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2012-12-17 12:46 pm

Strictly, Knee, Harry, GOFFY!


1. I think the right person got voted off on Strictly Come Dancing this week.Read more... )

2. I have water on the knee. Or bustitis, or gout. or something. it’s red, hot and painful. No point yelling at me to see the doctor. There’s very little he can do and he’ll automatically blame my weight (which will be right) – but he has no intention of helping me with that, so what’s the point of just going for more pills to placate? If I was a drug addict or a smoker or an alcoholic, he’d HAVE to put me in a programme to help me, but fat people are still treated like pariahs. (see the “I still haven’t had an MRI despite this heart problem” issue…)

3. Just finished COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher and wow wow wow!  Enjoyed it hugely. Read more... )

4. Decided to put “Gentleman of Fortune” away for the moment and get on with the gardening thingy because GOFortune needs mapping out. It’s not a mystery as in “whodunnit” so much, but more of a “follow the trail” and if I need to scatter red herrings and chekov guns in, it’s going to need more than “make it up as you go along.” So I’m aiming for 1000 words on The Gardening One today. or bust.

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2012-12-16 12:12 pm

Editing, Knitting, Procrastination, Elin Gregory

It’s very odd – my editor has a problem with only my manuscripts – I’ve turned off Tracked Changes, and have accepted all the changes into the document and yet they are showing up – both sets – on his computer!  My mss’s are the only one he has this problem with and I have no idea why. Anyway, I’ve changed the docx to a doc and hope that solves the problem.

So, the re-write of Standish has gone off to the editor, we have a shiny new cover and now all we have to do is wait for the edits and release, which should be summer 2013.

I’m also expecting the edits back for “I Knew Him” at any point now, so that will be another excuse not to write anything. But I must. No more procrastination!

Talking of procrastination…

I always used to be a knitter. My mother taught me when I was six and ill in bed and although I’ve never tried anything complicated like cabling or lacework or blah de blah i was always good at really complicated colour patterns, like Aztec designs or Fair Isle and the like. So recently I’ve been buying up wools and needles (because for the life of me can’t find my old workbag anywhere) and have got two projects on the go:

A Tardis Scarf

and a Jayne Cobb hat.

A sort of scarfy/shawly thing

Don’t worry, I won’t be wearing them both in the park at the same time; I’m already the loony with the mad dog who doesn’t actually walk her dog but sits it—how mad would I look with both of those items on?  However I am veering towards the “when I am old I shall wear purple” because well, I’ve always worn purple metaphorically and I don’t see why being old should be an obstacle. I suppose a Jayne hat would have been more sensible in more muted colours than the original but hell, then it wouldn’t be a Jayne hat, would it?

I’m only doing the 3rd one because I ground to a halt with the Tardis as the white wool hasn’t arrived yet and I had a huge batch of purple wool and green wool in 4ply and this scarfy thing said knit two yarns together and the effect is rather interesting.

Anyway – that’s about all the procrastination news.

In other news:

Elin Gregory (whose light is so far under a bushel you have to use a tunnel to see it) has a new book out this week:  A Gay Historical called On a Lee Shore which is a great nautical adventure. I had the privilege of pre-reading the book (I don’t qualify what I do as “editing”) and it’s really really good. An adventure story with gay characters which is what the genre needs imho.  GO BUY IT IT’S GREAT.

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2012-12-12 02:07 pm

The Next Best Thing Blog post

I’ve been tagged by Fiona Glass to do this meme. Her post was on the 6th and can be found here – well worth checking out, as are all the others, so follow the chain! I was thrilled to be tagged, too!

What is the working title of your book?

Gentleman of Fortune – although I’m not won over by it. It seemed right to start with, but now I’m seeing that title might suit a medieval mercenary sleuth rather than one in the era I’ve chosen to write in. I hope something else comes to me. I doubt Gentleman of Fortune will be its published title, to be frank!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I’m not really sure! I’ve been wanting to write something set in WW2 for a while, but the research put me off (let’s be honest, the research always puts me off and yet I still refuse to write contemporaries!) and then the character of Douglas Foster popped into my head—my books usually begin with a character rather than any idea of plot. Some say they stay that way, too. *guffaw*

What genre does your book fall under?

Er… WW2 espionage adventure?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

I have NO idea about this, as frankly, only really Douglas has emerged semi-formed and I’m still nebulous as to who he’s going to find attractive, as it’s not really a romance, it’s an adventure story starring gay men in wartime so there may be relationship forming, but not hard and fast HEA.  I am not planning any more tragedy endings, though.

Hmm. *thinks* Michael Fassbender would be smashing, particularly as he is in this portrait by Barry McCall

The POSSIBLE love interest, I sort of see looking a bit like wossit.. out of you.. know… gah. *googles*

Ok – a cross between a younger Peter Wingfield than he is here…

and Michael Wincott as portrayed here!

I think you get the idea, here. Vivian, Douglas’s faithful secretary, is modelled shamelessly on Honeysuckle Week’s character Samantha in Foyles War. *loves her with a passion*

I think that will do to be going on with!

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Oh dear, I suck at this, don’t I? No, no, that’s not the sentence!

*gravelly voice* Against the explosive background of the London Blitz, Douglas Foster starts his day with a seemingly routine case of blackmail, little knowing it will drag him into places even he hasn’t been before”

I think that’s suitably vague…

Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

That’s an odd question. There is the option of having it published without an agent, you know. I do have an agent, Professor James Schiavione, and he will be handling it. I won’t self publish, not until there’s no option left on God’s Green earth. But this isn’t the place to tout my opinions of self publishing!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It worries me that most of my answers are “I don’t know.”  I haven’t finished it yet. I’m thinking it will get done by Spring 2013. But it’s bloody freezing right now and I can’t function well in the cold…

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.

If you take the genre as “ WW2 espionage gay adventure?” there aren't that many to compare it with. I think Josh Lanyon’s done one, Aleksandr Voinov’s Skybound is one, I can only hope it will be as good as those.  It won’t be as popular with the m/m readers (see how good I am at promotion?) as many books because of the “not actually a romance more an adventure story” but I hope that people enjoy it anyway. When I’ve worked out what actually happens. I’d like it to be more mainstream than my previous books—after all, there are “adventure books with gay protagonists” out there, even if there are still quite rare—but if I can’t sell it to a mainstream publisher, then it doesn’t really matter.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

As usual, the answer is “my mother” for the most part – even though she’s been dead for six years (and no, don’t worry, she’s not living with me in ectoplasmic form) she still has a huge influence over my writing, she had so many ideas when I started to write, and a WW2 one was just one of them, I doubt I’ll live long enough to write out all of her themes! Gay men were a little more out in this time, not in any large way of course, but clubs were well established, although still very illegal and they still took a risk – we hadn’t quite reached the paranoiac heights of the Blackmailer’s Charter as detailed in that wonderful film “Victim.”

What else about your book might interest the reader?

I hope that I can pull off a book about a gay man doing a job, having an adventure, living his life without the homosexuality being the driving force behind it – that’s the sort of book I enjoy reading, so I hope I can write one, too.

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2012-11-11 01:39 pm

The Poppy & The Lilac

'It's an old soldiers' song,' he said.

'Really, sarge? But it's about angels.'

Yes, thought Vimes, and it's amazing what bits those angels cause to rise
up as the song progresses. It's a real soldiers' song: sentimental, with
dirty bits.

'As I recall, they used to sing it after battles,' he said. I've seen old
men cry when they sing it,' he added.

'Why? It sounds cheerful.'

They were remembering who they were not singing it with, thought Vimes.
You'll learn. I know you will.

--Night Watch, Terry Pratchett

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
all the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, they rise heads up, heads up high

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise knees up, knees up, knees up, they rise knees up, knees up high! All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up,
How do they rise up, rise up high?

They rise feet up, feet up, feet up, they rise feet up, feet up high!

All the little angels rise up, rise up,
All the little angels rise up high!

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2012-11-05 12:27 pm

Downton Abbey–Lazy Writingitis

I am becoming more and more disillusioned and bored with Downton Abbey. I’ll probably continue to watch it for the rest of its natural life, but I wonder, quite honestly, how much of a life it has left because the plot element is almost zero.

entire post cut for spoilers )
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2012-11-01 09:31 am

Thank you!

Thanks to all the lovely people who wished me a happy birthday – Dad hasn’t a Scooby when my birthday is now, and if he did he wouldn’t remember to get me anything, so to have a influx of lovely messages from all around the world always seems very magical to me. The weather has been perfect, cool and blue with loads of golden leaves, just how I remember Hallowe’en from my childhood. I had cake and ate exactly what i felt like and played computer games all day. That’s what birthdays should be about! I had over 300 messages – I mean – wow!


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2012-10-19 10:15 am

Alpha Male Blog Hop


THE ALPHA MALE BLOGSPOT - 200 place to visit, 200 prizes to win!

What is your favorite thing about Alpha Heroes? Well, we authors are ready to share our favorite Alpha Males, our favorite things about them, and everything sexy and heated about those Alpha Males you can think of. *wink* Starting on Friday and ending on Oct 22nd, over 200 Authors and Bloggers will share their favorite things about those sexy men we know and love.

And while we do that, we are EACH doing a giveaway. Yep. There will be over 200 giveaways on each blog hosted by that Author or Blogger.

But that's not all....

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $130 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: The following Swag Pack!

My post is over on my website so please pop over and comment there – you’ll be in the running for now only my prize but the bumper prize too.

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2012-10-16 03:03 pm

Game–The idiots.

You’ve got to love (sarcastic face) the pure idiocy of some help desks:

I’ve been trying to order Assassin’s Creed 3 from GAME. However, I want to have it on the day of release and on reading their FAQ it seems i have to order UK Order Express – all their deliveries are normally free, but UK Order Express will post it in advance.

So, I go through the motions, get to the checkout online and there’s no option for UK Order Express delivery.

I write an email to customer services and get an auto-response back saying they normally respond within 48 hours (speedy then <<<—more sarcasm) but due to an unprecedentedly huge use they are not meeting that target.

After six days I got pissed off and as they had ignored my email chasing them up on day four, I started being rude via Twitter. Ah – the wonders of Twitter.  That got a response!  They asked me to DM and I pointed out my problem. “all i wanted to know was how to order special delivery on ASsCreed3 on pre order as it's not an option on checkout”

Lo and behold I had an email almost immediately.

And this is what it said; (although I think you can probably guess…)

I can confirm that you need to select UK Order Express which will cost £4.95, however this should ensure that your order arrives on release date.


IS IT ME???? it’s not me, is it?

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2012-10-11 02:22 pm

Advent Calendar Call to arms

Well, it's that time of year again - and this year will be year four! of the Advent Calendar.
Every year we post 24 days of articles, short stories, thoughts, blog posts, opinions - whatever for the month of December, and I'm putting out the call for volunteers now and hope you will consider joining up We've always had a full house - last year we were so bursting at the seams we actually doubled up a few days which was wonderful - I'm hoping that this year will be just as full.
You don't have to write about gay historicals - but if you are doing a short story, it would need to be in the genre!  but articles can be about anything - be it seasonal, historicals, gay themed, recipes, (any holiday celebration is included obviously, not just Christmas), If you are stuck for inspiration, go and have a look at the blog and use this tag to find all the posts:
Each blogger should be willing to supply a small gift which will be given to one random commenter - these prizes will all be announced on Christmas Day together with a larger prize of a couple of books and sweets or whatever I can get hold of.
Please email me directly on if you want to sign up for a day (if you need a particular day, please specify) and I'll add you to the list. I'll then put you on a mailing group which i'll only use to keep people up to date.
Thanks in advance - please spread the word if you can and here's looking forward to a lovely holiday celebration!
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2012-10-09 08:10 pm

As You Know, Bob Dialogue

Ok – here’s a classic piece of dialogue from Castle season 5 episode 2 which niftily demonstrates “You know, Bob” writing and makes me want to reach for the cut-throat razor.

Beckett: The department has a strict policy about co-workers dating.

Castle: But as I’m not technically being paid, we aren’t co-workers. Look, no one is going to find out, I haven’t even told Alexis or my mother.

Bethett: That’s because they are both in Europe, celebrating her graduation.

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, Castle really needed to be told that. Goodness, perhaps he’d forgotten. (let’s not dwell on why he’s not over there, that’s irrelevant to my need to go on a rampage in the Castle writing room….)

Writers: Don’t do this.

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2012-10-09 05:56 pm

Someone loves her frisbee!

This is actually an action shot, and she’s running quite fast but she looks like she’s standing still. I’ve been trying to get her catching the frisbee but the shutter speed is so slow that by the time i take it she’s long gone and all there is to see is grass.

The frisbee is great, it’s soft rubber and although it doesn’t fly as well as a solid one, it’s safe for her to snatch out of the air no matter what position it’s in and it won’t hurt her mouth. click on the pic to get the really cheeky expression on her face.

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2012-10-08 12:59 pm

Thoughts on Downton

1. What happened the ENTAIL, pray?  Read more... )

SOOOOOOOO – that being said. How the buggeration is, as he gets a bit financially strapped, Lord Grantham that is able to suddenly say “oh well, never mind, I’ll have to sell the monstrosity and we can all go and live in this hovel, cough, sorry, enormous OTHER house I appear to have over here.”

Inquiring minds need to know, Mr Fellowes. *folds arms*

2. I absolutely refuse to believe that a family of such standing would—as Edith rightly said—accept a chauffeur into the family and yet turn away A LORD OF THE REALM WITH A FUCK OFF GIRT BIG HOUSE just because Read more... )

3. What the bloody hell was the whole Bates thing about? Read more... )

4. As my good friend Henri says – (reverting back to Edith’s marriage) – Read more... )

5. Thomas. Now I love Thomas. Read more... )

Thoughts gratefully received, btw – in case you can explain any of these (particularly the Entail) or have a grumble of your own….

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2012-10-08 10:37 am


Been AWOL a bit recently, and I apologise for that. I really admire people who can “blog” about subjects on a regular basis. It’s as much as I can do to scrawl down a few thoughts. Guess I won’t be a famous diarist when I’m dead.

Healthwise - I’m over the anaemia, thank goodness, although it’s taken it’s time and OMG I really really don’t want to go through that again. I live in fear of another period so I need to get down the Family Planning Clinic asap. I am forcing myself to walk small distances each day, even if it’s only to the next bench in the park.

Writing wise, I’m editing Standish for re-release, and working on the WIP and looking forward to the edits on “I Knew Him.” Busy busy!

I’ve joined “m/m sprint” a nice little Facebook group where you say “hello, I’m writing, anyone want to join me,” give yourself a target and others can write or edit at the same time. I’ve long been aware that I don’t really fall into the Writer in a Garrett mode and that I prefer someone to be along for the ride – that’s my fanfic roots showing I think – plus the very telling fact that as a toddler I refused to walk unless people were applauding. So nothing much has changed. Anyway, I’ve done over 2k of “Gentleman of Fortune” this week which is now around the 14k mark, which is a nice respectable – “you can’t give up now” percentage of around 18%. Which is nearly a fifth! Doesn’t sound so daunting when you put it like that. I have absolutely NO CLUE what’s going to happen, but for me that’s all part of the fun. It’s when I know what’s going to happen that i find the process boring and want someone else to write it for me.

Haven’t spoken much about Sasha recently, but she continues to be a delight. she’s matured into a beautiful, solid dog with muscles where I don’t even have places and she’s incredibly clever. Too much so really, because when we do training she usually anticipates what I want (we are working on “crawl” at the moment) and she’ll do ALL her tricks at once just to make me happy, all at once hoping that one of them is the right one. She’s also become a bit of a “helping hands” dog recently and has learned to pick stuff up that I drop, which is quite useful. Amusing this morning as I was arranging a bookshelf and she was passing up the books from the floor!

Anyway, here’s a recent pic. She was asleep and snoring. *snort*

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2012-09-23 01:51 pm

Cautious Callooh Callaying

I probably shouldn’t be callooh callaying at all, as the contract isn’t signed yet, but I think I can announce that I KNEW HIM has been sold to Lethe Press.

I KNEW HIM – as the title suggests – takes themes from Hamlet. The main theme being a young man who comes down from University to find that his mother is planning to marry his Uncle. It’s set in Somerset in 1922 and the reason I chose this period was that the 1921 marriage act allowed a wife to do this for the first time since about 1560. But the law had been in place for such a long time people were genuinely shocked about it.

Also, the main character – the Hamlet character, is homosexual, and I’ve long been of the opinion that Shakespeare meant Hamlet to be homosexual but perhaps wasn’t brave enough to be as overt with it as Marlowe was in Edward II. When looked at it from that perspective, much of what Hamlet does in the play(particularly to Ophelia) makes a lot more sense.

As you can tell from this burble, I haven’t yet written a blurb.

Anyway, I’m pleased as punch that a great press like Lethe has taken it on, and I’ll keep you posted as to release dates etc.

Pink cava for me tonight! (again prematurely but what the hell). FRABJOUS.

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2012-09-20 11:23 am

OK–nearly back to normal

1. Or as near to normal as I ever am! I’m still “out of puff” but that’s a matter of stamina now, because of weight and because of being knocked off my feet for a month. I went into the shop and back to the car and I was puffing afterwards, but believe me that’s a hell of a different proposition from “I don’t have enough oxygen in my body for this shit.” and it’s hard to explain the difference unless you’ve experienced it. The out of breathness I can work on, and I will, I’m going to walk a little every day, even if it’s only around Dad’s garden a couple of times. I went (finally, after being told a sneaky place to park close to the back of the hosp) to get my blood tested yesterday and seriously it was like running a marathon even with the reduced distance. My legs were like JELLY. I need to do some walking even if it’s only marching on the spot while I’m watching the TV.

2. Took Sasha to the beach yesterday which was glorious a lovely azure September day with a warm breeze. She adores it, but she’s hugely embarrassing because she won’t get her paws wet. I’d like to paddle and see if I can encourage her, but I’m not fit enough for that yet. I threw the ball into the sea twice and she just ran up and down the edge getting ever more desperate until some bloke who was paddling rescued the ball. Twice. Then he laughed and said “Are you sure she’s not a cat?” Oh, the shame, particularly when the spaniels, and yorkshire terriers, and labradors all came past, sploshing around in the shallows and getting wet over their ears.

3. Bought Sasha a Kong frisbee with my Amazon US vouchers and she’s sulking that I won’t let her play with it in the house. I’m meeeeen, apparently.

4. I’m hosting the Carina Press Twitter Feed (@Carinapress) this week and there’s a competition running there until this evening in celebration of yesterday’s Talk Like A Pirate Day (my 8th I believe…) – give me your Spoof Pirate Titles and the funniest will win an ebook of either of my Carina Press Titles. Don’t do it here, do it on the twitter feed.

5. It’s COLD today. Spring to Autumn this year. I blame Spring and Autumn Watch.

How you lot? Missed me?

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2012-09-11 01:17 pm

Reasons to be Cheerful Part IV

Why part four I hear you ask? Well, you’ll have to ask Ian that one…

Going to post a reason on a regular basis – hope you’ll share your reasons.

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2012-09-11 12:49 pm

Update–better, thank you!/Doctor Who

I feel better in myself today, if that makes sense. Read more... )

THANK YOU to everyone who has IM’d, emailed and sent best wishes. My entire social life these days is wrapped up on the net, so to have so many people concerned and asking for regular updates is a real blessing.Sadly Dad doesn’t retain the information in his head for longer than a minute, and I have now given up trying to make him try.

As for Doctor Who this week, I actually enjoyed it. I’ve seen a few blog posts here and there wondering what the thread is this season, and I sort of hope that there isn’t one, and it’s just a case of the Doctor being dragged around the universe by the Tardis being where he needs to be, yanno, like it used to be. The Ponds can disappear any time they like the sooner the better, or Amy, anyway. Keep Rory. Loved the idea of Rory’s Dad rushing around with the Gang, although I wish they’d SHOW us that instead of “Doctor with Hot Girl Companion” you know we are capable of watching the Doctor with a male companion – there is precedent. Wasn’t really sure why the Doctor was quite so desperate to put the dinos back – or even that he had a concept of extinction but I went with it. 

What I didn’t like is Read more... )

What think you, fellow Doctor buffs? My knowledge of Old Series is limited because unlike the Americans, it hasn’t been shown on UK TV for decades. I’d like to know what you think about that “execution.”

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2012-09-09 11:34 am

Batman and Why You DON’T Need an “E-Agent”

Batman Parodies: Brilliant and a much needed laugh

Listen, authors. You need an agent for one thing. To get you in the doors of publishers which say “no unsolicited manscripts” or “agency representation only”. In fact the former statement does NOT, despite what people think, mean you must have an agent, it just means they don’t want you to send your book to them, either in partial or in full to them without being ASKED. What they’d like you to do with this statement is to send a QUERY LETTER – and that’s what you should do. You don’t need an agent to do that for you, believe me.Read more... )