Sharing The Blogging Love ;) or Things You Never Knew About Me

Crikey, I think all this writing romance has turned me all lovey-dovey ūüėČ
The truly delightful Catherine Miller, aka Katylittlelady, awarded me a Verstaile Blogger Award a while ago, but there’s been so much going on that I haven’t had time to step forward and accept it. I shall do so now!

Ahem! Unaccustomed as I am to public sp- what d’you mean, I don’t have to make a speech (and who was that at the back saying ‘and please don’t!’ What a nerve…)

Fair enough. The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award says you must:

1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post. DONE THAT!
2. Share 7 things about yourself. BELOW.
3. Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading. I’LL TRY BUT MANY I WOULD PICK HAVE ALREADY BEEN GIVEN IT…
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. PROMISE TO DO THAT.

So here are 7 little known facts about me – and then I will run through my lovely nominees….

  1. I’ve no idea who one of my great-grandfathers was. His name is missing from my late grandmother’s birth certificate, whilst the man her marriage certificate names as her father has the same surname as her mother’s maiden name…This is either a)fake b)a coincidence, because the surname is very common d)suggests incest as it is the name of a fairly close family member. a) is most likely.
  2. I’ve been to Albania. Back in 1995, when it wasn’t recommended. We booked a day trip there from Corfu through a company that was still running trips (our holiday company wouldn’t – too risky). Having hardly any money after lunch (because the day was meant to be all inclusive and wasn’t), we turned down the unexpected offer of an extra excursion and stayed in the town where we were due to catch the boat back. Very lucky for us – the people who did go on the trip were locked in the coach and the driver refused to drive them back until they had all ‘given him a tip.’ It was a fascinating experience (not least because we saw a whole herd of goats high up in a tree!)
  3. I once dispensed a prescription for Myra Hindley. She collected it in person accompanied by two prison officers, one of whom was handcuffed to her.
  4. I was nearly widowed 7 months after my wedding. My husband became ill shortly after we got married and 7 months later he was in Hammersmith Hospital in London having a rare type of adrenaline-producing tumour called a phaeochromocytoma removed. They’re more commonly diagnosed in post-mortems, so he was very lucky…
  5. When I was really into doing yoga, I could make my feet feel warm and cold at will, almost instantaneously. I can still do it now – sometimes – but it takes a little more effort.
  6. One of my grandfathers was a POW in the Second World War in Japan. I never thought to ask how he was captured; he was in the Navy and spent most of his time on subs. He escaped but broke back into the camp to rescue his friend, and was recaptured and tortured. He survived the war but was never in the best of health afterwards, dying when my Dad was only 16. Can you be immensely proud of someone you’ve never met? Apparently you can – because I’m very proud of the ‘granddad I never knew’.
  7. I don’t know any really famous people. Disappointing, huh. My friend Carole knew Gordon the Gopher. My husband knows the man who fixes Rory McGrath’s computer. I used to chat to the partner of Phil from Time Team on the Time Team forum. That’s as far as it goes (any other examples would be similarly sad). My husband, though, has rather more brushes with fame due to where he works, and properly famous bands come to play at his company’s Christmas parties. McFly, Olly Murs… sigh. He also gets to go abroad, whilst I work 8 minutes walk away!
So now to…DRUM ROLL!…my nominees! very useful and friendly blog of the talented writery lady Julie Phillips ūüôā¬† I met Bee at Sally Quilford’s Pocket Novel workshop and have since wandered on to her blog where she talks about caring for her mother, and also about yummy food (she’s written a cookery book so she knows what she’s talking about!).¬†I was pointed to Daphne’s immensely readable blog a few years ago and try to read it whenever I’ve got a moment. Daphne ¬†runs an acting agency and is involved in role-play sessions to educate health professionals. A fascinating read. Very entertaining and often downright hilarious blog of a pig farmer-cum-heritage-centre-overseer on the remote island of Westray. Guaranteed to make you laugh, she is qualified to dispense useful tips on writing successfullyand on winning Deal or No Deal, both of which she has done. Honest.¬†Val’s blog is full of musings on her life in Ireland and her gorgeous photos. There’s a reason she’s won prizes for them – take a look!


2 Great Books, 2 Good Causes

I’m not quite sure how I’ve left it so long to announce that THE PAPERBACK OF 100 STORIES FOR QUEENSLAND IS OUT!

100 Stories for Queensland

The paperback is available from Amazon for £9.99, or you can order it from Waterstones (although strangely, not online there yet Рthey are only listing marketplace copies). The ebook is available from here for A$4.99.

Just in case it escaped your attention, one of those 100 stories is mine – Pop. But far more importantly, all the profits go to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal. Grim stories were banned, and although I haven’t had the time to read them all myself yet, I can tell you that, like me,¬†fellow writers¬†Sally Quilford, Simon Whaley and Catherine Miller contributed light-hearted tales. So if you need a smile over your cup of coffee, this will be just your…er…cup of tea.

And now on to plug another good cause and the work of a friend – not writing this time, but photography. The very gorgeous book Quoted Moments¬†is out now, with beautiful photography and inspiring quotes that help you appreciate the important things in life. All profits go to the Irish Cancer Society, and you can buy a copy here¬†for just ‚ā¨15+ p&p, or¬†from stockists in Ireland. One of the contributors is talented prize-winning photographer Val Robus.

I’ve still not heard if my contribution to the New Sun Rising anthology has passed muster – I do know that the publishers have had enough subs to fill four books, so competition is tough! More on that (whether I’m in it or not!) when I hear firmer details.