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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My New Discovery

Yes I know, I'm slo-ow BUT better late than never, right?

I have discovered something to enjoy an afternoon cuppa with and it costs less than the price of a weekly magazine! It's the Harlequin Mini story - shorter on pages without skimping on the quality of the romance - what could be better?

In the past I have shied away from reading eBooks mainly because of the dizziness/vertigo and double vision problems I experience on a day to day basis. So, what's changed? In a word nothing! I guess it's a sign that I've learnt how to 'normalise' my condition. And, since learning that my vision problems are here to stay, I've been looking for additional ways to read.

While for the past year I have subscribed to Audible, I have to confess that I often fall asleep to my lovely pink iPod! This means it takes me even longer to listen to a book than read one (unless it's a ridiculously funny book like Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series), and that is not what I call progress! Falling asleep can, of course, be a good thing when listening to a relaxation book such as Eckhart Tolle . Although perhaps Gray won't agree seeing as there've been many times he's needed to untangle me from said ipod before it's strangled me!


So, where was I? Oh yes, discovering new-to-me ebooks. Well, I was brave enough to download my first from the eHarlequin site yesterday. The first book to tempt me was Karen Templeton's (how great is it that all the Silhouette books and others that aren't so easy to find in the UK, are suddenly there waiting for a simple click). Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could download with Adobe which means not only can I enlarge the text to make it easier for my poor eyes, but I can add notes too! Wow, no, I mean W-O-W! As somebody with an awful memory, who is also discovering that writing reviews is becoming a hobby, this is FANTASTIC! Okay, I should probably point out that reading on my laptop doesn't make me a faster reader, but it means that when I've earned (or *cough*not*cough*) a break from my wip I can reward myself with a ten-minute read. But what's more, it's a read of a book which is not only cheaper, but has no delivery charge! *dropping voice to a whisper* which means that one day I might be able to put one of those new reader thingies on my birthday/Christmas wish list *clears throat*.

Right, anyway, what I was blogging to tell you about is that I have my first ever eBook review


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Monday, March 10, 2008

In the name of *RESEARCH*

More for the Hero files:



It's a tough job,

but somebody's got to do it.


*sigh*



Back soon...

maybe...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Rewindinghttp://romance-writer.blogspot.com/

Gray has just received a wonderful critique back from the RNA's NWS. As aspiring writers we couldn't ask for more help

Friday, March 07, 2008

Getting Serious

I DON'T BELIEVE IT!

GRRrrR!

I will say just ONE word (because I don't trust myself to say anything else)

BLOGGER!

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Okay, calming down, you will no doubt notice a BIG difference over there

No more visual inspiration to look at, not even Lee Mead *ohh, that hurts*. However, I am reminding myself that change is GOOD.

When I started this Blog, waaay back in 2006, I was dabbling with being an aspiring writer.

In 2007 I became more serious about my writing but my health kept holding me back.

Now, in 2008 I am DEADLY serious about my writing.

Yes, I'm still an aspiring writer BUT there is one HUGE difference - I'm not on my own. I now have a writing partner who helps me through the tougher health times. Both Gray and I are already noticing the difference, my stamina is slowly increasing. I am WRITING and I am STUDYING and I am COPING. I no longer feel embarrassed to call myself a WRITER. What's more, published or not, I have never been so HAPPY!

So, back to that over there. What am I going to do?

Well, I'm going to be making this Blog more serious - to look at, if nothing else. I'm pretending that it's my choice, but in truth it's Blogger that's made me tamper with it to try to fix the problems and now? Well, now that I am a DEADLY serious writer I just don't have the time to put everything back.


The sacrifices we make in order to write!










Thursday, March 06, 2008

Relaunching...

... Romance (and other books) Reviewed!

Warning: I will also, occassionally, post the same/similar review on other sites (although they will be much smaller version on sites like eHarlequin and Amazon because they keep the copyright). No surprise either, that I simply don't have the time to rewrite them.

Enjoy!


P.S. Has anybody been watching Neighbours on Channel Five? I never thought I would ever find this Aussie soap so upsetting to watch, for reasons I can't bear to go into right now. Suffice to say one of the main characters has displayed the signs and has received a diagnosis of MS (multiple sclerosis).

Oh no...

I was reading my favourite Blog posts via Feedblitz (don't ask me why but I don't feel so guilty reading email, as opposed to Blog-hopping) - they're my first treat of the day, accompanied by a strong, hot, sweet cup of tea. Then, Gray phoned down (yes, I was actually UP and DOWNstairs!) with some awful news that I was also about to discover on Nicola Marsh's post, see HERE:

In short it concerns Patrick Swayze - yes, a former hero of mine who I posted about in 2006. The same hero who let many of his fans down by his no-show in Guys & Dolls time after time. Back then, I was angry no, furious, not just because of the money I’d spent, but the price I also paid with my health.

I’ve long since forgiven him (Gray recently bought Ghost because I’ve raved about that film forever and he’s never seen it). I don’t mind telling you I feel bad, no, AWFUL, not least because I outed my disappointment with Patrick on my Blog.

Sad to say Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer a month or so ago. BUT, with the experiences of my own health struggles, it leaves me wondering just how long he’s been feeling unwell.

I have learned a lesson, one I should have known better about, we should ALL be careful, VERY careful when judging somebody. Nobody EVER knows what he or she might be going through.

Sending heartfelt prayers to Patrick and his family at this difficult time.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Onwards & Upwards

I received some news yesterday, and while leaving me feeling a little scared, it was also fantastic to hear. The double edged sword.

Back in 2000, it was an optician who made my GP finally sit up and take notice that, as I'd previously tried telling him, there was something wrong with me. It was thanks to a simple eye test that I began what would become the very long road to an official diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.

Some of you may remember previous blog posts in 2006/2007 when I was particularly unwell. My vision, as well as the acute vertigo/dizziness have been my primary symptoms and they became loads worse thoughout last year.

It has been very frustrating because my symptoms have been impossible to describe. The best description I've ever been able to give is that I feel like a blind woman. Although I *can* see, I can't see. I know, it's confusing and to say it's weird is an understatement.

Then, yesterday, everything became clear. The wonderful optician picked up glaucoma. He also related to my definitions of the symptoms and explained why no other medical professional could. There isn't any description! What's more, only an expert in the field of vision can interpret the signs - and these don't show up on an MRI scan. Suddenly, ignorance from other 'professionals' no longer mattered because I'd found somebody who UNDERSTOOD everything.

I feel so blessed. I am no longer alone in the medical world. Somebody has had their eyes opened to the truth (thank you, God). I am now waiting for the appointment to come through for the hospital ophthamologist. Now is the time when I wish I could afford to go private. The thing that scares me the most is the thought of how long it will take on the NHS. So long as I'm seen in the next 2-3 months it'll be okay.

The worst bit that's only now sinking in is that the MS has already damaged an optic nerve and this is irreversible. I've been referred to the specialists and I'm hopeful that any further damage will be able to be prevented. I guess, the scariest thought is that the MS might in the future continue to damage my optic nerves (optic neuritis), and if this happens... well, I don't want to go there right now.

But, whatever happens in the future, I am thrilled that Gray and I are now embracing the writing life. We both live for our writing, and now prioritise our 'work' over EVERYTHING else (not withstanding serious family emergencies, of course). Watch this space, because in the future we are going to be attending some exciting (to us) writing-related events - I can't wait!