Awards · So it's Saturday

Awards to Accept

http://msfowle.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/site-expansion-the-versatile-blogger-award

http://joannegphillips.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

http://thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-sunshine-award/

http://mariwells.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/the-sunshine-award/

http://rendezvouswithrenee.com/2013/04/14/very-inspiring-blogger-award-why-i-write/

http://ariesgrlreview.com/2013/03/03/the-sunshine-award/

http://the-view-outside.com/2013/03/02/once-upon-a-time-there-was-an-award-or-two/

http://greenwalledtower.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/work-in-progress-challenge/

http://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/super-sweet-blogging-award/

http://jackiedinnis.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/the-wordpress-family-award-the-liebster-award/

super-sweet-blogging-award21w6451liebster-award

As you can see I have been rather slack in accepting awards lately and I apologise whole-heartedly to every who has nominated me it really does still mean lots to me.  I have provided links at the top of this post to all those who nominated me please check out their blogs.  As I am so far behind I am going to cheat slightly by answering the questions provided by Jackie Dennis with her award nomination, I should explain that her blog is a family tree blog so the questions relate to that but as I have done some research into my own family tree it is something which fascinates me.

1. Why do you blog?

I started blogging as a way of practising my writing and getting feed back to help me improve but it is the wonderful people I have met through blogging that keep me coming back every day.

2. When do you blog, are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am actually a night owl but tend to write my blog on a morning for the next day (though it doesn’t always work out that way) then I can spend the rest of the day and evening getting stuck into writing and not have to worry about breaking off to write a blog post.

3. Who is your most interesting ancestor?

Hmm this is tough I would guess my Great Grandad Michael Acton as there seemed to be so much mystery around him which actually turned out to just be something tragic rather than bad

Memorial Victory medal

4. Have you learnt anything from looking back?

That very rarely do we know where we really come from,  I don’t mean just geographically but but that for every generation the choices they make changes who we will become, only a couple of generations ago half my family were Catholic if that had not changed then I might not be here.

5. Did your family move around a lot?

One side of the family were very much situated in one area but the rest moved around quite a lot a trait which continues to this day.

img002

6. Have you always written?

Always but I never kept it when I was younger probably from fear of my sister finding it and using it to embarrass me with

7. Is it more about the writing, or the researching your family for you?

The two are separate, my blog is about writing and the family research is something personal that I have undertaken with other family members, but the writing bears extra poignancy when I consider a couple of generations ago family like my Great Great Grandma Annie Sophia in this picture could neither read nor write, her whole life was dedicated to working in a factory then bring up children and grandchildren.

great great grandma callis

8. Do you have a filing system?

Errrmmm does stuffing things n box files count as a filing system?????????

9. Is it just you doing this, or do you involve the family?

I have other family members from different sides of the family who are also looking into things we were all actually already doing it and only discovered the joint interest when I approached them for information

10. Have you found new family members you didn’t know about?

I have though not living ones but there were children who passed away whose names had never been mentioned again which seems really strange to us today.

 

I am not going to nominate people if you do not have either of the two awards I have features please accept it from me and answer the same questions that Jackie gave me I would love to know more about your experiences with your ancestors.

 

11. How far back have you gone?

In terms of knowing real information about people the mid 1800’s but I can trace back in terms of names and dates to 1596

 

A - Z Challenge 2013

A is for Anniversary

20130210-230657I could not have timed the beginning of this challenge better if I had tried, with the beginning tying in with my anniversary of one year here at wordpress.  I had tried another blogging platform previously but it just didn’t suit me and I found it hard to find my feet and get started.  Then a Facebook friend from the US had a look around for me and came back and suggested here as the best place to fit my needs and I haven’t looked back since.

Though recently I have fallen behind in visiting blogs I know that the people I have met here understand after all most of them like myself are balancing family, jobs and writing and as much as we would love to spend hours reading it is the first thing allowed to slide when we feel overwhelmed.

I just want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to you the people who come back day after day and support me and give me the self belief to keep going.

Research · WIP Wednesday

Fantasy Vs Reality

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have a lot of friends on here that write Erotica and will admit that lately I have been reading quite a bit, (Lee you might want to stop reading here – and Sammie and actually anyone that knows me in real life lol)

 

I am not about to start writing it any sex scenes in my novel are there as part of the plot rather than basing a plot around sex I don’t have the talent to do that well, but what it has got me thinking about is fantasy.  Erotica is based primarily on people’s fantasies diverging into many different sub genres to feed all tastes that could possibly exist.  The thing is as writers at times our imagination can lead us to have very vivid fantasies both in and out of the bedroom.  The question is can reality ever match our fantasy?

 

When I was sixteen I had my first love a few months of puppy love followed by the requisite mourning period of broken hearted youth.  We never slept together, so in my innocent teenage mind it would have been magical; roll forward a couple years and a chance encounter in a nightclub after the consumption of alcohol.  It seemed like a good idea unfinished business between the two of us, after we both agreed that though pleasant it had been a mistake, both of us felt disappointed that it had failed to live up to what we had built it up to be in our minds.

 

Last night I had read a post about fantasies and it got me thinking about my own, those I would still like to live out and those which I now concede are better left as they are.  Now for those getting excited I am not about to divulge those fantasies in detail here and now lol let’s just say that one of them theoretically were it ever to be lived out would place me in a position that could be potentially dangerous hence it will never happen, other fantasies include me not having control – well you guys know how much of a control freak I am that is never happening in real life.  The fantasy that I am most upset at finally realising I would now never act upon is my JT, now yes I live in the real world therefore know it will never be put to the test, he is never going to bump into explain he has split from his wife and beg me to run away with him, but the fantasy of it has been with me for thirty years.  Last night the sad realisation hit me as I was reading his autobiography in the bath that if in an alternate universe it did happen he could never live up to my expectations.  Frequently we see celebrities hauled down from the pedestals upon which we have placed them by showing themselves as mere humans, and on one level we can forgive them (depending of course what they have done) but what we can never forgive them for totally are the dreams they take from us.

 

Now you might wonder how this relates to writing, well lets all be honest we all have a writing fantasy or two about someone out there reading our work, falling in love with it, the offer of contracts involving a lot of noughts and film rights being discussed.  Even in some of the blog awards we share and love we ask who would play your character in a film then fantasise about our leading men, (I still haven’t actually decided on mine for the novel quite like the idea of unknown actors lol) I digress back to what I was saying fantasy writing comes with a whole heap of benefits while the reality for most of us is an inbox full of rejections then if we get lucky a small publisher will take a chance on us that will not allow us to give up the day job but will see your book in print.

 

The thing is this is one fantasy that it is harder to give up on.  We cannot all top the bestseller lists but we can all dream about it because in part this fantasy is not actually about anyone else.  It is simply about us, our abilities and our determination to succeed.  For some succeed is to write the perfect novel, to write the perfect poem, for some it is to get across and share a message but the final line is that it is possible if only we are willing to work hard enough, slave away at our craft, learn from our mistakes, take chances and risk failure.  Today I saw a friend of mine had received some news I shall not spoil it saying who but let me say I am thrilled for her she had almost been talked out of believing in herself, and into closing her laptop but today her fantasies are beginning to come true.

 

Believe in your own abilities, keep sight of your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you no – let your mind run wild with fantasies but only indulge in those that can do you no harm.

 

 

Me And Mine · So it's Saturday

Speculate to Accumulate

043 (5)

I was going to catch up on some awards I have been lax in accepting lately but I am too excited not to share.  The digital proof for my bookmarks and business cards came back.  Now I have a head start having Mel’s amazing cover design to use as the basis for them but I still had to do a little cutting, pasting and manipulation so I am grabbing a tiny bit of the credit.  So bear in mind I am a newbie to these sort of things and go gentle with me when you tell me what you think.  Here goes the business card first..

mail.google.com

Then the one which I am more excited about in more ways..

133854_frontThe back of the bookmark is black with my contact details on in red.  So What do you think? I also realised I need to buy either a gold or silver pen that will write on the black otherwise I will have to write across the poor little girl ghost and that wouldn’t be good.  I have approved the proofs and had a message back saying both are now on the print run so I guess it is just a case of sitting back and waiting to take delivery.  I am getting so excited about the whole thing now but also a little scared. Here in the safety of my blog I have started developing a fragile belief in my abilities, you guys are so supportive and encouraging that it is easy to forget that not everyone will be.  Recently I have seen authors begin to doubt themselves because of bitter, overly critical reviews, I have seen reviews where the style of the review is to rip books to pieces for effect even if they actually say they liked it, and I am going to be sticking my head out above the trenches for them to start taking pot shots.  I am not sure if publishing is bravery or madness I suspect a little bit of both.

Me And Mine

Get the Kettle On

Ben Trube has challenged me to the coffee quiz you can find his answers here

I totally misread the title at first and thought he was inviting me to a virtual coffee morning so ran into the kitchen and made a nice mocha then came and sat down ready for a chat but then found he wanted me to answer questions so here we go…

The Coffee Quiz!

 

1) How many cups of coffee per day? 1-2 I tend to prefer naughty coffee such as latte or mocha so I have to restrict the amount I drink

2) What is your favorite caffeine delivery system? Most of the day I drink diet coke I tend to be on the go so need a beverage that won’t go cold

3) What was your best cup of coffee? This mocha I had at a new coffee shop in town

003

4) What was your worst cup of coffee? I would say any provided while travelling be it on a train or plane it is always cheap instant that tastes like they made it with the washing up water

5) What does your favorite mug say? Mt favourite mug is this one Rhonda bought me

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6) How do you take your coffee? White with sweetners (or sugar if I am being very bad)

7) When was your first cup? I only started drinking coffee after my daughter was born before that I really only drank hot chocolate my first coffee was when visiting a friend and it was all she had in.

8) Have you ever gone on a coffee date? Yes if you count my other half or my best friend although normally coffee dates with my best friend end up in the pub. My other half and I quite often try to fit in a coffee in the week between him finishing work and me starting as it may be the only time that day we actually have chance to speak.

So who shall we pick to test their beverage proclivities hmmmmm I think we shall go for Maddie from Breezy Books, TRG, Heidi and Mari Wells

Hope they the kettle on when I arrive!

Highs and Lows · Me And Mine · Monday Musings

300 Posts and the Start of a New Year

Okay so technically as a pagan the new year began for me just over a week ago with the Solstice but as I had no computer it passed by rather quietly.  I have to say in some ways I believe the Mayans had it right for me personally as the dates for their end of the world and the pagan year end were in time with each other but I think we misinterpreted their meaning.  I say this because this new year I really do feel like it is the end of one way of life and the beginning of a new one which I am really excited about.

In 2012 with the help of friends around the world who I have never met in person I found the self belief and confidence to actually believe in my own ability as a writer. I have written a specific writing resolutions post to be published tomorrow so I won’t go into that too much here but let me say I am very excited about the projects and aims I have set for the next year.

One area which has suffered this year is reading anything other than blogs, I really do need to remedy that in the future and although I hate reading by numbers I think setting a target of reading 20 pages a day of which ever book I have on the go is realistic, if all else fails I will read them while laying in the bath.

My blog which I envisioned as a sort of online journal which I only expected myself and a few friends to be interested in has become so much more.  You have provided a sounding board for my ideas, an audience for my stories, I have met people who have become not only friends but teachers showing me ways to improve my own work.  There is a preconception about the writer as a lonely, hermit locked away with a typewriter isolated in their own world, well maybe that applies to those for whom financial success has altered their way of life but I think the blogosphere shows in full technicolour glory the bonds of friendship, respect and comradeship is alive and well within this community.

In real life I am lucky that I will start this new year in many ways far healthier than I have the last few, my surgery has been a success (touch wood) though I am still in recovery stages as I work on getting the muscles working again, I have stopped smoking even though I still really really want one which is weird considering the smell now makes me feel sick.  But also I cannot help but think about those for whom the past year has not been so considerate of, poor little Charlie whose trial treatment failed to deliver the miracle we all hoped for, now the family are left facing a very bleak new year unless the power of prayer can provide a miracle.  It would be easy to lose faith at a time like this but it is the very time when one must draw strength from them Charlie as you know was given weeks to live a couple of months ago yet he is still here and fighting, there is an amazing young lady named Alice Payne who has been fighting off this disease and refusing to let it beat her for over twelve months now.  It is the most we can do to hold on to each day as it passes and pray it brings these children closer to a cure which surely must be found to combat this terrible disease.  Children teach us what it really means to appreciate life, they do not know that they should be defeated by this thing which has invaded their bodies, they do not know they should fear it and this gives them the very strength to keep fighting unlike adults they have not learned to give up.

I am determined to make the most of every day and to raise some funds for both the Charlie fund and for the other charity close to my heart The Joseph Salmon Trust which helps families who are struck by the terrible tragedy of losing a child.  Will I make thousands for either probably not but I do believe every penny counts and if I make a hundred pounds or so for each then I will be contented.

I know this has ended up as a far more serious post than I ever intended it to be so if you have read down this far may I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and hope your wildest dreams may come to fruition.

My highlight of 2012….all of you guys coming into my life.

Awards · So it's Saturday

Blog of the Year Part 2

Well here we go I now have all six stars yay!!!!!!!!

Please pop over to part one here to see the first four star nominators and the rules here.

So before I get on to dishing out some more stars let me thank the ladies who have given me my last couple of stars.  Firstly Chelsea over at The Jenny Mac Book Blog her mix of writing and video keeps you entertained and heading back for more but what really impresses me about this young lady is her determination to make a positive stand against bullys.

My final star comes curtesy of Heidi being the rule breaker she is she sent it back at me, she has suffered from some negative feedback and is now slowly bouncing back, I believe Heidi really has the talent to be a star she just needs to believe in herself and find her niche.

Soooooo time to hand out some more stars…

Joanne Phillips

Dianne Gray

Maddie Cochere

Maggie Myklebust

Bridget Straub – now technically Bridget did actually send me a star aswell but as I am only allowed to collect 6 I am gonna pretend I didn’t see hers so I can send one back at her 😀

Okay thats it for this one I have been thrilled and amazed to receive all 6 stars yay!!!!!!!!!!!!! But the best bit is getting to spread them round to you guys.  Right am going to carry on working out my new years writing resolutions for new years days post.