Come on in and grab a seat. I’ve taken the liberty and separating our sofas so that we adhere to the two metre rule. It’s wonderful to see you again. Grab your cup and remember to put it straight into the dishwasher to avoid contaminating anyone around you.
It’s unfortunate that our usual haunt has closed during this lockdown, but it does give me a chance to host our coffee catch up in my ethereal lounge. Time seems to have slowed and everything has taken on an apocalyptic appearance, especially venturing outside. I know it sounds terrible, and I really shouldn’t do it, but I’ve adopted the reference of ‘walkers’ used on the television show, The Walking Dead, to describe those souls traipsing past my house making their way to the forest just down the road. I fear them, each one a prospective carrier oblivious to the inhabitant that is growing within their healthy bodies.
I’m sure I can be forgiven for thinking that a trip to our local food store is not dissimilar to bathing in a septic tank filled with clean water. Chances are, you won’t see the germs but they will certainly be taking liberties with your clothes and exposed skin. Gloves are pointless as they just add to the contamination of different surfaces. You might not catch anything but the person two metres behind you won’t be thanking you when you’ve touched all the metal railings, containers and unwrapped food with those ‘safe’ gloves. If you don’t believe me, find a pair of clean gloves and spray a little paint on the fingers. Now go touch all your precious surfaces and see what happens.
My cynicism is born from spending too much time reading about the non-conformers – the free thinkers – who assume this is just a bunch of bull. ‘Scare mongering tactics’ and ‘utter nonsense’, and my favourite: ‘the government is just using this to control you’! I wonder what you think of those comments? How far should we accept what we’re told to do before saying: no, this affects my civil liberties? Do you feel the same way?
Considering I’ve been locked away for more than two weeks, I have to admit I haven’t found this lifestyle much different to my normal hermit lifestyle. The big difference is running my Writers Club Online, though my Zoom meetings have taken care of face to face group discussions. The children love it and have adapted well to the new norms. Social distancing was something I happily practiced anyway and travelling as little as possible is just sensible to reduce your carbon footprint.
Do you notice how fast technology is being developed now that we are facing a new war. Is this our version of an industrial revolution that sets a precedent for working at home to become a cultural norm, reducing travel and therefore activating a movement for climate change? I wonder if those who work from home will want to return to the office after tasting the opportunity to be closer to their families while accomplishing those same roles. I know it won’t be the case for everyone. Some will balk at the idea of being trapped at home. Others though, might appreciate it. Definitely something to think about in a future, especially with housing shortages and office blocks standing empty for years.
Maybe the future will see less office space eating up our central business districts and instead, housing estates with forests, play areas and facilities taking precedence over those spaces so that workers live closer to CBD’s but work remotely, time sharing office space. Just a thought.
Anyway, it’s nearly time for me to prepare for my webex meeting with my writers from Wooden Hill Primary. Thank you for stopping by. Let me know what you think our future holds.
Good morning! I know it’s a bit early for our normal coffee catch up. Since the sun has decided to come out for a brief spell this morning, I thought you might like to come on a dog walk with me.
This is my usual morning walk which takes place before the school run and work. On some days it’s a mad rush to get it done, but on days like today, I prefer to take a leisurely stroll to enjoy the scenery surrounding us. This area was once the testing ground for cars and creating traffic junctions for bike use on the roads. There are still some markings left from its previous life. It does remind me of the set for the Walking Dead with the eerie stillness and silence apart from the birds and an occasional deer crashing through the forest.
Now, onto catching up – how was your weekend? Did you manage to tick off some of your items on your to-do list from last week? I managed to get my study plan organised this weekend and put more into my novel. There have been several chapters in the middle of the book that needed to be removed and replaced by a different voice. You can feel it when you read over the story – a steady drop in forward motion and a stagnant, stale narrative that will send readers away. So, with that in mind, I’ve been ruthless and culled the dead weight. Today, I’m going to focus on introducing more conflict for the main characters and a dead body might just float up to give them something to investigate! I love it!
As we follow the path and take the next right, we will find ourselves by the numerous ponds scattered across the undulating landscape. They have made every effort to ensure the new houses being built alongside this forest will not get flooded. After speaking to the park ranger who looks after this beautiful landscape, he told me that it could rain in biblical amounts and the terrain will take it thanks to good landscaping.
Now that we’ve reached our favourite pond, you’ll get to see Millie swimming like a duck. She loves the water and can’t keep out if the birds are going in! Her ability to fish for things whilst swimming is amazing. Henry never liked the water much and only came in to be with me or the kids. I’d like to think that if he were here with us now, Millie would have given him the courage and confidence to swim around the pond just as she does.
What’s the plan for this week? Well, on my side, as I’ve mentioned before, I have to get my writing and studying done before time runs away. I can’t believe it’s going to be half term already in a week’s time. Then it’s exams for me and the Blogger’s Bash to look forward to and finally, the run up to the summer holidays and the Summer Reading Challenge. The writing will continue as I have a few stories on hold while I finish off the main ones waiting to go to the publishers for their chance in the limelight. Fingers crossed all this hard work pays off and they like it – otherwise I will self-publish my work over the summer.
We are now heading back towards the path home. Thank you for joining me on my morning dog walk. If next week is as cold and rainy as this one promises to be, let’s meet up in the coffee house. We haven’t been there in a while and it will be nice to see the yellow sofa, red brick walls and bookshelves filled with all the books from my blogging buddies and writer friends.
Hi and welcome to the new bat cave. It’s with great sadness that I have to show you an empty cup and seat at the table today. My friend, work colleague and a great supporter of my work, has passed away. A gaping hole will be left in our school and our hearts at her loss. She was a true fighter, battling cancer and still putting others and her work first till the very end. There are few people you meet in life who show such strength and endurance beyond a normal human capacity – she was one of them.
So, as we sit together in the new bat cave, I propose a toast: to Rebecca. May we continue with even half the strength, motivation and love she shared with this world and change the lives of those around us for the better, just as she did.
I love long lines of traffic, moody children complaining in the back and the scowling sky threatening to cry out to the world below. Love the stress of trying to balance a workday with after school clubs and meetings for four different children preparing for their new year in a new class (two at new schools!). Love the plucky looks of parents eyeing out my dog hanging out the back window as I park because he’s decided to make himself sick and nearly die, and me spending sleepless nights watching over him then going to work.
Yup. It has been fun.
Suffice it to say, I am declaring it wine o’ clock and all my worries be damned! As I pour my glass of Shiraz and slip into my oversized pjs that don’t match but are the most comfortable clothes I possess, I feel bubbles of excitement fill my body. The thought of a night of relaxation with XXX on Sky (yes, of course I love Vin Diesel but not in the way you would think – I want to be him, not be with him!!) and my secret stash of Turkish Delights just waiting for me, I plan on forgetting the pending appointments for the week ahead, the deadlines on books I still haven’t finished writing and my start with the Open University where I will be studying a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
Yes folks, the future may be bright and filled with opportunities, but just for tonight, I’m taking a break.
Please, be kind and leave reviews for my books. I will try to keep posts flowing on my blog but they will be intermittent (as they have been for the past few weeks). Apologies if I miss your posts. I will try to keep up but a few will fall through the cracks.
If you need me, send me an email or contact me through my social media sites. I’m still around, just focusing on not drowning under children, work, studies and pets!
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!
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.
The world has stopped spinning on its axis at a breath-taking rate and I’ve found a quiet moment to sneak out to the coffee house to meet you.
It’s great to see you here, especially on a Sunday when I know you have so much to do.
I feel like an Americano coffee – how about you?
This weekend, I had the pleasure of launching my new crime thriller, The Iron Pendulum and two of my children’s books, A Tale of Knots (paperback version) and Cecil The Bully at our local school’s 40th anniversary party. My fellow author, Lance Greenfield joined us with his lovely wife, Joy. Together, we set up our little table which was aptly named The Book Corner. Once our display was ready, we waited for the first customers to stop by. My nerves were jangling as I watched parents and children walk by without so much as a glance in our direction.
Maybe it was Lance’s exuberant dancing or my pasted, crazy smile, but people started coming over to see what we had on display. Children were given free bookmarkers with characters from my books and parents were plied with little information cards on our adult selection, in case they felt less pressured to buy in the comfort of their own homes. What could have been a quiet afternoon turned into an incredible experience. Sharing that moment with my family and friends made it all the more special. Added to that was the fact that both Lance and I managed to sell copies of our books! Bonus!
How has your weekend been so far? The coffee is great and the company even better. I notice that the coffee house is still buzzing from the Blogger’s Bash last weekend. Sadly I missed meeting all the lovely bloggers and hope to rectify that by attending the event next year. Thanks to Geoff, I have my Blogger’s Bash t-shirt which Lance kindly delivered to me. I will be proudly wearing the t-shirt this summer!
Right, I have to run away now. It is, after all, Father’s Day today. To all the dads out there, have a splendid day and I hope you get spoilt rotten by your little sprogs.