Friday Fictioners – Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Wedding Anniversary Gift

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

A rose for every year that we are married he promised and I laughed, the novelty would soon wear off or he’d forget.

I never expected what would appear for our first anniversary a single red nine-carrot gold rose. At least it would be easier for me to save and wouldn’t need drying out first.

He still continues to buy me a rose every year, they continue to sit on my sideboard as focal of the room. I’ve never questioned them or asked wouldn’t it be cheaper to go to the florist. I just continue to admire them.

 

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Thank you to Rochelle for hosting as always! Why don’t you join in! We write a piece of fiction based on a photo prompt, but your piece can be no longer than 100 words! Try it out and join us!

I have begun the submission slog again!!!!

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Gap Years @daveholwill @Rararesources #Q&A #selfpublishing

Gap Years @daveholwill  @Rararesources #Q&A #selfpublishing

Gap Years

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19 year old Sean hasn’t seen his father since he was twelve. His mother has never really explained why. An argument with her leads to his moving to the other side of the country.

Martin, his father, has his life thrown into turmoil when the son he hasn’t seen in nearly eight years strolls back into his life immediately killing his dog and hospitalising his step-daughter.

The one thing they have in common is the friendship of a girl called Rhiannon.

Over the course of one summer Sean experiences sexual awakenings from all angles, discovers the fleeting nature of friendship and learns to cope with rejection.

Martin, meanwhile, struggles to reconnect with Sean while trying to delicately turn down the increasingly inappropriate advances of a girl he sees as a surrogate daughter and keep a struggling marriage alive.

Gap Years is an exploration of what it means to be a man in the 21st Century seen from two very different perspectives – neatly hidden inside a funny story about bicycles, guitars and unrequited love.

Author Q&A

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I was intrigued when I heard the title of this novel so really wanted to find out more about the author and this book.

Q1: What inspired you to write Gap Year?

In 1996, when I was 19, I decided not to take up my university place, and then swiftly had a near-death experience which didn’t change my mind, result in an epiphany, or give me new respect for life as I would have expected. I thought the story of that summer and the events surrounding it might be an interesting story to tell if I changed it enough for the main protagonist to actually learn something. I was wrong, that story was deadly dull, but it was a springboard for what I eventually came up with. At the time my stepkids were both still living at home, and the tensions of living with your parents when you are an adult seemed to me to be something that bore closer inspection. A dual narrative to explore the idea from both sides seemed like a good idea. I’ll let the readers decide if I was right or not.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

While I was writing it, one of my main characters, Martin, looked exactly like a bloke who used to be on Neighbours in my mind’s eye. I can’t remember his name, but he had two kids and was seeing a much younger blonde girl. So him, maybe, if I could remember his name. Otherwise, now it’s finished, I can see James Nesbitt or John Thomson from Cold Feet bringing something to him.

His son, Sean, the other main protagonist, needs an air of vulnerability and innocence that is hard to find in young, male actors, but I think Alex Lawther (from The End of the F****ing World) could do an excellent job of pulling it off, or Asa Butterfield is doing a similar kind of role in Sex Education over on Netflix at the moment.

For the girl who comes between them and makes such a mess of their lives, Rhiannon, I think either Helen Monks or Alexa Davies from Raised by Wolves could bring two very different and excellent interpretations to a difficult character to understand.

The sensible, grounded and brilliant Alison (Martin’s wife) should be played by Nina Sosanya (from too many good things to list, including Love Actually) or Olivia Colman (you know who she is right?).

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

In the interests of full disclosure I have to admit I do not have a publishing deal, I don’t even have an agent. I am a fully independent author in control of my own career. Having said that, however, I do sporadically try to get a traditional deal and usually get a good dozen rejections before I end up self-publishing through amazon and claiming I am empowering myself. So far it has proved entirely justified every time, as my first two books have sold more than enough to prove me right, here’s hoping for a hatrick.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

Same way as I still do, stubbornly refuse to admit my work isn’t good enough and publish anyway. The best way to deal with it is to read as much traditionally published work as you can find and compare it ruthlessly to your own work. More often than not you’ll find you’re able to hold your head high, and your work deserves to be out there every bit as much as whatever you’ve just read. Keep plugging away and you’ll get there.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

George Orwell made me want to tell stories that matter, Coleridge made me want to frame them into beautiful dreams, and then Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams showed me that none of it is worth a damn if it doesn’t make you laugh out loud.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

I get up horribly early for the day job and run around to try and make sure I get an entire hour’s writing in before I leave the house. It never works, the cats and the dog always find a way to keep me busy so that I am lucky if I can squeeze in a quick twenty minutes. I usually manage to get another solid ten minutes in during my lunch break, and each evening, my planned two hours of work is constantly disrupted by animals and my attention being drawn to Twitter/Facebook/The Telly. The only solution is to take myself to the summer house (slightly pretentious name for a shed with a big window) where there is no wifi and lock myself in until I’ve hit my wordcounts. Somehow I usually hit my deadlines, so some of it must work.

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Don’t do it, it will take over what little free time you have, and every time you think you know how to do it something else will come along to show you you are wrong. There is no magic formula, no easy way to plot, and your characters will not do what you want them to. It is hard, thankless work.

Or, on a more positive note, don’t fight with your characters and try to make them fit in with your original idea, they know themselves better than you, even if you did invent them.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Don’t do it for the money, don’t do it for the fame, only do it if you really have to, it’s a lot of hard work for very little reward. And your family will hate you/forget who you are.

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Sleeping. No, seriously this is a trick question right? I can’t not write, I’ve been writing in various different ways for my entire life. I wrote awful, self-absorbed poetry as a teenager (which I hope has all been burned now) along with some dreadful angsty songs. Then I wrote a music fanzine,  gig reviews for the local paper and various forms of blogging in my twenties. All the while leaving piles of notes and early drafts of unfinished novels. Writing does not pay enough for me to live on (not the way I do it anyway) running a print department and playing guitars in pubs does that. Like every writer I know, I do it because I can’t not.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

Difficult, I am far too open about every aspect of my life on my blog, however, you might not know that I have written all my books, and every entry on that blog, on a laptop I pulled out of a skip seven years ago. I rebuilt it, and run it entirely on freeware. The ‘E’ and the backspace no longer spring back up when you press them, but it continues on working unabated, and as such has never been replaced. It has more than paid for itself and I think this might be the year it finally has to go back in that skip. I’ve thought that for the last five years though.

Thank you Dave, I might be looking you up soon so you can build me a laptop!

Dave Holwill was born in Guildford in 1977 and quickly decided that he preferred the Westcountry – moving to Devon in 1983 (with some input from his parents).
After an expensive (and possibly wasted) education there, he has worked variously as a postman, a framer, and a print department manager (though if you are the only person in the department then can you really be called a manager?) all whilst continuing to play in every kind of band imaginable on most instruments you can think of.
Gap Years is his third novel – following on the heels of Weekend Rockstars and The Craft Room, and he is currently working on the fourth (a folk horror set in his native mid-Devon) and a sequel to Weekend Rockstars.

Facebook-Xperia Dave Holwill          logo_thumb800@daveholwill

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Book Review: One Last Prayer for the Rays by @MarkinWes @Rararesources #Review

Book Review: One Last Prayer for the Rays by @MarkinWes @Rararesources #Review

One Last Prayer for the Rays

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One Last Prayer for the Rays

DCI Michael Yorke faces his most harrowing case yet.

When 12-year-old Paul disappears from school, Yorke’s only clue is a pool of animal blood. Fearing the worst, he turns toward the most obvious suspect, recently released local murderer, Thomas Ray.

But as the snow in Salisbury worsens, Ray’s mutilated body is discovered, and Yorke is left with no choice but to journey into the sinister heart of a demented family that has plagued the community for generations. Can he save the boy? Or will the evil he discovers changes him forever?

One Last Prayer for the Rays introducing DCI Michael Yorke.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this novel but at times found it very slow at getting to the point.

For most of this novel we are reading the story through DCI Yorke’s his point of view. I liked that how the disappearance of Paul Ray had a knock-on effect to the whole community, not just those involved.

Generations of the Ray family have gone on to commit crimes in some way or another. In the novel the author seemingly tries to answer the question of is evil produced through nature or nurture.

This story shows how what has happened in the past and family history can affect those members of family who are still alive today.

This family has had such a big effect on the community that one of the officer’s has history with one of the suspects who comes back to haunt him and attempts to break up his fragile marriage that is seemingly on the rocks.

I kinda of felt that the guilty party, let themselves down at the last minute. Having planned the kidnapping and putting everything else into place they failed to prepare adequately for the show down with Lacey.

Can our main character DCI Yorke keep everything together and a grip on his young DC and stop him doing anything stupid?

This book was enjoyable and a fast paced read with hint of Thomas Harris “Hannibal” (the film) added into the mix.

Grab your copy from:

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Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre.
​Having released One Last Prayer for the Rays he is now working on the second instalment of DCI Michael Yorke’s wild ride, The Repenting Serpent. He is also the author of Defined, a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.​​

​Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.​

Facebook-Xperia Wes Markin                logo_thumb800@MarkinWes

 

 

Consuming Fire @metalmamawrites @crookedcatbooks @Rararesources #Q&A #Giveaway

Consuming Fire @metalmamawrites @crookedcatbooks  @Rararesources #Q&A #Giveaway

Consuming Fire

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Consuming Fire

What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen…

Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.

A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.

Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?

Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.

In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

 

Author Q&A

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The blurb for this book made me think of the summer’s we now experience here in the UK where it is anything but cool! Also reminds me of being at work, where the heat can sometimes drive you towards wanting to commit murder.

 

Q1: What inspired you to write Consuming Fire?

The book is a sequel to my first novel Reprobation, and develops some of the characters I created, in particular Detective Inspector Darren Swift. But it can also be read as a standalone. It was inspired by the practice of coupe-feu, a traditional healing method in which a combination of pagan ritual and Catholic prayer is used to cure burns. This is still practised today in rural Switzerland and France, and can even be done over the phone. So I wondered, what if instead of praying to angels to cure burns, you tried praying to demons to cause fire? Over the phone?

As with Reprobation, I wanted to give a potentially supernatural twist to the crimes DI Swift has to investigate, as he continues his journey towards the occult.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

Oh I think my books would make a marvellous TV series! But doesn’t every author think that…

If the dream became reality, it would be wonderful to have Liverpudlian actors. Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) would be perfect for Helen Hope.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

I was very lucky; I made an initial application to a handful of agents and publishers and I got picked up very quickly by Crooked Cat. It was largely a case of right place, right time. I haven’t looked back since.

Q4: Which authors inspired you to write?

As a teenager I devoured classic crime fiction – Agatha Christie, PD James, Ruth Rendell, Conan Doyle – so I’m sure all that inspired me subconsciously to write my own crime novels.

I write high-concept with a supernatural twist, so I’m inspired by high-concept writers like Stephen King and Alex Garland. And my favourite author is Kazuo Ishiguro, for the beauty and restraint of his writing.

Q5: What are your writing routines?

I don’t really have a routine; it’s not possible because I have four small children plus my journalism work, so I have to be very flexible. I write whenever and wherever I can, long-hand in notebooks. I always transcribe and save everything I have written onto my laptop at the end of the day. My philosophy is ‘get it down’. I don’t worry too much about writing the perfect sentence or paragraph; I’d rather churn out 2000 words of stream-of-consciousness because I know I can edit later. The diamonds are often hidden in the rough!

Q6: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Don’t be afraid to commit. By that I mean emotionally and spiritually, rather than in practical terms. Because very few people have the luxury of giving up their job to write full-time. But I was embarrassed to admit I was writing; for some reason I found it humiliating to say, even to my husband, ‘I’m writing a novel’. I thought my family and friends would judge me for wasting time, for entertaining frivolous dreams. So I wrote in stealth, waiting until everyone was asleep, until I was alone. If I’d only had the confidence to tell people what I was doing I would have got on much faster, and I could have sought help more easily. If you’re writing, you’re a writer, whether you’re published or not – be proud!

Q7: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Join a critiquing group, take classes, read as widely as possible, write as much as possible – flash fiction, short stories, blog posts, freelance articles. You have to learn your craft, but you can teach yourself. There are a lot of resources out there.

Q8: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

My last job was a breastfeeding counsellor, so I might still be doing that. But I also write part-time as a music journalist, so if I didn’t have my novels I would probably still be writing anyway.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

My first job was resident pianist at Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chip Restaurant on the Liverpool docks. I was a very shy 16-year old piano student, and I just wanted to sit quietly playing classical music and Beatles songs. But I would get loads of drunk customers heckling me and requesting Come On Eileen or Nirvana. I found it so stressful! That was the beginning of the end of my career as a pianist.

Thank you Catherine x

Catherine Fearns is from Liverpool, UK. In previous incarnations she was a financial analyst, a cocktail pianist and a breastfeeding counsellor, but nowadays she likes to write. Her first novel, Reprobation, was published by Crooked Cat Books in October 2018 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller in several categories. The follow-up, Consuming Fire, is currently on pre-order and will be available in early 2019.

Catherine writes for music website Pure Grain Audio, and her music journalism has also appeared in Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction pieces have been published in Here Comes Everyone, Toasted Cheese, Offshoots & Metal Music Studies. She holds a degree in History from Oxford University, a Masters from the London School of Economics, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

When Catherine is not writing, she plays guitar in a heavy metal band, mainly to annoy her four children.

 

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Consuming Fire, Consuming Fire stationery, and a cuddly peacock! (Open Internationally)

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T&Cs Worldwide entries welcome.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Cover Reveal – A Thread of Hope @racheljbonner1 @rararesources #Coverreveal

Cover Reveal – A Thread of Hope @racheljbonner1 @rararesources #Coverreveal

A Thread of Hope

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Honesty is the best policy. Isn’t it?

What if your secrets are so dangerous they could destroy the one you love?

Prospero is prepared to tell Leonie most of his past – if he can find her – but one of his secrets could send her running again. Another could destroy any future they might have. And one could kill her. Dare he risk it?

Leonie is terrified of the consequences of sharing any of her past with anyone. But not even Leonie knows the secrets that her very existence contains.

Gabriel is starting to discover the secrets inherent in Leonie and they could tear the world apart. Who does he turn to, and who should he share them with? If he tells the wrong person he could seal not just Leonie’s death warrant but those of millions more.

And no one has told Leonie the mystery of her necklace. When she discovers that, will she sacrifice everything and risk all that Gabriel has been working for?

Thread Front Cover

What a beautiful cover! It looks like the cover artist has painted the picture themselves! I hope the cover transfers well to print! Having seen the cover I am really looking forward to me Q&A with Rachel in the future.

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Rachel J Bonner is the author of the four book Choices and Consequences series, the first of which, Strand of Faith, is due out in November 2018.

Getting a degree in engineering, followed by a career in accountancy is probably not a conventional path to becoming an author, particularly in paranormal romance.  Rachel says that, although accountancy isn’t anything like as boring as everyone thinks, writing is a lot more fun.  When not writing, she can be found walking in the beautiful countryside near where she lives, which has influenced much of the scenery in her books, or shooting things with her local archery club.  Target shooting only, honest.  Nothing to worry about.

She also enjoys swimming, eating chocolate chip cookies and growing aromatic herbs, especially thyme and rosemary.  It’s no coincidence that her heroine likes the same things.

You can pre order A Thread of Hope from:

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In addition, book 1 Strand of Faith is on special offer for a limited time at 99p for the ebook,

A girl. A monk. An unthinkable sacrifice. When the choice is between life and love, who can possibly decide? And who can be trusted for advice?

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You can contact Rachel on any of the Social Media links below.

 

Facebook-XperiaRachel J Bonner Author            logo_thumb800 @RachelJBonner1

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Rachel J Bonner

 

 

If you loved the cover it was designed by Oliver Pen, check out his other work HERE or find him on Twitter or Facebook

The Ghostly Father @AuthorSusanB @crookedcatbooks @Rararesources #Q&A #Giveaway

The Ghostly Father @AuthorSusanB @crookedcatbooks  @Rararesources #Q&A #Giveaway

The Ghostly Father

The Ghostly Father

Was this what really happened to Romeo & Juliet?

Think you know the world’s most famous love story?  Think again.  What if the story of Romeo & Juliet really happened – but not quite in the way we’ve all been told?

This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare’s famous star-crossed lovers.

If you love the Romeo & Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.

Author Q&A

Sue Barnard Author

How good does this novel sound! A really interesting take on a story we all know and no doubt studied! I am still very much hung up on the film. Enough on that this is blog tour…

 

Q1: What inspired you to write The Ghostly Father?

I’ve always loved the Romeo & Juliet story but was disappointed and frustrated by the way it ends.  I wanted to give the young lovers a happier outcome.

Q2: Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?

I’d love to see Hugh Jackman as the Friar, with Eddie Redmayne as Romeo and Lily James as Giulietta.

Q3: How many rejections did you get before you got a publishing deal?

Before The Ghostly Father was accepted for publication, I entered it in a couple of competitions.  It didn’t win, so I suppose that counts as rejection.  The weirdest rejection I’ve ever had was for my second novel, Nice Girls Don’t – the publisher in question turned it down it for a reason which directly contradicted their own guidelines!  Even now, more than five years later, I’m still trying to work out why.

Q4: How did you deal with them when you started out?

By telling myself that my work just wasn’t right for that particular publisher, and being determined to move on and try again.  Only once have I ever felt moved to question a rejection.  That was in the case I mentioned above, and I never did get a satisfactory answer.

Q5: Which authors inspired you to write?

Shakespeare (obviously); also John Wyndham (I love his short stories) and the great Terry Pratchett.  But my biggest inspiration is the wonderful Sally Quilford, who is not only the author of more than twenty amazing works of romantic intrigue, but who also taught me to write.

Q6: What are your writing routines?

Routines?  HELLO???

Q7: If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself

Writing a novel is nowhere near as easy as the experts make it look.  So don’t be surprised, or disillusioned, if you find that it takes a lot longer than you think.

Q8: What would you say to someone who wants to write?

Just go for it.  If I can do it, you can!

Q9: If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?

Pushing up the daisies.  I can’t imagine a life without writing.

Q10: Tell me something about yourself your readers might not know?

I once went out for dinner and ended up being sawn in half.

Thank you Susan x

Sue Barnard is a British novelist, editor and award-winning poet.  She was born in North Wales some time during the last millennium, but has spent most of her life in and around Manchester.  After graduating from Durham University she had a variety of office jobs before becoming a full-time parent.  If she had her way, the phrase “Non-Working Mother” would be banned from the English language.

Her mind is so warped that she has appeared on BBC TV’s Only Connect quiz show, and she has also compiled questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz. This once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” The label has stuck.

Sue speaks French like a Belgian, German like a schoolgirl, and Italian and Portuguese like an Englishwoman abroad.  She is also very interested in family history.  Her own background is far stranger than any work of fiction; she would write a book about it if she thought anybody would believe her.

Sue now lives in Cheshire, UK, with her extremely patient husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.

 

Facebook-Xperia     Susan Barnard Author           logo_thumb800@AuthorSusanB

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1454549184-1454549184_goodreads_miscSue_Barnard             amazon_logo Sue Barnard

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T&Cs Worldwide entries welcome.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Happy IWSG Day! #IWSG @TheIWSG

insecure-writers-support-group-badgeHey,

Being full of lurgy I am going to keep it short this month.

New Beginning:

I now have my edits back from my aunty so I can start submitting properly. I’ve had one agent so far ask if they can send it on to a colleague (fingers crossed) and one rejection so far.

Being full of lurgy does not help things as I also need to finish stuff for the Lucy Cavendish competition.

This months question: Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

As some of you will know I used to make models with loom bands, and have also recently started sewing!!!! A picture for my friend baby…

I am sorry I’m not more chirpy and talkative. i’ve going to put my head down on my desk now and sleep.

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