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Showing posts from September, 2008

Tagging and Stuff

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Rosalie tagged me, so this post is in the tradition of passing it on to get other author blogs and websites visited - Working from Rosalie’s questions, below are six things about me:

1. I don’t want to be a grandma – I am only twenty five inside my head and don’t anticipate being any older, despite what the mirror and my birth certificate say. But I suppose, like motherhood – you don’t know how it changes you until it happens.
2. Family is the most important thing in life – as long as they don’t touch my laptop- trash my writing or make jokes along the lines of: ‘Mum’s losing it, she’s got her head in that computer again!’ – then I daydream about divorcing them all and living on an island somewhere.
3. I have three wip’s and would like to finish at least one this year and discipline myself to stop tweaking them and move on.
4. We recently stayed in Cheshire, where there is some beautiful countryside and scenic walks Also, the Peak District and the Lake District are both within easy a…

Little Moreton Hall

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I managed to get my 'history fix' this weekend and visited this gorgeous Tudor manor house near Congleton.
The name Moreton derives from Saxon and Norse words meaning 'marshland' and 'farmland'. The estate began as a humble Saxon farmstead and prospered under Edward the Confessor but suffered decline in the rule of William the Conqueror. By the time of the Domesday Book the worth of the holding had dropped to a tenth of its former value.
In 1216, Lettice de Moreton married Sir Gralam de Lostock, whose family held the lands at Little Moreton near Congleton. After a few generations, the family adopted the name de Moreton, and Sir Richard de Moreton, a local landlord and tax collector, began construction of a house at Little Moreton at around 1450, of which the east wing still survives.

Sir Richard appears to have been a fiery, unpredictable character and was bound over 'to keep the King's peace', surety being provided by a number of neighbours. Built fro…

Birthdays, Who Needs Them?

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DH left for London at 5.30 am and returned after midnight, so he handed me his card as he was about to leave. I opened the envelope in the half-dark of a September dawn, sleepy-eyed and yawning, to be greeted with an excruciatingly loud electronic fanfare. A musical birthday card! - I hadn't intended getting up, but I was by then!
If I have to have a birthday, I may as well choose my own present so I get something I really want, so I canvassed the family and asked for a Sony E-Book Reader.
As Ginger S said in a recent group post, we need to read more small press novels and promote the authors and their work.
There was a certain amount of resistance to this request, most of it in the form of, 'Do you really think we're going to get something that means you spend even more time staring at a screen?'
But they caved eventually! I'm not a pretty sight when I throw in the ,'I-don't-ask-for-much-do-I?'card.
I'm not really a gadget person, the newest mobile ph…

Superwoman? Not In This Lifetime!

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Are you in awe of these superwomen writers who run a home, look after four children, hold down a part time job, participate in the PTA, five charity committees and find time to write a novel a year?
Well to make everyone else feel better - here's a window into my life!

7.50 am - Stagger out of bed when I hear my better half moving about
7.55am - Run bath and sink down into hot water and listen to the wind rattling the window frame outside – well this is London in winter.
8.05 am - Grab the shampoo bottle and finding it empty, hurl it in the general direction of the waste paper basket. It misses and hits the floor and rolls behind the loo.
Promptly forget it’s even there until Christmas.
8.10 am - Get out of the bath with still dirty hair, slap on some moisturiser and drag on a pair of jeans and a jumper.
8.12 am - Take them off again and don underwear! Then put the jeans and jumper back on.
8.15 am - Make coffee for husband and myself and stagger back upstairs to home office.
8.25 am – …

Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies

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In Georgian England, for a man about town to enlist the services of a prostitute was an accepted part of life. London in1797 contained a total of 50,000 ‘Ladies of the Night’, which was around one in ten of the total female population. Covent Garden theatres were built with ‘retiring rooms’ connected to the boxes in order for the entertainment of clients while they enjoyed an evening out at the theatre. Even the vocabulary used to describe them was colourful.

• Prostitutes who waited outside theatres for the plays to finish were called, ‘spells’
• Lower class streetwalkers were ‘flash mollishers’
• Covent Garden Ague was a term for venereal disease
• Covent Garden Nun was another name for a prostitute
• Covent Garden Abbess was a bawd [madam] most of whom started out as whores themselves

Between the years of 1757 and 1795, a publication was produced each Christmas entitled, ‘Harris's List of Covent Garden Ladies’, This book was handwritten to begin with, but soon went into print and so…

Do Authors Read For Pleasure?

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Since my own novels went into print, I no longer read for pleasure, but to study other styles, content, character expectations and plotlines. This wasn’t a conscious decision, but since I started critiquing other writers' work, I home in on the inappropriate dialogue tag, or an unnecessary gerund.

My local bookstore – not a small independent who would welcome a local author sitting inside their front door at a rickety table with a pile of my own, signed works – but a three story branch of Waterstones the British Library would envy. They are currently promoting a reprinted range of ‘Classics’ for the appreciation of, well I don’t know exactly what. A more leisurely time when we were able to enjoy pages of convoluted description and introspection from our main characters, perhaps?

Curious as to what was considered ‘stellar writing’ in times gone by, I bought a copy of a work entitled, ‘The Enchanted April’ by an author named Elizabeth Von Arnim. Born in Australia but brought up in…

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