Jeanette Taylor Ford

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Source: Jeanette Taylor Ford

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Are we OK, you and I, after you voted to destroy my dreams?

My thoughts exactly. As I see the worries that our son has for their future business and the worries of our other children and also for my fears of losing allies in an unstable world.

Andrew Reid Wildman, artist, photographer, writer, teacher

I feel like someone has taken something dear to me, my identity, my connection to my continent, and they have killed it. If you voted Leave, I hope you are prepared to take responsibility for what you have done, and that you do not regret it. It is over to you now, to sort out. Some friends view my reaction as an affront. That I am ‘dissing” them. It is not. It is just that you have killed something that was precious to me. You have created a country around me that I do not recognise, which feels broken and insular. That was your right to do that, you voted the way you thought was best. And you won and I lost. But in so doing you destroyed something. Many of you are now regretting your vote. Save your tears, I do not want to hear them lest I scream…

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Fourth Book in the Series

Angel Rigley writes lovely books. She has the same attitude as me; if someone says they have enjoyed a book, she keeps on trying. Why not give her a try?

Authory Antics

If I heard that an author had had the fourth book in a series published – besides 3 different novels – I would be very impressed, and want to read the whole lot.

I have many super friends and a marvelous family who buy all my books, love them, and pass them on to their families and friends.One friend said, when I told her that Choices for Jamie had been published, “Oo, my mum will be so thrilled. She keeps asking me when the next book will be out.” This sort of comment spurs me on to continue writing when I feel defeated, and wonder why I bother, when I hardly sell any on the internet. But if I can make at least one person happy, then I’ll keep trying.

Book number 4

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Choices-Jamie-Angela-Rigley-ebook/dp/B01F8RKD8I?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

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Review of ‘Love’s Long Road’ by G.D. Harper

Final cover design

This is a story which has elements with which many of us can identify. The main character Bobby Sinclair, a talented actress just out of University, is devastated by the suicide of her boyfriend, Joe. She had just finished the relationship and felt his terrible end was her fault. She imagines everyone is blaming her and she also can’t come to terms with the guilt she feels so she decides that never again will she get so involved with anyone to any depth and sets out to be a ‘good time girl’, only having ‘one night stands’ and leaving them, however attracted to them she might be. The only thing that didn’t sit quite right with me was her constant ‘one nighters’ throughout most of the story which covered a few years, although this did get less as the story got closer to the end. However, I do realise that sex with lots of different partners can become addictive.

This rather mercenary attitude leads her into disaster when she becomes involved with a fascinating and compelling character called Michael and she realises eventually that he is actually very dangerous. However, she is now deeply involved and knows she is up to her ears in trouble. She has to get away, but how?

I don’t want to spoil anything for the readers by telling any more of the story. However, I must say that I found it riveting and very hard to put down. I loved that it was set in the 1970s as that was when I was in my twenties; I was able to enjoy the reminders of certain pop stars and other things that pertained to that era.

The author is obviously familiar with both Glasgow and London and describes those places with confidence and ease, helping the reader to ‘see’ the scenes without going into too much heavy description, which I like; I can’t bear large descriptive paragraphs when a story is so interesting – I want to get on with it! I loved Bobbie and understood her; I am sure that most of us have done some pretty stupid stuff when we have made wrong choices or something has happened that was beyond our control although hopefully most of us never found a ‘Michael’.

I also loved that Bobbie had a devoted male friend who did not judge her but was always there to do what he could, in spite of his own relationships.

This has a fast moving storyline and is an absorbing book; I thoroughly recommend it.

 

Life and Writing

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Hello friends! Hello, hello? Have you forgotten me? It’s true I haven’t written my blog since last November so if you have forgotten me it’s not surprising. 

‘Last November?’ I hear you say. ‘What on earth have you been doing all that time?’

You might well ask! When I think about it I really don’t know. Just ‘life’ really. 

At first, it was Christmas; you all know what that’s like and with a big family of six ‘children’ (I use the term loosely as they are all adults), and their partners, various, seven grandchildren and a gorgeous wee great-granddaughter, there is a lot of shopping, wrapping presents and food to think about, not to mention the many cards to write and send off – yes, I still do that, although my list is getting shorter as various elderly relatives have passed on. It is a sobering thought that my husband and I are the oldest generation in our family, now that my mum has gone. That was our first Christmas without her.

The New Year brought a sense of urgency as I became aware that my close friend, David McCalden, was dying and I really wanted him to see a small book of poems and short stories that I had compiled from my posting on his Facebook page ‘Teddy Story Lines’ which was to be dedicated to him. It is called ‘Mostly About Bears’. Sadly, I never managed it; hampered as I was by my inability to draw and I was waiting for a member of my family to do them as she is a talented artist. However, although talented, she is also super-unorganised and unreliable and in the end I published the book without the final picture that I’d wanted.  David never saw it, which made me very sad. I like to think that he’s still watching what I’m up to from wherever he is now.

At the same time, I was formatting my book, ‘Bronwen’s Revenge’, which is the second book in my Castell Glas Trilogy and then I had to wait for my proof-reader whose little son was having health problems. ‘Bronwen’s Revenge’ slipped into being published fairly quietly in April. Both books are still waiting to be ‘discovered’ by readers, although I would recommend that any prospective readers should read Book 1, ‘The Hiraeth’ before they go on to find out what Bronwen got up to next.

I help my eldest daughter out by having her little one once a week so she can work; on other days he is looked after by his other grandparents and his father. I find looking after him quite tiring – I often wonder how I managed to bring up six children!

Upon retrospect, I have the same problem that many writers do, especially female writers who have so many other roles to play; we are the mothers, the carers of the sick and the elderly, the baby-sitters, the shoppers, the housewives and so on. How on earth do we fit in writing as well? And then there is the BIG problem that all self-published writers face – that of the publicising, the constant, grinding use of the ‘soshial media’ (as my good friend, successful author, Seumas Gallacher refers to it) which we mostly hate and don’t want to do. But we know we have to if we’re ever going to get noticed by anyone.

I want to know, do other authors rebel over having to do all the media-advertising thing, the ‘twitter-facing’ and so on? Do you ever think ‘to hell with it, I’m just going to write’? I know one writer friend who has done just that; he’s taken himself off Facebook and so on in order to concentrate on writing his book. Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to do that but I’m afraid to let go of all the strings – not to mention nosey because I like to know what all my friends are up to!

bronwen 2 a copyHow do other authors feel about all this stuff we have to do and do we make time to have a quality life other than to just grind away at the proverbial typewriter all the time? Please let me know what you think – am I being paranoid about the social media; I didn’t have to publish my books, did I? But if I hadn’t, what would be the point of writing them? Perhaps I should just give it all up and let myself slip quietly into old age and senility…?

Book Review – Sorrow Hill

This is the first review of this book that I have read and I think it looks like a great read. If you are into historical fiction, give it a go.

Byrhtnoth

Today I am taking a look at Beowulf. Not the television series that has been aired recently – I quickly gave up noting the errors and accepted it as a fantasy, using some of the names from the original poem. Although since the original was a story loosely based on historical figures, I suppose any interpretation is valid.

I have found that it is uncomfortable to review books set in my own period, so this time I have gone back to the sixth century.

Sorrow Hill, coverSorrow Hill is the first book in the Sword of Woden series by C R May. I soon started getting echoes of my own book. Take a hero from a famous Anglo-Saxon poem, whose name begins with B and imagine his early life from about the age of 6 or 7 until he becomes a man. I must confess that reading this book almost made me want to…

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The children of Youth Foundation Uganda Care come from the streets.

This is a group I support. The young man running it is only twenty and he has been trying to feed 20 – 30 poor children for three years with no help from government or other charities. These children don’t ask for much, only to be able to live.

youthfoundationugandacare

The children of Youth Foundation Uganda Care come from the streets. Some were rejected by parents and abandoned because they are handicapped. Others came from homes with no father or mother or parents who simply could not provide for them.

Many of the children at Youth Foundation Uganda Care have little or no use of their limbs. The deaf have never been taught to communicate. The handicapped and poor children of the low caste system in southern India grow up scorned, despised and uneducated, with no chance for a decent life. Often, they are exploited as street beggars for others to obtain food and money. These are the children Youth Foundation Uganda Care takes in.

These children have little or no access to government aid, education, job training, health care, food, shelter or even hope. By providing clothing, food, medical care, shelter, formal education, vocational training, spiritual sustenance, and…

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Ba Humbug or…?

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Autumn is in full swing and even as the shops have had shelves full of plastic pumpkins, spiders and webs, witchly cakes and boxes of sweets for Trick or Treats at the door, our thoughts are being dragged towards Christmas.

The plastic ‘tins’ of Cadburys Roses, Miniature Heroes (my favourites), Quality Street and Celebrations magically appeared in their mountains before the end of the summer holidays. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, labels, decorations, lights and artificial trees are now lining the aisles in the supermarkets, not to mention a whole aisle dedicated to other chocolates, biscuits and other goodies that seem to be necessary to the enjoyment of that winter holiday season. All conspire to pull us unwillingly towards that time of excess and spending lots of money – they hope.

Whilst I admit that I have bought a tin of Heroes and one of Quality Street and stashed them away (sshh, don’t tell anyone!), I am reluctant to get into the full swing just yet.

This morning my hubby said his usual piece, that he wants all the presents bought by the beginning of December (who’s he trying to kid, it’s never happened in the 31 years we’ve been married!) and I told him that I’ve already bought some presents (well, I have!).

When we had all our children at home, I would buy ‘stocking’ gifts all the year round if I found them. They would come from all sorts of places – from seaside holiday shops, markets, craft fairs, school fairs, anywhere I found unusual and interesting small things. I loved it, it was my favourite thing about Christmas and I not only enjoyed finding the things, I enjoyed seeing their faces as they unwrapped all the small gifts packed into their stockings on Christmas morning. It was worth all the searching and marathon wrapping sessions. When I only had two children, the wrapping could take place after they had gone to bed on Christmas Eve but as our family grew larger, it was impossible to do it all in one evening. Then they had ‘main’ presents in the afternoon.

Now my family has largely flown the nest, except for our youngest daughter, and have nests of their own, I no longer have stockings to fill, no longer have to make the magic work for my family the way my mum did for us when I was a child.

My husband hates Christmas (bah humbug) because he hates all the commercialism and disapproves of Christmas trees and decorations. I, too, hate the commercialism but I like all the other things and I have stood firm for years in my love of this special time in which the Christian world celebrates the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Now that I no longer have to create the magic for my children, I am even more free to rejoice in the greatest magic of all; that of knowing that I can be partaker of that Heavenly Gift of Eternal Life that is offered to all mankind if they believe in the Christ and follow him. And that celebration that comes around every year, which is often spoiled by the commercialism and the fact that too many people spend too much money which they haven’t got and indulge too deeply into the spirit that comes from a bottle, is really a simple affair, that of being reminded of the humble beginnings of the greatest man who ever lived.

I am not ashamed that I believe in Him and I will always celebrate Christmas, not a ‘winter holiday’. So there.

Pause for Thought

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With my own laptop still being repaired, I am being hampered and frustrated in having to use my husband’s old laptop. This is fine for facebook, twitter and other internet things. However, for writing it’s no good because it doesn’t have Word and refuses to open my external drive which has all my current WIP on it and all my photos. I didn’t think I was going to be without it so long but I’m trying hard to be patient.

In the meantime, I’ve spent almost two weeks fighting tooth pain and have had a few wakeful hours in the night which could have been usefully spent in writing. I think, if something doesn’t happen soon, I’m going to have to resort to writing the old-fashioned way – you know, on paper with a pen or pencil! Strange as it may seem, I can actually write…

Not having my laptop ready to hand has caused me to wonder how I ever coped without it. Of course, I didn’t become a writer until I actually had a laptop, although I have always enjoyed writing. I never seriously thought I’d ever actually write a book – and now I have written six of them, four of which are published. It just goes to show that you never know what you might achieve in life and the opportunities to take up new challenges even in older age are abound in these modern times. How different to our parents’ and grandparents’ time when most people stuck to the same job all their lives and retirement meant they were too skint to delve into new ventures in later life.

So, even if I only have a devoted following of seven readers, I count myself lucky I can do this. Right now, I only have two great wishes – that my tooth pain can be finally removed from me and that my laptop will be returned to me so that normal service can be resumed as soon as possible.

I just popped this in so my blogging friends don’t forget I’m here! And hopefully, things will soon be back to normal and my frustrations will be over. In the meantime, the stories continue to be ‘baked’ in my head…

So long, folks!