Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Summer catch-up

I've been taking a short break from blogging over the summer holidays but thought it was time I dropped back in and updated the blog with what's been happening in my world of late!

Hubby and I have just returned from a week on the beautiful  island of Sicily. Our first visit there but hopefully not our last. My late aunt used to spend a lot of time there and I heard her talking about it throughout my childhood and beyond. I have inherited several pieces of pottery, glass and jewellery that she bought there over the years. It is somewhere I have wanted to visit for a while, especially since she died. Anyway, I finally made it! I only spent a week there but I can certainly see why she loved it so much. Here are just a view images.
Mt Etna
standing on a volcano is spectacular!
Greek theatre - we watched an opera here one evening

the beautiful sea
sometimes you felt on top of the world!
a little wine tasting was involved!
the colour of the sea was amazing


               
I've also had two lots of friends staying. It was lovely to catch up with them and hear all their news. It also means we tend to go out and visit places near us that we don't often go! Sometimes easy to miss the things on our own doorstep!


Kynance Cove

Gunwalloe Cove - Poldark country!

I went to Plymouth for a couple of days to see the spectacular firework display they hold there. We also had time for a visit to the Plymouth Gin Distillery!

so many different bottles!
these particularly caught my eye - can you tell why?!

We also took a short family trip to London, which was wonderful and very tiring! Lots of walking and sightseeing, but great fun.

I have been writing and have managed to add words to my current manuscript. The first draft is coming along nicely. Hope to get more done before I go back to the day job in just under two weeks time. 

So, that's my summer in a nutshell! What has everyone been up to? I'll try and visit some blogs this week and find out.





       

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A little break . . .

Life always seems to get a bit hectic this time of year. Visitors, trips away, trying to catch up with writing projects . . . the result is I will probably be away from the blog for a couple of weeks or so.

I will be back later in the month to update on what's been happening here. I have turned comments off for this post, but thanks for stopping by. I will catch up with you all soon.

In the meantime I will leave you with a picture I took today while out for a walk. As soon as I saw it I thought the rock looked like a dragon gazing out to sea!

 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

IWSG (AUGUST) Re-Launch!

I didn't really have anything to talk about for this post until yesterday. Not because I didn't have insecurities lurking, me and insecurity are old friends! It was more the 'writing' part that was bothering me, I guess I felt somewhat of a fraud - writers write right? And I wasn't, well, not shiny new words anyway and this was making me feel a bit stale. What if I couldn't do it anymore? Part of me was a little afraid my spark had gone out.

The last few months I have been editing old projects, reworking and submitting, in short I wasn't getting that creative high you feel when you're working on something new. Until yesterday . . .

Yesterday, I sat down, opened a file I had started much earlier in the year and read through the 9,000 words I had already written before I abandoned the characters to work on editing. I read through the research notes I had already collected and the character profiles and guess what? The spark was re-ignited! I feel in love with the project all over again. I sat and I wrote for several hours, new words, new ideas and I was buzzing! I can't wait to get back to it this evening and already I'm working out time slots for the next few days when I will be free to write. I went to bed thinking about it and woke up the same. I remember this feeling, I love this feeling, this is why I write. It makes me feel all kinds of emotion, it is what makes me, me!

I wanted to share this here so, that if I ever start to feel stale again, I can re-read this post and hopefully find the encouragement and inspiration to jump back into the ring.

Happy writing, may all your insecurities be small ones.





Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts:
                                                               Christine Rains
                                                         Dolarah @ Book Lover
                                                       Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
                                                              Yvonne Ventresca
                                                                     LG Keltner

  

Friday, 21 July 2017

Celebrate the small things & July Birthstone


Thanks to Lexa and her lovely co-hosts
            L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
       Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog


Today has been a special day as we saw our youngest daughter graduate! It rained heavily most of the day so no outside pictures but here is one of me with my two lovelies inside to mark the occasion.




Whilst I'm here today I thought I'd add my birthstone post for this month.

This month's birthstone is the gorgeous ruby.  Read on for some fun facts . . . 
  • According to lore, if you dream of rubies it signifies that you will soon experience success in love and money.
  • It is thought that rubies grow darker in colour when the wearer is in mortal danger. It is said that Catherine of Aragon, first wife of King Henry VIII, predicted her downfall in seeing the darkening of her ruby.  
  • If a ruby is placed under a building's foundations it is thought to strengthen the structure.
  • In the Bible the ruby is the most commonly mentioned precious stone.
  • The most valuable colour of a ruby is known as 'pigeon blood.' The darker the colour the more valuable.
  • In the Orient, rubies were once believed to contain the spark of life.
  • In the Middle Ages, rubies were thought to bring good health as well as guard against wicked thoughts, amorous desires and disputes.
  • Rubies were said to cure bleeding.
The verse from the traditional Gregorian Poem reads;

The gleaming Ruby should adorn,
All those who in July are born,
For thus they'll be exempt and free,
From lover's doubts and anxiety.

If you are celebrating a birthday this month, happy birthday to you.  Or possibly a 40th Wedding Anniversary?

Friday, 30 June 2017

Celebrate the small things

Some BIG things to celebrate this week in my world. First of all our eldest daughter got engaged! And then our youngest daughter received her final university mark and she passed with a First Class Degree. Yay, go girls!

Thanks to Lexa and her lovely co-hosts
            L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
       Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

With everything going on recently, I realised I hadn't posted about the June birthstone. I have just managed to squeeze it in before the end of the month!

This month's birthstone is the beautiful pearl. Their natural lustre and translucence make the pearl one of the most well known and much favoured gems. Apart from the usual milky-white hue we associate with the pearl they can also be found in silver, cream, green, lavender, blue, black and golden shades.

Formed from the tears of Aphrodite, a love potion from Cleopatra, a wedding gift from Krishna to his daughter. The legends surrounding this, one of the oldest gems, are numerous. Here are just a few more facts and interesting stories.

  • The word Pearl is from the French 'Perle' which in turn has origins in the Latin word 'Perna' meaning leg. The thought is that the shells in which pearls are formed have a shape similar to a ham or leg of mutton.
  • The characteristics of loyalty, faithfulness and friendship are associated with this gemstone
  • They are reputed to be helpful for health problems relating to the stomach and intestines, heart and spleen.
  • The Roman General,Vitelllius allegedly financed an entire military campaign with one of his mother's pearl earrings!
  • Wealthy Roman women liked to wear their pearls whilst they slept. They adorned their couches and trappings with them also to remind them (and others presumably!) of their wealth.
  • Julius Caesar was noted to be a great lover of the pearl.
  • In Tudor England the 1500's were known as 'The Pearl Age.'
  • In the 1900's the first successful commercial culturing of saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920's cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.
  • The largest pearl in the world is believed to about about 3 inches long and 2 inches across and weighs about  1/3 of a pound. Known as the' Pearl of Asia' Shah Jahan of India gave it as a gift to his wife, Mumtaz (for whom he also built the Taj Mahal).
  • Warriors from India encrusted their swords with pearls to represent tears and sorrow.
  • In South Asian mythology pearls were said to be dewdrops from heaven that fell into the sea where they were caught by shellfish under the first rays of the rising sun at full moon.
  • Pearls have often been used in medicines and to prevent diseases. In China there is evidence to suggest this was as early as 2000 BC and in Europe they were widely used until the 17th century. 
  • One of the most famous pearls is said to be 'La Peregrina' (The Wanderer). It is said that around 400 years ago a black slave gave it to his master in exchange for his freedom. 
  • Pearls are a gemstone for 30 years of marriage. 
Finally , I will leave you with the verse from the Gregorian Poem for this month. Happy birthday to all born in the month of June.

By her who in June was born,
No gem save Pearls shall be worn,
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship and fidelity.



Rose is the birth flower for June





Friday, 16 June 2017

Celebrate the small things

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few lovely relaxing days on Dartmoor.  Hubby and I really like it there and try and go two or three times a year, to walk and take some 'time out' from the daily hustle of life that we all seem to get caught up in. It is the perfect spot for us to take a short break as it only takes us about an hour and a half to get there. No fun spending hours in the car after all!

This hill is very close to where we usually stay. We've walked round the bottom before but this visit we decided to go for it and climb it! 


Now, it may not look so huge from this picture . . . but trust me it was certainly a challenge! My fitbit registered 82 floors when I checked it! However, it was worth the effort as we were rewarded with this super view.


It was so peaceful up there, if a little windy! We just sat and enjoyed the view (and got our breath back!).
When we got back down we rewarded ourselves with some delicious local ice-cream.

On another walk we met a herd of Dartmoor ponies complete with foals.


I didn't get any writing done there, but I did get lots of fresh air and exercise even if we did have to dodge the rain a few times. 

This week I have edited a short story and sent it off to a competition. My next task is to actually get back to my WIP which I feel I have sorely neglected for a while! Maybe I'll open the document and the writing piskies will have been working on it for me . . . I do write a lot of fantasy so one can always hope!

NB - In case you are not familiar with the term piskie - it is the Cornish word for pixie. 



Thanks to Lexa and her lovely co-hosts
            L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge 
       Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

IWSG (JUNE)

Welcome to this month's posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! I'm feeling generally insecure about a number of things at the moment but I'm not going to talk about them right now. Instead I'm going to jump right in with this month's question . . . 

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

Whilst I've never actually said "I quit," I've been quite close to it! Probably, most writers have at some point. I love writing, I truly believe it is what I should be doing, but it is hard. It is hard to keep motivated and enthusiastic when all there seems to be is rejection and knock backs.Then comes that little nugget of gold . . . you know the request for a full, genuinely positive feedback, a place in a writing competition . . .  and I feel the 'buzz' again and the urge to persevere kicks in.

There may be times when the words aren't flowing and I seem unproductive but I always seem to drag myself out of that feeling and keep chasing the dream. I sincerely hope I never quit!!