31/03/2012

A-Z BLOG STARTS TOMORROW!

Yes, I know I said it started today, but all day yesterday I thought it was Saturday, therefore today should have been Sunday. As it isn't Sunday today but is, in fact, Saturday, that means tomorrow's Sunday, which is when the A-Z Blogging Challenge actually starts. Wake up at the back there!
Remember to follow my blog - if my stats show I've had lots of hits it will encourage me to continue. Apparently if you fall by the wayside the organizers remove your name from the list. Whether they then name and shame you I don't know, but I would rather not find out!
TODAY I thought I'd share the card my dear sister-in-law sent me. Do you think she's trying to tell me something?

30/03/2012

Lilies and the A-Z blog

MY BIRTHDAY FLOWERS have lasted a whole week - not bad for Tenerife where the heat usually kills them off rapidly. These Arum lilies remind me of home, where we had a huge bed of them in our garden. Beautiful, ethereal things, with petals of pure velvet.

AND what a good thing I checked!
I thought this A-Z challenge started on Monday and I've just found out it's tomorrow. So, any of my friends who are going to read my blog (and others) and make encouraging noises, please start tomorrow.
It would boost my confidence no end if you would also consider adding yourselves to my list of followers. Please?

29/03/2012

Face Recognition Software?

I'd scanned some more drawings and was going through them on the computer, re-sizing them from megabites to a more manageable size and adding captions. And would you believe it? The computer picked out a face and asked me who it was! I didn't think my drawing was that good!
Go to my Toy Poems page to see the latest addition, and I think you'll agree the drawings are - what's the word? - ah yes, basic.

NAG ME!

March 24th was my birthday, and was also the day I smoked my last cigarette.

This photo of the OH shows how we had to dress up last December in Derbyshire just for a smoke - thermal hat, fleece jacket, the lot!

After smoking for about 75% of the last 50 years (pregnancy and breast-feeding intervened on occasions, and I actually gave up once for some years) I shall need all the encouragement and/or nagging you care to dish out.

And there's no point in mentioning the savings - my cigarettes out here only cost 10.50 euros for 200!

27/03/2012

Blackie's Poem

If you look closely at D, the middle child in this photo, her left arm is clutching a black creature.
This is Blackie, far and away her favourite, and he still sleeps on her pillow despite husband and three cats.
D tells me Blackie isn't awfully brave and needs her to look after him, which insight into his character helped me to write his poem.
You will find it on my Little Poems for Toys page.

BROAD THOUGHTS FROM HOME


For this A-Z blogging challenge I had to pick on a theme.

Broad thoughts could be musings, rants, comments on a news item. Or they could be a poem, or a picture, or a bit of prose to illustrate that day's letter.
Will I manage to write something worth reading every day? Will I stay the course or get bored or side-tracked? Follow my blog throughout April and find out.
My name is only one on a list of over a thousand names - follow some of the others too.

I've been tagged!

Patsy tagged me so now I have to copy a passage from page 77 of my latest project, so here's a bit from A Strange Adoption, p77, from line 7 for about 7 paras.


 “We’ve got to get him cleaned up before we start talking about bikes,” she said, trying to look stern, “Jack, upstairs with you – you need a bath - and I’ll get me scissors out when your hair’s clean.”
An hour later we stood back and looked at him – new jeans and a sweat-shirt over his own pants and tee-shirt, and he’d found a pair of trainers that’d stay on if he wore two pairs of socks.  Maggie wasn’t that expert with the scissors, but I could take him to the barbers in a week or so when the heat had died down.  What mattered for now was that he looked as different as we could make him. We had a sticky moment or two when I told him he had to call me Dad, but when I said it was only to keep him safe he said, “You mean it’s part of my disguise?” and I said yes – I wasn’t planning on being the kind of Dad he’d had so far.  Then we made him up a bed in the box-room out of pillows and duvets, and I said I’d buy him a proper bed on Saturday.
I was busy making a stew – it ain’t often I get the time to cook, but I’m a bit of a Keith Floyd fan when I get the chance – when Den walked in the door.
“Who’s this?” he asked, jerking his head at Jack and heading for the sink to wash his hands.  I elbowed him away from the sink – didn’t want him getting engine grease in my stew – and said, “Jack’s stopping with us for a bit – and we’re making out he’s my kid.”
“Fair enough,” said Den – he knows if I do something I’ll have a good reason, “Save the explanation till I’ve had a bath, will you?”
“Don’t take all day about it,” I told him, “I’ve just put the spuds on.  Jack – say hello to your Uncle Den.”
“Uncle?” Jack squeaked, and shot out the back door into the yard.
“What’s up with him?” I said, standing there like a wally with the wooden spoon in my hand.
Maggie glared at me like I’d farted, “You and your stupid great gob!  The poor kid’s had enough uncles as it is.”
The penny dropped with a clang you could’ve heard in London and I dashed outside but I was too late – Jack had unbolted the back gate and legged it.  I didn’t even know which way he’d gone, and I wasted time dithering, but then I ran down to the garages at the end.  There was no sign of him there, so I ran back up the alley to the other end and saw him disappearing round the next corner.  I yelled, “Jack!” and belted after him, and round that corner I saw a grey sweatshirt.  I raced to catch him up, but when I grabbed the shirt and swung him round it was the wrong kid.  I had to back off in a hurry with his mum screaming blue murder. 
I must have gone up and down the street a dozen times, looking in the corner shop and the chippy and even sticking my head through the plastic strip curtain of the bookies’.  By that time I was wishing Maggie’d left Jack in his pyjamas and dinosaur slippers, cos half the kids in the neighbourhood were wearing jeans and grey sweatshirts – even the girls – and I couldn’t find Jack anywhere.  I was out of breath, partly through running round in circles but mostly through panic, cos if anything happened to Jack now it was my own stupid bloody fault.  I should’ve known what the word ‘uncle’ meant to the poor kid – I could’ve picked on a hundred different ways to introduce Den and I had to choose that one.  Cursing myself for all kinds of a wanker I started walking again, trying to think which way I would’ve gone when I was his age, but I hadn’t known Brighton that long and I had no idea where to look next.



26/03/2012

MOTIVATION (Or told you I was ill)


My motivation seems to have done a runner and all creative writing activity in this house has been on hold for a couple of weeks, so naturally I was starting to obsess. Then I listed possible reasons in order of occurrence.
1. The dentist said I needed work costing E2000. Yelp! Raided savings and managed to find half, borrowed the other half, handed over cash, and then endured two sessions each lasting several hours. More to come this week.
2. Sent off A Strange Adoption to two Book Prize Competitions by mistake, and wasted time worrying. Then I realized that being short-listed once would be a miracle - reaching the finals twice is as likely as my grey hair spontaneously reverting to brown.
3. Submitted Helter-Skelter to an agent and received a request for the whole MS. Ecstatic! Then spent several days convinced I hadn't edited out all the errors, then I worried about it failing again, and then I got tense about it succeeding.
4. A friend arrived for a week of R&R which meant the OH invaded my bedroom/study to leave the spare room free, and the OH snores all night and always has a siesta which is often my best time to work.
5. A sore throat crept up on me, turned into a raging fever and hacking cough. Got out of bed to celebrate my birthday watching turtles released, which was lovely but marred by the friend forgetting his hat and spending the whole time lurking and shivering in the shade. Went out for a nice meal but not much appetite. Doggy bag gratefully received by starving neighbour.
6. This morning the doctor confirms I have a chest infection and gives me cough medicine and antibiotics to deal with my that AND with the urinary infection that was revealed by the results of a test done 2 weeks ago.
Told you I was ill.
Two doses of meds later I am feeling a bit better and much more positive. The OH has finished his siesta, and I have time to polish up a 750 word story and transfer my scribbled notes to my Ideas File before the friend takes us out for dinner - he flies home tomorrow.
Now where did I put that "to do" list?

25/03/2012

CLOCK CHANGE DAY

Oh how I hate these clock-change days!
Every time the time is mentioned, the OH says, "Of course, it's really only ...."
He should save it for someone who gives a damn.
I suppose I could get into a philosophical discussion about the meaning of Time, and how it is only a man-made concept anyway. Unfortunately, that would take the wind out of my sails when I want him to commit himself to a time when he will return for his meal.
Even the cat is against me - she started demanding her supper at the new British Standard Summer Time 5pm - by the hall clock - which was, of course, really only 4 o'clock. Which should have been an hour too early for her body-clock.
Or was it?

24/03/2012

SUELTA/ RELEASE OF A TURTLE

A turtle released on my birthday!
We drove to El Puertito this morning to see a turtle released. Many are rescued from the sea, injured by propellers, tangled in discarded fishing nets or lines. Not all of them are as lucky as this fellow. There was a display board of graphic photographs beside the van that brought two turtles - look on my Facebook page to view the album.
We waited ages - this is Tenerife, after all, where the manana syndrome holds sway! There were children in the sea, and huge German sunbathers lying at the top of the slipway, oblivious both to the spectacle they made and the nuisance they were creating - the release route was that way..We watched in disbelief as a female TV photographer edged down the slipway with a huge camera to take shots of the waves. She was wearing a pair of those droopy-nappy pants, which aren't attractive at the best of times - filled with air by a stiff breeze, they were ludicrous. How she didn't lose her footing on the seaweed is a mystery. A child dropped her drink which rolled down the slipway and her Mum got a round of applause for rescuing the bottle from the waves. The tide was coming in and several people misjudged their dash round a path over the rocks and got soaked. The sun was hot and the spray was cool and it was my birthday and it was all part of the entertainment.
Then we had the speeches, and the expert said that the waves were too much for the turtles to manage. The bigger turtle would be released from a boat, and the smaller turtle would wait until a better day. We thought they were probably stressed enough after ages in the van and the interminable photo-calls, but presumably the experts know what they're doing.
So some divers waded off the beach with the lucky turtle in a plastic box and lifted it over the breakers. There were cries of "Ai mi madre!" from a hundred spectators as the box nearly overturned. Then one man swam backwards towing the box and waving for the cameras - his five minutes of fame - and they hauled it onto the platform at the rear of an orange dive-boat. A moment later, with no ceremony at all, they tipped the turtle into the sea.
Let's hope it makes it.


23/03/2012

A single life for me

I have a filthy cold and a temperature and a hacking cough, and the OH still expects me to care whether I have leeks or runner beans. FFS! I'm not even sure I'm going to eat today. Can't he just cook it and let me decide later? No, I have to decide now, and would you believe we had a shouting match because my brain was too woolly to choose? A single life for me - please!

22/03/2012

A Floating Muse?

I am sitting up in bed with a sore throat and a temperature so this will probably be a bit garbled.
I have had a strangely similar conversation three times this week, in which I was encouraging others to write.
   The first was D whose personal diary of his solo Atlantic voyage I typed up for him. I then said he should at least publish a few copies for his grandchildren and suggested some modest improvements,. That was before Christmas and he has followed my advice by adding photos and a rigging plan to explain his references to sails.
Then blow me down - from an initial reluctance even to consider his "scribblings" as a book (40.000w) he has come to two Writers' Circle meetings with me. On the way home last Monday he said, "D'ye know, Liz - I might even try my fist at a short story."
  Then P turned up to stay with us for a week of R&R and we got talking about his writing. He says he likes describing scenery, settings etc, and can visualize his characters easily, but gets bored with his plot when only two chapters into a book. Try writing short stories, I said, and he might do just that.
  This morning the OH and I attended a reception for the British Ambassador to Spain in Santa Cruz. (I'm only along as spouse of the Chairman of the RBL) and there was N, a woman I met last year in Madrid, waiting in a designated spot to have our hands shaken by HRH Charles. N had an MBE for being a prison visitor for many years, and she said, as you do, "I've got enough stories to fill a book."I said "Why not try?" She took my email address and said she'd be in touch. Of course she didn't, but today she decided my re-appearance must be a sign to get on with writing.
   So am I a floating muse?


20/03/2012

Never forget your phone!

This morning was a disaster!
My hairdresser has moved, and I made an appointment by phone for 1pm today. Got directions - or thought I had - and after a couple of wrong turns we found what I'd been told to look for - a gymnasium with hairdresser attached. Mel wasn't there, but I was early, so I asked the Spanish girl if this was the peluqueria where Mel worked. "Yes," she said, so I told the OH that I'd see him at 2.30 and he went to meet our friend at the airport.
After reading a magazine for half an hour (do people really want those peculiar hairstyles?) I asked the Spanish girl again and this time she listened properly.
"You mean the blonde?" she asked.
"Yes - the English blonde," I answered.
She shook her head - I had the wrong place.
"Phone her," she said, "Ask where her salon is."
"I can't - I  left my phone at home."
"Use mine." How kind she was!
"I don't know the number - it's in my phone."
So I used her phone to call the OH and said I'd be waiting where he dropped me off.
"Is there a cafeteria nearby?" I asked the girl - the OH would be another hour and I needed coffee and a loo.
"A bit further along," she told me, so I walked along the road in the eerily deserted industrial estate. All I found was a mini-market with a couple of tables outside and a coffee machine, but no toilet.
So there I was, with no way of letting Mel know what had happened, and my hair was still too long, and I needed a pee. I had a coffee anyway and then sat on the kerb like a 1920s orphan until the OH arrived.
Moral - don't forget your phone!
ps - had my hair cut this afternoon in the local shop for half the price, so I can afford a glass of wine to recover.

Two moons?

Two nights ago I was out on the terrace with a glass of wine, and I looked up at the sky, as you do. There were the two bright stars - though the moon wasn't between them like it was a couple of weeks ago. The star on the right looked a bit odd so I squinted at it, and I could have sworn it had two moons of its own!
Could that have been true? My eyesight is atrocious - 10 in one eye and 11 in the other, with incipient cataracts - and it was my third glass of wine.

18/03/2012

Mothering Sunday

MOTHERING SUNDAY
We always knew today as Mothering Sunday in the vicarages in which I grew up.
Mothers - we all had one, even Caesar - mostly good, occasionally bad, but still our mothers.
Mine is still alive, though it's frightening to recall the young doctor's words to me and my siblings a couple of years ago; "We wouldn't normally intervene to this extent with someone of your mother's age, but Reception told us she was admitted surrounded by her family, so we've gone that extra step."
The power of doctors is awesome.
Anyway, this is a photo of me and my mother in 1945, taken just before my English father took his young Australian bride home. She looked like a film star, didn't she?

17/03/2012

WHY I WROTE THOSE TOY POEMS


Here I was, newly retired and moved to Tenerife, and I was bored. So my younger son said, "Write a book".
The very idea was daunting, but I had written poetry all my life, so I set out to write a book of poems for my children and grandchildren, which I illustrated myself.
The characters are their soft toys. For this camping holiday in 1976 we restricted them to two each, but they had dozens.
The adventures these toys get up to in the poems often reflect some incident in, or aspect of, their owner's lives, so the book of 40+ poems is very personal to them.
A couple of my own dolls, and one or two of their father's, sneaked in there too, and of course, Margaret's bear and Kevin's Woms.

Then when I'd made eight copies, coloured in the drawings and sent the books off in time for Christmas, I was bored again. So I started my first novel.

16/03/2012

Give the woman a big hand!

We picked this strawberry from our terrace yesterday. It looks uncannily like a mitten and of course, being so full of myself, I took it to mean that even the garden is applauding me. And it's all mine because the OH has his gout back and has had to swear off strawberries.
Poor old b....r, married to such a sad woman!

On another matter entirely, I went to the Copy Centre yesterday with a memory stick to get a 280 page ms printed (I take large docs there to save our printer from an early demise). When the girl tried to open it, it came up as a Notepad doc with hieroglyphics. I never use ?Notepad - don't even know what it is, to be honest.
I got a new laptop last year and couldn't get it to take Word 2003 so now I'm on 2007. Perhaps the Copy Shop system is older than mine? Anyway, I re-copied the doc in 2 different formats onto my memory stick, returned to Los Cristianos (carrying my laptop as well just in case) and got it printed OK this morning. Technology ain't all it's cracked up to be.

15/03/2012

Compliments - aren't they wonderful?

Just heard from an agent who wants to see my whole manuscript!
She said my writing is "confident, fluid, often surprising and some of it is really quite gorgeous."
Not an offer by any means, I know - been down that road before - but just for today I might be forgiven for feeling pleased with myself.

14/03/2012

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA

NO!! They can't get rid of it!
My childhood was spent looking up any question Pa couldn't answer in one of those huge books.
Pa bought the set - no doubt on the never-never - with a made-to-measure bookcase. Anything we (or he) wanted to know we would look up in the Enc. Brit. Yes, it was so much part of our lives that it had a nickname in our house. You could sit with a lovely red volume on your lap and leaf through, coming across all kinds of information you didn't know you wanted until you saw it.
I know the internet is quicker, but Google can't hope to match the Enc. Brit..

BOTHER!

I should have asked my daughter!
Wrote a short story and sent it off before I'd shown it to my daughter - my best and most honest critic. And guess what? She spotted a silly mistake! Too late, of course, but I should have known better.
There was no rush - another few days wouldn't have hurt - but I was so pleased with it I couldn't wait.
Bother!

13/03/2012

NOT a good idea!

I thought I would save a bit of tree, and avoid the need to fill my shelves with huge files, by printing the second draft of my novel on two sides of the paper. After all, I was the only one going to read it. I like to do an in-depth edit on paper. Yes, I know it's stone-age but so am I. The trouble is that, if I decide to delete a chunk or add a paragraph or two, I have to re-print a page.
And that's where the problems start. I have to print two and a half pages just to replace one, then the pages don't match, so when I return to the computer I get lost and can't find which page to change, let alone which words. I can't do it all on screen because of poor eyesight anyway, and I write differently if I'm working directly onto a computer.
 Dammit - I can't even blog about it without getting muddled!
So from now on it's single-sided, double-spaced, and a big, fat lever-arch file, and the hell with it!

12/03/2012

News and views

This was the view as we parked our car on Friday at Las Galletas in the south of Tenerife. We simply stood and watched the boat sail by - lovely, isn't it?

One good item of news for the Canarians this week - the government have finally got around to paying the chemists the 120 million euros they were owed. The chemists had been threatening to stop filling prescriptions - even to cease stocking drugs at all - unless they were paid. Who can blame them?

And El Hierro, the island I have posted about before, is publicizing geo-tourism.
If you have to live with the threat of a volcano, you might as well make a profit out of it!

10/03/2012

Our first strawberry - and an agent dream.

We bought the plant a month ago and stuck it in one of the square mini-beds of our garden wall. This is all the garden we've got - a wall two cement blocks high enclosing a bed eight feet by two - but we've got chillis, mint, parsley, bouganvilla, cacti and a small tree draped in a solar-powered string of lights, so we've made the most of it.
One strawberry between the two of us! It only added a taste to sponge cake topped with whipped cream, but it was delicious.
                               ****
I woke up this morning on the tail-end of a dream in which the OH called me to the phone to talk to an agent - or possibly a publisher. I didn't quite catch the name, unfortunately, though the echo when I woke sounded like "Blueberry". Was this because of our strawberry, or a premonition? If anyone recognizes the name, please tell me - one can only dream!

09/03/2012

CALIMA!

Half our island has disappeared!
A calima came in yesterday - at first just a haze in the air. Sitting outside the bar at 7pm we could see Las Galletas on the coast 5 kilometres directly south, and Mt Teide to the north. By 7.30 they had gone, smothered in a thick brownish fog of fine sand that had blown in on an easterly wind from Africa.
Every surface was gritty, our eyes stung, sinuses ached from breathing dust, and we had to buy another drink to wash the taste from our throats.
Today, on my morning walk, if I looked straight up the sky was blue, but the horizontal view told a different story. Cho mountain, 500 metres away, was hazy, a further kilometre along the road, Guaza mountain was only a murky outline, and Mt Teide might as well not have existed.
It was a weird feeling driving to the shops later. Most familiar landmarks were missing, leaving me and my little car isolated in an eerie, shrunken world.
There used to be only two or three calimas a year - now we get two or three a month. Apparently it's due to vehicles replacing camels and breaking up the surface of the Sahara. Heavy lorries with huge wheels, careless mining practices, adventure tourism and cross-desert races in 4x4s are destroying the fragile balance of nature.
When you fly into Tenerife you will see beige areas that look like concrete bases for some vast building. These are the plastic covers to keep the sun off and the moisture in banana plantations, every acre of them covered in layer after layer of African dirt.
We can see the top of the calima now, which means it's settling, clogging the pores of every leaf.
We washed our car on Wednesday - you wouldn't think so now.

08/03/2012

Jumper for a tree!

Photograph of a tree in New Mills, High Peaks, Derbyshire. Christmas 2011.
Dressed by a group called "Phantom Knitters".
Totally mad, of course, and no-one but an Englishwoman would contemplate it - or would they?

My stepdaughter organized a "Railing Wrap" where anyone could weave strips of cloth through the iron railings around the town. Some people wrote messages on strips of sheeting, others used scarves or fabric torn from garments. Some wraps were done publicly, some clandestinely, and my SD photographed them all.

See her website "Unmade in England" which concentrates on recycling fabric for art.

07/03/2012

More parsnips!

I have just read on the blog  "From the top of the house" an excellent post about parsnips in France.
Well, we've got them here in Tenerife now - and it's all our fault.
We've been buying our veg at a farmers' market for twelve years, and they know us so well that if we're awol for a couple of weeks they ask where we've been.
A few years ago we gave a packet of parsnip seeds to a carrot lady, and promised to buy any she could grow.  I translated the growing instructions which she decided meant "Treat them like carrots". I told her they were called 'chiriveas' - she'd never heard of them, but agreed to give it her best shot.
The first bunch were enormous and many-legged, but delicious after the frozen ones for which we had to go a British supermarket. The following week she had several bunches and had been forced to hide them under her stall until we arrived, such was the demand from her other English customers.
Could we get more seeds?- Only from England. - Yes please, and any other seeds we cared to bring.
So now, as well as parsnips, she's growing the big hard English turnips that are apparently a necessary ingredient in "scouse", and every time we 'turnip' at the bar (sorry!) with a bagful we sell out in minutes and drink free all night.
And our "Bring from UK" shopping list is headed "Seeds".

A holiday with a hint of danger.

From the local paper this morning -
El Hierro, the smallest of the Canary Islands, has had its red flag replaced by a yellow one.
La Restinga, a tiny fishing village on the south coast, woke up in October to discover a stain on the sea and dead fish floating - a volcano was erupting under the sea only two kilometers beyond their small harbour. (See my earlier posts.)
Since then the inhabitants have been struggling to survive with two of their main sources of income banned - fishing and dive-schools - and the tourists stopped coming.
Last month the Crown Prince of Spain made a well-reported visit, so show solidarity with the beleaguered herrenos and to demonstrate the lack of danger. Ticket and accommodation prices were cut to encourage tourism, and now the local government is publicizing volcanic holidays.
The massive stain over the eruption is fading and the tremors are now too faint to feel. At least for now. The volcano is only sleeping, not dead. A yellow flag is not an "All clear". Fishing and diving are still banned, so you won't be able to eat local-caught fish, but goat stew is delicious, wine is cheap, and you might - just might - experience an earthquake.
But that's the attraction - an island holiday in the sun, with a hint of danger. Maybe I'll go and see for myself.

06/03/2012

How I started writing

What starts us off on the writing road?
My spur was retiring from work and leaving the village where I had lived for 35 years. The shock to my system  was devastating.
Then my younger son asked, "How are you, Mum?" and I replied, "Bored."
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself and write a book," he said.
Well, I started small. I wrote 40 verses based on the family's dolls and memories. I illustrated each one, and made up copies for family and a few friends. It was a marathon which I completed just in time for Christmas.
And then I was bored again. And twitchy - weeks of working on the project had kicked the author into life and she wouldn't lie down. So I wrote my first novel.
That was some years ago, and I've not stopped since, but those verses were the start of it all.
Written so that my children would recognize their toys, and in the hope that my grandsons would enjoy reading the book.
Look on "My writing" page for a few examples.

WHERE'S MY CICADA?


CICADA
My cicada has gone!
For a couple of weeks it was sending out increasingly frantic “I am here” signals, one lone voice in the wilderness, but now it’s stopped.
Was it eaten by an opportunist bird or lizard? Did a cat - (maybe ours) - with its night-vision eyes catch it, torture it for a while and then squash it with a paw? Has it died, heartbroken for lack of company?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s moved on to a more rewarding patch of ground?

04/03/2012

I've been grinning all morning!
I grinned at the waiter who served my cafe con leche on the seafront, and at the intrepid sunbathers on Las Galletas beach as I walked past in my cardigan.
I smiled at the Guardia Civil who were checking cars for current ITV badges at Palm Mar roundabout. (That's the local equivalent of MOT)
The man selling bananas from a huge bunch in the back of his tiny car got a smile, as did the African woman sailing slowly over the zebra crossing in her splendid Sunday best.
I grinned at Miguel when I paid for a few lonchas de beicon and a panito for my lunch. Dammit - I nearly kissed the cat!
And the cause of all this excitement?
My story was short-listed in a Writing Magazine competition!
No prize, no photo in the magazine, just my name at the end of a list (hopefully only at the end because my surname is Young)
One very small step, you may think, but it's a giant leap for me.
                                                                                        YIPPEE!

02/03/2012

I'm a sun!

I offered to do a favour for a Spanish friend yesterday and she said, "Gracias, Liz, eres un sol". I presume that's the Spanish equivalent of  "You're a star." I do love languages!

I also like strange-looking plants. This one was an anonymous two-inch cutting a year ago and is now covered in orange bell flowers. Apart from the fact that it's a succulent I have no idea what it's called, but isn't it pretty?

World Book Day?

So much for world book day - I got another refusal.
Mind you, I did tell the agent that I live in Tenerife, which is not a point in my favour.
With daily flights to England, email, Facebook and blogs, you would have thought being an expat was no barrier to acceptance, but it has been a major factor for me. I have had several comments from agents and publishers that make it clear that they can't visualize successful publicity unless I live round the corner.

Still, what with blood tests and the dentist, I've got enough to think about. I'll just get on with writing and hope someone, somewhere, will see their way to representing me!

01/03/2012

Phone a friend!

Had coffee with a friend yesterday to show each other our 500 word stories.
She'd written a really good story but there were three errors, and she'd already sent it off.
Goes to show we can't trust our own eyes when it comes to editing because we see what we expect to see.
Like I said two days ago - thank God for a willing daughter to wield that red pen!