

My book, The Iron Pendulum is going to be debuting soon and I hope to have chosen my beta readers from my Hot Shots mailing list.  It’s rather exciting to have people from all walks of life signing up and I am looking forward to unveiling some lovely freebies for the children’s books later on in the year.  In the meantime, more editing and of course preparing a decent cover is a main priority.  Has the year only begun, because it feels as if half of it has flown by with all that is happening.

Carol, my illustrator, comes up with an inspiration phrase, quote or mantra every year and earlier today, we were discussing what it should be for this year.  After sharing our ambitions for the year and manic schedules, she came up with the new mantra for this year…slow down in order to visualise and speed up. We are so busy rushing around, we forget to slow down to see the big picture.  Sometimes slowing down helps us find faster solutions to our problems/objectives.  I liked it and thought I would share it with you.

Right, fancy another cup?  I’ll boil the kettle again.