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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Where was Patrick?

~ Dr.'s appointment - check
~ steroids x 5 days - check
~ rest, rest and more rest - check
~ train tickets booked - check
~ arrangements for taxi transfers to and from theatre - check
~ Arrive at theatre - check
~ Buy programme - check



Okay, after all the trouble I went to; the tears, tantrums and the pain, Patrick stood me up. Never again will I put this man first, especially before my health. NEVER, ever again. No way. Not even tempted.

And today? I'm battered, I'm bruised, I'm exhausted, and Patrick? Does he even care?

Patrick's INDISPOSED. Huh. Indisposed. Does he know the agony I endured to go and see him? Not just me either. Oh no. People from all over came especially to see him.

Guys and Dolls was good. It was even great, but it wasn't the fantastic, once in a lifetime experience I'd wanted it to be.

In truth, for me, Guys and Dolls isn't a stand-alone musical that I would choose to see regardless of who the cast is. No. Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, yes, but Guys and Dolls? I went for Patrick. Just Patrick.

But Patrick was indisposed! (did I mention that yet?).

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bye For Now

I'm not sure when I'll next be able to post. There are a few reasons:
1. Blogger has been playing me up (for a change!)
2. The cable connection to my laptop isn't working so when the battery runs out I won't be able to use it.
3. I'm also likely to be 'away with the fairies' aka taking a high, intensive dose of steroids over the next five days!

For DH's sanity as much as my own, I gave in today and went to the docs to try to speed up the recovery process of whatever it is that's happening MS-wise.

If anybody has any prayers and 'well' wishes going spare, I'd appreciate a few being sent my way, particularly as I've a hot date with Patrick Swayze next Wednesday.

I AM NOT GOING TO MISS IT! (Okay, so that may have also had something to do with my decision to give the steroids a try). Standing Bon Jovi up is one thing, but Patrick Swayze? No Way!

I hope you all have a good week, and I'll catch up with you soon.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

BIAW - Update

I was happy to finish Chapter Four, but with the way the rest of the week went I didn't expect to achieve much else.

So, you can imagine how happy and surprised I was when today I actually completed my draft of Chapter FIVE!!

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Thursday was a dark day for me. I hated my illness. I hated myself; worse still I hated anybody who tried to make me feel better. Everything felt like a dark, dark tunnel and there was no escape.

I couldn't be bothered to even try and find the energy to focus on the good things in my life, even though I knew there were many. I couldn't be bothered to focus on the light that I knew I'd find at the end of the tunnel, if only I would look for it. Everything was bad. There was nothing positive.

But then something happened.

A new day dawned.

The darkness was now only a shadow that I knew I had the strength to shrug off if I wanted to.
And I wanted to.

Over the last 48 hours I've felt brighter.

No matter how many dark days we may have in our lives, take heart:
There's always a new day to look forward to.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It's my turn...

... to be tagged. Thanks Jade!

If you could write a novel about any subject, what would it be?

That's a difficult question because there's loads of subjects I'd love to write about. But, since I can only choose one, I'm going to remain true to what I'm writing about now:

A gorgeous doctor who is not only sensitive to the needs of his patients, but who genuinely cares about their lives and doesn't treat them like a 'text-book' case. Professionally he is as near perfect as a doctor can be (well, this is fiction!). However, in his personal life it's a different story - he's the one needing TLC and healing...

One thing I want all my novels to have is happy endings to real-life/tragic situations. I want to give people hope, no matter what circumstances they find themselves in. And show them it doesn't all have to be bad.

Now it's time for the best bit (for me anyway) - I'm tagging Annie, Eva, Imogen and Jacqui :-D

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Today's post is...

... yesterday's - sorry!

Jacqui's comment has brought it to my attention. For those of you who may be wondering why you didn't see yesterday's post yesterday, it's because I didn't post it 'til today! Blogger was playing up, so I edited it and posted today but forgot to change the day!

Confused yet :-/

Monday, August 14, 2006

Book In a Week

Over at the Villa in Tuscany blog, Melissa is hosting BIAW. Can you believe I signed up for it!!

Okay, we all know I'll never write a book in a week, and healthwise it isn't a great time for me to even try, but despite this I decided I have nothing to lose by trying.

Yesterday I spent a whole hour(!) writing. I confess I didn't manage to turn my internal editor off completely but I did achieve 837 words! Even if I do say so myself, they were pretty good words too, and not the drivel I thought I'd come out with.

All being well, later this afternoon when I sit down for another sacred hour devoted to my wip I'll add another few hundred words. Today I'm particularly motived because I know I'll get past 10,000 words WOOHOO!

I may be living in dream-land but my goal is that I'll finally nail Chapter Four by the end of the week. Yep, I'll be more than happy to achieve a 'Chapter In a Week'. Watch this space - or better still, my wordometer.

It's not too late for you to join in the BIAW challenge (or if you're like me CIAW), so pop over to the Villa in Tuscany and join us.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My Real Life Hero

Today is a very special day for me - hubby and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary. My health dictates that we won't be going out to mark the occasion, not tonight anyway. Instead we’ll be celebrating in a few weeks time (health or no health!) DH is taking me to London to see Patrick Swayze in the West-end musical Guys and Dolls! I’ll post more on Patrick Swayze another time, because I think he deserves a post of his own.

However, I digress; let me get back to my real life hero. To be truthful, I am still stunned when I think about how lucky I am. It’s amazing that DH and I ever found each other, let alone that we were both brave enough to believe in what we have, and marry. Without divulging too much info, ours isn’t the first relationship I’ve ever taken a chance on. I’ve been ‘in love’ before, as has DH, but I have the emotional scars to prove it.

This is what makes my DH even more special. He’s had to work harder than most would be willing to do. I believe in happy ever after – in fiction. I’m a romance writer for goodness’ sake, so of course I do. But in real life? That’s a whole other story.

DH has changed all that. A year ago, I took a deep breath and threw myself into our marriage. And you know what? I finally believe there can be a happy ever after in real life too.

Nothing about our relationship has ever been conventional. When I think about the problems we’ve had to overcome in our first few years together, it’s a miracle we’ve survived.

Very slowly, things are settling down, and our relationship is going from strength to strength. The great news is a year on, and our honeymoon is only just beginning!

I’m now lucky enough to be living the life I’ve always dreamed of: Happy ever after with the man of my dreams.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Some Good News, Some Thank Yous, and a mini-relapse

On the writing front, things are on the up :-). I can't tell you how relieved I am, because for a while there I thought I'd literally lost the plot!

The inspiration for my wip didn't magically come back to me. No. Writing is never that easy! It was more the magical journey that Mags initially sent me on. She pointed me in the direction of Trish Wylie's blog (thank you Mags). It was here I spent many (worthwhile, guilt-free) hours, reading all Trish's present and archived posts. There I discovered an Aladdin's lamp -
only you don't need to rub this lamp - all you have to do is read the posts! Seriously, Trish's blog is a real treasure trove of advice and inspiration to the aspiring writer.
Thank you Trish.

From Trish's blog I made a trip to Anne McAllister's. I've been reading Anne's blog for a while now, and her books for decades. Her recent post A moment to remember posted on 01 August, struck gold with me. Over the past couple of months I've been having serious doubts, and even questioning whether I've ever really been a writer. After all, as of yet, I can't prove that I am (other than the rejection slips and stacks of unfinished manuscripts)! Following her post, Anne gave me some wonderful advice which I have put into practice and discovered it's been the key to getting me writing again! I urge you to go and read Anne's post (you'll need to scroll down), because for me it's also a reminder of why I keep coming back to writing time and time again. Thank you Anne.

Now to my final thanks of this post. Yesterday, my dh spent some quality time with me (while we were sitting in a garage, waiting for our car to be serviced), brainstorming ideas and helping me finally come up with a working title. Our time together was so successful that I not only have a title, but I have enough ideas/outline to write another three or four chapters! Yayyy, I'm going to get past this awful Chapter Four! Thank you Gray.

Okay, time to share my not-so-good news. I'm having a mini-relapse with the MS. Nothing too serious - both hands are permanently numb and tingling. They've been like it for over a week now (these sensations often come and go all the time, but at the moment it seems they're here to stay). I can type, albeit slowly on the keyboard, but that's about it. I can't write with a pen, and do other 'normal' stuff like driving because I can't feel the steering wheel etc. I'm also experiencing regular bouts of vertigo too which limits my time on the computer.

I'm going to play a waiting game. When my legs or eyes are affected I usually hit the steroids, but this time I'm hoping to wait it out. My hands will come back sooner or later, and now we've moved to a town the children aren't dependent on me. So all that's left for me to do is relax, be patient and WRITE...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Blogging - in moderation!

As usual, I've been doing loads of thinking - about writing; about not writing; about blogging; about not blogging. I've been going round in circles for days and I've now thankfully come to the conclusion that blogging is a wonderful thing.

I agree with April that there comes a time in every writer's life when they need to cut back on the time they spend blogging and blog hopping and do some actual writing.

While this may not be what we want to hear, listen up - I've discovered that it is possible to cut back on these indulgences, without foregoing them in their entirety.

I admit that more often than not blog hopping has become a form of procrastination for me. I fire up my computer with every intention of writing, but I'm drawn to first checking my email for comments that may have been made on my posts, and then this is followed by checking to see if bloggers have left comments on my comments, by which time blogging's pulled me in until I can't leave blog land no matter how hard I try!

So, what's a writer to do? Well, my answer is this: Most things are okay in moderation. Firstly, admit to yourself that you have a problem and then share it with everybody else.

I'll begin: I am a blog addict.

Now, feel the palpitations as you come out of the closet - they're a sign of recovery. Okay, I may be shaking a little, but the hardest part is over. Yes, I have an addiction (my kids have been telling me so for months, but that didn't help). Addicts need to figure out for themselves that they have a problem. Only then can they begin to recover.

It may be argued that the only way to recovery from any addiction is to go cold turkey (i.e. never read or write another blog post again.). Before you (or I) go into complete breakdown, I really don't feel this is the answer for blog addicts. Really. In our case cold turkey isn't the answer. Moderation however, is.

By all means let's read our emails/comments before we do any writing. But then we must agree to stop there - for now. We then go and do some writing. Only when we've done some writing can we come back and treat ourselves with either blogging or blog-hopping. One or the other. Not both. Set a timer for no longer than an hour. Then go back and do some more writing. You get the picture?

Little by little blogging will become a treat we can look forward to. Not an addiction. We will be in control. And control feels good. If you argue that blogging already feels good, you wait until you're in control of it; it feels more than good, it feels great!

Imagine a world of blogging without the guilt! Blogging really can become guiltless - but only if we take control.

So, is anyone with me on this?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Tribute to David Gemmell

1948 - 2006

Best-selling British fantasy author David Gemmell has died aged 57.

Gemmell, who began his writing career with the hugely successful adventure story Legend in 1984, will be fondly remembered by his legions of dedicated fans, who have been showing their respect for the author across the Internet. He died on Friday 28th July from complications following heart-bypass surgery.

Gemmell concentrated solely on writing fantasy adventure stories, and his one attempt to write outside the genre – a gritty crime thriller written under a pseudonym – was not a success. Although dealing with different societies and mythologies, Gemmell’s books always questioned what it really meant to be a hero, and his tales were filled with deeds of valour, bravery and saw the forces of good overcoming vile foes in epic battles. His books were so well-written and thought-provoking that he prompted real-life acts of heroism from his readers on more than one occasion; one reader allegedly stopped a mugger attacking a woman after reading Legend. Meanwhile, Gemmell’s stories were always riveting reads, often filled with bloody action that escalated until the page-turning climaxes, and other worlds were always brought vividly to life.

Other bestselling novels from the author included Winter Warriors, The King Beyond the Gate, Waylander and, most recently, Lord of the Silver Bow, a book set during the siege of Troy and written after the success of the 2004 Wolfgang Petersen film. Fans who were lucky enough to meet Gemmell in person at book signings have observed how down-to-earth and ‘ordinary’ the author was, possessing a dry sense of humour and a keen wit. His love for his fans never faltered; he once spent half an hour chatting to a teenage boy who phoned him at home after getting the number from directory enquiries. Fellow authors should bear his temperament and attitude in mind when dealing with their own fan base.

The thoughts and prayers of fantasy readers across the world are with David’s family and friends. Although he has died in the physical world, his spirit will be brought back to life whenever anybody opens one of his fantastic novels.