Moonlighting (The Romantic date. Fifty Shades of Newham)

27 Mar

I have been busy busy busy over the last few months. I may have appeared to be neglecting my blogging. I have been working on getting my eBook, Angel Girls ready for release as a paperback. It is all very exciting, and I think  we may soon have a launch date.  Infact, I confess I have also been doing a bit of moonlighting. I have been doing a weekly blog post on the “I was born in Islington” site. This “Midweek memory” feature has proved very popular, so I have continued to write on this page. However, I appreciate that it can only be viewed by a limited audience who are members of this group. I have also been doing an occasional column on my home page called “Fifty Shades of Newham” this has also been popular and I would like to continue it here, so that it can reach a wider audience. I hope it will give you all a smile. God knows in this grim weather we could all do with a laugh. For those of you who have not read any of my Fifty Shades stories, it concerns a young girl who has illusions of grandeur. She would love to be an Essex girl, but is not classy enough. She has a boyfriend called Dwayne, and a best friend called Lambrini. Read on…

The Romantic Date.

My Dwayne had asked me to meet him along the Greenway for what I hoped would be a romantic evening. The Council insist it is called The Greenway now. All the locals still call it the sewer bank though, cos that’s what it is really. Our Mayor, Robin B’Stard, called it “A hidden gem that cuts across our vibrant borough. An ideal place for cyclists and walkers”  He forgot to mention that it is also an ideal place for muggers and drug dealers, and covered in dog shite. Never mind. With the wind in the right direction, and if you don’t look too closely, it can look quite pretty.

If the wind is not in the right direction, however, the stench from the sewers can make your eyes water. At this time of year it usually hums a bit up there, but at the moment it’s about minus 15 and fecking freezing, so it smells okay. So long as you don’t inhale too deeply.

I thought I would bring a picnic. I thought it was a bit nippy for a picnic, and I wasn’t sure how we would manage to have a snog whilst wearing balaclava’s to keep out the cold, but I made us some fish paste sarnies and a flask of cuppa soup and set off. I had really pushed the boat out. I think I’ve been neglecting my Dwayne recently, and I was keen to relight his fire.

Dwayne looked a bit agitated when I got to the sewer…er, Greenway. He said I had to look for some thing he had lost on the grass. Ooh, I love a treasure hunt! I wondered briefly if he had hidden an engagement ring in one of those lovely little plastic Easter eggs for me to find? why else would he arrange to meet me up here? I wondered dreamily along the grass verge, picking my way through the dog shite, and looking from side to side. Dwayne was frantically searching the grass. “Keep looking!” he called over to me.  I couldn’t see anything. Apart from the empty lager cans and the dog shite that is.

Just when I was ready to give up, my Dwayne let out a delighted woop. He was waving a little plastic bag at me, that looked like it was filled with dried herbs. I was dead impressed. My Dwayne must be learning to cook. Bless him. He was so enthusiastic about it, that he very soon had a queue of people waiting to buy his herbs. I let him serve his customers whilst I set out our fish paste sarnies. I even took off my balaclava. I poured out a plastic mug of cuppa soup as Dwayne served his last customer and prepared myself for a hot night of passion amongst the chick weed.



Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like These…

16 Jan

Here we are, already half way through January and I wonder how many of your new year resolutions have already fallen by the wayside? I am trying very hard to get back on track with my work in progress, but at the moment real life keeps interfering.
Today was meant to be a free day as my “day job” has finished for the time being. I am on call as it were, and back to only being called if some one goes off sick or on holiday. I thought this would be an ideal time for me to get back into a regular writing routine. I was really looking forward to it.
The idea was; walk dogs, come home sit at lap top. Write. However, the best laid plans often go astray. I have to factor in things like house work before I get strangled by cobwebs, go to post office for husband, do family laundry. Wash the mountain of dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Retrieve laundry stolen by dogs. Answer the phone to yet another ruddy cold caller… grrrrr. I bet Stephen King and J.K. Rowling don’t have these problems!
Makes me wonder how other mere mortals cope. The pharmacist who I go to regularly asked me once “But how do you find the time to write?” I smiled smugly, and said somewhat smarmily, “I just do it, because I love it” talk about famous last words! Where does the time go?
I seem to continue to set myself deadlines that I don’t have a hope in hell of meeting. Never mind. There’s always tomorrow!

New Year Resolutions

31 Dec

I have been working flat out for a few months and I am sorry I have been neglecting you dear blog site. I have tried to utilise my time where I felt it would be most effective. It is one of my new year resolutions to increase my followers on this page. I will endeavour to produce regular blogs to keep this page fresh and to keep my (limited) readers happy and hopefully entertained. I hope I will be able to bring a smile to your faces and increase my followers.
New Years Eve is for all of us I think a time for contemplation and chewing over the events of the past twelve months. For me it has certainly been an eventful year. I gained a beautiful little granddaughter and published two novels. Quite a productive time.
I also went back to working part time after a few years out of the labour market. It was quite a big step for me to return to the routine of working out side the home. I found my self juggling too many balls in the air and something had to give. Consequently my writing has suffered and my blog posts and my work in progress have fallen somewhat by the way side.
I am not happy when I am not writing. I will have to find a way to accommodate all the things that are important to me. Time management is something I must get to grips with. I only work part time, yet it seems there just are not enough hours in the day to seriously concentrate on my new novel. I must be doing something wrong!
I think I just need to be a bit more disciplined. In my defence though, I have been exhausted. I work with some challenging children and it does have the knack of sapping your strength.
However, it’s a new year, and a new start. A fresh new page beckons. I have got myself back on track and I am raring to go!
News of the latest project will be coming soon. May I wish you all a very happy new year, and I wish for each of you success in whatever you set out to achieve. Cheers every one.

Nothing Changes Unless We Speak Up.

17 Oct

I am taking a bit of a departure in this blog post, but I think it is important. For those of you who have read my first novel, Poppy Days you will know that it deals among other things about bullying. Although Poppy Days is a novel, the bullying was based on my own experiences.
It all happened over forty years ago, and yet it is still often too painful for me to recall and speak about. However, October is bullying awareness month. Another child this time in Canada has taken her own life because of bullies. Something needs to change.
I was a teenager in the 1970’s and I went to an all girls school. I was the small quiet, timid kid who was afraid of her own shadow. Consequently, I got picked on. I got picked on every single day, for five years. All the horrible things I describe in Poppy Days actually happened. I was spat at. No one spoke to me, except to say snide derogatory comments. I was pushed, shoved, tripped down stairs.I had my homework nicked. It was hell. I had no one I felt I could tell. None of the teachers cared. Some even joined in with the bullying, especially my maths teacher. To this day, I still panic if I have to do any thing mathematical. My teacher used to love hauling me out infront of the whole class and order me to solve an equation she had written on the blackboard. She knew I couldn’t do it. She also knew I was being bullied and laughed when the other pupils in the class mocked me as I stood helplessly in front of that board.
Yes, it was hell, and yes, it took me years and years to get over it. I attempted suicide. I have never admitted this in public before. I don’t want sympathy, I just want people to realise that bullying really is that serious.
People have asked me why I didn’t speak out. The answer is simple. I was terrified. I couldn’t see it ever stopping.
I am writing this because sadly, it is still a seemingly never ending nightmare for too many. It only ended for me because I woke up one day and refused to go to school. I never returned. I lost the last year of my education, but I got my life back.
Any one who is or has been bullied will understand how desperate I felt. I hope this post will help some of you who may have a child going through a terrible time. If they cannot speak out, YOU must. If the school will not listen or take action, then you have to get your child out of there. I wish with all my heart I had had the courage to tell someone. I never did when it was happening to me. It breaks my heart that nothing much has changed since my bad old days. No child deserves to be driven to suicide because death is a better option than bullying. That is a damning judgement on us all.
As for me, well, I suppose I did speak out really. I wrote about it in my novel, and in my book, I got my revenge. I was able to take control, and made my character do all the things I so badly wanted to do in real life, but was too afraid to do. My protagonist meted out her own form of justice. When I wrote that, it exorcised all sorts of ghosts for me. I finally felt free. It was a wonderful feeling.
I hope that any one suffering at the hands of bullies finds the courage to make it stop, and that they too can be set free.

A Life In A Day

12 Oct

I won’t ask you to close your eyes and picture the scene as you need your eyes open to read this blog, but I will try my best to paint a picture for you of a day in the life of a humble author, or rather my life in a day.
So, here we are, and it is a surprisingly bright and cheery looking day in East London. I have staggered downstairs at silly O’Clock , overflowing laundry basket in my arms as usual. My little terrier, Dodger will be happily pilfering from said basket as I blearily try to load the long suffering washing machine.
Alf, the strong silent Labrador will more often than not already have stealthily helped himself to several socks and undergarments and sneaked them into the living room whilst I try in vein to wrestle a sock from Dodgers mouth. I am used to going on a sock harvesting mission before switching on the washing machine. My usual haul of retrieved items spread around the carpet consists of half the laundry basket, and my poor rug resembles an explosion in a knicker factory.
Once safely retrieved, I put the first wash of the day on. Teenage sons I have noticed, make a lot of laundry. Then I make some breakfast and attempt a conversation with teenage son before he leaves for sixth form college. I am making the most of these brief conversations, as this time next year he will have flown the nest to go off to university.
I am not looking forward to having an empty nest, but I’m sure my writing will help to fill the huge void his leaving home will leave me with.
It will non the less be difficult to prepare for a new phase in my life. Being a mum has been my main occupation for thirty years, as I have two sons. Not sure I am ready to relinquish the role, but I am trying to convince myself that bringing up your children to be independent confident adults,
ready and eager to fly off for their own adventures in life is a parental job well done.
Anyway, I digress.After the breakfast and the “bye son, have a good day” scenario, it’s down to the important bit of the day. Shower and dog walking. Yes, this is vital for my manuscript. I do an awful lot of thinking and plot writing whilst throwing a soggy tennis ball whilst I trudge my way through the damp grass.
Usually by the time we return and I have sat down with my lap top and a well earned cup of tea, I have walked my way to a new chapter.
After wasting a bit (or a lot) of time on facebook, it’s finally time to get down to the nitty gritty.
I admit my organisational skills are not exactly regimental. In fact, I freely admit they may appear downright haphazard. I do not do spread sheets to record my word count , or have much of a system. My only props are a note book and pen. I write notes about my characters, bits of relevant information and research ideas in it. It’s not very high tech, but it works for me.
There is just time to pick the dog hairs off my key board, and I’m good to go. Maybe I’ll just have one more cuppa first, though, that an odd sock I can see? now, who, I wonder, left that there?

Oops I Did It Again…..

18 Sep

…In the words of Britney Spears, Oops I did it again….I have to amend the amendment, and poor Kimberly is now laughing her socks off, and I am hiding in a corner, too afraid to come out. I’m blaming gremlins. Or maybe my brain is just not functioning on full power today! Hopefully for the last time…Kimberly Menozzi’s blog link…..http// and if I’ve got it wrong AGAIN I’m going to shoot myself….x 😦 Sorry……


18 Sep

Please can I just amend one of the link addresses at the end of the “Next big thing” post. I put in an extra “i” in Kimberly Menozzi’s blog address. It should read http// apologies.