Tuesday, 21 July 2015

I'm chuffed to bits...

 'Hemlock', book one in the 'Tales of a Traveler' series has just received its 100th review, and 69% of those were five star.  Somebody pinch me because I feel like I'm dreaming.

It seems like only yesterday that I launched my precious 'first born' into the world. I never imagined it would do this well. Thank you all so much for helping me hit this amazing milestone. Today is a day I'll never forget.


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Nursery Crimes...

Despite their tender years, my kids, like most children nowadays, are extremely cyber savvy. They negotiate the internet and various phone  apps like seasoned pro's, and they'll even help out their aged parents on occasion!

But beyond the funny YouTube videos and exciting games, and the vast diversion of Netflix/Lovefilm lurks a shadowy underworld, lying in wait to ensnare the unwitting. We've had 'the talk', of course, and discussed various aspects of internet safety, but I still keep a very close eye on the stuff my kids watch.

The other day, I was telling the kidlets about my own childhood, and I'm sure you can imagine the horror on their faces when they learned there was no internet back then. Not only that, but we only had three TV channels, none of them kiddie friendly - with the exception of the BBC which had a few programmes scheduled at lunchtime and teatime. (Brits of a certain age will remember BBC 1 & 2 ended at midnight with a rousing rendition of 'God Save the Queen.' Happy days! :) )

Anyway, somehow or other, my son and I began discussing the nursery rhymes of those long ago days of my youth, back when God was nowt but a lad. As we were reciting these rhymes, however, a terrible realization struck me. Have you any idea just how gruesome and violent these things really are?

Don't believe me? Okay. May I present exhibit one:

'Goosey Goosey Gander where shall I wander,
Upstairs, downstairs and in my lady's chamber
There I met an old man who wouldn't say his prayers,
I took him by the left leg and threw him down the stairs...'

See? Gruesome! I'll spare you the next verse where the unfortunate old fellow suffers a broken back as a result of his fall and the subsequent glee of those twisted birds.

How about a lullaby? Surely there's nothing violent about one of those? Ahem. Exhibit two, m'lord: Rock a bye baby.

'Rock a bye baby on the tree top,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
And down will come baby, cradle and all.'(WTF?!*)

Moving on...

Exhibit three:

'Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown(!)
And Jill came tumbling after....'

Can you see a theme developing here? Here's another:

'Mary Mary quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle shells
And pretty maids all in a row...'

That last one seems innocent enough doesn't it? Wrong! Take a look at the origins of this lovely little rhyme: '...The silver bells and cockle shells referred to in the Nursery Rhyme were colloquialisms for instruments of torture. The 'silver bells' were thumbscrews which crushed the thumb between two hard surfaces by the tightening of a screw. The 'cockleshells' were believed to be instruments of torture which were attached to the genitals!'

And the list goes on. (http://www.rhymes.org.uk/)

S'funny, but suddenly the internet seems a much gentler place.
Bye! Have a great day.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Big Girl Panties Are Gooooo!

Welcome to Friday!

Okay. *takes big breath* This is a difficult post for me to write, but you've all been so lovely to me, so write it I must. You deserve to know. I've put this off long enough already.

As you probably know, I was hoping to release the third book in spring. Spring came and went then I moved the publication date to the summer. Well the truth is, I'm not sure I'll even be ready by the end of the year.

There. I said it. *exhales*

Ever since Dad died last March, I've been kidding myself it's business as usual, trying to do all the things I usually do. I'm not going to burden you with my woes - you probably have more than  enough of your own - so I'll try to keep this brief.

Losing dad has been bad enough, but on top of that I'm trying to cope with the inevitable paper mountain that accompanies a death. Every time a letter addressed to my dad comes through the letter box, each time I have to inform some faceless person of his passing, I feel as though the fragile scab on my heart has been ripped off and I start bleeding again.

Needless to say, writing anything has proved... a major challenge. Although I show up at the keyboard every day the words aren't what they should be, and I'll be damned if I'll publish a substandard book in order to hit a self-imposed deadline. Nope. That's never going to happen.

So here's what I propose: I'm going to take a break, give myself the summer off to read my teetering tbr pile, to relax, and to have fun with my kids. When they return to school in September - all being well - I should, hopefully, be myself again, all fired up to hammer the second draft of Anselm's book into shape. That's the plan, anyway.

Don't worry. I'm not vanishing. I'll still be around online, hanging out with all my favourite peeps. I just won't be flogging myself to death, forcing myself to perform.

I really hope you understand. Love to you all. <3

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The Trouble with Tiddles...

I bet all the cat lovers can relate to this one. :)

Whether it's the 14th century or the 21st century, some things remain constant. When I saw this image, the years separating me and this unknown author simply slipped away. The only difference is, s/he got puddy prints on her/his manuscript, and I get this kind of thing: shdgusssssrWSGnfskbnpoifxgjvmWEFNIK, as our cat tromps across the old keyboard for the umpteenth time. 

Have a great day!

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