Take a break from the real world and enter one of escapism.
Kazzmosshttps://karenjmossman.wordpress.comKaren loves fiction, reading and especially writing short stories and novels. She is also an avid blogger and book reviewer.
Living on the beautiful Isle Anglesey, off the North Wales coast, Karen draws inspiration from the world around her.
This story has hung around in my head for twenty odd years. Now and again it pops up and it still makes me chuckle. The question I always asked myself was how did I not know my own mother!
It isn’t a big story, it will take but a few words, which is why I haven’t told it before. Then this morning I came across this article by author Carole Parkes. Apart from it making me chuckle, I identifided when she said that she didn’t understand why she didn’t recognise herself.
My story is simply that I was travelling in the car one day whilst on holiday. We’d just left my family and waved goodbye. I was idly staring out of window watching the other cars go by. This car over took us and a woman looked at me and smiled. I stared back wondering why a strange woman was smiling at me. A few seconds later I realised it was my mum! I hadn’t recognise, why? I would know that face and smile anywhere, but in that moment, I saw the face of a stranger. How weird.
Do read Carole’s short article as I’m sure it will make you chuckle, as well.
In November 2018, we went to pick up our new puppy. Never having one before and being retired, we gave it a lot of thought before we decded to commit.
We used an online site and was contacted by Debbie, who had both parents, and six pups. We had already christened ours Tilly, and visited two weeks after they were born.
I didn’t think we would be able to choose with them all looking so similar. To me they looked like baby Rottweilers and it’s amazing how Yorkshire Terriers are all born black with bits of brown, then as they grow they change to a honey and a grey colour.
Debbie, picked up the three girls and they all a had different sized head. We could choose the biggest, smallest or the size in between. We chose the biggest, for no particular reason. From then on we received regular updates and photos as she grew.
I’ll never forget the day we went to collect her. Going in through the front door there was a sea of puppies moving together as one down the hall way. They all looked exactly the same, but Debbie knew each one. It made me chuckle when she pointed out Tilly. The other pups had names too, Lilo, was the other one I remembered.
It never occurred to me that I would be able to watch Tilly’s sibling growing up as well. The other’s in the litter were – Ralph, Lilo, King, and Mitzi.
Debbie set up a Facebook Messenger group and we’d share photos and antics. Whenever I read about the other pups, I could always relate to them with Tilly.
The funniest was when Tilly would snuggle on my shoulder, her head close to mine. I sent a picture, and received three similar photos as the others did the same. It was so cute!
We haven’t found the first year particululary easy. Hadn’t expected such a tiny bundle to cause so havoc havoc our lives.
Standing in the garden on a freezing January morning at 5 am, getting her to wee ,was particularly gruelling. Then she wouldn’t go back to bed. We took it in turns to lie in, but that didn’t work, we had to both be up or she was scratching on doors trying to get to us.
House training her was very hard, and at times we despared of her ever learning. She is still not 100%, favouring the hall or kitchen for wee instead of going outside. Never anywhere else, so there is perhaps some progress.
In the evening when we settled to watch television, Tilly got up to every kind of michief she could. Running behind the furniture, shredding any tissues or paper. We bought chew spray to stop her chewing furniture legs and ou lounge is still full of toys and blankets she has pulled from the bed. Even now, she brings in sticks and bark to chew leaving the remenents all over the floor. It takes me back to when I had little children, (not that they chewed bark!) and that’s what puppies are as they grown and learn.
She liked to tuck her tail between her legs and run in circles at a 100 mile an hour, usually at 10 pm!
These days, I’ve begun to see suble changes in her. In the evening, she sleeps, waking for a play, then happy to go to her bed and when we go. She’ll sleep all night until we wake in the morning. She knows the times of breakfast and dinner, albeit a little earlier sometimes.
Tilly is full of character. Her head going from side to side as she listens to us speak. Often she wants a cuddle and presses her head against ours. She still can’t walk in a straight line, but once off the lead, is happy to stay by us. She still loves to do fast running and enjoys having the ball thrown for her.
Lately, instead of having to fight her for the ball to throw, she will lay it at our feet and back up waiting for us to pick it up. Then return to do the same. She is very clever with a ball, tossing it in the air and catching it in her mouth. She has a lot of fun throwing it, tossing, and chasing it around. She’ll do the same with a plastic cap too!
Barking excessivly, still drives us mad. She thinks everything that goes on outside the house is her business. A man walking by, horses, a bus, in fact anything to bark madly at. In fact, it doesn’t have to be anything at all. She’ll sometimes stand on the picnic table with her nose in the air barking at the moon.
We live near a jet base, and they fly loudly above. The noise doesn’t bother her, and I think as a consequence, bonfire night, or New Year celebrations, don’t affect her at all.
Tilly’s parent’s had another litter six months after the first. Now we have the thrill of seeing Gracie, Monty, Oscar, and Poppy growing up. Mitzy’s owner, couldn’t resist on of the new pups, so she had Monty as well.
Seeing the puppy antics reminds me how far we have come with Tilly, and I’m to be able to tell them, things will get better.
Tilly is a joy, and when she was six month old, we got a rescue dog, too. Meggy came from a puppy farm, aged about 4 or 5. She had no collar, no name, and was totally bewildered, and traumatised. She is a Cavilier King Charles Spaniel and loves Tilly. She has learnt a lot from her and recently has begun to play with the ball. Seeing her come out of her shell has been miraculous. When we first had her, where ever you put her, she stayed still, only moving to go from one bed to another. In the two weeks she was in a foster home, she was toilet trained. Now I let her out and the first thing she does is wee. Tilly, the little devil, won’t. You can still wait forever for her to perform!
Guess who is top dog? Yes, Tilly. When they run together, Tilly will try and get her to play by jumping on her back or tugging at her ears. Meggy is so tolerant and puts up with a lot. I wouldn’t be without them now. It’s a joy watching Meggly bloom and learn how to be a pet, and Tilly, who still makes us laugh, is growing into a beautiful Yorkshire Terrier.
I went to visit someone’s house the other day. I didn’t know
them very well and it was my first visit there. The houses are new builds, and
at first, I thought they were flats but no, they were three storey town houses.
She took me upstairs, saying the living accomodation was on the first floor.
We went into a beautiful open plan living area in a large
wide L-shape. It housed the kitchen with an island, a spacious dining room, and
the luxury lounge area.
It had a magnificent window on two corners of the wall that
went from ceiling to floor. Views were over a field that sometimes had sheep in,
she said, and on a good day you can see over to the mountains on the mainland.
I loved the space, it was light and airy. I especially liked
the way the areas ran into into each other. When I asked what accommodation was
on the other floors, she was happy to show me around.
The large picture window ran up the side of the entire house.
Upstairs there were two bedrooms, both ensuite. The master room was the same
area as the dining and kitchen below. In front of the picture window she had a
two seater settee, perfect to admire the vista when you needed a quiet time.
The bedroom also had a walk in closet, so no need for wardrobes.
The second bedroom was a good size too. In the basement
where the entrance hall was, were two further bedrooms. One of which she used
as an office. The final door lead to the garage.
Afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and then it
began to amuse me. I’d fallen in love with something I couldn’t have, couldn’t
put anywhere, couldn’t use, touch, smell, or eat. In fact, it was pointless. The
only place it could exist was my head, and that was what amused me.
I told my husband, who doesn’t have my imagination. So you’ve
gone off our bungalow already, have you?
It wasn’t like that, it wasn’t meant for me to wish I lived
there. I loved my bungalow where we’ve been for the past two and half years. I
wouldn’t change it for all the world. I love where I live. I don’t think he
quite understood that. To be honest neither did I. I mean, what was the point?
So the day after, the house entered my thoughts again and
suddenly realised how I could use it. I’m a writer… of course!
Some time this year, one of my lucky heroines is going to have a very nice home in which to do a dastardly deed!
I’m really lucky to live here in Anglesey, and count my blessings every day.
Winter can be a difficult time for us all as the weather turns really cold. The coast can also be very chilly with the wind whipping up over the sea. It’s fine if you wrap up warmly.
Yesterday the sun shone making everything look beautiful and I took the dogs to Penrhos coastal park, which is on the tip of the island. Technically, Holy Island is separate from the main island, connected by two bridges.
Here are a few pictures from the walk.
This is one of the little coves as you walk along the coast. I watched a spaniel running along the rocks. I was justing thinking how they must be immune to the cold, when he squatted, thigh deep in the water, and pooed!
This was the next beach and we walked along a path slightly above it. The dogs saw a gap in the hedge, and ran off to see the sea!
They came straight back and I’m sure they were glad of their coats, too.
Following many of the pathways, this one took us to the woodland and red squirral territory. There is a bench at the bottom, which is not easily seen in this picture. If you look carefully, you can just make out a person sitting on it. What you can’t see is that she was wearing a red hat. As I got closer, I realised it wasn’t a person at all. If was a tree trunk just behind covered in ivy, with rust colours leaves on the top!
I don’t know who Tunncliffe is, but his seat is very attractive. It faces the sea, so I imagine many bottoms have graced it.
These pretty benches overlook the sea with views across the village of Valley. They each have plaques with the names of people who obviously loved Penrhos. They always have flowers on them. It’s so touching, as they will always be remembered.
I hope you have enjoyed my walk out with the dogs. If you are ever in the area, you must visit the coastal park. There are so many paths to adventure down, it’s always a treat.
The book market is completely flooded. In the distant past I would go to the library and spend my dinner hour browsing the shelves for a book I would start reading that night. Now with one click, Amazon Kindle, free books, and charity shops selling cheap paperbacks, it’s never been easier.
For writers, self publishing is available at at the press of the button. To do that, we’ve learnt to format, make our own book covers, proofread, and edit. Sometimes, it isn’t possible to do everything, so we pay someone to help. Writing a book can be an expensive affiare, with covers ranging from £50 to £75, paperbacks double that.
Once you’re published, you then have to promote your book whenever and where ever you can. The moment you stop, so do the sales. What makes it all the more difficult is there is a thousand other authors doing the same thing.
I’ve written fourteen books since I first published in back 2014. I didn’t set out to have them in collections, it just thappened out that way
It’s almost impossible to promote all of them. I’ve even paid to have them promoted. If often ends up costing me more than I make. On average I sell between three and eight eBooks a month. If only that were weekly. The royalty paid is a pittance. I don’t even earn enough to call it pin money.
Take The Themed Collection for example, they were the first books I published and they’ve never sold well. I 2016, I gave them a rewrite, new formating and these beaujtiful covers. It still didn’t help. Maybe I haven’t advertised them enough, I don’t know. That’s the trouble with having too many, some get left behind. I’ve not had a new review on any of them for over two years now. It speaks for itself.
My novels take at least a year to write, and sell for 99p, if I’m lucky. So why do I bother?
I bother because I love to write. Last year I decided to write for myself. I would not chase my tail looking for readers, reviews, and sales, any more. I still see authors stressing about it. Life’s more than just books.
Last year I was involved in Electric Eclectic Books. They are novellas and much easier to write because they can be anything between 6 and 20K. That’s a very manageable word count. I’m part of a group of authors; I belong to something ,and not pursuing this on my own any more.
We promote and support each other’s work. Book covers are provided for as little £8, along with formatting and a light edit. Electric Eclectic Books have had a great first year. 2019, as they expand and grow is where I want to be.
So I have decided to pull all my books except for The Decade Series and The Magic of Stories, which was produced to show my capability as a multi-genre author, and it’s is part of this website.
The cover that pains me most of all is for The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold. I don’t want to give it up, I love it, it’s perfect for my heroine. Unfortunately, it’s not a suitable for EE as all their covers are a certain style. That’s what makes them so unique.
I will be deconstructing The Themed Collection and they will eventually make their way over to EE in one form or another. It’s the only way I‘m going to sell anything, and importantly, manage the book promotions.
My author website will have to redesigned and I’ll be removing them from the various other online stores by the end of February.
Unfortunately, Amazon, who is a law unto itself, will not take down the paperbacks, not that I ever sell them, anyway. I’ll unpublish but they’ll continue to have a presence.
The Themed Collection are 99p/99c and you can get yourcopy here.
The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold will remain free, and you can get a copy here, or following the link on the menu.
If any authors are interested in joining us at Electric Eclectic, please visit the websitefor all the details.
Readers, take a look at our website to see what we have on offer, and come over and like our Facebook page.
I was reading a post on Instagram where someone wondering whether to start a blog. Of course, I immediately came on and said yes, and extolled the virtues of WordPress.
It was only as I was doing so; I realised just what a community WordPress is. Suddenly I began comparing it to Facebook.
For a long time Facebook has ruled our lives. We writers have built platforms there, a place to tell everyone about our books and blogs. We have a friends list and can comment, like, and share. It is a community.
That’s when it occurred to me that WordPress is the same, only better. Everything we can do on Facebook, we can do with WordPress.
Unfortunately, Facebook dislikes books links on your personal page, they want you to put them on your business page. Then, they restrict the amount of views its gets because they would like you to pay to boost the post to show it to more people. If you post in book groups, you can post too fast, and receive a warning from Facebook. I know authors who have flouted these rules and have been put in what they term as jail. Meaning they are banned from posting anywhere for a month. It can be very frustrating.
None of those apply to WordPress. The reader is the news feed and here we can scroll down our list of friends. These are people who also have WordPress blogs and we have followed them. Anything they post, appears in the reader where we can like, comment, and share.
Our timeline, or profile page on Facebook is similar to our main landing page on our blog. We can make this as pretty and as appealing as we want, all, I might add, at no cost, although there is the ability to upgrade if you wish. Any posts we make, we can have a link on the landing page, referred to as the menu, so nothing gets lost or forgotten. We now have a website. Once it disappears down the Facebook news feed, it’s gone, forgotten and lost.
As per the people we follow, we build up our own list of friends, called followers. Each time we make a new post, they receive an email. Or they can browse the reader. They too, have to ability to comment, like, and share on your blog.
Sharing is a wonderful thing, and there are several options. You can re-blog it, adding a comment – something like, I’ve just see this and wanted to share it with my followers.
You can also press it, I like to do. This takes you to a new blog page along with the link to the blog you are sharing from. I do this because it provokes a thought process, or something similar happened to me. I can talk and chat about that, then urge them to see the original post. And of course, it provides content to your blog, too. You can see a couple of examples here.
Whenever you blog/make a new post, you can still share it to Facebook.. The author I was chatting to on Instagram makes great posts with great photos. She could present them so much better on WordPress.
What concerned her was the time she would spend on yet another platform. Initially, it takes time to set up. After that, she would just be making blog posts and sharing them to Facebook, so her readers can click on the link and read the full piece on her website.
Tell me about your experience with WordPress and how it works for you, I’d love to know.
Having read the interview with Paul White, which is linked at the bottom, it resinated with me because I, too, realised the power of words from an early age.
I thought about how I started writing. My parents fostered children, and I was the eldest of four siblings. I would entertain them by making up stories. Later, as I got older, I wanted to escape the noise and clutter downstairs. So I tucked myself away in my bedroom and wrote adventures.
My stories were mainly me escaping to wherever I wanted, and to be whoever I wanted. Eventually, they evolved in two stories where I wasn’t always the main character!
Paul shared a poem he had written when he was eight. I didn’t start writing poetry until I was a teenager. I loved writing for my friends and making them as humorous as possible.
This is one I wrote when I was about thirteen. It’s still wacky, and still makes me laugh!
One day when I was young, A fly wanted to die on my tongue It stuck like a pot of glue And I didn’t know what to do
I shouted my mum but she didn’t hear And my dad was out on the beer So I scraped it against my teeth And spat it out onto a leaf
As I wiped the leaf against my tongue There it stuck and damn well hung Across the middle I tore the leaf, And then took out my handkerchief
I scraped off the rest in bits And wiped my tongue across my lips The glue was light as a feather And still my lips stuck together!