Thursday, April 30, 2009

Interuption to Japan Posts - Dyslexia

Sorry to stop the Japan posts but I am in a tizz - thanks to the article in 7 Days on Monday I am being filmed for a documentary on dyslexia this afternoon (What do i wear???) and I was thinking about writers who are dyslexic. I am dyslexic and although my mother was told this when I was in third grade nothing much was done to work with it because very little was known about it in the 'dark ages.' Aside from reading aloud problems and huge spelling difficulties I made it successfully through school to receive my degree in English (concentration in creative writing and Medival Studies) from Mt. Holyoke. So my dyslexia didn't stop me and I am wondering if in a strange way it helped me along my road to becoming a writer.

I want to know how many writers are dyslexic. Are there are 'names' out there? Have they spoken of it? The famous dyslexics that heralded are the likes of Einstein and even Richard Branson. Where are the writers in this list?

The film maker has already interviewed the artist Sacha Jafri for the documentary and I had spoken to him last year about his dyslexia - but most people see where it fits with art. For my son it fits with his skill in maths and sciences.

I just wonder those of us writers who are dyslexics - did the struggles with words lead you closer to them? Did the triumph of reading that first book set your creative fire alight? Did the frustration of having a million stories in your head push you to the long hours of hard work to get those stories on the page?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weddings continued....

So yesterday I spoke of the bride - today the groom. Most of his preparation was of a different sort. He had to master saying his vows in Japanese and do it well enough not to make the bride burst out in hysterical laughter! So while she was transforming from woman to bride he was struggling with a sheet of a phonetic approximation of the vows. Help did the form of Yumi's best friend Yu and his parents (btw a huge thank you to Yu for some of his photos).

Mark's kimono was far less grand than Yumi's but the transformation was still great. Judging by the number of photos both Dh and I took we were most fascinated by his socks which were the first items to go on! The other thing that struck me was that skirt like garment that went over the first few layers reminded me of the fabric frequently used in the trousers of a morning suit.

Finally, here is another picture of the shoes/sandals of the bride and groom. I just love they way they are placed together facing out into the world as if from this point it is a joint journey - the solo one has finished. I am not sure if that was the intention but that is what I felt.

Tomorrow - the ceremony...

Monday, April 27, 2009


Have made front page news - not sure if it's good or bad. Had always hoped it would be for best selling book but ...... Any blog readers in Dubai - the article continues on page 6 with a photo no less!


Okay, I confess that I am a romantic at heart. I make no apologies for this. I believe in LOVE in all its forms and its power to change everything. So this past weekend was about many things, but most importantly it was about love and love's triumph. It was about celebration of all the wonderful things that make life worth living - love, friendship, marriage, joy, discovery.....

I haven't been able to post much while we were away and there is so much to share. I have puzzled about how to break the weekend down into bite size chunks and I don't know if I have it right, but as I have posted a few photos of the wedding I thought I would continue with one part of the day.
First, let me say for a woman, the wedding day can be the transforming moment. Not only do you change from single to married, but you have a valid reason to be the center of attention and to transform from ordinary woman to princess. It is not just the dress, hair and make-up but the focus of all the love and care of those around you that helps the bride to glow.
Now on Saturday morning in heavy rain (more about that later) we left Kyoto at 7:15 to be at the shrine in Uji. The ceremony was at 11:00. The journey takes 30 minutes. The rest of the time belonged to the bride bar a brief twenty minutes for the groom.

From 8:00 to 10:30 Yumi was transformed from a beautiful woman into a stunning bride. The process was a work of art and I am sure each step in the process had meaning. The end result was breath taking.....

I just want to say thank you to her for letting me be there and record the process. As she was finally turned to us fully dressed I fought back the tears. I remembered my day almost eighteen years ago and all the love that I felt. All that wonderful emotion was clear to see on her beautiful face.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Waiting to Fly Again

I have so much to say but little time as we are about to board our flight back to Dubai. here's a few more photos until later...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick Wedding Update

Happy, exhausted....fabulous day which I'll write about later but for now a few photos of the wedding!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Arrived and Survived

It's a beautiful morning here in Kyoto and I'm happy to see it as I tried and some what enjoyed raw chicken last night! Me - who has never even had sushi was thrown to the lions or in this case chickens last night. As you can see I am still alive to tell the tell.

Off to sight see in a moment so farewell for now!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sorry for the silence but between travel, a guest and getting ready for travel I don't know where time goes. Tomorrow I am off to Japan - Kyoto to be precise for DH's best friend's wedding. Mark was our best man and I am really looking forward to being there when he ties the knot in a temple in Uji on Saturday. The only thing I am not looking forward to is the weather. The forecast is terrible. Everyone please keep your fingers crossed that the heavy rain forecast is wrong.

I am behind in everything at the moment but there are two great things I must share the links on. How Do You Know When To Quit? It uses the example of Susan Boyle as part of the discussion and really hit home with me at the moment. Key thought for me from that:

"...but talent, alone, won’t always win out. Timing, opportunity, are the other key ingredients. And you don’t get opportunities if you don’t keep trying. "

And Nathan Bransford has done it again with a great post on concepts here. The key to this is:

"The originality is all about how it's done, not what it's about."

I hope I shall be able to post from Japan but I don't know. If not be prepared for a photo laden post on Monday that hopefully isn't filled with rain drops!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Good Friday

One of the reasons I love being here in Cornwall is for the traditions- yesterday was trigging which is what they call cockling. The sun shone and no I didn't embrace the mud, but watched at a discreet distance.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happiness Is......

Happiness is so many things - being with my family in Cornwall (despite the grey skies), being able to cut beautiful spring flowers from my garden, an Amazon delivery with two friends' books (Giselle Green's latest LITTLE MIRACLES and Novel Racer,Rachel Green's AN UNGODLY CHILD - crearly there is a green thing going on and I have to say I was savouring the varying shades of it that soothed my eyes as we drove from Heathrow yesterday! I had forgotten how green everything was here as my eyes are so accustomed to varying shades of sand) and the short list for the Melissa Nathan Comedy Romance Award was announced and contained two friends! (Novel Racer, Kate Harrison's SECRET SHOPPER"S REVENGE and Trisha Ashley's WINTER'S TALE) Here's the whole short list:

The Secret Shopper's Revenge by Kate Harrison. Orion
Bridesmaids by Jane Costello. Pocket Books
Recipe For Disaster by Miriam Morrison. Arrow
A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley. Avon
The Marriage Bureau For Rich People by Farahad Zama. Abacus
The Importance Of Being Emma by Juliet Archer. ChocLit

Monday, April 06, 2009

Unbalance - Hero/Villain

Some of you will remember how the first draft of A Cornish House was soooooo Serena's story and my poor heroine Maddie was a mere shadow of her step-daughter - well the same is happening with the current book. I love Victoria, my antagonist. She is sixty-five, sexy and not willing to put up with anyone. I am loving her story so much that poor Demi is a pale washed out whimp by comparison. Now it took me a year before I could figure out how to make ACH Maddie's story but I did it. I am hoping that it won't take me as long with poor Demi.

In the interim I will go back to just getting the first draft down. Do you see the faults as you are writing? Can you leave them unattended just to get the story out or do you have to fix before you can move on?

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Yesterday was bliss in many ways. The weather had cleared after rain and thunder storms and DH took the boys to the cinema. I thought - peace - and stretched out on the sofa to read. All week long each and every time I thought I can read someone needed me. So poor FAIR DECEPTION was interrupted. I have longed to read this book because I had read the first three chapters of it's follow-on story here and Caroline was such a plucky heroine that she has stayed with me. So when FAIR DECEPTION was published by Hale I was thrilled.

Yet each time I went to sink into the wonderful Regency setting something interrupted including on the flight back to Dubai in February when inspiration struck and I worked the seven hour flight instead of relaxing and getting lost in another world. So when I picked up the book last week I foolishly thought I would have plenty of time to escape - no, my dear children had other plans. I grabbed small bits here and there which was not at all satisfactory. For some books it's okay to read two pages here and two pages there, but others are best consumed nearly whole.

As I said I settled on the sofa with dd happily rearranging her room and read. I was lost in another world and loving every minute of the escape then boom twenty pages from the end when I am so caught up I don't want to know the world outside the book exists everyone needs me! I deal with request one politely - finding paint and an easel for Ds1. I settled back into book immediately gripped and then two minutes later Ds2 needs me to sort something on the computer. Grrrrrrrrrr. Sorted and then return to wrapping myself in the story. Dh comes home having booked some flights and wants to discuss. Explain I won't be long but I NEED to finish this wonderful book (Doesn't anybody else show respect when a person is so close to the end you can taste it? Before interrupting a reader I always glance to see where they are in the book - the end is sacred!). He looks at me then wonders off. Down to ten pages and DD wants to ice her fairy cakes. Gritting my teeth I pour icing sugar into a bowl and beat the hell out of it and leave her to cover the the world in violent pink icing. I retreat into the story - torn between reading quickly and savouring each word and Dh, bless him, appear to ask if I want a glass of wine????

Can someone tell me why it is that as you approach the end of a book that everybody needs you? Why is it that you can't be left in peace to enjoy the satisfaction of the end????

From the above you can tell that I loved the book. I love Regencies and have done so since I discovered Georgette Heyer. Jan Jones does a brilliant job of conveying a totally different time and creates characters that you care for deeply. Can't wait to finally read the rest of Caroline's story from FORTUNE'S WAGER. In the meantime I will jump back into the Regency world with C.S. Harris's WHY MERMAID'S SING (although I have this in hardcover so it may have to wait until we are back from our trip to Cornwall for Easter) after I finished Rachel Billington's LIES and LOYALTIES that I began last night.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


I have begun writing new words on the wip - a few thousand but I have also deleted as many! I had go back a bit in the sotry and read to find out where I was and what my characters had been up to which meant that going against my write straight through the first draft had to go by the board a bit as huge clunky phrase and the like just knocked me over! So hopefully tomorrow I can report that I will be over 30k :-)

We have had a visitor this week which is always fun and does move one off one's backside. In this case it sent us out into the desert yesterday. We went with very low and cautious expectations as the forecast was crap (and having seen what some heavy rains of late had done to some roads the caution is well heeded). The mood in the car, if it could be gauged in between the heavy metal riffs and the looming clouds, was glum.
However we were rewarded with a clearing sky and ventured on main roads towards Wadi Ray. With eyes ever heavenward we cautiously explored. The teens rock climbed and fought the flies for the their lunch.

It was a brilliant day out and I returned refreshed having moved away from the craziness that is the city to the quiet sides of Dubai that I love. Too often people think Dubai is all beach and glitz. It is a place that is multi dimensional and filled with real people living real lives - not just the expats but the local population who were out in droves yesterday enjoy the cool weather and water filled wadis.