Saturday, 21 May 2016

Another Book Review

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The Secret By The Lake - Louise Douglas





I've never read any of Louise Douglas' books before but when I came across this one in the library, it intrigued me.  I'm glad I picked it up because it was a fantastic read.

It is set in 1961.  Amy, the main character, is nanny to a family who live in France.  But when disaster strikes, they are forced to return to England to a cottage where the mother of the family grew up, and has since inherited.

But the cottage is haunted by the past, and in particular, by the mother's sister who died there when she was just seventeen.

In order to move forward, Amy has to solve the mystery of what happened in the past and ensure that the unquiet ghost does not harm the family she cares for.

This book definitely has page turning quality as the reader joins Amy in her quest to solve the mystery, and I'll definitely be looking out for more books from this author.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Another Year Older



Or not as the case may be.

I know that might sound a bit cryptic but let me explain.

Last year on my birthday I convinced myself, probably because I'm rubbish at maths and my memory often plays tricks on me, that I was 48.  But I wasn't, I was only 47.   Throughout the previous year, I've been unable to shake off my mistake and have constantly fooled myself into thinking that I was actually a year older than I was.

So on Sunday, my birthday, although I was officially a year older, I was still only 48.  Good trick heh?

I can't say that I'm particularly bothered about my age, although I've noticed aches and pains creeping in, but the one thing that baffles me is where did the time go?

In my head I'm still young, ambitious with my whole life ahead of me.  But when I see my teenage decade described as social history, it does send me into a bit of a panic.  I love watching TV programmes such as the Back In Time programmes where families live in the conditions of previous decades and I'm horrified to see what I thought of then as state of the art technology,  is now viewed as old, clunky and obsolete.  (I'm hoping here that I haven't gone down the same route).

I still have so much more that I want to achieve, particularly in my writing ambitions, so I suppose I had better just get my skates on, and attach those fingers to the keyboard or pen to paper.

However, despite my maudlin, Sunday was a lovely day.  Had a long lie in reading a book, was surrounded by my lovely boys (well they were trying their hardest) and the sun was shining.  In the evening I had several glasses of wine with friends in my local country pub. What's not to like?

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Having A Clear Out

It looks at though the womag editors have had a busy week.

On top of my rejection from Take A Break last week I had another two on Thursday and then one from Woman's Weekly on Friday.

I few of my fellow online group have also had rejections from TAB so it looks as though they are having a spring clean and clearing the clutter from their desks.

So much for reaching my target of ten for the end of May, I'm now down to only three.

Better get writing and subbing again!

Hope you are all having a better week.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Balancing Act - Joanna Trollope


I used to adore Joanna Trollope's books and then I fell out of love with them a bit.  Recently a friend bought me Balancing Act.



I decided to read it with an open mind and I'm so glad I did.  I literally raced through it in a matter of days and if I'd had the time, could probably have read it in one sitting.

Susie Moran is a woman who owns her own pottery company making all kinds of tableware.  She has three grown up daughters who all work in the family business with her, along with one of her sons in law.  

Susie has always been very driven and likes to be in control  but it seems that her daughters have very different ideas about how the company should be run.

In Balancing Act Joanna Trollope achieves what she does best, exploring the family dynamic and how each member of that family are affected when circumstances change.  Her characterisation is brilliant and I found myself liking them all and sympathising with each one's point of view.  

It didn't have a fast paced plot because it didn't need it.  The characters were what drove the story and Joanna Trollope is definitely the master of characterisation.

Definitely a good read.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Submit, Submit, Submit


No not in a 50 shades kind of way, I'm talking here about short story submissions.




Last year I only had two short story submissions accepted but when I reviewed my submissions at the end of the year, I found out that I had only submitted ten throughout the year.  

Don't get me wrong, this wasn't the full extent of my writing during the year, but it did bring home the fact that you really have got to be in it to win it.

Rather than setting a target based on number of submissions throughout the year, in January I decided that I was going to aim to have at least ten short stories under consideration at any one time.  

By the end of March I only actually had four under submission, so I decided that I wanted to submit another three during April and three more during May so that by the end of this month I would have achieved my aim.  Obviously this is with the hope of building on this to exceed my target by the end of the year.

By the middle of April I had only submitted one story and then the following week I received one back so it was time to get moving.  

To be honest, I haven't written much new so far, but I have been trawling through my laptop and found some I had written earlier!  Some I've been editing, some I've completely re-written.

By Thursday though I still hadn't submitted, so I started on a period of intense editing and by yesterday afternoon I had hit my target!

Feeling quite pleased with myself as today I have edited another story which I plan to send to a competition.

Maybe finally I'm getting into the swing of things!

Hope your weekend is going just a well as despite the weather!