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Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm Back

...for as long and as often as I can manage.

What an icky year this is turning out to be. 

M-i-L is still in hospital but is doing well and should be discharged as soon as her cough improves (Yayy - Thank You, God!).

My Mum has finally had her official diagnosis and has been told that her cancer is progressive :(. They're now unable to proceed with the original op that was planned and chemo will begin in the next 10 days (why they couldn't have started with this months ago before it grew larger instead of wasting precious months of faffing around, I have no idea). My faith is, as always, getting me through at the moment (again, Thank You God!).

I have some lovely news to share as well - my son and his lovely girlfriend are engaged!!! Mega congratulations to them :-D. 

My daughter is doing great at university. I'm missing her loads especially as we still haven't made it up to visit her since she left in August last year and that's unlikely to change in the near future. However, she'll be home for a week's visit during Easter. :D

Well, that's me all caught up. I'm not where I want to be with regards to networking etc. but I'm hoping to be back to writing from tomorrow - I soo need the escapism that Kate & Matt are offering ;-).

Happy reading & writing!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Authors and Writers:

"Author of novels including Every Woman for Herself and A Winter's tale"

@hopeful author
Jacqueline Grimes "writer,wife mum, woman!"

"I write fresh, flirty, heartwarming romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon's Romance line"

"I'm a British author of erotic fiction, published by Harlequin Spice, Red Sage, Total-E-Bound, Berkley Heat, and more. Read excerpts at www.saskiawalker.co.uk"

"Award winning romance author"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Unpredictable Times Ahead

I'm going to make this as brief as I can out of respect for my hubby and his family, but at the weekend M-i-L was rushed to hospital. Alongside the awful primary MS, she is now fighting pneumonia, septicemia and goodness knows what else.

Top priority right now is looking after hubby - and myself - to ensure that we both remain strong. When I can focus on Kate & Matt's story I will be continuing with my revisions but on a much more flexible basis. I'll post updates on here as and when I can.

Before I go, I'd like to say a resounding thank you to our fantastic mates. We all met in a 'virtual' world a while ago and are now becoming great friends. It's amazing! Each and every one of you means the world to us, and we're so thrilled to have found you all. :=)

Right, off to do some writing.

Take care all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Missing Thursday

What can I say except real-life butted in to Thursday's plans. It started with a baad night of little sleep for me. The day continued in the same vein, especially once we learned that my m-i-l has now developed pneumonia. Add that to my own mum's cancer battle...and, well you get the picture.

I'm hoping to do some work on the wip today with plans to play catch-up further on Saturday. In case I don't make it back today...


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

FAB results!


Writing: I've given myself the day off from working on my w-i-p today. I'm not disappointed with this decision because I was up and out very early this morning for a hospital appointment (which I will talk about in a minute). It might be a bit of a cheat, but I also consider writing blog posts, emails and networking to be part of my 'working' day, so all is not lost. :=)

Health: At 08.15 this morning I attended what I often refer to as my 'icky eye appointment' at the glaucoma clinic. My last appointment was only three months ago but because my eye pressures were high I might have been heading towards a glaucoma diagnosis.

For those who are new to this blog I'll briefly fill you in. Over the years with my MS I have experienced episodes of optic neuritis which has left probable nerve damage and scarring. In the nightmare that is MS many of my symptoms fluctuate on a daily/hourly basis so it's hard to pin down a definitive answer - hence the medical profession's inability to determine whether or not I've developed glaucoma.

I'm thrilled to say that today's appointment has shown an improvement to my vision field tests AND more importantly, lower pressures in my eyes. DoubleYayyy. This means that I won't need to go back for another SIX months (as opposed to the three). Triple Yayyy. :=DDD. I'm one happy bunny right now.

Wii Fit Weight-In: No change but that's fine with me. :D

Blog news: I came home to discover a long foreign comment on this and my review blog. The sender had also decided to become a follower of both. For the first time I've had to block a follower (thanks to Blogger's help this is easier than I'd anticipated) and I've also made the decision to take control for the time being by approving comments. Therefore, please be aware, that comments won't be visible straight away. But please don't let this prevent you from leaving one.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Too little dumping!


Writing: You may have noticed that my word counter hasn't increased much this morning. That's not because I haven't been working on Kate & Matt's story, but because I need to take stock of the next scenes and chapter before I get stuck in.

The NWS critique has suggested that I need to provide a little more information to show why Kate and Matt act/react the way they do. This means that I need to weave in a little more backstory [with the emphasis being on little].

A word of warning to all of us aspiring writers: A classic mistake that we sometimes make is to dump too much information too soon. I can now see that I was so conscious of avoiding this that I left out too much information [that's me, going from one extreme to another]!

Wish me luck with this guys, because I'm going to be walking a tightrope that'd be very easy to swerve off either side.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Note to self: Another refresher as to why I'm aspiring for Mills & Boon

Everything about Mills and Boon is HOT - the stories...the heroes...the heroines...need I go on?!

Many thanks to Elizabeth Chadwick @Chadwickauthor, @caroleagent, @GuardianBooks  and of course, not forgetting best-selling author, Penny Jordan, for drawing my attention to this:

You can read the accompanying article here.

Why I LOVE my NWS Reader



We had a relaxed weekend and I awoke feeling refreshed, if still my 'normal' tired. The best bit? No Monday morning blues. :=)
  • Writing: I'm living with my story 24/7, even when I'm not physically working on it. Something that's surprised me is that although I have a vague idea of what I'll be writing next, it always comes as a surprise. What I'm realising is I'm not overworking the thoughts on 'what to do next'. It's happening naturally. I'm sure that this is helped by the fact that with these revisions the wonderful Reader from last year's NWS not only wrote pages of critique, but also wrote in the margins of the manuscript!  This is helping me LOADS for these reasons:
  1. It's keeping me focused on the areas I should be focusing on.
  2. I'm asked pertinent questions highlighting when I haven't made my character's motivations clear to readers.
  3. There are also notes to point out when a particular paragraph has worked - the Reader has also explained why it's worked.
  • Wii Fit Weigh-in: -2lbs yayy!
How's your Monday shaping up?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I awoke this morning to breakfast in bed, along with a Valentine's card courtesy of my wonderful hubby. I was both thrilled and surprised not least because I haven't made it out of the house in a couple of weeks and wasn't expecting anything.

Gray knew he wouldn't be receiving a card from me, but we're both fine about not needing to heed convention these days, whether it's Valentines, Birthdays or Christmas. We've now been together seven years this October, married for five come August and are both secure with our love for each other.

But I digress. I'm posting here today because I want to share the words on my surprise card from my hubby and alter them slightly to address them back to him - because they emcompass everything I feel too:

for My lovely Wife Husband

You're special in so many ways,
my perfect Valentine...
I really love our married life
and I'm so glad you're mine...
You're everything I've wanted,
you're all my dreams-come-true...
I've never been so happy
since I lost my heart to you!
Happy Valentine's Day

How lucky am I?!!

Wishing you all a great day... 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Great peeps to seek out:


~ Liz Fielding ~  {@lizfielding}
"Award winning romance author"

Web: http://www.lizfielding.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/lizfielding

Sassy Brit ~  {@Sassy_Brit}
"Book reviewer and reading addict! Owner of Alternative-Read.com; The inside story as told by Sassy Brit and her Gang. Contact Sassy.Brit at gmail dot com"

Web: http://tjbook-list.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sassy_Brit

~ Saskia Walker ~ {@saskiawalker}
"I'm a British author of erotic fiction, published by Harlequin Spice, Red Sage, Total-E-Bound, Berkley Heat, and more. Read excerpts at www.saskiawalker.co.uk"

Web: http://www.saskiawalker.co.uk/home.html
Twitter: http://twitter.com/saskiawalker

~ Trisha Ashley ~ {@trishaashley} 
"Author of novels including Every Woman for Herself and A Winter's tale"

Web: http://www.trishaashley.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/trishaashley

~ Mills & Boon ~ {@MillsandBoonUK}
"Tweets from Mills & Boon brought to you by two feisty heroines and a charismatic alpha hero. Bethan, Sasha & Oliver check in from Romance HQ"

Web: http://www.millsandboon.co.uk
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MillsandBoonUK

~ Lee Mead Fans ~ {@LeeMeadFans}
"2 Lee fans running a completely unofficial place for Lee information! xoxo or x-x-x"

~ Melanie Garrett ~ {@melanielgarrett}
"Current projects: Crime novel called Blood Harmonies, set in London and Paris. Cello-out-the-window project, set 4 flights up."

~ Glynis Smy ~ {@Ghunibee}

"A Brit Expat, writing in sunny Cyprus previously Manningtree in UK"

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Week Commencing 8th February 2010


  •  I didn't work on the w-i-p this morning but in my defence I did my dutiful wife impression and kept hubby supplied with drinks and peace & quiet while he sat his LSJ exam.
  • Wrote and posted blog post [which you can see below].

  • Spent far too much time faffing around trying to find a way to add emotes to  blog posts. This involved downloading a 'Greasemonkey'  add-on to my Firefox browser which should have done the trick. However, me being me, I'm yet to work out where to find the blooming thing. *Sigh*. If anybody has any tips on how to add emotes please leave me a comment/tweet/email and I'll be eternally grateful!
  • Wii Fit weigh in +1lb - must be normal weight fluctuation 'cause it can't be overeating as I was better than usual yesterday.

  • Have usual weekly appointment to go to this morning but vision/eyes not great...add that to chronic fatigue and I'm not sure whether I'm going to make it this week...Nope had to cancel. Thought at the last minue I'd push myself harder to go but heavy snow shower took the decision away.
  • Hope to crack on with Scene 3 at some point today. Yep, surprising increase of the word counter by another 1%. Also spent time understanding Kate's motives for being where she is in this part of the story. The deeper I'm getting into the edits/revisions the more I'm falling in love all over again with the story. Yay :-D.


  • Writing: What I'm enjoying about these revisions is that I'm not rushing them. That's where I've previously gone wrong because when I set my mind to something I'm impatient and want it all Now! I never give myself enough time to let the dust settle before rushing in feet first (Graham will no doubt testify that this impatience doesn't only encompass my writing life!). It's only now that I've forced myself to slow down that I'm actually enjoying the journey wih Kate & Matt's story. In fact, it might even turn out that I prefer the revision stage to writing the first draft. Time will tell.
  •  Writing:

  • Wii Fit weigh-in: No change. -/+ 0 lb I'm happy with this. Hopefully next weigh-in on Saturday will show a loss.
  • General: Slept a tad better than I have been recently. Fatigue not improved although dizziness and vision seems slightly better. We now have layer of snow (again) and I'm trying not to worry that it'll get worse by next Friday's appointment at the Glaucome clinic. It has plenty of time to clear before then.
  •  Aiming to be good to myself for the rest of the day which will hopefully include a relaxing bath while I ponder further on Kate & Matt's story.

  •  Writing: Today's writing took a slightly different format in that I had a complete read through/proof read of first 20 pages before continuing. Good news is that I'm still loving the story, although time will tell whether the last two scenes I've revamped will remain in the final version.

  •  Blog Post: My recommendations for today's Follow Friday - see post above.

  •  General:  Had good night's sleep...although having fun with virtual friends made it a later-than-it would've-been bedtime. Worth it though :-). Not quite as fatigued as I was earlier in the week, but still very tired and dizziness remains. If I can manage it I'm going to toy around with new Blogger features this afternoon [EEEK].

So, how did last week go?

To be truthful, last week passed in a blur of chronic fatigue [courtesy of the MS, of course]. However, I look back on my achievements and I'm gob-smacked thrilled to bits with what I achieved. Namely:

'Work' related:
    • Revisions on w-i-p: Three and a half scenes completed  :=D
    • Editing/Proof reading for hubby  :=)
    • Posted book review  :=)
    • Shared link to great Blog post  :=) 
    Health & Fitness related :
    • No wii-fit+ for me this week
    • Overall, (with another -1lb lost over weekend) I lost a total of -3 to -4 lbs  :=D
    • Managed to drive a two hour round-trip to my regular appointment [with hubby by my side]  :=D
    • Chronic fatigue all week with visual disturbance and extreme dizziness during weekend. However, I rested as and when I needed to, without guilt-trip  :-)

    How was last week for you?

      Friday, February 05, 2010

      #Follow Friday 05/02/10

       Recommended Tweeters to follow include:

      ~ Glynis Smy {@Ghunibee}
      'A Brit Expat, writing in sunny Cyprus previously Manningtree in UK'
      Web: http://www.glynissmy.com
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/Ghunibee

      ~ Trisha Ashley ~ {@trishaashley} 
      'Author of novels including Every Woman for Herself and A Winter's tale'

      ~ Mills & Boon ~ {@MillsandBoonUK} 
      'Tweets from Mills & Boon brought to you by two feisty heroines and a charismatic alpha hero. Bethan, Sasha & Oliver check in from Romance HQ'

      ~ Saskia Walker ~  {@saskiawalker} 
      'I'm a British author of erotic fiction, published by Harlequin Spice, Red Sage, Total-E-Bound, Berkley Heat, and more. Read excerpts at www.saskiawalker.co.uk'

      Thank Goodness It's Friday
      Have a great weekend! 

      Monday, February 01, 2010

      Week Commencing 1st February 2010

      If there's one thing that life has taught me since I've been blogging and living the 'writerly' life [2006] it's that Real-Life doesn't ever stop getting in the way of our writing goals - or any other challenges we set ourselves.  

      Last week's blog post reminded me how much I love making lists and ticking things off as I achieve them. I think this is also a sign that I'm accepting my Real-Life limitations [MS] and becoming happier with focusing on the small things that I CAN achieve [as opposed to feeling cr*p about the ones I can't].  I've decided that I'd like to continue with last week's blog format, more for my own reference than anything else. I especially like to feel 'visible' in the blogosphere even when I can't be as active as I'd like.

      So, with this in mind, I'm aiming to begin the weeks with a Blog post outlining my plans/personal goals and small achievements. I intend to update this post throughout the week so, even though there won't be a 'new' post the original will often be updated to reflect Real-Life circumstances and what I've been able [or not!] to achieve.


        Monday: I can't wait to finally begin the revisions/rewrites of Kate & Matt's story. I spent time with them every day last week and understand more about them now than I ever have. 
      • Writing: Begin the first scene. I've made a good start. :=) Very tempted to continue revising but being sensible and stopping.
      • Healthwise: quite fatigued, but yayy I've achieved some 'work'. 
      • Wii-Fit  weigh-in: -1lb slow but steady weight loss :=)
        • Writing: [tbc] 
        • Regular weekly appointment.
        Today's writing plans went AWOL, although I did manage to proofread/edit for Graham, so I guess that's something. Ohh and I managed to drive both there and back from my appointment (50 mins each way) which has kinda wiped me out for writing this afternoon. Oh well, tis another day tomorrow :=)

        • Writing:  Made a good start on the second scene. :=). Tempted to continue and try to finish scene but not chancing it. At least I'll know where I'm going with it when I resume tomorrow.

          • Healthwise: Despite an early night still feeling sleepy and fatigued. But that's okay now because I've managed some writing. 

          • Wii-Fit  weigh-in: +1lb Not too disappointed because it often fluctuates. Plus I'm taking a few 'vital oil', supplements which is worth 270 calories before I even begin the day! This I don't mind because hopefully I've discovered something that'll help my MS symptoms.:=)
          Wow! I have to say that I've surprised myself. I had a not-so-good night and had allowed myself the option of not writing this morning. Yet here I am, still early enough to be called 'morning' , and scene two completed! Admittedly it was less than 400 words, but they were 400 'new' words as the end of this scene needed rewriting and juggling to fit the previous revisions. Yep, I'm one happy chappess! :=) 
          • Writing: Finish scene two.
            I'd like to share with you a blog post from Little Black Dress author, Allie Spencer. I read it earlier when my mind was set to allowing myself not to write this morning. I think it was Allie's post that inspired me to get back to my original goal of finishing my scene. The post is titled 'Funny You Should Write That - Part One' and includes some pure gold nuggets to any writer wanting (or hoping) to inject some humour into their work. Highly recommended.

            I also have a book review posted on my other blog: 

            Until It's Over by Nicci French which you can read here.

            • Writing: Scene Three I'm pleased with the words I've written today. One particular paragraph took an age before I was satisfied with it, but I have to say I'm loving the revising and rewriting. It didn't feel like I'd written much today so I'm pleased to see the word counter increase by 1%. :=) 
            •  Healthwise: Getting a bit peeved with the level of dizziness that's gradually increased. My vision isn't too great either. Not sure whether it's the dizziness making my vision worse or the vision creating extra dizziness. :=/ Surprisingly enough, since 'working' for a bit I don't feel quite as bad.
            • Wii-Fit  weigh-in: Lost -2lb to -3lb making an overall loss this week of -2lb :=) I'd planned to add wii fit exercise into the mix by Feb but dizziness/vision/fatigue has other plans.