My Week: 30 April 2016

imageProductivity: Finished the draft of WA Magazine. Our fourth edition (it’s free, subscribe here). Packed full of poetry, recipes, non-fiction articles, short stories, author interviews, book reviews and so much more. 13600 words and forty four pages, it’s been very popular. And, I’ve printed 17 pages of editing comments from All Will Be Well, some little stuff to check and other’s a bit of a re-write or destined for the bin.
Carbs and Cals: Think I’ve fallen of the wagon a little but Si’s blood sugars are still low so I’m happy with that.
Workout: Daily walks with Naughty Nell and the Giants (aka, Bertie and Freya) and two hours of mowing this afternoon. Very satisfying though the stripes are a bit wonky, anyway it’s hard to do stripes on our ‘parkland’ and who wants stripes? 
Reading: Wool By Hugh Howey, am little distracted to concentrate but will pick it up.
Weather: As weird as that in the UK but not had snow, it was threatened but has been cold and damp. The stufa had to be relit!
Watched: London Has Fallen – bit OTT but very watchable.
Word of the Week: GONZO adjective – what a delicious word, it kind of trips off the lips…
1. (of journalism, reportage, etc.) filled with bizarre or subjective ideas, commentary, or the like.
2. crazy; eccentric.
International Day of the Week: 3rd May will be Paranormal Day

Looking Forward: Back to the UK tomorrow for an indeterminate time. Dad is not well and I need to be there… and when I’m there, I need to be here… :'(

Going All Veggie

No, not given up meat, but love my homegrown veg too. An afternoon of teamwork in the garden…

Inspiration strikes



Just edited a Russian-English translation of an abstract about a research study into Shamanistic rituals… given me some ideas for a new project  (∩`-´)⊃━☆゚.*・。゚

April Garden

Head Hopping Syndrome


Head Hopping Syndrome

Head Hopping Syndrome

No it’s not medical and I think I’m over it now. However, just finished the micro edits on my current WiP and now have loads more ‘rewrites’ to go through. This was the first ‘novel’ I ever drafted(probably some nine years ago) and I was a serial head hopper then. It’s a rule that’s often broken (like so many writing rules) usually by experienced and successful writers. It doesn’t bother me if it’s done well, but I don’t think I have so gotta get it fixed…

By the way, this is my new status update system. Want to record these little snippets of my unexciting life 😉 Get too distracted by Facebook and Twitter and so…

Junior Doctor Rant

Feeling cross about the latest Junior Doctor strike in contrast to many I do not support their action. Not the way to protect patients, in my humble opinion, holding vulnerable people to ransom. And for ‘the greater good’ that’s bollocks, especially if you or a loved one is being directly affected by this action. Skilled communicators should be around the negotiating table, not waving cardboard banners around. It isn’t the answer. 😠

Procrastination Prevails

Words: 19flag-1024413_960_72000 but I’ve done so much more…
Carbs and Cals: Pastry, chips and onion rings. Tut, tut
Workout: A beach and river walk this week
Reading: The Night Manager by John Le Carre, loved the series
Weather: Sun and showers, very April like
Watched: The Lady in the Van – brilliant
Word of the Week: GIMCRACK: adjective 1. showy but useless. noun 1. a showy, useless trifle; gewgaw.
International Day of the Week: Tell a Story Day 27th April

Although I’ve had a productive week, I know that I’ve wasted a lot of hours. I’m plagued by procrastination. If there is a hint of a distraction, off I go following blindly until two, maybe three hours have passed with nothing to show for it. I wish there was a pill I could take, or maybe a help group… maybe not.

I have, in my defense, crossed off one of my household tasks this week. Well, not household exactly, painting a wall, steps, stone bath and porch. It’s just plain grey concrete underneath which is very boring, so I paint it a brilliant white and with all the lavender and geraniums which will grow along side it will, eventually, look very Mediterranean. Piccie will be posted later…

The best way to get something done, is to begin

I’ve written my blog over at Louise Charles on Writing Productivity and what does it mean? A lot of writers swear by word count and when I’m writing new stuff, so do I. But as a self published, ‘indie’ , writer and author there are so many other activities which are not so easily measurable. But does it matter at the end of the day? Isn’t the end result proof enough of my output?

Today is my grandsons birthday. Morgan is sixteen. No I can’t believe I’m a Nonna to a 16 year old. A glam gran I like to think 🙂 He is the most wonderful young man I know. I’m biased, of course, but he doesn’t seem to have the angst or hang ups that so many young folks do. He loves his Xbox and his smart phone, of course, but he can hold a conversation and he makes me laugh. Credit to my son, Ben and his lovely wife, Clare without a doubt.

And my bout of procrastination? Well, all cured now but it all related to be obsession with journals (so it’s bound to return at some point). I am forever changing my system but I’m hoping this time, this method will work for me. I kind of do it anyway, already. It’s called Bullet Journaling and I shall be blogging about it over at Lou’s in a couple of weeks.

Oh, and Happy St George’s day.




Keeping the Critters out

12967299_1161739623838445_2650160998637840758_oProductivity: Complete macro edit of All Will Be Well (75,000k)
Carbs and Cals: I’m now 75kgs (from 80kgs) 🙂
Workout: Mowing, yes again!
Reading: Almost finished Shift by Hugh Howey, riveting
Weather: Glorious sunshine and 30 degrees
Watched: The Book Thief –  brilliant, as good as the book
Word of the Week: Wofflestompers, plural noun 1. ankle boots with ridged soles, used especially for hiking.
International Day of the Week: Talk Like Shakespeare Day, Saturday 25 April

It’s a busy time of the year in the garden. And the fence to keep chicks and dogs out is now complete. Hurrah!  Now is the time we plant the majority of our vegetables. It’s quite a commitment. Contrary to popular belief you can’t just shove the plants in and vegetables abound. It takes a lot more work than that, but it is so satisfying when you have a plate full of fresh stuff you’ve just picked that morning. Having a south facing garden, we thought it was cushty but too much sun can be very devastating so makeshift parasols are a necessity. My favourite summer veg is sweetcorn, griddled on the BBQ and dripping with butter… yum
I promised myself that I would only have one diary system this year. Last year, I spent some of my Mrs Mop money on a lovely leather A4 Filofax and print of the inserts. But I’ve just come across bullet journalling, which is essentially what I do, and I’m hooked. So have spent some time this week looking at Moleskines, again… Simon will never forgive me.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” ― Mark Twain

I’ve listened to the whole of my manuscript using the free version of Natural Reader. It’s a great way to edit and I pick up so much more that I would do just reading. I think it’s because I probably skip stuff and read what I think is on the page but it isn’t.



Spring has Sprung?


Early one Morning!

Words: I’m not sure that counting words represents my productivity watch out for blog over at Louise Charles
Carbs and Cals: A week in the UK, too much wine but very emotional. Trousers are loose. 🙂
Workout: Mowing the lawn, fence building and re-siting trees
Reading: Shift by Hugh Howey
Weather: Hot and sunny to foggy and thunderstorms *see pic
Watched: Star Wars (at Stansted Airport)and Pan
Word of the Week: Majuscule:adjective, large, as either capital or uncial letters
International Day of the Week: April 13th is Bookmobile day

I had a week in the UK with my lovely Dad celebrating his 82nd birthday. Although he couldn’t participate he insisted on cake and champagne for everyone. Most of the family were there but we sadly missed, Sam, Toby and my lovely husband, Simon. I am blessed also with my wonderful son, Ben and his family who stayed with me all week.

As my flight back home to Italy was very early on Saturday morning I spent the Friday night at Stansted Airport. Although I wasn’t looking forward to it, it was quite interesting and lots of action for a serial people watcher to store for future use in my writing. It passed pretty quickly thought I did spend most of the weekend catching up on my sleep.

The garden beckons as Spring takes hold. The daisies in the garden though, I believe are very good for the bees so I was careful to leave some behind when mowing. Simon thinks I just missed them ;). And today we’ve been protecting our vegetable garden from animal pests: dogs and chickens. For some reason Freya thinks the onion patch is a place for her to chill out and Naughty Nell has been digging holes, chasing lizards in the peas! We like to let the chickens free roam but they also like the lovely worms from our compost. We’ve had some lovely warm weather and the stereotypical expat Brits are already talking about BBQ’s but I prefer to wait until summer has arrived properly and enjoy each season for it’s uniqueness. Contrary to popular belief, living abroad does not mean wall to wall sunshine, no matter what you wish!

Spring makes its own statement, so loud and clear that the gardener seems to be only one of the instruments, not the composer. ~Geoffrey B. Charlesworth

The latest blog is up over at Louise Charles about creating a Story Bible to store all the information about my individual projects. It’s not quite the same as a paper system but our tiny house can’t take any more folders, so it’s a necessity. It also makes it more accessible from wherever I maybe as long as I have access to a computer. What’s not to like?

My latest WiP is skipping along nicely. Simon finished a read through and I went through his notes and will make the changes next week. Then on to the cover and blurb. Feeling good.


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