Birthday

It is Diesel’s birthday today. He is thirteen years old. I don’t think he’s really 92-he acts much younger than that, although he doesn’t always hear when we call him. Hubby says that’s ‘selective hearing.’

I keep thinking of improvements to the last page of my novel. I want the reader to feel satisfied. I know I hate rushed endings or those when one has to go back and check that you haven’t missed anything.

Our writing group is going from strength to strength. Wendy Hughes has local launches of her book all this month and I am planning a ‘Music and Words,’ event in May. Most of us will be at the Southern Book Show on 4th March.

I’ll add a picture of Diesel as it’s his special day.

diesel begs

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Review comment and event.

At last somebody has thanked us for the pantomime. I was hoping for some feedback and when they said it was’just brilliant’ and’made them chuckle’ I was so grateful. I’m not sure I’ll do another one, especially as I am focused on the next novel at present but it makes me feel it wasn’t a waste of time. I was really proud of the cast and they deserve to know their efforts were appreciated.

Sorry I can’t tell you about the book. I know some folk put excerpts on line as tasters but I like to feel the reader can identify with the characters and that’s impossible in a short piece.

I am looking forward to the book launch on 17th February when Elaine Hankin will have ‘Footprints on my Doorstep,’ Anne Saker will have ‘Matilda and the Waltz of Life’ and Wendy Hughes will have ‘ The A to Z of Curious Sussex;’ three very different books by excellent local authors. The venue is Heene Road Community Centre in Worthing, time- 10am to 1pm.

Even more research

Now my characters want to move house so what did I do? I looked on line to see what is available in this district, where it is, how much it would cost, whether they should purchase or rent. I hope the sites don’t think I’m looking for myself or I’ll get lots of extra information that I don’t need. It will be interesting to find out.

So sad that some shops that have been here for years are closing down, mainly because the owners are retiring.

I bought a haggis yesterday for 25th.I looked for a vegetarian haggis as I prefer the taste to the original one. Not only did the supermarket not have one but they had sold out of swedes as well. We are celebrating Burns night a day early, anyway as it is a busy day tomorrow and I might not have time to do a special tea! So tonight it is haggis and sweet potato. It is one of our slimming days (we are on the 5/2 diet) but we’ll probably cheat and have a whisky later on!

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!

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 holeĀ  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!

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.