With the summer solstice this week (how can it be the longest day already?) I started to think about this place. I’ve never seen it in the flesh (as it were) but I’ve always thought that there is something spiritual about it. The words solstice and Stonehenge (other stone circles are available) sort of go hand in hand.
So I’m thinking Stonehenge and my next thought is Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Those of you that have read it will know why and if you haven’t read it – why haven’t you? I’ve said it many times before that Tess… is my favourite book EVER.
So, I got to thinking, do you have a favourite book and is there anything that instantly brings it to mind?
I know you shouldn’t dwell on the past but I struggle with that sometimes and this week is one of those times. You see, six years ago today it was 16th June, it was a Sunday, it was Father’s Day…. and I woke up in the ICU at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
My kidneys had failed a fortnight earlier and I’d been in hospital for that but had been discharged the Wednesday before. At about 4.30 on Saturday morning when I was coughing up water and unable to breathe and ambulance had been called and I’d been blue lighted back to hospital. When two rounds of dialysis within 9 hours (they last 4 hours) had done nothing to help anything I was transferred upstairs to the ICU and I woke up there 6 years ago today. It was a very scary time.
Anyway, enough of that, it’s 6 years on and life is very different. Today I woke up in my own bed (at stupid o’clock I might add) and I’ll be cooking a Father’s Day lunch for my family. I’ll also hopefully take the dog for a walk, I say hopefully because he’s a bit under the weather and might not fancy it, have a bubble bath and I might even have a bottle of wine somewhere with my name on it. It’ll be a good day.
I might even find time to do some writing so in answer to the question, yes it is a writer’s blog.
PS I should point out that that is not a recent picture of said dog it’s just one of my favourites. He’s an old bloke now with a very grey muzzle.
With Not My Brother’s Keeper out there in the big wide world and An Uncomplicated Man (out December 5th 2019) still the editors problem, I get to work on my next project. It has the working title of LFA and holds a very special place in my heart. If it ever gets to be published, during the blog tour I will reveal its link to what happened at the World Trade Centre on that dark day in 2001.
I like a new project, they are exciting times as new characters take shape in your head. In the first version my heroine, for want of a better word, was simpering, in the second one she had a bit of the green eye monster about her and now in the third incarnation she’s got a chip on her shoulder. I think she’ll probably end up being a bit of all three.
Once I know her better she’s going to tell me her story and I will write it. Unlike my day job, when it comes to writing I’m not much of a planner. All ideas are fluid and that’s part of the excitement.
My heroine and I are going to send a bit of time together this afternoon.
I wonder of I could ask a favour please. I have a feeling that I am talking to myself and we all know what that’s the first sign of. If there is anyone out there, leave a message – even one word will do.
Publication day (yesterday) was a bit non-descript to be honest but that’s OK. There were no bells, there were no whistles, it just happened. I went to work and had a normal Thursday For me the joy comes when someone enjoys a book so the best is yet to come. I’ve actually already had a couple of lovely comments so that makes all of the work worthwhile.
As for the other thing that I was doing this week. I started my new project but as always happens (for me anyway) at the start of project, a couple of thousand words in and I started asking myself if my MC had the right voice. I’ll give that a bit of thought over the weekend.
OK, so I know it’s been a (long) while since I’ve been here but I promise to try and be a better blogger.
So, the title, what does that mean? Well, it’s going to be a pretty exciting week. Not only is my next book Not My Brother’s Keeper published on Thursday but tomorrow I get to start a new project. I could start it today, there’s absolutely nothing stopping me other than I want to enjoy the anticipation of starting it. I know it’s sad but …sorry that’s me.
What can I tell you about Not My Brother’s Keeper? Its a story of family bonds. How far can you stretch them before they break? How do you react when your hero let’s you down? What do you do when you are a teenage boy who’s life is turned upside down? Like my last book Ribbons in Her Hair it is told from more than one perspective to show that there are always at least two sides to every story.
As for my new project, it has the working title of LFA or possibly LTA, I’m not quite sure which at the moment. It starts with two girls, ends with two women and more than a few lies along the way.
I’m also going to have a look at this place, see if I can jazz it up a bit, new coat of paint maybe.
I’ll also be working all week in my day job and as its a holiday week volunteers will be a bit thin on the ground. It’s going to be a busy week.
Hi and welcome to my stop on Colette McCormick’s Ribbons In Her Hair blog tour 🙂
Interview with Colette McCormick…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
I was born and raised in Yorkshire but have lived in Co Durham for nearly 40 years. I have always enjoyed writing and ‘dabbled’ with a book for many years without really getting anywhere. In 2013, a life-threatening illness changed my perspective and made me focus on doing the things that I wanted to while there was still time. My first book ‘Things I Should Have Said and Done,’ was published by Accent Press in 2015. My second book ‘Ribbons in Her Hair’ is out now and a third, ‘Not My Brother’s Keeper,’ will follow in May 2019.
Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I get my ideas from every-day life. Something will…
My book, Ribbons in Her Hair (out on August 23rd) has the mother/daughter relationship at the heart of it. I am the mother of sons so I asked my friend Jan Weiss what it’s like to be the mother of a daughter.
What is it like to be the mother of a daughter?
Coming from a family of five girls and one boy it seemed the most natural thing in the world to me that I would have a daughter. Girls I get (even though they are more difficult to raise)…boys are cute and I adore them…but I don’t have as much experience with them.
My experience in raising a daughter has been greatly influenced by the relationship I have with my mother. Oddly enough what I wanted was to have something completely different. My mother saw me as a direct offshoot of herself which means that she expected me to be like her and to have the same values and to have the same dreams. But I am as different as anyone could be from my mother so as a teenager it was a daily battle as I fought to stand up for who I was and she fought to make me like her. So I always knew that if I had a daughter I would be different.
From the time Arielle was a baby she was a spirited little fighter with a strong demanding personality. Though it was challenging I did appreciate that she knew how to speak up for herself. I encouraged that as well and always wanted her to know that she was listened to and that what she said mattered. I worked really hard to make sure that she felt validated which was something that was missing from my relationship with my mother. Arielle did fine though elementary school apart from the usual social issues that all kids deal with. Being an only child she had a hard time working in groups but as she got to middle school she found a new group of friends and they really hit it off and to this day are very close. During high school I worried about her safety constantly so I kept pretty close tabs on her and would talk to other parents so we always knew where our daughters were and who they were with which is important and something I always advise parents to do. As Arielle grew up we approached subjects that can be hard to talk about but I always wanted her to know that no matter what she could tell me anything and I would not get mad so when she began dating we talked about birth control and being responsible. She listened to me and didn’t seem uncomfortable – I think. It wasn’t always easy and I worried a lot…mostly about safety but also about her happiness. I also worried about her school grades because she didn’t seem interested. After high school Arielle went to college and it started off slow but her grades improved and before long she was an honor student and it was at that point where I began to worry less and could see that she was starting to handle things on her own but it was hard to let go. I always want to be the person she can depend on and the one who always has her back. I always wanted her to know that she is great just the way she is and to be herself and that we don’t have to have the same interests. I also wanted to project a strong female presence in her life because I am a strong feminist and wanted her to be a feminist too so that she would stand up for herself in a world that does not stand up for women. I was not raised in a feminist household so I fought for that.
Arielle got married almost three years ago and now has a young son. I wanted her to have a daughter but when we found out it was a boy we were just as happy and now every moment I spend with my grandson is a gift. A friend of mine said the reason she had a boy is because she needs to raise the next feminist generation so August will be raised to respect and appreciate women.
Raising my daughter has been the most important thing I have ever done. She is a beautiful person and each day I am in awe of her strength and her abilities as a mother . And now we have this amazing little boy in our life who can take on all this love he is given everyday and carry that out into the world.
Jan Weiss is an artist and writer from the Bay Area of California.
Jean seems the perfect wife and mother but she struggles to love her daughters whose material comforts mask emotional neglect.
When the youngest daughter, Susan, brings ‘shame’ on the family, Jean can think of only one response. She has to make the problem disappear. Finding the strength to stand up to her mother for the first time in her life, Susan does the only thing that she can to save her baby. What Susan doesn’t realise is that her mother’s emotional distance hides a dark secret of her own.
Examining the divide between generations, between mothers and daughters, this emotionally charged novel asks whether we can ever truly understand another, however close our ties.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Ribbons In Her Hair! I have a guest post from the author to share…
Delighted to be hosting the first stop on this blog tour for Ribbons in my hair. My thanks to Accent Press and Colette McCormick for letting me share in this wonderful blog tour and kicking it all off with a lovely guest post from the author herself.
About the book
Jean seems the perfect wife and mother but she struggles to love her daughters whose material comforts mask emotional neglect. When the youngest daughter, Susan, brings ‘shame’ on the family, Jean can think of only one response. She has to make the problem disappear. Finding the strength to stand up to her mother for the first time in her life, Susan does the only thing that she can to save her baby. What Susan doesn’t realise is that her mother’s emotional distance hides a dark secret of her own. Examining the divide between generations, between mothers and daughters, this emotionally…