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.

Mel

 

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share – Sleeping through the morning

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee, I would first catch up on your news as I sank into my favourite arm chair. You would no doubt roll your eyes, which I would miss because mine are closed, and lecture me about taking on too much. I don’t mind the lectures, they’re part of the game now. We both know I’m not going to change.

You might ask about the little cloud which has been following me around of late, and I would spare you the details of my personal dramas. I’d likely still have my eyes closed, but you’d have my full attention. The more we talked, the smaller the cloud would become.

Now that the the caffeine has hit my system, and I have my second wind, I would peer at you from beneath my lashes and we would laugh – I’ve never been a morning person.

We would talk about the month long blog tour I’m taking part in with fifteen other fantasy writers in June. I’d admit to feeling like a fraud because this is my first jaunt into fantasy writing. You would argue that I’ve been reading fantasy novels for years, so that qualifies me.

I would admit to having no news about the developments on my site, because I’m still in the planning stage. But I have a few ideas so we would no doubt talk about those.

I would tell you I enjoyed writing the piece of flash fiction for Silver Threading, and managed to use the line ‘the alligator was unexpected’. When I assured you it’s less than five hundred words, you would ask where you can find it, so I’d point you here. 

Now that I’m feeling almost human again, we would take a walk in the garden, because it’s beautiful outside. We would chatter incessantly, like the birds we hear in the distance, and set the world to rights.

Then I would bid you farewell, because I’m working this afternoon. At some point in the day I would head over to Diana’s place to catch up with my other friends.

***

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

If we were having coffee – Family time

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

IMG_0987If we were having coffee I would start by catching up on your news because, though it’s only been a week, it feels much longer. I had a number of fun-packed days over the half-term break. My brother came for a visit and we caused more trouble than usual! It’s always great to see him, and I enjoy our banter; the insults, the sibling rivalry, the mile-a-minute chatter which he excels at. Seriously if you thought I could talk, Andrew holds the record! He’s been training hard over the last few months and it was good for him to have a break – I should have used him as a classical example of impish behaviour during my A to Z post yesterday!

The visit went far too quickly and I find myself missing him more than usual. Still, I have a dozen questions for my next Morgan and Fairchild book so it’s an excuse to phone him every five minutes and ask his advice! Not that I need an excuse but I’m not great at phoning people. Are you? I get lost in my own little world, so sometimes, if you’re not right in front of me, I forget to text or phone for weeks at a time.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I did something drastic today – I had all my hair cut off. It was getting really long, and incredibly boring so I booked an appointment for a new style. ‘Do something drastic’ I told my hairdresser and she certainly did! It won’t surprise you that I’m impulsive by nature, and this was one of the times when it paid off – at least for me. I like it, which is good because there’s no going back!

Photo 25-12-2012 13 58 46I would tell you that my daughter is sixteen next week, which is kind of a shock because it feels like only yesterday I was bringing her home from the hospital. She was almost born on my birthday, but she came into the world a few hours shy, and so she gets her own day! We are having a joint celebration, or so she tells me (she’s thoughtful like that). We’re staying in a swanky hotel overnight, getting pampered in the spa, and having a girly weekend. It was her choice, and we’re both looking forward to it.

It means I won’t be around next weekend, so I’ll have to skip coffee. I’ll try to check in with everybody, while I’m lounging by the pool, or having a pedicure, or between sips of champagne (bucks fizz for my little chickadee).

If we were having coffee, I’ll wish you a happy, happy week, and then I would dash over to Diana’s place to show off my new hairstyle!

Until next time.

Mel

Bubbling over with excitment – #WeekendCoffeeShare

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee I would be bubbling over with excitement because this weekend I’m having a tour for my new release, Heart of Fire, and I’m feeling the buzz. It might be caffeine too, this is my third cup of coffee this morning.

I would stop gesticulating long enough for you to tell me your news, and you would barely even notice the signing anyway, because you accept it’s part of who I am. And, let’s face it, there are more annoying things 😉 We would share the stories of your week, and chatter (hands and all) about new developments.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’m looking forward to the big A to Z reveal on Monday, but admit I’m a little behind with my scheduling. At which point, you’d shake your head because you reminded me, several times, that I need to be caught up by April the first. I would remind you of…well, my personality, and you would laugh and concede the point. I’d quickly reassure you that your influence has paid off, and I’m more organised that I’ve ever been!

As my mind has turned to blogging, I would tell you I have a new contributor on Writing Room 101. This would lead to a discussion about cooperative working, as I enjoy it so much and you do too. I’d slip in the subject of Arrow because, what can I say, I take every opportunity to talk about the show and I love contributing at Sourcerer. As I also like a great segue, I would mention that I’m going to be contributing over at Comparative Geeks, which is a great site and I’m thrilled about the new adventure.

If we were having coffee you would give me a gentle nudge, because I have a busy weekend with the tour and I want to keep on top of that. We would then part ways, as we do have other friends to catch up with and a dozen other things to do. Still, we enjoy our weekly coffee time and say as much 🙂

Until next time.

Mel

Click here to join your other weekend coffee friends.

Hanging my cloak at the door – #WeekendCoffeeShare

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee, you might be a little overwhelmed by the comfort food I have going on today. You are welcome to any of it, of course; depending on what time you stop by there is pasta, fruit, nachos, biscuits, soup – the big guns will probably come out at some point (I can’t have a pity party without chocolate!).

We would settle in with our beverage of choice, and I would tell you a colleague of mine, Granville, died this week. He was a good man – committed, intelligent, considerate – there are so many adjectives I could use to describe him. But, had you met Granville, you would have formed your own opinion. He had the ability to connect with people on a variety of levels.

If we were having coffee I would admit that, in terms of self-recrimination, I’ve given myself a pretty hard time this week. It’s a heavy cloak, but today I left it at the door. I don’t get in touch with people as often as I should, and though I try to be a good friend, to be supportive, I get lost in my own world far too easily.

I’m not so selfish that I would be the only one talking. Hopefully you know me by now, so you know I’m interested in how you are, and how you spent your week. I would listen to your news, share in your joys and your tribulations. We would laugh, because although I have a pretty dark sense of humour, we enjoy to laugh during our weekly confabs.

If we were having coffee – now the mood is lighter – I would tell you how excited I am about the A to Z Challenge in April. The line-up over at Sourcerer is amazing. I won’t gush about it too much, because that would be mean – the theme hasn’t been announced yet.

I would tell you I’ve decided on a title for the prequel to the Fractured series – I settled on The Contract. Plans are coming along nicely for the serialised fiction, and I’m still leaning toward The Collective for that. I’ve outlined a cast of characters, created a war torn world for them to play in, and am mapping out each episode for Season 1.

After we’d talked about our various projects, we might just sit and enjoy each other’s company for a while. There is nothing quite like a companionable silence, especially when the sun is shining and we can relax. Eventually though, we would head over to Diana’s place and catch up with everyone else.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Mel

Protagonists on a cat walk – #WeekendCoffeeShare

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee you would soon realise I have a one track mind today – my new obsession. So, until you lost the will to listen to any more on the subject, I would talk about my aim to write series fiction. Yesterday it was a possibility, today it is a probability. I didn’t get a wink of sleep because ideas are literally parading through my mind like protagonists on a cat walk!

At three o’clock this morning I was blaming Rebecca for planting the seed, the fiction series Yesterday’s Gone for being so entertaining, Taylor for encouraging Riley (a character who was supposed to wait his turn), and Eloise for cheering me on! Eventually the buck stopped where it belonged – right in my lap.

If we were having coffee, I would pause for breath and ask about your experiences, if any, with series fiction. I’d also ask about your projects and life in general. I’m not completely selfish!

You would understand how serious I am about this project because I already have a loose plan – I know, it’s a shocker, right? In the UK, television series tend to have a shorter run than the US. We normally get around 12 episodes. I’ve already decided I will follow this format, and will be writing 12 episodes per season (one season per year). Because I couldn’t decide on Fantasy or Crime, I’m going to do both – one in the first six months of the year, one in the last. For the crime I will be focusing on a new close protection team, but as the group work closely with Morgan and Fairchild, there’ll be opportunities for a little crossover.

I have a (tentative) title for the Fantasy series. At the moment I’m calling it The Collective, but that might yet change. I like the idea of multiple authors writing series fiction, so I’m playing around with possibilities there too.

So, during our second cup of happy, the subject would be all talked out and we would settle in to discuss weekend plans and the trials and tribulations of everyday life. There are more trials for me at the moment, but I am clinging to the positive vibes my friends invariably send in my direction, which complement my stubborn will. While we’re on the subject of friends, I would babble excitedly about Callum’s new poetry collection (which is terrific), and the fact I’m about to start Winter’s new release (an anthology) – Secret Identities. I can’t wait to get started!

I would tell you how much I enjoy spending time with you during these weekly get togethers, and we would head over to Diana’s place to show our appreciation for her special brand of awesome.

Until next time

Mel

Heart-shaped Candy – #WeekendCoffeeShare

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I had to battle my way out the door because I got so much post this morning! Then I’d apologise for the poor gag, but I couldn’t resist because it was a standing joke with a friend of mine and I really miss her Valentine humour.

I’d offer you Valentine treats; heart-shaped chocolates, cupcakes, biscuits – a selection of delights for you to enjoy. I plan to eat a filthy amount of chocolate, but that’s nothing new there…it is the weekend after all 🙂

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m enjoying reviewing Arrow at Sourcerer and, of course, am thrilled the show is back! It has been a week of editing though, instead of writing. I’ve been applying the finishing touches to the novel I’ll be publishing in March (Heart of Fire). This one is under my pseudonym Nat Hobson as it is a contemporary romance. This would no doubt lead to a conversation about The Fractured, which is also complete and will hopefully be published in the next month or two. The only change on that score is the title. I’m going to name the series Fractured and the prequel (as it’s a novella and introduces the fantasy world) – Sealing the Deal. You’d no doubt raise a brow (so very Roger Moore) because I can never decide on the title and this is likely to change before the anthology goes to print!

While we’re on the subject, I’d tell you I’m including a sneak preview of Gina Briganti’s story Saunders’ Choice in my newsletter at the end of the month. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of working with Gina to form the anthology, and can’t wait until I can share more on the novels with you.

As we seem to be focused on writing today, I’d of course ask about your week and how things are going. We’d also share what we’re reading at the moment, and our pride in this wonderful community we belong to. Callum, for example, just released a poetry collection, and I can’t wait to get my copy.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m still nervous about the compassion post (#1000Speak for Compassion on 20 February). There’s just so much to write about on the subject and I’m tempted to plan. The thing is, I work better if I don’t overthink it, but I have a tendency to leave things until the very last minute. How I got my degree I have no idea – I did most of my assignments the night before they were due in! Still, I’m getting pretty good at outlining, so there’s hope for me yet. I love to hear how other writers plan, and imagine pretty, organised notes and files. I’m sure the architects among us would be proud of my development, no matter how chaotic my planning tends to be.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough. It’s your turn now, so I’m sure I’ll catch up with you again when I head over to Diana’s place and continue the Weekend Coffee Share. Gene’O is hosting today, so show him some love 🙂

Hope you have a fabulous weekend.

Mel

Heavy-lidded #weekendcoffeeshare

Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).
Organised by Diana (Part Time Monster).

If we were having coffee I’d be ready for a cup of the good stuff because I’m looking after Z-man this weekend and he had me up at 4am. I’d tell you that I’d forgotten what it’s like to have a toddler in the house, even though it’s not so long ago my daughters were running me ragged. I just feel ancient (must be the lack of sleep!)

I’d catch up on your news, and try to savour my coffee because my nephew is napping. I’d have skipped coffee today, but I enjoy catching up. Plus, I wouldn’t be able to rest anyway – not with so much on my mind.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’m looking forward to the A-Z challenge, and have made a list of writing related A to Z posts I plan to create as a ‘dummy run’ over at Writing Room 101. I’m developing the site, so the series will serve two purposes. There will be more resources and I’ll be able to familiarise myself with the process in time for April. The theme on my own site is different so it means double the work, but I’m sure it will be worth it.

I’d end on a positive note and bid you farewell as you head over to Diana’s place and join the party over there. But not before I’d wished you a happy weekend, with the promise I will be better company next week!

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Room Expansion…the future of Writing Room 101

cropped-logo.jpgAs some of you may already know I established Writing Room 101 just after National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in November 2013. It has changed direction a number of times since then, and I have enjoyed the evolution. Currently the predominant theme of WR101 is a showcase for indie authors; whether it be spotlights, guest posts, interviews or reviews.

Thank you so much to all who have shared the journey with me so far, I really appreciate your support.

Mel

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2015 and other developments

I’m sure you know this by now (I might have mentioned it a few times), but I began contributing over at Sourcerer last week. I’ve been excited about it for a while and it is a true joy to be part of the team. I will be providing weekly reviews of Arrow, the latest of which can be found right here.

This leads me to the main subject of the post (you’ll understand in a minute), because I’ve decided to take part in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge 2015. The A to Z challenge has been running since 2010. It takes place during the month of April and involves a post a day, except for Sundays (you’re rewarded for good behaviour!). The twenty-six remaining days, once you’ve subtracted the ones for rest, are dedicated to a themed challenge – beginning on the 1 April with the letter A, and ending on the 30 April with the letter Z. In addition to taking part on my own blog, I will be joining the fun over at Sourcerer too. I have been allocated the letter N, joining an excellent line up of contributors *adopts best Louis Balfour voice* (The Fast Show) ‘Nice!’ I’m so excited about taking part, and will share the theme with you in a future post. If you’d like to learn more about the Blogging from A to Z Challenge, click here.

A2Z-BADGE-000 [2015] - Life is Good

Other developments

You may have noticed I’ve been posting inspirational quotes on Mondays, in preparation for the #1000Speak project – an event which will take place on the 20 February 2015. If you don’t already know about the project and would like to find out more, click here.

Over the past few weeks, during the course of my adventures, and chatting with Gene’O, I’ve been introduced to some pretty fantastic bloggers. Diana, for example, at Part Time Monster, runs the weekly #WeekendCoffeeShare, which I’ve enjoyed taking part in. I also met Heather and Robin from Writeonsisters.com and have enjoyed exploring their site. A few of my friends have set themselves reading challenges this year, and I’ve been meaning to since I read Callum’s post. Today I found just the right one, inspired by Robin in her Top Ten Tuesday post. So, I’ve joined Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge, which I’ll tell you more about next week. I will mention that the list involves a collection of poetry, which is great for me since someone I know is about to publish a collection (isn’t that right, Callum?).

Needless to say I think I’ve found a great starting point this year and I’m really looking forward to taking part in the challenges ahead.

Thanks for stopping by, and please let me know if you’re taking part in the A to Z challenge – it’s my first year so I need all the advice I can get!

Mel