Tag Archives: #mondaycoffeeshare

Monday Coffee

Happy New Year’s Eve! Continue reading

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Monday Coffee

Hello and welcome home. The kettle is boiling and I’ve stacked up some delicious pastries for our coffee morning. Why not go on through to the living room and take a look at the Christmas tree.

After another weekend of sickness bugs and the flu doing its round in our home, I’m really looking forward to the final week of school. Not only will my work be winding down but this is my last week of uni studies too before the Christmas break.

How has your term been? Have you found an increase in sickness in your home around this time of year?

Those who follow me on Facebook will know that our family suffered a great loss three weeks ago, which I feel now contributes to the low mood in our household and the slow healing process. It has been difficult and sometimes involves heart-breaking chats about death with my youngest sprog who is still spiralling from the loss of his best friend – the four-legged kind.

Filling that cavernous hole left by our beloved dog, Henry, we’ve decided to fill our Christmas with little events that will pick up our spirits. Planning a special family dinner and prepping for our traditional bake-off on Christmas Eve seems to have helped and the promise of a new plan for the new year has the family focused towards the future.

What has caught us all by surprise are the cats – they’ve taken over the house! From sleeping in our bedroom to vocalising their every need, they’ve decided that us hoomans need to serve them and enjoy their presence in a way cats can only force you to endure. When they think we aren’t looking, they congregate on the landing and sit there like Stonehenge monoliths, silently engaging in cat conversations that end abruptly when they notice a hooman walking by. This circle of secret silence unnerves me and I do feel the balance of power slipping away from the two-legged members of the family! So, if you see little paws reaching for your knee, run!

On that note, I’d best let you escape our mad house before the cats rope you into cleaning their cat box of feeding them every few hours. Enjoy the festive season and do keep in touch.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday Coffee

Quick! Grab you mug and come join me on the sofa. I have some news! Continue reading

Monday Coffee

Hello and welcome back to my place. Yesterday was pretty spectacular with the dome lifting over our patch of England, allowing a few frosty flakes from the north to melt on our meadow. We were wondering if the snow would reach us and it felt rather special to see those brave water molecules flitter past our window.

Come in and take a seat at the table. Unfortunately the Darjeeling tea is finished so it will have to be coffee.  Help yourself to a ginger bread man and let me fill you in on some of the exciting things that have happened over the past week.  Continue reading

Kennings At Monday Coffee

Have you ever heard of a Kennings poem? Continue reading

Monday Coffee

Hello! I am so happy to see you back here in the coffee house. It is great to see the decor has changed: the new paintwork and art lifts the atmosphere as does the new furniture. Dibs on the bright pink patchwork sofa near the bookshelves housing our resident authors’ books. If you’ve ordered your beverage, why not join me on the sofa. Tonight, we have the singers from This Is Jinsy entertaining us.

The first two weeks of studying have passed swiftly and I am thoroughly enjoying it. My love of history is growing with every assignment and meeting the other students and my tutor have secured my confidence in the course. What have you been up to over the time I’ve been away? I have been trying to keep up with bloggers and authors, dipping in and out of their blog pages and FB. If I haven’t managed to visit you or say hi, please forgive me. You are definitely not forgotten – I will get to you as soon as I can.

With us sailing swiftly towards November, my Writer’s Club at school is brimming with excitement. We have spent the month of October preparing for our exciting new novels and I am happy to say we have new children attempting the great feat of writing their own stories over the next month. Many are now veterans and are so helpful in prompting the younger ones (my youngest member is 7!) and have such a mature attitude to the writing process. Many have won prizes over the past year through different competitions run by the Young Writers. The challenge this year is going to be to reach 5000 words which is a lot to ask for any junior child. I have great confidence in them all and wish them the best of luck. Unfortunately, this year I will not be competing as it will be too much with assignments, work and the clubs.  Don’t think I could push for more things to do. Plus, it will be my birthday month!

Are you planning on challenging yourself over the month of November? What genre story do you plan on writing? Does your mind stumble and you find yourself stuck with only one idea? Well, there have been so many good ideas floating around the net about how to write and Robyn Paterson has shared great formulas on crime fiction. The best advice I can offer, if you feel some trepidation, is to enjoy yourself. Pace yourself and try not to fall too far back on your word count each day. If you do, don’t worry. Find the time to make up the word count but don’t leave it to the last week or the last few days! Try to give yourself enough time to load your story and verify your word count at the end and hey presto – you’ll be a Nanowrimo champion!

Now, let’s sit back and enjoy the last song of the evening before we have to return to our normal lives. Thanks for joining me and I’ll catch up with you soon.

 

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

What a glorious day! More guests are coming to join us at our table outside the coffee shop today. With the sun doing its best to roast us like chestnuts, we’d best move to that table under the umbrella. I know that most of us would prefer a cool iced tea instead of coffee, so let us put in our orders before it gets too busy.

I can see Christy! Give her a wave. She has been very busy collecting and writing advice for women applying for college. I know my son is feeling the pressure at the moment as he is choosing universities here in England, and I can only imagine how much harder it is going to be for my daughter, who is a fly-by-night compared to him! Christy’s advice is perfect for this stressful time and I have to admit, I’ve been drip feeding it to my son. Although her article focuses on the hardships women face trying to apply, it is perfect for any child facing the daunting task of choosing a university/college.

Ellen has come to join us. It’s great to see her again. I was reading her latest flash fiction called The Bird Was Witness which was so vivid, so evocative – you definitely need to read her work. This is not the first time Ellen has caught my attention with her flash fiction. She has a way with words that make you sit up and pay attention, transporting you to another place, another time.

The iced tea is perfect for relaxing in the afternoon sun, catching up with blogging friends. Trent has been a very busy bee and though I haven’t had a chance to catch all of his posts, I never miss his Weekly Smile. With all the bad things happening out there, it is rather nice to see a person looking for the positives in his week. Trent’s collection of short stories, Season of Imagination, has not received the attention it deserves and I would encourage you to pick up a copy from the man who created an event to highlight that even a bad week has something good to smile about.

The same can be said for lovely, Annette who has been sharing her words of wisdom and hope with all of us for a while now. As a wordsmith, she’s never short on inspirational quotes or motivational moments in all she does. I think we should bottle her positive attitude and feed it to everyone on hump day.

With so many great people around the table, it makes one want to jump up and write more. What better way than to join Dan with his Word Weaver Writing Contest. If you win, Dan will give you an honest critique of your work and if you’re lucky, he might throw a meme or two into it!

Now, I have to go back to my writing, so I’m going to leave you in the safe hands of Graeme who has just received another great review from Jo at MyChestnutReadingTree for his book, Ravens Gathering which is available from amazon.

Don’t forget to chat to the others and find out what they are doing on their blogs. Drop me a line if you would like to join me for a Monday Coffee (or iced tea). It will be great to see you.

Have a lovely evening.

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

Quick, grab the life saver and swim to shore. I’ll explain everything once we’re back on dry land. Watch out! There comes another tsunami of words to drown us out. Swim, swim for your sanity!

Phew. We made it. I’ve been drowning in b.s. all week and it has been a struggle without you to make sense of my words. Paddling in the shallows would have been fine but now that I’m stuck in the deep end of my book, I can’t seem to navigate a safe route home. Sometimes company keeps one sane in situations like this. Enough of my babble. Let’s warm ourselves by the proverbial editorial fire and I will try to explain my nonsensical text.

I’m drowning. The book that was supposed to be complete by now is not even close to a finished product. With no depth or decent threats to my characters, it’s like reading the altar boy’s version of a Ladybird’s Peter and Jane story. Strange to admit but, the more I write, the more detail I want. Unfortunately, my mind refuses to produce something decent, so I sit there, watching the words lilt and flow just out of reach. While we sit here, sipping from our mugs, munching on oat biscuits (slathered in chocolate of course!), I can feel my characters relishing in my discomfort and laughing their annoying little heads off.

Maybe I should whittle a better vessel plot for my story to hunt down those infernal Moby Dick concepts, but to do so I will need more time, more input, which is not forthcoming. And yes, I know – patience. Who has time for that when another tsunami of b.s. threatens to break my weakening barriers of common sense in a book promising to wash away any good plot that might survive?

I don’t know. Let’s see what the morning tide brings.