Resting My Eyes – Weekend Coffee Share: 23 April 2016

weekend coffee share

If we were having coffee, I would apologise for my absence last week. It was my birthday, and I was away for the weekend. It was my eldest daughter’s birthday too – the day before mine. She was born at 7.40pm on the 15th of April – the absolute best early birthday present.

It’s hard to believe that she’s seventeen. She has her provisional licence and in the next few weeks she begins learning to drive. How the time flies. I was going to share my photos from last weekend, but there are just too many of them – it was a big family affair. So I decided on a kind of then and now. I cheated a little, the first photograph is actually on my birthday, so she’s a day old. I think I beat her dad over the head with the camera on the 15th (not really), so I seem to be missing shots from the actual day. The second photograph is her birthday this year. I’m so proud of my gorgeous girl (and in case my youngest is reading this, which isn’t likely – I’m proud of you too!)

Lissy 1999 and 2016

If we were having coffee I would let you get a word in so you could catch me up on all your news from the past two weeks. I would tell you I’ve been busy at work, so I’m glad I got the chance to take a break.

I would also tell you that I’m having trouble sleeping again. My patterns are all over the place. I used to have a problem getting to sleep, now the journey into slumber land is not the issue – it’s staying there. I wake up after an hour or two, and eventually give up on sleep. The fatigue is wearing on me, and my processing skills have taken a hit. I’ve been interpreting long enough to have coping strategies in place, but still, I’m glad I haven’t accepted any assignments that require additional brain power, though I did interpret a course on philosophy and the lecturer threw Socrates at me. If I were being paranoid, I’d swear he did it on purpose. It could have been worse, he could have quoted from Plato’s Symposium  – not the easiest text to translate.

If we were having coffee I would therefore add another shot of caffeine to mine, and be quiet for a while, so you could share more of your adventures. And no, that doesn’t mean I’d fall asleep in my cup – I can be a good listener. Sometimes I just listen with my eyes closed.

Afterwards, it would be time to head to Diana’s place – our gracious host for the weekend coffee share.

Thanks for stopping by.





Blood Bath – Weekend Coffee Share 9/4/16

weekend coffee share

If we were having coffee I would tell you that, between interpreting jobs, I had a fun and creative week with my daughters. My eldest has a photography project due, so we set up a few spooky photo sessions (one of the artists she chose, Sarah Thompson, creates haunting images). The original shots are manipulated to create mood and atmosphere, which is an interesting process – especially the layering effect. We have a ghostly image that resembles a scene from the poltergeist movie (spooky doesn’t even begin to cover it); a blood bath;  rainbow tears (okay, so that one’s kind of sweet), and a few others that may just give me nightmares!


This might lead to a discussion on photography in general, and hopefully you would share your favourite images with me, or the kind of shots you enjoy to take.

If we were having coffee, you might ask if I enjoyed the movie last weekend, and I would deflect by rambling on about the fun I had with my brother. There’s also the fact I went to the movies twice – my girls chose the second (The Huntsman: Winter’s War) and I enjoyed it more than Batman v Superman, so that would speak volumes.

I would ask if you’ve seen anything at the cinema recently, at which point, if we felt so inclined, we would chat for a while about films or our favourite programmes.


If we were having coffee I would tell you I spent the day with my nephew, and as the general theme appears to be photos this week, I would share my snaps from the animal park we visited.

Then we would replenish our mugs and chat about our other adventures, the large and the small that made up our week. I would tell you that next Saturday it’s my birthday, and share that I have absolutely no objections if you want to bring cake to have with our coffee!

After that, I would head over to Diana’s place and check in.

Thanks for stopping by.


If we were having coffee…there would be a lot to discuss.

weekendcoffeeshareIf we were having coffee I might glance over my shoulder from time to time, and be forced to admit that I’m worried about retribution. I pranked my daughter a few days ago and she swore payback – she’s extremely good at it! This would no doubt lead to a conversation about pranks, and I would ask if you’ve ever pulled a prank on your family and friends. It’s not uncommon for our discussions to turn to books, and because there are great examples in literature, I would tell you that my favourite Roald Dahl book is The Twits. The pranks they played on each other were truly hilarious, in a twisted kind of way! My daughter is a fan of Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton, so she has a mean streak! But don’t worry, her beef is with me so you’re safe.

I would refresh our mugs and we would talk about our week. I would share my snaps from my day at the seaside last Saturday, and share my memories. We had a great time.


If we were having coffee, our discussion would turn to blogging, because there are several great things happening in the blogosphere right now. Part Time Monster has a special month planned for October, which I’m particularly excited about. The Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) are running an anthology contest, which is open until the 1st of November 2015. To find out more, click here. Elizabeth Tyree is running a new feature, interviewing authors and illustrators. To find out more, click here. Charles Yallowitz posed some interesting questions in this week’s round of his new feature: Questions 3. I really enjoy the threads this feature generates, and (as we are having coffee) I thought I would share the questions. You can join the thread on Charles’s site by clicking here.

Q1: If you survived the apocalypse, what would be your first priority?

Finding the rest of my family and friends. My first thought when considering this question was of the new television show Fear the Walking Dead. It’s a great show because it starts from the first outbreak and gives us a glimpse of what our world would be like if a deadly virus destroyed the planet. In reality, and depending on how many people survived; the dangers present, etc. I would try to get to my family. You have to consider that phones lines would be down, and the roads treacherous at best, but I would give it my best shot.

Q2: Would you be a loner or gather a group and why?

I’m probably going to surprise a few people, being an introvert and all. But I would gather a group. I believe in strength in numbers, and you have to build trust early. If I chose to be a loner (with the exception of family, I hope), that trust would be hard earned if forced into a situation beyond my control. I’m sure there would be ample opportunity for me to get some alone time!

Q3: If one object survived the initial chaos, what would you want it to be?

Probably my car. There are things I’d grab from the house, supplies I would take with me (that I assume would survive). But if I’m going on a mission to find my family and other survivors, I’m going to need some wheels!

If we were having coffee, and we were satisfied we’d fully explored Charles’ questions, we would probably head over to Diana’s place – where the conversation would continue. And the coffee, of course.

Thanks for stopping by.


If we were having coffee…there would only be time for one cup.

weekendcoffeeshareIf we were having coffee, it would be ridiculously early (sorry). I’m going on a trip to the seaside today – Bridlington to be exact. It’s a place my dad particularly loved and, as it’s his birthday, my sisters and I always take this day to do things to remember him. So, we go to the coast; we eat doughnuts, walk along the harbour, go on the Waltzers (dad’s favourite), and an arcade game or two. Oh, and the beach. Weather permitting, we always sit on the beach and share our memories. In fact, we’ve spent a year or two sitting in the rain. As Peter Kay would say – that fine rain that soaks your through!


I’d ask about your plans for the weekend, catch up on your adventures since the last time we shared coffee. I’d tell you I had two days to myself this week because my girls were away. I could have done anything; caught up on my writing, my emails, done some work, done anything productive, visited people. Instead I had a TV marathon. I would normally feel guilty about that, but I can’t seem to drum up the emotion.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you my work in progress is going well – sort of! All but one character is cooperating. The problem with Andrew is his arrogance, or maybe it’s mine. I had it in my head that he would be kidnapped by a group of hired thugs. But here’s the thing. He’s special forces and there’s no way in hell he was going to let that happen. Every time I wrote him into a corner, he got out of it. He’s slippery that one! It would be nice and easy if, like in the TV show Dexter, someone could stab him with a syringe and knock him out (in seconds no less). But, who am I kidding. They wouldn’t be able to sneak up on him in the first place. Even if they could, Blue (his trusty canine sidekick) would get in their way.

But enough about that. This is the point where I’d have to apologise for not having the time for a refill. I enjoy our chats, and as I haven’t been posting as often as I would like, I thought I’d fit this in before hitting the road. So, if we were having coffee, I’d wish you a wonderful weekend.

Don’t forget to stop by at Diana’s place to catch up with everyone else. I’ll be heading over when I get back home, and my stomach has settled from all the doughnuts and the fast, crazy rides my sisters will no doubt drag me on!

Thanks for stopping by.


If we were having coffee…we would be dicussing strong female role models

weekendcoffeeshareIf we were having coffee I would avoid talking about one job, just so I could prattle on about my other. It’s a beautiful day, so we would be outside in the garden, sitting beneath a large red umbrella with an array of tasty treats between us. Perhaps we would have a cold drink or, more accurately – you might. I’m rarely without a cup of tea, whatever the weather! From our position at the patio table, we’d have a direct line of sight to my glorious daisies. They’re drooping a little in this heat, though, granted, they are exceptionally tall this year.

Being in the garden would prompt a discussion about helping my mum out this past week. Her garden has a low running white wall along the entire boundary, topped with fencing. She got the messy job of painting the fence, I got the arduous job of painting the wall – it was a serious workout! The rest of the family helped too; we listened to music, chatted, and shouted insults for dripping onto each others section! It’s almost done, and just in time for my brother’s visit. He’ll be here for a few days, and we have lots planned during his stay. Most importantly, we’re having a garden party. Yes, it’s been several weeks since he got his promotion, but we haven’t seen him, so there will be banners, balloons, gifts, and a few celebratory toasts.

Zak paining

If we were having coffee I would ask about your week, and your plans for the rest of the day. I would top off our drinks, and we might go inside for a while where it’s cool.

Eventually, the conversation would turn to writing. I’ve been too busy to write this week, and the work in progress is not going well – so I’d probably be avoiding it anyway! After the weekend I will continue with the next book in the Morgan and Fairchild series. I enjoy writing strong female characters, and Ellen Parker, one of the protagonists, is a tough cookie (in more ways than one!) She’s a former Artillery Troop Officer (Royal Artillery); a weapons expert, and skilled in hand to hand combat, so, yeah – she’s fun!

Ellen has similar personality traits to my great-grandmother, which makes her a formidable woman. My great-grandmother, Doris, who was my grandfather’s mother, is one of my role models. Not because she raised four boys single-handed (my great-grandfather died young), but because, no matter what life threw at her, she came out fighting. She had a wicked sense of humour, and that’s one of the things I remember most fondly. She had Parkinson’s disease, and struggled with her health in general when I was a teenager, but she never let it beat her. I once visited her with my sister, just to check in. “What have you being doing today, grandma?” my sister asked. “Nowt but bloody shaking!” Oh, how we laughed…she always made us laugh.

Doris's boys

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for stopping by, and wish you a very happy weekend. I have an editing job to finish, which should be complete by tonight, and then I can make my rounds and catch up with everyone else at Diana’s place. Don’t forget to check in with the others who take part in the Weekend Coffee Share at Part-Time Monster – it’s a lot of fun.

Until next time.


5 Days – 5 Photos Challenge – Day 1: Pride

5 day photo challenge

I’ve been set a challenge by the lovely Colleen over at Silver Threading. Those of you who know me well, will know I can never resist a challenge, and though I was going to begin tomorrow, I just received the best news and wanted to share it.


But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the rules of the challenge.


Post a photo each day for five consecutive days, and tell a story about each photo.  The story can be truth or fiction, poetry or prose.  Each day one must also nominate a fellow blogger to participate in the challenge.

2014-01-26 10.44.55

Which brings me to my news – my brother was just made Sergeant today, and I am absolutely over the moon! I’m so proud of him, I’m practically bursting. And, fair warning, I’m about to get extremely sentimental.

I’ve talked about Andrew before, and how close we are. We have the same sense of humour and, like two peas from the same pod, we enjoy the same things. Our dad would be proud of him, and I really wish he could be here to share the joy. Our grandfather too, who I remember beaming like the sun at Andrew’s passing-out parade!

In a lot of ways, Andrew reminds me of our dad; his height, his strength of character, the deep rumbling voice. There are differences, of course. Andrew doesn’t have dad’s shy, unassuming personality – my brother is a people person. He gets along with almost anyone he meets, partly because of his nature, his humour and sense of adventure, but mainly because he has a huge heart.

But let’s pull this back a bit, because I also wanted to talk about how Andrew has influenced my writing. When I began researching for the close protection team I write about, most of whom are ex-military, a lot of my material came from Andrew. When I write a scene I talk it over with him, and our discussions over the years are reflected in the team dynamic.

I recently agreed to name a character after him, and Andrew Butcher was born. He gets Butch for short, which is actually my brother’s nickname too, though for different reasons. I’ve warned him that the character is nothing like him personally. If I had to choose, I would say Andrew is closest in nature to Justin Chambers – he’s the joker; the one the team rely on. He annoys the hell out of Jonathan Jukes (JJ from Hands of Evil).

As I’m writing this, my brother is probably in the Mess getting drunk and celebrating his achievement. But he deserves it, and when he’s come down from his own high – I’ll be sure to tell him that a million times!

Thanks for indulging me!

I would like to nominate Alex Hurst, who always shares the most exquisite photographs.

Until tomorrow,


Hear me roar – Stream of Consciousness Saturday

socs-badgeWhen I saw the prompt for this week’s stream of consciousness challenge, my mind went in a dozen different directions. I could use the words scene or seen in a short piece of fiction, because I rarely pass up the chance, and I could sense several of my characters shuffling forward to catch my attention. First came Charlie, a detective who has been to many a gruesome crime scene. Then came Andrew, a soldier who enjoys the shadows, and has a gift of blending in – Andrew is rarely seen when he’s working undercover. While you can imagine this seemed an exciting prospect for me, my mind started wandering, so I ditched that idea and considered boring you with details of a scene I’m struggling with. My current work in progress is such a mess it may never be seen! Then I noticed that photographs were encouraged and a scene popped into my head from a day I spent with my nephew. I was reminded of it because my daughter finally sent me the picture, and it has always encapsulated the fun we had on that particular day. I’ve spoken before of my love of reading to Z-man, especially his favourite book – Dinosaurs Love Underpants. Of course it helps that his aunty loves the book too 🙂 I tend to get carried away when I read to him, and he now does the actions before I do. His dinosaur roar is incredible, I was almost tempted to add a sound file because it’s that good (and of course I’m not biased in any way!). So, here is the ‘scene’, the little snapshot in time which never fails to make me smile. Enjoy!

2014-08-29 18.45.18-1

Crazy Craft Sunday – ROW80 Update

2014-11-09 21.34.08It’s short and sweet from me this week, and when I say sweet I mean sweet. I spent the weekend with my adorable nephew who is a little shining star…he is Z-man 🙂

Though I haven’t done a great deal of writing, I have honoured the arts and spent most of the day creating, painting and generally having fun – food for the soul.

My blogging, writing and editing goals haven’t suffered much. I have 12,260 words in my NaNo bank too, so that’s not half bad!

Before I go, I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Kay, Renee, Amy, Shan Jeniah, Gloria, Ruth and Beth for allowing me to do a guest post/cover reveal for The Fifth Watcher. I really appreciate your support. I’m in the process of writing those posts and I’ll be in touch soon.

I look forward to catching up on your progress.

Until next time.


Goodnight, Dad

I remember your strong hands and your gentle soul

Your quiet strength and your infinite control

The way you were ready to catch me, should I fall

with no apparent effort at all


the way you would rewind your favourite scene

so it would come to life again on the screen

the heavenly taste of your chocolate cake

that you would always give, and rarely take


the nights we spent on a computer game

the fact, at the root, we are one and the same

the way you would listen as I rattled on…and on

how you chased my tears until they were gone


your easy smile and the deep rumble of your voice

your pride in me and how you would rejoice

in all my achievements, big or small

I remember it, Dad, I remember it all


Thanks for indulging me in this. I rarely write poetry, unless I’m forced, but I felt a strong urge to write this. My Dad died ten years ago today and I wanted to shake off the sad a little.


365 Days of Wri…

365 Days of Writing Prompts – 14 February 2014. Cupid’s Arrow


If I could catch a ride with cupid, I’ve visit you for a day

Then you’d know how much I miss you,

And how I wish you’d got to stay

Stay for a little bit longer

Even though you were called away

Then perhaps I would’ve been stronger

And it wouldn’t hurt so much

If I could catch a ride with cupid

I’d be able to keep in touch

But still, I have my memories

For which I’m really glad

And this is my chance to say that

I really love you, Dad.

In response to today’s prompt – 365 Days of Writing Prompts

Thanks for reading.