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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm Back!

If I had the energy I would be feeling VERY excited right now. In my email inbox this morning there was a message titled: 'Creativity Coaching...' from the novelist, creative writing teacher and coach, Jacqui Lofthouse.

I am feeling very sluggish right now and I really need some motivation to get back into my writing. By chance, Jacqui is offering a FREE 30 day course via her blog with the inspiring promise: '30 Days to Conquer Your Self Doubt and Procrastination and Have 30,000 Words Under Your Belt'

This opportunity is far too good to keep to myself, and I'm hoping that you will come and join me as I give Jacqui's 30 day challenge a try. After all, what have we got to lose?

Friday, May 26, 2006

JON BON JOVI and My Shattered Dreams

My dreams may have been shattered but I still have my memories...

Okay, what am I talking about? Back in the New Year I managed to book two gold tickets for Bon Jovi at Wembley Stadium. The initial plan was that I was going to treat DD and myself to a short stay in London with an experience everybody should have at least once in their lives - a Bon Jovi concert.


I have already had said experience a few times, so I know what a fantastic time DD will have. The only criteria is that we would only go if I could get good seats. It's all or nothing with me. If you can't have a good view what's the point of going? (Yes, I know the atmosphere is great wherever you are, but I refuse to pay that much for atmosphere alone.)

I was beside myself with excitement when I managed to get two gold tickets, plus a room in the nearest hotel only minutes from Wembley Stadium. Even I, would be able to manage to walk the short distance. It was the venue that was exciting me as much as the band - I was there for Bon Jovi's last Wembley performance in 2000 when they were the final band to perform before the Stadium was torn down.
Also, I love Nickelback and they are the support group. WOW! What an event this will be!

Okay, we all know what happens with best laid plans... The new Wembley Stadium is behind schedule and Bon Jovi have moved their concert to The National Bowl, Milton Keynes. My tickets weren't automatically transferred because you can't get seating at Milton Keynes, it's standing only. I now had a hotel to cancel and no tickets to Bon Jovi.

The original 'deal' was, that I was only going to the concert if I could get seats, because I can't stand for longer than a few minutes. Now I had a dilemma. Should I try and get a couple of tickets for Milton Keynes being as it's standing only? The good news about The National Bowl is that no matter where you are the view is EXCELLENT. My only problem is with the physical act of standing. I have a collection of walking sticks and one of them has a seat, so, as I was feeling confident at the time (HA!) I thought nothing of it and ordered another pair of tickets.


DD came home from college and I told her the bad news about Wembley followed by the good news that we were still going. She later broke the news to me that she doesn't want to go - it was the hotel etc. she'd been looking forward to... The hotel. I'd forgotten about that bit. Drat! Of course, by the time I tried to book a room at the nearest hotel (and there was only one to choose from), they had no vacancies.

I wasn't giving up on my dream of going to this concert. I railroaded hubby into agreeing to come with me, and told him that we wouldn't need a hotel because Milton Keynes was only an hour's drive away. When he asked whether it would all be too much for me, I confidently said that I'd be okay. (Inside I didn't feel so confident, but I knew that the adrenelin of the day would carry me through - I'd just pay for it for a week afterwards!).

Then we discovered we are going to be moving by the end of June. The concert is on the 10th. No problem, I said. So long as I get plenty of rest before and after the event, I'd be fine. I reluctantly agreed to take the wheelchair just in case the fatigue became too much.

By this time I was secretly wishing I'd never bought the damned tickets. We could've used the money for the move... Then to compound the doubts I already had I've been ill. Luckily it's not been a relapse, but it's still taken things out of me. The concert is two weeks away. I know there is now no way I can possibly go. If I rebel and go anyway the chances are I won't be able to cope with the move.

Reluctantly my two tickets are now sitting on ebay. Part of me believed that if I didn't get any bids and I felt okay on the day I would still go. Of course, so far I've got one bid with another two watching. I have a feeling that I'll lose money on them, so far the bidding isn't even half what I've paid for them.

Suddenly, I no longer care (yeah right!).

But there's one thing for sure: Somebody, somewhere, is going to have the time of their lives, and maybe one day I will get to see Bon Jovi again.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Best Laid Plans

It seems that determination isn't always enough. I won't go into too many details (I promise :-)) but since 4am Friday morning I became unwell.

The good news is, that I don't think it's the onset of an ms relapse (although to be on the safe side I'm still sending up prayers ;-)). I think it was one of those weird 24 hr viruses. However, in my case, although the worst is over, e.g. I have my legs back and have moved from my bed to the sofa, I have a numbness from my shoulders to the top of my head which is a part of the ms. It's possible that I'll have no choice but to completely rest for a few more days - hence no writing :-(.

I've sneaked onto my laptop to update you all. (Apologies to hubby, "yes I was only intending to check my email, but I'll be off here before you even realise I strayed from yahoo mail.")

I'm looking forward to catching up with you all again soon.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Feeling a little scared

Why is it that when I can't possibly indulge myself in my writing, I'm so desperate to get my words written down?

I'm feeling very twitchy about it all at the moment. I need to be continuing with my book, and I'm scared that this will turn into another scenario of 'real life getting in the way'. Last time this happened it took me over 10 years to pick up the threads of my writing and continue.

That is NOT going to happen this time.

In fact, as I type this I'm making a decision. I'm going to continue with my writing (now I'm really scared!). I HAVE to. I need to remember that I'm not on my own with this move. There are three other people in this house. DS and DD are both big enough and old enough to do their fair share. It's all about delegation, right?

I CAN do both. I WILL do both. Wish me luck - I need all the help I can get.

PS Thanks to everyone for the kind comments and support you have already given me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

How Confident Are You?

These quizzes are a bit of fun, but sometimes they can be strangely accurate...

You're Confident...Sometimes


You can seem confident when the occasion calls for it
But inside you may be experiencing a bit of self doubt
A little more inner confidence could take you far...
And convince others that you're as confident as you try to seem

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Update

Um... on the writing front there's nothing to update you on. BUT there's a reason for this (and no, it's not procrastination, for a change)!

Hubby and I reviewed Chapter Three together: I need to add a little more character to it in one particular place, especially as I lost about two pages in the edit! I've started Chapter Four, but I haven't had a chance to write for the past couple of days.

During the last few weeks we've been house hunting. We don't want to renew our lease on this property in August (for several reasons), and it's been impossible finding something else that's even half decent. Until yesterday!

To cut a long story short, we viewed a couple of properties, one of them which we accepted (and they accepted us!). It's amazing, suddenly all the pieces seem to be falling into place.

Hubby and I are still officially in our 'honeymoon period' - we only married last August (I'll post some photos soon). So, this will be our first home that we have chosen together and it's perfect (or it will be by the time we move in!).

The only downside is that we have to move sooner rather than later. I am tied into my current property until August, which means for one or two months we will have two rents to pay. We decided that it's worth dwindling our savings because this is such a great property and we can't afford to lose it. Plus we have the security of knowing that we can live there for as long as we like, and make it our own - NO MORE MOVING -WOOOHOOOO!!

I haven't mentioned this before because it's not something I want to focus on too much in this blog, but I have multiple sclerosis. The simplest thing can 'take it out' of me, and I am often unwell. Hence, with everything that's been going on I'm not feeling so great healthwise. So, if you don't see me around very often over the coming weeks, you'll know it's because I'm taking it easy :-). (Likewise, if you happen to see a lot of me on here, please feel free to remind me that I should be taking it easy!!)

Another downside is that I won't be able to resume writing my book until I've recovered from the move (I'm praying that the move doesn't throw me into a fully blown relapse like my last move did).

I'm not letting myself stress too much over the writing side of things. The upside is that I can 'brew' my plot and get to know my characters like I should have done before even beginning Chapter One.

I will still have my 'procrastination' time, and I intend to keep up with all your blogs as often as I can. In the meantime, I will try to post periodically and let you know how things are going - please don't stop visiting me, and good luck with all YOUR writing!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

In Praise of Tom Cruise

Yes, you heard right. The title does say 'Tom Cruise'. I'll be the first to admit that I've been tempted to give Tom a very wide berth of late. He does seem to be following 'different' beliefs these days, which are a little alarming.

I'm a committed Christian, and I realised that I wouldn't want people to stay away from my (future) books because of my beliefs. So, with my non-judgemental head fixed firmly in place, I spontaneously treated my son and hubby to Mission:Impossible III.

DS had survived a particularly stressful week of sats exams. Hubby too has been particularly stressed out with his current TMAs, both due at the same time (he is completing his degree this year and taking two 60pt courses). I was the only one who didn't deserve a treat, because I had merely been busy procrastinating! :-)

Even though I've been shown to be a Drama Princess, I'm not exaggerating when I say that from the opening scene to the closing credits I was GRIPPED! Not for a single second did my mind wander. Not even for a millisecond. The entire cast, direction, script, were all FANTASTIC!.

I remember thinking "Wow! This is how my book needs to be: Fast paced with mega page turning quality." Then I thought, actually, it wouldn't be good for my book to be like this at all, not unless I want to give my readers a heart attack by Chapter 3!!

It is definitely one of those films where you should choose not to munch on popcorn or sweets (As DS discovered when he nearly choked on his skittles during one particularly exhilarating scene)!

In short, I guess what I've been trying to say is that Mission:Impossible III and Tom Cruise blew me away!

Ps. I have a diverse taste in movies. I never saw the first two M:Is (which apparently weren't that great). It's a stand alone film that exceeds its predecessors by far. I admit this film is all action but it's packed to the brim with emotion: PERFECT!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

WOOHOO!

Chapter Three is finally completed! Hubby has said he'll go through it with me this evening, yayyyyyy :-)!! (I'm probably celebrating too soon. I'll let you know the outcome...).

It's weird really. The medical drama was dealt with and had a wonderful result in the end. So why was it so darned difficult to write? I think it's because I didn't want people to not see it as the dire situation it could have turned out to be, while at the same time show them that it could also have a successful outcome.

Does that make sense? (For a writer, that's worded dreadfully, sorry)!

It Happened One Summer



I am thrilled to bits. Today my first ever purchase of a fiction ebook arrived in paper format. It is 246 pages long and the quality is incredible! One of my recent 'chick-lit' purchases from Amazon was awful in comparison. Wings ePress is a quality publisher.

Many, many congratulations to Lynette Rees, and I hope you raise the money needed for your Cancer charity.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Back to earth with a BUMP!

Last week I was up to my ears in medical research. I was finding it tougher than I'd imagined it would be. I discovered message boards from real women who had gone through the experience I was attempting to recreate.

Some were heartbreaking, others had positive outcomes. They were all tough reading. Suddenly I had to ask myself if I was doing the right thing, creating a fictional scene, when these women had lived through the trauma for real?

Friday, an elderly neighbour who I hadn't seen in a while dropped in for a chat. She began telling me about her daughter's recent experience about having to give birth by emergency c-section a few weeks back.

Coincidence? That was the scene I was currently struggling to write. Or a timely warning that these experiences are happening every day in the real world, to real women, and need to be tackled with extra care and empathy?

Suddenly my fiction world has become all too real...

A Serious Moment

Okay, I may have been a little side-tracked these past few days. I very nearly blogged on Thursday, I really did. But what I wanted to say came out wrong, too heavy and too deep. That's not the purpose of this blog, so I left it.

However, I feel I have to mention it briefly (I know, I am so contradictory!). On Wednesday 9pm I watched a BBC drama-documentary about Beverly Allit, a nurse who murdered babies she was caring for in the children's ward she worked on. This notorious case happened in the '90s and although I had known about it, what I hadn't realised was: 1. Allit was born down the road from where I am currently living. 2. The hospital in question is also local and is where my own two children have received treatment. It put a whole new perspective on the case.

It was all very disturbing, superbly acted and directed, and then I discovered another interesting fact: The drama script was written by none other than Kate Harrison!

Oops!

I hadn't realised I'd been away this long! Isn't it amazing how time flies when you immerse yourself with Season 1 of ER, family commitments and, ummm... okay ...an afteroon at the cinema!

Thanks for missing me Sharon, and dragging me back. Oooh, Mondays don't get any easier, do they?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Okay...

... I hold my hands up. I am procastinating again! But, [pleading-case expression] I really need this break. I am thoroughly exhausted. I've been slogging over Chapter Three and the research it requires for d-a-y-s. I am getting there, but slowly. It's taking a while for my scene in the operating theatre to sink in to my brain. I need to watch another few episodes of
Holby City and ER.

Anyway, while I give my poor brain a break from all things medical, here are a few other blogs I enjoy regularly:

April
Karen
Stacy

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Congratulations...

...to Lynette Rees. Yesterday saw the publication of her ebook
It Happened One Summer.

This book is particularly special to Lynette because she is donating all the proceeds to her local Cancer Charity, Cancer Aid.

Additionally, Lynette has been instrumental in getting the RNA to recognise authors of ebooks as full members, providing they have signed a contract and they have not self published.

Aches and Pains... (And 1,000 words)!

I've been working hard on Chapter Three. This is the first time I've done any 'serious' research. And I am becoming a little concerned. I have been researching epidurals and now I am experiencing aches and pains in my neck and back. Please tell me I'm not developing sympathy pains a.k.a. hyperchondria!!

All I can say is: it's lucky I've had my babies! :-)