Tag Archives: writing

Thelma & Louise – not what you think…

We are sat here, together, trying to figure out what to do. She won’t let me in; it’s driving me crazy. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do, it’s wrong. If it weren’t for the fact she is so small and fragile I would get violent, but what would that achieve? I drink my coffee, and gaze out into the sunshine; it really can’t be that difficult, I’m sure I’m right. I text hubby for some help/advice ‘Thelma has lost it again and won’t cooperate… I’m so frustrated I want to scream!’ She’s becoming my new best friend; I don’t want to hurt her…

I know what you’re thinking. I’m sat in my smart MINI convertible, roof down of course, contemplating something dramatic over the edge of a cliff. Yes, my week has not been the greatest, but there is no way I could do that to such a cool ride, ‘Mercury’ as my dream car is known. Who is Thelma then, I hear you ask, and what’s her problem? If I told you that Thelma is only 2 months old, approximately 7ins x 5ins in size, is gold in colour, with a chocolate brown exterior, and goes everywhere with me now, would you get it? Well, she’s my new iPad mini that my hubby has affectionately named Thelma – that shows our age! I have considered having a young Brad Pitt as my lock screen for the full effect, but honestly, he’s never really done it for me I’m afraid, good actor, good looking and all that, but doesn’t blow my skirt up.

So what’s her problem? Well, my very technically minded and security conscious hubby has made sure that Thelma keeps all her secrets safe under lock and key, by installing 1Password for me. All very well and good because I used to be a hacker’s dream; same password for everything, and not a very imaginative one at that. Now I can have all kinds of elaborate combinations of letters, symbols and numbers that I don’t need to remember – I only need to remember one. Now, I swear I was putting in the right combination, but could I access 1Password? No! Ok, so it wasn’t technically Thelma’s fault, and hubby came to the rescue in the end, but I will still maintain I was right!

What else have I been up to this week…

At the end of last week hubby and I had not one but two date nights. Dinner with friends while all our kids bounced around at gymnastics for 3 hours. Then, an evening at the ballet, all male drag kinda thing– hilarious! Check out Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo if you ever get the chance.

Nearly set my neck at the climbing wall when I slipped off while on auto belay, and scared the hell out of myself. Also really strained my arm that was already strained from something so long ago I can’t remember but I keep pretending it’s fine. Needles in the bicep as a result of my stupidity produced some rather choice words.

We finally tackled the playroom and had the grandmother of all hoy outs!

I gave my lovely cleaner a long overdue pay rise because I’m nice like that… sometimes.

Made two pairs of curtains for a friend, and two Valentine cards – one for me to give hubby and the other for him to give me. I know that sounds sad but the shop ones are expensive and nauseous, he likes my cards so why not?

Popped over the border to pick up a parcel and embarrassed the customs officer when he asked me my occupation, and then what I was picking up… ‘Erotic romance writer… and women’s lingerie’ hehe!

Of course all of this is between dog walking, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, school runs, after school activities, drinking wine and keeping up with Thelma!!

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Sleep!

When you survive on very little of the stuff normally it can be tough, but I have had one full night (Sunday) in I don’t know how long, and that was only thanks to half a sleeping pill. It didn’t help that, after the grandparents left early last week, we shot up to Whistler to take advantage of the fact our kids were not back to school until this week. Honestly, how is it you can pay for a good education but they spend less time there? Friends kindly let us use their lovely townhouse, so we had a comfortable base but – sadly for me – not a comfortable bed. I had already made the decision not to even consider skiing until the weekend, but my go-getter boys blasted around the mountain with ski school for three days while my husband disappeared off into the backcountry – always a worry, even though I used to do it myself BC (before children).

What did I do with my time? Well, every morning my girl and I had a very Baltic dog walk, but thanks to good gear and little hotties (disposable handwarmers in case you think I hooked up with a member of Thunder from Down Under; sadly not!), I was snuggly. The rest of my days were filled with crafting. I don’t often get the opportunity to spend all day sticking bits of paper together and tarting them up with expensive ink to turn them into cards. This project was Thank You cards for all the kids who attended the boys’ birthday party. I know they will be looked at and admired for all of 4 seconds and binned, but this is just something I love doing and, being a bit OCD, I have to do it right. I also kept up my 2015 challenges, and played with my new iPad mini – thanks hubby! The evenings might have involved drinking wine, but you guessed that already, right? And reading. Again, I don’t often just sit in the evening and read. I should, but I don’t, so I did!

Icy snow conditions and major fatigue made the decision for me not to ski at all, and the backcountry had broken hubby anyway. However, the conditions did not stop my 8 year old; he broke his teacher on the second day. Leaving him for dead at the top of the glacier. Poor guy didn’t look fit for a haircut when I signed out my very proud son, who looked like he’d spent the day just cruising down green runs. It didn’t stop there – tubing and some very extreme sledding at the weekend left me with my heart in my mouth several times, and I was just watching them. We then returned to the real world and a busy day before back to school. I was very proud to take my generous children to our local children’s hospital, where they presented the Foundation with $200 of their birthday money. I then spent the evening in the MRI scanner having full neck to pelvis images, and had to be helped off the VERY hard bed like an old crumbly – awkward! Thanks to that, I enjoyed another night of not very restful sleep…

EVENTful week!!

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This is the first opportunity I’ve had to fill you in on my exciting news; it’s been quite a week! This time last week I had the obligatory hair appointment one requires before a big night out. I am a loyal client at a local hairdressing school here in Vancouver: Future Hair Training Centre on Broadway @ Cambie. I am well known there, having not been anywhere else for over 5 years now, so it wasn’t a surprise to me that they were all very supportive when I broke the news sometime ago of my upcoming publication. Cynthia Skabar, owner and senior education officer has built an award-winning reputation, and is always friendly, patient and enthusiastic on the shop floor whenever I witness her interaction with the students. I have NEVER left that place disappointed – well maybe the odd bad blow dry but everyone has to learn!

As I patiently sat having my freshly shampooed stripy bob combed through, Cynthia breezed towards me and launched into an excited frenzy of promotional ideas for a book event she was keen to host at the salon. WOW!! I was genuinely blown away – no pun intended – little me, just a regular client having her hair spruced up for the school fundraising gala. In less than an hour we’d thrashed out dates, ideas and advertising… and it’s really happening.

If anyone would like to join me for a drink, the event will be held at:

Future Hair Training Centre

512 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC

Sunday December 7th, 2-5pm.

There will be door prizes, books available for purchase & signing, cheese & wine, Q&A, & maybe I’ll a reading from a chapter of Bruises for you.

I hope you can join me for my first promotional event.

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As for the school gala, well the signed hardcover copy I donated for the silent auction created a bit of a bidding war, finally going for more than its retail price. I knew putting myself out there would probably mean a few whispers in the playground, but actually everyone who now recognizes me has been very positive about congratulating me on the achievement (they obviously didn’t notice the genre!). Hopefully it gave me some more local exposure, and a few more raised eyebrows during drop off and pick up.

For more information about Bruises and how to purchase a copy, please go to the bookstore on my website http://www.louiselindley.com

I’ve arrived!

www.louiselindley.com.

That’s right, I now have a website. Yet another social media thingy to maintain, and honestly I have no idea what I’m doing with it. So, when my marketing manager arranged a conference call for website coaching I was keen to learn and determined I could do this. However, it was arranged for the morning after I returned on a late night flight from my annual girls’ trip to Las Vegas, which involves 3 days of partying, shopping, more partying and only two hours of Thunder! And approximately the same number of hours of sleep. After killing off several more brain cells from the very few that still exist in my dizzy little head, it very quickly became apparent that website coaching in the Vegas aftermath was not a smart move.

As you know I am technically challenged. An old-fashioned list-writer with a pen and a calendar full of life events hung on the kitchen wall. It is a constant battle between my husband and me. He puts EVERYTHING on his iThings, I put EVERYTHING down on paper. I just find it quicker, easier, and better to keep track of. If it isn’t on the kitchen calendar it isn’t on my radar… period! Perhaps if I used my own iThings for more stuff I would be dragged up to date and be more familiar with using them, but I’m too blonde to retain the information. Now I have the prospect of maintaining a website – me, the person who writes texts in full because I don’t understand the abbreviations!

To be fair to her, my coach was patient and informative, while I sat mesmerized at my computer watching her screen on my screen do all sorts of fancy things with text and images. The fact is that this scenario in itself had me amazed at the technology that is available these days. This is all just another part of my journey, and a steep learning curve that began with a phone call. When I began down this road I had no idea what was involved in publishing a book, but I eventually did. Now, I have to learn what is involved in website maintenance, but we all have to start somewhere and I’m fortunate at least to have had someone who knows what they are doing get me started. I’m not a quick learner, and my brain has been fried by two kids and seven years of partying in Vegas, but like everything else that has been required of me during this process, I’m willing to give it my best shot – and thankfully I do have a very technically-minded husband, whom I expect will roll his eyes so much at me that if the wind changes he’ll stay like that!

The Power of Life Experience – A Writing Tool

I sometimes wonder if she’s looking down on me and shaking her head in disapproval, while secretly admiring my achievement. I remember her reaction when I told her my dissertation was to be published in a nursing journal, full of pride and admiration. However, the relationship I had with my mum was not always a harmonious one. A long time ago I made mistakes, I am human, we all do. I eventually came clean and declared my gross error of judgment, and suffered the consequences. I decided from then on that I would always be honest with myself, and not to be afraid of living my life my way. This cost me my relationship with my parents; they were not so understanding, and we parted ways for over ten years. I’d tried on a couple of occasions during that time to build bridges, but nothing became of it, until my brother’s wedding. I didn’t want a significant family event to be awkward, so I tried once again, and that time we were all ready to move on.

If I had known then that we would have less than a year to bury our differences and re-build our mother-daughter relationship, I might have done some things differently. Yes, I still would have emigrated, I had already made that decision. I really didn’t expect to be getting that call for a long time. The saddest part was that I’d only just told her the news she had always hoped one day to hear. I was 11 weeks pregnant when I found out that she was terminally ill. Returning home to England was something I did with a second thought. It was the right thing to do, a lot of water had passed under the bridge, and we built new ones. I showed her my scans; she was the only person to know which names we’d chosen. Deep down I think I always knew she would never see her first grandchild. She died when I was 31 weeks and too sick to travel long haul to say a final goodbye. It took me a long time to have closure.

That was 8 years ago today, and a day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of her. It used to be in a sad way, but now I sometimes laugh and joke with myself about the fact that sometimes I open my mouth and she comes out. Despite our differences, we parted good friends. Anyone who reads/has read Bruises will now understand where some of my words have come from. They are the product of a very real and powerful emotional experience that I believe you can only write about if you truly know how it feels. It took me some time to write that particular chapter – sometimes I just couldn’t see through my own tears – but it was quite cathartic to use it as part of someone else’s story. Every time I re-read it I could feel the depth of Frankie’s emotional pain. I deal with physical pain all day, every day, but emotional pain is something far more excruciating.

This particular life experience has been a very powerful tool, and incorporating it into my writing has helped me enormously. Of course, I have had many very positive life events too, but oddly it seems to be the sad ones that fall naturally onto the page and make good reading. I hope she is out there somewhere, once again proud at what I’ve achieved, and I don’t just mean my book. However, there is a tiny part of me that is also glad that she can’t actually read it – there are some things a mother doesn’t need to know about, and my sexy imagination is one of them!

Bruises is available from FriesenPress, Amazon, and other major online bookstores.

And so it begins…

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I decided to get Thanksgiving over with before I jumped on the promotional bandwagon, and here I am. The coffee shop in which I wrote most of Bruises is the first place that has offered to promote me. The owner has been very accommodating and keen to help promote me in anyway he can, though I’m not sure he really knows what my book is about… probably best not to enlighten him. After several attempts at an author poster – without the help of hubby, so I’m quite proud, actually – I still ended up resorting to my craft supplies. I would welcome readers’ thoughts on it – good or bad?! Anyway, this little display now has pride of place in the coffee shop, right next to the milk & napkins etc. It’s at eye level (well, my eye level, so chest level really) and also happens to be beside the area where the punters wait for their beverages. Only a few minutes after it went on display, I spotted a woman reading the back, and then a dirty old man began fingering it after he studied my picture then glanced across at me sat in the corner, where I promptly tried to make myself even smaller.

The great thing about this gig is that once again I get to hang out here regularly and enjoy some very good overpriced coffee. It is, thankfully, proving to be a more positive promotional experience than the one in the independent bookstore on the next block. I randomly called in after a brutal physio session (in which, despite turning up with a lovely signed hardback copy for my tormentor, I was still attacked with a gazillion needles – I actually thought I was in pretty good shape that day too, having had no painkillers for two days – clearly I was wrong!) Hoping I didn’t look as bad as I felt, I presented myself to the ‘lady’ at the counter in this tiny bookstore. There were one or two people milling around shelves as I launched into my speech… ‘self-published author… consider consignment…’ etc. etc. The assistant, who was significantly taller than me (not difficult, despite my wedges) looked down on me like I was something the cat had dragged in. It took me nearly all of my ‘cheeky free’ 20 minutes on my parking meter to extract the owner’s business card from her, as it was clearly more than her job’s worth to give it up. There was once a time when I would have cowered and left, but not now. Now, I believe in myself, and I believe in my book, and I will succeed because I’m crazy and have enough confidence now to think I can.

‘So it’s explicit?’ she said with slight tone of disgust.

‘No, it’s tasteful but smouldering.’ I had to stop my inside voice from adding, ‘read it lady, you might learn something!’

Sadly, the owner still hasn’t emailed me back, but I’m not seeing this as a setback; if anything, it’s her loss not mine. I’ll just move onto my next port of call… which just happens to be our local kids’ bookstore. They have a small adult section that features various genres. Appropriate? I don’t see why not. I’ve seen many mums (& dads) let their kids loose in that place to peruse the shelves alone; it’s the perfect situation for mum to find a little something too!

You can get your copy of Bruises direct from my publisher, from Amazon and other major online bookstores.

MAJOR RANT ALERT!!

Can you believe that a friend of mine received her hardcover version of my book in the mail last week? No! Me neither! Obviously spending 18 months of my life writing, editing, finding a publisher, editing, negotiating with publishers, editing, editing and more editing, does not make me worthy enough to be the first to receive a copy. My friend’s husband said – during my FaceBook tantrum – that it’s not like I don’t know what happens at the end – not the point! As you can see by the pic, it looks quite good, but then I would say that because I honestly never thought it was possible to turn it into a real book. So, not only am I a little ticked off about this, I then discover that those naughty people at Amazon are screwing around with my prices and charging insane amounts of money here in Canada, and particularly in the UK. The novel is set in the UK; it is going to hopefully be a big market for me, not to mention it being my motherland. Who do they think they are? Don’t they have enough money? I would like to publish the sequel, people, at least let me make something out of this one!

Ok – rant over!

On a more positive note, I was quite excited to read the one and only review that someone kindly posted on Amazon.ca. She gave it 5 stars…. 5 STARS!! Apparently she ‘couldn’t put it down’ and ‘didn’t want it to end. It was funny and sweet, and definitely a little steamy’. She fell in love with my characters, Frankie and Jack, and she can’t wait to find out what happens next! A big fat YAY to me! Only one review but hey, an author has to start somewhere.

So what are you all waiting for… get your copy now and tell me what you think.

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Go on… I know you’re dying to read it!