This Simple Life

I believed, stupidly, that life would get easier as we age.

This is not the case and no one escapes, in this writers life.

I always wanted to write, that is a given with me, so I blog.

I am not competitive but have learned that button once pushed does not easily switch off. I try to get to the gym  2 or 3 times a week, to offset the bad habits I have i.e. slouching over a computer screen,  and the inherited family traits of heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy and high blood pressure. And have discovered it is addictive, sociable and exhausting but good.

As kids, we were brought up believing it is good to give back, so I volunteer.

I work with Ellie, who being a collie is all about being busy. Working with her led me to find a lab who also likes to work and now she has two sons who live to find anything I care to hide.

I almost forgot, I work not a full week but I work and now help to take care of Dad.

Add that into the mix along with a reluctance to say no and there is an explosion waiting to happen.

So I have decided to cut back but on what?  Housework is the tempting answer to that question, but I am a woman and we are programmed to only ignore the dust for so long.

Yes, this simple life I crave is a dream.

So any suggestions or advice would be gratefully received, mulled over and … tried out for a month or two.

Perhaps I should follow Bob’s example.

 

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Book Giveaway

I have copies of my latest story, available for those of you who follow this blog and would like to read it in exchange for a review. To obtain a copy simply email me at; matthewsmaria92@yahoo.com

This book has been structurally edited, edited and proofread so it will be interesting to receive some feedback about it. It is set in County Cork and though both characters are from completely different backgrounds, Mark is a city lover, Anne is a country lover, they are attracted to each other, but his belief he should sell his family home which was recently inherited sparks a challenge in Ann; to prove to him that he would be better off keeping the farm and house.  Who will win or who will compromise?

Romantic Irish novel with a dash of humour

Romance

My Favourite things

I should have added and not of a chocolate kind. The reason being there was a time when I was addicted to chocolate.

Back to the topic.  My top five favourite things:

  1. Reading with the company of two foot warmers (Ellie and Bob)
  2. Writing with the encouraging sounds of musical snores from Bob and Ellie
  3. Walking on a beach regardless of the weather. We have even done this as a family on Christmas day or St. Stephens day mainly due to asthmatic son.
  4. An evening out with friends
  5. Receiving a review for a story or a book.

Pretty straightforward and simple, and the weird thing is I believe if I won a huge sum of money, they wouldn’t change.

So what is your top 5?

Have a great Halloween.

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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.

 

So ..I have written a book for kids, what next?

The simple answer would or should be, write another one. And there are five or six books written but not edited sitting in a neat queue somewhere in my desk.

However, I am stuck on the marketing and shouting about the first one.

If I constantly blog about it, – am I seeming too pushy? I dither on this question. But you guys are truthfully the only ones who read my ramblings, and for that I am extremely grateful.  So please let me know if I am pushing it a bit.

Blogging, twittering, FB and G+ are very time-consuming events. Which limits time for other important stuff. The only one in my house who loves to see me head for the computer is – Bob.

He assumes his best-loved position. Sorry there are two:

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Everyone else groans, (including Ellie) as they know I will be superglued to the seat until I have set up x amount of promotional posts.

And lastly for today my promotional push is:

The Runaway Schoolhouse is on Kindle for €0.99 ($0.99) for the next week, in the hope that a few reviews will float or clunk (be thrown) my way.

The purpose of the reviews for me is to help discover the fate of the other books gathering dust in my desk. Do I continue to publish or simply to blog?

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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.

A photo to make you smile and some words to make us all think.

Hisilicon K3

Irish dog trainer

We are only human.

I was brought up to help, in the house, in the yard, wherever help was needed we all got stuck in and did the work. So I suppose volunteering was a natural thing in our house. We were encouraged to help on committee’s once we had reached the magic number of years , eighteen.

I tell you this not to boast or brag but it as a simple matter of fact. However I have lately discovered that helping is not often enough. For many judge you on what they see, or a stupid spur of the minute comment or worse on a mistake, a wrong judgement call. If I had the power to influence a whole mess of people I think it would to be simply to remind them that we are all human. And as humans we are bound to fail, to disappoint or act rashly every once in a while.

However, as I have no super power I can only keep trying and that is another human trait, to be stubborn to never give up.

How about you has there been a time in your life that you wish you could wind the clock back, bite back those words, smile instead of moan? And what super power would you wish for?

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Bob in Super-Bob mode.

How Bob arrived.

A co-worker of my husband asked, “would you be interested in a 2 year old dog?”

The question caught him out, as he kindly asked what kind of dog. Fast forward to the weekend and we went to see this Norwegian Elkhound. Bob was bought for a lady in her eighties. But he was too big, too strong and heedless.

We arrived at the house in the country and were greeted by Bob, front paws on the top of the gate and hind ones planted firmly on the ground. He took one look at us and smiled. I think he was saying, gotcha!

He was correct. He had us from that goofy smile and ceaseless tail wagging.

He came home with us quietly. We stopped to buy leash, bowls, dog food etc. And then the trouble started. He decided he would be boss and eat everything in sight. Wellington boots, shoes or slippers weren’t good enough they were simply a starter. What he liked was the tough teeth crunching wooden posts, his kennel and finally his coupe de resistance, the electric gate leads.

As everyone knows he obviously survived the electricity but didn’t go back for seconds. The reason being the wires were encased in plastic casing then a metal casing. In fact everything we thought he might eat was encased, or locked away or hidden.

Luckily he mellowed as he settled down though he never lost that heedlessness making teaching him a very big challenge. In the end though I think he has been the teacher.img_0201

Take this idea I had for photos of him and Ellie.

I had everything set up then he decided he wasn’t in the mood for modelling.

On this occasion I didn’t give in.

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It isn’t easy getting the bow in place, getting him to allow it to sit there was the big problem.

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There is that look on his face again, wouldn’t you love to know what he was thinking?

 

How I missed out on my ultimate job but somehow it found me.

 

My Ultimate Job

I have always loved dogs. But I haven’t always embraced life due to shyness, meeting insensitive arrogant people and so on, (you know how it goes) so I spent the first half of my life hiding away from people. Past experience taught me that not everyone was like my kindhearted father.

However, lady luck did smile on me in numerous ways, I married my soul mate and had two wonderful children and started writing. Though I hated my paid job, which was stressful and often felt like it should have been sent by worm hole back to the 1800’s, I soldiered on simply to make a living.

Then it happened, I met Bob

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This fluffy wolf who was either going home with us or to a dog pound. How could we not take him? He came with us and captured everyone’s hearts. Through him I made a discovery.

I should have been working with dogs.

This heartfelt belief stayed with me, as I volunteered to work in a friends kennels. Then we made another decision, Bob missed us while we were working and he required a friend, with four legs and a waggy tail. The rest is history. We traveled to the North west of Ireland, Bob interviewed 20 dogs and came home with the pup who stole his and our hearts.

 

50-79Ellie pupThis pup again transformed my life. She was relentless always finding things from tennis balls

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displaying a vivid creative energy. We knew we had to find her a job, before she drove Bob, and us, nuts.

Her job – finding people or recovering them has led us into many new adventures.ipp

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Hisilicon K3

And through her training I have discovered I was right – I should have been working with animals. But I do so now, by volunteering at a kennels, dog walking and dog training and all thanks to these four legged friends, especially Bob and Ellie

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I often feel like  this:

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I am a six year old, again.

 

The Runaway Schoolhouse Book Launch Night

It was a great night, and everyone seemed to have fun as you can see by the pictures I was supported by family and friends, and some of my Facebook friends surprised me by dropping in.

Thank you everyone and a reminder it is for sale as an e-book and you can rent it  which is an unusual option but one worth considering: http://www.emuink.ierunaway_schoolhouse_cover_Latest_151031

 

 

 

 

 

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maria and family (minus niall)

 

But there was someone missing who needed a hug, but he got plenty when we got home.

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