Tag Archives: monday

Monday Coffee

Thanks for meeting me here at the coffee house. I’m sorry it has been so many weeks since we last had a coffee catch up. Let’s get our beverages, find our favourite yellow sofa next to the book shelves filled books and I’ll tell you what I’ve been up to.

Image result for school gifSince we last met, the school term kicked off to a speedy start, which cut down my writing time to just two days a week again. It was great to see the new little faces of the Reception class – some of them are only just four years old! My intervention groups have changed this term with a focus on the early years and one of the junior classes. That means a more concentrated effort on those struggling students and more time for me to help them along before the half term.

Have you changed your schedule since the new term has started, or does school life not affect you any more? What have you been up to for the past few weeks?

As I sip my black coffee and nibble at a ginger nut biscuit, I have to share an exciting project which I hope will take off in the future. I’ve started putting together a package for my Author Enrichments which can be run in any school to help enhance literacy programmes already pre-existing within the classes. Once that is up and running, I will be able to use my writing and specialist literacy skills to provide author visits with a difference. Would you like an author visit that provides more than just an interesting talk and a story? Let me know what you think.

There’s more news about Space Dust. It’s going on tour! I’m still preparing the write ups for different blogs that have kindly agreed to host me from the end of September through to October. Each stop will provide an original post with interesting takes on how the book came to fruition, author interviews and character reveals.

20190916_110201000_iOSI’ll be giving a sneak preview of the sequel to the book and, at the end of October, Space Dust will be accompanying me to the October Literary Festival! Joining the likes of Fiona Barker, a panel of children’s authors will discuss the joys and heartbreak of writing children’s books.

20190916_110217000_iOSI will also be holding my own Book Corner work shop at one of the local libraries. All the characters from my books will be getting involved in craft sessions and activities to entertain and enthrall readers of any age. Don’t worry if you can’t attend. There will be live updates and videos right here and on my author website, so you won’t miss out!

The ginger nut biscuits are finished and so is my coffee which means it’s nearly time for me to go back to the grindstone and finish off those write ups. Once the tour is ready to rumble, I will send out the links to the pages participating in the tour so that you don’t miss anything. Send in your questions and comments on all that you see and like. Let me know if you’re enjoying the tour and what’s your favourite reveal.

Don’t forget to order your copy of Space Dust and leave your pics and reviews on my page or on amazon so that others can share in your enjoyment of the book.

Have a great week!



Monday Coffee

Hello. It’s wonderful to see you again and I’m so glad you made it. I need your help.

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Monday Coffee

It’s been a while since I’ve written a coffee post. The holidays have been packed with fun and loads of binge eating, so I’ve been pretty occupied. Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you all. You’ve been my constant source of entertainment and excellent reading material.

Recently Colleen offered to promote my site and work, asking only for a short story linked to fairies, mythical creatures or fantasy. Of course, I took up the challenge and started writing a story based on my sprogs’ adventures in the forest next to our house. It is filled with places where trolls have tramped, goblins have mixed potions and fairies have driven out the underworld threatening to encroach on the life and happiness. Yup, the writing hasn’t stopped.

So, grab your cup and I’m going to give you the first glimpse of the beginning of my story, The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff.

Rabattan glared into the smoky darkness. His green eyes gleamed with satisfaction. “I hope your stay with us will be…comfortable, my queen!” he sneered.

Hazel eyes peered back at him from beyond the icy bars. Queen Sarafina bit her tongue, refusing to rise to his insolent baiting. She had been captured by the trolls only that morning, succumbing to their bile as they led her back to their lair under the roots of the acorn tree in South Meadow. It was better this way. Her kingdom would remain safe for, as long as the trolls thought they were in power, and it would give her secret plan time to unfold.

She smiled, drawing closer to the frozen stalactites keeping her prisoner. Her fingers curled around their icy points as the prison guard’s greeny pupils expanded in fear. “Enjoy your moment, Rabattan, for I shall certainly revel in your hospitality.” A gentle growl emanated from the back of her throat. She smirked as he took another tentative step back. Her reputation for being a bit of a hot head had obviously reached far below the earth’s surface to the habitants of the underworld. Their audacity to try and capture her meant that all the tribes had agreed to take action against the sun dwellers of South Meadow. The fairies, gnomes and goblins who had co-existed in peace for centuries were now under threat.

Time was running out for their serene existence as the underworld dwellers grew tired of living on grubs and scrambling through the darkness, separating roots for their homes and digging endless tunnels that collapsed more regularly than the sugar fairies fell from honeysuckle flowers.

Desperate footsteps scrambling towards the prison broke her train of thought and the sight of one of the moles from the northern heath shocked her. Had they joined with the trolls too?

“Lord Rabattan, I have an urgent message for you from Prince Grotchen,” the little creature whispered, his eyes searching for the prisoner now hidden in the shadows.

“What is it?”

“Umm, he said to come to his aid right away, sir.”

Rabattan scowled. Prince Grotchen wasn’t capable of wiping his insectile rear end without asking for assistance. If it wasn’t for his princely status, Rabattan would have rid himself of the pesky prince a long time ago. But his presence was necessary to keep the factions together, for now. He ushered the little mole back up the earthen steps lit only by a sliver of light filtering past the roots of the old tree from above and followed him through the narrow passageways up to a wide hall surrounded by trellis shoots and packed earth.

Making an elaborate bow he extended his green, spotted arm to the king. He walked up to the throne and awaited further instruction from the snake-like figure sitting in the large, woven willow chair.

Prince Grotchen watched his strongest general approach and sighed. If only Rabattan held a little more respect for him, he could keep him on in his services. As it stood, his spies had informed him of his general’s plot to remove him from power and take the throne for himself. That would not do. Their alliance with the other underworld kingdoms was tentative at best, and he refused to allow anything to scupper their chances of winning the foretold war against the sun dwellers. His thin lips formed a semblance of a smile and he gazed at the general, keeping him waiting for longer than was necessary.

“Get rid of him,” he grimaced.

Surprised by the turn of events, Rabattan watched the approaching troll soldiers and panicked. Courtiers to the prince stood back, their bug eyes reflecting the shiny leaves and acorn caps used by the soldiers. A small door stood slightly ajar to the left of the throne. There was his escape. He leapt forward, taking the first two guards by surprise as his landed with a hard thud on their oversized heads. The crunch was unpleasant but there was no time to think. With a swoop, he swung his spear (a sharpened bamboo shoot with a granite stone tip) at the prince, who screamed and scrambled up the back of his throne. His praying mantis body twisted and the darkened green wings caught on the sharp sticks, holding him captive.

“Don’t just stand there, stop him!”

Too late. The guards gave chase as Rabattan disappeared behind the door, slamming it shut in their faces.

I hope you enjoyed the little snippet and the coffee. When you get a chance, visit Colleen’s page where you will meet her wonderful fairies and don’t forget to download her book, a perfect page turner for the whole family.

Have a great Monday!

Monday Coffee

The bell tinkled over the coffee house door, heralding the arrival of the usual crowd.  My eyes searched the faces, some familiar, some new.  I could make out Teagan and Holly and waved madly, beckoning to them to come sit with me.  Mihran’s musical melodies soothed our ears whilst P.S. Bartlett read out a chapter from her new book, Demons and Pearls, The Razor’s Adventures, to a rapturous applause.

As soon as she finished, Mel entertained us with her A to Z blog of the Krakens!  Today is day thirteen and the letter ‘K’. A few more bloggers gave their ‘K’ contributions including Soucerer with his own collection of contributors to the challenge. Each received a wonderful show of support.  I thoroughly enjoyed their different ideas to fill a letter in the alphabet and wondered if I could manage a month of blogs every day.  With a schedule of blogs I already struggle on occasion to meet, it would be quite the challenge.  

We all took a moment to think of Hugh, our wonderful fellow blogger.  Our hearts and prayers go out to him at this sad time.  Cups were raised and a silent moment taken.  It was on that note that most left for the night, out into the mild Monday evening air.  

I pulled my rucksack over my shoulders and strolled across the park, listening to the owls hooting at the moon.  The silence seemed appropriate on the quiet night.

Monday’s fun!

Yoda, my Chrysler Voyager has been diagnosed with a broken clutch and damaged oil seals which have to be replaced. Poor car! Thank goodness I didn’t ask if the philange was okay. I’m not sure my mechanic watches Friends or has the same type of humour as I do.

On the upside, my daughter had a good day. She’s feeling better and had enough energy to do the dance because her dad told someone on the phone that he couldn’t hear them properly since his four kids were home from school. When asked how many girls and boys, he replied, “the oldest and youngest are boys and the two in the middle are girls.” She immediately jumped up and starting dancing, coming to whisper to me that she had been promoted! I asked why and she said, “because I’m not the youngest anymore. I’m now one of the Middle ones!” I couldn’t stop laughing.

Another big thing is that I joined up to NaNoWriMo! Yup! Watching all my blogging friends and fellow authors slowly add their names to the list encouraged me to take the plunge. So after day one (day three for those who make up their minds faster than I do!) I have managed to finish just over 4000 words. I’m happy with the storyline which is from a nightmare I had many years ago. I had jotted down the basic details and promised myself to one day write the book. I guess after about eighteen years, that day has come! Some of my poems and notes for stories date back further than that so when I say I have a backlog of books that need to be written, I’m not joking!

Let’s see, what else is new? Oh yes, lots of lovely miracles happening to good friends and old friends. Whilst things might be a bit awry in our personal lives, the people around us are keeping us afloat with joyful news all the time. It’s a blessing to have positive vibes feeding back into our lives.

All in all, it’s not the most awful start to the week. Yoda will come back to us, stronger and with the full powers he lacked before. School starts tomorrow for all my sprogs so I will have a quiet house to write in.

Nothing is ever stagnant in life, unless we allow it to become so.

Hope you all have a good week and if you’re a fellow WriMo, please stop and say hi! I’ll be glad for the company.


Monday Madness!

Ever feel like cranking the music up and dancing like a crazy person at the end of a loooong Monday? Well that’s exactly what I did today. Tuna bake for dinner…done! Kids’ homework, reading and arguments over nothing and everything…done! We hadn’t even touched 6.30pm yet and the prospect of curling up on the sofa, sifting through blogs at a leisurely pace was replaced with, “Mum, can we play musical statues? We watched so much TV this weekend I wanna dance!”

Now this might not be normal in some families, but in mine, this is quite acceptable. From my first child to the last, I’ve encouraged dancing. No specific type of music; anything that has life and a beat has us swinging and swishing, bopping and jumping till we are breathless. This is something indescribable about moving your body to a rhythm, feeling it and laughing as you watching tiny people mimicking your moves. The crazier they are, the more the laughter. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, dancing is of course fun!

The long ride to the hospital tonight was great. My eldest daughter decided to come for a ride and we sang at the tops of our voices to our favourite cd, Maroon 5. Finding a ward full of smiling elderly ladies welcoming our presence and greeting us like long lost friends warmed our hearts. My mum felt chatty today too and surprised the nurses with full audible sentences. A really great visit. Did I mention I gave her a hair cut. It was so matted from the operation and weeks in hospital, I decided to give her a short cut that accented her pretty features. I think she likes it. Hopefully!

So, to sum up, it’s been an awesome Monday and touch wood, the rest of the week will flow positively. Now it’s your turn. How was your day? Anything interesting happen this weekend?

Looking forward to hearing from you on your day. 🙂

Mellow Monday

As Monday draws to a close, I sit here thinking of the highs and lows my family have gone through over the past few weeks. For those who don’t know, my mum suffered a fall at her nursing home and had a severe bleed to the brain. After two operations to remove the blood clots left behind, she has now been transferred back to our local hospital, still under critical care.

I think the lowest day was when she went in for her second operation. I was called into a private room by one of the junior neurosurgeons. He was given the task of explaining to me that the medical team had agreed not to resuscitate my mum if she coded on the operating table. I was informed she didn’t meet the mark for ICU care. He watched me silently and I fidgeted under his gaze. Was I supposed to break down and cry? Was he waiting for me to become hysterical? He kept repeating the words until I asked him if I should be reacting differently; should I fight for her and refuse the DNR status. He kindly informed me it wasn’t my decision to make. So why the long pauses?

My highest moment was seeing my mum open her eyes after the second operation and speak to me. I could understand most of her words and I felt so happy to hear her again. Just the little cheeky grin, a giggle at my youngest son’s antics was enough to make me feel whole again.

I’ve reached a plateau. The brain has to heal. We have to heal as a family. I have to be patient and stop pushing the doctors, but I fear the lack of momentum means they will push her back to the nursing home without rehabilitation. Another statistic in care that doesn’t need to improve her life. I fear that as I watch my mother slowly realise her predicament the light will die out in her eyes and she will relinquish her fragile hold on life. Already paralysed on the left side, this recent haemorrhage has caused a weakness on her right side. She doesn’t respond to her right foot being tickled.

As this night draws out I think of what the future holds. What we once considered difficult has now increased to impossible. The hope we once held is further in the distance. I’m sitting on the plateau and I’m happy not to move. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to stay where we are right now. Pity I’m not that kind of person. What would you do?

Moody Monday

I’ve missed you all so much. It’s been a very long week and even longer weekend. My mum had the operation over the weekend and is still unresponsive. The wait is still not over. It’s makes me think of times when I was a child and my mum used to tell me to be patient. Wait! It will come in good time. Well, what if the waiting is not worth it?

How many years of our lives do we spend waiting for something good to happen, our dreams to come true, the man/woman you love to notice you? When does the waiting stop and action begin?

I want to shake the doctors, shake the nurses and scream at them to stop waiting and assessing and actually do something. Yes, I am ranting. I am impatient and finding it hard to get a grip; but wouldn’t you feel the same if you’ve been constantly pushing the medical profession to notice changes they should point out or push for results and scans they should be performing?

I had a lovely chat with a helpful nurse on Saturday. She kindly listened to my long story about my mother’s medical history. It’s practically become a song I sing to every new person I meet that is assigned to Mum. Once I had run through the spiel, she smiled and said, “you know, your mother is lucky you’re here to tell us about these little changes that you notice in her. If you hadn’t told me that she is less responsive today than yesterday when she returned from the operation, I wouldn’t have worried about the obs results and called the doc to order another CT! Keep telling us what you see. It may save your mother’s life! ”

I was distraught. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive the hour long trip today to be with Mum and now had a huge fear hanging over my head that they wouldn’t notice any changes in her today, when I’m not there. Phoning doesn’t help. They give the same answers to my questions and promise the doctor will call in the afternoon. He doesn’t. He’s busy with the hundreds of patients. My mum is invisible again and I am the only one shining a beam on her for them to notice subtle changes.

It’s been a long Monday trying to catch up with the house, the kids and writing. It’s been even longer hoping that my mum would wake up fully and respond to commands…communicate…live.

Let’s hope Tuesday will be better.