Writers in Warwickshire

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Kenilworth Castle

What a wonderful day, here in Warwickshire today. Blue sky, blossoms blooming and a lovely walk and chatter with my writing buddy and pal, Patsy Davies. It so happened that she and hubby Gary were passing through the leafy county and stopped off to look around Kenilworth Castle. Time flew by and the writing chatter was in full flow.

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Enjoying a cuppa in the campervan with a ray of sunshine breaking through.

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We had a mini break on a bench by the lake, and chatted about how we must not leave it so long before we have another catch up. We also discussed our latest romance stories and how they’re coming along.

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Alan happily enjoying a quiet moment.
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Kenilworth Castle

Into the New Year

Hope the weather isn’t too bad where you are. It’s cold and a bit bleak in the midlands, but we’re still able to go to work. And I’ve been to the gym three times last week. How is it that you can take months to get fit and then after two weeks of mince pies, chocolates and other food, you’re almost a stone heavier? So it’s back to the green tea for a while. Good job I like it.green tea

Do you want to be a pocket novelist? If so, the only way to know exactly what the editor is looking for is to read some. Or preferably, subscribe. I’ve recently become a subscriber, so now I get those lovely handbag novels delivered to my door. The stories are really good, if you like a longer story where you stay with great and exciting characters. Look out for a follow up to Country Matters coming towards the end of March/early April. You can see the opening chapters on my website if you’re interested. Though I’ve edited it a bit since then so it won’t be exactly the same. Another bonus to being a subscriber is getting these wonderful books at half price, and you don’t have to go driving round to find one.

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It’s time now to clear out your wardrobe. That’s me talking to myself. To say it’s a bit messy would be an understatement. But seeing as I had some new clothes for Christmas, it’s about time to sort and chuck out, or send to the charity shop. But if I’m anything like my mum, she recently tried to have a clear out, and ended up getting rid of one dress, which she gave to me. It was actually mine about twenty years ago and I gave it to her. A red velvet classic. I may do pictures of before and after the closet clearance, but please prepare yourselves as it’s not a site for the squeamish among you.

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This grey and white jumper is one I’ll keep because I knitted it myself and it’s good with a thin jumper underneath and goes with jeans, trousers or a skirt.

Have a great weekend, and more on the wardrobe clearance soon.

A jog with a view

I’ve been going to the gym most days over the last week. On Thursday, me and my gym buddy got to the reception. I’d love to blog about what happened next, but on a scale of 1 – 10 it comes around about 9 and a half, so I have to send it off to my favorite laughter pages of That’s Life. They seem to like my funnies and have printed quite a few so far and are always asking me for more. Seeing as they pay well, must give it a chance. He spent the next five minutes texting everyone to tell them about it. I couldn’t exercise for laughing either for quite a while.

His brother was one of the text recipients, and he happened to be going for a run on the same morning; outdoors around Torbay where he lives. This is the picture he sent me of early morning sun shining over my little Brixham bay.

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The picture on the right was taken last September, looking across to where he took this one from.

It’s been a cold but fresh day here today, so I’ve been chopping up the wood from our old shed that’s been stored in the greenhouse. Now we’ve got tons of firesticks, and the greenhouse is a bit clearer than it was. Next I’m going to make a base for a half shed so that we can clear out the shed that’s so full you can’t get in it. And, we have a bathroom booked. It’ll be a while before the busy plumber can come and sort it all out, but it will be done some time before the summer. And I’ve made up two spring baskets. It was so chilly at tea time though, they’re in the greenhouse with the sticks until it warms up a bit.

Now I’m off for a cup of tea and to watch the voice. And I forgot to mention that I got head hunted the other day. I was about to start cleaning in one of the cabin offices at the building site when a man approached. I said, “Did  you want Ray, or Jim?”

He said, “Neither of them, you.” Oh, I had a quick think as to what I might have done wrong, like go the wrong way round the site, or not wearing my hard hat. Then he handed me a card and told me he needed good workers as he’s the director of a cleaning company. I started saying, “Oh, yes, I do this that and the other.”

He said, “I know, I’ve seen you.” Wonder if that was when I slopped water up my jeans, or did a twirl with the mop. Either way, I’ll keep the number handy.

Have a great rest of the weekend, and a good week ahead.

Fancy a good story?

I started back at the gym this week. On Wednesday morning and again this morning, I went on the rowing machine, treadmill, bike and then the cross-trainer. After that mat excercises and stretches to cool down. I’m lucky to have a personal trainer, who says, no do those planks for a bit longer, and no, not like that, like this. Next week I might swim to mix it up a bit.

gym pictureThat’s not the story. I came home to find out that I’d won Morgen Bailey’s challenge to give the words for a story prompt. What she did with the words is lovely. Exactly the kind of story I had in mind. Details are here.

You can read all three stories here… How lovely to have a prize of 5,000 words edited.

Now I’m working on chapter 3 of Another Year in Redington. Being in Norfolk, they’re talking about the whales and how tragic it is that they’ve been washed up on the coast.

Have a great weekend, and if you want to read the opening of Redington, you can find it here on Amazon.

Thanks to all who have already downloaded or bought it.

 

A Touch of Snow

Walking in the snow before it melts.

It was such a miniscule amount that I took a picture to prove it. And we went a walk round the block to blow away a few cobwebs.

Here’s our local postbox where I pop in all my submissions and ideas to editors. Doesn’t it look good with a snow hat on.

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Here’s the next paragraphs of chapter 1 of book 2 in the Redington Series.

 

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We left off where Stanly the milkman was chatting to Janice in the grocery shop in the village about the new houses, flats and bungalows being built on the other side of the town.

 

“Not many around here think like you do; and not sure how long I’ll be able to keep going with my rounds. Mind you, saying that, a couple of young wives stopped and asked if I’d call twice a week with bread and milk, so you never know. Their hubby’s work on the roads over in Peterborough; tricky for them to get out early, especially if the babies are sleeping and them without transport. That’s what they were telling me. And with the shop being over this end of the village, makes it easier if I drop milk off.”
“That’s good news. It wouldn’t be the same without you and your deliveries. On the downside, there’s a new row of shops going up on that estate as well, so that might affect us in the long run.” Janice took a deep breath, and ran her tongue along her lip. “According to Jack, he’ll keep on doing the same as he’s always done, he doesn’t seem worried. I’ve spoken to him about expanding. I’m sure it could work.”
The door to the back of the shop banged open. The thin youth with ragged jeans and red and white sweatshirt made his way behind the counter, and picked up the delivery book. He glanced up, “Hi, Stanley, fancy taking a couple of small boxes for me. I’ve got the fruit and veg deliveries today. You know how they’d rather have you bringing them their jammy dodgers than me,” he grinned. “Sorry, did I interrupt something?”
Richie had dark brownish hair that sometimes hung lankly around his ears. On other occasions it stuck up, having a complete life of its own. His hazel eyes were enquiring and always darting from left to right, keeping an eye on every inch of the shop at the same time, Jack was teaching him to become shop manager, only everyone knew Janice held the fort more often than not.
“I was telling Stanley about Jack taking on a shop unit on the new estate. They’re not that big, and we’ve got all the stock and that new delivery van. It makes sense to me, only Jack doesn’t like changes, does he, Richie?”
“Not much. Let’s face it; took him three years to get me a van. He had me going round on that flipping great bike while I was the apprentice, with the basket on the front like an offspring of Granville.”
Janice chuckled, “Mm, I did hear you being called that once or twice. You have to admit it’s an idea though eh?”
“I’m sure you’d manage it between you. Anyway, if the young Royal is going to be attending that new nursery school in Redington, more people might want to come over here to live. We’ll have the television cameras here, Janice; better get your roots done.” Stanley put his cup down and made for the door swiftly managing to duck the pack of crumpets Janice hurled his way. He reached up and caught them in his left hand, then threw her a wink at the door and he was gone.

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Wordcount is 3,127 and I’m at the end of chapter 1 and got titles for the other chapters and a basic outline worked out. It may change from this, but it’s getting the skeleton story down at the moment. I’m aiming to get another chapter done during next week. More paragraphs of chapter one posted next weekend.

Watchout for People’s Friend author interview, coming soon. Amanda Brittany will be here to tell us more about her writing. Something to look forward to so check back here soon. Have a great week…

Glam Gran’s blog, big is beautiful

Digital imageHello to all my followers and to the new ones as well. Time for me to tell you about the latest super food I’ve discovered. Well, someone told me about it, and he’s one who’s tried it, so I know it works.

Just to let you know that I’m not promoting skinniness; I’ve changed my diet for health reasons, like cholesterol, blood pressure and weight being too high. We all know big is beautiful because Mika and Meghan Trainor sing about it, and you have to agree…

I’m talking about coconut oil. 

coconutMake sure you get the virgin one, as it’s got no extra things added. You can stir it into coffee or use it in cooking instead of the marge, or butter. It speeds up metabolism, and lowers cholesterol, but gives you the good cholesterol.

I made some sultana and coconut muffins, and they are delicious, or they were.

WP_20150530_13_27_17_ProThey fill you up more than usual muffins, and go great with a cup of tea. This is the recipe. Only where she’s put butter, I used coconut oil. You can buy it in supermarkets, and it’s like honey in a jar, only white. The muffins are easy to make, and there are lots of other great things on that website to make, so I’ll be popping back to see what else I can cook up, to eat.

I started all this healthy eating caper back in April, and now I’ve lost a stone in weight. Yes, I’m amazed myself, but it’s good fun now I have lots of great things to eat and drink, like the Spirulina smoothies…. spirulina

and green tea with a sprig of ginger mint in… I even had to go shopping for a few items of clothing as everything is beginning to look a bit on the baggy side.

Until next time, stay fabulous.

Latest Redington story, and a new look blog.

Hello on this rainy Monday to all my lovely followers.

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Good news is, I’ve finished my morning shift, and my latest Redington story is up on Creative Frontiers for you to read. I’ve missed that make-believe village and all the characters, and with this story we have a new one – Jasmine – Claire’s long-lost daughter. I’ll leave you to read the rest, if you want to.

Part Two is here on Tuesday

Part Three, Wednesday.

 

You might also notice, that I’ve learned how to add blogs that aren’t WordPress ones, to the right of my post. If you’re a follower, and you aren’t on there, drop me a line, and I can correct that.

I’m still drinking the green whoosh up’s and amazingly they’re smashing. Maybe my taste buds have changed as I take a flask of green tea with me in the mornings and drink that. Also, I feel like Granny Fairfax in the Terry Pratchett story, drinking a big glass of green froth.

spirulinaIn mine, I put soya milk, a banana, soya yoghurt, flax seeds, two teaspoons of lecithin (for lowering cholesterol) half a teaspoon of turmeric (for aching joints) and a heaped teaspoon, which began as half a t.spn, then progressed to two-thirds of a tsp. and now it’s a heaped one of spirulina.

Whoosh all of those up for about three minutes and you’ve got an odd shade of green milk shake. Oh, forgot to say, the thing that I think is making it yummshious, is three leaves of apple mint that I keep on the kitchen shelf, out of the garden. The blood pressure reading is almost normal, not sure about cholesterol, and I think a bit more chub has gone. I’ll find out on Wednesday when I check in at the Doctor’s.

Stand by for the weight loss announcement, I’ve lost eleven (11) pounds in eight weeks. Whoopie, but the blood pressure is still on the high side, so now I have to go for one of those ecg’s and a blood test. So, green smoothie coming up to celebrate the weight loss.

I offer anyone passing (in the family, of course) a sip. Then they guess what’s in it. Kiwi was one answer, on that day I’d put a kiwi yoghurt in there. Until next time, have a good week, and I’ll add links to the story each day………………………

Ivy in the storyWhat’s Ivy worried about, and will Edna Bailey have any answers for her and Janice?

 

© Arenaphotouk | Dreamstime.com – Village Store In Muker, Yorkshire Dales. Photo