Friday fact or fiction: A travel article for The Guardian on a spot of French cricket…

It’s “Friday Fact or Fiction”,  where I write a little something for the weekend for you to read, be it fact or, um, fiction. This week, it’s ‘fact’, with my travel article for The Guardian newspaper competition. *I accidentally posted this on Monday. Don’t quite know how. Either way, hope you still enjoy. I am going to check my fingers for butter right now…*

French cricket, but not in the USA…

Boyhood’s a funny thing. When my husband was a boy, he used to play French Cricket. If you’re saying, ‘French what now?’ – a quick synopsis. Player one stands still with a tennis racket by their legs while the fielding team chuck a tennis ball at them with the aim of trying hit the racket-holder’s legs. You hit the target, you’re up next to hold the racket, and so on. Not a cricket bat in sight, but you get the idea. Well, with school out for another summer, it was French cricket and other assorted childhood memories that were on our minds as we arrived tired but buoyant at our gite in the Brittany village of Lintivic.

Cottage
Our gite in France – we hid round the back…

Magically named “Little Orchard”, we smiled as we parked under a plum tree to see grape vines draping the windows and a farmer puffing on a Gauloise, batting away flies in the adjoining field. This was France circa 1950. At the sight of all the grapes, our 8-year old shrieked, ‘Ooo, can we eat them?’ While the 6-year old took one look at the apple trees, and piped up, ‘Cool! Grenades.’ Oh to be a tomboy. As I cracked open a bottle Brittany cider left as a welcoming present by the gite-owners, and checked out the 18th century fire hearth and open-plan living area (so clean!), hubbie sighed as he gazed through the window. I took a swig and narrowed my eyes. ‘Pelted with a plum already?’  He shook his head as he took his glass. ‘No,’ he said, his arm levitating forward. ‘Look.’

 I followed his eye line and stopped. The garden, all ours, was almost as big as a football pitch, with a pool, also ours, tucked in its sidelines, blue water winking in the sun. ‘Wow’, I said, wondering where the inflatables were. ‘The girls will love that.’ But, as I began the search for swimming cossies, my husband simply grinned and said, ‘French cricket.’

 Games with tennis rackets were just the start of our two-week trip back to childhood. The gite garden was stocked full of delights such as petanque (tricky), football (mum as goalie – ouch), badminton (monopolised by us grown-ups) and hoops (a kid winner), to name a few. Five minutes drive away was the zip-wire Adventure Forest in Camors, suitable for even the 6-year old, who promptly declared it ‘awesome’. And it was. We hit the 3km beaches in Carnac,  ideal for rock pooling, and the town of Auray, with its hilled streets and sweeping river that caused our 8-year old to declare –whilst scoffing Moules Frites, a Brittany classic- France to be her favourite because, and I quote, ‘it’s looks nice, has good music and good food.’ Well said. Perhaps apart from the music.

Such a blast to our childhood past did we have, that we’re now planning a road trip up the Californian coast, to which the girls asked, ‘Do they play French Cricket there?’ Hmmm. French cricket in the USA? Pass me the racket.

Copyright © Nikki Owen 2012

Thanks for reading!  Next Friday I’ll be posting another Guardian travel-writing piece of mine. Have a lovely weekend.

**Look out for  my “Media Monday” post on, um, Monday. A short, sharp snippet on the latest writing & publishing news…**

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My column’s out now: Have you ever stepped in dog poop? Smelly…

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is all about dog muck and why it’s a proper pain. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

So is your area a dog poop zone? Is it left around or cleared up? Are you a dog owner with an opinion on this?  Let’s hear it.

Look out for tomorrow’s  post, “Friday Fact or Fiction”. This week I’ll be posting an aricle for a travel writing competition for The Guardian newspaper**

Diary of a hopeful author: How to be better at proof reading-ish…

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

 

It’s been all about the edit this week. But not as we know it. Last week I (finally) finished my second novel, and while I’m chuffed to bits, I am relieved not to look at it for a while because the amount of things to do while I wrote it have been piling up around my head – the biggest of which is my first novel. ‘Honey,’ my hubbie says as he reads through my weekly column before I send it to my editor, ‘I corrected a few mistakes there for you.’ I nod my weary head and take the laptop from him.

You see, as well as not being able to cook for toffee (I burn soup), I am utterly rubbish at proofreading.  I’ve mentioned this slight downfall of mine in this blog before and how it is a bit of a pain, considering my profession. It’s a bit like a doctor saying diagnosing isn’t their strong point, a government saying it’s not really the best at closing tax-haven loopholes (little bit topical there, see…) or a dog not quite being able to aim at the lamppost correctly – it’s supposed to be what they do.

It’s because of my little weakness that I find myself in the frantic position of having to re-edit my first book, The Boy Who Played Guitar. The fantastic thing about publishing on to Amazon has been that it has put me out there and given me amazing feedback on what I can do. I’ve been lucky; everyone has been positive. The reviews have been good and readers have loved the heart-warming, sad tale, the twists, the turns, the characters. The only downside is the odd mistake littered here and there because of, quite frankly, my crap proof reading skills – and readers deserve a well-proof read book with as little mistakes in it as possible. I did proof read the book before I self-published it – and it got amazing feedback from literary agents – but the thing is I did it all my myself, pulling an all-nighter to do so, so that, by the time I reached the end of the novel, I was bleary-eyed, grumpy and unable to check a my kids’ homework for errors, never mind a piece of writing. In fact, have you spotted any mistakes in this piece? No? Go on, have a look…See, told yoo…

One of the most crucial things I have learnt since first publishing my book is this: get someone to help. Anyone will do. Your neighbour (I did), your mates, parents, spouse (it only causes a few arguments, so…) Just be ready for some clear, honest critiquing and always pick someone who is going to tell it to you straight. Best not pick a politician then. I have been proof reading The Boy Who Played Guitar now since Saturday and it’s – touch wood – going okay. I did stay up until 2 a.m. on Saturday night, but got so tired I had to have two cat naps to keep going. When it got to my eyes dosing off for the third time I decided to call it a day, well, night – I’d make more mistakes proofreading half asleep, and believe me, I can make mistakes at the best of times (just ask my kids…).

Our youngest is off ill today, so I’ll spend the day catching up with paperwork and emails while I keep an eye on her (sore throat – poor poppet) That means I should be able to finish proofreading tonight and all day tomorrow. After that, I’ll be ready to re-upload it to Amazon and then? Contact as many blogs I know who take submissions of books for review. A scary thought, but highly essential. Once that’s done, it’s back to more editing, but this time of my second novel. Dear God, no wonder I’m cream crackered. ‘Mum,’ says our youngest, ‘I’m cream crackered, too.’ Her voice makes me jump – she is behind me, reading as I type. ‘Honey, you snuck up on me.’ She smiles. ‘Sorry.’ Then, as she gets back into bed, she says, ‘Mum, you spelt ‘you’ wrong in paragraph three.’ I look. She is right. She’s 8-years old. Told you I was rubbish at proof reading.

Spotted any errors? Or do you have any proof reading top-tips to share? Do let me know – I need all the help I can get…

Out on Thursday “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest newspaper column to my blog. This week it’s all about stepping in dog-muck…*

It’s Media Monday: They’re pulping the books!

It’s Media Monday where I post my latest views on writing & publishing news…  Writing news

Book pulping. Is it a) a new a Tarintino film; b) a fist-fight at a literary festival; or is it c) the shredding of books from a library. Well, this week, Manchester Central Library has found itself in a pulping mess after – in an open letter to the Head Librarian (you can read it here) – a host of eminent literary names called for a halt to the destruction of thousands of library books from the vaults of the long-standing library. 

 

According to The Guardian, it turns out that for the past 18-months, Manchester Central Library has been culling – pulping – its stack of non-fiction books because renovations for the elegant domed building have not included enough room for, well, all the books.  You’ve got to question what on earth they were they thinking when the renovation decisions were being made. Just imagine the meeting where they discussed the library’s future. ‘Right, so, we need to renovate, yes?’ Cue murmurs of agreement. ‘It’s going to cost £170million and take three years. It will look fabulous. Any other considerations? Anyone? We’ll have enough space, right? Right? Great. Custard slice?’ Hmmm.  The thing is, I understand why libraries

Manchester Central Library
Manchester Central Library – but where are the books?

have this predicament. The more books they have, the more space to store them becomes an issue – it is a problem the New York Central Library is experiencing right now in their own renovations process.

 

But the point of a library is to have books. And those books are used by the people to learn, to expand their knowledge. Take older books away and you take away a history, a timeline of information and a generation of experience and thought. It turns out I’m not the only one who thinks this way. In their open letter, the literary figures said: “We are concerned that far too much of the irreplaceable collection is in danger of being lost forever. We demand that the current destruction of stock is halted and that a thorough investigation of the library’s disposal policy is carried out.”

 

In this age of the digital book, there is a clear argument that the use of books via such media can provide constant access to literature resources whilst saving valuable space and money. This I agree with in many ways. But to destroy old books, just like that, with no consultation with the public who use them and in many ways you could argue own them? That’s wrong. Would artifacts be destroyed from a museum? Or Royal documents or jewels be scrapped? Of course not – so why these books?

 

The Manchester Central Library was built in the Great Depression as a symbol of hope, its vast circular inscription reading “exalt wisdom and she shall promote thee”. Maybe, before they destroy any more books, the powers that be should stop and read that inscription for a second. At least it’s one set of words that can’t be pulped – I hear stone’s is hell to pick out of a shredder.

 

 

 What do you think? Should books be pulped or kept?

 **Look out for Wednesday Wafflings where I post my latest entry of my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Friday Fiction post: Our family holiday to France

It’s “Friday Fact or Fiction”,  where I write a little something for the weekend for you to read, be it fact or, um, fiction. This week, it’s ‘fact’, with my article written for The Guardian Travel writing competion… 

Boyhood’s a funny thing. When my husband was a boy, he used to play French Cricket. If you’re saying, ‘French what now?’ – a quick synopsis. Player one stands still with a tennis racket by their legs while the fielding team chuck a tennis ball at them with the aim of trying hit the racket-holder’s legs. You hit the target, you’re up next to hold the racket, and so on. Not a cricket bat in sight, but you get the idea. Well, with school out for another summer, it was French cricket and other assorted childhood memories that were on our minds as we arrived tired but buoyant at our gite in the Brittany village of Lintivic.

Magically named “Little Orchard”, we smiled as we parked under a plum tree to see grape vines draping the windows and a farmer puffing on a Gauloise, batting away flies in the adjoining field. This was France circa 1950. At the sight of all the grapes, our 8-year old shrieked, ‘Ooo, can we eat them?’ While the 6-year old took one look at the apple trees, and piped up, ‘Cool! Grenades.’ Oh to be a tomboy. As I cracked open a bottle Brittany cider left as a welcoming present by the gite-owners, and checked out the 18th century fire hearth and open-plan living area (so clean!), hubbie sighed as he gazed through the window. I took a swig and narrowed my eyes. ‘Pelted with a plum already?’  He shook his head as he took his glass. ‘No,’ he said, his arm levitating forward. ‘Look.’

            I followed his eye line and stopped. The garden, all ours, was almost as big as a football pitch, with a pool, also ours, tucked in its sidelines, blue water winking in the sun. ‘Wow’, I said, wondering where the inflatables were. ‘The girls will love that.’ But, as I began the search for swimming cossies, my husband simply grinned and said, ‘French cricket.’

            Games with tennis rackets were just the start of our two-week trip back to childhood. The gite garden was stocked full of delights such as petanque (tricky), football (mum as goalie – ouch), badminton (monopolised by us grown-ups) and hoops (a kid winner), to name a few. Five minutes drive away was the zip-wire Adventure Forest in Camors, suitable for even the 6-year old, who promptly declared it ‘awesome’. And it was. We hit the 3km beaches in Carnac,  ideal for rock pooling, and the town of Auray, with its hilled streets and sweeping river that caused our 8-year old to declare –whilst scoffing Moules Frites, a Brittany classic- France to be her favourite because, and I quote, ‘it’s looks nice, has good music and good food.’ Well said. Perhaps apart from the music.

            Such a blast to our childhood past did we have, that we’re now planning a road trip up the Californian coast, to which the girls asked, ‘Do they play French Cricket there?’ Hmmm. French cricket in the USA? Pass me the racket.

 © Nikki Owen 2012

Thanks for reading! I’ll be posting another travel writing article next week.   Have a lovely weekend.

**Look out for  my “Media Monday” post on, um, Monday. A short, sharp snippet on the latest writing & publishing news…**

Friday Fiction: Final part of my short story, ‘The Quiet Life of Megan Quinn’

It’s “Friday Fact or Fiction”,  where I write a little something for the weekend for you to read, be it fact or, um, fiction. This week, it’s ‘fiction’, with the final part of my  short story, ‘The Quiet Life of Megan Quinn’…

 

The Quiet Life of Megan Quinn – Part Five (final)

With the snow melting on the peaks of Snowdonia, on Tuesday 8th May, 1945, two years after the death of her friend and one week after the diagnosis of her Father’s cancer, Megan and her family listened as Winston Churchill stood with King George to announce Victory in Europe and the war with Germany over. Gethan, safe home to Wales soon after, carrying letters from Megan in his hands and shrapnel from Fritz in his buttocks, got down on one knee and, declaring he was the luckiest man alive, promptly proposed. The date set for four weeks’ time, her Mother fashioned Megan’s wedding outfit from a pair of curtains to create a jacket and skirt worthy of a Welshman’s daughter. With their entire ration coupons pooled – for, even with the war over, provisions were still sparse, the ravaged land still recovering from the beating – the wedding food and drink was ordered.  Yet, as happens when one light burns bright, another began to fade. And so it was that, on the morning of her wedding, a late June day when the Irish Sea lapped the shore and the gulls flocked at the scent of fresh crabs, Megan Quinn’s Father passed away. Megan being young and in love with her betrothed, wavered on the outcome of the day, wondering as to whether she should continue with the ceremony, a union her Father was so delighted to see. But, mindful of what was expected of her, Megan’s sense of duty overtook and, with the soft cries of her Mother’s grief still fresh in her ears, Megan, with Gethan by her side, took the decision to call off the day, informing the priest that his services would now be required for an entirely different family occasion.

Three weeks after her Father’s passing, in a registry office in Mold with just her mother, Dorothy and Gethan’s parents present, Megan Quinn became Megan Evans. The wedding breakfast was a simple affair of cucumber sandwiches and tea in the parlour followed by a bus ride to Llanberis to Gethan’s home, now Megan’s also, where she would, for the next 10 years, share a roof with her husband’s ailing parents, two chickens and an oil lamp.

As the years passed and the seasons shifted, Megan went on to have three miscarriages, one healthy son and the funeral arrangements of two parents-in-law. Yet, life was kind. Gethan brought in a weekly wage from splitting slates, and Megan gained employment in the town bakery, a job that treated their only son upon his daily return from school to an assortment of buns, pastries and breads. The house of Gethan’s parents, now theirs by will and testament, was a source of great comfort to Megan, such joy did she find in its simple walls and open fire. But to their boy, Ewan, a child of a different generation, one who had not known the suffering and sacrifice of his parent’s youth, the house became a symbol of time stood still, and Ewan wanted to move, discover and explore. So, as he reached 19 years of age, Megan, with Gethan holding her hand, found herself waving off her son as he sat on a bus bound for Cirencester, taking him to his new life of  a building apprenticeship, and into, as time would show, the arms of a pretty, kind Cotswold girl, and marriage.

While Megan continued happy at the bakery, her beloved Gethan was beginning to die. Years of breathing in slate dust had ravaged his lungs and now, at the age of 52, Megan found herself nursing him in his bed, his breath heavy with emphysema and exhaustion. The news, one day, from Cirencester that Ewan’s new wife was expecting their first child, lifted Gethan’s determination to hang on, certain was he that he could keep himself alive long enough to see the sweet softness of his first grandchild. But, two weeks before what was to be the birth of a baby girl, hair black as coal, lungs loud with screams, Gethan Evans passed away at home in his wife’s arms.

Two years after the death of his Father, Ewan and his wife would go on to have another child, this time a baby boy. To Megan’s joy and sorrow, they named him Gethan Ewan, a name that would prove to be wisely chosen as the boy, when he grew to be a man, displayed the same strength of character and inner calm that his grandfather had always possessed.

As the older generations do, Megan watched as her grandchildren grew, married and produced great-grand children. This now being a new century, the year 2000 hailed for Megan bewildering new technologies, and it was a period that saw her move, at the age of 76, from her marital home, still with its outside lavatory, to a new bungalow with a warden, an inside bathroom and central heating. When her hands were too shaky to write, Megan would use the telephone to keep in touch with her grandchildren and her now new great-grandchildren. Each time they made the lengthy journey to come and stay with her, she found herself delighted and  would revel in holding the babies, in tickling the toddlers, in cooking and fussing over them all, singing to them, after a whiskey night cap or two, tales of when she was a girl in the War.

As her great-grandchildren toddled on, so Megan grew old.  The day the stroke hit her she had been into the town to share a coffee with old friends, proud of the fact that, at the age of 92, she could still walk down the lane unaided, free to breathe in the clear mountain air she so loved. The warden discovered Megan the next morning, still in her armchair, her bladder having emptied upon it, her jaw having drooped, her left arm having ceased to work.

For the first few weeks following the stroke, Megan spent her time recuperating at a hospital by the coast, the salt of the Irish Sea so close she swore she could sometimes taste it. But, as happens with illness, Megan’s body slowly began to crumble, doctors detecting the onset of Alzheimer’s at the base of her brain, a condition made worse by the discovery of a lump in her breast, an operation performed to remove it ravaging her immune system more. With her body shutting down, Megan found herself transferred to a residential home in Llanberis, a move that left her confused, the Alzheimer’s shaking up the memories of her life like a pack of cards, leaving them to fall in disarray.  Family would come and visit often, great-grand children bringing tales of school and class assemblies, Ewan, now 62, bringing a look of worry and sadness. Many of the residents at the home, Megan would find, liked to complain about their lot, about the beds, the TV, the food. But not Megan. Instead, she would go on to live her days in the home and make the best she could of her confusion, her new-found incontinence and of her one remaining breast; and when  it got bad, she would say nothing at all about it, letting the silence do the talking for her. For, towards the end of her quiet life, just as towards the beginning, Megan Evans (nee Quinn) never made a fuss.

Copyright © Nikki Owen 2012

Thanks for reading!  If you missed some parts of the story, you can catch it all by clicking on the tag “The Quiet Life of Megan Quinn”, (see the left-hand bar)or link to the Friday fact or fiction category. Have a lovely weekend.

**Look out for  my “Media Monday” post on, um, Monday. A short, sharp snippet on the latest writing & publishing news…**

My column’s out now: Is the provision for dementia care enough?

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is all about caring for people with dementia and how it is becoming increasing difficult financially to cope. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

Are you or your family affected my dementia? Is the care provision enough or should more be done? Do you laugh at it or cry? 

Look out for tomorrow’s  post, “Friday Fact or Fiction”. This week I’ll be posting the final part of my short story, ‘The Quiet Life of Megan Quinn.’**

Diary of a hopeful author: I’ve finished writing my novel!

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

I’ve finished writing my novel! Blimey, feels, quite weird typing that, but there you go, it’s true. This week, well, yesterday to be precise, I finally completed my second novel and the one thing above anything else that is on my mind as I type the last of the 90,000 words is, not ‘well done, me’, but: sweet God,  my shoulders feel like breeze blocks.  ‘Why do you sit like that?’ says my hubbie one morning walking past the study. I pause mid- typing and frown. ‘What d’you mean?’ He nods to my posture. ‘You are all Hunchback of Notre Dame there, honey.  Sit up a little.’ He pops his toast back into his mouth and leaves. I check out my arms. Bent. I try to look at my back but this means craning my head and this hurts. Giving up, I shuffle in my seat and sit up straight, and for a couple of minutes all is well – and then I slide back down to my Quasimodo position.  But, being on the final straight of writing the book, I do nothing about it, and so keep on typing.

When it gets to the following day, I get up at 5 a.m, write for an hour, get the kids ready and to school, then resume writing until 12 noon. I type that fast that I think you can see smoke coming from my laptop (I say this figuratively, but actually, that’s only because I’m using my newer netbook – the old laptop actually did give off smoke, so…). When I finally type the last word, I slump back into my seat and stare at the screen. I cannot believe it. I am done! Six months of research, character development, long, hard outline planning (not my favourite part, but, unfortunately vital to do), learning criminal law ins and out, and then actually writing it. Nope, cannot believe it. It’s a bit like travelling around the world and then getting to your final destination and realising that this is it, you have to go home now. I blink at the screen and, shutting it down, wonder how I can celebrate this little achievement. Shall I go for a run? Have some chocolate? Watch a film? Oh no. I do none of these things. I finish my 90,000 word novel – and then go and hang the washing out on the line. It is a sunny day, and, give it’s been tipping it down the past week, it’s a chance to get the clothes dry and it really is a lovely day for the washing to dry. Who said writing books wasn’t life on the edge, hey?

As I hang out the washing, I think about the novel and what I have to do next, namely The Edit. A lot of writers aren’t so keen on editing, but me, I love it. What’s not to like? You have a page that is full of words and that has to be better than a blank page staring back at you, the computer curser winking at you reminding you that you still. Haven’t . Written. Anything. The great thing this time round is that I have had two people reading my book as I write it – namely my mum and her friend.  And I have to say it has been the best move ever. It’s meant that they have kept an eye on things such as pace and consistency for me, which, when you are writing chapter after chapter is vital because things tend to blur and you are so close to the plotline that the words begin to merge together (this did actually happen one day, the words merging together. I had to stop typing and stand back, blinking. I was concerned I’d wrecked my eyes until it turned out there was a bit of sleep on my contact lense…).

The other handy thing about editing this time around is that my outline has been solid. I loathe writing outlines. I really do. But without it, it is way harder to actually write the book – rather like a house without foundations or running a marathon without doing the training first, without the outline in place first, the novel will all fall down. For this book, I put together a 50-page outline. I split the plot into four acts and did an eight-point arc for each Act. Then I broke it down into chapters, developing the plot into an eight-point arc per chapter, meaning each chapter had its own structured development and climax. It is a bit daunting to start with, but I did find that using the 8-point arc to map out each chapter helped enormously and reassured me that I was constructing each chapter properly so the reader felt it was good and the pace kept up.  While an outline is my most pants things to do, the plus side is that, if you write a thorough outline, then by the time you begin to actually write the novel, you can do just that – write. The plot is already worked out, so you can just let things flow. I did change the plot along the way as the writing developed, but that worked fine. If anything needed changing, I simply stopped writing, re-wrote the 8-point arc for that particular chapter, checked it against the other chapters for consistency, and then started writing again. See? Easy! Yeah, right. It’s frustrating at times, to be honest, but, as is becoming my favourite phrase these days, ‘it’s well worth it.’

That evening, washing back in and dry (living on the edge right there!), I call my friend and we meet for a cycle and walk as it’s a lovely sunny evening – plus she wants to feed me a glass of wine for finishing the book, so, you know,  I couldn’t say no. We say ‘cheers’ and taking big gulps (we had walked 4 miles…) She asks me what sort of book it is. I pause. ‘Do you know what, I think I may have written a thriller.’ She swigs her wine. ‘Really?’ I nod. I know it’s daft, but even though that’s the sort of book it must be – a thriller, drama type thing (it’s set in a prison with a Spanish doctor as the new convict) I’ve never actually acknowledged it. But d’you know, I’ve loved writing it. Turns out, I quite like this plot twist and turn thing. My friend holds up her glass. ‘Here’s to your thriller then,’ she says.  ‘Well done, mate.’ ‘Cheers,’ I say, and we drink (down) our wine.

That night, I get ready for bed and chat to my hubbie. ‘So are you pleased it’s all finished?’ he asks. I nod and brush my hair. ‘Yup. Just the edit now and I can get it sent off.’ He smiles. ‘Cool.’ I nod and reach up to scratch my back. ‘Aaargh!’ My face scrunches to a grimace. ‘What is it?’ asks my hubbie. I edge to the bed and sit. ‘My shoulder. It’s locked.’ He comes over and tuts. ‘I told you you were sitting at that laptop funny.’ I sigh. ‘Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame, you said.’ He rolls his eyes and rubs my shoulder.  I wince. I have turned into Quasimodo. A Quasimodo with a second novel.

Are you in the middle of writing your novel? Do you use the 8-point arc or want to know more about it? Let me know.

Out on Thursday “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest newspaper column to my blog. This week it’s all about Dementia…**