Wednesday, 31 December 2014

31st December. My garden.

It's the last day of 2014. This morning the garden was white with frost. When I opened the back door four wood pigeons, which had been pecking seeds spilled onto the ground, flew away their wings flapping. The grass crunched underfoot as I walked across it to top up the bird feeder. The resident robin flew to a branch and as soon as I left fed from the ground, but I didn't see any other birds. The ice on my small pond was too thick to break so I poured hot water onto it so the birds could drink. Little writing done this morning but I shopped for groceries and came home in time to put them away and have lunch.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Medieval Novel, Traditional Regency Romance, Lunch.

Am now very pleased because I have written the penultimate chapter of Monday's Child a traditional Regency Romance with a twist in the tale, a follow on novel from Sunday's Child published by MuseItUpPublishing. Today I lunched with a close friend at The Loving Hut a vegetarian Chinese restaurant. We enjoyed the buffet style meal with lots to choose from and nattering about writing and other subjects. We are now planning to visit the Turner Exhibition later in the month.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Today I Wrote 4,000 Words

After time off during the Christmas preparations and festivities from writing Monday's Child a traditional Regency novel, the sequel to Sunday's Child, I wrote 4,000 words this morning. The main difficulty was slipping in some historical facts without allowing them to take over and make the reader feel as though he or she is reading a history book. Through dialogue, action and characterisation I think this part of Chapter Thirty-Three reads well. I planned to finish the first draft of Monday's Child by the 31st of December and am now confident that, God willing, I will do so.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Quiet day today

After the Christmas and my granddaughter's birthday on Boxing Day, I enjoyed a quiet day today. Amongst other things, I added 2,000 words to my novel. After all the rich food during the last few days I decided to eat sparingly. I made soup for lunch - red lentils, leeks, fresh ginger, spice, coconut milk and lemon juice. Delicious! While cooking I looked out of the window from time to time to watch the birds enjoying seeds. A male blackbird perched in the plum tree, three wood pigeons, a sparrow and a robin fed on seeds which had fallen onto the grass, while the blue tits darted backward and forward.

Friday, 26 December 2014

My happy Christmas

I enjoyed Christmas Day. I stayed at my daughter's house and woke up in time to see my five year-old granddaughter's excitement when she realised Santa had left her presents in her Santa sack. "Oh!" she exclaimed when she saw each gift, "I've always wanted that." Her older brothers who no longer believe in Father Christmas were equally pleased with their presents. The three of them were thrilled when they opened all the presents stacked under the Christmas tree and my granddaughter continued to say: "That's what I've always wanted!" After breakfast I visited my twin sons and daughters-in-law and their children. As I handed out gifts I felt like Mother Christmas. The children were so pleased with everything that I enjoyed giving more than I enjoyed receiving my presents. I had lunch at my daughter's house with her family and my bachelor son, spent the afternoon with them and then, at the grandchildren's request. I'll have lunch with them and then we'll go to my youngest son's house to celebrate his daughter's birthday. However, this is the first time since Christmas Eve, on which the whole family ate pizzas at lunchtime and then went to see Night at the Museum, which I consider Movie Trash but the children liked, that I've been able to sneak some time on the laptop. I hoped to conclude my Christmas poems with ''Twas in the Bleak Midwinter', by Christina Rossetti but didn't have the chance,

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Compliments of the Season

To those of you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas.

From 'Christmas' by John Betjeman

Christmas .... And is it true? And is it true? This most tremendous tale of all, Seen in a stained-glass window's he, A Baby in an ox's stall? The Maker of the starts and sea Become a Child on earth for me? And is it true? For if it is, No loving fingers tying strings Around those tissued fripperies, The sweet and silly Christmas things, Bath salts and inexpensive scent And hideous tie so kindly meant. No love that in a family dwells, No carolling in frosty air, Nor all the steeple-shaking bells Can with this simple truth compare - That God was Man in Palestine And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Poem by 8 year-old Alexander Coulson

Advent Candle Commander of wax Waiting Alone Running from darkness Chameleon of light Brightest star Flame dancer Most beautiful Flowing like a wave The most powerful energy. Alexander Coulson Aged 8 December, 1999

Monday, 22 December 2014

Spike Milligan's Christmas Poem

Christmas 1970 A little girl called Sile Javotte Said: 'Look at the lovely presents I've got.' While a little girl in Biafra said: 'Oh what a lovely slice of bread.' Spike Milligan

Sunday, 21 December 2014

'There is no Rose' 15th Century Christmas Poem;

There is no rose of such virtue As in the rose that bare Jesu; Alleluya For in this rose was Heaven and earth in little space Res Miranda. By that rose we well may see That he is God in persons three, Pari forma The angels sungen the shepherds to: 'Gloria in excelsis Deo.' Gaudeamus. Leave we all this worldly mirth, And follow we this joyful birth. Transeamus. 15th Century Christmas Poem Anon * * * * Translation. Res Miranda. A thing to be marvelled at. Pari forma. Of the same form. Gloria in excelsis Deo. Glory to God in the Highest. Gaudeamus. Let us Rejoice. Transeamus. Let us Depart

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Favourite 15thC Christmas Poem

I Sing of a Maiden. 15th Century. I sing of a maiden that is makeless, King of all kings to her son she ches. He came also stilly there His mother was; As dew in Aprille that falleth on the flower. He came also stilly where is mother lay, As dew in Aprille that falleth on the spray. Mother and maiden was never none but she - Well may such a lady God's mother be! Anon.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Today Will be a Lovely Day

The morning began well. I finished Chapter Thirty-Three of Monday's Child my traditional Regency romance. I struggled to write it so it's as though I've put down a heavy weight. The sun is shining and the weather is mild. I've nearly finished wrapping the Christmas presents, only have three to buy and a few cards to post; and the Christmas tree, which two of my grandchildren decorated, looks beautiful. Today is my eldest granddaughter's 10th birthday. She is having her ears pierced so I bought her silver earrings with tiny dangling hearts and a secret diary with a padlock. I'm looking forward to seeing her at her birthday party this afternoon.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Writing and Research

On Tuesday I deleted 1000 words of Chapter Thirty-Three of my work in progress, Monday's Child a traditional Regency Romance. This morning I finished the chapter. The research has been intensive and I made many notes, but in order to avoid the novel reading like a text book I could only use a few of the fascinating facts. It's a relief to have nearly finished the novel.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Nothing Added to Monday's Child Today

I was up early and settled at the laptop. I opened the file titled Monday's Child. The cursor wouldn't move. I then read a message from Microsoft which informed me that I did not have a licence to use Microsoft. What a hassle! However I'm lucky because my twin sons own an IT company. One of their technicians sorted out the problem. While he did so I had plenty of time to think about the plot and check a few historical facts, so my time wasn't entirely wasted.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Why I Deleted 1000 Words of my Novel

I had written over 2000 words of Chapter 33 of Monday's Child, the sequel to my traditional Regency novel, Sunday's Child.. This morning I wrote another 1000 words. Throughout the day I thought about them. With a deep sigh, I decided to scrap them. It's a painful decision but the right one because I allowed the principal characters to go off stage. I took a deep breath and took action, Today's 1000 words has been deleted.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas is Coming

My 12 year-old grandson's birthday was on Friday. He partied with his cousins earlier in the week and wanted to spend the evening with his parents, siblings and grandmothers. As well as money I gave him a football annual, which was a great success as he enjoys playing football and has his favourite team etc. After dinner, we watched Life of Pi - not a film I want to watch again but my son, daughter-in-law and the three children enjoyed it, but like me his other grandmother was not keen on it. I stayed overnight. In the morning my daughter-in-law and I went Christmas and birthday shopping in St Albans. My 9 year-old granddaughter is having her ears pierced on Friday to celebrate her 10th birthday so we chose a pair of earrings for me to give her then and another pair for her Christmas present. In between shopping we had morning coffee, lunched and chatted before we went home. Next I went to my youngest son's house to babysit and stayed for the night. En route to their house I stopped in the village to have a look in the charity shops. I collect blue and white china and was tempted to buy a coffee pot but decided it was too pricey. On the following morning I was still tempted to buy it, if it had not been sold, but again decided not to. I don't regret my decision. Yesterday, the soon-to-be birthday girl came over with her 7 year-old brother to decorate my Christmas tree. She has been doing this for a few years and said she will even do so when she is 13. Obviously, that age is a milestone in her mind. She has her favourite decorations and oohs and ahs over them every year. This morning I had my hair cut and coloured, shopped for groceries and then dropped in at my daughter's house to give her a few bits and bobs she asked me to buy for her. Soon I'll be getting ready for Watford Writers' annual Christmas Dinner. I'm enjoying real life and metaphorically patting myself on the back because I am adding a thousand words a day to Monday's Child. As I write the most moving parts I am still wiping tears from my eyes. It took me a little longer to write today than usual because I researched nightwear. Mind you, I write traditional historical novels in which the bedroom door does not open more than an inch or two.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Tears While Writing.

While writing Chapter Thirty-Three of Monday's Child tears came to my eyes when I described my heroine's reaction to... On second thoughts I won't reveal the details.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Carol Service

This evening I returned home impressed by the carol service which my ten year old grandson participated in. Holy Rood Church was packed with parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Children read passages from the Bible, in between carols both traditional and modern. 240 children took part and as I watched I wondered what their futures held and said a prayer for them. Tomorrow they will be singing in a local shopping mall. God bless them one and all.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Extraordinary Vegetarian Meal.

Grandson, who is also a strict vegetarian who does not eat, eggs, fish or meat, described one of the meals served at the hostel where he stayed on a school trip. Mashed potato with fried onions on top served with apple sauce.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Time to Write and Christmas

I want to finish writing Monday's Child by the 31st of December but am worried because it might be impossible. To avoid the Christmas rush I spent the better part of the last two days shopping. Yes, I could shop on line but last year some presents didn't arrive on time. I enjoy the season but it's very time consuming. I now have to wrap all the presents, including three birthday presents, decorating the Christmas tree etc. As well as all this, weather permitting, I have some jobs to get on with in the garden.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Research - Imnportance of Minor Detail

I can hardly believe how long it took me this morning to choose a regiment which a minor character in Monday's Child, a traditional Regency novel, joined. It must have taken me over half an hour to check non fiction books, on line and photo copies. However, it is worthwhile because I want to get all the details right.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New Resolution & Writing & Christmas Shopping.

No, I haven't made a premature New Year's resolution. I did some Christmas shopping today and chose a desk diary and a pocket diary. There is so much more to being an author than writing books. So I have made a resolution to enter all the writing related activities I need to do every day. In other words, I have made up my mind to be more organised.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Penultimate Chapter & Research.

I had decided to write an epilogue after completing Chapter Thirty-One of my historical Monday's Child, but decided my readers would feel cheated. So I'm now writing Chapter Thirty-Two. I've completed my research and typed up all the important points. I did this for Chapter Thirty-one which meant I could write without constantly referring to non-fiction books. However, to write eight pages I have sixteen pages of notes. I hope that all the facts are correct and I can slip those I use into the novel. I hope to complete Chapter Thirty-Two this week and then write an epilogue.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Flash Fiction - Sharks & Violet Large

The topic for flash fiction at Watford Writers for this evening is Sharks. Violet Large often sends me junk mail. I took time off from researching and writing my novel to write a 350 word flash fiction story called Angel in Heaven. The big fish enjoyed being in a big pond offering protection and earning enough to look after Mum, buy a large house and send the kids to public school. The angel in heaven is Mum who was a regular church goer. The big fish goes to confession regularly to keep in with Him Up There and receives absolution. At the end of the piece the police arrive at the house to arrest Violet Large. I was pleased with my effort and prepared to print it. In spite of saving it on the lap top in desktop and a word document as well as saving on the usb key it had vanished. I tried to find it in the recycle bin and everywhere else I could think of without success. I could swear.