More research

Checking on locations from a computer is so much easier that going there. I am noted for setting my novels in Sussex, even if I don’t name the streets or buildings but this next book is set all over the country and I haven’t the time or money to go to every place.

Thanks to the internet I can view the settings I want to use and even get reviews so I can get a real feel for each place. I have been viewing pictures of Cornwall and it makes one want to visit, it looks so beautiful. The only time I usually look at photos is when I’m choosing a book cover but I haven’t decided what to put on the cover of this one yet. I’m only 15000 words in! I saved a picture but now I can’t find it to add to the post.

Another time, perhaps!

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Ancient invisibility

How I dislike being old. Maybe it isn’t age. Maybe it is just that I’m forgettable.Maybe there is something about my lifestyle that means people don’t remember me. Am I too self sufficient? Are my husband and I too exclusive? ( We don’t mean to be) Do folk think I don’t need help and encouragement? (they are wrong)

For months I put all my creative energy into writing a pantomime, casting it and recording it. Then I waited to hear what people thought of it. Did I get any feed back? One person, a friend, said they liked it. Nobody let me have a copy of it so I couldn’t let others listen to it. Copies were given to the cast at an event I couldn’t attend. I listened to it on line and it seemed OK but , oh, how I wished I had some CDs to show to people.

Eventually I asked if there were any for me. Oh no, all those that were left were thrown away! It was like having a story that I had written pulped before I could see the finished product. Everyone else had heard my baby except me! Not one of them had thought to save me a copy. I was forgotten, ancient invisibility was at work, out of sight, out of mind, the curse of the volunteer. Another example, like stay-at-home mums, that if you don’t work for pay you don’t count.

Next time I write anything – it won’t be free!

Trad jazz

Didn’t use the computer yesterday. Read some of my next book to Sea Scribes in the afternoon and went to the Woodmans Arms for the jazz and a meal in the evening. The Featherstone jazzband had a guest trumpeter, Cuff Billet and he did some brilliant vocals as well as great playing. This is one night of the month that we find unmissable.

I had a lamb hotpot with a cheesy topping and hubby had toad in the hole  but the great surprise was the chocolate and orange bread and butter pudding. It was delicious.

Once again I neglected to take a camera. I don’t use a smartphone so I don’t think of taking pictures all the time as others do. I must remember on February 17th when some of the Sea Scribes have a joint book launch at Heene Community Centre in Worthing. Three of us producing new books at one time must be worth recording. I don’t think mine will be ready before Christmas. I’m up to ten thousand words!

Muddled thinking

See what a dental appointment did to me! ‘A picture tells a thousand words ‘ does it? Not when you can’t tell the difference between a paperclip and a chain. Of course I have been using a paperclip to attach things. It was the chain I hadn’t found a use for. Now I know it means ‘links’ I’ll have to experiment some more.

Yesterday was such a gloomy day and I am terrified of the dentist. No reason, she’s very sweet but I have had bad experiences in the past. Anyway, I was due for a filling in the afternoon and I should have kept away from the computer until it was all over. Now it is, and it didn’t hurt a bit, I can get back to writing and perhaps learn more as I go along.

I did ‘share’ with twitter for a while but it was too personal so I stopped.What I need to do is find some fellow writers and eager readers who might like some of what I write.The people I follow are such an inspiration and I feel I can’t be as interesting but I’ll keep trying.bookwormclipart

New Year Party

For anyone finding me through the website I feel I haven’t given them enough poetry. The Friendship Centre New Year party¬† has a French theme and I am stretching it as far as I can with some information about the Isle de France ( Mauritius) I realise they were extinct before the French arrived but I found a poem about the dodo that I thought would amuse the members. It is by Hilaire Belloc.

The Dodo used to walk around,

And take the sun and air.

The sun yet warms his native ground-

The Dodo is not there!

The voice which used to squawk and squeak

Is now forever dumb-

Yet may you see his bones and beak

All in the Mu-se-um.

Experimenting

You must think I’m dumb. I have just noticed the paperclip on the top menu and supposes it makes a link. Nobody told me. Now to find out how it works. I guess you can link internally or externally. Goodreads already have my blog linked and one of my websites links to Amazon. I have just listened to Hugh about ‘Press this.’ It all makes me feel so ignorant. Someone did ask how to get my books and asked for a link but I didn’t know what to tell them. As soon as the next book is ready for publication I’ll delve further. Meantime, I’m in the zone, so forgive me. I’m writing!

Research

I used to say I didn’t have to do research for my novels. They were all based on personal experience- places I had been, people I knew, situations that I was familiar with or news from the papers or TV. However, this book is different. My characters are travelling to places I have never seen, along routes I have never travelled. How accurate do I have to be?

In order to make it as realistic as possible I have been using a route planner on the computer. It tells me the route, the mileage, how long the journey takes and the service stations along the way. That was my first piece of research.

Then I wanted to know how much a house would cost in Italy – so I Googled some. If I had been a genuine purchaser I would have had a terrific choice ( if money was no object!)

There are documents I need to know about and dates I need to check but, at last, the computer is more than a word processor and a very useful tool for research.