Tag Archives: #mondayblogs

Monday Coffee in Lockdown

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.

Stay well and stay safe.

Monday Coffee in Isolation

Hi! I won’t hug you today as we are practicing social distancing, but I will say it’s great to see you. At a time when the world is coming to a standstill, having a chance to meet friends makes me think we are far luckier than our ancestors.

While the media fills our heads with information and updates of doom, I take to social media to find my friends and give updates on positive events. Sharing fun ideas on how to keep the children busy has been well received and I am determined to keep it going for as long as I can.

My Writers’ Club has adapted like a chameleon to new vegetation. We’ve had two webex meetings and have managed to collate ideas and start writing projects. Considering some children are as young as six, I’m very impressed at their capabilities and can look at our teething problems as minimal. I will be opening the club to new members who will start in April. If your children enjoy creating worlds and pushing their imagination beyond the obvious, contact me. I’ve attached the flyer below.

Contact me if you would like your child to join the online Writers’ Club.

At home, the house has been full for about two weeks now. All my children are keeping busy with their schoolwork. I’m trying to supplement their work to encourage further growth while we are in isolation. Never one to waste time, my daughter has enforced school schedules, even if there aren’t any lessons planned by their teachers on the day. Instead, we make use of BBC bitesize and other programmes that offer free lessons to support children studying from home.

My biggest challenge is keeping my large family fed. Food runs have been cut to reduce exposure to the virus. My next run might be done with gloves and a mask. I’m getting paranoid over the chances that I might carry the virus in with the shopping bags or on the packaging. So everything is unpacked, cleaned and my own clothes changed with a complete decontamination of my face and hands. It’s exhausting but necessary if I want to keep the family safe. Are you following any protocols to keep your families or yourselves safe? Are you as paranoid as I am?

We have reached the days when earth’s most toxic inhabitants slow to a rumbling stop. While we complain and worry and fight to survive, remember to take a moment to appreciate all the things around you. Our greed led us here. Let’s hope this world wide experience will make us approach the future in a better way. I’m not holding my breath though.

Stay well and stay safe. x

Monday Coffee

Pull up a chair and grab your cup. It’s time to relax and find out how your week has been.

Last week was one of the busiest I’ve had in months, even though I don’t have a nine-to-five post anymore. Possibly working way past reasonable hours has meant me popping up in social media at odd times or answering emails when most decent folk are fast asleep! It has been worth it. Not only have I managed to sign up four schools to my Writers’ Club, I’ve re-edited Scat The Black Cat and given the cover and illustrations a face lift. There’s more news to follow about Scat’s projection into the spotlight, so watch this space.

What has been the greatest achievement of your week? Did you manage to complete a project or work on a life goal? I’d love to know, so do share your stories in the comments below.

This week, I’ve launched a new feature on my Instagram page (@eloise_writes) – I’ve started Book of the Week. This feature will help promote indie authors’ books and hopefully share new titles with my audience. If you have a new title that you’d like to be featured, send me a link to your book and I’ll do the rest. Unfortunately I can’t promise to read all the books I promote on a timely basis to produce reviews, but I will endeavour to get to as many as I can.

Later this week, I hope to share some ridiculous clips of my cats talking. Apparently, my cat Kiki realised that if he spoke to me, I would respond. So, when I walk into the room, he meows a greeting. If he requires feeding, he comes up to me and meows with a different pitch, length of meow and slight reverberation of his voice. The other cats have cottoned on to our conditioned response to his voice and have now copied him. If you don’t believe me, look out for the posts on my social media later this week.

Kiki watching the birds.

Well, my cup is empty and, to be honest, I fancy a take out! So, I’ll love and leave you for this week. Join me for a coffee catch up next week and don’t forget to send in your weekly input.

Have a great week.

El x

Dreams Can Come True

Well folks, I am now officially working for myself. It’s still sinking in, even after a week of prep work for the next phase. I can’t say it has been an easy ride because my stress levels have been through the roof. Becoming self-employed as a writer is not for the faint hearted.

Before embarking on this adventure, I had to do a lot of research and quite a bit of soul searching. You see, there’s no point in telling yourself that you’re going to become a fabulous, £50k a year author (I’m allowed to dream), if you don’t have anything to eat in the interim. There’s that annoying question of how to put food on the table and pay for essentials, like the car insurance, for example. I was very lucky – I got help. Joining a group of like-minded writers/bloggers who have already crossed the roughest parts of the journey and have shared their experiences has helped immensely. Taking their advice is important too. There are so many pitfalls, it feels like walking through a valley of snakes!

The soul searching comes into play when you actually think of ways of earning money. Do you stick to what you know career-wise or take a leap and start looking for jobs within the writing industry? I decided, after many sleepless nights, that trying to force myself back into an office – be it in the legal, commercial or educational field – would kill me. I escaped the 9-5 a while back and could not envisage living that life again.

Working as a ghost writer, copywriter or academic writer requires skills that I may possess but my confidence refused for me to push myself there.

And so, it came down to finding my own niche market, a place where I feel I belong, something I am truly passionate about: inspiring others to write. So, with that in mind, I offered my services to people from different walks of life who are now on their way to becoming published authors themselves. I have taken my Writers’ Clubs and Book Clubs to other schools and have so many other ways to reach into the community to offer my services and inspire more people. It’s that tingly feeling deep inside when I think of how I can get children and adults to believe in themselves, to see what I can see in their words that got me here. And I hope I will be able to keep going and make my clubs a success.

There’s a long journey ahead and I can’t promise you that it’s going to be easy. From listening to many other adventurers who have taken the big step towards following their dreams, I need to prepare myself for some heartbreak along the way and some back breaking work. I’m ready for it. After all, this is now my dream we’re talking about and I want to keep it alive for as long as I can.

What are your dreams and how can I help you make them come true?

Dreams Can Come True

Well folks, I am now officially working for myself. It’s still sinking in, even after a week of prep work for the next phase. I can’t say it has been an easy ride because my stress levels have been through the roof. Becoming self-employed as a writer is not for the faint hearted.

Before embarking on this adventure, I had to do a lot of research and quite a bit of soul searching. You see, there’s no point in telling yourself that you’re going to become a fabulous, £50k a year author (I’m allowed to dream), if you don’t have anything to eat in the interim. There’s that annoying question of how to put food on the table and pay for essentials, like the car insurance, for example. I was very lucky – I got help. Joining a group of like-minded writers/bloggers who have already crossed the roughest parts of the journey and have shared their experiences has helped immensely. Taking their advice is important too. There are so many pitfalls, it feels like walking through a valley of snakes!

The soul searching comes into play when you actually think of ways of earning money. Do you stick to what you know career-wise or take a leap and start looking for jobs within the writing industry? I decided, after many sleepless nights, that trying to force myself back into an office – be it in the legal, commercial or educational field – would kill me. I escaped the 9-5 a while back and could not envisage living that life again.

Working as a ghost writer, copywriter or academic writer requires skills that I may possess but my confidence refused for me to push myself there.

And so, it came down to finding my own niche market, a place where I feel I belong, something I am truly passionate about: inspiring others to write. So, with that in mind, I offered my services to people from different walks of life who are now on their way to becoming published authors themselves. I have taken my Writers’ Clubs and Book Clubs to other schools and have so many other ways to reach into the community to offer my services and inspire more people. It’s that tingly feeling deep inside when I think of how I can get children and adults to believe in themselves, to see what I can see in their words that got me here. And I hope I will be able to keep going and make my clubs a success.

There’s a long journey ahead and I can’t promise you that it’s going to be easy. From listening to many other adventurers who have taken the big step towards following their dreams, I need to prepare myself for some heartbreak along the way and some back breaking work. I’m ready for it. After all, this is now my dream we’re talking about and I want to keep it alive for as long as I can.

What are your dreams and how can I help you make them come true?

Monday Coffee

Come, sit next to me. The coffee house is packed today because of the dreary weather outside. Take in that strong aroma of coffee beans mingling and inter-twining with the flaky, baked pastries and sweet cakes. I’ve ordered your beverage already, so let’s catch up. Continue reading

Monday Corrrfffeee!

It’s a beautiful day here in south east England and there’s a freshly boiled kettle waiting for us to fill our mugs. Join me in the garden for a coffee and catch up. Continue reading

Monday Coffee

Good morning. It’s the first Monday of the school holidays and that thrill of excitement is running through my veins: no work! So, grab your coffee cup and let’s get a refill and catch up. Continue reading

Monday Coffee

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.

Have a great week!

 

Monday Coffee

Welcome back to the bat cave for a quick catch up and coffee.

The sun has been out today and the garden was beckoning me all day, asking for a gentle hand to weed the borders and pot the geraniums. Of course, I just had to oblige!

Have you had a chance to enjoy the wonderful weather? All that was missing was the smell of a bbq to make the day perfect.

I’m happy to say studies are coming to a conclusion as my final exam date draws nearer. I haven’t given it the full attention it deserves though, as writing commitments have taken precedence. ‘Space Dust’ has been submitted to the library for review for the Summer Reading Challenge and my new crime novel, ‘There’s Something About Harry’ is finally turning the corner. It’s all happening and keeping me busy, but in a good way.

The rest of the family have their fair share of daunting deadlines and exams in the next few weeks, so the house is bustling with busy bees working very hard. We are all looking forward to the summer holidays. Six weeks of relaxation after such a hectic half year will be more than welcome.

How does your family handle the pressure of exams? What do you do to keep the stress levels down? We find listening to music and watching episodes of Friends a great way to detox. Dancing like MC Hammer and Bobby Brown just adds to the fun too!

Well, it’s time for me to get back to the grindstone. Let me know how your weekend has been. It’s always nice to catch up with you.

Have a great week.