The Book of Me, Written by You


If you’re into journaling, writing memoir or genealogy then perhaps this might interest you…

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Good luck to Julie at Anglers Rest with this project. I’ll be taking part when I can πŸ™‚

If you want to join, you’ll need to be quick…it starts today!

How Do You Refer To Your Partner?


A recent post by the lovely Bridget Whelan got me thinking….

Bridget’s post, A Twitter Confession referred back to a post she made last year on how she didn’t follow people who referred to their husbands as “The Hubster”. This recent post was a retraction of her original comments, and honestly Bridget, I didn’t take offence πŸ™‚

You see, those of you who have been following this blog for a while will know that I always refer to my husband as The Hubster. The reason being that when I started this blog I needed something to use in place of “The Husband” because that, to me, sounds too formal, and that’s not how I talk. I always say that I am the same on my Blog and Facebook as I am in real life, so why use a reference that I wouldn’t normally use in my real life, unless I was putting on my posh voice πŸ˜‰

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So what other words used to describe husbands (and equally wives) have I seen/heard? These are the ones that came to mind:

Hubby
Hubster
Significant Other
Him/Her Indoors (usually pronounced ‘im or ‘er)
Hero
DH (Darling/Dear Husband or Designated Hitler)
LOML (Love Of My Life)
My Man
Other Half
BF or GF (Boyfriend/Girlfriend)
The Moose (yes, seriously!)
Mr/The Mrs

And one of my favourites, used by Mills & Boon author Kate Walker The Babe Magnet *sniggers*

Don’t even get me started on the “pet names” I’ve heard people use in public for each other lol. In our house the closest thing to a pet name is “pickle” & “pumpkin” and both are used exclusively for the cats and dog πŸ˜‰

I guess that I could just use his name, but, I don’t feel too comfortable with that, what with this blog being public. It’s not really my right to do that is it?

So Mr Thompson, if you’re reading this, how would you prefer to be referred to?

And how do you refer to your partner (male or female) online? Any good ones I’m likely to steal to use in my fiction πŸ˜‰

Where I Turn Into Agatha Christie


Welcome to my 2nd instalment of the 30 Day Writing Challenge πŸ™‚

Day 2 – Open a book – pick a sentence and use that as the first line in a piece.

Ok, so I picked a book from my shelf, copied out a sentence in my notebook and put the book back. Do you think I can blooming remember which book it was? LMAO!

“The gateman didn’t ask him about the drowsy man with the dark sunglasses who was half asleep on the passenger seat.”

So he drove straight through and into the large enclosed courtyard.

“Good evening Sir.” Yates approached the car and opened the drivers door.

“Good evening Yates. I’m afraid Mr Ramsey is slightly worse for wear.”

Yates peered across at the slouched figure of Ramsey. “Oh dear Sir, did Mr Ramsey consume too much champagne in London?”

Edward Mandrell pulled at the sports cars hand brake, turned off the ignition and released his seat belt. He climbed out of his seat as Yates held the door.

“Ah, you know him well Yates!” Edward slapped the butler on the back as he made his way up the stone steps to the front door, taking two at a time. At the open door he paused and turned. “Is my wife at home Yates?”

“Yes sir, she’s in the library.”

Without even a thank you Edward entered the imposing Victoria mansion.

Edward was born in India to a family who considered themselves Aristocracy. Truth be told, it was only his great grandfather who had made the family’s fortune, prior to that the Mandrells had been farmers in Somerset. But thanks to an unfortunate sinking of a cargo ship and great grandfather George’s opportunistic nature the family estate in Bath now included thousands of acres and a stately home that rivalled Buckingham Palace. Edward was sure he had only ever been in a 3rd of the rooms the house contained. As a small boy he’d become lost in the East Wing, which put an end to his exploring.

He made his way purposefully to the library. It had been several days since he’d seen his wife Daphne and there was much to discuss. He threw open the double oak doors.

“Darling!” He expected to see Daphne sitting in her favourite chair, book in hand, her glasses perched on the tip of her nose, but her chair was empty.

His eyes searched the room for some clue to her location. A lit cigarette in the ashtray or a hot cup of tea on the table beside her chair would indicate she’d just left the room, but neither of these things were present.

But as he entered, the doors creaked as they swayed closed behind him, revealing one of his wife’s navy shoes, sticking out from behind the overstuffed chaise lounge. And then, he noticed the blood…..

I wrote this one morning in the main lounge at Swanwick, inspired by the photos adorning the walls of what the house looked like in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

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Ok, this will probably end up languishing in my notebook, and before you ask, no, I don’t know who Ramsey is, what they were doing in London, or what’s happened to poor Daphne *sniggers*

Be interested to hear your ideas and thoughts πŸ™‚

Still Struggling With Scrivener?


I’ve decided to give myself a little break. I’ve bought a new diary type thing (any excuse to buy a new notebook) and the writing schedule starts “proppa” on Monday 2nd September…and in the meantime…..

If, like me, you’ve downloaded Scrivener but haven’t touched it (it just looks so overwhelming!) then this course could be just what you need.

Gwen Hernandez (author of Scrivener for Dummies ) is running the online course that starts in September, and it really is a reasonable amount of dosh to join πŸ™‚

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I’m very tempted to sign up (I really need to get to grips with it before Nano).

Do you use Scrivener? Have you downloaded it but not had a fiddle yet?

Our Children’s Reading Habits


I don’t normally post on a Saturday, but just had to share this with you all.

I recently did an article/interview with Jane Ayres for

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Check out The Changing Reading Habits of Our Children and please leave a comment…I would love you forever πŸ™‚

Once Upon A Time…


The first prompt on the 30 Day Writing Challenge is Start a piece with…

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Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night. No, seriously, it was an ordinary day, in an ordinary street where my story begins. An average suburban semi on a tree lined avenue, much like many others. My name is Conscience, but you can call me Connie and this definitely ain’t no fairy tale!

You don’t know my face, my hair colour, what shade of lipstick I wear, but you DO know me, intimately. You see, I’m the one who hovers at your shoulder every time you make a decision. I whisper in your ear, pull at your gut, and try my hardest to help you make the RIGHT choice. It doesn’t always work though. I have my successes, AND my failures. And you humans, you rarely disappoint with the ridiculous predicaments you get yourselves into. But I’ve been in this game so long now that nothing shocks me. I’m not moaning though, if you didn’t, I’d be out of a job.

Standing outside number 26 Newport Avenue I’m struck with how perfect the garden is. How every flower has been planted with care and purpose and the grass looks like someone has been cutting it with a pair of scissors. There is an inviting glow coming from the gothic bay window. Shall we go inside?

This is an experiment….and tied up with my Nano 2013 novel. I’m trying to get Connie’s voice right. She will be the narrator of the story. Your opinions would be much appreciated. πŸ™‚

RNA NWS Feedback


I was absolutely thrilled when I returned home from Swanwick to discover a large envelope had arrived which The Hubster left on my desk. He hadn’t let on during the week that it had arrived, but only because he didn’t realise what it was. I’m glad he didn’t tell me as I would have been begging him to open it lol.

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Sorry, for those of you new to my blog I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists New Writers Scheme. You send them an MS and then an anonymous reader gives you feedback. The readers are all full Romantic Novelist Association Members.

In my cover letter to my anonymous reader I explained that “Tangled” was in first draft form (I haven’t even reread it all the way through since I wrote it) and that I really didn’t have a clue where to start editing. Also, that I needed guidance on whether it was too “thrillery” to be considered “Contemporary Women’s Fiction” and I got my answers on both those questions….

The first sentence of the feedback cheered me up! My reader said “This has an interesting story line with a good twist at the end so that it possibly has the potential to become an exciting novel.” So far so good I think πŸ˜‰

As regarding genre, my reader said “…the opening is exciting and shocking and quickly draws the reader in, leading to the expectation that some kind of thriller will follow. It would be worth considering therefore that the whole book should be developed as more of a thriller, by adding more suspense, intrigue and tension…. Hmmmm, ok, so it’s not a romance lol… I suspected as much.

She went on to write at least 1 paragraph of feedback under each of the following headings:
Genre
Beginning
Setting
Characterisation
Show not Tell
Meaningful Scenes/Dialogue
Pace
Emotional Tension and Suspense
Presentation – Layout/Punctuation
Synopsis
5 pages in all of feedback, mainly consisting of details where I could expand, scenes that don’t work, areas to work on and a good luck message at the end.

There was one thing that my reader said that I’d like your opinion on (I’m going to be asking everyone and his dog about this now lol). She suggested that i get in early details of the ages of my main characters because she thought the names Anna and Tim could suggest much younger characters (in my mind Anna is 48 and Tim 10 years older).What do you think? I don’t know anyone under the age of 50 called Tim. Would love your views.

On the whole I’m really pleased and would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my anonymous reader. Her feedback will be invaluable when I start editing πŸ™‚

I can highly recommend joining the New Writers Scheme if you’re thinking about writing romance. Perhaps I should find out if there is a “thriller” scheme I could join instead now πŸ˜‰