Okay, the week has been pretty quiet for mishaps, trips and falls. However, it has been pretty busy on the writing front. A short story has been honed and polished ready for submission to a competition, and I am about to do a final edit and read through for my latest romance ebook. Hopefully this will be out soon.

The story goes like this: Fifteen years ago, Wayne jilted Eleanor two days before their wedding and left her broken hearted and emotionally scarred for life. Now, fate has thrown them back together again. Wayne realises that he made a terrible mistake all those years ago and Eleanor has to decide whether the love she still feels for him will be strong enough to help her forget the past and trust him again. Can Wayne convince her that he is an honourable man? A man worth fighting for?





I thought you might like a sneak peek at the first few pages. I enjoyed writing this one. I enjoy writing them all but, some times, certain characters endear themselves to you. I have to say, I wasn't keen on Wayne in the beginning but, as the story prgressed, I found myself falling in love with him myself and could, quite happily, had fisticuffs with Eleanor!




So, here goes.....




CHAPTER ONE
    Shock slammed into Eleanor like a tidal wave hitting a defenceless coastline. She heard nothing except the whoosh of blood rushing to her head, and bit down hard on her bottom lip, wincing when she tasted blood. She willed her wobbly legs to propel her into the crowded room, and it took all of her remaining resolve to lower herself into the vacant seat beside Tony, instead of turning and running out like she desperately wanted to do.
    Eleanor groaned. 
    This really couldn't be happening. If only she had been more observant, she might have been better prepared. But she hadn't been, and now she was paying the price, whilst wishing that she had paid more attention to office politics and the gossip surrounding the new proprietor of the flailing Rainbow Productions TV Company.
     Rainbow Productions was in serious financial trouble, and had been for some time. It was a fact confirmed last month when the CEO had called a general staff meeting and told everyone that he had decided to sell the Company. She hadn't been too bothered about that. The only thing she had been worried about was keeping her job. She loved working as a TV researcher. However, her old boss had informed them that the new owner wasn't looking at staff changes in the immediate future and she had dismissed all the worry and remained quietly optimistic.
    But could Wayne Lockwood really be their saviour? He hadn't exactly been her knight in shining armour in the past, had he?
    Eleanor jumped when Tony patted her hand. “Ellie, you look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
    "You have no idea," Eleanor muttered under her breath, as her brain flashed a montage of painful memories she really didn't want to relive.
    It had taken fifteen years to exorcise this demon and now it had risen before her once again. How could she possibly tell Tony that the man standing before them, reassuring them that he would do everything in his power to secure their future, was the very same man who had stolen her own future all those years ago? The same man who had broken her heart in one cruel blow with one little note. Four brief lines telling her that he was sorry but it was for the best. That the only way he could stop himself from hurting her more in the long run, was to let her go.
    Wayne was a secret she never wanted to reveal. Only her family and closest friends knew how devastated she had been when, with two days to go before their wedding, he had dumped her. He hadn't told her to her face, standing confident and proud as he was now. No, he had done it with nothing more than a cryptic note. That had hurt even more. She hadn't thought that Wayne could have been so cruel. So heartless. He had no right to destroy her happiness and ruin her belief in love and happy ever after. But he had, and that was why she couldn't believe a word he was saying now.
     Oh, she had tried to teach herself that it had probably been for the best. She had even convinced her mum that she believed that it was better to find out before that ring had been placed on her finger. It was easier that way.
    But it wasn't.
    Nothing could ever completely eradicate the pain Wayne Lockwood had caused. Her heart would be forever bruised, and Eleanor knew that there would always be a part of her that would belong to the man standing before her now. It was the same very secret part of her that instinctively knew that life with Wayne Lockwood would have been everything she had always wished for, and more.
     An image of Wayne playing on the lawn with two blonde haired children as she watched and laughed popped into Eleanor's troubled mind and made her gasp. Tears pricked at her eyes and she took a deep breath. Then another. Thankfully, Tony was too enthralled by Wayne's speech to notice.
     He wasn't the only one. Glancing quickly around the room, Eleanor noticed that most of the women were just as captivated. They were goggle- eyed and preening, hands subconsciously playing with their hair, tongues wetting dry lips. The men were sitting upright, arms crossed in a classic defensive pose as they tried to project confidence and virility. So, thankfully, no-one in the room was paying her any attention.
     And Wayne... Hopefully he would be as self-absorbed as ever and not see the inner turmoil his presence was causing her. He must never know just how deep her emotions still ran. That was one of the reasons why she hadn’t attended her university reunion last year. She just hadn’t been able to bear the thought of meeting him after all this time, let alone the idea that he might have a wife in tow. She had suffered enough hurt and humiliation at his hands.
     As it happened, she had later found out that Wayne hadn't gone either. That had made her feel stupid. Worse still, she had hated herself for letting him have control over her. She had missed out on meeting some old friends just because she had allowed her feelings for Wayne to dominate her life. How incredibly foolish and insecure had that made her feel? If only she could be angry, she thought, wondering if she dared confront him now. If she did, perhaps it would allow her some closure and finally allow her to move on with her emotions, once and for all.
    Eleanor realised that her hands were trembling and shoved them in her pockets.
    “Gorgeous isn’t he?” Tony whispered, and she just couldn’t stop herself from glancing up through lowered lashes.
    Wayne was stockier than she remembered. Back then, as a university student, he had been thinner, leaner. Now, standing in his elegantly cut dark blue suit, Eleanor realised that he was still the best looking man she had ever seen. Her breath caught as her gaze feasted on the ripple of hard muscle as he folded his arms. She blinked hard and gave herself a mental shake.
    “If that’s your bag,” she replied, aiming for nonchalance even as she found herself taking another peak.
    It was almost funny. Up until that point, she had never wanted to set eyes on Wayne Lockwood ever again. Now that she had, she was behaving like a thirsty woman who had spent too long in the desert.
    Wayne's dark brown hair was in the same short style she remembered, and she had a sudden flashback of laying beneath him in the park on a warm summer's day, her fingernails lazily scratching his head as she squinted up at him through the bright sunshine.
    That had been the day he had asked her to marry him. They had just finished their final exams and had gone off to the park for a celebratory picnic. Emboldened by the two bottles of wine they had shared, Eleanor guessed, Wayne had surprised her by asking her to marry him. Of course, they would have to wait until they both had steady jobs and could afford to settle down and start a family, but he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. That's what he had made her believe.
    And that mole on his top lip... How many times had she kissed that? Eleanor squeezed her thighs together. She didn’t want to feel anything but anger at Wayne Lockwood. She waited for the dark, empty coldness to invade her soul again, for that was all he deserved from her.......



 

 
Well, it's been one of those weeks again. I'm not going to bore you with the details but, suffice to say, my writing didn't go as well as I had planned, or hoped. On saying that, I did manage to complete a short story for a competition and I finally managed to finish an edit of my erotic anthology, so I suppose it wasn't a complete disaster.

Of course, there was Stan the Cat, who seems to illuminate our lives whenever he strolls in. This is particularly the case with his antics or, more to the point, the gifts he continually brings for us. This week, we have had a stone and, yesterday, I got up and discovered that he had delivered a "Happy Retirement" balloon for us. It was flat, but still rather fetching in pink, with ribbons attached.

Now, either Stan knows something that we don't - big lottery win....oh my God I haven't checked the numbers yet, or perhaps he is trying to pass on another message after the week I've had.

This brings me nicely round to my weekly writing tie in....

What are your views on giving up? Have you ever thought about putting your pen down? If so, why?

In the earlier days, the rejection letters would always send me scurrying for chocolate and my arm chair, where I would then pull my writing, myself and my confidence to shreds.

These days, I try to be more objective. Sure, some rejections hurt more than others, especially if it's of a piece of writing that you're particularly fond. However, over the years I have learned to be thick skinned. I have "manned up" as the saying goes.

One of the main things I have now accepted, is that writing is subjective. One person might hate yoour work, another might love it, so it's important that you brush off that rejection and get your work back out there. This is an important coping mechanism for rejections. Of course, I have also learned to take a fresh look at the rejected piece and to see if it can be improved too. 

These days I never, ever, think that I should put my pen down and give it up. Writing is in my blood. If I ever stopped, it would be like slitting an artery and slowly, painfully bleeding out. Even on bad days, like this week, I still get immense satisfaction from sitting at my desk with a notebook and pen. Writing soothes, it heals. It is cathartic. It even acts as an escape route, where I can immerse myself in the many worlds of my characters and forget about me for a while.

What do you think? How do you feel about your writing and retirement?

I'm hoping that Stan might bring me a new balloon next week- perhaps a "Happy Writing" one. What do you think?

And on that note, all being well, next week I will have a sneak preview of my latest romantic e-book that I'm hoping will be out by the end of the year.

Happy writing all!
 
Well, I've heard many a discussion this week about how much pressure our Olympic athletes are under, and I don't just mean by the media and the fans. Our athletes also pile a great deal of pressure upon themselves - they want to be the best, do their best and not let anyone down.

As a writer, how much pressure do you heap onto yourself? I am the first to admit that I am constantly beating myself up. For example, on Tuesday I finally finished the, hopefully, penultimate edit of my latest romance novel that I am sending out to a mainstream publisher. I always leave a project for a few weeks after an edit and work on something else. The hope is that I can then look at it with fresh eyes when I pick it up again.

So, the next project on my pile is my erotic anthology. However, I seem to have just drifted around the house for two days without picking up a pen or turning on my pc. Obviously, I was cogitating and listening to my muse. Well, I was thinking - about weeding, putting sunscreen on Stan the cat's pink ears, whether it was too early to enjoy a glass of Merlot in the garden.....

Some would say that this is the brain's way of chilling, taking a rest and, if you are trained well, subconsciously you will still be working, even if you aren't physically putting pen to paper. Hmm, I'm not so sure. Consequently, I end up castigating myself., even if I am due a break.

This brings me round to the question...How much pressure do you place on yourself? Is it a good thing? Does it work for you? My hypno-therapist tells me that it isn't good to push too hard. There are times when you have to take that deep breath and take a step back.

It's difficult being a writer some times. I know some people who think that I just sit around the house all day. When I left my full time job, I was constantly asked what I was going to do all day. I politely told them that I was going to write. I even managed to bite back my sarcasm.

Although I now have a (very) part time job, my career is writing. Yes, I'm not earning mega bucks, but I'm having the time of my life.

This brings me round to a great website that I have recently discovered. If you like all things aviation, or know anyone who does, this is an ideal place to purchase gifts. This guy is very talented. Check it out:

www.skytoons.co.uk

Of course, my biggest surprise of the week, was receiving my first Xmas card. Shock! Horror!

As many times as I say that it is so wrong and far too early, it does serve as a reminder that time waits for no man. So, what are you waiting for? Get writing...No pressure, of course!
 
I was quite moved this week by our two Olympic rowers who apologised for only winning the silver. True sportsmen indeed. They have nothing to be sorry for. They fought a battle and did us proud. Of course, the same can't be said for our football team, but that's another story....

It's been a busy week. I'm about thirty pages off finishing the latest edit of the next manuscript I am intendingto submit to Mills & Boon. I've written a short story for a competition, and I've also been scribbling notes for another novel idea....It's not like I haven't got enough going on already. Still, better to have something to work with when one project is finished, than a blank page (or mind).

On saying all this, my week wasn't all that productive and I know that I could have done a lot more. Unfortunately, real life intervened and I couldn't sit in my study immersed in words and imaginary characters screaming at me.

I had the pleasure of a trip to the dentist. I had my annual check up a couple of weeks ago and it was decided (by the marathon man - woman in my case), that I needed two fillings re doing. Great! Is there actually anyone out there who actually likes going to the dentist?

I'm a bit of a wimp. You would think that, after four operations and countlessstaplesand stitches, that I wouldn't mind a couple of injections and a bit of filling. Oh no!! I even ask for the dentist to numb my gums before I have the jabs.

"That's for children and babies!" my dentist mocks.
"Yes, but I'm paying for the privilege of being a baby," I staunchly reply, and ultimately get my wish.

It still didn't stop my eyes from watering when she stuck the needles in. I then had the pleasure of sitting back out in the waiting room whilst the anesthetic took effect. You know how it works. Numbness and constant dribbling for the next two hours.

I shouldn't complain. This is the first treatment I've had for about fifteen years. Besides, I usually moan that I only pay her for ten minutes of her time and a quick brush and polish-easy one. This time, my teeth made her earn her dosh!

This brings me nicely back round to writing....

Have you got any piece of work that you've put away and left in that drawer, or that file for a long time? Have you ever taken it out and given it a quick polish, or is it forever condemned to wallow in darkness?

I ask, because I have a folder full of old projects and ideas. Occasionally, I have a rummage through it. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, it often gives me a few ideas that I can use for a short story or a character. The second, and perhaps the most important, is that it gives me fresh vigour, determination and confidence.

How?

Well, I can see that some of it isn't too well written. By that, I mean that I have improved my writing and style over time. By looking over the pieces, it illustrates that my writing is organic, a living thing, that is constantly changing and improving. In turn, this gives me fresh confidence to put pen to paper and continue in my quest....and that can only be a good thing, right?

TTFN