"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Monday, February 25, 2013

An Honour to be Nominated....

And even more fun to win, of course!

After the 3rd snow storm in three weeks, the Chap and I felt very brave venturing onto dangerous roadways to attend the Red Carpet Fundraiser and Academy Awards show viewing at the independent cinema in downtown Concord. (We are members and supporters...I was present at its grand opening 5 years ago.)

The theme of this year's event was "Classic Hollywood" and black and white attire was encouraged. We complied--easy for the Chap, as his tux meets the specifications! I found a gown with lots of top structure (boned bodice, white rosettes) and a full skirt with crinoline beneath to add body. Because the glamourous female stars of the 30's and 40's often wore plumes in their hair, I created a matching headdress.

Part of the tradition involves walking the Red Carpet, being interviewed by a reporter for community television, and a line of "paparrazzi" snapping photos. A buffet was served in the smallest screening room, dubbed "The Stork Club" for the evening, where a jazz combo was playing. We circulated, meeting friends and making new ones. My ensemble received lots of attention and compliments, which was gratifying.

The Oscar telecast was streamed live in one of the large screening rooms. During commercial breaks the hosts led a Oscar trivia game. As usual, I scored a prize, thanks to my knowledge about Daniel Day-Lewis. (Prophetic, perhaps, as later in the evening he won the award for Best Performance for male lead!)

Adding to the fun is the chance to have a photo taken holding an real Academy Award. I didn't do it last time, but this time we did photo op--together and separately. The award belongs to Ernest Thompson, author of On Golden Pond, who won for his screenplay. Things I love about this particular statue:

1. It was awarded for writing!
2. On Golden Pond was filmed in New Hampshire's Lakes Region (mostly on Squam Lake) and some of the boating scenes were shot on our Big Lake!
3. Our cottage looks almost exactly like the one in the film, except that one has two levels of living space and ours has only one (our lower level is a wood shop and crawl space.)

We didn't stay for the entire broadcast, as the Chap was starting his new job (!!) today. The DVR was running at the Lodge, but of course I followed the action via Facebook and Twitter on my cellphone during the homeward drive.

In contrast to the elegant evening, we had spent much of the day clearing snow--shovelling and raking and so on--and worrying that we'd lose electricity. We had about 14 inches total, which is twice what the weatherman predicted for our area. The clouds rolled in Friday night and it was still snowing on our white-knuckle drive home from the Oscar party, late Sunday.

This is the scene on our decks this morning. It was back to shovelling for me, because--did I mention the Chap has a new job?

Accumulated snow on the decks.

In the "honour to be nominated" section of this post...the cover art for The Love Spoon has been so designated for February releases. You can read about it here.

I'm thrilled that the novella is doing well. It cracked the Top 100 bestseller list for Amazon Kindle in Short Stories (not just romance, but all short stories) as well as romance. Thanks to everyone who purchased it! And thanks to my very talented cover artist!

I'm guest-blogging later this week and will return with a link when the post goes live.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day & The Love Spoon

Happy Valentine's Day!

What better time to release a new Ebook? Well, actually a novella with bonus material. It's my first truly very new work in quite a few years, which is quite exciting. Last year's Ebook releases were backlist titles.

You can purchase The Love Spoon at these vendors:

The Love Spoon for Kindle
The Love Spoon for Nook
The Love Spoon for Kobo
The Love Spoon on Smashwords

A love spoon is a traditional Welsh love token, carved from wood and featuring hearts in the design. My cover art, created by illustrator Ravven, used my photograph of the spoon I purchased in North Wales. It hangs in our dining room.

In this tale, Gwendolyn Pryce and Hugo Meredith meet at a family wedding in Wales in the late 18th century. As well as struggling to accept their differences, they also discover they share a connection to a hafod, a Welsh hill farm, in Snowdonia.

This novella was (as usual) inspired by my having spent time in the region. My grandparents were fond of Betws-y-coed, which I've visited three (I think) times. My own Welsh forbears migrated from Wales to Chester, so it also features in the story. It's among my favourite cities in Britain, and I've been there repeatedly as well.

Here are two views taken from Pont-y-pair bridge, mentioned in The Love Spoon

You can see more of Ravven's wonderful work here. I'm delighted with the way she took a spoon photo I sent her and my basic concept and turned it into such an eye-catching book cover!

In home news, we still have massive amounts of snow on the ground. But we've had sunshine lately, and some slightly warmer weather. I was in Concord yesterday, attending an Ash Wednesday service with diocesan staff and picking up some Valentine's Day items for the Chap!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Finding (Blizzard) Nemo

Here are some images of what we woke to this morning at the Lodge. We have measured--for accuracy's sake choosing a spot where the snow seemed not to have drifted--and it appears we have 26 inches of accumulation. But the blizard warning continues until 4 p.m.

Jewel realises she won't be going onto the deck any time soon.

In the dog yard, the little one (Ruth) leads the way, trying--and failing--to leap over the snow.

She sank like a stone. For a time she was completely buried but surfaced almost immediately. Then she worked out how to swim through the snow...and she does love to swim!

The Chap came along to tread a path for them.

They played in the drifts for a little while.

It's quite the winter event. Fortunately we needn't go anywhere, have plenty of food, a generator to tide us over in case of a power cut--which at this point seems unlikely. After shovelling as much as we can, we'll enjoy a peaceful day, and hearty meal, a nice fire. Church has been called off tomorrow, so we don't have to leave the Lodge tomorrow, either!

Update! Proof that I went outside.

I did my share of shovelling walks and removing the snow mountain in front of the garage. That hill behind me was 1/2 made by the snow plow guy, and 1/2 of it feel from the sky. The ground is normally quite flat, and during the warmer months we park the 3rd car in that space!