Okay, things are looking up. My dad came out of hospital on Monday. His heart is failing and he's on a cornucopia of pills and medication. However, he is a lot brighter and seems happier within himself. He's also back to his grumpy self when it comes to being advised what to do. That can only be a good thing!

I finally finished the last edit of my latest romance novel. Okay, the publication date has been set back because I haven't had time to work on it, but it is a stage further along. Now I just have to get a cover designed, format the work, and then it's ready to go. Watch this space!

I guess the writing world has been busily debating James Daunt's decision to sell and promote Kindles in Waterstones after he has previously called Amazon "...a ruthless, money-making devil". Yes, it smacks of hypocrisy. Or does it? Amazon has often been pilloried for its domination of the market, but does this make it the devil?

Personally, I'm hoping that Mr Daunt will use this opportunity as a means to help boost the sales of ebooks, as well as help Waterstones to stay open. Our high streets are witnessing the fall of too many good book shops.

I don't think that this deal will help the demise of paper books, at least I hope not. However many electronic books we choose to download, I don't think you can ever replace how good it feels to inhale the fresh scent and caress the virgin pages of a newly purchased book. Tis a thing of beauty.

Lastly, as the season of good will is fast approaching, ( it's been hurtling towards us since September if you take notice of the supermarkets and stores),  I'm offering my readers and followers the opportunity to snatch up my books at discount rates.

From now until 28th December, my romance novel "His To Command" is available at HALF price. Simply put in the code BH37K at checkout. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/120318

My second anthology of short stories, "Love Lines Volume 2" taking a light-hearted look at love, life and relationships, is now available to download for FREE until December 28th, if you use the code XJ22Z at checkout. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/126180
 
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This week has been another one of those weeks in which I achieved very little when it involved writing. I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours editing, but that's about it.

Hopefully, my dad will be out of hospital tomorrow and things can slip back into the usual routine. I might even get my next book out, just a little later than planned, by the end of the year.

I have now made a date to go see the, much awaited, "Skyfall". I will be diving into the local cinema (newly built at that) on Monday the 29th for the 11.00am showing. Can't wait!

What with hospital visiting and trying to catch up with everything in my own little world, I havn't very much to report. Stan the Cat brought us a burger, still in its wrapper, on Friday. He was most annoyed when we confiscated what remained on our hall carpet. I suppose it makes a pleasant change from balloons!

He also has a fixation with water and bubbles. As you can see from the picture above, he isn't shy about dipping the ol' paws. I'm waiting for the day when he decides to take a bath. Now that should be quite interesting.

Of course, the fact that we both seem to derive some pleasure out of a bubble bath brings me nicely round to my weekly writing tie in.

I may not have put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, this week. However, I have been reading the latest copies of the writing magazines to which I subscribe, and came across a fantastic writing opportunity. 

Words for the Wounded (W4W) is a new charity that is trying to raise money for the rehabilitation of wounded servicemen and women. It hopesto achieve this through writing competitions. The first will be launched on Armistice Day and the dealdine is D-Day 2013.  There is a small entry fee, but I think it is definitely worth paying. Not only is it an opportunity to flex your writing talent, but it helps a very worthy cause.

Personally, I can't think of a better way to kick start tour writing, and I will be putting pen to paper as soon as time, energy and hospital visits allow. If any of you would like to participate in this mutually benficial project then check out the Website: www.wordsforthewounded.co.uk

TTFN

 
My hypnotherapist would tell me that I need "grounding". It's hardly surprising after the week I have just had.

Following a trip to the hospital, my dad was admitted on Wednesday with heart and lung problems. He seems a lot brighter now, and may even be home this next week. However, it has resulted in lots of travelling, lots of worry and very little else.

This is not to say that I am begrudging the time spent visiting my dad. However, it has illustrated to me the necessity and importance to utilise time.

Yes, like millions of others, I seem to spend a fair bit of time on Facebook. I even engineer a bit of "displacement therapy", and often find other things to do because I sometimes feel restless when writing, particularly if  I am about to begin a new piece of work. 

However, this last week has taught me that you really can snatch a brief moment to write something, (if you're not too boggle eyed from lack of sleep). Okay, I haven't physically sat at my desk and worked on my latest manuscript. This means that publication will probably be put back from November. But I have made notes in my notebook and scribbled a few ideas when I've managed to snatch a few brief moments. 

My dad has also turned into an advertising guru and has been happily promoting my work to nurses and patients alike. Good ol' dad - never waste an advertising opportunity, especially if it is free!

Yes, there have been many hours this week when I haven't known if I've been on this planet (hubby would say that's pretty normal for me!). However, for all the worry, I've learned a valuable lesson... there are enough minutes. Okay, they're not always there for the big stuff, but the little stuff matters too. And who knows? Maybe all those micro notes will turn into fabulous stories that someone else can read whilst they're sitting in a hospital waiting room, snatching a few quiet moments.
 
It's been one of those weeks again. You know the ones I mean. It's when you have everything organised and then something blasts in and scuppers all your plans.

Well, that pretty much happened to me. I had my writing week sorted. I was finally going to finish the final read through of my latest romance novel, ready to be published on Smashwords at the end of October. Unfortunately, life had other ideas.

My dad has been poorly for a few weeks now and, although he is improving a little with each day, a chest scan last week revealed a shadow on one of his lungs. That resulted in the hospital scheduling an emergency CT scan. So, as you can imagine, this wasn't exactly conducive to focussing my head on my writing. I doubt that this next week will be much better, as he has to go see the consultant for his results. These are worrying times, but I'm trying to teach myself to take each day as it comes for now. 

Anyway, on a brighter note....

Are any of you excited about the forthcoming Bond film? 

I have to confess, I am a Bond junkie. I just love the books, and am looking forward to Skyfall. I heard Adele's theme this week and loved it. Hubby pronounced it "boring" and muttered some comment about "it sounding like Coldplay was doing the backing". Hmm. Of course, the cynical out there will probably say that the main reason Adele has done it, is because the Bond franchise knows a thing or two about successful marketing. Adele and Bond- recipe for success. And why not?

Personally, I think that the theme has the sound of a classic Bond song with hints of Dame Bassey. It sounds like a Bond theme should. Yes, I enjoyed the last two. However, I think that they tried too hard to be hip, and to fit into a modern world.

And this brings me round to writing...

Do you somethimes feel that you're trying too hard? By this, I mean two things... Do you sometimes think that you're forcing the words out because you're not in the mood to write, or don't feel inspired? If so, do you think that this actually has an adverse effect on the work you're producing?

I have read interviews where authors have proclaimed that some of their best work came out of writing when they didn't want to. I have to admit, there have been days when I've forced myself into my study and, once pen in hand, have enjoyed a couple of hours scribbling and ended up with some half decent material. As someone once said, you can't edit a blank page. Something is better than nothing...isn't it?

The second point to my question is this: What are your views regarding the writing market and, more specifically what you write? Again, there are different views. Some write to fit the market, whereas others follow the path laid down by their writing muse, wherever it takes them.

Of course, the latter might find it harder to find a market. Or at least they would have done in the old days before e-publishing and self publishing became popular. Is this good? I think so. Yes, you can argue that there are a lot of badly written books out there because of self publishing. However, who are we to deny someone the chance to follow their dreams? Besides, I've read actual copies of books from major publishing houses that have contained numerous typos and continuity errors. Thus, it would seem that the poor editing and writing baddies aren't only terrorising the virtual world.

I also believe that by putting yourself out there, not only are you opening yourself up to criticism, you're also entering a world of endless possibilities. Look at Fifty Shades. Whatever your views, it started off as a self published book and has was scooped up by a major publisher. That is a success story.

So, is writing to fit into the market good or bad? Do you lose any integrity by writing to make money? Are there lots of writing "baddies" out there? I don't think so. For those who think they can write to earn a few (or lots of) notes, it will soon become apparent that it's not as easy as they think, unless you're Jeffrey Archer, who shamelessly wrote his first novel because he needed money and was highly successful.

For others, such as myself, I write because it's in my blood. It's like an itch you never lose, a yearning you never sate. If, at the same time, I can earn a few pence from doing something I love and enjoy, well, so much the better. Yes, I write what I love to write, but I also try to fit it to a market. This can only have mutual benefits for author and reader alike, can't it?

Let me know what you think? And if you make it to the movies to see Mr Bond....enjoy!