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LOCKDOWN

It’s Monday morning, the start of another working week, which was greeted by steely grey clouds at first light and the biting chill of a northeast wind. However, this was no ordinary morning because there was no rush hour, no scrabbling to find a parking place because as of 8.00 a.m. this morning,  the small Island of Jersey, Channel Islands followed the UK’s lead, and officially went into lockdown.  

The Road to Becoming a Domestic Goddess

My pièce de résistance is probably a toss-up between tuna pasta and stew. We have only been lying low for a couple of weeks, but I have already received a few pointed comments wrapped in sarcasm and drizzled with a little innuendo.

I have more cookery books than I have ever cooked anything sensational, so I’ve no excuse, and I am making an effort.

The Wind of Change

We half-ran through the bustling streets, hand in hand. The soft, south-westerly wind carried the pungent smells of cooking meat and bubbling sauces into our faces, reminding us that it’s time to eat, and we are spoilt for choice.   Neon lights flash around us, the pounding heartbeat of the Continue Reading

The Boomer Generation

After a week of soaking up the sun, I woke up to what sounded like gravel being hurled against my window this morning.  Only it wasn’t gravel, it was rain/hail.  It was only 5.45 a.m., which was annoying as I didn’t have to go anywhere.  Still, I had five hours of sleep, instead of four. 

Life As We Know It

It’s horribly surreal.  Waking up to another beautiful morning and knowing the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan.

Life as we know it is about to change.

The fields around me were ploughed and planted with potatoes yesterday. Superficially, life as we know it appears to be carrying on as normal, but a big, black underbelly of invisible menace is lurking, waiting to strike.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Dreena Collins – Stories for the Modern World

For the first Author Interview of 2020, it gives me great pleasure to introduce you to one of my fellow Jersey Writers Social Group members, Dreena Collins. In September last year, Dreena entertained a packed Maria Richie Room at the Jersey Arts Centre, during the 2019 Jersey Festival of Words captivating us all with her engaging wit, and her passion for creative writing.

During 2019, Dreena self-published three volumes of her excellent short stories and flash fiction, The Blue Hour, The Day I Nearly Drowned and, most recently Bird Wing. The Amazon reviews alone are glowing.

So, you’ve finished writing your novel? Well, here is Cautionary Tale

I am just about to come to the end of what will be the final edit of… Draft number 12 of my first novel… I think it’s number 12, but I’ve lost count. So I’m a long way off seeing my book in print, let alone watching Renée Zellweger win another gong for playing the part of my MC and thanking me in her acceptance speech.

Starting a New Decade with a Bang (on the head)

NYE’s never fails to evoke a degree of emotion, even more so when it’s the end of a decade.  As a subconscious switch was about to turn on the emotional NYE waterworks, one of the five framed pictures of flowers above my bedhead, all embroidered by my late mother, just happened to fall on my head.

I had to laugh. Was it my mother’s way of wishing me a happy new year from some parallel universe? Or was the Universe itself sending me a positive sign that, if I keep a clear head, 2020 just might be my year?

Bring it on!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🕊️❤️

As 2019 fizzles out at midnight tonight, I would like to thank you all for your continued support during the past year.  It means a great deal.

2019 – An Honest Review

As 2019 draws to a close, is been a year rejections for Just Say It, my pantser-style first attempt at a novel.  But I am, older, tougher and wiser now; I can take criticism on the chin (crying emoji!).  So, I will say goodbye to 2019 feeding off the constructive criticism and positive feedback I’ve received during the year.

Leaving the Pantser in Me Behind

In June 2016 an idea for a book I’d been carrying around in my head for years, began clogging up my thought process.  I needed to write it, a.s.a.p. and, as luck would have it… I was made redundant.  So I threw myself into writing Just Say It.

After I started it, I realised I had little else apart from the main character and, after writing the first draft, she was beginning to sound alarmingly like me.  The pantser-style first draft was nothing more than an autobiographical unburdening of my life to date, with a large dollop of post-redundancy frustration on top.

After a total overhaul of the original manuscript my MC, Lisa Grant, thankfully, took on a life of her own.  It took me four and a half years to finish her story.  The storyline often going off at tangents, which produced unrealistic MC goals and hours of frustrating rewrites.

The Critic

I haven’t quite written myself off yet… 😏  pardon the pun… THE CRITIC © Tessa Barrie  My dear … the trouble is it lacks imagination There is absolutely no originality or guile You say it’s taken you half your lifetime To cultivate your method and your style   Oh dear Continue Reading

Keep Challenging Yourself!

Have you ever felt like you’ve climbed a mountain then fallen over a precipice? That overwhelming sense of achievement drowned out by feelings of ‘where to now?’ I had no idea that finishing my first novel, would have such a dramatic effect on me! 😉

IT’S YOUR TIME TO REALISE YOUR DREAMS

VIDEO:  This is YOUR time to realise YOUR dreams.

Happy Saturday Everyone!  Hope you are out achieving your dreams? 🙂

“You may be the only person left who believes in you, but it’s enough. It takes just one star to pierce a universe of darkness. Never give up.” Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway

ECLIPSING MYSELF: The New Improved Me

At dawn one morning I found myself talking to the Universe, well nobody else seemed to be listening and begging it to make my shit state of affairs go away.

The mighty Universe must have heard, as shortly after my impassioned plea, I was scrolling through Facebook and found Julianne Palmer, a clairvoyant in Australia.  I noticed that one of my friends had liked her page, so I had a look.

In the past, I had never paid too much attention to what the stars had to say about what fate lay in store for me, but I was desperate for an indication from somebody, that my life was going to improve.  So I took a leap of faith and picked a card.

Happy Friday… peonies and all…

I was unceremoniously woken by a clap of thunder. When I looked out of my bedroom window, Storm Miguel was battering my peonies and the rest of the garden, which was shaping up to be our best horticultural endeavour ever.

LIFE: An Appreciation

I watched the sunrise yesterday, as I often do. My writing day starts at dawn. It’s the time of day my brain seems to creatively engage. I threw back the curtains to greet the dawn on the day that marked yet another year since my arrival on the planet.

Tired but Wired: 4 days at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival

What a few days it has been for me in the city of dreaming spires.  I don’t like to brag, but I soaked up the words of wisdom of writer and broadcaster, Melvyn Bragg, who is best known as editor and presenter of ITV’s South Bank Show.  He was talking about his Continue Reading

OXFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL 30th March to 7th April 2018

It hasn’t quite sunk in that I’m going for four out of the nine days. I will be soaking up the words of wisdom of people I have admired for many years, such as the legendary Ranulph Fiennes. Much admired veteran journalists, Kate Adie, and Martin Bell. I hope to Continue Reading

The Road to Self-Belief

Three-and-a-half years ago, I had a lot to get of my chest.  A series of bad events responsible for clouding my horizon.

With the summer months stretched out in front of me, I did what I have always done in times of trouble, I reached for my keyboard and poured my heart out.

Diving into the Wit and Wisdom of Dawn French

During breaks from daily workouts over a hot keyboard as I endeavor to master the art of writing with instant grabability, I’ve started reading a new book.  Me • You by Dawn French.

REJECTION IS NOT FATAL

With all the upbeat bravado that goes into celebrating a New Year, it has been a sobering experience for me to start 2019 with a rejection. I am viewing the first rejection of 2019 as a part of my character building process.  I haven’t died, I will live to write another day.  My determination, as well as desire to master the craft is stronger than it ever was and I’m on the way to developing a skin with the rigidity of an armadillo.  So, that’s all good.

The Power of Qigong

When I closed my eyes, there was chaos.  A whirlpool of my life flashing like a technicoloured LED advertising board, down to what was on my shopping list and what I was going to cook for supper.

Living the Ex-Pat Dream

Portugal, for me, is sensory overload; whatever the time of year and after visiting for twenty-six years, it is time to make it my home.

How to Hook an Agent: Jargon Busting

I haven’t submitted to a publisher since 1998. This week was a first for me because I have never approached a scary agent before and some of them weren’t even born in 1998.  Now, barely out of University, with dynamic wish lists, eager to discover the next J. K. Rowling and an enduring character, such as Harry Potter… who they’ve grown up with.   

As a much-older-than-I-would-like debut novelist, my bittersweet story is about the life of a forty-year-old woman born in 1959, who grew up with the non-PC tales of Noddy and Big Ears.  So, many baby-faced agents might consider that my first foray into Women’s Fiction would be better suited under the heading Historical Fiction.

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