The long and the short of it.

A very short story featuring Bob and his friend Maxwell

It was looking like snow. This was a special event in Ireland.

Bob was sitting staring out the kitchen window. He suspected it might snow but more importantly the oven was humming along with the cook who was rolling out biscuits.

“Hmm, biscuits,” Bob thought and set off to tell Max who lived a short distance away.

Cold, wet weather never bothered him because his thick coat kept everything from touching his skin. The extra bonus was fleas usually died before they fought their way through his coat.

Bob arrived at Max’s door. “Where is Ellie?” Max was peering over Bob’s shoulder.

“Didn’t bring her she is on cookie guard duty.”

Max didn’t linger. His short legs worked hard to keep up with his taller stocky friend.

“What happens if we get lost in this snow,” Max asked Bob as he pushed his way through the deepening snow.

“Trust me,” said Bob, “we won’t.”

However when they passed a tree they had marked some minutes earlier they sought shelter and had a meeting. “We are lost, aren’t we?” Max nudged Bob as he spoke.

“Maybe we should have a nap?” Bob suggested.

Max objected to this and they continued on for a while until they arrived back at the tree once more. “We are lost.” Bob said.

“What can we do?”

Bob sighed. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this? How is your singing voice?”

“Superb” Max boasted.

So together they began to sing, their favourite, – who let the dogs out.

Within minutes they heard a familiar bark and Ellie trotted up to them.

She looked at both dogs covered in layers of snow and simply said, “hurry up the biscuits are cool, well not as cool as you guys” and she led them home.

Much later, Bob and Max sat beside the fire munching on lavender dog biscuits.

“Do you know Bob it was worth the trip. But perhaps we shouldn’t go out in it again. What do you think Ellie?”

“Please don’t, your singing almost knocked the tiles off the roof.” She mumbled as she rolled over for a snooze.

They simply joined her in their favourite competition; snoring.

(Future trouble lay in the fact that Bob was dreaming of digging a tunnel to Max’s house.)

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Cleaning house

I started cleaning a press and discovered a box of sketches I had put away.  I have always wanted to paint and some day I will but for now it is only odd bits I sketch and pretend to be an artist. I keep saying when I grow up (?) I will paint and draw.

Bob on a skateboard !

 

A box full of paper made me want to draw and doodle again. Have you ever had a nostalgic moment like this?

Nanowrimo – Progress of sorts

Nanowrimo is on us , well we are half-way to the finish line and I am finding that squeezing in the hours to write is difficult for some reason this year.  I think I have taken too much on and with too many ideas and with not much time on my hands I find though the words are flowing (31,000 is my tally to-date) I fear it will take much editing. I keep wondering how is everyone else managing to find the time?

Bob, as you can see is not impressed because he would much prefer if I was cooking Christmas cakes or puddings. And to make matters worse I put a picture of both of them on the header for the blog site.may-2013-022

I still do not know if this is his version of the evil eye or is he falling asleep?

Your opinions do count with me, him – I really don’t know.

 

A learning curve – being published.

As some of you know, The Runaway Schoolhouse is in print and on kindle for the past few months. (The first few pages are here on this site for you to read, if you like).runaway_schoolhouse_cover_Latest_151031

I believed, foolishly, that this achievement was 9/10’s of the job done.

I was wrong. It is the first step.

I have received much help, thanks to all who have offered advice and support to me. And I have learnt that in today’s world. a writer has to become a Jack-of-all-trades. The greatest hurdle is Marketing and in this I thank Emu Ink.ie and Laurence O’Bryan, the founder of BooksGoSocial.com

But I still have to spend time, marketing the book. I have also been told that book reviews are gold to writers. Hence the Giveaways and the pleading or requests for reviews on Goodreads and Amazon etc.

I have given away 15 books, in the hope reviews will result.  But I am curious as to how other children’s writers find book reviews. So any help, or advice will definitely be appreciated by me.

Blogging delights me and writing is a passion. I consider myself lucky if one or two people read a post and am amazed if the stats alert me that a post is doing well and 15 + readers have been on my site.

Life is funny isn’t it, some of us dream of winning the lottery but bloggers simply dream of being acknowledged and read.

Do books shape our lives?

It is a strange question with a million varied answers but I will be brief.

If books help shape our lives does this mean that our choice dictates the type of person we are… light weight romance – dreamer and not grounded?

Horror stories – hard skinned and insensitive?

I don’t think fiction shapes our lives but that is my opinion. However, non-fiction is a different story and I think it plays a bigger part.

What do you think?

And what is the one book from your childhood you remember most?

I read avidly and I loved re reading Roald Dahl to my kids – The Twits remaining a favorite of mine.a-roald-dahl-childrens-book-called-the-twits-on-a-white-background-dfxea2

Maria’s Stuff: Mission Statement – Do we have one?

I have been reading a lot about blogging, and have stumbled upon a simple enough statement that makes sense on reading it – Every blog should have a mission statement. It, I am told, will help keep us on track towards our goal. This led me to ask: what is my goal? What is Bob’s goal?

I looked at Bob

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and smiled. His goals are simple; eat, sleep and be hugged.

Ellie’s are different, as everyone knows, her life revolves around tennis balls, socks, being busy and…. Bob.

ippellie large with socks in mouth

Which leaves me.  I sat at the keyboard fingers poised struggling to find the elusive mission statement.

Thoughts were flitting through my head working on a treadmill as I struggled with a mission statement.

I started blogging to get me writing, improve my photography skills and have fun. In the past ten years my children have flitted past the ages of 21, so I reasoned, I should have plenty of free time. However, time is being gulped up by many part time volunteering ventures, working part time, dog training for S & R, and all the usual wifely duties. I wonder if I am doing too much flitting and not enough focusing. Trouble is what do I cut out to make time for writing etc? They are all good causes, and worse still – I have fun attempting to do what I can.

So I will start again:  My blog is about finding fun while helping others and writing about it because at the end of the day age is simply a number it doesn’t define us neither should it limit us or stop us exploring this incredible world. Phew! It is a mouthful.

Perhaps I should try again?

Does anyone have a simple mission statement?

Besides Bob!

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Bob’s Diary: Christmas Fun

It is really Christmas now! The internet is working and Maria can post these pics of me, Ellie and our Christmas Eve surprise.

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A new house!

She of course had to try it out first,

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I played it cool.christmas 15 for blog 006

Because I knew this was only the start of it!

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Better, tastier things were yet to come,

christmas 15 for blog 013christmas 15 for blog 012 and I got help to open my tripe parcel with pigs ears.

But they still tasted delish!christmas 15 for blog 015

Happy Christmas everyonechristmas 15 for blog 017

Maria’s Stuff. Short and sweet.

This post will be really short and sweet. The reason is simple, I can’t make the hours stretch out to do all the things I need to do.

I suppose most writers suffer the same dilemma – shortage of time. Though now both asthmatics are grown and moved out I should have more time. I don’t have to spend my days chasing dust or any of the other housework chores but still I don’t have enough time.

The reason why is simple I am an idiot. I volunteer and I love volunteering to help but that gobbles up time. Though this week I enjoyed the training I was pulled into.

On Tuesday night I was helping find others to volunteer as models for a fundraising fashion show between 6 and 7 pm. Then on the way home I dropped into the boathouse and was told, “we are training on the river, you coming?”

I only hesitated for a second. The hesitation is due to the narrow neck of the dive suit which turns me into a headless ninja.

350px-Diving_suit_neopreneOnce the ordeal of getting into the suit was over I sat back in the jeep and learned that the exercise we were going on was searching the river bed.

It was a glorious warm evening as we trawled the river and weir.  The icing on the cake was the swim back to the bank. The night sky was dotted with stars, the water warm and I was tempted to stay there floating staring up at them. I knew I should have been home doing chores or writing but heck how often would I get to experience this?

I think or hope I will be forgiven for writing such a trivial blog post but Bob and I will be back to business as normal asap, whenever that is.