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Health update…

June 3rd, 2013

I apologise for my sparse blogging. In mid March I went to the doctors with a number of symptoms. The blood tests revealed an over active thyroid (which is an auto immune disorder). That’s the one where you die if you don’t take medication to sort it out. After a month I heard back from the specialist and my GP put me on some pills. My poor brain felt like a worn tire being driven at speed down a gravel road. By the time I started taking the medication I’d developed a weird brain slur which made talking and writing a challenge (it’s now better, but my brain is still not quite right). After a couple weeks of the pills I was feeling so much better I forgot I wasn’t “healthy”. I’ll never forget the day I decided to weed the flower beds. My garden is small and the flower beds edge the back of the garden. Since I’d started, I wanted to get them all done…so I pushed myself. I think it was all the bending over and standing up (I should have been kneeling). When I finished I felt like I was going to throw up. I had an awful feeling in my chest. I sat down in the garden chair and thought I was going to have a heart attack and die. Read more…

General, Louis et Francoise

Dancing the Maypole is on my website…

March 29th, 2013
The real Adderbury House in Adderbury Oxfordshire

The real Adderbury House in Adderbury Oxfordshire!

Dear members of Regency Romance Novels.com

I’ve finished Dancing the Maypole and it’s on my website ready to read (all fifty-one chapters). For those of you who prefer e-books Smashwords has approved it. For those who might not have noticed, the Goblin has redesigned my website. It now shrinks down to fit all hand held devices that connect to the internet. I hope you enjoy long stories. Dancing the Maypole is twice the length of my other novels. On the Goblin’s iphone it came out as over 1500 pages (but those are tiny pages). In a paperback the book would be about five hundred pages. I would have liked it to be shorter, but the story had other ideas.

Dancing the Maypole follows on from The Hired Wife. A year older, the five Smirke brothers have decided it’s time to help their father find a wife. Knowing Peter Smirke will be attending a house party they put an ad in all the papers. They assume they’ll have at least a week and a half to interview applicants before their father returns to give them his spine chilling glare.

When I started the story, I knew by the end of chapter two that the title would be Dancing the Maypole. Dancing around a maypole is an old European custom that stretches back into pre-history. Originally Pagan, it was a celebration of May day. The dance is performed around a pole or a tree cut down and trimmed for the occasion. In recent times multi coloured ribbons were attached to the top of the pole and each dancer would hold one ribbon. The dancers then dance…half going one way, the other half going the other…and the ribbons entwine around the pole.

The heroine, Isabel de Bourbon, is a tall woman so she is what some unkindly term, a maypole, but half way through the story I realised that the maypole being danced was something bigger. The story is a romance novel, but it’s also about the weaving of the generations. We often think that our choices alone define us, but really it’s a combination of our choices and the choices of our parents/ancestors (both genetic and adopted). Our great to the tenth grandparents made decisions that genetically and emotionally affect us today. All these layers of stories woven together make up our story. I find that utterly fascinating.

Happy Reading!

Even if you’re not a member, the first ten chapters are free to read here.

Dancing the Maypole, Feeling Creative, General, Ghost stories, I've been thinking

Leaves…

November 17th, 2012

I’ve been grinding my brain on the editor’s stone (I’m closer to being done – not long to go). I’ve  been holed up in my work room for weeks, but I have escaped a few times with the camera. I found a few shots I thought were lovely so I had to share. I’ve been fascinated by leaves. I collected a few with the intention of coating them with nail polish (it actually works) to make into an ephemeral broach (glue a light broach pin on the back et voila!). But I’ve been making myself edit instead. If you have a leaf, a polish with gold flecks works a treat! Here are some of my favorite recent shots… Read more…

General

Update on Dancing the Maypole…

August 9th, 2012

I was hoping to be done by now, but the last three weeks (months) it’s been one illness after the other before during and after the Goblin’s summer holiday (which was a wash out as it rained almost every day). Today the sun came out. I finally felt well after getting some decent sleep (so my brain was working) so I was able to finish chapter 49 (for the third time). I think there’s only one more chapter and then it’s done done done. I live in hope.

General

Update…

March 9th, 2012

Dancing the Maypole is progressing. Wednesday I finished chapter 45 and started chapter 46. Today I deleted what I had of 46, but I know where I was going wrong. At least I can write. For most of February into March I felt so poorly with a never ending chest cold I couldn’t think. The book now has 125,115 words and I don’t think it will be longer than 130,000 (hopefully less). The story is rolling to it’s last scene.

Yesterday I didn’t get any writing done because my Goblin took the day off work and we went to the beach (Aldeburgh in Suffolk). It was one of those sunny days with a certain kind of clear light that leaves the brain saturated with visual beauty. Read more…

General, I've been taking photographs

De-Faced…

January 27th, 2012

My Facebook account has been deactivated. I told my Goblin I was seriously thinking of giving it the chop (intending to think about it a few more days and go on there one more time) and he went away and chopped it. So it’s done…or undone rather. So you haven’t been unfriended – I’ve been de-Faced!

Dancing the Maypole: I’m on chapter 44 and the word count is about 124,000. I suspect I have another five thousand words to go. I feel like I’ve been inching up the last twenty feet to the top of Mt Everest (wearing my pajamas), climbing a sheer wall of ice with two handfuls of chopsticks…the ground so far below, if I fall I’ll have endless minutes to ponder my failings before landing as the latest human Popsicle to decorate the mountain. I’m sure I’ll get to the top…eventually… I’m probably missing something and the characters are all rolling their eyes in exasperation. Read more…

General

And the first book printed in English was…?

January 15th, 2012

I recently came across an amazing website called, The history of Information. One man, a serious collector of information, has categorized a vast amount of information on information by date and/or subject. If you love learning new things give it a look. Every time I randomly have a search I learn numerous new things. Tonight my brain feels made of cherry jello, but I still managed to read a few things about the history of the printing press that made me go…”Hmmm?”

Do you know the first book printed in English? (1473 – 1474)  If (like me) you thought ‘The Bible’ you’d be wrong! I felt slightly affronted to find I was ignorant of such an important fact. As someone who grew up wanting to be an author I feel great admiration and gratitude to the ingenious brave printers who faced the wrath of the establishment (all the people making money off scribing and painting manuscripts on vellum – ie all the people with power to have you burnt at the stake for trying to undermine their version of the universe). Gutenberg changed the world. Try to imagine the world without printed books… Read more…

General

John Forte should be number one…

November 29th, 2011

This evening I went onto Listverse which is a website that publishes a new list every day. Sometimes the lists are created by the Website owner, but usually they’re sent in by anonymous people who want to share a list of obscure or favorite facts. Sometimes the list ends up someone’s opinion…like today. Read more…

General

My evening walk…

November 13th, 2011

Three-thirty this afternoon I told the Goblin I was thinking of going for a walk. ‘You don’t have long,’ he said. ‘The sun is already starting to set.’ I put on two sweaters (and one of my trusty knit hats which make me look like Santa fired me for insubordination) and headed off with my camera hoping there would be enough light filtering through the trees (the sun was already low in the sky when I set off) to take photos of something… Read more…

General, I've been taking photographs

Tragedy Spring…

November 12th, 2011
My brother Jason's band Tragedy Spring

My brother Jason playing with his band Tragedy Spring...

I went onto Facebook to check on something and found my baby brother had put some photos of his new baby son up…he’s adorable! If I’m really good I’ll get him a gift before he graduates from high school (that’s before my nephew graduates…my brother graduated some years ago and he’s still waiting for a graduation gift not to mention a wedding gift). I then found a link on my brother’s page to his band, Tragedy Spring’s latest song, ‘Willow Tree’ on MySpace. If you like acoustic/rock you may love this. Read more…

General