It’s like a guest post birthday! It’s been a year now & time for another Ripple in Time promo! :-)

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This post is a re-post but A Ripple in Time is once again on offer and free to download to Kindle, a year on from the original post. It is still very much a recommended read.

A Ripple in Time

Dear all,

I know, I know, my schedule is so hectic, what with kid’s parties, the book signing coming up, Mr S-C (bless him being all clumsy and that) the book writing and the blog…!!! Oh no the blog! The time has come, I must hand over the wheel while I have a little breakdown, and who better to jump into the driving seat than the fabarooney Julia Hughes, @tinksaid! I’ll be back (no don’t sigh! Soooooo cheeky!) but in the meantime I can assure you, you are in very safe hands. So, now, sit back and enjoy the ride…Over to you my lovely friend, Julia.

me&tink3_(2) 

 

Thank you Jess, and don’t worry, your blog’s in safe hands, promise. And off she goes, no doubt to another children’s party or to organise Mr S-C’s Father’s Day treats. Do I sound envious? Oh to be able to turn back the clock to that very special time, when the kids thought Mummy and Daddy were the most wonderful people in the world. Mind you, I still feel that way about my parents. There have been times when I’ve longed for a boring life, but throughout it all – the major highs and the places no-one wants to go – there have been two people standing solidly behind me with words of encouragement and acts of overgenerous kindness. Among the many unexpected pleasures of writing, comes the opportunity to say a small thank you to those who support without question. So my breakthrough novel is dedicated to the best parents any child could wish for, lucky me –  I won the lottery.

I also won the lottery with Jess, who answered my plea for a beta reader. Jess’s success with her debut novel Poker Face, encouraged me to publish in paperback, as well as ebook format. A Ripple in Time will be free to download to your kindle until 18th April 2013. 

Massive thanks once again to Jess, and you can bet your life I’ll be attending her book signing at Waterstones in Hatfield later this month [and she did!] eager to pick up tips from this wonderful writer, who is also a wonderful friend.

A Ripple in Time can be obtained by clicking Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Julia

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Woo hoo! How awesome is that! I’ll definitely be fifteen minutes late for the next party downloading my copy of A Ripple in Time! Come on, writing before raving…always! Thanks so much, Julia, for your lovely post and your lovely comments too.

Seriously, congratulations on your lovely new shiny paperback! It is SO exciting! I’m sure everyone will agree, the birth of a new novel or in a new format is a very wonderful thing and I’m so thrilled to be a part of it. Go you!!!

Take care from me,

Jess 😀 x

PS beautiful pic, Julia!

Please check out Julia’s fabarooney website for more of her work and posts 🙂

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Video Diaries! My very first signing event at Waterstones, Hatfield. Post re-visited :-)

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Well, readers, the time came…and went…aaaaand, despite all of the panic, tummy aches and tears, I made it to and through the 23rd June 2012. I lived to tell the tale…or should I say the video diary. Now, I must first apologise because I thought that my camera (with video facility) would be fine for the occasion but it seems, even after deleting all personal photos of our recent holiday, there was not enough room to fit the four clips that I wanted. As a consequence we used @Heather5mith’s i-phone (the wrong way up) so two of the clips are either going to show up sideways or with mega blacked out borders  – but as long as they show something, right now I don’t care! Uploading to this blog has been an absolute nightmare! I even cried!

So, here goes. The first clip is very early morning on 23rd June. The kids are having a go at their interviewing skills. PS I would just like to make it clear that I do not push my daughter in this clip, I am simply trying to keep her from YouTube! She is one determined little monkey, let me tell you!

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So, we got mega lost on the way to Hatfield. The journey should have taken us  1 hour and 15 minutes, tops. However,  even with @Heather5mith’s SatNav, Mr S-C’s built in thingy on his phone and my more caveman-like printed off ‘Route Finder Classic View’ we got lost to the tune of over one and a half hours! The upside of this was that I was so fed up that my initial reservations about the whole affair had been replaced with ‘All I want to do is get there!!!’ When we did get there the staff at Waterstones were absolutely fantastic. They grabbed a table, a snazzy table cloth, advised us on the best positions, provided a fabarooney decorated chalk board and then even grabbed us all a coffee from Nero! I love the people at Waterstones, Hatfield! I will say this more than once! I must also say that Heather’s interview technique is pretty cool and she managed an artistic reflective job, which is very clever. Let’s agree that it was a complicated, technical set up and was entirely intentional. If the BBC would like to hire @Heather5mith, she is available all day Wednesday (outside of Zumba) and most evenings (as long as it’s not a choir night).

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Towards the end of the day we went for another clip but my camera held up its little camera hands and said ‘No, sorry, I clocked off at lunch time. It’s Saturday! I don’t get paid for this!’ Diva camera alert! So we dug into @Heather5mith’s hugomungo bag and caught a bit more of the day on her phone. Neither of us knew what to say at this point but we said there would be a video diary and by Jove we were going to rise to the challenge. It WAS a challenge!!!

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We packed up at 5.30pm, feeling exhausted (I’m not sure why I was as all I’d done was sit at a table all day, answer some questions, try not to do a runner and sign stuff!) It might be the fact that by that point I had consumed two large coffees, only one small bottle of water and not much else. After a farewell to Robin (not my Robin but the fabarooney Robin at Waterstones), Laura, Chris and Maisie (If I have spelt this incorrectly please let me know and I will change it – who I didn’t get to talk to but wish I had now) we made our weary way to the car park. The box of books was reassuringly and satisfyingly lighter than when we had arrived and we loaded the car for what SHOULD HAVE BEEN an hour’s drive home! Yeah I bet you’ve worked out what happens next! A slightly more stroppy video of me is what happens next, but at least (as I am not required to look at the camera in the next clip) there is no random face pulling, singing, dancing, ear tugging, lip rolling, hair touching, arm scratching or eye avoidance going on. This is the most normal clip that exists of me! The only problem I have with it is that my nose looks big sideways on and I HATE IT!!!

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This here concludes our video diary of my very first signing at Waterstones, Hatfield, and I have enormous gratitude to everyone who works there. They are absolutely fantastic! To the manager Steve Jenner (hope he doesn’t mind me using his name) for allowing me to be there, to @Heather5mith for accompanying, standing for ages and supporting, for Mr S-C for doing the very same thing along with the occasional ‘You look well cool!’ (lies) and much needed hugs and to Julia Hughes (@tinksaid) and her wonderful sons for coming to visit us, to Mr S-C’s mum and partner for coming along to say hi and having the kids for a bit, and to my fabarooney sister for agreeing to have my two children (on top of her own three) so I could get out and about and promote my work. I also would like to thank (yes I am still going on but stay tuned because this one is probably for you) all my fantastically supportive followers on Twitter and my understanding friends because, without all of you, this would nowhere near have been the most fantastic experience of my life that it turned out to be. You are all way cool and I loves ya!

Take care from me,

Jess 😀 x

A dedication to Mr S-C! Blog post revisited :-)

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Dear readers,

Life is an expedition, a delicate and precious thing. Sometimes it brings joy and sometimes fear or sorrow but, whatever it brings, it’s the people who make that journey with you that this blog post is all about.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted to write, my son had just started school, my daughter was teeny and it was completely different to the legal ‘stuff’ I had dedicated my life to up until that point. I gave it a go, wrote a sci-fi that then turned into a fantasy that soon turned into a series. I then wrote a romance and finally discovered a story that I fell in love with – Poker Face. Fortunately for me my husband, Mr S-C, encouraged my passion for writing and it is that writing that has brought about this blog. Therefore, I would like to dedicate this post to him and to say a big thank you.

I met my husband (he wasn’t my husband then mind. I didn’t bump into some random young man, look at his ring finger, spot that he wore a matching version of mine and say “Hey, will you look at that! You must be my husband!”) No, seriously, we met eleven years ago when he was working somewhere that I had worked previously. My sister still worked there and so did my friends so I regularly went out with them as a group. I even attended their Christmas parties! (I’m such a gatecrasher!)

We were always great mates and he was always lovely, always kind, always hilariously funny (even without meaning to be) and very supportive. We have been through so many things together and on many occasions he has been my rock, my desperate logic, my shoulder to cry on, my supporter and my best friend. He has never doubted me or my abilities or judged me, because sometimes I am more than a little scared of my own shadow, and we have pretty much laughed our way through everything.

So, let me tell you a little about the man behind the name (Mr S-C). Well, he is a little bit accident prone and grew up being reassured that ‘If there were no breakers there would be no makers’ and, in his defence, he always does it with a smile 🙂 Ha ha! Let’s have a few examples:-

I have now taken to only buying plastic beakers…and not because of the children either!

When we have a dinner party guests have to bring their own wine glasses and we eat off of a combination of three different dinner sets (all now incomplete).

And there’s more 🙂

Once upon a time we went on holiday to Menorca and spent ages at the airport picking out sun glasses and flip flops because he had left his behind by accident. Being a very active person, he doesn’t like just chilling on the beach like I do, so he dragged me on a walk over the rocks. Having lived in Menorca for over seven months and visited every year until I was sixteen, I had walked these rocks a million times already. What I wanted was a blooming tan! Needless to say I was grumbling along behind him, our first ever ‘tiff’, when suddenly I heard a ripping noise (imagine a strip of Velcro being separated from another strip of Velcro) shortly followed by a “What the!” I looked up from my feet to see Mr S-C standing there holding what looked like a flip flop in each hand but, when I looked down at his feet, he still had his left one on! How could it be? Had that ripping noise been the birth of another flip flop? (I have to say I don’t think I made that noise in labour but, then again, maybe I did). I looked confused, clearly, so Mr S-C took the items in his hands and demonstrated how they fitted…TOGETHER! While I had been staring at the ground moaning his flip flop had become wedged between some rocks. Unfortunately he had kept moving, ripping the whole topside from the underside and stubbing his toe painfully in the process. His flips flops were now useless and so we turned and headed for the shop to get him some ‘jelly’ shoes, much to his disgust.

The next day wasn’t much better. He decided that we should go on a bike ride to visit a lighthouse but, only five minutes into the journey, his chain had come off, he’d opened up the cut on his stubbed toe and run over his own sun glasses, crushing them instantly. I shouldn’t laugh BUT IT WAS SO BLINKING FUNNY!

I will end on one holiday disaster that beats them all and I must just point out that these stories are all before we had children (since then they just got better!) We went to Centre Parcs and stayed in one of their hotel apartments for a week. We arrived and did what you always do when you first arrive in a hotel NO NOT THAT! My, my, readers, your imaginations are just like mine! No, after dropping our case and swimming bags, we made it out mission to check behind all doors, to include bathroom door, cooker door, bedside cabinet door, wardrobe door and some strange ‘in the middle of the wall’ type door. What made this ‘in the middle of the wall’ type door strange was that it wasn’t the front door to our apartment aaaaaand, even weirder, there was a smooth white wall behind it. I have to say I was a bit freaked out. I didn’t like this eerie thing at all. Doors leading to walls, what was the point to that?

“What do you think it is?” I whispered, feeling like we were part of some freaky horror movie ‘Blair Witch does Centre Parcs’. Mr S-C shook his head, lowered his eyebrows thoughtfully and walked away, leaving me standing there alone. I continued staring and wondering until suddenly I realised I could hear children’s voices on the other side. They were playing and chatting and I placed my hands against the smooth surface as it finally dawned on me what I was looking at. A light bulb flashed in my head and I exclaimed with relief “Oh! Of course, you know what this! This is a…” but as I turned I spotted Mr S-C running towards me, shoulder first (his way of ascertaining what a wall behind a door could mean!) “No!” I shouted but it was too late, he’d reached me already and had slammed his shoulder into the…ADJOINING DOOR! No surprise that the false wall gave in, the children started to scream and we…well…we shut the ‘in the middle of the wall’ type door, grabbed our swimming bags and bogged off to the pool to hide!

Thanks for reading guys and never forget those that travel with you because they, like my Mr S-C, are absolute gold dust.

Love from me, Jess S-C 😀 x

I did something VERY wrong but it felt sooooooooooooooo good! Blog post revisited ;-D

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Dear all,

Last Sunday my husband finally took part in the Milton Keynes marathon that he’d been training so hard for. The marathon was the first for Milton Keynes and it was lovely to be a part of something like that, something that I hope will become a regular event for the MK calendar! On the morning of the event Mr S-C dressed in his shorts, his trainers (the ones from blog 13) and his REACHOUT PLUS charity t-shirt. We attached his number with a couple of safety pins (that we had to hunt high & low for) & then we set off.

It had rained constantly throughout the night and when we finally got to MK we had to sit in traffic waiting to filter into the car park we’d paid for. By this time I was feeling sick, don’t ask me why, probably nerves at knowing I could be stranded for over five hours with two children in the tipping rain. I sipped water and tried to keep quiet (I mean to be fair my husband had enough to worry about with 26 miles looming). As we slowly neared the car park I became horribly aware of the fact that I needed a wee, so was relieved when we pulled in and waited to speak to the sopping wet marshal. He adjusted his hood in the downpour as he leaned in and shouted through the high winds.

“Go all the way round the car park and then go out the way you came in, then follow the diversion signs.”

“Do WHAT?” I shouted back. He repeated.

“Go all the way round the car park and then go out the way you came in, then follow the diversion signs.”

Yes, it seemed I had heard correctly! The car park we had booked was apparently flooded so we were sent across MK to another one. When we finally got there I was desperate (like ‘I’m pregnant and waiting for my scan with a bladder full of water and it hurts’ type desperate). I heaved the backpacks onto the kids & pulled up their rain hoods but within seconds we were all drenched. We didn’t even have time to grab the wellies from the boot when someone pointed out that the buses (that were meant to run every 10 minutes) were off and we were going to have to walk the two miles to the start line. We now only had 20 minutes till kick off!

At this point I must confess I got a bit frustrated, yanked off my hood and turned on my husband.

“Right this is ridiculous and I need a wee like you wouldn’t believe. I feel sick and we are soaked already…and you can’t run in this STUPID BLOODY WEATHER! I say we go home and I’ll just pay the money that we’ve raised instead!” He frowned at me like I was mad and heaved my backpack onto my back, yanked my hood back up and said.

“Right let’s go!”

I didn’t fight it any further I just fell in line and followed on as fast as I could whilst holding onto two children. We slipped and slid in the mud until we could see the start line up ahead and the hundreds of people congregating there. All I wanted to do at this point was either cry or be sick so I confessed that I couldn’t not go for a wee any longer. My husband was very understanding and suggested I go in a bush. I haven’t been for a wee out in public like that since I was five but now I didn’t have a choice (unless of course you’d wet yourself by choice). I dumped my backpack on him and made for the bushes just as another woman was coming out. We tried not to make eye contact. I found somewhere remotely hidden, although people were walking along the path behind me and to the front of me was a big wire fence and a factory with lots of windows. I took one look to my right and there was another woman in the act of going and I got all uncomfortable. I felt like I’d just pushed the door open on her by accident.

“Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t realise…” I began and she laughed at me and replied.

“Needs must. We’ve all got to go!”

I mulled over her wise words for two whole seconds (my life flashed before my eyes) and then I must confess I pulled down my jeans and did it! I was probably spotted by runners and their families as they rushed to get to the start line, I was definitely spotted by the woman to my right and I am probably on a few camera phones belonging to the staff at some warehouse located in central Milton Keynes! If I ever get famous guess what pictures of me will be plastered all over the tabloids! Well, you know, you heard it here first!

Anyway to cut a very long, dreary and saturating story short, my husband ran all 26 miles in those dreadful conditions for something he wholeheartedly believes in – young people. I am incredibly proud of him. I was met by his family shortly after he left the start line so thankfully I wasn’t on my own,. To them I am truly grateful for standing in the pelting rain all day while we tried to work out at what points we might be able to spot him and holler support. After 4 hours we waited at the finish line, The Staduim MK, and I walked back along the route for two miles until I found him, almost ready to collapse, drenched and in so much pain. I ran the last two miles to the stadium with him (in my knee high boots) telling him not to give up, the end was in sight and in so many ways he had made a difference – to young people and REACHOUT PLUS, to his children who were so proud of him, to his family who had waited all day to show their support, to the people who had put their faith in him and donated money, to himself by proving what extremes he was capable of conquering and to me who had, that morning, flashed at virtually everyone and degraded myself in public (not forgetting the staff who are currently uploading entertaining videos of desperate women on YouTube!)

This post has nothing to do with writing but I did write it so…you know…it’s kind of relevant here!

Cheers for reading guys and take care from me.

Jess 🙂 x

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight, walking in a winter wonderland! Blog post revisited :-)

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This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

Wix blog post dated 6th February 2012:-

 

Dear reader!

We are all loving the white stuff at the moment and I’m not talking milk, or anything illegal either for that matter! Actually when I say ‘all’ I mean the kids mostly, me, not so much! Snow is a funny thing…if you’re mad. When you open the curtains in the morning or watch it silently settle late at night it’s wonderful, perfect, untouched. It’s a birthday cake patiently waiting for the grand presentation…right before being hacked to bits. Also snow is never as good close up as it is far away and to be fair, if I had a choice, I’d be getting as far away as possible right now.

This morning I noticed from the dual carriageway that the gently rolling countryside had turned from green to white. The farm houses had been topped with icing and the sheep, suddenly very well camouflaged, were pulling themselves along on their tummies with automatic machine guns flung across their backs as they took advantage of their new environment and dug their way to safety. Nobody has realised yet but, have no fear, I did hear that Quorn fillets are the new ‘lamb’ this Spring.

Closer to home the snow has turned from white to brown, from crisp to sludge, from beautiful to, well, a wet dirty mess that gets absolutely everywhere. But, as I say, the kids are still loving it. We drove to a village pub yesterday for a birthday meal and our car got pelted with snowballs but not by small children. The tall, dark hooded, ice brandishing figures were considerably older than five or six and a couple may even have been in their twenties. They had really good aims and very strong right swings, Play Station don’t half build their muscles up! Kidding I know they don’t spend all of their time on the Play Station…they divide and share it equally between snowball hurling and Xbox 🙂

No need to worry it seems we were not the only victims of snowball crime yesterday. We had not been singled out for having a rubbish car – relief – for when I turned on the radio this morning to take my children to school and pre-school I was quite amused to hear that the local police have been inundated with calls. As a result the police have now requested that people do not report being hit with snowballs unless deemed a real threat of antisocial behaviour. I am considering ringing them up and telling them I have a pretty menacing looking snowman in my back garden and he has been there (I’m assuming it’s a he) since Saturday morning. Isn’t that loitering with intent? He’s in my garden, isn’t that trespass? He is wearing a scarf that I never granted permission for him to wear, isn’t that TWOC (taken without owner’s consent)? He is also killing my grass, isn’t that criminal damage? And I mean, I don’t want to be picky or anything, but my phone just rang and the person didn’t speak. I think the snowman might also be harassing me and I want to know WHAT the police are going to do about it??? I pay my taxes I know my rights!

On a more serious note, one of the things I do not like about the snow is how taken off guard we find ourselves. When I heard we were getting snow a few days ago I kind of panicked, recalling how it was a few years ago after we heard the news of impending snow. We were living somewhere else at the time and our cars wouldn’t make it up the hill outside our house and onto the main road. The main road leading into the village was so lethal someone actually slid from the top of the hill to the bottom. There was no grit, deliveries couldn’t make it through, schools were closed, airports too and the pregnant woman a few doors down from us suddenly started looking bigger and her bump even lower! I was very scared we would have to perform a home birth, and I might not have enough towels! Fortunately this year has been different. The children have gone off to school and pre-school, our Avenue is like an ice rink but the main roads are perfectly fine and as far as I know the shops still have the essentials.

It’s funny because I wouldn’t describe myself as a spoilt person. We own not one but two small, crap cars. We own a beautiful semi-detached house that’s too small for us and the kids have to share a room. We don’t go to exotic places unless you class Tesco in another town as exotic and our television is only the size of a wall mounted laptop, much to the annoyance of one of my movie loving friends. So why then do I worry about losing contact with the outside world so much? I find myself wondering if we could get the car to the hospital should one of us have an accident at home, and how much longer the journey might take in the snow. I worry the pipes might freeze and we might not have any water. I even worry that we might get sick and run out of bleach! I know what you’re thinking, ‘Jess you covered water and bleach but what about food?’ Don’t worry I don’t eat much and I’ve cooked so many meals and frozen them that we should be good for a while…unless of course our neighrbours don’t have food, in which case I might have to recalculate…and amend my post…to include the stocking of beans, powered milk and soup.

Anyway, once again I shall be blaming my imagination for the issues I have over snow and go and hibernate in my bed until it’s melted and the weather has started to be much more civilised.

For now take care with the white stuff in whatever quantity or form you might be dealing and I hope the next post sees sunshine and an indication that Spring is on its way. Optimistic or what!

Take care from me, Jess x

I have the equivalent of Scotland Yard on my laptop! Blog post revisited :-)

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007

 

This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

Dear all,

Look, I’m still going! [eye roll] I’m still finding stuff to talk about! [groan] It’s amazing what you can put together when you sit down for long enough and make yourself do it! [bite your tongue and don’t say a word, unless you have something nice to say there’s always the back button].

Well first things first, the biggie celebration of the year, Christmas! We had a very good Christmas and, unlike most years and many of the people I know, we missed being ill this time! Yay! I do currently have a pain in my chest that’s been there for days but I figure it’s better than a pain in the butt, so I‘ll live with it. I probably pulled a muscle…unwrapping…my…new…laptop! Yes, you read me correctly, I actually got a shiny new laptop with no viruses on it, no junk and no missing keys! I think that has to be the best present I’ve ever had. Many thanks to the man who calls himself my husband, I love you big time! I was also presented with the mother of all security to load onto said new laptop to ensure I experience no more hiccups or desires to beat inanimate objects. I have the computerised equivalent of Scotland Yard ready to arrest and bang up anything that shouldn’t be trespassing on my mobile workstation.

On to the book, Poker Face. It sold very well on the run up to Christmas and I’ve already had some fantastic reviews on what people have read so far. One reader (that I don’t know) declared that they’d read it and loved it in just 24 hours! I can’t ask for more than that. Amazon managed to make it look more popular than it has been by suddenly declaring that my novel was out of stock! I wish! I was tempted to ride with the inaccuracy but thought, one, it might put people off ordering and, two, it’s not very true, it’s not even a little bit true because…basically…it’s a lie. I contacted them and they promptly put it right. They are good people at Amazon, they know their stuff and they work quickly, I like them.

On to the website, I can now welcome New York and Spain as well as many other towns and cities in the UK to my website hit-counter, hello New York and Spain and many other towns and cities in the UK, it’s lovely to have you! All being well 2012 might be a crazy busy year for Poker Face. There is a huge promotional drive in the pipeline, running the length and breadth of the country and I am scared it won’t happen. I am equally scared that it will. I feel like Bob the Builder ‘Can I do it?’ I bloody hope so! It would be an awesome experience and brilliant for the series too so, once again, it’s a waiting game. You get used to waiting as a writer – six weeks here, six weeks there! OK so that’s not true, when you’re a writer and an Aries you wait because you have to but you don’t do it with any pride or decorum. You rant and rave, fold your arms and tap your feet whilst constantly hitting refresh on your email and nipping to the letterbox to see if that blinking post-woman has been yet! Basically, I just need some more responses and as soon as I know my little adventurous plan has enough support I will be able to share it with my beautiful readers. I so want to blurt it out but I’ll resist the urge to spill and sit on my hands instead.

OK so I’m off my hands now, it’s impossible to do that and type, don’t check I tried already and believe me when I say it’s both impossible and a little bit dangerous, especially if you are perched on a stool. Unlike millions of others, I skipped the January sales this year…just like every other year of my life. Actually I have been to one sale, towards the end of the discount frenzy. I was dragged into River Island in my teens and was shocked to find items of clothes in various states of destruction. People had literally ripped the arms off of tops, torn the hems on skirts and smeared makeup on collars and cuffs. It looked like there’d been a dirty protest. The garments had been through a tug-of-war where nobody had won, the clothes had given in first. Anyway, never again, I’ve stayed away in fear of my personal safety or being spotted in something that somebody decides they quite like. You could end up leaving naked from these places. Some of these shoppers would steal the Next top right off your back! Word of advice, if you are brave enough to go in, make sure you’re wearing fantastic underwear because that might be all your wearing when you come back out.

Right I need to get on with polishing Poker Face II so I’m going to round things up now other than to say this post started before the New Year and as I conclude it is now 4th January 2012!!! Happy New Year!!! Bang! Bang! Pop! Whizz! Whoop! Whoop! That’s my attempt at reconstructing a New Year’s celebration, that being better than my actual New Years experience which consisted mostly of ECG monitors, scans, journeys on hospital beds and wheelchairs. Man I know how to see the New Year in. A potential diagnosis of clot on the lung or mini heart attack was the worst New Year’s Eve I have EVER had, and believe me when I say I’ve had some pretty bad ones! I am pleased to say that what started out as potentially life threatening and incredibly sobering (not that I was even a little bit drunk) in fact turned out to be anemia and lack of oxygen in the blood. My New Year’s resolution is, therefore, don’t spend all day writing and not eating (other than to drink tea and eat toast) because apparently your heart doesn’t like it and lets you know by making you collapse and scare the life out of your husband! I’m on the mend now and I will definitely be taking much better care of myself in the future, wake-up call duly noted and acted upon.

Apparently, even suspected heart attack and clot on the lung couldn’t stop me! OK I’m not itching for a rematch if you’re listening God! I am still being good like I promised I would be if you kept me alive, I’m even going to bed in a minute!

All the best for 2012 and if you have any plans or wishes for this year, I truly hope they happen.

With love from me, Jess X

 

Poker Face Launch Party! Blog post revisited! :-)

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This post is revisited from my old blog Lock Stock & Barrel. I am migrating (one blog post at a time) over to WordPress because apparently it’s pretty cool…and I agree!

 

From WIX 26th November 2011

 

The Poker Face launch party!

 

I have a huge thank you to make to all of the people who attended, helped out, wanted to come but couldn’t (and left fab supportive comments anyway) the weather (that might have been freezing and windy like you wouldn’t believe but kept from snowing or raining) the drivers who got my deliveries to me on time and the companies that dispatched them just like they said they would, to the print company that put all of the elements of a book together and made it look fantastic (on a stupidly short time scale) to Ivan Waldock for the cover design that makes the book look so beautiful, to the decorations for going up like I wanted them to and not falling down and to all the people who have bought a copy of my book – THANK YOU!

Right that’s my speech, speech bit done and, I have to say, it’s much better than my wedding one. That went something like this: “Thanks to everyone for coming. We appreciate the effort and lengths that some people have had to go to to share this beautiful day with us.” That’s where I should have stopped, not too bad you’re thinking, except that I didn’t stop I went on…and on…and on. “Some people flew…some people didn’t. Some people had to drive a long way…some people didn’t. Some people walked…some people didn’t!” Ugh shoot me now! Give me time to put words to paper and I can knock up something not too bad, but ask me to try and think while I’m speaking and I panic. I’m going to mess up, say something offensive, babble, bore and torture with my verbal impromptu use of the English language…and you can’t say I didn’t warn you!

Anyway, I held it together for the party after successfully keeping myself from doing a runner when the first four guests arrived. Once I got through that bit and started chatting the time literally flew by and I handled it all quite well…for a semi agoraphobic person! I had one Malibu and coke to settle the nerves and not being a drinker (I probably have about four a year) I would usually go full circle in 45 minutes with the heavy limbs, giddiness, giggles, red face, loss of all spatial awareness, drowsy, weepy then sleep…and it doesn’t matter where. However, on this occasion, I handled the alcohol well (anybody could have been forgiven for thinking I was a grown up) and I survived and lived to tell the tale.

Good friends joined us after for coffee and toast, huddled around the breakfast bar (we are like soooo sophisticated) and my earlier headache returned. I insisted that I would never sleep so I made my husband put The Inbetweeners on DVD and I was out like a light within twenty minutes. Unfortunately the underlying stress manifested itself into horrible nightmares and I crashed our heap of a car into a really expensive one (with the driver still in it), my son was sick everywhere and the mafia didn’t like my story and came to get me. I woke in the early hours feeling really sick with a pounding head and just a touch of panic attack. I refused to do any more launch parties or publishing ever again. Four hours later someone in America bought my e-book and suddenly I started to feel capable of considering well…maybe just once more then. Having babies was a bit like that for me but I definitely plan to stop at two where that’s concerned!

Anyway, people enjoyed themselves, the atmosphere was great and the children loved it. Sunday night my son told us how proud he was of his mum and said he would like to get both me and his dad a gift. “Daddy,” he exclaimed “I would like to get you some moves.’ We looked at each other and thought we’d misheard. Had he gone all American on us and started calling films movies? Was he confused and struggling to explain himself? We scrunched our noses like it was sweet and encouraged him to go on, to tell us what he really meant, but that was what he really meant. “You know,” he willed us to understand, “Moves. I would like to teach dad some moves…so he can dance.” Oh how we laughed! (OK in truth Oh how laughed.) My husband had just been dissed by his seven year old son and I think it’s very funny because, last week, apparently I was boring. Ha ha ha!

So, back on track, the books sold very well and the comments are already coming in on the first few chapters. I can say at this stage I am still happy and nobody has demanded to have their money back…yet! They can’t have their money back anyway because dancing lessons cost a blooming fortune and, according to my son, we’re going to need quite a few! The launch also provided some very good contacts so I’m keeping my fingers crossed at this stage, which is very difficult when you’re trying to type.

The books have been born and sent into the big wide world and for the foreseeable future it’s all about the promotion. At the end of last week I opened up a Twitter account and I have 4 followers and not a clue as to what I‘m doing. My youngest brother-in-law helped me to set it up and said, “Right, you’re ready to go. Just harass famous people and ask them to re-tweet you.” So that’s what I’ve been doing and guess what…yes…they all ignored me! Anyone would think I wasn’t the only one bombarding them with messages. Twitter is not as easy as Facebook in terms of ‘making friends’ (the Twitter equivalent being to attract ‘followers’). If you’re feeling low about yourself then Twitter is probably not for you. Opening up to find only 4 people care about what you have to say, (and 2 of  them probably followed you by accident) and everyone you messaged has ignored you, is quite soul destroying. Almost as soul destroying as submitting your work to agents only to be continuously rejected. I’m familiar with that one too. On Facebook you can make a friend, look through their list of friends to see who else you know and poach them. Before you know it you have hundreds of people you can connect with and, more to the point, they interact with you. On Twitter you stare at a blank search box and thinking I know lots of first names but the only people’s surnames I remember are famous, and we’ve established that they aren’t talking to me! I might give up on Twitter. I do have a slightly obsessive personality but heavy stalking isn’t really my kind of thing. I think it would need to be for me to get anywhere with the re-tweet thing.

Finally, as a last little shout out, I would just like to let you in on a story about my good friend who works in a cafe (that serves fab bacon butties and pukka cups of tea). She is steaming ahead with the sale of my books right now. I am genuinely wondering what her sales pitch is, but I’m guessing it goes something like this: “Here’s your jacket potato, Sir. Can I get you anything else to go with that – extra cheese, tuna, a side of coleslaw or perhaps a copy of Poker Face?” I am half way through my collection of books and I’ve not yet had them a week! I no longer need to worry about my home looking like Rodney and Del boy’s flat! Keep it up, Heather. How you’re doing it I just don’t know but what I do know is, I’M LOVING IT! X

Cheers for the support, and for reading my little rambles, and take care from me.

Jess x

PS I stuck with Twitter and it’s turned out to be pretty awesome so, if you’re just starting out, keep it up. I’ve met some fantastic people, had opportunities to appear on other people’s blogs, been nominated for awards, carried out interviews and shared experiences. If you  need a hand getting started, give me a shout. My Twitter button is to the right of this screen…I think…yes it is…I just checked 🙂

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