Well, you know I said i would be getting my head down to work on my writing? It's definitely the end of playtime! I just got my first round edits for Charlie darling - my e book for Freya's Bower, an NWS script, a load of critting still to be done for my lovely cp and I'm working on two books, one for Little Black dress and one for a speculative project for my agent. I still have my taxes to sort out and I'm planning some future books. I got my hands on my copy of Loves Me, Loves Me Not today too. That's the beautiful and BIG anthology produced by the RNA and published by MIRA with some fabulous stories in - wow! I am so awed that my little story, Wishing For George made the cut having read a few of the great stories in there. If you haven't got a copy, it is so worth getting and will make awesome Christmas presents for anyone who loves reading good quality short romantic fiction.
No, not the books, Big Brother. I must admit I was a little bit sad when C4 announced the next series would be the last. As an ardent people watcher Big Bro takes some beating. Admittedly this series has been disappointing, with only Marcus, objectionable though some of his habits may be, saving the day from complete boredom. I hope he stays tonight and Siavash is the one to go. I don't even have a favorite to win this year. Lisa is horrid, Sophie is dimmer than a ten watt bulb, Siavash has no spine, Dave is just annoying, Charlie is sneaky and two faced, Rodrigo is hotheaded and I think could land himself in trouble if he won. All the same, the psychology of seeing how people react in different situations is something I find fascinating and I'll miss it. I'll even miss Davinia 'Shouty' MCall and her totally rubbish interviews.
Well, I'm home complete with Mr Nell and the belles. Our summer touring is over and it's all systems go back to school, work and the usual everyday round. That means writing too. I really need to pull my finger out and chock up my word counts. I also need to tackle the dreaded tax return too - cue much whinging and muttered cursing as I try to find all my bits of paper and add things up.
Mr Nell was hiding behind the paper the other day while the belles discussed their figures. After enduring about half an hour of lingerie discussions he poked his head over the top of his paper and said. 'What you need is a sheepdog bra.' They all stared at him for a moment then he added 'Rounds things up and points them in the right direction.' I was telling my Mom about this on the phone the same night. When she'd stopped laughing she said, 'Or they could get a biblical bra like mine - all is safely gathered in.' No wonder Mr Nell often says he's going to leave home and live in the tourer.
I'm off again this weekend in the caravan and then again the following weekend. Mr Nell and the belles are staying the whole time - some of us have to come back to go to work. This time it's to one of my favourite sites at Chirk on the Welsh borders. Trips to Wrexham, Chester and Shrewsbury will no doubt ensue and the belles are already hinting at going to the zoo again as it's been a few years since we last went. Mr Nell is taking the bikes so he and the belles can cycle when they're away. Sadly, due to the dodgy hip my cycling days are over so I guess I'll have to sit in the (hopefully) sunshine by the caravan and read and write. What a hardship that will be. The fishsitters are looking after the house and poor Angie my angel fish who still has popeye in her one eye despite a seven day course of fishy biotics. She hates the medicine and tries to dodge it by hiding in the weed when she spots the bottle in your hand.
Today is the last day of my holiday. Mr Nell and the Belles are due back this afternoon so my nice orderly quiet will be shattered. Tomorrow I'm back to the day job and my job share partner is off on her hols for 2 weeks so there will be tons to do. So today I'm puttering about and taking my Mom for lunch before the madness and, no doubt the dirty laundry descends. Had a lovely time last night with my friend, we caught up on gossip and had a nice meal. Pudding was yummy, lemon pannacotta with blueberries. My one indulgence so not bad.
I've been very virtuous in the absence of Mr Nell and the belles. I've written two chapters of Just Look at Me Now and by the end of today I'm hoping to have a chapter done of Me, You and Him done too. I've read and critiqued 5 chapters for my cp and 2 for a writing friend. I've read and written a report for the NWS, sewn all the labels on Miss La's new uniform and cleaned out the bottom of my wardrobe. Tonight I'm planning on going out for dinner with a friend, waves to Susanne, so we can catch up on gossip. I'm hoping to catch up with Phillipa, Liz and the coffee crew soon too. I'm still following my healthy eating plan though so I'll be choosing something good. I'd like to have lost a bit more weight by November as there's a possibility of a launch party in London for Loves Me, Loves Me Not and I plan to go if it comes off. It would be nice to finally go to something like that and even nicer if I could go looking like there was less of me.
Mr Nell and the belles are off to Malvern tomorrow for a few days. This means I'm free to do all the stuff that I'm way behind on - like cleaning - oh hum, and writing. I'm hoping for a really good writing weekend without having to worry about running out of bread or taxi-ing various offspring to their social commitments. Instead it'll be me and my computer and the fish. Talking of the fish, we've lost all our loaches in the hot weather and several platys. My poor Angel fish, Angie isn't very well either. She has Pop-eye in her one eye and she isn't keen on the fishybiotics. Fingers crossed for her to make a full recovery so we can get the tank settled and get some more loaches. I miss them so much. Some good news though, we have a baby fish of indeterminate parentage, not sure if he's a Platy or a Molly.
I've been kitting out Miss La with her new uniform ready for high school in September - so far I've spent aprox £250. This includes trainers, shoes and football boots as well as stationary. What has really ticked me off is that the school has opted for a new PE kit. Instead of the generic pale blue polo shirt that I used to get from M&S for £3.99 as a 2 pack now it's £11.50 for one from the only shop in the area that supplies a specially printed top. Hmm, wonder if the fact that the shop is giving the school fund 10% from all it's sales of their kit is anything to do with the change? I only know this because I saw a notice for staff in the back room when Miss la was trying on her swimsuit - £9.99 for a plain navy costume. What a waste of money when I got her a nice costume for her holidays for £2.95 from George at Asda. Equally annoying is £14 for a navy school sweater just because it has the school name embroidered on it. The kids wear blazers all the time. They could have a plain navy jumper for less than £5 and they would still look smart. Don't get me wrong, I think uniform is great but I hate the rip off that happens over trivial stuff like this.
Squee! The back cover blurb is up and a review quote - OMG! Sorry ahem, momentarily carried away there.. Here's what it says on Amazon. Review ‘A brilliantly fun read that will have you hooked!*****’ (OK! magazine )
Product Description Sometimes you have to go back to move forward...
For years Zee has tried to ignore her real name (who calls their kid Azure Dawn?) and her mother Marla’s alternative lifestyle. A million miles away from all that new-age nonsense, she’s got a reliable teaching job, a perfect life plan and sensible accountant Simon for a fiancé. But when Marla gets sick, the foundations of Zee’s rock-steady world are seriously shaken. Soon she’s back home, in touch with the boy who broke her heart and even being sucked into one of her mum’s hare-brained schemes. What about Zee’s plans for the future?! Could they ever include a free-spirit from her past?
I'm back! I'm hoping the weather will stay dry long enough for me to dry the laundry mountain. Yesterday was a lovely day. We visited Kidwelly Castle which really is fabulous, then we hit the beach - Miss Boo tried out her boogie board. Then we finished the day with a barbecue - perfect last night for the hols. As soon as Mr Nell finds the camera cable I'll try and get some pics up for you. I'm all set now for a good wekk of writing - in between finishing house chores and sorting out school uniform ready for the new term of course. I did a lot of thinking this week about both my stories and I think I know where I'm going now - all my books have quite deep psychological layers which underpin the plotting and my external conflicts mirror what's really going on internally so I find I have to spend a lot of time early on in my books just getting the foundations right or the whole story will collapse in on itself in the middle. Hopefully I'm pretty much clear now on what threads I need to take up to make the books work.
Nell is an award winning author living in the heart of the Black Country with her husband, three children, a tank of tropical fish, a crazy Cockerpoo called Teddy and whatever is left of her sanity. Welcome to her world...