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Welcome, friends old and new, to my blog. This is the place where I can share my scribblings and thoughts on loving life. I hope you enjoy them, make suggestions and come back to read more.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Review: The Humans

The Humans
The Humans by Matt Haig

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ummm... although I enjoyed "The Humans", I can't get evangelical about it like some readers have. I didn't find it life-changing, just ("just"!) witty, touching and amusing- which is more than enough for a bedtime read. I liked the observations about humanity, and the dog- obviously- and some of the situations were laugh-out-loud funny as "Andrew" navigated his way through social norms and expectations. Good, sweet fun.

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Review: Corpsing

Corpsing by Toby Litt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clever, in a Clever kind of way. I was hooked from the start, lost my way for a while (Josephine... yuk, yuk and triple yuk) and ended a bit confused. The neat ending didn't work for me and left more questions than it answered. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the pace and intrigue as Conrad tried to figure out who was behind the murder of his girlfriend and the attempted murder of himself. This might appeal more to fans of noir (or graphic descriptions of the effect of a bullet ripping through flesh), but it isn't one I'd read again.

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Review: The Girls

The Girls
The Girls by Lori Lansens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, a joint "autobiography" by craniopagus twins, but what I got was a sweet and poignant story of sisterly love. It was easy to read Rose and Ruby as distinct characters, with separate hopes, dreams and desires and, although it is made clear early on that the girls are nearing the end of their lives, their story was not depressing. Rather, I found myself admiring them, laughing with them, and hoping they would manage to finish their book (I slowed down reading as I realised I was near the end, to give them time to do it- lol). This won't be for everyone, but it was an easy read that still managed to be uplifting and thought-provoking.

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Book Reviews and Recommendations: 5 Picks for Fantastic Phil

Tea, cake and a good book- bliss!

I love stories, whether in book or film form and, when one really moves me, I have a hard time keeping quiet about it. I can get positively evangelical at times... (by the way, have I recommended "Confessions" to you yet?)
So, imagine how thrilled I was when Fantastic Phil (you may remember him for his contribution to Rock God) asked my opinion on whether he should read Gone Girl, (yes, obviously) and how chuffed I was that he enjoyed it.

He's asked me again for my recommendations and, after perusing my bookshelves, this is what I've come up with:

Monday, 24 November 2014

Read The Hungry-Man for half-price!

On Wednesday, my Harvey- my bestest boy and eternal puppy- will be turning twelve!

I don't know where the years have gone... it feels like only a few months since I was teaching him to sit and shake his paw for treats, and having to lift him on the bed because his little legs were too short to jump up and snuggle with Mummy.

Back then, he was scruffy-looking bundle of fur, sometimes compared to Spit the Dog, who tried to make friends with cats and attack fireworks. Now he's a slightly larger bundle of differently-coloured fur who chases cats and runs away from fireworks!

Harvey aged 6 months

Naturally, I shall be spoiling him rotten on his birthday and feeding him sausages, but Harvey thought it might be a nice idea to share the joy by offering The Hungry-Man at half-price as part of his celebrations.

"What a good idea!" I told him. "You really are a very Clever Boy!"

(Yes, I do actually talk to Harvey. All the time. He's a wonderful listener).

So, that's what we're doing. From now until the weekend, The Hungry-Man will be on offer for only 99p as an ebook.

Harvey thinks you'll really like it but then, as the hero of this cracking tale of a plucky pup who battles unimaginable evil to save his beloved Mummy, he is slightly biased ; )

Saturday, 1 November 2014

NaNoWriMo: My Ten Commandments

And we're off! National Novel Writing Month starts today and so I'll be busily doing typey-typey every spare moment I can find in order to achieve my 50,000 word goal before December. Just like last year, I've drawn up my list of non-negotiables- my Ten Commandments- to make sure I still have a job, friends and dogs that love their Mummy. Here they are:


1. Thou shalt not let the day job suffer- this is thy quest, not thy employer's.

2. Thou shalt write at least 1,667 words on a week day, and aim for 2,000.

3. Thou shalt not lie in on weekends, but shall rise with the dawn to write at least 2,500 words on those days.

4. Thou shalt not neglect thy terriers, for lo they will perform dirty protests if regular walkies are not adhered too.

5. Thou shalt not eat Haribo by the bucket, as thy is wont to do when sitting at a computer for lengthy periods of time.

6. Thou shalt not idle thy time waiting for more Candy Crush lives, but shall banish the iPad from thy sight until the daily word count is reached.

7. Thou shall make use of quiet moments to reflect on thy novel, and scribe every idea on post-its for future reference.

8. Thou shall shower every day and eat too, for a smelly and hungry writer is no joy to the world.

9. Thou shalt not go home to commence work on thy novel until planning is completed and books have been marked.

10. Thou shall phone thy parents at least twice a week, or face the wrath and woe of anxious fretting that thy have been eaten by terriers.

Keep an eye on the counter (top right) to track my progress and feel free to hassle me about it. I may need the extra motivation!

Friday, 31 October 2014

Friday Five: Cute Dog Costumes for Halloween

Happy Halloween!

I've got my candy, my costume, my scary-night-in TV schedule all planned... now, what else? Oh yes! Dressing up my dogs!

I'm not one of those people who dress their dogs all the time (my boys are tough terriers who leg it at the sight of namby-pamby dog-clothes) but even they enjoy the fuss and attention (and extra treats) they receive when they do allow me to wrap something ridiculous around them. Harvey has a SuperDog outfit, a Playboy Bunny outfit, and is quite fond of his Christmas jumper, whereas Alfie is big on scarves and doesn't mind antlers. My most ambitious dressing up attempt was when they wore matching homemade dragon costumes for Wadfest one year- which went down a storm!

Hats off to these brave dogs, though- their clever costumes made me laugh and must have taken their humans ages. Here are my five favourite cute dog costumes for Halloween:

The Headless Horse Dogman

Cute Cerberus

I'd totally give treaties to these sweeties!
Aww! I wouldn't mind if he invaded my dreams.

Not one for arachnophobes!

Does your pet join in the Halloween fun? What cool costumes have you seen this year?
Also, don't forget that Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions is half-price this Halloween!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Halloween Special: Discounted ebook offer


Happy almost-Halloween!

For the next 48 hours, I'm giving you the chance to download Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions for only 99p. Just click the link and get stuck in! And tell your friends!
Enjoy my Strange Ideas...
Louise xxx

Monday, 27 October 2014

Ghosthunting at Borley Rectory

How was your weekend? Mine was an exciting one: not only did I get to meet up with one of my favourite indie authors and all-round top bird L.K. Jay, I also had the pleasure of meeting Cat and Lynx Raven, of Calamityville Horror fame, and going on a ghost hunt!

Our destination was the infamous Borley Rectory, or what remains of it, and our objective to see if we could locate the ruins and get anything spooky recorded. Borley Rectory, for those who don't know, was built in 1862 by Henry Dawson Ellis Bull and gained fame in the late 1920's as "the most haunted house in England". The root of this may be a monk from the Benedictine monastery built in the 1300's who was getting up to unholy things with a nun from a nearby convent. After their affair was discovered, the monk was executed and the nun bricked up alive in the convent walls. The nun reportedly still took a stroll every now and then past Borley Rectory, and was seen often enough to be considered a nuisance. Paranormal researcher Harry Price was called in to investigate and wrote two books supporting claims of paranormal activity. After an escalation of stone-throwing, raps and messages written on the walls through the 1930's, the rectory was badly damaged by fire in 1939 (which had been predicted by a spirit) and finally demolished in 1944.
Despite its fame, the tiny village of Borley wasn't prepared for a quartet of slightly hyper ghosthunters, if the locals' reaction to us was anything to go by. We ignored the blatant (and suspicious) stares as we pulled up by the church and got straight down to making friends with a cat. We asked him if he knew anything about the hauntings, but he wasn't very forthcoming. He did, however, helpfully lead us over to the graves of the Bull family. Apparently this was his favourite sunbathing spot, as he hopped up onto one of the headstones and watched us from there as we got all excited over Henry and his family's final resting places.

Now to hunt down the Rectory ruins! Using my dog-walking know-how, we found a legal route round the back of the houses opposite the church which, according to the old map, were built on top of the original rectory. We saw nothing, but did get a name- "Harry"- on Cat and Lynx's magic ghost gadget. A spooky coincidence? Harry was Henry Bull's son, who apparently swore to come back if he was disturbed in the afterlife.

Further up the lane, we came across the driveway for an abandoned building which, based on the old map, we thought may have been the ruins of the Rectory or the summerhouse that was next to it. We had a good old nosey over the barbed wire and the ghost gadget reported lots of blobs which could have been spirits. How exciting! I was having great fun on this ghosthunt, and I can see why Cat and Lynx do it so much.

Back at the church, we studied the map once more to see if we could pinpoint the Rectory more accurately, but we were interrupted by a knocking on the window of the house opposite. An irate old lady, probably terrified by the sight of strangers, came out to tell me that we were invading her privacy by filming her house- despite the fact we weren't actually filming her house, nor did we have the cameras pointing anywhere in her direction. I felt sorry for her though, despite her being so rude, because she was probably freaked out by people with unnatural hair colours and piercings, so I just smiled and assured her that we had no interest in filming her house and, just because we had cameras, it didn't mean we were filming her house. I honestly couldn't have stated it more clearly, but I don't think I convinced her. I don't know what she thought we were up to!

We were pretty much done by that point anyway, so we hopped back in the car and went for lunch in a conveniently local haunted pub, The Bull (which, despite the name, pre-dates Borley Rectory and the Bull family) before heading back to Lesley's for drinks, chilli, more drinks and a cracking game of Cards Against Humanity. A perfect end to a great day!

Find out more:
Borley Rectory
C.L. Raven: Recce at the Rectory

Friday, 24 October 2014

Friday Five: Five Books on my TBR pile

...or "To Be Read" pile, for those of you not in the Goodreads loop.

Due to a clearout of the former village library, where they were literally giving books away, my TBR pile is a lot more diverse than usual. My tastes are usually of the spooky and strange kind, but this randomly-selected bunch from the haul I gleefully carried home (or drove home- I honestly couldn't have carried the number of free books I snaffled) range from classic to chick-lit. An interesting change for me. My only dilemma is which one to read first! Browse through my stack and, if you have any recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments!

In no particular order:

1. The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner
For three summers, the residents of Atlanta have been gripped by terror when the temperature creeps up to a hundred. For with the relentless heat comes a vicious killer. Each time, he takes two girls. When the first body is discovered, it contains all the clues investigators need to find the second victim, who waits, prey to a slow but certain death. The police are never in time; the bodies always found months later in remote and dangerous places.

As a heatwave of epic proportions descends, the game begins again. Two girls disappear and the clock is ticking. Rookie agent Kimberly Quincy stumbles across the first body in the grounds of the FBI training facility at Quantico. She's been face-to-face with a serial killer before and knows only too well why the killer has chosen Quantico to start the chase. This time he's raising the stakes; he wants the FBI's finest to come out and play . .

2. The Humans by Matt Haig

After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and he's a dog.

What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race. . . ?

 3. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy - it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. If Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions then he is caught in Catch-22: if he flies he is crazy, and doesn't have to; but if he doesn't want to he must be sane and has to. That's some catch...

4. Wrathful Skies by Robert Lassen
Don't call them Vampires.     
1942. The Allied bomber offensive against the Nazis teeters on the brink of failure. Night after night, fanatical German fighter pilots cut a bloody swathe through the British airmen struggling to cripple Hitler's war machine. In desperation, the Government turns to an ultra-secretive organization known only as K Department. Their answer? A group of Eastern European refugees with a blood feud against the Nazis. Pale killers with a condition that allows them to hunt at night but forces them to flee the dawn. Myth has made them monsters. The truth is far more complicated. The world labels them Vampires. They call themselves Mullo.

5. The Girls by Lori Lansens
In twenty-nine years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister, Ruby. She has never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has never once looked into Ruby's eyes. Joined at the head, 'The Girls' (as they are known in their small town) attempt to lead a normal life, but can't help being extraordinary. Now almost thirty, Rose and Ruby are on the verge of becoming the oldest living craniopagus twins in history, but they are remarkable for a lot more than their unusual sisterly bond.

Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend? Drop me a comment below!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review: The Memory of a Salt Shaker

The Memory of a Salt Shaker
The Memory of a Salt Shaker by Bernard M. Cox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A lovely short story where a widower experiences his wife's memories every time he tastes salt from the shaker she stole as a memento from their honeymoon. Through these memories, the author cleverly portrays their passionate love in very few, but effective, words. Beautiful, but sad.

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Review: The Game

The Game
The Game by Terry Schott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic idea! Maybe I'm more sympathetic to this because of my own personal beliefs but, as well as finding The Game to be a great story, I found it a thought-provoking one too. Trew and Danni were a little too sickly-sweet for my tastes but that didn't stop me rooting for them to have a happy ending. The typos etc that other reviewers have referred to seem to have been dealt with, as I didn't notice anything glaring. A damn good read!

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Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Five: reasons why I love NaNoWriMo

Yes, it's that time of year again! Only two weeks to go until NaNoWriMo kicks off and I frantically tap-tap 50,000 words in 30 days (or less, as I managed last year). It sounds like jolly hard work, especially on top of working full-time and having two dogs to attend to, but I enjoyed last year so much that I've signed up again. Why? Let me tell you...

1. License to abuse caffeine, chocolate and sweet things
During last year's NaNo, I was dieting, so I had to lay off the snacks or else undo all my hard work! Hours sitting typing + Haribo consumption = porky Lou! I did, however, go a little mental with tea, which left me wired and excitable but at least got me to goal- a week early and with a stinking cold, too! This year, I'm fully stocked with tea again but I fully intend to find some sort of sweet treat for an additional sugar hit. I'm thinking space pencils? Non-melty and can be rationed. But who am I kidding? I won't be rationing them at 11:30pm with 300 words left to go...

2. Motivation to sort out my work/life balance
One of the interesting things about NaNo last year was the realisation that I have way more free time than I think I have- so long as I use my time productively. Knowing that I needed to write a minimum of 1,667 words every day, I found that planning got finished quicker, books got marked faster, housework took a fraction of the time (although that's probably because I only did a fraction of what I normally would) and I managed to get everything done by simply not faffing about. What's that saying about "if you want something done, give it to a busy person"? Yeah, that.

3. Legitimate excuses for putting my PJs on as soon as I arrive home
Work done, dogs walked- it must be PJ time! Knowing that all I'll be doing between walking in the door and crawling into bed is type (and drink tea) it is socially acceptable to change straight from work clothes to bedclothes- even if it's 6pm. I love lounging around in my PJs, and NaNo is the best excuse.

4. Those magical 10K days!
These only ever happen on weekends (for obvious reasons) but they are such a buzz! My first published story, Late: a ghostly tale, weighed in at about 11.5K after months of drafting, scrapping, extending and beta-reading so, achieving almost that in one day feels amazing. Admittedly, they won't be my best ten thousand words but, that's what editing is for. NaNo is all about celebrating the quantity and worrying about the quality later.

5. Forcing in the Fun Time
With being so busy in November, it would be easy to focus solely on work and writing and burn out too soon. I do have tendency for tunnel-vision, so I plan a few deliberate nights off or other treats to make sure that I stay fresh for writing and don't lose all my friends completely. A few hours down the pub does wonders for creativity, and gives me chance to people-watch or test out a plot idea on a real person. My dogs probably get more walkies in November than any other winter month- partly from guilt, partly because my bottom is in danger of becoming sofa-shaped- although they do get them at random times, depending on when inspiration (or mental exhaustion) hits. Having to schedule time to just have fun makes me appreciate it more, because I know I'll be back to the laptop (or pile of marking) soon after.

Friday, 3 October 2014


Frost crept under her toes, the dying grass prickling her tanned, bare feet. The sky darkened and cast long shadows over the fields where she had played for so many cloudless, scorching days and balmy, blissful evenings. Picking up her skirts, she turned her back on the winter, leaving it far behind as she ran through the spring, laughing as she raced joyfully back into summer.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday Five: best things to do on a rainy day

Happy Friday, people!

Now, although the weather may not be behaving like August (in fact, I swear it went from June straight to September without letting anyone know) there is no need to despair. It's not all about the picnics and trips to the beach- rainy days can be fun too! Here are my five best things to do on a rainy day.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Dust If You Must...

Housework. Ugh.

Not my favourite thing but, being too poor for a cleaner and too single for a house-husband, a necessary task. Or is it? I mean, who do we clean for? Really? If no one is looking, who hasn't left the dishes for a few days, or ignored the dust bunnies taking up residence under the bed? My attitude to wiping skirting boards, as with many things, is manana.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Getting My Groove Back...

Well, hellooooo there! It's been a while, for which I make no apologies (other than to those who were worried about where I'd gone- sorry about that). I was having a little restorative me-time and catching up on anything that wasn't writing.

Available for Kindle or in paperback from Amazon
You see, having published my novel, The Hungry-Man, in April, I found that (once again) I ran out of words for a little while. Seriously. I'm starting to see a pattern of post-book blues, a strange exhaustion or creative death that means once a book is out, I need to rest my writing brain for a while before I can begin again. I suppose it's a bit like how introverts wear themselves out being extroverted and social, and need to retreat to their hermit caves in order to recharge before they can do it again. So that meant no writing, no blogging and very little in the way of words whatsoever.

Except reading, of course. Not reading would be like not breathing, as in I start to go purple and make odd noises after a while.

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Hungry-Man goes live!

Find me on Amazon!
Find me on Amazon!

It's finally here! The Hungry-Man, my proper big novel that I've been faffing about with for months, has hit the virtual shelves!

I'm so proud. And tired. Despite months of work, I still managed to nearly miss a deadline... 'sigh' But I defeated the techno-goblins and so far, touch wood, this one hasn't been banned!

It's a marvellous read, if I do say so myself, about a plucky young pup who risks everything to save the day. It's got chills, thrills, romance, sausages and one particular scene that, if it doesn't leave you in tears, will make you want to hug your Mum. Anyone who's ever loved a dog (or their Mum) will be swept up in Harvey's perilous search for a way to defeat the Hungry-Man before it's too late. Really, you should rush out and buy it now- I've even included a handy little link below the cover picture.

Shameless hard-sell over, I'm off to pop some champagne (on a school night!) and then get some sleep. It's been a manic weekend!

Night night- and don't let The Hungry-Man bite!


Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Hungry-Man: the release date is set!

The Hungry-Man is coming along nicely, and should be good to go for Monday 28th April 2014. How exciting!

I decided on that date after a lot of thought that, if I were to try and reason it out, would leave most of you scratching your heads and the rest of you edging towards the door away from the crazy lady with a dislike of certain numbers. Just trust me that the 28th is perfect.

The cover is exactly what I wanted, featuring a photo of the real-life Harvey on the beautiful Heacham beach a couple of years ago. The beach plays a key role in the story, so I was thrilled that it all came together (plus, my Harvey is just gorgeous). I've really struggled with the blurb, but the lovely Tori came to my aid once again (as she has dozens of times- cake for her) and I think I've cracked it. I even managed a decent headshot for the back, so I'm really on a roll now!

Sticking with the "being creative" thing, I thought it only fair that, as Lily gets her own squiggle, Harvey should have a pretty picture too.

My Harvey puppy.
I quite like the idea of having this at the start of each chapter- if the printer will allow it! Not sure if it counts as an illustration... You'll have to wait and see if he makes the book.
The Hungry-Man will be available on Amazon on Monday 28th April 2014

Monday, 14 April 2014

Popping Puppy

So, while tidying up last night, I found some popping candy...

Alfie was fascinated by the sound it made in my mouth, so I thought I'd let him try some...


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Super Sunday Sunshine and Smiles

Happy Sunday!

The sun is shining, I can hear lawnmowers and children playing in the gardens behind my house (though not together, I hope) and my laptop is fixed. Huzzahs all round!

But that's not why I'm writing today. In fact, I'm not sure why I'm writing today. Maybe it's because I've pretty much finished writing The Hungry-Man, but am still surgically attached to my laptop (which, thanks to the wizzards, now has internets again). So, prepare for a ramble while my butterfly-brain decelerates from the epic race that is writing a novel.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Pretty Procrastination

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

Not that I'm very good at plans, being far too much of a procrastinator. Instead, maybe I should say that I love it when a fleeting notion comes to fruition with very little effort or passing of time. I'm all about the instant gratification!

One of my excellent beta-readers made a suitably excellent suggestion about the chapters in The Hungry-Man that are told from a different character's point of view, and typically in flashback. Rather than "chapter" them, she suggested, I could use a chapter divider symbol to signal that they are different from the bulk of the book. Great idea! Off I went, googling for the perfect one.

BUT I quickly discovered that the really nice ones are rather expensive, and the cheap ones were not what I was after at all. So, I made my own.

Here it is:

Lily's squiggle

I've called it (titles not being my strong point) "Lily's squiggle" and I'm rather chuffed with how it came out. Literally fifteen minutes after I decided I needed a chapter divider symbol, I had one that was original, pretty and looks lovely on the page. And it was fun! (I'm all about the fun).

The wonders of a free art app and a spare five minutes.

The Hungry-Man is in its final stages as you read and, all being well, will be available to download from Amazon on Monday 21st April 2014, with a paperback version soon after. I hope you're as excited about it as I am! (because I'm very excited)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Strange Ideas on Tour!

A couple of months ago, I scribbled instructions in the front of three copies of my book, Strange Ideas: Death, Destiny and Decisions and sent them off into the world. The object was to see if I could make a book go viral, in the sense that it would be seen and shared. I just received this:
Thank you very much to @gab229x who joined in the fun and made some very sweet comments. I wonder where this copy will end up next? Or where the other two will turn up?

Friday, 21 March 2014

Friday Five: Five Sure-fire Ways to Beat Writer's Block

Writer's Block is a torturous thing. I usually find it hits me around the three-quarter done mark, after the rush of enthusiasm has burnt off and before the end is realistically in sight. I run out of words and, rather than writing drivel which I know I'll end up throwing out or banging my head on the keyboard (which hurts), I've found other ways to work through it. Here are the top five that work for me.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Puppy Love: *CUTE ALERT*

Happy Sunny Sunday, everyone!

I hope you've had a chance to enjoy this glorious weather. I took full advantage of my Mum's garden to lounge in the sun and play with her two puppies while I got some blogging done- keep an eye out for new posts this week.

I've run out of words now, what with that and a marathon editing-weekend, so today I thought I'd just share some photos of my afternoon puppy-sitting. Enjoy!

Bilbo and Bertie enjoying lunch

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Hungry-Man is on its way!

Major news! The Hungry-Man is one step closer to publication today!

Today I finished the first proper version that has all the right bits in the right places! Please excuse me (or feel free to join in) while I have a little WOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!

Ye gods, I hope you enjoy it. I'm exhausted. The analogy of giving birth has never felt more true. From the embryonic initial idea to the (almost) final 64,000 word book-baby, I feel I have more than carried this one full-term. False starts, crises of confidence and some downright terrible writing have plagued me for over a year. I think I'd have rather had morning-sickness and piles! I definitely had the backache and strange cravings in the middle of the night...

But it was worth it. The mad scribblings of NaNoWriMo, where I stripped back my original short story into post it notes and then wrote 54,562 words in three weeks (before collapsing from exhaustion), have been pruned and sorted, edited and added to, and what has emerged is a pretty awesome tale (well, I think so- and so does my Mum- tee hee) of the special bond between a dog and his Mummy, and how far he'd go to keep her safe. It's even a little bit scary too. And you might cry a bit. If you have a dog, you've got no chance of avoiding either emotion. (But I promise no dogs were harmed in the making of this novel. Well, maybe one... but he's not real, so it's OK- isn't it?)

As chuffed as I am today, I know I'm not quite ready to present The Hungry-Man to the world yet (would that be like a christening? Another Strange Idea). It still needs a little more work before it can find its feet and toddle off into the big wide world. By the time I've tidied it up a bit more, I expect it to be a little heftier and healthier, but I still think it's beautiful now- even covered in lack-lustre verbs and unnecessary adverbs.

I just wanted to squeee a little.


I'll keep you posted xxx

Friday, 14 February 2014

Friday Five: best Valentines Day tunes


 Happy Valentine's Day!

 Were you swamped with cards and flowers this morning? Overwhelmed with chocolate hearts and surrounded by teddy bears and balloons? Or are you reading this while you wait for your starter to arrive at that lovely little restaurant in the expensive part of town? Good for you, if you are! It's nice to be loved and I like that we have a special day to push us into showing it.

But, even if you're not loved up, Valentine's Day is still fun. There are lots of pink things in the shops and bulk-buying chocolate is perfectly acceptable. And there are some great deals to be had on bouquets of roses the next day! (I love a bargain!)
This year, being single, I will be spending the most romantic night of the year enjoying the whopping box of Lush goodies my dogs bought me (thank you, boys) and the excuse to sing along in the bath to the slushiest songs ever sung!

Here's my special Valentine's Day playlist, just for you xxx

Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Five: Places to fall asleep

Happy Friday, everyone!

I've done it again... come home from work, fed my boys, eaten my tea, sat down on the sofa with a cuppa to browse the internet and see what's going on in the world- and just woken up.

A waste of a Friday evening? Probably.

An unusual occurrence? Certainly not.

Impressive? Maybe... let me explain.