Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Misfit, Mum and the Mog

Today I’m going to share with you a conversation I have most days - it’s between me and my mother and I have her full permission to print it.

MUM:  That bloody cat came in again this morning.
ME:  Did he?
MOTHER:  Cheeky little sod!  He just waltzes in without a care in the world.
ME:  Does he?
MOTHER:  He’s thick, I tell you.  I scream, I chuck water on him but he still keeps coming back.
ME:  (reading the paper now)  Hmmm.
MOTHER:  He’s feral, that’s what he is.  Feral.  Have you seen the tail on him?
ME:  He’s not feral.  He just needs some love.
MOTHER:  I’ll give him some bloody love before long.
ME:  (back to the paper)  I still think you should report the neighbour to the RSPCA. (At this point, you should know that the cat lives next door with no cat flap, left outside in all weathers and rarely fed)
MOTHER:  No point.  They won’t do anything.
ME:  Then nothing will change.
MOTHER:  No and my life will carry on being a bloody misery.

I don’t know who I feel sorrier for.  My mother, the cat or me.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Misfit's Staycation

Today I got myself a bit excited.

Maybe it was the beautiful weather or maybe it was a much needed break and lunch with a friend.  Maybe it was finally having the chance to get out and work in my garden - while having heart failure watching my husband precariously perched on a ladder chopping down ivy!  Or maybe it was just knowing that my new book is coming out on 6th June [unedited 1st chapter here] and the bulk of the work is behind me now.

Whatever the reason, I felt a little flicker of excitement.

And running with that feeling, I came to a decision.

My son finishes his AS exams on Friday and then he has two weeks off.  Any mother who has been through exams with a teen will know how much joy the final day brings - no more nagging, cajoling, berating, screaming.  My voice box can have a rest!

And that was what got me thinking - why give just my voice a rest?  Why not all of me?

Contrary to some people’s belief, I work hard and I have done for a year now (and that’s not taking into account the years prior to that when I was working on my novels but not promoting).  I start work at 8.30 in the morning and I work through until 4.30 - this is interspersed with being a mother (yes teens still need some looking after) and being sole carer for my mother (shopping, chauffeuring, general dogsbody).  By the time I’m done with cooking for my son, visiting my mum and then cooking for us, I start work again - often until midnight  That might involve writing or it might just be social networking but I’m still a woman on a mission - to sell my books.

So I’ve decided to give myself a holiday.  Nothing exotic but a little bit of ‘me-time’.  If the weather stays the way it is it will be a bonus but I’m certainly not banking on it.  I’m just going to enjoy a lull in the traffic and relax.

 So what will my holiday involve?  Can I truly tell myself I’m on a break if I’m still at home?  You bet I can!


  1. No 6.50 am alarm.  I’m getting up at 10 - do not disturb.
  2. 20 minutes of yoga 5 days a week.
  3. Full body make-over in time for my book launch.  The works!  And I don’t mean in a salon, I mean on the cheap, à la Misfit but just as good.
  4. If the sun’s shining, I intend to make the most of it.  Laptops work just as well outside and my garden is now looking stunning so why shouldn’t I make the most of it?  (In fact it’s 7.40 in the evening and that’s where I’m writing now - heaven!)
  5. Lots of friends coming over for various dinners and lots of visits to them.  It’s great to see so many dates lined up in the diary and we’ve also got a lovely country wedding to go to. Fun!
  6. Minimum of housework.  If we have clean knickers, good - the rest can rot.  As for food, lots of chicken, fish and yummy salads.
  7. Catch up on all that reading I’ve had piling up - starting with Danny La Rue (Research for Book Four).
  8. Switch my brain off when I go to bed.  Book Four is going well but it needs to be kept under control and informed that I don’t need to be woken up by it.
  9. Only write on the days I really want to.  If I don’t feel like it - tough!
  10. Get the fake tan out!  No one will believe I’ve had a holiday if I’m still pasty.

So who says you can’t have a holiday without grabbing your passport and some tickets?  Now please excuse me, I’m off to sort out my bikini.

Both the Mummy Misfit books are available at Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.
‘Completing the Puzzle’ will be released on 6th June in both formats - a tale of love, friendship and families.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Misfit's Month

Here I go again!
My soon to be released novel, ‘Completing the Puzzle’ left the nest for a proof-read by a trusted friend and I should have used the gap in the traffic to have a bit of a rest or just generally promote my other two babies.

But no … my brain decided it wasn’t happy without characters and plots running around in it.  So what happened?  Bam!  A new heroine came trampling through in her size nines and dragged a whole heap of friends and plotlines in with her - and they’re a pretty noisy lot!

Yes, that first little seed was planted and then, before I knew it, a thriving jungle had sprouted.  Book four had decided it was time to be written and I was not to ignore it.

How does this happen?  I wasn’t planning on starting a new work until July.  I really did want to give my brain a rest.  Really, I did!

Now I could, of course, just make notes and plan and then put it all away until I want  to write but there’s always that little part of me that says, ‘Strike while the iron’s hot!’  Weirdly, there are those times that I don’t want to write but I have to.  It’s ready to come out and it can’t be stopped.

Sometimes I find that a bit scary.  A bit like I’m not in control.  But I now know that once the characters are there, waiting in the wings, it’s just all systems go - whether I like it or not.

So what does the next month hold for me, now that I won’t be putting my feet up?

  • Lots of research.  This is the first book I’ll have tackled where I need to be in possession of some hard facts.  I’ve spent the last three days working on this and it’s taken me to some eye-opening websites and filled my inbox with some great emails.  I’m on the threshold of a whole new and exciting world!

  • Pages of notes on plot and characters will be put together.  Plots and sub-plots will emerge and I’ll find myself constantly surprised by the direction my characters decide to take me.  Just last Friday, a song playing in the background told me where to head with a part of the book I was having troubles with.  That’s exciting!

  • That all important opening line will be typed.  Once this happens, there’s no stopping me.  I’m away!

  • I’ll be waiting on tender-hooks for ‘Completing the Puzzle’ to return to my clutches.  This will be the first read by anyone other than my husband.  Have I got it right?  Is it a truly enjoyable read?  Will people accept me as the writer of books that aren’t Mummy Misfit?

  • I’ll be putting the finishing touches to my cover (or rather hubbie will!) and also cracking the whip over my son to complete the back cover for the paperback.  All this while nagging him to revise for his AS levels which begin NEXT WEEK.

  • Once ‘Completing the Puzzle’ returns, I will commence my next read-through, dealing with any typos (there will always be some we didn’t spot) and generally doing a brush up and polish.

  • Hubbie will begin the arduous task of formatting the book, first for Kindle and then for Lulu.  It takes FOREVER and each header and footer needs to be checked and double checked.  Much wine for me, much whisky for hubbie.

  • Before I press the ‘live’ button on Amazon, I’ll do my final check on my own Kindle.  I’ll also order my own copy of the paperback and read again.

  • Wednesday 6th June!!!!!  Both formats of the book will be out there to be purchased and I’ll become a nervous wreck as I watch sales and wait for those first reviews.

  • Saturday 9th June we’ll celebrate with a book launch dinner hosted by ‘Fenella’ - she really is like a proud mother hen, spoils me rotten and supports me every step of the way.  I am truly grateful for her friendship.  Without my hubbie or her, I wouldn’t be doing this writing lark.  I know our ‘intimate’ launch will be a hoot and a night to remember.  Watch this space, I may post some pictures.

So there you have it.  Once again my brain has taken control and I don’t intend to argue with it.  Who knows, one day those ideas may stop popping up and then I’ll be moaning.

But for now … DO NOT DISTURB!

The Mummy Misfit books are available at Amazon for Kindle and at Lulu in paperback.
WEDNESDAY 6TH JUNE - ‘COMPLETING THE PUZZLE’ is released in both formats.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Nice One, Half Centurion!

The year after next I shall be 50.  FIFTY!  How on earth did that happen?  I’m the baby of the family so that must make the others positively ancient!

My dad was 56 when he died.  This is a scary thought.  I am almost as old as my dad - I know that’s not logical but you get my drift.  My husband will turn 56 this week - also scary for so many reasons but none that I care to dwell on.

So do I feel 50?  Do I feel ‘middle-aged’?  No, of course I don’t - inside I still feel like a pathetic 18 year old, always wondering if I’m doing the right thing, acting appropriately, giving off the right message.

But then there are the little ‘reminders’ - the subtle little digs that make you realise you are ageing!

Feel free to add your own, but here are mine:

  1. I am now totally unable to cope with small print.  I can see for miles but give me a jar to read and I’m absolutely stuffed.  I made it to this ripe age without needing assistance and I hate to hear people say to me now, ‘Oh, you can’t see that without your glasses, can you?’

  1. At an absolute push, I can do two late nights on the trot but I most definitely pay for it.  Gone are the days of surviving on two hours sleep - I did this for a year when hubbie and I were ‘courting’ (now that does show my age!)

  1. My face takes forever to wake up in the morning.  I know Twiggy says the same, so I feel I’m in good company.  The only upside is that I know I will improve as the day goes on.  By four o’clock I’m not scaring quite so many small children.

  1. I hear myself sounding like my mother when I talk to my son.  ‘Well, in my day …’ and ‘You mark my words!’  I give advice that I know won’t be taken - and serves me right really!  Did I listen to my parents’ advice?  Not a lot …

  1. Although my son has a very varied taste in music and appreciates everything from Bowie to jazz, there are still some tracks that I’m subjected to in the car that leave my ears bleeding.  I can often be heard saying, ‘Sorry, it’s just not music!’

  1. Just as I vowed I’d never be one of those mums who discussed the best brand of disposable nappy, I also swore I’d never discuss the price/quality of meat at various supermarkets.  I am sadly guilty of having done both.  I hang my head in shame.

  1. I have become pragmatic.  I now accept that there are some things you are unable to alter - fighting them, moaning about them or worrying about them won’t change a thing.  It’s taken me many years, and lots of coaxing from my husband, but I now know it makes sense.  I channel my energies elsewhere.

  1. I see the loneliness of my mum and feel that I’m not too far away from that.  Husbands, friends, siblings die and we’re left alone.  Old age can be cruel and I don’t look forward to it.  Who wants the highlight of the week to be a visit to the doctors or chiropodist?

  1. I can’t bear to see young boys with their trousers half way down their bum-crack.  I’m sure, as a teen, I wouldn’t have found this a turn-on then either.  I just don’t get it!  They even have to adjust their walk in an attempt at keeping them up.  I have an overwhelming urge to hoist them up by their waistbands and chuck a belt at them.  I fear this would result in arrest though.

  1. I don’t look at babies and go all gooey.  I look at them and think, ‘Phew, mine’s a teen and lets me sleep as long as I want!’  I do however look at dogs and go gooey - a companion for my fast approaching old age!

Hope I’ve not depressed you too much.  The upsides to look forward to are - no spots, not caring what people think and no more monthly visits from the glorious Mother Nature.

Bring it on!

Both my novels are available at Amazon and Lulu.