Travel Undaunted? Well, the last time I did it was this time last year – (February 2020). One year ago today, I was in Amsterdam, smooching with my holiday love, Ted, in Dam Square.
As the others took in Body Worlds and the Van Gough Museum, I sauntered through the streets of Amsterdam at my own pace, taking in its sights and sounds. Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace, where I fell in love with Ted. We both have the same hair, which I think is rather sweet, but I am philosophical. Holiday romances never last.
This GOW Waxing Lyrical throwback from 2015 about my place in the sun, The Algarve, has really hit home. It now 19 months since I visited the place I love and, as from 2020, had planned to spend more time. Once given the green light, I will be on the first flight.
Keeping my itchy feet happy during these eternal Lockdown Days is an ongoing problem. I’ve tried binge watching twenty years worth of travel videos, with my feet propped up on a stool, so they can relive those heady sun soaked, beach filled days, but they are not happy. In fact, one of them is particularly grumpy this morning, and is refusing to get out of bed.
At the end of last year, an edit of my ‘finished’ novel, Just Say It, highlighted I had a problem with multiple point of views, I largely ignored it, until I received the latest critique, which not only highlighted the multiple POV’s issue, but it also pointed out that I was also guilty of another writer’s crime, authorial intrusion. So I need to back off, and let my characters do the talking!
There is always a great deal going on inside my head at the same time as I bounce ideas off each other. Too many, on occasions. I flit and float from one thought to the next, so perhaps that is one reason why I have allowed something similar to creep into my fiction writing. Unwittingly, I have beenContinue reading “Nail Your Shifting Points of View!”
My mother and I were never close. There has never been an unshakable emotional bond between us. No invisible strand that binds a mother to her child, post umbilical tie. Even as a child, I felt more of an accessory than a daughter. She never tried to cultivate a rapport between us, so I never felt that ache. That overwhelming sense of dread that engulfs you when you think about losing someone you love.
I like Beryl too, she is always upbeat, and we go way back. She teaches PE at Didsbrook’s secondary school, including me for seven years. I thought she was a bit long in the tooth for the job then, but she was probably only fifty-something. She would send us out for a five-mile run up the A59 and follow us in her topless MG shouting words of encouragement. Beryl is due to retire at the end of the next term and has been working on a novel. From the rather steamy pieces she has been reading to us, she could well be Didsbrook’s answer to E. L. James. She captures everybody’s attention when she reads, especially Basil and Tom, who are as animated as we ever see them. I can’t help wondering if Beryl is drawing from her own experiences. If she is, I really do need to get a life.
A chick, in my book, is a baby chicken covered in downy, yellow feathers up until the age of 6-weeks. I’ve always bristled when the term is applied to young women, and I have always subconsciously disassociated myself from Chick lit, believing the genre to be driven by scantily clad, sex-driven female main characters. I couldn’t have been more wrong and, although I’m not a fan of categories, it’s time to reassess the genre I think I’ve been writing in.
As we live in surreal times, I decided to call today Tired Tuesday. It is the day after Blue Monday, the official name for the third Monday of each New Year, which apparently, has been noted as the most depressing day of any year – not just one plagued by a pandemic. Surprisingly, I felt quite upbeat, as for the first time in 2021, I felt like I had a wasp up my arse, for the whole day, until I ran out of steam…
Dear Diary, as 2020 was so goddam bleak, I intend to record only positive thoughts and affirmations this year.
Well, hello, 2021! I took down the tree and the Christmas decorations today because now that you’re here, there no point in hanging around, I want to get on with it. You’ve been a long time coming. It’s been the longest 365 days of my life and, as I’m sure you’ve heard, your predecessor was a nightmare.
Around 6.p.m. I kicked off my jog pants, showered, washed my hair and dolled myself up. Then, proudly wearing an outfit I had been given for Christmas, I took a stroll along the landing from the bedroom, looking longingly at the photos and prints, framed and hanging on the walls. The hibiscus. A watercolour from Barbados, prints from St. Lucia and a photo of us all embossed on to canvas splashing around in the sea in The Maldives. Treasured memories.
I dare to dream about spending time with the people I care about, without being 2 meters apart.
I dare to dream about going out for a meal, or to the theatre – how I’ve missed the smell of the greasepaint – and listening to Little Black Dress cook up a storm in the Blue Note Bar with other live music lovers.
I dare to dream about a change of scene – I used to write poetry, just as well I gave it up.
I dare to dream about soaking up the sunshine somewhere with the gentle lapping of the sea in my ears, free to inhale the exhilarating, briny COVID-19-free air. Joy.
In the fuggy aftermath of a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas Day when, for a few hours, we successfully managed to banish all thoughts of the craziness going on around us, my blurry waking thoughts centred around my top 5 New Year Writing Resolutions. Look out 2021, here I come!
I started off December 2020 in a bah humbug state of mind. Now, here were are on Christmas Eve and my mental state hasn’t improved. Two days ago, I rearranged the sitting room and forgot that I’m not in my prime anymore, when I swung a heavy, high-backed chair from one side of the room to another and, my back gave way—what a time to self-incapacitate.
Jack is the love of my protagonist, Lisa Grant’s, life. He always has been, but they split up when Lisa was twenty-two after Jack proposed. Lisa had panicked, turning him down for a multitude of reasons. Too young, fear of commitment, terrified of going through the ‘monopause’ and turning in to her mother. Instead of talking it through with Lisa, Jack walked away, leaving her alone at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Eighteen years later, and in the throws of getting back together, Jack has another hissy fit after misinterpreting an intimate moment between Lisa her ex, Rory, and flounces off back home to New York.
Edna is a member of both DAWG, the Didsbrook Authors and Writers Group and DADS, the Didsbrook Amateur Dramatic Society. She is blessed with an unwavering self-belief that she is about to join the ranks of world-renown authors, convinced she is Didsbrook’s answer to J. K. Rowling, hence her rather suspect non-de-plume, E. D. Fowling. Edna is one of my favourite characters from The Doyenne of Didsbrook because every inch of her reminds me of one of Roy Clarke’s wonderful characters, Hyacinth Bucket.
I would like to introduce you to the gin-swilling Miss Laverty, one of the characters from my first novel, Just Say It. The year is 1963, and my main protagonist, Lisa Grant, is four-years-old. Her mother, the self-centred Elizabeth, has hatched a plan with two families living down the road to employ a governess to teach Lisa and the neighbours’ young daughters.
He stopped his tirade and got up to pour himself a stiff whiskey and, realising he was trembling, knocked it back in one.
‘Damn you, Will! If we are going to make our marriage work, the least you can do is be civil to me. You’re widely regarded as being exceedingly bright. So, you should be able to work it out.’
‘Work out what?’ He turned to glower at her, and hissed ‘insufferable as well as insane,’ before slamming his glass down on to the drinks tray and poured himself another one.
‘The dates, Will, they don’t add up. Not with Jeremy anyway, and Grandbo only wants to walk a virgin up the aisle. He told me to get out when he found out I wasn’t.’ Elizabeth started to sob. ‘He was about to put his grandmother’s engagement ring on my finger. It’s a sapphire… the size of a quail’s egg. Oh, Will, I really thought he was going to be the one. Unfortunately, he’s not interested in marrying a woman with a desecrated hymen, let alone one carrying a developing foetus. My life is ruined, and I never wanted children, and it’s all your fault!’
Finishing writing The Secret Lives of The Doyenne of Didsbrook, a murder mystery spoof, will be my priority in 2021. She’s been ignored over the last few months, which I feel bad about, as Just Say It has been getting all my attention, but I’ve been missing her, ‘The Doyenne’, and her secret lives. LOVING MY CHARACTERSContinue reading “THE DOYENNE OF DIDSBROOK, MY PRIORITY FOR 2021”