Monday 23 April 2018

Update blog 23rd April

Hello again from an overcast and breezy north west of England. After a few days of higher temperatures, it is back to normal here. I’m not a hot weather person so it doesn’t bother me, except sunshine is nice.
I’m feeling a bit meh. Sleep hasn’t been my friend recently so I’m tired and tetchy. My arthritis is causing problems. All of this is exacerbated by the house move which is suddenly imminent after a good few weeks of nothing. My mobility issues make the move more complicated but I’m sure we’ll work it out. We intend to pay for the removal firm to pack everything as well as move us. I did this nineteen years ago when I last moved, and it made life so much easier. We’ll have people to help us as well. There are a few jobs to do on the house, but as we don’t want to delay moving for too long, we’ll have them done while we are there.

I am excited about the move as it will make life easier for me, but my brain is full of worry with the logistics of the move. I’m one of these people who tend to plan everything down to where each piece of furniture will go and who will be where when during the process. Because my brain is overthinking about this, writing has been very slow because my MCs aren’t getting any time to talk to me. The current WIP is the story of Cormac and Lachie from My Highland Cowboy and so far, I’ve managed 12,000 words with a ague outline of ideas. I suppose it will happen when it happens.

On the reading front, I’ve discovered Garrett Leigh. I’ve no idea why I’ve not read her stuff before as I tend to read British writers. She had a book, Rented Heart, on offer so I read that then Soul to Keep, Between Ghosts and have downloaded Misfits. Before I read that, I’m reading Second Chance by Jay Northcote. I’m also looking forward to reading Josh Lanyon’s latest, especially Take the High Road set in Scotland.

We are still making our way through Buffy and Angel watching them together. Legends of Tomorrow has now finished. Love this series for its diversity and I’m looking forward to getting Constantine as part of the team, even though his accent is slightly dodgy. Started watching S3 of Shadowhunters. I will admit to watching it most for Malec as most of the other characters annoy me.
My other watching obsession is kittens. Tinykittens is a fostering group which rescues feral and non-feral cats and kittens. At present they have three feral mother cats who have just given birth. I can watch for ages. The photo shows Mason, a former feral, battle scared male with kidney problems. He was given six months, but his love of kittens has kept him going. He'll be in seventh heaven when the new lot get to play with him. One of the MCs in a story that is written but I’m not sure what to do with, fosters kittens.
Other than the above, the other obsession in my life is football. It’s that time of the season and on a happy note, my local team, Accrington Stanley, have been promoted to the highest league they have ever achieved. They survive on so little income, so this is no mean feat. The wage bill for the whole club is around £15,000 a week. Some Premiership players will earn that in less than a day. My other club, Cardiff City, will undoubtedly leave me with no fingers, let alone nails. To get automatic promotion to the Premiership, you have to be in the top two. We are second by one point with three games to play. The third place team have two games to play. We need to win two more games, or we go into the playoffs, and I’ve no doubt we’d lose. Every game is nail biting, but that’s football for you.

That’s all for now. Happy writing and reading everyone.

Monday 9 April 2018

Update 9th April

Hello everyone. Once again, it’s been a little while since I did an update but here I am again. Strangely, last time I wrote a personal blog, I was watching sport and this time I’m watching the Commonwealth Games, namely Wales winning a medal in the gymnastics.
Some real-life stuff first. We are still waiting on completing on the bungalow. All the surveys and searches have been done, but now we wait on a few questions about the leasehold. We have a little work to do on the place – mostly converting the bathroom to a wet room to make life easier for me. It will be lovely to have access to the garden without the steps I have here, even though we are going to have to get someone in to take care of it. We have one of our university friends coming to stay in a few weeks and she may get caught up with us moving. All the sorting has more or less been done now. We have bags of stuff for charity to collect. The British Heart Foundation has been very useful. They collect bags and we’ll let them clear the house when we’ve moved.

We had to rush our girl cat to the vets on Good Friday as she couldn’t urinate and was in distress. Vet a bit grumpy being called out, but we couldn’t wait for them to open. Thankfully, it was cystitis, not anything more worrying, and after antibiotics and painkillers she is fine. As we lost cat the elder before Christmas, we were worried, but she’s running around much as usual now. It’s hard to believe she’s six this month. I still think of her as a kitten because she’s so tiny.

On the writing front, I’m happy to say there has been some writing. I have several ideas and a couple of incomplete stories, so unsurprisingly, I’ve started writing the story of a couple of characters from My Highland Cowboy. If you’ve read that book, this one will feature Cormac, the bad boy brother of Craig, the groom, and Lachie, one of the twins who work on the ranch. Unusually, it starts with them splitting up. So far, I’ve written around 8000 words. It’s slow as I can’t sit comfortably for long, but at least it’s something.

In other news, I’ve just signed a contract for Two for the Road with Pride Publishing. It won’t be out until early next year but could be earlier if they have a gap come up. This is my first May/Dec story, although it’s more like Feb/Aug. The MCs are Dylan, a young man on a mission, and Riley, who was Dylan’s father’s childhood friend, and is trying to move on from his past. It’s set in Lancashire, near where I live. Oh, and there are pets.

I’ve read quite a few books since my last blog. In Throwing Stones, Avery Cockburn did her usual great job. I also enjoyed Pretty in Pink by Jay Northcote, one of my favourites in this series, The Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza, Taxes and Tardis by N. R. Walker, Arrows Through Archer by Nash Summers, and The Way You Are by L. J. Mile. Living on Air by Susan Mac Nicol was a tough but rewarding read. Other reads were Untouchable by Kay Simone and Ruthie Luhnow and Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer. Both of these suffered from the same problem for me. I liked the characters to begin with, but the stories went on for too long with too many misunderstandings and failures to talk to each other. I also read and enjoyed the first part of C. F. White’s District Line series. Looking forward to reading the rest when they come out as I love football—see below. There were a couple of other reads which didn’t work for me.
Box set watching continues. We’re now up to Buffy season 4 which we are combining with Angel season 1. Hard to believe it's twenty years since it started. We’ve also watched The White Princess, an adaptation of Philippa Gregory’s book about Elizabeth of York, the wife of Henry VII. Henry was far too pretty and, as usual, the story annoyed me. I know authors can interpret history, but I get irritated watching. We’ve also started film night on Saturdays. Watches include the highly recommended God’s Own Country. Call me by Your Name, which I enjoyed but it didn’t feel real enough to me. Paddington II was wonderful, Dunkirk impressive, though I think I enjoyed the John Mills version more, and the poignant, Film Stars don’t die in Liverpool. I’m excited to have downloaded The Last Jedi. I know I’m probably the last to watch, but as I can’t get to the cinema, I have to wait. I’m looking forward to it after all the controversy.

That’s enough for now. I continue watching football. I may have no nails left as Cardiff City are worryingly being pressurised for a promotion place. On the positive side, it looks like my local team, the wonderfully named, Accrington Stanley, may go up for the first time in their history to the third tier in the English Football League. This would be an awesome achievement for them.
Just a couple of extras. Please read the posts on R. JScott’s autism awareness blog hop, including mine, link. There are giveaways on every post. There’s also a giveaway on a post from last week, you can find here. This is a Q&A I did. If you follow Totally Entwined romantic deals, I’ll have a couple of books coming out there one for free and one at 99p. Keep an eye out for them.

I hope everyone is well and looking forward to some summer sunshine.

Saturday 7 April 2018

Autism Awareness Blog Hop 2018

Thank you for visiting my blog post in the autism awareness blog hop 2018. It is always a privilege to take part in this event. You can find the link to R. J. Scott’s main post here.

Autism and Football
Football is a sport close to my heart. I have been a fan of the beautiful game for many years. The 2017/18 season is proving to be an exciting one as two of my teams have a chance of promotion. Cardiff City, the team I’ve supported since I was a teenager, are currently second in the Championship, and Accrington Stanley, my current home town team, are top of League Two. For those who have no idea about the structure of football in Britain, there are four main leagues, The Premiership, The Championship, League One and League Two. But what you may ask, has football got to do with autism?

As someone who attended games in the past, I’m aware of how crowded and loud football matches can be. Many people with autism would find it difficult to attend a game which is a shame. I did a little investigation and found that one Premiership team, Bournemouth FC, have decided to launch a campaign to make it easier for those with autism to attend. This campaign was launched last December with Harry Redknapp, a well-known manager. Bournemouth have created a toolkit which they are hoping other clubs will adopt. You can find information about the campaign here. 

If you are a supporter of a particular club, large or small, why not ask them to get involved?

Sport brings people together. It should be inclusive. Just to finish off, here is some information about autism in the UK.

Thank you for visiting. I will give a copy of a signed paperback of any of my books available in print to one person who comments on this post.