Saturday, March 25, 2017

Garden birds

Not sure if you can see these photos clearly but I hope you can.

 We have been feeding lots of birds that come into our garden - including wood pigeons and magpies. The magpies are predatory and yesterday they swooped down on a peaceful wood pigeon who was happily pecking at a suet block on the bird table. The pigeon started up and flew away wildly - fast and straight into the patio doors. 

The thud was loud - and the impact with the glass must have hurt. He/she landed on the ground then picked itself up, shook its head and flew off.

But it left behind the imprint of its impact on the door!

 All I can say is  ouch, that must have hurt!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Catch up

I'm sure that 2017  has entered a timeslip.  I do not know what has happened to the days or where they've gone. But they seem to be rushing by at a ridiculous rate.  Perhaps it's because of concentration  -  focusing on work in all sorts of ways.  

I'd just got back from the fabulous Writers' Weekend at Fishguard  and I had to start concentrating on the new book. This is the second book in the duo that I've  called   as my working title - The Scandalous O'Sullivan Sisters.  Incidentally I had such a fabulous time at Fishguard that I really didn't want to come home. I just can't wait till the next weekend course I'm running so that I can have all the fun, the laughter - and the fantastic discussions all over again. (More of that in a moment)

More fun - and more great discussions of writing/plots/heroes/heroines  etc  came   when we were  able to enjoy the great company of the fabulous Anne McAllister when  she came to visit us for a weekend while she was in the UK researching her latest book.   Anne was made extra welcome by the cats - Ruby who is always friendly, and, unexpectedly, by Charlie the Maine Coon. Charlie
 is usually a bit  stand-offish when new visitors arrive, but he  took to Anne straight away.   He even decided that he wanted to become a lap cat now that she was here.  Perhaps Anne might have wished that he hadn't felt that way as Charlie is of course a Cat of Large Proportions so he is something of a weight when he is on one's knee!

Now I'm busy again - with that second part of the O'Sullivan Sisters'  story - and planning the next course I'm teaching. This is coming up just before  Easter  and it's  a  weekend with Relax and Write to be held at the Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester.   It's a new course, aimed at anyone writing fiction - and hopefully dealing with the  problems that so many people meet when trying to write a novel.
Things like:
 Show don’t tell
When /where to begin
Writers’ block
Characters
Sagging middleClichés – tropes
Voice
Self-editing/reviewing your work

Because it's a 'examine the problem and  repair it' course I've called it the
WRITERS’ REPAIR SHOP COURSE
and it takes place  the weekend of  7th - 9th April at Cirencester

If you want more details about the weekend  - or if you're interested in booking  a place on this course. there are already students who have booked ahead, but there are still places left if you're interested.  If so, contact Relax and Write on the website here

Now I have to get back to work on the second O'Sullivan Sister and get her story finished  - because as well as the Writers' Repair Shop Weekend in  Cirencester, I have a couple of other trips away, including one that is a very special  trip for me - and for the Babe Magnet - when we head  to  Leicester . . . . but more about that late.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

New author - familiar name!

Last year I was disappointed when one of the best editors I've ever had left Harlequin to work on her own writing. Now I get to welcome her back - but as a fellow author this time! Congratulations, Pippa!
Flo Nicoll
February 27 at 12:06pm ·
Twitter
We've bought a fab new #HarlequinPresents author... and it's our very own @PippaRoscoe! So much excitement! 🍾🎉@HarlequinBooks

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Back home from Wales

Back home  after the wonderful Writers And Artists weekend in Fishguard with everyone there.  I had such a good time with all my friends and making new ones - plus fellow tutors Alison Chisholm Della Galton Susan Alison  and of course my own former student and now multi-published author - and tutor on  the Novel Course - Rachael Thomas.  I had a fabulous time.

So many of my students have been on other courses before that they are affectionately known as
  Walker's Stalkers - they wanted to thank me for the course and  I came home laden down with gifts! (There was another bottle of Walkers' Bay wine, but that was enjoyed on the last night before I left Wales!)  

So very generous - but the real truth is that the fun and laughter - and the great discussions we shared was more than gift enough.  But a huge thank you to everyone who was there and who contributed.  I really enjoy these weekends - and can't wait to do it again!
I'm also so looking forward to teaching the  Writing Romantic Fiction course at Fishguard in July.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

What happened to January

 January seems to have got lost  somewhere along the way.   I sort of blinked and they  realised that I hadn't posted in  this blog - and it was  no longer January  - but February!

What happened?  A damaged shoulder for  one thing - after a fall I had I thought I was mended but then it turned out that  my shoulder was still  affected  - and guess was the worst possible thing  for it?
Typing - working at the keyboard - that's what made it even worse than before.

So I have been trying to rest it and keep away from the keyboard. Not an easy matter when I need to be working on so much - like the next new book . . .and then there's the important preparations for the next course I'm teaching.

I'm about to head for Wales and Fishguard Bay Hotel where I'll be teaching the Advance Romance Writers' Holidays.  I can't wait - I always have so much fun with the wonderful people who run Writers' Holidays - and the great students who join us beside the sea in beautiful Wales.

Writing Course with

And  one good thing is that while I'm teaching then hopefully I can give this sore shoulder a rest - and just wear out my voice  instead.

Recently one of my usual blogging spots - The Pink Heart Society  Blog - has changed and it will be
appearing in a different format very soon. So my regular posts there won;t be appearing in the same way any more.

But the other regular postings I do - over on the Tote Bags N Blogs site  will still continue - on the 12th of every month.  And as it's the 12th of February today - really?! How did it get to February 12th!  -  so that's where my blog will be today.

And I'll try to post here more often  . . .though I will be in Wales for most of next week

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Good starts to 2017

So how's  your 2017 going so far?

I'm still trying to get that 'New Start' going  really - so much to catch up on , specially since I discovered that the sprained back  was not as recovered as I thought - have you ever tried typing lots of words with a frozen shoulder ?   Oh well, we're getting there.

And yesterday   turned out to be a good day in the  hope that 2017 is looking brighter as the days  gone on.   The great thing  about being in a family of two writers, then you get to celebrate successes on both sides - and yesterday turned out to be a day well worth celebrating.

Success 1 - the Babe Magnet,
Some years ago (in 2000)  the babe Magnet wrote  a book called Write Yourself a New Life - A Life-changing Course Where You and Your Words are the Tutor
It was successful for a while and there  were several courses - at Writers' Holidays for example -
that followed on from it.  But then it went out of print.  But he didn't forget about it and this week  a different publisher has bought it and will be re-publishing it in a revised and new format - hopefully to be out  in autumn.

So Write Yourself a New Life will have a new life - and probably a new title- details when I know them,

Success 2  - Kate Wallker
Then to really make yesterday a day of celebrations my editor emailed to let me know that the revisions on the  book I was working on  and had sent to her before Christmas had worked 'wonderfully'   and she was accepting the book.  So that's my 66th title for Harlequin done and dusted - er, well, apart from a title and art details . . .

If you remember this was part on of a duo I was working on called - in my working title  anyway - The Scandalous O'Sullivan Sisters. This was Imogen's story, so now my current project is the second half of this duo and I'm busy working on the younger sister - Ciara's story.  It does help that I know a lot of her story already because it's tied up with Imogen's romance.

So we've been celebrating - and now it's  time for that back to work feeling and more words on the page.  #67 here I come!


Saturday, January 07, 2017

Meet Della - Della Ga er . . . . Della Parker

Every year I go to Fishguard  - well, I go twice a year actually.  Every February and July.   I go for the wonderful conferences run bu  fabulous Writers' Holidays - a weekend in February and a week in the summer, in July. I always look forward to it so much. 

It's by the sea for one thing - what's not to like about waking up every morning with the sound of the sea lapping against the beach outside my window? And then there are the people I meet there - the students - and of course  fantastic Gerry and Anne who run the holidays each time.

And then there are my fellow tutors - a great bunch of people who have become dear and special friends over the year.    They're all great writers too - very successful in their own fields.  I try not to envy them but there's one lady I have to admit I do feel envious  of! And that's Della -  I know her as Della - but  she's recently have a name change -  check out the rest of this blog for details.
I envy her because of her ability to write and sell short stories.   You'd think that having published 65 books, I might be able to manage a short story or two - but the thing is that writing short is a very special skill. I find my ideas naturally grow and  fill a novel - I have sold precisely 3 short stories in my writing life.    Della recently  sold . .  .  her 1500th short story!!

Yes that's right - 1500th!

Perhaps I should go on Della's short story course at Fishguard - but there's just one small problem - I'm usually teaching my own course  when she'd teaching! But I know how much everyone  who does attend any course of hers  enjoys it - and how much they learn from Della in her own area of expertise.   

And now Della is branching out. She's become Della Parker - and she's writing something new too -  a series of novellas called . . .but no, I'll let Della tell you all about them -

Welcome to my blog, Della  . . .Parker or Galton - whichever you are!

My New Name – Della Parker
2016 was the year I changed my name to Della Parker! Or rather my new publisher did.  A new name for my new series of novellas, which is called The Reading Group.  I have had the best fun writing them and the first few are now out so Kate has kindly agreed to me coming along to her blog to talk about them. Thank you so much, Kate.

My New Novellas - The Reading Group
The Reading Group focuses on five women who meet monthly to drink wine, have nibbles, gossip and – oh yes – discuss the classics.

In December they are reading A Christmas Carol and Grace’s life seems to be taking a curious parallel to Dickens’ classic story! Spooky! 

In January they are reading Jane Austen’s Emma – and this time it’s Anne Marie who’s the focus of the story. Like Emma, Anne Marie fancies giving Cupid a run for his money. But matchmaking isn’t really her forte!

In February they are reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Oh and Kate has a handsome gamekeeper (I mean builder) in renovating her kitchen. Hold on to your hats, ladies.

In March, Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca is the book of the month. Jojo has a new man in her life. She is starting to worry that there may be certain parallels between her life and Daphne Du Maurier’s heroine. Age gap romance and ancestral homes spring to mind.

The Reading Group series is published by Quercus Books.
January, February and March are out now. They are novellas and are 99p each (ebook only)

December, which is a short story, is free for your kindle. I would be eternally grateful if you would download it.  I’m hoping that lots of downloads will catapult me to writing fame and fortune! I’ll report back on this at some later date, possibly from a Hawaiian beach!

But seriously... Having the chance to write a contemporary version of these classics has been an absolute privilege and a joy.  


Della Galton

If you fancy coming on any of Della's short story courses at Fishguard - then check out   Writers' Holiday  for more details  of the courses there in February and July 

Trying to catch up

So far. 2017 has been a not-very-successful attempt to catch up with everything I have on my To Do list (OK - so it's the To Do List carried over from 2016!) so if you're waiting for messages/emails/letters from me - I promise - soon! I was about to talk about courses coming up in the not too distant future - like the one with Writers Holiday in Fishguard in February.

I was about to say that there were a few spaces left on the Advanced Romance Writing Course on the we
ekend of February 17 - 19th 2017. But even as I was writing that post, more people had booked - so there is perhaps just one space on the weekend now.

Was it something I said about the new Mills & Boon Love to Write contest that people wanted advice and help with?

Anyway - this is a last chance to book a place on this weekend before the course is filled up.
Meanwhile, there is another tutor on the February Weekend - Della Galton who teaches Writing Short Stories. She was supposed to be guesting on my blog at the beginning of the week, but obviously she's having the same sort of start to the year as I am - so she will (hopefully) be visiting my blog this weekend. See you soon (both on the blog and in Wales) Della!

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Happy New Year - and Pink Hearts


    Happy New Year to all friends and readers. I hope 2017 is kind to you and that it is more gentle on the world. Last year seemed to bear out that old curse 'May you live in interesting times'.
    It was a bit of a bumpy ride at times, but at least the end of the year spending time with loved family and very dear friends pink was a lovely way to wind down 2016. Ruby and Charlie have fallen in love with our welcome visitors and are now relaxing after their endeavours in choosing the winners of the prize giveaway over Christmas - hopefully the parcels have now arrived or will very soon. Thank you to everyone who has let me know their books and angels have reached them.
    Happy 2017!


I'm so late with this that my New Year greetings to you all coms on January  3rd - which is also my day for blogging over on the Pink Hearts Society - so there's a proper blog over there today  too.
 

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