‘Well, what a rotten year,’ said everyone in the world! ‘Can we do things differently next year?’ asked everyone. ‘Yes, let’s, but where do we begin?’ ‘With a small step, one foot in front of the other, see?’ ‘OK, Iet’s try.’
This year there is no looking back, just forward. There is no thinking what could have, should have, would have been. No New Years resolutions, or eating less, exercising more mantras. Today I have set my eye’s toward the horizon and will be waiting on tomorrow’s sunrise. From my house to yours here’s wishing you health and happiness in abundance for 2021. Stay safe and well and I hope to see you on the other side . Happy New Year & here’s to 2021 – Nicole xx
In Iceland since 1944 it has been traditional to give a book on Christmas Eve. Unlikely other parts of Europe, during the Second World War paper was not rationed, and the tradition of Jólabókaflód was born. Whilst reading and storytelling has been a intrinsic part of Icelandic culture for centuries Jólabókaflód, (loosely translated as ‘Christmas book flood’) has been instrumental in continuing to birth a wonderful nation of book lovers.
I often think of a tradition as something that began way back in the annals of time. Now, whilst 1944 may be just that to many, it is still our recent past, and that got me thinking. Broadly speaking you need three things for something to become a tradition – a large group of people participating, the activity being passed from one generation to the next, and respect and acknowledgement of the past.
This year, my family will be receiving a book on Christmas Eve – who knows, one day this may become a family tradition!
Here’s wishing you all a Happy & Healthy Christmas.
As writing goes mine has been a bit underwhelming of late, but I’m happy to report I am back on the wagon again. There are plenty of excuses as to why I’ve been walking in treacle, but none of them really stack up! So, before the bow strikes the violin here’s the good news – 2 new books are in the pipeline – one is a contemporary thriller (natch), the other is a literary historical fiction novel which dips its toe into the 15th century! I am loving working on two books and wonder why I’ve not considered it before – after all, multitasking is one of my super powers!
Perhaps immersing myself in two completely different worlds has become my way of travelling during this pandemic! Hey, whatever gets you through right? I’m enjoying having the choice of which book to work on too dependent on my mood, the position of the sun in the sky etc.etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to escape back to the 15th century! I’m at about 6,000 words on both so still a way to go yet. Please feel free to remind me it was my choice to go tandem when I start complaining!
I shall keep you posted on the adventures of both… until next time…
The strangest of years is almost at an end and I’m left wondering where the year went?
It’s hard to believe we’ve been locked down since March! OK, so I’m stretching the truth just a little, but it certainly feels that way. There was a glimpse of normality over the Summer before the hatches were firmly battened down again. I’m not sure what normal is anymore, but whatever it is I’d like it back thanks very much!
Like a lot of people my refuge has been nature. I’ve found beauty in the smallest wonders and it’s given me a welcome boost. I’ve stayed connected because of it – thank you nature!
During Lockdown V.1 we were all working from home. Different rooms of our house became makeshift offices where four diverse companies came together under one roof. My kitchen became our work social space and we would meet occasionally during coffee breaks, or lunchtimes. Chatter revolved around ‘how’s your day going?’ and ‘What time you finishing?’ We functioned, we worked, but live? Not much. Evenings were spent trawling Netflix, reading books, silently wondering when we’d be released from the holding pattern our lives had become.
With the appearance of Summer restrictions eased, and for a while we did ‘normal’ – meals out, meet ups with friends, shopping for things other than food, but that came to an abrupt end as numbers of Covid cases once again rose, and we prepared ourselves for Lockdown V.2.
There are some differences this time around. Now there are just two of us working from home, the nights have drawn in and there is less time to be outside. My writing has begun to increase again, as has my crocheting and sewing – I’ve become a dab hand at running up a quick face mask! My tbr pile has increased ten fold and I don’t think I need to buy anymore books until 2025! Although, you can never have too many books 🙂
We are almost out the other side now, and I am hesitant. I’ve gotten used to my new small world, it’s a routine of sorts and whilst I look back on the freedoms of previous years with longing, change is never easy.
As we move into another period of uncertainty I shall endeavour to write more, and eat less (seriously – it needs to happen), everything else is up for negotiation. The one constant throughout has been the small world at my doorstop. It has carried on regardless. Buds have blossomed, and leaves have fallen, and for the first time in a while I’ve been lucky enough to see and really appreciate every single season. Whatever happens next remains unknown. Me? I’ll be opening my front door and taking in a deep breath. I’ve even brought a bike!
I leave you with a few pics from my recent adventures – oo’s and ah’s are optional!
It gives me great pleasure to welcome my very talented friend and fellow mystery author Iris Chacon . Iris last appeared on my blog way back in 2017, since then she has been busy, busy, busy!
Welcome back Iris. For those that don’t know you please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a Florida girl, so even though I love to travel, I’ve only lived in the hot climate of the American Southeast. I feel secretly inferior to people who cope with actual winters. I’m married, have two grown (beautiful) offspring, and love animals. I’ve had several interesting jobs, but my most recent and favorite one was teaching.
What can you tell us about your latest release?
My newest book is The Mammoth Murders, Book 2 of the Minokee Mysteries.
A valuable fossil mammoth turns up in a Florida sinkhole, and people start disappearing. Shepard Krausse (a blind radio host) and Miranda Ogilvy (an “invisible” librarian) risk their lives and their relationship as they look for answers along a wilderness river. Sequel to the award-winning novel, Finding Miranda.The Mammoth Murders marks the debut of a popular new crime-solving character in the town of Minokee: Zeus (pictured below).
To purchase The Mammoth Murders click the link below…
I’m loving the sound of The Mammouth Murders Iris, I have added it to my TBR pile. Do you always know where your stories will end up when you begin writing them?
I do a lot of planning before I start a book, especially with a mystery. I need to know the end before I start, and I need to know what some of the twists and turns and misdirection’s might be along the way. I need to know the major turning points in the main plot and the subplot(s). I may diagram or chart all these points and rearrange them several times before writing the narrative.
This may make you think that I know everything that will happen before I write the book, but I don’t. The charts and graphs go out the window when characters start acting and interacting. In the same way no battle plan survives the actual onset of shooting, no book outline survives the actual writing process. Continue reading “Saturday Spotlight ~ Iris Chacon”
What a fabulous idea! Award winning author C J Cooke has partnered with Paper Nations to create the first ever ‘Stay at Home’ literary festival. Staring tomorrow March 27th, and running through to April 11th you can dip in and out of any of the workshops by simply clicking on the links provided (no need to register in advance). Workshops cover everything bookish, from how to write a best selling thriller to adventure writing for children. The festivals aims to combat loneliness, champion connectivity, & celebrate books! It is completely free and completely online, can’t say it enough – what a fabulous idea! If you need me, you know where I’ll be… Link to the full programme below…
If you fancy an edge of your seat read to take your mind of things right now may I suggest my medical thriller Forbidden Colours?
Forbidden Colours is available on what’s called a Kindle Countdown – that’s 99p ($1.14) for 7 days – here’s the link & happy reading…
Ever felt as if you are living in a
parallel universe? Yep, me too! A trip to the supermarket this morning has
reminded me of why I like books more than I like people. What is wrong with
everyone? And will someone please explain the global obsession with toilet
Nowhere have I read that this virus requires an abundance of 2-ply or pasta. Maybe I missed the memo about the zombie apocalypse, or the last ever ‘Best Pasta Art in a Crisis’ competition – Who knows!
I used to collect milk bottle tops for charity, maybe it’s something like that, in which case I applaud all of you selfless creatures for doing your bit for humanity. Or, perhaps you are all hosting massive neighbourhood pasta bake-outs for the vulnerable people within your communities? Again you will get nothing but praise from me. If, however, your garage has been converted into a European mountain range, made up of fragrant smelling soft white’s topped off with layers of Farfalle & Penne, then SHAME ON YOU! What the hell were you thinking? No amount of pasta or toilet rolls are going to stop you from getting this wretched virus; it’s a PAN_DEM_IC. Sadly what your actions will do is to stop those who need those items from getting them. So if you are one of the many who temporarily forgot what it means to be human, you are forgiven. Get yourself and your plentiful supply of ____________ (paracetamol, pasta, toilet roll, flour – you fill in the blanks) down to your local food bank and donate as if your life depended on it – OK? It costs nothing to be kind, in return, you will get a nice warm fuzzy feeling, and the inner self-loathing you felt when you started reading this post will be gone.
Happy International Women’s Day brothers and sisters! In celebration I wanted to share with you some of the woman writers whose books have inspired me over the last 5 or so years. This is by no means a complete list, and given eternity perhaps I could fill it. I have highlighted only the last 5 years because we all know the classics which have been listed to death! The books on my ever growing list are those which for one reason or another have had a profound effect on me. Books can do so many things, they can educate, inspire and help you make sense of the world. Any book that makes me feel is more precious than gold, and the books listed below did exactly that. As the wonderful Maya Angelou said
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou
If you haven’t read some of these books I would urge you most strongly to seek them out and allow them to work their magic. In no particular order…
Sealskin ~ Su Bristow
The Goldfinch ~ Donna Tartt
The Hiding Places ~ Kathryn Webb
A Little Life ~ Hanya Yanagihara
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine ~ Gail Honeymoon