Spring Mornings, Fish, and an Interview!

Well, what a year its been already. The first and most exciting thing I need to share is that the utterly marvellous Kate Kenzie (You can find her blog here) has written not one but TWO blog posts about me and my book ‘The Woman and the Witch’. Still available here (apologies for the shameless plug, but needs must) It’s out on Kindle and in paperback, and if you want to hear me screeching away like Dick Van Dyke on speed, it is also available on Audible.

Kate read the book and was kind enough to write a review, which you can find here.

And then she contacted me to ask if I would like to be interviewed! Of course I said I’d love to and you can read the results here.

I was over the moon to be asked and I was really pleased with the posts so thank you, Kate Kenzie!

Since I last wrote I’ve been beavering away on my latest novel ‘The Bookbinder.’ It is out with my beta readers at the moment so I am gnawing my nails away waiting to hear what they think. As ever, it took ten times as long as I was expecting to get it done as I kept having to re-write and cut out chunks and then do it all over again. I’ve just worked out I’ve spent nearly two yeas on the damn thing. Hopefully it will be worth it.

Aside from book news, family continues to survive, despite the third lock down. I am afraid I have bad news, though, Some of you may remember Bob, Gary and Steve the three goldfish my daughter asked for her 11th birthday two years ago. I wrote a while ago about my worries about Gary who had managed to wedge a giant stone in his mouth. Steve lost the fight a few days after we bought them but Gary and Bob III have been going great guns.

Until today. Great sadness in the warrior household when we discovered only Gary circling the tank.

Where was Bob?

Bob was nowhere to be found. We searched the surrounding area, no evidence of a suicidal, fishy flight from the tank to be found. Daughter eyed Dog suspiciously but she was all innocence. Sadly, after a thorough Google, Rob concluded that Bob must have fallen ill, and Gary took full advantage of the er… material available to him, and ate him.

Only when Daughter’s eyes rounded in horror did I realise that in making a little joke about ‘actually it’s Bob mark III’, that I hadn’t told her we’d replaced Bob twice. Two times we discovered Bob floating on the surface and a quick trip to the pet shop meant Daughter never knew. (I would have replaced Steve but Daughter was the one to find him.) Maybe Gary drove them all to nervous breakdowns with his constant circling, cannibalistic gleam in his fishy eye?

Gary is now swanning around the tank, his tail bloomier and fuller than ever. None of us are speaking to him at the moment.

Dog has LOVED Lockdown #3, of course. For a treat I bought her a disgusting bag of Pig’s ears and a gnawing bone. For some reason she has a compulsion to bury them deep in the garden, returning at a later date when they are good and rotten. Yuk.

Dog returns from a dig. Pigs’ ears safely buried in the mud. Her feet looked like she was wearing mud wellies.

When we won’t let her out (as I am fed up of clearing up all the mud) she buries it in the bean bag with her nose instead. Son managed to catch her on video and sent me this.

Dog is featuring a lot in my social media at the moment. Unfortunately the children have got to that age where they would rather lick concrete than appear in any of my cheery little posts. Never was this better illustrated when I saw this really cute Tik Tok that has been doing the rounds.

@brittanyjones760

STOP! I was not expecting that πŸ˜­πŸ’› Why do I have the cutest child. #toddler #challange #thecutest

♬ Godspeed – Taris Tallman

As you can see, the idea is you put your hand out in front of your child and record their reaction. So cute! I thought.

Son looked up from his phone for two seconds and ignored my hand completely. Daughter, bless her, rested her chin in my hand but then made me delete the video.

The only thing for it was to try it with Dog and she came up trumps.

Excuse the sooty fingers – I had just made the fire!

I also made a Tik Tok to prove what a genius Dog is – check this out…

And last but not least, this is one of my favourite Tik Toks involving a group of nuns who have clearly gone bonkers over Lockdown. They are hilarious – look for ‘The Daughters of St Paul’s’

You can probably see that Lockdown and finishing my book has led to some determined procrastination.

Surprisingly, with all this time on my hands I thought I’d read loads of new books, but it’s been the opposite. Any energy I had went into finishing my latest book, and I found it absolutely impossible to take on the challenge of anything new.

So, I’ve been re-reading Marian Keyes’ back catalogue as her books are nice and familiar and I can let them wash over me. If you are an aspiring writer do check out her wonderful and FREE guide to writing, which is brilliant and very life affirming.

There are a handful of books which were good enough to break through my reading apathy. You can find all my full reviews on Good Reads.

This was ABSOLUTELY GRIPPING and I couldn’t put it down, even though it left me sick with tension. Excellent escapism.

This one was also very, very good. I wasn’t sure about it at first but my Facebook Book Clubs kept recommending it so I thought I’d have a go. I think its got the best title I’ve read since ‘We are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ (Also a very good book)

I read this when it first came out in 1983 when I was just the right age for it to blow my mind. It seemed so grown up and dangerous and I loved the lead character. I was reminded of it when Netflix produced a BRILLIANT adaptation of it. Read the book first then watch Anya Taylor-Joy’s spectacular performance.

I hope you are all OK in this third and hopefully final lockdown. Keep reading, and if you don’t know what to watch I found a very engaging Tik Tokker who regularly posts things like ‘my top creepy movies’ or ‘best thrillers’. We’ve watched three he recommended that I would never normally have chosen and the were brilliant. Here’s one.

If you want to find things you wouldn’t normally watch he’s someone to look at. His name is Bryce Vaughn and I’ll put a link to his page below.

If you haven’t already, I suggest you have a look at Tik Tok. It’s not just about young people doing dances. There’s some really interesting Doctors, Historians, Artists and Writers on there. I saw a brilliant one where she was showing you the fences in London made out of metal stretchers from the war.

Stay safe and enjoy the lovely, warm spring days that seem to have crept up on us.

Here are some photos I took recently on Dog walks – the last one I was too hot in my coat! Roll on summer…

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