ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP? ( 2 minute read)

A useful reminder to all writers ( and anyone else) who is tempted to ‘just keep going’ Get some rest!

Temple Fitness

In our culture, sleep is not respected very much at all. We are programmed with the idea that to be successful, we need to sleep less, and we can catch up on all the sleep we want when we’re dead. Getting enough sleep is just as important as good nutrition and physical activity. It’s our most underrated health habit.

Today much of our society is still operating under the delusion that sleep is simply time lost to other pursuits. The big challenge is that in our fast paced world today, millions of people are chronically sleep deprived and suffering the effects of getting low sleep quality. Most people don’t realize that their continuous sleep problems are also a stimulant for diseases and appearance issues they’re experiencing. In a society that’s overworked and under-rested, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to issues associated with not getting the sleep that…

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Children’s Corner- Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens

Do not under rate the power of magic… or this book!

This is a five star read and more; I loved it.

Emily is a twelve year old with all the familiar problems;  parents that don’t understand her, an over-bearing older sister and an annoying younger brother. Her parents don’t listen to her and the school bully does everything she can to make Emily’s life unbearable. To  top it all, the weird new girl at school wants to make friends.

Emily is disappointed that her parents won’t buy her a phone for her twelfth birthday but, walking on the beach, finds something that shouldn’t be more interesting than a phone but actually turns out far more interesting. It’s a stone – with magical powers.

Make no mistake this is a great, adventurous, funny read. The stone contains not a genie but a monster whose sole purpose in life is to eat Emily and yet… it must do as she commands. Then there is the ferocious Dogg- never to be confused with the much more dangerous Doggg,

I don’t have any twelve year olds or even ten year olds to gift this book to at the moment but I will be saving this one for my grandchildren. The author has perfectly combined good, old fashioned adventure with so many great up-to-the-minute twists that modern readers will relate to. The stone has ‘apths’ and behaves like a phone, there are ichildren involved and computer games that can suck you in.

If I have any criticism at all it’s that at the beginning, ( before the adventure begins), Emily’s parents seem to very unfairly single her out amongst her siblings as the one who is always in trouble, rather than just being rather rubbish at parenting in general. I’m not sure if that added anything useful to the story, but I was soon lost in the wider narrative and all comes right in the end!

A highly recommend book due to be published in June 2017

*Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group and Netgalley for an ARC of this book*

Review Wednesday – Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land

Annie grows up in a truly nightmarish situation. Her mother is a serial killer, her young victims brought to the family home where they are murdered. When Annie can stand by no more she takes the most decisive step of her life and goes to the police. This is where the story starts.

Whilst waiting to attend her mother’s trial Annie is protected with a new identity, a foster family and a new name, Millie. But nothing is easy for Millie, her new school, the well-meaning though already dysfunctional family who take her in and her past, never very far from her thoughts.

As the date of the trial draws nears tensions arise, at home, at school, even with the one new friend Annie has made. Her ‘step’- sister, Phoebe is certainly not her friend, making life at school and at home almost intolerable with her name calling and taunts.

The title of the book, Good Me Bad Me, is a tantalising one. Has Annie/Millie told the entire truth about what happened in that house of horrors? Perhaps not. Having shown her strength in going to the police, is she her own person or a chip off the old block?

After reading the book I have concluded a little of each. Surely we are all a product of our upbringing to some extent? When that upbringing is bad an individual may be consumed by that badness and become part of it but many break away, taking with them the scars, perhaps even benefiting from them as a reminder of what they do not wish to be.

At the heart of the story is a young teenager desperately seeking the stability of family life. moral dilemmas and extreme actions scream to be justified but, of course, they can’t be.

The writing style of this addictive read is short and choppy, sometimes effective, sometimes not so for me, but I always wanted to read on and the ending, the way paved throughout the narrative, was expected but surprisingly executed. 

A fast and effective read!

Children’s Corner – The Mr Men and Little Miss Books

For my children’s feature this week, rather than a single review I would like to pay homage to the Mr Men and Little Miss series by the late, Roger Hargreaves.

These little books were a staple in our household during the eighties when our children were very young. The illustrations are simple and funny and the stories are just the right length to keep a young child interested all the way through without too much fidgeting.

I kept a few of our original books and began reading them to our grandchildren. They love looking on the back of the books to see the other titles in the Mr Men series and so I have added to our library and now we have a whole stack of them again.

If you enjoy reading aloud the Mr Men books are ideal. Mr Noisy is a great character. All the people in Wobbletown are frightened of him because he shouts so loudly even when he is only buying a loaf of bread.

     When most people sneeze you can hear them in the next room

      But… ATISHOO

     When Mr Noisy sneezes you can hear him in the next country! 

 

 

From Mr Happy:-

         If you’ve never seen a mouse smile or a cat, or a dog, or even a worm –       go to Happy land 

From Mr Forgetful:-

      It was such a lovely day Mr Forgetful decided to walk down to the village to buy a stamp for a letter he’d written three weeks ago but had forgotten to post…

I really do love these little books and recommend you try them. Even the covers make me smile. Have a fun Friday!

Review Wednesday – Salisbury Square by Geoff Le Pard

img_1997Set in London, Salisbury Square is a story that nevertheless unfolds a million miles away from the city many visitors know; The London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, cruising on the Thames… this is a different London.

Jerzy Komaza is also a visitor but he is Polish, he speaks no English and he’s on the run. After all the years of abuse, Jerzy finally had enough of the way his sister suffered at the hands of their father, back on their Polish Farm, and he killed him.

Now Jerzy has fled with a promise of work if only he can meet up with his cousin Jan in Salisbury Square. Immediately things begin to go wrong, Jan is nowhere to be seen and, when he sees she is in trouble, Jerzy goes to the aid of a young drug addict, Suzie. He is drawn into a new life of workgangs and drugs and acts of violence.

The story is told from several viewpoints and the cast of important characters is quite large. They take a little getting to know but soon the links between them begin to become obvious, their lives entwined in ways even they are not aware of. Told in short chapters the pace quickens towards an end that is surprising, original and somewhat inevitable.

Salisbury Square is a story of lives gone wrong and the far reaching effects on family and friends. It’s about people who care and people who don’t.

A gritty, interesting and, at times, poignant read that left me with lots to think about and to be thankful for.

* Many thanks go to the author who provided a copy of this book with no obligation to review*

 

When I have time…

It’s Monday again, bringing that busy beginning of the week feeling with so much to achieve and only five (six?) (seven?) days to do it in.

Last evening I went through my to-do list. I don’t know about you but I probably need a whole month to get through my average week and, in order to make things look a bit more doable, I relegated a few of the not-so-urgent items  to dates a little further along in my diary. These range from things that definitely need to be done in the next week to those that must be done by the end of the month and a few that will be okay this side of Easter. They are mostly to do with writing/blogging.

But I was also reflecting on my ‘When I Have Time’ list and realised this one is quite a mixed bag. So, forthwith, (and in no particular order) here are some of the things I would like to fit in over the next few months:-

  • Wax  the car – properly.
  • Knit some fancy hot water bottle covers (fun gifts)
  • Sow my seeds, Amongst other things, I am planning to grow bananas and papyrus from seed this year
  • Get fit – I ran a half marathon in May 2016 and since then everything in the body department has gone to seed!
  • Maybe get a kitten?  (Cleo would like a playmate)
  • Make marmalade
  • Spend time with my children/grandchildren
  • Learn Portuguese
  • Make a bed quilt
  • Read everything
  • Move house
  • Take up Tai Chi

……….. But at the moment, I’m writing 🙂

20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers

Love this list of useful and inspirational board from Pinterest!

Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

There are some amazing Pinterest boards listed in this post. Check it out. ❤

Find out how the visual platform can inspire, teach, tempt and entertain writers.

Source: 20 Inspiring Pinterest Boards for Writers

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