Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just a little strictly magic to keep you going...

From last week, but IMO, the dance of the show so far...

Don't forget to keep checking out Keris' reviews at TV Scoop

Monday, October 22, 2007

What a slacker

Gosh, I've just realised how very slack I've been at updating this Blog lately.
Forgive me, it's been a manic few weeks.
First the boy was sick in a vomitous stylee, then I saw the most humongously fat picture of myself and had a mini breakdown of the starvation sort (Not wise and not recommended) - then I got my sh*t together (I'm so down with the kids, innit?) and started on the GI Diet which is making me feel quite healthy but also quite windy (Seriously, don't light a match near me, I can't vouch you will get out alive). I've also been rather addicted to SCD (Will post a link to Keris' fab review asap) and writing , oooh and reading Emma Heatherington's debut novel which is FAB and indeed which I'm going to go to bed to read more of as soon as I've finished this latest bit on book three.
I'm also trying to think of publicity strategies to give RD&T a wee boost as we come into the festive season. Short of shouting:


at the top of my lungs, I'm not sure where to go with that. All ideas are welcome and well, here's the thing, I've been made a Site Expert on which is very nice indeed, but it means I am reading a lot of delicious new Chick Lit and trying to offer words of wisdom - so v. busy in other words.

But I do love you (all one of my loyal readers) and I promise to start updating a leetle bit more regularly soon.
In the meantime, don't go changin'

* Disclaimer - this post was written following a week long banning of chocolate. The poster may well be in some sort of hysteria at the time of writing.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Love you forever

When Joseph was little I bought a book for him "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch. I bought it because Joey in Friends read to baby Emma on her birthday and made everyone cry and I figured it must be good.
When I read the book I really, truly found it an emotional rollercoaster and while it is a gentle, beautiful story it makes me well up.
Today, while compiling a list of toddler classics for our Foyle News publication, I thought on the book and remembered it.
Reading it again, and now from a position where my beloved granny has Alzheimers and no longer recognises or remembers me, or indeed her own children, it was so very emotional.

The text of the book is as follows- so granny, I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living, my granny you'll be."

A mother held her new baby and
very slowly rocked him back and forth,
back and forth,
back and forth.A
nd while she held him, she sang:I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The baby grew. He grew and he grew
and he grew. He grew until he
was two years old, and he ran all around the house.
He pulled all the books
off the shelves. He pulled all the food
out of the refrigerator and he took his
mother's watch and flushed it down the
toilet. Sometimes his mother would say,"This kid is driving me CRAZY!"
But at night time, when that two-year-old was quiet, she opened the door
to his room, crawled across the floor,
looked up over the side of his bed;
and if he was really asleep she picked
him up and rocked him back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
While she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

The little boy grew. He grew and he grew
and he grew. He grew until he was nine
years old. And he never wanted to come
in for dinner, he never wanted to take a bath,
and when grandma visited he always
said bad words. Sometimes his mother
wanted to sell him to the ZOO!
But at night time, when he was
asleep, the mother quietly opened the
door to his room, crawled across
the floor and looked up over the side ofthe bed.
If he was really asleep,
she picked up that nine-year-old boy
and rocked him back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
And while she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
The boy grew. He grew and he
grew and he grew. He grew until he was
a teenager. He had strange friends
and he wore strange clothes and he
listened to strange music.
Sometimes the mother felt like she
was in a ZOO!But at night time, when that teenager
was asleep, the mother opened the door
to his room, crawled across the floor and looked up over the side of the bed.
If he was really asleep she
picked up that great big boy and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
While she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
That teenager grew. He grew and he
grew and he grew. He grew until he was a grown-up man.
He left home and got a house across town.
But sometimes on dark nights
the mother got into her car and drove
across town.
If all the lights in her son's house were out, she opened his bedroom
window, crawled across the floor,
and looked up over the side of his bed.
If that great big man was really asleep she picked him up and rocked him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
And while she rocked him she sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.
Well, that mother, she got older.
She got older and older and older.
One day she called up her son and said,
"You'd better come see me because
I'm very old and sick."
So her son came to see her.
When he came in the door she tried
to sing the song. She sang:I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always...But she couldn't finish because she
was too old and sick.
The son went to his mother.
He picked her up and rocked
her back and forth, back and forth,
back and forth.
And he sang his song: I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.
When the son came home that night,
he stood for a long time at the top of the stairs.
Then he went into the room where his very new baby daughter
was sleeping. He picked her up in
his arms and very slowly rockedher back and forth, back and forth,
back and forth.
And while he rocked her he sang:
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Random thoughts from my day...

Firstly: I have a ham sandwich in a Noddy bowl in the back of my car.
The boy has decided breakfast is for wimps and no matter what delicious cereal I put before him in the morning (be it something healthy like Shreddies, or something sugar laden like Coco Pops) he would much prefer a ham sandwich. (Yes the obsession is still going strong people).
So this morning after mucho faffing and not eating said odd breakfast we reached a compromise. He could get dressed with due haste and eat his sarnie in the car on the way to nursery like a good boy.
He got dressed, but now there are ham piece all over my back seat. It was not my finest idea.
Secondly: Is it odd that I find the sight of really old women driving disturbing? It just doesn't look right even though with God's grace I will be one of those old women at some stage.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Marian Keyes quote of the month

This month's laugh out loud moment from the Marian Keyes website

Then – the final salt in the wound – the Irish fans were locked in – yes, locked in – for 15 minutes at the end of the match, to let the 6 Slovak fans home safely (yes, I had originally thought there were 13 Slovak fans but 7 of them were Irish who had had to buy Slovak tickets because all the Irish ones were sold.)

It's the way she tells them.

Strictly Come Dancing - Week One

I was going to attempt to do a week by week run down of Strictly (we in the know, get to call it 'Strictly' don't you know), but then I see that once again Keris is reviewing it for TV Scoop and there is no way I can be as indepth or observant as she is, so I'm going to do a linky thing instead.

My only personal comment is that I'm sad to see Karen Hardy go in the first week - I like the cut of her gib. That said, Dirty Dick from Corrie was never going to be as appealing as Mark Ramprakash. Not by a long shot.
As for my ongoing mission to be in SCD (Or 'Strictly') in 2009, we might have to move the goalposts a little.
I wonder what I'm doing in 2017???

Friday, October 05, 2007

Quote of the Day

From the bowels of the 'Journal' office
"If someone was to going to give me a car for 6p, I'd kiss a plastic nipple for 24 hours."

Thank you Catherine Spence.

A tale of three mammies

I’ll admit I have a new addiction for celebrity gossip. I’ve not gone quite as far as subscribing to ‘Hello’ and ‘Ok’ but if things keep going the way they are I imagine it will only be a matter of time.
As a journalist and writer I’m nosy by nature and I like seeing pictures of celebrities caught out with no make up on or flashing a bit of cellulite. It helps me feel just that little eeny bit more human as I rattle out of the house with the look of Wurzel Gummidge about me on the average morning.
Of course there are times when my hunger for celebrity gossip doesn’t make me feel so crash hot. When I see new yummy mummies stroll about back in their skinny jeans looking like they just stepped out of a salon, I can’t help but cast a downward glance at my sagging boobs, be-stretchmarked tummy and thunderous thighs and feel like giving up.
You see the boy is nearly four. (Every time I say that I almost convulse with shock, by the way - he still feels about three minutes old). For the first six months of his life I staggered about in comfy tracksuit bottoms and T-shirts with a look of the undead about me. I wouldn’t dare flash my midriff to anyone in case they got lost in the folds and (almost) four years on, I’m still not prepared to flash a bit of flesh.
I was comforted therefore to see pictures of Charlotte Church - former wild child - who recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Ruby and read about her birth experience. Ms Church wasn’t one of those celebrities who sported an eeny bump and opted for a scheduled section. She blossomed all over, piled on weight and gave birth in her living room (in a birthing pool, mind) while watching the rugby. Her waters broke in the car park of B&Q and she described the pain of labour as “outrageous”.
She is now revelling in motherhood and has no plans to return to her wild ways. She is also refusing to fall into the celebrity trap of spending the first weeks and months of Ruby’s life slaving it out with a personal trainer and eating mung beans washed down with celery juice so that she regains her figure quick smart. "I think it's sad when people get obsessed with all of that,” she said this week. “I'm pretty happy with the way I am and I bagged Gavin so I can't be doing that badly, can I?"
Her transformation from ‘Crazy Chick’ to earth mother is refreshing and a stark contrast to the other celebrity mums filling the column inches at the moment. Both Britney Spears and Kerry Katona seem to be on track for self-destruction if they keep going the way they are.
With rumours of drug abuse, excess drinking and God knows what else following them around like a bad smell I feel heart sorry for them. Then again, I guess I feel more sorry for the kids. Now I know from first hand experience that being a parent is tough. I’m struggling with the boy’s transition to nursery at the moment and over-analysing every comment from the staff to see if he is behaving or becoming the class hood. I feel that every bold wee thing he does - as three (nearly four) years old tend to do - is a direct reflection on my parenting skills so I can imagine that having your parenting skills analysed by the world’s media and countless readers and viewers must be excrutiatingly difficult. But then again, both these women really could make an effort.
Falling out of cars with no underwear on into the glare of a the paparazzi’s flash bulbs isn’t ever going to win you a parent of the year award. Nor is talking openly about dabbling in drugs and leaving your children for weeks on end to go on promotional trips and then not being able to locate them. Both Britney and Kerry’s (we know them so well I feel I can refer to them on a first name basis) children are very young and I can’t help but feel that irreperable damage is being done by these ongoing antics. The old argument that they are too young to remember doesn’t cut it with me.
My soon to be four year old still blanches with fear when I mention a trip to Dublin - so devastated was he that his darling mother left him for two whole days during the summer to promote her book. “No mummy,” he cries, “Don’t go to Duv-lin. Stay with meeeeeee.” And then he sobs his heart out, for about 10 minutes, and snotters everywhere and I have to promise him mammy is never, ever, ever going away again, even for five minutes, and if he wants I’ll actually phone the hospital and see if they still have the umbilical cord so we can be reattached. And that’s only a wee trip to Dublin not an obsession with being famous, getting trollied and spending weeks at a time living it up away from my wain.
If you want to be a parent - be you one of the ordinary people like me, or a celeb like Britney - then be a parent. Part of the deal is that you put your kids first. When you decide to have children you lose your right to party like it is 1999, or focus entirely on your own goals.
Your children need you like they will never need anyone or anything else in their lives again. And I know that childhood really does pass in the blink of an eye. Take a leaf out of Charlotte Church’s book and hang up your party shoes for now. Trust me, you can have just as much fun sitting on a floor singing ‘Row, Row, Row The Boat’ and the hangover isn’t half as bad the next day.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Writing, thinking, reading...

It's gone uncharacteristically quiet for me, which in some ways is good. I'm finding that writing has become a joy again. (I do love it, but some times it does feel like work - and other times I can't type fast enough hence the copious amounts of missing words and typos).
I've also had time to update my website and add a newsletter where I thank everyone for their support over the past number of months.
I would be fibbing however to say thinks didn't feel a little odd now that the flurry of emails and phonecalls has slowed to a near stop and it's just back to ordinary life!
I am getting to read a little however, and have a stack of books growing on the bedside table for my attention.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

C'est beautiful, non?

'Tis a thing of beauty, non?
The beautiful swirly writing, the lucious green colour?
I'm told it's due out in March (ish) so I think the green is suitable St. Patrick-y: begorrah.
And I'll admit that even though it is quite similar to the original blue cover, I still felt a certain frisson of excitement when I opened the email from Paula at Poolbeg.
I'm promised the cover for book two, Blue Line Blues will follow in time but for now I'm going to gaze lovingly at RD&T Mk II and feel so very lucky to see my book with a second cover.
I'm not sure what the B format release will entail and I'll not be troubling the lovely Niamh at Poolbeg to find out just yet (she is busy enough and probably relieved that the halycon days of July when she fielded daily emails from yours truly are over).
But I'll keep you posted.
In the mean time I'm off to buy Melissa Hill's new book and I'm still counting down to Emma's release NEXT WEEK!!

Strictly very excited...

It starts on Saturday people!!! Are you excited? The husband and the boy are X-factor fans and so I'll have to retreat to my boudoir with a glass of wine to watch all the glitz and glam!
I'll miss Mark though... it won't be the same without him!

Monday, October 01, 2007

On the Jazz

It's finally happened! I have my writing bling back - after a summer of edits and promoting and all sorts I couldn't really find my voice with Book 3.
But it's there now and last night as I sat down to write I had to tear myself away after an hour - the words were flowing, and they were good words, in the right order, with the right mix of humour and sorrow and I'm so very, very proud of them.
My characters are coming to life in front of my eyes - filling out, becoming real and I'm becoming obsessed with them - all good signs with the writing process.

As I finish each book I have a painful letting go period. My characters do become such a huge part of my life that it is hard to let go of them and think that anyone could be better than Grace, or Aoife or Beth or the lovely Auntie Anna. I feel, after every book, that there is no way the next can be as good or better and I have to allow myself a little grieving period for letting them go.

This has been a hard summer in terms of letting go of all my previous creations, but now Niamh, Ruth, Liam and Ruby are ready to rock. It's going to be fun getting to know them!
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