Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Moving On

The last couple of days I've been immersed in my editing, and it hasn't allowed the head space to dwell on missing you.

I'm still waking up in the morning, though, thinking of you. I can't believe you're no longer in my life, that you're no longer my future. This stops me in my tracks at times.

When I do allow myself time to grieve, the ache in my chest returns and I feel so sad.

My friend gave me a Relate book called Moving On (Breaking Up without Breaking Down). I finished it last night, which has given me some hope I'll find happiness again.

One thing the book suggested was not to stop doing the things we enjoyed doing together. Therefore, I have been watching Gotham season 3 which is new to Neflix. We used to watch Gotham together. We devoured two seasons.

It doesn't really feel so good to watch it alone - only because I remember us cuddled on the sofa with a glass of wine, and both commenting about the twists. It was our treat once the kids were in bed.

Anyway, Lee has returned (who was Gordon's love interest  in the previous seasons) and in one of the early episodes she tells Gordon how he broke her heart, how she cried herself to sleep at night. I wonder if I'd been watching this with you we'd have realised the poignancy of Lee and Gordon

I was so with Lee.

I've pretty much cried every single day so far. Either as I'm about to go to bed, or for instance like writing this blog post, or when I'm in the car and a song comes on that feels poignant. Pink - What About Us is a good one!

You told me 'we weren't meant to be.' We were never meant to be if you weren't prepared to work at us, our relationship....

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Moving On Is The Hardest Part

It's four weeks since you drove off, making this is the fifth weekend I've been left to my own devices. The past few weekends I have filled with friends and family, but this one I have chosen to sit it out alone.

I've got to get used to it at some point, right?

I mean, for the last year I have spent pretty much every weekend with you, usually at your house with your kids...

I did everything I could to fit in, to please you. I tried not to make demands, I just wanted to love you, and in return you love me.

You are still in my thoughts everyday. Sometimes I'm angry - that you weren't prepared to work at our relationship, you just walked away. Sometimes I'm just in shock that you're no longer a part of my life. It makes my heart physically ache. I just can't believe it - I pray I'm dreaming. Each day I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that you are no longer my future. At the moment I don't feel whole. I feel incomplete. And it's up to me to fix this gap, learn to be happy on my own, single again.

Friends ask if I've heard from you and I tell them no. I'm not surprised that you haven't contacted me - I did lash out to hurt you, because I was hurting myself. But, to be honest, if you can leave me so quickly, without a backwards glance, you can see how I question the sincerity of your love. I can see how you don't really care... Was it infatuation, did I just fill a gap, and once you were done, you discarded me?

I think what hurts me the most is that you knew I was afraid of this happening to me again. And yet you still did it.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Every Single Day

Every single day I say, "What have you done?" and I ask, "what did I do?"

Every single day I miss you. I am so sad that this has turned so wrong.

Each day I look back at all the good stuff we had, all the laughs and giggles, the kisses and the cuddles, all the fun memories, all the things that remind me we were good together.

Every single day I cry, I grieve... my love turns to a rage. And I mourn.

I want you to call me, for what good it will do. I know we can't go back to what we had, even if we wanted it to.

Every morning I wake up wishing it was just a bad dream, and you're still in my life...

And each night, you're in my thoughts and I wish I could understand what happened to "us".

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

When Will It Go Right?


And here I am again, brokenhearted.

I had hoped I wouldn't get to feel like this again. I trusted you to stick with me through thick and thin.

But here I am, lost again.

I grieve the loss of a love, a relationship... a man who I thought was my forever.

No more text messages in the morning, or last thing at night, even though you're still my first waking thoughts, and who I think of late in the evening, tucked up in bed. And I wonder what you're doing during the day, because I no longer have that contact with you.

My phone is silent, yet I look at it in the hope you'll text to say you miss me, like I miss you, so so much.

My heart hollow, I walk about empty, a dull ache in my chest, my head clouded and foggy, wondering how I got to this point, how did we become so broken, so quickly. How can I feel so happy one day and so devastated the next?

No more kisses, or cuddles, no more snuggles on the sofa watching our favourite TV shows and sharing a bottle of wine, no more little touches or making love...

My love for you has turned to a rage, yet I still love you. I'm trying not to think about you, I'm trying to go on about my day. But occasionally a memory will stop me in my tracks. I have cried too many tears.

I know time heals. I know my love for you will dull, and I will find peace... It just takes so long... For now I need to learn to live with missing you, this emptiness, this gap you've left in my life.

Positivity has left me; I'm starting to believe my only happy ever afters are the ones I write...


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Fake Friday With Sonja Price

Hello! I hope you've all recovered from the bank holiday weekend, and the sunny weather that finally arrived. Today I have the lovely Sonja Price on my blog. Sonja and I met at our RNA chapter meetings in Lacock, and she's here to talk a bit about herself and her writing. 

Sonja, did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN was the first one I sent in, but I have got another story languishing somewhere in a drawer. It’s part of a process so many authors go through. Writing a book is a learning curve which may lead to you holding back if the finished product just hasn’t got that special something. My heart goes ou though to the many writers who don’t have the confidence to try to get their stories published. They get put off by their first couple of rejections and never try again.

This is my Twitter style question: Describe your hero in 140 characters.

Tall with wavy dark auburn hair, Alastair is a Scottish student of architecture and an aspiring writer, who loves jazz music

My other Twitter style question: Describe your heroine in 140 characters.

Feisty but quiet, Jaya battles against the odds to try to become a doctor in the patriarchal society of 1960s Kashmir.

What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

Almost anything. What you read accumulates and morphs in your subconscious, and can be as inspiring as any real life experience. On the downside it can influence your writing to such an extent that a crime writer I know avoids reading anything too similar when she has a deadline for fear of it influencing her style. Deadlines aside, I read all kinds of books, good and bad (but always entertaining), because I think they can stimulate and improve your style. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does.

Do you have a favourite author?

Too difficult to choose but I do love Iris Murdoch, A S Byatt and Margaret Atwood

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

Books are like friends. When I see them sitting on my shelf, I immediately feel at home, especially if I’ve just moved house, which has happened twice recently. If I really enjoy one, I’ll keep it, paperback or not, but if it was a holiday read then I’ll pass it on- to a friend or the charity shop.

What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve ever received or read?

Jim Crace once told me not to write a travel report if I’m describing a location I’ve never been to but to make it seem totally familiar. This led to my heroine who grew up in the Vale of Kashmir talking of the view from her bedroom window where the moonlight would create an old lady’s face when it played on the mountainside.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Never give up. It’s often the difference between a published and an unpublished writer

What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?

Well in the case of THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN it was location. My imagination was ignited by a report on the car radio of the Great Earthquake in Kashmir of 2005. I discovered that the Vale of Kashmir is breathtakingly beautiful with majestic snow-covered mountain ranges cradling a valley lush in sycamore woods and fields of saffron interspersed with a pearl necklace of lakes. I thought this would make a spectacular setting for a story and it did!

What is next on your agenda after publishing your (first) book?

My new novel is about a widow’s quest to solve the mystery surrounding her husband’s death in the Canadian Wilds. Just like in THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN my story inevitably contains an innate conflict, the construction of an oil pipeline across the sacred burial sites of Native American territory, and of course a romance.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

Not when it’s finished but I rarely show them a draft. Someone once told me never to show your work in progress to anyone you’d eat Christmas dinner with, because they’re never likely to give you an honest answer!

Do you love or hate Facebook?

Most of the time I love it! It helps me keep in contact with friends abroad and keeps me up to date with fellow writers. It also makes me laugh a great deal. As with most things you just have to apply common sense. If you post something controversial, you have to expect responses you disagree with.

Dogs or cats?

I love both! I have a black lab/springer spaniel mix, who is an absolute joy but wrote my debut novel with a cat on my lap. Sadly I lost her but am sorely tempted to get another.


Thanks so much for a fantastic interview! Good luck with the book, Sonja. And we'll catch up soon at the next RNA chapter!


Author Bio: Sonja’s short stories appeared in Stories For Homes, the Shelter Anthology of Short Stories and In these Tangles, Beauty Lies, an anthology in aid of the Beanstalk Trust for children with reading difficulties, before her first novel The Giants Look Down came out in 2016. Longlisted for the Mslexia First Novel Competition, it also made her a finalist for the Joan Hessayon Award. Born in Bristol, Sonja studied at the University of East Anglia. She completed a PhD in English Literature and teaches English at Jena University in Germany. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.


Blurb: At the age of 10, Jaya Vaidya decides to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor, much to the chagrin of her mother and the patriarchal community of Kashmir in the 1960s. When disaster strikes, Jaya is faced with obstacles as insurmountable as the Himalayas. Just how far will she go to achieve her dream and will she have to walk away from love? Published by Robert Hale, 2016



Excerpt: Soft moaning sounds, like the ones my Granny made in her sleep, were coming from the house. The moans turned into cries of pain and the dog pulled away. Why wasn’t Pa doing anything about it? That was why we were here. Even with my hands over my ears I could still hear the woman. On and on it went. The man started shouting and the dog collapsed on the ground with a sigh. The woman’s cries reminded me of a Tibetan fox caught in a trap up in the forests around Lake Gangabal. Kaliq had to shoot it as the iron teeth had bitten clean through its back leg.

Silence. Even worse! Only swallows swooping overhead as the entire valley held its breath. Shattered by the cries of a baby and a jubilant ‘A boy!’ Brahma be praised, it was over. We could go home.

The dreadful screaming recommenced. Perhaps Pa had done something to her. I had to see what was going on. Like a snow leopard stalking a deer, I crept into the house, which was only slightly larger than our woodshed. It reeked of animal hide and smoke. My eyes took a moment to get used to the gloom. I could make out two rooms: a kitchen and another one where the woman lay. Our house was all sunny rooms and places where I could be by myself. I edged my way towards the grown-ups, towards the man with the bundle in his arms and Pa tending the woman, still writhing in agony.

She was so young. Why was the old man putting her through this? She could have been his granddaughter. Why choose a girl, in a place where so many women had been widowed by the troubles? Cast out by their families with children in tow. They would have been happy to have a husband, any husband. But this poor girl. It made me sick. I wasn’t going to have a baby, ever. She screamed and screamed and then I caught a glimpse of something round between her blood-smeared legs. Not another one! Pa eased out a head, then a shoulder and then the rest before the woman fell back onto the messy covers.

Limp, lifeless and smeary-white, it looked more like a skinned rabbit than a real baby. Pa tried to rub it to life but the woman was not moving either. He looked to the man for help but he merely shrugged his shoulders as if to say why bother with a girl? Pa laid the baby carefully in the cot by the fire, turned to the woman and drew up a syringe.

I ran around the bed and picked the baby up. I couldn’t believe how small she was. Tiny hands and feet just like my dolly. Only she was warm. The boy was crying for all he was worth, loud screeches that you’d never believe could come from someone so little. He was rosy and angry, and she was pale, almost white. Shiva! I wanted to shout. She was slipping away before she had even arrived. Pa was doing everything he could for the woman and there was no point in talking to the man if he wouldn’t even listen to Pa. I rubbed her like Pa had done before he put her down but she was growing colder and colder.

I stared into the flames and then my eyes rested on the one set of baby’s clothes laid out in front of the fireplace. It wasn’t fair! Why should she have to die? A ragdoll nobody wanted to play with. No! I wouldn’t allow this to happen. What had the herdsman done to the newborn yak? I bent and blew into her tiny mouth. Her cheeks soft and cool like goat’s cheese. No reaction. I blew more strongly into her. Nothing.

Tears pricked my eyes. I couldn’t help her. There was absolutely nothing I could do. Stupid of me to think I could make a difference. All I wanted to do was run outside. I went to kiss her goodbye but instead found myself trying one last time. The baby’s lips puckered; her face screwed up. She turned a deep red before letting out the most wonderful cry I had ever heard. The woman opened her eyes. Tears ran down her face as she reached out for her little girl. Pa looked from the baby to me and smiled.

Half an hour later we climbed back into the car, ‘When I’m big Pa, I want to be a doctor just like you!’

He stroked my head and switched the radio back on.


Contact Details:

Website: sonja-price.com

Twitter: @PriceSonja

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonjapriceauthor/

You can buy THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN on Amazon











Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Writing Worries

Fourth book troubles! I'm at over 90,000 words and the end should be nigh.... however, it feels like it keeps slipping away from me and I fear I won't get it finished next week.

The first two weeks of the summer holidays, the boys always go off with their dad, which enables me more writing time, before I have to play 'mum' for the other four weeks - and the writing really does become non-existent. And this time is usually great to allow my first draft to rest.

I have one more day tomorrow, then I'm back to work also. This means I'll only have three days next week, and one of those is going to be used to catch up with my editor in London.

Argh!

I sort of know how I want to make this book end. It's not like the others though. The ending really will be the hero and heroine getting together - for the first time.

I just hope it works! And the readers enjoy it as much as Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage...

I'm lacking confidence in the book though, as all writers do at some point in writing their first draft. This is completely normal, I tell myself. I've just decided to bash this first draft out. I suppose it can always be jigged about at the editing stages - right?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Wisteria Cottage makes Amazon Summer Sale

Such exciting news! Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage has made it into Amazon's Kindle summer sale! The ebook is 99p and because most price match, it means that it's not only 99p in Amazon but across all the ebook retailers.



So you can get it from iTunes/ Kobo / Google Play / Amazon UK

It is available at Amazon US or Barnes & Noble but not yet at the sale price. (You'll have to pay $2.99)

And if you would prefer the paperback, Amazon UK is still selling it for a bargain of £2.99 or look out for it in The Works. It should be in stores from mid July.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am at how well this book is being received. 29 FIVE STAR reviews on Amazon! But it could certainly do with some more. So please feel free to leave a review on Amazon or wherever you bought the book. (It could do with reviews on the other retailers too).
Loved it from its very first line until its very last - 5 STAR Amazon review


Blurb: 


'A striking example of two pasts threatening a joint future…A great read' Sue Moorcroft, bestselling author of Just for the Holidays

‘Warm, funny…a wonderful read’ International bestselling author Nicola Cornick


A Cornish Escape
After her house is set on fire and her love life is left in tatters, Maddy Hart can’t believe her luck when a friend offers her the temporary haven of Wisteria Cottage. Overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Cornish coast, the fresh air feels like a fresh start for her and her broken heart.
Peeking out of the cosy cottage windows, Maddy’s surprised to see her gorgeous but insufferable neighbour Harry Tudor has been employed to landscape the garden. But as the wisteria winding its way around the cottage begins to bloom, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom…



Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Two Weeks Being A Full-Time Writer

Me, Rachel Brimble & Jane Lark
This weekend is the RNA Conference and I'm not attending! I'm going to miss the buzz of putting faces to names, catching up with old friends, the pink lanyards, the goodiebags, the late evenings drinking wine and the fantastic writing sessions and talks, and the parties in the kitchens...

I first attended back in 2011, which was the start of my RNA journey, introducing me to the New Writers Scheme, which definitely helped to aid my journey to publication. I then attended back in 2014, as a full member of the RNA and I long to attend again, but sadly, working Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays it buggers up going away weekends generally.

Me, Sue Fortin & Mandy Baggot


However, in hindsight, I could have gone to the RNA Conference this year after all. (I am kicking myself just a little bit). Initially, I didn't have enough holiday to cover taking the time off work and this was my main reason for not committing to attend.

The store where I work is now closed for two weeks for a refit and I'm taking the time off unpaid. It closed Monday, so I don't have to work at all this weekend. In fact I don't go back until Friday 28th July... *rolls eyes*

Our RNA Chapter (Bath & Wiltshire)
Admittedly, my eldest is going on his school trip Sunday - his first time abroad, yet not on a plane. It is also my weekend to have the boys, before they go off for two weeks the following weekend with their dad for the summer holidays, so I still can't drop everything and go now.

Never mind. There's always next year... And I did get to attend the Harper Collins 200th Anniversary Summer Party - so it's not like I've not had a party! (Really need to blog about that one too).
Mary Cross (who sadly passed away this year) & Lizzie Lane

But yes, you read right. I do have two and a bit weeks, off! What am I doing with this time you may ask... Well, I am living the life of a full-time writer! I am making sure I get writing in every day of the week (except weekends - a girl's got to live a little).

Five days a week of writing! Plus the boys will be off the first two weeks of the holidays (although I have to go back to work)... this gives me four weeks to crack on and finish my first draft. So exciting!

For all those attending the RNA Conference this weekend, travel safe, enjoy the experience, and make sure you take plenty of wine... Say hello to everyone from me! x x x



n.b. all photos were taken from the RNA Summer Conference 2014.