Cover Reveal, Blurb and last chance ….

Well, here we are …………….

The cover can now be revealed …………… roll on the drums …………..

BUT FIRST … The BLURB!

The Angel Bug (blurb)

‘These memoirs may be the only evidence left of what really happened, where it came from and how it spread.’ 

When Gabbi Johnston, a quiet, fifty-something botanist at Eden, was shown the unusual red leaves on the Moringa tree, she had no idea what was wrong. What she did know was that the legendary Dr Luke Adamson was arriving soon – and that he would insist on investigating it.

This is the unassuming start to a maelstrom of discovery and change – with Gabbi swept up in it. What starts out as an accident turns into something illicit, clandestine and unethical – but is it, as Adamson claims, really all for the best?

*

‘The Angel Bug’, Ann Foweraker’s fourth novel, is set at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. This is a contemporary novel combining science fact and fiction, told by the people at the heart of the discovery.

*

more drums …………………..

TA-DA!!!

Angel Bug Cover Ultimate

And DON’T MISS your LAST CHANCE to grab one of my previous novels .. sorry you still have to enter the competitionbut now EVERYONE WHO ENTERS WILL WIN!!! click here!

SO… What do you think of the final cover choice?

Does the Blurb make you want to find out more?

Are you enjoying the excerpts?

Do share ( even if it’s a no – I’d like to know why) … You know I love to hear from you!

 

NOW… the penultimate excerpt from THE ANGEL BUG – released 1st July on AnnMadeBooks

(from Ch 2 Luke – Oct 18th – 19th)  Dr Luke Adamson has woken after a bad night’s sleep following the lecture he gave at Cambridge University ……………….

My departure from the hall had meant fewer book sales than were usual, according to Kayleigh, so it had hit my Rainforest Foundation, and for that I was annoyed with just about everybody who’d had anything to do with the set-up for the lecture. I was lying there blaming them all for how it went wrong, and that included the pretty airhead, Kayleigh, lying beside me.

I slid from bed finding the floor cool beneath my feet, and padded through to the bathroom. On my way back I grabbed a towel and wrapped it round my waist.  A quick glance told me that Kayleigh was still asleep as I turned to stand at the un-curtained window, drinking in the ancient city as it came sleepily awake in a misty morning. After a few moments my perceptions shifted, the window replaced by a movie screen as memories came flooding through.  God! They had been electrifying times. I felt my blood stir as I thought of those years.

I saw my first immature awareness of the place, soon subsumed into an overpowering urge to beat it and everyone else at their own game. This place was supposed to be the best in the world; then I would be the best in it, no matter how I achieved it. I felt a smile touch my lips as I thought of the non-academic goals I’d set myself. Every one of them achieved, well very nearly, even if I’d had an advantage over the competition in both looks and provenance.

Rowing had been a first love from my early days on the New Hampshire lakes and later at Johns Hopkins, but at Cambridge the competitive edge took me over. There weren’t many other scientists on the crews and I worked really hard to dispel the ‘weak scientist’ prejudice that some of the crew members had. It meant being harder and meaner than they were. Harder meant I’d trained twice as much, meaner meant that at the crucial team-choosing time I’d zeroed in on a guy who’d been hassling me from day one. If he wasn’t calling me a ‘Yank’ then it was the science thing or because my hair was long and blond. So when he’d called out ‘Hey Blondie, did you forget your handbag?’ I’d walked over, punched him out and then turned away. He’d come up fighting mad and launched himself at my back, whereupon I’d grabbed his arm and folded forward tipping him over my back to land flat on the floor at my feet, only I didn’t let go of the arm, feeling something give as his body cracked down. Others had caught up with us by then; I shook my hand free of his and stepped back. He clambered up but the rest of the team held him back, and plenty said he’d asked for it.  The fractured wrist put him out of the running, and me firmly into a place on the winning team for that most prestigious of races – the Oxford and Cambridge boat race.

I had worked all hours on the first piece of ‘competitive’ work and still found time to sweet-talk and bed the girlfriend of my main rival. That was the way I found out about the progress he was making, and how I came to the conclusion I’d have to upset the other guy’s experiments somehow, as they were proving too successful. In the end it was nothing to get into the other lab at the end of the day and turn off a switch. It could have been anybody that turned off the wrong switch, easily done, and weeks of preparation and incubation were wrecked in a single night of cold. It was all I needed to get the edge to complete and write up my work successfully by the deadline, whereas my competitor struggled to get to the end of his experiments. I took the girlfriend too, for a time, not for long, just about the length of time it took her to find out about the others.

For intelligent women they weren’t that good at working out my game, and boy were they intelligent! Just chatting to them was an intellectual sparring match in itself, and remembering that sent a shiver through me. That Kayleigh had to go, a PA from the publishing house, supposedly organising my tour, she was attractive in just the way I liked, and fell readily into bed, but talking to her was like conversing with a TV guide. If it wasn’t on the TV, then she didn’t know anything about it. She seemed to live in a reality show and knew all about the goings on in the soaps almost before they did, but intellectual conversation, even about books or publishing, seemed completely beyond her.

‘Hey!’ I shouted close to her ear. ‘Are you going to get that useless head of yours off the pillow or what?’

‘What?’

‘Yeah, right, listen up, I’m not intending to hang around here to be quizzed. I want transport out booked, pronto, I’m out of here by ten at the latest.’

‘Oh right,’ she glanced at her watch. ‘I’ll just grab a shower.’

‘No! I want that transport arranged first – then you can do what you like because I’m going to do this last tour date on my own.’

‘But Luke,’ she started her voice almost a whine. ‘I’m coming too, aren’t I?’

‘Don’t you ever listen? No, I’m going alone. You were great. I was glad to know you, but this is it, goodbye. Got it?’

Kayleigh pulled the sheet up over her breasts, her eyes wide, shaking her head slightly. ‘Just like that? You cold bastard, just like that?’

I shrugged and started to pick out clothes to dress in, then realised she hadn’t moved. ‘Phone! Now!’  Kayleigh jumped and, still clutching the sheet to herself, wriggled across the bed to the phone.

‘Okay, Luke  – er Dr Adamson? I’ve booked you a taxi, but where will you want to go, like, your flight to Newquay isn’t until tomorrow, and you were supposed to be a guest of the University until then.’

‘Screw that, can’t you get me down there today?’

‘Well, I don’t know – I’ll see, it might not be easy, being a small airport, and I don’t know how many flights there …’

I cut in ‘Find out then! And if it’s an okay then get the hotel booking moved up a day too.’

‘Sure, fine, right away.’

I was pacing the room, wondering if even going to this last venue was worth it and why on earth had I allowed myself to get worked up over nothing. It was this place. I’d had come out top in everything; academic, sport and personal ambitions were all met, yet I’d never felt accepted, and I realised that still bugged me.

………………..

Sharing:

Three Cheers for Eggs!! FWT? Week 11

Hi All, it has been a even more than usual busy week here, what with my parents’ 59th wedding anniversary and preparation for giving a talk, on Slate and Repousse work on recycled aluminium cans, to another WI, I’ve been a bit slow off the mark in getting this FWT? update onto the page!  I know I have a few die-hard followers who check out my drop-down weekly progress from the menu bar and already know the results. And it is from one of these came that comment that I had ‘done a great job for eggs’ on my recipe page on the fast egg I eat nearly everyday for breakfast, so this week I want to share it with you all.

If you are new to my Fat Woman Thinning? series of 52 weekly blogs then Welcome! You join a select group of cheerleaders who are encouraging me and keeping track of how I get on. And why did I do something as drastic as posting all this? Well, losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles – and I needed accountability.

This had to be manageable, so I have worked out what I can do at home and it doesn’t take long – the weights never more than 15 mins and the aerobics and stretching is worked to follow a half hour of music which I usually fit in just before bed (amazingly, I find it relaxes me and makes it easier to get off to sleep).   If you want to know what keeps me so busy visit my website where you will also find my novels ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to read the first 3 chapters in pdf !

But before we digress and I send you off  into the blogosphere, what about these results? Remember I am Not Dieting – just watching how much carbohydrates I eat, making sure I don’t over-eat, or go hungry between meals, drinking a glass of water before main meals, eating well and doing the resistance weights work-outs each day. (see week 3 and 5 drop downs for details) .

Last week I lost 2 more pounds! Now at 10 st 9 lbs (67.8 kg)  – that’s 1 st 5lbs down from where I started on the first of Jan. Waist measurements down too, relaxed at 37 is one inch down and pulled in at 34.5 is half an inch down – so I am well pleased this week!

As you will know if you’ve checked out the lists of foods that I eat each day – or indeed looked at the last week’s FWT? blog Does this LOOK like a diet to you (where I photographed every meal and snack for a week), I am positively in favour of eggs.

Poor eggs, so much maligned that in so many people’s minds they are still in the ‘naughty’ box. And if there is one part of the egg that has been demonised most it is the yolk – when we now know that the yolk is the best part, containing protein, trace minerals,  vitamin D and essential fatty acids in greater proportions than the white. Only the other day I heard some star who chimed ‘Of course, I only eat egg-white omelletes’.  If only she really knew what she was missing! However, while this goes on it is hard to rehabilitate the poor egg!

 Eggs are good for you! They have GOOD cholesterol Oops, was I shouting? 🙂  (Back in the day ‘they’ didn’t even know that there  was good and bad cholesterol – yet the misguided idea that ‘eggs have cholesterol and therefore must be bad for you’, has stuck like egg-yolk to a hot plate!)

Yep, that’s right – eggs have been re-instated as a GOOD thing to eat as the cholesterol in eggs is GOOD cholesterol and so is helpful to your body as well as giving you a fast breakfast that staves off the hunger pangs for longer and it naturally comes with vitamin D and a whole heap of other goodies including Essential fatty-acids all provided in a neat package  – what’s not to like!

Don’t just take my word for it – have a look here on Cholesterol-and-Health.com for all the technical stuff!

So, what do you think about eating eggs? Do share – I love to hear from you all! And while you are sharing – don’t forget to enter and share the fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person to Win a Kindle 

Sharing:

Does this LOOK like a ‘diet’ to you? FWT? WEEK 10

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then, after three weeks, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again! If you are new to this blog – welcome!

Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new strategy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable! I started out on Jan1st weighing 12 stone, now each Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude.  To lose weight I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat, mostly watching the carbs (writing everything down as well) – but NOT DIETING !

Last week I set myself the challenge of photographing all my meals and snacks, as I could write down  ‘carrots, parsnip, beetroot’  for instance and I could be fooling you and having just one tiny piece of each, but the photos speak for themselves and I do eat everything on my plate. It turned out to be a bit of a food-prep lazy week as events meant I was short on extra cooking time and some short-cuts were made (Shortcuts usually result in ready-prepared or quick to cook vegetables (like peas and beans) which also tend not to be the best for you). If you took the time (why would you) to compare the lists of veg from this week and last you would notice the difference) Anyway – just remembering to photograph food was tricky enough! But here- goes … SUNDAY  MORNING THROUGH TO SATURDAY NIGHT IN PHOTOGRAPHS (All fine details can be found on the Week 10 drop down from the FWT? button on the bar)

and this photographic meal line-up is missing the glass of Vouvray (sparkling wine) and half a bottle of raspberry presse (sparkling fruit drink) both quite calorific, and my usual one-third milk topped with boiling water – two or three (or four)  times a day and water – of which I drink a glass 10 mins before meals and with exercise. And, yes, you did see a great chunk of plain chocolate there on Friday – terrible day – sorting out everything (and I mean everything) in my kitchen! I needed support, but only one chunk at a time 😉

I don’t know about you – but I don’t think this looks like a ‘diet’ – I eat plenty – and not too fussily – but the weight is moving off steadily. Due, I am sure, to the exercises that I have taken up since the start of January, and to not worrying about the fats and proteins but keeping a watch to make sure I do not Over Do the carbohydrates.

Oh, and the results for this week – another 1 pound off and another half inch off both relaxed waist measurement and pulled-in waist measurement. What is there not to like?

Recording this photographically was an interesting project – have you ever set about recording something simple like this and found it harder and more interesting than you expected?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Lastly – if you have not entered, or shared, this fantastic draw I am running for one lucky person in just one thousand to WIN a KINDLE get over to the blog-post about it and enter and share! Thanks! And if you already have a kindle -why not  enter for a chance to win one for a friend. By the way, did you know that Ann Foweraker novels are all available as e-books ?

 

Sharing:

Old Bottle – New ‘Treasure’

A few weeks ago my husband was doing some repairs  to the old lean-to building out the back of the house which houses a toilet (for use when working outside – eg in welly boots and mucky coats). Now this building may have been used for such a function for many years, or it may not. For, when removing some of the slates before repair work to the roof, he came across an old bottle.

There is something beautiful about an old bottle, which judging by its style was probably made in the late 1800s. So, from junk, propped up on the top of the interior wall of an old out-building, it has become  a minor ‘treasure’  – something interesting to be handled and admired.

This bottle was for Percy’s Rennet (click on the pictures to see the words better). 

This would have been made  in a shaped metal hinged mould with the words embossed on the sides and  the glass would have been blown into the shape.

 

Rennet is used in cheese making, or at the very least, to make junket. You can still buy rennet for junkets in the shops in the local town. If you’ve never had Junket here’s the recipe

RECIPE for Junket – a dessert often given to invalids or children (clotted cream is a Cornish or Devon speciality cream – thick with a golden crust)

Ingredients

2 pints milk
1 tablespoon caster/superfine sugar
2 teaspoons rennet (or follow instructions on bottle for amount to be used)
1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon or nutmeg
1 tablespoon brandy or rum (optional)
clotted cream (optional)

Method

– Warm the milk until it feels neither cold not warm (blood temp)
– Put it into a large serving dish and stir in the rennet and sugar.
– Add the brandy or rum. (if used)
– Stir once or twice and leave in the large bowl or or pour into smaller dishes – leave in a warm room to set.
– When set, cover with clotted cream (if used) and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg.

 * * * * PICTURE QUIZ FOR FEBRUARY * * * *

At another time we also found this little bottle, made from a white glass.

This is my picture quiz for this month.

What did this bottle hold when in use?

The first correct answer left in the comments will WIN an e-copy of

Nothing Ever Happens Here by Ann Foweraker.

Click HERE to read descriptions, reviews and read first 3 chapters in pdf of this book and Divining the Line and Some Kind of Synchrony

 

I really love to hear from you all.. have you found such ‘old junk’ that today becomes a minor treasure or a collectable? What’s the best thing you’ve found? or just your favourite?  Do share and do have a guess at the picture quiz!

24 /2: It has been a week of thinking and guessing. I believe it is time for a clue as the guesses have dried up .. .  if you have already guessed once you are allowed to guess again!

CLUE 1:  This bottle held a commodity we all use everyday – though it now it comes in a different form

OK – as we are well into March I guess I’ll have to give the answer to this Picture quiz. This little bottle was used for TOOTH-POWDER. It may well have been a ‘sample’ bottle as it is so small – or a ‘travel’ bottle. It dates from the end of the 1800s.  As I mentioned in the comments it is missing a small cap. More often than not Tooth-powders came in a shallow ceramic pot with a decorated ceramic lid – so this is unusual. Thanks for everyone who did have a guess – but I’m afraid as no one was even near, the prize awaits the next quick quiz.

Sharing:

Fat Woman Thinning? Week 6 Round-Up

If you are new to the FWT? blog-posts, welcome to Fat Woman Thinning? – a 52 week blog, which I started as pages to keep myself on-track and so my ‘primary cheerleaders’ (my sons) could keep up with my progress. Then four weeks ago, I felt brave enough to post it as a blog!  If you are one of my new cheerleaders ! Yay! Great to see you again!

What you’ll find here is the distilled notes from my daily log of everything I eat, exercise I do, thoughts and excuses the lot. Losing weight after menopause turned out to be a whole different game to losing weight before. What worked then, didn’t work now. A new stretegy had to be found and as a very busy woman I didn’t have time to spend on long gym sessions or runs or cycles. This had to be manageable!  If you want to know what keeps me so busy visit my website  where you will also find my novels ‘Divining the Line’, ‘Nothing Ever Happens Here’ and ‘Some Kind Of Synchrony’ just click HERE to be able to the first 3 chapters in pdf !

Sunday morning first thing each week I weigh myself and measure my waist (level with the belly button) nude. This is my benchmark and so we start with Sunday 5th February…

Son No. 3s birthday today! And my next weigh-in. Well! 11.3 (another 2lb drop – I know, I know, I can hardly believe it myself – when you look at the food eaten! – see week5 page from FWT)  🙂 that’s 71.6 kg for those of you in metric and 157lbs for those of you who think that way. This is a total of 11 lbs drop since the start.

Waist measurement (taken level with the belly-button) is now 41.5 inches relaxed(105cm)  and 38 inches ( 97 cm) pulled in tight. that’s and inch and a half down on the pulled in tight measurement from last week and that’s 4 inches down from the first week I measure (week 2)  Do I sound pleased? You bet I do!

Notes: 5th Feb  Feeling good about the progress so far – hope the positive feeling can be maintained when the results are not so dramatic

Notes: 6th Feb By the way the ‘beetroot’ I keep referring to in my food list is not the dark red – makes-everything- else-pink- kind. It is a stripy beetroot (Some small ones cut up in this veggie picture above) that is great cooked anyway you’d cook carrot and looks real pretty too (yes, we grow them ourselves) .  Unless I write ‘pickled beetroot’ then it IS the dark red ones – that I’ve pickled!

Notes: 7th Feb  1 hour goat wrestling (hoof trimming) felt like I’d had a workout before I’d even started any exercises today!

Notes: 8th Feb   Not a good day for sensible eating — def overdid the plain chocolate — I have excuses – but knowing it was VERY cold, that it was market morning – so was early breakfast and therefore a long time to lunch, that it was WI meeting and the biscuit looked soo nice… – just won’t cut any ice with you– will it?

Notes: 9th Feb   Good day for both sensible eating and exercising! Yay! Hour and a quarter Belly Dance in addition to exercises

Notes: 10th Feb  Very nice evening meal at friends …  just managed to do the exercises afterwards before bed! Good job I’m not dieting – it means that when we go out to eat I don’t have to be fussy – just sensible with my choices. Knowing this really helps with creating a positive feeling about losing weight this way.

Notes: 11th Feb Early night – no, I didn’t get my half hour of aerobic exercises done – but sleep and proper rest is also important in the grand scheme of things.

My ‘primary’ cheerleaders have already given this weeks weight loss report a thumbs-up. But I realised that it seems a bit crazy to have the notes (or indeed on the pages the food intake and exercises ) following the result from the previous week.

SO, I am now going to post the weigh-in and measurements taken this very Sunday morning – as in following the week you’ve just seen. Next week will therefore End with the results – I think it’ll make more sense in the long-run, hope you think so too.

Sunday 12th February (weigh-in to end week 6)

Weight this morning was 11.2  (that’s 156 lbs) or 71.4 kg and the measurements are . .  Relaxed : 40 inches (102 cm) An inch and a half down!) and Pulled-in: 37 inches (95cm) That’s a whole inch down! 

ok, so, a pound only .. but I will post that message son#2 sent me again   “a pound a week is over 50lbs a year – and that is awesome!” There that makes me feel more positive! 🙂

* * * * * * TO BE CONTINUED * * * * * *

What are your favourite foods that you just HAVE to eat now and again whether you are on diet or not? Do you find that big sign ‘DON’T EAT THIS’ just calls to you  …. Eat me! Eat meeee!  Do share – I really love to hear from you all and thanks for all the support and encouragement I have been receiving along the way!

 

Sharing:

Fat Woman Thinning? – with links to weights exercises

Welcome to week 5 of my fat woman thinning? blog – if you are new to this you need to know that I first just kept this as a log on the pages – to motivate myself and so my ‘cheerleaders’ that is my sons, could see how I was getting on.Then a few weeks ago I got brave enough to post it all as a blog – join me on the journey – join me as a cheerleader – I love to hear from you – please do post a comment or a question.

I had to do something, menopause seemed to have changed the way my body dealt with things – my usual way of maintaining my weight no longer worked and the weight crept on… and on. So, now I am using resistance weights as well as some aerobic and stretching, and watching what I eat (writing everything down as well) – but Not Dieting!

Also, I don’t go to a gym.  I don’t have time to spend getting there, nor the inclination to flaunt my lumpy body in front of others, so I have worked out what I can do at home and it doesn’t take long – the weights never more than 15 mins and the aerobics and stretching is worked to follow a strict half hour of music. So, where have I got to, where has it got me – lets see . . . . .

29/1 – week 5 of 52 week blog

Another Sunday, another weigh and measure session. Well, have to say I was both delighted and surprised. A 2lb drop in weight and a reduction in measurement (belly-button height and level) So that’s 11st 5lbs (72.2 kg or 156 lbs) and relaxed waist of 42 inches (108 cm ) – that’s a half inch smaller, and pulled in a measurement of 40.5 inches (103 cm) but the weird thing is, as I pull the muscles of my stomach in now the belly button rises up my body (as it were) meaning that the level measurement rises up the worst bulge on the top of my hips a bit – so this is a whole inch down of last week

Notes: for 29th

Have a look at this page for instructions and a small video for Lateral Raises  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidLateral/DBLateralRaise.html  And on these pages for Triceps extensions  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBLyingTriExt.html  Which I prefer to do or  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBOneArmTriExt.html  if you prefer to be stading

Notes: for 30th

Instructions and video link for Snatch is here   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/OlympicLifts/Snatch.html  but like I say I use just one 10kg plate – and hold it with both hands on the rim – lifting it from rim resting on floor to high – as if I was trying to hang it on a peg at full arm stretch for me. As always bending the knees and keeping the back straight.

The sit-ups I am sure you are familiar with but here they are anyway: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/BWSitUp.html  No I don’t have the fancy bench for this either – and I don’t like the way the guy in the video has linked his fingers behind his neck – this could result in you pulling your neck especially when it gets tough. It is better to rest your fingers against the side of your neck just below the ears (When you get to this stage – for the first week  the only way I could get a sit-up going was to throw my arms forward towards my knees to get the momentum to even lift off the floor!!)

Notes: for 31st

Squats I do with the ‘safety net’ of a computer chair set to the lowest setting – which means that if I sat on it at that level my knees are slightly higher than my hips – I do the squats so that my bottom just touches the edge of the chair – it tells me I have sunk low enough and stops me feeling that I might fall over backwards! I use 2 dumbells, propped on a towel over my shoulders rather than a bar and weights. See the instructions and small video for Squats here   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html

I do Lunges standing on an old duvet. I had the irrational fear that I might hurt my knee as it went down, and this reassured me.  As I lunge across the width of the duvet, and being 5′ 3″ I have a smallish stride, it also find it gives me an ‘aim’ for my step forward part of the lunge. If my back foot in just inside one edge then my front foot just stays on the duvet – this gives a ‘stride’ of 3ft 9inches (1m14cm) from toe of front foot to heel of back foot, which is a decent stride for a shorty! Lunge instructions and video here:   http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWLunge.html

Notes: for 1st Feb

Exercises for today may be found at these sites. I prefer to do the triceps extensions in the lying down mode (doesn’t hurt my elbow or shoulder this way)

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBLyingTriExt.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBOneArmTriExt.html

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/DeltoidAnterior/DBFrontRaise.html

Second set of photographs to be taken today – still not put them up on the site – working out how they can be kept from filtering out onto the general internet. What I notice, however, is that there appears to be more folds and sagging as the tightness begins to leave certain parts of my body. I hope my skin has retained some of its elasticity from before and can return to fitting the new me I hope to find by the end of these 52 weeks.

Notes: for 2nd

Here are the exercises for Thursday – I do the bicep curls using both arms at the same time and the ‘rotation’ of the arm from side on to flat on works more muscles.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Biceps/DBCurl.html

And this is the wrist curl, which is good for buildin gup strength for climbing ( so I am told) and as I want to learn a bit of climbing this shoud be useful.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/WristFlexors/DBWristCurl.html   I also do these simultaneously.

Notes: for 3rd

Here are the exercises for today; As I have said previously i use just one ‘plate’ weight of 10 kg for the snatch an lift it from floor to high, as if trying to place on a hook in front of me as high a I can reach

Snatch : http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/BWTwistingSitUp.html

Twist-sit-ups : http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Obliques/BWTwistingSitUp.html

Notes: for 4th

Here are the links to these exercises, the squats was shown once already but it’s here anyway :

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BBSquat.html

And the step-ups I am stepping 10 inch step and was taking far too long (over 100 steps) to get to fail point – so this time I tried to carry extra weights. Here is the exercise link:  http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/BWStepUp.html

Well, what will tomorrow bring – weigh-in and measure time!!

Full details are on the drop down pages from the Fat Woman Thinning? header on the crossbar.

Your comments or questions are very welcome, I really want to hear from you, and if you ‘d like to know what I do that makes me too busy to travel to a gym then take a look at annmade.co.uk where you will also find my Novels:  Nothing Ever Happens Here, Divining the Line, and Some Kind of Synchrony .. click here to read the first 3 chapters in pdf.

 

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What’s in a Name? Naming characters….

I was recently browsing a forum that asked how authors gave their characters names. There were a few great ideas there; choosing names from an atlas, from the census for the historical time your book is set in, ditto gravestones, even asking friends to nominate names.

I had used the atlas approach once, only to be asked by someone I knew whether I had manipulated their name to make a character’s name. I could see where he was coming from, but it hadn’t crossed my mind, it’s the one thing I would never do – use the name of someone I actually knew.

However, as an author you have to name your characters and it’s something that I have taken a mixture of great care and random luck over. My main characters, the lead characters and often other pivotal characters, I think long and hard over their names. Often I have a theme linking them, nothing too overt (I hope) but there may be literary or historical meaning attached to the names, or they may be suggestive of a type when you hear them. In my first, never to be published apprentice piece, my characters names had links to characters from Greek myths. In the book I am currently writing the names are basically biblical, though not all.

I kept a couple of babies’ name books from when we were selecting names for our own children. Thank goodness as an author I don’t have to compromise and agree with someone else. The process of choosing each of our own children’s names went something like this. We’d each choose 10 names we liked. Then compare lists. None would match, not one. Then we’d have to each make a second list of 10 names having none of our original ones on the second list. We would compare lists again. By this time we usually matched on two or three. These combined, we would then individually rank for favourites, and take the one with the highest score. Then do it all again for their second name. FOUR times, and each time for a girl or a boy!! That was time consuming I can tell you!

Anyway, it did result in me having this collection of ‘a name for your baby’ type books that I dip into on occasion – especially when I want the name to have a meaning behind it – to check the origin of the name. Similarly I have a dictionary of surnames which I occasionally use, however my most common way of finding names for my other characters, the odd people that pop up to interact with my main protagonists in their everyday life, well these are the random ones, often chosen from glancing along the books that line the places where I write and picking one first name from one author and the surname from another, avoiding names that are too recognisable as a stand alone name – like Dahl or Binchy. So I might take the first name of a female character of a certain age from Philippa Gregory and the second name from Richard North Patterson (could have easily been the other one James Patterson) and end up with a character called Philippa Patterson – and somehow instantly I feel I know what she’d look like and how she’d speak and behave. So it is a matter of matching name and character.

The male counterpart of this bookish pairing, of course, would be Richard Gregory, another good name for a character – or Gregory Richards… its quite fun too, as for me, each name combination calls up a slightly different face, age, colouring and behaviour.

So that, random or not, I am quite choosy about the actual name I end up with.

 

ps  Sorry the email alert doesn’t seem to be working at the moment…

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Genres – if life isn’t pigeon-holed why are novels?

Genres are the bane of my writing life. One of the things you are supposed to be able to tell the agent or publisher that you are sending out your synopsis, 3 chapters and covering letter to is what genre you book fits into.

I always have difficulty with this. Is it a romance novel because two (or more) people happen to fall in love in the book? But if they also happen to be involved in a crime incident that runs throughout the book and one of them is in the police… then what – is it now a Crime novel? Can it be both – a Romantic Crime novel (that sounds weird)

Sometimes novels come as they are, mixed up just like life. Even for Amazon you have to choose 2 genres maximum to put your ebook in.

Sarah Harrison, an author I much enjoy, told me that when she wrote a book after her debut and sequel, The Flowers of the Field and A Flower That’s Free, and it fell into a different genre her publisher wanted her to publish under a pseudonym, because ‘the reader will be confused’. Sarah stuck to her guns, I can’t recall if she threatened to change publisher (her first two books had been international best sellers) or whether she actually did change publishers but she continues to produce delightful and entertaining books of all sorts of genre under her own name – I suspect that she is ‘muse led’

When I put my books out for beta reading I must ask my readers what genre they would put each book into – if really pushed to choose one, or two. I might then get a consensus I can work with.

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Proof reader, book covers and ultimate control

Okay, the decision has been made. I need to get someone else to proof read these and have found someone with the training who’s willing to do a deal with me, for a cut of each ebook sold, she’ll proof read for me now. Wow, that’s a commitment. I still have to work through and put in all the corrections, and that will take time, but I am hoping for a first book up by the end of September on my own website annmade.co.uk under Books. I guess that makes me a publisher as well, my publishing house :- annmade books. My logo, of 3 golden hedgehogs, would adorn the cover of any print book and as I have to design covers for the ebooks I suppose they will incorporated on that. That’s another whole new ball-game – cover design.

When you get into writing you hear all sorts of stories that you may not have paid any attention to before. I once heard a talk by a top Mills and Boon author.  At that time I had never read a Mills and Boon of any description, but don’t knock it as an author, this lady travelled all over the world on expenses, with husband included as he was her secretary and general factotum, doing her research and later her promotions as her books sold world wide, plus her writing had bought them a beautiful small estate in Cornwall. So, I thought, perhaps I could turn my hand to these shorter novels to a formula. Mills and Boon kindly give you their, quite strict, outlines of the types of book that they want for each of their particular division of print. I took a number of different types of Mills and Boon out of the library and read. It was, as is always suggested, formulaic, and a bit far fetched for my liking. I can’t say I really enjoyed them, they just weren’t my type of book (from a reader’s point of view) However, I thought I’d give it a go and with a sort of outline in my head I started in the ‘mills and boon vein’. I had to give up though, I just couldn’t control my muse enough to their patterns, or make my heroines air-headed enough / deluded enough / beautiful enough  for the style or my Heroes manly, domineering but sensitive, handsome enough.. it was all a bit too unreal. Dear reader, I gave up on my rags to riches Mills and Boon route. If I had been a different type of writer I might have been able to do it, but I would put myself under the ‘muse led’ group of writers and, frustrating though it can be, I am happiest there.

Oh! Quiet lost the thread there!! – Cover design. Sarah Steel (or was it Wood) told us that she had no control over her covers. That Mills and Boon had total control, to the effect that one of her books showed the handsome hero wearing tweeds, when anyone who read the book would soon discover that he’d never been seen wearing such attire, and as with that publishing house so it is with many others. The bigger stars may get a veto, but rarely can they stipulate what they want to see on the cover – that is deemed a separate art altogether .. and now I have to delve into that side of publishing as well….great ! I love learning things and this will be a learning curve!!

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publish on Amazon .. even without an ISBN!

Oh! My! I have just found out that it is possible to publish straight to kindle through Amazon, with a 30% / 70% deal and without even having an ISBN number – that is amazing and great. Why? because ISBN numbers are generally quite expensive if you are buying only a few… (they get much cheaper per number once you are buying a thousand plus) and each different version requires a different ISBN number!  Amazon give your e-publication with them an Amazon number instead. So – new plan – after I publish on ANNMADE BOOKS in Mobi (for kindle) in EPUB, (for Nook and Sony Ereaders), and pdf (for anyone else) I can then also publish on Amazon for kindle!

I have to say, I am really excited about this idea.

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