Monday, November 30, 2009

Santa arrived early

Current work: revisions – French duo book 1
Listening to: Def Leppard/various French piano music
Reading: (no time!!!)

Friday was spent planning how to fix the book and discussing it with lovely ed (who didn’t go for version 2, but liked version 3, so I do at least know what I’m doing).

I had planned to have Sunday off (DH’s mum’s bday so we were sorting the party, and I guess it would’ve been a tad rude to work). Saturday was going to be full-on work – except DH decided to do his Christmas shopping. He only has to buy for one person (i.e. me) and he really didn’t have to do it on Saturday, because there was only one thing on my list this year. But I guess he knows that the best way to distract me when I’m stressing (still family stuff, not the book) is to give me a new gadget – and so Santa arrived early. (It’s either that or he’s trying to guilt me into giving him his Christmas pressie early…)

Santa did have a bit of a brainstorm in the shop and rang me up to see if I wanted an Android phone – well, yeah, course I do, because then I could use it to replace the PDA and synch it with my desktop (hmm, except email because I’m very bad and tend to use it as a filing cabinet). But I don’t want to be tied to a contract; as I work from home, my mobile is ‘for emergencies’ and a bit of texting to family members not on email, so pay as you go is the best option for me. And I really didn’t think he should spend that much money on a phone. (Have to admit, though, if I were still in my ratrace job, I would’ve had an Android already. I’ve always been a bit of a tecchy fiend, and my first mobile phone was dinky back in the days when they were brick-sized, so it’s a huge joke in the family that I have such an old-fashioned mobile phone nowadays.)

Anyway, Santa had my shortlist and a list of questions to ask (primary one being whether I could use my existing SIM, as changing networks and phone numbers would be a pain). And now I have this wonderful touchscreen phone (and the screen swipes just like an iPhone). The camera’s not bad (though obviously not up to the standard I need for work, so it won’t replace my camera), the radio works nicely, and I can browse the net on it. (I think that’s free with Wifi?) Now I have the delights of working out how to get MP3 tracks on to the phone (won’t use headphones, but could hook it up to car stereo).

And then there are ringtones. I don’t mean the polyphonic nightmares – I mean the ‘realtones’. Oooh. I could have a Blackmore track for DH (probably Highway Star) , ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ for the kids/school (you see how my mind works? baaad), and… oh, do I go for Zeppelin, Whitesnake or the Lepps as my main one? Does anyone out there have experience of Jamster? If I’m reading the T&C correctly, it seems that I can sign up to their plan, download my three tracks for my first week’s plan, then cancel the plan immediately and won’t get sucked in to a subscription. Anyone tried it, and does it work like that or is it too good to be true? Or does anyone have recommendations for a reliable, non-pirate site? (Take the piracy rant as read.)

Distractions, distractions. Dear Ed. I am not sitting on the internet, looking up ringtones and playing with my new phone. I am doing my revisions. Really…

Friday, November 27, 2009

how to revise a book

Current work: revisions – French duo book 1
Listening to: Bach cello sonatas
Reading: (looking forward to going back to Jane Jackson’s new one – am in a better frame of mind, though it’s still been a turbulent week with one lot of bad news hot on the heels of the next. Am hoping that today I might get some nice news from someone...)

Revisions came in yesterday. I need to make my hero and heroine’s motivations a bit clearer – and revisit the conflict because it doesn’t work for my ed. The big sticking point was finding a reason for my hero and heroine to split up ten years ago – something that’s both their fault. No babies or miscarriages (done that), no health problems (that’s in the next book – and it’s not a fatal one, it’s something that will ruin the hero’s career and dreams).

This means thinking time. Some of my writer friends resort to ironing for this one, but I have a better solution.

First, take one pile of bags and boxes into the kitchen, along with scissors, wrapping paper, sellotape and labels, and set them all on the breakfast bar. Remove Christmas stockings from wardrobe and put them there, too.

Next, ban everyone from coming into the kitchen or else Santa will be going on strike. Dog is included in this because he has a tendency to place on delicate paw on edge of breakfast bar, spy goodies, steal them, and cart them off to his bed.

Add soothing, very regular music. (Needs to be classical, or will sing along instead of using this as thinking time.) Preferably cello. And preferably Bach, though Haydn will do.

Then think about the big question that needs answering for the book. Keep thinking. Wrap presents and label them. Keep wrapping. Keep thinking.

The theory is that the answer will come when your fingers are sore, you never want to see another piece of sellotape again, and you’re about to panic that the book will never work…

(I’ll confess that it didn’t work – though on the plus side I have done most of the Christmas wrapping. But I did bounce ideas with one of my writer mates, who is SO going to get the dedication for this book because she pointed out what was staring me right in the face. It’s so true that in this business you can be far too close to your book to see the obvious. Doesn’t matter whether you’re a newbie or this is your forty-second book for your publisher... the traps are still there and you can still fall right into them!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If music be the food of love...

... it means that a romance author is talking about a 'soundtrack' to her book over at the Pink Heart Society.

That's where I am today, talking about the music inspiring my French duo. It's quite an eclectic mix. (And yes, it involves lovely Joe Elliott...) Do go over and have a listen, and tell me what you're listening to right now (here or there, don't mind which!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the little things

Current work: slash and burn job (still)
Listening to: Bach cello sonatas
Reading: (still not quite there - watched House last night instead, because sometimes I just need a cuddle with DH on the sofa)

Let’s just say that Tuesday afternoons are fast becoming the low point of the week. (Some of the conversations with Dad are so surreal it makes me want to laugh. And then it makes me want to weep because it’s so damn sad.)

But the little things keep me going. Tonight, it was the fact that son wanted a hand with his Food Tech homework. Turned into a really enjoyable foodie discussion, and then a request to help me cook dinner. So he did. (I’m quite pleased that he’s showing interest in cooking as well as being the typical teenage boy, aka permanently hungry and shooting up at a rate of knots. At least I know when he goes to uni/leaves home he’ll be able to fend for himself. It’s also a good bargaining tool if the people you live with can’t cook – gets you out of washing up duties *g*)

So what are the little things that keep you going?

Monday, November 23, 2009

ring, ring…

Current work: slash and burn job on first three chapters
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: (still not quite there)

Fairly turbulent weekend so am skipping over most of it. (Still standing. Still smiling. Bags under eyes, though.)

One good thing about this weekend is that we have a new phone. Bliss. The one in my office was corded (yes, I KNOW that’s very old-fashioned) and was combined with the fax machine. I haven’t sent or received a fax in I don’t know how long. And to answer the phone I had to move my tower fan, negotiate the box(es) of filing I’ve been promising to do for nearly a year, and then hope the cord wasn’t twisted. Not to mention the fact that I couldn’t alter the volume on the receiver and it was a little difficult for me to hear. So I’d taken to pinching the cordless one from the living room – and leaving it on my desk. Which is a tad messy (yes, we know, just like the rest of my office), so DH complained that he could never find the phone.

We had to go to the electrical warehouse anyway to get a new steamer (ours finally packed up on Friday night, and as I use it every single day it had to be replaced immediately). It just so happened to be 10% off day, so I suggested looking at phones – and we found a one we both liked, with four handsets. (I had already scoped this out, but hadn’t got round to dragging DH off to the warehouse.) Which means there is now a phone on my desk and the one in the living room will stay put. And now there’s one in the kitchen, too, so if I’m cooking I can hear the phone. (I’m not in denial about my deafness, as such. I just forget I can’t hear.)

But the thing that REALLY impressed me was the phonebook. Putting in all the numbers is a faff. Doing that on every handset – frankly, it wouldn’t happen. But this phone migrated the phonebook to all the handsets at the touch of a button. How very cool. And it has a speaker phone so if the person on the other end has a really soft voice I can switch the phone onto speaker mode and have a better chance of hearing them. Colour me happy. (Doesn’t take much to please me…)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kindness (aka what goes around, comes around)

Current work: slash and burn job on first three chapters
Listening to: Corelli
Reading: (not concentrating enough to read and don’t want to waste Jane’s book as it’s so good – on hold for the time being)

Kindness. I think it makes the world go round. And people were definitely kind to me yesterday. A friend sent me her new children’s books (nonfic). My daughter was invited to a friend’s for tea yesterday, and her friend’s mum gave me a doggie bag when I went to pick up daughter (she’s Indian so it was a PROPER biryani, and very nice too). Son shared his chocolate with me (measured amount because he said he didn’t want to crash my diet, but I looked stressed enough to need it). Another friend sat me down (well, by email) and asked me some questions that went straight to the heart of one of the work issues, and then it all clicked together in my head (so I can at least stop worrying about that one!). And I’ve had some really sweet emails (the one from a friend’s daughter made me cry, in a nice way).

Thanks to everyone who’s been so lovely – am still worrying about the family stuff, but things will hopefully start to sort themselves out a bit over the next few days.

So when the world is a bit off kilter, remember this: kindness makes the world go round.

And I’ll definitely be passing it on.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Something to smile about

Current work: should be revisions on the first three chapters (can’t concentrate)
Listening to: Radiohead
Reading: (not concentrating enough to read and don’t want to waste Jane’s book as it’s so good – on hold for the time being)

What started as a nice week is rapidly turning pants. Not going into details (worrying about various family members and some work stuff) but I really could do with something to smile about.

This is what I came up with today. (He knows he’s not allowed on there. Look at the twinkle in the eyes and the waggy tail. That expression says, ‘Awww, but I love you. You’re not really going to make me get off, are you?’)

So tell me something that makes you smile. Let's make the world a nicer place (because, right now, it doesn't feel like one).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The land of ice and snow…

Yesterday was a bit of a stressy day (not blogging about it, as it’s to do with Dad – dementia is so bloody cruel. And I came home to a savage review - well, I guess that makes the string of three, after some other news about one of my publishers, last week). Though the lovely Modern Heat girls cheered me up with a string of messages about a fabulous review. Er… what review would this be, then? My mate Heidi Rice was a superstar and told me the full story.

And it was something that really pleased and relieved me (I'm a tad paranoid about this book, because I know I was pushing the envelope re settings; before I talked my ed into it, she said that Presents readers like their stories set in exotic – i.e. hot – climates, and this is about as far as you can get). So I’m doing some trumpet-blowing and sharing here. This is what Romantic Times had to say about Temporary Boss, Permanent Mistress:

Corporate lawyer Lydia Sheridan longs to be a working artist. She's ready to resign her post, but CEO Jakob Anderson needs her assistance on a weeklong job in Norway. Then, if she still wants to leave, he'll wish her the best. Although the two have their own personal baggage, they find they're wildly attracted to each other and indulge in a whirlwind affair. But after Norway will they be able to go their separate ways? This tale begins as a fun and flirty romance that deepens emotionally as Lydia and Jakob open up to each other. Interwoven descriptions of the sights and sounds of Norway add a wonderful ambiance to the story.

Oh, yes – and they gave me FOUR AND A HALF STARS! (I think that deserves a screamer.) Thank you very much, Sandra Garcia-Myers. You made my horrible day a whole lot better.

Have also updated my website – new book, new excerpt, new recipe. (And it's a nice one. Strawberry and rhubarb crumble. Scrummy.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

designing perfume

Current work: research for French duo, book 2
Listening to: Radiohead
Reading: Jane Jackson, Heart of Stone (enjoying this very much so far – Jane’s books are always a treat and her characterisation is superb – more on this later)

The ‘design your own perfume’ session yesterday was utterly brilliant. Dale Evans was so nice and gave me lots of information that will be very useful in certain scenes. It was an amazing experience.

I had eighteen blends to sniff (via little card sticks dipped into the scents), and the idea was to put them into three piles – ones I really liked, ones I wasn't sure about, and ones I absolutely didn't like.

We started with the middle notes – these give an idea of the type of perfume you’ll eventually end up with, as they’re the notes that last for a few hours. Knowing what kind of perfume I always buy (florientals with a vanilla base), I asked if she’d tell me the numbers rather than the names, so I wouldn’t be biased by the names... But I still ended up with the florals!

Then we did the top notes – these are the ones you smell first and which vanish after an hour or so. I absolutely LOVED the amber. (Was my second-favourite out of the eighteen.)

Then we did the base notes – the one you can still smell on your skin at the end of the day or the next morning. Out of the four, I didn’t like the mossy one at all; I didn’t mind the musk and woody (sandalwood) ones; but one was utterly glorious and made me say, ‘Oooh, yes, I LOVE this one!’ Its official name was ‘balsamic’ - and the major component was gorgeous French vanilla.

The next stage was to do the initial blend. My top note was amber, the base note was balsamic, and we added a couple of the middle notes I’d liked. This time, I had to wave them past my nose really quickly, so that I’d pick up all the scents together. It was a matter of adding in some to bring out the notes in others, and taking out ones that didn’t work for me. And then, when I thought I was happy, tried them outside (where they smelled different again, and I took out the aldehyde because it felt wrong – ummed and ahhed a long while about the sandalwood, too).

So in the end:
  • the base was a double dose of balsamic (vanilla, bergamot, tonka and jasmine), woody (sandalwood) and musk (angelia root and coriander)

  • the middle was ‘floral floral’ (night blooming jasmine, mandarin, violet leaf and blackcurrant - described as ‘narcotic’) and ‘gentle floral’ (bergamot and sage - described as ‘very easygoing and gentle’)

  • the top was citrus (yet more bergamot, with mandarin, lemon and grapefruit – described as ‘easygoing and fresh’) and amber (even more bergamot (!), cardamom, geranium and clary sage – described as ‘warm, sensual and sexy’).

And this is what it looked like once bottled.

The ostrich feather has been spritzed with my perfume and smells gorgeous. (Oh, and the name? I did think about calling it after my heroine, but then had a very narcissistic moment and called it ‘Pamela’. Well, hey. It’s my blend. And it’s quite sophisticated so I thought it deserved the full first name rather than the diminutive everyone uses.)

It was a really enjoyable, fascinating experience and I’d definitely recommend it. A whole hour of me-time. (Actually, it wasn’t strictly me-time – in this case it was work, because it’s all background stuff to the book. But you can see why I love my job. Especially the research side.)

And the verdict of ma famille? Son said it smelled very nice. Daughter tried to waltz off with the feather and then begged a spritz. And the twinkle in DH's eye told me he liked it, too…

Monday, November 16, 2009

hide-and-seek, and the joys of research

Current work: research for French duo, book 2
Listening to: Green Day (latest album, pinched from son)
Reading: Liz Fielding, His Desert Dream – excellent book. Gorgeous hero, very strong heroine – can’t say too much without plot spoilers, but it’s Liz’s trademark fabulous characterisation, wonderful dialogue, and a plot that really works. The bit where he teaches her to count in Arabic is wonderfully romantic, and the proposal scene had me in tears. This one’s a contender for my favourite Liz Fielding book (and yes, we all know that I think ‘Gentlemen Prefer… Brunettes’ is the best category romance ever)

Had a bit of a lazy weekend – catching up on sleep (why DO men wake up in the middle of the night and feel obliged to see if wifey is awake, instead of leaving their partner to sleep while they creep downstairs and go play on the internet instead?). Oh, and some Christmas shopping. The phone I’d like to check out isn’t out yet, but DH – mindful of years when we’ve had to search for hours for the ‘must-have’ toys that ours wanted – decided we should buy daughter’s phone. And of course she did the thing with the eyes, and he turned to mush. ‘Yes, darling, of course you can have it now…’

This morning was a game of hide-and-seek with the dog. No, he hasn’t gone missing – but daughter’s PE kit has, and so has one of my shoes. He has this habit of ‘borrowing’ things and cuddling them. Then he gets distracted by something and drops them. We’ve turned the house upside down. No joy. (I did point out that I’ve been suggesting for months that the kids should get their school stuff ready THE NIGHT BEFORE to save all this angst, but do they listen???) (The shoe thing is different. It was in the shoe rack. Dog still stole it.)

Plan for today: well, I’ve had polite requests to tidy my office (it’s full of Christmas presents… unwrapped, so it’s currently supposed to be a banned area in any case), so I guess I’d better do that. And this afternoon I have my perfume course – of which more, tomorrow. Suffice it to say that I am SO looking forward to it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wild, windy and wet

Current work: working on outline for next Med (which I didn’t start yesterday)
Listening to: Diana Krall
Reading: next on TBR

Seems appropriate than on Friday 13th, the forecast for the East of England is wild, windy and very, very wet.

I did think about doing phase 2 of the Chr*stm*s Sh*pp*ng – I have my list, broken down by shop, so it should only take a couple of hours.

But it’s cold and really, really wet. Not shopping weather. I did suggest walkies to dog. He stuck his nose out of the back door, gave me a look that clearly questioned my sanity, then went straight to his bed and hid his nose under his paws. I’m guessing that’s a no.

Just as well, though, because I’m shattered – I ended up doing 19k steps yesterday. No, it wasn’t Christmas shopping. I was dragged out again last night because DH wanted to go to the Apple Store and show me what he wants for Christmas. Now he’s actually played with an ipod Touch, I’m getting all the “I don’t mind not having anything to unwrap on the day, if you want to give this to me early. And you don’t want to risk them selling out – remember the hassle of trying to find a DS Lite for the kids, a couple of years back?” (The saying about “like a kid in a toyshop” – oh, yeah. That was him.) But we did at least have dinner out. (Steak and salad, with Moroccan tea. I was sooo virtuous. Mainly because I want to repair last week’s diet damage.)

Anyway, I’m cold and I’m tired and I want a cup of tea. So today’s schedule is put the kettle on, write my outline, tidy my office, then review my outline. With lots of tea in between.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The joys of Chr*stm*s Sh*pp*ng

Current work: working on outline for next Med
Listening to: Silje Nergaard (waves at Nina, who introduced me to gorgeous CD)
Reading: next on TBR

I used to be incredibly organised. All Christmas shopping was done and wrapped by half term. All cards were written and ready to be posted. I was incredibly focused.

Nowadays… uhh. Christmas has got out of hand – take as read the grumpy old woman rant about how everything’s too commercialised and the real meaning of Christmas has been lost. (Well, it is and it has.)

I braved the shops and did most of my shopping today. Now it’s a matter of ticking things off the main list, wrapping them (sadly, that’s my job – I’m not good at it but DH claims he’s worse and then proves it by wrapping something deliberately badly), writing my ‘final bits to get’ list, writing cards (and I am SOOOO glad I spent the time one year to put everyone’s address on a file I can print straight on to labels – saves so much time now), and doing the post office run.

Of my remaining bits, some can be done online, and the rest I’m leaving to another day because I’m shopped out.

So come on. Fess up. How far are you along the Christmas treadmill?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Armistice Day

Current work: Modern Heat (beginning of French duo, book 2)
Listening to: Norah Jones
Reading: next on TBR

Today is Armistice Day – and it’s especially poignant in 2009 as the last three surviving soldiers from the First World War passed away this year.

They will not be forgotten.

(I’m also blogging over at the e-Harlequin medical romance authors’ blog today, on a rather lighter topic.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

learning new things

Current work: Modern Heat (beginning of French duo, book 2)
Listening to: Diana Krall
Reading: next on TBR

Radio show was great fun yesterday. Listeners were ringing in/emailing the most interesting phrases. It was all to do with a book on forgotten words – and etymology is so fascinating.

Could go off at a tangent, but I have an early guitar lesson so had better stop here. Oh, except one thing – I’ve booked my perfume course. Monday. Have spoken to the lady who’s teaching me and explained why I want to know about perfume; she sounds really nice, so I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.

Question for today: has anyone out there tried electrolysis? And does it hurt more than tweezing? Ever since I was pregnant with my eldest, I’ve, um, joined the Three Little Pigs. (Think about it…) Not that I’m vain, but I’m conscious of it, and it’s high time I descruffed and did something about it. (Waxing is absolute no-no. Bleaching - I have fair hair anyway so it won't make a difference. Might consider threading – but again, does it hurt?) (And now there is this lightbulb in the back of my head saying, ‘You could write a romance about a beautician …’)

Monday, November 09, 2009

forgotten words

Current work: Modern Heat (beginning of French duo, book 2)
Listening to: Eva Cassidy (hmm - this book's soundtrack appears to be jazz. Interesting...)
Reading: next on TBR

Nice weekend. Lunch out with good friends on Friday (I made sensible choices), which put me in a better mood. Saw the head when I met son from school on Friday – am very impressed that he came over to check that son was OK and hadn’t had any more hassles. (Very nice man as well as an effective leader – that’s a good combo, and I’m even more sure now that we made the right choice of school. The hassles probably would’ve happened anywhere, but they’ve been dealt with well.) Sorted out the flowers for my mum, which also helped (not commenting on the fact that my “push pot” for fresh flowers has gone missing, yet again - have bought another and written Mum's name on it with a permanent marker).

We had fireworks on Saturday night:

Today, am on the radio (BBC Radio Norfolk) at 12.15, talking about words that have dropped out of use. Lovely Graham Barnard and Karen Buchanan are the presenters, and my co-interviewee is Sarah Bower, author of ‘Needle in the Blood’.
Am also toying with the idea of changing my mobile phone (mine is several years old and the sound isn't brilliant, not to mention irritation of slow texting). Am too much of a cheapskate to buy an iPhone (as I work from home, I really only need a pay-as-you-go mobile for emergency purposes - an expensive contract would be a waste and pointless!), but I do like the idea of a touchscreen phone. If I have time today, I'll mosey in to Carphone Warehouse and see which I like more: the Samsung Tocco Lite or the LG Cookie.
In between I’m having fun with book 2 of the duo. I’m really enjoying the beginning of this one, though I might be breaking a rule or two…

Friday, November 06, 2009


Current work: Modern Heat (beginning of French duo, book 2)
Listening to: Def Leppard (X – love this album)
Reading: next on TBR

Thanks to everyone who commented yesterday or sent me a private message about my difficult week. The bullying was serious enough for the headmaster to be involved, but school has been brilliant and acted swiftly. I had a long conversation yesterday with the head of year and hopefully things will be easier for son now.

Dad is still not well, and the nature of his illness means that he never quite pulls back from these blips: we lose a little more of him each time. Sadly, it’s just not fixable. All I can do is be as supportive as possible.

The other thing that’s affecting my mood this week is the fact that my mum would’ve been 64, this Sunday. It’s not regrets for things done, but for things we didn’t have time to do. I’ll feel better when I’ve put new silk flowers on her grave, to keep it nice and colourful over the winter, and fresh freesias (her favourite flowers). But in the meantime I’m not particularly good company.

As for the diet disaster – I’m going back to phase 1 for the rest of the week, to help me break the cravings cycle again. That means no coffee, even decaf, because I’m a comfort eater and will hit the chocolate or biscuits to go with said coffee. I don’t, however, do that with peppermint tea, so I’m going to keep myself on the straight and narrow with that.

Went to the post office yesterday with lots of parcels, including the new book, so I’m really supposed to be tidying my desk today. It’s possibly my most-loathed chore, so I’m putting it off for a day or two. Instead, I’m starting the new book, as the heroine is talking to me and I’d like to capitalise on that.

Have a nice weekend. And hopefully I will be back to being Pollyanna on Monday. (I might even feel like celebrating the eighth anniversary of being an M&B author – which was actually on daughter’s birthday. Just finished M&B #42 and starting #43. Not bad in eight years…)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Chinese curses

Current work: Modern Heat (final readthrough of book 1)
Listening to: Chopin nocturnes (bleak enough to suit my mood)
Reading: next on TBR

Isn’t there a Chinese curse along the lines of ‘may you live in interesting times’? Well, whoever stuck that one on me, I’d appreciate it if you could lift it for a couple of months, please.

Am pleased to report that the book is done. Doing the final readthrough this morning, then printing it out to post to my agent. Let’s hope it makes it through the picket lines. And that my agent and ed like it. (Yup, am at THAT stage of the book. Happens every time – which is probably a good thing as it stops me from being complacent and cheating my readers.)

The ‘interesting’ stuff? Dad’s having a blip (so might not be up to visitors today) and son is falling foul of the monsters again. (I accept that the ringleaders probably have a horrible life. But they need to learn that being spiteful to other people isn’t the right way to deal with it. And, as most of them are OK on their own, maybe the little groups need to be split up.) Plus news of one (possibly two) redundancies in close family.

Apols for the doom and gloom. I may be in a better mood later. But I crashed my diet badly yesterday (was definitely an ‘in need of chocolate’ day), so I have to break the sugar cravings again and I’m cross with myself for being weak. Guess the remedy is to start the next book… (Or tackle my accounts for this year, or tidy my desk. Urk. Make that start the next book.)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Current work: Modern Heat (finishing off book 1 of the duo)
Listening to: Def Leppard/Debussy
Reading: next on TBR

Really, really busy weekend.

Friday: briefly into town, then catching up with work, then out bowling (it was Glow Bowling, i.e. everything was fluorescent, so littlest was delighted – and I was totally shocked to get the best score of the night. I mean, I’m hopeless! But I got a spare followed by two strikes, one of which won me a “glow torch”… oh, and the fact that our team had the bumper bars up might’ve helped – but anyway, it was my personal best and I was so chuffed). Then everyone came back to ours for dinner (jacket potatoes, chicken breasts, ratatouille, salad – and I was very good and had a very small piece of birthday cake and NO pudding).

Saturday: supermarket to sort out shopping for Sunday’s party, work, and then “trick or treat”. DH always has a giant pumpkin – and this shot of the dog will give you an idea of how big. (Dog was not pleased at being used as a marker. That sulky look says very clearly, “There had better be treats involved, for doing this.”)

Sunday: family party. Sadly, Dad wasn’t well enough to come, so I sent a goodie bag via my stepmum. Madam entertained us all with her guitar playing – she’s getting very good.

Yesterday: inset day, so in to town so Madam could spend some of her birthday money. She bought a DSi (which is great fun – I love the voice recorder, and the fact you can play things backwards) and a camera (Nikon compact – it’s tiny and she’s delighted with it). Sneaked in a bit of work, then out to dinner at Yellows – birthday girl was very pleased with that.

Today: guitar lesson, then finish as much as I can of the book, then school run and Madam’s two best friends are coming home with her for dinner.

Righty. I’m gone. Lots to do.

Monday, November 02, 2009

happy November

Current work: Modern Heat (finishing off book 1 of the duo)
Listening to: Sheryl Crow
Reading: Sarah Morgan duo – Snowbound: Marriage Miracle and Christmas Eve: Doorstep Delivery (absolutely brilliant – Alfie, Patrick’s son, is just hilarious. Sarah’s secondaries are always a treat, and there’s snow, and gorgeous heroes, and really nice heroines you’d like to be mates with, and walk-on parts from characters from her previous Lakeland books, and… Highly recommended!)

Happy November; and may it be a lovely month for you.

Today is an inset day (teacher training) so I’m busy doing stuff with the kids (Madam is desperate to spend her birthday money) and finishing off my book, but I’ll be back with reports of this weekend’s partying tomorrow.

In the meantime, my mate Sarah Morgan has a sparkling new website, so do go over and have a look.