Posted in Cornwall, Costal Romance, MONTHLY UPDATE, ROMANTIC SUSPENSE, Writer's Journey, Writing

JULY UPDATE…

Another month over and a milestone reached. Yes, at last I’ve arrived at the point in my writing where I can finally type THE END.  At just over 103,000 words, it’s the smallest book I’ve written so far. And it has been one of the toughest. Some books almost write themselves. This one hasn’t. Part of the problem has been I’ve had one or two health issues. They have been irritating rather than worrying ones but nevertheless distracting enough for my writing to go into stop-start mode.  Not a good thing when you have a timetable to keep to.

This month has seen another trip – a mid-week break to Alderminster, just outside Stratford Upon Avon. The Bell is a favourite stop over of ours. I can highly recommend this as a place to stay if you’re planning to visit Stratford. Not only is the accommodation first class, it has a really good restaurant if you fancy staying put for the evening.  And if you want to leave the car behind, there’s a good bus service into Stratford with a bus stop right outside the pub.

We had a two night stopover, giving us a whole day to ourselves. Deciding to make use of our National Trust membership, we decided on a trip to Coughton Court, near Alcester (about 12 miles away). A Tudor Country house with extensive grounds and gardens, we spent a few hours there before returning for a late lunch in the pub garden.

 

Book News – The manuscript has left the building, which you would think leaves me with a huge amount of time on my hands. Not so. In fact I seem to be busier.  As a great fan of period drama, I managed to get some chill out time watching Jane Austen’s Emma and Persuasion. I loved Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead role of Emma Woodhouse and Bill Nighy did a great job as her father.  Netflix and Persuasion not a good mix. Not only was this my set book for English Literature ‘O’ level, the action takes place in Bath (my home town) and Lyme Regis. That means I’ve always had a special affection for it. I’ve also carried with me my own idea of what Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth should look like – which as any reader knows is dangerous once a book finds its way onto the screen. I have seen two previous versions, one with Ciaran Hinds (1995) and the other with Rupert Penry-Jones (2007) taking the role of Captain Wentworth.  Although Hinds was quite imposing as a senior naval officer, I preferred Penry-Jones (far more handsome), and was keen to see how this twenty first century version compared.  Unfortunately, all I managed to watch was 33 minutes then sadly, I gave up.  Maybe my expectations were too high, who knows? The whole thing simply didn’t work for me, particularly having Cosmo Jarvis as Frederick Wentworth.  

JULY BOOK REVIEWS

And finally, when I next post, I will be including a cover reveal for my new romantic suspense novel Secrets That We Keep. It is the third part of my Cornish Estuary series set in the fictitious town of Kingswater. When I finished the first book Shadows on the Water I had no plans to turn it into a series. However, with three young women featuring, I soon saw the potential for two more stories. What happens next? Well, that’s all in the lap of the gods at the moment. We’re staying in Fowey during September so perhaps I’ll pick up those Cornish vibes and return home with the inspiration for another book. Who knows?

Until next month, take care and enjoy August…

Posted in Cornwall, Devon, MONTHLY UPDATE, Writing

September/October Update

The change from late summer to full blown autumn seems to have happened in the blink of an eye. One moment there we are, sitting having lunch in the garden, the next we’re wrapped up and pondering whether to turn on the central heating, -which as I write has already happened.

This year has been a strange one. Covid, of course, has changed everything.  Since emerging from lockdown we have managed three escapes. The first during July to celebrate a friend’s birthday and then just the two of us on a three night stay at Alderminster, just outside Stratford on Avon. Both enabled us to relax somewhere other than home and (very luckily) to enjoy some good weather. Last week we took a break in Cornwall. I’d really wanted to return to South Devon but back in September when I looked at availability it seemed any self catering accommodation for two or four people was fully booked. So I tried Cornwall instead and managed to bag a really lovely apartment in Fowey at The Old Stationmaster’s House. There we had a relaxing week, did a lot of walking and ate some fabulous food.  It was good to get away from home and forget about domestic and day to day stuff for a while.  But all good things come to an end and here we are, back again.  My OH has been busy clearing the garden while I’ve had my eye on the loft and five boxes and three suitcases long overdue for sorting out.  Happily two of the suitcases were empty and the third, containing a set of ancient curtains, will go to the local recycling centre once we’ve collected enough items to book a time slot.  With the coming of autumn and changing into something warmer it’s also been an opportunity to sort out clothes for the local charity shop.  

Last week, our first since returning from Cornwall, turned out to be a little manic. There was just so much activity in those seven days that we even postponed our daily walk.  Of course the weather had a part to play in the latter.  After my surgery earlier in the year I was keen to get back to full health and walking played an important part in my recovery.  Yesterday, the 26th, we had an afternoon walk and it was amazing how everything had changed since the last time we’d been out (8th October).  With the clocks going back at the weekend, we were walking at what would have been five o’clock.  It was colder, what was left of the sun was well on its way towards the horizon and there were carpets of leaves along the pavement.  That is one thing that is noticeable here. Usually the council have contractors out clearing the pavements but not this year.  No doubt the Covid situation has something to do with it.  It means we really can kick our way through the leaves as we walk.

On the writing front, while I was in Cornwall I had time to think about the current state of play with my WIP.  My writing mojo had decided to take itself off on holiday and for a few weeks progress had been very slow.  Added to this were the other social media platforms that all needed regular attention. Something had to give and so on my return I decided to take a step back from Facebook.   I simply did not have the time to keep up with all the posts.  It’s not a total goodbye.  I will return at some stage, it’s just that for now dipping in and out of Twitter and Instagram works better for me.  Happily I’m gradually getting back into the swing of writing more.  Sitting in front of a blank screen, wanting to write a post and having absolutely no inspiration for any topic at all was scary. Even more scary (and frustrating) was having to admit that my WIP simply wasn’t working.  After publishing Shadows on the Water I realised I needed to make some radical changes. So it’s been consigned to the bin and I’m taking the characters and location and incorporating them into a completely new and different story.  The plotting has been done and I’m pleased with the new version. Now all I need to do is sit and write.

Well that’s about it for September and October.  I’ll be back at the end of November, hopefully with the news that the new WIP is going well. Crossing fingers!

And finally, I’ll leave you with a few reminders of our summer.

AT HOME

 

 

AND AWAY