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Showing posts from September, 2015

Gardening Update

So on Saturday Dad announced that his lawn didn't look very good. I decided not to take this as an insult on my gardening skills, or lack thereof. Though to be honest I wouldn't blame him if it was. However he did clarify by explaining that it was the weeds and moss that he found offensive, rather than the uneven cut and persistent long edges. His solution was that it required special lawn care stuff sprinkling all over it. Okay so those weren't his actual words, but bear with me I'm still a novice. Now his two lawns aren't particularly big, but they aren't tiny either. At least they don't seem it when I'm mowing them. I think the same magic that makes time go faster at weekend’s works on lawns too. Only instead of time going faster the more fun you're having, the lawn grows larger with every shove of the mower. Of course it could just be that I'm overlapping with my wonky lines. Anyway, I digress. My point is that I didn't particularly fanc

The Skating Diaries: The Beginning

I can still recall the first time that I went ice skating. I was about ten years old and it was a friend’s birthday. We were at that age where games of pass the parcel and picnics on the lounge carpet in the traditionally rainy British summer were no longer thrilling enough. Trips to the swimming pool and bowling alley were gradually becoming the norm for our parties, but a trip to the frozen world of an ice rink, well that was something else entirely.  My friends and I huddled together on the wooden benches, shivering in the unaccustomed cool climate, and yet basking in sheer delight. Even pulling on the ugly heavy hire boots somehow added to the fun. With my shoes stowed away behind the counter and my new footwear strapped awkwardly to my feet, I eagerly tottered across the rubber flooring towards the icy surface. I grabbed the handrail, cautiously stepped onto the ice and then... Nothing. My excitement and enthusiasm melted away in an instant, despite the freezing temperature.

The Reluctant Gardener

In this age of modern, independent women, I am what my friends affectionately (I hope) refer to as a girly girl. Whilst I've surrendered my childhood preference (ok obsession) for all things pink (pink dresses, flip flops, hair ribbons, wall paper and carpet... Need I go on?) I still have a tendency for girlish squeals. Just place me in the vague vicinity of a bee, wasp or spider and you'll see what I mean. However, as a result of my Dads recent stay(s) in hospital, I'm now basking in the sunshine of the great outdoors. Which loosely translated means I have temporarily taken on the role of looking after his garden. So not so much basking, more trapsing up and down pushing a lawn mower, which I swear was lighter in the shop, in what I aim to be straight lines, but are actually more just a chaotic assortment of randomness. Corners present a particular problem when it comes to attempting to turn said heavy mower. Did I also mention it's really long? Which mean

Cinderella Shoes Published in Scribble Magazine

I came home last night and found the new issue of Scribble Magazine waiting for me.  As always I opened it eagerly, ready to dive into its short stories.  However there at the top of the contents page was a wonderful surprise... My name. My short story 'Cinderella Shoes' had been accepted by the editor earlier this year, but I had no idea when it would appear in the magazine.  When I received the email to tell me that he wanted to publish my story I had been ecstatic, but that was nothing to the delight at finding my story in print in the magazine in my hands. I have to admit that I regressed to my childhood and spent most of the evening periodically jumping up and down alongside gleeful declarations of "I'm published, I'm published". Although I had my first story published last year, and have been fortunate to have a few more accepted for publication since, this is the first one to appear in physical form rather than online.  The thrill of actually be

The Quest For The Perfect Excuse

I’m off to a party this week.  Am I looking forward to it? Well em, no actually. It’s not that I don’t want to go. It’s just that I’m not really very good at that sort of thing. And by that sort of thing I mean any social event that involves people. I hate to admit it but l am the stereotypical writer. I’m quite happy spending time in my own company, shut away from distractions where I can lose myself in a world of fictional characters. Work is different.  I can manage that.  Sitting in an office, even though I’m wishing I could be home writing, is something I’ve done for years. I’m used to it. However, put me in a room full of people outside of the work environment, and I am out of my comfort zone and my depth. What makes it harder is that so few people know about my writing, so that doesn’t leave me much to talk about. Mind you I struggle even with people that do know. It would be so easy to end up sounding like an obsessed writer who spends every spare minute with a pen

Please Release Me: Stuck

Today I'm participating in a group blogging event to celebrate the launch of Rhoda Baxter's new book 'Please Release Me'. I loved Rhoda's 'Girl On The Run', so I'm delighted to be a small part of her big day for her new book and wish her the best of luck with 'Please Release Me', which I'm looking forward to reading. The blurb: What if you could only watch as your bright future slipped away from you? Sally Cummings has had it tougher than most but, if nothing else, it’s taught her to grab opportunity with both hands. And, when she stands looking into the eyes of her new husband Peter on her perfect wedding day, it seems her life is finally on the up. That is until the car crash that puts her in a coma and throws her entire future into question. In the following months, a small part of Sally’s consciousness begins to return, allowing her to listen in on the world around her – although she has no way to communicate.

Summer Memories

When I was little my parents would load up my Dads Peugeot 205 and we would set off on holiday. The tiny boot was filled with our tent, picnic set, sleeping bags, cool box, camping stove, buckets and spades and clothes. My brother and I were usually surrounded by pillows on the back seat. As my feet didn't touch the floor that meant extra packing space beneath them too. Climbing up the Welsh hills Dad always announced that someone needed to get out and push, as our little car groaned its way to the top. I was never entirely convinced that he was, as he claimed, only joking. Especially given Mums huge sigh of relief when we actually made it. We had some fantastic holidays. We built amazing sand castles on beautiful beaches. Played hide and seek in sand dunes. Collected sea shells as we paddled. And enjoyed Dads fried breakfasts cooked on our tiny camping stove (that mum refused to use). Of course it had its downside too. Long road trips filled with eye spy and counting red cars (it

Book Review: Sins of the Father – C.B. Hanley

Rating: About the Author: C.B. Hanley has a PhD in medieval studies from the University of Sheffield.  She has written both fiction and non-fiction books and specialises in the High Middle Ages. Book Summary: Set in England in 1217, Sins of the Father follows Edwin Weaver, the son of the bailiff at Conisbrough Castle, who finds himself thrust into an unfamiliar world when his father is taken ill and the Earl asks him to step into his role. In the midst of the civil war, Edwin is tasked with solving a murder in just two days… Review: C.B. Hanley’s extensive knowledge and research shows through in this gripping medieval mystery. The descriptions and characters are captivating and catapult the reader back in time, into the realm of castles, knights and sword fights. The novel moves forward at a steady pace, drawing the reader in as we follow Edwin’s investigation. By seeing the castle, the Earl and his family, the knights and the impending battle of the civil w

It Takes Two - The idea behind KISHBOO e-magazine - Guest Post: Sharon Boothroyd

I'd like to welcome my first guest, Sharon Boothroyd.  Sharon is the editor for KISHBOO magazine, an e-magazine which will be celebrating its first birthday later this year. Getting Started It was my husband Keith who had the idea of producing an e-magazine in the summer 2014. As a semi-pro freelance writer, I loved entering short story competitions - some of these competitions were run by small paper presses or fiction based online projects. The editors usually chose the winner and runner- up. We began to sketch out a concept of a quarterly fiction based e-magazine. We thought how we could set up and fund our own short story competition, plus how readers would vote for the winners and runner- up places in each issue. Our History My hubby had already published a chick lit- novella of mine on kindle for me. We called our publishing brand Ryecorn Digital Publishing, after Ryecorn, the fictional Yorkshire town in my novella. To keep costs down, we set up a free web