We will get more cats, but not just yet.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
We will get more cats, but not just yet.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I did try Dr Wicked but have realised that I write best on the computer with a timer and being allowed to go back and edit if I wish. Kitchen timers are us. Excuses do not wash.
It is a matter of concentrating and writing, rather than playing. You would think I would know this by now.
My eldest leaves for a week in Russia tonight. One thing that I am sad about is that the high school (due to lack of qualified teachers) is stopping offering Russian. My youngest is taking Spanish instead. Nothing against Spanish, but Russian has proved popular. I was surprised how many students are taking it at A level. This is going to be the last Russian trip.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I have FINALLY updated my website. The big problem has been getting the stupid thing to load. And as I lost the site when my other computer went down, I decided to totally redo the thing. This morning I broke down and telephone the 1&1 help line and the woman on the other end of the phone was very helpful. Within a few minutes, it was done. It is as usual a work in progress, but at least things are up to date with a slightly different look. My books are better arranged now. The problem with these things is you start with one time period or one book and then things just grow...
Tomorrow, I shall be at Unusual Historical and a copy of Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife is up for grabs to one lucky poster.
Friday, March 27, 2009
There are still questions about the junction. The fire brigade have written to every household in the area to remind them that the A69 is busy and there will be no speed restrictions.
But for now, it is a wonderful achievement.
Tuppence has taken to snuggling next to the teapot in the morning. Is this a hint to turn up the thermostat?
And I think I finally have handle on my characters and what needs to happen. My daughter was very useful.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Some year, if I up my game, maybe I will make the finals...One has to hope.
Right now I am wrestling with a difficult heroine and hero. I changed things around and rapidly realised that I would be retreading Impoverished Miss to a certain extent. The themes would have been far too close. So it is back to my original idea and figuring out how to make it work. It should be really good if I can. At the moment though, I keep coming up with dumb reasons.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The reason for it being called Lady Day as it was exactly nine months from Christmas. This goes to show that various people listened to tradition, rather than researching facts. The celebration of the birth of Jesus was a reaction to Saturnalia. The Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Christ in May (or so I understand) May makes more sense because of the way the Romans did their census, but it sort of puts paid to carols like in The Bleak Mid-winter... It is interesting to see how the myths and traditions develop.
It is also my husband's birthday. And birthdays are made to be celebrated. We had carrot cake and coffee for breakfast, plus cards.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The wip (as Caroline asked) is a linked book to the Governess book that I just turned in. I know the backstory. I suspect some characters from the previous book will reoccur. I just have to figure out how. And I think the new way will work better. But it is another governess.
Blake Snyder had an interesting post on his blog about sexy movies suddenly not doing so well at the movies. There is a theory that in times of economic haardship, morals become far tighter. Excess goes out and wholesomeness comes in. Or maybe, it is that because mainstream wholesomeness has been so out that the stories have had to become tighter whereas in the hot sector, it has been -- oh just give them more and storywriting has gone. The important thing is to give a great story that really holds the audience.
But it is one of those things in publishing or the film industry, everyone wants a crystal ball. The only thing you can control is your writing. You have to tell the stories that you want to tell and to trust that they will find a market. But it is also about not being complacent and always trying to get better.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Yesterday, I finally succumbed and read Bram Stoker. It is a novel told through journals and letters with a high amount of the Gothic. At first it seems like a hard read but it flows very quickly once you get into it. Stoker was writing in the hey day of the Shocker after all.
The one thing I noticed was how well grounded it was in detail. Ian Fleming also used this technique. (He even claimed to have invented it but as with many things, it was probably tried and trusted before Fleming or Stoker even picked up a pen) Get the little things right and the reader is able to suspend disbelief on the large things. It is one of those books that I wish I had read years ago as it is not as gruesome as I thought it would be. But it is a story that really grabs you and won't let you go. A story with bite. ( I could think up more puns but won't)
Thursday, March 19, 2009
25th April to 3d May 2009
Our new programme is now available, we will be sending out copies to all of you whose addresses we have, check out our web site, www.hexhambookfestival.co.uk book on line at http://www.queenshall.co.uk/ or Box Office 01434 652477
The Hexham Book Festival is bucking the recession by expanding! But tickets are still affordable so defy the economic gloom and let words be your currency. From Saturday 25th April to Sunday 3rd May you can get romantic with Mills and Boon writers, talk the politics of peace with Paddy Ashdown write poetry by starlight at the remote Kielder Observatory and mingle with committed foodies at the Garden Station, Langley. So join us for lively discussion, heated argument, passionate readings and stimulating entertainment all without breaking the bank. Look out for events at our new venues Forum Cinema and Gibside, Tickets from £2.50.
Authors in our 2009 line up include;
Janet Street Porter
New talent from Northern authors and poets;
Andy Croft, Bill Herbert & Paul Summers
Writing workshops from
Andy Cope with Lara the Spy Dog
Wild and wicked story telling from the Kingdom of Northumberland
Musical workshop for 4 to 7 year olds
Writing for teenagers from Sally Nichols & Judy Walker
Outreach events include on Saturday 25th April at Gibside Chapel a talk by Wendy Moore about her new book 'Wedlock: the remarkable true story of the extraordinary marriage between Mary Eleanor Bowes, the Countess of Strathmore, and Andrew Robinson Stoney, a debt-ridden Irish fortune-hunter.
On Sunday 3rd May; Two River Cottage authors Pam Corbin and John Wright will introduce their latest books on preserves and mushrooms in the surrounds of Langley Garden Station
Please note if you would like to be sent a copy of our programme please provide us with your address
Hexham Book Festival would not have been possible this year without the support of our main funder Northern Rock Foundation
Thank you also to
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The Forum Cinema
Gillian Dickinson Trust
Gibside New Writing North
New Writing North
Northumberland National Parks
Northern Film and Media
New Writing North
Queens Hall Arts
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
It would appear that a number of scholars believe St Patrick came from near Haltwhistle. In Charles Thomas's book Celtic Britain (Thames and Hudson 1986) quotes from St Patrick's own writing giving the words VICUS BANNA VENTA BERNIAE Banna is the Anglo Saxon place for Birdoswald and Professor Thomas speculates that Berniae is Greenhead pass.
You read more here. Apparently the landscape fits. Certainly, Birdoswald is evocative. One can imagine raiders crossing the Solway plain to capture him.
So was St Patrick from Northumberland/Cumberland? There is definitely signs of post Roman occupation at the sight and some have claimed that King Arthur was there as well.
Does it really matter as St Patrick did end up in Ireland?
But it is something to think about. Happy St Patrick's day
Personally I am pleased that scheduling is not my job.
We have agreed the focus for my next few projects.
The company and the food was good, but the flight was horrid. Delayed by an hour to begin with, and then the flight was cancelled on the way home. I was put on a flight about 3 hours later and arrived back shattered.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I am off to lunch with my editors today, so it is all go.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
There are reasons why you leave on mouseguards...
I think I can get a new colony in a few weeks, but doubt that I will be harvesting honey this year.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
On the first morning, I heard bells -- loud, warning type bells, but then I checked, it was about seven and of course there had been no rain the day before. My husband slept on. A bit later, more bells.
After breakfast, we went out and my husband remarked at how high the water level was -- practically lapping over the steps. We went into St Mark's Square and there were puddles. The duck boards were down. Taking an executive decision, my husband began to march to through a puddle. Then I wished he hadn't. We were at the tail end of an acqua alta and my shoes were more than a bit damp.
The doge's palace was perhaps, unsurprisingly, not crowded. We spent a lovely morning walking through room designed to impress and intimidate. One needs to remember that the Venetians were awfully good at liberating things -- St Mark's body, the lion and the four horses were all acquired in service of the state.
By the time we arrived at St Mark's, the lights were on, illuminating the mosaics. They are overpowering and I was pleased when the lights were turned off. The shifting natural light highlights different mosaics at different times of the days. The Pala d' Oro needs to be seen -- all gold, enamel and precious jewels. Some bits from the treasury were not there as they were loan to the British Museum for the Byzantine exhibit. St Marks, for a variety of reasons (see above) has a lot of Byzantine gold...
We then took the 2 waterbus from its San Zaccaria stop, down the Guidecca canal, past the industrial complex, and then down the entire length of the Grand Canal. By getting on at the start, we were able to snag a good seat at the back. It goes slow enough so you can appreciate the palazzos etc.
After our little trip, we walk around and discovered Santa Maria del Giglio, right near the Gritti Palace. Because Venetian law forbade the erecting of statues, the Barbaro family paid for the rebuilding of the church and the facade has portraits of them as well as maps of their battles. Santa Maria is part of the Chorus card churches -- you pay one fee and then can visit 16 different churches. The card is valid for up to a year and is a good deal. There is a very good painting of the Madonna and Child with the Young St John, attributed to Rubins, plus some Tintorettos.
We then went for a drink at the Gritti Palace before having supper at Al Covo. Al Covo is mentioned by Donna Leon's Death in a Strange Country -- Brunetti eats there. The food is certainly good -- they go to the market and then make whatever looks fresh. We had monkfish for the main and I had the gnocchi with calamari sauce for a starter. My husband enjoyed the pear cake dessert and I had a selection of cheese. Al Covo is hard to find btw (we got lost twice) but worth the time and effort.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Following Mills & Boon’s passionate opposition to Virgin Train’s kissing ban at Warrington train station, Virgin have been seduced by the world’s leading publisher of romantic fiction.
This Friday, Virgin and Mills & Boon will officially kiss and make up.
In support of Comic Relief on Friday 13th March, Mills & Boon and Virgin Trains will be indulging in a day-long romantic reconciliation at mainline rail stations including Euston, Warrington Bank Quay and Glasgow.
Warrington-based Mills & Boon author Annie Burrows and Virgin Trains’ Director of Communications Arthur Leathley will be launching the initiative at Warrington Bank Quay station at 9.45am.
Kissing-friendly platform events taking place throughout the day include:
· Mills & Boon book jacket photo-opportunities
· Brad Pitt look-a-likes and Virgin staff selling kisses for Red Nose Day
· Free ‘kissing mints’
· Love-seats designed by Mills & Boon and Virgin
· Live readings by costumed Mills & Boon ‘Romantic Heroes’
· Mills & Boon book giveaways
Mills & Boon in numbers:
In 2008, Mills & Boon celebrated 100 years of romance publishing - A Mills & Boon book is sold every 5 seconds in the UK alone - 130 million Mills & Boon books are sold worldwide every year - In the past 50 years, Mills & Boon characters have shared 10,325 weddings, 29,500 kisses and 35,250 embraces.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
I now have a week to relax and think up new ideas before seeing my editor and sr editor for lunch on the 16th.
Some moments are made to be savoured.
You do not want to know what my house looks like...
Thursday, March 05, 2009
In some ways, it is a harder set of revisions as I have been going through and changing lots of little bits, adding and taking away.
But it will get there and it will be excellent.
Some day, all you can do is believe.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
This morning saw two fresh molehills.
So it is mole traps at the ready. Some day.
The revisions continue.
Monday, March 02, 2009
I still have no idea when AID will be out in the US though.
My current wip is getting better, but I keep changing my mind about the ending. Proactive not passive. Anyway, I think I have finally discovered the right way. Sometimes, you have to try and get it wrong, before you can get it right.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
And yes , I do love revisions. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about my revisions and why the last chapter is going to be so much better.