Monday, May 31, 2010

Cheater, cheater, smelly feeter

So another one bites the dust. Ronan Keating in the latest in a series of apparantly squeaky clean celebrities to have been caught cheating on their devoted partners.
First we had Tiger Woods - a man who had more lovers on the go than I’ve had hot dinners (and that is saying something). Then Mark Owen from Take That - who still doesn’t look old enough to have a proper girlfriend never mind a wife and a mistress - was caught playing away from home. And now we have Ronan - an edgy version of Daniel O’Donnell - being chucked out of his Malahide mansion by his wife of 12 years after she uncovered his affair with a dancer.
What all these men have in common is that since their philandering ways have become public they have all been seen, heads bowed in contrition, a wee spark of a tear in their eyes looking exceptionally sorry for themselves.
And that, dear reader, is what irks me about these men. They do feel sorry for themselves - and they talk to the press, or to well placed sources about how they know they made a mistake, and they are deeply sorry and they didn’t mean it... yadda yadda.
Funny however, that even though they knew they were making a mistake (or multiple mistakes as is alleged in the cases of both Tiger Woods and Mark Owens) they didn’t feel the compulsion to stop before they are publicly outted for the cheating scoundrels they are.
As the song says “don’t tell me you’re sorry, when you’re not. You know you’re only sorry you got caught”.
You may have gathered I have little time for cheaters - I hold no court with the theory that men are not designed to be monogomous. If a man has no intention of being faithful he should be honest with himself and not get married in the first place. If he has sauntered down the aisle and subsequently forgotten the ‘forsaking all others’ bit in the vows he should break things up before he sneaks around behind his wife’s back.
If he happens to be famous and therefore followed by eagle-eyed paparazzi at almost every turn he should have a bit more cop on in the first place. There is a certain inevitably to squeaky clean celebrities getting caught with their pants down and not only destroying their marriages in the wake of their infidelity but also putting a huge dent in their careers.
What I don’t get is why these men feel the need to cheat in the first instance? Their wives are beautiful, strong and successful women. Their homes are lovely. They don’t worry about money. They have gorgeous children. They, themselves, have careers more successful than many of us could dream of with designer clothes, fancy cars and posh houses that many of us would give our eye teeth for.
And still they want more - and they think they deserve more and it doesn’t matter who they hurt as they go about getting it. In essence they are greedy sods.
There is an arrogance to this sort of behaviour and the excuse that sure the poor pet is only a man and can’t refuse when it is handed to him on a plate just does not cut it with me.
It’s not Ronan Keating I feel sorry for this week, as he slinks back into Malahide for crisis talks with his dark glasses on and his hair looking a bit messy. I don’t feel sorry for him that he broke down in tears at a weekend gig and told the crowd that life, indeed, was a rollercoaster. He then, it is reported, dedicated the song ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ to her. Boke! That all smacked a bit of spin to my ears.
My heart went out to Yvonne - his wife of 12 years - and their three children. I can’t imagine the pain she felt on finding his second mobile phone (the man was such a cliche) with lewd messages to his new girlfriend on it. The fact that he was prepared to risk his marriage just to get his end away elsewhere must be devastating for her self esteem. The press attention thrust on her and her children when she must be feel raw from the betrayal must be hard to take and yet there are elements in the media which harp on and on about the wounded look on poor wee Ronan’s face.
Is he really sorry, or is he sorry he got caught? Somehow I think if Yvonne hadn’t found his phone he would be still be up to his tricks now.
As we would say in Derry - the boy can take his oil.

How to market a book

As an impoverished author type lady, I am trying to think of unique ways to market Jumping in Puddles now that it has been released in paperback format this week.

Of course I'm using Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and all sorts of social media.
I'm courting websites for interviews and planning a giveaway or too.
I've a few radio interviews lined up and I'm hoping to set up another Northern Girls event.

But I need something more.

It was suggested that I buy "a rake of wellies in Lidl" and leave them in strange places around Derry prompting people to ask "what the feck are all the wellies about" and for me to reply with a smile that they are to encourage you to jump in your own puddles.
This is a good idea... except... we live in heightened security times. I would not want my well meaning book publicity to start a bomb scare. I would be really quite embarrassed if they ATO were tasked to blow up a welly boot. Or indeed if I was accused of being a one woman paramilitary splinter group (DWFCL - Derry Writer for Chick Lit).
So that idea was cast aside.

When JIP was released in trade paperback last year Poolbeg made up cool little bottles of water, with cocktail umbrellas and once again encouraged people to make their own puddles. I have an (almost) 15 month old. I know all about making your own puddles. She made one yesterday in fact, when I stripped her off for her bath.
The thing is, I'm not sure random strangers would take kindly to a randomer in welly boots (possibly explosive welly boots) handing them bottles of water. I would tend to think the randomer was mad. I would tend to want to run away from the possibly spiked water.

So, all ideas of making my own puddles and/or a welly boot invasion being gone, I wondered what would it be like if I just, you know, left random copies of the book in hotel lobbies, or cafes with a little note in the cover asking people to read, enjoy and pass on.
This, however, does not generate sales. And knowing my luck the book would get binned with the remainder of the milky coffees and half eaten buns from that day.
I will, however, continue to ponder on that.

My next option is that the book is now Book of the Week in Tesco. So I'm planning a covert operation (no wellies involved) whereby I will slip copies of the book randomly into people's trollies. I'll pick my marks well - harassed mammies with rowdy wains, people with trollies so overflowing they won't notice one wee teeny tiny (400 odd page) novel amongst the loo rolls, that kind of things.

Short of all that I will just plead.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Book launches and other such things

Jumping in Puddles is hitting the shelves in paperback this weekend and into next week.
It's a nailbiting, gutwrenching time. A bit like sending your child into school for their first day and hoping people be nice to him or her.
The book marks a year of my life - it was at times painfully difficult to write (The phrase blood from a stone springs to mind, as does pulling teeth). These were the characters who messed with my head the most, mostly because they were so strong in their own right that I felt compelled to do them justice.*
I have a busy week ahead. I will, at the start of next week, drive to my latest Tesco (Ireland) store to see my book proudly proclaimed 'Book of the Week in store. I will be travelling to Drogheda for radio, and Bray and meeting with journalists, booksellers and my publishers.
I will have to put my best public persona face and come up with some witty one liners and more than that I will have try and ignore that little voice of doubt every writer has that their books are simply not good enough.
It might be a little quiet here as I go on the publicity trail but wish me and my wee book well.

*NB: I know they are not actually real people

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a year today

Until I have to fit into my wedding frock againb! I'm giving myself a year to get to goal. Only now I'm realising it is a tall order. I have 57lbs to lose, in 52 weeks.
That's a lot. It doesn't leave much time for slacking - although in theory I've lost an average of 1.57lbs each week since I started WW 14 weeks ago.
However the last few weeks have certainly been harder than the first few and it's going to be a bit of a battle to get there in such a relatively short space of time.
I find that quite intimidating.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Claire went over the mountain

So last week I was on the plateau. My weightloss had stalled - completely - and I was scundered as we say round these parts.
I was scundered because I have so much to lose and it just felt like it was never, ever going to move no matter how little I ate or much I moved about or however many times I resisted the chocolate in the lovely red machine in work.
I needed something and when I went to WW class last night I was already in a foul mood. It had been an insanely busy day at work - the news was flooding in and phones kept ringing and I couldn't get anything done and I was worn out by the time I got into the car at the end of the day and drove to the meeting.
Everything the leader said I greeted with a bit of a snarl. Sure weightloss isn't easy - and frig all that pointing everything you eat because IT DOESN'T WORK ANYWAY. A Slimming World consultant had called into our office earlier that day and I was tempted to jack in WeightWatchers and try that instead.
Indeed as I waited to be weighed I told my sister that if I hadn't lost weight I would be jacking it in.
But I had lost weight - a whole 4lbs. And I was given a silver seven sticker and even though I'm almost 34 and I'm a proper grown up I felt very proud to get a sticker.
I've now lost 22lbs in 14 weeks and am a little closer to where I want to be. Sure I've still another 57lbs to lose to get to goal (trying not to sob at this) but I'm over this plateau and ready to keep going.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Just Say Yes!

Go on - get behind my very lovely city in our bid to be City of Culture 2013 #derry2013

Random conversations with the boy

So the boy has been keeping a keen eye on the volcanic ash situation and is very intrigued that planes are being grounded.

This morning he looked skyward and said, with not a hint of irony..

"I smell fear in the air".

Embrace your inner geekdom

My niece is a fan of Miley Cyrus. Personally when I see her on TV I get the urge to stick pins in my eyes.

I can’t be coping with over-confident teenagers, especially over confident American teenagers. This is probably because they are the antithesis to everything I was a teenager.

I lacked confidence, grace and the ability to wear figure hugging clothes. I lacked (and still do lack) a decent singing over, glossy hair and the ability to apply make up without looking like a drag queen.

Picture the scene if you will. Derry - the early 90s. I have a bad perm, bad skin and braces on my teeth. Our family budget didn’t really stretch to Levi jeans and Nike trainers, so it was apparel from Dunnes Stores and trainers emblazoned with the logo Nicks which filled my wardrobe.

I had one funky, purple hooded top from Supertramp which I thought was the bee’s knees. The rest of my wardrobe was, frankly, disturbing. For someone of 14 or 15 I seemed to have had a deep desire to dress like a 45 year old. There is shocking photographic evidence out of chinos and polyester blouses all accessorized with a healthy dose of cheap yet ugly plastic jewellery.

My one attempt at coolness was wearing a baseball cap similar the one Matt Goss from Bros wore but with my I-can’t-believe-they’re-not-Levis and my Truform ‘can’t-believe-they’re-not- DMs’ I never quite managed to pull off the look.

As for the school Formal - if I could go back in time to my 17 year old self and impart any words of wisdom I would most definitely extol the virtues of a good eyebrow wax.

I was, quite honestly, a complete and utter nerd. I never went to the cool places. The Venue was not for me - instead me and my friends would try and argue our way into the Embassy where I would drink my blackcurrant and white lemonade while giving it lilty to some dodgy Ace of Base track.

I’d be home for one, sober as a judge and ready for work (in my polyester uniform) at the local supermarket the following day.

My make up kit consisted of a few broken bits and pieces from the Bodyshop and when I think of my record collection, I cringe when I think of some the tracks which I bought and held in great esteem. Three words people “Ice, Ice Baby”.

So when I look at teenagers today I do feel a hint of jealous rage build up inside me. They all just seem to have it together. Girls these days seem to leave primary school with an indepth knowledge of hair tinting and straightening. Even the smallest of first years seems to know how to apply a covering of foundation without looking as if they trowelled it on. (I am wondering, perhaps, if some of them might want to give me a lesson in make up application one day?).

Dressing to impress starts at an early age. My niece (the Miley Cyrus fan) has no qualms at all about turning her nose up at anything she considers to be “dootsie”. I took her out to buy her an outfit recently and when I lifted anything that looked, to my eye, as if it would just be absolutely perfect for an eight year girl she rolled her eyes and lifted something that looks as it was designed for someone two or three times her age. “But I like thisssssss” she would hiss and in the end we had to agree to disagree.

I bought a T-shirt for the boy and some tights for the baby and headed home to practise straightening my hair again in the hope that one day I’ll have shiny straight locks worthy of a L’Oreal ad.

There is a part of me, however, who feels sorry for the Miley Cyrus-alikes of this world - the girls who don’t have to go through that awkward, geeky pubescent stage and emerge like swans after.

The geeky stage - yes even up to the age of 16 or 17 - was when I was able to let go of the last vestiges of childhood in my own time.

I didn’t have to worry if I looked a mess because all around me there were teenage girls going through the same bad hair/ bad skin/ bad dress sense dilemma.

We didn’t feel the pressure to look and act like grown ups when we were 14 or 15 and still feeling that little bit bewildered with the world. There was little chance of our elders branding us as cheeky wee upstarts because we knew the line between adult and child perfectly and no one ever crossed between the two.

Miley Cyrus is a child (albeit hurtling into her adult years) in an adult world. She has to try that little bit harder to fit in. She has to market herself as if she is on a level with grown ups with proper jobs and grown up responsibilities.

She can’t ever achieve this - and nor can our young girls who seem to be forced to grow up at a faster and faster rate.

What will we have next? Padded bras for five years olds? Ah - wait a minute, we’re already there.

I make a call to all young girls now, embrace your inner geekdom. Be a child if you feel like a child. Straightening your hair can wait until tomorrow - get out and have some innocent fun instead.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No, no, NO - I'm the OTHER Claire Allan

I got an email this morning from a very well known creative writing organisation asking me if I would mind awfully lecturing for them for a week next summer.
It paid well. Accommodation and travel was thrown in. It would be a chance to work with 16 budding writers and help them build their craft. It sounded absolutely blissful and the kind of thing I would adore doing.

But I knew as I read down the email that something was not right.You see chick lit authors rarely (if ever) get invited to lecture at courses run by very well known (and relatively expensive) creative writing organisations.
We aren't really considered proper authors - what we do, our hours sat grafting at the computer, researching storylines (like depression, domestic violence, eating disorders and other things which affect many women), the edits, the rewrites, the tears that it's not working, the late nights trying and trying and trying to get just once sentence to work, the book tours, the opening your heart to your readers, the plugging, the blogging, the being a WRITER.. well in some eyes it's not enough.

So I knew as soon as I saw the invite that it wasn't meant for me. It was meant for that other Clare (no i) Allan who wrote 'Poppy Shakespeare' which is considered a pivotal book about depression. I know it so well because it was released at the same time as 'Rainy Days and Tuesdays' - a book essentially about a woman's emergence from depression.
The difference was mine had a brightly coloured cover and a dash of warm hearted humour. I imagine it also had fewer big words and more use of the word "feck".

In addition I have just clicked onto the programme list for the Dublin Writers' Festival taking place in the capital this June. The line up is impressive - but elitist. Where is Marian Keyes - arguably one of this country's largest literary exports? Where is Cathy Kelly, or Patricia Scanlan, or Maeve Binchy, Sheila O'Flannagan, Anna McPartlin, Melissa Hill, or even Claire Allan (the one with the 'i' in her name)?

This might sound a little bitter and ranty and it's not really meant to me.
The mistake this morning was a genuine one and that is fair enough but the Dublin line up makes me realise it goes a little deeper than that. It remains a great shame - a HUGE shame in fact - that writers in this genre are so often overlooked and dismissed and it is about time that course programmers and festival programmers woke up and realised that we have much to offer.

Now, there's a challenge to anyone willing to take it on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Plateau

I joked on Facebook last night that it was ironic that I have hit a plateau in my weightloss given that I am still the size of a mountain.
Last night the scales declared a big fat stay the same.
I almost cried. In fact I think I might have stomped my feet and declared "S'not fair" and the advice given to me was to track everything this week and report back next.
Well I have been tracking (almost) everything and it hasn't helped...
So it's time for desperate measures.

Serious tracking - even the 3 mini smarties I ate this morning.
No drinking - this makes me want to kill myself, but ya know, needs must.
Cutting down on bread - and I've got that Crusts Away stuff and some Low Low Spread.
Not eating anything which cannot be pointed to within an inch of its life (no shop bought salads or sarnies).
The Pink and White obsession must end.
And I must walk more - not sure when I will find the time, but I will.

Oh, I've plateaued with book 5 as well... so it's time for desperate measures there too.
I've booked a week off work in which to write (no mammy duties allowed) - so I must resist the allure of Loose Women and other such nonsense.
How I wish I could squirrel myself away in a hotel for a week with just my laptop for company.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Claire says: OMG what a FAB read!

Okay, so I don't do teen cool very well but it has been an extraordinarly long time since I was 17 - the age of Della, the main character, in Keris Stainton's debut novel 'Della says OMG!'.
In fact it has been 17 years since I was 17 and even when I was, I wasn't as cool as Della and her friends - who actually made me want to be a teenager again.
I should say I've 'known' Keris for about four years, since my early days writing Rainy Days and Tuesdays when she was the esteemed leader of an online writing group I used.
We have a few things in common - a slight obsessions with Matt Goss, two children of roughly the same age (Her baby boy Joe was born about 6 weeks before Cara so we shared much pregnancy chatter), a love of Marian Keyes and the need to blog alot.
What Keris has that I don't though is the ability to get inside the teenage mind and create YA books that people will actually want to read and not laugh at.
Here's the blurby bit: Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

Della Says OMG! is a fast paced, laugh out loud read which made me feel like a young thing again. It's fresh, sharp and on the money from start to finish. It doesn't patronise the reader - and it has enough mystery to keep you wanting more.
It even made me form a crush on a 17 year old boy (Della's long-standing crush) which I'm pretty sure is immoral if not illegal.
But I'm glad to say I heartily recommend to teenagers of all ages... yes, even you - which is a relief but you always do kind of worry when you read a book by a friend that you might think it sucks and you'll have to lie. I can assure you, I'm not lying.

Monday monday

Weigh in day.
I'm almost ashamed to admit that in the last four weeks I've lost a paltry 1.5lbs. I lost a pound, a half a pound, gained half a pound and lost it again.
This depresses me because, in honesty, I've not been *that* bad.
Okay, so I've not been squeaky clean either but I've hardly been on a binge fest and being the weight that I am (which is mahoosive) it should still be coming off.
This week and last I've been good - well, 6 days out of seven. Saturday was a bit of a trainwreck but that aside I have been suitable depriving myself and eating healthy.
And yet the scales still hold a degree of fear for me tonight because I just feel stuck. I feel as if I did so well for the first two months but then it all ground to a staggering halt and no amount of walking, or pointing, or turning my back on sweets and chocolate is making a damn ounce of difference.

It's hard to force myself out to meetings now, knowing that the glow of a good weight loss isn't happening.

So keep your fingers crossed... and offer any and all tips you have for finding that enthusiasm when it feels all your best efforts are for nowt.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

The transformation continues

I did a brave thing today. I booked a consultation with an orthodontist.
This is brave because dentists are the one thing in this world that I fear more than fish. And that is saying something.

The thing is, I hate my smile. It's crooked and horrible and I do a mad gurning thing in photos. I had braces when I was a teenager but well, they didn't work. I have my suspicions about why they didn't work but even the work they did do hasn't lasted.
Two pregnancies and gum softening has caused more damage so I look crap.

I do get the proper, proper jealousy when I see people with nice smiles so after discarding some pictures of me and Joseph in which I'm wonky of smile, I made the consultation appointment - which is in three weeks time. (I'm like WHY CAN'T I HAVE IT NOW?...but anyway)

I may not be able to afford the treatment. They may not be able to offer me treatment. I'm a pansy and if they mention drilling, extraction or anything of that nature then I'll be out of the chair and out of the door quicker than you can say "Smile!" - but at least come June 2, I'll know, one way or the other.

So I'm hoping that this could be the year I transform myself entirely - my weight is reducing, my hair is dyed blonde, I'm doing more exercise and maybe I can sort out the wonky smile.

Won't I be gutted if I'm still ugly after??

Thursday, May 06, 2010

My family

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I was asked to talk about something today

... which I didn't want to talk about.
I got a call from a very lovely and supportive journalist who was writing a piece about diet pills and whether or not they messed with your head.
She wanted to know had I ever taken them (yes - ones from health food shops and ones from the doc), had they worked (evidently not) and if they drove me a bit mad (hard to tell when the bar is set at mildly pyschotic in the first instance).

It would have been great publicity but although I can blether on to your lovely people about all sorts of personal weight and image and mentalness related issues I just couldn't face the thought of my big fat face in a newspaper yabbering about diet pills.

Surely it would highly inappropriate for me to sell my soul to sell a few books? Besides, it's bad enough being known as the mad one. The mad, fat one would be an image I could do without.

I hope the journo in question finds someone to chat to as she is genuinely exceptionally lovely, but not for me. Not this time.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I have a dream

Perhaps one of my strongest role models in my teenage years was Martin Luther King - because he had a dream.
Okay, his dream was different to mine. He didn't want to write a bestselling chick lit novel, I'm sure, but nonetheless he had faith in what he was doing and he kept at it.
I used to quote his speech to anyone who would listen - that dream, that faith, that determination was and still is inspiring.

So my dreams are on a smaller scale but they are important to me. Although I have come so far in this writing journey I still feel hopelessly frustrated at times. My books have not sold internationally. I still have no UK deal. I am three books down (which is frig all) and I feel a little stagnated.

I'm still writing, and writing the best books I can, but I do get a touch of "what's the point" from time to time. It's awfully self indulgent and definitely over dramatic but if an author can add a lump of drama now again then who can?

Anyway, my Note from the Universe arrived in my inbox this morning and said

Never compromise a dream, Claire.
Always compromise on how it will come true.
Maybe that is exactly what I have to do - to realise my limitations as a writer, the limitations of the publishing industry at the moment and accept the success I have had without always looking to step up to the next level.
My dream is still there... I'll just mess around with it a bit.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Two out of three ain't bad

The other two posts today have been very positive - this one, not so much.
I put on half a pound last night. In the grand scheme of things it's not much (a medium sized poo some would suggest) but it marked the first week I didn't lose weight on my journey this time.
I knew it was going to happen. I had been a very bold girl indeed but it give still annoy me in a strange way,

The something happened which put it all into perspective. I went home, feeling sorry for myself and switched on my computer to write. Initially I was going to write some more of my new work in progress but I figured publication is looming for  'It's Got to Be Perfect' and I had the winning bid from the auction to write in along with a few other changes.
So I opened the file and started writing. Now, the remarkable thing is that the lady who won the auction, Tor Pickles, has just overcome cancer herself. She nominated that Camille's mother Hayley be the cameo star of the book and I emailed Hayley to ask if she would mind me adding Camille and her sister Lucia too.
I started writing, a scene with three gorgeous little flowergirls dancing around without a care in the world and I felt overwhelmed with emotion.

It was then I flicked onto Facebook to see a message from Hayley. Camille has gone into septic shock. Doctors are battling to save her life.

I cried - huge, body shaking sobs of tears for two hours. Every time I composed myself I thought of the hell Hayley and her husband were in and of the battle this gorgeous three year old girl was currently waging.
I googled septic shock - this prompted a fresh flurry of tears as the seriousness of the situation kicked in.

I struggled to sleep last night, waking periodically to creep down the stairs and check Facebook for further updates. I felt, and still feel, completely helpless. There is nothing I can do, but hope and pray.

Earlier this morning Hayley posted that Camille's stats are now good and she is now in ICU. She is still battling for her life.

Half a pound of weight on? Doesn't matter a ha'penny damn now, does it?

I'll still keep going - not least because I've vowed a £ for a lb to Camille's Appeal and because I want to be healthy but my reaction to a bad result on the scales is certainly in perspective. I'm sure Hayley would wish that was all she had to upset her last night.

So if you read this blog today, offer a prayer up for Camille but also remember that some times the things we think matter really don't.

One of the best books I've read - truly remarkable

I have wanted to read Designer Genes by fellow Poolbeg author Emma Hannigan since I first read about it last year.
It took me a brave while to get around to it - not because I lacked any enthusiasm, more because I was trying to get a couple of books established myself.
But with a long wait in the hairdressers due a few weeks ago, I treated myself and I'm glad I did.
It's almost impossible to believe this is a debut novel. Hannigan writes with such confidence, emotional empathy and humour that it feels as though she has been doing it all her life.
The premise of the book is simple - Emily Cusack, married mum of two kids, finds out she has a wonky gene which predisposes her to breast cancer. Emily decides to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure and an oopherectomy (the removal over her ovaries).
I know what you will be thinking at this point - a book about cancer, major surgery and boob removal. Sounds like a fecking big barrel of laughs.... not. But it is.
There are genuine laugh out loud moments to sit alongside the weep into your morning cuppa moments. There is a warmth and chatty style to Hannigan's writing which draws you in and makes you care so very deeply about Emily and her family.
Her interactions between he characters - especially between her and her best friend Susie - are brilliantly drawn. The friendship feels real. In fact I finished the book in the wee small hours of this morning feeling they were real and I had been on a proper journey with them.
I want to have tea and biscuits in Dunmahon shopping centre with Emily and Susie and while my arse wouldn't fit in a pair of Victoria Beckham jeans in a blue fit, I would ooh and aah at all the right places.
At times I seethed with professional jealousy reading this book because, mark my words, Hannigan is going to be huge (in a success sense... I'm not suggesting she get fat or anything).
This book is a delight, and an addictive read from start to finish. I have to say it has been a long time since I turned the last page of a book and felt a pang of regret that it was done, but this was one such occasion.
Do yourself a favour, pick up a copy.
Her new book 'Miss Conceived' is due out in July. I'll be off to the shops at the first opportunity.

A Tuesday Triple Whammy - OMG, Brilliant book, shame about the weight gain

This is the first of three posts today... and it's an exciting one.
My friend - the gorgeously supportive, funny and generally talented Keris Stainton has a book out - like now, in the real shops and everything.

'Della says: OMG!' (which I happen to think is a fantabulous title altogether) is a young adult book which I can't wait to read (I have a copy, and I get a mention in the acknowledgements which made me feel very special and important).

But while I'm getting round to reading it  (which I intend to start asap but I'm in the middle of rewrites just now) why not just pick up a copy!

Here's the blurb
Don't miss this fantastic debut novel ~ Keris Stainton is a fabulously contemporary, witty and fresh new voice who teen girls will adore.
Della’s over the moon when she kisses her long-standing crush at a party – but then she discovers her diary has disappeared...
When scans of embarrassing pages are sent to her mobile and appear on Facebook, Della’s distraught – how can she enjoy her first proper romance when someone, somewhere, knows all her deepest, darkest secrets?

I've been reading Keris' work for four years now. She's brilliant. You'll love it. I promise.

Monday, May 03, 2010

oooh feckness... I have a book coming out!

At the end of this month! Jumping in Puddles will be released in mass market paperback on May 26.

I'm so nervous and excited - but mostly nervous - and looking forward to getting on the promo trail again.

Please God let it do well for me!!!

The wobble is gone but I face a couple of challenges...

On Saturday I found myselft staring at some new fad diet thingy in Boots. I can’t remember the name of the programme (my brain says Tony Robinson but I know that is *so* not right.. turnip soup anyone?) but it involved shakes, packet soups and diet bars.
It promises to melt the weight off ye (or similar) and I admit, I was tempted.

You see I’m 11 weeks into WeightWatchers and a journey that will no doubt take me around a year to get to goal and forever more to stay there and I know I've gained this week - not much, maybe a lb, but that puts me a lb further away from my goal.
In fairness I'll have gotten away with blue murder if I have only put a lb but when you have many, many lbs to lose well it all feels a bit much from time to time.
I'm trying to break it down into smaller goals but it is harder to think "Yay me!" when you are still in the same sized clothes and still on the warning level of the BMI scales. Slinky and svelte is a long way off.

My meeting is tonight. My usual WW companions aren't going so if I'm to go I'm to go on my own. This does not make me happy. To add that I'm going on my own in the knowledge that I've put weight on also does not make me happy.
A part of me (a big part, like my right thigh or something) doesn't want to go at all.
I do feel more in control now. I feel I've got my headspace right and I'm ready to start again with renewed vigour. I've bought new foods to try and have been out and about walking a little which has helped boost my natural endorphins. I feel I could be back in the zone for next week's meeting without having to face the scales of doom... but I can't hide from the journey - tough and all as it is. I have to take the rough with the smooth and have faith that one day, I'll make it. I've just over a year to go to the wedding dress deadline, so I have to.
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