10th May Had Better Hurry Up Soon…

I’ve come to the conclusion that a human body is an amazing piece of machinery, and that good health is never to be taken for granted.  Even after one day off from radiotherapy I can tell that my body is trying to repair itself,  as I feel much better than yesterday.  One day post 23 treatments I could hardly eat a thing even though I am on the maximum amount of anti-emetics allowed.  Today I could eat a small breakfast and lunch, and I even published my newsletter and cut the grass this afternoon!  Unfortunately there’s still another 7 assaults to go, but I’m enjoying the fact that I have yet another day off for the bank holiday tomorrow and that I might even be able to stay awake long enough to entertain my son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons who will be paying a brief visit.

I cannot praise the Addenbrooke’s staff highly enough who work in the Department of Radiotherapy.  The CT machines are jam packed from 8am to 8pm and the radiographers and reception workers are constantly surrounded with sickness and disease, and complaining, miserable patients who are at the end of their tether and do not want to wait past their appointment time.  All the staff are unfailingly cheerful and accommodating, and go out of their way to try and make your time there just that little bit better.  Whether they’ve been on a special training programme I don’t know, but they’re a far cry from the harassed and unhappy staff  all working under pressure that we see on TV news bulletins.

Thursday mornings we all have a review with doctors, dietitians and speech & language therapists before our treatments.  The hospital is heaving with patients then, and rather different to the evenings when I usually go in.  I like to take time out before the review to sit in the outpatient foyer café and watch life go by.  Each person has their own story to tell; there are pregnant mums, elderly people in wheelchairs, fracture cases in arm casts or hobbling about on crutches, and pale people dragging drip stands to mention just a few.  All human life passes before my eyes as I sip my green tea.

The poor old throat is suffering temporarily.  I’m swallowing mushy food and have found a strange liking for pureed fruit drinks sold in supermarkets that can be given to babies just being weaned.  Hopefully I’m not reverting back to an infant in my dotage, although fortunately I can still sail past the shelves of nappies without a second glance…

Roll on the evening of May 10th when my ordeal will be over.



Indie Author Friday: Darlene Foster #IndieAuthor #ChildrensBooks @supermegawoman

Check out Darlene Foster’s excellent series of children’s travel books.

Books and Such

We’re changing it up today on Indie Author Friday.  Darlene Foster is sharing her exciting collection of children’s travel adventure books.  Join Amanda as she journeys around the world and experiences new cultures and a few mysteries.  Aren’t these covers beautiful?

Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her.

Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy.

Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere…

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Friday Roundup – 28th April

I haven’t been too active on social media this week as I’m into the 5th week of radiotherapy and one of the side-effects (among many) is that I really can’t be bothered to do much writing or blogging at all.  However, here’s a few blogs to help writers that I have seen when I can stay awake long enough…!

1.  Jawad Khan on ProBlogger gives us 3 techniques to build our email lists:


2.  Interesting blog by Roz Morris regarding self-published/traditionally published books:


3.  G. L Cromarty tells of the benefits for writers of using Scrivener:

8 Reasons why Scrivener is my writing tool of choice #amwriting #writing #writingtools #Scrivener

4.  Beth Bacon at DBW writes about the audio book boom:


5.  Thanks to Barb Drozdowich for this info about networking on Goodreads:

6 Ways for Indie Authors to Use Goodreads to Network…

6. Thanks to Writing Insight Success for this blog on editors’ skills:


7.  Dan Alatorre gives 3 tips for a successful book promotion:

3 Tips For A Successful Book Promotion

8.  Lindsay tells us of some writing mistakes that newbie bloggers make:


Thanks to HowToEbook, Firefly 465, and Chris the Story Reading Ape for the re-blogs.

3 Tips For Staying Motivated (Because You Think You Suck And Are Worthless As A Writer, a.k.a You Are A Writer)

Great post!

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

Your humble host. your humble host

A friend of mine recently wrote a post about staying motivated. She is what she referred to as an “aspiring” author. Personally, I consider her very good author; she’s just not published yet.

Quitting: The Lesson of Murden’s Lawn

When my wife and I first got married, to save up money for a house we tried to find odd jobs. We both had full time jobs but we wanted to make more money faster for a deposit.

(Learn about writing better action scenes HERE)

The business I was in at the time allowed me to be in many, many people’s homes during the week, and one nice house I was in belonged to a firefighter. I asked him,

“Not to be rude, but how does a firefighter have a house like this?”

Me and the Mrs., then we changed clothes and mowed a lawn. Me and the Mrs., then we changed clothes and mowed a lawn.

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8 ways to turn me off a book

Totally agree re the zombies, half naked guys /ladies and gratuitous violence. I’m also adding a few more; vampires, erotica, and fantasy!


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday gives me a chance to offload about the things that deter me from reading a particular book. Here in no particular order are some generalities about the items that make me not want to read a book. The more numerically inclined readers of this post will note that I didn’t make it to 10 – I found as I was preparing this list that I don’t have anywhere near that many ‘no-go’ areas.

zombies1. The book features or even mentions zombies. The current mania among teenagers and young adults for the fictional undead leaves me cold.

2. It’s about a circus or magicians. I’m not keen on the idea of entertainment that involves wild animals and magic leaves me rather cold. I can’t say these features in a book would make it an absolute no-no but the book would have to tick many other boxes to persuade me to take…

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Our Cornish Book…

‘Let it Go’ by Anita Dawes is free for the next 5 days.

Anita Dawes & Jaye Marie

Let it Go_Haiku

An excerpt from Let it Go…

My footsteps felt lighter once we were inside. I was surprised by what I saw. The room was small but clean and tidy. Dried herbs hung over the fireplace, and there were several pieces of strong wooden furniture. One soft armchair stood next to the hearth. There were no ornaments, and no dust or cobwebs to be seen. I had the feeling they wouldn’t be allowed in here. The air itself didn’t seem to move as if time stood still.

Samuel asked us to sit down. ‘I have been expecting you.’

I chose one of the wooden chairs that stood around the table, and as I sat down, a strong feeling of peace enveloped me, like being inside an empty church. My romantic side would describe it as a feeling of coming home. Mark, with his Sixties kind of mind, probably noticed it before…

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Do you know how traditional publishers pay their authors?

After my first three years of writing and chasing agents, this fourth year I’ve realised that self-publishing is where it’s at, man…


Neil Gaiman comes up with such wonderful quotes!
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was able to read, it was something I always assumed I would do.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realised it wasn’t (at that time) as straightforward as that.
Once I’d written a book that I believed was publishable (my third competed manuscript), I submitted to an agent in the US. She took me on straight away – woohoo! I was away!
It took 6 months for all the publishers to say ‘no thank you’, in the nicest possible way, all of them, but apparently this book was ‘not what we want at the time, although we like your writing’.
Encouraging, but disappointing.
In the meantime, while waiting for them to get back, I thought if I already had other books published, I would stand a better chance with my fiction, so I…

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Ben interviews Author Jaye Marie

Enjoyed this interview. Thanks Ben.

Ben Starling

Untitled design(2)

Welcome, Jaye! Tell us a little about yourself and your work. How did you get started writing?

DSC02093I had no intention of becoming a writer. I loved to read, and for most of my life that was enough for me. More than enough really, for I am a compulsive reader and will read anything I can put my hands on. Present me with a bookshelf full of books, and I will start at one end and read my way to the other.

Then I offered to edit my sister’s books. She hates computers, so I offered to type them up too. Before I knew it, my brain began to explore what other things I could be doing.

I tried to ignore that inner voice, for I was busy enough. Anita was writing faster than I could format, and there were all my other interests too. Gardening, DIY, dressmaking and a…

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A Good Day

18 radiotherapy treatments gone, and another 12 to go; one group of 5 with three days off, then a group of 4 with 2 days off, and then a final group of 3.  I have a Tupperware box of medications to help me through because apart from other side-effects the nausea has been unremitting.  However, today I’ve had a bit of a reprieve and managed to eat a roast lamb dinner and three crumpets with low fat cheese.  Result!  I feel like doing a little dance, and I still have 2 sick pills in hand.  How cool is that?  Whether the dancing about will make me feel sick again I don’t know, so I’d better stay sitting down.

One thing this treatment has taught me is that if you do not have good health then everything else pales into insignificance.  I sit waiting for my treatment every evening with a roomful of people battling all types of cancer.  Some are having the double whammy of chemotherapy at the same time.  I am the only one there who has any hair, and I’m grateful for having lost only the hair right at the back of my neck.  When the wind blows I get a cold draught at the back of my head, but at least I’m not bald and so I have to be thankful for small mercies.

Another thing I’ve come to realise is the abject terror has disappeared that I felt at the start of the treatment at the thought of having to lie immobilised in the CT scanner tube underneath a mask which stops even my lips from moving.  If you do something often enough, even something that you’re terrified of, then you will get used to it in the end.  I lie there supine and calm and listen to one of my favourite CD’s for the 15 minutes of treatment, and I’m sure my blood pressure has improved since the start of treatment a month ago!

It all points to that little sign above the reception desk by Addenbrooke’s main door – ‘It will pass, whatever it is’.  It’s my thyroid cancer that needs to pass, and this treatment had better pass as well, otherwise none of my clothes will fit.  But it was a lovely roast lamb dinner today, and I managed to stay awake to cook the whole thing myself.  I’ve written a blog and there’s still 2 sick pills in the Tupperware box.  It’s been a good day.

See you soon, love Stevie. x

I vs. Me: What’s the Difference?

A good one. Thanks to Writing Explained and re-blog from Chris, the Story Reading Ape.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

A common mistake in people’s writing is to confuse I and me with each other. Both are personal pronouns, but they serve different purposes within the sentence.

In many circles, this can be a costly mistake, as it’s usually considered a sign of sloppy writing. In other words, if you are writing a research paper, a press release, a resume, etc., you will want to know how to use I vs. me.

In this post, I will cover everything you need to know about these two words, and once you’re done reading, you won’t have any trouble determining when to use me or I.

Continue reading at:

The Difference Between I and Me?

This is in response to PJ’s comment under THIS POST

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