March Madness

Words: 830 new words and edited 6 scenes (10k)image
Carbs and Cals: Malteser’s cracked open last night
Workout: A morning in the garden, and plenty of walks
Reading: The Crow’s Nest by Ann Cleeve :/ still but getting better
Weather: After grey, wet start beautiful Spring sunshine this morning
Watched: No films but loved Happy Valley
Word of the Week: Wordmonger noun 1. a writer or speaker who uses words pretentiously or with careless disregard for meaning

Tomorrow is International Day of Happiness apparently. Are we only allowed one day? With this lovely Spring sunshine the smiles are bountiful today and we have enjoyed a morning in the garden with all the lovely new shoots, promises of life to come.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Ben Sweetland

Last week a large, very large, hare bounded out in front of the car, its ears were huge! Reminded me of the time we watched some boxing hares on a walk with our three Springer Spaniels – and yes, they really do box. It was fascinating.

hare

This week has been a great week for my writing. On Monday I received an email to say that my short story, Mad Hattie will be published on Story Shack in May. Story Shack publish stories of up to 1000 words online but also include an illustration. Can’t wait to see what it will be for this story. I really enjoyed writing it and it all began with the Antiques Roadshow of all things! IMG_1097

Secondly, I published my first book under my imprint of White Wolf Books. The Morning Gift was a project I started some years back  and it’s been a long time in the making. I received my copy
this week and I’m really chuffed with the cover which I designed myself. I really am enjoying the whole process of self publishing in its entirety and it gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction.

Next week, I return to the UK for my Dad’s 82nd birthday. He’s still not well and all of us (I have four siblings) are hoping to make it as well as grandchildren and great grandchildren. It’s very supportive at these time,
being part of a big family. And on Monday I have my first Mrs Mop duty of the season. To supplement our very meagre income I clean holiday homes in between bookings. It’s a job that needs doing and it gives me plenty of thinking space as I wield my mop and duster!

Ciao for Now

 

 

Giving Up?

Yesterday, according to the media, was the beginning of Lent. Time to give something up for 40 odd days after which we can all go back to doing whatever it was before Ash Wednesday. Well, I started early. I didn’t have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. In all honesty I forgot and I do love a pancake. More so the savoury ones filled with spinach and ricotta. I make them myself and, without blowing my own trumpet, they’re pretty special. So that’s one sacrifice made, I can sit back and relax. I don’t observe any of the religious calendar to be fair. I’m not a believer but I respect other believers. I prefer the concept of Humanism, that human beings shape their own lives. Simon and I chose a Humanist blessing when we ‘tied the knot’. It was a wonderful experience, we wrote our own service, made readings and exchanged candles. Our friends and family still talk about it now. And I’ve been to three Humanist funerals which have been quite uplifting despite the sad goodbyes.

Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.

Mahatma Gandhi

 

In addition I’m going to cull a few of the e-mails and blogs I’ve signed up to. I don’t get buckets of mail but I’m a bit of a push over when it comes to newsletters and posts about writing. I find myself skimming over them, saving them to Pocket (and then forgetting about them) or deleting them before I’ve even opened them. A bit scary, because what if I miss ‘the next big thing’ about writing? I guess I’ll hear about it somewhere but I don’t need any more distractions right now. So a bit of a clean up is in order, ahem, just procrastination in any other name.

Ciao,

Fear of Flying (and apostrophes)

*Write Chain Target (write, revise edit 3 pages a day): 13 links – not unlucky at all 😉

I’m back off to the UK on Saturday. Family matters and a Dad who is in need of a bit of support from his far flung family. Well, I’m the only one of five who lives in another country. I’m not a big fan of flying and particularly flying on my own but needs must. Living where we are, in rural Le Marche, the options for flights are very few especially out of season. I dislike the whole process and the older I get the more nervous I become. Thank goodness it’s only two hours or I think I might need therapy. However, I have made progress. Now I don’t mind a window seat and I actually will look out, if the weather is good. Not for long mind. Just a quick glance.

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I’m hoping to keep on target with my writing goals, so the past couple of days I’ve squirrelled away at my action list. This action list is a perpetual list. I’m a bit of a list freak, just love them to bits. I wish I could feel as confident about editing as I do about making lists. I’ve been going through the edits from my session with my personal editor, Simon, my husband :), and he’s an apostrophe freak. Enough said. I don’t know why I struggle with them, I have no memorable problems with English in school, in fact it was one of the few qualifications I left with. But they seem to evade me now. But that’s no excuse, they have to be sorted. So time to go and battle with that pesky punctuation.

Ciao

 

Journal: Day 11

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  • Morning Pages: Day 114
  • Write Chain Target: Day 11 of 2016

Simon, my husband and ‘ the man that does’ has been beta reading my latest Work in Progress. The Morning Gift was first born in 2009, maybe even before. I got such a shock when I found an email from a fellow writing friend telling me that the synopsis I’d given them was good and I should get on with revising it.

Some wise people say that you shouldn’t use your nearest and dearest as readers of your work. I say why not? The trouble is with any advice it’s only relative to the person providing it. So no, I’m not telling you the best thing YOU can do is ask your loved one to provide feedback on your work. For me it works. Simon is my trusted  and harshest critic. He will tell me where it doesn’t work, where I’ve skipped like a few scenes  and more than, and where I make glaring and embarrassing errors of judgement. He’s a reader first and foremost. And that matters. It’s the only qualification he needs to assess whether or not the story flows, cos he reads a lot of stories, probably in excess of 100 books a year.

We’ve just gone through half the manuscript with his observations and had a great laugh at some of the mistakes I made without realising. Most of them are anachronisms – this story is set in Saxon times and the days of the Norsemen. I shan’t share them here, not just yet but maybe one day.  And we can all have a good laugh.

Learn to laugh at yourself . Life will be a lot funnier.

Ciao

 

 

Journal: Day 8

  • Morning Pages: Day 111
  • Write Chain Target: Day 8 of 2016* 

    Time Flies
    Time Flies

A week has passed into the New Year already. I’ve almost caught up after my unexpected trip back to the UK . I know I’ll need to go back over pretty soon so I really need to get ahead of myself. Felt a bit rough today following an afternoon of indulgence with friends who are leaving to travel for the next few months and a bit of a hangover from my lack of sleep last week.:)

One of the things I miss most here is a bath. The Italians don’t do baths. Not in these old houses anyway. They much prefer their showers and wet rooms. For me, there is nothing that can match topping up the hot water in the bath with my big toe, reading a book and slowly wrinkling into oblivion. Hmmm… just the thought of it makes me feel better.

IMG_1022*I was doing really well with my Write Chain Target of three pages (write, revise or edit) – 62 unbroken days! But it snapped when I had to go back to the UK. Never mind, I’m determined to keep on track and here is how I’m recording my progress. I did have a link of paper clips strung above my desk but  the kitties thought it was purely for their fun and entertainment.

Finally, I’ve published a post on my author blog, Louise Charles, about my ambitious plans for 2016 and how I hope to keep on track.

Ciao